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Full text of "In olde New York; sketches of old times and places in both the state and the city"

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974,7 
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1241079 



at^M1iALO<3Y COLUI^crnoM 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 01152 1587 



THE GRAFTON HISTORICAL SERIES 
Edited by HENRY R. STILES, A.M., M.D 



The Grafton Historical Series 

Edited by Henry R. StUes, A.M., M.D. 

12mo. Cloth, gilt top 

In Olde Connecticut 

By Charles Burr Todd 

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Historic Hadley 

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King Philip's War 

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In Olde Massachusetts 

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Mattapoisett and Old Rochester, 

Massachusetts 

Prepared under the direction of a Committee 

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Old Steamboat Days on the 

Hudson River 

By David Lear Buckman 

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In Olde New York State 

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The Cherokee Indians 
By Thomas Valentine Parker, Ph.D. 
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In Press 

The Diary of Reverend Enos Hitchcock 
A Chaplain in The Revolution 

Historic Graveyards of Maryland and 

their Inscriptions 

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THE GRAFTON PRESS 

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IN OLDE NEW YORK" ^ 

SKETCHES OF OLD TIMES AND PLACES IN 
BOTH THE STATE AND THE CITY 



BY 
CHARLES BURR TODD 

Author of ''In Olde Connecticut," "In Olde Massachusetts," 
The Story of the City of New York," "The ^"^'*' 
True Aaron Burr," etc. 




THE GRAFTON PRESS 

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK 



Copyright, 1907 
By the GRAFTON PRESS 



J 241079 



FOREWORD 

rriHIS book is dedicated to the citizens of New 
■^ York who love her history and traditions. 
Many of its stories were written twenty years ago 
and are repeated now with very Httle change simply 
because they described types and conditions (espe- 
cially in the great city) that no longer exist. The 
generation that read them in 1885 in the Evening Post 
or Lippincotfs Magazine will re-peruse them as one 
reads the faces of old friends long forgotten. To 
the generation which has come on the stage since 
they were written they will have the novelty and in- 
terest of original tales. My publishers and some of 
my critics have suggested that I adapt them to 
changed conditions. I let them stand as written. 

C. B. T. 
October, 1907. 







PAGE 


I 


The Old City Dock . . • . 


1 


II 


The French Admiral Pierre de 




Landais ..... 


17 


III 


Two Marble Cemeteries . 


28 


IV 


Some Old Time Figures 


36 


V 


New York City in 1827 


45 


VI 


Some Old Booksellers . 


54 


VII 


A New York Curiosity Shop 


72 


VIII 


The Old Jumel Mansion . 


77 


IX 


Two American Shrines . 


86 


X 


The Story of the Palatines 


91 


XI 


A Decayed Stronghold 


118 


XII 


The Oriskany Monument . 


123 


XIII 


Johnson Hall 


129 


XIV 


Thomas Paine's Last Home 


140 


XV 


The American Barbison 


149 


XVI 


Easthampton Churchyard . 


167 


XVII 


The Wreck of the John Miltoj 


f 177 


s^VIII 


King Pharaoh's Widow 


. 184 


XIX 


An Island Manor 


. 190 


XX 


The Whalemen of Sag Harbor 


. 197 


XXI 


Tales of Southampton 


. 206 



iii Contents 

PAGE 

XXII The Shinnecocks . . .216 

XXIII Port Jefferson and the Whaleboat 

Privateersmen .... 225 
XXIV Harvard's First Graduate . . 232 

XXV Fire Island 236 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Clipper Ship Dreadnought Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

The Old City Dock 4 

St. Patrick's Cemetery 18 

The New York Marble Cemetery 30 

The New York City Marble Cemetery 34 

Broadway from City Hall Park 52 

The Jumel Mansion in 1854 78 

The Richmond Hill Mansion 80 

Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga 118 

The Oriskany Monument 124 

The Johnson House 130 

The Thomas Paine Memorial 142 

Main Street, Easthampton 150 

The Gardiner Mansion, Gardiner's Island 190 

The Surf Hotel, Fire Island 236 



IN OLDE NEW YORK 



IN OLDE NEW YORK 
CHAPTER I 

THE OLD CITY DOCK* 

\ N old time friend of mine, a gentleman of leisure, 
'*^*- whenever an attack of ennui threatens, flees 
to the city docks, where he finds in their bustle and 
infinite variety an unfailing specific. He stops to 
inspect whole fleets of canal boats snugly housed 
during winter from the terrors of the "raging canawl," 
is thrilled at sight of an ocean steamer just in from 
a perilous voyage, storm-battered, with torn sails, and 
decks and rigging sheathed with ice. The great rail- 
way docks hold him a long time. On the Southern 
steamship wharves he draws odorous breaths of resin 
and tar, trails his cane through little puddles of molasses, 
and gets his hair full of cotton lint, whereat the steve- 
dores grin. The dock where the trim little fruit 
schooners from the West Indies unload is a favorite 
haunt and so are the piers along South Street, below 
Roosevelt, where the few battered veterans of the Cali- 
fornia and Canton trade still discharge their cargoes. 
When his circuit is completed he has studied every 
» Written in 1883. 



2 In Olde New York 

nationality, learaed the cut of every civilized jib, 
heard the music of every tongue, and inspected the 
products of the known earth. 

The region between the present Coenties Slip and 
Whitehall Street my friend finds most prolific of fan- 
cies. It is the site of the old city dock, the first built 
on Manhattan. This dock was the corner-stone of 
the commerce of our metropolis, the progenitor of our 
thirty miles or more of wharves. That famous mo- 
nopoly, the West India Company, built it, and its 
quaint, round-bottomed, high-pooped Dutch sliips were 
the first vessels here. They gathered the grain, pelts, 
lumber, potash, and medicinal herbs that then formed 
New Netherland's exports, or landed the hardware, 
groceries, household goods, brick, "cow calves" and 
"ewe milk sheep," and other pecuHar Dutch imports. 
As late as 1702 this dock formed almost the sole wharf- 
age of the city, and seventy-four vessels, pinks, galleys, 
snows, a few brigs and ships, were moored to it during 
the year, two thirds of them from the West Indies and 
Southern provinces. The town then contained 5250 
inhabitants, living in 750 dwellings, so that the wharf 
was ample for its needs. As much of the interest and 
romance of the old dock gathers about this period 
from 1090 to 1700, I may indicate its primitiveness 
by the fact that the city streets were first lighted in 
1697, by hanging a lantern on a pole before every 
seventh house "in the dark time of the moon," and 



The Old City Dock 3 

that the city poHce force consisted of four honest 
citizens whose office was to walk the streets at night 
sounding a bell and proclaiming the hour and state of 
the weather. 

Along the rude dock at that time we should have 
seen, here a galley from Fayal, there a " pink" from 
Barbadoes, in its neighbor a "snow" from Boston or 
the Virginias, with possibly a full-rigged bark or ship 
from London unloading cargo, for England was as 
determined then as later that her American colonies 
should receive their European products through her 
own bottoms and warehouses. It is likely, too, that 
a trim, buoyant vessel, painted black, with long taper- 
ing masts and spars, would be lying at the wharf — 
a slave trader lately in from the coast of Guinea, and 
about to sail for a new cargo. As soon as the stout 
burghers of Manhattan acquired a little wealth in 
stock and lands they felt the need of servants, and 
despatched ships to the coast of Africa after them. 
Strange adventures and many dangers attended these 
early traders; if they escaped the pirates which then 
swarmed in all frequented seas, they ran into some httle 
port along the Angola coast, bargained with the petty 
king of the place for a contingent, and so creeping 
along the shore made up their cargo from a score of 
villages, provided, however, that some piratical craft 
did not follow them into harbor and capture craft, 
cargo and all. For these were the days of such free- 



4 In Olde New York 

booting in the colonies as seems incredible to modem 
ears. 

In our character of dreamer we shall see a dim, 
shadowy vessel far out in the offing that does not come 
boldly up to the wharf hke an honest craft, but tacks 
and fills as if waiting an assurance that the coast is 
clear before venturing in. While we are speculating 
about her a long boat appears coming from her direc- 
tion, in whose bow stands a stout, swarthy, bearded 
man, his sinister face tanned by Indian suns, a fine, 
beautifully wrought gold chain from Arabian work- 
shops about his neck, rings set with gems on his fingers, 
and under his coat a netted belt through whose meshes 
we catch the gleam of gold. Once ashore he makes 
his way to the Governor's mansion, whence he presently 
returns smiling and rubbing his hands gleefully, and 
then hurries away to the ship. Next morning we 
gather with the crowd to see the latter berthed, and 
when this is done and the hatches removed, bale after 
bale of costly merchandise is hauled up and carried 
away. One might fancy himself for the nonce trans- 
ported to the Orient. Tea and cassia, rich silks of 
China, woven fabrics of Cashmere, Indian sandal 
wood, perfumes, and gems, spices and gums of Ceylon. 
African gold and ivory, with half the products of 
European workshops, the vessel pours out, until half- 
a-million dollars in value has passed from her hold. 
There is no doubt as to the character of the craft: she 



'0- 


1 ;;' 



o J 



The Old City Dock 5 

belonged to that powerful guild of pirates which at 
this period, under the corrupt Governor Fletcher, had 
become one of the wealthiest interests of the city. 

These colonial pirates at this distance of time seem 
the ideal freebooters. As a rule they were the most 
enterprising shipmasters of their day, who were drawn 
from the merchant service into privateering during 
the French and Spanish wars, and on the return of 
peace, impatient of restraint, became privateers on 
general principles and turned their guns on vessels 
of every flag. The whole waste of waters was their 
cruising ground, but their special field was the Indian 
Ocean. With characteristic ingenuity they reduced 
the business to a system. The home merchants, who 
in many cases had fitted them out and had a share in 
the profits, established lines of swift vessels to Mada- 
gascar, the rendezvous of the pirates, which carried 
out such supplies as they might need and brought 
back the booty to be disposed of as lawful merchandise, 
the pirates themselves returning home only at intervals. 
What seductive pictures must have been painted for 
the adventurous youth of Gotham in 1690-6 when 
the pirate captains were beating up the town for re- 
cruits! Fighting and bloodshed were not mentioned; 
the prizes were unarmed and would yield to a show 
of strength. And in sober truth these calculations 
were correct. East India piracy was not a bloody trade ; 
captured crews and passengers were in most cases well 



6 In Olde New York 

treated and put ashore at the nearest point. At the 
trial of Captain Kidd liis prosecutors could not fix a 
single murder upon him, except that of a mutinous 
member of liis crew. With such inducements scores 
of vessels fitted out from the colonial ports, chiefly 
from New York and Rhode Island. Had they been 
content with plundering the Dutch and native traders, 
they might have continued to flourish for years; but 
when, grown bolder, they began taking the rich bottoms 
of the East India Company, that powerful corporation 
began taking steps to suppress them. 

The era of the CaHfornia and Canton clipper ships 
was one of which America may justly be proud, and, 
singularly enough, the trade wliich they created cen- 
tered in the neighborhood, if not on the site, of the old 
city dock. 

They had their origin in the advantages wliich our 
shrewd merchants of 1845 saw lay in quick passages 
to the East, but they were brought to perfection by 
the California gold mining excitement of '49 and suc- 
ceeding years. During their existence, they gave us 
the supremacy of the seas, excited the keenest rivalry 
between American and English ship-builders, and be- 
came the theme of international comment. Yet one 
looks in vain for any account of them in the published 
histories of the city, while the opening of the Pacific 
Railway and the development of steam navigation 
so revolutionized the machinery of commerce that 



The Old City Dock 7 

merchants of to-day have almost forgotten their ex- 
istence. The two hnes of clippers were of nearly 
simultaneous origin, the one in part the complement 
of the other. 

In the winter of 1848-9 New York wore an air of 
suppressed excitement: in counting-room and office, 
tavern and exchange, there was one common topic of 
conversation — gold ; until, at length, the spell of it 
fell on half the energetic men of the city. The spring 
before, a workman clearing out a mill-race on a branch 
of the Sacramento had found particles of gold. The 
discovery leaked out despite the efforts made to keep 
it secret; it floated over the mountains, came around 
the Horn, and brought unrest and disquiet not only 
to the Atlantic seaboard cities, but to the old world 
centers of capital and population as well. Many yet 
remember the scenes of bustle and excitement pro- 
duced by the news. Ordinary methods of money- 
making seemed slow or superannuated compared with 
the picking up of gold nuggets in the river beds. The 
newspapers fanned the flame by pubhshing interviews 
with returned Californians, and every scrap of news 
concerning the diggings that could be gathered. The 
Herald published California specials, and tales of 
twenty-five and twenty-eight pound nuggets picked 
up by lucky miners. Associations were at once formed 
for proceeding to the gold regions. Clothing men 
turned their attention to providing mining outfits; 



8 In Olde New York 

patent medicine men evolved specifics against chills, 
fevers, rheumatisms, and other diseases incident to 
a new country; publishers advertised "choice reading, 
suitable for voyagers to the Pacific," and inventors 
placed in the field a bewildering and ludicrous array 
of contrivances for camping and gold-washing. Patent 
mess hampers, folding tables, and dressing cases, 
gold detecting scales, portable India rubber beds that 
could quickly be inflated for use, and houses of the 
same material that could be put up or taken down in 
a few hours, figure in the advertisements of the day. 
"I first heard the news, I tliink, in February, 1849," 
said an old pioneer, " from the wife of Clerk Gallagher, 
of Washington Market. She had a babe barely a 
month old, and was in a pretty condition at her hus- 
band's leaving her and going to the mines. As we 
were talking Gallagher came in, and I remarked that 
I felt like laying my stick across his back for his cruelty 
in leaving wife and baby. 'Ah,' said he, 'wait till you 
hear it all,' and he sat down and told me such tales 
of the mines that when he had finished I was ready 
to leave my desk and family and set out for the diggings. 
There was witchcraft in it, you see." 

The first pioneers went around Cape Horn, usually 
chartering their vessel and furnishing their own out- 
fits. The later and more favorite route was across 
Mexico, and later still over the Isthmus. The first to 
lead a party over the Mexican route was Col. J. C. 



The Old City Dock 9 

Battersby, of New York City, favorably known during 
the war as commander of the First New York Lincoln 
Cavalry, and for his war sketches in Harper's Weekly. 
The Colonel's reminiscences of the event are enter- 
taining. "It was in March, 1849," he says, "that I 
hired a room at No. 2 Dey Street and advertised to 
lead a company of men across Mexico to California 
in sixty days at $250 each. It was the first time, to 
my knowledge, that the idea had been broached. 
The usual method for gold-diggers then was to form 
an association of perhaps fifty or a hundred members, 
charter a vessel, procure outfits, and sail around the 
Cape, a voyage of five or sLx months. As showing 
that there were those incredulous as to the richness 
of the new Eldorado, I may mention that soon after 
my advertisement appeared, the owner of the building 
came to me and said he would have no more men roped 
in there and their money taken away. 'You tell 
them,' said he, 'there's gold in California, and I don't 
believe there's that gold in California,' indicating a 
section of his thumb nail as large as a pea. 'Very 
well,' said I, and secured rooms of Richard French, 
on or near the spot where the Belmont Hotel now 
stands. 

" The plan was so novel, however, and untried, 
that few presented themselves. I secured but one. 
Dr. N. S. Murphy, an Irish physician of character 
and attainments. I had chartered the bark Eugenia, 



10 In Okie New York 

owned by Peter Argus & Co., and, after holding her 
three weeks for the desired number, put my horse, my 
Newfoundland dog, Rubens, and my outfit on board, 
and embarked with the doctor for Vera Cruz where 
we arrived in tliirty-one days. From that port we took 
the National Road to the City of Mexico twelve days, 
thence by easy stages through the valley of Guarrnica, 
later Maximilian's summer retreat, to Acapulco. 
Here the doctor was taken ill with burning fever and 
lay forty days in the Governor's palace, where we were 
hospitably entertained. Just as he was well enough 
to travel, the British steamer Unicorn came into port 
eight months from New York with 600 passengers on 
board bound for San Francisco. Cabins, decks, fore- 
castle, ever}i;hing was full, except the upper compart- 
ment of a large coop on the main deck wliich had been 
used for the storage of fowls: this we secured for $100 
each, and in tliis queer cabin made the voyage to San 
Francisco." 

The vast influx of gold-seekers into California 
naturally induced a demand for all sorts of goods, and 
to supply these artd at the same time furnish quick 
passenger service, the merchants of New York and 
Boston provided the clipper lines. J. & N. Briggs, 
40 South Street; E. B. Sutton, 119 Wall; James Smith, 
116 Wall; E. Richards & Co., 52 South; Thomas 
Wardle, 88 South; E. W. Kimball & Co., 84 Wall; 
C. II. & W. Pierson, 61 South; and N. L. McCready 



The Old City Dock 11 

& Co., 36 South, figure in the advertisements of the 
day as the principal ship owners in the CaHfornia 
trade, all of them, it will be noticed, in the vicinity of 
the old city dock. This section of the water front 
never had seen, and never will see again, such scenes 
of bustle and animation as then enlivened it. Truck 
after truck loaded with lumber, groceries, provisions, 
clothing, mining implements, and miners' outfits 
crowded it from morning till night. Groups of pioneers 
roughly clad in suits of tough, ill-smelling, English 
cloth, with pockets covering all available space, wives 
and children bidding them tearful farewells, the de- 
parture of half-a-dozen vessels a day, were the scenes 
there presented. 

The trade with California was a very unsatisfactory 
one for the merchants engaged, owing to the fluctuating 
character of the market. Many fortunes were lost 
as well as made in the business, and many cargoes 
shipped that did not pay the charges, the ship owners 
being often obliged to sue for their freight money. 
An instance of tliis uncertainty was narrated by Colonel 
Battersby. On arriving at San Francisco he had 
written a letter to a friend in New York, casliier of 
the Chemical Bank, in which he mentioned casually 
the abundance and cheapness of provisions in the city. 
As the cashier was reading it a gentleman came in to 
draw out $50,000, remarking as he did so that he was 
about sending a cargo of provisions to California, as 



12 In Olde New York 

they were all starving out there. On hearing the 
Colonel's letter, however, he decided to relinquish the 
venture. Perhaps it was this uncertainty of a market, 
perhaps the competition of the steamers, that led the 
more enterprising merchants to make San Francisco 
only a port of call, and to send their clipper ships over 
the Pacific to the rich ports of China and India; at 
least about this time originated the Canton tea trade 
as a distinctive business of the port. 

Of course, there had been trade with Cliina before, 
but the California clippers were not in it. Salem, 
fifty years earlier, had boldly announced herself a 
competitor with Europe for the trade of the Orient, 
and had demonstrated the superiority of small, swift 
vessels in the transportation of teas and rich cargoes. 
Boston and New York now began to put in commission 
those magnificent clippers that for speed and seafaring 
qualities have never been equaled, and which, but 
for the development of the steam marine, would cer- 
tainly have wrested from England her boasted suprem- 
acy of the seas. Most of the shrewd, far-seeing 
merchants and skilled sea captains who carried on this 
enterprise have done with ledger and log-book, and 
sleep in Greenwood or in the coral depths. A single 
firm the writer succeeded in finding in Burling Slip, 
and was kindly allowed to mouse among its scrap- 
books and records at will. 

The great object aimed at in these clippers was 



The Old City Dock 13 

speed, and their owners had the Enghsh as well as the 
American market in mind in their construction. If 
the English merchant could secure his cargo of tea 
or silks from Canton in an American bottom a month 
earlier than in an Enghsh one, they argued, interest 
would prompt him to charter the quicker craft. It 
was found, too, the longer a cargo of tea was on the 
water the more it deteriorated. "Speed" was there- 
fore the order given the American ship-builder. The 
more famous clipper ship-yards were those of W. H. 
Webb and Jacob Westervelt in Brooklyn, Charles 
Mallory and Greenwood & Sons, Mystic, Ct., and 
Donald McKay, East Boston. The chppers were 
sharp, comparatively narrow for their length, and 
models of trimness and grace. Some were of large 
tonnage, the Eternal for instance registered 1800 tons, 
the Staghound 1534, the Sovereign of the Seas, built 
by Donald McKay, 2421. Later the Young America, 
of New York, was turned out, registering eighty tons 
more, whereupon Mr. McKay expressed his deter- 
mination to build a ship of 3500 tons to carry 4000 
tons of merchandise to California. As a rule, how- 
ever, the true Canton clippers were vessels of from 
500 to 1000 tons burden. Some of the quick passages 
they made approached the incredible, and exceeded 
the quickest steamer time of the day. In 1852 there 
were in commission the clipper ships Surprise, Celestial^ 
Sea Witch, Samuel Russell, Staghound, George E. 



14 In Olde New York 

Webster, and barks Race Horse and Mcmnon, all of 
which had made the passage from New York to San 
Francisco in from ninety to one hundred and twenty 
days, the average steamer time being one hundred 
and fifty. The clipper sliip Northern Light once sailed 
from San Francisco to Boston in seventy-six days, 
five hours; and in a trial of speed with the Contest 
in 1853 made the passage to New York in seventy- 
three days. The log-book of the ship Samuel Russell, 
one of New York's finest vessels, in a voyage from 
Cliina home, showed a total of 6722 miles run in thirty 
days, the greatest distance in one day being 318, or 
13^ miles per hour. The same ship sailed from 
Whampoa, Cliina, February 5, 1848, passed Anglers 
on the 15th, Cape of Good Hope March 18, the equator 
April 6, and took the New York pilot April 27. 

One gets no idea of the esprit and dash of the clippers, 
however, unless he stumbles on some idle tar of the 
many on South Street, who formerly served in the 
fleet. Mentiqn a Canton clipper to such a one, and 
his eyes glisten, and liis tongue wags fast. "There 
was nothin' like 'em for prettiness," he observes, "and 
the way they jist did flog all other craft out of the 
water. I remember once we was at Hong Konfj in 
the Saml Russell, and as there was a Britisher leaving 
for New York, we sent home letters by him. 'Bout 
a month later the Rtissell cleared on the same tack, 
an' she did drive on that voyage like a race horse. 



The Old City Dock 15 

Sail after sail she overhauled and left behind : roundin 
the Cape, I remember, the Jack Tars started the 
sayin' that 'the old man couldn't hold his horses in.' 
But flyin' up the coast of Brazil what did we do but 
skip by that Britisher that had our letters on board 
and make port a week ahead of him, delivering 'em 
by word of mouth. Another voyage I was on that 
racer, the Flyiri Cloud, comin' home from Hong 
Kong. I tell you 'twas as bracin' as a glass of grog 
to stand on her top hamper and feel her pull, comin' 
down the trades. Once in a while a brother Yankee 
would give us a tug before we could shake him off, 
but as for anytliin' foreign, English, Dutch, or French, 
we handled 'em as though they was babies. There 
was one thing the ship did on that v'yage that I've alius 
blamed her owners or nearest relations fer not spin 'in' 
a yarn on. One day we took a pretty smart breeze 
on the starboard quarter, and held it tolerably steady 
for the space of ten days, in which time, sir, we made 
upwards of forty-five degrees, hard on to 3200 miles, 
328 miles one day, as the log will show. Ther's 
another thing; bein' so long and narrer, you'd expect 
the clippers would ship some water, but all that v'yage, 
I didn't see a gallon o' water on the ship's deck, not 
enough to wash her down with." 

American ships continued to rule the wave, until 
superseded by the more reliable steamers. But what 
a turn in fortune's wheel! In 1853 American ships 



16 In Olde New York 

securing cargoes in English home ports amid the 
fiercest competition; in 1883 almost every pound of 
America's exports afloat in British bottoms, and 
scarcely an American vessel in commission in the foreign 
trade! 



CHAPTER II 

THE FRENCH ADMIRAL PIERRE DE LANDAIS 

TN 1880, St. Patrick's churchyard was one of the 
■*• few in the densely populated portion of the city 
remaining intact, and had long been closed to in- 
terments except by special permit of the Board of 
Health. 

A blank brick wall hid it from the three streets 
Mulberry, Mott, and Prince that bounded it: the old 
Cathedral of St. Patrick overshadowed it, while the 
office of the Calvary Cemetery Association formed 
part of the northern boundary. 

If one hunted up the old sexton and was admitted 
he found little turf within, Httle shade, a litter of 
twigs and leaves on the ground, some of the tomb- 
stones shattered, and others overthrown or leaning far 
out of the perpendicular; while the voices of the few 
birds that harbored there were drowned by the dis- 
cordant noises of a squalid neighborhood. 

In this ground a tombstone was long ago erected 
with this inscription: 



18 In Olde New York 

A La Memoire 

de 

Pierre de Landais, 

Ancien Centre Admiral 

au service 

Des Etats Unis. 

Qui disparut 

June, 1818, 

ae 87 ans. 

For forty years prior to the above date Pierre Lan- 
dais had been one of the noted characters of the city. 
He claimed the rank of "Admiral," and those who 
would retain his favor were obliged to observe a punc- 
tilious regard for the title. His short, stout figure clad 
in a faded Continental uniform — cocked hat, small 
sword, knee breeches, and all — seated in the shade 
of Printing-House Square or pacing slowly down 
Broadway to the Bowling Green — his favorite prome- 
nade — was a familiar object to the New Yorkers of 
one hundred years ago. In the coffee-houses and 
inns, equal sharers of his attentions, he never failed 
of a circle of admirers to whom he recounted stirring 
talcs of sea fights in which he had been an actor, and 
generally concluded with an account of his capture of 
the Scrapis and Countess of Scarborough, and a hearty 
denunciation of the man who had stolen the laurels of 
that conflict from him. His persistency as a claimant 




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°o2 



a; c3 



The French Admiral Pierre de Landais 19 

before Congress alone made liim noteworthy. He 
had claims for arrears of pay and for prize money, 
and urged them for forty years until he became the 
Nestor of American claimants. Every year, at the 
sitting of Congress, he hurried to Washington in the 
lumbering old coaches that then connected the cities, 
and haunted the lobbies and galleries of the Capitol 
like an unquiet spirit, deluging Congress with petitions 
and memorials, watching its proceedings with feverish 
interest, and button-holing members at every oppor- 
tunity in the interest of his claims. In the journals 
of Congress no name appears more frequently among 
the petitioners and memorialists than his; but although 
his petitions were personally urged, and often accom- 
panied by letters offering cogent reasons why his claims 
should be allowed, they were never granted, and the 
old man, year by year, returned to his lodgings at 
the close of the session as empty as he went, to renew 
the conflict with poverty, and live in the hope of 
better fortune another year. 

His history has the elements of a romance. One 
cannot but feel, too, on reviewing his career, that there 
may have been a grain of injustice in the treatment he 
received from his adopted country. He was born a 
Count of France, and early rose to the command of a 
French hne-of-battle ship, but relinquished all in 
1777 to join his fortunes with those of the young re- 
public across the sea, then engaged in her gallant 



20 In Olde New York 

stand for liberty. Baron Steuben recommended him, 
and Silas Deane, then American Commissioner to 
France, gave liim the command of the ship Heureux, 
rechristened the Flammand, recently purchased to 
convey military stores to America. His commission, 
dated March 1, 1777, was accompanied by this interest- 
ing letter from the worthy Commissioner: "I give you 
a commission to use in case of necessity or advantage 
in making a prize, but you are not to go out of your 
course for that purpose. You will keep an account 
of your expenses, which will be paid you on your 
arrival in America. I shall write to the Congress by 
other conveyances, and assure them that you have 
received nothing but your expenses, and your generous 
confidence in them will not pass unnoticed." So good 
an authority as the Marine Committee of Congress 
testified to the skill and address with wliich Landais 
executed tliis commission, in eluding the British 
cruisers sent to intercept him, and bringing the Flam- 
mand safely into port. Congress also showed its 
appreciation of him by commissioning him a captain 
in the navy, and ordered 12,000 livres to be paid liim 
"as a pecuniary consideration equal to his services." 
The Marine Committee also gave liim the oversight 
of the sliips-of-war then building at Portsmouth and 
Salisbury for the newly-created navy, in their report 
to Congress styling him "an excellent sea officer, and 
skilled in the construction of ships-of-war." The next 



The French Admiral Pierre de Landais 21 

summer he enjoyed a still more signal mark of its 
favor. On the 29th of May, 1778, the Alliance, a fine 
and uncommonly fast frigate of thirty-six guns, was 
launched at Salisbury, Mass., where she had been long 
building. She went into commission June 19, and for 
her maiden voyage was ordered to transport the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette and suite to France. Her com- 
mander, duly commissioned by Congress, was the 
Admiral Pierre Landais. The memorable voyage of 
the Alliance, the motley character of her crew — a 
part of whom were EngHsh seamen from a vessel 
wrecked on the Massachusetts coast — how these 
mutinied as the vessel neared the British coast, and 
how the mutiny was promptly quelled by Landais, 
and the vessel safely brought into Brest, is told in 
history. 

In France Landais met his evil genius in the person 
of the famous Admiral John Paul Jones. Landais 
had his faults, being haughty, imperious, punctihous, 
quarrelsome, and a martinet. Jones was all this and 
more, and the two were at enmity from the moment 
of meeting. They met first in August, 1779, at Brest, 
where a little squadron composed of four French 
vessels and the Alliance had rendezvoused in order to 
make a swoop on the Baltic fleet then about due in 
England. Jones, in command of the Bon Homme 
Richard, was the senior officer, and there was trouble 
before the fleet sailed as to who should command it, 



22 In Olde New York 

but the matter was amicably settled at last by each 
of the five commanders signing an agreement to act 
in concert under the commissions received from Con- 
gress. The squadron got under way August 14, and 
on the 23d of September met the Baltic fleet, con- 
voyed by the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough. 
The details of the engagement that followed are so 
familiar that I need not repeat them. The charges 
so frequently made against Captain Landais by Jones 
in liis report of the affair to Frankhn, and corroborated 
by the statements of other officers of the fleet, merit 
attention. It was charged that the Alliance held aloof 
at the opening of the engagement, and that when she 
came to the aid of the Bon Homme Richard, then 
engaged with the Serapis, she poured her broadsides 
into the former, and repeated the maneuver again 
and again, never once striking the Serapis except 
over or through the decks of the Richard. The report 
did more than this — it distinctly charged the com- 
mander of the Alliance, first with cowardice and then 
with treachery — that he designed to sink the Richard 
in order to win for himself the glory of capturing the 
Serapis. These charges were generally accepted as 
true by the American public of that day, and have 
passed into history as truth. This paper makes no 
attempt to disprove them. It is but due to Captain 
Landais to say, however, that he met them with an 
indignant denial, and that he at once demanded a 



The French Admiral Pierre de Landais 23 

trial, where he might be confronted with his accusers, 
which demand was not granted. 

He showed himself to be no craven, however, by 
calling out one of liis defamers — Captain Cottineau, 
of the Pallas — and running him through with his 
smallsword. This exploit he followed up by chal- 
lenging the commander of the Bon Homme Richard. 
No meeting, however, took place. Franklin, obliged 
to notice the charges, ordered Landais to Paris to 
answer them; but although the latter promptly pre- 
sented himself at the capital, and used every effort to 
that effect, he failed to secure a trial. 

Finding his efforts there fruitless, Landais, early in 
1780, applied to Franklin for leave to go to America 
to answer the charges preferred against liim there. 
FrankUn, no doubt glad to have the affair off his hands, 
consented, and ordered his expenses paid. A few 
weeks later, March 17, Landais wrote again to Frank- 
lin asking to be reinstated in command of the Alliance, 
which had by this time come into French waters and 
was lying at L'Orient, and which, it was rumored, 
was soon to sail with stores for America. A testi- 
monial from fourteen officers of the Alliance, declar- 
ing Captain Landais to be a brave and capable com- 
mander, and a letter from the crew, saving that unless 
their prize-money was paid and their former captain 
restored to them they would not sail in the Alliance, 
accompanied the letter. Franklin deemed the send- 



24 In Olde New York 

ing of this letter an act of unparalleled effrontery, 
and in his reply frankly told its author so. At this 
juncture Arthur Lee, agent of the United States at 
Paris, came to the aid of our hero with an opinion 
that by the terms of liis old commission from Congress, 
wliich had never been revoked, he was still lawful 
commander of the Alliance, and indeed responsible 
for her until relieved by Congress; and, with this con- 
venient instrument in his pocket, Landais lost no time 
in getting to L 'Orient and regaining liis old command. 
Then the Alliance hastily completed taking in cargo 
and put to sea. Arrived in Boston her captain found 
the Court of Inquiry he had demanded awaiting him. 
Its verdict, based solely, as its victim affirmed, on the 
testimony of his enemies, was guilty of the charges 
preferred by Jones, and its sentence a summary dis- 
missal from the service. Degraded in rank and stained 
in reputation, the Admiral returned to France and 
took service under the Republic. He was at once 
given command of the seventy-four-gun frigate Patriot, 
and did efficient service in the war which the young 
General Bonaparte was then waging in Italy. In 
1797 he quitted the French service and returned to 
New York, which continued to be his residence until 
his death in 1820. These years were spent solely 
in pressing his claims upon the attention of Con- 
gress. 

These claims were for arrears of pay wliile in actual 



The French Admiral Pierre de Landais 25 

service in the Navy, and for arrears of prize money. 
The Alliance, while under his command, had taken 
three prizes, valued in the aggregate at $40,000, which 
she sent into Bergen, Norway, but which the authori- 
ties there, overawed by British power, delivered to 
their former owners. The commander's share of this 
money Landais later made the basis of a heavy claim 
against the Government, with what success has been 
stated. His pugnaciousness even in old age seems 
not to have deserted him. On one occasion while in 
Washington, it is said, hearing that a Congressman 
had spoken slightingly of him in debate, he mounted 
his smallsword and proceeded to the gallery of the 
House, where he despatched a page to the offending 
member with an invitation to meet him on the field 
of honor. Toward Admiral John Paul Jones, whom 
he regarded as the author of his misfortunes, he en- 
tertained the deepest antipathy. The story goes — 
set in motion by himself — that on one occasion he 
met the Chevalier in Water Street and coolly spat in 
his face — a story which was denied by Jones and his 
friends as often as told. Toward the close of his 
career the Count became miserably poor, eking out 
an existence by the aid of an annuity purchased years 
before by his arrears of prize money. 

In a memorial addressed to Congress during this 
period, and later published in a pamphlet now ex- 
tremely rare, he thus refers to his exploits and to the 



26 In Okie New York 

straits to which he is reduced. The words are en- 
tirely tjT^ical of the man. He says: 

"I was born and brought up in affluence; was 
admitted into the sea-service of the King of France 
in 1762, in wliich service I was wounded in the year 
1763, in a glorious sea-battle; circumnavigated the 
globe under command of M. de Bougain^^lle in the 
years 1766-67-68; had command of a line-of-battle 
ship in 1773; brought into Portsmouth, Hampshire, 
in 1777, a ship loaded with brass guns, mortars, etc., 
for the United States. Being returned to France in 
1791, I had command of the French 74-gun ship 
Patriot, and had at different times under my orders 
ten squadrons or divisions of the army. The Patriot 
was the nearest sliip to the batteries of the city of 
Oneglia at the taking of it. With seven ships of the 
line I took the Island of Antioch in 1792, which was 
guarded by 2500 men." 

He then goes on to state that, promoted to the rank 
of Rear-Admiral, he had command of the ship 
Ocean, of 122 guns, on board of wliich his allowance 
for table expenses alone was forty li\Tes per day; that 
he had a fortune when he came to this country, all of 
which had Ijcen spent in urging his claim; so that for 
the last seven years he had been reduced to living on 
a dollar a week and " when at home to do the meanest 
drudgery of my lodging in order to keep my honor 
and integrity unsoiled and to preserve my life." 



The French Admiral Pierre de Landais 27 

The last few years of his Hfe were spent in Brooklyn, 
in a house on Fulton Street. He frequented his 
accustomed haunts, however, so long as strength per- 
mitted. His eccentricities increased with age. He 
evinced much bitterness against Congress and the 
Government, and his sense of honor became so nice 
that he would not even allow a friend to pay his fer- 
riage over the river. In 1818 he ordered a tombstone, 
caused to be engraved upon it the inscription given in 
the beginning of this paper, and then placed it at the 
head of his prospective grave in St. Patrick's Church- 
yard. When attacked by his last illness he was carried 
at his own request, to Bellevue Hospital, and there 
died September 17, 1820. After a long search I suc- 
ceeded in finding the record of his death and burial 
in the books of the Cemetery Association, as follows: 

"Admiral Peter Landais, died in Bellevue Hospital, 
Sept. 17, 1820. Funeral expenses $20.62|. Paid." 



CHAPTER III 



TWO MARBLE CEMETERIES 



rriHERE are two Interesting old cemeteries in the 
^ neighborhood of Second Avenue and Second 
Street, one the New York Marble Cemetery, on Second 
Avenue between Second and Third streets, the other 
the New York City Marble Cemetery on Second Street, 
between Second and First avenues. Although their 
names are similiar, they are separate organizations. 
Some of their features are peculiar. They are, we 
believe, the only cemeteries in the city whose owner- 
ship and managements are entirely non-sectarian. They 
are the only ones where the old-fashioned custom of 
interring the dead in underground vaults has always 
been followed. They contain the only receiving vaults 
in the city limits open to the general public, and their 
tombs hold more dust of "ancient families" than any 
plots of equal proportions in the town. 

When they were laid out they were in a waste of 
pasture field; the city had then barely crept up to 
Bleecker Street. Now they are surrounded by piles 
of brick and mortar so high that the sun must be well 



Two Marble Cemeteries 29 

up before its rays touch their flowers and green 
sward. 

The New York Marble Cemetery occupies nearly all 
the inside, or the back yards, of the block and is entered 
from Second Avenue through a narrow passageway. 
From the iron gate on the avenue one would not 
imagine there was a cemetery within, for there are no 
monuments at all, and not even slabs to mark the 
exact position of the stone-lined vaults which are 
sunken beneath the surface. Set into the high wall 
surrounding the grounds are tablets bearing the names 
of the owners of the vaults, 156 in number. At one 
end is a large index tablet with the names in alpha- 
betical order, and among them we read the well-known 
New York names of Kernochan, Parrish, John Hone, 
Scribner, Stokes, Riggs, Harvey, Van Zandt, Griswold 
Lorillard, Hoyt, Anthony Dey, Haggerty, and New- 
comb. The grounds are laid out with three broad 
avenues, perhaps 200 feet long, and with cross-walks 
about 85 feet long at either end, and in the far corner 
is the receiving vault. 

The New York City Marble Cemetery is in plain 
view of the passer-by going through Second Street. 
Here the vaults are 258 in number and are marked by 
stone slabs let into the ground, while there are many 
handsome monuments which have been erected by the 
vault owners in the memory of their dead. Against 
the rear wall, opposite the entrance, is a large receiving 



30 In Olde New York 

vault, which in its day has held representatives of every 
nation and clime, both the noble and ignoble, the great 
and wise of the city, as well as the stranger who died 
far from home and kin, within its walls. The principal 
monuments and slabs bear the names of Gouverneur, 
Fish, Allen, Bullus, Holt, Gallatin, Griswold, Gross, 
De Klyn, Quackenbos, Kevan, Rowland, and Blood- 
good, Anthony, Bancker, Bergh, Bogardus, Booraem, 
Hoffman, Kip, Kneeland, Lenox, Low, Morton, Ogden, 
Ockershausen, Ridabock, Roosevelt, Saltus, Storm, 
Tappin, Tier, Tillotson, Van Alen, Van Antwerp, 
Vantine, Webb, Willett, Winans, Wynkoop, and 
others. 

Much more of history and romance lingers about 
the old yard than the careless passer-by, or the curious 
student even, at first sight would imagine. In itself 
it has little claim to antiquity, having been laid out 
barely seventy-six years ago. In its vaults, however, 
reposes the dust of the stout old mynheers and burgo- 
masters who first settled Manhattan Island. This 
apparent contradiction is explained by the fact that 
it has been made a receptacle for the contents of church 
vaults and family burial-places among the earliest on 
the island. It was first purchased in 1831 by Perkins 
Nichols and Ebert A. Bancker, who designed it as a 
private cemetciy for their own families, and for a 
limited number of others who might purchase rights 
of interment there. It then formed a part of the 



Two Marble Cemeteries 31 

Phillip Minthorn farm, and the region round about 
was covered with farms and pastures. Bleecker 
Street was then on the outskirts of the city. Second 
Street and the adjoining avenues had been laid out, 
but there were no buildings on them, and a series of 
pastures and marshes, tenanted by geese and cattle, 
swept to the East River. The purchase comprised 
some fifteen city lots, and the sum paid was $8643. 
The next year, 1832, it was regularly incorporated as 
the New York City Marble Cemetery, the title being 
vested in a board of five trustees. The construction 
of vaults was at once begun, and 234 were completed 
by 1838, at which time the cemetery may be said to 
have been finished, although twenty-four vaults were 
opened in 1843. Many vaults had been purchased 
and many interments made before this, however, one 
of the first having been that of the remains of ex- 
President Monroe. Soon after the opening of the 
ground several down-town churches and many private 
families purchased the vaults and removed the remains 
of their dead thither. One of the most notable in- 
stances of this was that of the Kip family, which pur- 
chased vault 241 and removed thither generations of 
their dead from the old family buiying-ground at Kip's 
Bay. About the same time the old South Dutch 
Church, on Garden Street, purchased vaults Nos. 191 
and 192, and deposited the remains of the dead in its 
vaults which had lain there so long as to be unknown 



32 In Olde New York 

or unclaimed by kindred. Some 5000 dead, the trustees 
estimate, are now enclosed in these vaults. 

Old residents of the city, familiar with the cemetery, 
tell of many striking scenes and incidents in its history. 
Imposing ceremonies attended the interment here, on 
the 7th of July, 1831, of the remains of James Monroe, 
fifth President of the United States. A brigade of 
militia, under General Jacob Morton, formed the mili- 
tary pageant. The chief men of the nation joined the 
procession, and, as the coffin was lowered into the 
vault, bells tolled, and the flags of vessels in the harbor 
flew at half-mast. These august ceremonies dedicated 
the new cemetery, so to speak, and added much to its 
later repute among the old, exclusive families of the 
city. At first thought it seems strange that Monroe, a 
native of Virginia, should have been interred in this 
little private cemetery on the outskirts of New York. 
The mystery becomes clear, however, when it is re- 
membered that his son-in-law, Samuel L. Gouverneur, 
at whose house he died, owned a vault in the cemeter}^ 
and that it was natural for Mrs. Gouverneur to desire 
her father laid near her own last resting-place. After 
reposing here for twenty-seven years the remains were 
exhumed and conveyed to Virginia with rather less of 
ceremony than had attended their original interment. 
A simple incident led Virginia to take this action. 
Early in 1857 a number of gentlemen, natives of that 
State, but resident in New York, conceived the plan 



Two Marble Cemeteries 33 

of raising a monument to the ex-President over the 
unrecognized vault that held his dust. The project 
was hinted abroad, and in course of time reached 
Virginia, where it seems to have touched State pride 
and jealousy to the quick. That it should be left to 
New York to commemorate a son of Virginia who had 
filled the chair of the Chief Magistrate was deemed a 
reflection on the Commonwealth, and steps were at 
once taken to have the remains removed to the State 
capital. To create public sentiment in favor of this, 
exaggerated reports as to the condition of the Presi- 
dent's grave were spread broadcast through the State. 
He was reported as lying in an old, unused burying- 
ground, overgrown with weeds and vines, in the 
outskirts of the city, his grave unmarked, and cattle 
and hogs roaming at will above it. A committee of 
two was appointed by Virginia to receive the remains 
and attend them to their final resting-place in Holly- 
wood Cemetery, Richmond. At the yard the exhuma- 
tion was conducted with secrecy, the family being 
desirous of avoiding a crowd. 

At 4.30 o'clock on the 2d of July, 1858, a carriage 
drove up to the cemetery gate. It contained Alderman 
Adams, representing the Common Council, and was 
soon joined by carriages containing the Virginia dele- 
gates, Messrs. Mumford and O. Jennings Wise, Col. 
James Monroe and S. L. Gouverneur representing 
the family, a delegation of resident Virginians, and the 



34 In Olde New York 

undertaker. At five o'clock the coffin of the ex-Presi- 
dent was placed in the hearse, and, amid the tolling 
of bells, with the flags of the shipping in the harbor at 
half-mast, was conveyed to the Church of the Annun- 
ciation, in Fourteenth Street. Here and at the City 
Hall it lay in state for several days, and was then con- 
veyed to Riclmiond by the steamer Jamestown, its 
escort, the famous Seventh Regiment, proceeding by 
the Ericsson. Old members of that gallant corps 
still remember the service for its heat and discomforts. 

The visitor, perhaps, will be apt to linger longest 
about vaults 191 and 192. Here rest the unknown, 
unclaimed remains of the early burghers of New 
Amsterdam. What a stir you fancy there must have 
been among the ghosts when the edict for clearing out 
the vaults of the Old South went forth. A hundred 
and more years they had rested undisturbed. Genera- 
tions had come and gone. A city had grown up around 
them. Their descendants, like their property, had 
been scattered over the earth, and now none remained 
to care for their bones. The church authorities, 
alarmed at the encroachments of the city on their 
property, ordered a removal to the new cemetery up 
town. Then came a day when the vaults were opened 
and the old sexton descended with his box to gather 
up the dust. 

There are other vaults in the yard prolific of mem- 
ories. In the Morton vault lie the remains of General 







i^ 



^.2 



> , 

-s 



^ 8 s 






1241079 

Two Marble Cemeteries 35 

Jacob Morton, who commanded the military at the 
obsequies of ex-President Monroe. The receiving 
vault held for some years the body of the Spanish- 
American General Paez, who, after the usual stormy 
career of generals in his country, fled to New York, to 
find the death he had escaped in far more warlike 
scenes awaiting him here. The body was in dispute 
among the relatives, it is said, and when the question 
was settled it was removed to South America for burial. 
Commodore Eagle of the navy is buried at the west 
end of the yard, and near him lies Commodore Bullus; 
the latter, with his wife and three small children, was 
on board the Chesapeake when the Leopard made her 
murderous attack. They were on their way to a 
Mediterranean Consulate at the time, and during the 
action Mrs. Bullus and her children were removed 
from the cabin to a place of safety, but the Commodore, 
though a non-combatant, remained on deck and fought 
gallantly through the whole affair. 



CHAPTER IV 



SOME OLD-TIME riGURES 



JOHN I. BROWERE was one of a class of men 
peculiar to the early days of American art. A 
native of New York, he was in his youth a sign painter. 
Showing promising talent, he was induced to take 
lessons under Arcliibald Robertson, and after slight 
instruction moved to TarrytowTi and set up his easel 
as a portrait painter, at the same time eking out his 
resources by teaching school. A httle later a brother 
offered him a free passage to Leghorn in the sliip he 
commanded, and the artist proceeded to Italy, spend- 
ing two years there, rambling from city to city and 
diligently studying art, and more especially sculpture. 
Returning to America about 1820, he built a studio 
in the rear of his residence, No. 315 Broadway, adjoin- 
ing the old New York Hospital, and I suppose took 
the bust of every gentleman of note then living in the 
city. Some 200 examples of his work are said to be 
in existence in New York. His most ambitious 
project was a national gallery of busts and statues of 
distinguished Americans, a project encouraged by 
* This was written in 1883. 



Some Old Time Figures 37 

Jefferson, Adams, Lafayette, and all the famous men 
of the day. Browere was a poet and inventor as well 
as artist; one occasionally comes upon his verses in 
the albums of old ladies of the city; he also invented 
a stove for burning anthracite coal, and a process for 
manufacturing oiled silk, which gave several people 
immense fortunes, although he, owing to his improvi- 
dence in money matters, never received a penny. He 
died poor in 1834, of cholera, after only six hours' 
illness, at his house by the old mile-stone in the Bowery, 
leaving his gallery only half completed. His son, A. 
D. O. Browere, the artist, has recently placed on ex- 
hibition a completed portion, which embraces busts 
of Jefferson, Lafayette, the three Adamses, Madison, 
Clay, DeWitt CUnton, the three captors of Andre, 
Forrest, and others." 

These facts, suggested by the modest sign, " Browere's 
Busts of Distinguished Americans, " on the front of 
the building No. 788 Broadway, were told me some 
twenty years ago by an old New Yorker. It proved 
to be an interesting place to visit. Climbing two 
flights of long winding stairs from an entrance on 
Tenth Street, and passing through a long passage, 
we entered the gallery, a well-lighted, neatly-carpeted 
room. Twenty-three busts were ranged around the 
sides, and there were others, with a collection of the 
exhibitor's paintings in an ante-room. The busts were 
interesting certainly, both as examples of the art of 



38 In Olde New York 

1820-25 and from their historic associations, but still 
more interesting was the gossip and reminiscence they 
inspired in the wliite-haired gentleman who exliibited 
them. One might detect, however, running through 
his monologue a little vein of resentment at the indif- 
ference of the pubHc to the merits of his collec- 
tion, and the eflforts made in certain quarters to 
discredit it. 

"When my father was about taking the cast of 
Charles Carroll, of Carrollton," said he, "he received 
testimonials of his skill and ability from the first gentle- 
men in the city. I will read you this from Prof. Samuel 
L. Mitchell, LL.D., wliich was endorsed by many 
others equally competent to judge." From a little 
morocco-covered book he read: "I approve your de- 
sign of executing a likeness in statuary of the Honor- 
able Charles Carroll, of Carrollton. When you shall 
present yourself to him within a few days, I authorize 
you to employ my testimony in favor of your skill. 
Having submitted more than once to your plastic 
operations, I know that you can perform it successfully 
without pain and within a reasonable time. The like- 
nesses you have made are remarkably exact; so much 
so that they may be called facsimile imitations of the 
life. Your gallery contains so many specimens of 
correct casts that not only committees, but critical 
judges, bear witness to your industry, genius, and 
talent." 



Some Old Time Figures 39 

"Jefferson writes here from Monticello, Adams 
from Quincy, Madison from Montpelier, Clinton from 
Albany, all bearing witness to the originality and life- 
likeness of the casts made by my father; but when at 
the late celebration at Tarrytown I wished to place 
the busts of Van Wart, Williams, and Paulding on ex- 
hibition, it was objected to by a few young artists and 
reporters, on the ground that it was not 'good art.' 
They were there, though, and an old gentleman came 
up who regarded them with great interest. 'Who 
did them.^' said he at length. 'My father, Jolm I. 
Browere, the sculptor,' I replied. 'I knew him and 
them,' he rejoined, 'and they are fine examples.' I 
afterward learned that the gentleman was Samuel J. 
Tilden. 

"I want the Government to make bronze copies of 
the casts," he continued, "and place them in the 
Capitol or some museum of liistorical characters, but 
Congressmen whom I have approached say they 
cannot be worthy, because Jolm I. Browere's name 
does not appear in Dunlap's book of American ar- 
tists. I'll tell you why it does not appear. My 
father, before he had ever met Dunlap, was asked 
one day how he liked liis ' Death on the Pale Horse ' ? 
'It's a strong work,' he replied, 'but looks as if it 
was painted by a man with but one eye.' The re- 
mark was reported to the painter, who had but one 
eye, and he was mortally offended; he blackballed 



40 In Olde New York 

my father at the National Academy, and subse- 
quently ignored him in his biographical work." 

"The greatest difficulty the sculptor had in secur- 
ing these," he remarked, turning to the casts, "was 
with Lafayette's. Of course he was very desirous of 
securing the distinguished friend of America for his 
collection, and when Lafayette visited the city in 1825 
a committee of the Common Council was appointed 
to induce him to sit. He compHed after much per- 
suasion. The composition had set and my father 
was about taking it off, when the clock struck and a 
spectator inadvertently remarked that the hour for 
the corporation dinner (which Lafayette was to attend) 
had arrived. ' Sacre hleuV said he, starting up, 'take 
it off, take it off,' causing a piece to fall from under 
the eye. This accident, which necessitated a second 
sitting, led to some interesting correspondence pre- 
served in my book here which you may like to read. 
First is a letter from the Committee of the Common 
Council to Lafayette, dated 'New York, Saturday, 
12 o'clock, July 12, 1825,' as follows: 

"'Dear General: We have just been to see your 
bust by Mr. Browere, and have pleasure in saying it 
is vastly superior to any other likeness of General 
Lafayette which as yet has fallen under our inspection. 
Indeed it is a faithful resemblance of every part of 
your features and form, from the head to the breast, 
with the exception of a slight defect about the left eye. 



Some Old Time Figures 41 

caused by the loss of the material of which the mould 
was made. This defect Mr. Browere assures us (and 
we have confidence in his assurance) that he can cor- 
rect in a few moments and without giving you any 
pain, provided you will again condescend to submit 
to his operations for a limited time. We should much 
regret that the slight blemish should not be corrected, 
which if not done will cause to us and to the nation a 
continual source of chagrin and disappointment.' 
Two days later Alderman King wrote my father: 
'Every exertion has been made to get General 
Lafayette to spend half an hour to get the eye of his 
portrait bust completed, but in vain. He has not had 
more than four hours each night to sleep, but has 
consented that you may take his mask in Philadelphia. 
He left New York this morning at 8, and will be in 
Philadelphia on Monday next, where he will remain 
three days. If you can be present there on Monday, 
or Tuesday at furthest, you can complete the matter. 
He has pledged liis word. This arrangement was all 
that could be eflFected by your friend.' My father, 
you see, adds this postscript: 

"'The subscribing artist met General Lafayette on 
Monday in the Hall of Independence, Philadelphia, 
and Tuesday morning from 7 to 8 was busy in making 
another Ukeness from the face and head of the General. 
At 4 P.M. of that day he finished the bust under the 
eye of the General and his attendants, and had the 



42 In Olde New York 

pleasure then of receiving from the General and his 
son their assurances that it was the only good bust 
ever made of him.' 

"The masks of Jefferson, Madison, and Mrs. Madi- 
son were taken with several others during a visit to 
Wasliington made by my father in 1825. It was his 
custom to get a certificate of genuineness and likeness 
from each sitter, and there are autograph letters in this 
book from most of the subjects, to that effect. Jeffer- 
son, for instance, writes from Monticello, October 16, 
1825: 'At the request of the Hon. James Madison, and 
of Mr. Browere, of the city of New York, I hereby 
certify that Mr. Browere has this day made a mould 
in plaster composition from my person for the purpose 
of making a portrait bust and statue for his contem- 
plated National Gallery.' Here is a bust of Hamilton 
modeled from a miniature by Archibald Robertson. 
Jackson's bust he did not succeed in getting, as Powers 
had preceded him by a few days, and had extorted a 
promise not to sit to any other artist. He, however, 
made a sketch. The finest head in the collection is 
that of DeWitt Clinton. In appearance he was cer- 
tainly the noblest Roman of them all. 

"I must repeat an impromptu that Samuel Wood- 
worth, author of 'The Old Oaken Bucket,' made on 
this bust. He had called to see that of Admiral Porter, 
and as he stood in the door on departing, father said: 
'Sammy, here's something you haven't seen,' at the 



Some Old Time Figures 43 

same time throwing off the cloth from the bust. Wood- 
worth made a gesture as of restraint, and repeated: 

'Stay! the bust that graces yonder shelf 

claims our regard. 
It is the front of Jove himself, 

The majesty of Virtue not of Power! 
Before which Guilt and Meanness only cower. 

Who can behold that bust and not exclaim. 
Let everlasting honor claim our Clinton's name?' 

made his bow, and departed. 

"Van Wart's bust my father took at Tarrytown. 
Paulding was brought to No. 315 by Alderman Percy 
Van Wyck. Williams gave him the most trouble. 
Twice he went by sloop and foot to Scoharie to take 
his mask, and both times the veteran was away from 
home. At length WiUiams came to Peekskill on a 
visit, General Delavan sent my father word, and he 
went up there and took it. This was a short time be- 
fore Williams's death. J. W. Parkinson, a gentleman 
of leisure in New York fifty years ago, reputed to be a 
natural son of George IV., once offered my father 
$3000 for the casts of the captors of Andre, his inten- 
tion being to destroy them, but my father refused the 
offer. There is a story connected with this bust of 
Forrest the tragedian. There is no hair on the head, 
you see. When that was taken the actor was com- 
paratively unknown, having just made his appearance 
in 'William Tell' at the Old Bowery Theatre. My 
father declared that he would make an actor of note, 



44 In Olde New York 

and asked to take his mask for his gallery. On the 
night the bust was taken, Forrest was to play William 
Tell, and fearing the plaster mould might cling to his 
hair, he donned a silk cap for the operation." 

By and by, as no visitors appeared to interrupt, Mr. 
Browere's recollections assumed a more personal cast. 
He submitted to our inspection a time-stained certifi- 
cate of membership in the National Academy, dated 
1838, and signed by Henry Inman, President, and also 
a letter informing him that his picture of " Canonicus " 
had drawn the first Academy prize of $100. We were 
also shown several of his paintings, some California 
landscapes, and three scenes from the life of Rip Van 
Winkle. 



CHAPTER V 

NEW YORK CITY IN 1827 

ONE conversant with the history of New York 
knows how rapidly change has occurred in the 
city, but he cannot realize it vividly until he has loitered 
along its streets with some genial veteran who knew 
the town in his youth, and loves nothing better than 
to impart his reminiscences to the sympathetic listener. 
Such a walk in such company we once had the 
pleasure of taking, our route being down the Bowery 
from Astor Place to Frankhn Square, and thence to 
the City Hall. 

"All north of Astor Place, in 1825," said our com- 
panion, " was open country, a region of farms, thickets, 
swamps, market gardens and fine old country seats 
in extensive grounds. My early memories of the 
region beyond St. Mark's Church yonder are grue- 
some enough. It was then known as Stuyvesant 
Meadows, and gained unenviable notoriety by the 
hanging there of one John Johnson, whose cast, taken 
by Browere, may still be seen at Fowler & Wells's. 
Johnson was the great criminal of his day. He kept 
a sailor's boarding-house on Water Street, and one 



46 In Olde New York 

night murdered a farmer who had put up at his house, 
having, as Johnson thought, some money about him. 
The murderer put the remains in a sack, and was sur- 
prised, at night, carrying it through Schuyler's Alley 
toward the river. Guilt made him a coward. He 
dropped the sack and ran, its contents were thus dis- 
covered, and he was tried and sentenced by Judge 
Edwards to be hanged. The procession, up Broad- 
way to Bleecker, across to the Bowery, then down 
Ninth Street to the gallows, called out the greatest 
crowd New York had ever seen, and led to the aboli- 
tion of such displays. Johnson was attired for the 
occasion in wliite, with a white cap drawn over his 
head. He rode in an open carriage escorted by 
Stewart's troop of cavalry in advance, and a detach- 
ment of the National Guard in the rear, while an im- 
mense crowd of all ages and both sexes followed." 

We had now progressed as far down the Bowery 
as Bleecker Street. "Bleecker was my great black- 
berry preserve when I was a boy," observed our 
cicerone, with a sigh. "What luscious berries grew 
beside the walls on either side, and roses — no such 
roses bloom nowadays." A few doors below Bleecker, 
he stopped opposite a beer saloon. "Right here 
Charlotte Temple lived after her retirement from the 
stage, and died here. The house was one story high, 
with two dormer-windows and a trellis on both sides 
covered with the luxuriant vines of the trumpet-flower. 



New York in 1827 47 

There was a little yard in front about twenty feet 
deep filled with shrubs and flowers. The house was a 
Mecca for the good and gifted of the city so long as its 
mistress resided there, and few strangers of distinction 
came to the city without paying a visit there. It was 
known for some time after her death as the 'Temple 
House,' and finally was turned into a drinking saloon 
called the Gotham. 

"The Bowery in those days resembled a country 
road; it was unpaved and sandy above Spring Street, 
and was studded pretty thickly with residences of the 
gentry. These had high stoops fronting the road, 
and were embowered in trees and shrubbery. Many 
a summer night I have seen whole families on the stoops 
enjoying the cool of the evening, and cliildren trundling 
hoops or playing marbles on the sidewalk. There 
was one institution pecuhar to the Bowery in those days, 
or at least it attained greater perfection there than in 
other parts of the city. I refer to the hot-corn venders. 
These were exclusively colored women, each dressed 
as neatly as though she had come out of a bandbox, 
with a flaming bandanna handkerchief on her head tied 
in a peak. West India fashion, the ends hanging down, 
and clean white or checked apron. They sat on 
stools at the street corners and noted places, each with 
a pail beside her, filled with hot corn on the ear, and a 
small cup on each side, one containing salt and the 
other butter. When a patron approached she handed 



48 In Olde New York 

him a smoking ear, and the salt and butter; the latter 
he gravely rubbed on the ear and ate as he stood. 
Their cry was musical, and could be heard blocks 
away. 'Hot com, hot corn! here's your hly white 
hot corn,' they cried, but an old woman who sold on 
the comer of Hester and Bond Streets, improved on 
this. Her cry was : 

'Hot corn, hot com! 
Some for a penny and some two cents. 
Com cost money and fire expense. 
Here's your lily-white hot corn!' 

"There were almost as many venders on the streets 
then as now, but more characteristic and picturesque. 
Some bore trays containing baked pears swimming 
in molasses, which the purchaser took between his 
thumb and finger and ate. The 'sand man' was a 
verity in those days. All the barrooms, restaurants, 
and many of the kitchens in the city had sanded floors, 
and men in long white frocks, with two-wheeled carts, 
peddling Rockaway sand, were familiar objects on 
the streets. Then there were the darkeys who sold 
bundles of straw for filling beds, and an old blind 
man who sold door-mats made of picked tar rope. 
One of the most genial and popular landlords in the 
city I have seen peddling pails of pure spring water 
in the Bowery at two cents a pail. He brought it from 
what was then called Greenwich Village, above Aaron 
Burr's Richmond Hill mansion. 



New York in 1827 49 

"This is the most distinctive landmark of old New 
York I have seen," he remarked when another block 
was passed, patting aflPectionately as he spoke a mossy 
old mile-stone set in the sidewalk nearly opposite 
Rivington Street, wliich bore this legend, " 1 Mile 
from City Hall." "Many a tired passenger in the 
four-horse tally-ho sLx days on the road from Boston 
has gleefully hailed this stone. The drivers of the 
Harlem and Manhattanville stages always greeted it 
with a merrier bugle peal. In those days we hadn't 
thought of a railroad, and the Erie Canal was just 
being opened. Spring Street marked the limits of the 
paved streets in this direction when I was a boy and 
young man. The walks were mostly of bricks laid 
cat-a-comered, in those days. 

" You see that third house on the side street. There 
I found my wife. I was passing one morning and saw 
her through the window looking do\vn the street. 
Suddenly she became aware that I was staring at her, 
and slammed the blind to with energy. 'Sam,' said I 
to my brother, 'that girl's going to be my wife.' Pass- 
ing that way a few days after, I saw a notice out that 
boarders would be taken, and presented myself as a 
candidate. Six months after we were married. That 
is fifty years ago, and I have never had cause to regret 
it; she has been a good wife. 

" I never cross Grand Street " — we had reached 
the roar and rush of that thoroughfare — " without 



50 In Olde New York 

thinking of a walk I had down it to the ferry in 1823. 
There was to be a race that day on a course near 
where the Union course was opened later, and all 
New York interested in sport went out there to see it. 
The race was between Eclipse and Sir Henry, and the 
great interest taken in it arose from the fact that it had 
been arranged between the horsemen of the North 
and South to test the merits of the thoroughbreds of 
the two sections. Echpse represented the North and 
Sir Henry the South. There was not a house on Grand 
Street then between Essex Street and the ferry. I saw 
on the south wild marshy pasture fields, with cattle 
grazing among the black berry and wild-rose bushes, 
and in the distance on the hills some old Dutch farm- 
houses. Colonel Willet's place, on the left, a fine old 
country mansion, I remember, standing back from 
the road amid its orchards. Grand Street Ferry was 
then known as the 'Hook' ferry. You would laugh 
at the ferry-boats of those days. They had open 
decks with an awning stretched over and benches 
around the sides, and were propelled by horse-power. 
From four to sixteen horses were required, and they 
walked around a shaft in the center of the boat, turn- 
ing it as sailors turn the capstan, and this shaft by 
gearing turned the paddle wheels. On some boats 
the horses worked a tread mill like the modern thresh- 
ing machines. The North triumphed that day — 
EcUpse won. I doubt if he would, hovv^ever, had it 



New York in 1827 51 

not been for Sam Purely, a noted jockey of that time. 
Eclipse lost the first heat, and Purdy saw from his 
place on the judge's stand that his jockey was goring 
him so terribly that he bled. So he leaped from the 
stand, pulled the jockey off, and mounted in his place. 
Eclipse felt the change at once, put his head up and 
tail out and won the next two heads easily, putting 
$20,000 in his master's pocket." 

Chatham Square and Frankhn Square recalled many 
reminiscences, but not of a nature to interest the 
public. In City Hall Park, however, our friend's 
recollections became of more general interest. "The 
City Hall had just been built then, between two prisons, 
the Bridewell and jail. The jail, or debtor's prison, 
was east of the hall and surrounded with a tight board 
fence about eight feet high. On the Chambers Street 
side of the Park were three buildings, all under one 
roof. First (nearest Broadway) was the American 
or Scudder's Museum, then the Academy of Fine 
Arts, and the Almshouse, the artist and showman 
being not far from the Almshouse at that day in more 
senses than one. John Vanderlyn's Rotunda came 
next on the east. Vanderlyn had been discovered by 
Colonel Burr, in an interior town, covering his master's 
blacksmith's shop with charcoal sketches, and had 
been sent by him to Paris and Rome for education in 
art. His 'Marius amid the ruins of Carthage' had 
taken the prize at Paris under Napoleon, and he re- 



52 In Olde New York 

turned to New York comparatively famous. The city, 
thinking to do something for American art, built the 
Rotunda and gave Vanderlyn the lease of it for a 
studio, and for the exhibition of his pictures. He 
exhibited there his 'Marius,' 'Ariadne,' and the 'Gar- 
den of Versailles,' the latter a panorama taking up 
two sides of the room. Speaking of pictures, Michael 
Paff once made a lucky discovery. Paff was a picture 
dealer, having a store on Broadway, near Vesey, and 
the best art connoisseur in the city. A gentleman in 
town had a large picture of Esther before King Ahas- 
uerus, that he had secured at an auction sale, and 
which his wife was desirous of exchanging for two 
landscapes at Paff's. Paff good-naturedly made the 
exchange, but in cleaning up his new purchase dis- 
covered it to be a genuine Van Dyck. After that he 
spent about a week to the square inch cleaning and 
bringing out the original color. Wealthy gentlemen, 
art patrons, would drop in during the process, and 
offer to purchase. Paff's first price was $1000, after 
that he rose $1000 on every offer not accepted. Lyman 
Reid, the patron of Cole, offered him $7000 for it, 
which was quickly rejected, Paff's price having then 
risen to $16,000. I was in the store one day with Alfred 
Pell and Lyman Reid when Sir Robert Porter came in 
and offered Paff $12,000 for the picture, saying he was 
authorized to give that sum and no more by the National 
Gallery, of London. Paff refused, and held on to the 



New York in 1827 53 

picture till his death. After that event, his widow 
sold the picture to the National Gallery, it was said, 
for $20,000. I could give you a volume of reminis- 
cences about the old American Museum. It had been 
removed to the site of the later Herald Building, 
and had ruined several owners, when P. T. Barnum 
got hold of it and tnade a success of it. 

"A fence surrounded the Park in those days, with 
an entrance gate on the west. On the Chatham Street 
side were a number of low one-story buildings — 
cigar shops, beer saloons, and the pawn-shop of William 
Stevenson, the first of the kind ever opened in New 
York. Right opposite, on the corner of Frankfort 
Street, stood Tammany Hall, the cradle of the present 
famous organization; the modern sachems, you will 
reflect, were but papooses then. The Hall was used 
chiefly for public meetings of a political cast. The 
real council-room of the braves was a saloon a hundred 
feet back on Frankfort Street, called the 'Pewter Mug.' 
Here the chiefs held their pow-wows, and the plan 
of their campaigns was mapped out. Several lawyers 
of note had offices in the Hall. Aaron Burr's was on 
the south side of the building. Many a time have I 
seen him help Madame Jumel into her carriage stand- 
ing before the door, and he did it with incomparable 
grace." 



CHAPTER VI 



SOME OLD BOOKSELLERS 



OF the many obscure callings by which men gain 
a liveUhood in New York none is more useful 
than that of the antiquarian booksellers, of whom 
there were in 1885 about twenty in the city. The 
favorite home of this class was then the region trav- 
ersed by William and Nassau streets, which may be 
said to be bounded somewhat indefinitely, by Chff 
Street on the east and Broadway on the west. 

These establishments displayed no gilded signs or 
plate-glass windows to the pubhc gaze. They never 
advertised in the public prints ; they rather avoided than 
sought publicity, being hidden away in musty, ill- 
smelhng apartments, up many flights of narrow stairs, 
or at the end of long, dimly-lighted passages. Their 
customers in person were few, their chief patrons being 
the collectors and bibliophiles of the entire country, 
and these were reached by catalogues issued quarterly. 
These catalogues were often extensive and elaborate, 
and displayed much wit and ingenuity in their con- 
struction. The first page of a catalogue of 1868, for 
instance, reads as follows: 



Some Old Booksellers 55 

"Two thousand seven hundred personals, funeral 
sermons, eulogies, biographical sketches, memorials, 
&c., which may be bought — if any one wants them 

— of , who, on receipt of the trifling number of 

cents hinted at just to the left of the place and date 
of imprint will take pleasure in sending any one or 
more of them, at liis own expense, to any place where 
Uncle Sam keeps a post-office." 

The "Motto" is the following sentiment from 
Horace Greeley: 

"A man who does not care enough about his rela- 
tions to pay four sliillings for a funeral sermon on his 
grandfather, or even on his mother-in-law, is a born 
ingrate, and meaner than a goat thief." 

Another is a "catalogue of about two bushels of 
tidbits relating to that never-to-be-forgotten scrim- 
mage the American Revolution, for sale by , 

book peddler." In his preface to the same the old 
bookseller thus refers to some of the bores that infect 
a bookseller's shop: 

" At the instance of a considerable number of friendly 
critics who have heretofore more than made up by 
their willingness to give good advice for their reluc- 
tance to buy anything, but who without doubt are only 
waiting for me to show a proper and becoming appre- 
ciation of their views, I have requested the printer to 
put the A's at one end of this list and the W's at an- 
other, and call it a catalogue. As I am now for the 



56 In Olde New York 

first time trying to cater to a class of pundits who 
know what's what, I have not ventured to apply the 
terms rare and scarce, nor any one of the endless 
changes which may be rung upon them by the hand 
of a master. I trust, however, that I shall be par- 
doned (as I have a family to support) for mentioning 
that a considerable number of my tidbits were con- 
sidered by Mr. Stevens worthy a place in his catalogue 
of nuggets, and that not a few of them are so uncommon 
that they have escaped the notice of the compiler of 
that invaluable handbook, Sabin's Dictionary, and his 
hundred-eyed corps of assistants. Perhaps — as is 
constitutional with me — I have been modester than 
I could afford, and that I ought to have made an un- 
sparing use of the adjectives and peppered my book 
with them, hit or miss. The die is cast, however; 
quite likely I may not sell a tidbit; but I am determined 
this once to give my modesty the rein, and like Lord 
Timothy Dexter, let critic or customer pepper or salt 
this, my first catalogue, to suit liimself. 

" Having chosen my exemplar, I will be no less 
attentive to the convenience of my critics and cus- 
tomers than was his Lord Timothyship to the wants 
of his readers. I have therefore copied for their use, 
from a recent auction catalogue, a few of the adjec- 
tives and persuasives applied to such of the commoner 
tidbits as the owner had been able to 'buy at a bar- 
gain.' 'Scarce,' 'Very scarce,' 'Rare,' 'Very Rare,' 



Some Old Booksellers 57 

•"Tres Rare' (that's French). 'Unattainable except at 
public sale.' 'Not mentioned by Rich.' 'We have 
never sold a copy.' 'We are unable to record any 
other copy.'" 

The immense private collections which are from 
time to time unloaded upon the market hurt the trade 
and are greatly dreaded by the old booksellers. Such 
a collection was the Brinley Ubrary, sold at auction 
in New York. 

In his catalogue, issued soon after the sale, one of 
the tradesmen thus labors with the deluded buyers who 
will purchase at auction rather than of the trade: 

"This sale footed up nearly $49,000. Mr. Brinley, 
by his will, not less wisely than generously, gave to 
five public Hbraries $24,500, to be bought out or, as a 
book-peddler would express it, in trade. 

"The libraries of the favored institutions fought 
nobly. So nobly that it is doubtful if the bequests 
will make the estate a dollar the poorer. Of books so 
rare that I know nothing about their value, I will say 
as httle as I know. Rare books that I had seen sold 
before, sold liigh. The greater part of the catalogue 
sold very liigh. Hundreds of common books — so 
common that they may readily be found in bookstores, 
and yet not unworthy a place in tliis splendid collec- 
tion — sold at prices far beyond what any bookseller 
would dare to ask. Buyers of such, except ' on account,' 
generally got their fingers burnt. I had myself just 



58 In Olde New York 

enough of that sort of experience to know how it feels. 
Having by mistake bought lot 1785 for $15, I had it 
resold on my account; it brought $7. At the reselling 
the librarians did not rally worth a cent. I would have 
cheerfully given their institutions a dollar apiece all 
round if they had stood by me. 

"Lot 163, Chalmers Annals, found an appreciative 
buyer at $18.50. I sold the young gentleman from 
the country, who bid $18, a much better copy the next 
morning for half the money. The same buyer secured 
lot 176, Phillips's Paper Currency, at $7.50. I can 
generally furnish it at five, ten off to public libraries. 
I may leave them nothing by will, but mean to do my 
level best by them as long as I live. 

"Lot 205, Trumbull's United States, somebody 
must have been in a great hurry for. It brought $3. 
The next bidder is my affinity, if I could only find him. 
I should be happy to sell him a clean, uncut copy for a 
dollar. 

"Lot 234, Knox's Journal, lacking a portrait and a 
title-page, was snapped up at $16. I have a copy which 
could be made as good as Mr. Brinley's by pulling 
out a title-page — it already fills the bill in lacking 
a portrait — which I am dying to sell for ten. 

"No. 289, Drake's Address, sold for $2. If the 
previous bidder will send a small boy with seventy- 
five cents he will get a copy by return boy. 

"No. 325, Lechford, $2.75. I have a few more 



Some Old Booksellers 59 

left of the same sort at $1.50. No. 374, Noah Web- 
ster's version of Winthrop's Journal, $10. I sold as 
good a copy not long since at $4. Numbers 267 and 
390, Commissionary Wilson's Orderly Book and 
Easton's King PhiHp, as it is called for short, are num- 
bers I. and II. of Munsell's Historical Series, in 10 
volumes, which during the large paper and limited 
edition mania used to sell as high as $400 per set. 
The two volumes brought $26.50. A complete set in 
half morocco will be found in tliis catalogue at $35. 

"No. 331, Papers Concerning the Attack on Hatfield 
and Deerfield, wiped out sixteen of the ten thousand 
dollars given to Yale College. It used to sell at a 
much higher figure, but times have changed. I sold a 
copy a short time ago for five. 

"No. 412, News from New England, 2 copies, both 
found purchasers at $2.25. I have a copy, see my 
No. 274, at seventy-five cents. 

"No. 767, James Fitch's Connecticut Election 
Sermon, Cambridge, 1674, the first printed, sold for 
$38. In a note to lot 2154 Dr. Trumbull, the cata- 
loguer, says: 'Five [Conn. Election] sermons were 
printed in Cambridge and Boston before a press was 
established in Connecticut. Of these five, four will 
be found elsewhere in this catalogue.' That's so, and 
the four, which were the first, third, fourth and fifth, 
brought an average of $25.50 each. In the same note 
Dr. Trumbull, whose notes are always interesting, 



60 In Olde New York 

says further: 'Mr. Brinley began this collection nearly 
forty years ago, and allowed no opportunity of com- 
pleting and perfecting it to escape.' I sold a beautiful 
copy of the one which Mr. Brinley did not have a short 
time ago for $15. I always sent my catalogue to the 
gentlemen who bought the other four, but buyers at 
auction of course save the book-peddlers' profit. 

"Of numbers 975, 1029, 50, 81, 96 and 1117, 
'Mathers,' good copies will be found in this catalogue 
at peddlers' prices. Numbers 1356, 7, Drake's 
Witchcraft Delusion, small and large paper, sold for 
$9.00 and $10.50 in paper. I sell them at five and 
six. No. 1359, Drake's Annals of Witchcraft, sold 
for $8.75 in cloth. I sell it for $2.50 in paper. An- 
other half dollar would buy a cloth jacket for it, leav- 
ing nearly two-tliirds of the money toward buying the 
buyer a jacket. 

"No. 1377 was bought by the author for $2.25. 
For the money I would have given him three copies. 
I catalogue it at seventy-five cents and always send 
him my catalogues. 

"I have an indistinct recollection of having in my 
early youth read a short list of conundrums, each one 
of which was too much for an eastern king whose 
reputation for wisdom stood high. Had Solomon — 
I think that was the king's name — attended the 
Brinley sale I am convinced that in his list of things 
which no fellow can find out would be ranked as the 



Some Old Booksellers 61 

knottiest the question why book-buyers in bookshops 
are so stingy and in book auctions so lavish." 

There are specialists, even among the dealers in 
dead books, one being known to his fellows as dealing 
largely in genealogies and kindred works; another 
makes a specialty of rare foreign books and prints; 
another confines himself to rare Americana; while a 
fourth devotes his energies exclusively to the collection 
and sale of American pamphlets. A chance service 
rendered one of the guild, in the discovery of a rare 
volume, gained me liis good will, a seat at his fireside, 
and a share in the racy anecdotes with wliich he en- 
livened it; these anecdotes covered a wide range of 
subjects, and included reminiscences of the famous 
literary men of two generations who had frequented 
his shop. Some of these reminiscences I am sure will 
interest the reader. 

Of Poe he said: "The character drawn of Poe by 
his various biographers and critics may with safety 
be pronounced an excess of exaggeration, but this is 
not to be much wondered at when it is considered that 
these men were his rivals, either as poets or prose- 
writers, and it is well known that such are generally as 
jealous of each other as are the ladies who are hand- 
some of those who desire to be considered so. It is an 
old truism, and as true as it is old, that in the multitude 
of counsellors there is safety. I therefore will show 
you my opinion of this gifted but unfortunate genius : it 



62 In Olde New York 

may be estimated as worth little, but it has this merit: 
It comes from an eye- and ear-witness, and this, it 
must be remembered, is the very highest of legal evi- 
dence. For eight months or more, 'one house con- 
tained us, us one table fed.' During that time I saw 
much of him, and had an opportunity of conversing 
with him often; and I must say I never saw him the 
least affected with liquor, nor ever descend to any 
known vice, while he was one of the most courteous, 
gentlemanly and intelligent companions I have ever 
met. Besides, he had an extra inducement to be a 
good man, for he had a wife of matchless beauty and 
loveliness; her eye could match that of any houri, 
and her face defy the genius of a Canova to imitate; 
her temper and disposition were of surpassing sweet- 
ness; in addition, she seemed as much devoted to him 
and his every interest as a young mother is to her 
first-born. During this time he wrote his longest 
prose romance, entitled the Adventures of Arthur 
Gordon Pym. Poe had a remarkably pleasing and 
prepossessing countenance — what the ladies would 
call decidedly handsome. He died after a brief and 
fitful career at Baltimore, October, 1849, where his 
remains lie interred in an obscure burying-ground." 

Of Simms he showed this entry in his diary, under 
date of October 15, 1868: " To-day I had the pleasure of 
a call from William Gilmore Simms, the novelist. 
He is quite affable in conversation, and apparently 



Some Old Booksellers 63 

well stocked with general information, which he can 
impart with fluency. He appears somewhat down- 
cast, or rather, I should say, has a melancholy cast of 
countenance: he is advanced in years, with a profusion 
of hair around his face, cliin and throat — is apparently 
between sixty and seventy years of age. I requested 
him to enroll liis name in my autograph-book, which 
he did with readiness. He remarked that he was 
often requested to do so, especially by the ladies. I 
replied that this was a debt which every man incurred 
when he became public property either by his words, 
actions, or writings. He acquiesced in the justice of 
the remark. Mr. Simms was in search of a copy of 
Johnson's History of the Seminoles, to aid him in 
making a new book. He was accompanied by Mr. 
Duykinck." 

Halleck he thus introduced: "On a certain occasion 
I was passing a Roman Catholic church in New York: 
seeing the doors open and throngs of people pressing 
in, I stepped inside to see what I could see. I had not 
well got inside when I beheld Fitzgreene Halleck 
standing uncovered, with reverential attitude, among 
the crowd of unshorn and unwashed worshipers. I 
remained till I saw liim leave. In doing so he made a 
courteous bow, as is the polite custom of the humblest 
of these people on taking their departure. 

" On the subject of compliments paid him for poeti- 
cal talents, Mr. Halleck once said to me, 'They are 



64 In Olde New York 

generally made by those who are ignorant or who 
have a desire to please or flatter, or perhaps a com- 
bination of all. As a general thing, they are devoid 
of sincerity, and rather offensive than pleasing. There 
is no general rule without its exception, however, and 
in my bagful of compUments I cherish one which comes 
under that rule, and reflecting upon it affords me real 
pleasure as it did then. On a warm day in summer 
a young man came into the office with a countenance 
glowing with ardor, innocence, and honesty, and liis 
eyes beaming with enthusiasm. Said he, "Is Mr. 
Halleck to be found here ? " I answered in the aflSrma- 
tive. Continued he, with evidently increased emotion, 
"Could I see him.?" — "You see him now," I replied. 
He grasped me by the hand with a hearty vigorousness 
that added to my conviction of his sincerity. Said he, 
"I am happy, most happy, in having had the pleasure 
at last of seeing one whose poems have afforded me no 
ordinary gratification and delight. I have longed to 
see you, and I have dreamt that I have seen you, but 
now I behold you with mine own eyes. God bless 
you for ever and ever! I have come eleven hundred 
miles, from the banks of the Miami in Ohio, mainly 
for that purpose, and I have been compensated for 
my pains."' 

" Mr. Halleck told me that he had been soHcited to 
write a life of his early and beloved friend Drake. 
'But,' said he, 'I did not well see how I could grant 



Some Old Booksellers 65 

such a request: I had no lever for my fulcrum. What 
could I say about one who had studied pharmacy, 
dissection, written a few poems, and then left the scene 
of action ? I had no material, and a mere meaningless 
eulogy would have been out of the c|uestion.' 

"In personal appearance Halleck was rather below 
the medium height and well built: in walking he had 
a rather slow and shuffling gait, as if sometliing afflicted 
his feet; a florid, bland, and pleasant countenance; 
a bright gray eye ; was remarkably pleasant and courte- 
ous in conversation, and, as a natural consequence, 
much beloved by all who had the pleasure of his ac- 
quaintance. But to that brilliancy in conversation 
which some of liis admirers have been pleased to attrib- 
ute to him, in my opinion he could lay no claim. His 
library w^as sold at auction in New York on the evening 
of October 12, 1868. If the collection disposed of on 
that occasion was really liis library in full, it must be 
confessed it was a sorry affair and meager in the 
extreme. In surveying the collection a judge of the 
value of such property would perhaps pronounce it 
worth from one hundred and twenty-five to one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. The books brought fabulous 
prices — at least ten times their value. The company 
was large, good-humored, and just in the frame of mind 
to be a little more than liberal, doubtless stimulated 
to be so from a desire to possess a rehc of the departed 
poet who had added fame to the hterature of his 



66 In Olde New York 

country. The following are the names of a few of 
the books and the prices they brought: Nicholas 
Nickleby, with the author's autograph, $18; Bryant's 
Uttle volume of poems entitled Thirty Poems, with 
the author's autograph, $11; Campbell's Poems, with 
Halleck's autograph, $8.50; Catalogue of the Straw- 
berry Hill Collection, $16; Barnaby Rudge, presenta- 
tion copy by the author to Halleck, $15; Coleridge's 
Poems, with a few notes by Halleck, $10; Fanny, a 
poem by Mr. Halleck, $10. The sum-total realized 
for Ms library was twelve hundred and fifty dollars." 

Aaron Burr was the subject of some interesting 
reminiscences: "Shortly after I came to New York, 
Aaron Burr was pointed out to me as he was slowly 
wending his way up Broadway, between Chambers 
Street and the old theater, on the City Hall side. I 
frequently afterward met him in tliis and other streets. 
He was always an object of interest, inasmuch as he 
had become an liistorical character, somewhat notori- 
ously so. I will attempt to describe his appearance, 
or rather how he appeared to me: He was small, thin 
and attenuated in form, perhaps a little over five feet 
in height, weight not much over a hundred pounds. 
He walked with a slow, measured and feeble step, 
stooping considerably, occasionally with both hands 
behind liis back. He had a keen face and deep-set, 
dark eye, liis hat set deep on liis head, the back part 
sunk down to the collar of the coat and the back 



Some Old Booksellers 67 

brim somewhat turned upward. He was dressed in 
threadbare black cloth, having the appearance of what 
is known as shabby genteel. His countenance wore 
a melancholy aspect, and liis whole appearance be- 
tokened one dejected, forsaken, forgotten or cast 
aside, and conscious of liis position. He was invari- 
ably alone when I saw liim, except on a single occa- 
sion: that was on the sidewalk in Broadway fronting 
what is now the Astor House, where he was standing 
talking very familiarly with a young woman whom 
he held by one hand. His countenance on that 
occasion was cheerful, lighted up and bland — alto- 
gether different from what it appeared to me when I 
saw him alone and in conversation with liimself. 
Burr must have been a very exact man in liis business- 
affairs. His receipt-book came into my possession. 
I found there receipts for a load of wood, a carpenter's 
work for one day, a pair of boots, milk for a certain 
number of weeks, suit of clothes, besides numerous 
other small transactions that but few would tliink of 
taking a receipt for. The book was but a sorry, 
cheap affair, and could not have cost when new more 
than fifty cents." 

Edwin Forrest he thus mentioned: "At the time 
when Forrest was earning liis reputation on the board 
of the Bowery Theatre I was connected with that 
institution, and of course had an opportunity of seeing 
him every night he performed. Mr, Forrest appeared 



68 In Olde New York 

to be possessed of the perfection of physical form, 
more especially conspicuous when arrayed in some 
peculiar costumes which tended to display it to the 
best advantage. He had a stentorian voice, and must 
have had lungs not less invulnerable than one of 
Homer's heroes. He had a fine mascuUne face and 
prepossessing countenance, much resembling many 
of the notable Greeks and Romans whose portraits 
have come down to our time, and a keen intellectual 
eye. His countenance at times assumed an air of 
hauteur wliich doubtless had become a habit, either 
from personating characters of tliis stamp or from a 
consciousness of his merited popularity. He left the 
impression on the beholder of one intoxicated with 
success and the repletion of human applause. He 
kept aloof from all around liim, and condescended to 
no social intercourse with any one on the stage, and 
appeared to entertain a contempt for liis audience. 
, . . He has now lost that mercurial, youthful appear- 
ance which was then so conspicuous, and which doubt- 
less aided in laying the foundation of his widespread 
reputation. He was then straight as an arrow and 
elastic as a circus-rider, the very beau-ideal of physical 
perfection : now he bears the marks of decay, or rather, 
as is said of grain just before harvest, he has a ripe 
appearance. If he would consult his renown he 
would retire from the stage, and never set foot upon 
it again " 



Some Old Booksellers 69 

The reminiscences also touched on Bryant, Parton, 
Mrs. Siddons and several eminent divines and jour- 
nalists. Of the latter class the fullest related to James 
Gordon Bennett, founder of the Herald, and his 
coadjutor, William H. Attree. "I remember enter- 
ing the subterranean office of IVIr. Bennett early in the 
career of the Herald and purchasing a single copy of 
the paper, for which I paid the sum of one cent only. 
On this occasion the proprietor, editor, and vendor 
was seated at his desk busily engaged in writing, and 
appeared to pay httle or no attention to me as I entered. 
On making known my object in coming in, he requested 
me to put my money down on the counter and help 
myself to a paper: all the time he continued his writing 
operations. The office was a single, oblong, under- 
ground room. Its furniture consisted of a counter, 
which also served as a desk, constructed from two 
flour-barrels, perhaps empty, standing apart from 
each other about four feet, with a single plank cover- 
ing both; a chair, placed in the center, upon which 
sat the editor busy at his vocation, with an inkstand 
by his right hand; on the end nearest the door were 
placed the papers for sale. I attribute the success 
of the Herald to a combination of circumstances — 
to the peculiar fitness of its editor for his position, to 
its cheapness, and its advertising patronage, which 
was considerable. In the fourth place, it early secured 
the assistance of William H. Attree, a man of uncom- 



70 In Olde New York 

mon abilities as a reporter and a concocter of pithy 
as well as ludicrous chapters greatly calculated to 
captivate many readers. In fact, this clever and 
talented assistant in some respects never had his match. 
He did not, as other reporters do, take down in short- 
hand what the speaker or reader said, but sat and 
heard the passing discourse like any other casual 
spectator: when over he would go home to his room, 
write out in full all that had been said on the occasion, 
and that entirely from memory. On a certain occa- 
sion I liinted to him my incredulity about his ability 
to report as he had frequently informed me. To put 
tlie matter beyond doubt, he requested me to accom- 
pany him to Clinton Hall to hear some literary mag- 
nate let off his intellectual steam. I accordingly 
accompanied him as per arrangement. We were 
seated together in the same pew. He placed his hands 
in his pockets and continued in that position during 
the delivery of the discourse, and when it was finished 
he remarked to me that I would not only find the sub- 
stance of this harangue in the Herald the next day, 
but that I would find it word for word. On the follow- 
ing morning I procured the paper, and read the report 
of what I had heard the previous evening; and I must 
say I was struck with astonishment at its perfect 
accuracy. Before Mr. Attree's time reporting for the 
press in New York was a mere outline or sketch of 
what had been said or done, but he infused life and 



Some Old Booksellers 71 

soul into his department of journalism. His reports 
were full, accurate, graphic; and, what is more, he 
frequently flattered the vanity of the speaker by mak- 
ing a much better speech for him than he possibly 
could for himself. Poor Attree died in 1849, and is 
entombed at Greenwood." 



CHAPTER VII 

A NEW YORK CURIOSITY SHOP 

TT was kept by a descendant of one of the old island 
■■■ families, and his stock was confined almost entirely 
to relics, coats of arms, pedigrees, and other souvenirs 
of the early Dutch families of Manhattan. The most 
striking feature observed on entering was the array of 
tall eight-day clocks extending around the four sides 
of the room, in some places two ranks deep. The 
cases were mostly of oak, beautifully inlaid, and 
which bore on the base the coat of arms, and in some 
instances the name, of the family for whom they were 
made. Beekman, Kouwenhoven, Leiter, Van Wester- 
velt, Brower, Van Hardenburgh, Weber, De Groot, 
Prevoorst, Schermerhorn, and Van Wyck, were the 
most prominent names noticed. There were thirty 
of these clocks — two of great liistorical interest. All 
were of heavy and elaborate workmanship, and, be- 
sides the carving and inlaid work on the cases, were 
prettily decorated on the arch above the face with vines 
and flowers. Most had eight astronomical movements, 
giving, in addition to the hour, minute, and second, 
the day of the month and week, the phases of sun and 



A New York Curiosity Shop 73 

moon, and the sign of the zodiac. Some also gave the 
evening and morning star, and nearly all had the 
alarm movement. 

The Moll or Maule clock by the door was the most 
valuable of all the stock, liistorically considered. On 
the 10th of July, 1680, John Moll, a Swede, received 
from the Indians of Delaware a deed for much of the 
land now comprising Delaware and Eastern Pennsyl- 
vania. This he subsequently conveyed to William 
Penn. From timber cut on tliis tract he made, or had 
made, the case of this old clock, now standing so 
modestly in the corner, and sent it to his relatives, the 
Maule family in Holland, as a present from the New 
World to the Old. They valued it so liighly that they 
had the family arms inlaid in the sohd oak, and deco- 
rated it very prettily with vines, leaves, and birds of 
plumage; furthermore, to show its American origin, 
they had impaled in the arms the names of the six 
Indian chiefs from whom John Moll had made his 
purchase. The shop-keeper who goes every year to 
the cities of Holland and Germany to replenish his 
stock chanced to catch sight of the arms on the clock 
as he was mousing about a second-hand store in 
Amsterdam and purchased it. 

Another very notable clock was that on which 
Christopher Huggins experimented in the invention 
of the pendulum. Huggins, as the legend is, was an 
ingenious clock-maker of Amsterdam in 1689, who 



74 In Olde New York 

gave so much time to evolving his idea of the pendulum 
that he got into financial straits, and borrowed 600 
guilders of Jacobus Van Wyck, a wealthy manufac- 
turer of clocks and watches in that city. The inventor, 
however, was never able to pay the debt, and so turned 
the clock over to his creditor. To prove that this is 
the identical clock the owner points to the letters " C. 
H. to J. V. W." engraved on the metal frame. The 
mechanism has but one hand, and is a quaint array 
of wheels and chains. 

There was much other furniture of rare and curious 
interest — carved, stiff-backed chairs with figured 
cushions, square and half-round tables, sideboards, 
secretaries, all of sohd oak, quaintly carved and richly 
inlaid. A wardrobe, the largest piece of furniture in 
the room, seven feet high and as many wide, has a 
curious history. Without and within it contains no 
less than ten thousand pieces of inlaid work, and was 
made by the Guild of Cabinet Workers of Amsterdam 
and presented to Nicholas Oppermier, Burgomaster of 
that city from 1681 to 1684. A writing-desk and bureau 
combined was of interest from having once belonged 
to the Coxe family, who came over with William Penn. 
The family arms — a sheaf of wheat or, on a green 
field — is inlaid on the lid. There was an ancient 
looking-glass, too, with a carved frame and long arms 
on either side, furnished at their extremities with candle- 
sticks in order that the glass might be serviceable by 



A New York Curiosity Shop 75 

night as well as by day. Two groups of rare old china 
on a shelf would attract the attention of collectors. 
The first group is the identical teapot, milk pitcher, 
and cup — plain, rather coarse ware — used by the 
first Napoleon in liis campaigns — at least the merchant 
who owns it was so assured by the old servant of 
Joseph Bonaparte, King of Holland and brother of 
Napoleon, of whom he bought them. The only 
ornament is the initial N. on a blue ground surrounded 
by a coronet. The companion group which belonged 
to Joseph Bonaparte is much prettier; the ware is 
finer, more delicate, and the white ground is reheved 
by blue figures. 

There were several notable portraits in the collection. 
One of these was a very ancient portrait of Calvin, 
picked up for a trifle in an old picture store, but which 
the merchant, by comparison with several authentic 
portraits in Europe, had established to be genuine. 
Another was the only portrait in existence of Jan Jans, 
father of the celebrated Aneke Jans, and the last sur- 
vivor of the famous siege of Haarlem. There was 
the picture too of a modest round-faced comely Quaker 
lady, in a plain brown dress, with a white handkerchief 
thrown carelessly over her head, the wife of William 
Penn. "Penn was partly of Dutch extraction," the 
merchant remarked, referring to the portrait, "his 
father. Admiral Penn, having married a member of 
the old Dutch family of Callowhill. Callowhill Street, 



76 In Olde New York 

in Philadelphia, is named after her." There was also 
a portrait of De Groot, and a strong picture of an old 
nude man by Barneveldt. The merchant showed 
also the genealogical records of eighty-six thousand 
Dutch and Belgian families, a part of his business 
being the construction of family records. 



CHAPTER Vin 



THE OLD JUMEL MANSION^ 



VISITORS to High Bridge — the pretty Uttle 
village which stands at the northern Hmit of 
Manhattan Island — cannot have failed to observe 
the stately, somewhat antiquated mansion standing 
in the midst of a pretty park of some fifty acres, and 
overlooking city and river and the varied Westchester 
plains. It is the chief in point of interest as it is the 
sole survivor of the many historic houses that once 
graced the island, but is so environed with city en- 
croachments and improvements that its destruction 
seems likely to be but a question of time. Even now 
the shrill whistle of the metropolitan locomotives is 
heard beneath its eaves. Tenth Avenue passes but a 
block away, and eager speculators have staked out city 
lots at its very gates, so hardly is it pressed by the 
great city in its eager outreacliing for new territory. 

Few persons who pass the place know, perhaps, 
the many points of historic and romantic interest that 
it has: how it occupies liistoric ground, being built on 

1 Written about 1880. The old mansion is now owned by the 
Daughters of the Revolution and maintained as a Museiun. 



78 In Olde New York 

the far-famed Harlem Heights, within a mile of the 
site of old Fort Washington; that it was built for the 
dower of a lady of such beauty and grace that she was 
able to win the heart of the Father of his Country 
himself; that within its walls Washington established 
his headquarters while the mastery of the island was 
in dispute with the British, and that thither Washing- 
ton came again in 1790 with all liis Cabinet, on his 
return from a visit to the battlefield of Fort Washing- 
ton; or that afterward, a once famous Vice-President 
of the United States was married in its parlors. Yet 
these and many other noteworthy incidents in its his- 
tory are quite within the line of research of the indus- 
trious investigator. It will not be time misspent, per- 
haps, if we devote an idle hour to a more particular 
narration of some of these events in its history. 

In 1756 no belle in New York society was more 
courted and caressed than Miss Mary PhilUpse. She 
was the daughter of Frederick Phillipse, lord of the 
manor of Phillipsburg (now Yonkers), and is admitted 
to have been one of the most beautiful and charming 
women of colonial times. 

Washington, during one of his frequent visits to the 
city, met her at the house of his friend Beverly Robin- 
son, and was so deeply smitten with her charms that, 
if the old traditions are correct, he became a suitor for 
her hand. 

A rival claimant for the hand of Miss Phillipse was 




...pSs^J^^^^. 



The Old Jumel Mansion 79 

Roger Morris, a gallant captain in the British army 
then garrisoning New York. The reader's sympa- 
thies are with the young Virginian no doubt, but it was 
remarked by the gossips of the day that he was a slow 
wooer, and that the odds seemed in favor of his more 
ardent rival, when, unfortunately, the exigencies of 
Indian warfare called liim to the frontier, and he was 
forced to depart, leaving the gallant captain in undis- 
puted possession of the field. When he had been 
absent some montlis a friend in New York (whether 
in the confidence of the lady or not is not known) 
wrote to him that " Morris was laying close siege to 
Miss Phillipse," and that if he had any interests in that 
quarter he could best serve them by a visit to the city 
— a bit of friendly advice which was not accepted, 
possibly because the recipient was too much occupied 
with measures for the protection of the frontier, but 
probably because liis chances of success seemed too 
small to warrant the venture. 

In the meantime, his rival out of the field. Captain 
Morris, pressed his suit with military ardor, and so 
successfully that in 1756 the polite society of the town 
was pleasantly electrified by the news of the betrothal 
of Captain Roger Morris to Mary Phillipse. The 
match was evidently approved by the lady's father, 
for he proceeded to bestow on her as a dowry five 
hundred acres of land on Manhattan Island, which 
included the site of the present dwelling. 



80 • In Olde New York 

The year 1776 found the colonists in arms against 
the mother country, Roger Morris a colonel in the 
British army, and George Washington commander- 
in-chief of the forces of the colonies. Mrs. Morris 
occupied her home until the attack of the British on 
the city in August, 1776, when, finding that it was 
likely to become the theater of war, she left it hastily 
and found a refuge with the Tory people among the 
Highlands. A few days later General Washington 
arrived and made the house his headquarters dur- 
ing his operations on the island, holding stern councils 
of war in the drawing-room of the former mistress of 
his heart, and devoting to the repose of martial thews 
and sinews the downy beds and silken canopies that 
had been intended for far daintier uses. But this 
military occupation lasted only a short time, although 
the mistress of the mansion never returned to her 
charming retreat. At the close of the war her estates 
were confiscated, and she went with her husband to 
England, where she lived to a good old age. 

Fourteen years later, in 1790, Washington, with a 
goodly number of dames and cavaliers, paid a second 
visit to the old dwelling. In his journal he has given 
us a detailed account of the event. He says, under 
date of July 10, 1790: 

"Having formed a party consisting of the Vice- 
President, his lady, son and Miss Smith; the Secre- 
taries of State, Treasury and War and the ladies of 




-a - 

J'? 

< J 

i'l 









SI 

•= Oh 



The Old Jumel Mansion 81 

the two latter, with all the gentlemen of my family, 
Mrs. Lear and the two cliildren, we visited the old 
position of Fort Wasliington, and afterward dined on a 
dinner provided by Mr. Mariner, at the house lately 
Colonel Roger Morris's, but confiscated and now in 
the possession of a common farmer," 

Tliis Captain Mariner was a noted character in the 
Revolution, and was engaged with Captain Hyler in 
the somewhat celebrated "whaleboat warfare," which 
consisted chiefly in making night descents on the 
enemy's coasts, and making prisoners of such promi- 
nent persons as came in their way. After the war he 
kept a tavern at Ward's Island and at Harlem, and 
became a noted caterer; it was in this capacity that he 
was employed to prepare the dinner for as imposing 
a company of guests as the mansion ever entertained. 

In 1803 Morris's was again in the market, and for 
a time it seemed probable that Colonel Aaron Burr, 
who was then living in splendor at Richmond Hill 
would become its purchaser. In November of this 
year he wrote to his daughter Theodosia in regard 
to the exchange; her letter in reply, dated Chfton, 
S. C, December 10, 1803, is interesting as showing 
what one of the most charming and accomplished 
women of her day thought of the house. She says: 

"The exchange has employed my thoughts ever 
since. Richmond Hill will, for a few years to come, 
be more valuable than Morris's, and to you, who are 



82 In Olde New York 

so fond of town, a place so far from it would be use- 
less; so much for my reasoning on one side; now for 
the other. Richmond Hill has lost many of its beauties 
and is daily losing more. If you mean it for a resi- 
dence, what avails its intrinsic value .'* If you sell part 
you deprive it of every beauty save the mere view. 
Morris's has the most commanding view on the island; 
it is reported to be indescribably beautiful. The 
grounds, too, are pretty; how many delightful walks 
can be made on one hundred and thirty acres; how 
much of your taste displayed ! In ten or twenty years 
hence one hundred and thirty acres on New York 
Island will be a principality; and there is to me some- 
thing stylish, elegant, respectable and suitable to you 
in having a handsome country seat. So that, on the 
whole, I vote for Morris's." 

But Colonel Burr did not purchase the property at 
this time, though tliirty years later he married its 
mistress, and resided there for some time, and met a 
class of law students in the room formerly occupied 
by Washington as his sleeping apartment. The later 
history of the mansion is both varied and interesting, 
but is so near our own times that it is scarcely neces- 
sary to repeat it here. 

An account of a visit wliich the writer made to it 
recently, in company with a gentleman familiar not 
only with the place but with its history as well, will 
no doubt prove more acceptable. The main hall, 



The Old Jumel Mansion 83 

which one enters from the pillared porch, is, with 
its ancient portraits, its polished oaken floor and 
great depth and roominess, the nearest approach 
we have, perhaps, to that of an ancient baronial 
castle. This hall opens by folding doors into the 
drawing-room — the same that was used by Wash- 
ington as a reception-room during liis military 
occupancy. Here he received his visitors, listened to 
his orderlies' reports and dictated his answers, and 
here at the last was held the council of war which 
decided that Manhattan Island should be relinquished. 
The floor of tliis room, and indeed of every apartment 
in the house, is of oak, and so highly polished that it 
affords an insecure footing to one used to carpeted 
rooms. The wall paper has a groundwork of green, 
with raised figures of vine and leaf having the appear- 
ance and texture of velvet, and its coloring is as fresh 
and vivid as though nearly a century and a half had not 
passed since it left the hand of the artisan. In this 
room also hangs a beautiful chandelier, which was 
formerly the property of the unfortunate French 
General Moreau. A winding stairway at the right of 
the hall leads the visitor to the suite of apartments 
above, and ushers him first into a hall directly over the 
one below, and of about the same dimensions. From 
this hall one may step out upon a balcony wliich com- 
mands a magnificent view of city, river, and Sound. 
Washington's bed-chamber was on this floor, at the 



84 In Olde New York 

rear of the hall and directly over the drawing-room; 
there is nothing noteworthy about it except that it con- 
tains a number of secret doors and closets not all of 
which are known to the present residents. Two small 
ante-chambers, one on each side, were occupied by 
his aids, one of whom was Alexander Hamilton. The 
old oak bedstead on which Washington slept is still 
preserved with other treasured relics in the attic of the 
house. 

Having seen all the objects of interest that the old 
house contained (although but a very few of them 
are included in this description) we were invited to a 
walk in the grounds, which are extensive, comprising 
about one hundred and tliirty acres. Even here the 
antiquity of the place is apparent. The great locusts 
that hne the main approach to the mansion are dead 
at the top and hoary with age. A great Madeira-nut 
tree, with gnarled trunk and wide-spreading branches, 
and a huge cedar of Lebanon, which was brought 
a tiny rootlet from its native mountain, could have 
been nourished to their present proportions only by 
a century of sun and showers; a hedge of slow-growing 
trees brought from Andalusia in Spain, which surrounds 
an ancient fountain's bed on the estate, also gives 
evidence of extreme age. After passing some time in 
the grounds and making pilgrimage to several points 
where charming \aews may be obtained, we took our 
leave, remarking on the striking contrast presented by 



The Old Jumel Mansion 85 

the old dwelling to the great city so near it, and specu- 
lating as to how long it can be protected from the 
grasp of the giant which each day is bringing nearer 
its gates. 



CHAPTER IX 



TWO AMERICAN SHRINES 



WE have a habit of observing each anniversary 
of the death of Washington Irving by a pil- 
grimage to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, his last resting- 
place. It is but an hour to Tarr}i;own by rail from 
New York, and then a walk of a mile up the barrier 
hills to the sunny " Hollow, " the bridge, and the church- 
yard. The conservatism of wealth and of tradition 
have united to preserve them as they were. Through 
the dell flows the silvery Pocantico issuing out of a 
deep glen to the eastward, and passing on under the 
arch of the old bridge forever famous as the scene of 
Ichabod Crane's nocturnal adventures. Near by is 
the httle old Dutch church built of stone by the 
mighty patroon of PliilHpburg half smothered in 
vines, with wooden belfry, and making weather 
cock and farm as uncanny as Alloway's Auld Haunted 
Kirk. In the shadow of its tower are the quaint, 
brown-stone tombs of the Van Warts, Van Tassels, 
and other famous families. The churchyard is as 
beautiful for situation as it is noteworthy in letters, 
being laid out on the western and southern slope of 



Two American Shrines 87 

the hill that rises steeply up from the Pocantico. At 
intervals on the hillside rocky crags protrude, veiled 
by oak and hemlock, and in and out among these 
curve the walks and drives. The summit is occupied 
by more modern memorials in marble and granite, 
some quite tasteful and elaborate in design. West of 
these, perhaps half-way down the declivity, is the 
Irving plot, characterized by a severe simphcity; it is 
marked only by a low hedge of evergreens. Its ten 
or twelve tombstones are equally classic in their sim- 
plicity. That of the author is on the south side of the 
enclosure, and is a small, plain slab of marble, bearing 
only his name, and the date of birth and death. This 
severe simplicity did not seem to us to be in good 
taste; it was so incommensurate with the greatness of 
the man, and the space he occupied in the literature 
of his country, that it seemed incongruous. It is, how- 
ever, according to the sleeper's own request. The 
tomb is distinguished by one mark of public interest, 
indicating that more than common dust sleeps be- 
neath. Each of its three faces has been chipped and 
cut away by relic hunters, who have carried away the 
fragments as souvenirs of their pilgrimage. 

We could but contrast it with another American 
shrine we had visited a few months previous ^ — the 
tomb of Cooper in Cooperstown, just where the Susque- 
hanna breakes from Otsego, its parent lake. One can 

1 This article was written in 1885. 



88 In Olde New York 

reach it from Richfield Springs by coach to the head 
of the lake, and thence by steamer down its winding 
shores, or he can drive over by private vehicle and not 
consume a summer day. The village lies quiet and 
peaceful in its deep cleft among the hills at the foot of 
the lake. One easily finds the grave of the author in 
the little Episcopal churchyard. It is almost in the 
shadow of the sacred edifice, brooded over by somber 
firs and pines, with the Susquehanna close by mur- 
muring unceasing requiem! So strong a churchman 
was Cooper, and attached to this little home church, 
that I doubt if he could have rested quietly in stranger 
ground. The novelist's grave is nearly in the center 
of the plot, and that of the wife is beside her husband's; 
both are marked by marble tablets resting on granite 
pillars, and are without ornament save a simple cross 
cut in the center of the stone. I had interest enough 
to transcribe the inscription, as follows: 

James Fenimore Cooper 

born September 15th, 1789, 

died September 14th, 1851. 

Susan Augusta, wife of James Fenimore Cooper 

and daughter of John Peter De Lancy 

born January 28, 1792, 

died January 20. 

There is less popular appreciation of Cooper's tomb, 
or is it that it is less accessible } it bears no marks of 



Two American Shrines 89 

the relic hunter's hammer, and the grass about it is 
untrodden by pilgrim feet. Leaving the graves, we 
strolled down the pleasant village street, in search of 
the old Cooper Mansion, where the novelist hved 
and in which much of his later work was done, but 
learned that it had been burned to the ground some 
thirty years before and its site made a waste. Some 
strange fatality seems to attend American houses with 
a history. The Hancock house in Boston, the tavern of 
Israel Putnam in Brooklyn, Conn., the FrankKn House 
in Philadelphia, Webster's house at Green Harbor, 
with scores of others that might be named have been 
destroyed or so transformed that their interest and 
identity are lost. Sunnyside, the home of Irving, 
almost alone remains intact. The pilgrim to Sleepy 
Hollow cannot better conclude his day than by a visit 
thither. Leaving the churchyard one passes down the 
main street of Tarrytown, lined with gray-stone castles 
and elegant country-seats, quaint Dutch cottages and 
modern villas, for two miles, and then enters a road 
turning from it at right angles and leading down to 
the Hudson. Soon one is lost in a maze of wildwood 
greenery planted in a little gorge worn by a hillside 
stream. Fine dwellings, with lawn and copse and 
hedge, rustic bridges and parks of forest trees, are on 
either side, and continue until one reaches a plateau 
separated from the river only by the railroad tracks. 
On this plateau, sheltered by fine old forest trees, stands 



90 In Olde New York 

Sunnyside cottage. One realizes the felicity of its 
builder's description — "a quaint picturesque little 
pile." It is built of stone in ancient Dutch style, with 
crow-step gables and an L, and a multitude of nooks, 
crannies, and angles. The famous Melrose Abbey ivy, 
honeysuckle, rose vines and eglantines cover it in wilder- 
ing mass. The main entrance is on the south, but there 
is a piazza on the west facing the river which, with its 
view of the broad Tappan Zee, the farther meadows 
of Tappan, and grim Palisades on the south, was the 
favorite resort of the author and his family in the long 
summer evenings. Though its clinging vines and 
antique style convey the impression of age, the cottage 
is comparatively modern, having been almost entirely 
remodeled in 1835. The old Dutch farmhouse which 
it originally was, is said to have been the Wolfe rts 
Roost, from which the partisan armed with his great 
goose gun stole out for his adventure with the ma- 
rauders of the Tappan Zee. Later it came into the 
hands of the Van Tassels, and within its walls is said to 
have been held the merry-making from which Ichabod 
Crane departed for liis terrible encounter with the 
Headless Horseman on the bridge by Sleepy Hollow 
Church. 

Needless to add that the old house was the birth- 
place of those charming tales and sketches which have 
made the locahty classic. 



CHAPTER X 

THE STORY OF THE PALATINES 

rriHE period of American colonization was pro- 
-*■ ductive of many tragedies and romantic incidents, 
few of which have been adequately sketched. 

One of the most striking and least knowTi of these 
was the settlement in New York, in 1709, by the bounty 
of Queen Anne of England, of a large body of Germans, 
victims of religious persecution. The original home 
of these interesting people was in what is known in 
liistory as the Lower Palatinate of the Rhine, compris- 
ing two small states, which had been united previous 
to 1620. It was a beautiful country of vineyards and 
gardens, with a soft climate, under the mild govern- 
ment of an herediary ruler styled the Palatine. Prior 
to the Reformation its people lived in the utmost 
plenty and content. But their ruler early espoused 
the cause of Luther, and, in the fierce rehgious wars 
that followed, the Palatinate was in many instances 
the battle-ground of the contending parties. Yet the 
people recovered quickly from every blow, and still 
clung to their land and faith. At length, in 1689, the 
armies of Louis XIV of France marched into the 



92 In Olde New York 

country and ravaged it utterly, the pretext being that 
it was used as a haven of refuge for the king's Huguenot 
subjects, whom he was then engaged in extirpating. 
Everything was utterly destroyed except the bare soil, 
— churches, houses, public buildings, cattle, fair iSelds, 
pleasant vineyards. In that time of terror the Elector 
from his castle at Mannheim beheld two cities and 
twenty-five towns in flames. Lust and cruelty were 
satiated. The people pleading for mercy on bended 
knees were thrust forth into the fields. Three thou- 
sand one hundred and fifty square miles of territory 
were left a blackened waste, and the wretched in- 
habitants driven into exile. Wandering homeless and 
friendless through Europe for several years, the thoughts 
of the more intelligent among them turned at length 
to England as a possible haven. Good Queen Anne 
had succeeded to the EngUsh throne : ties of blood con- 
nected her with the hapless Count Palatine, she being 
a cousin of the first degree: besides, she was known to 
sympathize deeply with the persecuted Protestants of 
Europe, of every nationality. And so it happened 
that in the spring of 1708 a little band of Palatine 
exiles landed at Whitehall and filed through the Lon- 
don streets in search of friends among their co-religion- 
ists. There were forty-one of them, — men, women, 
and children, — natives of Neuberg on the Rhine, and 
all bore certificates of good character and that they 
had been stripped of everything by the army of France, 



The Story of the Palatines 93 

signed by the bailiffs of their native town. Their 
leader was a grave, thoughtful man of mature years, — 
their pastor, Joshua Kockerthal, "Evangelical minis- 
ter," as he is called in the Lords of Trade Documents, 
— a Great-heart who had led the little band in all 
their wanderings and had now safely conducted them 
to England. Pastor Kockerthal lost no time in pre- 
senting to Queen Anne a petition, in which he asked 
to be sent with his own company, and others of his 
countrymen that might follow, to her majesty's colonies 
in America. 

Never did petition receive from authority a more 
favorable hearing. Queen Anne's womanly heart was 
moved to pity by the woes of the exiles. To her 
ministers the petition seemed to open the way to a 
master-stroke of pohcy in the settlement of the colonies. 
The aggressions of the French in Canada were then 
beginning to be felt along the whole northern frontiers 
of New England and New York, and the planting of a 
large body of Germans, natural enemies of France, 
on the frontier was a pohcy to be pursued with spirit. 
They heartily seconded, therefore, the queen's design 
of sending the petitioners to her colony of New York. 
The queen defrayed the cost of their transit, it is said, 
from her own private purse. Sending for Pastor 
Kockerthal, she questioned liim concerning his history 
and that of his people, promised him free transporta- 
tion with his company to their new homes, and agreed 



94 In Olde New York 

further to furnish them with seed, agricultural tools, 
and furniture, lands free of tax and quit-rent, and to 
support them for one year, or until their first harvest 
could be reaped. To Pastor Kockerthal Queen Anne 
was even more generous, granting liim five hundred 
acres as a glebe for the support of liis wife and cliildren 
besides a douceur of twenty pounds for the purchase 
of books and clothing. The males were also nat- 
uralized by the Crown before leaving. The ship 
Lyon was got ready, and sailed early in August, 1708, 
in company with Lord Lovelace, who had been ap- 
pointed governor of New York. There were fifty-two 
Palatines on board, — one a babe of two weeks, and 
several others of tender age. 

The majority of the adults were vinedressers and 
husbandmen; but there were also a smith, a carpenter, 
a weaver, and a stocking-maker among them. Few 
particulars of the voyage have been preserved. They 
had a long and stormy passage of more than four 
months, reaching New York late in December, 1708. 
Several of the passengers had died on the voyage, 
nearly all were sick, and the whole company was 
quarantined for some weeks on Staten Island before 
being admitted to the city. As soon as possible. Lord 
Lovelace set about selecting a site for their settlement. 
On the west bank of the Hudson, just above the High- 
lands, familiar now to travelers as the site of the city 
of Newburgh, there was a tract of country that in soil 



The Story of the Palatines 95 

and natural scenery was thought as near an approach 
to that of the Rhine as could be found in the New 
World ; and here the little band of storm-tossed voyagers 
was established. 

The tract granted them comprised two thousand 
one hundred and ninety acres, and was laid out in nine 
lots leading back from the river, including a glebe of 
five hundred acres for the minister. Here the wan- 
derers made a clearing, erected houses, built roads and 
bridges, and, in due time, added a church and school- 
house, which Queen Anne furnished with a bell,* and 
thus laid the foundations of an enterprising and flourish- 
ing town. 

Pastor Kockerthal remained only long enough to 
estabhsh liis flock in their fold. The country pleased 
him. The government had fulfilled its promises to 

' This bell is still preserved in the city of Newburgh as a precious 
relic. It is a small bell, of about twenty-five pounds' weight, very 
sweet in tone, and bears the inscription "Una fecit Amsterdammi, 
17 — ." Its \acissitudes have been many. When first given to the 
Palatines, their church was not ready, and it was loaned for a season 
to the Lutheran church in New York. On the abdication of their 
grant by the Palatines, it became the property of the Church of Eng- 
land, which succeeded to the glebe, and on the outbreak of the 
Revolution was buried in a swamp to prevent its falling into the 
hands of the Whigs. Later it called the village children to school 
and then, in a few years superseded in this high office by a new bell, 
it was hung in the stables of the village hotel to give the hour to the 
workmen. When the wTiter first saw it, in the spring of 1882, it 
hung in a grocery-store; and he understands that it has since been 
removed to the Washington Head quarters for preservation. 



96 In Olde New York 

the letter, and he felt that he could not remain at ease 
until his bruised and smitten countrymen in Germany 
had been brought to this land of plenty and liberty. 
In a few months he embarked, again made the tem- 
pestuous voyage, appeared before the queen, and, 
having gained her countenance for his project, set out 
for Germany to collect his co-religionists and lead 
them, a second Joshua, to the promised land. By the 
fall of 1709 he had assembled three thousand exiles 
at different points on the Rhine, eager for the enter- 
prise, and late in the year they came to England, 
touching on the way at Leyden. 

The Enghsh government had encouraged Pastor 
Kockerthal's mission, if it had not directly authorized 
it: still, with a l;yTix-eyed opposition scanning its every 
move, it hesitated at incurring the expense of trans- 
porting this large body of emigrants to America and 
subsisting them there for a twelvemonth, as it had 
done their predecessors. There happened to be in 
London at this juncture a gentleman — Colonel 
Robert Hunter — who, having been recently appointed 
governor of New York, took a great interest in the 
affairs of the province, and who suggested a plan for 
reheving the ministry of its difficulty. This plan was 
to employ the Palatines after their arrival in the pro- 
duction of naval stores until the expenses of their 
transit had been fully met. In 1698 a commission had 
been appointed to inquire into the capacity of the 



The Story of the Palatines 97 

American colonies for the production of naval stores, 
and to survey the woods and forests for masts, oak 
timber, pitch-pine, and land suitable for the produc- 
tion of hemp, the sanguin6 ministers evidently beUev- 
ing that American oak in English shipyards was some- 
thing to be desired. A bounty had also been offered 
for every barrel of tar or turpentine imported from 
America. Colonel Hunter's reasonings on the sub- 
ject, as subsequently adopted and reported by the 
Lords of Trade to the queen, were novel and inter- 
esting. "Your majesty," it was argued, "imports 
four thousand seven hundred barrels of tar yearly 
from the Baltic States. It has been found in America 
that one man can make six tons of stores per year; 
and several working together could make double that 
in proportion. We suppose that six hundred men 
employed in it will produce seven thousand tons a 
year, which, if more than your majesty needs, could be 
profitably employed in trade with Spain and Portugal." 
The cost of production was estimated at five pounds 
a ton, and that of transportation at four pounds, at 
which figures it could be sold as low as Norway tar; 
and calculations were made to show how easy it would 
be in this way for the Palatines to refund the money 
advanced them, while at the same time they could be 
making their homes in the wilderness. The recom- 
mendations of the Lords of Trade were adopted. 
The Palatines signed a contract agreeing to settle 



98 In Olde New York 

on such lands as should be allotted them, not to leave 
them without the governor's permission, not to en- 
gage in woolen-manufacture, and to suffer the naval 
stores produced to be devoted to the payment of the 
money advanced. The queen, on her part, agreed 
to transport them to New York, to subsist them for 
one year after their arrival, to furnish them with seed 
and implements, and to grant them, as soon as the 
debt was paid, forty acres of land each, to be free of 
tax or quit-rent for seven years. There was at this 
time in the beautiful Mohawk Valley, on the site of 
the present towns of Herkimer and German Flats, 
a tract of ungranted land to which the Indians held 
a quasi claim, although it was not occupied by them; 
and tliis was selected as the site of the Palatine settle- 
ment. 

To Colonel Hunter was assigned the duty of plant- 
ing the exiles in their new home. The instructions 
given to this gentleman show that much macliinery 
was set in motion by the enterprise. Mr. Bridger, her 
majesty's Surveyor-General of America, was ordered 
down from New England to instruct the people in the 
art of making tar. Overseers were appointed to keep 
them at work, at a salary of one hundred pounds per 
annum, a commissary to receive the stores, at two 
hundred pounds for himself and clerk, and a factor 
in England to place the stores on the market there, 
at the usual rate of commission. Ten vessels were 



The Story of the Palatines 99 

got ready to transport the colony. They rendezvoused 
at Plymouth, the point of departure of so many pilgrim 
companies, and here, early in the spring of 1710, the 
company embarked. The scene must have been one 
of unusual and pathetic interest, though no account 
of it has come down to us. The voyage was to be the 
complement of twenty years' wanderings, and its end 
rest, competency, home. So large an hegira had never 
been known before, at least in modern times, and was 
not subsequently equaled. Three thousand people, 
— men, women, children, babes in arms, — repre- 
senting nearly all crafts, professions, and conditions, 
gathered on the pier, all placed on a level by one hard 
condition, — biting poverty. There were hand-shak- 
ings and mutual farewells, then the heave-ho of the 
sailors, the filling of sails, and the fleet moved slowly 
out of the harbor. Tradition says that an event of 
e\'il moment attended the departure: a boat passing 
from one ship to another was capsized and all its pas- 
sengers drowned; and almost before the land had sunk 
from view a storm arose and scattered the fleet, one 
vessel — the Berkeley Castle — being so disabled that 
she was obliged to put into Portsmouth for repairs, 
and reached New York several days beliind the other 
vessels. The voyage was long and disastrous. Crowded 
into small vessels, supplied probably with insufficient 
food, tossed by the sea, and worn out by their pre- 
vious sufferings, sickness broke out among the poor 



100 In Olde New York 

people, and death reaped a fearful harvest. Almost 
the only details of the passage are given in two letters 
from Governor Hunter to the Lords of Trade, dated 
at New York, — the first, June 16, 1710, in which he 
says that he had arrived there two days before, and 
adds, " We want three of the Palatine ships, and those 
arrived are in a desperately sickly condition." He 
writes again July 24, "The Palatine ships are all safe, 
except the Herbert frigate, with tents and arms, cast 
away on the east end of Long Island, July 7. The 
men are safe, the goods damaged. The Berkeley 
Castle, left at Portsmouth, not in. The poor people 
have been mighty sickly, but recover apace. We have 
lost about four hundred and seventy of our number." 
Four hundred and seventy out of a total of three 
thousand ! 

The exiles once landed, Mr. Bridger was sent off 
to the Mohawk lands to see if they were suited for the 
purpose in view, and returned in due time with an un- 
favorable report. The lands were undoubtedly good, 
he admitted, but the entire absence of pines precluded 
the idea of using them for the production of naval 
stores; and even if pines were to be had, their remote- 
ness from market was an insuperable objection : besides, 
if the people were settled on these extreme frontiers 
they could not be protected from the inroads of the 
French and Indians, — as if the government had not 
designed planting them there as a check to those in- 



The Story of the Palatines 101 

roads. To get a correct idea of the animus of this 
report, we must glance briefly at the state of the colony 
of New York. After the conquest of India, it came to 
be regarded as an asylum for bankrupt politicians and 
impecunious younger sons of the English nobility, 
who went out poor, and in a few years, by the simple 
process of peculation in ofiice, returned rich. New 
York at this time sustained much such a relation to 
the mother country, though of course in lesser degree. 
Pirates and smugglers in the ports, land-grabbers, tax- 
collectors, and commissaries in the interior, offered 
rare opportunities to officials with itching palms. 
Most of the land then taken up was held in great 
estates by certain patroons and lords of manors, who 
held the rights of the commonalty in utter contempt. 
These men had great influence with the colonial govern- 
ment. There was what would be called now a "ring" 
at Albany, that had already cast covetous eyes on the 
beautiful Mohawk Valley and were not willing that it 
should be given to a band of needy German emigrants. 
While Mr. Bridger was making his survey. Gover- 
nor Hunter had been approached on the subject by 
one of these gentlemen, Robert Livingston. Mr. 
Livingston was a native of Scotland, a man of ability 
and great force of character, who, in several offices 
had done the colony good service, but who was tainted 
with the leprosy of covetousness. By means of these 
oflBces and his interest with the royal governors he had 



102 In Olde New York 

become very wealthy, and was now the owner of a 
manor of one hundred and sixty thousand acres. His 
manor-house stood some six miles back from the 
Hudson, on a knoll overlooking one of the intervales 
of the river, and has been described as "a long, low, 
rambhng dwelling of stone, with heavy roofs, stout 
oaken doors, and windows so deeply set in the walls 
that they looked like embrasures." Within it was fur- 
nished with some approach to European elegance. 
Over his wide domain Livingston ruled as an autocrat. 
He had been endowed with all the rights enjoyed by 
English lords of the manor, had many retainers in his 
hall, many horses in his stalls, and the command of a 
militia company formed of his followers, all of which 
combined with his free hospitality to make him popular 
at home and potent in affairs of state. 

Mr. Livingston advanced the objections to the 
Mohawk lands which have been stated, and proposed 
instead a tract of six thousand acres on his own manor, 
heavily timbered, contiguous to the river, and in every 
way suited to the object. He would dispose of it for 
such a purpose at a sacrifice, — four hundred pounds 
sterling. Without entering into details, we may say 
that the offer was accepted. In October, 1710, the 
poor Palatines, robbed of the Canaan which had been 
promised them, were planted in the gloomy pine 
forest on the Livingston estate. Some refused the 
hard conditions and remained in New York, founding 



The Story of the Palatines 103 

there the first Lutheran church in this country; others 
joined their countrymen in Pennsylvania. Those that 
went were settled in five villages, or "dorfs," — three 
on the east bank, known as the East Camp, and two 
on the west bank, directly opposite, on a tract of un- 
granted land, called West Camp. Two thousand two 
hundred and twenty-seven Palatines were settled here, 
the remainder having died or been left at New York 
and other points. 

Queen Anne, it will be remembered, had agreed to 
maintain the colonists for a year after their arrival. 
The stated daily stipend had been fixed at sixpence 
for adults and fourpence for children before leaving 
England. The contract for supplying them was given 
to Livingston. The rations furnished, according to 
the terms of his contract, which is still in existence, 
were a third of a loaf of bread a day, the loaves of such 
size and sort as were sold in New York for fourpence 
halfpenny, and a quart of beer from liis brew-house. 
The first act of the settlers was to build rude log houses 
for shelter; their next, to clear the ground. The homes 
so long and ardently looked forward to were at last 
theirs. How depressingly must they have compared 
with the homes they had left! Instead of the smiling 
fields and vineyards of the Fatherland, a gloomy pine 
forest, extending far as the eye could reach; instead 
of the Rhine, a sullen, forest-fringed river; in place of 
busy city and romantically-perched castle, the log hut 



104 In Olde New York 

of the settler and the wigwam of the savage. Quite 
different, too, from what they had been accustomed to 
were the duties that awaited them here. Instead of 
the reaping and sowing, dressing of the vine and 
treading of the purple vintage, the hard, thankless 
task of the pioneer, — forests to hew, houses to build, 
lands to clear, roads to open, a dock to construct; 
and to these was added the drudgery of a distasteful 
occupation. The first winter they were employed in 
building houses and making clearings. In the spring, 
under harsh taskmasters, they began discharging their 
obligations to the queen, and continued it, many of 
them, for twelve long years of serAatude. 

Their first act was to prepare the trees for tar- 
making. In the spring, when the sap was up, they 
barked the north side of the tree; in the fall, before 
the sap was down, the south side; in the succeeding 
spring, the east side, and in the fall again, the west side, 
— the object being to retain the sap in the wood. 
Two years were required by tliis process to prepare 
the tree. Then, when it was fully dead, it was cut 
into convenient lengths, and the tar extracted from it 
by slow combustion in a rude kiln. Turpentine was 
extracted by bleeding the trees, as is now practised. 
So earnest were the overseers that the boys and girls 
were set to gathering pine knots, from which alone, 
Governor Hunter reported, sixty barrels of tar were 
made during the first season. 



The Story of the Palatines 105 

It was not long before the poor Palatines discovered 
that they had sold themselves into a virtual slavery. 
The clause in their contract which granted them their 
lands only when they should have repaid the cost of 
their transportation was fatal to their liberty; for it 
soon became apparent that naval stores could not be 
produced on the Hudson so cheaply and of such 
quality as the British ministry had predicted, that 
when sold in open market they could not com- 
pete with the Swedish article, and that after the 
salaries of instructors, commissaries, overseers, agents, 
and clerks were paid, very little was left to the 
credit of the Palatines. The prospect of discharg- 
ing their debt by these means in that century 
seemed hopeless. The condition of the emigrants 
soon became pitiable: they were looked upon as 
paupers subsisting on the bounty of government, and 
treated accordingly. The neighboring white settlers 
regarded them as interlopers, and had little inter- 
course with them, and then only to fan their discon- 
tent. Nearly all the officials made a spoil of them; 
but none aroused so many bitter complaints as did the 
chief commissary, Robert Livingston. It was alleged 
that the bread he furnished them was moldy and 
lacked the stipulated weight, and that the beer was so 
bad as to be undrinkable; furthermore, that by his 
interest with the overseers they were oftener employed 
in clearing the manor lauds than on their own reser- 



106 In Olde New York 

vation.^ More than once these complaints became so 
bitter that Governor Hunter came in person to in- 
vestigate them. He was accompained by his stafiF, 
and was received with every mark of consideration 
and respect at the manor-house. Samples of the 
bread and beer furnished were shown him; he heard 
the statements of the contractor; and the conclusion 
of the matter was a speech to the disaffected, in which 
he recounted the goodness of the queen and upbraided 
them for a set of sturdy rogues who were making but 
a poor return for the favors shown them. 

They had, however, other grounds of complaint. 
Sickness was rife among them, and they were without 
medicines or physicians. Their children were bound 

1 A caustic letter from the Earl of Clarendon to Lord Dartmouth, 
Secretary of State, gives color to these charges. He says: "I think 
it unhappy that Colonel Hunter at his first arrival in his government 
has fallen into such ill hands, for this Livingston has been known 
many years in that province for a very ill man. He formerly vict- 
ualled the forces at Albany, in which he was guilty of most notorious 
frauds by which he greatly improved his estate. He has a mill and 
brew-house upon his land, and if he can get the victualling of the 
Palatines, who are so conveniently posted for his purpose, he will make 
a good addition to his estate. ... I am of opinion, if subsistence 
be all, the conclusion will be that Livingston and some others will 
get large estates, the Palatines will be none the richer, but will be 
confirmed in that laziness they are already prone to." The earl, 
however, was opposed to the emigration of the Palatines. It is just 
to Livingston to say that a commissioner appointed to inquire Into 
his accounts while quartermaster exonerated him from charges 
of fraud. 



The Story of the Palatines 107 

out without their consent, and, under colonial law, 
became the property of their masters as absolutely 
as the cattle in their stalls. In 1711, in the war against 
Canada, a requisition for soldiers had been served 
upon them, and three hundred of their best men had 
accompanied Colonel Nicholson in the campaign 
against Montreal, — not all of whom returned. Their 
chief grievance, however, lay in the fact that the beauti- 
ful country which had been promised them, and which 
was to furnish homes for themselves and their children, 
was withheld, — that by a clause in the contract which 
they had misunderstood they were held in bondage. 
There was much discontent among them on these 
grounds during the first winter, not allayed when 
some bold spirits who had penetrated the wilderness 
to the promised land returned with glowing accounts 
of its beauty and fertility. 

Good Pastor Kockerthal spent most of his time 
with his afflicted brethren, leaving the little flock at 
Newburgh to the care of local elders. He attended 
the sick, and knelt at the bedside of the dying with 
prayers and words of consolation. He counseled 
patience and moderation, cheered them with the 
h3nims of the Fatherland, and was until death the 
guide and comforter of the people.^ 

* This unsung apostle died in 1719, and was buried in the midst 
of the people he had loved so well. His grave is still to be seen in 
West Camp, in the present town of Saugerties, — a sort of vault 



108 In Olde New York 

The pastor was powerless to allay all feeling of dis- 
content, however, and in May, 1711, Governor Hunter 
was hastily summoned to the manor to quell a mutiny 
which had broken out among the Palatines. They 
had risen against their overseers, he was told, declaring 
that they would go to the lands at Schoharie which 
the queen had given them. Hunter, with sixty soldiers 
whom he had ordered down from the garrison at 
Albany, marched into the midst of the villages and 
summoned the chiefs to an account. They stated 
their grievances, which have been enumerated. 

The governor, in reply, reminded them of their 
solemn contract, and of their obligations to the queen, 
assured them that the Scoharie country was still 

in a field near the Hudson, covered with a large flat stone, on which 

is inscribed, in German, this mystical epitaph: 

Wise Wanderer 

Under this stone rests near his 

Sybilla Charlotte 

A True Wanderer 

The Joshua 

of the High Dutch in North America and the 

same in the East and West 

Hudson's River 

Poor Lutheran Preacher 

His first arrival was with Lord Lovelace 1707-8 

January the 1st 

His second was with Col. Hunter 1710 

June the 14th 

His voyage to England brought forth his heavenly 

voyage on St. John's Day 1719. 



The Story of the Palatines 109 

occupied by Indians, and that if they were settled 
there they could not be protected from the French. 
They still continued rebellious, however, and he ended 
the matter summarily by disarming them and putting 
them under the care of captains or directors, as the 
queen's hired servants. After this exploit he returned 
to New York. For a year the Palatines, deprived of 
their arms and under the eye of the miUtary, remained 
passive. 

Pastor Kockerthal, writing of them at this period, 
says: "All are at work and busy, but manifestly with 
repugnance and only temporarily. They think the 
tract intended for them a Canaan, but dangerous to 
settle now, so they have patience. But they will not 
Hsten to tar-making." In the fall of 1712 the governor 
informed them that they must depend upon themselves 
for subsistence thereafter, as his funds were exhausted. 
The winter passed in not very successful efforts to keep 
the wolf from the door, and in laying plans for a re- 
moval to Scoharie as soon as spring should open. 
This region seems to have been the Canaan of the 
wanderers. Roseate visions of it had been flitting 
through their minds since their departure from Eng- 
land. Hunters and trappers with whom they came in 
contact gave glowing accounts of its beauty and fer- 
tility. It lay in the valley of the Scoharie, near its 
junction with the Mohawk, some thirty miles west of 
Albany. It was a natural prairie of rich, deep soil. 



110 In Olde New York 

once used by the Indians for corn-lands, but which 
in their retreat westward had been abandoned. 

Early in May, 1713, a large body of the people, 
some five hundred in number, proceeded by water to 
Albany, with the purpose of entering the valley from 
thence. Conrad Weiser, one of the seven captains, 
was the leader, — Pastor Kockerthal remaining at the 
Camps. There is no more beautiful drive to-day 
than the old road from Albany to Scoharie, which 
follows the hne of the Indian trail that led the emigrants 
to their happy valley. The company journeyed on 
foot: they had neither vehicle nor draft-animal of 
any sort. The men carried their arms, seeds, im- 
plements, and household effects on their backs; each 
matron had a babe in arms, a group of Httle toddlers 
beside her, and perhaps a sack of provisions or bundle 
of clothing on her back. An Indian, in paint and 
feathers, led the way. Thus accoutered, they were 
three days making the journey. At night they camped 
in the open air, building fires to keep away the wolves. 
Up the heights of the Helderberg, one of the northern- 
most spurs of the Catskills, they toiled, and on over 
ridge and valley, until, on the tliird day, from the 
foot-hills of Fox Creek they caught sight of the Scho- 
harie intervale. It is dotted now with villages and 
rich with broad, green fields surrounding farmhouses 
where content and abundance reside, — one of the 
garden-spots of the Empire State, — a valley so lovely 



The Story of the Palatines 111 

that when viewed on a June day from its encircling 
hills the eye is loath to turn from the entrancing 
sight. It was beautiful then, though art had done 
nothing for it; and eagerly the wanderers thronged into 
it and began the erection of their homes. They 
established themselves in seven villages, each named 
after its head man, and to each householder was 
allotted forty acres of land to clear, fence, and till 
as his own. The settlement soon grew into a thrifty 
and prosperous community, and for sixty years nothing 
occurred to disturb its serenity except the recurrence 
of one question, that of the title to the lands. 

At an early period, Nicholas Bayard, an agent of 
the Crown, arrived, and sent word to the householders 
that if they would describe to him the boundaries of 
their land he would give them a free deed in the name 
of the queen. But the people had grown suspicious 
of government officials, and, looking on this as some 
new device to deprive them of their lands, treated the 
agent so roughly that he fled to Schenectady. From 
that place he again offered to give to whoever would 
appear there with a single ear of com and describe liis 
boundaries a free deed and title in perpetuity. The 
people, however, still suspicious, refused tliis offer; 
and Bayard then repaired to Albany, where he sold 
the title to the Scoharie lands to five landholders, — 
one of them being Robert Livingston, Jr. These 
gentlemen soon called on the settlers, either to pur- 



112 In Olde New York 

chase the lands they had cleared, take out loans, or be 
evicted, and, no notice being taken of the summons, 
sent the sheriff of Albany to dispossess them. It was a 
general notion that the Palatines were a mild, inoffen- 
sive, pusillanimous people, who would submit to any 
injustice rather than break the peace: so the sheriff 
proceeded on his mission unaccompanied by even a 
deputy, and, putting up at the public house in Weiser's 
dorf, made known his conditions to the villagers. It 
is not recorded that the men made any objection to 
these harsh terms; but the mob of women that soon 
gathered at the door convinced him that he had made 
a mistake. They were Amazons, these women, strong 
daughters of the hoe and plough, bare-armed, scant 
of skirt, strong-limbed from frequent journeys to 
Schenectady bearing the bag of grain to be floured; 
and it was but the work of a moment for two of them 
to hustle the little sheriff from his retreat into their 
midst. There he was knocked down, rolled in the 
mire where the hogs wallowed, and then placed on a 
rail and ridden " skimmington " through four villages, 
— Hartman's, Bruna's, Smith's, and Fox's dorfs, — 
in all, hissed and hooted at and pelted with mud as the 
rogue who had come to deprive the people of their 
homes. At length the poor wretch, more dead than 
alive, was set down on the Mill bridge, seven miles 
from his starting-point, and bidden to betake himself 
to his masters, lest worse evils should befall him. Our 



The Story of the Palatines 113 

heroines, however, paid dearly for their sport on this 
occasion. For a long time their liege-lords refused to 
go to Albany to trade, sending their wives instead, well 
knowing that they would be held responsible for the 
sheriff's discomfiture. After a while, however, thinking 
the storm had blown over, several of them ventured, 
and were summarily seized by the proprietors and kept 
in prison until they agreed to pay the price demanded 
for their lands. 

It is time, however, that we should return to glance 
briefly at the history of their fellow-pioneers whom 
we left on the Hudson. These as a body remained 
where Governor Hunter had placed them until after 
the death of the good pastor Kockerthal in 1719. In 
1721 some of the more enterprising began agitating a 
removal to the rich bottomlands of the Mohawk 
promised by Queen Anne. Their agents were sent 
out, and selected a tract of land at the confluence of 
Canada Creek with the Mohawk, on which the pros- 
perous towns of Herkimer and German Flats now 
stand. Governor Burnett confirmed this tract to them 
by a patent dated January 17, 1722, and a detachment 
of ninety-two persons made a settlement here, proba- 
bly in the spring of that year. To each head of a 
family was allotted forty acres of land, and the indus- 
try of the owners soon made every acre as productive 
as a garden. 

The long-coveted material for homes was at last 



114 In Olde New York 

secured to them, and hope made every muscle active 
and enduring. For thirty-five years the settlers Uved 
a sort of Acadian Hfe. Their Indian neighbors, the 
Six Nations, through the influence of Sir William 
Johnson, continued at peace with the English. Ques- 
tions of title and boundaries which disturbed their 
compatriots at Scoharie were never raised here. 
Their lands were perhaps the richest ever tilled, and, 
with their simple and economical habits, a generation 
was sufficient to make them thrifty and comfortable 
land-holders, with large framed dwellings, capacious 
bams, schools, churches, and mills. This fair dream 
of peace was rudely dispelled, however, in the autumn 
of 1757, when a body of three hundred French and 
Indians, under M. De Beletre, suddenly appeared 
before the settlements on the north side of the Mohawk. 
Part of the inhabitants fled to rude forts, or, rather, 
block-houses, which had been constructed for such an 
emergency, and from this retreat beheld the torch 
appHed to their houses, barns, and ricks, their live- 
stock herded for driving away, and such of their rela- 
tives as had not been able to reach the fort captured 
or inhumanly butchered. Next the enemy appeared 
before the block-house and summoned the people to 
surrender, threatening to show no mercy if compelled 
to take it, and the captains, deeming discretion the 
better part of valor, opened the gates. The command- 
ing oflBcer then massed the prisoners, as he had the 



The Story of the Palatines 115 

plunder, and the long, weary march to Canada was 
begun. The settlement was utterly laid waste. Sixty 
buildings were burned, forty dead were left on the 
ground unburied, and one hundred and fifty men, 
women, and children were borne away into the wilder- 
ness to suflFer the horrors of Indian captivity. 

The settlements on the south side, directly opposite, 
were untouched, the ravagers fearing to remain long 
in the neighborhood, lest news of their exploits should 
bring Sir Willaim and his Iroquois upon them. With 
tliis single exception, however, the three principal 
Palatine settlements — on the Mohawk, the Sco- 
harie, and the Hudson — enjoyed, during the colonial 
era, the blessings of peace. Sir William died early in 
1774, some said by his own hand to avoid acting against 
his friends in the struggle which he saw to be inevitable. 
The struggle quickly followed his death, and it found 
the unhappy Palatines on the border between the two 
contending factions. Fate to this people must have 
seemed inexorable. Considering the persecutions and 
miseries they had suflfered in the Old World, the oppres- 
sions and extortions that met them in the New, and 
the horrors visited upon them in the Revolutionary 
struggle, we must admit that there never Uved a people 
more hardly used. At the beginning of hostiUties, it 
will be remembered, the Six Nations renewed their 
allegiance to the British cause, and the Crown at once 
let them loose on the American settlements, stimulating 



116 In Olde New York 

their native ferocity by the offer of a bounty of eight 
dollars for every scalp brought in. 

The Palatine settlements, from their defenseless 
condition, and the fact that the people were less skilful 
in the use of arms than their Yankee neighbors, became 
early a favorite hunting-ground for the red rangers. 
The murders, burnings, torturings, and other atrocities 
committed here during the war would be deemed in- 
credible were they not so well authenticated. Wives 
saw their husbands murdered, scalped, and impaled 
on the pickets that fenced their gardens. Wives were 
brained and scalped before the eyes of their husbands, 
children in the presence of their parents; babes were 
torn from their mothers' breasts to be dashed upon the 
stones; and the hellish carnival generally ended with 
the burning of all that the settler had gathered by 
years of toil, and the carrying away into captivity of 
such as savage fancy had spared. 

These outrages were committed, not by large bodies 
of men whose coming could be discovered and guarded 
against, but by detached bands, whose approach was 
as stealthy as the panther's and who sprang upon the 
settlements in the secure hour when no danger was 
apprehended. Their effect was to almost depopulate 
the Mohawk Valley. In 1781 it was estimated that 
fully one third of the inhabitants had been killed or 
captured; and most of the remainder had fled within 
the American lines for safety. 



The Story of the Palatines 117 

It is pleasant to know, however, that this was the last 
severe affliction visited upon this long-suffering people. 
After the war the survivors returned to their ruined 
homes; the soil was left them, and returned generous 
harvests, as if in pity for their misfortunes, and a gen- 
eration later the visitor to the beautiful valley could 
discover scarcely a trace of the ruthless hand of war. 



CHAPTER XI 

A DECAYED STRONGHOLD 

LOITERING at Ticonderoga, through bright 
autumn days, long after the stream of tourists 
had run away, we made many voyages of discovery, 
each so interesting that it might with profit occupy 
a week of a summer sojourn. One should establish 
himself at the pretty village of Ticonderoga, up the 
outlet of Lake George, where one finds good hotels 
and all the amenities. Lake George is three miles 
away on the south, and Lake Champlain two miles 
on the east, while at the door in the falls of the outlet is 
almost every variety of form that falling water can 
assume. This outlet, as it leaves Lake George, is a 
considerable mill stream of clear cold water, sparkUng 
and murmuring among meadows until reaching the 
village it falls nearly 250 feet in as many yards, cover- 
ing almost at a leap the difference in level between the 
two lakes. In its natural state the cataract must have 
been a romantic picture, but its waters are now ^ so 
obstructed by dams and vexed by mill-wheels that 
much of their beauty has vanished. Pulp mills en- 
^This was written in 1886. 







t 2 



A Decayed Stronghold 119 

gaged in making paper from the poplar which grows 
along the lake shore, a woolen mill, and long, low 
workshops, in which the graphite found in the neigh- 
boring hills is prepared for market, are now clustered 
beside the cataract, and about them lies the village 
comprising some 1900 inhabitants. Below, the out- 
let flows through a woody glen to Lake Champlain, 
so deep and quiet that it is easily navigable by small 
steamers ; and then comes the lake, — so narrow and 
shallow here that the Vermont Central has thrown a 
draw-bridge across it to connect its system with that 
of the Delaware and Hudson, but lengthening itself 
out like a ribbon to Whitehall, twenty-two miles south. 
One might spend days rounding the fir-clad promon- 
tories or skirting the gently-circling bay shores with- 
out discovering one half its beauties. 

The great feature of interest, however, is old Fort 
Ticonderoga. As one glides from the outlet into the 
lake he sees over a marsh on the left a gaunt, craggy 
promontory rising abruptly out of the water and 
stretching back into the forest a well-defined wall of 
trap a hundred feet above the level of the lake. The 
railway coming up from Whitehall pierces the barrier 
by a tunnel. On the right, in the curve of the bay 
formed partly by tliis promontory, is the dock where 
the large lake steamers land their passengers for Lake 
George. This promontory is Ticonderoga, one of the 
most historic spots in America. Clambering up its 



120 In Olde New York 

ledges to the summit, one finds a green, slightly rolling 
plateau, with black rocks outcropping here and there 
among the grass, and in its center gaunt and ragged 
walls of masonry. In some of them embrasures still 
gape, and beside them moat and sally-port, north and 
west bastions, parade, and barracks are still traceable. 
A httle further east, where the cliff projects over the 
water, may be defined the outlines of a redoubt. 
Sheep are feeding now among the grim ruins, and one 
may linger all day without being disturbed by any 
chance passer. It is a strange, eventful history that 
of this rock. When the French engineers of Baron 
Dieskau first selected it, and raised here the walls of 
their Fort Carillon, they did it to command the great 
highway between the English colonies on the south 
and their own Dominion of Canada, a highway which, 
making use of the Hudson and the two lakes — George 
and Champlain — gave almost uninterrupted water 
communication between the St. Lawrence and the 
Atlantic at New York. And so it came about that all 
the wars between these French and EngHsh colonies 
resolved themselves into a struggle for the possession 
of this commanding rock. In Uke manner it became 
the first point aimed at and won by the American 
colonies in their later struggle against England for 
independence. Strange memories cluster about the 
gray old ruin, which a dreamy October day is apt to 
revivify. First a thousand gay Frenchmen in blue 



A Decayed Stronghold 121 

coats, and half as many Iroquois in war paint and 
feathers, march away up the outlet toward Lake George, 
bound on the congenial errand of a midnight assault 
on some unguarded fortress or sleeping settlement. 
But in a few days they come streaming back broken, 
defeated. They have met Johnson and his provin- 
cials at Fort William Henry, at the head of the lake. 
Next, Vaudreuil comes on the same errand, wading 
through the March snows, but is broken on the same 
sturdy barrier. But the Frenchmen still persist, and 
five months later Montcalm, with pennons waving 
over 8000 men in arms, comes up the lake bound to 
sweep the English from Lake George. He does it, 
but the year is hardly out ere Abercrombie, with 15,000 
Englishmen, sits down before the fort and demands 
its surrender. There is a heady fight, and the fort 
holds out, but the English retreat only to reappear 
the next year under an abler general, and overthrow 
the French power in America. 

Under English rule the old fort saw peaceful days. 
The quiet lakes were no more the field of contending 
nations. Iroquois and Mohawks went no more on 
the warpath. A corporal's guard of forty men lounged 
about the crumbling ramparts, watched the lizard 
basking in the sally-port, drank King George's health, 
and shuflfled cards on unused drumheads. Then came 
the morning of the 10th of May, 1775, when in the 
gray dawn a motley band of frontiersmen in backwoods 



122 In Olde New York 

garb, headed by one Ethan Allen, of Bennington, 
swarmed over the parapets and drew up on the parade. 
We should hke to have seen the expression of the old 
red-faced martinet who commanded when confronted 
by this band of farmers and ordered to surrender 
" in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental 
Congress." 



CHAPTER XII 



THE ORISKANY MONUMENT 



GLIDING swiftly eastward on the New York 
Central Railroad and nearing the little village 
of Oriskany, in Oneida County, a tall shaft on a 
neighboring hilltop to the right flashed by. The 
monument is to General Herkimer and the brave 
patriots of 1777, and it marks the Oriskany battle-field 
as well. The whole region is storied ground. We 
left the train at the little station of Oriskany, and 
walked back along the tow-path of the canal for the 
first mile, thence across the latter by a bridge and 
along a rural lane to the liighway which sldrts the 
brow of the hill on which the monument stands. In 
his cottage overlooking the battle-field, we found Mr. 
Rolin M. Lewis, the custodian of the grounds, who 
added much to the interest of our visit by personally 
guiding us to the scenes of greatest interest, and 
which, being unmarked, we would have found by our- 
selves difficult to determine. 

The monument stands where the battle was fought, 
on the edge of a sharp bluff rearing itself above the 
Mohawk Valley, on a plot of five acres of meadow 



124 In Olde New York 

purchased by the Association for the purpose. It is 
of Maine granite, eighty-five feet liigh above the base, 
which is of the valley limestone. On each side of the 
die of the pedestal is a tablet of bronze sLx feet wide 
and four and a half high. Two of the bronzes are 
pictorial, and represent one. General Herkimer direct- 
ing the fight after receiving his mortal wound, the 
other a pioneer and Indian engaged in deadly struggle. 
On one of the remaining tablets is the dedication, and 
on the other a roster containing the names of those 
patriots engaged in the fight, as far as they could be 
learned — but 250 out of 800. The dedication was 
written by Professor Edward North, of Hamilton 
College, and is in excellent taste. It is as fol- 
lows: 

"Here was fought the battle of Oriskany on the 
6th day of August, 1777. Here British invasion was 
checked and thwarted. Here Gen. Nicholas Herkimer, 
intrepid leader of the American forces, though mor- 
tally wounded, kept command of the fight, till the 
enemy had fled. The life blood of more than 200 
patriot heroes made this battle-ground sacred for- 
ever. 

"This Monument was built a.d. 1883 in the year 
of Independence 107, by grateful dwellers in the 
Mohawk Valley, under the direction of the Oneida 
Historical Society, aided by the National Government 
and the State of New York." 




The Oriskany Monument 



The Oriskany Monument 125 

The first mover in the matter of erecting this monu- 
ment was the Continental Congress of 1777, which 
passed the following resolution: 

"That the Governor and Council of New York be 
desired to erect a monument at Continental expense 
of the value of $500 to the memory of the late Briga- 
dier-General Herkimer, who commanded the militia 
of Tryon County, in the State of New York, and was 
killed fighting gallantly in defence of the Hberties of 
these States." 

But the people were too poor to give effect to this 
praiseworthy resolution, and it slumbered until in 
1876 the Oneida Historical Society was formed at 
Utica, when it actively began the work so long delayed. 
Public meetings were held, the press enhsted. Con- 
gress was appealed to, and at length induced to vote 
the original sum of $500, with interest amounting to 
$4100, to which the Legislature of New York added 
$3000 conditional to a like sum being raised by private 
subscription. The monument was erected in 1883, 
and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, in the 
presence of a large audience, on the 6th of August, 
1884, the 107th anniversary of the battle. 

The visitor can but be charmed with the outlook 
from the spot. At his feet is the winding, gently un- 
dulating valley of the Upper Mohawk, covered with 
tilth and grange, the new-born river sparkling in its 
midst. The Erie Canal runs at the foot of the bluff, and 



126 In Olde New York 

beside it the great national highway, the New York 
Central, with its four roadways over which ten trains 
every hour pass. Half-a-dozen boats are in sight on 
the canal, moving sedately in such striking contrast 
to the roar and rush of the train. Rome is but six 
miles away on the west, Utica nine miles on the east. 
Across the valley the hills rise gently in alternate farm 
and forest, with the spire of more than one village 
church pricking above the greenery. 

"This battle of Oriskany," said our friend musingly, 
" would be considered a mere skirmish in our day, but 
it wrought ulterior results of the greatest importance. 
Down there in the Mohawk Valley at Herkimer, 
twenty-four miles distant, in 1725 a colony of German 
Palatines from the Rhenish Palatinate had been settled. 
As has been well said, because they were so well used 
to fire, and sword, battle, siege, and massacre at home, 
they could better stand the savage incursions to which 
that frontier fort was then exposed. 

"Among these Palatines was a certain John Jost 
Herkimer, or properly Hercheimer, who had a son 
Nicholas, who in 1776 had risen to be a leader among 
his people, and for that reason had been appointed 
Brigadier-General of the militia of Tryon County. 
The British plan of battle directed Burgoyne to march 
down Lake Champlain, and Colonel St. Leger with 
an auxiliary force to enter the Mohawk Valley at its 
head and move down it, swelling his column with the 



The Oriskany Monument 127 

Tories and Indians who were numerous then, and 
gathering from its rich fields suppHes for the main 
column, which he was to join at Albany. On the 16th 
of July Herkimer heard that St. Leger had appeared 
at Oswego with a large force bent on this expedition, 
and he at once issued his proclamation calling for 
volunteers to repel the invader. On the 4th of August 
he set out with 800 men to meet the foe who had in- 
vested Fort Stanwix, which stood yonder in the valley 
near the present site of Rome. St. Leger, apprised of 
his coming, sent forward his Tories and Indians to 
form an ambush in yonder ravine, and in the heavy 
timber which then covered this hill. Herkimer's van 
guard came marching along the road yonder, httle 
suspecting danger, when suddenly they were saluted 
with a volley and the deafening yells of the savages. 
Fortunately the German farmers were untrammeled 
by discipline. They broke ranks at once, and fought 
as their enemies fought, from tree to tree and from 
rock to rock. For five long hours the battle continued. 
Herkimer's wliite horse was early killed under him, 
and he was mortally wounded; he directed his saddle 
to be placed on a fallen tree and calmly sat on it, smok- 
ing his pipe and commanding the battle. Two hun- 
dred of the patriots lay dead, when suddenly the 
savages lost heart and fled, giving the day to the brave 
Herkimer and his followers. St. Leger's march was 
stayed. Burgoyne, deprived of his ally, and of the 



128 In Olde New York 

expected provisions, surrendered, and Continental 
affairs assumed an entirely new phase." 

Mr. Lewis took us to a spot on the hillside near the 
ravine and pointed out the site of the tree on which 
Herkimer sat to direct the battle, and then into the 
ravine to see a corduroy road hastily laid by General 
Herkimer on the day of the battle for his troops to cross. 
A ditch had recently been dug across it, cutting through 
some of the logs which were seen to be still in good 
heart. Several of them since the erection of the monu- 
ment had been carried to the sawmill and sawn into 
canes, which had been quickly disposed of as relics of 
the fight. ^ 

* This article was written in 1883. 



CHAPTER Xin 



JOHNSON HALL' 



A S I sit at my window in the village hotel of Johns- 
-*^*- town, I see across green meadows a fine old 
country seat set on a little elevation in a pretty park 
of native trees. The villagers know it as Johnson 
Hall, the former seat of Sir William Johnson, Baronet. 
Perhaps no house in the land has seen stranger vicissi- 
tudes. Council after council of red men has been 
held within its walls; throngs of painted savages have 
surrounded it, sometimes bent on merry-making, 
sometimes on war. Settlers have fled to it for refuge. 
In its old library for twelve long years centered all the 
wires that directed the Indian affairs of the northern 
colonies. Then spies were continually going out from 
it into all the Indian country, and swift runners bear- 
ing belts or messages from the Canada tribes, from 
the Ottawas, Wyandots, Senecas, and Shawnees, and 
from the outposts of Detroit and along the lakes, were 
continually arriving. It has been the scene too of a 
generous hospitality. An Indian princess once pre- 
sided there as its mistress, and entertained at her 
^ First appeared in the New York Evening Post in 1883. 



130 In Olde New York 

board with equal courtesy titled visitors from foreign 
lands, grave colonial gentlemen in wigs and ruffles, 
and the blanketed chieftains of her own nation. 
Groups of merry children, showing the hneaments of 
the Caucasian father and Indian mother, have played 
about its doors. It has been the scene of bridals, 
births, and deaths, of stirring incidents, romantic 
episodes, and diplomatic triumphs without number, 
and now in more peaceful days preserves the stateU- 
ness and dignity befitting a mansion with a history. 
The old house stands on a slight elevation, about a 
mile from the village, in a park of some ten acres, with 
meadows and green fields sloping from it in every 
direction. The approach is by a private road set with 
shade trees. The park is well kept and fragrant with 
flowers and shrubbery. Four great, gaunt poplars 
stand within it which are pointed out as having been 
planted by the Baronet himself, a year after the house 
was built. A row of gnarled old hlac trees set in the 
form of an elhpse, and still blooming in their season, 
were set out by the same hand. 

The Hall itself is a square-roofed two-story and 
attic structure, built of wood clapboarded in the form 
of blocks of stone, and at its best estate had two wings 
built of solid stone and pierced for musketry; but one 
of these, however, is now standing. On entering the 
house its soHdity and wide proportions at once mark 
it as a product of the colonial era. Its timbers are 



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Johnson Hall 131 

massive. The hall running through the building is 
forty feet long by fifteen wide, with a broad staircase 
leading to a similar hall above. The rooms are high 
and spacious and the sides are wainscoted with heavy 
panels and carved work. On the roof is an observa- 
tory from wliich one may look into four counties. 
This, however, did not form a part of the original 
structure. Bow- windows in parlor and dining-room 
have also been added by the present owner. In other 
respects it stands precisely as it was left by its titled 
builder. It was built in 1763, and was then considered 
one of the finest mansions in the colony outside of New 
York. 

Sir WilUam Johnson came of a good family in Ireland 
and arrived in America in 1738, at the age of twenty- 
three, to take charge of a large estate in the Mohawk 
Valley which liis uncle. Captain Peter Warren, had 
purchased some years before. Either through his 
own address or the influence of his family the young 
Irishman "got on" famously in the new world. He 
cleared lands, invited settlers, opened a country store, 
built a flouring mill, and drove a profitable trade with 
the Indians, and in a few years became favorably 
known not only in his own section but at Albany and 
New York. In a few years we find him receiving 
offices from the Crown, but that wliich secured him 
the favor of his Government and brought him wealth 
and honors was the unbounded influence which he 



132 In Olde New York 

soon acquired over his savage neighbors, the Six 
Nations. Perhaps no other man ever studied the 
Indian character, habits, and sympathies so thoroughly, 
or possessed such tact and skill in making use of his 
knowledge. To secure their friendship, he visited 
them in their villages, dressed in their garb, sat in 
their councils, seated them as guests at his own table, 
took part in their ceremonies, and allied himself 
domestically with one of their most powerful clans. 
He early saw the importance to the colony and to Eng- 
land of winning and holding this strong confederacy 
to the EngHsh cause, and that the man who could do 
this was sure of advancement and favor. He Uved 
during the stirring period of the French and Indian 
wars. Wily emissaries of the French were continually 
appearing among the Six Nations, bribing them and 
striving to arouse their prejudices against their neigh- 
bors, the English; but during this entire period the 
influence of this one man held the Indians to their 
fealty and saved the colony from destruction. It was 
natural that he should be rewarded for this. As early 
as 1746 the chief management of Indian affairs was 
entrusted to him and he was given the command of 
several Indian expeditions against the French. In 1755 
he was made a Major-General and given command 
of one of the four armies raised that year for service 
against the French, and after meeting and defeating 
Baron Dieskau on Lake George the Crown created 



Johnson Hall 133 

him a Baronet, while Parliament voted him five thou- 
sand pounds to support the honor. In addition he 
had received at various times immense tracts of land. 
In 1762 he was the owner, either by purchase or grant, 
of nearly all the fertile region now included in the 
county of Fulton, and about this time settled one 
hundred families on the site of the present village of 
Johnstown, and partly for their protection and partly 
to maintain a better espionage over the Indians built 
the old mansion which I have described. The scene 
then was far different from that presented now. A 
heavy forest covered the country, broken only by the 
clearing about the Httle settlement, and bear and 
panther, Mohawk, Delaware, and Seneca prowled in it. 
The Hall was scarcely completed when it became 
the scene of a notable Indian council. In the summer 
of 1762 Pontiac, King of the great Ottawa Confederacy, 
had formed a design of driving the English from the 
country and had invited all the great interior tribes, 
among them the Six Nations, to join with him in the 
enterprise. The Senecas alone were seduced from 
their allegiance, many of their braves being engaged 
with Pontiac in the attacks which were made that year 
on the English outposts in the West. The chiefs of 
the five nations, unsolicited by Johnson, went to re- 
monstrate with the offending tribe, but they found its 
young men averse to remaining at peace with the Eng- 
lish. A few of their clans, however, had not gone on 



134 In Olde New York 

the war path, and these desired the intercession of the 
ambassadors that they might be spared in the chastise- 
ment which they were sure the EngUsh would inflict 
on their nation, and it was arranged that six of the 
friendly Senecas should return with the embassy to 
Johnson Hall and present their claims in person. 
The conference was held on the 7th of September. 
Three hundred and twenty delegates from the five 
nations with the six friendly Senecas in all the bravery 
of paint and feathers attended it. Johnson, attired 
in the full uniform of Major-General, gave the head 
chiefs an audience in the drawing-room of the old 
mansion. The Onondaga chief opened the council 
with a speech in which he graphically depicted the 
whole course of the mission and the present hostile 
attitude of the Senecas, introduced in fitting terms 
the envoys of the peaceful clans, and dwelt eloquently 
on the loyalty of the five nations to the English despite 
the specious promises of Pontiac. Johnson's reply 
showed the finesse of the accomplished diplomat. He 
commended the loyalty of the five nations in their 
efforts to bring the Senecas to reason, and reminded 
them that the latter were not only enemies to the English 
but traitors to the Confederacy, since they interrupted 
its trade and disturbed its friendly relations with the 
English. He might justly ask them to take up the 
hatchet against the delinquents, but only desired them 
to remain quiet and observe how the English punished 



Johnson Hall 135 

their enemies. Turning to the friendly Senecas, he 
commended their individual loyalty, but gave them to 
understand that, as their nation was in open rebelHon, 
any clemency that might be sho\vn them would be due 
to the intercession of their confederates. The council 
broke up with the fealty of the five great nations during 
Pontiac's war secured. 

Close on the heels of this council came an embassy 
from the Ganniagwaris, a people of the same stock as 
the Mohawks, but now residing on the Saint Lawrence, 
praying for redress from the Jesuits, who had seized 
some of their richest lands by virtue of a patent from 
Louis XIV. The Baronet promised to lay their 
grievance before the King, and then began the task 
of enhsting them on the English side in a war against 
Pontiac. They replied figuratively, referring to their 
disarmament by the EngUsh in the last French War. 
"When you took the war axe from us you directed us 
to pursue our hunting, so that we must now be still, 
having no axe." In reply Sir William presented them 
with an axe of the best English steel and directed them 
to pass it around among their warriors with instruc- 
tions to use it in cutting off all the bad links which had 
sullied the chain of friendsliip. The embassy returned, 
and in a few days their three hundred braves were on 
the war path against Pontiac. 

But the most notable council ever held here was that 
of 1768, between the Six Nations and their ancient 



136 In Olde New York 

enemies, the Cherokees. In December, 1767, three 
Cherokee chiefs arrived at Albany by sloop from New 
York, and, accompanied by Colonel Philip Schuyler, 
proceeded on horseback to Johnson Hall, their object 
being to arrange a treaty of peace between their nation 
and the Confederacy. The Baronet entertained them 
in state, and at once despatched the belt by runners 
to call a grand council of the tribes. On the third of 
March a large body of the confederates and their allies 
had been gathered at the Hall. They came out of the 
dense forest singly and by twos and threes, Delawares, 
Shawnees, Senecas, and Mohawks, with laggard steps 
and lowering brows, and gathered about the Hall, 
until seven hundred and sixty warriors had surrounded 
it. No man ever had a more formidable task appointed 
him than had the Baronet in moving tliis large assembly 
to his will. The entire Confederacy was in a ferment 
this time over the outrages committed upon it by the 
Enghsh. Its lands had been seized, its members 
jeered and insulted, and many of them murdered by 
settlers. No notice had been taken of their offer to 
cede all their lands east of the Ohio for a small con- 
sideration, and the colonies were on the verge of another 
terrible Indian war. The Baronet, however, held 
several private interviews with the principal chiefs 
before the grand council took place, at which he told 
them among other things that he had received certain 
intelligence that the King had decided to accept their 



Johnson Hall 137 

offer to sell the lands east of the Ohio, and so far won 
them to good humor that at the council the treaty with 
the Cherokees was concluded. 

These were a few of the many councils and private 
meetings of cliiefs of wliich the old Hall has been the 
scene. Disputes and questions of various kinds, such 
as were continually arising on the border, were also 
brought here for settlement. Petty differences between 
Indian and white man, land claims involving thousands 
of acres, were here decided, and criminal actions con- 
ducted. 

Despite his public duties the Baronet found time 
for a genial and generous hospitality. Few gentlemen 
of the colony or foreign visitors of rank or note came 
into the Mohawk Valley without being entertained 
under his roof. Among the latter was Lord Adam 
Gordon, who afterward became Commander-in-Chief 
of the army in Scotland, and between whom and his 
host a firm friendship was established. Another titled 
\isitor was Lady Susan O'Brian, eldest daughter of 
Stephen Fox, first Earl of Ilchester, and sister of Lady 
Harriet Ackland. 

The mistress of the mansion during these years was 
an Indian princess, a sister of the celebrated Mohawk 
chief Thayendanega. She first attracted the Baronet's 
attention at a militia training, where, a beautiful, 
sprightly girl of sixteen, she won the plaudits of the 
multitude by leaping at the invitation of an oflBcer to 



138 In Olde New York 

the crupper of his horse and riding with him in a mad 
gallop about the parade ground. About 1750 the 
Baronet and she were married according to the Indian 
custom, although it is not probable that the English 
ceremony was ever performed. The lady is de- 
scribed as being agreeable in person and as possess- 
ing sound understanding. Lady O 'Brian speaks 
of her in her letters as a well-bred and agreeable 
lady, who in many rambles about the forests proved 
herself a pleasant companion. Sir WiUiam's chief 
object in the alliance, no doubt, was to secure 
greater influence with the Indian chiefs, but the lady 
seems to have made him a faithful wife, and the pair 
lived together in the greatest harmony until the hus- 
band's death. 

This event occurred suddenly in the Hbrary of the 
old house on the 9th of July, 1774. During the day 
the Baronet had stood two hours in the burning July 
sun, deUvering a speech to several hundred Indians 
who had assembled to ask his aid in seeking redress 
for encroachments on their lands. At the conclusion 
of the address he was seized with a violent attack of 
dysentery and conveyed to his library, where he died 
in the arms of a faithful attendant almost before his 
family could reach the scene. This was the last event 
worthy of note in the history of the old mansion. In 
the troubles wliich quickly followed, the Baronet's 
family espoused the royal cause and the Hall became 



Johnson Hall 139 

an object of suspicion and dislike to the patriot leaders. 
It, however, happily escaped the torch during the war, 
and remains one of the few colonial houses with a 
history saved to the student of to-day. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THOMAS PAINe's LAST HOME * 

f 1 1HE thousands that daily whirl by New Rochelle 
^ on the trains of the Consolidated Railroad see 
little more than the earth and stone walls of a deep 
cut, and up on the bank to the right a stone church 
surrounded by an ancient churchyard. If one leaves 
the train for a day's ramble, he finds beyond the stone 
walls and the church a large town, with many fine old 
country-seats, and as many modern villas, wide busi- 
ness and residence streets, and as many narrow ones 
lined with humbler dwellings. 

A road stretches north away from the town eight 
miles to the village of "White Plains and its ancient 
battle-ground — a highway made smooth and hard by 
its covering of broken stone, winding between ranks 
of tall, ragged locusts, their tops dead and broken 
off, through a beautiful and highly cultivated 
region. 

One passes here a country seat, there a new villa smart 
with a coat of parti-colored paint; just beyond a little 
cottage with stone walls and gables, low, antiquated 

1 Written in 1885. 



Thomas Paine's Last Home 141 

porch, green wooden shutters, and huge chimney 
that must have been built for one of the Huguenot 
yeomen who settled New Rochelle over two centuries 
ago. 

At one place, on a bluff in thick woods, is an old, 
deserted house that has been without human habitant 
to care for it for generations, and where, in Revolu- 
tionary days, when the cowboys and skinners harried 
all this region, an old man and his daughter were tor- 
tured and left for dead in the effort to make them re- 
veal the depository of their secret hoards. 

By all the rules of apparitions this house should be 
haunted, but on inquiry the pilgrim could find no record 
of so much as a ghostly light or footfall ever being seen 
or heard there. 

A mile of this road, and then the tourist pauses on 
the side of a hill whose summit is crowned with hand- 
some dwellings and fine farms, before a marble shaft 
set in a space some twelve feet square, with an iron 
fence in front and a solid wall of stone enclosing it 
from the meadow behind, and from a lane that turns 
in on the north side, and after dipping down to cross 
a brook, ascends the hill to a modest, low-walled 
farmhouse that with its outbuildings occupies the 
summit. 

On the western face of the monument, next the 
road, is a medallion likeness of Thomas Paine, with 
the inscription: 



142 In Olde New York 

"Thomas Paine, 

Author of ' Common Sense.' 

Bom in England, January 29, 1737, 

Died in New York city, June 8, 1809. 

'The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the 

bowers of Paradise.' — Common Sense." 

Above the medalhon is Paine 's motto: 

" The world is my country. 
To do good my religion." 

The south side bears quotations from the Crisis 
No. I. and from Crisis No. XV. The inscriptions on 
the east and north sides are taken from the "Age of 
Reason." Fertile meadows sweep away to the east- 
ward, cut in twain by the farm-road mentioned. They 
form part of the estate given to Paine in 1783 by the 
State of New York for his services in the Revolution. 

The history of both monument and farm is interest- 
ing. Paine, as he lay on his dying bed, evinced con- 
siderable anxiety as to the disposal of his body after 
death, fearing, perhaps, that it would not meet with 
proper respect. His father was a Quaker, and he 
desired to be laid to rest in the burying-ground of that 
people. He sent to Mr. Willet Hicks, a respectable 
Quaker living near, and said that, as he was going to 
leave one place, it was necessary to provide another, 
and wished to be interred in the Quaker burying- 
ground, adding that he might be interred in the Epis- 




Thk Thomas Paine Ml.mohi 



Thomas Paine 's Last Home 143 

copal churchyard, but they were so arrogant, or in the 
Presbyterian, but they were so hypocritical. The 
Quakers, however, refused the desired permission. 

In his last will and testament, dated January 18, 
1809, Paine expressed a wish to be buried in the 
Quaker burying-ground if they permitted it, but if 
they would not allow it he wished to be buried on his 
farm, "the place where I am to be buried to be a 
square of twelve feet, to be enclosed with rows of trees 
and a stone or post and rail fence, with a headstone 
with my name and age engraved upon it, 'Author of 
Common Sense.'" He was so buried in a plot in the 
field a few yards south of the present monument. In 
1819, however, William Cobbett, the great English 
Liberal, while in this country dug up his bones and 
carried them to England, but what disposition was 
made of them is not known. In 1838-9 funds for the 
present monument were raised by pubhc subscription, 
and the marble was cut at Tuckahoe. When those 
having the matter in charge came to erect it, they were 
forbidden by the owner to cross his land to the grave, 
the farm now having passed into strange lands, and 
after some delay the present site was purchased and 
the stone was erected there. 

After a time the monument fell into neglect. Those 
who had known Paine, or who remembered the facts 
attending its erection, had died or removed. A few 
years ago the stone was used as a bill-board, and was 



144 In Olde New York 

literally covered with handbills and posters. At 
length a movement was set on foot in New York 
and New Rochelle, funds were collected sufficient to 
restore it, and in 1881 it was rededicated with appro- 
priate ceremonies and the present inscriptions. 

The farm in the days preceding the Revolution was 
known as the "Devoe Farm," and was owned by 
Frederick Devoe. "Yeoman," he is styled in the early 
records. Frederick Devoe was a Tory, and according 
to tradition piloted the British troops over the country 
roads to White Plains in 1776, where they intrenched. 
For tliis offense he was indicted for treason Novem- 
ber 10, 1780, and judgment was declared against him 
July 5, 1783, whereupon his farm was confiscated 
under the Confiscation Act, and given by the State 
of New York to Thomas Paine. Cheatham, in his 
'Life of Paine,' says: "The farm contained more than 
300 acres of land, and an elegant stone house 120 x 
28 feet." In point of fact the farm lacked some 
twenty acres of 300, and the house was far from 
"elegant," being a small stone farmhouse of a story 
and a half, such as sheltered the yeomen of that day. 
The original structure, considerably modified and im- 
proved, may be studied in the farmhouse which we 
have mentioned as standing on the summit of the hill 
to the eastward of the monument. 

Calling on Mr. Wesley Lee, the then proprietor, 
we were shown the parlor which Paine occupied, and 



Thomas Paine 's Last Home 145 

the Hbrary opening out of it in which he wrote. These 
have been httle changed from the time of the author's 
occupancy. "When I bought it," said Mr. Lee, "the 
only rehcs of Paine remaining were the old Franklin 
stove and andirons he used; the stove still set in the 
brickwork in the library. These I let Mr. Walter Bell, 
the stove-dealer in New Rochelle, have in exchange 
for a modem stove and appurtenances. I presume 
he still has them." 

Returning to New Rochelle, we called on Mr. Bell, 
and were shown the stove, which, if it had never be- 
longed to Paine, would still possess interest as being 
the first form that took shape in the inventor's mind. 
It is composed of heavy upright and horizontal plates 
of iron held in place by grooves, there not being a bolt 
or rod in the whole fabric — a sort of iron box, in which, 
on andirons, the fire was built. Mr. Bell has two 
affidavits to prove that the stove was really Paine 's. 
One is from Mr. Lee, stating that at the time he pur- 
chased the property there was a Franklin stove set in 
the brickwork of the room on the northeast corner of 
the house, and a pair of andirons, and that he made 
inquiry of the former owners, and also of old residents, 
and from information thus obtained he believed them 
to be the same as those formerly used by Thomas 
Paine. The other is from Augustus Van Cortlandt, 
M.D., a former resident of New Rochelle, who says 
that "in the year 1841 he was taken by his father to 



146 In Olde New York 

the house formerly occupied by Thomas Paine, 
author of the 'Age of Reason,' 'Common Sense,' 
and the 'Rights of Man'; that while there he 
was shown the old Franklin stove and andirons, 
which his father stated were seen by him in the 
year 1808, when he presented a letter to Thomas 
Paine personally in the same room where said Frank- 
lin stove and andirons were, and that from the 
design and certain marks thereon he knows them 
to be the articles shown him as aforesaid, and that 
the same are now in possession of Messrs. Bell and 
Harmer." 

"My object in getting these affidavits," continued 
Mr. Bell, "was to prove the authenticity of the relics, 
and it was suggested to me by the fact that on my 
way home with the stove I met a man, a citizen of New 
Rochelle, who laughed at the very idea that I had 
Paine 's stove in the wagon. Dr. Van Cortlandt was 
a member of the old Van Cortlandt family, a learned 
and respectable gentleman, who told me a great many 
things about Paine. He said that when his father 
called on the latter he was clad in a dressing-gown 
that had evidently been made of a blanket, and with a 
beard of three days' growth on his face. A deal table 
stood in the room, without a cover, on which was a 
part of a loaf of bread, a pitcher of milk, and a bowl 
of molasses, from which his breakfast had evidently 
been furnished. He said that there was valuable 



Thomas Paine 's Last Home 147 

furniture and bric-a-brac in the room, including a 
fine French clock, medals given to Paine by various 
societies, with bronzes and medallions. He said Paine 
once made a model of an iron bridge to cross the 
Harlem River at a single span, which w^as thought a 
wonderful thing in those days. The only other relic 
of Paine now in New Rochelle, so far as I know, is an 
old armchair in which he sat during his frequent calls 
on his neighbors, the Badeaus, who lived nearly oppo- 
site the monument. Mrs. Badeau, who lived to be 
quite aged, always spoke of Paine with the greatest 
esteem and respect, though she did not share in his 
religious views. He had a love for httle children, she 
said, that almost amounted to a passion, and was in 
turn a great favorite with them. She described him 
as pleasant and social in familiar intercourse, with a 
fund of anecdote and information, on which he was 
always willing to draw for the entertainment of his 
friends. The last years of this good old lady were 
spent in protecting the grave and tombstone of her 
friend from the attacks of curiosity and rehc-hunters. 
Often has she raised her window and frightened off 
men who were breaking chips from edges of the stone, 
to be preserved as relics. She saw Cobbett's men when 
they rifled the grave in 1819, and warned them away, 
but they refused to go, saying they were acting under 
Cobbett's orders. 

"I know of but one person now Uving in the town 



148 In Olde New York 

who remembers Paine. That person is Mrs. Daven- 
port, a very aged lady living on Davenport's Neck. 
She says that Paine often patted her on the head when 
she was a little girl." 



CHAPTER XV 



THE AMERICAN BARBISON 



"DARBISON, the well-known resort of so many 
'*-' French artists and art-students, where Millet and 
a whole colony of painters have found inspiration and 
subjects worthy of their pencils, lies in the heart of the 
ancient forest of Fontainebleau, at an easy distance 
from the great capital. Easthampton,^ which we 
have ventured to call the American Barbison, is a 
village of Puritan origin, situated at the southeastern 
extremity of Long Island, in a little oasis of meadows 
and wheat-fields, that owes some portion of its attract- 
iveness to its surroundings of sand and scrub. Its 
one wide main street is so prodigal of land that it 
could only have been laid out by men with a continent 
at their disposal. Great elms and willows overarch 
it, and beyond their vistas the eye rests on the broad 
bosom of the Atlantic, flecked by summer sails. North- 
ward one looks on orchards and green fields. The 
dwellings that line it for a mile please by their endless 
variety. There is the quaint old Puritan cottage, with 

^ Written in 1883. Easthampton is now a fashionable and ex- 
clusive resort and the conditions here pictured no longer exist. 



150 In Olde New York 

its gables facing the street, and flanked by the wood- 
shed and mossy well-sweep and bucket. There are 
square, roomy, old-fashioned farmhouses, some newly 
painted, some dingy and moss-covered, with low stoops 
opening directly upon the street. There is a quaint 
old village academy, the first opened in the State. 
There are little shops that nobody knows the use of, 
an inn, a few summer villas, a fine old country-seat 
standing remote and grand behind a copse of maples 
and cedars, and at either end of the village street a 
windmill, — gaunt, weather-beaten structures, that at 
the merest suspicion of a breeze throw their long arms 
as wildly and creak and clatter as noisily as those that 
Don Quixote attacked. The old church, built in 1717, 
in whose turret hung a bell presented by Queen Anne, 
— one of the historical churches of the land, — was 
pulled down in 1872, its demolition marking an epoch 
in the town's existence. The churchyard, once under 
the wing of the church, is now set lonesomely in the 
midst of the main street, its white tombstones looked 
down upon by all the neighboring dwellings and con- 
stantly reminding the villagers of the \drtues of their 
ancestors. Still, it is an interesting spot, with its fence 
of palings, its quaint old-fashioned stiles, and mossy 
stones, whose legends tell of wrecks upon the coast, 
and of brave young spirits drowned at sea, killed by 
falling from the masthead, crushed in the whale's 
jaws, or fever-stricken and buried in some tropical 




im 












The American Barbison 151 

island. In a place so remote, it is natural that the 
quaintness and pastoral simplicity of country life a 
hundred years ago should still prevail. At sunset and 
sunrise herds of sleek, matronly cows, with barefoot 
boys in attendance, wind through the street; scythes 
and sickles hang in the willows by the wayside; and 
every morning the mail-coach rattles into the village 
with a musical flourish of the driver's horn, stops at 
the post-office for the mail-bag, calls all along the 
street for bags, baskets, and parcels, and at last rumbles 
away toward the railway station, seven miles distant. 
Most truly rural are the orchard farmyards, which 
abut upon the street without concealment, in front 
perhaps set thickly with apple- and pear-trees, and 
behind these showing open spaces covered with a deep 
greensward, with cart, plow, stack, wood-pile, sheep, 
and poultry disposed in picturesque confusion. 

Our village, in its two hundred years of existence, 
has gathered about it an atmosphere of legend and 
romance, and one may still see with the mind's eye 
some of the quaint figures and striking scenes of its 
early history. One can easily call up Parson James, the 
first minister ("Gent." he is styled in the old records), 
walking to church in wig and gown, — or Mistress 
Abigail Hedges riding down on her wedding-day to 
Sagg, four miles distant, and on the way counting 
thirteen whales sporting in the surf. An excited 
throng in the streets, and Parson James led away 



152 In Olde New York 

under arrest to New York for denouncing in the 
pulpit the exorbitant tax levied on "whale's oyle and 
fins" by the governor of the colony; a detaclunent of 
British troops in possession of the towTi, and Sir William 
Erskine, Governor Tryon, Lord Percy, Lord Cathcart, 
Major Andre, in brilliant uniforms, pacing under the 
village elms; the old Hunting tavern, in wliich the 
young officers made merry with the wits and roysterers 
of the village, even old "Sharper" the slave being 
admitted to add his shrewd pleasantries and unequaled 
powers of mimicry to the general hilarity; a drawing- 
room in the old Gardiner mansion, with Sir Henry 
Clinton present, and Andre at his request entertaining 
the company with a recital of his sparkling ballad of 
"Chevy Chase"; Parson Beecher on a Friday hiemg 
away to the beaches for a day's shooting, forgetting 
the preparatory lecture, and, when reminded by the 
bell, hurrying to the church, setting down his gun in 
the porch, and preaching in his hunting-suit with an 
unction that never attended his written sermons; the 
old parsonage, and the parson in liis study drawing 
strains from his beloved violin; Madam Beecher 's 
pretty girl-pupils in the schoolroom above tapping 
their little feet in unison with the music, and at last 
breaking into the forbidden dancing step, causing the 
violin to cease with a doleful screech; a low-ceiled 
kitchen, with deep fireplace and smoky walls, in which 
John Howard Payne composed the song that has 



The American Barbison 153 

excelled all others in popularity, and wrote love-letters 
to one of the village maidens, — letters still preserved 
in rose and lavender; President Tyler riding in a grand 
sort of way up the street to woo and win a maiden in 
one of the village mansions : — these are but a few 
of the old-time scenes that pass in review before the 
eyes of the dreamer under the village elms. This 
charm of old associations combined with pastoral sim- 
plicity is evanescent, and will soon be gone. Already 
the railroad, rude iconoclast, is approaching, to destroy 
the relics of the past and change the whole aspect 
of the place. The limner, therefore, who succeeds in 
depicting such features as are best worth preserving 
will not have performed an unappreciated task. 

The summer phase of the village is almost entirely 
artistic. What painter first discovered it is a subject 
for speculation; but when discovered its possibilities 
in the way of art rapidly became known, and it has 
been for several years the summer home of many 
favorites of the public. Last season the little colony 
of artists had become fairly domiciled by the 1st of 

July: T in a cottage on the main street, whose 

interior and antique furniture were to peld inspiration 
for several studies of the olden time; "Dante" and his 
young wife in the old village academy, which had long 
ceased to be an academic haunt; "the Count" and 
"the Doctor" in sweet proximity to a confectioner's 
shop; "Mozart" at the inn; and the others scattered 



154 In Olde New York 

about in the boarding-houses of the village. Two 
sketching-classes added a progressive feature, — one 
comprising several ladies of the Art Students' League 
of New York, who were domiciled at first in a cottage 
by the sea, and, later, in the village inn; while the 
other, also composed of ladies, met three times weekly 
in the former schoolroom of the academy. Dante 
alone achieved a studio. It was on the upper floor 
of the academy, and presented a medley of "studies," 
nets, rusty anchors, spoils of the sea, flowers, birds' 
nests, and trophies won from the village houses, — 
poke bonnets, stocks, perukes, faded gowns, arm- 
chairs, spinning-wheels, and other ancient furniture. 
This became a favorite gathering-place with members 
of the craft, and, during the summer, witnessed the 
reunions of many long-sundered friends. Besides the 
artists, a score or so of quiet families made the place 
their summer quarters; but its characteristic features 
remained the same, — in every quiet nook and coigne 
of vantage an artist with his easel, fair maidens trudg- 
ing afield ^^ith the attendant small boy bearing easel, 
color-box, and other impedimenta, sketching-classes 
setting out in great farm-wagons carpeted with straw, 
white-aproned nurse-maids, rosy babies, and pleasure- 
vehicles in the streets. 

The routine for the summer was tolerably uniform. 
Out-door work was usually done in the soft light and 
shade of early morning or evening. In-door work 



The American Barbison 155 

occupied a part of the intervening hours if the artist 
was industrious. At eleven there was a gathering on 
the bathing-beach, and an hour's wild sporting with 
the surges of the Atlantic. There was tennis for those 
who cared for it, straw-parties and sailing-parties, 
moonlight rides to the beach, excursions to Sagg, 
Hardscrabble, Pantago, and Amagansett. The students 
of the sketching-classes were the most industrious, 
wandering about the village, selecting their sub- 
jects, sketching, painting, and returning to the inn at 
night with their spoils. Sometimes the great carryall 
carried them out to Tyler's for a day's sketching. 
Arrived there, one drew the quaint old dilapidated 
bam, another the farmyard, a third the mossy well- 
sweep, a fourth the crooked-necked duck leading her 
brood to water, a fifth the grain-fields, and so on, till 
all were supplied with subjects. At intervals the 
grave professor came to the inn and passed on the 
students' work with his pungent criticisms. There 
was a large wheat-field on the southern rim of the town, 
near the sea, that attracted many visitors and gave 
rise to more day-dreams than any palace of the genii. 
Its black mold closed on the white sand of the beach, 
and there was Uttle interval between the bearded 
wheat and the coarse bunchgrass of the dunes. It 
seemed a novel sight, this. strong young daughter of 
the West drawing life and nourishment from the 
grizzled ocean. Such points of similarity as should 



156 In Olde New York 

exist between sire and daughter were often noted by 
imaginative visitors. When the wind blew, there were 
waves in the wheat as well as in the sea; argosies of 
cloud-shadows sailed over it, and it never lost a low, 
soft murmur, that seemed a faint refrain of the vast 
monotone of the sea. What weird imaginations and 
startling effects, to be elaborated in the studio on the 
return to the city, were suggested by it, cannot be told. 
The beach, with its broad reaches of sand and foaming 
surges, its wrecks, sand-storms, mirages, soft colors, 
and long line of sand dunes cut into every variety of 
fantastic shape by the winds, was equally prolific of 
wild fancies. 

If this routine became at all prosaic or commonplace, 
it was soon broken by some ludicrous incident while 
at the easel, — the unearthing of a new character, or 
subjugation of a refractory model: all of which was 
sure to be related with gusto at the post-prandial 
re-unions in the "bird's-nest." 

Wonderfully numerous and varied are the "charac- 
ters" of the village; and tliis adds largely to its artistic 
value. Old farmers with their homely saws, grizzled 
whalemen, fishermen, and wreckers and life-saving 
men, may all be met here. There are "originals," 
indigenous to the soil. No one who has ever sum- 
mered in Barbison will forget the Remuslike face of 
Uncle Pete, the childlike and bland countenance of 
"Old Zeb," the sly twinkle in the eye of Sam Green, 



The American Barbison 157 

the village joker, or the grim smile that rests on the 
face of " Old Hominy " in the midst of his cutest trick. 
To give a perfect idea of the artistic features of our 
village, one must speak somewhat in detail of the 
relations of the artists with these characters. Uncle 
Pete, the village octogenarian, is the favorite and 
most troublesome model. The old man lives alone, 
in a little bunk of a cottage, on the outskirts of Free- 
town, — a settlement of colored people about a mile 
north of the village. Having made five whaling- 
voyages in his youth, Uncle Pete has acquired a store 
of reminiscences, which he has a Remuslike fondness 
for retailing to his numerous callers. His tall, almost 
majestic figure, and black, shrewd, quizzical face 
looking out from a mass of snow-white wool, tickle the 
artistic fancy, and his lineaments have been preserved 
on more canvases than those of the most popular 
model in the Latin quarter. This popularity has made 
him extremely coy and uncertain; and the artist who 
would engage him, in addition to the offer of golden 
shekels, must often have recourse to personal blandish- 
ments. The old man generally prefers to pose in the 
doorway of his little cottage: for ten minutes he sits 
quietly, and his outlines begin to appear under the 
pencil; then he grows restless, and begins to fidget, 
whereupon his employer, scenting trouble, blandly 
asks for a story. Uncle Pete readily complies, enter- 
taining his auditor with a graphic account of his 



158 In Olde New York 

descent into the whale's jaws once upon a time in 
Delagoa Bay, his countenance meanwhile assuming 
an animated and expressive cast. The tale concluded 
the sitter again becomes restless, and is asked for 
another story, which he readily narrates. A third or 
fourth perhaps will be required before the sitting is 
finished. Old Zeb, another model, is what the villagers 
call a "natural,'"' although he has wit enough to gain a 
hving without much labor. He is a great favorite with 
the ladies, and, being quite susceptible, has made 
several propositions of a matrimonial nature to engag- 
ing damsels visiting the village, which are understood 
to be under consideration. At sunset on pleasant 
evenings, when his fair friends are sure to be found 
on the front porches, Zeb is seen wending his way 
through the street with a rose in his button-hole, roses 
in his hand, and a basket on his arm. The ladies 
greet him graciously, and in their sweetest tones beg 
for a song. Zeb complies, seated on the ground, 
nursing his knees mth his hands, and chanting in a 
weird monotone some hymn or ballad of the olden time. 
The song ended, his fair patrons bestow small coins, 
and, murmuring his thanks in a fine feminine voice, 
he moves on to another coterie. It generally happens, 
however, that, while the song is in progress, some 
deft knight of the brush has transferred his lineaments 
to the sketch-book for future use. Often a party goes 
down to Zeb's cottage at the "Harbor" to sketch him 



The American Barbison 159 

at his weekly "shave." The old fellow is very proud 
of his smoothly-shaven face, and takes great pride in 
its preservation. His Saturaday "shave" is a marvel 
of the tonsorial art. While it is in progress he is seated 
in the doorway of his cottage, with a little hand look- 
ing-glass before him, and a great Mambrino's helmet 
of a wash-hand-basin filled with hot water by his side. 
His razor, " borrerd " for the occasion, has been through 
se /eral whaling- voyages. Having honed it on the door- 
sill, he assaults his stubby beard vigorously, grubbing 
and grubbing with an expression on his face that con- 
vulses the spectators. He explains "that it don't 
take hold well, somehow," and stops to sharpen his 
instrument on the grindstone. The entire operation 
is enlivened by a running fire of comments and queries 
from the spectators, to which Zeb returns the most 
amusing and innocent replies. Pat's "childers" are 
desirable but most refractory models. There are 
several of them running wild about the street, little 
Patseys and Bridgets, red-haired, freckled, snub- 
nosed, barefooted, so humorously and grimly defiant that 
they tickle the artistic fancy and are much coveted as 
models. Mrs. Pat, however, when approached on the 
subject, discovers a feminine quality which has time 
and again brought the artist into difficulties. "Be- 
gorra," she declares, " ef yez artises are after the childer, 
it's not in thim dirty clothes they'll be tooken. If the'r 
picters are tooken at all, it must be in the'r Sundays 



160 In Olde New York 

best." This is entirely inadmissible, and the painter 
is obliged to waylay his models as they run, and induce 
them to sit by a liberal supply of taffy and pop-corn. 

An old weather-beaten dwelling at the upper end 
of the village street has been so often sketched and 
painted that it is a witticism of the guild when a new 
artist comes to town that Dominy's is going onto the 
canvas. Its clapboards are warped by over a century's 
exposure, a few bricks are missing from the chimney, 
some of the window-panes are gone, but all such dis- 
figurements are hidden by a luxuriant growth of climb- 
ing plants. Two workshops, one flanking each side 
of the cottage, present curious interiors, — low ceilings, 
dusty, cobwebbed windows, tools of various callings 
disposed on the walls or in cribs in the ceiling, and a 
medley of articles scattered about, — old-fashioned 
clocks in long cases, a photographer's camera, a Da- 
mascus blade, ^ath gold-inlaid hilt, fashioned into a 
chisel, nets, spears, lances, harpoons, and similar 
paraphernalia. In this dwelhng lives one of the 
marked characters of the village, a universal genius, 
a master of all trades. He is the village miller, a farmer, 
a carpenter, a shipwright, a clock-maker, a tooth- 
puller, a photographer, a whaleman, a fisherman, and 
an office-holder. With the artists he is a prime favorite, 
and generally accompanies them as courier and guide 
in their sketching-excursions, whether by land or 
water. His shop is a favorite lounging-place of the 



The American Barbison 161 

guild. The old man receives his visitors with a queer 
mixture of fatherly kindness, assumed carelessness, 
and "chafiF." "You fellers," he observes, "git a thou- 
sand dollars in York for a picter of my back door, and 
I git nothin'." To the modest request for leave to 
paint his shop he replies that "there's been paint 
enough wasted on it a'ready to ha' painted it inside 
end out," but gives a grudging permission. Some- 
times he "fixes it up" for the artist. Sometimes he 
poses; again it is his dog Jack, the ugliest of canines, 
or his boy Zi, that is in request. A thousand tales of 
our hero's adventures and eccentricities are current in 
the studios, in not a few of which the narrators were 
the actors, and in some the victims. To turn the 
laugh on his proteges is the height of the old man's 
ambition: not infrequently the artist, sketching his 
shop, on returning from dinner finds every article in 
it removed to a different position, and some even hung 
outside. His fishing-trip to Napeague last summer 
with a party of artists is embalmed among the traditions 
of the colony. Question the old man on the subject, 
and his only reply is a chuckle. The victims when 
approached manifest extreme reticence: it is known, 
however, that they caught no fish, that they rowed 
instead of sailing, owing to a dead calm, and that re- 
turning they reached the inn at one in the morn- 
ing and forced a surreptitious entry through one 
of its windows, the grand finale discovering the 



162 In Olde New York 

hungry tramps in a fierce attack on the pies of the 
pantry. 

A town meeting is sure to bring a rich harvest of 
"studies" into the village, especially if the questions 
to be discussed are of a broad pubUc interest, such, 
for instance, as the pasturage of cattle in the village 
streets, or the extension of farmlands into the wide 
highway; these questions concern the commonalty, 
and there is a general hegira of the male portion of the 
outlying districts to the village. They come on foot, 
on horseback and muleback, in buckboards and in 
great farm-wagons with a capacity of ten or more. 
Some are barefoot, some attired only in check shirt 
and corduroys, with heavy sombreros for head-gear. 
At these gatherings, as in all popular assemblies, the 
two great orders — patrician and plebeian — are repre- 
sented; and while the leaders gather in the old town- 
hall to discuss the matter, the rank and file are deposed 
about on the church steps, under the elms, in the stores, 
smoking, spitting, lounging in a thousand picturesque 
attitudes. From tliis repose they are routed by their 
respective leaders and hurried into the hall whenever 
a vote is to be taken. 

The annual spring meet on Montauk was the occa- 
sion of another influx of strangers into the town. 
This "meet" was held usually on the 20th of June, 
to enable the owners to select from the herds the cattle 
intended for fattening, which were then turned into 



The American Barbison 163 

the fattening-fields. Barbison was the rendezvous for 
the "proprietors" of all the districts to the westward, 
and, as they came riding in in detachments, but for 
the diverse regimentals one might have fancied that 
Andre's regulars had reappeared to storm the town. 

No features of Barbison the past season were more 
pleasant than the impromptu receptions — artistic 
stances in the best sense of the word — held in Dante's 
studio. Artists, scholars, and journalists met here on 
common ground. The discussions, however, were 
brilliant rather than profound, and the reminiscences 
generally of a light and humorous character. Many 
of them detailed the ludicrous incidents and adventures 

met with on sketching-excursions. H had a truly 

bucolic experience. He was in a wide field, putting 
in the sheep, daisies, and a particularly fine clump of 
maples, when, as he had nearly finished his work, he 
was suddenly prostrated by the old ram of the flock, 
who had evidently tired of the artist's presence in his 

demesnes. H picked himself up, and, seeing the 

ram still warlike, made a quick retreat to the fence, 
which he succeeded in reaching only to witness Aries 
march back to the easel and trample painting, brushes, 

and etceteras into the dust. C , while walking 

along a country lane with his color-box in hand, had 
met a native who took him for a spectacle-vender and 
inquired the price of his wares. "I am out of spec- 
tacles," replied the artist, and went his way. Next 



164 In Olde New York 

day, returning to finish his sketch, he met the same 
man, and was again asked the price of "glasses." 
"The fact is, friend," said he, "I don't sell spectacles." 
— " What dew yeou sell, then ? " queried the rustic. 
By way of reply, the artist opened his box and showed 
the neatly-ranged vials of color. The querist gave 
but a look, and exclaimed, in inimitable tones of dis- 
gust, "Homepathy doctor, by thunder!" D 

called at a farmhouse one morning and asked per- 
mission to make a picture in the yard. "Yes, sir," 
replied the farmer; "go in. The's fifteen in there 
a'ready; but I tell 'em all I keer for is a drift- way." 

G claimed the honor of having sketched a queen. 

She was scrubbing the floor of the village grocery at 
the time, and as the sketch was completed a negro 
lounged in with the news that King Pharaoh of the 
Montauk tribe was dead. "That makes me queen!" 
exclaimed the woman, who proved to be the old king's 
widow; and, straightening up, she discarded mop and 
brush and at once set out for her new kingdom amid 
the wastes of Montauk. 

Such is Barbison in summer. As the season ad- 
vances, however, its aspect rapidly changes. Visitors 
depart with the first chill winds of autumn. The 
forests of scrub take on their autumnal tints, the grass 
withers, loads of golden com and rich-yellow pumpkins 
rattle up to the farmhouse doors. The life-saving 
men leave their snug homes in the village and take 



The American Barbison 165 

their places in the stations, which are opened, warmed, 
and furnished in readiness for the possible shipwrecked 
mariner. Every night the patrols keep their lonely 
vigils along shore. By and by it is seen that a storm 
is imminent : the sun sets beliind a mass of gray, watery 
vi.por, the ocean chafes, a strong wind, damp and 
rheumy, comes murmuring up from the southeast. 
At midnight, perhaps, the tempest breaks, howling 
down the cliimneys, rattling the panes, swaying the 
little willows till they snap like a farmer's whip, and 
sending great waves up the beach to the base of the 
sand-dunes. Not infrequently on such nights the 
villagers are startled by the booming of a gun, telling 
that a wreck is on the bar. 

In old times this was a signal for the most active 
preparations. The church bell was rung and a great 
horn blown to rally the surfmen to the beach. The 
housewives built fires, made coffee, and prepared 
stores of lint, comfortables, and flannels. If the surf 
permitted, the men rowed out to the ship and rescued 
the shipwrecked seamen, who were brought half dead 
to the village homes and tenderly cared for; but too 
often this was impossible, and windrows of dead bodies 
were gathered on the beach in the morning and laid 
stark and stiff in the coroner's ofiice to be prepared for 
burial. As might be expected, some grewsome tales 
.of the sea are to be heard in the village. A storm or 
wreck brings out a flood of such reminiscences. There 



166 In Olde New York 

are stories of similar incidents, of pirates and hidden 
treasures, of false lights set on the headlands ; but quite 
as often the tales turn on wreckage and the flotsam 
and jetsam of the sea, — how a stately East-Indiaman 
would lay her ribs on the beach and spill her precious 
cargo of silks, cashmeres, pearls, teas, spices, and 
sandal-wood in the surf, a part of it, at least, to be 
gathered up by the daring wreckers. When a full- 
freighted whaleman came ashore, great cakes of pure 
white spermaceti were thrown far up the strand, and 
the whole country-side hurried to the scene with carts, 
wagons, sledges, and hand-barrows, to remove the 
precious product before it should melt. Sometimes 
it was coals from a lumbering colUer that the men 
gathered up, sometimes lumber from a Maine bark, 
and again the ivory and gold-dust of Africa. 



^ CHAPTER XVI 

AN EASTHAMPTON CHURCHYARD IN THE EIGHTIES 

/'^NE who has had occasion to visit many rural 
^-^ churchyards must surely have been impressed 
by the great number of eminent Americans entombed 
in them. In the old world one seeks the tombs of the 
great beneath the most magnificent fanes, but our 
great men seem to have preferred rural solitudes for 
their last long sleep. There is an old unpretentious 
burial-ground in Litchfield, Connecticut, filled with 
quaint tombstsones of slate or sandstone so mossy and 
old that one with difficulty deciphers the names in- 
scribed upon them; yet to write the biographies of the 
sleepers beneath them would be to write the history of 
the American nation itself. There is another at Leba- 
non, Connecticut, one at Quincy, Massachusetts, a 
fourth at Northampton, Massachusetts. 

This old churchyard at Easthampton may be cited 
in support of the argument. It lies at the foot of the 
broad village main street, an arm of which encompasses 
either side. Its older stones date back to 1696 or 
earlier, and were imported from England, as the flying 



168 In Olde New York 

cherub, or death's head and scroll sculptured at the 
head attest. 

Without doubt the oldest grave here is that of Lyon 
Gardiner, first lord of the manor of Gardiner's Island. 
His tomb, however, is new, having been erected a few 
years ago by his descendants. It is of pleasing and 
impressive design, a knight in complete armor laid 
upon a sarcophagus that rests in a httle gothic temple 
of white marble. The inscription, covering all four 
sides of the tomb, will serve to show the flavor of an- 
tiquity possessed by our churchyard: 

"In memory of Lion Gardiner, an officer of the 
English army, and an engineer and master of Works 
of Fortification in ye Leaguers of ye Prince of Orange 
in ye Low Countries in 1635. He came to New Eng- 
land in ye service of ye Company of Lords and Gentle- 
men. He builded and commanded ye Saybrook Forte. 
After accomplishing his term of service he removed in 
1663, to liis island of which he was sole owner and 
ruler. Born in 1599 he died in this town in 1663 
venerated and honored." 

A Httle south of the Gardiner tomb, and near the 
center of the churchyard, is a stone facing a different 
way from its neighbors and bearing this inscription: 

"Mr. Thomas James dyed ye 6th day of June in 
ye yeare 1696. He was Minister of the Gospel and 
Pastore of the Church of Christ." 

Parson James was the first pastor of the church at 



Easthampton Churchyard 169 

Easthampton and served in that capacity over fifty 
years. Tradition represents him as having been small 
in stature, sprightly and undaunted in step and bear- 
ing, and very conscientious in the discharge of his 
pastoral duties. That he might the better convert 
the Indians who formed part of his parish, it is said 
that he learned their language. 

The fiber of the man is shown by his dying injunc- 
tion, which was that he should be buried in a difFerent 
direction from his congregation, that on the resurrec- 
tion morn he might arise facing his accusers (should 
any impeach him as a pastor), as well as those who 
had laughed to scorn his warnings and entreaties. 
His last wish was complied with, as is seen by the 
position of the grave. 

His neighbor is the Rev. Samuel Buell, D.D., also 
pastor of the Easthampton church for over half a cen- 
tury. The inscription on the heavy, brown-stone slab 
above his grave is so similar in style to that written 
by President Dwight for the tomb of General Israel 
Putnam that I hazard the conjecture that they were 
written by the same hand. Perhaps some of your 
readers can speak definitely on the subject. It is as 
follows : " Reader, behold this tomb with reverence and 
regret. Here lie the remains of that eminent servant 
of Christ, the Rev. Samuel Buell, D.D., fifty-three 
years pastor of the church in this place. He was a 
faithful and successful minister of the gospel, a kind 



170 In Olde New York 

relative, a true friend, a good patriot, an honest cian 
and an exemplary Christian, was born Sept. 1, 1716, 
died in peace July 19, 1798, aged eighty-two years. 

"They that turn many to righteousness shall shine 
as the brightness of the firmament and the stars for- 
ever and ever. 

"Remember them who have spoken unto you the 
word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end 
of their conversation." 

Dr. Buell's term covered the perilous times of the 
revolution, and not a little of the immunity his parish- 
ioners enjoyed during the British occupancy of the 
island they owed to the doctor's influence over the 
Enghsh commander. Sir William Erskine, with whom 
he was a great favorite. Tradition says that on one 
occasion Sir William ordered a number of the farmers 
of Easthampton to go to Southampton to perform a 
certain work on the Sabbath. 

In the interim he met the divine and told him that 
he had ordered out his parishioners on Sunday. 

"I am aware of it," said the doctor, "but am myself 
commander-in-chief on that day, and have counter- 
manded the order." It is said that Erskine, with a 
good-humored laugh, yielded the point. 

Another anecdote is thus related: The young officers 
of Erskine's staff were fond of the chase, and Dr. 
Buell, who was something of a Nimrod, not infre- 
quently joined them. On one occasion he was late. 



Easthampton Churchyard 171 

and the party had mounted when he arrived, but Sir 
William asked them to dismount and receive his 
guest. Lord Percy, Erskine's aide, later Duke of 
Northumberland, was impatiently pacing the floor 
when he was introduced to the doctor, who asked him 
civilly what part of his majesty's forces he had the 
honor to command. 

"A legion of devils fresh from hell," replied Percy, 
who was nettled at the delay. "Then," said the 
doctor with his most stately bow, "I suppose I have 
the honor of addressing Beelzebub, prince of devils." 

Percy laid his hand on his sword but was checked 
by Erskine, and during the ride that followed the divine 
paid such marked attention to the young officer and 
was so witty and agreeable that he won his regard and 
admiration. 

The Mulford family gravestone reminds us that 
Easthampton was a pure republic for some years 
after its settlement, perhaps the purest ever known. 
We may be pardoned for dwelling on the fact since, 
unless we are greatly mistaken, it has wholly escaped 
the notice of political students. 

Government was by town meeting — the general 
court — and by an inferior court called the " court of 
the three men." The town meeting was the supreme 
body: it constituted courts, tried important causes, 
heard appeals, chose the minister and schoolmaster, 
fixed their salaries, made poUce regulations, admitted 



172 In Olde New York 

or excluded settlers, licensed taverns, opened high- 
ways, chose military officers and the whale watch, and 
did what our lawmakers ought at once to do, fined all 
freemen who refused or neglected to vote, to attend 
town meeting, or to hold office when elected. 

The court of the three men heard minor cases and 
executed the laws, and in general carried on the affairs 
of the town when the general court was not in session. 
The executive officer was the constable who presided 
at the town meetings and executed the commands of 
both courts. The inferior court met at 8 a.m., on the 
second day of the first week of every month for the 
trial of cases. 

Easthampton maintained this independent condition 
for seven years, or until 1657, when she united with 
the Connecticut colony. 

One of the first justices of the inferior court was John 
Mulford, who hes buried in the old churchyard. His 
eldest son, Samuel Mulford, also rests here, a man 
well worthy to rank with those whose iron wills and 
stern courage gained their country's liberties. He was 
the leader of the people's party in the Ninth Assembly 
of New York during Governor Burnet's contest with 
that body from 1715 to 1722. 

For one of his speeches Burnet had him indicted 
and prosecuted for sedition. Mulford, however, was 
nowise daunted by this experience. Burnet had laid 
a tax of one tenth on all the oil taken by the whaling 



Easthampton Churchyard 173 

crews of Easthampton and Southampton — Mulford's 
constituents — which he claimed as a perquisite. 
Mulford determined to go to England and memo- 
rialize Parliament for the removal of this tax. He 
sailed to Newport secretly, walked to Boston and 
took ship for England, and read his memorial before 
the House of Commons, which ordered the tax dis- 
continued. 

Returning in triumph, he was greeted with songs 
and rejoicings by his constituents, and was promptly 
returned by them to the Assembly. Expelled by that 
body, which was wholly subservient to the Governor, 
he was reelected and in the autumn of 1717 took his 
seat in the House, being then seventy-three years of 
age. 

In 1720 he refused to act with the House of that 
year, which he claimed had been illegally elected and 
organized, and was again expelled. This ended his 
public service. He died at Easthampton, August 21, 
1725, aged nearly eighty-one years. 

Another stone commemorates Reuben Bromley, a 
successful sea captain who retired from the sea in 
middle life to " actively engage in Christian and benevo- 
lent effort for promoting the welfare of seamen." He 
was an officer of the Seamen's Bank for Sa%angs from 
its founding in 1829 to his death, and was also, it is 
said, one of the founders of the Sailor's Snug Harbor 
on Staten Island. 



174 In Olde New York 

A plain dark monument in the Gardiner plot tells 
its own story in these words: 

" David Gardiner, bom May 29, 1784. 
Died February 28, 1844." 

"In the vigor of life, adorned by eminent virtues, 
solid abilities and rare accompHshments, beloved and 
venerated, he was stricken with instant death by the 
bursting of the great gun on board of the steam frigate 
Princeton in the River Potomac. A national calamity 
which wrung men's hearts and deprived the country 
of some of its most distinguished and valuable citizens." 

His daughter, Julia, afterward married President 
John Tyler, and became the mother of several children, 
one of whom sleeps near his grandfather after crowding 
into his brief span of forty years such perils, hardships, 
vicissitudes, and misfortunes as few are called upon to 
undergo. His epitaph reads: 

"Here lyeth John Alexander Tyler, son of John 
Tyler, President of the United States, and of Julia 
Gardiner, his wife, born at Sherwood Forest, James 
River, Virginia, April 7, 1848, died at Santa Fe, New 
Mexico, September 1, 1888." 

"Alexander Tyler while a mere youth joined the 
fortunes of his native State, and became a member of 
the First Virginia Battalion of Artillery under General 
Robert Lee. Although enduring great privation and 
hardship, which he bore with uncomplaining fortitude. 



Easthampton Churchyard 175 

he served until the close of the Civil War, and was then 
paroled at Appomattox Court House in 1865. He 
went to Europe where he remained for eight years, 
first as a student at Carlsruhe, Baden, afterwards at 
Freiburg, Saxony, where he graduated as a mining 
and civil engineer. Wliile at the latter place he entered 
the German army by special permit as a volunteer in 
the First Uhlan regiment under the command of 
Prince John of Saxony, and was actively engaged 
during the French and Prussian wars of 1870-71, re- 
ceiving at the close a decoration from the hands of the 
Emperor William I, for gallant and distinguished 
services." 

This gentleman, after serving with honor through 
two sanguinary wars, returned to his native country 
only to die suddenly of a fever contracted in New 
Mexico while performing the duties of his profession 
as a mining and civil engineer. 

A mild literary interest attaches to a row of six or 
eight mossy headstones near the center of the yard, 
those of the Isaacs family, father, mother, brothers 
and sisters of John Howard Payne. 

What might be called the wreck annals of the church- 
yard are interesting. Here lie the remains of those 
who perished in the off-shore whale fishery, which was 
prosecuted with vigor by the townsmen for years. 
"On February 24, 1719," we read, "a whaleboat being 
alone the men struck a whale, and she coming under 



176 In Olde New York 

the boat in passing, stoved it, and though ye men were 
not hurt with ye whale, yet before any help came to 
them four men tired and chilled and fell off ye boat 
and oars to which they hung and were drowned." 

Here also repose the hundreds who have been 
wrecked upon this dangerous coast since commerce 
began in these waters nearly three hundred years ago. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE WRECK OF THE JOHN MILTON 

A LTHOUGH the Milton struck on Montauk, 
-^^*' data of the tragedy can only be gained in the old 
churchyard of Easthampton, and in the village itself.^ 
Entering the yard from the north, the first memorial 
introduces one of its peculiar offices — that of custodian 
of the ocean's trophies. This is a shaft of marble in 
the center of a large square mound, bearing this in- 
scription : 

"This stone was erected by individual subscriptions 
from various places to mark the spot where, with pecul- 
iar solemnity, were deposited the mortal remains of 
the three mates and eighteen of the crew of the ship, 
John Milton, of New Bedford, wrecked on the coast 
of Montauk, while returning from the Chincha Islands, 
on the 20th February, 1858, where, together with those 
who rest beneath, Ephraim Harding, the captain, and 
four others of the mariners, being the whole ship's 
company, were drowned in the waves. 'Thy way, 
O God, is in the sea.'" 

After searching during three summers up and 

^ From New York Evening Post, 1890. 



178 In Olde New York 

down the town, I succeeded in finding an old wrecker 
who had been first at the wreck of the Milton, who 
gave me a vivid account of it, and of the pathetic scenes 
attending the burial of the drowned seamen. "That 
was the worst wreck on the coast in later years," he 
began, "that of the Milton. She struck on a rock at 
Montauk, a quarter of a mile from shore, in a heavy 
snow storm. She was flying before a gale at the time 
and the shock was terrible. The vessel melted under 
it like a lump of sugar. I was one of the first on the 
spot. The shore looked like a wrecked shipyard. 
But for the breakers you could have walked for rods 
on the broken masts, spars, and timbers. There was 
the mainmast, four foot through, snapped off like a 
pipestem, every plank made into kindling wood, and 
every timber torn out of her. Only a part of the bow 
was left tossin' and crunchin' on the rock where she 
struck. The shock, you see, threw the anchors over- 
board and they held this fragment in place. But the 
sight of all was the dead bodies of the crew stretched 
out on the beach all frozen stiff, some covered with 
snow, or thrusting up a hand or arm above the drifts. 
Not a man was saved. One negro must have come 
ashore alive, for he had dragged himself some distance 
up the sands, but he had soon frozen. The ship's 
log-book came ashore, some trinkets and furniture, 
and that was all." 

I did not need the words of my informant to picture 



The Wreck of the John Milton 179 

the excitement caused by this disaster through all the 
eastern hamlets of the island. It was then much more 
than now a maritime community. The large whaling 
marine of Sag Harbor had been largely laid aside, 
but the captains and crews who had manned it were 
still living. Scores of wagons streamed out over 
Montauk to the scene of the wreck, returning by twos 
and threes, with the ghastly burdens wliich the sea had 
relinquished. Then came the funeral. It is evident 
from the impression made that no more solemn event 
ever occurred in the village. The generous tars gathered 
from far and near to perform the last sad rites to their 
comrades. Bluff, hearty old sea captains, heroes of a 
score of voyages, old salts tanned by the suns of every 
clime, youngsters home from the first voyage, farmers, 
merchants, sympathetic women, came from all the 
Hamptons and all the Harbors — from Sagg and 
Jericho, from Egypt, Pantago, the Springs, the Fire- 
place — as far west as to Quogue and the Manor, 
quite filling the old church, about whose altar the 
coffins had been disposed. They preserve old things 
in Easthampton, and so I succeeded in finding the 
sermon wliich the Rev. Stephen L. Mershon preached 
on the occasion. His text was Job xxvii. 20, 21. 
Then in the presence of the dead and the awestruck 
living he enunciated these sentences: 

" It is a solemn providence that has called us together. 
We have come to pay our last tribute of respect to the 



180 In Olde New York 

dead. But how unlike our usual assembling to cele- 
brate these sad rites. It is not the member of our 
community whose name has often sounded in our 
ears; it is not the long-known friend, it is not the 
relative, not the dear member of our domestic circle 
that we have come to bury. No, we have come to bury 
the stranger. No father, no mother, no wife, no sister 
attends this burial to moisten the grave's cold earth 
with their tears. . . . But strange as it may appear, 
singular as are the circumstances that now surround 
us, it must be admitted that truly does a peculiar 
solemnity become this hour. Each one must feel that 
God is speaking the language that tells of our mortality 
in terms not to be mistaken. For it is not only one, 
it is a congregation of the dead whom we now carry 
to the grave. . . . 

"In adverting to the circumstances that have called 
us together let us not anticipate. On the morning of 
December 6, 1856, we learn that the John Milton was 
lying, a noble vessel of 1445 tons, in the harbor of New 
York. That day was her broad canvas spread, that 
like a winged bird of the ocean she might speed her 
course to distant seas. . . . Five months from that 
day her anchor was cast in the harbor of San Francisco. 
Here, because of mutiny, thirteen of her crew were put 
ashore, and as many more were shipped. But soon 
again was the noble cHpper released, and the day dawn 
of August 10, 1857, brought them into the port of 



The Wreck of the Jolin Milton 181 

Callao. Not long did she rest, for in about two weeks 
we find her moored at the Chincha Islands. From 
thence her course was homeward. On the 14th of the 
present month (February) she anchored in Hampton 
Roads, waiting orders from her owners. On the 16th, 
but twelve short days since, the crew again spread the 
canvas of their gallant vessel. With light and favor- 
able breezes they put to sea, hoping soon to be in the 
harbor of their home. Bright visions of home, of hap- 
piness, of friends, were doubtless flitting across the 
brain and playing sportively with them in their dreams. 
Homeward they were bound. But no; a hand that 
now lies powerless soon recorded, on the 17th, on 
Wednesday morning, 'strong winds, double reef top- 
sails, latter part strong winds and thick snow storm.' 
From that hour they rode upon the sea where the storm- 
king was in the ascendant. Dark and gloomy must 
have been the nights that followed. All clouded was 
the sky. They knew not where they were. No eye, 
no glass could pierce the atmosphere; for on the morn- 
ing of the 18th, on Thursday, the last entry but one in 
the log-book tells us that strong gales are still prevail- 
ing and thick snow. The last entry is on that same 
day: 'Latter part more moderate, and turned reefs 
out'; when by observation they found themselves in 
the latitude of 36 deg. 56 min. — in the exact latitude 
of Cape May, at the southern extremity of the State 
of New Jersey. . . . 



182 In Olde New York 

" No longer have we any witness to tell their course, 
other than the gale that came with them upon the 
land. From Wednesday afternoon till Saturday we 
know that they rode upon the waves of the storm 
enveloped with falling snow. . . Friday was a day of 
terror. Such fear and terror were in the crew that the 
log-book was forgotten. The night that followed was 
the night of the landward tempest that burst upon our 
shore at the opening of day from the sea. Our ship 
was flying before its first and heaviest gale. The wind 
of that tempest was the east wind. By it they were 
carried away, by it they had departed from those deep 
channels of the ocean where the strong oak-timbered 
vessel could long have safely defied the fury of the 
gale. As the morning of Saturday opened upon them, 
and as all eyes were straining to catch some glimpses 
of the sun, the hand that moved in the storm hurled 
them upon the rocks of our shore. The work was 
done. It was but the deed of a moment. Masts, 
spars, sails, officers, and crew were all in one confused 
mass. The John Milton was no longer a monarch 
upon the sea. The ruins of her crown lay in wild 
confusion at the feet of her throne." 

The bodies of the drowned were deposited in a com- 
mon grave in the old churchyard here, and the people 
of the various towns contributed funds for the erection 
of this monument to their memory. 

The above is only one of the many like tragedies 



The Wreck of the John Milton 183 

that the old churchyard covers. At the foot of the 
shaft to the Milton's crew, on the west, are thirteen 
grassy graves, all, save one, marked by wooden head- 
boards. They cover the victims of the wreck of the 
Circassian in 1877, not members of the ship's com- 
pany, but of the wrecking crew who were engaged at 
the time upon her, and who were overwhelmed with 
the vessel by a sudden storm. There is a possible 
romance in this group of graves. One of them is 
distinguished from its companions by a fine marble 
headstone which bears this description: "In loving 
remembrance of Andrew Allan Nodder, se. seventeen 
years, son of Richard and Mary Nodder, of Wanstree, 
near Liverpool, England. His young life was lost at 
the wreck of the Circassian, December 29, 1877." 
The dreamer among the graves is apt to query why 
this son of wealthy well-born parents came to end his 
life as a member of a coast-wrecking crew.^ 

1 Nodder, we have since been informed, was an apprentice belong- 
ing to the ship's crew. 



CHAPTER XVIII 



KING PHARAOH S WIDOW 



TT^ROM the green hilltop where I write, July 25, 
■■■ 1882, can be seen across the downs two brown 
weather-beaten cottages, nestled at the base of a range 
of hills which skirt the blue line of the Sound. These 
cottages shelter eleven souls, the last remnants of the 
once proud tribe of Montaukett. In one dwells Queen 
Maria, widow of the last King, David Pharaoh, with 
her seven children, and in the other Charles Fowler, 
with his wife and child. Enter these dwellings and 
you find them bare and cheerless, with no carpets on 
the floor and only the rudest articles in the way of furni- 
ture. The inmates are idle, ignorant, dissipated, none 
of them pure Indian, there being a liberal intermixture 
of negro blood. They Uve from hand to mouth by 
hunting, fishing, doing odd jobs for the proprietor, 
and on the proceeds of a small interest in the land of 
the nature of a usufruct. Between Wyandanch, the 
first King of Montauk known to Europeans, and David 
Pharaoh, the last, a period of two hundred and fifty 
years intervened. The early history of the Montauketts 
has been told in the books and need not be dwelt on at 



King Pharaoh's Widow 185 

length here. They were the ruling tribe of Long 
Island and dwelt in a fortified village on Montauk. 
Wyandanch, their king, espoused the cause of the 
English, and was for this reason hated by Ninicraft, 
the powerful sachem of the Narragansetts, who de- 
clared war against him. About 1656 Ninicraft made 
a descent on the Montauketts while they were cele- 
brating the nuptials of the chief's daughter, burned 
their villages, slew many of their people, and took 
others captive. Two years later, in 1658, a great 
pestilence carried off many of the remainder, and 
Wyandanch was himself slain by poison administered 
by a follower. This is no doubt familiar to the reader. 
A subject little touched upon, however, is their later 
history and the various efforts that were made, under 
authority of the London Society for the Propagation 
of the Christian Religion in New England, to educate 
and Christianize them. The spiritual care of these 
Indians was at first entrusted to the ministers of the 
church at Easthampton, who met with little success 
in their efforts. In 1741 the Society appointed the 
Rev. Azariah Hortonas a missionary to the Montauketts. 
This devoted clergyman resided among them for several 
years, learned their language to some extent, opened 
schools, and was so successful that he led them to re- 
nounce their idolatry and adopt the Christian religion. 
After Mr. Horton's departure the Society pursued the 
plan of sending teachers and preachers of their own 



186 In Olde New York 

race among them. Several are mentioned in the 
records as having labored here with more or less suc- 
cess. By far the most distinguished was Sampson 
Occum, a member of the Mohegan tribe of Connecti- 
cut. Occum was born in 1723, and in his youth 
attracted the attention of Dr. Eleazer Wheelock, of 
Lebanon, who placed him at "Moor's Indian Charity- 
School" at Lebanon, an institution under the patron- 
age of the Earl of Dartmouth, and which was later 
removed to Hanover and incorporated as Dartmouth 
College, where he received a good education and be- 
came a Christian. In 1755 Occum opened a school 
on Montauk, and preached and taught there until 
1761. At this time the tribe numbered 182 souls. 
After him came several Indian teachers and preachers, 
the last, Paul CufFee, a Shinnecock half-breed, acting 
as their spiritual teacher until a comparatively recent 
period. They also were cared for by the church at 
Easthampton during this period. Dr. Lyman Beecher, 
while pastor there, frequently riding across the wastes 
to preach to the Indians at Montauk. The result of 
these efforts was discouraging. A competent observer, 
the late Mr. David Gardiner, of East Hampton, thus 
epitomizes it : " Some of them learned to read and write, 
but their progress in knowledge neither ameliorated 
their condition, nor divested them of their natural 
improvidence. Their thirst for the liquid fire of the 
white man continued, with scarcely an exception, as 



King Pharaoh's Widow 187 

ardent as when they first became acquainted with 
civilized Hfe, and the domestic comforts of the hearth 
were Httle enhanced beyond the savage state, not- 
withstanding all the advantages of intercourse with a 
moral and religious people, disposed to treat them with 
sobriety and friendship. The efforts in this case for 
regenerating the Indian character were certainly a 
decided failure, and may be added to the thousand 
others which have disappointed the hopes of the 
philanthropist." 

Not the least interesting feature of Montauk are the 
relics of this unfortunate people that still exist. On a 
high hill on the east side of Fort Pond Bay are the 
well-defined lines of a fort built by Wyandanch after 
the descent of the Narragansetts. It was about 100 
feet square, with rampart and parapet of earth, a ditch 
at the foot of the glacis, and, tradition says, was pali- 
saded — in all, a quite creditable piece of miUtary 
engineering. About half a mile southeast there is an 
ancient Indian burial-ground, and near this the most 
celebrated of the relics of Montauk — a granite stone 
on whose smooth surface is the deep imprint of a hu- 
man foot. Had some wandering Indian stepped upon 
the granite in a plastic state, the impression could not 
have been more perfect and distinct. Two other 
similar prints have been found on the plateau, and 
one has been removed, my informant thought, by 
some historical society. In all the heel of the foot is 



188 In Olde New York 

toward the east and the toes to the west — prophetic, 
perhaps, of the westward march of the poor Indian. 
There is no legend current as to their origin except 
the one mentioned below, that they were made by the 
foot of the evil spirit in his flight. The Indians held 
them in superstitious awe, and frequent pow-wows 
were held in their vicinity. Another curious stone is 
encountered as one enters upon Montauk — a granite 
rock, smooth and flat, upon which are several red 
marks as of blood. The Indian legend says that they 
were made by the blood of a chief who was killed there 
by an enemy's arrow. One frequently meets little 
cavities in the ground in his rambles, which were 
once deep pits where Indian corn was stored. In the 
old records these are called "Indian bams." In high 
places on the north shore, where the wind has re- 
moved the sand, chippings of white flint mark the site 
of Indian workshops where arrows, spears, and toma- 
hawks were chipped into form. Heaps of shells still 
mark their ancient feasting places, and their weapons 
and domestic utensils are quite frequently picked up 
on the shores of Fort Pond and Great Pond. Per- 
haps the most thrilling legend that haunts Montauk 
is that of the raising of Mutcheshesumetook, the Evil 
One. The great event of the Indian year was the 
stranding of a whale on the beach. Its flesh furnished 
food, its oil light, its hide thongs, its bones points for 
weapons, and its tail or fin, roasted in the fire, was the 



King Pharaoh's Widow 189 

most acceptable offering that could be made to Saw- 
wonnuntoh, their deity. The sacrifice was offered 
amid the whole concourse of the people, with feasts, 
dances, yells, and incantations on the part of the 
medicine-men to drive off the Evil One, who was also 
known to regard it as a choice tid-bit. Now, it so 
happened that at one of these pow-wows the incanta- 
tions were so powerful that Mutcheshesumetook 
appeared in visible form and was pursued westward 
by the whole body of people. In his flight he stepped 
on the granite rock of which I have spoken, and left 
the impress of his foot, which time cannot efface. 



CHAPTER XIX 



AN ISLAND MANOR 



XT EARLY opposite Easthampton at the entrance 
-^ ^ to the Sound Hes a small island as peculiar in its 
social and political liistory as in its physical conforma- 
tion. It is known as Gardiner's Island. Once it was 
a long tongue of land jutting out from the main body 
of the island, but the strong currents of the Atlantic 
have eaten away the connecting portion, leaving an 
oval-shaped mass of gravelly hills and dales, some 
seven miles in circumference and containing some 
thirty-three hundred acres. Its history is curious. 
Lion Gardiner, a soldier of fortune from the Low 
Countries, bought it of the Indian owners in 1639. 
Shortly afterward he received a patent of it from Lord 
Stirling, for which he paid "a little more," and agreed 
to give a yearly annuity of five pounds, if demanded. 
In 1640 he removed to the island with his young wife 
and child, and, dying in 1663, bequeathed it to his 
eldest son, and this example being followed by those 
who succeeded him, the estate has remained in the 
family name unbroken for ten generations.^ 
* 1885. 



An Island Manor 191 

The social order on the island is quite patriarchal. 
The proprietor is the social and political head of the 
domain. Though grazing is the chief business of the 
estate, large quantities of hay, grain, and roots are 
raised, and this necessitates the employment of some 
thirty farm hands, nearly all of whom were bom on 
the island. Some have grown gray in the ser^^ce 
without ever having left the island except for brief 
visits to the mainland. Many have married there, 
and have families of their own, so that there is a little 
community of between fifty and sixty souls for whom 
the proprietor must provide food, clothing, shelter, 
school, and chapel. 

A personal visit to the island is attended with some 
difficulty. The nearest point on the Long Island 
shore is a sand pit, known as "The Fireplace," some 
four miles distant. The nearest settlement is "The 
Springs," a little hamlet of two stores, a post-office, 
and several weather-beaten houses. Boats from the 
island generally come to this place every Saturday for 
supplies, and if one has the proper credentials he may 
secure a passage on their return trip and will be sure 
of a welcome at his journey's end. There is no harbor 
on the island, the boats landing on the western shore 
at a little boathouse built high up on the open beach 
for their protection. From this point a gravelly path 
winds through open grounds to the mansion house 
of the estate, perhaps an eighth of a mile inland. This 



192 In Olde New York 

is a long, roomy country seat, painted white, with wide 
gables and dormer windows, a deep porch in front 
extending the whole length of the building, and is 
shaded by fine old forest trees. The present structure 
only dates back to a few years before the Revolution, 
but in its treasures of relics and priceless heirlooms it 
is surpassed by none. In the library are more hunting 
trophies, some rare old books and documents, land 
grants, patents, commissions, and the like, on paper 
and parchment discolored with age. One of the rare 
books is the family Bible of Lion Gardiner, in which 
is inscribed in his own hand this quaint bit of history: 

"In the year of our Lord 1635, July 10, came I, 
Lion Gardiner, and Mary, my wife, from Woredon, 
a town in Holland, where my wife was bom, being 
daughter of one Dirike Wilamson. . . . We came 
from Woredon to London and thence to New England, 
and dwelt at Saybrook fort four years, of which I was 
Commander, and there was born unto me a son named 
David in 1636, April the 29th, the first bom in that 
place, and in 1638 a daughter was bom called Mary, 
August the 30th, and then I went to an island of mine 
own which I bought of the Indians, called by them 
Manchonoke and by me Isle of Wight, and there was 
born another daughter named EHzabeth, Sept. 14, 
1641, she being the first child bom there of English 
parents." 

Rare old china and bric-a-brac, glossy perukes, 



An Island Manor 193 

wonderful frills, and dainty silken robes odorous of 
camphor and lavender, are only a few of the treasured 
relics which the old mansion boasts. Among them 
was until recently a diamond from Captain Kidd's 
stores, and a cradle quilt of cloth of gold presented by 
that freebooter to the wife of the third proprietor in 
return for a dinner of roast pig at which he was a self- 
invited guest. Contiguous to the house is a fine 
garden, and beyond it a dairy house, an old-fashioned 
windmill propelled by sails for grinding grain, several 
bams, cottages for the workmen, and a race-course 
for training blooded colts, the raising of which has 
become of late a leading industry on the farm. 

One September morning, mounted on a spirited 
steed, I set out for an unrestricted gallop over the island. 
Turning into a rough wagon road leading southward, 
I cantered along past the race-course, green meadows, 
and yellow cornfields, and fields where the brood 
mares and their foals were quietly feeding, through 
several bars and gates, and at last emerged on the 
wide sheep pastures that occupy the entire southern 
portion of the island. Nearly a thousand acres in 
area, these pastures present every variety of landscape 
— steep bluffs, scarred hills, wide downs gay with 
golden-rod, little green hollows, patches of deep wood, 
marshes, and sea beaches. Some twenty-five hundred 
white, fleecy innocents were cropping the tender grass 
here, and at sight of the horseman scampered toward 



194 In Olde New York 

him with a chorus of " baas," so that he was soon 
surrounded by hundreds of the pretty creatures all 
eager for the salt that is liberally showered upon them 
by the herdsman in his visits. He had none, to his 
sorrow, and, unable to withstand their appealing 
glances, spurred his horse to the top of the highest 
bluff on the eastern shore for a glance at his surround- 
ings. From this point one looks out over the entire 
island upon a weird, strange scene — a mass of tumbled 
hills, gray downs, and delightful little hollows, much 
resembling in some features the neighboring peninsula 
of Montauk, although, unlike that, it supports here 
and there patches of deep forest. At our feet the 
Atlantic thundered. Northward we could see the gray 
coastline of Connecticut; westward the hills sloped 
gently down to the mansion house two miles away, 
and on the south, stretching far out to sea, was the 
long tongue of land known as Montauk, with the white 
tower of the lighthouse marking its eastern extremity. 
The cattle pastures, equal in extent to the sheep range, 
occupy the northern side of the island, and are sepa- 
rated from the latter by fences of rail or stones. They 
are capable of carrying a herd of four hundred head. 
Leaving the shore, I went for a gallop inland through 
these wastes. My horse leaped the watercourses and 
tussocks, curved round the little circular pond holes 
that dot the island, and threaded the patches of 
forest with the skill of an old campaigner. Occasion- 



An Island Manor 195 

ally we were met by a wild steer, in the wood we startled 
whole colonies of crows, that circled above us with 
vociferous cawings, and on every dry tree of any size 
was perched an immense fishhawk's nest, seemingly 
placed with an eye to the picturesque. An unwritten 
law severe as Draco's protects these birds on the island, 
and they are comparatively tame. No more favorable 
place for a study of their habits could be found. I 
learned from an old gray-haired workman, evidently 
a keen observer of nature, that they invariably leave 
the island on the same day in autumn — the 20th of 
October — and return as regularly on the 20th of 
May. Their nests are great conglomerations of sticks, 
straw, mud, and fish bones, fully six feet in diameter, 
and ludicrously large compared with the size of the 
bird. Their dexterity in taking their prey is some- 
thing wonderful. My friend the laborer assured me 
that he had often seen them strike flatfish, proverbially 
quick of movement, eleven feet beneath the surface, 
and bear them in triumph to their nests. On my 
return after completing the circuit of the island I 
passed the cemetery of the estate, a lonely little place of 
graves, separated from the waste by a fence of white 
palings, and with a great boulder in the center covered 
with a thick growth of vines. Here the several pro- 
prietors of the island are laid, except one, who died 
and was buried at Hartford. 

One might make a chapter of the wild tales and 



196 In Olde New York 

traditions of Kidd and his doings that haunt the island. 
Gardiner's Bay and its shores are said to have been a 
favorite resort of the pirate and others of his ilk. I 
saw the identical spot — on the border of a dense 
swamp in what was then a thick wood — where he 
buried the famous chest of treasure referred to by our 
friend, and heard many tales of pirate daring and 
enormities. Kidd often came to the mansion house 
in the days of the third proprietor, was a self-invited 
guest at his table, and took forcibly such provisions 
as his ships needed, although he always paid prodigally 
for them. The reputation of the island as a depository 
of hidden treasure was for a long time a source of 
annoyance to the owners from the hordes of treasure- 
seekers that it attracted thither, but the guild has now 
become nearly extinct. 



CHAPTER XX 

THE WHALEMEN OF SAG HARBOR 

TN 1845 Sag Harbor had a population of 2700 souls; 
-'■ the last census gives it but 1996.^ The grand list 
of the town shows a more startling decrease, all attrib- 
utable to the loss of the whaling interest, which forty 
years ago lined its docks with ships and made the town 
a familiar name in every Old World port, and in the 
islands of the sea as well. This decadence is made 
more manifest by a stroll through the village. You 
walk through streets where a slumberous quiet prevails, 
and whose dust rests undisturbed by traffic. You 
pass fine old country seats gained by adventurous 
voyages in the Atlantic and Pacific, from the Arctic 
to the Antarctic, but whose occupants are rarely to be 
tempted now from their snug harborage. Along the 
water front are ruins of oil-cellar, warehouse, cooper- 
shop and sail-loft, covering acres; two or three old 
hulks, foundered and rotting on the shallows, and a 
long dock, untenanted save by fishing smacks, with 
perhaps two or three old whalemen lounging Hstlessly 

^ This figure has increased considerably since 1882, the time 
this was written. 



198 In Olde New York 

upon it, and a single cart loading with cord wood, sole 
representative of the hurry and bustle that once charac- 
terized it. To gain a vivid idea of the town at its best 
estate, however, one must win the confidence of one of 
the old ship captains who still remain snugly moored 
in the port, or, better still, get an inter\'iew with some 
member of the old shipping firms, who once had their 
score of vessels out in as many seas, and handled 
products to the value of millions annually. In his 
former shipping-oflfice, I met recently a gentleman of 
the latter class, who favored me not only with many 
interesting facts concerning the prosecution of the 
business in former days, but with much agreeable 
reminiscence besides. The shipping-office was in itself 
a study; a small room, with bare floors, fitted with a 
stove, desk, armchairs, and a quaint old secretary, 
in which was stored a variety of books and documents 
— ledgers filled with long columns of figures, musty 
log-books, records of long-forgotten voyages, invoices, 
manifests, clearances, contracts, advances, outfits, 
leases of vessels, and the like, with samples of oil, 
whaling relics, and curiosities from foreign cUmes. 
Quite frequently during the conversation my informant 
refreshed his memory by a reference to this store of 
documents. 

It is a fact not generally known, perhaps, that the 
first vessel to make a long-distance whaling voyage 
sailed from Sag Harbor. She was gone but a few 



The Whalemen of Sag Harbor 199 

months, running down into the South Atlantic, and 
returned unsuccessful. Nothing daunted, her owners 
fitted out other vessels, which returned with full holds, 
netting them a handsome profit. New London, 
Stonington, New Bedford, and Nantucket — all nearly 
opposite — were quick to perceive the possibilities of 
the whale fishery assured by this successful voyage, 
and engaged in the business with ardor. The palmy 
days of the town and of the whaling industry cul- 
minated in 1845. At this time the village had sixty- 
four ships scattered over the globe in pursuit of whales ; 
and my informant had counted as many as fourteen 
ships lying in the harbor at one time waiting to unload 
cargo. He gave a vivid picture of the "high days" 
witnessed in the village then. Ships lay three abreast 
at the long dock. Eight hundred riggers, coopers, 
sailmakers, and stevedores went on and off the wharves 
daily. Thousands of barrels of oil lay in the oil 
cellars, piled tier above tier and covered with seaweed. 
Great warehouses, three stories high, the upper stories 
filled with whalebone and spermaceti, the lower used 
as sail and rigging lofts, alternated along the water 
front with rows of long cooper shops. Lighters were 
coming and going from the ships in the bay, hundreds 
of carts moving oil and bone from the docks, the adze 
of the cooper and hammer of blacksmith and outfitter 
rang all day long, and the streets were filled with 
crews of outgoing or incoming vessels, attended by 



200 In Olde New York 

their wives, daughters, and sweethearts, mingling wel- 
comes and farewells, weeping and laughter. Four 
firms in the village at this time were among the heaviest 
owners in the trade — Howell Brothers & Hunting, 
Mulford & Slate, Charles T. Deering, and H. & S. 
French. The majority of the ships, however, were 
owned by a number of stockholders who formed 
regularly organized companies. 

The vessels employed were rarely new, more often 
packet ships whose defective sailing qualities unfitted 
them for passenger traffic, or old craft that had out- 
lived their usefulness. Of the latter class some notable 
vessels came into the hands of the shipmasters, among 
them the Thames, famous in missionary annals, and 
the Cadmus, the ship that brought Lafayette to this 
country in 1824. These were purchased or leased by 
the shipping firms, refitted, and sent out on voyages of 
from one to three years' duration. Whaling cruises 
were at first limited to the North and South Atlantic, 
but as the whales became less and less plentiful there, 
they were extended until they embraced the entire 
circuit of the globe. A favorite three years' voyage 
in 1845 was to the Azores, thence to St. Helena, and 
down the West Coast, around the Cape of Good Hope, 
through the Indian Ocean to Australia, thence to the 
North Pacific, thence south through the Polynesian 
Islands, around Cape Horn and home. 

It was no light matter to fit out a vessel for one of 



The Whalemen of Sag Harbor 201 

these voyages. The sails, running rigging, cables, 
and boats were inspected with the utmost care. From 
a paper containing instructions to the outfitter of the 
bark Pacific, bound on a three years' voyage, I find 
he was to "have yards all up to topmast heads, spare 
spars, if any, on deck, jib-boom rigged in, anchors on 
bows, both chains on deck and forward to windlass, 
or between windlass and bow; rigging all overhauled, 
mizzen rigging all new, including backstays; all head 
rigging new, also fore topmast and topgallant stays." 
This done, a crew of twenty-two picked men was to 
be provided, with three boats and their complement of 
harpoons, lances, lines, and hatchets, together with 
2000 or 3000 well-seasoned barrels and a great variety 
of provisions and miscellaneous stores. A little book 
containing the list of articles furnished the bark Pacific 
above mentioned in 1852 lies before me, and to satisfy 
the reader's curiosity I subjoin a list of the most im- 
portant. Under the head of provisions and cabin 
stores were: 1 barrel kiln-dried meal, 500 pounds pork 
hams, 100 gallons vinegar, 2 quintals codfish, 500 
pounds sugar, 400 pounds coffee, 400 pounds dried 
apples, 2 boxes raisins, 30 barrels beans, 20 bushels 
corn, 100 bushels potatoes, 200 gallons lamp oil, 1 box 
sperm candles, 3 boxes hard soap, \^ chests of tea, 
50 pounds crushed sugar, 6 pounds mustard, 25 pounds 
black pepper, 20 pounds ginger, 28 pounds spices, 30 
pounds saleratus, 1 box pepper sauce, 3 bags table salt. 



202 In Olde New York 

6 packages preserved meats. In her medicine chest 
she carried 1 case Holland gin, 1 gallon brandy, 1 of 
port wine, and 10 of whiskey. Under the head of 
" miscellaneous " articles were tar, 20 cords of oak wood, 
chains, head straps, old junk, white oak butts, boat 
knees, stems and timbers, 15 pounds sand, 1 cask 
sawdust, 1 cask hme, 3 whaling guns, 50 bomb lances, 
lance powder, 1 spun yarn winch, and 1 mincing 
machine. As "ship chandlery" she carried scrubbing 
brushes, chopping knives, lamp wicks, coflPee mills, 
Bristol brick, sieves, 4 sets knives, beeswax, tacks, 
brass and iron screws, shovels, hoes, rigging leather, 
pump leather, matches, and ensigns, 29 varieties of 
cooper's tools, and quite an assortment of crockery and 
tinware. Under the head of "cordage" there were 
20 manila lines, 2 tarred, 1 coil lance line, 1 coil mar- 
line, 4 coils spun yam, 12 coils ratlines, ropes for jib- 
stay, and 8 coils manilla rope. Under head of " slops," 
tobacco, reefing jackets, duck trousers, and denims, 
Guernsey frocks, twilled kersey shirts, tarpaulin hats, 
southwesters, mounted palms, shoes, and brogans are 
enumerated. ^ 

Captain, mates, and seamen all sailed on the "lay," 
that is, for a certain percentage of the cargo secured. 
This percentage varied with the different owners and 
captains. Usually a captain received one sixteenth, 
a mate one twenty-fourth, a boat-steerer one ninetieth, 
and ordinary seamen one one-hundred-and-tenth of the 



The Whalemen of Sag Harbor 203 

catch. The remainder fell to the owners, who bore 
all the expenses of the voyage. This system gave 
every man an interest in securing a " big lay," and 
worked admirably. An outcome of this plan, which 
entailed no end of loss and vexation on the owners, was 
the system of "advances," by which they advanced 
to the men tobacco, clothes, and money, often 
to the full value of their share in the prospective 
cargo. 

The return of a vessel from a three years' voyage 
was an event in the village. Keen eyes were generally 
on the watch, and as soon as she was sighted a pilot- 
boat, filled with the owners and friends of the ship's 
officers, sailed down the harbor to welcome her. Mean- 
while news of the arrival spread through the village, 
and with marvelous rapidity to the outlying hamlets, 
Bridgehampton, Easthampton, etc., whence the crews 
were largely recruited, and as the vessel drew up to the 
dock a throng of friends and relatives of the crew 
were gathered to greet them. The scene that ensued 
may be imagined; it was not without its more somber 
aspects, however, for often it could only be said of 
some one that he had been crushed in the whale's 
jaws, or by a fall from the masthead, or had perished 
of fever and been buried on some island of the sea. 
The men ashore, the owners and skipper made an 
inspection of the cargo; vials were filled with samples 
of oil to be forwarded to the commission houses in New 



204 In Olde New York 

York through whom the cargo was sold, and the 
vessel was ordered unloaded. 

Traditions of wonderfully lucrative voyages made 
by soide of these vessels still linger in the port. The 
Thomas Jefferson, after a year's voyage, returned with 
$132,000 worth of oil and bone. She cost her owners 
$17,000, and netted them that year $40,000. The ship 
Hudson, absent from her dock just seven months, 
thirteen and one-half days, without sighting land in 
the interim, brought back 2400 barrels of oil. The 
ship Cadmus made as good a voyage. The bark 
Pacific was most unfortunate at first. At Pernambuco, 
on her first voyage, she lost her captain, and was 
obliged to return. On a second venture to the Pacific 
she was dismasted by a typhoon, and again returned 
empty. On her third voyage she netted her owners 
$7000. Loss and risk were incident to the business, 
however, as in the case of the ship Flying Cloud, 
owTied in Sag Harbor, but sent to New Bedford with a 
full cargo for a market. There her owners were 
offered seventy-two cents per gallon for their ojl, but 
preferred to ship it to England, where they secured, 
after nearly a year's delay, twenty-six cents per gallon. 

I was curious to learn the cause for the decline of 
this once lucrative business, and was surprised to find 
it attributed almost solely to the California excitement 
of 1849. Whalemen, from their life of adventure, were 
at once attracted by tales of the richness of the new 



The Whalemen of Sag Harbor 205 

El Dorado, and removed thither by hundreds. Whole 
crews deserted from whale ships lying in San Francisco, 
and made for the diggings, so that, with none to man 
them, the vessels were laid up at the wharfs. A great 
fire in 1845, which destroyed docks, warehouses, and 
other appliances, also contributed to this end. 



CHAPTER XXI 

TALES OF SOUTHAMPTON 

r I "iHE best story-teller at Southampton one season 
^ years ago was a little old man in saffron-colored 
nankeens such as the beaux of fifty years ago were 
wont to wear. He rarely lacked an audience, and many 
a strange yam he spun with quaint earnestness that 
seemed to bolster up the weak points in the story with 
strange effect. 

"This beach is the real treasure island, don't you 
know," he said, one day as he sat on the shore and 
waved his hand out to the shining stretch of sand. 
" Not only has it received the wrecks of the great fleets, 
entering the bay of the Western metropolis for nearly 
three hundred years, but it was Captain ICidd's great 
bank of deposit, as well as that of his illustrious com- 
peers. Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearls, 
inestimable stones and pretty much everything else 
poor Clarence saw are here if only one knew where 
to look. If I have not dug and handled some of 
Kidd's treasure myself I have seen and handled the 
gross integument which once incased it; and as my 
previous tales have been legendary — although having 



Tales of Southampton 207 

the stamp of truth — in this case I can produce the 
ancient record itself. I was rummaging in a south side 
garret recently and there found an iron pot of peculiar 
shape, more 'pot bellied,' if you will excuse the term, 
and much heavier than those now in use, covered with 
a deep coat of rust. 

"'Ah,' said my hostess, when I reported the find, 
'that is the Captain Kidd pot. It was dug up yonder 
by my grandfather over a hundred years ago. Here 
is a paper,' she added, 'that will tell you all about it.' 

"It was a very old paper, indeed, yellow with time, 
and almost ready to fall to pieces, dated ' New London, 
Connecticut, June 28, 1790,' but the name had been 
torn or had fallen off, to my vexation. However, she 
pointed to a letter from a correspondent in Southamp- 
ton which read as follows: 'Yesterday a young man in 
this place dug up a stone and a pot under it full of 
dollars. He called in his neighbors and digging deeper 
they found another and much larger pot. The stone 
and inscription I have seen. It appears to be a ballast 
stone. The engraving on it is much blurred. We 
think it was buried by Kidd. It was dug up within a 
quarter of a mile of our south shore, on a flat piece of 
land. The engraver must have been ilhterate and the 
inscription cannot be imitated by printed types.' 

"My hostess did not remember how many dollars 
were in the pot, but thought the sum a comfortable 
one. Not long afterward, in a garret in Easthampton, 



208 In Olde New York 

I discovered Captain Kidd's old treasure chest, a heavy 
oaken box with great brass clasps and locks, that bore 
great store of precious stones, silver bars and cloth of 
gold when it was dug up on Gardiner's Island by order 
of the commissioners sent there by the royal governor 
for this special purpose. Kidd was on trial in Boston 
at the time for his crimes and told where he had buried 
several chests of treasure on Gardiner's Island in the 
hope of purchasing pardon. He was sent to England, 
however, tried and hanged in chains at Newgate. 
The woman who o^^Tled the chest was a descendant 
of the Gardiners of Gardiner's Island, and vouched 
for its genuineness as the treasure chest of Captain 
Kidd. 

"But really, the greatest find ever made on this 
beach was that of my young friend and relative. Jack 
Belyea. Jack didn't say much about it for obvious 
reasons. He was here five sumpers ago. A shy, 
sensitive fellow naturally, but his great trouble that 
summer rendered him more so. You see, he wanted 
to marry Bertha, and Bertha confided to me that she 
was awfully in love with Jack, but unfortunately his 
bank account wasn't at all satisfactory to her parents 
and they forbade the union. So Jack had but a sorry 
summer of it, paced the sands revolving plans for in- 
creasing his worldly gear, and was often tempted to 
end it all by one plunge into the breakers. In one of 
these evil moments his foot struck a little ball of yam, 



Tales of Southampton 209 

as he thought, and sent it spinning along the beach 
before him. Then, because he felt a spite against 
everything animate and inanimate, I suppose, he 
began kicking it on before liim like a football. Pres- 
ently he saw something strange about it and picked it 
up to examine it more closely. It was woven instead 
of wound, in a very curious and intricate way. Jack 
said this aroused his curiosity and, taking out his 
knife, he cut one by one the strands of strong Indian 
hemp of which it was composed. The last layer dis- 
closed one of those horribly ugly and grotesque Indian 
idols, with which travelers to the Orient are familiar. 
One feature of it struck Jack as very unusual — its 
stomach was very large and protruded in an unnatural 
way. A few strokes of his knife opened it when, lo, 
out fell six of the largest and most beautiful diamonds 
ever seen outside of kings' regalia. 

"How they rolled and sparkled on the hard sand! 
Jack stood dazed for a moment, then scrambled to 
pick them up and hide them in his pocket. After this 
he peered farther into the cavity whence they came 
and found there a coiled ribbon of rice paper on which 
was written in Hindustan: 

'"The gems have been my curse, therefore commit 
I them to the sea. Whosoever thou be that findest, 
keep not, but sell; if rich, give to the poor: if poor, enjoy 
thy wealth and give Allah thanks.' 

"When Jack took his bank book to Bertha's father 



210 In Olde New York 

a month later, the old gentleman was vastly surprised 
but could not gainsay the figures. He could only 
murmur a blessmg. So Jack and Bertha were 
married." 

Another day when we had gathered round the Uttle 
old man at the base of Sand Hill Crane dune, he told 
this strange story of Captain Topping: 

" I stood here last Michaelmas toward sunset watch- 
ing the top hamper of a big East Indiaman sink beneath 
the waves, when suddenly a shadow enveloped me, cool, 
hke a cloud, and looking up I beheld an odd figure 
a few yards off — a man of giant frame, leaning on an 
eel spear and regarding me not unkindly. His cos- 
tume, sou'wester, pea jacket and heavy sea boots, be- 
spoke the seafaring man of an earlier day, and his 
skin was so tanned and wrinkled by time and exposure 
that it hung in folds about his shrewd face and twink- 
ling black eyes. 

"As I looked up he turned his head in a hstening 
attitude and then cried with startling energy: 'Fourth 
squadron, ahoy! ahoy!' There was no response, how- 
ever, and after peering up and down the sands he 
turned to me. 

" ' Methought I heard our old cry — the weft ! the 
weft! But I see it not. Old eyes are dim and old 
ears dull I find.' 

"The weft; ah, yes, I remembered; the fisher's coat 
waved from a staff on the dunes, the signal to the 



Tales of Southampton 211 

whaling crews two hundred years ago that a whale 
was off shore — and then looking more closely I per- 
ceived that it was not an eel spear but a harpoon, that 
my strange visitor leaned upon. 

"'And this is ?' I queried. 

" ' Cap'n Thomas Topping at your service,' he 
replied with dignity. 

" The name startled me. I had been nosing through 
the old records in the town clerk's office and recognized 
the name as that of one of the leading spirits in the 
settlement of the town, a famous Indian fighter and 
captain of the whaling crew, withal an ancestor of 
mine several generations back. I could only stare at 
him in wide mouthed wonder. 

'"I've come back,' he continued in a thin, cracked, 
quavering voice, 'to see what these moderns are a 
doin', an' I confess I don't altogether admire the 
goin's on, I vow I can't fathom 'em. The place is far 
prettier than in my day. Oceans o' money must have 
been spent on the houses, lawns an' gardens, to say 
nothin' of the houses, kerridges and sich, but, fer all 
that, life ain't as well worth livin' here as it was in 
my day leastways not ter me. 

'"Fust place I visited was my old windmill on 
Fortune Hill that Cap'n Eben Parsons leased of me an' 
run for nigh fifty year. Ef you had all the grain 
Cap'n Eben has seen run through them hoppers o' 
his, you'd be richer than you are, or like to be. Well, 



212 In Olde New York 

the old mill was there just the same outwardly to 
appearance, but inside — why, I found on openin' 
the door and walkin' in that two likely lookin' wimmen 
from Boston, or up that way, had bought it an' turned 
it into a dwellin' hus. Think of livin' in a windmill; 
an' they had fitted it up inside with all sort o' city 
knicknacks an' furnishens, an' I must say had e very- 
thin' as snug an' cozy as could be. 

'"I introduced myself as Cap'n Eben, who was 
runnin' the mill when their fathers and mothers was 
children, an' they appeared real glad to see me, asked 
me to stay to tea. Naturally we fell to talkin' 'bout 
their takin' up with an old mill fer a house. I tole 'em 
that when Cap'n Eben an' Sabella Hand that was 
a sparkin', arter they was promised, Cap'n Eben 
wanted to be jined to onct, an' go to housekeepin' on 
the ground floor o' his old mill, not bein' forehanded 
enough to provide a house; but Sabella turned up her 
nose at the idee; she said she guessed she wan't goin' 
to be married to live in a mill; an' she waited sLx years 
afore Cap'n Eben could provide a house to her notion. 
The women marveled at Sabella's conduct, said they 
didn't admire it a bit; for their part they delighted to 
live in the old mill; and they asked me a heap o' ques- 
tions — how I ground com and wheat, and if the rats 
and mice was so bold an' numerous then, and if the 
wind moaned so ghost like through the vans o' nights 
when a storm was brewin'. 



Tales of Southampton 213 

"'I next went a lookin' fer the old meetin' house 
where Parson Hunting preached the pure gospel for 
goin' on fifty years; but dear me, there was a biUiard 
room and bowling alley on the site; an' out where the 
horse sheds stood there was a space rolled smooth 
and young men and women in parti-colored raiment 
was a batting balls agin a net in the center. There 
was a woman on the stoop of a fine new house across 
the way watcliin' em, an' I made bold to ask her where 
the meetin' 'us was moved to. 

"'Law,' says she, 'you're a stranger here I guess. 
They moved it down agin the sand hills yonder, an' 
made a bran new buildin' of it, an' brought up a sex- 
tant from New York to take care of it.' 

"'I was meandering peacefully down the street in 
search of the meetin' 'us, when of a suddint some- 
thin' shot by me with a swish, a cretur like a man 
balanced on a frame hung between two wheels placed 
tandem — but what kept the thing up I couldn't see 
unless it was the power of the evil one. I thought it 
was one of them winged creturs, or wheels within 
wheels foretold by the prophet Elijah for the last days, 
an' I asked a boy if it was, and he said, "It's a bysickle, 
you old fool." 

"'In my day children were taught to respect their 
elders. 

"'The sextant took great pride in his meeting 'us 
an' showed me all over it. It was a queer, low, mouse- 



214 In Olde New York 

like building, with a many towers and ells and angles 
and no steeple, and was built mostly of wreck timber 
gathered on the beach — so different from the stately 
churches of my day with lofty steeples and pillared 
porticos. I asked the sexton why they changed. 
"Well," sez he, "they wanted somethin' different. 
Them old-fashioned meetin' houses with tall steeples 
an' four pillars in front was so famihar an' common- 
place, they got to be an eyesore, so our trustees told 
the architect to git 'em up somethin' novel an' un- 
heard of. An' he done it." 

"'The fact is,' said the old warrior, slightly chang- 
ing his position, 'I don't understand these mod- 
ems. They cum here an' build houses, costin' fifty 
thousan' dollars apiece — that would a bought the 
hull township in my day, includin' the whalin' out- 
fit — an' only occupy 'em tew or three months in 
the year, or not at all. An' then the trumpery! they 
fill 'em up with spinnin' wheels, hatchets, and old 
irons, trammels, arm cheers, pots and kittles; what 
we used they keep for ornaments. I hed ter laugh 
when I see at one place Deacon 'Siah Howell's ole 
arm cheer of EngUsh oak he bro't with him from 
Suffolk a standin' on the front stoop, tied all over 
with blue ribbons.' 

"While speaking, my strange visitor had kept his 
weather eye to seaward and his huge fingers gripped 
the harpoon staff. 



Tales of Southampton 215 

"Suddenly there came a distant cry: 'The weft! 
The weft! Weft! Weft!' 

"'There she blows! There she blows!' and with a 
shout of glee my venerable ancestor made oflF amid 
the sand hills and I never saw him again." 



CHAPTER XXII 



THE SHINNECOCKS' 



\ MILE and a half from Southampton lie the 
'^*- wide reservation and rude dwellings of the Shinne- 
cock Indians — with the possible exception of the 
Mashpees on Cape Cod, the most numerous and re- 
spectable of existing Eastern tribes. One finds their 
history and the story of their connection with the 
whites, as contained in the quaint old Southampton 
records, exceedingly interesting. When the first 
settlers of Southampton came here from Massachusetts 
in 1640, they were, next to the Montaukets, the domi- 
nant tribe on the island, with a territory extending from 
Canoe Place on the west to Easthampton on the east, 
including the whole south shore of Peconic Bay, and 
their warriors, according to tradition, reaching when 
arranged in Indian file from "Shinnecock gate to the 
town " — about two miles — and numbering 2000 men. 
Southampton was purchased of the Shinnecocks. 

^ Written for the Evening Post in 1886. The Shinnecocks still 
retain their tribal autonomy and reservation and have about held 
their own in numbers, but it is said there is scarcely a full-blood 
Shinnecock among them. 



The Shinnecocks 217 

The deed is still preserved in the town records, an in- 
strument dating back to 1640, and setting forth, in the 
old terminology, that Pomatuck, Manduck, and seven 
others, " native Indians and true owners of the eastern 
part of Long Island, for the consideration of sixteen 
coats and threescore bushels of com, and in further 
consideration that the English should defend the said 
Indians from the unjust violence of whatever Indians 
should illegally assail them," conveyed to the whites 
" the lands commonly known by the name of the place 
where the Indians bayle over their canoes out of the 
North Bay (Peconic) to the south side of the island, 
all the lands lying eastward of that point." The pur- 
chase also included all the planted land "eastward 
from the first creek at the westermore end of Shinne- 
cock plain." For more than sixty years Indian and 
white continued to dwell in the greatest harmony — 
the energies of the former, as their hunting privileges 
grew less, being absorbed in the off-shore whale fishery. 
Some curious entries in the town records pertaining 
to this matter are interesting as showing the relations 
existing between the parties. In 1670 Paquanang and 
other Indians agreed with a Southampton company 
" to whale for the next three years the same way as the 
last three years, and in addition a pot such as John 
Cooper gives his Indians." By an instrument of 1671 
Atingquoin agreed to whale for the next season "for 
one coat before it commenced, one when the season 



218 In Olde New York 

was half over, and a third when it ended," or "for a 
pot, a pair of shoes and stockings, one-half of a pound 
of powder, and three pounds of shot." In other cases 
they were employed in trying out the blubber, for a 
certain share in the oil. By 1703, however, their hunt- 
ing lands had nearly all slipped away, and they became 
restless and dissatisfied, whereupon a grand convention 
of whites and Indians was held at Southampton and the 
matter amicably settled, the town giving the Indians a 
lease of Shinnecock Hills at a nominal rental of one ear 
of corn, paid annually — the meadows, marshes, grass, 
herbage, feeding, pasturage, timber, stone, and con- 
venient highways excepted; the Indians, however, to 
have the privilege of ploughing and planting certain 
portions of it. They were also given liberty to cut 
flags, bulrushes, and such grass as they made their 
baskets of, and to dig ground-nuts, "mowing lands 
excepted." 

Shinnecock Hills is the beautiful tract of rolling 
country, comprising pastures only, occupying the 
narrow neck between Peconic and Shinnecock Bays. 
It was held by the Indians under the lease of 1703 until 
1859, when, by special act of the Legislature, they 
conveyed their right in it to the proprietors of Southamp- 
ampton, receiving in return the fee of their present 
reserv^ation on Shinnecock Neck. The proprietors con- 
tinued to hold the hills in common until 1861, when 
they were sold at public auction for $6250, the pur- 



The Shinnecocks 219 

chasers being a company of Southampton farmers, 
who proposed to hold it for grazing purposes, as had 
been done for centuries by their ancestors. The tract 
has recently been purchased by a company of Brooklyn 
capitalists, who propose, it is said, converting it into a 
summer resort. Since the exchange the Indians have 
continued to reside quietly on their reservation of 
some 600 acres on Shinnecock Neck. The writer's 
visit to them was in company with Mr. Edward Foster, 
of Southampton, one of the editors of its records, and a 
gentleman well versed in the affairs of the Indians. 
We drove into the country perhaps a mile beyond the 
last of the straggling village houses, and at the foot of 
a little depression in the plain crossed a brook just 
where it fell into an arm of Shinnecock Bay. On the 
left, curving around the shore of the bay, and bounded 
on the west by a similar arm, with Shinnecock Hills 
beyond, lay a wide plain, burdened near us with grow- 
ing corn and wheat, but showing further in the rear 
untilled fields covered with weeds and brush, groves 
of forest trees, and, scattered here and there, a score 
of brown, mossy, one-story cottages. This was the 
reservation. We drove through the corn-fields, past 
the cottages to the south end, and returned along the 
western shore, making the circuit of the tract. 

"Very few of the Indians till their lands," remarked 
my companion; "they are let out by the trustees to 
outside parties. The government of the reservation is 



220 In Olde New York 

a little peculiar. It is vested entirely in three trustees, 
members of the community, who are elected annually 
by the tribe in the room where our town meetings are 
held. These men, with the consent of three of our 
justices of the peace, have full power over the land on 
the reservation. They cannot sell it, for it is held only 
in fee; but they can lease it for a limited period, not 
exceeding three years, and then perform the ordinary 
duties of overseers. The land is excellent, giving good 
crops of wheat and corn, as good as any in this vicinity, 
but two thirds of it is gone to waste through the in- 
dolence of the Indians in not cultivating it. There 
are some twenty-five houses on the reservation, which, 
allowing five persons to each house, would give a total 
of 125 inhabitants; but probably not two thirds of the 
tribe remain at home, the others leading a roving ex- 
istence — whaling, fishing, wrecking, and as farm 
laborers. They have a good school, kept by a colored 
master, two churches — Congregational and Millerite 
— but no resident pastor, the office being filled some- 
times by the Presbyterian minister at Southampton, 
sometimes by itinerant clergy, and again by members 
of the Young Men's Christian Association."* 

By this time we had passed several cottages, and 

* What was the Congregational Chirrch or body has now been 
taken under the care of the Long Island Presbytery and a resident 
minister is supplied by the Presbyterian Church and its friends. 
The Millerite Church still lacks a resident pastor. 



The Shinnecocks 221 

had arrived at one which bore a neater, more inviting 
appearance than its neighbors. 

" This was the former home of Priest Lee," remarked 
my friend, "father of a somewhat remarkable family, 
and a characteristic one. He is dead, but Mrs. Lee 
is living. Suppose we call." 

As we drew up before the open doorway an elderly 
woman, tall, straight, showing strong traces of Indian 
blood, came and framed herself in the doorway. 

"We wished to ask about your husband," said my 
companion. " He was a colored man, I think, a native 
of Maryland.?" 

"Yes," she replied. 

"And you have had five sons, every one a seaman, 
and several rising to be masters ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

" My friend would like to hear about the boys, some 
of their exploits, the ships they sailed in, and the like." 

Here the old lady hesitated. Her memory was 
too poor, she said : " But there is Garrison in the truck 
patch," she continued, brightening; "he could tell you 
all about it." Garrison was the youngest son, a stal- 
wart fellow of over six feet, showing the Indian charac- 
teristics as plainly as his mother; and leaning on his 
plough handles, he gave us his family annals modestly, 
but without hesitation. 

"There were five brothers of us," he began — 
"Milton, Ferdinand, Notely, Robert, and myself, 



222 In Olde New York 

William Garrison, Milton went to sea young, followed 
whaling sixteen or seventeen years, and died. Ferdi- 
nand rose to be mate, and then captain of the ship 
Callao, and made a good voyage of four years in her 
to the South Pacific about 1871. Notely shipped in 
the Phillip the First, of Sag Harbor, and we have not 
heard from him in ten years. Report says that he 
deserted his ship, reached the Kingsmill group of 
islands in the Pacific, married the chief's daughter, 
and is now king there. Robert followed the sea eight 
years, then took to wrecking, and was drowned in the 
Circassian disaster. As for myself, 1 shipped at six- 
teen in the Pioneer, of New London, and made my 
first voyage of seventeen months to Greenland, being 
frozen in ten months. My next voyage of eighteen 
months was to the Arctic, in returning from which 
we were captured and burned by the pirate Shenan- 
doah. In 1870 I shipped as mate of the ship Florida, 
of San Francisco, for the Arctic, and next voyage as 
mate of the Abbie Bradford, of New Bedford. We left 
that port in 1880 for Greenland. Eight months out 
the captain died of consumption, and I took command 
of the ship, and after completing the voyage brought 
the vessel into port." 

These brothers, I further learned, became accom- 
plished navigators, with no other education than that 
afforded by the tribal school. The pretty Congrega- 
tional chapel Mr. Foster made the basis of some in- 



The Shinnecocks 223 

teresting remarks on the moral and religious status of 
the tribe. 

"Some among them have lived and died in the 
odor of sanctity," he remarked; "but their general 
spiritual condition is not encouraging, considering the 
efforts made for their conversion and enlightenment. 
Love of firewater, as with their fathers, is still their 
greatest failing. They are not industrious, despising 
the tilling of the soil, allowing their fine lands here 
to go to waste, as you see, but no better surfmen or 
sailors, especially whalemen, can be found. They are 
wandering and erratic in their habits, usually not more 
than half the tribe being on the reservation at any one 
time. Little attention is paid to preserving the purity 
of the family, negro and white blood being so inter- 
mixed that there is not a pure-blood Indian in the 
tribe." 

As before remarked, there are two churches, each 
with quite a membership, and a school numbering 
some fifty scholars, the latter being supported by and 
under the direct control of the State. From the church 
we drove down to the southern end of the reservation 
near the sea to a little graveyard, entirely covered with 
weeds and bushes, where the ten Shinnecocks who 
perished in the wreck of the Circassian were interred, 
and regained the highway by a series of paths on the 
west, seeing there several pretty groves with mossy 
cottages embowered in them — the former often util- 



224 In Olde New York 

ized by the young people of Southampton for picnics. 
The future of the reservation is an interesting question. 
Its lands are now quite valuable, adjoining plots sell- 
ing as high as $200 or $300 per acre, and are each year 
increasing in value. If the Indians could sell, the land 
would probably long ago have been sold. They, how- 
ever, only hold it for themselves and their children, 
the title being vested in the state for the tribe ; if par- 
titioned the proceeds would be divided among the 
Indians, as their individual interests might appear; 
and so long as a Shinnecock remains it would be 
difficult for a purchaser to secure a good title. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

PORT JEFFERSON AND THE WHALEBOAT 
PRIVATEERSMEN ^ 

J30RT JEFFERSON lies at the head of Setauket 
-*- Harbor, and, although containing (in 1880) nearly 
2000 inhabitants, is so embowered in trees that one 
coming in from sea would scarcely suspect its existence. 
Its streets follow primitive cart-paths winding up the 
hillsides from the hollow in which the business portion 
of the town lies. Ship- building is the chief, almost the 
sole industry. As our ship drew up to the dock 
we heard the clamor of a hundred saws, planes, 
and hammers, and counted four large brigs on the 
stocks in process of construction. More than one 
hundred years ago, we learned. Captain John Wilsie 
built the first ship here, and the business, although not 
as good as before the war, is still in a flourishing con- 
dition. There are three yards in operation, and a vet- 
eran shipwright of eighty told us that he had known ten 
vessels on the stocks at once. When asked how they 
could afford to build ships so remote from market, he 
replied that they put in better material, worked on a 
^ Written in 1887. 



226 In Olde New York 

better model, and did better work at Port Jefferson 
than in other places; hence secured better prices. 
"Besides," he continued, "many of the ships built 
here are owned by the townspeople. We are thrifty, 
build our own ships, furnish the men to man them, 
and charter them for cargoes; our vessels are chiefly 
engaged in the Southern trade, plying between New 
York and Charleston or Savannah." Two steamers, 
I learned, besides sailing vessels, were built here one 
year, and some eighty yachts are laid up each winter, 
their furbishing and refitting in the spring giving 
additional animation to the yards. The tourist finds 
little to attract in the village aside from its quaintness, 
but unless very difficult to please will be charmed by 
a sail through its harbor and the waters adjacent. 
Setauket Harbor and its tributary. Old Field Bay, 
have a common inlet from the Sound and extend west 
several miles, forming a labyrinth of straits and bays 
lying between wooded points and islands. 

To the student of old men and days the whole region 
is storied, having been the scene of some of the most 
gallant deeds of the whale-boat privateersmen of the 
Revolution. It is singular that no more of these men 
has been told in history. Many readers are unaware 
of their existence; yet they formed an efficient arm of 
the Continental service, especially in the transmission 
of intelligence, and may be regarded as the germ of 
the American navy. Long before Connecticut's war 



Port Jefferson 227 

governor had placed on the Sound the Spy, the Crom- 
well, the Trumbull, and other audacious privateers to 
capture the British storeships, the whaleboat crews 
were abroad, anticipating them in the matter of taking 
stores, and making reprisals on the Tories who swarmed 
on the Sound shore of Long Island. The war found 
them already organized for the capture of the whale 
and, leaving leviathan, they turned their attention to 
nobler game. Companies seem to have existed at this 
time at Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield, Stratford, Derby, 
and New Haven, although Fairfield, a leader in the 
Whig movement, was the center of operations. 

Their whale-boats were well adapted to a predatory 
warfare. They were about thirty-five feet long and 
were propelled by eight rowers. Each boat carried a 
large swivel as armament. Their operations were con- 
ducted swiftly and silently, usually at night. Some- 
times a British fort or magazine on the island was the 
objective point; sometimes a Tory murder or outrage 
was to be avenged, or a prominent leader captured in 
reprisal; again, a supply-ship or armed vessel was the 
object — two of the latter having been captured and 
towed into Fairfield during the war. In all cases the 
leader mustered his men secretly, the boats pushed off 
at nightfall, rowed swiftly and silently across the 
Sound, struck their blow, and were out of reach 
of pursuit when morning broke. Setauket Harbor, 
directly opposite Fairfield, and but sixteen miles 



228 In Olde New York 

distant, was the landing point of most of these ex- 
peditions. 

Some of the exploits were not equaled in daring and 
romance by any feats of the border. In 1777 a large 
body of the British and Tories had seized the Presby- 
terian Church at Setauket and converted it into a 
fortress, using it as a stronghold from which to send 
out marauding parties. On the 14th of August of that 
year Colonel Parsons with 150 men embarked at Fair- 
field in whale-boats, crossed the Sound, and about day- 
break made an attack on the fort. The firing had 
scarcely begun, however, when a messenger came from 
the boats with the news that several British men-of-war 
were coming down the Sound, and, fearing that their 
return might be cut off, the gallant band was forced 
to retreat. 

A second expedition, organized three years later 
with another object in view, was much more successful. 
At Mastic, on a point projecting into Great South Bay, 
the British had erected a formidable fort, encircled by 
a deep ditch and wall, the whole surrounded by an 
abattis of sharpened pickets. Several supply vessels 
and 300 tons of forage were protected by the fort. 
Hearing through his spies that the fort was garrisoned 
by but fifty- four men, Colonel Tallmadge determined 
to capture it, and left Fairfield on the 21st of November, 
1780, with eight whale-boats, carrying in all but eighty 
men. They reached Old Mans — a harbor three miles 



Port JefiFerson 229 

east of Port Jefferson, at nine o'clock in the evening, 
and disembarked ; but a heavy rain setting in, they were 
forced to lie all that night and the next day concealed 
in the bushes. On the second night the rain ceased, 
and the troops marched across the island — here 
some twenty miles wide — captured the fort by sur- 
prise, dismantled it, burned the vessels, stores, and 
forage, marched back to their boats with their prisoners, 
and were in Fairfield by eleven o'clock the next morn- 
ing, without the loss of a man. Congress passed a 
resolution highly complimenting the officers and men 
engaged, and Washington wrote to the commander from 
Morristown to thank him for his "judicious planning 
and spirited execution of this business." 

A still bolder feat of the whale-boatmen had been 
executed the year previous. In 1779 the house of 
General Silliman, in Fairfield, had been surrounded 
by a body of Tories from Long Island, and the General 
and his young son were borne away captives. The 
Americans had no prisoner of equal rank to offer in 
exchange and decided to procure one. The Hon. 
Thomas Jones, of Fort Neck, a Justice of the Supreme 
Court of New York, was selected, and a volunteer 
company of twenty-five men, commanded by Captain 
Hawley, set out from Newfield Harbor (now Bridge- 
port) to capture him. They landed at Stony Brook 
on the morning of the 4th of November, and began 
their march to the Judge's residence, more than thirty 



230 In Olde New York 

miles distant, arriving there at 9 o'clock on the evening 
of the 6th. No man could have been more unsuspicious 
of danger than he. There was a gay party of young 
people in the house, and the dance was proceeding 
merrily, when Captain Hawley and his body of grim 
retainers appeared at the door. The Judge was found 
in the hall, and was taken with scant ceremony, a 
young gentleman named Hewlett being forced to 
accompany him as a makeweight for the General's 
son. The party met with many adventures before 
reaching their boats, being forced to hide in the forest 
by day, and narrowly escaping capture on two occa- 
sions by the light horse, which were soon scouring the 
country in pursuit. Six laggards were taken, but the 
others succeeded in regaining their boats, and reached 
Fairfield on the 8th with their prisoners. It was not, 
however, until the succeeding May that their exchange 
was effected. 

Quite equal to these in dash and courage were the 
exploits of Capt. Caleb Brewster, one of the most noted 
leaders of the service. He was a native of Setauket, 
but a resident of Fairfield during the war, and accom- 
panied both the expeditions of Colonel Parsons and 
Major Tallmadge as a volunteer. In 1781 with his 
whale-boats he boldly attacked a British armed vessel 
in the Sound, and after a sharp action brought her a 
prize into Fairfield. Again, on the 7th of December, 
1782, from his post at Fairfield he discovered a number 



Port Jefferson 231 

of armed boats in the Sound, evidently bent on some 
predatory excursion, and gave chase. The forces were 
about equal, and a desperate encounter ensued, nearly 
every man on both sides being killed or wounded; 
but the enemy at last escaped with the loss of two of his 
boats, which were borne into Fairfield in triumph. 
Brewster himself was shot through the body in this 
action, but recovered from the wound. The next year, 
on the 9th of March, 1783, he took the British armed 
vessel Fox in an action lasting but two minutes, and 
without the loss of a man. In addition to these duties, 
from the beginning to the end of the struggle he was 
the confidential agent of Washington in securing in- 
formation of the enemy's movements. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

harvard's first graduate 

the rev. nathaniel brewster of setauket 

/^^N a gentle elevation that slopes down to Setauket 
^-^ Harbor on the east, its steeple facing the west, 
with the village schoolhouse on the right and the Clark 
Memorial Library on the left, stands the Presbjierian 
Church of Setauket, a church which has as much 
history connected with it and of as interesting a charac- 
ter as any of the famous churches of New England. 
Its early records have been lost, but we know that it 
was founded in 1660, five years after the Independents 
of Connecticut had come over and settled Setauket. 
What is of more general interest is the fact that its first 
pastor, the Rev. Nathaniel Brewster, a grandson of 
the famous Elder Brewster of the Mayflower, was 
the first native graduate of Harvard College. Mr. 
Brewster died during his pastorate here and was buried, 
according to the present pastor, the Rev. WiUiam 
Littell, who has held his post for thirty years and is 
a careful student of his church's history, near a comer 
of the church, though nothing to-day marks the spot. 
It would be a graceful tribute for the alumni of Har- 



Harvard's First Graduate 233 

vard to erect a simple shaft above his grave in memory 
of the first of the long line of able and brilliant men 
who have reflected luster on their alma mater. 

The second minister, the Rev. George Phillip, also 
a graduate of Harvard, was sleeping quietly in the 
churchyard which surrounds the sacred edifice, when 
the differences of opinion between Britain and her 
American colonies culminated in the Revolution. The 
British soon overran Long Island and maintained a 
strong garrison here at Setauket, no doubt to overawe 
the Independents at New Haven, Fairfield, and other 
points on the "Christian shore," as the patriots called 
Connecticut. They seized the Presbyterian church 
and turned it into a barracks for their soldiers, as they 
did in many other towns of the island, in some cases 
using them for stables. 

"They built a fort around the church," wrote a 
quaint chronicler of the day, "and cast up the bones 
of many of the dead. They destroyed the pulpit and 
the whole inside work of the church, and the tomb- 
stone of Parson Phillips was among those destroyed. 
The minister in charge through all the troublous days 
of the Revolution was the Rev. Benjamin Tallmadge, 
whose pastorate lasted from 1754 to 1786. It did not 
endear him to the British that his son, Benjamin Tall- 
madge, Jr., who had settled in Litchfield, Conn., was 
one of the boldest, most dashing and most successful 
partisan colonels in the Continental service. 



234 In Olde New York 

In 1797 there came here as pastor the Rev. Zachariah 
Greene, a man of marked individuaUty, of whom 
many good stories are told. When the war broke out, 
Greene, then a lad of sixteen threw aside his books and 
entered the patriotic army, doing good service, it is 
said, in more than one pitched battle; but at last a 
wound in the shoulder and another in the back dis- 
abled him for further military service, and he returned 
to his books. He was one of Parson's men in the 
attack on the church at Setauket in 1777, and on 
assuming the pastorate here made a note of the fact 
that where formerly he had fought the forces of evil 
with carnal weapons, he had now come to combat them 
with spiritual. For fifty years he was acting pastor 
here, and then for ten years longer pastor emeritus, 
residing with friends at Hempstead. The older men 
in the church remember him to this day. Old Father 
Greene they call him, in speaking of him. He had 
five fingers on his left hand, and the Presbytery in 
calling him stipulated that he should keep that hand 
gloved. He was a good preacher and faithful pastor, 
the chief founder of the Long Island Bible Society. 

During the last years of his pastorate he was assisted 
by the Rev. John Gile, a young man of much promise. 
On the very same day that Father Greene started to 
go to his friends in Hempstead, leaving Mr. Gile in 
charge of the church, the latter went to Stony Brook 
Harbor, three miles west, to bring home a sailboat 



Harvard's First Graduate 235 

that had been given him. He sailed out of that har- 
bor into the Sound to bring her around into Setauket 
Bay, and neither man nor boat was ever again heard of. 

The present church succeeded in 1812 the one 
riddled in the Revolution, and is not, therefore, of 
hoary antiquity. 

There are some very old and quaint tombstones in 
the churchyard. Two very heavy tables of sandstones 
resting horizontally on piers have a square stone of 
different color let into the center, on which the in- 
scription is cut. That on the north reads: 

" Richard Floyd, Esq., late Colonel of this 
County and a Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, who deceased February 23, 1737, in ye 
73d yr. of his age." 

The other stone, without doubt from its position 
that of his wife, once bore an inscription, but it has 
been effaced. Why was this done? 



CHAPTER XXV 



FIRE ISLAND 



OFFSPRING of ocean and air, fruitful of nothing 
but beach grass, hop-toads, snakes, and mos- 
quitoes, Fire Island Beach when I visited it in 1885, 
still attracted the summer visitor, and held its own 
bravely with newer and more widely advertised resorts. 
A strange bit of earth this beach is, to be sure — a 
barren, wind-swept, desolate sand-bar, interposed 
between the Atlantic and the quiet waters of Great 
South Bay, pushed out nine miles into the ocean, so 
low and flat that it would seem the first winter storm 
must blot it out, yet increasing year by year rather 
than diminishing. It is easy to read its genesis. 
Ages ago a sand-bar rose out of the waves nine miles 
off the mainland of Long Island; built up by waves 
and winds, it grew and lengthened eastward and west- 
ward, and in process of time formed a wide smooth 
beach from Coney Island to Southampton, eighty-one 
miles, broken at intervals by inlets through which the 
tides rushed to fill the bays formed by the barrier 
within. The first glance of the beach shows that man 
has come over and captured it. Here is the brick 



Fire Island 237 

tower of the lighthouse 185 feet high, the quaint cottage 
of Life-Saving Station No. 25, and the square signal 
tower of the Western Union Company. There is also 
a great hotel,* unique in its way, and a model for all 
seaside hotels, with rows of cottages attached to it, 
and a mile or more of covered board walks leading to 
the ocean strand on the south, and to the bayside and 
steamboat wharf on the north. 

As you approach from Babylon across the bay, the 
hotel looms up like the line of barracks at some great 
army post, for it is long and low, with three rows of 
windows like the portholes in a three-decker. The 
host, Mr. Sammis, is a landlord of the old-fashioned 
sort, said to be the third oldest inn-keeper on Long 
Island. After a business career in town as druggist 
and hotel-keeper, Mr. Sammis came to Fire Island 
and opened a hotel on the sands. That was in 1855. 
The first year his hotel was a chowder-house — a sort 
of day resort for parties from the mainland. It was 
very successful, and the next year he added 100 feet, 
and opened the present Surf Hotel. It has grown 
modestly and safely since then, and is now 625 feet 
long, with accommodations for 400 guests. 

In its old registers may be found the names of 
some of the best known people of New York and the 
country. The attractions are mostly such as nature 

* The Surf Hotel was burned some years ago, and conditions 
on Fire Island have materialiy changed since this was written. 



238 In Olde New York 

oflfers. A dip in the surf before the eight o'clock 
breakfast begins your day. After breakfast you will 
find half-a-dozen bronzed bay skippers waiting to 
take you to the fishing-grounds. Fine sport has 
been had this year in the waters of both bay and 
inlet, the gamy bluefish being the special quarry just 
now. Trolling is the favorite form of sport with the 
guests, but "chumming" is practised, I can see 
from my windows now a long line of boats anchored 
in the bay, with their lines down in the water, taking 
bluefish that have been attracted there by throwing 
out bait for days beforehand. The fishermen are 
back in time for a plunge in the surf or bay before 
dinner. After dinner sailing parties are in order, or 
excursions to explore the island — an interesting diver- 
sion. The lighthouse and the life-saving station He 
southeast of the hotel, not ten minutes' walk, and 
have many visitors. 

The old keeper, who has the true nautical flavor 
about him, leads the way up the one hundred and 
ninety-five steps of the tower to the platform that 
runs around the outside just below the huge Fresnel 
lens. He is very proud of his light, which is the first 
that the great ocean liners sight in approaching 
New York from sea, and therefore one of the most 
important on the coast. It is a first-order light, with 
a lamp of 500-candle power, which pilots have 
seen in good weather at a distance of thirty miles, 



Fire Island 239 

but whose usual range is twenty-five miles. To feed 
the flame of this lamp requires two quarts of the best 
kerosene oil every hour. We very much desire to 
visit the light after dark, but the keeper is proof against 
all blandishments — he points to the regulations of 
the Lighthouse Board forbidding visitors to the tower 
after sunset, and says the inspector assured him that 
it would be as much as his place was worth to disobey 
the order. It must be an eerie place up here in a 
nor'easter on a winter night, when the tower rocks 
under the fury of the gale, and sand, and spray, and 
snow clouds the windows. On such nights the keeper 
often hears the crash of some heavy objects striking 
the glass, and finds next morning beneath his windows 
the dead bodies of wild geese and duck which have 
struck the tower in the night. 

Life-Saving Station No. 25, as before remarked, lies 
a little to the southwest, almost within hailing distance. 
Its doors have been closed whenever the writer has 
passed that way, but a flock of contented chickens gave 
evidence that it was inhabited, as is the fact, the keeper 
being sole custodian during the summer months, but 
with power to summon assistance if it should be re- 
quired. The Signal Station, or more properly the 
reporting station of the Western Union Company, 
is the third of the structures which go to make this 
barren strip of sand an important commercial center 
— although innocent of ships, except those unfortu- 



240 In Olde New York 

nates whose barnacled ribs may be seen protruding 
above the sands or swaying in the surf. The Signal 
Station is a large square tower on the sands, midway 
between the Surf Hotel and the ocean strand. Fire 
Island, as before remarked, is the first point of land 
sighted by the great ocean racers westward bound, and 
so the Western Union Company maintains here one 
of its most expert operators, who reports the arrival 
of steamers not only to their owners, but to those who 
may have friends on board, several hours before they 
are due at their docks in New York. The operator is 
Mr. Peter Keegan, a specialist in his calling and a 
most interesting man to talk with. If to learn the 
names of passing ships by reading the signals displayed 
by them were all he had to do, his work would be mere 
routine, but to distinguish scores of passing vessels 
daily by the cut of their jibs or the color of their smoke- 
stacks, some of them perhaps when only four or five 
feet of their topmasts are \asible, a keenness of vision 
and wide knowledge of ships and shipping is required. 
He is a man whose place cannot be filled. Summer 
and winter since the service was organized in 1878, he 
has been at his post, with only one day in the year that 
he can call his own. The room in which he spends 
most of his time is in the extreme top of the building, 
and by means of windows and portholes commands 
a view of the ocean, the inlet, the bay, and the long line 
of beach. In one corner is a well-selected library, in 



Fire Island 241 

another the electric key which keeps the vigilant 
watcher in communication with the outside world, a 
reclining chair, a cozy rocker, and inviting seats 
scattered around to complete the furniture. In a third 
corner is a package of books, tied with a string, that 
were recovered from the wreck of the Oregon, which 
foundered a few miles off the station. There are two 
portholes in the southeast corner of the room, and 
through one a long and powerful telescope is thrust. 
The little instrument in the comer keeps up a merry 
clicking — in winter when the hotel is closed, and all 
the summer visitors departed, the only sound from 
the outer world that reaches the lonely watcher. "So 
long as the instrument is in order," says Mr. Keegan, 
"I don't feel so isolated, for I know that by a few 
touches I can talk with my most distant friends, or 
summon aid if needed ; but when the cable breaks and 
the clicking stops, the silence becomes almost un- 
bearable." It is no uncommon thing for the wires to 
get out of order in the terrible winter storms. 

The uninitiated reader no doubt supposes that ships 
are reported by their signals; if this were the case, the 
operator's duties would be much simplified, as he 
would only need to be master of the signal code; but 
in these days of fierce competition and record-break- 
ing trips, very few of the great ocean-racers run in 
suflSciently near to display signals — to do so would de- 
lay them an hour or more — but keep a straight course 



242 In Olde New York 

for Sandy Hook Light, thus passing from fifteen to 
twenty-five miles out to sea. To the visitor it is a 
standing wonder how steamers can be distinguished 
and accurately reported at that distance. Mr. Keegan 
explains it. "In the first place I know just when to 
expect the steamers. The name and hour of sailing 
from the other side of each vessel is reported to me, 
and I am so famiUar with their runs that I know the 
very hour that they should pass my station. For 
instance, the new French steamer Bretagne, one of 
four new steamers built for the Havre Line within the 
last three years, left Havre on the 20th, and is due here 
to-day — the 29th, at this hour — and there are her 
topmasts already rising above the horizon. Wednes- 
day I shall look for the fast steamer City of Paris, 
which left Queenstown at 1.30 p.m. on Thursday, and 
will be due here at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Then, 
with my glass, I can see a vessel very distinctly twenty 
miles distant, and am enabled to distinguish them by 
my special knowledge of their characteristic marks. 
Masts and smoke-stacks are the chief distinguishing 
features. I have reported vessels when but four or 
five feet of their masts were visible." 

"Do you never make mistakes.?" is asked. 

" But one in four years," he rephed, " and this is how 
it happened: I was expecting a certain steamer, a slow 
boat, due to pass some time in the night. Steamers 
passing at night display no signals by which I can tell 



Fire Island 243 

their names, but simply burn a signal indicating the 
line to which they belong. At midnight a steamer 
passed and showed the signal of the line to which the 
expected boat belonged, and I naturally inferred it 
was she, and so reported, but as it turned out the com- 
pany had sent a second boat immediately after the 
first, and she was the one that displayed the signal." 

"Are mistakes attended with serious results.-^" 

"They would cause great confusion and expense," 
is the reply. "For instance. La Bretagne, which you 
see just coming into view out there, and which I have 
just reported, has, say, 300 cabin passengers on board 
That means that 200 messages announcing her arrival 
are now being sent out to friends of persons on board, 
and of course if the wrong vessel is reported, no end 
of annoyance and loss would be caused." 

"You must have had some thrilling and exciting 
experiences while keeping your lonely vigils." 

"In the matter of shipwrecks and loss of life," he 
replied, "yes; I suppose I saw the last signal of the 
gallant fellows on the pilot boat Columbia, which dis- 
appeared so mysteriously off Fire Island one dark 
night, leaving not a trace. That night I sighted the 
Alaska and reported her; a few minutes later I saw a 
pilot boat setting her signal ; then suddenly the latter 's 
lights went out, and I saw the steamer lying to and 
cruising about as if searching for something. She did 
not leave until daylight, and reported being in colHsion 



244 In Olde New York 

with some vessel. The most singular part of it was 
that not a trace of the Columbia or of her crew was ever 
discovered.- That famous disaster, the sinking of the 
Oregon, was first reported by me. It was the morning 
of March 14, 1887 — Sunday; I had scheduled her to 
pass about sunrise, and at 5.30, sweeping the horizon 
with my glass, I saw a trail of smoke rising above 
the sea. 'It is the Oregon coming up,' I said, and 
waited for her to come nearer. As her smoke-stacks 
came into view I saw that something was wrong, but 
what, I could not make out, as she showed no signals 
of distress. At once I sent the main office this tele- 
gram: 

"'Steamer Oregon, southeast bound in, apparently 
in trouble. Keegan.' 

"An hour later she changed her course and headed 
for the beach, flying the British ensign union down at 
masthead — a signal showing great extremity, and I 
knew she needed assistance at once. Looking about 
for some one to go to her aid, I saw pilot boat No. 11 
and the schooner Fanny Gorham in the offing and 
signaled both. The sea was quite smooth, and both 
at once headed for the disabled Oregon. All were so 
far down the horizon that I could not see the boats 
which transferred the steamer's passengers to the 
schooner, but all were got safely on board. The 
Oregon kept dropping below the sea line all the morn- 
ing, but whether she was sinking or only drifting I 



Fire Island 245 

could not tell. Later I saw the steamer Fulda come 
up and take off the rescued passengers from the 
schooner. As she passed me she signaled, ' Oregon 
sunk; passengers all saved and on board,' which I at 
once reported to the office at New York — the first 
announcement of the disaster given the public. Pilot 
boat No. 11 — the Phantom — foundered at sea in the 
blizzard just a year later, and all on board were lost. 
I also sent her owners the first news of the stranding 
of the Scotia, which struck on a shelving bar fifteen 
miles east of here while nearly at full speed. I first 
saw her headed for the beach about five o'clock in the 
morning, with both masts gone. Later I made out 
her name from her signal flag, which was suspended 
from between her smoke-stacks, and at once reported 
her plight to her owners, who sent tugs of the Merritt 
Wrecking Company to pull her off." 

" The Hilton Castle foundered off here, did she not ? " 
"Yes. I saw her the night before, but being only a 
freight boat I paid no attention to her. She went 
down during the night. I saw our life-saving crew 
go out next morning through the surf and bring in one 
of her boats with eight men in it, and a little later saw 
a schooner pick up the other boat. These facts I also 
reported." 

Sometimes the operator's duties are of a more grisly 
character, as when he jots down and flashes over the 
wires descriptions of dead bodies thrown upon the 



246 In Olde New York 

beach by the sea. The other Sunday Capt. John 
Wicks of the Life-Saving Station came in and reported 
finding the body of a man on the beach about a mile 
east of the station, clad in only a shirt and trousers, 
which had been in the water some eight days. "A 
clerk, evidently," said the operator, "for he had in his 
pockets two elastic bands and an eraser such as are 
used in offices — a well-dressed man, stout, with fea- 
tures unrecognizable. We cannot tell where he came 
from, unless from a passing ship — not from New 
York, certainly, for the prevailing winds of late have 
been from eastward. There was nothing else in his 
pockets except part of a copy of the New York World 
of July 20. We at first thought the body might be 
that of Hogan, the missing aeronaut, but as the latter 
made his ascent on the 16th, the paper of the 20th 
proved that it was not he." 



INDEX 



INDEX 





PAGE 


PAGE 






Bromley, Capt. Reuben 173 


A 




Brower 72 
A. D. O. (artist) 37 


Adams, Alderman 


33 


John I. (artist) 36 et seq. 


John, Bust of 


33 


Buell, Rev. Samuel, Sketch 


John Q., Bust of 


37 


of 169 


Allen 


29 


Bullus 29 


Ethan 


122 


Commodore 35 


America, Young (clipper) 


13 


Burr, Col. Aaron 51, 53, 66, 81 


Anthony 


29 


82 


Attree, Wm. H. 


69 


Theodosia 81 



Bancker 


29 


Cadmus (ship) 


200 


Ebert A. 


30 


California Gold excitement 


7 


Barnum, P. T. 


53 


Callowhill, Family of 


75 


Battersby, Col. J. C. 


9, 11 


Calvin, Portrait of 


75 


Bayard, Nicholas 


111 


Carroll, Chas., Bust of 


38 


Beecher, Dr. Lyman 


152, 186 


Celestial (clipper) 


13 


Beekman 


72 


Christian shore (Conn.) 


233 


Bennett, Jas. Gordon 


69 


Church 


29 


Bergh 


29 


Circassian, Wreck of 


183 


Bloodgood 


29 


Clay, Henry, Bust of 


37 


Bogardus 


29 


Clinton. De Witt, Bust of 


37 


Bonaparte, Joseph 


75 


Clipper ships 
Cobbett, Wm. 


6 


Napoleon 


75 


143 


Booksellers, Old 


54 


Columbia, Wreck of 


243 


Booraem, 


29 


Contest (clipper) 

Cooper, Jas. Fenimore, 


14 


Brewster, Capt. Caleb 


230 




Rev. Nathaniel 


232 


Tomb of 


88 


Bridgeport 


229 


Cooperstown (a visit to) 


87 


Briggs, J. I, N. (merchant) 10 


Coxe Family 


74 



250 



Index 



Cuffee, Rev. Paul 186 

Curiosity Shop, A New York 72 



Gordon, Lord Adam 
Gouvemeur Family 
Gouverneur, Sam'l L. 



137 



32, 33 



De Groot 

Portrait of 
Deering, Chas. T. 
Devoe, Fred 
Dock, Old City 
Duiilap (artist) 



E 



72 
76 
200 
144 
1 
39 



34 



Eagle, Commodore 
Easthampton, L. I., Sketch 

of 149 et seq. 

Easthampton Churchyard 167 
Eclipse (race horse) 50 

Erskine, Sir Wm. 170 

Eternal (clipper) 13 



Fire Island 236 

Fish Family 29 

Floyd, Col. Richard 235 

Flying Clond (clipper) 15 

Forrest, Edwin, Bust of 37, 43, 67 
Franklin, Benjamin 22, 23 

French, H. & S. (merchants) 200 



Greeley, Horace (quoted) 55 
Greene, Rev. Zacbariah 234 

Greenwood & Sous (ship- 
builders) 13 
Griswold 29 
Gross 29 



H 



Halleck, Fitzgreene 63 
Hamilton, Alex., Bust of 42 
Harding, Ephraim, Capt. 127 
Henry, Sir (race horse) 50 
Herald, N. Y., founded 69 
Herkimer 98 
Herkimer, John Jost 126 
Gen. Nicholas 123, 124,127 
Hicks, Willet 142 
Hilton Castle, Wreck of 245 
Hoffman 29 
Hollywood Cemetery 33 
Holt 29 
"Hook" Ferry 50 
Hot Corn Venders 47 
Howell Bros. & Hunting 200 
Howland 29 
Huggins, Christopher (clock- 
maker) 73 
Hunter, Col. Robert 96 
Hyler Capt. 81 



Gallatm 29 

Gardiner, Da^ad, Sketch of 174 
Lion, Bible of 192 

Grave of 168, 190 

Gardiner's Island, Sketch of 190 
Gile, Rev. John 234 



Inman, Henry 



44 



James, Rev. Thomas, Sketch 

of 168 



Index 



251 



PAGE 

Jans, Aneke 75 

Jan (portrait) 75 

Jefferson, Thos., Bust of 37, 42 

Johnson Hall 129 etseq. 

Johnson, John, hanged 45, 46 

Sir WiUiam, Death of 115 

His wife 137 

House of 129 

Sketch of 131 

Jones, John Paul 21 et seq. 

Thos., captured 229 

Jumel Mansion 77 et seq. 



Keegan, Peter 240 
Kevan 29 
Kidd, Capt. 208 
Kidd, Capt., Relics of 193 
Kimball, E. W. & Co. (mer- 
chants) 10 
King, Alderman 41 
Kip 29 
Klyn, De 29 
Kneeland 29 
Kockerthal, Joshua 93 
Tomb and epitaph 108 
Kouwenhoven 72 



M 

Madison, Jas., Bust of 37 

ISIallory, Chas. (ship-builder) 13 
Marble Cemetery, The 29 

Mariner, Capt. 81 

Mastic, Fight at 228 

McCready, N. L. & Co. 

(merchants) 10 

McKay, Donald (ship-buil- 
der) 13 
Mershon, Rev. Stephen L., 

Sermon of 179 

Milton, John, Wreck of 177 etseq. 

Minthorn, Phillip, Farm 30 

Mitchell, Prof. Sam'l L. 38 

Moll, John 73 

Monroe, Col. Jas. 33 

Pres., James, Burial of 31 

Montauketts, The 185 

Moor's Indian Charity School 186 

Morris, Capt. Roger 79 

Morton 29 

Gen. Jacob 31, 34 

Midford, John, Justice 172 

& Slate 200 

Sam'l, Sketch of 172 

Mumford 33 

Murphy, Dr. N. S. 9 

Museum, American 51 



Lafayette, Marquis de 21 

Bust of 37 to 41 

Landais, Pierre de 18, 21, 23 

et seq. 

Lee, Arthur 24 

Priest 221 

Wesley 144 

Leiter 72 

Lenox 29 

Littell, Rev. William 233 

Livingston, Robert 101 

Low 



N 

New Rochelle 141 

New York City (in 1827) 45 

Nichols, Percy 30 

Nodder, Andrew A. 183 

North, Prof. Edward 124 

Nortfiern Light (clipper) 14 



O 



29 O'Brian, Lady Susan 



137 



252 



Index 



PAGE 

Ockershausen 29 

Occum, Rev. Sampson 18d 

Ogden 29 

Old Field Bay 226 

Old Man's Harbor 228 

Oneida Historical Society 124 

Oppermier, Nicholas 74 

Oregon, Wreck of 241 

Oriskany Monument 123 

Battle of 127 



Palatines, Story of 91 et seq. 
Made prisoners by 

French 114 

Settle in Mohawk Val- 
ley 113 
Padfic (bark). Outfit of 201 
Paez, Gen. 34 
Paff, Michael 52 
Paine, Thomas, Last home 

141 et seq. 
Parkinson, J. W. 43 

Paulding, Bust of 39 

Payne, John Howard 152, 174 
Pell, Alfred 52 

Penn, Admiral 75 

Mrs. Wm. 75 

Percy, Lord 171 

Pharaoh's, King, Widow 184 
Phillip, Rev. George 133 

Phillipse, Mary 78 

Pierson, C. H. & W. (mer- 
chants) 10 
Pirates 4 
Poe, Edgar A. 60 
Port Jefferson 225 
Porter, Sir Robert 52 
Prevoorst 72 
Privateersmen, Whaleboat 225 



Q 



Quackenbos 



29 



Race Horse (clipper) 14 
Reid, Lyman 52 
Ridabock 29 
Richards, E. & Co. (mer- 
chants) 10 
Richmond Hill 81 
Robertson, Archibald (ar- 
tist) 36 
Robinson, Beverly 78 
Roosevelt 29 
Russell, Samuel (clipper) 13 



Sag Harbor, Whalemen of 197 
Sailor's Snug Harbor 

founded 173 

Salters 29 

Sandman, The 48 

Schermerhom 72 

Schuyler, Col. Philip 136 

Scoharie, Valley of 109 

Scotia, Wreck of 245 

Setauket 232 

Setauket Harbor 227 

Seventh Regiment 33 

Shinnecock Hills 218 

Shinnecock Lidians 216 et seq. 
Simms, Wm. Gilmore 62 

Six Nations, Council of 136 

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, a 

visit to 86 

Smith, Jas. (merchant) 10 

Southampton, L. I., Tales of 

206 etseq. 
Sovereign of the Seas (cUpper) 13 



Index 



253 



PAGE 

13 

127 

229 

126 

45 

17 



Staghound (clipper) 

Stanwix, Fort 

Stony Brook 

St. Leger, Col. 

St. Mark's Church 

St. Patrick's Churchyard 

Storm 29 

Sunnyside (home of Irving) 

^^sited 89 

Surf Hotel 237 

Surprise (clipper) 13 

Sutton, E. B. (merchant) 10 



Tallmadge, Col. Benj. 228, 233 

Rev. Benj. 233 

Tammany Hall 53 

Tappan 29 

Temple, Charlotte 46 

Thames (ship) 200 

Ticonderoga, Fort at 118 

Tier 29 

Tilden, Sam'l J. 39 

Tillotson 29 
Topping, Capt. Thomas 211 

Tyler, President John 153, 174 

John A., Sketch of 174 



Van Antw^erp 29 
Van Cortlandt, Dr. Augus- 
tus 145 
Vanderlyn, John (artist) 51 
Van Hardenburgh 72 
Van Time 30 
Van Wart, Bust of 39 
Van Westervelt 72 
Van Wyck 72, 74 



W 

Wardle, Thomas (merchant) 10 
Warren, Capt. Peter 131 
Washington, George 78 
Webb 30 
W. H. (ship-builder) 13 
Weber 72 
Webster, Geo. E. (clipper) 14 
Weiser, Capt. Conrad 110 
Westervelt Jacob (ship-buil- 
der) 13 
Willett 30 
Wilsie, Capt. John 225 
William Henry, Fort 121 
Williams, Bust of 39 
Wimans 30 
Wise, O. Jennings 33 
W^oodworth, Samuel 42 
Wynkoop 30 



Van Alen 



29 



The Building of a Book 

With an introduction by 
THEODORE L. DeVINNE 

Edited by FREDERICK H. HITCHCOCK 



A BOOK EVERY WRITER SHOULD READ 



Contains articles by experts in each of the following subjects : 



The Author 

The Literary Agent 

The Literary Adviser 

The Manufacturing De- 
partment 

Hand Composition and 
Eleetrotyping 

Composition by the 
Linotype Machine 

Composition by the 
Monotype Machine 

Proof Reading 

The Making of Type 

Paper Making 

Presswork 

Printing Presses 

Printing Ink 

Printer's Rollers 

The Illustrator 

The Wax Process 

Half-tone, Line and 
Color Plates 



Making Intaglio Plates 

Printing Intaglio Plates 

The Gelatine Process 

Lithography 

Cover Designing 

The Cover Stamps 

Book Cloths 

Book Leathers 

The Binding 

Special Bindings 

Copyrighting 

Publicity 

Reviewing and Criticising 

The Traveling Salesman 

Selling at Wholesale 

Selling at Retail 

Selling by Subscription 

Selling at Auction 

Selecting for a Public 

Library 
Rare and Second-Hand 

Books 



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Colonial Families 

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mar and Some of Their Descendants. By Charles Farmar 
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Genealogical Records of the Family. For 

keeping the records of any family. Designed by W. G. De 
Witt. 12mo, cloth. $1.25 net. 

In Olde Massachusetts. By Charles Burr Todd. Illus. 
12mo, cloth, gilt top. Net, $1.50. 

In Olde New York. By Charles Burr Todd. 12mo, 
cloth. Illus. Gilt top. $1.50 net. 

Mattapoisett and Old Rochester, Mass. By Mary 
Leonard, Lemuel LeB. Dexter, Lemuel LeB. Holmes, James 
S. Burbank, Lester W. Jenney and Mary F. Briggs. Illus. 
12mo, cloth, gilt top. $2.00 net. 

Old Steamboat Days on the Hudson River. By David 

Lear Buckman. 12mo, cloth, gilt top. Illus. $1.25 net. 

Strattons, A Book of. By Harriet Russell Stratton. 8vo, 
cloth. Net, before publication, $6.00; after publication price 
wUl be advanced to $8.00 net. 

Note : All delivery charges are payable by the purchaser. 

The Grafton Press, Genealogical Editors and 
Publishers, 70 Fifth Avenue, New York 



Printing and Publishing Genealogies 

is a specialty of The Grafton Press, which invites correspond- 
ence from those ha\ang a genealogy, small or pretentious, in 
manuscript or in preparation. 

Genealogical printing requires much special knowledge. 
Not every one has the equipment necessary to handle, and to 
put into proper typographical form, the difficult and deUcate 
matter, with its complicated genealogical tables, multitude 
of dates and proper names, all requiring the greatest care and 
precision in execution and proof-reading. Inaccuracies in 
such works are especially unfortunate and long persisting, 
propagating further errors after they have once appeared in 
the pages of an apparently authoritative volume. 

It is the constant effort of The Grafton Press to produce 
books of the highest standard, and to watch with the greatest 
care all of the small but important details which mark the 
difference between a poor and a good book. 

We supply both artist's work and plates for illustrations of 
any character desired. Photographs, paintings, silhouettes, 
daguerreotypes, drawings, maps, autographs, and old docu- 
ments afford interesting material for reproduction. Originals 
which are faded or otherwise damaged can be redrawn. 

We call special attention to the special facilities offered by 
our publishing department in giving a wide pubhcity to the 
genealogies printed by us without extra charge to the author. 
The sales are largely increased by proper methods in bring- 
ing the books to the attention of reviewers, the book trade, 
libraries and societies, special collectors, and other buyers in 
America and abroad known to us. 

It is a great pleasure to us to offer genealogists the full 
benefit of these advantages. 

The Grafton Press, Genealogical Editors and 
Publishers, 70 Fifth Avenue, New York 



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