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Full text of "A narrative, embracing the history of two or three of the first settlers and their families of Schenectady : interspersed with a few anecdotal eccentricities and antiquities : together with a description of the winter evening visits, recreations, and supper, and of the tea-parties of olden times, with a few strictures on the change of times"

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By DAN'L J. TOLL, M. D., 

SCHENECTADY, FEB. 25, 1847. 


, 5^ res 




The great difficulty of obtaining correct and authentic infor- 
mation at this late period, of matters and things that relate to 
the early period of the settlement of the Province and now 
State of New York, from the fluctuations of government con- 
sequent to the frequent change in rulers, the paucity of Church 
and family records— by which births and marriages are per- 
petuated—consequent to the sacking, destroying and general 
conflagration of the village of Schenectady by the French and 
Indians, in the night of the 8th of February, 1690, by which 
the Church and Family records were destroyed, and likewise 
by the irregularity in which the Church records were kept for 
some considerable length of lime subsequent — with spaces and 
intervals of time without any record — and in those times when 
births and marriages were recorded, we find them entered by 
poor pensmen, and in a mongrel text, or the handv^riting par- 
tially defaced, mutilated and even obliterated, which places 
the writer in a most unpleasant and onerous situation not to 
be envied. But his over solicitude to obtain the national cog- 
nomen of his much respected ancestor causes him to indulge 
in the hope of his securing the patience and forbearance of his 
readers to bear with him through the mazes and labyrinths of 
circumstances, semi-official documents and traditional stories, 
by which he flatters himself to be enabled to receive and de- 
duce sufficient and conclusive evidence of the identity and na- 
tionality of his venerable ancestor's birth. 

Although the field of iiKiuiry appears to be gloomy and dark 
I shall endeavor to bring it to a satisfactory result; and in do- 
ing this, I may hazard the suspicion of a desire to attach the 
character and name of my family to the skirts and sleeves of 
personages of high sounding titles and stations, who naturally 
move in the higher circles; but far otherwise. I can assure 
my readers that in consequence of the sterility of my resources 
I have no other alternative, anti am willing to confess the ob- 
scurity of my family at the present time, and that my whole 
object is to relieve the present generation from their ignor- 
ance of the origin of their ancestors, and the generations to 
follow or to come. 

We will now commence tracing the name of Toll in the 
higher fields of story and history, where there was ample scope 
to obtain fame and renown, or to lose that reputation which it 
might have been in possession of. 

The first time that I have met with any authentic history of 
the name of Toll, was that in 1790, when Gustavus III, King 
of Sweden, for the purpose of making a descent or attack on 
Revel, laying on the coast of the Baltic, in the province of 
Esthonia. Having got in readiness a powerful armament both 
of land and naval force, to which the command of the naval 
force was given to his royal highness the Duke of Suderma- 
nia, brother to his Majesty, and that of the land forces to Gen- 
eral Toll. The attack was made accordingly; but it is not 
my province, at present to give a description of it. The very 
next time we meet with the name of Toll in history, is in Na- 
poleon Bonaparte's campaign and invasion of Russia, where 
Count Segur as master of ceremonies, if I mistake not, or, at 
all events, attached to Bonaparte's military household, makes 
honorable mention of General Toll, in his description of that 
campaign, from the following circumstance: When the center 
or main army, as it was called, (the residue of his military 
force was spread far in wings to the north and south of him) 
had crossed the Boristines, and its advance had reached Kras- 

noy, Napoleon discovered that Barcley De Tolley, generalis- 
simo of the Russian army, had advanced from Smolensko with 
a strong force to oppose him. Barcley De Tolley, however, 
not being altogether satisfied of the propriety of risking a gen- 
eral engagement, summoned a general council, which, after 
mature deliberation, resulted in the conclusion of giving Bo- 
naparte battle. General Toll being one of Barcley De Tol- 
ley's staff, it was on this occasion that Count Segur, in his 
work on this campaign, spoke in exalted commendation of 
General Toll's firmness in maintaining his opinion in favor of 
giving Napoleon battle. However, Barcley De Tolley either 
consulting his god of war, Mars, or believing his antagonist a 
tower of strength, raised his camp, fell back on Smolenskoy 
and there to await the onslaught of Napoleon, the tragical re- 
sult of which is known to the most of general readers. There 
are, however, many speculative opinions on the subject of 
Barcley De Tolley's falling back on Smolensko, by which it 
fell a prey to destruction; whereas if the engagement had ta- 
ken place in the neighborhood of Krasnoy, the city of Smo- 
lensko would have been saved. I am, however, much in fa- 
vor of the opinion of the Dutchman, who says it is much more 
safe to give an opinion afterwards than beforewards. It would 
appear by the Dutchman's rule that those who gave their opin- 
ion subsequent to the affair of Smolensko, harl the advantage 
of Barcley De Tolley, who had to make up his opinion ante- 
cedent to that disaster, which argues much in his favor. 

Again, the very next time or place we meet with the name 
of Toll is in the campaign of 1828-9, when the Czar or Em- 
peror of Russia sent an army into Turkey, under the command 
of Marshal Diebitsch; and in the military operations of this 
campaign, in the neighborhood of Ismael and Shumla, and 
across the Belkan mountains in Turkey, we frequently meet 
or read of the titular name of Baron Toll as chief of the staff 
of Marshal Diebitsch in this campaign. And again in 1831 
or '32. the Emperor of Russia, in consequence of some dis- 


turbances of a rebellious nature, as he supposed, sent an army 
into Poland under the command of Marshal Diebitsch. Here 
again we find the name of Toll figure under the title of Chief 
D'Etat Major, and second in command of that army. Conse- 
quent to the death of Marshal Diebitsch in February, the com- 
mand of the army devolved on General Toll as commander-in- 
chief. It was in this campaign that a distinguished Polish 
writer bestowed on General Toll the distinguished character 
as one of the ablest generals in the Russian service. The next 
from which, however, I do not claim much in evidence in 
point of origin to the name of Toll; we will barely mention 
that we find the name of Toll as Commodore in the navy of 
the Argentile Republic, in the year 1845. 

Now I wish my readers to remember and retain in mind, 
that if, in the sequel, I do not succeed in my effort in bringing 
forth and in producing such circumstantial evidence that will 
exclude all skeptical scrutiny, and that will bring every read- 
er to the satisfactory reconciliation that the national cogno- 
men of Toll is conclusively Norwegian, I will then offer my 
petition to the indulgence of my readers, and claim the right 
from the previous or preceding synopsical collections to as- 
cribe its origin to the Sclavonian or Scandinavian family. 

We will now endeavor to prove by deduction from circum- 
stances, that Karel Haensen Toll is either by birth or extract 
of Norwegian origin; and in accomplishing this we will have 
to subject ourselves to a circuitous course of reasoning to ob- 
tain evidence of the fact — if not exactly in the form of an al- 
gebraic solution — certainly somewhat approximating to it in 
its character. It is conceded on all hands that the first set- 
tlers and inhabitants of this now state of New York, or then 
Province, were Dutch or Hollanders, and that the Dutch lan- 
guage, manners and law and all other institutions prevailed and 
remained in force until the Province surrendered to the Eng- 
lish government in 1664, and that even after the English laws 
anil institutions were established, the Dutch was the vernacu- 

lar language of the country, and prevailed predominant for a 
great length of time thereafter, and even continued partially 
in use up to this day. 

It will likewise be conceded by all who are anyways con- 
versant with the history of the early settlement of the province 
of New York, that the facilities for schooling and education 
were but nominal, or at most, in embryo, compared to what 
they are at the present time. Whatever opportunities offered 
or presented were conducted in common Dutch schools, where 
teachers were better calculated to receive instruction than to 
impart it to their scholars; it was only the few, the wealthy 
and the favored that could receive a collegiate or classical ed- 
ucation; and they would have to obtain it abroad and from 
home. The first collegiate and incorporated institution es- 
tablished in the Province, was as late as 1750 something, in 
the city of New York. 

The natural consequence of all this was, that among the 
common yeomanry of the country, all the incidents appertain- 
ing to their family or ancestors were registered or recorded in 
traditional story only. Those facts as represented above, are 
sufficiently obvious and conclusive with me to show that facts 
a century back will retain but a glimmering or shadow of their 
reality a century or two thereafter; hence the difficulty with the 
present writer to obtain a sufficient and conclusive result to the 
inquiry of the national cognomen of his ancestor Karel Haen- 
sen Toll. However from what follows, the writer feels him- 
self much flattered and assured that he will be enabled con- 
clusively and unequivocally to prove and substantiate the na- 
tionality of his ancestor's cognomen, to the absolute and utter 
satisfaction of every reader, even under the most skeptic scru- 
tiny. We will now, therefore, proceed to obtain the proof 
and the locus in quo of the nationality of Karel Haensen Toll 
to be absolutely and unequivocally Norwegian. 

For some considerable number of years since, after having 
made diligent research of all the documents and history that 


could possibly throw or afford any light on the subject — al- 
though all this labor was conducted and carried on with a flat- 
tering prospect and hope, it however was, nevertheless, unat- 
tended with any favorable result. Having at this time an aged 
uncle living, although a person of good common sense, I was 
well satisfied that he was much circumscribed in his education, 
and that his head neither contained a library of intelligence 
nor a volume of information; however drowning people will 
grasp at a straw; such was the case with myself, and I accord- 
ingly had recourse to the old gentleman for such informa- 
tion on this subject as he probably might be in possession of. 
I therefore approached him with due submission and respect 
in the following manner: 

"Uncle, you are the oldest of the name of Toll that is left 
alive, and myself perfectly willing to confess that I am alto- 
gether at a loss, or even ignorant to know or not to know 
what country our ancestor, Karel Haensen Toll, emigrated 
from, or what countryman he was; and will you have the 
goodness to inform me; you are the oldest, and I do of course 
expect you must know all about him." 

"'Oh yes, my son; Karel Haensen Toll is from Norway in 
Holland; he is a Hollander; he is Dutch.*' 

Here, my readers, is the long sought for inquiry — the solu- 
tion of the problem — Norway in Holland! ay, ay! Norway in 
Holland indeed, has conducted us to our goal, and must put a 
quietus to all controversy. Here is the glimmering, the 
shadow that is left by tradition of a fact that had transpired 
nearly two hundred years back; this is exactly in proof of m^y 
reasoning in the preceding context. Now every reader who 
is conversant with geography and history is well aware that 
there is no such a place in the seven united provinces of Hol- 
land or the Netherlands as Norway in Holland. There can- 
not be the least shadow of doubt but that Karel Haensen Toll 
w^as a Norwegian, and from what follows must place that point 
beyond all possible controversy. 

It is well known, as heretofore noticed in the preceding con- 
text, that the province of* New York was settled by the Dutch, 
and that the vernacular Dutch language prevailed, and even 
predominated, particularly among the inhabitants living in the 
country and not in the cities, up to the revolution, and until 
the influx of immigration supplanted the Dutch language. 

Again, it is a philosophic axiom that the minor yields to 
the major; just so with the immigrants; it matters not wheth- 
er they are Swedes or Norwegians, if they move into a strange 
country with a different language from their own, they will 
involuntarily conform to the prevailing habits, manners, cus- 
toms and language of the country, and more particularly so 
if they enter into a state of matrimony , and commingle. It is 
a rife saying, that pigs in one stye have or obtain one scent; 
under such circumstances it requires no great stretch of the 
imagination to believe that after an elapse of four or five gen- 
erations, the latest posterity would naturally and insensibly 
fall into the belief that they were Dutch, or of any other lan- 
guage that prevailed or might prevail in the country; and the 
more particularly so where there was nothing but tradition to 
perpetuate the historical knowledge of their ancestors' origin. 
And in addition to all this I have made the most diligent in- 
quiry from every source that could promise or afford the least 
prospect of discovering the name of Toll in the Netherlands, 
not only in the old and musty papers and writings appertain- 
ing to that country, but made inquiry from people and per- 
sons inhabitants in and from that country, and who were, at 
the same time, familiar with that country, and without receiv- 
ing the least intelligence of the existence of the name of Toll 
in that country. I will now close my argument and reason- 
ing in further proof of Karel Haensen Toll's national cogno- 
men, and aver that I believe him not only to have been a Nor- 
wegian by birth and extract, but to have been a Norwegian 
from head to foot, as much so as if I had seen his name bla- 


zoned forth from the herald office in the city of Dronthiem in 

We may as well and at this time take some notice of, and make 
a few explanatory observations on the gen-eral cognomen of 
Karel Haensen Toll, in as much as we may possibly meet 
w^ith it in the sequel, under various aspects, according to the 
perchance and vernacular language of the day. His baptismal 
or christian name consisted rather of two distinct names, that 
is, Karel and Haensen, and his given or sir-name Toll. Con- 
sequently his full name was Karel Haensen Toll. We often 
find or meet with his name expressed or pronounced Karel- 
um, which in common comity or courtesy signifies in the Dutch 
language, Oma-Karel, or in English, uncle Charles. And 
again, if the letter s is added to the U7n/it places it in the pos- 
sessive case. But from the simplicity and peculiarity of the 
then time, we find that in ordinary transactions and intercourse 
with each other, and even in the Colonial legislative proceed- 
ings, his two christian names only were used on many occa- 
sions, and without his given name Toll. This, however, was 
a very common practice, not only with the name of Karel 
Haensen Toll, but likewise with the names of other people 
and persons, and was characteristic of the simplicity of the 
times. However in all legal instruments, such as covenants, 
deeds, bonds and mortgages, &c., his name w^as always writ- 
ten in full, Karel Haensen Toll. 

The preceding exposition and explanation is entered into 
to do away all ambiguity that might be cast upon the identity 
of the person and name of Karel Haensen Toll by some 
skeptical reader. He had at the same time an additional or 
other name, which was Kin-ge-go, given by the Indians, and 
which signifies a fish, which will be explained and taken no- 
tice of hereafter. 

Our very next inquiry w-ill be the time of old Karel-um's 
birth — the time of his arrival in this country — the time of his 
jnarriage and the time of his death — all of which, to be brought 


to a reasonable and satisfactory result, will have to be traced 
through a chain of circumstances, which are to be weighed, 
dissected and even balanced in a manner, not only to preserve 
a correct concatenation of our discourse, but to alleviate the 
tedium and reluctance of my readers to follow me through the 
mazes and apparently obscure traditional story, and to obtain 
from them not only a satisfactory reconciliation of the result 
of my inquiry, but a conclusive acknowledgment of its correct 
result. The only apology I can offer to my readers for trav- 
elling with me through this dry and, as it were, insipid and 
disinterested matters to them, is that I feel and have a paren- 
tal interest in the subject; and if it will relieve any of the bur- 
den to my readers, I am willing to acknowledge that my own 
task is sufficiently onerous, where I have to extend my antlers 
and grope and even feel every inch of my way through my 
discourse, to enable me to obtain not only my own conscien- 
tious belief, but that of my readers, as to the truth and cor- 
rectness of the matter and fact of which I am in quest or in 
pursuit. Although in want of proper and authentic documents, 
we will nevertheless endeavor to reduce the time of Karel 
Haensen's birth, arrival, marriage and death as near the cor- 
rect time as the evidence of circumstances will admit. To as- 
certain the time of his birth we must have recourse to the time 
of his death and funeral, in the following manner, viz: 

John Wemple, Esq., born in the year 1732, has, on more 
than one occasion, related to the present writer that when a 
boy five or six years old, accompanied by his father, who led 
him by the hand, attended the funeral of Karel Haensen Toll 
in the month of March, and that he recollected distinctly of 
hearing the old folks say that is, that the weather was stormy 
because old Karel-um was buried that day. This would bring 
the time of his death in 1737 or '38. This being the case, I 
will now observe that it has been very generally allowed by 
every one with whom I have had any conversation on the sub- 
ject of his age, and with people much older than myself, and 


descendants of him, that old Karel-um lived to a very good 
old age; this being the case, it would bring his age, at the 
time of his death, to be in the neighborhood of eighty years 
or upwards; and this again would bring the time of his birth 
down to sixteen hundred and fifty something, which we will 
accordingly accept of as the right and proper time of his birth. 

Our next inquiry will be to ascertain the time and manner 
of his arrival in this country. It would appear that he was a 
seafaring person, but in what capacity has not appeared, and 
that he was captured, taken prisoner and imprisoned on the 
coast of the Spanish main, Terra Firma, South America. His 
confinement was in all probability in the fortress of Porto Ca- 
bello. It appears he had an intimate friend or companion; 
after himself and companion had been confined for some few 
days in their cell, they received the privilege of walking and 
remaining in the yard through the course of the day, with 
strict injunctions to be into their cell at sunset. After enjoy- 
ing the privilege of the yard a few days, they discovered a 
strange vessel standing in for the harbor, and remaining a day 
or two, occasionally loofing up and bearing away, but at last 
shaping her course and putting out to sea. This same thing 
being repeated on two or three occasions, the thought occur- 
red to them that they might escape from prison and confine- 
ment by swimming to the vessel, provided she would appear 
again, which she accordingly did. This gave birth to their 
adventure, which being formerly agreed upon, and according- 
ly devised and planned in the following manner, viz: 

They being aware that the keeper had his regular hour in 
the evening to make his appearance at the prison door to ex- 
amine, by looking through the diamond hole of the cell door, 
to discover whether they were in and in their bed, and when 
all appeared safe he would lock the door and retire to his own 
quarters, they accordingly and previous to the time of his ex- 
pected visit had contrived to shape and to give such a form to 
their bed or beds so as to represent or imitate a person laying 


in bed and asleep; whilst they at the time of his usual visit lay 
concealed in the shade and dark side of the outward wall of the 
prison yard, and heard the slamming of the door and the clank- 
ing of the lock and key of their prison door; this being done and 
the keeper withdrawn to his quarters, they soon scaled the walls 
and started for the sea shore. When they arrived at the place 
previously agreed upon to take to the water, they hastily un- 
dressed themselves and embraced each other, and with a solemn 
vow engaged and declared to each other to be faithful and perse- 
vering to the end. They reasonably calculated that no time 
ought to be lost, and accordingly entered immediately into the 
water and waded a very considerable distance through various 
depths of water, from knee deep up to their armpits, and at 
the same time through a dense growth of sea-w^eed, which 
lacerated their bodies and gave them great annoyance and 
weariness, from irritation produced by the briny or salt water 
of the ocean, which in the end disheartened Karel-um's com- 
rade to such a degree that he adopted the resolution and de- 
termination to return and hazard the consequence of his pend- 
ing fate. Karel Haensen, however, remained firm and deter- 
mined — took his comrade by the hand and with a feeling gripe 
bid him a cordial and affectionate farewell, they parted — Ka- 
rel-um continued on and soon cleared himself of the sea-weed 
and got into deep water, which enabled him to swim, and con- 
tinued swimming, as he supposed, the better part of the night 
— at all events until he became doubtful of his own safety. 
Whilst reflecting and contemplating he heard the crowing of a 
fowl, and immediately thereafter saw^ light of a lantern mov- 
ing, which circumstance gave him renewed spirits and strength, 
and shortly thereafter he came within hailing distance; after 
a short parley between the sentinel and himself, a rope ladder 
was cast overboard, by which he was enabled to get on board 
of the vessel; after getting on board, he received a shirt of 
one, and a pair of trousers from another, and a hat from a 
third person, &c. In the morning he made the captain of the 


vessel acquainted with the adventure and his apprehension of 
their coming after him in the course of the day. The captain's 
reply was, as long as he had a shot in the locker he should not 
be delivered up to his enemy. Accordingly the same day an 
officer, with a few men in a row boat, arrived and made enquiry 
after Karel-um; reply was made that they neither had heard 
or seen anything of him; thus ended his difficulty. He con- 
tinued in this vessel until his arrival in New York. It is with 
pain and regret that I have to mention that the name of both 
the captain and the vessel have been lost, through the vicissi- 
tudes of time. 

We may as well observe in this place and at this time, that 
the preceding adventure gave rise and birth to Karel-um's In- 
dian name, Kin-ge-go, which signifies a fish in this language. 

We will assume and am willing to believe that it will be 
conceded on all hands that Karel Haensen, the subject of the 
preceding adventure, was, in common reason, at least five-and 
twenty years of age; and if we take into account the time of 
his birth in sixteen hundred fifty and something, w^e will doubt- 
lessly all agree that it will bring the time of his arrival in this 
country in the city of New York, in the neighborhood or very 
nearly to 1680. 

It would appear that he soon relinquished his roaming dis- 
position, and that his mind was soon made up to remain a per- 
manent citizen of this country, from the circumstance of his 
becoming engaged in matrimony, by getting married to Eliza- 
beth, alias Lybetyea Rinckhout, within two or three years af- 
ter his arrival in this country, as will appear from what fol- 

We find recorded in the Church book of the Reformed 
Dutch Church of Schenectady, the marriage of Eve Toll, 
daughter of Karel Haensen Toll and his wife Elizabeth, alias 
Lybetyea Rinckhout, in 1705, to Evert Van Eps. Now 
therefore, if we allow the age of Eve Toll, at the time of her 
marriage, to have been twenty years, that would bring the 


time of her father and mother's marriage, Kare] Haensen Toll 
and Elizabeth, alias Lybetyea Rinckhout in the neighborhood 
of 1683 or '84. The very first time that we meet with any- 
thing on record in the Church book of the Reformed Dutch 
Church of Schenectady, about or concerning Karel Haensen, 
is the recording the act of his being received and engaged as 
a member in full communion with the Church, in the year 
sixteen hundred and ninety-four. 

Our very next inquiry ought to be, after subjecting the read- 
er to wander and feel his way through a long perspective of 
multifarious circumstances and traditional stories, is how to 
obtain his reconciliation for his labor for readinof and follow- 
ing the writer in his efforts and endeavors to unravel a subject, 
although of considerable moment to the writer, apparently of 
little value to the reader; and again, we repeat, our next in- 
quiry ought to be whether we will not subject ourselves to 
the strictures and observations that were made of a landlord 
whose vocation was that of keeping a tap-house or rum shop 
to retail rum by the glass, who, on many occasions, felt 
himself very much annoyed by the pressing importunities of 
an old woman commonly called a squaw, begging and teazing 
him for something more to drink, beyond what his patience 
could endure, would on some occasions, in his wrath, pour a 
glass of rum into a full pail of water, and subject the old wo- 
man to the drinking of a whole pailfuU of water to obtain the 
virtue of a glassfull of rum. I can assure my readers that I 
anticipate no such a thing as strictures and observations, but 
rather that rny readers wull sympathize and ascribe the efforts 
of the writer to his filial feelings towards his ancestor, and 
doubts not but they will willingly receive and accept his apolo- 
gy, with a promise to continue the residue of his story in a 
plain matter of fact manner. Therefore our further continuance 
of the biographical sketch of Karel Haensen Toll will be less 
perplex; it will be the following a well trodden path, to the 
locus in quo of his first domicil, and from whence we will fol- 


low him through all the vicissitudes of his life. We there- 
fore will now take our readers to Karel Haensen's first domi- 
cil after his marriage, which was located about eight and a half 
miles above the present city of Schenectady, and in the pres- 
ent town of Glenville, immediately by the side of the Schenec- 
tady and Utica railroad, and on the north side thereof, at the 
foot or base of a hill, in an old apple orchard, belonging to 
the heirs of Albert Van Eps, deceased, and a branch of old 
Karel-um's posterity, which domicil has been handed down by 
tradition to us under the appellation of a cave. This opinion, 
however, I believe to be untenable. Any person who has 
ever been made acquainted with the character and spirit of old 
Karel-um, would readily conceive his breast would heave and 
swell with contempt at the idea of a cave for his residence, 
otherwise than for a temporary relief or resource. The wri- 
ter, whose pen at this moment is not under the influence of 
pride to give eclat to his theme, but rather otherwise, and 
more desirous of giving a correct interpretation and descrip- 
tion of old Karel-um's domicil. Having on more than one oc- 
casion had this place pointed out to me, and which I beheld 
and viewed w^ith a venerable contemplation of the past, and 
which, on due reflection, and in taking into consideration the 
fact that Karel Haensen Toll must have retained a perfect rec- 
ollection and knowledge of the building and construction of 
the abodes and dwellings of the peasantry of his own na- 
tive country, Norway — and again, the fact of its location at 
the foot of the hill, as indicated by a concavity that still re- 
mains, it would be difficult after thus premising, to suspect 
any person ignorant of the order of the architect and form of 
construction of Karel-um's domicil; the writer has no difficulty 
of conceiving that the idea must have occurred to the archi- 
tect that by excavating in the side and foot of the hill, it would 
give him three sides to a basement story, and with the front 
blocked up with logs or timber, and the chinks filled in with 
clay or moss, it would constitute a comfortable basement, (an- 


ti-room or second and third story was out of the question,) 
which again was reasonably to be supposed, was covered with 
birch bark or thatch, laid on young saplings. This then we 
consider to have been the order of architect and construction 
of Karel Haensen's domicil, instead of the cave as tradition 
wull have it. 

Whatever Karel Haensen's manner of life may have been 
previous to his connubial state, it was from this time forward in 
a continued state of progression towards prosperity and honor. 
It was from this humble abode that Kin-ge-go, the cognomen 
by which Karel-um was most familiarly known by the Indi- 
ans, who were some of his neighbors, would start in pursuit 
of his daily labor, which was grubbing, hoeing, mowing and 
every other kind of manual labor appertaining to husbandry, 
and literally fulfilling the scriptural injunction, in obtaining 
his living by the sweat of his brow. The little pittance and 
daily receipts for his day's labor from his employers constitu- 
ted, at that time, his only means for the support of himself 
and family. It was from this same humble abode and dwelling 
that old mother Rinckhout would leave, and on foot, for Dorp, 
(meaning the village of Schenectady) to buy herself a scipple 
or three pecks of wheat at the town mill, and have it manu- 
factured and ground into grist, and return on the same day 
and on foot, with the burden of her grist on her shoulders, 
which on the next day would be manufactured into bread and 
cake, to be sold to her neighbors, the Indians, for wampum 
and pelt. This journey and labor was as often repeated as the 
occasion called for it. The waiter really imagines that he is 
enabled at this late hour to figure to himself groups of the ab- 
origines, strolling, lingering and loitering about the abode of 
old mother Rinckhout, and occasionally annoying her around 
her fireside; and likewise their birch canoes, with all their para- 
phernalia of Indian taste, moored along the shore of the Mo- 
hawk, and at the same time their pappooses gamboling, vault- 
ing and tumbling about on the green sward ^ and in sight of 



her door. It is not to be supposed that the oUl people could 
have foreseen, through the long- vista of future time, the many 
improvements that would follow, or that would take place 
after their day; and as little could they have dreamed of 
the construction of a railroad immediately in front of their 
then door, or of a train of carriages and cars filled with pas- 
sengers and merchandize, moving along the road by the agen- 
cy of steam at the rate of twenty or thirty miles the hour, 
or the speed of an arrow, nor as little could they have antici- 
pated their own industry and frugality would lay the founda- 
tion for the prosperity of their posterity, to enable them to 
pass and repass, up and down the road to Dorp, or the village 
of Schenectady, mounted and accoutred on prancing steeds, 
with spur and whip in hand, nor of riding or driving in splen- 
did carriages, (and if not in the splendor of princely royalty, 
with outriders, postilion and coachman seated on an embroi- 
dered or laced hammer-cloth) but certainly if not with the 
above splendors, with elegant vehicles in summer, and elegant 
sleighs, covered with buffalo robes, and drawn by noble hors- 
es, and accompanied with the jingling of bells in winter, and 
in accordance with the fashion of the day: And as little could 
they have anticipated that one and a half centuries after this 
time a superannuated great grandson would have been induced 
from filial feelings, and with tears trickling down his furrowed 
cheek, whilst feebly urging his pen to portray and delineate 
the toils and labors of his venerable ancestors. It ought not 
to be considered a miracle that whilst in the depth of his medi- 
tation and in the zeal of his imagination, that the image of 
his ancestor should be presented to his mind, with an axe on his 
shoulder and spade in hand, moving on the road and on his way 
to his daily task; still confining his mind to meditation and re- 
flection, and in a profundity of thought, he fancied he could 
see old Mother Rinckhout on her way home with her grist, 
and resting by the wayside under the shade of a tree, with 
brawny muscle and sunburnt skin, taking her scanty repast, 


and occasionally dipping her cup, to allay and quench her 
thirst, into a crystal stream that was meandering at her feet, 
seeking its way to the Mohawk river; still continuing in the 
same profundity of thought and view of mind, and after mo- 
ving still a little further on the road or footpath, he fancied 
he could see old mother Rinckhout resting by the side of the 
Indian trail, indicating fatigue and weariness — her hair dishe- 
veled, with tresses hanging over her shoulders, and at the same 
time in a profuse state of perspiration, and occasionally wiping 
her forehead: oh! not with a cambric or silken handkerchief, 
but with the humble corners of her check apron. After re- 
ceiving sufficient rest, she placed her grist on to her shoulders, 
and directed her footsteps towards her home. The writer does 
not entertain the least doubt but that he will relieve his read- 
ers from sympathy by informing them that old Karel-um and 
his companion, Elizabeth, alias Lybetyea Rinckhout were well 
rewarded for their toil and labor; they became comfortable, and 
were ranked and considered opulent among their neighbors, in 
their later days. 

We will now endeavor to take a rapid glance and give a 
crude sketch or outline of the property held by Karel Haen- 
sen Toll, within the short space of time that intervened from 
the time he first commenced the construction of his first abode 
or cave, as it was vulgarly called, and until the time of his re- 
moval and the purchase of his estate at Malwyck, as it was 
called, and lying within two miles of the present city of Sche- 
nectady, and in the town of Glenville, in seventeen hundred 
and twelve — the whole period of time probably amounting to 
twenty years, more or less. There is a verbal history and 
account in the remaining families of his posterity, that he was 
the owner in fee of the whole of the seventh flats, together 
with the upland adjoining, as far as the hilllying north of the 
flats, and gave it as a legacy to two of his daughters; that is 
Nailtyea Toll, who married John Van Eps, and Lybetyea 
Toll, who married Peter Cornu. That he owned the western 


half is most certain; for we find by official documents that his 
daughter Nailtyea married John Van Eps in October, seven- 
teen hundred and twenty, and the following year, April the 
twenty-ninth, seventeen hundred and twenty-one, Karel Haen- 
sen conveyed unto his son-in-law, John Van Eps, and to his 
daughter Nailtyea Toll, the western half of the seventh flats, 
and as far w^est along the Mohawk as the western boundary 
of the Schenectady patent and the heirs of Philip Groat, with 
the exception of one morgan of land on the east side of the 
creek, the site of his old wigwam, and one morgan on the 
west side of the creek, which at present is called Hoffman's 
Ferry, or the Schenectady and Utica Railroad Station, all for 
the consideration of love and affection as mentioned in the 
deed. We likewise find Peter Cornu conveying by quit-claim 
to his brother-in-law, John Van Eps, and to his sister-in-law, 
Nailtyea Toll, the western half of the seventh flats, and which 
he describes as bound on the east, on the eastern half of the 
seventh flats, and as his own property. This eastern half of 
the seventh flats Peter Cornu subsequently conveyed to Aaron 
Vedder, the grandfather of the present writer, and it remains 
in the possession of his posterity up to this day. From the 
foregoing it appears evident to me that Peter Cornu and his 
wife Lybetyea Toll received the eastern half of the seventh 
flats as a legacy , the same as John Van Eps and his wife Nailt- 
yea Toll had the western half from their common parent Ka- 
rel Haensen Toll, which caused Peter Cornu to release; and 
if so, it is very evident that Karel Haensen owned the whole 
of the seventh flats; and if not, he certainly owned the west- 
ern half of the seventh flats. We find, by a memorandum that 
is kept of a controversy between the Kayanderasa patentees 
and the trustees of Schenectady patent, mentioning an article 
of agreement entered into between Geraldus Comfort and Ka- 
rel Haensen Toll, on the eighth of March, sixteen hundred and 
ninety-four, for a piece or parcel of land, which we find event- 
ually conveyed by Geraldus Comfort to Karel Haensen Toll, 


for ihe consideialion of a horse and cow, on the eighteentli of 
May, seventeen hundred and three, and lying on the north side 
of the Mauquas river, and described as beginning at Ta-wa- 
ra-yeu-na Hill, and on the west boundary of Schenectady pa- 
tent, and running west along the river to the limits of the land 
of said Karel Haensen,and formerly belonging to Henry Cuy- 
ler. Tn sixteen hundred and ninety-nine Karel Haensen bought 
a piece of land from JohanesCuyler, which w^as the remainder 
of that piece of land he had previously bought of Henry Cuy- 
ler, and lying west of the land bought of Geraldus Comfort, 
and as that lying along the Mohawk river. We likewise find 
that opposite to this, on the south side of the Mohawk river, 
he held a small tract of land previously belonging to John Lu- 
kesea, and likewise a small island in the river; both of which 
he disposed of or sold to Jeremiah Thickstone, March the 
ninth, seventeen hundred and fifteen. 

We will now endeavor to ascertain the extent of old Karel- 
um's property in the neighborhood of his first domicil,and pre- 
vious to his moving and purchase of his estate at Malwyck, in 
seventeen hundred and twelve. In order to do this, it will be- 
come necessary to describe and define two prominent monu- 
ments or landmarks, viz: 

Ta-quat-se-ra Creek, an Indian name, or theDroybergh Kill, 
as the old Dutch inhabitants formerly called it, and which 
takes its rise on the high grounds in the town of Glenville; 
and on its way down to the Mohawk river, by gathering and 
accumulating strength, it forces or makes its way, bounding, 
rolling and tumbling headlong through a gorge in the moun- 
tain, and pouring itself with a rapid stream into the Mohawk 
river, where it constitutes the division line between the sev- 
enth flats on the w^est, and at present the property of Albert 
Vedder, and the sixth flats on the east, and now the property 
of the heirs of Josias Swart, deceased. 

The next landmark is on the west, and is the property for- 
merly of the heirs of Philip Groat. At the present time— no 


matter where its location may have been formerly — it now 
extends down from Grain's Village and along the Mohawk 
river to the property of Doctor John Swart, at a place called 
Swart's Ferry. But still in former times it might have ex- 
tended some distance below Swart's; however, may that be 
as it will, the lower end constituted the west boundary of Ka- 
rel Haensen's property. 

I believe that I have made it appear that Karel Haensen 
owned the whole of the seventh flats, and as far west as the 
western boundary of the Schenectady patent, and that subse- 
quently he bought of Henry Cuyler, afterwards of John Cuy- 
ler, and after that again of Geraldus Comfort; and all those 
purchases were west of the line of Schenectady patent; and 
again it appears by his deed of gift to his son-in-law John Van 
Eps and his daughter Nailtyea Toll, in seventeen hundred 
and twenty-one, that the boundary of that deed runs west to 
the east line of the property of the heirs of Philip Groat. 
The following then constitutes the property in land which old 
Karel-um acquired previous to his purchase of Malwyck, 
viz: From the Ta-quat-se-ra Creek on the east, and the prop- 
erty of the heirs of Philip Groat on the west — wherever that 
might have been — together with a small tract of land on the 
south side of the Mohawk river, and a small island in the riv- 
er. Thus it would appear that old Karel-um and his compan- 
ion, old mother Rinckhout, made more by grubbing and hoe- 
ing by the day, and by carrying grist on their back and shoul- 
ders, to be made up into bread and cake to be sold to the In- 
dians for wampum and peltry, than our would-be gentlemen 
now-a-days, by playing up the dandy, lounging, smoking ci- 
gars and talking politics; or than our ladies would by making 
their eleven and twelve o'clock calls to leave their cards, and 
with no other claims to the character of the gentleman or lady 
than that of crude pretensions. As heretofore has been hinted, 
in seventeen hundred and twelve old Karel-um purchased the 
estate of Malwyck from Peter and Joseph Clement; the wri- 


ter, however, has not been made acquainted as to the amount 
of the consideration money, only this, that one of the Cle- 
ments was to receive a bonus which was to consist of the 
choice of the best horse in the stable, a saddle and bridle, to- 
gether with a complete suit of new clothes and cocked hat, 
which he accordingly received, and was afterwards very ludic- 
rously and unceremoniously dismissed from the premises. 

Here, then, we find old Karel-um and his vrow, Lybetyea 
Rinckhout safely ensconced the remainder of their lives on a 
princely estate, and on the bank of the Mauquas or Mohawk 
river, and within two miles of Dorp, and now the city of Sche- 
nectady, which estate extends on the east from the present di- 
vision line of David F. Reese, and between the river and the 
Mohawk Turnpike, as it is at present located, and west to the 
east line of Cornelius Viele, and now constituting the farms 
of Isaac and Charles Toll and the farm of Barringer, together 
with the upper half of Bent's Island in the Mohawk river, 
and the greater part of Booken Dale, but vulgarly corrupted 
into the name of Poopendall, and which property remains still 
in possession of the Toll family. The old gentleman had not 
been settled a very great length of time on his Malwyck estate 
w^hen he began to calculate to erect a dwelling suitable to the 
magnitude of his estate, which he accordingly commenced and 
located on the high ground which incloses the alluvial land of 
his farm; and its immediate situation was on the brow or edge 
of a gentle slope that ran down from the high ground and into 
a vale in the rear of his house; and again this vale afterward 
communicated with the river, which gave the high ground on 
which the dwelling stood the form and appearance of a tongue, 
and affording a fine lawn and green sward in front of his dwell- 
ing, together with an elegant view of the river and island, and 
a distant prospect of the Yan-ten-push-ya-bergh on the oppo- 
site side of the Mauquas or Mohawk river, altogether a beauti- 
ful landscape. The immediate form of the foundation or cellar 
was a rectangular parallelogram, something like forty by twen- 


ty-live feet. The superstructure was of brick, one and a half 
stories in height, covered with a roof with an angle of forty- 
five degrees, which gave to the peak of the roof and gable 
ends a high appearance. Now whether it was or was not in 
accordance with the old gentleman's taste, it was, however, 
not furnished with a weather-cock or vane, as was the gener- 
al custom of those days, and which most generally was an el- 
egant horse formed out of sheet-iron, and hung by hinges on to 
a spindle, in a rampant position, and placed on the peak of 
one of the gable ends of the house, and which would indicate 
the point of compass from which the wind blew; which indeed 
is the whole secret by which the Dutch people became so much 
skilled and weatherwise — even so much so that an old experi- 
enced Dutchman could almost always tell when it rained or not, 
if you gave him a fair chance. The first story immediately 
above the cellar and cellar-kitchen, was divided by one parti- 
tion-wall into two apartments, and with a door in this parti- 
tion to give ingress and egress to both rooms. The upper sto- 
ry or garret was left in one spacious room the full dimensions 
of the building, with only a common or ordinary finish. One 
of the rooms on the first floor was allotted to the ordinary use 
of the family as a dwelling, the other went by the name of 
Kauraer, and was considered the best room in the building, 
and hardly ever used but on the occasion of a funeral or a 
wedding. The floors of these rooms consisted of yellow pine 
plank, from fourteen to sixteen inches in width; the floor over 
head was the same, only with this difference: that is, the un- 
der side of which was in view and immediately over head, 
was planed with an exceeding high wrought finish, so as to 
give it a rich appearance; the beams overhead on which the 
upper floor rested, were of large and beautiful timber, and 
likewise highly wrought and finished, and were received at 
each of their ends with tenon and mortise in an upright post, 
and which was incased in the wall with its three sides and its 
front on a plane with the wall, and likewise of a high wrought 


finish, similar to the upper floor and beams; those posts ex- 
tended in a vertical direction to the plate timber on which the 
rafters of the roof rest, and were secured by tenon and mor- 
tise to the plates — the angle at the junction of the beam and 
post received a piece of timber adapted to the angle and of 
the dimensions with the beam and post, and connected with 
them by tenon and mortise, and which w^as made slightly con- 
cave in front and answered a twofold purpose — that of a brace 
and ornament — the fitting of which was generally allotted to 
the best workman as his task, to be wrought and finished in a 
superb style, and these posts were painted azure color up to 
the beam including the brace, and with a grape-vine delinea- 
ted on them w^ith full clusters of the grape. The fire-place 
was an open one, the hearth between eight and nine feet in 
length and about four feet in breadth; the back of the fire- 
place between the jambs and cheeks about eight feet, and the 
height up to the mantel-piece between six and seven feet, the 
cheeks or jambs projecting from the back at an angle of sixty 
degrees flaring, with their face looking to the center of the 
room, and about two feet in breadth and between six and sev- 
en feet in height. This face was set its whole surface with 
square earthen tile secured with cement; and on the face of 
each tile was represented a scriptural passage with an explana- 
tory note at the bottom. The extreme projecting angle of 
these jambs received for a finish a narrow strip of plank hand- 
somely wrought and painted the colors of mahogany. The 
mantel-piece, which extended the full length of the hearth and 
something like a foot up and down, was finished and orna- 
mented with fluting and mouldings and colored in imitation of 
mahogany, and on to which generally were placed in the cen- 
ter a large china bowl, and usually called the punch bowl, and 
half a dozen china bowls of smaller dimensions on each side 
of it, and by way of distinction were called chocolate bowls, 
and were brought in use only on very particular occasions. 
To the under edge of this mantel-piece was suspended a broad 



valance, either of calico or chintz. The window sash was s 
single frame, and of the form of a parallelogram, about two 
feet in width and five in length up and down, glazed with four 
by five inch panes of glass, which were set in an iron frame 
and fastened with sheet lead instead of putty. These sashes 
were hung with hinges, and when required^ would open to the 
inside of the room; they were protected on the outside with 
shutters as now in modern days. I must not forget the stairs 
in the dwelling-room that led up to the garret, and which was 
carried by two flights — the first two-thirds of the way up and 
to a platform, the second ran at right angles from the platform 
to a kind of lobby at the head of the stairs, and which admit- 
ted of an entrance into the garret by a door; all this to pro- 
tect the lower room from the cold air of the garret. The 
newel-post, hand-railing and balustrades were all of large 
and massive material, exceedingly well wrought and finished 
after the fashion of the day; the steps were of oak plank with 
mouldings stuck on their projections. This constituted the 
upper part of the building above the cellar and cellar- 
kitchen, which w^as a large and w^ell finished room with a 
bed-room attached to it; the huge and large beams overhead 
were of the same order of finish with the rest of the building 
or rooms above, and in those times of simplicity w^ere used to 
chalk their little accounts on in the room of a day-book or 
ledger. Many a skipple of wheat has been chalked on them 
against the first settlers of Ballstown and Gallway, (the five 
thousand acres, but at present called Charleston ,) The outside 
doors ought not to be forgotten; they were literally made of 
two short doors, and were known by the name of the upper and 
lower door, and they afforded this advantage; that is, my vrow 
could open the upper, door and retain the lower one shut and 
in its place, so as to enable her to lean against it and at the 
same moment to rest with her elbow on the upper edge of the 
door, and so again to enable her at her leisure to take a comfort- 
able peep out doors and learn what was going on; this was 


very convenient, inasmuch as the panes of glass in the sash 
were so small so as to allow but of one eye at a time to look 
through them. The old cellar-kitchen reminds me of one of 
old Karel-um's eccentricities: it was in this cellar-kitchen on 
Sundays when the rest of the family were attending to church 
service, that the old gentleman would spread a slice of bread 
with butter sprinkled with some sugar, then get the boys to 
jump, wrestle and even to fight a little, so as to have drawn a 
little claret occasionally from their proboscises, and then give 
to the winner the greater moiety of the spoils.; this the writer 
has had related to him about five and twenty or thirty years 
since, by an old gentleman — Abraham Schermerhorn — then 
upwards of ninety years of age, who was himself one of the 

After this description of the above dwelling it is almost su- 
perfluous to say that this was the house that old Karel-um built, 
and not the house that Jack built, and was the laro;est dwell- 
ing house in the towmship of Schenectady, with the exception 
of one built in Scotia, by John Sandersa Glen, in seventeen 
hundred and thirteen, for his son. Colonel Jacob Glen, and 
which the writer, during the time he was engaged in this sketch 
took the occasion to view and examine the old building, and 
feels proud to record, was most friendly and very politely in- 
troduced by the vrow or lady of the proprietor, Peter Sanders, 
Esq., into the apartments of the old building, in w^hich Ifound 
a superfluity of the most splendid and elegant furniture, that 
gave to the apartments a dazzling appearance and a strong 
evidence of the hand of taste in its arrangement; but still the 
old house acted its part well; it shone forth with all the splen- 
dor of a recent and w^ell finished building, and so much so that 
in casting up my opinion of the same I had involuntarily to 
tip my brow to the old building for its antiquated and vener- 
able associations and its well preserved condition. The wri- 
ter is an admirer of antiquities and manners and customs of 
yore, must confess he felt his pleasure somewhat marred on 


reflecting on the absence of all the bustle and stir and all the 
paraphernalia of hiisbandrjj with all its appearance of comfort 
that he well recollected of seeing sixty years back about this 
rich and superb abode. 

We will now follow old Karel-um to the Colonial Legisla- 
ture. Although we have nothing to offer that will astonish 
the reader, or to show him to be the eminent statesman, it is, 
however, a part and parcel of his biography, and we will re- 
late the facts as we fmd them recorded in the official journals 
of the Colonial Legislature, with the addition of two or three 
incidents of his eccentric character. After the decease of 
Queen Anne in the autumn of seventeen hundred and fourteen, 
and at the commencement of the reign of his majesty George 
the First, Governor Hunter caused a writ to be issued for elect- 
ing a general Assembly, to meet December the fourteenth, 
seventeen hundred and fourteen, by which Karel Haensen was 
returned as one of the three members for the city and county of 
Albany, which then consisted in territory from the north lines 
of the counties of Dutchess and Ulster to the extreme ends of 
the province of New York north and west. This legislature 
was dissolved in August, seventeen hundred and fifteen. The 
next general election for Members of Assembly, Karel Haen- 
sen was again elected and returned to the House, which met 
June the fifth, seventeen hundred and sixteen, and with this 
election continued a member of the legislature until August, 
seventeen hundred and twenty-six, during the entire reign of 
George the First, with the exception of the last year of his 
reign, in which Capt. Jacob Glen served for the township of 
Schenectady from the twenty-seventh of September until the 
eleventh of November following, seventeen hundred and twen- 
ty-six. George the Second was proclaimed king the next Au- 
gust following, seventeen hundred and twenty-seven. On his 
first trip to the legislature and on his way either in Albany or 
on the sloop, he met with a friend or acquaintance who shook 
him very familiarly by the hand and in a very familiar way 


observed that his coat was rather the worse for wear, and at 
the same time asked him if he intended to appear with that 
coat in the presence of the Governor. " Why not 1" was ask- 
ed by old Karel-um; " I am confident it is well lined." The 
reply was, "If you will, I will give you so much." The bar- 
gain was closed by the shaking of the hands. On their arri- 
val in New York, a day or two before the session commenced, 
they as usual called on his Excellency to pay him their re- 
spects; after the introduction and shaking of the hands, the 
Governor observed to Karel-um, " Your coat appears rather 
thread-bare." "Yes, your Excellency, but there is a very 
good lining under it." With this the old gentleman got up 
and made his first debut, and with a profound bow, addressed 
his excellency in the following manner: " May it please your 
Excellency, living as I do in the interior and on the extreme 
borders of our settlements, I need not inform your Excellency 
that it ought not to be expected that I should be very famil- 
iar and conversant with the etiquette of court circles and life. 
Any further remarks would be superfluous; I will barely ob- 
serve that my appearance in this coat is more to prove the 
folly of my friend than that of my ignorance or that of my 
disrespect of your Excellency." With that old Karel-um turn- 
ed to his friend and demanded his money, which gave a new" 
turn to the tables and upon his friend. The very next inter- 
view old Karel-um had with his excellency he received a hearty 
grip from his hand, with the assurance that he believed his 
lining was suitable for any coat. The old gentleman, during 
the session of the legislature, boarded and lodged at the house 
of the Widow Post, a great grandmother of a very respectable 
citizen of the city of Schenectady, Cornelius Van Santvort, 
Esq., from whom I have the following story. One day the old 
lady asked old Karel-um why he did not attend the House, 
when he replied that he had nothing to do there that day, but 
on the morrow the hog law would be up, and then he would be 
there, for that he understood and knew all about it. On anoth- 


er occasion a supply bill was before the House, and during 
the discussion old Karel-um napt it a little, or pretended to, 
when a member who was next to him gave him a gentle shake, 

" What, Karel-um, are you sleeping?" 

" Why yes, I believe so, for I have been dreaming." 

" Pray, what have you dreamed?" 

" Well, sir, I dreamed that some person was about thrusting 
his hand into my pocket and that I grasped it with both of mine." 

We presume this dream needs no Daniel to interpret it to 
our readers. Dream or no dream, w^e will suppose that old 
Karel-um performed the minor duties of the legislature equal 
to his compeers, and there we will leave him with the excep- 
tion of one circumstance which we w^ill barely mention for its 
antiquity, and as a curiosity to the inhabitants of the city of 
Schenectady, where we find Karel Haensen, in seventeen hun- 
dred and twenty-one, although a member of the legislature, 
associated wath John Sandersa Glen, Adam Vrooman and John 
Wemp insetting stockades for the fort in Schenectady, which 
stockades ran nearly through the middle of Front, Washing- 
ton, State and Ferry streets, inclosing the four original squares 
of the old village Dorp; the space left between Front street 
and the river was at that time called calvers waityea, (in Eng- 
lish, calf-pasture.) For the setting of these stockades they re- 
ceived from the legislature ninety-six pounds, thirteen shillings, 
and ninepence. Those families on the outside of the inclo- 
sure might, in time of danger from an enemy, move within 
the stockades and be protected in common with the rest of the 
citizens. The writer fancies himself that he is in possession 
of one of the very stumps of those stockades, which he ob- 
tained in the follow^ing manner: some four or five years since 
the superintendent of the street was engaged in relaying the 
pavement in front of Governer Yates' office with the work- 
men, and in grubbing the ground came upon the heads of a 
row of stumps running lengthwise with the street, and which 


I supposed to be the very stumps of the stockades spoken of, 
and with a little flattery and something to drink, I readily ob- 
tained one of the hands to excavate a couple of feet and to 
take one of them out, or at least the heart, which consists en- 
tirely of turpentine, which I hold in possession as a relic of 

We will now add a little explanation about the legisla- 
tive members of the township of Schenectady. In sixteen 
hundred and seventy-two, July the third, the Indian Deed 
was obtained; and in sixteen hundred and eighty-four Gov- 
ernor Dongan granted the first Patent for the township of 
Schenectady, and appointed Sweer TunessaandRyer Schermer- 
horn, Myndert Wemp, William Teller and John Van Eps, 
Trustees; and in seventeen hundred and fourteen, RyerScher- 
merhorn being the only surviving trustee, made application to 
Governor Hunter for advice or relief; who thereupon renewed, 
or rather gave a new patent, and reappointed Ryer Schermer- 
horn and four additional trustees with him as associates, with 
this additional privilege, that the inhabitants of the township 
of Schenectady might elect and send their own members to 
the legislature to represent the township of Schenectady. In 
consequence of this it appears that Karel Haensen a few of 
the last years of his service in the legislature, drew his salary 
from the township of Schenectady, as appears from the town 
books; and by way of curiosity to my readers I will give a 
sample of the proceedings of the town officers of Schenectady, 
and the manner in which they kept their books, together with 
the last receipt of Karel Haensen for his services in the leg- 
islature, verbatim, word for word, as we find it entered in the 
town book of the township of Schenectady. 

Schonegh, October 13, Ano. 1726, 
Att the meeting of the Seprovisor, present, 

Mr. GusBERT V. Brackel, 
Whom then apounted mee Symon Veder to Bee the Town 


Treasurer for the ynsea year, then adyornd lo the 13th of this 
instant mount. 

Present, Gisbert V. Brackel. 
Whom then overloekith the laest years sepoost, found in the 
hands of the Treasurier — 

Then ordered advertisement to Bee put up for all those that 
have any yust Demands on the township tho Bring in thir ac- 
coupts to the treasurier; also warront to the assessers; then 
adyornd to the 6 Day of Febr., 172|f. 

Schoneh.j Feb. 6, 172 f. Att the meeting of the suprovisor, 

Mr. Gysbert van Brackle, whom then overlouckith the ac- 
coubts and orderd them to bee Entered Down in the Book, 
to Carel Haensen, Esq., £ 

to Jacob Glen, Esq., 

to the Assessers, 

to the Colecter, 

to the Treasurier for to bing Clerk, 

to the Treasurier, 

to Yames Stevensen, 

to William hopkins, 

to the Suproviser, 

















Also overloockith the Estimate of the assessers Yacob Glen 
and Cornelius Van Der Volge, under their hands and seals, 
^62600, ordered 6 pens 3 fartings per pound, with amount to 
bee ,£67. found allso in y hands of S'ymon Veder, treasurier, 
also in the hands of G'ysbert van Brackel of the 
You are herby Required and Command to pay unto ye sever- 
ale parson or persons, or to this order, this several acounts 
Ordered by the Suproo visor of the said township of Schonegh- 
tendie, such sum or sums of raonny as it att the ends of thir 
several names, as soon as the raonny shall com unto your 
hands, and this and thir severall Recpt shall be your suvisand 


Dischargh, Given under my hand and Saell, this third day of 
April, in the thirteenth year of the Reign of our Soverin Lordj 
George, over Greatt Brittain, France and Yerland, king De- 
vender of the faith ano y Do 1727. 

to Symon Veder, 

towns treasuraer. GYSEBERT.v.BRACKEL. 

Schoneghlendie, April 18, 1727. 
then Reced by me, from Syraon Veder, treasurier, the ful and 
yust sum of forty-two pound 10 Shiling Corant monny of the 
Colleny of nieu yorck, for my sallery as assemblman for the 
said town for the last year. 

2 Said Reced by mee, 


N. B. He would, on some occasions, simply write his name Karel Haensen. 

Schoneghtendie, April 5, 1735. 
Then recieved from Symon Veder, towns treasurier, the yust 
and full sume of tre Shilling Corant mony, itt beeing for my 
Negroo worcks that he has Done for whippen the negro need 
in this town. 

j said Recieved by Mee, ARENT BRAT. 

At the commencement of this sketch we engaged to give a 
few of old Karel-um's anecdotal eccentricities, but in pursuing 
the thread of our discourse, we found it inconvenient to dis~ 
tribute them in the context without subjecting ourselves to 
incongruity, which might be supposed to prevail to too great 
an extent already. We will therefore endeavor to make amends 
by placing them in a body at the latter end, at least those we 
retain; for undoubtedly many of them have been lost in the 
rubbish of time and sunk in the gulf of oblivion. 

It would appear the old gentleman was a person of some 
considerable enterprise, and had his own and peculiar manner 
in carrying them out. He would occasionally make a visit to 
old Dorp and remain a week or ten days without returning to 



his home, the small distance of a couple of miles. On one of 
these occasions he rode in town or Dorp with a load of grain, 
and placed it under the tackle in old Douwum's yard — order- 
eil his horses taken care of, and a separate room to himself, a 
table sat, as was his usual practice, provided with pipes and 
tobacco and the ordinary beverage then in use at convivial 
meetings, which were mulled wines, strong beer and a little 
Jamaica spirits, which was used in the form of toddy, and was 
nothing more nor less than a little spirits mixed with water 
in a china bowl or an earthen one, which was called a nipp of 
toddy, and with the addition of a little sugar it would consti- 
tute a nipp of punch. Glass tumblers were not in use in or- 
dinary circles, if at all, in those days. Old Karel-um thus sit- 
uated and of a free and open turn of disposition, it is readily 
to be conceived, would not long be in want of guests to run 
up a bill or score; and the manner in which he would cancel 
his bill was in the following manner: he would occasionally 
ask old Douwum, the landlord, how his bill stood, who would 
step to the closet and open the door — cast up the chalks — cry 
out, so much. Old Karel-um would say ^' Very well, hoist 
out a bag," or two, as the case might be. This would con- 
tinue for a longer or shorter length of time, until the load of 
grain was consumed, by which time the old gentleman in this 
his peculiar or eccentric w^ay of speculation, would either be- 
come the gainer or the loser, before his return home. At 
another time at one of these convivial meetings, he had Col. 
Jacob Glen, of Scotia, as a guest and companion, and on their 
way home felt somewhat concerned about their reception; they 
interchanged some speculative opinions on the subject, and 
concluded they would try and see who had the most friendly 
and best natured wife for a companion at home. They ac- 
cordingly stepped in at Scotia, at Col. Jacob Glen's house, and 
found the old vrow in a very bad humor, grumbling and scold- 
ing at a great rate; after old Karel-um found that the scolding 
was in good earnest, he took the Colonel out to see the horses 


at the barn, but in the room of that they turned the corner 
and laid their course for Malwyck. On arriving there the old 
vrow received them with much hospitality and friendship, bid 
Col. Glen take a seat and make himself comfortable, asked 
about the health of himself and family, and most particularly 
that of his vrow. Col. Glen being well satisfied with his re- 
ception suggested a wish to see the horses, and on their way 
to the barn, says the Colonel, 

" Karel-um, I must confess you have the best wife." 

" Why so V^ says old Karel-um. 

"Well, because she is pleasant and does not scold at all." 

"Ah! man, wait until you are gone, then comes my time; 
I will get it." 

On a particular occasion as the old gentleman was peram- 
bulating through the streets of Dorp he fell in with a Mr. 
Brazee, I think, a poor man who kept a small tap-house or 
tavern, who addressed the old gentleman in the following 
manner: " Karel-um, I am very much in want of a milch-cow, 
and am poor, and I hardly know how to pay for one, or where 
to get one." "My friend, don't give yourself any uneasiness 
about that; I will see that you have one, and will put you in the 
way to pay for it easy." Karel-um's standing in community 
at that time was in advance of his neighbors — his word as good 
as a bond, and his predictions prophetic — was a member of the 
legislature, and had the title of esquire attached to his name. 
Brazee of course thought he had met with his lucky star. A few 
days thereafter Brazee made his appearance at Malwyck; the 
old gentleman soon took him in the pasture and showed him 
the cows and mentioned their different prices. Brazee soon 
made his choice and drove it home to Schenectady. He was 
no sooner on the outside of the gate but old Karel-um stood at 
the glass, scraping his beard — changed his dress and made 
for Dorp, got out a precept for Brazee, and obtained judgment. 
Brazee indicated much distress — told Karel-um that he ex- 
pected that he would put him in the way i^f paying for the 


cow easy. "That is just what I am doing." Brazee shook 
his head and really thought he bad brought himself and fami- 
ly in trouble. Sometime thereafter old Karel-um came to 
Brazee's house and called for a private room^ ordered victuals 
and drink for all that came to see him, until the cow was paid 
for, which was effected in a short time. This pleased old Ka- 
rel-um so much that he had taken rather more than usual^and 
on walking out of doors he found he had lost his equilibrium, 
and in balancing backwards and forwards to secure his verti- 
cal position he took to cascading severely; an acquaintance of 
his at that moment passing the gate, discovered the old gen- 
tleman, made up to him and accosted him in the following 
manner: " What is the difficulty my friendl" 

"T will tell you; heretofore I have been in the habit of call- 
ing on the Doctor when I required an emetic, but at this time 
I have undertaken to prescribe for myself, and have accord- 
ingly taken the whole or better part of a cow, and I assure 
you the dose proves rather large, and it operates very severely." 

I believe all will think with me it w^as paying well for the 
fiddler. However it answered the purpose very well; the cow 
according to promise w^as easy paid for, and Brazee well sat- 

We will now endeaver to relate one of the last of old Ka- 
rel-um's peculiar visits which he occasionally made to Dorp, 
which have been retained by traditional story, and on which 
occasion it appears he continued longer than usual from home j 
which caused the old vrow to send the negro foreman Klaus 
to Douwums with a very polite request to Karel-um, to see if 
he would not have the goodness to pay his family a visit, in- 
asmuch as matters and things called for his presence very much. 
On the arrival of Klaus, Douwum, the landlord, acquainted 
the old gentleman of the arrival of Klaus; with that Karel-um 
ordered the negro to come into the room, which he according- 
ly did, and with his hat under his arm and trembling, deliver- 
ed his errand. The old negro Avas ordered something to drink^ 


and to return home and inform his vrow that his master was 
well provided for, and lived as well as the land could afford, 
both in victuals and drink, and waited upon when required, 
and if he returned home would receive a scolding; and where 
he was there was nothing of that. Karel-um and old Dou- 
wum's family anticipated a visit from old mother Rinck- 
hout the following day; accordingly preparations were made 
to receive her with marked attention. The next day the house 
was all brushed up and things arranged in the best of order — 
the old lady and her daughters dressed in their best bib and 
tucker, and as anticipated, old mother Rinckhout made her ap- 
pearance in the afternoon, in a w^agon with Klaus, his fore- 
man. After the ordinary greetings and salutations of how gaut 
it, she was taken into their best room. After the ordinary 
chit-chat the table was brought on to the floor; and in doing 
this the best foot was put forward. Accordingly the table 
was spread with the best of everything of the victual kind the 
house could afford, and when all was ready and prepared, the 
family mustered around the table; Karel-um and his vrow took 
seats by the side of each other. The ordinary process of eat- 
ing and drinking was conducted as was usual on such occa- 
sions, but with this addition, that of a pressing solicitation on 
the part of the family for mother Rinckhout to make free and 
help herself. " Lybetyea-mut, come prebare ane beatyea van 
duit dicka melks kassyea. " Ick daunk you, ick have hale 
well, daunkey."* Old Karel-um after finishing his meal or 
repast, withdrew himself from the table and was soon seen 
sending up volumes of smoke from his pipe, curling around 
his head, and which soon enveloped his person. Old mother 
Rinckhout, not to be outdone, was soon seen taking out her 
snuff-box, giving it two or three taps with the end of her fin- 
ger, and took a large pinch of snuff and gave her olfactories 

* English. — Aunt Elizabeth, come, try a little of this pot-cheese." " Thank 
you, I have done very well, thank you." 


a liberal treat, and then took her pocket handkerchief and gave 
her face and nose a brushing in a most becoming manner, and 
on returning her handkerchief to her pocket, she gave her 
person a little inclination to facilitate the operation, and on 
resuming her proper position she gave utterance to the follow- 
ing short speech. " Well, Karel-um, we will want our time; 
it is getting late, and we will have to do like the beggar, after 
eating and drinking heartily we must try to get home, other- 
wise it will make it late before we get there." Here follow- 
ed a short dialogue between old Karel-um and his vrow. 

Karel-um. — I don't know how that is; my mind is not alto- 
gether made up about going home with you. 

Old Vrow. — What, Karel-um, not go home with me! 

Karel-U7n. — Why no; for if I do you will be a scolding, and 
here I have nothing of that. 

Old Vrow. — As to that I will promise you not to scold, and 
besides all that your presence is very much wanted to see to 
matters and things at home. 

Karel-um. — I have arranged that with Klaus; he is fore- 
man; he can manage those things as well as if I was there my- 

Old Vrow. — Well, then, if scolding is the only difficulty, I 
will promise you thai I wont scold. 

Karel-um. — If that is the case, it is possible I may go; but 
mind, as soon as you scold I will return back to old Douw- 
um's, where there is no scolding. 

At the conclusion of this treaty orders were given for 
Klaus to bring the wagon to the door. Klaus soon appear- 
ed mounted on the cratt, (the name given to the seat of the dri- 
ver of the wagon;) Karel-um and his vrow got in, and when 
all ready the old vrow bid them gooda nauvant Vrienda; then 
Klaus gave a crack with his whip and off they started. They 
no sooner got through the launt hack, (that is in English the 
land gate — a gate on the outer edge of the village, to protect 
the bouwland flats,) but mother Rinckhout began to mutter and 


grumble. Karel-um bore with this for some time, and finding 
importunities of no avail, he told Klaus to turn round; old 
mother Rinckhout told him to continue on; Klaus looking 
back over his shoulder endeavoring to discover whose com- 
mand he should obey, inadvertently allowed the horses to con- 
tinue; the old lady at the same time continued scolding as 
the High-Dutcher sung his psalms — that is, higher and 

At lastKarel-um's wrath got kindled, and his blood rushing 
to his temples, with that he hit Klaus a rap with his cane, over 
his head, accompanied with the command, " Droy um yow, 
sacramentsa hunt!" The wagon w^as turned in a twinkling 
and on its way to old Douwum's, and they barely escaped a 
somerset by the skin of their teeth; the old lady soon began 
a begging and praying to stop the wagon; she declared that 
she would never scold any more. Karel-um then concluded 
he would try her once more, but with this condition: '^ Zo 
aldean as yea ware scald ick sail ware umdroyea, of is it in de 
middle von de raveare of het rift;" (in English, "As sure as 
you scold again I will turn round if it should be in the middle 
of the river or rift.") This finally was a perfect cure; the old 
lady was as good as her word, gave up scolding and left the 
old gentleman at liberty to enjoy himself at his leisure. 

The following is a traditional story related by our venerable 
and departed friend, Maus Schermerhorn, Esq., viz: The 
Sheriff of the county had an occasion to call on old Karel-um, 
now w^hether to serve a process or not has not transpired. In 
calling at the house he was directed to the smoke-house, where 
he was told he would find old Karel-um, w^hich he accordingly 
did; after greeting him and complimenting with the time of 
the day, old Karel-um, in one of his eccentric moods, asked 
him what would be the cost to knock over a sheriff? his an- 
swer was a good milch-cow. The answer was no sooner giv- 
en than old Karel-um knocked him over, and while he lay 
there sprawling, old Karel-um sung out, " Legh yey daar, coos- 


yea blaur!" that is in English, " lay you there, coosyea blaur!" 
the name of the cow he intended to give the sheriff for his 
damages on being knocked down. 

The old gentleman with all his peculiarities was not with- 
out them when he wanted to hire a man to work, when gen- 
erally he made it a practice never to engage him before he had 
him at the table to a meal, and from his conduct at the table, 
the old gentleman made up his opinion w^hether he would an- 
swer the purpose or not, and if not, he would, after smoking 
his pipe, tell the man that he had consulted his foreman, Klaus, 
and who informed him there was no need of any more help; 
but the reverse, if his opinion was favorable he would engage 
the man if he had any work for him. 

We will now undertake to relate one of the last of his ec- 
centric peculiarities. On entering his kitchen one evening he 
found some of the victuals were brought home from the field; 
he immediately and without giving the least notice to his fore- 
man, Klaus, gave him a rap with his cane over his shoulders; 
Klaus, with much surprise, asked his master what he was struck 

" You sacremantsa hunt! what made you bring the victuals 

" Well, master, what should I do with them, throw them 

" Yes, throw them away or give them away; now to-mor- 
row they will not give you enough, and then we will lose the 
work of all the hands." 

As we have related before, the old gentleman departed his 
life in the month of March, seventeen hundred and thirty-sev- 
en or eight, and his corpse was taken for interment from the 
house of his son-in-law, Peter Cornu, who then lived on the 
south side of the Souder Hook, now called State Street, and 
precisely on the spot where the Utica and Schenectady Rail- 
road is located at present; and old Karel-um was one among 
the first who had his funeral obsequies proclaimed by the death 


knell of the present bell of the Dutch Reformed Church of 

In peace ye shades of our great grandsires rest ; 
No heavy earth your sacred bones molest ; 
Eternal springs and rising flowers adorn 
The relics of each venerable urn. 

Charles Dryden. 

Having described the trunk of the old tree, we shall point 
out a few of its limbs and branches. 

LYBETYEA RINCKHOUT-their children! 

Eva Toll J born : married Evei't Van Eps^ seventeen 

hundred and five. 

Daniel Toll, born sixteen hundred and ninety-one, July the 
first; and married Margaret Bradt, September the eighth, sev- 
enteen hundred and seventeen. She was born sixteen hun- 
dred and eighty-six, in March; she died seventeen hundred 
and forty-three, in March twenty-second. Himself was mur- 
dered at the massacre of Bookendale, July or August, seven- 
teen hundred and forty eight. 

Simon Toll, born sixteen hundred and ninety-four; married 
Hester De Graff, seventeen hundred and twenty-eight or nine. 
She was born seventeen hundred and eleven, and died seven- 
teen hundred and ninety-three. Himself died seventeen hun- 
dred and seventy-seven, after the fall of Burgoyne. 

Breachi'e Toll married Adrean Van Slyck; they had issue, 
a son, Cornelius, who married a daughter of Joseph Yates, and 
a daughter Clara, who married Antony Van Slyck, the father 
of the present Hermanus Van Slyck, in Rotterdam. 

JYeiltyea or JYailtyea Toll married Johannes Van Eps, Oc- 
tober, seventeen hundred and twenty; they had issue, two sons, 
that have come to my knowledge, viz: John B'st and Abra- 
ham Van Eps. The posterity of the former still retain the 
original homestead, and a moiety or part of old Karel Haen- 



sen Toll's property in Glenvillcj at a place at present called 
Hoffman's Ferry. 

Elizabeth or Lybelyea Toll married Peter CornUy a French- 

These all left numerous offsprings; and some died early, 
and not known to the writer, and therefore their names are 
not mentioned. 

Karel Haensen Toll and Lybetyea Rinckhout's son and 
daughter-in-lawj Daniel Toll and his wifeMARGRETiE Bradt 
had children, viz: 

Susana Tollj born February the twenty-second, seventeen 
hundred and eighteen. 

Johanes To//, born August the twenty-third, seventeen hun- 
dred and nineteen. 

Elizabeth To// was born seventeen hundred and twenty-one, 
and married Rev. Cornelius Van Santvort — had children. 

Hannah Toll was born September the ninth, seventeen hun- 
dred and twenty-two. Married to Thomas Ferrey^ had one 
child, Daniel, seventeen hundred and fifty-one. 

Samuel Toll was born January the thrity-first, seventeen 
hundred and twenty-five — died without children. 

Eva Toll was born November the eleventh, seventeen hun- 
dred twenty-six— died without issue. 

Gertruy or Getty Toll — born August seventh, seventeen hun- 
dred and twenty-nine — married Giles Clute; they had a son 
Daniel Toll Clute, born December the eighth, seventeen hun- 
dred and fifty-four. She died August twelfth, seventeen hun- 
dred and fifty-six. 

The above mentioned Johanes Toll was married to Eva Van 
Patten, and they left an only son, Karel Haensen Toll, who 
was born February sixteenth, seventeen hundred and forty- 
six, and when grown up married Elizabeth Ryley; and they 
left a numerous offspring, viz: Hester, Eve, Rebecca, Maria, 
John, Hannah and Philip. 


The above Daniel Toll Clute was married to Brower Bank- 
er's daughter Nancy-, and had children, viz: Gertrude, Nancy, 
Taneka, , Susan, Giles, Thomas and William. 

Karel Haensen Toll and his wife Elizabeth Rinck- 
hout's son Simon and daughter-in-law Hester De Graff, 
had the following children: 

Elizabeth Toll^ born seventeen hundred and thirty, married 
John Fareley^ and had five daughters and all married. 

Karel Haensen Toll, born September, seventeen hundred 
and thirty-three, married to a Miss Kittle — had five sons and 
two daughters. 

Mida Tollj born twenty third February, seventeen hundred 
and thirty-five, married Jo/ui Mabee^ and had two sons and 
two daughters. 

Aneka Toll^ born seventeen hundred and thirty-seven or 
eight — married to William Kittle^ had three sons and three 

Affee Toll, born seventeen hundred and thirty-nine or forty, 
married Lodowick Viele, had seven or eight sons and one 

Jesse and John Toll, twins, born July the twenty-fourth, 
seventeen hundred and forty-three. Jesse died an infant — 
John married Catherine Vedder^ daughter of Aaron Vedder 
and Sarah Van Der Bogart. 

Jesse Toll^ born May the eighteenth, seventeen hundred and 
forty-six, married Maraityea Viele^ had several sons and 

Eva Toll J born January fifteenth, seventeen hundred and 

Daniel Toll^ born October the twenty-seventh, seventeen 
hundred and fifty-one, married Susan SwitSj and had the fol- 
lowing children, viz: Hester, Folkey, Simon, Isaac, John, Ka- 
rel Haensen, Jacob, Lana and Maria, and all of them have 
families of children with the exception of Maria. 


Sarah Toll^ born July the twenty-fifth, seventeen hundred 
and fifty-six, married Stepkanus Viele — had several children. 

Simon Toll and Hestee. De Graff's son John and daugh- 
ter-in-law Catherine Vedder, had the following children. 

Hester Toll, born June the twenty-third, seventeen hundred 
and sixty-five, married Abraham Groat, and died without is- 

Simon I. Toll, born March the twenty-second, seventeen 
hundred and sixty-eight, married Maraityea Vedder, and one 
daughter alive. 

Aaron Toll, born August the eighteenth, seventeen hun- 
dred and seventy, died December the seventh, seventeen hun- 
dred and eighty-seven, of hydrophobia, caused by the bite of 
a rabid dog. 

Sarah Toll, born May the thirtieth, seventeen hundred and 
seventy-three, married Isaac I. De Graff — died and left seven 
sons, and most of them families of children. 

Daniel J. Toll, born February the twenty-fifth, seventeen 
hundred and seventy-six — married to Esquire John Wemple's 
daughter Cathelina Wemple, June the twentieth, in eighteen 
hundred and one. She was born January fifteenth, seventeen 
hundred and seventy-seven, and February the sixteenth, in 
eighteen hundred and twelve, she died. 

Maria Toll, born November the twenty-second, seventeen 
hundred and seventy-eight — married to JVicholas V. Wemple^ 
died — left two sons and a daughter. 

Karel Haensen Toll, born October the fourteenth, seventeen 
hundred and eighty-one, died a child, that is, young. 

N. B. The motive of the writer of the above sketch has 
been altogether to record, and to redeem from oblivion, and to 
restore to light matters and things of the past that appertain 
to his family ancestors, which, if partially retained by the pre- 
sent generation, would, in all probability, be altogether lost 


by the future. He will, therefore, discontinue this genealogi- 
cal table of lineal descent, without carrying it through all its 
present branches and ramifications, which would be attended 
with endless labor and research, without any beneficial result. 

We will now close this by inscribing or dedicating the above 
to SIMON I. TOLL, Esquire, aged seventy -nine, and the eld- 
est person by the name of Toll in this country, and an only 
brother to the writer. 


^Schenectady^ FeVy 25, 1847. 


Having had occasion in the preceding sketch to speak of the 
Scotia mansion, the writer cannot forego a passing notice on 
the subject of this once felicitous and plentiful abode, which not 
only afforded comfort and pleasure to a guest and a friend, but 
dispensed aid and relief not only to the deserving industrious, 
but likewise to the needful and indigent poor. The original 
proprietor of this princely and splendid estate was Alexander 
Lindsey Glen, but more familiarly known by the name of San- 
der Landersa Glen, by the old Dutch inhabitants. He was a 
native of Scotland, and of noble extract, and an immediate de- 
scendant of a Scottish chieftain, who in consequence of his ad- 
hesion to the cause of Charles the First, if I am correctly in- 
formed, forfeited his title to both life and estate in consequence, 
which induced his descendant, Alexander Lindsey Glen, or 
Sander Landersa Glen to emigrate, and eventually to come to 
America; and after sojourning at two or three different places 
without satisfying himself, did, however, at last locate himself 
permanently in, or in the immediate environs of Dorp, or the 
village of Schenectady, and sometime thereafter, in sixteen 


hundred and sixty -five, obtained a patent of Richard Nicols, 
the first English Governor of the Province of New York, for 
the alluvial flats opposite to Dorp, or the village of Schenec- 
tady, on the north side of the Mohawk river, then counted to 
be fifty morgans more or less, or one hundred acres more or 
less; and in honor and reverence for his native country named 
it Scotia. At subsequent periods, that is in sixteen hundred 
and sixty-nine and eighty-six, he made extensive purchases of 
the adjoining w^ood-lands. 

We will now take some notice where the first dwelling- 
house was erected at Scotia, by Alexander Lindsey Glen, the 
site of which was a considerable distance to the south of where 
the present mansion is at present situated; but the site of the 
old dwelling is at present occupied by the waters of the Mo- 
hawk river. The main shore at that point has, from attrition 
caused by the annual freshets in the Mohawk river, crumbled 
and wasted away the shore or main land, so that in fact the 
river has usurped and occupies the very site of this ancient 
dwelling. Indeed the writer recollects distinctly, when a boy, 
between sixty and seventy years since, of seeing a large space 
of ground between the river bank and the present mansion, 
which afforded a spacious court-yard, in front a large garden, 
and a space left for a wagon-road, all in front, and between 
the river and the house; and he recollects as distinctly, that 
one-third of the road between Sanders' house and the Ferry, 
but now Mohawk Bridge, was located and used where the wa- 
ters of the Mohawk river run at present. The present edi- 
fice or mansion of the Sanders family in Scotia, was erected in 
seventeen hundred and thirteen, as is indicated with iron figures 
on the facade of the building, by John Alexander Glen, but 
more commonly known by the old Dutch inhabitants by the 
name of Johanes Sandersa Glen, for his son Col. Jacob Glen; 
and he was enjoined by the last will and testament of his fa- 
ther, to build a dwelling-house for his brother, Abraham Glen, 
and which is the very old fashioned house at present located on 


the brow of the hill or bank, a little north of the former, facing 
and overlooking the Scotia flats and most beautiful lake. 

Here ends our story about the Glens for the present, and 
shall commence with the name of Sanders, who became con- 
nected in the family by marriage. In seventeen hundred and 
thirty-nine, at Scotia, John Sanders the elder, or first, of Scot- 
tish descent, and a wealthy merchant from Albany, married 
Deborah, an only child and daughter of Col. Jacob Glen of 
Scotia, with whom he obtained one half, or better, of the Sco- 
tia estate; and at a subsequent period, after settling and sat- 
isfying a few conflicting claims, he purchased the residue and 
came in possession of the whole of the estate. The issue of 
this marriage was Sarah, who married her cousin, John Glen, 
of Scotia; Maria, who married John Beekman, Esq., of Alba- 
ny; Elsyea, who married Schuyler Ten Eyck, of Schenecta- 
dy; Margaret, who married Kilian Van Rensselaer, Esq., of 
Albany, and a son, John Sanders, the younger, who married 
his cousin Deborah, daughter of Robert Sanders, Esq., of Al- 
bany, in seventeen hundred and seventy-seven, February twen- 
ty-four, by whom he had four sons and three daughters, viz: Ba- 
rent, Robert, Jacob and Peter, Elizabeth, Sarah and Caty; 
and by his second marriage with Albertina Ten Broeck, from 
Clermont, Columbia county, in seventeen hundred and ninety- 
nine, he had two sons, John and Theodore, It was the young- 
er John Sanders, at the time I am now writing about, who bore 
the honorable appellation of judge; and indeed the only per- 
sonage in that neighborhood who bore that appellation, or even 
that of Mister or Master, which is so common now-a-days as 
to become a nuisance, and which is my only reason for men- 
tioning it. It was him, when myself a green youth, who pos- 
sessed the Scotia mansion and estate, which had more the ap- 
pearance of a barony, from its stately structure and numerous 
out-buildings, gardens, &c., than that of a common farm-house. 
There were nearly a score of blacks employed about the prem- 
ises, and on some occasions as many white men hired and en- 


gaged in the different departments of agriculture. It is almost 
superfluous to mention that there was an adequate stock of 
horses and cattle belonging to the estate — the dwelling with 
its rooms crammed with the richest of furniture, and all bore 
the appearance, both exteriorly and interiorly of wealth, plen- 
ty and comfort; but still there was no appearance of aristoc- 
racy, and far less that of democracy, but all bore the appear- 
ance of patriarchy. Now in those days of simplicity, when 
there was neither show or ostentation, there was a practice of a 
reciprocal visit of one neighbor with another, with a portion or 
part of their family, and more particularly in the long winter 
evenings, when there would be a standard dish for supper, 
among both rich and poor, or at least among those who could 
afford it; and this consisted of souse, either in the shape of 
head-cheese or rullatyeas and some trimmings, such as bread 
and butter, a pickel and an onion, together with a bowl of 
chocolate and a large piece of pie. By-the-by, this pie re- 
quires a little passing notice; it was baked on a large pewter 
platter, measuring in circumference as large as an ordinary 
grindstone; the pastry was made with sweetening, in the room 
of having sugar grated on it; these pies were served out to 
the guests in triangular pieces, in form similar to the geomet- 
rical figure called a sector; it at the same time required a dex- 
terous hand to form them regularly, which was done in the 
following manner: the center of the dish being correctly as- 
certained, the apex of the triangle would rest on this center, 
from which the legs of the triangle would diverge at an angle 
of thirty or forty degrees to the margin or periphery of the 
platter, and this would constitute the portion of each guest. 

We shall now endeavor to give a faint outline or descrip- 
tion of one of those friendly evening visits and recreations that 
took place at Mr. or Judge Sanders', which I have alluded to, 
and which were reciprocal through the whole neighborhood in 
the long winter evenings. You will figure to yourself a visit 
of one or two neighbors, with their vrows or wives, and per- 


haps a daughter or two, and very likely a young beardless and 
boorish boy, to pay the family of Sanders a visit in the eve- 
ning, who were received in the common sitting-room, (the kau- 
mer or parlor and draw'ing-rooms were not brought in requi- 
sition); when seated, the ordinary chit-chat and table-talk was 
carried on among the w^omen; the Judge would be engaged 
with the men visitors, and would conform his language and 
his ideas to their capacities, and w^hich most generally related 
to their horses and ploughing on their farms. When the hour 
of seven arrived, preparations were made for the usual supper 
of souse, chocolate, pie, &c.; after the supper had got through 
with, and things, such as table, &c., had been moved out of 
the way, and the family and guests deeply engaged in conver- 
sation, black General Peet w^ould make his appearance with his 
fiddle under his arm, and with a becoming bow would take his 
stand in one corner of the room, where he would soon send 
forth a few spirit-stirring strains, such as the Hunting Squir- 
rel, The Girl I left behind me. Old Sushyea, rounds, &c., 
which soon wakened up a spirit and disposition for dancing, 
and which was soon followed up with the sprinkling of some 
white sand on the floor, for there were no carpets in those days; 
soon after this a voice was heard, not exactly " Come, let us 
pray," but " Come, let us dance." This was no sooner pro- 
claimed but a group of old and young, from grandmother to 
grand-daughter, would be on the floor, marshaling themselves 
in a form for a dance. Dancing would then continue through 
all its forms, including jigs and hornpipes, until the old folks 
became tired and fatigued, then after this for the younger por- 
tion of the company to continue the dance; it became necessa- 
sary to make a requisition on the kitchen for relief, where 
there were a score of darkeys of all ages and genders and de- 
scriptions, w^hich soon furnished the requisite relief, and ac- 
cordingly a dance filled up with Sambo and Dina — Sambo hav- 
ing his young missa for his partner, and as likely Dina her 
young rnassa. Sambo would, however, show evident marks 



of uneasiness, as if he was conscious of being out of his prop- 
er place; he, however, soon recovered himself, and obtained 
his ordinary composure, which was soon followed with the 
dancing and rolling of his luminaries, and the showing of his 
ivory, accompanied with a significant shake ornod of his head 
and a very shrewd look, as if he w^ould say, "lean go it, raas- 
sa." Dina, on the opposite side, would respond, " and I too." 
No sooner did the scraping or sound of the violin fall upon 
Sambo's ear, but what his whole person became electrified, away 
he would start, moving through the dance with all the science, 
agility and nimbleness of a professed dancing-master. After 
dancing had got through with, and the sensitive olfactories of 
the whites had got satiated with a quantum sufficit of African 
effluvia, Sambo would receive a hint, and would leave the 
room with a profound bow, saying " Thank you, raassa," ex- 
tremely well pleased and tickled; when he arrived in the kitch- 
en he would sing out, " Well darr, Joe, I beat raassa and tud- 
der white-a man too, by jingo!" Now after a few of General 
Peet's buffooneries and monkey capers, the company would 
break up, and this would constitute one of the winter evening 
visits to Judge Sanders', and would be a subject of evening 
conversation for a month thereafter. 

This is what we folks now-a-days would call aristocracy, 
for the reason that the judge was considered rich, and lived in 
someW'hat of a different style from the rest of his neighbors. 
If so, I should |>refer it by far to our present democracy. But 
miserable dictu! we are in the full tide of progressive democ- 
racy, which carries with it in its wake a leveling and agrarian 
disposition, together with anti-rentism and its congenial and 
kindred spirit which will never allow that happy and comfort- 
able state of society that pervaded the whole community in 
those days when the ordinary boor or the poor man could look 
upon the rich and wealthy, and the black or slave upon his 
master without envy or malice, and pursue their avocation in 
their own usual way which they had learned and copied from 


their forefathers, and with which they felt perfectly content. 
I feel perfectly willing and disposed to believe that democra- 
cy has a direct tendency to develope tlie human energy to its 
utmost point of tension, and am equally willing to believe that 
its elementary character is not only baneful and deleterious, 
but absolutely destructive to religion and sound morals; and 
this is not the only evil to complain of, but by its immodest and 
daring presumption it usurps and supplants merit for or with 
demerit in all places and posts of distinction, honor and trust. 
The bad consequences of which we experience daily, and are 
likely to have them continued, from all appearance. 

This may appear harsh and severe to a political demagogue. 
All I can say to that is, if the democratic government of France 
when the guillotine held the sceptre and the people were ruled 
by Jacobinic frenzy, during the revolution and reign of Robes- 
pierre; and need I inform or remind my readers that during 
this reign of Maximillian Robespierre, that the sacred and di- 
vine precepts of holy religion and church, and even the Deity 
were traduced, defiled and ridiculed by the abominable and 
sacrilegious farce of introducing a common bawd or theatrical 
actress dressed in gaudy attire, with much ceremony and pomp, 
into the legislative hall, seated on a throne by the side of the 
President, to represent the God of common sense, in contra- 
diction to God divine, and the downward tendency of our own 
is not a sufficient lesson to show^ him that a democratic gov- 
ernment is a mere chimerical humbug, then the fault is not 
mine, and am perfectly willing he should adhere to his unbri- 
dled democracy, which first sprang in life in the United States, 
and he may live, or some one after him, to see it die there. 
Democracy answers a very good purpose for food for political 
demagogues, and to flatter the sympathy of a parasitical syco- 
phant or a hypocritic philanthropist, but it still answers bet- 
ter as a political highway to lead to anarchy and barbarism — 
your school and Sunday-school system, your temperance soci- 
eties, with abolitionism to boot notwithstanding. 


The following, although not in accordance with the origi- 
nal design of the above sketch, we have, however, thereby in- 
advertently been reminded of the following reminiscences and 
tender recollections, which awakens the mind to the great con- 
trast that exists between the present and former times, as it 
respects the appellation of our female community, and as it 
regards their usefulness. Formerly the common appellation 
of woman was applied to those that were married, and that of 
girls and maids or old maids to those that were unmarried; they 
how^ever, nevertheless, made excellent wives and house-keep- 
ers, with a few exceptions, as in all cases, although they did 
not consider it their province to spend their time in idleness, 
and to play up the lady, they were, however, not altogether 
destitute of recreation and amusement, but far otherwise; 
and one of those was in visiting a neighbor in parties, and 
which was in the following manner: the time and place being 
agreed upon, they would leave home at one o'clock, but not 
at four or five o'clock, as our ladies now-a-days, and on leav- 
ing home, the one would take her spinning-wheel, the other 
with her sowing-basket, ami another with her knitting, the re- 
mainder with their etceteras; their dress, generally, on those 
occasions consisted of a pair of French high-heel shoes, blue 
stockings, with a gore of white on each side of the ankle, a 
callamanco petticoat, a chintz short gown, and in high times, 
a black ribbon around the waist, whose ends would generally 
be of some length and left floating in the air, a check apron 
and a high crowned cap, with a few trimmings, a large side- 
pocket, wrought with rich patchwork, hanging by their side, 
and containing various necessaries, but to the exclusion of a 
quizzing-glass. This constituted their going abroad dress: — 
now having arrived at the dwelling of their host, they would, 
after the passing of the usual greeting and compliments with 
their host, which follow on those occasions, they would set 
themselves in the room and arrange themselves in the most 
convenient order and commence their work, and for edification 


and instruction they would carry on a conversation on house- 
keeping, weaving and spinning, the making of linen and the 
art of good cooking, generally and most certainly how to do 
w^ashing and cleaning house well. Now precisely at four o'- 
clock the tea-table was to be prepared and ready; but if the 
time could not be ascertained by a house-clock or sun-dial, 
three or four of the women would step out of doors and stare 
old Sol in the face and ascertain the precise time, at least as they 
supposed to their satisfaction, for the table to be prepared. 
This, by-the-by, was no ordinary undertaking, on account of 
its magnitude, which was a large round table, standing against 
the wall, which had facilities of being let down and of being 
raised up; this was required to be brought to the middle of 
the room, which took almost as much labor as to move a ci- 
der-mill, and which would then be covered with a diaper ta- 
ble-cloth, as white as the driven snow; the teacups and saucers 
arranged in a circle around the outer edge of the table, and by 
the side of each cup and saucer was placed a large slice of 
bread, a knife, a lump of maple sugar, and on high days a lump 
of loaf sugar, in the center a large sugar-bowl, a plate of dried 
smoked beef, elegantly cut with a jack-plane, a tea-saucer fill- 
ed with powdered or grated pot-cheese (which, by-the-by, was 
equal to the best Parmesan cheese Italy produces,) and not for- 
getting a large plate of butter, the remainder of etceteras was 
made up of krullas, ola kooks and w^auffles, which generally 
constituted the festive board. Things being all ready the old 
matron would invite them to the table, saying "Come vrouw- 
lay, sit yully baye;" now after eating and drinking with a full 
modicum of chit chat on the excellency of the things on the 
table, the teacups would become empty; they were then to be 
replenished, but mind not with a salver and handed around as 
now-a-days, but a buxom girl, blessed with roseate cheeksand 
florid countenance would get up, and with a tea-pot in each 
hand — the one filled with the infusion, the other filled with 
hot water — to enable her to let them have it strong or weak, 


according to their taste; thus equipped, she would pour the 
tea through the intervals or spaces left between the guests set- 
ting round the table; but should they be so hustled or crowd- 
ed together so close as to make this impracticable, she would, 
under such circumstances, be obliged to pour the tea over their 
heads and shoulders, and would, on some occasions, have the 
misfortune of spilling a little hot tea, or of ruffling or bruising 
one of their caps; then you would hear a vociferation, " Hara 
yate yes paussyea, up maine mutze yow voordoomda smutz!" 
This would cause a little fluttering around the table, but that 
difficulty, however, was soon forgot by quaffing and sipping 
their favorite beverage and partaking of the dainties the tea- 
table afforded. After finishing their tea, every one set down 
to her work until near sun-down and no longer, so as to ena- 
ble her to reach home in good season to manage her own 
household aftairs, as all good house-keepers feel disposed to 
do. We, however, would not wish to be understood that we 
had no ladies in former times; so far from it, that in addition 
to women and girls, we had some venerable matrons who pos- 
sessed all the attributes that would properly entitle them to 
the dignified appellation of ladies, who were richly endowed, 
possessing a dignified appearance, pleasing manners, a well 
cultivated mind, and able to trace their pedigree to an honor- 
able ancestry, and like unto Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, 
a Roman nobleman, who would not spend her time in ease and 
luxury, but be spinning in the midst of her maids, cheerfully 
portioning out their task, and thus would our matrons instil 
and infuse the same industrious, frugal and dignified character 
of her own into her daughter, which would likewise entitle 
them to the same dignified appellation of ladies; and if a like- 
ly, spruce looking young man should have the good fortune 
to obtain the hand of one of them, he would consider her a for- 
tune in her person, independent of her feather-beds, silver 
mug and spoons, milch-cow and a good many other etceteras 
that would follow his matrimonial connection. But alas! O 


teinpora, O mores! we have fallen on olber times, and the 
reader will judge for himself, whether for the better or for the 
worse. The whole of our female community have been or are 
metamorphosed into ladies — it matters not whether white or 
black — old or young — rich or poor — whether good, bad or in- 
different, they all are called ladies, although few or none of 
them understand the meaning of the term lady. 

But kind reader, you must not allow yourself to be led away 
into the belief that they consider each other on an equal foot- 
ing, but far otherwise; there is very often an inkling of jeal- 
ousy that manifests itself openly on many occasions, nor neith- 
er should you believe that there is no field for strife and com- 
petition to obtain the palm and ascendancy in the estimation 
of the public for the greatest ladyship. 

One of the modes of obtaining the ascendancy, or to reach 
the top of the heap, as neighbor Cosyea would say, is to put 
on your best bib and tucker and leave home with your affairs 
all sixes and sevens, and let your work take care of itself — 
flirt away along the street, and do not forget or neglect to 
waddle a little after the manner of the web-footed animal call- 
ed a duck; this is very essential to catch the eyes of folks, 
which will cause them to take notice of you. Make your 
calls, and leave your gilt card, but be sure and carry with 
you your sun-shade, and present, or rather hold it before your 
face, (not, as a wag would say, as a mere show — not at all; 
but certainly as a sun-shade.) But, by-the-by, those sun- 
shades are not without their use; they protect the face, sun- 
shine or no sun-shine, and cover their countenances; which 
last, however, is not so effectual; but one less skilled in phy- 
siognomy than Lavater, is able to discover the order of soci- 
ety to which they belong. But to arrive at the ne plus ultra 
of ladyship, you must, when in conversation with your neigh- 
bor, and more particularly with a stranger, disdain all know- 
ledge of housekeeping, even the most essential and necessary 
part of it, and be sure, at the same time during your conver- 


sation, to perform a most graceful wriggle "with your neck, 
head and body, and by all means you must lisp every word 
you speak: and if, by chance, any untoward circumstance 
should take place, even the barking of a dog, or a sudden rap 
at the door, pretend to be alarmed; endeavor to faint, and 
make as much fuss as you can, and that, if any thing, will se- 
cure the aspirant a claim to be considered the perfectus per- 
fectorum of all ladies. 

Now the summary of the above is simply this: that our 
former matrons, women and girls, were industrious, frugal, 
tidy and clean house-keepers, at all times exhibiting ample 
evidence of their worth by promoting the interest and com- 
fort of their families, not only in words and pretensions, but 
in actions; whereas, in our present polished and enlightened 
state, when the true philosopher's stone has been found, by 
which our modern would-be ladies have discovered that hard 
work is not easy done, and that it is all sufficient to attend to 
the toilet, and there to display some taste in the arrangements 
of the boudoir, and at the same time not to forget the center- 
table, decked with a few novels, and be sure not to neglect 
to make a display of the gilt visiting cards. I had almost 
forgot the album, which ought to lay open, to exhibit the pro- 
found sentiments, and very often the fruit of a weak and im- 
becile intellect, and an uncultivated mind, which these spruce 
young dandies, accoutred with their mustaches, imperials and 
whiskers, very often stain those beautiful sheets of their al- 
bum. And now, after all this, to pay some attention to a 
few exotic plants and flowers, or a parterre in miniature, in 
some convenient part of the house, and after the fatigue of 
all this, ladies who claim to belong to the uppermost class will 
require an airing or a drive in the country; but mind not in a 
carriage of four wheels, but figuratively speaking, in a carriage 
of five wheels; and if the husband's means or circumstances 
cannot bear it, his credit, if he has any, must, and leave it for 
somebody to pay the piper, and for which the facility of taking 


the benefit of the insolvent act, or of making an assignment 
makes ample provision. By-the-by, it is no uncom^mon oc- 
currence for some to make an assignment as often as they can 
obtain credit to the amount that will make it a profitable specu- 
lation, or to play up the new game which has lately got in 
vogue; that is, to pay two shillings on the dollar, and repeat 
this as often as you can make it convenient, affords a very 
comfortable way of making property. These are the very 
characters that live on the fat of the land, and at the expense 
and sweat of their neighbor's brow; and these very creatures 
instead of receiving the frowns and merited contempt of the 
public, are, with what we consider the enlightened and im- 
proved state of the times, called clever fellows. 

In some part of the preceding context I allowed my mind 
to soar a little in speaking figuratively of a carriage with five 
wheels; it is, however, neither jest or fiction; we have, in re- 
ality, what is called a three wheeled carriage or vehicle; and 
now whether this form of carriage is adopted for convenience, 
superior utility or for show^ concerns no one but the owner. 
But we cannot be debarred from the privilege to think and be- 
lieve that those who jaunt and parade through our streets with 
this kind of vehicle, can, with much propriety, bid defiance to 
all competition, and leave all aspirants far in the shade. Much 
more might have been said, but let the above suffice for the 

Angeltyea and Klausyea and Peterum's Katreen, 
Waur komt ji van dawn and waur gaun ji hane? 
With your round scooped ladles and schuttle mut sapaun, 
Gooden morgen, Klausum, waur komt ji van dawn. 

The writer of the above is Dutch, 

Although the reader may be English ; 

You know worse things may happen than such, 

^Though you may laugh some when you finish, 



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