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"UPSON *'-?*> 





PAST and PRESENT 1 ^ . 

The Story of fcii 

Now at L^stt,beRighted 




The Story of an Amazing Civic U^rong, 
Now at Last to be Righted. 


With a Review of the Principles of Law Involved in the 
Recovery of the Harlem Lands 




Members of the New York "Bar. 

Profusely Illustrated 

Qtet» j^arfem $)uBfiB0ing Company, 

26 East 23d Street. 

CoPYRtGHT, 1903, BY 

"Mew Ibarlcm publishing Company. 

All rights reserved. 


THE purpose with which this book has been prepared 
is suggested by its sub-title. The volume has been 
written to prove that the Town of New Harlem has 
not been effectively erased from the map; that there is not 
only a "past" but a "present" New Harlem; that the most 
extraordinary civic injustice in the history of the American 
commonwealth is at last to stand, stripped of its giant's 
robe, before the tribunal of American law. 

It is difficult to state, in even moderate terms, the 
titanic dimensions of the enterprise of which this book 
forms a part, without the appearance of sensationalism. 
It is not possible to question the status of the title to 
nearly half of Manhattan Island, in the heart of the greatest 
city of the Western Hemisphere, without seeming to seek 
notoriety. The challenge scarcely has a precedent in the 
history of the world. 

But neither the obstacles which preceded, nor those 
which are likely to result from this challenge, can modify 
the determination of those who have set themselves to 
right a great wrong by exploiting the truth. And truth 
was never compassed with greater difficulty, with more 
disheartening drawbacks, or in the face of more emphatic 
predictions of failure. 

To vindicate the rights of the Town of New Harlem 
some seventy years after its last recorded meetings were 
held; to restore to the descendants of its incorporators the 
land given to their forefathers, and held by those forefathers 
through pioneer perils and hardships, is a task requiring un- 
usual courage and resources. 

The coming of this issue was prepared by events. New 


Harlem's undivided lands, millions in value to-day, were 
taken from her, her identity shadowed and for nearly a 
century blotted out, her records of ownership stolen, hidden, 
destroyed, and her chances for recognition and recompense 
seemingly trodden under the heavy heel of private and cor- 
porate greed. Individuals who tried to fight single handed, 
met with disheartening defeat. The courts did not give the 
open sesame. It was not their business to do so. The one 
commanding voice was believed to be forever silenced, — 
the voice of the Town itself. The original townsmen were 
dead, the town records "missing," and the lands in the pos- 
session and occupancy of strangers. 

The Town was not dead, however, but sleeping. Cor- 
porations do not die in the death of their original members. 
But the heirs to its rights and its property were scattered 
over the face of the earth. In all probability they would 
number, — a guess would have made them twenty thousand. 
If these could be located and gathered, their lineage proved, 
if their voices could be heard, — what then ? The ordinary 
imagination was staggered at the very thought of evoking 
such a miracle. The task looked so stupendous, so far be- 
yond human likelihood of success, that even the most cau- 
tious of legal minds counted upon its impossibility, and were 
willing to say, — "the title is clear, but recovery impossible," 

At a time when it seemed that even the controversy 
was a memory, when stolen books that told too much were 
no longer officially missed, the leader, Mr. Henry Penning- 
ton Toler, for whom the situation had waited so many 
scores of years, saw in this opportunity the call of his 
life. The very vastness of the problem incited, rather than 
deterred, a man hating injustice under whatever guise. 
The hazard of tracing, proving and gathering together 

ity thousand descendants of the Patentees served 
but to hasten his entrance upon the task. For two 
years, under his direction, by means of an ingenious 
genealogical system, a large force of workers, delving and 


traveling as exigency might demand, has striven stead- 
fastly for the accomplishment of a great purpose. It was 
found that there were twenty thousand heirs, — that there 
were thirty and even forty thousand heirs or descendants 
of the twenty-three original patentees of the Town of New 
Harlem. The rightful members of this Corporation, the 
real owners of the undivided lands, are now known; their 
names and addresses are carefully compiled and securely 
guarded. This righteous enterprise has bridged the mighty 
chasm created by the absence of the long lost records, and 
at this writing its projector stands with full grasp upon 
the most extraordinary situation ever brought about by 
either the cupidity or the stupidity of a free people. 

The Town of New Harlem is to come into its own. 
It was never legally merged into the City of New York. 
Its boundaries are fixed by irrefutable patents; its rights 
entrenched in the constitutional inviolability of a Trust. 

To tell the story of the Town is the purpose of the 
chapters immediately following. The author of these pages 
has chosen in this brief space to set forth those features of 
Harlem's history which might not only lead up to the legal 
questions at issue, but illuminate the domestic and social 
life of an interesting period. Details, humble in themselves, 
have seemed to have a significance that gives them a right 
to a place in the story. 

Following the narrative is a legal review of New Har- 
lem's past and present by Messrs. William Pennington Toler 
and Harmon De Pau Nutting, composing the law firm of 
Toler & Nutting, into whose keeping Mr. Henry Penning- 
ton Toler has placed the legal features of his work. This 
portion of the volume undertakes the heavy task of review- 
ing the history of the patents by which New Harlem's status 
is established, and of citing the decisions of the English 
Common Law and those of American jurisprudence bearing 
upon the subject, together with the constitutional and statu- 
tory provisions relating to the issues involved. 


The author of the narrative chapters is especially in- 
debted to the late James Riker's "Harlem," printed in 1881, 
in which much has been done towards reproducing the his- 
tory of the Harlem land titles, a work w T hich is surprisingly 
scarce at this time. It is hoped that other authorities are 
duly credited in all instances. 

The Appendix contains the charters from the King of 
England to the Duke of York, commissions to the Colonial 
Governors, and notes and statutes of the State of New York 
relating to the confirmation of the Harlem Line, together 
with genealogical notes and sketches, and information 
relating to the families of the Harlem patentees, which, 
it is hoped, may interest not only the many thousands of de- 
scendants of these families, but all students of history and of 
genealogy. With a view of facilitating the examination of 
the early titles, this volume is provided with a village and a 
town map, supplemented by full and explicit explanatory 

The illustrations include a profusion of views of modern 
Xew Harlem, which the publishers believe will serve to 
reveal curious and beautiful features of the modern com- 
munity, as well as fix in the reader's mind various points of 
historic significance in New Harlem's half-told tale. 



Chapter I. The First Settlers I 

Chapter II. The Establishment of the Town 14 

Chapter III. The First Charter and the Development of the 

Corporation 24 

Chapter IV. The Young Town Establishes its Rights 40 

Chapter V. Features of Life in a Colony Town 53 

Chapter VI. New Harlem Again Under Dutch Rule 72 

Chapter VII. Close of the Formative Period of New Harlem's 

Life 91 

Chapter VIII. The Dongan Charter 108 

Chapter IX. The Unfinished Story of New Harlem 129 

Chapter X. The Principles of Law Involved in the Recovery 
of the New Harlem Lands — 

The Title to Manhattan Island 142 

Harlem Patents Issued 143 

A Flaw in the Title 144 

Harlem Patents Compared 144 

The First Nicolls Patent 14S 

New Harlem a Corporation — may alienate real estate 146 

The Second Nicolls Patent 148 

The Third (Dongan) Patent 149 

Free and Common Socage 152 

Grants in General I5 2 

The Town of New Harlem in 1666 153 

The Grant Accepted by the Patentees 154 

The Town of New Harlem in 1903 154 

The Present Members of the Corporation — the Town of New 

Harlem 156 

The Statute of Limitations has no Bearing on the Ownership 

of the Harlem Lands 158 

The Statute of Limitations is void and of no effect so far as 
the ownership of the Harlem lands is concerned, and that 
possession for any length of time whatever adverse to the 

ownership of the town has never existed 167 

A Gigantic Trust 168 

Town Lands l 7 l 

The question of the ownership of the Harlem Waterfront 
has never yet been decided by the Courts of the State of 

New York *72 



Martin vs. Waddell 173 

The Harlem Waterfront Passed as a Royal Prerogative 181 

The Sage Case 183 

The Dongan Charter Creating the City of New York 189 

The Harlem Land Boundaries 205 

New York Court of Appeals Decisions Inharmonious 206 

The Common Law of England 206 

Treaties and the New York State Constitution 207 

Debates in Convention 210 

Debates Continued 212 

Report of Committee 218 

Debate Continued 219 

The Missing Records 219 

The Long Lost Harlem Records 221 

Former Efforts to Recover Harlem Lands 224 

The Present Undertaking 224 

Circular Letter 226 

Authority to Call a Meeting 230 

Conclusion 2 3 2 

Appendix 235-332 

List of Illustrations. 

t> .. . Facing 

Frontispiece. Page. 

Coat of Arms of Haarlem, Netherland 2 

Course of Montagne's Journey from New Amsterdam 8 

Landing Place of the Pioneer Settlers on Montagne's Point 8 

The United States Ship Canal 12 

At the End of Manhattan Island 12 

Portrait, Signature and Seal of Peter Stuyvesant 16 

Modern Montagne's Flat 20 

Site of the Old Village Green 24 

Harlem River of To-day 24 

New Harlem's Public Meeting Place 28 

Site of the First Church Burying Ground of New Harlem 32 

Course of Church Lane as it is To-day 32 

Fifth Avenue and 109th Street, the modern bed of Montagne's 

Creek 34 

Harlem Lake 34 

The Calf Pasture 40 

The Old Post Road 48 

Papparinamin — Where Verveelen Located his Second Ferry.... 48 

In Hellgate Bay 52 

Scene at 121st Street and Third Avenue 52 

Map of New Harlem Village 57 

The Subway 60 

Western End of Church Lane 60 

East River Park — Hoorn's Hook 64 

Site of the Original Village 72 

The Harlem River from Gloudie s Point of To-day 72 

The Dyckman Orchard 80 

New York Central Railroad Bridge 80 

A Page of Pioneer Signatures 82 

Off Montagne's Point 84 

Off Hoorn's Hook 84 

Upper Montagne's Flat of To-day 9 2 

Landmarks of the Revolution 9 2 

Fort Washington 96 

Matje Davit's Fly — end of the Harlem Line 102 

John Bogert's Old Home on the Harlem, foot of 125th Street 106 

Old Dyckman Trees n 4 

The Dutch Reformed Church 118 



Looking North Along the Harlem Line at noth Street 126 

The Castle 126 

The Jumel Mansion 128 

A Page of Official Autographs 132 

The Dongan Charter Seal 134 

The Hamilton Trees 138 

Hamilton Grange 138 

Birdseye View of Manhattan Island 142 

Governor Dongan 150 

Dongan's New York House 150 

Governor Andros — Dongan's Immediate Predecessor 15S 

The Speedway 172 

New Amsterdam — Site of the Present Battery, New York City.. 182 

The Dongan Arms 185 

Northern End of the New Harlem Line 196 

Southern End of the New Harlem Line 196 

Looking Northward near the Upper End of the New Harlem Line 220 
The New Harlem Line from the North (Looking Southward) ... .220 
Letter from the Assistant Secretary of the Title Guarantee and 

Trust Company to Mr. Sterling Potter 222 

Letter from the President of the Title Guarantee and Trust Com- 
pany to Mr. Anderson Price 223 

Dutch Vessels of the Seventeenth Century 233 

Seals of New Netherland 234 

The Point of Rocks 258 

Washington's Block-House (Central Park) 258 

Home of Johannes Waldron 270 

Inwood Station, on the N. Y. Central Railroad 280 

A Typical Harlem River Scene 280 

Medal of the Revolution 281 

Old Dyckman Home — 206th Street and Broadway 294 

Spuyten Duyvil Creek — Viewed from the old Post Road 294 

The Battery of 1664 306 

The Eighth Regiment Armory 332 


Past and Present. 




NEW HARLEM was founded by the Dutch two hundred 
and forty-five years ago, on a site which is now almost 
the geographical heart of New York City. 

Patterning after similar villages in France and England, 1 this 
little settlement of about twenty families received power to own, 
buy, sell, or distribute property, elect officers, assess members, 
build churches, hold court, and govern itself in the exercise of an 
authority common to corporate towns of the day. 

Roughly speaking, between three and four thousand acres, 
every foot of which is now extremely valuable, was granted to 
the Corporation, — the "Town of New Harlem," — whose first 
settlers broke ground near the foot of 125th Street and the Harlem 
River on the fourteenth of August, 1658. 

Previous attempts to settle the district, which includes all 
of the northern end of Manhattan Island, 2 had proved futile. 

The pioneer settler in New Harlem was Dr. Johannes de la 
Montagne, whose personal history was not unlike that of many 
another pioneer of the same stock who joined in the daring and 
momentous enterprises by which the Dutch colonies in America 
were established. Holland, which had protected the Huguenots 
of France as it had sheltered the Puritans of England, received 
the parents of Montagne, and the son afterward appears as a 
medical student under the learned Dr. Heurnius, at Leyden 

"Montagne," one of his Dutch comrades at the University 
is said to have asked the twenty-four-year-old student, "your 
surname bespeaks rank. Are you any relative of the Montagnes 
who were so noted in the past century?" 

1. Thierry speaks of the commune of Amiens, which served as a model for New 

Harlem, as follows: "It was sovereign, because it had the right of self-gov- 
ernment by its proper laws; ... its power, legislative, administrative 
and judicial, was delegated to it by a corps of elective magistrates." 

2. The western or land boundary of Harlem, to be more definitely described here- 

after, may be roughly represented by a line drawn from the Hudson River, just 
above Grant's Tomb, southward to the East River, at the foot of 74th 


The young refugee from Saintonge did not choose to exploit 
the matter of his ancestry, and it does not appear that his asso- 
ciate- were able to do more than suspect a distinguished lineage. 
His demeanor was quiet, his habits energetic. His talents and 
character won him honors at college, an excellent practice at the 
"Sign of the Queen of Bohemia," and a good wife. 1 

Although successful in his profession, Montagne was not 
at ease. It may be suspected that his early training and experi- 
ences had inculcated a love of religious liberty and a longing 
for original enterprise, the exercise of which impulses, even in 
free Holland, was not sufficiently unhampered to gratify radical 
ambitions. The exiled Puritans had taken up a second journey 
to the New World. The Huguenot refugees followed their 

Moreover. Dutch maritime adventure had resulted in the 
discovery of the Hudson and the planting of a colony in Man- 
hattan Island. There was .a clear-shining star in the west for 
those Sons of Holland and those beneficiaries of her freedom 
who hungered for new fields. The news and the literature of 
the time were full of enticement. The vivid descriptions by De 
Rasieres and De Laet were read with avidity. 

To De Rasieres we are indebted for the first account of 
Manhattan Island by an eyewitness. He writes: "It is full 
of trees, and, in the middle, rocky, but the north end has good 
land in two places, where two farmers, each with four horses, 
would at first have enough to do without much clearing.'" 
What De Rasieres' account lacked in detail, De Laet supplied with 

ets from Hudson's and other explorers' journals. 

De Laet's "The New World ; or a Description of the West 

published in 1625, after speaking in glowing terms 

of the new country, extolling its "beautiful rivers and bubbling 

cellence of its soil, and the abundance of its 

; te and fish, urged its readers to leave the fast 

tems of the Old for the invigorating spirit of the 

World, and had this to say of Manhattan, "bordering the 

< in at Riv< r of the Mountains: 

"The land is excellent and beautiful to the eye, full of noble 
rape-vines; and wanting nothing but the indus- 
man to render it one of the finest and most 
fruitful regions in that part of the world. 

uo also lived in Leyden, and early 
2. T! • i known as Montagnc's Flat and Matje 

I Vrcit vimvirtan 


The coat of arms of the Dutch City of Haarlem dates back to the Cru- 
sades. Citizens of the town enlisted under the banner of the German Em- 
peror Frederick Barbarosa. Before Damiata, an Egyptian city, the Crusaders 
were checked by a defensive device, consisting of sub-surface chains stretched 
throughout the harbor. tlle men of haarlem were first to construct a weapon 
of assault. This being fastened in the prows of their vessels, the chains were 
cut, and Damiata was captured by the Christians. In grateful recognition of 
this service by her citizens, the Emperor and the Patriarchs of Jerusalem 



"The trees are of wonderful size, fit for buildings and vessels 
of the largest class. Wild grape-vines and walnut trees are 
abundant. Maize, or Indian corn, when cultivated, yields a 
prolific return ; and so with several kinds of pulse, as beans of 
various colors, pumpkins, the finest possible melons and similar 
fruits. The soil is also found well adapted to wheat and several 
kinds of grain, as also flax, hemp and other European seeds. 
Herbaceous plants grow in great variety, bearing splendid flow- 
ers, or valuable for their medicinal properties. 

"The forests abound in wild animals, especially the deer 
kind ; with other quadrupeds indigenous to this part of the 
country. Quantities of birds, large and small, frequent the 
rivers, lakes and forests, with plumage of great elegance and 
variety of colors. Superior turkey-cocks are taken in winter, 
very fat, and the flesh of a fine quality. Salmon, sturgeon and 
many other kinds of excellent fish are caught in the rivers. 

"The climate differs little in temperature from our own, 
though the country lies nearer the equator than the Netherlands. 
In winter the cold is intense, and snow falls frequent and .deep, 
covering the ground for a long time. In summer it is subject 
to much thunder and lightning, with copious and refreshing 

"Scarcely any part of America is better adapted for colonists 
from this quarter; nothing is wanting necessary to sustain life, 
except cattle, which can be easily taken there, and as easily kept, 
on account ©f the abundance of fodder growing naturally and 

"The Indians are indolent, and some, crafty and wicked, hav- 
ing slain several of our people. The Manhattans, a fierce nation, 
occupy the eastern bank of the river near its mouth. Though hos- 
tile to our people, they have sold them the island or point of land 
which is separated from the Main by Hellegat, and where they 
have laid the foundations of a city called New Amsterdam (New 

"The barbarians are divided into many nations and lan- 
guages, but differ little in manners. They dress in the skins of 
animals. Their food is maize, crushed fine and baked in cakes ; 
with fish, birds and wild game. Their weapons are bows and ar- 
rows ; their boats are made from the trunks of trees, hollowed out 
by fire. 

"Some lead a wandering life, others live in bark houses, their 
furniture mainly mats and wooden dishes, stone hatchets, and 
stone pipes for smoking tobacco. They worship a being called 


Manetto, are governed by chiefs called Sagamos, are suspicious, 
timid, revengeful and fickle; but hospitable when well treated, 
ready to serve the white man for little compensation, and suscep- 
tible' of being imbued with religion and good manners, especially 
if colonies of well ordered people should be planted among them, 
who would make use of their services without rudeness or abuse, 
and by degrees teach them the worship of the true God and the 
habits of civilized life." 

It was with visions evoked by these and similar accounts 
that Dr. Montagne finally determined to hazard the dangers of 
the New World. Disposing of his practice, bidding farewell to 
his beloved Dutch friends, he sailed in the year 1636 for the 
America of his dreams. 

When Montagne arrived in New Amsterdam twenty-seven 
vears had elapsed since Hudson's successful voyage, and twenty 
vears since Governor Peter Minuit had bought the island of 
Manhattan for a sum of money equal to about twenty-four dollars. 

The adventurous Montagne was accompanied by his wife and 
son, Johannes, junior. On the voyage was born a daughter, who 
was named Marie, after her grandmother De Forest. The little 
family landed at the Battery, — called "Capsee" by the first 
Dutch settlers, — and spent a short time in the village, where Mon- 
tagne exchanged news, gathered information as to the outlying 
ricts, furnished himself with a dugout, and demonstrated his 
daring temper by forthwith paddling up the East River far 
beyond the limits of the colony, past Blackwell's Island, and 
landed with his family and farm hands at the turn in the shore, 
which afterward received the name of Montagne's Point. 1 There- 
after lie ascended the creek which then formed a tributary of 
the Harlem, subsequently known as Montagne's Creek, which 

:id its course from a point approximating the intersection of 
1326 Street and Eighth Avenue. An old Indian trail followed the 
course taken by St. Nicholas Avenue to-day. At its intersection 
with Seventh Avenue, Dr. Montagne started a bark cabin to 
shelter his family for the winter, and, simultaneously, Henry De 
• Dr. Montagne's brother-in-law, also took up his resi- 
dence on Montagne's Point. 

ernor Kieft was at this time ruler of New Amsterdam. 

. him Dr. Montagne obtained a grant of the land on which 

he had settled, and expressed a sense of gratitude for the con- 

■ of his new home in calling it "Quiet Dale." He 

1. Corresponding to the foot of 105th Street and Harlem River. 


was yet to find, as did his neighbors, that this retreat was not so 
peaceful as it first seemed. The Red Man lurked too near at 

The land which Montagne occupied, and to which he gave 
the sentimental name, soon became known as Montagne's Flat. 
The tract, divided by the present line of St. Nicholas Avenue, ran 
from 109th Street to 124th Street, and contained about 200 acres. 

Shortly after these settlements, former director Van Twiller 1 
became interested in the Harlem district, and settled on Ward's 
Island. His friend, Jacobus Van Curler, preempted the flat 
opposite Ward's Island known as the Otterspoor, a name signi- 
fying "otter tracks." This was afterwards sold to Coenraet Van 
Keulen, a New York merchant, and hence the name Van Keulen's 
Hook, which clung to this part of the district for a hundred years 
after Harlem's founding. 

In this triangle, whose southern line was I02d Street, and 
whose northernmost point touched the Harlem River at about 
125th Street, lay these three Harlem settlements while the first 
winter passed. 

With the ushering-in of spring Van Curler finished his 
primitive dwelling and out-buildings on the northern bank of 
Montagne's Creek, and secured a stock of all things necessary for 
a well-regulated plantation of the day, — domestic animals, farm- 
ing tools, and a canoe for passing to and from New York. At 
that time, and for a considerable time thereafter, there was no 
thought of reaching New York except by water. 

Henry De Forest died in July of the next year, and Dr. 
Montagne took charge of the widow's plantation. He also saw 
to the proper harvesting of her crops, and boarded with Van 
Curler while finishing the house and barn which his brother-in- 
law had started in the rough. 

From an account of the bill of fare at Van Curler's, still 
surviving, it appears that the guests were fed on savory venison ; 
deer being so plentiful on the Island as to stray within gunshot 
of the farmhouse. Besides game, they had fish and salted eels. 
Pea soup was included in the menu, together with wheat and 
rye bread, butter, eggs and poultry. The settlers also adopted 
the Indian dish called sapaan, made of Indian corn. 

Dr. Montagne continued to look after the estate of his sister- 
in-law until the year following, when a former member of Van 
Twiller's council, Andries Hudde, won the hand, heart and 
lands of the young widow De Forest. Particularly noteworthy 

1. Governor Kieft's predecessor. 


is this event, leading up as it did to the first groundbrief, or 
land patent, which was issued relative to Harlem lands, "granting, 
transporting, ceding, giving over, and conveying, to Andries 
Hudde, his heirs and successors, now and forever," a site owned 
less than a generation later by the Town of New Harlem. 

After his marriage, Hudde, wishing to visit Holland with 
his bride, engaged an overseer for the farm and applied to Direc- 
tor Kieft for a patent, to avoid all question of title to the property 
during his absence. Hitherto no similar action had been taken, 
but Kieft, recognizing the value of the Harlem settlement as a 
protection against the Indians, and recognizing also that settlers 
would not continue to dwell on and improve property where 
titles were insecure, inaugurated the custom of giving ground- 
briefs for Harlem farms, in course of improvement, by issuing 
the Hudde Patent, dated July 20, 1638. 1 

By the time the newly-wedded pair reached Holland, how- 
ever, their affairs on this side of the water were complicated by 
Dr. Montague's demand for the settlement of a debt of $400, due 
him for the management of the estate during Mrs. Hudde's 

The claim remaining unpaid, the farm was offered for sale 
for the benefit of the widow. At the auction which followed, 
Dr. Montagne bid in the property for 1,700 guilders, or about 
S680, which sum purchased not only the farm, but also the fix- 
tures, house, barn, fences, farming tools and "wey schuyt" (as 

1. The Hudde Patent reads: 

We, the Director and Council of New Netherland, residing on the Island of 
Manhatas and in Fort Amsterdam, under the authority of the High and Mighty 
. the States General of the United Netherlands, and the General Incor- 
porated West India Company, at their Chambers at Amsterdam; By these 
presents do publish and declare, that pursuant to the Liberties and Exemp- 
allowed on the 7th day of Tune, A. D. 1629, to Lords Patroons, of a 
lawful, real, and free proprietorship; We have granted, transported, ceded, 
over and conveyed; and by these presents We do grant, give over and 
Mid for the belioof of Andries Hudde, a piece of land containing 
indred morgen, situated on the North East end of the Island of Manhatas, 
behind Curler's land; on condition that he and his successors shall acknowl- 
•!icir High Mightinesses, the Managers aforesaid, as their Sovereign Lords 
ad shrill render at the end of ten years after the actual settle- 
■ and cultivation of the land, the just tenth part of the products with 
- the soil, and from this time forth annually for the 
an I Lot, deli\ r a pair of capons to the Director for the holidays; consti- 
tuting the 1 Hudde in our stead and state, the real and actual pos- 
and at the same time giving to him or to his successors full 
might, authority and special license, tatiquam actor et procura- 
tuam ac propriam, the aforesaid land to enter, peaceably to possess, 
te, occupy and use, and also therewith and thereof to do, bargain 
a- be might do with his own lands honestly and 
lawfully obtained, without they the grantors, in their said quality, thereto 
-■uving in the least, any part, action, or ownership, other 
than and forever, finally desisting, abstaining, with- 
■ ■ ■ r.ts; promising moreover, this their trans- may br done by virtue thereof, firmly, inviolably and irrevocably 
■:. fulfil and e> . equity 1 u 5 are bound to; in all good 

ereof, these presents are oon- 
ture and with our Seal. Done in Fort Amsterdam 
the . July, 1638. Wji.i.em Kieft, Dr. 


the Dutch called the canoe) , domestic fowls, two goats, two milch 
cows and other cattle, and portions of the recent crops of tobacco 
and grain. 1 Thus the claim to New Harlem's land called Mon- 
tagne's Point and Montagne's Flat became merged under one 
ownership, where it remained until the formation of the New 
Harlem Corporation. 

Claes Cornelissen Swits, a New Yorker, leased the farm 
which Van Kuelen purchased from Van Curler. The terms of his 
lease are interesting, showing, as they do, the progress made by the 
little Harlem colony in the three years of its existence. The 
lease, which was executed on January 25, 1639, included two 
span of horses, three cows, farming utensils, and 12 schepels 2 of 
grain in the ground, for which Swits was to pay rent in live stock 
and butter and one-eighth of all the grain "with which God shall 
bless the field." 3 

The success attending these early efforts in the rich soil of 
"Muscoota," — the name given by the Indians to all the Harlem 
River lowlands from Hellgate to High Bridge, — had by this 
time spread abroad, and had attracted the attention of a Danish 
capitalist, Captain Jochem Pieter, 4 who finally settled on the land 
above 125th Street. His farm, which reached approximately to 
150th Street along the Harlem River, was forever afterward 
known to the patentees as Jochem Pieter's lots. 

The wording "House and Lot," of the groundbrief, or 
patent, to Hudde (who succeeded De Forest, and was in turn 
succeeded by Montagne) indicates a custom of the time, that 
of giving settlers a house-lot, 6 and also a farm-lot. Jochem 
Pieter's and Van Keulen's lots were thus divided for farming 
purposes, the whole farms being cut up into strips terminating 
at the water's edge, and running back to the woods which fringed 
the meadow. 

When Jochem Pieter first made known his intention of 
coming to Manhattan, the authorities offered him the farm 
he subsequently occupied. Pleased with their generosity, Jochem 
Pieter hired a ship, invited his friend, Jonas Bronck, to accom- 
pany him, stocked the vessel with fine Holstein cattle, and with 

1. Harlem Records. 

2. A schepel was usually rated at three English pecks. 

3. Harlem Records. 

4. Jochem Pieter's full name was Jochem Pietersen Kuyter. The Dutch, not unlike 

their American descendants, were quick to abbreviate names. Kuyter, therefore, 
was always known as Jochem Pieter. 

5. Erf (plural erven) was the Dutch name for house-lot, morgen (two acres) mean- 

ing farm-lots. An owner of erf and morgen-rights was entitled to draw as 
many acres of the undivided common lands as he held of these rights. 


the Pieter and Bronck families and numerous herdsmen, arrived 
in New York in July, 1639, an d at once took up his residence 
on the banks of the Harlem. 

Bronck, his associate, settled opposite, in what is now 
Bronx Borough, 1 and at once started to erect a stone house, 
covered with Dutch tiles, a barn, tobacco houses and barracks. 

Instead of the former quiet of the forest, the squeak of the 
ox-cart's wheels and the swish of the scythes in the meadow 
now warned the Manhattans and Wickquaskeeks, the Indian tribes 
of the region, that civilization was soon to rob them of their 
beloved hunting grounds. 

Despite Minuit's purchase 2 of the island, and subsequent 
purchases by Harlem of Bronx and Westchester lowlands, the 
Red Men became aggressive ; declaring that twenty- four dollars 
was an inadequate price for the whole of the island, their tone 
became threatening. 

Governor Kieft, by nature a blusterer, and at heart a coward, 
added fuel to the smouldering fire of the Indians' anger by 
attempting to levy a tax on the surrounding tribes. In vain did 
Dr. Montagne protest. Kieft was vindictive. His demands 
being refused, he ordered an attack on the Raritan Indians. 
Several were killed, and, in the words of Dr. Montagne, "a bridge 
had been built over which war was soon to stalk through the 

Swits was the first to fall in the trail of death which ensued. 
Kieft unwisely demanded the head of the assassin. New York's 
Council not supporting him, however, no active measures were 
taken to capture the culprit. Doubling their precautions, now 
that one of their number had been killed, the settlers along the 
Harlem returned to their crops and renewed their labors, in the 
shadow of a constant danger. 

Kieft again contrived to blunder in his relations with the 

The region settled by Bronck was called by the Indians Ranachqua. The new 

owner named it Emmaus. 

No Kttlerfl in the New World were fairer in their treatment of the Indians 

than were the Dutch: a fact admitted even by the New England school of 

.ns. Berthold Fernow, keeper of the New York State Historical Records, 

author of the brief chapter allotted to "The Dutch in North America," in the 

ed "Narrative and Critical History of America," says: "This modeof 

andl from the Indians by purchase established from the beginning 

principle by which the intercourse between the white and the red men in 

the valley f.f the Hudson was to be regulated. The great Indian problem, 

which has been, and is still a question of paramount importance to the United 

• rnnient, was solved then by the Dutch of New Netherland without 

ilty . . . Not lesa religious than the Puritans of New England, 

• exts for tyranny and cruelty as mar the records 

of their neighbors." (Vol. iv: p. 399.) 


[The arrow shows direction in which the pioneer paddled along the East River, 
through Hellgate Bay, past Bogert's Meadows to Montague's Point.] 

The immense gas cylinders rise from the bed of Montagne's Creek, up 


[The arrow the point of landing.] 


Indians, and his blunders were always particularly costly to the 
little Harlem colony. In the fall of the year he ordered the 
slaughter of some harmless, unarmed Indians who had sought, 
at the fort, a refuge from their enemies, the Mohicans. 

Immediately the Indians rose, thirsting for revenge, and, 
swarming like angry hornets from the forests, boldly attacked the 
Harlem outpost of Manhattan Island civilization, killed some of 
the settlers, and drove the remainder southward to New York. 
Such attacks were repeated again and again in the next five years, 
until Montagne and his neighbors were ruined, their cattle killed, 
their well-filled barns burned, their gardens and fences uprooted, 
their fields laid waste ; and again the forest's silence was broken 
only by the cry of birds or the twang of the Red Man's bow. 

Nor were the outskirts of the Battery settlement safe from 
attack. Even the bouweries 1 in the immediate suburbs were 
deserted as a result of Kieft's ill-advised act. "Almost every 
place is abandoned," wrote Kuyter and others of Kieft's Council, 
in a letter of November 3, 1643, imploring aid from Holland. 
"We wretched people, with our wives and little ones that sur- 
vive, must in our destitution find refuge together in and around 
the Fort at Manhattan, where we are not safe even for an hour, 
as the Indians daily threaten to overwhelm us. Very little 
can be planted this autumn, and much less in the spring; so 
it must come to pass that those of us who may yet save our 
lives will necessarily perish next year by hunger and grief, as also 
our wives and children, unless our God have pity on us." 

It took two years for the citizens of New York to quell the 
ill-feeling Kieft had caused. At the end of that time the set- 
tlers, by courage and diplomacy, conquered the Indians, and 
what was hoped to be a binding peace was signed at Fort Am- 
sterdam by all the powerful sachems of the surrounding tribes. 
In 1645 the Harlem farmers once more returned to their desolate 
bouweries. Upon the establishment of peace, Kieft issued a 
grant, dated June 5, 1646, to Sibout Claessen, one of the Burghers 
of New York, of one hundred acres opposite the end of Blackwell's 
Island. 2 Claessen called his farm Hoorn's Hook, and as such it 
was known throughout Harlem's history. 

Kieft's next grant was at Papparinamin 3 (Spuyten Duyvil). 


This bit of land which faces Hellsate at 89th Street and the East River, in- 
cludes the present East River Park, the back of it running up to Second 

The Indian name for the "Place Where the Stream is Shut." The name referred 
not only to the narrowest part of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, but to the land ad- 


Here Matthys Jansen van Kuelen obtained a grant of ioo acres, 
on August 18, 1646. His farm covered the meadow land on the 
very northern end of the Island, through which Kingsbridge road 
now passes. 

Next, on the south, Kieft granted the Jansen and Aertsen 
patent, comprising some 200 acres, including the site now known 
as the Dyckman homestead, through which now runs the Gov- 
ernment Ship Canal. Kieft also rendered valuable services to 
the pioneers by confirming the grants of Van Keulen's Hook and 
of Dr. Montagne's Point and Flat. 1 

Kieft's administration., while it was characterized throughout 
bv a tactless treatment of the Indians, had not been without prac- 
tical advantage to the Harlem settlers in the matter of property 
relations. The Director's attention to the confirmation of indi- 
vidual rights was, in the main, satisfactory to the outlying colony, 
but this fact was not sufficient to prevent much bitterness of 
feeling toward him on the part of his northern neighbors. There 
was much open criticism of the Governor. 

Jochem Pieter was particularly incensed, for the Dane had 
done all in his power to protect Kieft, and felt himself to be 
greatly aggrieved. It was during Pieter's absence in the Gov- 
ernor's service that the Indians stealthily surrounded his stock- 
ade, surprised the sleeping guard, and in the dark of the morning 
shot a burning arrow into the thatched roof of the Captain's house. 

In the high wind the house and all Jochem Pieter's effects 
were destroyed. During and after the conflagration, so a report 
of these hours of terror reads, 2 the savages made the night hide- 
ous by whooping and the discharge of firearms, to the terror of 

1. The confirmatory grant to Dr. Montagne reads: 

We, Willcm Kieft, Director General, and the Council, residing in New 
Netherlands _ on behalf of the High and Mighty Lords, the States General 
of the United Netherlands, his Highness of Orange, ami the Honorable 
urs, the Managers of the Incorporated West India Company, do, by 
■ nts, acknowledge and declare, that we on this day, the date under 
written, have given and granted unto Sicur Johannes La Montagne, coun- 
sellor of Netherlands a piece of land situate on the Island of Manhattans, 
known by a name in the Indian language which in the Nether Dutch signifies 
I ;at Land, containing too morgen in the flat, lying between the hills and 
the kill (creek); and a point named Rechawanes (Montagne's Point), stretching 
■t two kills, till to the East River; (which above-described land was oc- 
I by Bendrick Forest, deceased, and has been purchased by the said La 
lie auction in the Fort, for seventeen hundred guilders;) with 
aditions and terms that he, Johannes La Montagne, or whoever by 
virtu< .-!' ■ <-] t Ins action, shall acknowledge the Honorable Managers 

• 1 the sovereignty of their High 

Stau s General, and obey their Director and Council here 

in a!l things, as good inhabitants are in duty bound to do; provided further 

1 a to all such burdens and imposts as are already 

■ mii 1" enacted by their Honors; constituting therefore 

whoever may hereafter obtain his action, in 

our stead in real and actual possession of the aforesaid lot and land, etc., etc. 

2. Rikcr's Harlem, p. 160. 


the perishing women and children, whose shrieks at times 
drowned the roaring of the flames. 

Pieter did not forget his loss when Kieft, at the close of his 
term, called all the people together at the Battery and thanked 
them for their numerous courtesies and for the loyal way in 
which they had supported him. 

Remembering the burning arrow, Pieter declared that the 
people of Harlem had nothing to thank Kieft for, and added that 
the former director had been the means of ruining them all ; that 
it would have been better for them if Director Kieft had never 
been born, — or words to that effect. 

Unfortunately for the speaker, his remarks fell upon the ears 
of the new Governor, Peter Stuyvesant, the most picturesque 
figure in the history of Dutch rulers, a stern, resolute, iron-tem- 
pered man, whose wooden leg smote the cobbles of New Amster- 
dam with a sound of inflexible authority. To Stuyvesant the 
words were more than unseemly, they were seditious. He accord- 
ingly imprisoned Jochem Pieter and another, named Melyn, on a 
charge of slander. Subsequently, at the trial, Stuyvesant quoted 
Bernard de Muscatel : "He who slanders God, the magistrate, 
or his parents, must be stoned to death," and added from the 
Scriptures : "Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." 

If the incident served to warn the colonists of what stuff 
their new Governor was made, its sequel revealed also the mettle 
of the offenders. 

Jochem Pieter was not stoned to death, but was arbitrarily 
banished in disgrace. He and Melyn, unwilling to surrender, 
appealed to Holland. They were therefore transported to 
Amsterdam, and, to make their disgrace more keenly felt, were 
forwarded on the same ship in which Kieft departed for his 
old home, they in irons, Kieft treated with honor. 

The story proceeds tragically, for the prisoners were soon 
to be freed by a storm, which shipwrecked their vessel on the 
coast of Wales. In the wreck, Kieft, as he faced death, ex- 
claimed : "Jochem ! Melyn ! I have done you wrong ; forgive 

Kieft perished, but Jochem Pieter and Melyn survived the 
storm, reached Holland, were acquitted by the Amsterdam court, 
and returned to New York with their papers of reinstatement. 
To disobey his superiors' command was out of the question, and 
Stuyvesant 1 therefore reluctantly restored to the men their 

i. One of the new Governor's first acts was to grant to Isaac De Forest, the younger 
of the De Forest brothers, the land between Jochem Pieter's lots and Van 


estates. Thus early was won an American battle for free 

In consequence of this stand, which had cost him most of his 
fortune, Jochem Pieter was forever after greatly respected by the 
colonists. He was depleted in pocket, however, and found it 
necessary to borrow money in order to re-stock and work his vast 
Harlem estate. 

In his dilemma, Stuyvesant, who inwardly admired a man 
of such determination and courage, consented to give Pieter pecu- 
niary help. Two other capitalists also agreed to a loan ; the 
money to be expended by Pieter in improving and running the 

The resulting articles of agreement, consisting of several 
hundred words, solemnly affirm that whenever the four part- 
ners shall decide to divide the property, "Mrs. Pieter is to 
keep for her family some hens and ducks." It also provides that 
whenever the parties to the agreement may wish to divide the 
estate, each shall receive a quarter interest in everything, except 
Mrs. Pieter's hens and ducks. 

Mention of the hens and ducks indicates the value placed 
upon poultry by the early settlers. It was a common occurrence 
for rent to be paid in capons or hens, and the Dyckman estate, 
comprising some 200 acres at the end of the Speedway, now 
worth over $1,000,000, was rented to its first tenant, some 200 
years ago, for two hens a year for seven years. 

Of more serious significance was the tendency this agreement 
showed toward the common ownership of lands, and the equal 
distribution of common property, according to the share of each 

Jochem Pieter did not live to see the good effects of the 
agreement, being soon afterward killed by the Indians in his 
"Peaceful Valley." This murder stirred Harlem to its depths. 
Terror-stricken, the inhabitants again fled to New York in almost 
a worse plight than twelve years before. During the exodus 
fifty settlers were killed, and only blackened stumps marked the 
region where once lay well-filled barns. 

Several of the more daring, despite the Indians, would have 
again returned to the work after peace was declared, in 1655. 

Keulcn's Hook, whereon nineteen years later the village of New Harlem was 

to be founded. To summarize the Harlem grants held on May 15, 1647: On 

opposite II- lk-ate, was Iloorn's Hook, owned by Claessen. Next 

lay Montagne's Point and Flat (under one ownership). North 

of the Point came Van Keulcn's Hook, then Isaac De Forest's farm (the Village 

North •■!' tin- Village Site came Jochem Pieter's Lots, and at the 

1 <.f the islnnd lay the Tanscn and Aertsen and the Mathhys Jansen 

patents; in all, seven distinct grants. 

When it was determined to deepen Spuyten Duyvil Creek and cut through 



Continuation of the ship canal. The sharp bend to the left is that of 
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, which wends its way in horse-shoe form back to the 
little opening in the hills seen on the horizon, where the majestic Hudson 
rolls toward the sea. 


Stuyvesant, however, issued an ordinance prohibiting all persons 
from dwelling in exposed situations, and requiring farmers upon 
isolated bouweries to come to town ; another indication of the 
universal desire for a settlement in a village, with common pas- 
turages and common farms, as distinguished from isolated dwell- 
ings and farms. The decree of the Governor put an end to 
unprotected settlements, — for the time. Harlem could attain a 
village existence only when it had provided itself with a stockaded 
retreat. To provide this became its immediate and pressing con- 



AMONG the many sites available for a stockaded village in 
the Harlem district, Stuyvesant's attention was naturally 
directed toward Jochem Pieter's lots, in which he held 
a quarter interest. This location, however, seemed hardly as 
suitable for the undertaking as the land which had been granted 
by Kieft to Isaac De Forest, — a narrow strip between Jochem 
Pieter's and Van Keulen's Hook. 

A Eter due consideration this plot was therefore chosen as 
the village site, and it was suggested that the three plots just 
named should be sold for the benefit of the former owners, who 
had been impoverished by the Indian raids. 1 

All things favoring the formation of a lasting settlement, 
the Governor and his Council, on the 4th of March, 1658, passed 
an ordinance organizing the village afterwards called New Har- 
lem. The ordinance reads as follows : 

"The Director-General and Council of New Netherland 
hereby give notice, that for the further promotion of agriculture, 
for the security of this island and the cattle pasturing thereon, as 
well as for the further relief and expansion of this City Amster- 
dam, in New Netherland, they have resolved to form a new Vil- 
lage or Settlement at the end of the island, and about the land of 
Jochem Pieter, deceased, and those which are adjoining to it. In 

• that the lovers of agriculture may be encouraged thereto, 
the proposed new Village aforesaid is favored by the Director- 
General and Council with the following privileges: 

"First: Each of the Inhabitants thereof shall receive by lot 
in full ownership, 18, 20 to 24 morgcn of arable Land; 6 to 8 
if Meadow ; and be exempt from Tenths for fifteen years, 
commencing [ay; on condition that he pay within the 

course of three years, in instalments, Eight guilders for each 
morgen of tillable land for the behoof of the interested, or their 

1. Kieft's other grants were subsequently sold in a similar way. Thus, no one was 
felt to have been injured by the transfer of title from the pioneers to the 
Town of Harlem Corporation. 


creditors, who are now, or formerly were driven from the afore- 
said Lands, and have suffered great loss thereon. 

"Secondly: In order to prevent similar damage from calam- 
ities or expulsions, the Director-General and Council promise 
the Inhabitants of the aforesaid Village to protect and maintain 
them with all their power, and, when notified and required, to 
assist them with 12 to 15 Soldiers on the monthly pay of the 
Company, the Village providing quarters and rations ; This when- 
ever the Inhabitants may petition therefor. 

"Thirdly : When the aforesaid Village has 20 to 25 Families, 
the Director-General and Council will favor it with an Inferior 
Court of Justice ; and for that purpose, a double number is to be 
nominated out of the most discreet and proper persons, for the 
first time by the Inhabitants, and afterwards by the Magistrates 
thereof, and presented annually to the Director-General and 
Council, to elect a single number therefrom. 

"Fourthly: The Director-General and Council promise to 
employ all possible means that the Inhabitants of the aforesaid 
Village, when it has the above-mentioned number of Families, 
will be accommodated with a good, pious, orthodox Minister, 
toward whose maintenance the Director-General and Council 
promise to pay half the salary, the other half to be supplied by the 
Inhabitants in the best and easiest manner, with the advice of 
the Magistrates of the aforesaid Village, at the most conven- 
ient time. 

"Fifthly: The Director-General and Council will assist the 
Inhabitants of the aforesaid Village, whenever it will best suit 
their convenience, to construct, with the Company's Negroes, 
a good wagon road from this place to the village aforesaid, so 
that people can travel hither and thither on horseback, and with 
a wagon. 

"Sixthly: In order that the advancement of the aforesaid 
Village may be the sooner and better promoted, the Director- 
General and Council have resolved and determined not to 
establish, or allow to be established, any new villages or settle- 
ments, before and until the aforesaid Village be brought into ex- 
istence; certainly not until the aforesaid number of Inhabitants 
is completed. 

"Seventhly: For the better and greater promotion of neigh- 
borly correspondence with the English at the North, the Director- 
General and Council will, at a more convenient time, authorize 
a Ferry and a suitable Scow near the aforesaid Village, in order 


to convey over Cattle and Horses ; and will favor the aforesaid 
Village with a Cattle and Horse Market. 

"Eighthly : Whoever are inclined to settle themselves there 
to take up Bouweries by their servants, shall be bound to enter 
their names at once, or within a short time, at the office of the 
Secretary of the Director-General and Council, and to begin im- 
mediately with others to place on the land one able-bodied per- 
son, provided with proper arms, or in default thereof, to be 
deprived of his right. 

"Thus done in the meeting of the Director and Council, held 
in Fort Amsterdam, in New Netherland, on the 4th of March, 
A° 1658." 

Summarized, this ordinance provided for the formation of 
"a new Village or Settlement at the end of the Island." It 
granted by lot to each of the Harlem settlers full ownership of 
from thirty-six to forty-eight acres of farm land and from twelve 
to sixteen acres of meadow land, which should be protected with 
all New York's military power, — twelve to fifteen soldiers. The 
ordinance further provided for an "Inferior Court of Justice" 
when twenty to twenty-five families should have settled in the 
village. They were to have "their own good, pious, orthodox 
Minister," a great privilege in those days; "a good wagon road 
to New York" ; "a Ferry and suitable Scow" ; and a "cattle and 
horse market." 

Quick to see the advantages thus offered, several New 
York families acted upon the provisions and privileges of Stuy- 
vesant's ordinance, and broke ground at New Harlem on the 14th 
of August, 1658, between which time and September 10th was 
completed the preliminary work of surveying and staking out 
the lands and village plot. 

Hilarity and good cheer are said to have marked the occa- 
sion, for one of those present was Johannes Verveelen, not until 
five years later a resident, but now acting as tapster, regaling the 
company with generous potions of his New Amsterdam beer. 

Surveys now in existence, corroborated by other evidence, 
show the village, as Riker says, to have been laid out adjoining 
the Great Kill. 1 

The old Indian trail, southernmost of Harlem's two lanes, 

the Harlem River about where the 125th Street cross- 

ow M"],. Thence it ran westerly through the inter- 

;' 124th Street and First Avenue, passed through Third 



Avenue at 119th Street, and met the other path (Church Lane) 
at Lexington Avenue and 117th Street. From here it continued 
to 1 nth Street and Fifth Avenue, — the north branch of Mon- 
tagne's Creek. 

Montagne's Creek has only recently been filled in. Brown- 
stone houses now stand on piles sunk in its bed, in crossing which 
contractors for the subway experienced serious difficulty. From 
109th Street, where it emptied into the Harlem River, the creek 
widened considerably, and at Third Avenue old residents have 
seen large yachts at anchor. Here was the milldam and Harlem's 
first available mill, and here, too, the young people of former 
generations used to skate in winter and go boating in the summer. 
Further up the creek, men now living used to bob for eels, 
or fish in the pond which the stream formed at 121st Street, 
or wade still further up the bed to its source in the Manhat- 
tanville hills. 

Just across the creek from the southern end of the Indian 
iil wis iated Montagne's Flat, while back from the creek 
Le v: Avenue and 117th Street lay the foot of Harlem's 

Church the northernmost of the village streets. 

Leaving the Indian trail at 117th Street, the Church Lane 
ran northeast about on the line of Lexington Avenue until it 
reached 119th Street. Here it turned east, following the pres- 
ent line of the Mt. Morris stables, piercing Sylvan Place at 
120th Street, and ending at the river's edge, just beyond the saw- 
mill at 125th Street and First Avenue. According to the first 
survey the two lanes were fifteen Dutch rods apart at the river's 
edge, but somewhat broader than this at the intersection of Lex- 
ington Avenue. 

For a time, the northernmost lane was known as the Great 
Way, presumably because it was wider than the Indian trail, but 
it was called the Church Lane for many years during the early 
history of the village, until it became known as the Old Harlem 
Road, as it is now designated on official surveys and maps. 

Between the Indian trail and Church Lane the villagers laid 
out the erven (house lots), which ran in two ranges, a cen- 
tral line dividing those facing the Indian trail from those facing 
the Church Lane. The lots were nearly square, instead of 
oblong, as they are nowadays, and measured ninety-three feet 
in depth, with a frontage somewhat less. Six cross-streets cut 
these erven into blocks, containing four lots each, with the ex- 
ception of the first blocks on the river front, which contained 
only two lots. 


North of the Church Lane larger plots were laid out for 
tuynen (gardens), one of which was given with each house lot. 
These tuynen began in the lumber yard which used to stand on 
the northeast corner of 125th Street and First Avenue, and 
ended at 121st Street and Third Avenue, formerly the garden 
upon which the present Dutch church was built. On this church 
garden, in the early days, grain for the use of the poor was 
planted by the villagers. 

The gardens, according to Riker, were five by twenty Dutch 
rods, or one-sixth of a morgen, but were meted out by liberal 
measure, and being extended in the rear and otherwise enlarged, 
came to be reduced to half the original number, and to contain 
two acres each. 

In connection with each house lot there was laid out a cor- 
responding portion of bouwlant (farming land) on Jochem 
Pieter's Flat. These were staked off and numbered, the lots 
running westerly from the river to the woods; No. I lying 
against the rear of the gardens (tuynen), taking in part of Sul- 
zer's Park, and extending to what was afterwards Harlem's 
branch of the road leading to Kingsbridge. 1 

Twenty-five lots were laid out in this first subdivision of a 
part of Jochem Pieter's Flat. Number twenty-five lay at the 
north end of the meadow, between 130th Street and Eighth Ave- 
nue and Fifth Avenue and 137th Street. 

As these lots were laid out they were supposed to contain 
twelve acres, but were soon slightly enlarged, and the number 
reduced, Harlem being unable to make use of twenty-five farms 
at that time. 

In form, like all those subsequently laid out for the same 
purpose, they were made narrow and long, abutting on the 
river, — a favorite mode of dividing up land, borrowed from Hol- 
land. — which gave the farmer his cherished water privileges, 
enabling him to remove his crops in scows, in the absence of 
suitable roads. It also served to diminish the danger from 
Indians or wild beasts, for the laborers sowed across each other's 
lots, instead of up and down their own. Thus, all could sow 
together and keep within easy call in case of danger, and each 

red an equal portion of the harvest. 

Salt hay being thought indispensable for the cattle, a small 
I of marsh meadow, usually about six acres, was set off for 

1. This Village branch of the KinyshridRe road, now Lexington Avenue as far as 
'--'I residents of to-day went coasting after school 

hours with their boh sleds. 


each farmer. That all might be supplied, these had to be taken 
wherever found, — on Randall's Island, on the Bronx, or still 
further north, about the end of the Speedway, and on towards 
Spuyten Duyvil. The meadows in the bay of Hellgate were 
reserved to the church, to be used or rented for its benefit, together 
with the garden at 121st Street and Third Avenue, just mentioned. 

With its first advent into life and activity, the infant settle- 
ment received its name, fitly taken, as Riker remarks, from the 
famous old city of North Holland. It was called Nieuw Haarlem, 
2l name "conferred, no doubt, by Stuyvesant, its selection being 
such as could neither flatter any one settler nor excite the jealousy 
of others, as none of them were from Haarlem. Perhaps the re- 
semblance between the two localities first suggested the names, — 
New Harlem and New Amsterdam. These, like the two great 
cities after which they were named, lay apart 'about three hours' 
journey,' " according to Labadists, 1 who visited Harlem during 
the latter part of the century. 

"Old Haarlem, watered on its eastern side by the gentle 
Sparen, and girt about landwise by groves 'of shadowy elms,' 
for beauty and extent unrivaled in Holland, where are few for- 
ests, might well have dictated a name for a situation so similar. 
But more suggestive was its history. To the Hollander the 
word Haarlem was the synonym for all that was virtuous and 
heroic. During the memorable siege sustained by that fated 
town, when, for seven long months, the choicest troops in the 
army were foiled by the intrepidity of its citizens, women vieing 
with the men in bearing arms, was displayed a patriotism worthy 
the loftiest flights of the poetic muse. And, though Haarlem fell, 
there went up from the merciless slaughter of its brave but van- 
quished people such a piercing cry as palsied the weakened arm 
of the invader and nerved the patriots to an uncompromising 
resistance ; freedom was thus virtually achieved for the United 
Provinces ! 

"Noble Haarlem ! Illustrious example of courage, endur- 
ance and sacrifice, ever to live thy memory, and tenderly to be 
cherished among the proudest and dearest of the Fatherland. 

"Thus the name New Haarlem was aptly chosen," con- 
tinues Riker. "Like its great exemplar, it might be called upon 
to withstand the onslaught of a savage and relentless foe. In 
such a dark and trying hour, — and who could tell, after the 

The Labadists were a religious sect entertaining different views from either the 
Dutch or their European persecutors. Two of them visited Harlem in October, 
1679. A detailed account of their trip around Harlem will be given later. 


gloomy experience of past years, but it might come, — the inspira- 
tion of a glorious name was something to incite its people to 
noblest proofs of fortitude and heroism. 

"Peril was in the new enterprise, equally with labor and hard- 
ship, and those entering upon it had clearer apprehensions than 
we can well understand of what they might be called upon to do 
or suffer to maintain and defend their new home." ' 

The first summer (1658) brought "an unusually distempered 
atmosphere" and "many persons died. Others were prostrated 
for weeks and months with sickness and debility. Then flood- 
ing rains, which came about the time of harvesting, so damaged 
the fruits and crops as to cause a scarcity of bread. Many feared 
it would be impossible to get in winter forage for the cattle." 

With so serious a check upon labor and enterprise, but slow 
progress was made at New Harlem until the Director ordered 
that those who did not begin their fences within six weeks would 
run the risk of forfeiting their lands. This peremptory order, 
issued on November 27th, 1658, read: 

"All persons whom it may concern are hereby forewarned 
and notified, that all those who have obtained lots or plantations 
in the newly-begun village of Harlem shall take possession, or 
cause possession thereof to be taken, and commence preparations 
for fencing and planting the same within the space of six weeks 
from the date hereof, on pain of having the lots and plantations, 
which are not entered upon within that time, given and granted 
to others who may be disposed to improve them." 

Although this vigorous measure stirred many to action, the 
severity of the following winter greatly retarded the work. It 
seemed, in fact, as if every possible obstacle was being put in the 
way of Harlem's founding. The severities of the life, however, 
weeded out those who were not able to stand the strain. The 
following spring, the list of inhabitants contained the names of 
many of those who subsequently took an active part in the affairs 
of the village, including the names of Daniel Tourneur and 
Montague, Junior. 

"For the security of the settlers, all of whom were required 
to be well armed, the government furnished eight or ten regulars 
from the Fort. Their presence was deemed necessary in the 
'newly-begun village,' as the Indians were yet a source of anxiety, 
especially to the wives and families of the Colonists." 

1. "Haerlem is derived by Dutch writers from Hcer Lem (Lord Willem or William), 
an early prince of Friesland, in Holland, the reputed founder of Haerlem, 
from linn called the stadt (town) of Heer Lem; whence the easy transition 
into Haerlem, or Haarlem, as the Hollanders now write it." (Uiker's "Harlem," 
p. 163.) 










Stuyvesant, fearing for the safety of New Harlem, issued 
this order on March 23d, 1660: "It is highly necessary to keep 
a good watch on the newly-settled village." Military officers 
were at once appointed, which action, says Riker, marked the first 
step toward the establishment of local authority at Harlem. 

Daniel Tourneur, at this meeting of the villagers, at 125th 
Street and First Avenue, was elected corporal. Montagne, we 
are told, was given the rank of major, and drove all the Indians 
across the Harlem. 

Each man being furnished with a liberal supply of powder 
from the public magazine, the inhabitants made ready for treach- 
erous attacks ; but their precautions were unnecessary. Peace with 
the Indians was declared, and the work of the conquest of the 
soil began with renewed energy. 

The number of families had now increased to such an extent 
that the villagers petitioned for a court of justice, Stuyvesant 
granting the request in these words : 

"The Director-General and Council of New Netherland, 
To all those who shall see or hear these Presents read, send 
greeting and make known. That for the welfare of the commu- 
nity, for promoting the growth and success of the new Village of 
Haarlem, and for the easier administration of Justice, they have 
deemed it necessary to erect in the aforesaid village, an Inferior 
Court of Justice, which shall consist, provisionally, of the three 
undernamed Commissaries, to wit: Jan Pietersen, Daniel 
Tourneur, Pierre Cresson, before whom in the first case shall 
be brought all Questions, Actions, and Differences arising in the 
said Village, between Lord and Subject, Master and Servant, 
Mistress and Maid, Neighbor and Neighbor, Buyer and Seller, 
Lessor and Lessee, Landlord and Laborer, and other such like; 
also all criminal actions, consisting of Misdeeds, Threats, Fight- 
ing or Wounding, whether moved and instituted by the parties, 
or by the senior Commissary, who, until further order, shall 
represent the Sheriff in that place. 

"Said Commissaries shall do justice, to the best of their 
knowledge, between parties appearing before them, and may de- 
cree the giving of Bail, Acquittal, or Condemnation, as the cir- 
cumstances of the case shall warrant. But any party feeling 
himself aggrieved may appeal to the Director-General and Coun- 
cil of New Netherland, according to custom here, from all judge- 
ments exceeding Fifty Guilders, pronounced by said Commis- 
saries ; and said Commissaries are hereby specially commissioned 
and authorized to enact proper ordinances that the arable Lands 


and Gardens be carefully fenced, kept inclosed, and the broken 
fences properly repaired. 

"They hereby command all Inhabitants of the said Village, 
and those who may in future reside there, to respect the afore- 
said Commissaries in the office to which they are now qualified, 
and acknowledge them as such ; and all this until it be otherwise 
ordained by the Director-General and Council aforesaid. Thus 
done at the meeting of the Director-General and Council, held 
at Fort Amsterdam, in New Xetherland, the 16th August, 

These Commissaries, afterwards called Magistrates, turned 
their attention almost immediately to the religious needs of the 

Divine worship might not have been so restricted in America 
as. in the Fatherland, but the difficulty of getting to meeting 
was great. It meant getting up at sunrise, dressing the family 
in its best homespun, after a thorough scrubbing at the tub by 
the well ; an eight-mile paddle, past Hellgate's treacherous cur- 
rents and the swift tides of the East River, to 8th Street and 
Second Avenue, where services were held in Stuyvesant's chapel, 
now St. Mark's Church. 

"Strong in their religious faith and attachments," says 
Riker, "so natural in a people who had but recently emerged 
from great convulsions in the church and shaken off the old 
clogs of superstitution and error, the faithful at Harlem set a high 
value upon God's word and ordinances. 

"It were a mistake to suppose that they did not feel keenly 
the loss of those advantages which they had enjoyed in Holland, 
where not the cities only, but every considerable hamlet had its 
pastor and house of worship. 

"The promise of a 'pious, orthodox minister,' and of aid in 
sustaining him, was a gnat inducement for them to settle in 
Harlem. As yet they felt themselves unable to do much toward 
supporting one, but it was all-important to secure preaching of 
the Gospel within their own bounds. 

"Through the Commissaries, who had the supervision of all 
such matters, and were all professors of the Reformed religion, 
this urgent need of a minister was made known to Governor 
Stuyvesant, and by him brought to the notice of the Directors 
in Holland, in a letter dated October 6th, 1660. . . . But 
before the letter . . . could have reached Holland the 
faithful hen- had joined themselves in church fellowship and 
secured Dominie Zyperus' services. . . . 


"Patterned after the Reformed Church of Holland, New 
Harlem's first church was to be under the care of the Consistory 
at New Amsterdam, having at first no officers from its own mem- 
bership, except a single deacon, to which place young John 
Montagne, Jr., was now chosen. 

"Thus its organization was quite informal and incomplete. 
Another deacon was added, after some years, whence ensued a 
regular succession of these officers, intrusted with the financial 
and eleemosynary work of the church. Their resources were 
the Sunday collections, fines levied in the town court for the 
benefit of the poor, rent from the church lands, and burial fees, 
with the usual legacy left by testators of from four to twenty 

"Thus were met the wants of needy members and other 
worthy poor, as also the dominie's salary and sexton hire. And 
after Zyperus left, till they secured a resident pastor, the deacons 
provided a horse and wagon to bring the dominie and return him 
to his house in the city." * 

The disability of Dominie Zyperus to administer ordinances 
led to the custom, at this time, of the marriage of young Harlem 
couples in New York. Church Lane, since called Lovers' Lane, 
beneath whose fine elms and fragrant lilac bushes many now 
living loved to linger, seems to have been responsible for many 
a publication of "bans," even in the early days of the pioneers. 
Thus it happens that most of the marriages of the day were 
performed by Dominie Selyns, pastor of the Brooklyn church, 
who used to hold service in Stuyvesant's Chapel. 

No mention of any Harlem church, or of an attempt to build 
one, appears on the Harlem records until four years afterward; 
an indication of the severity of these early struggles for the 
simplest necessities of life. As in Brooklyn, the infant church 
at New Harlem sometimes worshiped in a loft or in some neigh- 
bor's barn. But this modest beginning developed into a healthy 
and prosperous movement in Harlem's later days. 

1. No proper record of the organization of this church has been found; but of the 
date we may be reasonably assured. Montague's term as deacon (two years) 
expired November 30, 1662. It began, then, in 1660. The same date is given 
in Corwin's Manual. (Riker.) 



HE young town was now approaching a significant turning- 
point in its history. The loose organization of the com- 
munity, resulting from its dependence upon the rulings 
of the Governor, and the arbitrary interpretation of his decis- 
ions, made it necessary that some better working system in 
the form of law should provide the town with an internal means 
of peace and order. Such a provision came through a recog- 
nition of this need by the Governor himself. 

In the year following the institution of the Harlem court, Dr. 
Montagne's family, on whose deserted clearings cattle and goats 
now browsed at will, petitioned Stuyvesant to be allowed to 
return and reoccupy the Flat. 

Stuyvesant, suspecting that the Montagnes had in mind a 
rival village, effectually defeated any such plan then and there. 
Pie refused to grant the petition, as prejudicial to the growth and 
welfare of the village of Harlem, and as tending to contravene 
the rights and privileges granted the village some years before. 
"If you want to settle in Harlem," he said, "petition the Town 
for membership. That is the only way you can take up your old 

This decision, as noted by Riker, was "highly satisfactory 
to the people of Harlem, for several reasons. A rival settlement 
so near them, indeed, within their very limits, was not to be 
thought of. Not only would it tend to weaken them by drawing 
away some whom they could ill-afford to spare, but would 
naturally attract persons who otherwise would come hither to 
settle," — a fact not lost sight of by Governor Stuyvesant. 

To have granted such a request, it was pointed out, would 
have been also a hindrance to the natural development of the 
village, which, at the close of 1661, contained over "thirty male 
residents, mostly heads of families and freeholders." 

The following are the names of these pioneers, who first 
succeeded in planting the seeds of civilization and religion in 
Harlem. 1 

i. Riker's "Harlem," p. 202. 

This view, from the foot of 124TH Street and Pleasant Avenue, shows 
the location of the old village green on which stood William Haldron's black- 
smith shop. Much made land has changed the waterfront since the days op 
Haldron; but this shore is only a few feet removed from that on which the 
patentees were accustomed to beach their canoes after an eight-mile paddle to 
New York. 

,1 ; 


Viewed from the site of Verveelen's first Ferry House, near 125TH Street and 

First Avenue. 



Michael Zyperus, French. 

Jan La Montagne, Jr., " 

Daniel Tourneur, " 

Jean Le Roy, " 

Pierre Cresson, " 

Jaques Cresson, " 

Philippe Casier, " 

David Uzille, 

Jacques Cousseau, 

Phillippe Presto, 

Francois Le Sueur, 

Simon De Ruine, Walloon. 

David Du Four, " 

Jean Gervoe, 

Jan De Pre, 

Dirk Claessen, Hollander. 

Jan Sneden, 

Michiel Janse Muyden, 

Lubbert Gerritsen, 

Meyndert Coerten, 

Aert Pietersen Buys, 

Sigismundus Lucas, 

Jan Pietersen Slot, Dane. 

Nicholaes De Meyer, 

Jan Laurens Duyts, 

Jacob Elderts Brouwer, 

Nelis Matthyssen, Swede. 

Jan Cogu, 

Monis Petersen Staeck, 

Adolph Meyer, German. 

Adam Dericksen, 

Hendrick Karstens, 
The Village at this time numbering more than twenty 
families, it became necessary to consider a further division of the 
farm land adjoining the town. 

Jochem Pieter's lots on the north having been divided, 
attention naturally turned to land on the south, — Van Keulen's 
Hook. The north line of this plot may be traced to-day. Be- 
ginning about where the 125th Street cross-town cars stop, near 
the Harlem River, it followed the Indian trail to 111th Street 
and Fifth Avenue. From this northern line the Hook extended 
southward to Montagne's Creek, at 109th Street. 

In the same year that Stuyvesant refused the Montagne 


petition, Van Keulen's former bouwery was laid out in twenty- 
two lots of equal breadth. Seventeen of these abutted on the 
Harlem River ; the remainder touched the creek. They were 
designed to be six acres each, but the contents varying accord- 
ing to the length of the lots, a new survey was made fifteen years 
later (1676), by which most of the lines were contracted and the 
lots equalized. 

At the town meeting, attended by the magistrates and free- 
holders of the village, which decided on these divisions, it was 
determined that Montagne's Flat should also be laid off in 

In order that full justice be done to the former owners, how- 
ever, the town decided to allow John Montagne, Jr., to hold Mon- 
tagne's Point, which had once belonged to his father. There, 
according to the will of the meeting, he was to take his full allot- 
ment, instead of owning a farm on Van Keulen's Hook or else- 
where. As a special favor the freeholders and magistrates also 
voted to allow him immunity from any future demands in the 
way of a town tax. Young Montagne, on his part, was to promise 
to conform to the town regulation against building on farm land, 
and was not to build or live upon the Point until the town saw 
fit to grant him permission so to do. 

"Jan Montagne, Jr., after the project to form a new settle- 
ment on the Flat had failed, continued at Harlem one of the most 
useful and honored of its inhabitants," declares Riker. Evidently 
Montagne had taken Stuyvesant at his word, and had agreed to 
live at Harlem as a Harlemite. "He was appointed a Magistrate 
in 1 66 1, and a year later served as Constable, which office he 
retained until the Dutch rule ended. He was the first Town 
Clerk, according to the earliest register, which commences, how- 
ever, only with January 13, 1662, leaving the previous sixteen 
months a blank ; an unfortunate gap at the beginning of the 
town's history, though partially filled by other records. 

"However thwarted were the Montagues in their plans re- 
specting Vredendal (the Flat), they yielded gracefully to the 
alternative which secured to John La Montagne, Jr., the doctor's 
eldest son, that part of the property called the Point, . . . 
but surrendered the Flat to the government (the Town of New 
Harlem), to be parceled out. by lot to such people of Harlem as 
still wanted more land. . . . 

"While young Montagne was to remain possessor of the 
Point, ... it was open to his brother William, ... if 
he should become a freeholder in the same manner as the others, 


by the purchase of the usual allotment, to draw with them his pro- 
portionate share of the Flat." ' 

At a later time, heirs sought to seize this property from 
Harlem on the ground of Kieft's grant. But their claim was 
not allowed. 

According to the will of the freeholders, Montagne's Flat 
"was now laid out into parcels of from four to six morgen each, 
by an actual survey; running in narrow strips from the little 
creek (Montagne's) due west to the hills" 2 (Cathedral Heights), 
and "numbered from south to north." 

As in the case of other sub-divisions, this survey was not 
final, owing to the transfers of lots from one owner to another. 
In truth, the complications regarding titles to the Harlem prop- 
erties were by no means lessened owing to the peculiar methods 
employed in sub-dividing land. Did Tourneur draw lots num- 
bered 1 and 19 of any new division he would, perhaps, immedi- 
ately trade with Nagel, who wanted No. 19 to go with No. 20, 
and who, therefore, willingly gave up No. 2. Thus, both parties 
were, in the end, as well satisfied as if they had originally drawn 
Nos. 1 and 2, and 19 and 20 respectively; but the complications 
in transfers by this process may be imagined. 

This alienation of the Doctor's former property, and its ab- 
sorption by the Town of Harlem, is but a sample of what followed 
in the case of all property for which Kieft had given patents. At 
first it had been the policy of the villagers to hold the lots in the 
vicinity of the village site as village property. This might have 
continued to the detriment of other freeholders had it not been 
for the action of one of the later English Governors of the 
Province, Andros, who began to give away property belonging 
to the Town. 

At this the townspeople awoke. They saw that, if they did 
not divide the property, daily growing in value, an arbitrary 
Governor might deprive them of their rights by force. Fre- 
quent sub-divisions immediately followed. 

This leads to the question : How and when were the 
boundaries of Harlem first defined, and what does the territory of 
Harlem include? 

Harlem's boundary was first defined legally by the English 
Governor who wrested New York from Dutch rule in Septem- 
ber, 1664. On this date three or four English frigates and a 
force of several hundred land troops, under Colonel Richard 

1. Riker's "Harlem," p. 209. 

2. Harlem Records. 


Nicolls, suddenly appeared off the Battery, and New Amsterdam, 
despite growls of protest from sturdy old Stuyvesant, passed into 
the hands of the conquerors. 1 

Colonel Nicolls found the Town of New Harlem a stockaded 
village, with a church organization, 2 a militia company composed 
of twenty-nine officers and men, with a commons of its own, 8 — 
in other words, a community to be seriously reckoned with. 

Harlem wished an official definition of her boundary. She 
took this opportunity of asking for such a definition, and for a 
confirmation of individual holdings. Recognizing the dignity 
of her position in the Province of New Amsterdam, Nicolls at 
once sent his surveyor to the district, and, upon the latter's report, 
issued the first Harlem Patent, or Charter, which not only de- 
scribes Harlem's boundary, but grants the territory so named to 
the freeholders and inhabitants, their heirs, successors and 
assigns forever, 4 as follows : 

Richard Nicolls, Esqr., Governor under His 
Royal Highness, James, Duke of York, etc., of all his 
Territories in America ; To all to whom these Presents 
shall come, sendeth Greeting. Whereas, there is a cer- 
tain Town or Village, commonly called and known by 
the name of New Harlem, situate and being on the east 
part of this Island, now in the tenure or occupation of 
several freeholders and inhabitants, who have been at 
considerable charge in building, as well as manuring, 
planting and fencing the said Town and lands thereunto 
belonging; Now for a confirmation unto the said 
freeholders • and inhabitants, in their enjoyment and 
possession of their particular lots and estates in the 
said Town, as also for an encouragement to them in the 
further improvement of the said lands, Know ye that, by 
virtue of the commission and authority unto me given 
by His Royal Highness the Duke of York, I have thought 
fit to ratify, confirm and grant, and by these presents do 
ratify, confirm and grant unto the said freeholders and 
inhabitants, their heirs, successors and assigns, and to 
each and every of them, their particular lots and 
estates in the said Town, or any part thereof, And I do 
likewise confirm and grant unto the freeholders and in- 
habitants in general, their heirs, successors and assigns, 

i. "Stuyvesant wished to fight even against such odds, but the citizens refused to 
stand by him, and New Amsterdam passed into the hands of the Knglisb. 
without a gun being fired in its defence." — Roosevelt's "New York," p. 37. 

2. Montagne had been elected voorleser (reader), with a salary of fifty guilders a 


3. Here the cattle were taken every day by an officially-appointed herder. 

4. Original book of Patents, L,iber 1, p. 57. Secretary of State's Office, Albany. 


Between these two old trees runs Sylvan Place. When the church green- 


the privileges of a Town, but immediately depending on 
this City, as being within the liberties thereof; Moreover 
for the better ascertaining of the limits of the lands to the 
said Town belonging, the extent of their bounds shall be 
as followeth, viz., That from the west side of the fence of 
said Town 1 a line be run due West four hundred English 
poles 2 without variation of the compass, At the end 
whereof another line being drawn to run North and 
South, with the variation, that is to say, North to the very 
end of a certain piece of meadow ground commonly called 
the Round Meadow, 4 near or adjoining to Hudson's 
River, and South to the Saw Mills 5 over against Hog Isl- 
and, commonly called Ferkin's Island. 8 It shall be the West 
bounds of their lands. And all the lands lying and being 
within said line, so drawn North and South as aforesaid, 
eastward to the Town and Harlem River, as also to the 
North and East Rivers, shall belong to the Town ; To- 
gether with all the soils, creeks, quarries, woods, meadows, 
pastures, marshes, waters, fishings, hunting and fowling, 
And all other profits, commodities, emoluments and here- 
ditaments to the said lands and premises within the said 
line belonging, or in anywise appertaining, with their and 
every of their appurtenances ; To have and to hold all 
and singular the said lands, hereditaments and premises, 
with their and every of their appurtenances, and of 
every part and parcel thereof, to the said freeholders and 
inhabitants, their heirs, successors and assigns to the 
proper use and behoof of the said freeholders and in- 
habitants, their heirs, successors and assigns forever. 

It is likewise further confirmed and granted, that the 
inhabitants of said Town shall have liberty, for the con- 
veniency of more range of their horses and cattle, to go 
further west into the woods, beyond the aforesaid bounds, 
as they shall have occasion, the lands lying within 
being intended for plowing, home pastures and meadow 
grounds only ; And no person shall be permitted to build 
any manner of house or houses within two miles of the 
aforesaid limits or bounds of the said Town, Avithout the 
consent of the inhabitants thereof. And the freeholders 
and inhabitants of the said Town are to observe and keep 
the terms and conditions hereafter expressed; that is to 

1. i. e., from about 117th Street and Lexington Avenue. 

2. 6,600 feet. 

3. At about the intersection of Seventh Avenue with 107th Street. _ r 

4. "Matje David's Fly," the Dutch called it, meaning the hollow behind Grants 

Tomb, where the Fort Lee Ferry is now situated. , 

5. Located on the Saw Kill or Creek, which emptied, as has been said, into the 

Last River at about 74th Street. 

6. Now called Blackwell's Island. 


say: That from and after the date of these Presents the 
said Town shall no longer be called New Harlem, but 
shall be known and called by the name of Lancaster ; 
and in all deeds, bargains and sales, records or writings, 
shall be so deemed, observed and written. Moreover the 
said Town lying very commodious for a Ferry to and 
from the Main, which may redound to their particular 
benefit as well as to a general good, the freeholders and 
inhabitants shall be obliged, at their charge, to build or 
provide one or more boats for that purpose, fit for the 
transportation of men, horses and cattle, for which there 
will be a certain allowance given as shall be adjudged 
reasonable. And the freeholders and inhabitants, their 
heirs, successors and assigns, are likewise to render and 
pay all such acknowledgements and duties as already are, 
or hereafter shall be, constituted and ordained by His 
Royal Highness the Duke of York, and his heirs, or such 
Governor and Governors as shall from time to time be 
appointed and set over them. Given under my hand and 
seal, at Fort James, in New York, on Manhatans Island, 
the day of May, in the eighteenth year of the 

reign of our sovereign lord Charles the Second, by the 
grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and 
Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., and in the year of 
our Lord God, 1666. 

Richard Nicolls. 

Briefly, then, Harlem's boundary line was defined as 
running from 129th Street and the Hudson River to 74th Street 
and the East River. Everything east of this on the Island, in- 
cluding the creeks, marshes, meadows, waters and fishing privi- 
leges, belonged to the Town of New Harlem. West of the Line 
no one could "build any manner of house or houses within two 
miles of the aforesaid limits or bounds of the said Town, without 
the consent of the inhabitants thereof," since the Commons (as this 
southerly land was called) were designated solely for pasturage. 

Definite as this charter seemed to be, Nicolls had omitted to 
insert an essential feature of Harlem's holdings, — her salt marshes 
on the main land, now in the Borough of Bronx. 

Because of this omission and on account of Nicolls' unfor- 
tunate effort to change the name New Harlem to Lancaster, 1 as 
well as for other reasons, the inhabitants soon requested a new 
charter, which they did not secure until the following year. 

1. A policy so distasteful to the villagers that not once is the name found on the 
town records. (Riker's Harlem.) 


In the interim, however, New Harlem, as the inhabitants 
persisted in calling the town, passed through several important 
stages in its development, not the least of which was the estab- 
lishment of its first local court. 

Two of the patentees, about this time, had a quarrel, the 
story of which is here introduced as throwing light on the homely 
features of the early corporate life of the town. 

Tourneur, at the signing of Governor Nicolls' first patent, 
was President of the New Harlem Court. Waldron, another of 
the patentees, was Constable. 

Some of the freeholders had complained about the condition 
of Tourneur's fences. Waldron, in his official capacity, called 
upon his brother in the law to investigate. "What do you want ?" 
asked Tourneur, leaning over the gate. "They say your fences 
are weak, and let the hogs through," rejoined Waldron. "Weak, 
are they?'' exclaimed Tourneur. "I'll show you how weak they 
are !" and seizing one of the fence posts, fell to beating the Con- 

When the case was tried before the Mayor's Court, at New 
York, both parties were admonished "for the future to live to- 
gether in good friendship," he who should first offend the other 
being liable to pay a fine of $2 for breaking the peace. 

Waldron's contract with Nelis Matthyssen, shortly after this, 
is significant as marking the cutting and removing of the last 
timber from the town's lot at Third Avenue and 121st Street. 
This work Matthyssen completed just 200 years before 
the present church was removed to this clearing. 1 

The church now standing is the fourth structure built by the 
Reformed Dutch congregation on Harlem soil. The first, which 
stood almost on the middle line of 125th Street, about 100 
feet west of First Avenue, was begun shortly after Nicolls' con- 
quest of the Dutch colony. 

Stuyvesant, being still on the island, although deposed from 
the governorship, was invited to help celebrate the occasion, 
through the town's magistrates, — Tourneur, Montagne, and Ver- 
veelen, who also acted in their further capacities of deacon, voor- 
leser, and innkeeper. 

The "spread," held January 23, 1665, costing the deacons' 

I. The successor to Harlem's first church stands on this property to-day. When 
first erected it faced Third Avenue, but in 1886 the plot was sold to a depart- 
ment store, and the edifice was turned around, and now faces on 121st Street. 
In its tower still hangs the old Harlem bell (the first bell in the town), the 
only relic of the church erected in 1686. It bears the inscription: "AMSTER- 
DAM, Anno 1734, ME FECIT." This bell, which rang for town meetings, 
fires, marriages, funerals, and, in fact, on every occasion of importance to the 
town, is not less loved and not less tuneful than it was in the olden times. 


fund about $8.40 (a remarkably expensive banquet for that age), 
was closely identified with the church building movement. Means 
for swelling the fund were discussed, great deference being shown 
the guest upon whose advice they had leaned in times past, and 
whose opinion both as Governor and as an elder and father in the 
church, was deeply valued. 

Stuyvesant is said to have suggested laying out more gardens 
suitable for building lots, to be sold to freeholders at $10 each, 
"for the benefit of the town." 1 This was at once carried into 
effect. Gardens, twenty in number, were laid out. 2 

Among those present at the meeting at which this resolu- 
tion was passed, were: Jan La Montagne, Jr., and Marie Ver- 
milye, his wife ; Daniel Tourneur, and Jacqueline Parisis, his wife ; 
Johannes Verveelen, and Anna Jaersvelt, his wife ; Joost van 
Oblinus, and Martina Westin, his wife ; Joost van Oblinus, Jr., 
and Marie Sammis, his wife ; Isaac Vermilye, and Jacomina 
Jacobs, his wife ; Resolved Waldron, and Tanneke Nagel, his wife. 

Seventy dollars toward the new church was realized by this 
movement, and the town was thus provided with means to start 
the church. The following items taken from Montagne's inter- 
esting accounts, give a statement of the contributions which the 
deacons were called upon to pay at this time toward the con- 
struction of Harlem's first church : 

The Worthy Deaconry, Credit: 
1665, 23 Jan. By feast given Stuyvesant by D. Tour- 
neur, J. Verveelen and J. Mon- 
tagne f. 21 : 19 

a book by Montagne 

26 " " 5 planks for benches at the Church. 7 

" labor for making the benches 8 

" J / 2 lb. nails for ditto 

" toWessels for bringing the Dominie, 7 

" to the Sexton (Koster) 6 

" ditto 1 

" ditto 6 

20 Dec. " nails for the house on the church lot, 15 

' nails for the Church 49 

" wages for labor at the church t>& 

" a piece of gold to the Preacher. ... 50 

" nails for the church 16 






:>: Records 
These were called Out-Gardens because they lay outside of the palisades which 
ran around tin- house-lots in the days of Stu vesant. They extended from the 
middle of the block between Third and Second Avenues on 121st Street to the 
middle of the block between Third and Lexington Avenues between n3th and 
1 lyth Streets. 


Viewed from 127TH Street and Willis Avenue Viaduct. 


Viewed from Yerveelen's Ferry Site at 125TH Street and Harlem River. 


1665, 20 Dec. By washes for labor at the Church to 

Jan Gulcke and Nclis 24 : o 

1666, 2.J Jan. " ditto to ditto 40 : o 

" 3 "Feb. " to the Sexton 6 : o 

" 25 Mar. " ditto 6 : o 

" 25 Apl. " nails for the Church 17 : 18 

" planks for the Church 90 : o 

" Hendrick Karstens for raising up 
the Church and making the foun- 
dation (stander) 30 : o 

" ditto for plastering of the same .... 6 : o 

1 Dec. " to the Sexton 18: o 

1667, 30 Jan. " at allotment of the seats 4 : o 

" Jan Teunissen for a plank for the 

Church 1 : 10 

" 7 Mar. " to the Sexton 6 : o 

" Nelis for making the table 3 : o 

" 1 lb. nails 3 : o 

" 3 planks for the table and benches. 4 : 10 

27 Mar. " Bart the mason 40 : o 

Sept." to the Sexton 6: o 

" 2 schepels rye to sow upon the 

Church lot 9 : o 

1668, Jan. " to the Sexton 6: o 

" a town book 4 : o 

" Matys for taking away the Dominie 19 

" to the masons and lime by Verveelen, 19 : o 

f. 369 : 18 
The list reveals the curiously primitive conditions of the 
time. There were "five planks for benches," costing the church 
about half of a five-dollar bill. The sexton's salary for looking 
after the little frame building, which took two years to complete, 
was $2.40 a quarter, or $9.60 a year. How closely associated 
were church and town affairs is indicated by the fact that the 
purchase of a "town book" was entered upon the church ledger. 
Here, too, is chronicled the initial purchase of rye to sow upon the 
church lot after Nelis Matthyssen had finished with his clearing. 
The quaint historical picture called up by the record shows 
the Sunday morning procession of bronzed and work-worn 
pioneers mounting the gentle slope of Church Lane, the Harlem 
near at hand, and, through the vista of trees amid which nestled 
the humble meeting-house, a glimpse of Bronck's Kill and Long 
Island Sound far beyond. The interior of the church was severity 
itself. The picture has, indeed, a pioneer primness and austerity. 


A rough hewn pulpit is at the end of the building. Between the 
two grim windows sits the solemn voorleser, waiting for his 
fellow-townsmen to seat themselves on the planks nailed to sawed 
logs, which serve for benches. Then, opening the huge Dutch 
Bible, he reads a passage from the Scriptures, and, after the prayer 
which follows, preaches a sermon, with here and there reference 
to the martyrs, with whose blood the Fatherland has recently 
been so tragically sprinkled. After the service comes the walk 
back along the lane, the creaking of gates on leather hinges, and 
films of dinner-time smoke from the little square brick chimneys. 
At home Sunday is an equally solemn day. The children trace 
Bible stories on the tiles which line the fire-place. Even the 
massive kettles, singing and sputtering on their hooks, have a 
hymnal drone. 

Later, one might have seen the pipes lighted, while the chil- 
dren scattered through the orchard, and the housewife made tidy 
the house preparatory to her Sunday afternoon nap. 

The mention of Nelis Matthyssen, in connection with the 
clearing of the church garden, recalls the fact that this same 
Swedish fence builder of Harlem was first tenant of the farm 
set aside for the town's poor. Matthyssen's name does not 
appear, however, in the list of patentees, because, when his lease 
of the church land expired, in 1668, he left town, settled at Hell- 
gate for ten years, and finally moved to Hackensack, N. J., where 
he died. 

Waldron, who had resigned as Constable when the Court 
declined to censure the offending Tourneur, was succeeded by 
Johannes Verveelen, who was chosen on May 15th, 1666. "This 
was followed, June 12th, by the appointment of four persons as 
Overseers, those chosen being Joost van Oblinus, Isaac Vermilye, 
Glaude Delamater and Nelis Matthyssen, while John La Mon- 
tagne, Jr., was again made secretary, in which office he had not 
acted since 1664. The letter communicating the result contained 
the following instructions t 1 

"The which persons (the Overseers) are hereby authorized, 
together with the Under Sheriff and Constable, — or three of them, 
whereof the Under Sheriff or his Deputy shall always make 
one, — in all questions and suits that between man and man in 
their village may happen and be brought before them, without 
respect of persons, to do justice and to determine absolutely, to 
the sum of Two Hundred Guilders in Sewant, 5 following the 

1. Riker's "Harlem," p. 254. 

2. Two Hundred Guilders in Sewant (a guilder sezvant being equal to 13 1-30. in 


The modern bed of Montagne's Creek. 

[Arrow denotes where Montague's Creek crossed 110th Street, near Fifth Avenue.] 


laws here in this land established; and all the Inhabitants of the 
Village of New Harlem are by these ordered and charged to 
respect the before-named persons in all that belongs to them 
as their Overseers. Done at New York, the 12th of June, 1666." 1 

On June 19th the members elect, presenting themselves in 
the Mayor's Court, were tendered and took the following oath, 
which created the first local court at Harlem : 

"Whereas you, Daniel Tourneur, as Under Sheriff, and you, 
Joost Oblinus, Isaac Vermilye, Glaude Delamater and Nelis 
Matthyssen, by the Honorable Mayor's Court are chosen as 
Overseers of the Village of New Harlem, for the term of one 
succeeding year beginning upon this date ; You Men swear in the 
presence of Almighty God, that you will to your best knowledge 
and with a good conscience, maintain the laws of this govern- 
ment without respect of persons, in all suits that shall be brought 
before you, to the sum of Two Hundred Guilders ; You Men, 
so far as able, will execute the laws for the benefit of your town 
and the inhabitants of the same. So truly help you Almighty 

The Overseers at once took upon their shoulders the burden 
of completing the church. Work upon the building had been con- 
tinued by the two carpenters, but as the sale of the out-gardens was 
slow, and funds were needed if the work was to proceed, a tax to 
cover the necessary expenses was voted by the town folk, to be 
laid upon the lands "by the morgen from each lot." But it was 
further resolved "for the present to borrow" the necessary 
amount "from the poor money, with the approval of the min- 
ister and the deacons." 2 

Accordingly, lumber was procured, and Hendrick Karstens 
was employed to raise up and underpin the building with a 
proper foundation, and also to plaster it, that the next winter 
should find it more comfortable for the worshipers than the 
last, 3 when, even on the coldest days, there was no fire (there 
being no stove) to mitigate the intense cold. 

American money) is $26. Beaver and other furs, with sewant (also called 
wampum, or Indian money, consisting of tubular beads made from the conch-shell, 
perforated lengthwise and fastened with thread upon strips of cloth or canvas,— • 
see Riker, p. 153, or Munsell's Annals of Albany, Vol. ii, 1-8, second edition) 
formed the common currency among the settlers. (See Riker's History, p. 221.) 
Beaver was convenient for large payments, especially for remittances to Holland, 
as was sewant for small payments and for making change, and this was the 
currency used in all ordinary trading. A guilder beaver (because of the scarcity 
in beaver) was counted 40c. at the standard value of the guilder, but a guilder 
sewant was only worth one-third the former, or 13 1-3C, and it subsequently 
depreciated still more. 

1. Harlem Records. 

2. Harlem Records. 

3. Riker's "Harlem," p. 256. 


This period also marks an improvement in the orderliness 
of the village. All the cattle not pastured on Randall's Island, 
it appears from the Harlem Records, were accustomed to stray 
through broken fences across Jochem Pieter's or down the Hook 
(Van Keulen's) to the millpond, where the shallow waters af- 
forded excellent wading. 

The Overseers, having been appealed to by farmers 
whose crops had been thus damaged, issued an order, July 25th, 
1666, which virtually established the first hog and cattle pound 
in Harlem. The order, nailed to a tree on the Lane, prohibited 
all persons from letting their hogs run at large without being 
yoked ; and further provided that for every hog without a yoke 
found within the fenced lands, the owner should pay, besides 
the damage, "six guilders ($2.40) for each hog for the first of- 
fense ; two pounds of powder for the second, and for the third 
offense, forfeit the hog or hogs." 1 Owners of stray cattle were 
to suffer similar penalties. 

Characteristic of these sternly religious settlers was an inci- 
dent which happened on a Sunday morning of this same summer. 
"On September 2d, being Sunday, the quiet of the village was 
disturbed by Jan Teunnissen and Philip Presto bringing in a 
canoe load of hay from Daniel Tourneur's meadow. 

"The next day they and Tourneur were arraigned by the 
town court for working on the Sabbath. Teunissen admitted 
the charge, but said that Tourneur had ordered it done. 
Tourneur refused to appear, but said that he had given them 
no orders to fetch it on Sunday. The Court thereupon directed 
the constable to take the hay and canoe in charge till they were 
redeemed. Tourneur gave bail for Presto," 2 and appealed from 
this decision to the Mayor's Court at New York, where the 
Harlem confiscation of Tourneur's property was upheld. No 
further account appears in the Harlem Records of Tourneur's 
servants having mowed hay on Sunday. 

During the Fall of 1666 there came into Harlem's life a 
settler of considerable prominence, — Captain Thomas Delavall, 
then mayor of New York. His surname, according to Riker, 
was derived from Normandy, but his family was of great 
antiquity at Seaton-Delavall, in Northumberland, where it held 
large possessions. 

Members of this family were active partisans of King Charles 
II., and it is not surprising that the talent and wealth of the 

1. Harlem Records. 

2. Riker's "Harlem," p. 256. 


newcomer were welcomed by the handful of plodding, earnest 
farmers, whose sole support lay in the product of their daily 

Consequently, when Captain Delavall offered to build a mill 
for Harlem, the magistrates were not slow to see the advantages 
which would accrue to the town from the acceptance of the 
Englishman's offer, which reads : 

"On this date, 3d January, A°. 1667, the Honorable Heer 
(Mr.) Delavall proposed and requested that the magistrates of 
this town do consider the following points: 

"ist. That they make one-half of the road from here to the 
Manhatans or New York ; and that Spuyten Duyvil be stopped 

"2d. That like care be taken for a suitable Ordinary (i. e., 
tavern), for the convenience of persons coming and going, as 
also of the village ; and he promises the nails and the making of 
a scow, provided the ferry-man be holden to repay him for the 
same when required. 

"3d. That it may be firmly settled, that the inhabitants of 
the town will make the dam, because other towns promise to 
make a dam, if so be that he please to build a mill near them. 

"4th. Requests leave to erect a stone house at the rear of 
his land near the mill, and to fortify it as a refuge for the village 
in time of need. 

"5th. Requests leave to run a fence straight from the fence 
now standing to the stone bridge, upon Van Keulen's Hook, 
and to use the land and meadow so enclosed. 

"6th. Requests that the inhabitants of the town shall set off 
(fence) the meadow at little Barent's (Randall's) Island, in 
case they wish to keep the same, as said Island belongs to him; 
or otherwise, not to put the town to inconvenience, he will pre- 
sent them the Island, if they will free the meadows. 

"7th. Whereas the Bronck's Land has been sold for two 
thousand guilders in beavers; and as he thought that it should 
more properly fall to the town, — offers for that price to let the 
town have it. 

"Upon all which, after consideration given, to notify and 
inform him." 

The matter having been duly discussed by the magistrates, 
"Johannes Verveelen agreed to take the ferry and ordinary (an 
inn) for six years. He was then formally sworn to provide 
proper entertainment for travellers, as vituals and drink, lodging, 
etc., and further, not to tap liquor to the Indians who should 


resort to the village. On his request for an addition of six feet to 
his house lot, next the street, 'as he was cramped for room, and 
must make convenience for his ordinary,' the Court granted 
him 'six feet into the street, to extend right out at the south 
side-; that is, the line stretching as the street now runs, nearly 
east and west.' " ' 

Having thus actively taken up one clause in Captain Dela- 
vall's offer the inhabitants of the Town of New Harlem next met 
to pass upon the other proposals, with the following results : x 

"On the 4th of January ; Advice of the Inhabitants of the 
town upon the propositions of the Honorable Heer Delavall. 

"ist Point. Offer, together with their neighbors, to stop up 
Spuyten Duyvil, as it was formerly; are also resolved to make 
a road so far as practicable. 

"2d. Have provided for this, and settled Johannes Vervee- 
len as ferry-man and keeper of the ordinary for six years. 

"3d. Agree to make the dam for the mill, provided they may 
enjoy its benefits according to custom. 

"4th. Agree that a house be built for the bouwery (farm), 
to set near the mill, or where is most convenient for him. 

"5th. Agree that the mill use the land and meadow lying 
from the fence now standing to the stone bridge on Van Keu- 
len's Hook. 

"6th. Require further opportunity to consider how this point 
shall be settled. 

"7th. They are parties: Hon. Heer Delavall, Nicholas De 
Meyer, Johannes Verveelen, Daniel Tourneur, Glaude Delamater, 
Lubbert Gerritsen, Joost van Oblinus, David Demarest, Valen- 
tine Claessen and Derrick Claessen." 

Bronck's Land, referred to under the seventh point in the 
Delavall offer, and embracing some 500 acres opposite Har- 
lem on the Westchester side, mention of which has been already 
made, "had passed from Bronck's heirs, through several hands 
to Samuel Edsall. . . . With a view of buying the Bronx 
tract, some of these persons met the next day, and 'constituted 
and authorized Daniel Tourneur, Nicholas De Meyer, and Joh- 
annes Verveelen in their name to agree respecting the payment 
and redemption of the land called Bronck's Land; to do and ex- 
ecute as would they themselves if present, promising to main- 
tain firm and inviolate whatever these, their attorneys, may do 
in the premises.' " 

1. Harlcra Records. 


The plan to buy this land fell through, as did also Captain 
Delavall's offer to grant the town the use of Randall's Island. 1 
The offer to erect a fortress on the Mill property also failed in 
its fulfilment, because of a hurried call for Captain Delavall from 
England, whither he went, after appointing Daniel Tourneur 
agent of his Harlem property. 

Delavall's plan for the mill, however, was executed despite 
his absence. The town, with some difficulty, first performed 
its part of the agreement, and built the mill-dam which crossed 
Montagne's Creek, a little west of Third Avenue. Near its 
northern end the mill was erected, according to the Captain's 
orders, and Hage Bruynsen, a Swede, was appointed miller. 
With the consequent stir on the Mill Camp, as the site on Van 
Keulen's Hook, around Third Avenue and 109th Street, was 
called, young Montagne seemed to think the time propitious for 
settling on his Point, which, as will be remembered, comprised 
the 105th Street land between the two creeks. Acting upon his 
petition on January 4th, 1667, the inhabitants "voted authority to 
John Montagne, Jr., to build and live upon his Point," 2 

With the advent of this year, 1667, came the transfer of 
many erven ; the addition of two new ones across Church Lane, 
from the first village site;* the finishing of the masonry work 
on the church ; the completion of the table used by the voorleser, 
on which rested the great Dutch Bible; the establishment of 
an official burying ground * and the obtaining of another charter 
issued to rectify the unsatisfactory features of the first. 

1. Possession of this Island had vested in Delavall shortly after Nicolls' advent 

and conquest of the New York colony. 

2. Harlem Records. 

3. Once known as the Judah Estate. 

4. Now the site of the northeast corner of Sultzer's Park. Tyurneur owned part of 

the land which eventually formed this burying ground (afterwards known as 
the negro burying ground), and in consideration of his sacrificing his erf for 
this purpose, he was given "the meadows lying along Montagne's Kill, west of 
the hills (». e., the land to the west of Mt. Morris Heights), from the rocky 
point till to the end of the creek on the north side of said kill." 



E\V HARLEM'S desire for a new charter from Nicolls 
was made more insistent by a proclamation from the 
Governor, directing all landholders to submit their 
groundbriefs to the authorities at New York. 

With the exception of the seven groundbriefs noted in 
Chapter I, the villagers had no individual titles to their extensive 
holdings except those granted by the Nicholls' patent of 1666. 
With a view to ascertaining the Governor's intentions toward 
New Harlem, and particularly in view of the proclamation, a 
town meeting was held on March 15, 1667, at which not a little 
concern was expressed. Some feared that the authorities intended 
to deprive Harlem of its territory. Others felt that their property, 
coming more and more into notice because of its fertility, was 
likely at any time to become the object of greedy attack. 

Daniel Tourneur, Nicholas De Meyer, Resolved Waldron, 
Johannes Verveelen, Joost van Oblinus, John Montague, Jr., and 
seven others, gathered at the meeting and decided that the time 
was ripe for a new patent, even if they had to pay for it, and 
accordingly passed this resolution, which Waldron, as attorney 
for the meeting, was empowered to formally present in the proper 
quarter : 

To His Excellency, Col. Richard Nicolls, Deputy Gov- 
ernor : 
The inhabitants of the Town of New Harlem, your 
Excellency's petitioners, would most respectfully repre- 
sent, that they are informed that a placard has been 
issued, that each inhabitant must get his groundbrief 
renewed within fourteen days, expiring April 1st of this 
year ; and whereas the most of your Excellency's peti- 
tioners even till now have no groundbriefs, they there- 
fore pray that your Excellency may please to grant them 
a general groundbrief or patent, in accordance with the 
last survey made by your Excellency's land surveyor, 
Mr. Hubbard, or otherwise, as your Excellency and wise 
Council shall find good and proper; as also that therein 


Heee :; : 

•m braced ev 
- :h and :- : 5. It 

:; rm jren and 

■ -.EK. 


be included the meadows which are lying at the other 
side, 1 and belonging to their land. 

Then, even more respectfully, with a view to getting into 
the good graces of "His Excellency," they continued: 

Your Excellency ; Whereas through ignorance 
of your Excellency's placards, some faults might be com- 
mitted by your Excellency's petitioners, they pray that 
his Honor, the Sheriff, may be charged to send a copy 
of every proclamation affecting your Excellency's peti- 
tioners, so that they may not transgress your Excellency's 
orders. Herein we await your favorable answer ; and 
meanwhile shall pray God for your Excellency's welfare. 
Dated, New Harlem, 15th March, 1667. 
This fine bit of reverence, accompanied by the rugged diplo- 
macies of the time, was not without its effect on the Governor 
and "wise Council." The ponderous machinery of state was 
at once set in motion, with the result that New Harlem received 
its second charter some seven months later, and with it obtained 
ample recognition of its ownership of the salt marshes in the 

The second Nicolls charter, a document of the highest his- 
toric interest and of the profoundest significance in this narra- 
tive, runs as follows : 

Richard Nicolls, Esq., Governor-General under His 
Royal Highness James Duke of York and Albany, &c, 
of all his territories in America ; To all to whom these 
Presents shall come, sendeth Greeting. Whereas there 
is a certain Town or Village upon this Island Manhatans, 
commonly called and known by the name of New Har- 
lem, situate, lying and being on the East part of the 
island, now in the tenure or occupation of several of the 
freeholders and inhabitants, 2 who being seated there by 
authority have improved a considerable proportion of 
the lands thereunto belonging, and also settled a com- 
petent number of families thereupon, capable to make 
a township ; Now for a confirmation to the said free- 
holders and inhabitants in their possession and enjoy- 
ment of the premises, as also for an encouragement to 
them in their further improvement of the said lands ; 
Know ye, That by virtue of the commission and author- 
ity unto me given by His Royal Highness, I have given, 
ratified, confirmed and granted, and by these Presents 
do give, ratify, confirm and grant unto Thomas Dela- 

1. i. e., in the Bronx. 

2. Notice that Nicolls affirms that this charter is but a confirmation of his previous 

grant (''now in the tenure of freeholders"), with the Bronx lands added. 


vail, Esq., John Verveelen, Daniel Tourneur, Joost 
Oblinus and Resolved Waldron, as Patentees for and 
on behalf of themselves and their associates, the free- 
holders and inhabitants of the said Town, their heirs, 
successors and assigns, all that tract, together with 
the several parcels of land which already have or hereafter 
shall be purchased or procured for and on the behalf of the 
said Town within the bounds and limits hereafter set 
forth and expressed, viz: That is to say, from the west 
side of the fence of the said Town a line being run due 
west four hundred English poles, without variation of 
the compass, and at the end thereof another line being 
drawn across the island north and south, with the varia- 
tion, That is to say, north from the end of a certain piece 
of meadow ground commonly called the Round Meadow, 
near or adjoining unto Hudson's or North River, and 
south to the place where formerly stood the Saw Mills, 
over against Verken's or Hog Island in the sound or 
East River (i. e., from the present Fort Lee Ferry to the 
Manhattan Power Plant at 74th Street, opposite Black- 
well's Island), shall be the western bounds of their lands; 
And all the lands lying and being within the said line to 
draw north and south as aforesaid eastward to the end 
of the Town and Harlem River, or any part of the said 
river on which this island doth abut, and likewise on the 
North and East Rivers within the limits aforementioned 
described, doth and shall belong to the said Town, As 
also four lots of meadow ground upon the Main, marked 
with Number 1, 2, 3, 4, lying over against the Spring 1 
where a passage hath been used to ford over from this 
island to the Main, and from thence hither, With a small 
island, commonly called Stony Island, 5 lying to the east 
of the Town and Harlem River, going through Bronck's 
Kill, by the Little and Great Barne's Islands," upon which 
there are also four other lots of meadow ground/ marked 
with No. 1, 2, 3, 4, Together with all the soils, creeks, 
quarries, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, waters, 
lakes, fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, and all 
other profits, commodities, emoluments and heredita- 

Another name for Spuyten Duyvil, which is translated from the Dutch, "The 
flowing or spauting spring." 

Stony Island was the name given by our early settlers to the point of the Bronx 
opposite the village and Randall's Island. 

1. c, Randall's and Ward's Islands, so named after the man of massive propor- 
tions, named T'arent, who was engaged by Van Twiller in the early days to 
look after Ward's Island. Where "Great Barent" lived thus came to be 
known as Barcnt's Island, and the English Governor, in framing this charter, 
simply contracted the word a little in calling it Barne's Island. 

To the uninitiated this wording is somewhat obscure. It refers to Stony Island's 
meadows, located near the Bronx end of the Willis Avenue viaduct. 


ments to the said lands and premises within the said 
bounds and limits set forth belonging or in any wise 

And also freedom of commonage for range and feed 
of cattle and horses further west into the woods upon this 
island, as well without as within their bounds and limits. 
To have and to hold all and singular the said lands, island, 
commonage, hereditaments and premises, with their and 
every of their appurtenances, and of every part or parcel 
thereof, unto the said Patentees and their associates, their 
heirs, successors and assigns, to the proper use and 
behoof of the said Patentees and their associates, their 
heirs, successors and assigns forever. And I do hereby 
likewise ratify, confirm and grant unto the said patentees 
and their associates, their heirs, successors and as- 
signs, all the rights and privileges belonging to a 
Town within this Government; with this proviso or 
exception, That in all matters of debt or tres- 
pass of or above the value of Five pounds they shall 
have relation to and dependence upon the courts of this 
city as the other Towns have upon the several Courts of 
Sessions to which they do belong; Moreover, the place 
of their present habitation shall continue and retain the 
name of New Harlem, by which name and style it shall 
be distinguished and known in all bargains and sales, 
deeds, writings and records, And no person whatsoever 
shall be suffered or permitted to erect any manner of 
house or building upon this Island within two miles of 
the limits and bounds aforementioned, without the con- 
sent and approbation of the major part of the inhabit- 
ants of the said Town. 

And whereas the said Town lies very commodious 
for a Ferry, to pass to and from the Main, which may 
redound to the particular benefit of the inhabitants as 
well as to a general good, the freeholders and inhabit- 
ants of the said Town shall, in consideration of the bene- 
fits and privileges herein granted, as also for what advan- 
tage they may receive thereby, be enjoined and obliged 
at their own proper costs and charge to build or provide 
one or more boats, fit for the transportation of men, 
horses and cattle, for which there shall be a certain allow- 
ance given by each particular person as shall be ordered 
and adjudged fit and reasonable. They, the said 
Patentees and their asociates, their heirs, successors and 
assigns, rendering and paying such duties and acknowl- 
edgments as now are or hereafter shall be constituted 
and established by the laws of this Government, under 


the obedience of His Royal Highness, his heirs and suc- 
jsors. Given under my hand and seal, at Fort James, 
in New York, on the Island Manhatans, the nth day 
October, in the 19th year of His Majesty's reign, Annoq. 
Domini, 1667. 1 

Richard Nicolls. 

Besides including the Bronx property (omitted in the previous 
patent) this second charter of Nicolls granted the right to call 
the town "New Harlem"; and further provided against the build- 
ing of any house within two miles west of the line without con- 
sent of the "major part of the inhabitants of said town." 

This provision was very necessary on account of the large 
herd of cattle daily led for pasturage to the small clearings in the 

Fifty-eight cows, besides other cattle, were included in the 
herd which daily wandered forth under the watchful eye of 
Knoet Mourisse Van Hoesem, who entered upon his duties 
as herdsman on April 15th of this year. At Captain Delavall's 
gate he left 2 oxen and 6 cows ; at Daniel Tourneur's, 2 oxen 
and 8 cows ; at Johannes Verveelen's, 2 oxen and 5 cows ; at 
Joost van Oblinus', 2 oxen and 4 cows ; at Resolved Waldron's, 
2 oxen and 5 cows ; at Isaac Yermilye's, 1 cow, and at young 
Montagne's, 2 oxen and 2 cows. 

The herd, as it swung leisurely along the Indian trail, fol- 
lowed by herder Knoet and his faithful collie dogs, passed the 
ford at 1 nth Street, up McGown's pass, by Montagne's spring, 
then on to the meadows at All Saints' Gate (96th Street and 
Central Park West). 

Governor Nicolls' mention of the ferry seemed to turn the 
traffic in the direction of the village, for it made the site of the 
new Willis Avenue viaduct the authorized line of transit to the 
main land, where soon was to be established the first mail route 
connection with Boston. Here Verveelen, as ferryman, hung out 
his si cm : 

. 4 Mi vers, 2 silver money. 

or four, each 3 stivers, silver money. 

"For <'ii<- beast, 1 shilling. 

"For more than 1 h 10 slivers, silver." 

Simultaneously with the first operation of his ferry Ver- 

I in orieii- . uts. Secretary of State's Office, Albany, in 

by Riker, the *<la'e is there given as 1666, but 

in the 10th year of Charles II., which 

'.lie date is correctly given in several later elocu- 

z. A stiver equals 2 1 ■ 


veelen also put forth his tavern sign board. 1 Almost immediately 
the first Harlem excise question arose. 

New York already had a regular tax on liquors. This Ver- 
veelen neglected to pay on some half vats of "good beer" which 
his son Daniel had sent out to the Harlem Inn in commemoration 
of the opening. New York's sheriff, when told of the send- 
ing of beer, and the subsequent neglect on the part of Har- 
lem's first inn-keeper to observe the New York laws, presented 
himself at Verveelen's door and demanded his clues. Verveelen 
said he did not know the officer, and the sheriff was forthwith 
ejected with the aid of the toe of Verveelen's boot. 

Injured in body and mind, Anthony complained to the 
Mayor's Court, whereupon Verveelen explained that he knew 
Anthony well as sheriff, but not as schout. The City Fathers 
forgave him the tax, but for the quibble about not knowing 
Anthony they fined mine host $8 and costs. 

Here the vigilant Tourneur, Harlem's deputy sheriff, took 
matters into his own hands. In a letter addressed to the "Most 
Honorable Heeren, Overseers of this Town," he accused Ver- 
veelen of smuggling. 

Whereas Johannes Verveelen, ordinary-keeper in 
this town, did on the 6th February wickedly smuggle 
one-half vat of good beer ; on the 18th April, one vat 
of good beer, and one anker of rum ; on the 27th of April, 
one-half vat of good beer ; on the 8th May, one-half vat 
of good beer; on the 27th May, one-half vat of good 
beer, and one anker of rum ; all which is contrary to 
the existing placards on the subject of smuggling, and 
by the high magistracy approved. Therefore the plain- 
tiff, ex-officio, the preserver of the peace, demands that 
the defendant be condemned in the penalty of twenty-one 
hundred guilders, according to the placards, together with 
the costs of prosecution. The 14th June, 1667, in N. 
Harlem. Yours, Honorable Heeren. 

Daniel Tourneur, 

Deputy Sheriff. 

Things might have looked dark for Verveelen, with a fine 
of $840 staring him in the face, had it not been for the love 
which the gentlemen of that day had for good beer, "kleyn bier," 
Spanish wine, and rum. Verveelen appealed not to the courts, 
but to the appetites of the magistrates, and, pleading with them as 
they smoked their after-dinner pipes, not only persuaded Tourneur 

1. On the present site of the north line of 123d Street, 300 feet west of First 


to compromise the matter by a promise of the payment of 125 
guilders sewant ($16.87), but secured from the City Fathers 
freedom from the excise tax for a whole year, the ordinance 
granting this exemption reading as follows : 

At the request of Johannes Verveelen, of Harlem, 
We, the Mayor and Aldermen of New York, have sold 
the Ferry there as followeth: 

It is agreed he shall have the Ferry for five years, 
provided he keep a convenient house and lodging for 
passengers at Harlem, and he shall have a small piece 
of land on Bronck side, about an acre, and a place 
to build a house on, which he must clear, and not spoil 
the meadow, which shall be laid out by the Town, which 
must be a morgen of land ; and at the end of five years 
he shall pay nothing for it, and in case it shall be let to 
another, the house shall be valued as it stands, and he 
must be paid for it ; provided he may have the prefer- 
ence of the hiring of it at the time expired. 

Here followeth what he shall ask for every man pas- 
senger, or horse or cattle. 

For every passenger, two pence silver, or six pence 
wampum. For every ox or cow that shall be brought 
into his ferryboat, eight pence or twenty-four stivers ; 
and cattle under a year old, six pence or eighteen stivers 

All cattle that are swum over pay but half price. 

He is to take for diet, every man for his meal, eight 
pence, or twenty-four stivers wampum ; every man for 
his lodging two pence a man, or six stivers in wampum ; 
every man for his horse shall pay four pence for his night's 
hay or grass, or twelve stivers wampum, provided the 
grass be in fence. 

All men going or coming with a packet from our 
Governor of New York, or coming from the Governor 
of Connecticut, shall be ferried free. Also in regard the 
said Verveelen must be at the charge of building a house 
on each side of the Ferry, the Governor hath freed him 
from paying any excise for what wine or beer he shall 
retail in his house for one year after the date hereof. 
Dated at New York, this 3d day of July, 1667. 

Tho. Delavall, Mayor. 
The anxiety of the Fathers not to construe the law con- 
cerning the sale and consumption of Harlem beverages too 
strictly is also explained by the fact that it was the custom upon 
all occasions, such as the passing of titles, the building of houses, 
the celebration of church events, marriages, funerals, baptisms, 


and the like, or the proper transaction of almost any business, 
to have Verveelen present with a vat or two of beer or rum. 
In the public accounts, for example, appear the following 
entries :* 

June 15, 1667, To 45/2 pints Rum, and 15 cans 
measured Beer, used at the agreement with Ver- 
veelen f . 20 

Feb. 18, 1678, To one anker Good Beer, dispensed 
when Dominie Nieuwenhuysen was here to 

ordain the deacon 7 :io 

Sept. 9, 1688, To Rum at his funeral 7 : o 

At this last event (which happened at Kortright's, and refers 
to the death of a stranger) Jan Tibout, then voorleser, was 
allowed 12 florins 1 "for an address to his credit." 

The excise accounts, as taken from the books by Riker, who 
had access to the Harlem Records, charge the following to the 
patentees during one period of six months : s 

Daniel Tourneur 6 charges 4 

Isaac Vermilye 6 

Jan La Montagne, Jr 4 

Resolved Waldron 3 

Glaude Delamater 1 

Arent Harmanse Bussing 1 

John Archer 1 

Whether the latter was an unusually troublesome fellow, 
or whether the patentees were not inclined to pass lightly over 
any encroachment on their cherished meadows, the fact remains 
that from this time until his death John Archer was continually 
in hot water with one or more of the Harlem villagers. 

Chief among their troubles seemed to be the dispute as to 
who had the right to cut hay on the Westchester lowlands, which 
lie opposite the Speedway and Sherman's Creek district, called 
lots Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, "over against the spring," in Nicolls' 
second patent. 

Matters came to a head when Archer not only claimed these 
meadows, but also bought up the Papparinamin patent from the 
Matthys Jansen heirs. Nicolls was appealed to in haste, and 
not without alarm. Would the Governor sustain the village 
authority as Stuyvesant had done? Nicolls set their minds at 
rest by a preemptory order to Archer to keep off Harlem's lands 
in these words : 

1. Harlem Records. 

2. A florin is the same as a guilder. — 40 cents. 

3. From January 16 to July 22, 1667. 

4. Of a half vat each. 


A warrant to the Constable of Westchester, about some 
Meadow Ground Claimed by Harlem : 

Whereas I am informed that the inhabitants of 
Harlem have for divers years mowed their hay in the 
.Meadows on the other side of Harlem River, where John 
Archer of your town pretends an interest, by virtue of 
a patent granted for the Yonker's Land 1 to Hugh O'Neale 
and Mary his wife; These are to require you to warn 
the said John Archer, that he forbear cutting hay in those 
meadows this present season, and likewise that he do not 
presume to molest those of Harlem, until I shall be fully 
satisfied of the Titles on both parts, and give my judgment 
thereupon, to whom of right these Meadows do belong. 
Given under my hand at Fort James, in New York, this 
1 6th day of August, 1667. 

R. Nicolls. 

In spite of the fact that the Governor decided this point in 
Harlem's favor, Archer continued to trespass on the grazing 
ground. Not only this, his cattle seemed to share their master's 
love of the location. Four of them ventured on the lots in ques- 
tion, and were promptly locked in the pound. 

.Meanwhile Francis Lovelace succeeded Nicolls as Governor. 
Roosevelt's history calls the new executive "an archetypical 
cavalier," and it is not improbable that the favorite of the Duke 
of York was much more at home among courtiers than he was 
among backwoodsmen and pioneers. Harlem, obliged to put 
up with whatever material was supplied in the way of Governors, 
assumed that it need not succumb to Archer's cows, and a speedy 
complaint was forthwith laid before Lovelace, summoning Archer 
on two charges : 

"First: That upon pretense of a certain purchase, he lays 
claim to a parcel of land upon this island, near Spuyten Duyvil, 
which is within the limits and bounds of their Patent, and of 
right bclongeth to their Town." 

ond : That having seated himself very near unto some 
lots of meadow ground upon the main, belonging unto their 
Town, he is a daily trespasser upon them with his cattle, and 
that tli'- said ground, lying in length alongst the Creek or Kill, 
cannot without very great charge be fenced in." 

Archer replied that he owned the ground included in the 

Mat' tit issued by Kieft, having purchased it for 

Erom the heirs of the original patentee. But the Court 

ded that since Matthys Jansen's heirs had not worked the 

1. This relatef to the site on which the town of Yonkers is now located. 


Taken from the northeastern end of Manhattan Island looking toward 



The scene of the ferryman's and Archer's famous wrangles. 


land or settled upon it, the title was forfeited by the patents which 
Nicolls had issued to Harlem. 

This insistence by each succeeding Governor upon Harlem's 
right of possession, not only to the upper part of Manhattan 
Island, but to the lowlands opposite on the main land, fully forti- 
fied the Town in demanding of Governor Dongan, nineteen years 
later, the cintinued title to the Harlem properties, then vested 
in the patentees. 

Because Governor Nicolls had indicated that any such pur- 
chases from heirs under old, but unworked, groundbriefs was 
invalid, Lovelace rendered his decision in the Archer case : "It is 
adjudged that the land in controversy doth belong to the Town 
of Harlem, by virtue of their Patent." But the Governor recom- 
mended, "in regard the owners thereof have sustained loss upon 
the said land," to find means to pay them "so much as the first 
agreement for the sale thereof." 

On the second count Archer denied "any claim to the lots 
upon the Main, Nos. I, 2, 3, 4, with which he is charged; but 
hath purchased land near adjoining, that was the Yonker van der 
Donck's." Thereupon it was ordered "that the defendant do 
bring in the patent for the Yonker's land in fifteen days' time, 
with what right he hath to the land where he hath built ; at 
which time some person shall be appointed 1 to view the meadow 
belonging to Harlem, upon the Main, and to make a report how 
it may be preserved from the defendant's trespassing on it. 
Which persons shall also be ordered to view the passage at 
Spuyten Duyvil, how it may be made convenient for travellers 
and drift of cattle ; the ferry at Harlem being found incom- 
modious, and not answering to the ends formerly proposed." 

On November 15th, Archer tried to make good his title to' 
the Harlem meadows, but the Court decided against him, giving 
him a month more to find some further papers which he said 
he could produce. Harlem then relented. The little Archers, 
their father hinted, were without milk. "Well! let him have 
the cows," said the magistrates, moved by this simple appeal. 
The cattle were restored to the man of Westchester, upon 
the promise that he would take better care of them in future. 
As to the title: Archer failed to produce the papers or to make 
good his title even to the land on which he lived. But as Harlem 
had no desire for the land bevond its meadows, the affair ended in 
the restoring of the cows. 

1. First notice of settlement by arbitration at Harlem. 


Coincident with Archer's move to the north, Tourneur 
started to buy up the Hoorn's Hook patent. But the Archer 
matter having been so flatly decided in favor of Harlem, Tourneur 
desisted, and was given instead eighty-one acres on the Main, 
bordering on what the Indians called Mannepies Creek. 1 This 
grant, through the marriage of Esther Tourneur to Frederick 
De Voe, became vested in the De Voe ancestor, who was after- 
ward owner of the adjoining tract known as De Voe's Point. 

The close of this first year of Francis Lovelace's administra- 
tion 1 was marked by the launching of the first vessel built on the 
shores of the Harlem. 

Increased traffic on the river was paralleled by increased 
demand for a good road between New York and Harlem, sup- 
plementing Captain Delavall's plea for a wagon road between 
the towns, which should pass through his mill camp. Early in 
the following year the demand for this improvement had become 
so imperative that on February 22, 1669, Governor Lovelace 
held a court at Harlem to consider the road question "which hath 
heretofore been ordered and appointed, but as yet was never prose- 
cuted to effect," though "very necessary for mutual commerce 
with one another." 

The Governor and his associates thereupon took the fol- 
lowing method of bringing about the first wagon road between 
New York and New Harlem: 

It is this day ordered that a convenient wagonway 
be made between the City of New York and this place, 
to which end four commissioners shall be appointed, who 
are to view and consider of the most convenient passage 
to be made. 

That these four commissioners meet to view the said 
way on Thursday next, being the 25th of this instant 
month; and after having concluded upon it, that imme- 
diately they fall upon laying out the way, according to 
their former agreement thereupon ; that is to say, the 
neighbors of the Bowery and parts adjacent to clear the 
wa\ to be til for the passage of wagons, from New York 
to the Saw Kill ; :< and the Town of Harlem, from thence 
to their Town. That this way be laid out and cleared, 
according to the intent of this order, by the first day of 
Maj 1 

1. Now Cn n well's Creek which joins the Harlem River near Macomb's Dam Bridge, 

2. 1668. 

3. 741 li Strut and the East River; the end of the Harlem Line. 


That the appointed Commissioners, upon their con- 
clusion of the best way, do immediately give the Gov- 
ernor an account of their agreement, who thereupon will 
give order for the putting the same in execution. 

That the Commissioners of either party have hereby 
liberty to make inspection on the sufficiency or defect 
of each other, to the intent that there prove no failing in 
either of them. 1 

Another vital question, hinted at in the Archer trial, was: 
Where should the ferry be located? 

Verveelen was dissatisfied with the 125th Street site, because 
people chose to ford Spuyten Duyvil rather than use his scow 
and pay the necessary eight cents ; and the veteran ferryman was 
losing money. 

The Governor, too, recognized that Kingsbridge road was 
the natural post road between New York and New England. 
Moreover, it was much less dangerous than the village route. 
Hence he was very ready to grant Verveelen's petition to have 
the site removed to Spuyten Duyvil, which was referred by the 
Governor to the Mayor and Aldermen of the city, February 27, 
1669, in these terms : 

Whereas Johannes Verveelen, of New Harlem, hath 
preferred a petition unto me, in regard the ferry at 
Harlem is to be removed, and that the passage at Spuyten 
Duyvil is to be fitted and kept for passengers going to 
and from this island to the Main, as also for a drift for 
cattle and horses, that he may be admitted to keep the 
said passage ; the petitioner alleging, that having a 
promise from the late Governor, my predecessor, as also 
a confirmation from the Mayor and Aldermen of this 
City, that he should enjoy the benefit of the ferry at 
Harlem for five years, conditionally that he should pro- 
vide boats and other necessary accommodation for 
strangers, which accordingly he hath performed, but 
there is not as yet above two years of the time expired ; 
I have thought fit to refer the whole case of the Peti- 
tioner to the Mayor and Aldermen of this City, who are 
to return back to me their judgment and resolution 
therein. Whereupon I shall give order for the laying 
out of a piece of land near Spuyten Duyvil fit for the 
accommodation of the person that shall be appointed to 

z. Part of this road, which emerged from McGown's Pass, at 109th Street, either 
to continue up Harlem Lane (St. Nicholas Avenue) or to turn towards Harlem 
Village, was formerly laid out pursuant to an Act of Assembly of June 19, 1703. 
(See Hoffman ii, 249.) 



keep the ferry and passage there, as also for the relief 
of passengers and strangers. 

The Mayor and Aldermen concurring in the change of 
location of the ferry, Lovelace gave it his official sanction about 
the middle of the following July ; and thus a settlement was estab- 
lished by one of the patentees, at the far end of the island and 
some five miles from the village, on land that was unequivocally 
conceded, by the successor of the English Governor who made 
the grant, to belong to the Town of New Harlem. 

Ferryboat marks the course where, about two centuries ago, the dugout 
of Dr. Montagne passed on its way to the Harlem wilderness. 

[Arrow indicates where Old Church Lane ran.] 




N Verveelen's sign post over the Kingsbridge road, at the 
early Spuyten Duyvil ferry, the traveler, at the upper 
gateway to Manhattan Island, read this announcement: 

Ye Ferryman His Rates. 

For Lodging any person, 8 pence per night, in case they 

have a bed with sheets, and without sheets, 2 Pence in 


For transportation of any person, I Penny silver. 

For transportation of a man and horse, 7 Pence in silver. 

For a single horse, 6 Pence. 

For a turn with his boat, for 2 horses, 10 Pence, and for 

any more, 4 Pence apiece ; and if they be driven over, 

half as much. 

For single cattle, as much as a horse. 

For a boat loading of cattle, as he hath for horses. 

For droves of cattle to be driven over, and opening ye 

gates, 2 Pence p. piece. 

For feeding cattle, 3 Pence in silver. 

For feeding a horse one day or night with hay or grasse, 

6 Pence. 

Many were the duties of mine host at this time. Not only 
had he to keep in mind the exact fare for each passenger, but 
certain privileged persons were permitted to cross the creek free of 
charge. All the various classes of travellers and the rules by 
which Ferryman Verveelen was to be governed were drawn up 
in form of a lease which contained many curious features. The 
document read : 

Instructions for ye Ferryman at Spuyten Duyvil. 

Articles of Agreement Indented, consented unto 
and concluded upon, the 15th day of July, in the 21st year 
of his Majesty's reign, Annoq e Domini, 1669, Between the 


R 4 Hon ble Francis Lovelace, Esq r .' Governor Gen 1 un- 
der His Royal Highness James Duke of York and Al- 
bany, &c, of all his Territories in America, on the one part ; 
and Johannes Verveelen of New Harlem, on the Island 
Manhatans, Ferryman, on the other part, for and concern- 
ing the settling of a Ferry at the place commonly called 
Spuyten Duyvil, between this Island Manhatans and the 
new village called Fordham, as followeth, viz., that is to 

Imprimis, it is agreed, concluded upon and mutually 
consented unto, by and between the parties to these pres- 
ents, That the said Johannes Verveelen as Ferryman shall 
erect and provide a good and sufficient dwelling-house 
upon the Island or Neck of Land known by the name of 
Papparinamin, where he shall be furnished with three or 
four good beds for the entertainment of strangers, as also 
with provisions at all seasons, for them, their horses and 
cattle, together with stabling and stalling. 

That the Ferryman have a sufficient and able boat 
for the transportation of passengers, horses and cattle, 
upon all occasions. 

That the said Ferryman cause the Pass upon said 
Island, near unto Spuyten Duyvil, to be sufficiently fenced 
in, with a gate, to be kept locked, that no person may pass 
in or out without his permission. 

That the Ferryman do bear one-third part of the 
charge of making the bridge over the meadow ground to 
the Town of Fordham, who are to be at the remainder of 
the charge themselves. 

That the said Ferryman do give his due attendance 
at the said Ferry, either himself in person, or by one suffi- 
ciently deputed by him, so that nobody be interrupted in 
their passage to and fro, about their occasions, at season- 
able hours. Except in the case of emergency, where the 
public affairs are concerned, when the said Ferryman is 
to be ready at all seasons that he shall be called upon. 

And in case of neglect of the Ferrymen's duty, upon 
complaint of the party wronged to the Court of Mayor 
and Aldermen of this City, the said Ferryman shall incur 
such a Penalty as the Court shall adjudge, according to 
the merits of the case. 

In consideration of what is herein required to be done 
and performed by the said Johannes Verveelen as Ferry- 
man, he, the said Johannes Verveelen, shall, for the well 
execution of his office, have and receive as followeth, 
viz. : 

That the whole Island or Neck of Land called Pap- 


parinamin, whether encompassed with water or meadow 
ground, shall be alloted to the said Ferryman, together 
with the piece of meadow ground adjoining to it, lately 
laid out by Jacques Cortilyou, Surveyor, towards the ac- 
commodation of strangers, and the defraying of his 

That the said Island or Neck of Land and meadow 
ground, together with the housing, or whatever else he 
shall erect or build thereupon, together with the Ferry, 
and the benefits, privileges, and profits thereunto belong- 
ing, shall be and remain to the proper use and behoof of 
the said Johannes Verveelen and his assigns, for and dur- 
ing the term and space of eleven years, to commence from 
and after the 1st day of November, 1669. 

That for the first year, he, the said Johannes Ver- 
veelen, be Constable of the new Town of Fordham, which 
said Town or Village is to have its dependence upon the 
Mayor's Court of this City, in like manner as the Town of 
New Harlem hath ; They having liberty to try all small 
causes under five pounds amongst themselves, as is al- 
lowed in other Town Courts. 

That after the expiration of the said term and time 
of eleven years, he, the said Johannes Verveelen, if he so 
long shall live, and desire the same, shall have the first 
proffer to continue Ferryman ; or in case of his decease, 
his nearest relation or assign shall have preference before 
another, in being admitted to take the said Ferry to farm. 
But if it shall happen that another person shall be in- 
vested in the employment, the person so invested shall pay 
unto him, the said Johannes Verveelen, or his assigns, and 
make such satisfaction for his buildings, boats and other 
accommodations remaining thereupon, as shall be ad- 
judged by two indifferent persons to be chosen between 
both parties. 

That at the expiration of the term of eleven years, 
the said Johannes Verveelen or his assignee who shall ex- 
ercise the employment of Ferryman, shall be obliged to 
have the house tenantable, with a sufficient boat, and the 
fences and gates kept in repair, as they ought to be con- 
tinued all the time, so that no discouragement be given 
to passengers, nor the Ferry through any neglect be dis- 

That the Ferryman shall take and receive of all pas- 
sengers, whether alone or whether on horseback, drift of 
horses or cattle for lodging, diet, feeding, passage or 
ferrying, according to the rates in a table to that end 
directed and set forth. 


Provided always that all persons employed by special 
warrant from the Governor, or any Magistrate upon the 
public account, shall be exempted from paying either 
ferriage or passage for themselves or horses, as also such 
person or persons as shall at any time be summoned to 
appear in Arms, upon any emergent or extraordinary oc- 
casion, who are likewise to be free. 

Moreover if the Governor shall at any time within 
the term aforesaid think it convenient that a Fair shall 
be kept either in the City or any other part of the Island, 
It is also agreed upon, that all droves of cattle and horses 
passing over the said Ferry shall be free from payment, 
either in going thither or returning back, which privilege 
shall continue during the time of keeping the Fair, as 
also a day before and a day after its expiration. 

And lastly, the said Johannes Verveelen, or whoso- 
ever on his behalf shall keep the Ferry aforesaid, shall 
pay yearly and every year as a Quit rent to His Royal 
Highness, the sum of Ten Shillings. 

In testimony hereof the Parties to these Articles 
Indented have interchangeably put their hands and Seals 
the day and year first above written. 

Francis Lovelace, 
Johannes Verveelen. 
The key to Manhattan Island was thus securely placed in 
New Harlem hands, despite Archer's subsequent and frequent at- 
tempts to oust Verveelen from Papparinamin. Harlem's posi- 
tion, too, was strengthened by Lovelace's action soon afterward in 
ordering the merchants who had bought up the Jansen and Aert- 
sen patent to sell their interest to the Town of New Harlem for 
$300/ Harlem's banking privileges were thus called into action. 
Had Lovelace not taken this position, outsiders like Archer might 
have felt encouraged to buy up the old patents and settle on the 
land. But Lovelace so firmly upheld his predecessors on this 
point that Harlem had no occasion to feel doubt as to the security 
of its position. 

With these strategic points protected by one of their number 
whom they thoroughly trusted, the New Harlem patentees now 
gave up litigation for a time and settled down to a quiet village 

With the passing of the Colony into the hands of the English 

1. This $300 debt, soon to appear on the Town books as due to Paulus Richard of 

New York and a Brooklyn merchant named Thomas Lambert, strikingly illus- 

>• in the value of property in the neighborhood of Sherman's 

Creek on the upper end of the Island within the past 200 years. The Jansen 

and Acrtscn land is worth 1 on than a million dollars to-day. 


and the establishment of a permanent peace with the Indians, the 
stockade became obsolete and the village homes scattered beyond 
its narrow boundaries. 

The accompanying village map shows in detail the arrange- 
ment of the village streets and the situation of the different house- 

The house of Montagne the younger, on the Lane, was typi- 
cal, — a one-story wooden cottage, with long, sloping thatched roof, 
quaint dormer windows, with small square panes, and weather- 
beaten clap-boards fastened with large wrought nails. Of course, 
paint for the exterior of the houses was an unknown luxury in 
New Harlem at this time. Within doors a frequent whitewash- 
ing gave an appearance of wholesome cleanliness. 

Montagne's lot abutted on Church Lane and First Street. 
About the erf, with its staunch cottage and well-stored barn, 1 
ran a picket fence, shaded by poplars, with here and there 
an apple or peach tree, and overhung with lilacs. 

Across First Street from Montagne lived stern old Magis- 
trate Glaude Delamater, whose two erven, lettered c and d, ad- 
joined Kortright's, who owned e and f. Kortright was at this 
time coming into prominence in the town's affairs as successor to 
Verveelen at the ordinary, and he had also served one term with 
great credit as Constable. 

Kortright's newly-purchased inn was on lot I, where Ver- 
veelen had built it. Verveelen still retained lot /, with the ex- 
ception of the ground occupied by the inn. Entering the 
broad portal beneath a great sign, which extended fully six 
feet over the Indian trail near the Third Street corner, one 
would have seen the very prototype of Mynheer's Inn at Kort- 
right's old home in Schoonrewoerd. 2 Scattered over the floor 
was fine sand from the sea. About the room were crude tables, 
scrupulously white, and rough benches. Tankards bearing quaint 
Dutch mottoes hung invitingly along the shelves. Near the bar, 
at the side of the large square room, stood Kortright, Dutch pipe 
in hand, an ever-affable host. 

Opposite Kortright's home, on Second Street, lived Pierre 
Cresson. 3 As Brevoort, the patentee, was soon to succeed Cresson, 
it may be noted that Brevoort lived on this plot h. On lot g stood 

1. Schuer, the Dutch called it. 

2. Also the home of Jan Louwe Bogert who succeeded Montagne as owner of Mon- 

tagne's Point. 

3. Not mentioned among the patentees because he left town on May 23d, 1677, after 

selling his land to Jan Hendricks Brevoort. 


the house of Daniel Tourneur. On lots i and / lived Joost van 
Oblinus. 1 

Across Third Street from Oblinus, on lot k, lived Adolph 
Meyer, who served with distinction in the militia of the 
Town and rose to the rank of corporal. 

On lots m and n lived Lawrence Jansen Low, and across 
Fourth Street, on lots o and p were two of Captain Delavall's 
houses rented by his workmen. 2 

Beyond Sixth Street, on lots 19 and 20 of the Out-Gardens, 
lived Bussing. Passing his door and turning into the Indian 
trail one came first to Dyckman's home on lot No. 4 of Van Keu- 
len's Hook. Next door to Dyckman's, — on Van Keulen's Hook, 
lot No. 3, — lived the venerable and much-respected Isaac Ver- 

Near neighbor to Vermilye and Dyckman, on Van Keulen's 
Hook, lived Resolved Waklron, the former sheriff; and next to 
him, on the east, lived his son-in-law, Jan Nagel. 

Beyond Nagel, toward the water, stood William HaldronV 
cottage and the village smithy. Further to the south, near the 
foot of Pleasant Avenue and 124th Street, was the little cove 
where the villagers beached their canoes after a trip to the 

On lot i owned by Oblinus, 4 there lived at this time a man 
named Gerritsen, whose daughter Eva married an ancestor of the 
Bussing family. 

"In vain," says a description of Mrs. Bussing's house, 8 "we 
glance around the room for many articles which, in our day, im- 
perious fashion, and even comfort, demands. The furniture goes 
but little beyond the practical and useful. A gilded mirror, in- 
deed, adorns the whitewashed wall. The two beds have pillows 
and striped curtains. Two very convenient chests contain the 
clothing of Mrs. Gerritsen and her daughter, fair Eva, who, five 
years later, married Mr. Bussing. On one side is a small octagon 
table, and here a brass candlestick and a warming-pan. Upon 
hooks on the wall hang a musket and fire-lock. No stove is 
there, but in the ample fireplace the wood crackles and blazes 

1. Oblinus had served one term as magistrate. That his opinion was highly valued 

is shown by the reiterated line in the Harlem Records: "Done with the advice 
r.f Jnost van ' (Minus." 

2. Being in the favor of King Charles I and later of Charles II, Delavall spent most 

of his time in New Ynrk in close touch with affairs in London. Ilis term as 
Mayor of New York City also helped to make permanent his residence in New 
York instead of at Harlem where many of the Captain's most valuable interests 
were located. 

was throughout his existence at Harlem the village smith. 

4. ' itilimis afterwards sold his property to Johannes Benson. 

5. Hiker's "Harlem," p. 334. 


cheerfully above the huge back-log and around the two iron din- 
ner pots, hung to the trammel by hooks and chain. 

"On the table or shelves and in the pantry wc notice exactly 

1 pewter bowl, 2 small pewter platters, 4 pewter trenchers, 6 pew- 
ter spoons, a pewter cup with lid and another without, 2 white 
earthen jars, a copper cake pan, a small copper pot, a small brass 
kettle, 2 water pails, and 2 churns for butter-making. There is 
still place for 2 siths, 2 sickles and 2 augers. 

"We ascend to the 'loft.' 1 Here are 4 milk pans, 2 iron 
hand-basins, 2 tubs, a lye-barrel, a cask filled with buckwheat, 2 
ploughshares, a plough-chain and rope, a coulter, a yoke with a 
hook, 2 old sickles, an adze, and a sail mast, perhaps belonging 
to the canoe at the strand. 2 

"Invited out to the barn, 3 here is the garnered harvest, stores 
of rye, peas, and buckwheat in the sheaf, and 10 or 12 bundles of 
unswingled flax ; also, a fan, harrow and 2 iron forks. On the 
premises, fat and sleek in their sheds and stalls, are the live- 
stock : 2 yoke of oxen, 2 cows, 1 black, the other red ; 1 steer 
and 2 calves. Four young hogs are running upon Little Barent's 
Island. Other farming implements are at hand : 2 ox yokes, 

2 iron plough-rings, a wood-axe, 3 iron wedges, 2 hand-saws and 
a draw-saw, 2 iron-bound buckets and an iron lamp. 

"Ah ! here stands the ox cart, and here are 2 new cart 
wheels. The plough is missing ; left where Lubbert's last plough- 
ing was done, 4 out on one of the bouwlants 6 of which he has the 
Nos. 4 and 9 on Jochem Pieter's, with salt meadow, and out- 
garden No. 11 beside. 

"Busy bees still hum about, sucking sweets from the Fall 
flowers, with which to store the 7 hives in the garden, and hens 
as busily scratch and cluck about the barnyard." 

Separated as were these modest settlers from the pomp and 
gaiety which even in Stuyvesant's time had begun to mark the 
doings of the smart set in New York City, content if only allowed 
to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences, and 
satisfied to follow the plain habits of the Fatherland, few changes 
are found in the life and habits of the patentees during the few 
years which precede the Dongan patent. 

1. Although Harlem's dwellings at this time were but one story in height they had a 

loft in which strange collections came together. Sometimes grain was stored 
in the loft. Sometimes it served the purpose of an extra bedroom. 

2. The cove where the canoes were beached near Haldron's shop. 

3. These barns with squatty eaves and high ridges were the exact counterparts of the 


4. Lubbert Gerritsen, Eva's father, had just died suddenly. This description is thus 

rendered possible by an inventory of his goods taken immediately after the ten- 
ant's death. 

5. Farm lots. 


Inevitably the homely routine of life in the village was 
punctuated by death. Old settlers were carried to their last 
resting places in the little cemetery back of the church. Dr. 
Montagne, the pioneer, died in 1670. His son John died two 
years later. While the doctor's efforts, materially aiding the 
young colony, were put forth during the early days of the set- 
tlement, John's were of such a character as to be useful to the town 
after its incorporation, and his services as voorleser and school 
teacher, no less than his fame as an athlete and horseman, made 
his departure from the village life a conspicuous loss. 

It was shortly before John Montagne's death that Glaude 
Delamater and Hester du Bois, his wife, drew up this typical will : 

In the year of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
1670, the 15th April, appeared before me Jan La Mon- 
tagne, Junior, admitted Secretary of this Town by the 
Honorable Mayors Court, residing within the jurisdic- 
tion of New Harlem, Glaude le Maistre and Hester du 
Bois, husband and wife, of sound memory and understand- 
ing as externally appears ; and of mind to make a dispo- 
sition of their temporal estate. First, on resting in the 
Lord, they commit their souls into the hands of the Most 
High God, and their bodies to decent burial, and fifty 
guilders in sewant to the poor in this place. Secondly, 
they annul all testaments and codicils that before this 
were made, and declare this mutual testament to be their 
final will. One of them having deceased, the survivor 
is to continue in full possession till again married, when 
the marrying party shall place into the hands of two 
guardians thereto appointed by the Court, a full account 
of. all ; remaining in possession until the children arrive at 
age, or are married with the consent of father or mother : 
on condition of placing in the hands of the guardians a 
mortgage upon the real estate, so the same be not alien- 
ated. Excluding or renouncing herewith all Orphan 
Courts, or laws which may conflict with these provisions. 
In presence of David Demarest, Joost van Oblinus 
and Marcus du Sauchoy, as witnesses hereto requested, 
and who beside the testators, have subscribed to these 
presents. Dated as above. 

Glaude le Maistre 
D. B. 
David Demarest. This is the mark of 

J. van Oblinus, Hester du Bois. 

Marc du Sauchoy. 

With my knowledge, 

J. Lamontagne, Junior, Sec'y. 

Where it crosses the Harlem line. 

[Arrow points to wall running on center line] 


Not only were the patentees interested in the division of 
property after death, but an incident, occasioned by the intended 
removal to New York of Constable Jaques Cresson, brought out 
the fact that the division of lands between living owners was not 
always harmonious and peaceable. One reason for this was 
possibly the generous measurement which characterized the 
first surveys of the farm lots. Afterward as the farms were 
developed to their farthest bounds these dividing lines came 
to be a matter of moment. In closing his accounts Cresson an- 
nounced that Wouter Gerritsen's fines for not keeping his fences 
in order, as required by law, were 43 guilders 10 stivers. This 
vexed Wouter's wife, who declared that the loss was more than 
she could stand, and, overcome with vexation, she scolded the 
magistrates, and even went so far as to call Waldron an uytsuyper 
(drunkard). The staid magistrate immediately called her to ac- 
count with a fine of $2.40 and costs. 

The choosing of magistrates from among neighbors who 
seemed, when off the bench, to be just as human as their fellows, 
led to many similar questionings of their official decisions. Note- 
worthy among these, because of the animosity displayed, was the 
dispute between Pierre Cresson and Magistrate Delamater, to 
whom the former had leased his farm. Things had not gone 
smoothly between them for some time past, when a friend reported 
to Cresson the death of one of his oxen. In the dispute which 
followed, Cresson accused Delamater of allowing the ox to die 
through neglect. Delamater is said to have replied that Cresson 
was "a villain for driving away his wife" (Mrs. Cresson being 
out of town at the time). Cresson took the matter to court where 
Delamater sat as magistrate, and in the latter's august official 
presence announced that he felt no more than justice would be 
done if he were to slap his honor's face. The ox seems to have 
been lost sight of at this juncture, for Delamater was fined $4.80 
by his brother magistrates for letting his temper get the better 
of him, and Cresson had to pay a similar fine for talking dis- 
respectfully of the bench. 

Toward the expiration of Delamater's lease the court, which 
subsequently ordered payment for the ox, was advised that 
one of the farm tools was broken. Delamater said it was at the 
blacksmith's, being mended. Cresson, on being saddled with the 
charges of this hearing, held his temper as best he could; but 
when Delamater, as a member of the court, ordered Cresson to 
fetch the mended tool from the smithy, and in addition fined the 
owner another $4.80 for the trouble he had caused their honors, 


Cresson complained bitterly. "Have I got to pay this fine?" he 
exclaimed angrily. "Well, then!" he shouted, on receiving an 
affirmative answer, "you are unjust judges!" But this did not 
seem to adequately express his feelings, for he added: 
"Instead of judges, you are devils !" The court promptly ordered 
the irate offender to be locked up, and, muttering threats of 
vengeance, Cresson was led away to the village lock-up. "That 
settles it !" exclaimed the French refugee after the Constable had 
left him to think it over behind the bars, "I will leave town as 
soon as possible." And forthwith, on April 15th, 1671, 
on being released from jail, he made good his threat, 
which explains why Pierre Cresson's name is not found among 
the Dongan patentees, though it does appear on the previous 
tax lists of the village. 

For an authentic description of the manner in which the 
village property was held about this period no more reliable 
record presents itself than these same tax lists. One of them was 
made up in May, 1670, when Captain Matthias Nicolls, the 
colonial secretary, presented his bill of $132.80 for his services 
in connection with the second Nicolls patent. To meet this obli- 
gation an assessment on the erven and bouwlants was determined 
upon by the villagers, each erf being taxed at the rate of 2 florins 
7 stivers and each acre of farm land being assessed 6 stivers. It 
should be added, however, that the farm lots on Montagne's Flat 
and Montagne's Point, the last named, at the time the 
list was made, being occupied by Jan Montagne and his family, 
were not taxed. But instead, it was ordained that the young 
schoolmaster should pay a small tax on. his share of the Calf 
Pasture (now Mt. Morris Park). Here is the list of owners and 
their holdings, together with the amounts of individual assess- 
ments : 




MAY ist, 1670. 

Thomas Delavall . . . 

Glaude le Maistre . . 
Cornells Jansen .... 

Jean le Roy 

Daniel Tourneur. . . 

Lubbert Gerritsen . . 
Johannes Verveelen . 

David des Marest.. . 
Johannes Vermelje. . 
Joost van Oblinus . . 
Conrad Hendricksen 

Pierre Cresson 

Resolved Waldron. . 

Jan Nagel 

Jean des Marest. . . . 
Isaac Vermeille .... 

Jaques Cresson 

Jan La Montagne. . . 






Amount of 

f. 40:11 




I9: J 3 

I3 :I 4 



7 = 15 






<— ° 


> £ 



J. P. Flat. 

3. I 2 . x 9, 

20, 21, 22 

14, 15 
2, 18 
1, 17 

4, 9 


Van J. 

12, 13, 

16, 22 

6, 15 


17, 18, 

7, 8, 
*of 4, 
I of 9 

I of 5 


2, 3. 
I of 4, 
iof 9 

(small tax for the Calf Pasture which is illegible 

tof 5 
in the 

Of the $132.80 due Captain Nicolls, it is evident that only 195 
guilders were paid in the first installment, for shortly afterward 
the following list of the town debts was issued by Resolved 
Waldron, showing a balance of 137 florins still due the secre- 

To Mr. John Sharp f. 

" Abraham la Noy 

" Daniel Tourneur 

" Johannes Vermelje 

" Resolved Waldron 

" Joost van Oblinus 

" Meyndert Maljaart 

" Pierre Cresson 

" Glaude le Maistre 

" David des Marest 

" Jean le Roy 

" Nicolls, for the Patent 

" Paulus Richard, for the land at Spuyten 


" Johannes Verveelen 




















Trifling as these amounts seem, the largest of which (300 
florins) amounted to only $120, Harlem's debts weighed heavily 
upon the villagers in those days. Added to the account just men- 
tioned were the taxes for the wages of the voorleser and the 
sexton, and the other church expenses, not to mention the cost 
of completing the road between New York and Harlem. 

To properly provide for Hendrick Jansen Vander Vin, a for- 
mer freeholder of Harlem, summoned to act as voorleser and 
schoolmaster, in the place of John Montagne, Jr., resigned, the 
villagers voluntarily subscribed the following loads of firewood, 
together with a suitable dwelling house and a salary of 400 florins 
($160) annually : 

Resolved Waldron, Glaude Delamater and Joost van Oblinus 
each 12 loads of firewood; David Demarest, Pieter Roelofsen, 
Jan Xagel and Lubbert Gerritsen, each 6 loads. John Montagne, 
Jr., agreed to pay 42 cents yearly towards his successor's salary. 
To aid in making up Vander Vin's munificent salary of $160, the 
town lot, garden and meadow were leased to a newly-arrived citi- 
zen for $48 a year. On a fair estimate one small corner of this 
property is now worth $500,000. 

Nor was the voorleser's salary the greatest of the cares which 
weighed upon the Town's shoulders. The New York- 
New Harlem road was practically impassable north of the 
Fresh Pond, — now the site of the Tombs prison, and to rectify 
matters, the Mayor's Court, on April 18th, 1671, passed the follow- 
ing resolution : 

"Whereas the carriage road between this City and 
New Harlem is impassable ; and this Worshipful Court 
considering it necessary that a carriage road be main- 
tained between this City and the above-named village: 
It is therefore ordered and directed by the W. Court that 
the magistrates of New Harlem and the overseers of the 
highways beyond the Fresh Water shall lay out together 
the most suitable work, and that then, on the first day of 
the next coming month of May, the said road shall be 
made fit for use, by the inhabitants of the village of Har- 
lem, and the householders, both on this and the other side 
of the Fresh Water, each for his limits, and that on such 
tialty as shall be fixed by said magistrates and over- 

Immediately thereafter overseers were appointed to carry for- 
ward the work on the road, but that their efforts were unavailing 
is seen in another order from the Mayor's Court on February 13th 
of the n< . empowering "Mr. Cornelis van Ruyven and 


Overlooking the end of Blackwell's Island, Hallet's Point, Hellgate, 
and Hellgate Bay, stands this old mansion on what is known as East Rives 
Park. Rumor has it that the house was built by a noted smuggler of the 
eighteenth century; certainly the rocks and caves in the East River, near at 
hand, might have afforded a safe retreat for law breakers. The mansion, 



Mr. Isaac Becllo, aldermen, to cause the former orders for making 
a good wagon path betwixt this city and the Town of Harlem to 
be put into strict execution." 

Meanwhile there was a recurrence of the trouble with 
Archer. The blotter of the court which Mayor Delavall held 
at Harlem on September 8th, 1671, contains the following entries: 

1. Complainant of David Demarest 1 against John Archer, for 
mowing grass in his meadow at Spuyten Duyvil, being No. I 
on the Westchester side. 

2. Complaint of Martin Hardewyn, of Fordham, against 
Archer, for breaking down his fences. 

3. Complaint of Marcus du Sauchoy, of Fordham, against 
Archer, for throwing his furniture out of doors. 

4. Complaint of Johannes Verveelen against Archer. 

The outgrowth of these various complaints was an order 
that the "defendant, John Archer, behave himself for the future, 
civilly and quietly against the inhabitants of the said Town, as 
he will answer the contrary at his peril." Harlem followed 
this up with : "And it is further ordered, that all small differences, 
which for the future shall happen to fall out at Fordham afore- 
said, shall be decided at Harlem by the Magistrates of Fordham, 
with the assistance of two Magistrates of Harlem aforesaid, except 
those of Fordham will be at the charge to satisfy the Magistrates 
of Harlem for coming up to their Town of Fordham." 

This resolution was the last drop in Archer's over-flowing cup 
of bitterness against Harlem, and he appealed to Governor Love- 
lace to incorporate Fordham in an effort to evade Harlem's juris- 
diction. Governor Lovelace granted the petition, possibly with 
the idea of holding Archer within his own bounds. But if this re- 
sult was expected, the Governor was to be disappointed, for Ver- 
veelen complained shortly afterwards that Archer was again 
trespassing on Harlem's meadow land at Papparinamin. Dis- 
gusted with these petty quarrels, Lovelace sought to adjust affairs 
between the disputants by means of the following resolution: 

Whereas the Meadow Ground or Valley by the 
Creek beneath the town of Fordham at Spuyten Duyvil is 
claimed by some of the inhabitants of New Harlem, but 
is at so great distance from them and lying unfenced, and 
so near the Town of Fordham that those of Harlem can 
receive little or no benefit thereby, as the inhabitants of 

1. Demarest, who lived for a time on lot b, then bought out Montagne and occupied 
both a and b. He is not mentioned in the Dongan charter sixteen years later, 
because in 1677 he sold his Harlem property, paid the Town in full and 
removed with his family to Hackensack, where he settled on a two-mile-square 
tract commonly called the French Patent. 


Fordham cannot avoid being daily trespassers there, if the 
property shall continue to Harlem : To prevent all further 
cavils and contests upon that subject, as also for an en- 
couragement to that new Plantation, as well as in compen- 
sation to those of Harlem for their interest which they 
shall quit at Spuyten Duyvil ; I do hereby promise and en- 
gage that some convenient piece of meadow being found 
out at or near Bronx Land, in my disposal, I shall grant 
and confirm the same unto the persons concerned ; pro- 
vided the said grant do not greatly prejudice the rest of 
Bronx Land when it shall be settled ; and I do refer this 
matter to Daniel Tourneur and David des Marest, with 
John Archer, to make inquiry hereunto, and make report 
thereof unto me with all convenient expedition. Given, 
etc., this 9th day of November, 1672. 

Francis Lovelace. 
Lovelace's order proved of no avail, notwithstanding his 
earnest effort to play the role of peacemaker between Harlem and 
Archer. Either no suitable meadow not already owned by Har- 
lem was located in the Bronx, or Harlem did not choose to relin- 
quish what it had so long fought for and retained ; for the 
meadows still remained in the village custody, and were included 
by Dongan in the final patent issued to New Harlem. 

Proof positive that these external disorders did not interrupt 
the course of Harlem's domestic affairs is given in an extract from 
the records of bans at New York City, "entered by consent of the 
Worshipful Mayor of this City," (New York), and according to 
custom published in the church: 

Feb. 1 8th, 1671, William Waldron, born at Amsterdam, with 
Engeltie Stoutenburgh, of New York. Present, Resolved 
Waldron and Peter Stoutenburgh. 

April 29th, Adolph Meyer, young man, born at Uslen, in 
Westphalia, with Maria Verveelen, born at Amsterdam. 

Only a short time before Jan Nagel had won from Waldron 
his daughter Rebecca, and the latter's sister Aeltie had left home 
as the wife of young Johannes Vermilye. Cupid and the fine 
orchards surrounding Church Lane were making note- 
worthy changes in the households of the original patentees. The 
young town had a cheerful philosophy. Occasions for additional 
fines for stray oxen, cows and hogs were turned into scenes of 
merriment. At the settlement of the fines on October 25th, 1671, 
Kortright was fined because two of his horses had strayed upon 
the bouwlant without a herder. Two of Waldron's and one of 
Adolph Meyer's had done the same thing, and a pair of oxen 


belonging to David Demarest, one of Delavall's hogs and two of 
Pieter Roelofson's, three hogs belonging to Waldron and Nagel, 
and a yoke of oxen owned by Jean le Roy, had committed similar 
offenses. The entire bill of 74 florins 8 stivers was satisfactorily 
arranged over numerous tankards of Kortright's beer, for which 
his bill against Harlem was $16.04, itemized as follows: 

Cornelius Jansen Kortright, Credit, 
Drank at the settlement of the fines, the 25th 

Oct. 1671, at two bouts f. 34 : o 

Also for Mr. Arent, engaged at writing, 2 vans 

(quarts) beer I : 12 

Further, after the settlement was concluded, also 

drank 5 vans beer and I muts (gill) rum. ... 4 : 10 

f. 40 : 2 

In the gathering at Kortright's appears a new figure, but 
one which becomes familiar in the chronicles of the village, — 
that of Jan Louwe Bogert, of Schoonrewoerd, a Mannheim 
refugee, who reached America in 1663, originally settled in Bed- 
ford, L. I., and succeeded John Montagne as owner of Rechawanes 
(Montagne's Point) in the Spring of 1672. 

Shortly after Bogert's coming occurred the death of the 
former owner of the Point, whose last official entry as Secretary 
of the Town mentioned an altercation between David Demarest 
and Glaude Delamater, in which Delamater kicked Demarest. 
Demarest retaliated by hitting the Magistrate on the breast with 
a stone. In the Mayor's Court at New York Demarest was put 
under bonds to keep the peace. 

In Montagne's death Harlem church sustained a loss which 
seemed, for the time, irreparable. Vander Vin, of whom 
mention has been made, took Montagne's place, and in many 
ways successfully filled the positions of trust involved. To him, 
Resolved Waldron, on January 16th, 1673, "with the advice of 
the Constable and Magistrates," delivered the Town's valuable 
papers, which included: 

No. 1. Patent of the town N. Harlem, in the English. 

2. Patent of the said town, in Dutch. 

3. Two confirmations of the same, in English. 

4. Patent in Dutch. 

5. Ordinance of the Mayor's Court. 

6. Extract from the Mayor's Court. 

7. Procuratie ad lites. 

8. Groundbrief of Spuyten Duyvil. 


Naturally, Vander Vin was somewhat perplexed at the com- 
plications in the Town books, and at a meeting of the free- 
holders it was decided to call upon Pieter Roelofsen, then living 
at Mespat Kills, to give an account of the Town affairs during 
his term as Constable. With the former Constable's help, matters 
were straightened out at a meeting of the burghers on February 
4th and 5th, 1673, at which Roelofsen presented a statement of the 
receipts and disbursements of his office during the two previous 
years. From this it seems he had collected 76 florins 10 stivers, in 
part payment to John Sharp, a New York Notary Public, who had 
doubtless been called upon to witness several of the deeds, wills, 
etc., executed by Montagne, the "balance being more than covered 
bv a load of wood, 20 florins, delivered to the notary by Resolved 

The Town was not at its ease about its various debts, and 
at the second day's meeting it was resolved to advertise for credi- 
tors and for a statement of their claims against the corporation. On 
March 6th, according to the advertisement, these claims were 
due at Vander Vin's office, and on this day the freeholders met. 
"It was found," reads the Secretary's account, "that the accounts 
of J. La Montagne and J. Verveelen upon their books concern- 
ing the town, were balanced on the 15th of February, 1671, and 
that there is due Verveelen from the town 87 guilders 10 stivers, 
and that Montagne is charged with 208 guilders for his particular, 
or as having been collector ; so that the town has no further in- 
terest in their transactions but to let them rest, and from now for- 
ward to make up new accounts of the town's debts, and to find the 
means to discharge and pay the same." The list of debts is then 
given under a caption reading : 

A°. 1673, the 6th March. List of the Creditors of 
the town of N. Harlem, as a part were given in the 5th 
January, 1671, and now are found, to wit: 

John Sharp, according to account f. 92 

Abraham La Nov or Fredr. Gysbertsen 68 

Daniel Tourneur jt, 

Johannes Vermelje 24 

Resolved Waldron 41 

Joost van Oblinus 6 

Meyndert Journee 3 

! '< i<-r Cresson 4 

Cornells Jansen 2 

Claude le Maistre 6 

1 )avid des Marcst 2 

Jean le Roy 4 














Capt. Nicolls for the patent 332 

Johannes Verveelen 87 

Paulus Richard for the land at Spuyten Duyvil . 300 

For two years' interest @ 6 % 36 

Metje Wessels 26 

For the preacher when the confirming of elder 

and deacons happened 24 

For fare to Theunis Crey 6 

To victuals and drink 35 





Total 1 175 

Also due Warner Wessels 8 

and Cornells Jansen 36 

Notwithstanding the fact that several accounts had been par- 
tially paid, as in the case of Captain Nicolls, another assessment 
was levied upon the town to meet this debt, the proportionate 
amounts of which were for each erf, 16 guilders 6 stivers, and for 
each morgen of land, 3 guilders 14 stivers. 

The assessment, now that John Montagne's interests in the 
Point had passed to Bogert, developed the necessity of more ac- 
curately defining the Point and suggested the possibility of the 
new owners producing the old Montagne groundbrief to substan- 
tiate their claim to surrounding territory. 

Therefore Vander Vin executed the following peculiarly- 
worded paper: 

Upon this day, 8th March, 1673, appeared before me, 
Hendrick J. Vandervin, Secretary, admitted by the Hon. 
Mayor's Court at New York, residing at the village New 
Haerlem ; the undersigned inhabitants of N. Haerlem, as 
also owners and possessors of the land called Montagne's 
Flat, lying under this Town's jurisdiction; who together 
promised to inclose the aforesaid piece of land in a com- 
mon fence, and to use, until the building, planting, or 
dwelling on, or as every of them shall think proper to do 
with his part ; and if it happen that they in common or 
either separately should be troubled by any one, who 
would bring the ownership and possession in question, 
and would offer them jointly or either singly, any moles- 
tation concerning it, on account of the ownership of the 
aforesaid land ; therefore the undersigned covenant, jointly 
or each separately, to defend them there-against, and to 
maintain one another in their rights (which they have 
in the same) : protesting against such as to all costs, 
damages, or losses which, by any interference, they jointly, 
or either in particular, may be put to. In witness of the 
sincerity of these above standing conditions, this has been 


written, and subscribed with our hands. Thus done and 
passed at N. Haerlem, on the date as above. 

David des Marest 
Claude Le Laistre 
Daniel Tourneur 
cornelis jansen 
Resolved Waldron 

This mark made 
Lourens X Jansen 

by himself 
Jan Dyckman 
In presence of me 

Hendr J. Vandr. Vin, Secretary. 

Having thus publicly given notice that they would dispute 
any claimant to Montagne's Flat, the town patentees proceeded to 
fence it in until such time as the owners should indicate their 
individual pleasure regarding the lots, and thus probably shut 
off the movement to restore the Flat to the Doctor's descendants. 

In the Spring of the same year the will of Pierre Cresson 
was executed. It reads : 

Pierre Cresson and Rachel Cloos his wife, both being 
sound of body, do give, . . . etc., and whereas 
their daughter Susannah has enjoyed as a marriage por- 
tion the value of 200 guilders, so the testators will that 
at the decease of the longest liver each of their other 
children then living shall draw the like 200 guilders, and 
our youngest son Elie, if he is under the age of 16 
years, also a new suit of clothes becoming to his person, 
from head to foot. 

Under Vander Vin the religious services and all church 
matters were still conducted with clock-like regularity. The col- 
lections of the church now averaged eighty cents per Sunday. 
Besides the Sunday services the Voorbereyding (Preparation for 
the Lord's Supper) was observed on the Friday preceding its 
quarterly celebration in March, June, September and December; 
also Kersdag (Christmas), Palm Sunday, Paasche (Passover 
or Easter), Hemelvaarts-dag (Ascension day) and Pinxter 
(Whitsuntide). Allerheylingen (All Saints' Day) was not 
included in the category, but was often mentioned, as in the 
case of agreement with the Town's herder, as the time for the 
expiration or beginning of contracts and other legal documents. 

It may be imagined that there was great horror and dismay 
when the quiet of the Sabbath day (March 30th, 1673) was broken 
by a stabbing affray in the heart of the village. Scurrying 


spectators on Church Lane found Demarest with torn clothing; 
Samuel Demarest, his son, equally dishevelled ; young Daniel 
Tourneur, Jr., looking much the worse for conflict, and Magis- 
trate Tourneur himself, also an evident participant in the fray. 
Beside the Magistrate stood his prospective son-in-law, Dyckman, 
with drawn knife still in hand. Excited peacemakers held the 
still more excited participants, while good housewives ran in the 
way of the Constable who sought to bring some order from the 

The affray was nowise novel, — simply a furious bout, grow- 
ing out of a taunt, and involving many more than the original 
disputants. Yet it had a curiously disproportionate prominence 
in the interests and annals of so small a community ; and it might 
have had even more had not matters of greater moment impended. 
All merely local excitements were obscured by a tremendous 
event, — the appearance of a Dutch fleet in the harbors of English 
New York. 




THE news that the Dutch were again masters of New York 
was received in New Harlem with enthusiasm. Vander 
Vin's confirmatory bulletin ran thus: "This day, ioth 
August, 1673, New Style, have the Holland and Zeeland fleets 
captured the Fort at N. York, in the name of their High Mighti- 
nesses the Lords States General of the United Netherlands, and 
His Highness the Lord Prince of Orange; and the Fort is re- 
named Willem Hendrick, and the city obtained the name New 

While a group of the villagers was occupied at Kortright's, 
on Third Street, over beer and political gossip, a messenger 
rode into town with the following message: 

To the Inhabitants of the Town of N. Haerlem. 

You will, by authority of the High Commanders and 
Council of War residing in the fort Willem Hendrick, 
appoint two persons from your village as deputies, and 
with the same send your Constable's staff and town ensign, 
on the day after to-morrow, being Monday, in order then 
to talk with us ; whereon depending, we remain, after 
greetings, your friends, 

The Schout, Burgomasters and Schepens 
of the City of N. Orange. 

By order of the same 

N. Bayard, Secretary. 
N. Orange, 19th August, 

1673, New Style. 
To this New Harlem thereupon made answer in these de- 
lighted terms: 

T< 1 1 »m irable 1 <ords, the Schout, Burgomasters 

and Schepens, at the City of New Orange. 
We, Inhabitants at the village X. Eaerlem, pursuant 
to vour Honors' writing of the 1 < >th instant, by authority 
mmanders and the Council of War, resid- 
ing in fort Willem Hendrick, send by these the Con- 
stable's staff (having no ensign), besides two deputi 
from us, to receive such orders as your Honors shall 

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find to pertain to the welfare and benefit of this town ; 
whereupon we shall rely, praying God to preserve your 
Honors in a prosperous, just and enduring government; 
in the meanwhile remaining your Honors' dutiful, willing 
subjects, the Inhabitants of the town of N. Haerlem, 
August 21st, 1673, New Style. 

By order of the same, 

H. J. Vander Vin, Secretary. 

The New Harlem delegates thus summoned returned with 
the following letter, issuing the first call for an election of Magis- 
trates under the new government: 

To the Inhabitants of the town of New Harlem : 

You are by these, by authority of the Noble Burgo- 
masters and Schepens of this City of New Orange, 
ordered, for your town's folks and the dependant neigh- 
borhood, on the morrow to assemble, and by a general 
vote to nominate eight from the same as Magistrates (all 
such being also of the Reformed Christian Religion), out 
of which said nomination we shall elect four as Magis- 
trates for your town ; whereon we relying, remain your 

The Burgomasters and Schepens 

of the City of New Orange, 
22d August, 1673. 

By order of the same, 

N. Bayard, Secretary. 

Obedient to his commands a meeting was held the fol- 
lowing day and Hendrick J. Vander Vin was nominated to suc- 
ceed himself as Secretary of the town. David Demarest, Joost 
van Oblinus, Lubbert Gerritsen, Cornells Jansen Kortright, 
Resolved Waldron, Adolph Meyer, Arent Harmanse Bussing, and 
Jan Nagel, were nominated as Magistrates. From this list, Wal- 
dron, Demarest, Oblinus and Bussing were chosen, — Waldron 
being elected to the position of Schout, and Vander Vin being 
continued in his Secretaryship. 

Their oath of allegiance, subsequently taken by all taxpayers, 

We promise and swear, in the presence of Almighty 
God, unto their High Mightinesses the Lords States Gen- 
eral of the United Netherlands, and His Highness the 
Lord Prince of Orange, and their Governor already 
placed here, or hereafter to be appointed, to be beholden 
and faithful, and in all circumstances to behave us as 
trusty and obedient subjects are bound to do. So truly 
help us, God Almighty. 


Those who signed the oath were divided into two classes, 
under and over 60 years of age. Of the latter there were five men 
living in the village: Glaude le Maistre (Delamater), Pierre 
Cresson, Jean Le Roy, Claes Carstensen, Isaac Vermeille (Ver- 
milye). Of the former there were 22: Lubbert Gerritsen, Cor- 
nelis Jansen Kortright, Meyndert Journee, Adolph Meyer, 
Simeon Cornier, Jan Louwe Bogert, Jean Demarest, Jan Dyck- 
man, Daniel Tourneur, Jan Nagel, Samuel Pell, Robert Hollis 
John Smith, Jan Delamater, David Demarest, Jr., Samuel Dem- 
arest, Jaco el Roey, Evert Alrichs, Jochem Engelbert, Coenraet 
Hendricks, Cornelius Theunisz, Gabriel Carbosie. 

Carbosie was Delavall's miller ; Jan Delamater, and 
those whose names followed his, were young unmaried 
men ; Robert Hollis was a young English soldier, who had come 
over with Governor Nicolls, and who did not return when his 
Colonel and Captain Delavall went back to England, but 
remained at New Harlem, and was made a Corporal in the 
Night Watch, December 6, 1675, after which he probably returned 
to Brooklyn, where he had formerly kept an inn. Carstensen, the 
only other to be mentioned at present, was the old Indian scout 
and interpreter. It was acknowledged that Carstensen had seen 
better days. Out of good fellowship, however, he was allowed 
to live in the village for the remainder of his life, with the 
understanding that his heirs were to retain no interest in his 

With the taking of the oath the townspeople began to feel 
more in touch with the home government, to which they were 
indebted for much that was dear to them in their religious wor- 
ship. Everyone accordingly was in a peculiarly tender and 
grateful mood on the Sunday following the Dutch con- 
quest of Manhattan. On the occasion the collection of the 
Harlem church was swelled to the unheard sum of $1.60, and, 
as if to prove beyond all cavil that he was not backward in ex- 
pressing his hearty co-operation with and love for the new 
regime, Vander Vin, the Secretary, gave a schepel of wheat. 

These cheerful reports reaching the ears of the Worshipful 
Court at New Orange, the Powers concluded that this would 
be the best time to call for palisades to bolster up the defenses of 
the Fort, — for it was believed that England would not let Man- 
hattan go without a fight. 

Therefore Harlem was called upon to furnish "800 pieces 
of great palisades, 14 feet long, I foot thick and under." Without 
a murmur the young men of the town received orders to put 


the family axes in commission, while the elders held a meeting 
and with excellent goodwill volunteered many sticks beyond 
the amount they were called upon to cut in the first 
distribution of the work. Bussing and Dyckman even went 
so far as to say that they would cut twenty posts each. John 
Nagel and Jean Demarest, moved by the general spirit of good- 
will, said they would go their brothers five better. The Widow 
Montagne, not to be outdone by the men of the Corporation, 
ordered her hired man (Evert Alrichs) to equal Bussing's contri- 
bution. Miller Carbosie said he could spare time enough to cut 
sixteen, and the young sons of Demarest offered to cut twenty-six 
between them, Jan Delamater, twelve, and Oblinus' hired man, 
Cornelius Theunisz, volunteered seven posts. The Town agreed 
to haul the timber to a suitable place on the strand, whence it 
could be transported down the Harlem and East Rivers to 
the Battery. 

The rivalry of patriotism thus entered the village life. 
With an admirable spirit the townspeople turned to the care of 
the property of those exiled by the political coup. Delavall's 
horses, and those of Colonel Nicolls, were running at large 
through the Harlem woods. These must be rounded up, and the 
Captain's large landed interests taken care of until the New 
Orange authorities should dispose of them. Then, too, Delavall 
owed money to the town, and these facts began to occupy the at- 
tention of the Harlem court, which was passing through one of 
the busiest eras of its history. 

One of the claims mentioned was made by Pierre Cres- 
son, who protested that Delavall had not kept up his fences as 
he had agreed to do. Another was for repairing the mill on Mon- 
tagne's Creek. Just at this point Delavall's man of affairs fled, 
leaving the entire estate, valued at £5,000, entirely on Harlem's 
hands. Waldron was thereupon directed to manage the estate. 
The Orange authorities also commanded that no strangers be al- 
lowed to cross the ferry. A close watch was put on all the sur- 
rounding country ; but not content with these precautionary 
measures, Governor Anthony Colve, who had been appointed by 
Holland as Nicolls' successor, ordered New Harlem to organize 
a militia. This was done at once, and the first roster ran : 

Company One, — Jan Nagel, Corporal ; Privates Joost 
van Oblinus, Jan Helmont, Jean Delamater, Jean le Roy 
and Robert Hollis. 

Company Two, — Simeon Cornier, Corporal ; Privates 


Lubbert Gerritsen, Samuel Pell, Jacque el Roe, Barent 
Waldron, Samuel Demarest. 

Company Three, — Jan Dyckman, Corporal ; Privates, 
Arent Harmanse Bussing, David Demarest, Jr., Jan 
Tinker,. Conradus Hendricksen, Cornelis Theunissen. 

Company Four, — Adolph Meyer, Corporal ; Laurens 
Matthyssen, David Demarest, Daniel Tourneur, Jochem 
Engelbert, Meyndert Journee. 

The hardy yeomen, called upon to cut twelve-inch posts by 
day, and perchance to spend the night either at 125th Street or 
Spuyten Duyvil, on the lookout for the enemy, led no easy life 
while these strenuous conditions lasted. 

Harlem's next court official to be sworn into office was 
Barent Waldron, who got the position of Court Messenger. 
Harlem was rising in the world. If New Orange could 
have a Court Messenger, surely from among her youths one 
could be found to fill a similar position in Harlem. In addition 
to a uniform, young Waldron was furnished with a commission, 
which cautioned all whom it might concern that they were not to 
interfere with the young man in the performance of his duties. 
The next day after his appointment, Miller Carbosie complained 
that Bogert threatened to shoot any of the miller's cattle that 
might stray across the mill dam. "Why don't you mind your 
fences," asked the Magistrate of Bogert. This pleased Carbosie. 
"Why not, indeed." The Court was not through. "Why don't you 
mend your fence about the mill dam?" the Magistrate now asked 
of Carbosie. It was Bogert's turn to exult. However, both 
were warned to put their fences in such repair that similar com- 
plaints should not burden the councils of the Court. 

The day after Joost van Oblinus complained that his 
man, Adrian Sammis, had been beaten by former Magistrate 
Dekimatcr, the latter using a stick to emphasize his remarks to 
Sammis, who was "deaf, dumb, and paralytic." Delamater 
admitted the beating, but said it was not done with a stick. 

rnelia Waldron had seen the affair, 

. and corroborated the charge that it was done with a 

stick. Delan I the case, and was sentenced to pay $2.40, 

red to "draw in his fence by the point of his 

low forthwith, within the time of two months, without 
r delay." 

t on the calendar was a curious resolution relating to 
the q hal to planl and what not to plant on Jochem 

lid Van i Hook. The document reads: 


Is resolved and found good to establish that in the 
coming year, 1674, the tilled land on Jochem Pieter's shall 
be exempt from any after-planting of buckwheat, pump- 
kins, turnips, or any summer fruits, that the cattle of this 
village (after the crop is off the field) may pasture 
thereon ; and the land Van Keulen's Hook shall in the 
same year, 1674, be sown and planted with summer 
fruits ; and in the year 1675, on the contrary, Van Keu- 
len's Hook from summer fruits shall remain implanted 
and unsown, and Jochem Pieter's again shall be sown as 
above ; running so from year to year, alternately, the 
one to be sown by summer fruits and the other left un- 
sown, for reasons as above. 

Another curious document issued by the new Governor, 
Colve, on Oct. 1st, was bulletined in Harlem, and read: 

Provisional Instructions to the Schout and Magis- 
trates of the Town of New Harlem. 

1. The Schout and Magistrates each in their sphere 
shall have a care that the Reformed Christian Religion 
shall be maintained conformably by the Synod of Dord- 
recht, held in the years 1618 and 1619, without suffering 
it, through any other persuasion thereto opposed, to be in 
anywise altered. 

2. The Schout, so far as possible, shall be present 
and preside at all meetings. But when he acts for himself 
as a party, or respecting the right of his Lords Patroons, 
or in behalf of justice, on such occasion, he shall stand 
up and vacate the bench, and at that time neither advise nor 
vote ; but the oldest Schepen shall preside in his place. 

3. All cases of government, of the security and 
peace of the inhabitants, also of justice betwixt man and 
man, shall be determined by the Magistrates of the afore- 
said Town by definitive sentences to the amount of sixty 
guilders in beavers, or less. But in all cases exceeding 
this sum, every one shall be free to appeal to the Hon. 
Governor General and Council here. 

4. In case of diversity of voices, the minority must 
yield to the majority, yet permitting those of the contrary 
opinion to record and sign their protest ; but in no wise to 
publish such outside the meeting, on pain of arbitrary 

5. Whenever in the Court any cases shall occur, in 
which any Magistrate shall be concerned as a party, in 
such case the Magistrate shall rise up and leave his seat, 
as before is directed in the case of the Schout. 

6. All the inhabitants of aforesaid Town shall be 
citable before the said Schout and Schepens, who shall 


hold their sessions and courts as often as the same shall 
be necessary. 

7. All criminal offenses may be referred to the 
Governor General and Council, saving that the Schout 
shall be obligated the criminal offenders to apprehend, 
to arrest and to detain, and as prisoners, under proper 
security to deliver over to the High Magistracy, together 
with good and true information of the offenses com- 
mitted ; at the expense of the offenders or the prosecutor. 

8. Minor offenses, such as quarrels, injuries, slan- 
ders, threats, fist blows, and such like, are left to the ad- 
judication and decision of the Magistrates of each par- 
ticular town. 

9. The Schout and Schepens shall be authorized, for 
the peace and tranquility of the inhabitants in their dis- 
trict, to make any orders for the regulating of highways, 
setting off lands and gardens, and whatever like things 
as relate to farm lands ; also for the observance of the 
Sabbath, respecting the building of churches, of schools, 
and similar public works ; also against fighting and 
striking and such like minor offenses ; provided the same 
do not conflict with, but are conformable unto the laws 
of our Fatherland and the statutes of this province ; and 
to this end all orders of importance, before they are pro- 
mulgated, shall be presented to the High Magistracy for 
their approval. 

10. Said Schout and Schepens shall be held closely 
to observe and execute all the placards and ordinances 
which shall be enacted and published by the High 
Magistracy, and not to permit anything to be done con- 
trary thereto ; further to proceed against the trans- 
gressors according to the tenor of the same : and to exe- 
cute promptly such orders as the Governor General from 
time to time shall send to them. 

11. The Schout and Schepens shall also be bound 
to acknowledge their High Mightinesses, the Lords States 
General of the United Netherlands, and his Serene High- 
ness, the Lord Prince of Orange, as their Sovereign 
Rulers, and to maintain their high jurisdiction, right and 
dominion in this land. 

12. The choice of all minor officers and assistants 
to the said Schout and Schepens (alone excepting the Sec- 
retary's office) shall be made and confirmed by them- 

13. The Schout shall personally, or by his substi- 
tutes, put in execution all the sentences of the Schepens, 
without releasing anybody, except with the advice of the 


Court ; also take good care that the places under his con- 
trol shall be purged from all rascality, gambling, baudy- 
houses, and such like immoralities. 

14. The Schout shall enjoy the half of all civil fines 
accruing during his term of office, together with a third 
part of the allowance coming to the respective towns 
from criminal cases ; wherefore he shall receive no pres- 
ents, directly or indirectly, forbidden by the laws. 

15. At the time of election, the Schout and Schepens 
shall nominate a double number of the best qualified, 
honest, intelligent and most wealthy inhabitants, and 
only those who are of the Reformed Christian Religion, 
or at least well disposed thereto, as Schepens, and to be 
presented to His Honor the Governor, from whom by 
him the election shall be made, with the continuation of 
some of the old in case his Honor shall deem it necessary. 
Done at the fort Willem Hendrick the First of October, 
A°. 1673. - 

By order of the Honbl Governor General 

and Council of New Netherland, 

N. Bayard, Secretary. 

Empowered with such high-sounding authority, New Har- 
lem's magistrates felt fully equipped to impress Archer with the 
futility of further disputing the town's claims to Papparinamin. 
Harlemites were not astonished, therefore, when Governor Colve 
held his first court at Harlem and called Archer to account on 
complaint of some Fordham inhabitants, to see their arch-foe 
resign of his own accord from the government of Fordham, 
and willingly submit to the appointment by Colve of Magistrates 
and other officers drawn partly from Harlem. Moreover, Ver- 
veelen, Archer's particular foe, was made Fordham's Secretary. 
Archer retired to his estates in despair. 

Two days afterward the members of the Town of New 
Harlem met again to consider what should be done with Dela- 
vall's debts, which had now been itemized in this fashion: 

For his part of the Preacher's salary, as per 

list of Jan. 16 preceeding f. 66 : 16 

" his share of the general expenses of the 

town, as per list of Mar. 6th 242 : 16 

" the 4 gardens sold him off the Clover 

Pasture 100 : o 

" wages for labor in making his fences .... 84 : o 

493 • I2 


To the 493 florins mentioned must be added the cutting and 
hauling of 140 palisades. It was suggested that an itemized state- 
ment of the lands owned by the absent Captain be read by the 
Secretary. The latter having consulted his books announced: 
"On Jochem Pieter's, in 9 lots, 54 morgen ; on Keulen's Hook, 
in 2 lots, 6 morgen ; together, 1 1 lots, 60 morgen. In the village, 
2 houses and erven, and meadows for hay in proportion." 

Someone then suggested that it would be well to advise the 
Governor of Delavall's absence, of his debts to New Harlem, 
and incidentally ask for the Calf Pasture (Mt. Morris Park) in 
compensation for the Captain's arrears. Suspecting that England 
might still have an interest in the colony, and wishing to avoid 
international entanglements, Colve adroitly answered by suggest- 
ing not the confiscation but the use of the Calf Pasture until the 
Captain's affairs should be definitely settled. 

To the Noble, Right Honorable Lord, the Governor of 

New Netherland. 

Respectfully make known the Schout and Rulers of 
the Town New Haerlem, in the name and on behalf of 
their common Inhabitants, your Excellency's subjects, how 
that they the petitioners are entitled to a considerable sum 
of money from Capt. Thos. Delavall, on account of bur- 
dens and charges which by this town some years hither 
are borne upon the lands, houses, and house lots (erven), 
of the Inhabitants, being shown by the assessments and 
accounts thereof kept from time to time ; and the aforesaid 
Thomas Delavall having possessed extraordinary parcels 
of land, as also houses and house lots, for his quota has 
done, contributed, or paid not one stiver to the discharging 
of the Town's debts, to the great grievance of the commun- 
ity. 'Tis now such, that at this village lies a small strip of 
land, between the two common streets, reaching west to 
common land named the Clover Pasture, having ap- 
pertained to the above-mentioned Delavall, who upon 
some of the same ground (die op de gront desselffs), is 
now remaining indebted to this town 100 guilders ; So it 
is that they the petitioners, in quality as above, humbly 
request your Excellency to be pleased to grant and confer 
upon them the petitioners, as property, in recompense for 
the said arrears, the said small strip of land, so that the 
Inhabitants aforesaid may use it for a Calf Pasture (as 
the calves have little driving out), the which to nobody's 
prejudice is tending, but which may serve for the com- 
mon convenience and the inheritance (oirbor) of this 
town and its Inhabitants ; hereupon awaiting your Ex- 
cellency's favorable answer, remain meanwhile and at 



--.: ft 

When the Dyckman farm first rented for two hens a year for seven 
years, the lease included a clause binding the lessors to plant fifty trees for 
the benefit of the lessees. standing on the site of this old dyckman property 
are the trees here pictured, the chimneys of the third avenue power house, 
at 216TH Street, showing in the distance. 


The lands on the left were formerly Jochem Pieter's lots: on the right 
stretched away the salt marshes, considered invaluable for pasturage. over 
this bridge now pass hundreds of trains daily. the picture is taken from the 
Third Avenue bridge, at the point where the first wooden structure crossed 
the Harlem River. 


all times your Excellency's right willing servants, etc. 
N. Haerlem, 19th October, A 9 . 1673. 

Resalvert Waldron 

David des Marest 

joost van obeinus 

Arenz Hermensen Bussing 
This answer was returned: 

Answer. The Petitioners are allowed to use the 
small Clover Pasture requested, provisionally, till such 
time as orders shall be taken about the affairs of Capt. 
Delavall. In the meantime the Petitioners to bring in 
their proper claim to the curators to be chosen thereto. 
Done in Fort Willem Hendrick, on the date 23d October, 
A°. 1673. 

By order of the Governor General of N. Nether- 
land and the Hon. Council, 

N. Bayard, Secretary. 

The most weighty question then was the renewing of the 
services of Secretary Vander Vin, whose salary was fixed at $160, 
as formerly. To descendants of the prominent tax-payers of the 
day in Harlem, this list of voluntary contributors to Vander 
Vin's salary should be interesting: 

The Free-Will Contributions to the Voorleser's office for this 
ensuing year: 

Resolved Waldron f . 30 : o 

Glaude le Maistre (declined to renew his 

Jean le Maistre 4 : o 

Joost van Oblinus 25 : o 

Daniel Tourneur 30 : o 

Adolph Meyer 30 : o 

David des Marest 15 : o 

Arent Hermens Bussing 8 : o 

Pierre Cresson 4 : o 

Lubbert Gerritsen 20 : o 

Cornelis Jansen Kortright 20 : o 

Jan Nagel 15 : o 

Jean le Roy 6 : o 

Jan Dyckman 8 : o 

Meynard Journee 16 : o 

The Widow of Jan La Montagne 

Jan Louwe Bogert 

Simeon Cornier 

Jean le Roy, rent of the town's allotment 120 : o 


Rent of the meadows, beginning ist May, 1671, 
of which are to pay each year : 

David des Marest f . 24 : o 

Jan Nagcl 10 : 7 

Lubbert Gerritsen 10 : 7 

Johannes Vermelje 10 : 7 55 : 1 

This generosity of the town brought the Secretary and Yoor- 
leser $2.42 over and above his salary for the year. 

Vander Vin's first act in his fourth term as Secretary was 
to record the resolution to form corporalships, or companies, 
whose membership has been noted above, for the purpose of 
guarding against invasion by the English. The resolution read: 

A°. 1673, the 7th November, Tuesday. 

Present, Schout, Magistrates and all the Inhabitants 
of this village collected. 

Whereas, by daily reports we are informed that some 
wicked and insolent persons of the English nation, their 
riotings make about these countries, threatening to give 
one and another some molestation and trouble by robbing 
and burning; before which threats those of us who live 
outside will not prove secure. But as much that is feasible 
to be done rests upon our care, through heed and keeping 
watch upon such as may be disposed to do the same 
some hurt and damage, owing to their ability to escape 
away to a great distance ; So it is that we, Schout, Magis- 
trates and the whole community, being assembled, have 
found good and deemed necessary to watch by turns dur- 
ing the nights ; and that it may take place more orderly, we 
have thought it necessary to appoint a suitable person as 
Captain, to command as many as go on watch, to whom we 
promise obedience and submission in all that which he shall 
therein command, upon forfeiture of the fines also here- 
by ordered ; and by a majority of votes is thereunto chosen 
and confirmed the person Cornells Jansen Kortright 
as Captain. And moreover, the community are divided 
into four companies or corporalships, in order, by turns 
with their fellow soldiers to keep the night watch, and 
to go the rounds as needful, and each his arms to keep 
ready, provided with powder and lead as required. Who- 
ever neglects the watch without lawful reason, or those 
whose arms are not ready, wanting necessary powder and 
lead, or the command of the Captain, or his Corporal 
oppose, shall forfeit each time three guilders, for the use 
of the whole company. Thus done at N. Haerlem, the 
7th November, 1673. 
Still more curious was the next document to be posted on 

% ( f^H>- 

rH 2s> -gs^m- 

f; H£&h-£Z+ 

£ ^r*$-&y^'&£~^^ /feifSO 



Vander Vin's bulletin board. This was issued by Governor 
Colve in honor of the re-establishment of the new government 
and the old religion, and calling for days of thanksgiving there- 
for, preceded by a sort of a peace protocol: 

Honest, Beloved, Faithful, the Schout and Magis- 
trates of the village Haerlem. 
Honest, Beloved, Faithful, 

These serve to accompany the enclosed proclamation 
of a general day of thanksgiving, fasting and prayer, 
which you are required to publish at the usual time and 
place, and to take care that it be observed after the tenot 
thereof; let also the enclosed be seasonably sent on to the 
village of Fordham. Whereon relying, I remain, after 
greetings, your friend, 

A. Colve. 
Fort Willem Hendrick, 
20th Nov. 1673. 

The sonorous proclamation moved in the following terms: 

Honest, Beloved, Faithful, 

Considering the manifold blessings and benefits 
wherewith the only good and merciful God has favored 
this province and its inhabitants, of which by no means 
the least is their fortunate restoration under their former 
lawful and natural rulers, and that which is above all to 
be prized, the continuance of the reformed worship, which 
also, like all other blessings and benefits to us, not only 
imposes a debt of gratitude, but also in truth, humility 
and repentance for our manifold and weighty sins, so 
that the Almighty God may continue his blessings, and 
this land and people be freed from His righteous judge- 
ments and well-deserved punishment ; Therefore it is that 
we have judged it highly necessary by these to ordain 
and proclaim a general day for thanks, fasting, and 
prayer, which everywhere within this province shall be 
observed every first Wednesday in each month, beginning 
on Wednesday, the 6th December next coming, and so 
following on each first Wednesday in the month. And 
that all may be the better practised and observed, so are 
by these interdicted and forbidden on the aforesaid thank, 
fast and prayer day, all labor, and play of tennis-court, 
ball-tossing, fishing, hunting, gaming, sailing, dice-play- 
ing, excessive drinking, and all tapping of liquors by inn 
keepers ; the whole upon penalty of arbitrary correction. 
For the observance of the same, the Magistrates, Officers 
and Justices of this province to whom these shall be sent, 
are required and charged strictly to provide that the 


View from Montagne's Point (105TH Street) looking south on the Harlem 
River. On the right is the 96T11 Street Power House. On the left cs Ward's 



View from East River Park. In the centre is the lighthouse of Black- 
well's Island, opposite the foot of East 86th Street; on the left Hallett's 
Point; in the foreground can be seen the swirling tides of the East River, at 
the point where it joins the Harlem and the waters of Long Island Sound. 


transgressors be proceeded against as they should be ; and 
to make known this our proclamation by timely publica- 
tion where such is necessary. Herewith committing you 
to the protection of the Most High; Honest, Beloved, 

Your affectionate friend, 

A. Colve. 
Fort Willem Hendrick, 
15th Nov. 1673. 

How the town spent the day without "play of tennis-court, 
ball-tossing, fishing, hunting, gaming, sailing, dice-playing, or 
excessive drinking," is not stated in the records. Overseer Lub- 
bert Gerritsen, whose house has already been described, died on 
the same day. 

The village rejoicings were intensified by a startling rumor. 
Had there been sensational newspapers in the township, the 
headlines might have read in this way: 


Disclosure of Plot to Murder the 


There was, indeed, an arrest that spread much alarm. The 
Night Watch received special instructions to be on the lookout 
for similar offenders, for it was supposed that the prisoner was 
one of a band sworn to raze New Harlem to the ground. 

Upon the offender's trial this deposition was taken: 

William Smith, aged about 46 years, inhabitant of 
Fordham, declareth upon oath that Francois Beado, now 
in prison, about six weeks ago came to the deponent at 
Fordham and inquired what neighbors he had ; then say- 
ing further that he had a commission from the . . . 
on this side Canada, to burn, take, kill and ruin all the 
Dutch ; because he and his father and cousin had lost 
by them about 800 pounds, which he was resolved to get 
again ; and when this deponent questioned his commission, 
the copy of which he did read to the deponent, he, the 
said Beado, replied that if he had no other, his sword and 


his half-pike (which he had in his hand) was his com- 
mission, the Dutch being his enemies, — and the second 
day after the said Beado came again to the deponent, and 
said he was beset by three rogues, but that he had two 
friends in the woods with whom he was resolved to meet 
them ; inquiring further what woman Michiel 1 lastiaensen, 
his wife was, saying that he would burn Mr. Verveelen's 
and the said Michiel's house, but he was afraid that the 
said woman would betray him, she having seen his half- 
pike ; and desired further that this deponent would warn 
Mr. Gibbs, who quartered at Michiel's house, of his in- 

Beado is said to have "confessed without torture," and was 
sentenced to be publicly branded on the back with a red-hot iron, 
and to be banished from the province for 25 years. And this 
sentence was executed on December 20, 1673. 

Upon the heels of this event came an order which com- 
manded Harlemites to be ready at a moment's notice to trans- 
port themselves, their families, and all their valuables, to New 
York : 

To the Schout, Magistrates and Inhabitants of the Towns 

of New Haerlem and Fordham : 
Good Friends ; 

On last Tuesday week I had some conference in the 
town of Midwout with the Magistrates and chief officers 
of all the Dutch towns situated on Long Island, concern- 
ing the present condition of the country, and had wished 
indeed that time and the season of the year had permitted 
me to visit you the same as the rest ; but time not allowing 
this, I have therefore deemed it necessary hereby to in- 
cite you to your duty, and with many of the other good 
inhabitants to fulfil your oath and honor, whereof I enter- 
tain not the least doubt, being herein partly assured by 
the Schouts of your respective towns. Therefore nothing 
remains but to recommend you to keep a wakeful eye on 
all designs which may be concocted against this province 
or yourselves in particular, and always to be ready to 
transport your families and moveables hither, on certain 
information of the enemy's approach, or on special com- 
mand from me ; and that such may be executed in good 
order, Schout Resolved Waldron is hereby appointed chief 
officer of the militia of the towns of Harlem and Ford- 
ham, with order to communicate these presents to the 
inhabitants of said towns, who, for the preservation of 
better order in each town, are hereby required to choose 


a Sergeant, and not to fail to give me information of all 
that occurs. Whereupon replying, I remain, 

Your friend, 

A. Colve. 
Fort Willem Hendrick, 
27th Xber, 1673. 

Vander Vin's entry on the town books at this time shows 
the effect of Governor Colve's order upon the congregation. 
"Owing to the daily reports of the coming of the English," reads 
the entry, "the inhabitants being fled with their families and mov- 
able goods, little was collected and found at the date of January 
21, 1674." 

Fortunately for the villagers a local trial of two Fordham- 
ites for the shooting of a hog distracted attention from 
groundless fears of a foe. Hendrick Kiersen and Ryer 
Michielsen were the prisoners at the bar, — the latter a cousin of 
Kortright, who gave bail for the prisoners. The affair attracted 
more than usual attention, as involving the principal of shooting 
hogs indiscriminately, but it also determined the fact that such 
cases should be tried by Harlem, unless "some criminal intent 
could be shown." Before this conclusion was reached, how- 
ever, the case was carried back and forth between New York 
and Harlem for a considerable time. 

The minutes of the examination serve to illustrate features 
of life in this era, and, incidentally, the method of cross-question- 
ing of the day: 

On 5th Feb. Monday. 
Present the Heeren 

Resolved Waldron, Schout 
David des Marest ") 

Joost van Oblinus r Magistrates. 

Arent Harmansen Bussing ) 

Interrogatories to be put to Reyer Michielsen and 
Hendrick Kiersen, both living at Fordham, about the 
shooting of a hog upon this Island, belonging to Jean le 
Maistre, &c. 

Q. What is your name? 

Ans. 1. Reyer Michielsen; 2. Hendrick Kiersen. 
Q. Where were you born? 

Ans. 1. In the Prince's Land, about Schoonrewoert ; 
2. At Giest, in the land of Drent. 
Q. How old are you? 
Ans. 1. About 20 years; 2. About 25 years. 


Q. Who has given you orders to shoot hogs upon this 
Island ? 

Arts. i. No one has given orders; 2. Thought not 
that he was doing wrong to fetch his own hog. 

Q. You knew well that you might hunt no hogs upon 
this Island, without the knowledge of Magistrates of N. 
Haarlem ? 

Ans. 1. Well knew that such was the order under 
the English rule, but knew not that it continued under the 
Dutch ; 2. As above. 

Q. Why do you shoot other people's hogs ? 

Ans. 1. Knew not that it was another person's hog, 
but his brother-in-law, Hendrick Kiersen, said that it was 
his ; 2. Thought that it was his own hog. 

O. When you had shot the hog, did you not well 
know that it was not yours? 

Ans. 1. Knew well that it was not my hog, but my 
brother-in-law still knew not better than 'twas his own ; 
2. Knew not better than 't was his own hog. 

Q. Why did you not take it away at the first ? 

Ans. 1. Because that he, having shot a deer, there- 
upon for that time had enough to carry; 2. That they 
had to carry a deer. 

Q. Why did you skin the hog? 

Ans. 1. Because I saw. that in the night it would 
freeze and then the hair would not come off ; 2. Because 
that he thought to be his and therewith might do as he 
saw fit. 

Q. Why did you carry it in sacks ? 

Ans. 1. Because he thought that they could carry 
it better in sacks ; 2. Because it was to be better carried 
in sacks ; but has not been near there. 

Q. Why sought you to conceal it when you per- 
ceived our folks ? 

Ans. 1. Denied that; and said he had no thought to 
hide the sacks. 

Q. Why did you not fetch the hog the next day? 

Ans. 1. Because the kill was frozen, and the canoe 
could not get off ; 2. That he was busy with threshing, 
and also gave it no thought, as it was a lean hog. 

As we have noted, the official life of the town was much 
occupied with details, trifling to record, but of sometimes 
momentous interest. There were to be more strict regulations 
as to hog shooting, and since some of the Lovelace and 
Delavall horses were still at large in the woods where Cen- 
tral Park is now located, the Governor and Council, on April 


18, 1674, "issued a stringent order in regard to the offense of 
shooting hogs in the common woods of this island, without the 
consent of the Harlem or city authorities," and in regard to the 
horses, added : "And the Magistrates of Harlem are hereby 
notified to employ the whole community on the second day of 
the coming Whitsuntide to collect and drive into their village 
all the horses belonging unto former Governor Lovelace, Cap- 
tain Delavall, and other of the late English officials." 

This was practically the last official document issued to 
Harlem by the revered Dutch government at New York, for 
now came news that peace had been declared between England 
and Holland. More disheartening still, Secretary Bayard an- 
nounced that New Netherland had been ceded by Holland to 
England; that New Orange was again to be called New York; 
that the fast-days were to be postponed for eight days, and to 
be changed into a day of "thanksgiving"; and that "on July II, 
1674, in the forenoon, religious service should be held and the 
proclamation of peace published." 

New Harlem's transports of joy were over, but with all her 
burdens or regrets, the town nevertheless prepared herself with 
admirable philosophy for a change in administration. 

One of Harlem's domestic affairs to be settled while yet 
her Dutch friends were in nominal authority was the church's 
standing, in order that Colve on his return to Holland might 
tell those of the Fatherland, who were still maintaining a close 
interest in New Harlem's affairs, that there was no lukewarmness 
in spiritual matters. On October 29th Dominie Nieuwenhuysen, 
having come to Harlem to install a new deacon to serve with 
Joost van Oblinus, the church books were reviewed with the 
aid of Heer van Cortlandt, one of the city elders. Accounts of 
the church for the previous three years were audited and found 
correct. In this period "there had been collected" according to 
a report of the clerk 1 "on the Sabbath, fast-days, and Fridays, 
for the preparation for the communion (as also on Christmas, 
when services were held and the largest collection realized), 
the sum of 184 florins, 9 stivers, and 8 pennings (about $73), 
from which 71 florins had been expended in alms, etc., leaving 
a balance of 113 florins, 9 stivers, and 8 pennings, in the deacon's 
chest." Thereupon Secretary Vander Vin closed with the fol- 
lowing formal entry: 

On the date, 29th October, 1674, these accounts col- 
lected, and agreeing with the above donations, are found 

1. Riker's History, p. 353. 


to be correct, with the assistance of the Heer Olof Stevens 
van Cortlandt, Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ in the 
city of New Orange, and the same are also closed. 

"Dominie Nieuwenhuysen," continued the account, "had 
already had a useful ministry ; since he came, about twenty of 
the Harlem people had been received to church membership, 
mostly young men and women. The last accessions were Adolph 
Meyer, Cornells Jansen Kortright, Conrad Hendricksen and 
Jean le Maistre (Delamater), on March ist preceding; and the 
next were received December 13th following, namely, Barent 
Waldron, his sister Ruth, afterward Mrs. Jean le Maistre (Dela- 
mater), and Eva Gerritsen, afterwards Mrs. Bussing." 

In the same pages appeared this entry by Vander Vin: 

1674, the 10th November, New, or 31st October, Old 
Style, was the fort Willem Hendrick again to the English 
governor yielded up, and the Governor, A. Colve, with 
his people, therefrom departed ; the fort again named Fort 
James, and the city New York. 

New Harlem was again a British possession. 



GOVERNOR Andros having duly restored the English form 
of government, the Mayor's Court resumed its former 
jurisdiction, and by its command New Harlem was to 
nominate candidates for the offices of Constable and Magistrates, 
to take the places of the Schout and Schepens. At the resulting 
election Schout Waldron was superceded by Constable Demarest ; 
Kortright left his bar to take his seat as Overseer, and Oblinus, 
Meyer, and Dyckman, were retained as Magistrates. 

To the new court thus established the Widow Tourneur 
carried the first business by summoning an old antagonist, Eliza- 
beth Nightengale Disosway, who had many times previously 
accused Tourneur senior of killing a man at his old home in 
France. Mrs. Disosway appealed to the court at New York, 
where the following record of the case was entered on January 19, 

The Def fc brought into y° Court her suplicatory peti- 
con, in w ch was her acknowledgm* for her wrong and 
injury to y e Pit 3 husband ; w ch y e Court accepted off, con- 
ditionally she behaved her selfe well, and pay all costs. 

At the end of three months, the offense being repeated, Mrs. 
Disosway was once more summoned to court, but the magistrates, 
tired of the charge, threw the case out as "a vexatious suit," 
and advised the complainant to "forget the charge." The 
accusation against Tourneur had its foundation in the fact that 
the elder Tourneur had drawn his sword in self-defense, in 
company with several of his companions, during a political 
quarrel in France. In the course of the melee a man was killed. 
Tourneur, with others, fled. The Disosways had held this taunt 
over Tourneur's head whenever the Magistrates displeased them. 
Madame Tourneur and her son Daniel suffered so much annoy- 
ance from the story that they finally rented their village property 
and moved over to Montagne's Flat, where the young man had 
holdings inherited from his father. Accordingly, Michael Bas- 


tiasen and his son-in-law, Hendick Kiersen (who became famous 
through their seven year lease from Dyckman and Nagel of 
the Sherman Creek meadows), hired from Mrs. Tourneur and 
her son on January I, 1675, their Jochem Pieter's and Van Keu- 
len's farms, together with "house, barn, orchard, and meadows, 
stock, and farming tools, for three years from May 1st ensuing." 
Later the Tourneurs and the Disosways patched up their differ- 
ences, settled up some old claims, and the affair dropped out 
of the village gossip with the removal of the latter family to 
Staten Island, in April, 1684. Thus it is that Marc Disosway's 
name is not mentioned in the later Dongan Patent. 

Vander Vin's regular list of the voluntary contributors to the 
village expenses, while containing several new names, gradually 
narrowed down to the 23 patentees afterward named by Dongan 
as members of the Town of New Harlem. The list reads: 

Resolved Waldron f . 30 

Joost van Oblinus 38 

Cornells Jansen Kortright 25 

Jan Dykeman 10 

Adolph Meyer 14 

Jan Louwe Bogert 30 

Daniel Tourneur 30 

Meynard Journee 16 

Jan Nagel 18 

Maria Montague 10 

Jean le Maistre (Delamater) 10 

Arent Hermens Bussing 8 

Conradus Hendricks 8 

Lourens Jansen Low 8 

Barent Waldron 6 

Pierre Cresson 4 

David des Marest, Jr 4 

Isaac Vermeille 3 

Total 272 

That David Demarest should refuse to pay any further tax 
for the support of a Dutch voorleser was only another sign of 
the times. People had been expecting the break. But now that 
the French refugees, including Nicholas De Vaux, had arrived, 
the townsman from old Mannheim buried himself in their books, 
the Holy Scriptures in French, the French Psalm Book, the 
Book of Martyrs, and other theological works, and church af- 
fairs took on a less exclusively Dutch cast. Not the least dis- 
mayed by his attitude and that of Glaude Delamater, who also 


This illustration shows the upper boundary of MonTagne's Flat, — 123D 
Street, looking toward the Hudson River. In the distance is Grant's Tomb, 
just below the Northern end of the HarlEm line, which crosses 123D Street 
at an angle marked by the first apartment house on the left. next on the 
left stands the ruins of one of washington's old block-houses, erected during 
the Revolution, while to the south stretch away the beautiful woods and 
lawns of Montagne's Flat, now Morningside Park. 


Old cannon still mark the spot where our troops threw up embankments 
in 1776 and 1812. On this site a column of Lord Howe's army encamped on the 
eve of the battle of harlem heights. overlooking, as it does, the h.nri.em 
Lake at the end of Central Park, this site is one much sought by lovers of 



refused to pay his quota, the town made up the deficiency in 
Vander Vin's salary by the rent of the town lot, which was 120 
guilders ($48) a year. Two years Demarest lingered in town 
before removing to Hackensack, but the French books had done 
their work. Harlem was not then able to support two congre- 

Another sign of the disaffection of those who were not in 
sympathy with the Dutch, was the departure of Nicholas De 
Meyer, and the division of his holdings between the Low and 
Kortright families ; and Harlem was suddenly found to be in the 
hands of a score of shrewd, well-to-do, educated, conservative 
men, trained in the school of strenuous experience to safely guide 
their precious commonwealth. 

To those heirs who bear the name De Graaf (the Dutch 
for Le Comte) an incident of this same season will be inter- 
esting. With the French refugees who came over in Dongan's 
ship was a man named Jean Le Comte, his wife Mary Laurens, 
and their one child, Moses. This little family was about the 
last of the new-comers to reach Harlem, and when its members 
arrived the town found itself in the embarassing position of 
having no vacant house to offer them. Constable Demarest 
rose to the occasion, however, took his brother refugee to his 
own fireside, stored the Le Comte household goods in the 
Demarest barn, and prepared to make merry, when a terrible 
illness, which, in the words of Demarest, "no chirurgeons could 
help," overcame Le Comte, and he died. Half of the estate, 
amounting to exactly $242.40, was set aside for little Moses, by 
the widow Le Comte. When Moses afterward married the 
daughter of Glaude Delamater, his legacy, together with that set- 
tled upon him by the Delamaters, founded the fortunes of the 
Le Comte family. 

Another arrival, who was afterward spoken of as a "person 
of quality," appeared on Harlem's stage about this time in the 
person of Captain James Carteret. Just before the war between 
England and Holland, Captain Carteret had married Frances, 
daughter of Captain Delavall. On their honeymoon, which 
included a trip to Virginia, the Carterets' ship was captured 
by the Dutch, but the newly-wedded pair were allowed to pro- 
ceed unmolested on their journey, with no greater excitement 
than that of having peered 'into the mouth of a Dutch cannon. 

The fact that Carteret's father, Sir George de Carteret, 
baronet, had been a favorite of both King Charles II. and his 
father, Charles I., gave the young Captain a certain prestige, not 


only in his native isle of Jersey, but also in New York, and 
later in Harlem, where the young fellow spent much of his time 
hunting and tending to the once-confiscated, but now restored, 
estates of his father-in-law. Moreover, Governor Andros was 
a kinsman of the Captain. Hence the frequent occurrence of 
Captain Carteret's name on Harlem's roll of honor, as witnessed 
by the following petition to Governor Andros : 

To His Excellency the Governor General at New York: 
We the Constable, Overseers and common Inhabi- 
tants at the village of New Haerlem, declare to have con- 
stituted and empowered, as by these we do constitute and 
empower, the Hon. Capt. James Carteret, David des 
Marest, constable, Joost van Oblinus, overseer, and Re- 
solved Waldron, for and in behalf of this town's juris- 
diction and privileges, to request and obtain from his 
excellency, the Governor of this province, the maintenance 
and confirmation of their Patent granted by the late Gov- 
ernor Richard Nicolls, dated the nth October, A 8 - 1667, 
and confirmed by his Excellency, Governor Francis Love- 
lace, on the date 226. June A°. 1670; promising for good, 
durable and of value, to hold and to ratify whatever by 
the aforesaid, our committee, in the premises, shall be 
done and executed concerning it, whether the case re- 
quires greater or special burden, whereupon we shall fully 
rely and hold our peace ; therefore humbly pray your 
Excellency to be pleased to maintain and protect our 
liberties and privileges according to the aforesaid Patents, 
against everyone who may design to think or trouble the 
same ; Wherefore we shall remain your Excellency's good 
and obedient subjects, etc., the Constable, Overseers and 
common Inhabitants at the village of N. Haerlem. Done 
N. Haerlem, 16th June, 1675. 

By order of the same, 

Hendr. J. Vandr. Vin, Secretary. 

But the fact that Captain Carteret was to be of invaluable 
assistance to Harlem in securing its third patent from the Gov- 
ernment, did not entirely serve to keep the young fellow's name 
out of the court records of the day. With a tendency toward 
lavish expenditure and generosity unmeasured by the means at 
his command, not uncommon in one of his bringing up, the 
Captain found himself beset by debts which he could not pay. 
One accident after another emphasized this unfortunate condition, 
until the courteous and polished soldier of fortune came to be 
harrassed almost beyond endurance. 

The Captain's affairs, however, were soon lost sight of by 


the village in the terrifying news that the Narragansetts, the 
most powerful Indian tribe in Massachusetts, had murdered 
some of the New England settlers, and were on their way 
toward New York by way of Long Island. 

In the face of such news private quarrels faded into insig- 
nificance. Former enemies armed themselves and stood shoulder 
to shoulder to the tap of the drum on the village green near 
the church. The town rallied to a man. Ammunition was dis- 
tributed, and every defensive precaution taken. There is a 
stirring story of Verveelen's faithfulness at his ferry post. 

Verveelen, at Spuyten Duyvil ferry, five miles removed from 
New Harlem's military center, stood his ground. "I'll stay," he 
said, when a messenger on a foam-flecked horse urged him to leave 
the ferry and flee for his life. The rider disappeared down Kings- 
bridge road. Another knock at the door. "Who's there," cried 
Verveelen, reaching for his gun. 

"It's I, Jan Hendricksen," came the answer. "I've a warrant 
from Demarest which must be served in Fordham this night." 

Having rowed Jan across the creek, Verveelen returned. But 
he had no sooner settled himself when he was aroused by another 
knock at the door. "Come to the watch at Harlem," shouted a 
hoarse voice from the darkness. "You're needed. The Indians 
are on the war-path. The bloodhounds are in the woods." 
Verveelen knew what the message meant, but shut his lips 
resolutely and said "No ; I do not leave the ferry to-night, unless 
they take me away dead." 

"But you are under orders to come," said the other. 

"Let them call me before the Governor, then," answered 
Verveelen, "I shall not leave the ferry to-night." 

At midnight four other persons rapped at the door. Again 
the cry "Who's there ?" Again the answer, "Come to the watch." 
But the old man refused. He scented danger, and felt that this 
was simply a trick to take him from his post and leave the north 
end of the island defenceless. Possibly it might be a ruse of 
Archer's. So he stuck to his post. 

Rumors of the uprising of King Philip's Indians, who had 
descended upon Hartford and neighboring Connecticut towns, 
followed. And the Governor was not surprised, therefore, when 
advised that Harlem had held up several canoes full of Wick- 
quaskeeks who were leaving their northern summer hunting 
grounds in Westchester for their winter camp on Manhattan 
Island. Constable Demarest, after taking this summary action, 


sent to Andros for advice. The Governor commended the move 
in these words : 

Mr. Constable, 

I have just now seen, by yours of this day sent ex- 
press by Wm. Palmer, of your having stopt 10 or 12 
Indian canoes, with women, children, corn and baggage, 
coming as they say from Westchester, and going to 
Wickers-Creek, but not any Pass mentioned ; so that you 
have done very well in stopping the said Indians and 
giving notice thereof. These are now to order all the 
said Indians to stay in your Town. And that you send 
some of the chiefest of them to me early tomorrow, and 
one of your Overseers for further orders ; and that it 
may be better effected, you are to order them some con- 
venient house or barn to be in, and draw up their canoes 
until the return of them to you shall send: and that you 
double your watch. 

Your loving friend, 

E. Andros. 
N. York, October the 21st, 1675. 

The recognition of Harlem's military enterprise implied by 
the command "Double your watch," repaid the town for its war- 
like preparations, and it immediately proceeded to organize its 
militia. Action was taken, as usual, before the Constable and the 
Magistrates, on the 6th of December, 1675. This is what Vander 
Vin, the town clerk, had to say about it : 

On the 6th December A°. 1675, Monday. 

Present ; their Honors Jan Dykeman, Constable, Joost 

van Oblinus, Resolved Waldron, Meynard Journee. 

The following are, according as they rank, appointed 
upon the Night Watch organized by order of his Ex- 
cellency the Governor-General, and divided into four 
Corporalships, each consisting of seven persons, to wit: 

Adolph Meyer, Corporal, 
Meynard Journee, 
David dcs Marest, 
Daniel Tourneur, 
Nicolaes De Vaux, 
Isaac Kip, 
Jan Hendricks Boch. 

r. Jan Nagel, Corporal, 
2. Joost van Oblinus, 


In a secluded spot stands this monument to the memory of Washington's 
heroes. At the left of the picture, slightly raised from the level of the 
road, were the fortifications which washington threw up in the campaign 
of '76. here, on withdrawing from the island. washington left a force of 
men, including the vermont rangers. through the treachery of a loyalist, 
the British were shown a rear passage to this supposedly impregnable fortifi- 
cation, the Rangers were sacrificed, and Fort Washington fell into the hands 
of the British. It is said that Washington, standing on the Palisades across 
the river (that is, at the left of this site), heard the cannonading, and. real- 
izing ITS CAUSE A."'D results, wept like a child. 


3. Jan Hendricks Kyckuyt (Brevoort), 

4. Jan le Maistre (Delamater), 

5. Johannes Vermilje, 

6. Jean le Roy, 

7. Isaac le Maistre (Delamater). 


Simeon Cornier, Corporal, 
Cornells Jansen (Kortright), 
Samuel des Marest, 
Laurens Jansen (Low), 
Wm. Palmer, 
Jaco el Roe, 
Gerard Masrister. 

Robert Hollis, Corporal, 
Resolved Waldron, 
Arent Hermensen (Bussing), 
Coenrad Hendricks Boch, 
David des Marest, Jr., 
Cornelis Theunisz, 
Isaac See, Jr. 

1st. The whole or half corporalships, whose turn 
it is to watch, shall, in the evening, at the hour of eight, 
upon beat of the drum, be in full number at the watch- 
house, shall place their sentinels, and take the necessary 
rounds ; and shall not retire before the beating of the 
morning reveille; upon a forfeiture, fixed or to be fixed, 
of 3 guilders. 

2d. Whoever neglects the watch without a lawful 
cause, or making the same known to his corporal before- 
hand, shall each time forfeit 6 guilders. 

3d. Each watchman coming to the watch shall be 
provided with suitable side and hand arms ; also with 
sufficient powder and lead, upon forfeit of 3 guilders. 

4th. The watch shall be kept quietly, without much 
calling or noise, upon penalty of 3 guilders. 

Severe indeed were regulations which fined a man $1.20 
for being off guard during the whole night, or for failing to 
carry the requisite number of rounds of ammunition. These 
fines incidentally aided Harlem's slender treasury during the 
winter and spring of 1676, when the Wickquaskeek hostages 
came to be a serious drain upon the community; and it was 
determined, in view of the cessation of Indian hostilities, to 
release them. Some eighteen of the liberated natives, moved by 


gratitude, visited the Governor, bringing him deer-skins and 
venison, and the Governor, in return, gave them "coates, but 
they desired drink, which is ordered for them." Subsequently 
the Governor and Council passed this resolution : 

Resolved, That the Wickers-creek Indians, if they 
desire it, be admitted with their wives and children, to 
plant upon this Island, but nowhere else, if they remove ; 
and that it be upon the north point of the Island near 
Spuyten Duyvil. 

Harlem's watchfulness at Verveelen's first ferry suggested 
to Andros a rule requiring a Custom House permit of all vessels 
passing through Hellgate ; and a resolution of the Council, under 
date of April 8th, "ordered that all boats and vessels that pass 
through Hellgate do take a permit from the Custom House, 
by reason of the Indian troubles, which permit (unless for mer- 
chandise) is to be given gratis and with all dispatch." 

King Philip was killed on August 12th of this summer, 
and Harlem again turned its attention to domestic affairs. The 
chief concern of the town was for a new patent confirming its 

Because of Andros' silence, and also because he had lately 
taken it into his head to give some of the woodlands 
claimed by Harlem to certain of his favorites, the Cor- 
poration again petitioned the Governor in respectful but insistent 
terms : 

To his Excellency the Governor-General at New York : 

The Constable, Magistrates and Inhabitants of the 
Town of New Haerlem respectfully represent that your 
petitioners have understood and been informed by their 
Constable and Joost van Oblinus that your Excellency's 
purpose is to distribute the lands lying within their Town's 
jurisdiction, for bouweries and plantations; wherefore 
they the petitioners and undersigned request that each 
may be allowed a part of the same to build upon and 
plant, etc. Remaining meanwhile your Excellency's most 
willing subjects. New Haerlem, Wednesday, 30th 

August, 1676. 

Conradus Hendricks, 

Jan Hendricks (Brevoort), 

Jan Nagel, 

Arent Hermansen (Bussing), 

Jan le Maistre (Delamater), 

Cornells Jansen (Kortright), 

Laurens Jansen (Low), 


Pierre Cresson, 

Nicholas De Vaux, 

Hendrick J. Vander Vin, 

David des Marest, 

Gerard Magister, 

David des Marest, Jr., 

Jaco el Roe, 

Samuel des Marest, 

Adolph Meyer, 

Frederick de Vaux, 

Isaac le Maistre (Delamater), 

Glaude le Maistre (Delamater), 

Abraham la Maistre (Delamater), 

Barent Waldron, 

Francois Breteau. 

"If you are going to distribute these lands anyway," 
reasoned the hitherto conservative Dutch proprietors who had 
been improving lands in the immediate neighborhood of the 
village, but had somewhat neglected the outlying portions of 
their domain, "let us distribute it who have the right." 

Andros, appearing to favor the petition, Harlem engaged 
the government surveyor, Robert Ryder, to properly lay out the 
lots on Jochem Pieter's and Van Keulen's Hook. This action, 
which was unquestionably beneficial in the end, proved a sore 
burden to the villagers, who, between sitting up nights on the 
watch, cutting the 5.000 stockades which Governor Andros had 
ordered for the harbor, and mending the common fences which 
ran around their joint farms, 1 were under a severe mental and 
financial strain. Ryder's survey of the farms adjoining the vil- 
lage doubled their work, as it necessitated the moving of all the 
fences to meet the new lines. There were signs of discontent, 
but the hour was critical. That Andros would give away their 
land if they did not themselves partition it, was a conviction made 
more positive by the Governor's attitude. The patentees therefore 
proceeded to spread themselves over the territory as best they 

"First," they said, "we will divide the land once covered 
by Kieft's groundbriefs." Ryder, the surveyor, was sent to 
Spuyten Duyvil with instructions to lay off into five lots the 
Matthys Jansen patent, which ran from Spuyten Duyvil Creek 
to 211th Street and the Harlem River. 

1. No individual fences at this time having been built to separate the farms, if any 
one man was negligent of his share of the fence, the whole field was at the mercy 
of stray cattle. 


Xo. i, containing 18 acres, just south of Verveelen's reser- 
vation, fell to the lot of Johannes Vermilje; No. 2 went to Jan 
Nagel; No. 3 to C. H. Boch; Nos. 4 and 5 to Jan Dyckman. 

As was usual in the case of such partitions, those who 
did not want land, but who had been lucky enough to draw a 
tract, sold to those who could handle the property. Dyckman 
and Nagel, in accordance with this custom, bought up lots No. 
1 and No. 3, and then executed this curious lease to Michiel 
Bastiaensen and Hendrick Kiersen, which has been mentioned 
before as the one containing the famous hen clause: 

On this date, 26th of October, A°. 1677, appeared 
before me, Hendrick J. Vander Vin, by the Hon. Mayor's 
Court admitted Secretary, residing at the Town of New 
Haerlem, and the after-named witnesses ; the honest Jan 
Xagel and Jan Dykeman, on the one side, and Michiel 
Bastiaensen with Hendrick Kiersen, on the other; the 
which agree to contract with the others and are agreed in 
the following manner. Jan Nagel and Jan Dykeman have 
conjointly leased, and by these do lease to the before- 
named Michiel Bastiaensen and Hendrick Kiersen in 
company, certain the lessors' lands, contained in 5 lots, 
marked Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, with the meadows thereto be- 
longing, all lying upon this Island Manhattans, at Spuyten 
Duyvil, and under this Town's jurisdiction, as appears 
by the surveys thereof existing, the which the lessees take 
and accept on lease upon conditions as follows, to wit: 
the lessees shall occupy and use the aforesaid lands and 
meadows for the time of 12 consecutive years, to count 
from now on, expiring in the year 1689, after the crops 
and fruits are off the land, and the lease of the houses 
shall end at May in the year 1690; in particular, the 
lessees shall possess and use the aforesaid lands and 
meadows the first seven years free, by paying as an 
acknowledgment, each one hen, every year ; the three fol- 
lowing years shall the lessees pay each 150 guilders per 
year; the last two years to pay each 200 guilders in 
the year ; the lessees shall have the authority to build 
and erect houses, barns or stables, after their own satis- 
faction and contentment, for their accommodation ; on 
condition that the same, at the end of the lease, with the 
fences which then shall be upon the lands and meadows, 
be delivered over all in good repair ; the lessors promise 
to furnish the lessees, — in order upon the aforesaid lands, 
wherever the lessees decide, to place an orchard, — with 50 
fruit trees, l>oth apple and pear, and all the trees which 
thpy the lessees shall come to set out and raise shall at 


the end of the lease, except the 50 trees aforesaid, be 
divided half and half; the lessees holding - their option as 
to their circumstances, to be permitted to remove or give 
up this present lease at their pleasure, with the same to 
the lessors, upon mentioning it one year before ; the 
lessors promise to the lessees freedom in the real posses- 
sion of the aforesaid lands and dependencies, without 
any charges standing thereon, reserving the lord his right ; 
all the before-written conditions, the appearers declare to 
be their contract and accord, promising the same on both 
sides to conform to and fulfil, each in his own regard, 
without craft or cunning, under obligation as according to 
laws. Thus done and passed at New Haerlem in the 
presence of Joost van Oblinus and Conradus Hendricks, 
as witnesses hereto requested and solicited, who beside the 
appearers and me Secretary have undersigned these, on 
the date as above. 

Jan Nagel, 
Jan Dyckman, 

J. van Oblinus, 
Conradus Hendricks. 

This mark X of 


by himself made. 
Hendrick Kiers. 

With my knowledge 
Hendr. J. Vandr. Vin, Secretary. 

On another page are shown photographs of apple trees, 
planted by the Dyckmans, which stand within the ground deter- 
mined upon by Bastiaensen and Kiersen, in accordance with the 

Leaving this part of Harlem, Surveyor Ryder was sent 
to Hoorn's Hook, just south of which he had previously laid 
out for Governor Andros the three lots which encroached on 
Harlem's territory, and which had been the cause of this fresh 
activity on the part of the actual patentees. The lots referred 
to are lettered on the village map: "Shotwell," "Young," and 
"Bennew," after the men to whom the Governor originally allotted 
them. North of Baignoux's (Bennew's) line, on the Hoorn's 
Hook grant, Ryder laid off ten lots, which were apportioned thus : 
Upon Hoorn's Hook. 

No. 1. Adolph Meyer, 

No. 2. Lawrence Jansen (Low), 

No. 3. Johannes Verveelen, 
















Jan Le Maistre (Delamater), 

Maria Vermilje, 

Jan Louwe Bogert, 

Daniel Tourneur, 

Barent Waldron, 

Jan Hendricks Boch, 

Pieter van Oblinus. 

So great a demand did the allotments and new surveys 
make upon the villagers that it was necessary to appoint "fence 
masters" to keep the Magistrates posted and the inhabitants 
"up to the mark." Through the suggestion of Kortright and 
another it was determined that each townsman should keep his 
part of the common fences in order, or pay $io fine for each 
failure to do so. They suggested also that the fences be raised 
to at least 5% feet high, English measure, and that no cattle 
be allowed on the farm land without a herder, under 
penalty of $4.80. Even these precautions failed to produce 
the necessary care on the part of some, and fines were 
imposed which the town was several years in collecting. 

Delamater and Demarest, the two villagers who, as we have 
sun, had balked at the last call for free-will offerings for the 
support of the voorleser, were again approached, but refused 
to pay. Their stubbornness was brought to the attention of 
the Mayor's Court. "Your town must have a clerk," said the 
Court. "Make them pay." 

Thus commissioned, our Harlem Magistrates called in a 
body upon Demarest junior, but the latter paid no heed to then- 
protests. "Remember," said young Tourneur, who had just 
been made Magistrate, "You can have no voice in the town's 
affairs if you will not support the voorleser or pay your fines." 

"What is that to you," retorted Demarest, "since you have 
been Magistrate only a clay or two. Hold your peace ; I will 
not give it to you ; do your best." Tourneur's "best" 
amounted to little. Demarest remained obdurate. He said 
he would rather leave the town than remain where he had to 
contribute to the Dutch church "when he had a minister of his own 
to support," — Rev. Pierre Daille, of the first French church of 
New York. 

"But you must pay" insisted the Magistrates. 

"Then Til leave town," retorted Demarest senior, who 
made good his threat, sold his house, lots and belongings, to 
is Richard (the New York merchant who has been men- 
tioned in connection with the Janscn and Aertsen patent), 


In the distance can be seen The "made ground," the N. Y. Central Rail- 

Lee ferryboat approaching, and the Palisades on the other side of the river. 
The road in the foreground runs south along the old Harlem Boundary. 


and with his family repaired to his 2,000 acres near Hackensack. 

Delamater proved even more obdurate. When the Magis- 
trates called on him, he said: "If you will have it (the fine) 
you must fetch it out of my house, for I will not give it." Hesi- 
tating to use such extreme measures on so old a friend, the 
authorities said: "Well, if you don't pay by Wednesday eve- 
ning we'll seize your cow." But the threat was never carried out. 

The stubborn attitude of these two citizens caused some 
uneasiness among those who discerned therein a disagreeable 
precedent. The town needed money. Here is a statement of 
debts, amounting to $200: 

At a meeting held Monday, 19th February, 1676-7. 
Present: Their Honors, Resolved Waldron, Con- 
stable; Jan Louwe Bogert, Adolph Meyer, Arent Her- 
mens (Bussing), Daniel Tourneur; with the advice of 
Joost van Oblinus, old Magistrate, and Jan Dykeman, 
late Constable. 

It is resolved and found good to reckon up the debts, 
for which the town is now in arrears, and must pay ; and to 
make an assessment upon the lands and house-lots (erven) 
lying within this town, to discharge the said debts ; and 
there is found to be due to, — 

Reynier Willems, balance f. 253 : o 

Paulus Richard, balance 21:15 

Jan Louwe Bogert 5 : o 

Joost van Oblinus 26 : o 

Hendr. J. Vander Vin 31: o 

Glaude le Maistre (Delamater) two schepels 

wheat 12: o 

Resolved Waldron, one-half vat beer 15: o 

Jan Dykeman, board money to Surveyor 8 : o 

Frederick Gysberts 57 : 10 

Nicolaes Bayard 24 : o 

For extraordinary expenses 46 : 15 

Total f . 500 : o 

An assessment made on the lands and house-lots, to 
pay and discharge the foregoing 500 guilders ; whereof 
one-third was put upon the house-lots and two-thirds upon 
the lands, and upon each house-lot comes 8 guilders and 
on each morgen 2 guilders, to wit : 

Glaude Le Maistre 2 erven, 15 morgen, f. 46 

Laurens Jansen (Low) .... 2 " 9 34 

Cornells Jansen (Kortright) 9 iS 

do (on the flat) 2 " 4 


David des Marest, Jr., , . . . I " 9 " 26 

Daniel Tourneur i l / 2 " 18 " 48 

Jan Dykeman l / 2 " 4 

Conrad Hendricks 1 " 6 20 

Johannes Verveelen 2 9 34 

Adolph Meyer 1 " 6 " 20 

David des Marest 1 " 14 " 36 

Joost van Oblinus 3 12 48 

Nicholas De Vaux 1 9 26 

Resolved Waldron 2 15 46 

Jan Nagel J / 2 " 12 " 28 

Johannes Vermilje 1 2 

Jan le Maistre 1 " 3 " 14 

Jan Louwe Bogert 16 32 

Isaac Kip I 8 

Arent Hermanse (Bussing) l / 2 " 4 

Pieter Cresson V\ " 2 


The foregoing sums must be paid, at furtherest, by 
the last of March next ensuing, punctually, without any 
delay, or exception, in good merchantable grain, upon 
penalty, etc. 

Formidable as this list seemed, there was another to add 
to it, for it was "further resolved and concluded": 

That the Magistrates shall go about among the com- 
mon inhabitants and see how much each is willing to 
contribute yearly to the maintenance and salary of the 
Voorleser, beginning the 23d October of the previous year, 
1677, and following. 

The Voorleser must have yearly for salary, according 
to the agreement entered into the 23d October, 1670, the 
sum of 400 guilders ; the Magistrates remain held to fur- 
nish the money. 

List of Free-will Contributions for the support and 
salary of the Voorleser of this Town, etc., and the fol- 
lowing are to contribute yearly : 

Jan Nagel f. 18 

Daniel Tourneur 15 

Joost van Oblinus 40 

Jan Dykeman 12 

Lawrence Jansen (Low) 10 

lived Waldron 30 

Conradus 1 [endricks 10 

[an fiend ricks 6 

Maria Vermilje 8 


Johannes Vermilje 10 

Glaude Le Maistre (Delamater) 12 

Michiel Bastiaensen 6 

Hendrick Kiers 6 

Arent Hermanse (Bussing) 8 

Jan Hendricks van Brevoort 10 

Jan le Maistre (Delamater) 6 

Adolph Meyer 14 

Cornelis Jansen (Kortright) 12 

Gerard Magister 6 

Jan Louwe Bogert 20 

Arent Hermanse ) , c ,, , , ^„ 

t 1 tvt • . r rent of the land 6; 

Jan le Maistre ) J 

Jan Nagel, rent of the meadow 18 

Total f . 342 

That debts gave further difficulty is indicated by this resolu- 
tion, passed May 8, 1678: 

Whereas it is found that the Voorleser, from the 
contributions, for this current year since the 23d October 
past, with the rent of the Town's lot and meadow reckoned 
in, will not draw for his salary more than 342 guilders, 
instead of 400 which he must have yearly ; the said 
Voorleser has, to the Constable and Magistrates assented, 
that (because of other burdens) he shall have for this 
current year till 23d October first coming, no more than 
the said 342 guilders ; and the Constable and Magistrates 
shall then make a new and reliable assessment for the 
full sum of 400 guilders yearly as salary, according to the 
first accord of 23d October, 1670. The whole afore- 
written provision is by the Voorleser agreed to, declaring 
therewith to be content. 

Is also taken into consideration about the rebuilding 
of the town's house for the Voorleser ; it is found good to 
take the same in hand by the first opportunity, as the most 
necessary work to be done by the Inhabitants, and they 
having leisure to properly hew and make ready the timber 
for the same ; thereupon called in Gerard Magister, wheel- 
wright, to contract with him for the carpenter work, ac- 
cording to a plan to him submitted. Demands 200 guild- 
ers ; whereupon it was not ordered, but the Magistrates 
said that they would think upon it and inform him when 
they should be able to have him do it ; thereupon 

Eighty dollars to rebuild the Clerk's house ! It was a 


formidable figure. Vander Vin must wait for a more convenient 

Fortunately for the Secretary that "convenient time" was 
soon to be. Mrs. Montagne (Maria Vermilye), who had just 
lost her second husband (Isaac Kip), and who had engaged 
before his death to have a new house built, turned her contract 
over to the town. Here was timber ready for Vander Vin's 
house, and all that was necessary was to drive the nails. Here are 
the specifications for Vander Vin's house, which will particularly 
interest students and architects of modern steel construction: 

The Constable and Magistrates, with the advice of 
the whole Community, have found good and resolved to 
rebuild and renew the Town's house for the Voorleser ; 
and Daniel Tourneur has agreed to cut the timber needed 
therefor, as he was held to do for Maria Vermilje, for 130 
guilders (on condition it shall cancel her whole debt in 
the Town's account) ; to wit: 5 beams 20 feet long, broad 
in proportion ; 12 posts 10 feet long, 4 sills, 22 and 20 feet 
long, 2 rafters, 2 girders, one other spar, all 22 feet ; also 
split shingles for the roof ; all finished to deliver at the 
stump, and they of the community shall ride out the said 
timber as it is ready, and bring it to the work, etc. 

Innumerable lawsuits followed the change in fence lines 
on Jochem Pieter's and Van Keulen's Hook, during which their 
Honors used to walk from Court into the pasture to deter- 
mine any unusually difficult case in point. One difficult suit 
was begun by Kortright against Jan Delamater "concerning a 
strip of bouwlant upon Van Keulen's Hook." Kortright told 
the Magistrates that Delamater "had not fixed his land properly 
according to promise." Delamater replied that he had, that 
Kortright had refused to arbitrate the matter, and that he might 
have ploughed the land if he wished. 

Picture the Magistrates, in their robes and wigs, trudging 
from 125th Street to 116th Street to look at an old fence "in 
order to judge as they should." The result was a compromise, — 
both men to pay an equal share of the costs, and "Kortright to 
g< t his strip of land." Wearied with ceaseless squabbles of this 
sort, the Magistrates "resolved and established that from now 
forward, to prevent further questions concerning the fences 
upon Van Keulen's I look because of the changing of some strips, 
those intending to reset their new fence instead of old, remain 
bound to remove the old from the new, and to set it properly; 
according to which each one must conform himself." 



During 1678 Dominie Nieuwenhuysen came out to Harlem 
again to install another elder and deacon. Of his visit it is 
recorded that Glaude Delamater, at the town's expense, fur- 
nished "a half-vat of good beer for the entertainment of the 
dominie and the congregation," and Waldron, Dyckman, Bussing 
and Oblinus, each advanced the dominie 3 guilders for his ser- 
vices, while Jan Nagel provided the wagon to bring and return 
the dominie; the visit costing the town in all $i6.40. 1 

This year, too, Captain Codrington and Margaret Delavall 
were married. As the bride was the Mayor's daughter, and the 
bridegroom was later to be one of Harlem's freeholders, the inci- 
dent was of more than ordinary interest in New York's social life 
of that time. 

New faces were crossing the Harlem Line, and old ones 
were turning to other scenes. Pierre Cresson, who had sold 
out to Brevoort, disposed of one of his farm lots, "for 100 guil- 
ders ($40) in goods or grain, a pair of oxen, one cow, and a 
half-firkin of soap." This land is valued at nearly a million dol- 
lars to-day. 

Cresson's feud with Delamater, which led up to this leave- 
taking, is recalled by another quarrel, which developed in this 
same year, between Col. Lewis Morris and young Daniel Tourneur. 
Col. Morris maintained that Stony Island, opposite Randall's 
Island, on the main, belonged to him. Tourneur was equally 
firm in maintaining that it was a part of Harlem's territory. 
The affair is important, as resulting in a decision by the courts 
sustaining Tourneur. 

x. Riker's History of Harlem, p. 396. 



ABOUT the time that Tourneur began his famous law suit 
with Colonel Morris, two Labadist travellers named 
Sluyter and Dankers, from Wiewerd, Friesland, visited 
New Harlem. They wrote a vivid description of many points 
of the village, and to them we are indebted for the following 1 
information, which held true seven years later, when the last 
Harlem patent was issued. 

Under date of October 6, 1679, they say: "We left the 
village called the Bouwery, lying on the right hand, and went 
through the woods to New Harlem, a tolerable village situated 
on the south side of the Island, directly opposite the place where 
the northeast creek and the East River come together." Their 
object was "to explore the Island of Manhattan," which, as they 
supposed, ran east and west. "This island is about 7 hours' dis- 
tance in length, but is not a full hour broad. The sides are in- 
dented with bays, coves and creeks. It is almost entirely taken up ; 
that is, the land is held by private owners, but not half of it is culti- 
vated. Much of it is good woodland. The south end, on which 
the city lies, is entirely cleared for more than an hour's distance, 
though that is the poorest ground ; the best being on the east or 
north side. There are many brooks of fresh water running 
through it, wholesome, and fit for man and beast to drink, as 
well as agreeable to behold ; affording cool and pleasant resting- 
places, but especially suitable for the construction of mills, for 
while there is no overflow of water, yet it can be shut off, and 
so used." 

With eyes accustomed only to monotonous plains and pas- 
tures, they viewed with delight the varieties of the landscape. 
Mt. Morris, and the heights lying westward of the flats, they 
describe as "two ridges of very high rocks, with a considerable 
space between them, displaying themselves very majestically, 
and inviting all men to acknowledge in them the majesty, 

I. Riker's Harlem, p. 397. 


grandeur, power and glory of their Creator, who has impressed 
such marks upon them." The last reference is probably to the 
outcropping of the gray stone along the entire face of the west 
heights. "Between them runs the road to Spyt den Duyvel. 
The one to the west is most conspicuous ; the east ridge is 
covered with earth on its west side, but it can be seen from the 
water, or from the main land beyond to the east. The soil 
between these ridges is very good, though a little hilly and 
stony, and would be very suitable, in my opinion, for planting 
vineyards, in consequence of its being shut off on both sides 
from the winds which would injure them." 

With Gerrit van Duyn, of Long Island, who had volunteered 
to show them the way, they reached Harlem village. "As our 
guide, Gerrit, had some business here, and found many acquaint- 
ances, we remained over night at the house of one Geresolvert 
(Resolved Waldron), Constable of the place, who had formerly 
lived in Brazil, and whose heart was still full of it. This house 
was constantly filled with people all the time drinking, for the 
most part, that detestable rum. He had also the best cider we 
have tasted. 

"Among the crowd we found a person of quality, an 
Englishman named Captain Carteret, whose father is in great 
favor with the King, and he himself had assisted in several 
exploits in the King's service. This son is a very profligate 
person. He married a merchant's daughter here, and has so 
lived with his wife that her father has been compelled to take 
her home again. He runs about among the farmers, and stays 
where he can find most to drink, and sleeps in barns on the straw. 
If he conducted himself properly he could not only be Governor 
here, but hold higher positions, for he has studied the moralities, 
and seems to have been of good understanding; but that is all 
now drowned. His father, who will not acknowledge him as 
his son, as before, allows him yearly as much only as is neces- 
sary for him to live. 

"Saturday 7th. This morning, about half-past six, we set 
out from the village, in order to go to the end of the Island; 
but before we left we did not omit supplying ourselves with 
peaches, which grew in an orchard along the road. The whole 
ground was covered with them, and with apples, lying upon 
the new grain with which the orchard was planted. The peaches 
were the most delicious we had eaten." Proceeding up the 
Island they add: 

"We crossed over the Spyt den Duyvel in a canoe, and paid 


nine stivers fare for us three, which was very dear. We fol- 
lowed the opposite side of the land, and came to the house of 
one Valentyn," — this was the ancestor of the Valentines of West- 
chester. "He was not at home, but his Dutch vrouw, who was 
from Beest, in Gelderland, glad to see Hollanders, entertained 
them at breakfast ; after which they came down on that side to 
Colonel Morris', meeting his nephew, Walter Webley, ready to 
cross the river. "He carried us over with him, and refused to 
take any pay for our passage, offering us at the same time 
some of his rum, a liquor which is everywhere. We were now 
again at New Harlem, and dined with Geresolvert, at whose 
house we slept the night before, and who made us welcome. 
It was now 2 o'clock, and, leaving there, we crossed over the 
Island, which takes about three-quarters of an hour to do, and 
came to the North River, which we followed a little within the 
woods, to Sappokanikke." 

The travelers were not only mistaken in their belief that the 
island ran east and west, but apparently made a serious blunder 
in speaking of Waldron as a former resident of Brazil. "Wald- 
ron's history," says Riker, 1 "is sufficiently known to make it im- 
probable that he had ever visited Brazil. But the voorleser, Van- 
der Vin, whom they must have seen and conversed with, had 
spent some of his earlier years in that country, when clerk of the 
High Court of Justice at Maurits-stadt, during the presidency of 
the Heer Johan van Raasvelt. . . . Vander Vin might well 
retain impressions of his experiences in Brazil at a very exciting 
period in the history of the Dutch occupation, . . . and may 
have been 'still full of it,' as the travelers say of Waldron. Mis- 
takes easily find place in the hastily written notes of tourists, and 
the journal of these travelers forms no exception." 

Had Vander Vin been writing, instead of the Labadists, his 
journal would doubtless have reflected not the former grandeur 
of Dutch affairs in Brazil, but his own miseries, because of the 
inability of the town to pay his salary. Added to his other bur- 
dens, the town had to postpone building operations on his new 
nouse owing to lack of money. It is stated that the cracks in 
the walls of the old house were so bad that the snow blew over 
the voorleser's bed while he slept. He owed Gerrit van Tright, 
of New York, merchant, 64 guilders and 13 stivers in beaver, 100 
guilders and 17 stivers in sewant and 2 pieces of eight in silver, 
and was obliged to mortgage his house and lot on the Beaver 
Graft, whence he derived part of his support. The town even 

1. Riker's Harlem, p. 403. 


owed him 58 guilders from the year before. This unfortunate 
condition was remedied by the sale of Moertje David's Fly to 
Barent Waldron for 205 guilders, Constables Johannes Vermilye 
and Daniel Tourneur being authorized to hire a carpenter to erect 
Vander Vin's dwelling at the "least cost to the Town." 

Someone suggested that this would be as good a time as any 
for determining just how much taxable farm land the Town pos- 
sessed. The list which follows includes the names of those to 
whom Governor Andros gave patents within the lands under Har- 
lem's jurisdiction, and reads: 

Hendrick Bosch, at Moertje David's Fly, 1 erf, 1 


John Robinson, at the Saw-kill, 1 erf. 

Jacob Young, I erf, 2 morgen. 

Jean Baignoux, on Hoorn's Hook, 1 erf, 1 morgen. 

Jean Belin and ) ,.,. £ 

i*,. -p, , ^011 ditto, 1 erf, 1 morgen. 

Etienne Button j & 

Jan Dircksen, on ditto, I erf, I morgen. 

Michiel Bastiaensen and ) no quantity 

Hendrick Kiersen, at Spuyten Duyvil j reported. 

John Robinson's name recalls the bear hunt "along the 
Saw-kill," to which historians unfailingly allude in any history 
of Manhattan Island. Briefly, it came about this way: 

In the late fall of 1679 Abraham Shotwell sold the plot, 
marked with his name on the map, and which he received from 
Governor Andros, to John Robinson, a New York merchant. 
Robinson looked upon the property, which has since been included 
among the group of delightful country seats of the Delafields, Law- 
rences, Rikers, Schermerhorns, Winthrops, Hoffmans, Pearsalls, 
Buchanans, the famous Captain Kidd, and others, as a sort of 
country place, for the nearest settlement on the New York side 
(other than the Young and Baignoux establishments) was below 
where the Criminal Court building is now located on Center 
Street. As will be seen by this proclamation of the Gov- 
ernor, which was soon issued, wolves were plentiful on the 
Island : 

Upon the many complaints of the great mischief done 
by Wolves on the Island of Manhatans, and at the request 
and desire of several of the inhabitants of the said Island 
that they may have liberty and license to hunt and destroy 
the same: these may certify that liberty and license is 
hereby granted to any of the inhabitants of the said Island 
to hunt and destrov the said Wolves on Thursday next 


after the date hereof. Given under my hand at Fort 
James, this ist day of August, 1685. 

Tho. Dongan. 
Passed the office, 

J. Spragge, Secretary. 

Xot alone wolves, but an occasional bear left footprints 
on the path to the barn on this farm of Robinson's ; and bruin's 
tracks being discovered one winter morning when mine host 
and some city guests were spending a week of shooting at the 
farm, all hands, including the Rev. Charles Woolley, chaplain 
of the garrison at New York, joined in a hunt. 

One annotator has gravely suggested that this memorable 
bear chase ended on Wall Street. Riker, in commenting on this 
evident error (for the bear was finally trapped in a tree near 
74th Street and the East River), as gravely says that he was 
not aware that modern bears, noted for caution, ever ventured 
down as far as the Stock Exchange. 

Evidently the chaplain was not the least interested spectator 
of the chase, for his journal reads: "When he (the bear) got 
to his resting place, perched on a high branch, we dispatched 
a youth after him with a club to an opposite bough, who, knock- 
ing his paws, he comes grumbling down with a thump upon the 
ground ; and so we after him again." 

Vander Vin's patience was rewarded by active work 
on his new house, the preparations for which had so far 
advanced that a contract was awarded to Adolph Pietersen 
De Groot, a New York carpenter, who pledged himself to build 
a house 22 feet long and 20 feet broad (about the size of an 
average office of to-day) for 250 guilders ($100), provided the 
inhabitants of the Town would all turn in and help. This they 
did, and in the accompanying instructive list the reader will find 
that $2 was a good day's wages at this period, with no "walking 
delegate" in sight. It is also to be noted that the inhabitants, 
when they could not give grain or furnish clapboards, or shingles, 
would drive nails, or make human derricks of themselves, in 
order that the worthy V'ander Vin might have a sound house to 
sleep in. Here is a list of the town debts, with some of Vander 
Vin's house-building items included : 

To Daniel Tourneur, thirteen days' work, 

@ 5 gl p. day f.65 

Riding 1659 shingles @ 5 gl per 150. 55 

Also for shingles and clapboards 16 

2^2 lbs. nails, @ 30 stivers 3 



















Paid Kleyn Jan for fixing the Town's 

drum 9 

One gallon of rum to the carpenter. . . 6 

A cord to the drum 3 

Jan le Maistre, 6 days' work @ 5 gl . . 30 

3 lbs. nails @ 30 st 4 

Riding shingles, clapboards, etc 16 

Taking a warrant to Spuyten Duyvil . . 4 
Adolph Pieters,for building the town's 

house 250 

Resolved Waldron, 10 schepels wheat 

delivered 60 

48 lbs. nails @ 30 st 72 

Also to lath nails 5 

A cord to the town drum 6 

Old payment 3 

Paid to the carpenter 120 

Board for the carpenter 40 

Barent Waldron, taking a warrant to 

Spuyten Duyvil 4 

Joost van Oblinus, 1 lb. nails de- 
livered 1 

Paid the Carpenter 30 

Old payment 3 

Jan Nagel, 3 lbs. nails, @ 30 st deliv- 
ered 4 

Riding shingles and clapboards, etc.. 26 
Taking a warrant to Spuyten Duyvil . . 4 
Adolph Meyer 2 schepels wheat de- 
livered 12 

Riding shingles, clapboards, etc 16 

Taking a warrant to Spuyten Duyvil. . 4 
Jan Dykeman, one schepel wheat de- 
livered 6 

Riding shingles, clapboards, etc 16 

Old payment 3 

Arent Hermens (Bussing) one schepel 

wheat delivered 6 

Riding shingles, clapboards, etc 16 

Old payment 3 

Laurens Jansen Low, riding shingles 

clapboards, etc 26 

Jan Hendrick Kyckuyt, ditto . . 26 
Johannes Vermilje, beer, wine and 

rum, etc ^ 

Isaac Delamater, taking a warrant to 

Spuyten Duyvil 4 










































To Glaude Delamater, y 2 vat beer (old 

account) 15 : o :o 

To Reynier Willems, the baker, balance. . 15 : 0:0 
To Nicholas Bayard, for services, old 

account 24 : o : o 

To Hend. J. Vander Yin, writing-book, 

paper, and ink 12 : o :o 

To De Forest and Legget, glass and 

planks to the town's house no : o : o 

f. 1 190 : o : o 

Of vital interest to descendants of the Dongan patentees 
are the years which follow the completion of Vander Yin's 
house ; years foreshadowing the coming of national independence. 
Interesting, too, are items telling of the sale for "one heifer 
of three years old" of the lot where Barent Waldron took 
his bride ; of one of Carteret's 1 for 277 pounds of beef ; of 
still another for thirty guilders in cash and a gallon of rum; 
or the item in Vander Vin's journal found after the latter's death, 
reading: "On this date set hen to brood." But they must be 
passed over, with hardly so much as mention, in the crowding of 
events that led up to the Dongan charter. 

Chief among the political incidents which occupied the 
attention of busy Harlem were those reflecting the growth 
of the American spirit. "The sessions at Fort James" formed 
the topic of the hour, and the doings of the General Assembly 
were on every lip, for the fathers were framing a Charter of 
Liberties, which was the forerunner of state sovereignity and 
national independence. This "provided for similar assemblies, 
to meet as often as every three years ; admitted the people, with 
some limitations, to a voice in legislation by their representatives ; 
declared entire freedom of conscience and religion to all pro- 
fessing faith in God by Jesus Christ ; and forbade any tax, asses- 
ment, or impost being laid upon any of His Majesty's subjects, 
or their estates, 'but by the act and consent of the Governor, 
Council and Representatives of the people in General Assem- 
bly.' " 3 

Another act changed the division of Ridings into Counties, 
and defined New York County as embracing Manhattan, Black- 

. Ward's and Randall's Islands. Still another recog- 
nized or erected Courts of Justice: the Town Court, the County 
Court, or Court of Sessions ; a General Court of Oyer and Ter- 
miner ; and a Court of Chancery. The Town Court was to be 

1. New Lots, No. 9. 

2. Rikcr, p. 435. 


On a low hill, fast yielding to grading and city improvements, almost 
on the line of the subway, stand these old apple trees. planted years ago by 


Under these trees, at 206TH Street, have been sheltered the armies of Wash- 
ington and Howe, while the Dyckman buys, noted as scouts, rendered valuable 
services to the American cause. The beautiful marble b tt i t .dtng in the distance 
is the Hall of Fame, erected by Miss Gould, on the Westchester Heig»t<. be- 
yond the Harlem River. 


composed of three Commissioners, chosen by the freeholders, 
and to be called the Commissioners' Court, having power to 
hear and determine small cases to the value of forty shillings. 
"This law," says Riker, 1 "was of special advantage to Harlem, 
as against the assumptions of the city government." 

New York City, ever since the establishment of its Mayor's 
Court, had been continually seeking to get the upper hand of 
Harlem, — a movement that was fostered by the independent 
propaganda of the time. The following resolution, introduced 
at a meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen of New York, on 
November 9, 1683, endeavoring to restrict the powers of Harlem 
and bring her within the control of the city authorities, voiced 
the aspirations of New York: 

Resolved, that all the Inhabitants on the Island Man- 
hattans are under the government of the City of New 

In this subtly wordeQ and seemingly harmless resolution 
there was the touch of a velvet paw, whose claw was hidden 
neither to the Town of Harlem nor to the Governor's Council. 
. So preposterous did it seem, however, that Harlem had 
scarcely protested when the Governor and Council responded 
with an exception to the resolution, stating that the Town of 
Harlem had rights, the exercise of which was not at all depend- 
ent upon New York City's pleasure. "We regard it as only 
reasonable," said the authorities, "that the Town of Harlem shall 
have liberty to determine all matters that come before them under 
forty shillings at their own Town Court." 

Governor Dongan, who succeeded Andros in this year, took 
the first active steps toward Harlem's new charter, by issuing 
an order directing all groundbriefs and Indian deeds to be sub- 
mitted to him at once. His reason for this was mercenary. His 
master, James, the Duke of York, in two years to succeed Charles 
II. as King of England, was in need of money. How much 
money Dongan thought he could squeeze out of over-taxed Har- 
lem is not known, but the motive behind the act aimed less 
at specific amounts than at some increase in receipts which might 
be reported to the owner of the Province. 

Harlem submitted her patents (she had no Indian deeds) 
to the Council on April 19th, and later paid a quit rent of eigh- 
teen bushels of grain to Dongan, — her delinquency up to that year. 

1. Page 435. 


The following tax list shows the payments made by the Harlemites 
on the verge of the issuing of the last patent: 

Joost van Oblinus paid 13 guilders; Resolved Waldron, 11; 
Barent Waldron, 5 ; Jan Nagel, 14 ; Daniel Tourneur, 4 ; Daniel 
Tourneur's widow, 15; Jan Kyckuyt, 6; Lawrence Jansen Low, 
6; Arent Harmanse Bussing, 4; widow of Glaude Delamater, 9; 
Adolph Meyer, 7; Cornelis Jansen Kortright, 13; Johannes 
Verveelen, 3 ; Johannes Vermilye, 2 ; Jan Louwe Bogert, 8 ; Jan 
Dyckman, 9 ; Pieter van Oblinus, 5 ; Wm. Waldron, 1 ; John 
Delavall, 30. 

One more incident claims our attention before turning to 
that of the last charter. This is the building of a stone church, 
not on the 125th Street site, previously noted, but on the two 
northern erven of Delamater and Kortright (lots c and e). This 
edifice, designed to supplant its predecessor, was specified as 
follows : 

Specification of the Church at Harlem : The size 
of the Church, across it either way, is 36 Dutch feet ; upon 
which Wm. Hellaker undertakes to construct a roof, with 
an arch therein, and a small steeple upon it, and to cover 
all properly with shingles, and to make a scuttle thereto ; 
upon the condition that the people of the town shall be 
obligated to deliver the timber at the building place. For 
which the Constable and Magistrates promise to pay the 
aforesaid Wm. Hellaker the sum of Seven Hundred and 
Fifty guilders in Wheat, to be paid in the month of Janu- 
ary following this year, 1686, the Wheat to be delivered 
at the current price. Thus arranged and agreed to in the 
presence of the after-named witnesses and which, with our 
usual hand, is subscribed. Done at New Haerlem, this 
30th day of March, 1686. 

Willem Hellaker, 
Jan de Lamater, Constable. 
Daniel Tourneur, 
Jan Nagel. 
Witnesses : 
Johannes Vermilye, 
Resalvert Waldron. 

Before me, 

Jan Tibout, Clerk. 

Here the Dutch congregation at Harlem was to worship 
until the Revolution, — during which the building was destroyed. 
It was replaced by another on the same site in 1788, and remained 


the only church in the entire district of Harlem until the organ- 
ization of St. Mary's Episcopal Church at Manhattanville, in 
1823. Two years later was begun the fine church building, 
shown in an accompanying cut, which originally stood on the 
northwest corner of Third avenue and 121st Street, now occu- 
pied by a department store. This site being sold at an advan- 
tage, the church was moved, in 1886, to its present site on 121st 
Street. The labors and sacrifices leading up to the building of 
the 1686 structure were undertaken by Harlem with the same 
determination with which its citizens met every previous obstacle. 
To undertake to construct an arched roof, with its necessary 
clamps, angle irons, bent timbers and miscellaneous iron work, 
was no child's play in those days. 

Landholders gave more than they had subscribed. Bus- 
sing "rode" from New York the stone which surmounted the 
front door, and charged only a florin (40c.) for his pains. The 
stone itself cost $4.80, which Bussing also paid. A commit- 
tee was sent to "Manhattans" to see John Delavall concerning 
his share. He owed, they said, "for stone, timber, lime and 
morgen money, 236 florins ; for 2 years' salary of the voorleser, 
95 florins; for quit rent, 32 florins." Surely, they argued, John 
would not fail them in their hour of need. But John was not so 
sure about this church contribution. He had embraced the relig- 
ion of the Quakers. Giving to the Dutch church was not an unal- 
loyed pleasure, though it might be construed as his duty by his 
Dutch friends. Therefore he said: "Levy on my goods, if 
you want to, but I think it wouldn't be consistent with my 
religion if I were to pay you what you say I owe." So the vil- 
lagers, through Constable Brevoort, levied on Delavall's Harlem 

But Delavall's arrears were not enough to meet the great 
demands which sprang up unexpectedly, so a tax of 2 guilders 
per morgen was laid upon the townsfolk, and later an additional 
tax of 8 cents per acre. A special contribution was made up 
for glazing the windows, as follows: 

Adolph Meyer f . 14 

Arent Harmans Bussing 14 

Jan Dykeman 9 

Jacqueline Tourneur 9 

Joost van Oblinus 9 

Cornelis Jansen Kortright 9 

Lawrence Jansen Low 9 

Jan Delamater 9 

Isaac Delamater 9 


Johannes Vermilye 9 

Jacques Tourneur 9 

Jan Louwe Bogert 9 

Daniel Tourneur 9 

Pieter van Oblinus 9 

Jan Nagel 9 

Jan H. Brevoort 9 

Maria Vermilje 9 

Resolved Waldron 9 

Barent Waldron 9 

Samuel Waldron 9 

Johannes Waldron 9 

Little by little, after the laying of the cornerstone by 
Resolved Waldron on the 29th of March, 1685, and of the next 
stone on top of that by Johannes Vermilye, the walls began to 
rise. Across First Street and down the green toward the land- 
ing, Haldron's anvil rang out a song of joy which found echo 
in all the hearts in the village. Soon the timbers were bent in 
place. Then came the raising of the gilded "haen," or weather- 
cock, to the tip of the steeple ; and Harlem, proud as the weather- 
vane she had just erected, met for the last Thursday's communion 
service at the little old 125th Street structure she had outgrown. 
At this meeting the townsfolk elected new town officers, and 
resolved to enclose the new churchyard with clapboards. 

Of this time Riker says : "The people brought in their 
wheat to the town house, depositing it in the loft. Others deliv- 
ered it to the mechanics, or at the saw mill, in payment for boards 
and planks, receiving credit therefor in their account. Jan 
Delamater paid to the laborer a remnant of wheat left in his 
hands after the last payment of the town's quit rent, 3 schepels, 
amounting to 18 guilders. Constable Brevoort afterward paid 
him 2 schepels, amounting to 12 guilders, and the balance of 
his wages, 35 guilders, on February 24, 1687. To Jerome Van 
Bommel, of New York, 'Smith,' was paid 126 florins. At this 
date the new patent had also to be paid for, and the mechanics 
gave time on their bills. The 14th of March, 1688, the sum of 
528 florins, yet due the masons (their contract was for 600 
florins), was paid to Stoutenburgh by Barent Waldron. Wil- 
liam Hellaker had received 'for the building of the church,' 
from Jan Dykeman, 45 florins, 12 stivers; from Constable Bre- 
voort, 153 florins; from Jan Louwe Bogert, 125 florins, and from 
Adolph Meyer, Constable, 275 florins. At a reckoning March 
14, 1689, there was found due him a balance of 163 florins, 13 

rs, which included 12 florins, 5 stivers, for extras, over and 


This structure, just west of Third Avenue on 121ST Street (near the 
middle of Church Lane), in whose belfry hangs the original Harlem Bell, is 
the fourth edifice erected in Harlem. On the right stands the Harlem Court 
House, on a portion of the Town lands illegally sold by William Tweed. 


above his contract; and on April 16th Barent Waldron was au- 
thorized to pay this balance from the funds in his hands. Be- 
sides the work done by the people themselves and the mate- 
rials they furnished, the church cost them over 2,600 guilders. 
It was spacious and substantial, but obviously of the plainest 
finish, according thus with the simple tastes and strictily utili- 
tarian ideas of the builders, of which the following item from 
the deacon's book for 1687 is quite suggestive: 'July 21, gave 
to the Smith for making a bolt, also a latch, for the Church, 8 
guilders.' During the first year of its occupancy, the collec- 
tions amounted to 171 guilders, 4 stivers, averaging 3 guilders, 
5 stivers ($1.30) per sabbath." 

Governor Dongan, meanwhile, had been dropping various 
hints to the effect that it would be advisable for all to have their 
charters renewed if they desired to retain their possesions. Don- 
gan wanted the money. Harlem wanted the patent, although 
it could ill afford to spend the necessary cash, and held back a 

Riker speaks of the threats that were held over New Harlem 
to induce her to take out Dongan's patent, in the following 
words : 

Meanwhile a matter of common interest and of great 
importance to the freeholders, the renewal or confirmation 
of the town patent, had been pressed upon them by the 
Governor, who, in behalf of his sovereign, now King 
James Second, was aiming at a large increase of the 
revenue in the form of quit rent, and also to fix the amount 
and the time and mode of payment, by the general issue 
of new patents. Cogent reasons were brought to bear 
upon the people. James, Duke of York, had ascended 
the throne February 6, 1685 ; but, as King, it was by no 
means certain that he would be bound by his acts as 
duke ; and hence the wisdom of taking out new letters 
patent directly under the crown, by the hand of its ac- 
credited agent. Indeed, assuming the old town patents 
to be invalid unless confirmed (an assumption not war- 
ranted by the fact), Dongan avowed his intention to 
appropriate, as belonging to the King, and at his disposal, 
all such tracts of common land as could be found within 
the several townships and not yet purchased of the In- 
dians. So the inhabitants "were willing rather to submit 
to a greater quit rent, than to have that unpurchased land 
disposed of to others than themselves." 

This menace had the desired effect ; New Harlem yielded, 


and the historic Dongan patent was issued on March 7, 1686. 
It was soon after followed by Dongan's charter to the City of 
New York, dated April 17, 1686, under which the city afterward 
claimed New Harlem's water front, — property manifestly vested 
in the Town by the old patents which Dongan threatened to annul. 
The wording of the Dongan charter follows : 

The Dongan Patent. 
Thomas Dongan, Captain-General, Governor-in- 
Chief and Vice-Admiral in and over the Province of 
New York, and its dependencies thereon in America, 
under his Majesty James the Second, by the Grace of God, 
of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, De- 
fender of the Faith, etc., To all to whom these Presents 
shall come, sendeth Greeting : — Whereas Richard Nicolls, 
Esq., formerly Governor of this Province, hath by his 
certain writing or Patent, bearing date the nth day of 
October, Anno Dom. One Thousand Six Hundred and 
Sixty-seven, did give, ratify, confirm and grant unto 
Thomas Delavall, Esq., John Verveelen, Daniel Tour- 
neur, Joost Oblinus and Resolved Waldron, as Patentees, 
for and on behalf of themselves and their associates, 
the freeholders and inhabitants of New Harlem, their 
heirs, successors and assigns, all that tract, together 
with the several parcels of land, which they then had, 
or after should be purchased or procured, for and on the 
behalf of the said Town, within the bounds and limits 
hereafter set forth and expressed, viz. That is to say, 
from the west side of the fence of the said Town, a line 
being run due west 400 English poles (6,500 feet), with- 
out variation of the compass, and at the end thereof an- 
other line being drawn across the Island north and south, 
with the variation, that is to say, north from the end of 
a certain piece of meadow ground, commonly called the 
Round Meadow, near or adjoining unto Hudson's or the 
North River, and south to the place where formerly stood 
the Saw Mills, over against Verkens or Hog Island, 
in the Sound or East River, shall be the western bounds 
of their lands, and all the lands lying and being within 
the said lines so drawn north and south as aforesaid east- 
ward to the end of the Town and Harlem River, or any 
part of the said River on which this Island doth abut, and 
likewise on the North and East Rivers, within the limits 
aforementioned described, doth and shall belong to the 
said Town ; as also four lots of Meadow Ground upon 
the Main, marked with No. I, 2, 3, 4, lying over against 
the Spring, where a passage hath been used to ford over 


from this Island to the Main, and from thence hither, 
with a small island commonly called Stony Island, lying 
to the east of the Town and Harlem River, going through 
Bronck's Kill by the little and great Barn's Islands, upon 
which there are also four other lots of Meadow Ground, 
marked with No. 1, 2, 3, 4; together with all the soils, 
creeks, quarries, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, 
waters, lakes, fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, and 
all other profits, commodities, emoluments and heredita- 
ments to the said land and premises, within the bounds 
and limits set forth, belonging, or in anywise appertain- 
ing, and also freedom of commonage for range and feed 
of cattle and horses, further west into the woods upon this 
Island, as well without as within their bounds and limits 
set forth and expressed ; to have and to hold all and 
singular the said lands, island, commonage, heredita- 
ments and premises, with their and every of their ap- 
purtenances, and of every part and parcel thereof, unto 
the said Patentees and their Associates, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns, to the proper use and behoof of the 
said Patentees and their Associates, their heirs, successors 
and assigns, forever. And whereas, Richard Nicolls, 
Esq., did likewise ratify, confirm and grant unto the 
said Patentees and their associates, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns all the rights and privileges belong- 
ing to a town within this government, with this proviso, 
or exception, that in all matters of debt or trespass of or 
above the value of Five Pounds, they shall have relation 
unto and dependence upon the courts of this city, as the 
other Towns have upon the several Courts of Sessions 
to which they do belong; and that the place of their 
present habitation shall continue and retain the name 
of New Harlem, by which name and style it shall be 
distinguished and known in all bargains and sales, deeds, 
writings and records ; and that no person whatsoever 
should be suffered or permitted to erect any manner of 
house or building upon this said Island within two miles 
of the limits and bounds aforementioned, without the 
consent and approbation of the major part of inhabitants 
of the said Town ; and whereas the said town lies very 
commodious for a Ferry, to and from the Main, which 
may redound to the particular benefit of the Inhabitants, 
as well as to a general good, the freeholders and in- 
habitants of the said Town should, in consideration of 
the benefits and privileges therein granted, as also for 
what advantage they might receive thereby, be enjoined 
and obliged, at their own proper costs and charge, to 


build or provide one or more boats fit for the transporta- 
tion of men, horses, or cattle, for which was to be a cer- 
tain allowance given by each particular person, as should 
be then ordered and adjudged fit and reasonable; They, 
the said Patentees and their Associates, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns, Rendering and Paying such duties 
and acknowledgments as then were or after should be 
established by the laws of this government, under the 
obedience of His Royal Highness, his heirs and suc- 
cessors, as in and by the said Patent, remaining upon 
record in the Secretary's Office, reference being thereunto 
had, doth fully and at large appear. And whereas, 
the present inhabitants and freeholders of the Town of 
New Harlem aforesaid have made their application unto 
me for a more full and ample confirmation of their premi- 
ses to them, their heirs, successors and assigns forever, 
in their quiet and peaceable possession : Now Know Ye, 
that by virtue of the commission and authority to me 
derived, and power in me residing, in consideration of 
the premises, and of the Quit Rent hereinafter reserved, 
I have given, granted, ratified and confirmed, and by 
these presents do give, grant, ratify and confirm, unto 
John Delavall, Resolved Waldron, Joost van Oblinus, 
Daniel Tourneur, Aclolph Meyer, John Spragge, Jan 
Hendricks Brevoort. Jan Delamater, Isaac Delamater, 
Barent Waldron, Johannes Vermelje, Lawrence Jansen 
(Low), Peter van Oblinus, Jan Dykeman, Jan Nagel, 
Arent Harmanse (Bussing), Cornelis Jansen (Kort- 
right), Jacqueline Tourneur, Hester Delamater, Johannes 
Verveelen, William Haldron, Abraham Montanie, Peter 
Parmentier, as Patentees, for and on behalf of them- 
selves the present freeholders and inhabitants of the 
said Town of New Harlem, their heirs, successors and 
assigns, All and singular the before-recited tract, parcel 
and parcels of land and meadow, butted and bounded as in 
the said Patent is mentioned and expressed, together with 
all and singular the messuages, tenements, houses, build- 
ings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens, pastures, mills, mill- 
dams, runs, streams, ponds, woods, underwoods, trees, 
timber, fencing, fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, 
liberties, privileges, hereditaments and improvements 
whatsoever to the said tract of land and premises be- 
longing, or in any wise appertaining or accepted, reputed, 
taken or known, or used, occupied and enjoy as part, 
parcel, or member thereof, with their and every of their 
appurtenances ; Always provided, that nothing contained 
therein shall be construed to prejudice the right of the 


City of New York, or any other particular right ; and 
saving to the said City of New York, and their suc- 
cessors forever, and also saving to every particular per- 
son, his heirs and assigns, that have any right, interest 
or estate within the limits of the said Town of New 
Harlem, as well as without the limits of the said Town of 
Harlem, full power, liberty and privilege to build, culti- 
vate and improve all such tracts and parcels of land as 
the said City of New York now have, or hereafter shall 
have, within or without and adjacent to the limits of the 
Town of Harlem aforesaid ; And also the commonage 
of the Town of Harlem aforesaid, is to be confirmed 
within the limits abovesaid, and the right of commonage 
to extend no further, any grant or thing contained herein 
to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding: To have 
and to hold the said several tracts and parcels of lands 
and premises, with their and every of their appurtenances, 
unto them the said John Delavall, Resolved Waldron, 
Joost van Oblinus, Daniel Tourneur, Adolph Meyer, 
John Spragge, Jan Hendricks Brevoort, Jan Delamater, 
Isaac Delamater, Barent Waldron, Johannes Vermilje, 
Lawrence Jansen (Low), Jan Dykeman, Jan Nagel, 
Arent Harmanse (Bussing), Cornells Jansen (Kort- 
right), Peter van Oblinus, Jacqueline Tourneur, Hester 
Delamater, Johannes Verveelen, William Haldron, Abra- 
ham Montanie, Peter Parmentier, as Patentees for and 
on behalf of themselves, their heirs, successors and as- 
signs to the sole and only proper use, benefit and behoof 
of the said Patentees, their heirs, successors and assigns 
forever; To Be holden of His Most. Sacred Majesty, 
heirs and successors, in freeland socage, according to the 
tenure of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in His 
Majesty's Kingdom of England; Yielding, rendering 
and paying therefore, yearly and every year forever, on 
or before the five and twentieth day of March, in lieu of 
all services and demands whatsoever, as a Quit Rent, to 
His Most Sacred Majesty aforesaid, his heirs and suc- 
cessors, or to such officer or officers as shall be appointed 
to receive the same, Sixteen bushels of good winter 
merchantable Wheat, at the City of New York. In 
testimony whereof I have caused these presents to be 
entered upon record in the Secretary's Office, and the 
Seal of the Province to be hereunto affixed, this Seventh 
day of March, 1686, and in the 3d year of His Majesty's 

Tho. Dongan. 

Simultaneously with the issuing of the patent, the scattering 


of the patentees over the district was hastened by a seemingly 
trivial cause, which comes to light in the minutes of the Town 
meeting of December 3, 1685. These said that every householder 
must make a ladder to his chimney within a month, or be fined 
$2.40. Fear of fire, then, was one of the potent reasons for 
leading the patentees to forsake the village life they had so loved. 
Beneath those very straw roofs, whose inflammability gave them 
such concern, let us linger for a moment with one whose life 
was wrapped up in the Harlem of 1686: 

"Bidden welcome by mine host, smoking his evening pipe, 
in his wonted seat on the porch, an air of hospitality has the 
premises, even to the old well, with watering-trough beside it, 
which, placed conveniently before the house, with mossy bucket 
hung from the primitive well pole, invites the gentle kine to 
come freely to water, or the wayfarer to stop and slake his 

"These houses have begun to be constructed with greater 
regard to permanence, and even to style, being solidly built 
of stone, and of more ample dimensions than formerly, though 
only of one full story. The low ceilings, still void of lath and 
plaster, expose the heavy oak beams as roughly hewn, or, if 
taste has dictated, planed and beaded. Similar taste sometimes 
demands wainscoting, either plain or in panels, around the rooms 
and hall, and up the broad stairway, with its open balustrade, 
leading to sleeping chambers in the loft. Outer doors, swung 
upon heavy strap hinges, are invariably divided in halves hori- 
zontally, the upper usually opened by day in the warm season 
for the admission of air and light. Above it, perhaps in a sash, 
were three or four small panes of thick green glass, blown with 
a curious knob or swell in the center. The panes in the windows 
measure not over 7 by 9 inches, and are sometimes set in leaden 
crossbars, being protected by strong, close shutters, instead of 
the less secure modern blinds. The fireplace, with usually no 
jambs (but having supports built into the wall), gives ample 
room for all around the fire. Thus suspended, as it were, over- 
head, the chimney mouth opens wide and flaring to catch the 
fugitive sparks and smoke, and forms a convenient place in 
which, at the proper season, to hang up hams, sausages and beef 
to cure. 

"If the fireplace is built with jambs, these are often faced 
with glazed earthen tiles, imported from Holland, on which are 
pictured Bible stories and other scenes. These amuse and 
instruct the juvenile part of the family, who make it a favorite 


pastime to study out the curious designs. The last of these orna- 
mental fireplaces now recollected was in the Peter Benson stone 
house, which stood in 109th Street, between Second and Third 
Avenues, and was demolished in 1865. 

"Plain and substantial were their dwellings, and in perfect 
accord with the manners and taste of the occupants, which were 
simple, unaffected and economical. Slow and deliberate in what 
they did, it was made up by patience and application. And no 
people could have been more independent of the outside world. 
The farmer burnt his own lime, tanned his own leather, often 
made all the boots and shoes worn by himself and family, and 
did much of his own carpenter and wheelwright work. Their 
help in the heavy farm work was mainly African slaves, who, 
at this time, numbered as one to four whites. 

"Primitive were their methods of farming; it was not the 
era of iron plows, horse rakes and reapers. The scythe was 
used in mowing grass. The cradle was then unknown, and, 
instead of which, all grain was cut with sickle, or with the sith 
and hook. The sith had a blade similar to that of the scythe, 
but only half as long, to which was attached a snath of about 
the same length, having at the other end a loop like that of a 
shovel handle. The hook was made of a slender wooden stock, 
three feet long, from the end of which ran out at a right angle 
a small iron prong about eight inches long. When used, the 
hook was held in the left hand near the middle, where, to pre- 
vent its turning, was a socket for the thumb to rest in, the prong 
being turned from the person. The hook, pressed against the 
standing grain, served to hold it in place, while it was cut by 
a swing of the sith, which was held in the other hand. The cut 
grain was thus left leaning against that still uncut, till the 
reaper, or his attendant following after him, gathered and bound 
it into sheaves. 

"Nothing was deemed more important than to cut and lay 
in a good supply of salt hay, which was then thought indis- 
pensable for the healthy subsistence of cattle through the winter. 
It was for this reason that a piece of salt meadow was regarded 
as a necessary appendage to every farm, and was not less valua- 
ble, in the view of the early settlers, than so much upland. 

"The children were brought up to those habits of industry 
which the parents themselves found so profitable. The sons 
were invariably given a useful trade, and the daughters well 
taught in all household duties. While the men were engaged 
in the outdoor work of the farm, the women, in short gown and 


slippers, the common indoor dress, were as busy at their special 
avocations. The spinning- wheel was brought out and set in 
motion as soon as wool and tlax could be prepared in the fall, 
and so each family made its own "homespun." as it was termed, 
both white and colored, to supply its members with clothing; 
while she was considered but a poor candidate for matrimony 
who could not show her stores of domestic linens, and other 
products of her maiden industry. 

"The dames, so saving were they of their time, usually took 
their spinning-wheels on going to spend a social afternoon with 
a neighbor. Xor were the females unwilling to help in the 
fields during the busy seasons of harvest or com gathering. 
Side by side with their fathers, brothers and husbands, they 
vied with them in raking hay or carrying sheaths : and their 
presence gave a charm to the merry time of husking. 

"Broom and scrubbing-brush, with a periodical whitewash- 
ing, frequently tinted yellow or green, kept their apartments 
cleanly and neat. The carpet, when first introduced called in 
derision a dirt-cover, was in those days unknown here. The 
bare floors, as scrupulously clean as the bare table on which they 
ate their meals, were regularly scrubbed, then sprinkled with 
fine beach sand, which was brought to the city by the boat load, 
and peddled in carts through the streets and roads of the island. 
On cleaning day it was - -:ened in little heaps over 

the floor, the family being taught to tread carefully between 
them. To disturb these would sadly mar the economy of the 
sewife, and maybe provoke much good honest scold- 
ing in Dutch ! 

"The m- s was swept in waves, or 

other ig s, 1 rawing the broom lightly over it. It was. in 

the general I ness which ruled the 
- s 

within themselves, they knew little of 

the dangers and diseases ind indolence. 

thing, bedding, etc - r own homespun. 

Most that t: uired the farm s . I which a 

r fisl with the 

- 5 pork and 


a kind that '^ar to pi - 

their &§ v. on ox-cart ! 

sey gai [ually with the finest 

imported fabrics, and s - I contenv :hough their low- 



One of the many beautiful residences along upper Jochem Pieter's Hills, 
at 175TH Street. 


roofed houses may seem to shut their doors against pride and lux- 
ury, yet how do they stand wide open to let charity in and out, 
either to assist each other, or to relieve a stranger." Another bears 
this testimony: 'They are sociable to a degree, their tables 
being as free to their neighbors as to themselves.' And hospi- 
tality could not do too much for the guest, if welcome ; the acme 
only reached if he tarried for the night, when, soon after sunset, 
he was snugly ensconced in the best bed, made of the softest down, 
and between homespun linen sheets, from which, if cold, the 
chill was taken by the indispensable warming-pan ! 

"At the same time, the idea of warming the church was 
yet unfledged, nor was this provided for till early in the present 
century (1800), when a stove was introduced. Before this, each 
church-going matron took to comfort her her little foot-stove and 
her Dutch Bible with silver clasps. 

"Intermarriages among the resident families was the rule, 
and he was thought a bold swain truly who ventured beyond the 
pale of the community to woo a mate. And with the unaffected 
welcome, a keen-eyed scrutiny also awaited the blushing bride 
on her first arrival from the charming dales of Bloomingdale, the 
hills of Westchester, or rural home at Bergen, Hackensack or 

"When friends gathered socially, or happened to meet, as 
at the village tavern, conversation running in mellifluous Dutch, 
turned, as usual with farmers, upon their crops, or on horses, 
or cattle, or modes of farming, unless some special topic intruded. 
With the good juffrouwes, church matters and the dominie's last 
visit were always in order. Not many survived who could speak 
from personal recollection of the Fatherlands ; yet we cannot 
misjudge of the themes on which a few greyheads could still 
dilate, with all the effect of eye-witnesses, or actual participants. 
Good Joost van Oblinus, — the thrilling incidents of- the French 
invasion of Flanders, his escape with parents to Holland, sojourn 
at Mannheim, second flight before French invaders, and final 
adieu to the dear shores of Europe. Mrs. Tourneur, in tender 
childhood a victim of that cruel war, and driven, with others of 
her family, from her native Hestin, probably on its capture by 
Louis the Thirteenth, in 1639; hers was a tale of trials, of 
which we have but the veriest outline. And Mrs. Delamater, 
the daughter of a refugee, depicting her young life at Canter- 
bury, and the humble abode where she was born and reared, 
whence also, on the quiet sabbath, she was wont to accompany 
her parents to the grand old Cathedral, and down by a flight of 


stone steps into the solemn crypt or vault, where the French and 
Walloons used to meet for divine service, a privilege long before 
granted them by good Queen Bess. And Frederick De Vaux 
(De Voe), who lived to a patriarchal age, and probably was the 
last survivor of the refugees, experimentally familiar with perse- 
cution and hair-breadth escapes in fleeing his native land ; facts 
still among the lingering traditions of his family. Now Bogert 
and the Jansens grow mellow over the good old times at Schoon- 
rewoert ; or the other trio, Meyer, Dykeman and Bussing, draw 
parallels between the soils or productions of Harlem and their 
native Bentheim, so famed; or again the well-companioned 
Waldron and Verveelen live amid former scenes in busy old 
Amsterdam — the shopkeeper's son, perchance, garrulous over 
shrewd bargains in trade, and the "book-printer" of the Teer- 
ketelssteeg, once more among his type and forms, and, as of old, 
throwing off from his new press, which his townsman, Blaau, 
the map-printer, and former assistant to Tycho Brahe, had 
brought to such perfection, fresh sheets of learned folios, full 
fifty impressions per hour ! 

"But should conversation chance to turn upon some con- 
troverted question, either of politics or theology, and the latent 
fire once kindle, the dispute was sure to run high ; for only then 
their tobacco-pipes lost the power to soothe, — that solace alike 
of their working and leisure hours, and by no means confined 
to the males; but yet the good dominie set the example! 

"Large productive farms, and a convenient market for all 
they had to sell, led to certain wealth, and no thriftier farmers 
were to be found anywhere. They were proud, too, of their 
broad acres, fine stock, lands well tilled, and barns well filled. 

"But not the alluring example ever before their eyes could 
win them to the display of city life; though the latter, simplicity 
itself as compared to the demands of modern fashion, sets in 
stronger contrast the style of living, so unpretentious yet rational, 
which obtained even in the wealthier families, as the Waldrons, 
Meyers, Bensons and Bussings. And English modes and man- 
ners could make but slow advance among a people so tenacious 
of the Holland tongue, who for half a century later kept their 
records in Dutch, and their accounts in guilders and stivers." 


This historic old house, situated on the edge of Jochem Pieter's Hills, 
at about 160TH Street and Edgecomb Avenue, was built for the bride of Colonel 
Roger Morris. Washington had sued in vain for the fair young woman's hand. 
Colonel Morris was at heart a Tory, and fled with his bride to London, while 
Washington remained behind to make this house his headquarters during the 
New York campaign of 1776. Standing on this veranda, Washington heard the 
cannonading heralding lord howe's landing upon manhattan island. from 
here the commander-in-chief made his famous charge early in the month of 



THE changes through which Harlem passed in the years fol- 
lowing the issuance of the Dongan Charter were, for the 
most part, characteristic of communities in an analagous 
situation. From being a remote village, self-centered, intensely 
individual in most of its traits, it came to take on the character of 
a popular, and, finally, of a distinguished neighbor of New York. 
Under new distributions of its lands and beautiful estates, adorned 
by more modern mansions, the town began to reflect the greater 
culture of the neighboring city. Prosperous New Yorkers 
turned to the beautiful rolling land at the upper end 
of the island in search of summer homes, and newcomers from 
over the sea found within its borders scenic charms and conditions 
of life greatly to be desired. 

Toward the close of the eighteenth century the social events 
that took place at many of these estates, particularly the Jumel 
mansion, gave them a conspicuous place in the history of the 
country. There were receptions to Washington, Louis Phillipe, 
Lafayette, Talleyrand, Joseph Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon, the 
Prince de Joinville, and hosts of others. The world's art found 
its way into the young republic ; trinkets and treasures of other 
lands mingled with the homely pioneer implements and agricultur- 
al devices. The New Harlem that had hewn paths in the wilderness 
now boasted chairs that had belonged to the First Consul ; a 
table, the marble top of which Napoleon had brought 
from Egypt ; a clock used by him in the Tuileries ; a 
chandelier that was his gift to Moreau; tapestries and paintings 
collected by Josephine and Napoleon ; a complete set of drawing- 
room furniture that had belonged to Charles X. ; a bedstead of 
exquisite workmanship, long used by the First Consul ; his army 
chest ; his chess-board, on which his fugitive nephew was, in time 
to come, to play daily a game with Madame Jumel ; and scores 
of other precious possessions before which the privileged visitor 
of to-day lingers with curiosity and envy. 

Scarcely less noted, and more distinctly American, was the 



Hamilton estate, adjoining the Jumel grounds, while 
many others were distinguished by ownership or association. 

It was in New Harlem, before he became Commander-in- 
Chief, that Washington received his first defeat in love. Here 
he wooed fair Mary Philipse ; here he lost her, too, to Roger 
Morris, who took his bride to the stately house afterward known 
as the Jumel mansion. Here, too, as Commander-in-Chief, 
Washington sat in the very dining-room from whence his former 
love had fled with her Tory husband, and aimed the first suc- 
cessful blow at the Tories. 

When the drums sounded, Harlem's sons, courageous as of 
old, mustered on the church green and marched down Church 
Lane to join Washington in the battle with Lord Howe, on the 
heights now crowned by Columbia University. And Matje 
David's Fly, the northern end of Harlem line, became famous as 
the point of Washington's manoeuvre that won the battle of Wash- 
ington Heights. 

Beyond, on the point of rocks through which the subway 
now runs, Washington stood during the scorching Septem- 
ber day and directed the battle which was to make Harlem of the 
New World as much a household name in history as the mighty 
town whose women joined her men in Holland's memorable fight 
for liberty. 

It was on these very heights that the first subdivision of 
Harlem's lands took place four years after the Dongan patent 
had been issued, at which time a list of the land owners practi- 
cally coincided with our list of the patentees ; showing also what 
land they held, as follows : 

Owners December 3D, 1685. 










i.iy.i7 l A 



11: gy 2 




5: 9 l A 
14: 3 



4: 5 l A 




Description of Property. 

Joost van Oblinus.... 

Resolved Waldron . . . 

Barent Waldron 

Jan Nagel 

Daniel Tourneur . . . . 

Wid. Daniel Tourneur 

J. P., Nos. 7, 11, 13; 
V. K. H., Nos. 10, 11, 
J 3, 16. 

V. K. H., Nos. 2,3, y 2 
of 4, y 2 of 9; N. L., 
Nos. 3, 4, 5, 9, 10. 

Gloudie's Point. 

J. P., Nos. 6,8,9,; S. 
D., 8 morgen. 

Montagne's Flat, 6 

J. P., No. r; V.K. H., 
Nos. 17 double, 18, 
19; M. F., 12 mor- 



Owners December 3D, 1685. 
















6: 5/2 



4: 5*4 













2: 5*4 
3: 1K2 



8: 5/2 
9: 7 




5: 9*4 
3o: 3 




Description of Property. 

Jan H. Brevoort 

Lawrence Jansen Low 

Arent H. Bussing 

Wid. Glaude Delamater. . . 

Adolph Meyer 

Cornelius Jansen Kortright 

Johannes Verveelen 

Johannes Vermilye 

Jan Delamater 

Maria Vermilye 

Jan Louwe Bogert 

Jan Dykeman 

Pieter van Oblinus 

William Haldron 

John Delavall 

William Cox 

William Holmes 

Isaac Deschamps , 

J. P., No. 5; V. K. H., 

No. 20; N. L., No. 1. 
J. P., No. 2; V.K.H., 

2-3 of 5, 6. 
J. P., No. 12. 
V. K. H., No. 12; M. 

F., 12 morgen (3 

J. P., Nos.4, 10; V. K, 

H-, No. 14. 
J. P., No. 3: V. K. H., 

No. 15; M. F., 18 

morgen; N. L., No. 6. 
V. K. H., Nos. 7, 8, 

54 of 9- 
V. K. H., 1-3 of No. 5. 
V. K. H., No. 1. 
Erf, since known as 

the Judah Plot. 
Bogert's Point. 
V.K.H., 54 of 4, or 2m; 

M. F., 6m; S. D., 6m. 
Hoorn's Hook. 

J. P., Nos. 14 to 22 @ 
6 2-3m; V. K. H., 21, 

Hoorn's Hook. 

Hoorn's Hook. 

Hoorn's Hook. 

In the foregoing the initials "J. P.," "V. K. H.," "M. F.," 
and "N. L,.," will be recognized as our old subdivisions of Jochem 
Pieter's lots, Van Keulen's Hook, Montagne's Flat and the New- 
Lots above Jochem Pieter's. Spuyten Duyvil land is referred 
to under the initials "S. D." Thus it will be seen that the gen- 
eral subdivisions which occurred previous to the time now under 
consideration practically included all the land mentioned in the 
summary of the early grants in Chapter I. 

Two more subdivisions must be noticed, — those of 1691 and 

The first, following four years after the Dongan patent, was 
under the supervision of Brevoort, Samuel Waldron, Adolph 
Meyer and Pieter van Oblinus, these men having been duly au- 
thorized by the freeholders at a mass meeting "to consider and 
devise such measures as shall be most proper for the benefit and 
best interests of the town and inhabitants thereof." 



The patentees now decided to divide all "tillable lands," 
"whereof each inhabitant of this town shall draw a part as his 
property, every one according to his estate or proportion." 

A word of repetition, by way of reminder, will recall to the 
reader the peculiar way in which Harlem's land affairs were 
managed. In the last table 28 erven were scheduled. To the 
ordinary observer these were only the little square plots of ground 
where the farmer had his house and barn. To the Harlemite 
this erf meant a right to draw land whenever subdivisions were 
to be made. 

Of the undivided lands, however, only a portion could be 
drawn by the holders of erven, the larger part being drawn by the 
holders of the morgen, or 2 acres of farm land. 

In this particular case it was decided that each man should 
draw "according to his right or apportionment, for the erven or 
third part; and then the rest shall be drawn according to the 
number of morgen." 

Jochem Pieter's Hills, "from the end of the old lots to the 
hill, and so again to the Clove of the Kill, behind the high hill 
in the hills," was unquestionably the best of the land now to be 
divided, although several other plots and minor locations were 
to be included in the partition by lot. All were interested 
in the division, because they stood equal chances of drawing some 
of the fine bottom land. One restriction, however, was wisely 
put upon the contestants : they must see "that a good and sufficient 
King's or high way 1 be left around the fencing of the same." 

This precaution preserved to our forefathers the main road 2 
until early in the last century, 3 when City Surveyor Randall laid 
out the present streets and avenues throughout the Island. 
Gradually the streets were opened according to this survey. 
Then, simultaneously with the opening of a city block on all four 
sides, former roads were closed and old-time landmarks disap- 

At this same meeting of the Town of New Harlem it was 
resolved to lay out the land between Fort Lee Ferry and 165th 
Street. It was also "resolved to lay out a parcel of land at the 
southerly end of the Long Hill, so much as shall be found good, 
tillable land." 

Also, the Town decided "to lay out a parcel of land at 
Spuyten Duyvil, between the high hills by the Round Meadow, 
on the other side of the swamp so much as shall be found fit for 

1. Harlem Records. 
_'. Kingsbridge Hoad. 
■i. 1808. 



l^^cc- C/Cisvyy., 




tillage ; on condition that there remain a good and sufficient King's 
way where shall be found best and most convenient." This 
refers to a triangle of land above Dyckman Street, between 205th 
and 215th Streets, extending up to Spuyten Duyvil Creek. 


In estimating the Jochem Pieter lots, it was determined that 
one morgen upon the hills should "count for two morgen upon 
any of the other parcels that shall be laid out." Also that the 
hills should "be fenced off from the corner of the land behind 
the steep hill to the meadow of Daniel Tourneur, at Montagne's 
Kill, for a sheep pasture, — those having fences within this stretch 
to keep the same tight and in order, — with a draw-rail at the road ; 
and that a bridge be made there, beyond the stone bridge, or there- 



With the aid of a surveyor the "Authorized Men" accord- 
ingly made up the following schedule : 

The Division of 1691. 

Bv Whom Drawn. 


fc. z »• 

S ^ 5 

Location of the Land. 











Thomas Tourneur 

Dan'l Tourneur, Jr., dec. 

Johannes Waldron 

Adolph Meyer 

Johannes Vermilye 

Jan H. Brevoort 

Jacques Tourneur 

Arent H. Bussing 

Thos. Delavall, dec 

Metje Cornells 

Isaac Delamater 

Barent Waldron 

Jan Tibout 

Jan Dykeman 

Lawrence Jansen Low... 

William Holmes 

William Haldron, dec... 

Samuel Waldron 

Joost van Oblinus 

Pieter van Oblinus 

Barent Waldron 

Metje Cornelius 

Abraham Delamontanie . 

Jan Dykeman 

Jan Louwe Bogert 

Jan Delamater 















7 1-2 

7 1-2 

12 1-6 

33 i-3 

20 1-2 






9 1-2 


24 1-2 


Behind the old J 

P. Lots. 


















On the southern 

end of the Long 


By the Round 

North of his erf. 
Nigh Montagne's 
Bet. Patent Line 
and King's Way. 
N. of the Round 

In the Bay of 
Hell Gate, 

This, says the Harlem Records, is a "list of the drawn Lands 
as they are measured out by the surveyor, A. Appel, by lot, pur- 
suant to order from the whole Community and Authorized Men 
of this Town." 

Every erf-right, according to the schedule, was allowed 10 
acres of this allotment ; every morgen-right received 333-600 of 
a morgen. 

A few restrictions other than those named in the original 
vote to subdivide these lands being now thought necessary, the 


freeholders met on December nth, 1691, and determined that all 
new paths or roads should be laid out from the new lots above 
mentioned. But they renewed their promise to sustain the acts 
of the Authorized Men, and made other minor declarations in 
these words : 

Whereas on this day have assembled the community 
of New Harlem, and having from among themselves 
chosen and authorized Adolph Meyer, John Hendricks 
van Brevoort, Peter van Oblenis, and Samuel Waldron 
to lay out the available land, according to the surveyor's 
schedule hereunto annexed ; So we the undersigned 
promise to hold inviolate that which the four persons be- 
fore named have caused to be measured and set off to 
Matje Cornells, John Louwe Bogert, John Delamater, 
Abraham Delamontaine, Barent Waldron, and John 

Note A: All the lands that are unsuitable for till- 
age shall bear half costs. And all those who have drawn 
the land behind the old land of Jochem Pieter's shall be 
obligated to leave a convenient road for the town's use. 

The erven that have been drawn shall be required 
to contribute to town expenses. 

The path or road shall be taken from the newly 
drawn land. 

All this we have subscribed with our hands. 

Adolph Meyer, 

Pieter van Oblenis, 

Joost van Oblenis, 

Jan Louwe Bogert, 

Arent Harmanse Bussing, 

Metje Cornelis, 

Barent Waldron, 

Isaac Delamater, 

Jan Tibout, 

Jan Hendricks van Brevoort, 

Samuel Waldron, 

Johannes Waldron. 

Jan Delamater, 

Jan Dykeman, 

Johannes Vermilyi:, 

Lawrence Jansen Low, 

Abraham Delamontanie. 

Jan Tibout, Clerk. 

It was eight or nine years, however, before this confirmation 
of the acts of the Authorized Men was acted upon 
and the title deeds passed to the land. Meanwhile an 


important step in the advance of the Harlem church had been 
taken, — Harlem having presented to the consistory the land on 
which the church then stood, on First Avenue, near 125th Street, 
and also the Church Lot at the end of the Gardens. 

As in many other similar instances, the deeds conveying this 
property cannot be found, but notice of the deed is fortunately 
preserved by this note in Jan Tibout's handwriting: "At a meet- 
ing held Nov. 2, 1699, all the residents or proprietors of the town 
made a conveyance of the church to the Reverend Consistory, 
upon condition that the proprietors who have helped build the 
church shall continue to hold their seats." Thus the consistory 
have continued to hold that part of the Church Farm where the 
church now stands down to the present day. The remainder it 
has disposed of. 

About a month after this action the freeholders determined 
to issue deeds for the allotment of 1691. On December 14th, 
therefore, Arent Harmanse Bussing, Adolph Meyer and Samuel 
Waldron were chosen attorneys in fact to issue deeds for the 
property. They met on December 18th, four days after their 
appointment, approved of the acts of the surveyor, and then, as 
was customary, waited fourteen days in order that objections to 
this final step might be filed. No one arose to gainsay the trans- 
action, however, and then every member of the Corporation was 
asked to sign the usual paper promising to pay his or her pro- 
portion of the town charges, and agreeing to a pro rata distribu- 
tion of the common lands. Bastien Kortright, too, was now 
given a deed to the piece of land which he had purchased from 
Johannes Vermilye, April 1, 1693, at Kingsbridge. 

Harlem was always thus definite in asserting her inalienable 
right to control the issue of land titles. 

Five months after the authorization, the attorneys who had 
the matter in hand delivered the deeds to those who had drawn 
land in the division of 1691. 

There were, however, still other lands belonging to Harlem 
which were undivided, and again the town met (in May, 171 1) 
pursuant to an act passed by the Governor, Council and General 
Assembly, entitled : "An Act for the easier Partition of Lands 
in Joint Tenancy, or in Common." This act of the Legislature 
required : 

First: A three months' notice before the division. 

Second : A good and sufficient survey of the property, 
"either by a sworn surveyor, or any three neighbors, men of 
intelligence and integrity, to be chosen by the dividers." 



Third : The lots to be laid out as nearly equal as possible. 

Fourth : They were to be numbered, and drawn for by 
these numbers, so as to give each freeholder a fair chance in the 

Fifth : The drawing of lots was to be made in the presence 
of at least three disinterested persons to be named by the dividers, 
and they were to be paid five shillings a day "for their trouble 
had in making the said division." 

Sixth : The drawing was not to cost the Town anything. 

Seventh : This was to be accomplished by setting aside, 
before the drawing, enough land to defray all expenses of the 

Eighth : The land thus set aside for expenses could be sold 
by a majority of the patentees, their heirs, successors or assigns, 
whose conveyance thereof should be good and effectual in the law. 

A Justice's warrant was then issued on May 9th, 171 1, 
directed to Gerrit Dyckman, Constable of Harlem, authorizing 
a meeting of the inhabitants and freeholders ; and again attorneys 
were appointed to act for the body. These were to name a sur- 
veyor, choose disinterested witnesses of the proceedings, etc., 
in keeping with the act just named. Details of this subdivision 
follow : 

First Dizision, IJ12. 

By Whom Drawn. 

K X 

W 2 


Land Due. 








John Waldron 

Sampson Benson 

John Nagel 

John Kiersen 

Metje Cornelis 

Barent Waldron 

Samuel Waldron 

Thomas Delavall 

John van Oblenis 

Isaac Delamater 

Arent H. Bussing 

John Benson 

Jacques Tourneur 

Marcus Tiebaut 

Maria Meyer 

Zacharias Sickels 

Abraham Delamontanie 
Lawrence Jansen Low . 

Charles Congreve 

Aeltic Vermilye 

John Dykcman 













j 17 













Only seven charred stumps now remain of the historic thirteen gum tricks 


thirteen original states of the union. 


■Til ii ii nTIiMMiir frflf*' JP-' 

. ■111 991 

'- 1 IF 


This interesting relic of New Harlem's Revolutionary days was built 
by Alexander Hamilton, on the heights at 142D Street. It commanded a sweep- 
ing view of both Hudson and Harlem rivers, and was considered one of the 
finest country manor-houses in Harlem. It was the young statesman's daily 
custom to drive in his coach and four to his Nassau Street office, and from 
these steps he descended on the morning of his fatal duel with Burr. 



Second Division, 1712. 

By Whom Drawn. 

« X 

W £ 

Land Due. 

Q. R. 

Metje Cornells 

Samuel Waldron 

John Kiersen 

Lawrence Jansen Low 
Barent Waldron .... 

Aeltie Vermilye 

Charles Congreve . . . 

John Benson 

John Nagel 

Maria Meyer 

John van Oklenis . . . 
Zacharias Sickles .... 

John Waldron 

Jacques Tourneur . . . 

Marcus Tiebaut 

Thomas Delavall .... 

John Dykeman 

Samson Benson 

Isaac Delamater .... 
Arent H. Bussing . . . 


i6y 2 



















Third Division, IJ12. 

By Whom Drawn. 

o 2 

Land Due. 

John Waldron 

Jacques Tourneur 

Aeltie Vermilye 

Samson Benson 

Lawrence Jansen Low 
Samuel Waldron .... 
Barent Waldron .... 

John Kiersen 

Marcus Tiebaut 

John Dykeman 

Charles Congreve . . . 

John Nagel 

Arent Bussing, 

Isaac Delamater .... 
Thomas Delavall .... 

Maria Meyer 

Metje Cornells 

John Benson 




























Fourth Division, 1712. 






By Whom Drawn. 

Samson Benson . . . 
Lourens Cornelisse 
Barent Waldron . . . 

w £ 

John Dykeman | 1 

Jacques Tourneur 

John Waldron 

John Kiersen 

Arent Bussing 

Thomas Delavall 

John Nagel 

Lawrence Jansen Low 

Samuel Waldron 

Marcus Tiebaut 

Maria Meyer 

Aeltie Vermilye 

Charles Congreve 

Isaac Delamater 

John Benson 







o 2 




i6y 2 




Land Due. 





Q. R. 




Attached to the lists of these divisions was the certification 
of the disinterested witnesses, which reads : 

We, whose names are here underwritten, elected, 
nominated and appointed by the freeholders or inhab- 
itants of New Harlem, to see that a just and equal 
division be made of their undivided Lands, Do by these 
presents Certify that there is a just and equal division 
made according to the proportions of right of every 
house-lot and every morgen right, as it is here above ex- 
pressed ; as witness our hands this twentieth day of June, 
Anno Dom. 17 12. 

John Lawrence, 
coknelis luyster, 
E. Blagge. 

"Taken in connection with the lists previously given," says 
Riker (page 449), speaking of these Town records, "they present 
a full and consecutive statement in regard to the original and 
early ownership, situation, quantity, etc., of the Harlem Lands, 
such as in all probability can be shown of no other territory of 
equal extent, and undergoing like subdivision. Will someone, 
keeping to the record, do as much for the lower section of Man- 
hattan Island!'" 

With the exception of a record of a town meeting held in 


March of this year, at which it was determined to lay out some 
new roads, Harlem's history has long remained a blank, — a mys- 
tery whose solution has only now been effected. 

During this "night without a star" only one of her official 
acts has been preserved to the public, viz. : the sale of part of her 
commons to Dudley Seldon in the early part of the last century. 

On the map of Harlem will be seen the 290-acre triangle 
thus sold for the sum of $25,500, marked "Harlem Commons." 
From the proceeds of this sale, conducted by Authorized Men 
similar to the divisions just noted, the Harlem library was to re- 
ceive $3,000, the Hamilton school $3,500, "another school" $4,000, 
and $4,500 to a "third and fourth school." (See Appendix E). 

From now on, people who were interested in Harlem, or 
desired to trace titles for themselves or for clients, not only found 
their work hindered by the peculiar manner in which these lands 
had been allotted, traded, sold, bequeathed, resurveyed, etc., but 
were also met by a new obstacle, — they could not get at the 
records without immense difficulty. Embarrassing questions 
were asked. Why did they wish to trace the titles? 

One citizen, Charles F. Grim, more bold than the rest, tried to 
break down the barrier, which, although no one could specifically 
analyze it, was, nevertheless, powerful enough to deter those not 
on the "inside" from getting at the titles to Harlem's property. 

Grim, as will be seen later, was then forbidden the records. 
His case was only typical of the experience of others who tried 
to reach the documents. Finally, rumor had it that the Harlem 
Records had been stolen. Here the narrative pauses. The story 
of New Harlem has been told to the point where "the old order 
changes." But there is another story, and it is the story of New 
Harlem, for it is the story by which the reader is to learn that 
New Harlem still exists. 



THE foregoing pages contain a narrative of the settlement of 
the Town of New Harlem and of the growth of the Town 
during the period covered by all authentic records now 
accessible. The following review has been written in the hope 
that an outline of the facts and principles of law involved in the 
recovery of the Harlem lands, — undertaken by Mr. Henry Pen- 
nington Toler on behalf of the descendants of the original Harlem 
Patentees, — may serve to answer the numerous questions pro- 
pounded daily, and to anticipate future enquiries on the same 

These pages contain no attempt to pass judgment upon any 
of the facts or principles of law involved. Their purpose is simply 
to indicate the nature of the questions, both of law and of fact, 
that will necessarily be presented for the decision of the courts in 
the proceedings to recover the Harlem rights and properties. 

The Town of New Harlem was created a corporation by 
those certain grants and charters issued by the King of England 
between 1665 and 1687. The effort here is to set forth the legal 
principles affecting the creation of the Town and governing its 
existence to the present time ; to discuss the status of the present 
members of the Town, as descendants of the original patentees 
and trustees under the trust created by the charters. The fact 
that the Statute of Limitations does not apply to the corporate 
ownership of the New Harlem Lands is considered at some length. 
There is a short account of former efforts to recover these lands, 
with a statement as to why they failed and why the present plan 
should succeed ; also a consideration of the Town ownership of 
the undivided common lands, the waterfront and beds of the 
creeks or arms of the sea. 

The Titlic to Manhattan Island. 

The English possessions in America were not claimed by 
right of conquest, but of discovery, and were held by the King, 

Showing the celebrated Harlem Line established by the Harlem Chants 
and Charters, and Ratified by Legislative Acts of 1772 to 1824. The Town- 
Lands above the Line claimed by 40.000 Heirs. 


as the representative of the nation for whose benefit the dis- 
covery was made. 

England claimed to have discovered Manhattan Island be- 
fore Holland, — England in 1498, Holland in 1623. Holland 
claimed title to the island not only by right of discovery in 1623, 
but by immediately following actual occupancy, and further, 
by purchase of the whole island from the Indians through Gov- 
ernor Minuit for the sum of $24.00. Holland, therefore, claimed 
to have a better title than England, whose "discovery" was not fol- 
lowed by occupancy and whose title had not been acquired from 
the Indians. 

England, from time to time after occupation by the Dutch, 
gave notice of her claim to Holland through the States General 
at the Hague, and through the Governor at Manhattan Island. 
No attention being paid to her demands by Holland, England, in 
1664, took forcible possession of the fort at the lower end of the 
island (The Battery). This act alone might have been considered 
as vesting the title in England by conquest, but for the fact that at 
that time peace existed between England and Holland ; England, 
claiming, in extenuation of her act, the right to take forcible pos- 
session of what was already her own property. ... By the 
surrender of the Dutch at this time (1664) and by the Treaty of 
Westminster in 1674, Holland conveyed to England all her rights 
to Manhattan Island, and thus confirmed and perfected England's 

Harlem Patents Issued. 

In 1666, two years after Nicolls took possession of the island 
in behalf of England, the English King, Charles II., issued to his 
brother, the Duke of York, a patent conveying, with other lands, 
the Island of Manhattan (Appendix A). The Duke of 
York, through his deputy, Governor Nicolls (Appendix B), 
thereupon issued the first patent to the Freeholders and Inhabit- 
ants of the Town of Harlem, (alias Lancaster) upon the Island of 
Manhattan, in the month of May, 1666, (p. 28). On October 
nth, 1667, the second Nicolls patent was issued (by the same au- 
thority, — the Duke of York) ratifying and confirming the first ; 
containing a more accurate description of the Town Lands and 
providing for the restoration of the name "New Harlem" (p. 41). 

After issuing the two Nicolls patents, the Duke of York 
became King James II. of England, and, in the exercise of his 
sovereign right, issued the third Harlem patent, through Governor 
Thomas Dongan, in 1686, confirming the Nicolls patents, and in- 


stead of referring to unnamed associates, as Governor Nicolls had 
done in the previous grants, named all the Freeholders and In- 
habitants of Harlem at that date as grantees and members of the 
corporation of the "Town of New Harlem" (p. 120). 

A Flaw in the Title. 

The circumstance of the recapture of Manhattan Island by 
Holland, and its subsequent cession to England by the Treaty of 
Peace of 1674 at Westminster, gave rise to a knotty legal problem, 
the cause of much discussion by the English Bar. 

As stated above, Manhattan Island, being vested in the King 
of England by right of discovery, became the property of the 
Duke of York by Royal grant of March 12th, 1664, (Appendix 
A). Holland declaring war against England in 1673, recaptured 
the island in the month of August of that year and reoccupied it 
until the succeeding November. By the Treaty of Westminster 
above referred to, Holland ceded to England all her right to the 
island, thus again vesting the title directly in the English King. 

The question agitating the legal fraternity was, did the Duke 
of York lose title to the island by reason of its conquest by Hol- 
land and its subsequent cession to the King of England by treaty, 
or were all vested rights left undisturbed by the surrender of 1664. 
Eminent lawyers argued both sides of the question, until King 
Charles, to settle all doubts on the subject, issued his second con- 
firmatory grant to the Duke of York (Appendix D). 

Harlem Patents Compared. 

The Dongan and the two preceding Nicolls patents, com- 
monly known as the "Harlem Patents," contain many interesting 

The description of the lands conveyed differs little in all 
three patents, each providing for the transfer to the "Town of 
New Harlem" of all lands on Manhattan Island north and east of 
a line running from 74th Street and the East River to 129th Street 
and the Hudson River, in the City of New York, (see map Appen- 
dix) in the words following: 

That from the west side of the fence of said 
town, a line be run due west four hundred English 
poles, without variation of the compasse, at the end 
whereof another line being drawn to run north and south, 
with the variation, that is to say, north to the very end 
of a certain piece of meadow ground, commonly called 
the round meadow, near or adjoining to Hudson's 
River, and south to the Saw Mills, over against Hog 


Island, commonly called Ferkin's Island, it shall be the 
west bounds of their lands, and all the lands lying and 
being within said line so drawn north and south as 
aforesaid, eastward to the town and Harlem River, as 
also to the North and East Rivers shall belong to the 
Town, together with all the soils, creeks, quarries, woods, 
meadows, pastures, marshes, waters, fishings, huntings 
and fowlings, and all other profits, commodities, emolu- 
ments and hereditaments to the said land and premises 
within the said line belonging, or in anywise appertaining, 
with their and every of their appurtenances. 

The First Nicolas Patent. 

The first patent, issued in 1666 (p. 28), clearly proves that 
the "Town of New Harlem" was in existence prior to that time. 
The caption reads: "A patent granted unto the Freeholders and 
Inhabitants of Harlem, alias Lancaster, upon the Island of Man- 
hattan," and the preamble sets forth the following: "Whereas 
there is a certain town or village commonly called and known by 
the name of New Harlem. ... I have thought fit to ratify, 
confirm and grant, and by these presents do ratify, confirm 
and grant unto the said Freeholders and Inhabitants, 
their heirs, successors and assigns, and to each and every of them, 
their particular lots and estates in the said town or any part there- 
of, and I do likewise confirm and grant unto the Freeholders and 
Inhabitants in general, their heirs, successors and assigns, the priv- 
ileges of a town, but immediately depending on this city as being 
within the liberties thereof. Moreover, for the better ascertaining 
of the limits of the lands to the said town belonging, the extent of 
their bounds shall be as follows, viz. :" 

It is evident from the above that Governor Nicolls recog- 
nized the existence of the town before the grant, and as no known 
charter relating to Harlem village had been issued up to that time, 
the town undoubtedly owed its existence to some prescriptive 
right, probably to be found in the ordinance passed by the Director 
General and Council of New Netherlands the 4th of March, 1658, 
(p. 14). 

This first patent, in some respects, was objectionable to the 
Harlemites. The meadow-lands across the Harlem had been 
omitted in the description of the lands conveyed, and by the 
patent Governor Nicolls sought to change the name of the vil- 
lage from "New Harlem" to "Lancaster," the clause reading: 
"The Freeholders and Inhabitants of the said town are to observe 
and keep the terms and conditions hereafter expressed, that is 


to say, that from and after the date of these presents, the 
said town shall no longer be called New Harlem, but shall be 
known and called by the name of Lancaster. And in all deeds, bar- 
gains and sales, records or writings, shall be so deemed, observed 
and written." 

This change of name was a feature most offensive to the 
inhabitants, and was never used by them, the name "Lancas- 
ter" not appearing in any of the village records. 

The words of the patent, "the privileges of a Town," 
comprehended the existence of the village as a corporate body. A 
condition deemed to be fatal, however, to the best interests of the 
town was imposed by the succeeding words : "But immediately 
depending on this city (New York) as being within the liberties 
thereof:" the Harlemites then and thereafter invariably opposing 
all attempts to make the town dependent upon the City of New 
York. The habendum and tenendum follow : 

"To have and to hold all and singular the said lands, heredita- 
ments and premises, with their and every of their appurtenances, 
and of every part and parcel thereof to the said freeholders and 
inhabitants, their heirs, successors and assigns, to the proper use 
and behoof of the said freeholders and inhabitants, their heirs, 
successors and assigns forever." 

This grant was made to the freeholders and inhabitants as 
a body of men associated together, — a community, a corporation, 
— and to its legal successors. The patent under the English law 
constituted the grantees a corporation. The unappropriated, un- 
divided, unallotted or common lands, by this charter became ves- 
ted in this corporation, the patent conveying the lands to the proper 
"use and behoof of the freeholders and inhabitants, their heirs, 
successors and assigns forever," as members of the Town of New 
Harlem (alias Lancaster). 

New Harlem a Corporation — May Alienate Real Estate. 
To enable it to answer the purposes of its creation, every 
corporation aggregate has, incidentally, at common law, a right 
to take, hold and transmit in succession, property, real and per- 
sonal, to an unlimited extent and amount. 1 

Accordingly, as the incident supposes the principle, it has 
been held that a grant of land from the sovereign authority to 
the inhabitants of a town, county, or hundred, rendering rent, 
would create them a corporation for that single intent, or confer 

i. Angell & Ames on Corp., nth Ed., p. 120. Littleton 49, 112, 114. Co. Lit. 44 a, 
1 Sid. 161 w. 1 Ky. Corp. 76, 78, 104. 2 Kent Com. 227. 1 Bl. 
Com. 478. 3 Jones Eq- t 126. 


upon them a capacity to take and hold the lands in a corporate 
character, without saying "to them and their successors." 1 

And where it was evident, from the different clauses of 
several local acts of parliament, that conservators of a river navi- 
gation were to take and transmit lands by succession, although 
they were not created a corporation by express words, they were 
considered from the possession of this incident to be incorporated 
by implication ; so that they were entitled to sue, in their corpor- 
ate name, for an injury done to their real estate, and in that char- 
acter to receive their tolls. 

There are many instances of grants by charter to the inhabit- 
ants of a town "that their town shall be a free borough," and that 
they shall enjoy various privileges and exceptions without any 
direct clause of incorporation ; and yet by virtue of such charters 
such towns have been uniformly considered as incorporated. 2 

If the King grants lands to the inhabitants of B, their heirs 
and successors, rendering a rent for anything touching their lands, 
— this is a corporation, though not to other purposes. But if the 
King grants lands to the inhabitants of B, and no rent be reserved 
to the King, the grant is void. 3 

To constitute a de facto corporation there must be either a 
charter or a law authorizing the creation of such a corporation, 
with an attempt in good faith to comply with its terms, and a 
user or attempt to exercise corporate powers thereunder. 

In substantiation of the fact that the Harlem grants created 
a corporation, the following references, selected at random from 
the mass of decisions on the subject, will be found both perti- 
nent and explanatory: 

Century Dig., Vol. 12, p. Ill, sec. 70. 

Tone Conservators v. Ash., 10 B. & C. 349. 

Bridgewater Canal Co. v. Bluett, id. 393. 

Denton v. Jackson (or Hempstead, Town of), 2 
Johnson Cy., R. P. 324-327. 

The Mayor, etc., v. Hart, 16 Hun., p. 361, and same 
case, 95 X. Y., p. 450. 

Atkinson v. Bowman, Gen. T., 2d Dist. N. Y. State 
Rep., Vol. 5, p. 456. 

Rogers v. Jones, 1 Wend., 238. 

Breen v. Locke, X. Y. S. R., Vol. 11, p. 238. 

Thomas v. Dakin, 22 Wend., 94-5. 

1. Dyer, ioo a, pi. 70, cited as good law by Lord Kenyon, 2 T. R. 672. 2 Kent 

Com. 22-,. North Hempstead v. Hempstead, 2 Wend., 109. Stebbins v. Jenkins 
10. Pick 188. Gospel v. Pawlett, 4 Pet., 480. 

2. Vid. Firm. Burg., C. 11, and Madox Hist, of Exch. 402, the charter of Dun- 

winck and Kyds., 1 Vol., p. 63. 

3. 2 Dar., 214. Lewis Blackstone, Vol. 1, p. 475. 


2 Jac. Law Diet., 94 Corp. 1. 

Kent Com., 3d Ed. 

276 Angell & Ames Corp., 17-45. 

1 Kyd. on Corp., 29-32. 

Sutton's Hospital case, 10 Co. 23. 

Hemstead v. Hemstead, 2 Wend., 133-4-5. 

1 Kyd. Corp. 4, Dy. 109, p. 70 (To good men of 

Warner v. Burns, 23 Wend., 103. 

Curtis v. Levitt, 15 N. Y., 55. 

Acts of the Colonial Assembly and Council of 1772, 
1774 and 1775. 

2d Kent Com., 3d Ed., p. 276. 

In spite of the attempted change of name and other grave 
objections, the patent was accepted and remained of record, Gov- 
ernor Xicolls on October 11, 1667 (p. 41), issuing: 

The Second Nicoixs Patent. 

This second grant contains a fuller description of the Town 
lands, including the meadows on the "Maine" ; grants the lands 
to "Thomas Delavall, Esq., John Verveelen, Daniel Tourncur, 
Joost Oblinus and Resolved Waldron, as patentees for and in be- 
half of themselves and their associates, the freeholders and in- 
habitants of the said town, their heirs, successors and assigns ;" 
provides for the retention of the town name of "New Harlem," 
and to the great gratification of the villagers, limited and defined 
the dependency of the "Town of New Harlem" upon the "City of 
New York" in the words following: 

And I do hereby likewise ratify, confirm and grant 
unto the said patentees and their associates, their heirs, 
successors and assigns, all the rights and privileges be- 
longing to a town within this government, with this pro- 
viso or exception : that in all matters of debt or trespass 
of or above the value of five pounds, they shall have 
relation to and dependence upon the courts of this city 
as the other towns have upon the several Courts of Ses- 
sions to which they do belong. 

The second patent, issued by Governor Nicolls, was in no 
sense a new patent. As before stated, it explained, corrected, rati- 
fied and confirmed the first, made more definite and certain the 
quantity, limits and description of the lands granted, and restored 
the name of New Harlem to the town, in the place of Lancaster 

(P- 43)- 

This second and confirmatory patent of Governor Nicolls 


added to the description of the first patent the words "Verken's 
or Hog Island, in the Sound or East River," and after the words 
"Harlem River" is added "or any part of the said river on 
which this island doth abut," and also . . . "doth and shall 
belong to the said town ;" also "lots of meadow ground upon the 
main, marked with numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4, over against the spring 
. . . with a small island commonly called Stony Island, lying 
to the East of the Town and Harlem River, going through 
Bronk's Kill by the Little and Great Barnes Island, upon which 
there are four other lots of ground marked 1, 2, 3 and 4." 

This second patent also asserts that the village or town of 
New Harlem is in the tenure or occupancy of several of the free- 
holders and inhabitants settled there by authority; that said town 
has a competent number of families capable to make a township 
(showing acceptance, user and occupancy, under first patent) ; that 
for confirmation to said freeholders and inhabitants in their 
possession and enjoyment of these premises, and for further im- 
provement of said lands, it ratifies, confirms and grants the 
lands unto the patentees above mentioned. 

The habendum and tenendum are to the patentees themselves 
and their associates and successors. Their associates evidently be- 
ing persons who were, or afterward became, legally interested with 
them in the title to said lands, and their successors those who fol- 
lowed them as members of the corporate body, being such members 
by virtue of being heirs of the grantees and their then associates 
at the date of such patents. (See Denton vs. Jackson and the 
cases above cited.) 

The Third (Dongan) Patent. 

The third and last "Harlem Patent," issued by "Thomas Don- 
gan, Captain General, Governor in Chief and Vice-Admiral in 
and over the Province of New York and its dependencies thereon 
in America, under His Majesty James the Second, by the Grace 
of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender 
of the Faith, etc.," conveys the lands to the following twenty-three 
"as patentees for and on the behalf of themselves the present free- 
holders and inhabitants of the said town of New Harlem, their 
heirs, successors and assigns forever." 

Jan Delavall 

Resolved Waldron 

Joost van Oblinus (Oblenis) 

Daniel Tourneur 


Adolph Meyer (Myer) 

John Spragge 

Jan Hendricks Brevoort 

Jan Delamater 

Isaac Delamater 

Barent Waldron 

Johannes Vermilje (Vermilye) 

Lawrence Jansen (Low) 

Peter van Oblinus (Oblenus) 

Jan Dykeman (Dyckman) 

Jan Nagel 

Arent Hermanse (Bussing) 

Cornelis Jansen (Kortright) 

Jacqueline Tourneur 

Hester Delamater 

Johannes Verveelen (Van Valen) 

William Haldron (Holdrum) 

Abraham Montanie (de la Montanye) 

Peter Parmentier 
The Dongan patent of 1686 was a ratification and confirma- 
tion of the Nicolls patents, and added to the five grantees named 
in the second Nicolls patent the names of all their "associates," 
making twenty-three grantees in all, which number constituted all 
the members of the Corporation of the Town of New Harlem at 
that date. 

Governor Dongan, in the description of the lands, adds the 
words "messuages, tenements, houses, buildings, barns, stables, 
orchards, gardens, pastures, mills, mill-dams, runs, streams, 
ponds, woods, underwoods, trees, timber, fencing, liberties and 

It will be noticed that the Dongan patent, after reciting fully 
and particularly the second Nicolls patent, sets forth that 
the "present inhabitants and freeholders of the Town of New 
Harlem aforesaid have made their application unto me for a 

The patent, then, was avowedly for "a more full and ample 
confirmation of their premises to them, etc." The Governor, con- 
tinuing, gives, ratifies and confirms, "all and singular the before 
recited tract and parcels of land and meadow, butted and bounded 
as in the said patent is mentioned and expressed, together with 
all and singular the messuages, tenements, houses, liberties, priv- 
ileges, hereditaments and improvements whatsoever to the said 
tract of land and premises belonging, or in anywise appertaining 


Successor to Governor Andros and author of Harlem's Third Patent. 



or accepted, reputed, taken or known or used, occupied and en- 
joyed, as part, parcel or member thereof, with their and every of 
their appurtenances." 

It would be difficult to conceive of a more full or ample rati- 
fication and confirmation of the second Nicolls patent than is to 
be found in the words of the Colonial Governor, above quoted. 
It will be further observed that the reiteration of the second 
Nicolls patent by Governor Dongan in his grant to the Harlemites, 
above mentioned, sets forth that, whereas Governor Nicolls had 
granted to the people of Harlem the "freedom of commonage for 
range and feed of cattle and horses, further west into the woods 
upon this island, as well without as within their bounds and limits 
set forth and expressed," and whereas Richard Nicolls provided 
in such grant that "no person whatsoever shall be suffered or 
permitted to erect any manner of house or building upon this 
island, within two miles of the limits and bounds aforementioned, 
without the consent and approbation of the major part of the 
inhabitants of the said town," which two provisions preced- 
ed the Dongan words of ratification and confirmation men- 

Bearing this fact in mind, attention is called to the words in 
the Dongan patent immediately following the ending of the rati- 
fication and confirmation clause mentioned, viz. : "Always provided 
that nothing contained therein shall be construed to prejudice the 
right of the City of New York, or any other particular right and 
saving to the said City of New York, and their successors forever ; 
and also saving to every particular person, his heirs and assigns 
that have any right, interest or estate within the limits of the 
said Town of New Harlem, as well as without the limits of the 
said Town of Harlem, full power, liberty and privilege to build, 
cultivate and improve all such tracts and parcels of land as the 
said City of New York now have, or hereafter shall have within 
or without and adjacent to the limits of the Town of Harlem afore- 
said, and also the commonage of the Town of Harlem aforesaid 
is to be confirmed within the limits abovesaid; and the right of 
commonage to extend no further, any grant or thing contained 
herein to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding." 

It is more than probable that the City of New York con- 
sidered that, under and by virtue of the ratification by Governor 
Dongan of the second Nicolls patent in its entirety, the after- 
clause above described, beginning with the words "always pro- 
vided" was practically meaningless, and therefore induced Harlem 
to enter upon the settlement of the Harlem line through the ap- 


pointment of commissioners by the Town and by the City of New 
York with the aid of the legislature, as more fully appears in the 
appendix of this work. 

Free and Common Socage. 

The tenendum of the Dongan patent differs in form from that 
of the Nicolls patents, the latter being issued by authority of the 
Duke of York, and the former by the King himself. This tenen- 
dum carries with it a peculiar meaning, to be found in the follow- 
ing words: "To be holden of his most sacred Majesty, his heirs 
and successors in free and common socage, according to the 
tenure of East Greenwich in the County of Kent, in his Majesty's 
kingdom of England." The words mentioned would seem to in- 
dicate that the lands granted were to be held free from feudal 
burdens, or the old tenure by Knight service, under which tenure 
all land grants that came to the crown by the dissolution of the 
lesser monasteries in the reign of King Henry VIII. had to be 
granted. Prior to the conquest, Gavel kind tenure held sway in 
England. The definition of the word Gavel kind reads : 

A tenure of lands now peculiar to Kent and a few 
other counties in England, whereby the tenant at fifteen 
can sell and convey or devise the land by will, the estate 
can not escheat, and on an intestacy the lands descend to 
all the sons in common. 1 

Coke derived Gavel kind from "Gave all kinde." 
In the United States every estate in fee simple is held as ab- 
solutely and unconditionally as is compatible with the State's right 
of eminent domain. Many grants of land made by the British 
government prior to the Revolution created socage tenure, sub- 
sequently abolished or modified by the legislatures of the different 
States. In New York there was supposed to have been some 
species of military tenure introduced by the Dutch previous to 
their surrender to the English in 1664, but the legislature of that 
State, in 1787, turned them all into a tenure in free and common 
socage, and, finally, in 1830, abolished this latter tenure entirely 
and declared that all lands in that State should thenceforth be held 
upon a uniform allodial tenure (See Parliamentary Reports, 1870, 
on tenures in countries of Europe, 2 Vol. Bouvier's Law Diet.). 

Grants in General. 
A grant of land has been defined as a public law standing on 

1. Standard Dictionary. 


the statute books of the State, and is notice to every subsequent 
purchaser under any conflicting sale made afterwards. 1 

A patent is conclusive against all whose rights commence 
subsequent to its date. 2 It conveys the legal title and leaves the 
equities open. 3 A patent of land is the highest evidence of title, 
and is conclusive as against the government and all claiming 
under junior patents or title until set aside or annulled, unless it 
is absolutely void on its face. 4 

The Town of New Harlem in 1666. 

From the foregoing, assuming the incorporation of the Town 
of New Harlem to be proven, a corporation then existed under 
Royal grant, in 1666 to 1686; and if Mr. Henry Pennington 
Toler, representing the descendants of the patentees, as members 
of the town corporation, is to succeed in his undertaking to re- 
cover the "Harlem Lands," the same Town of New Harlem must 
be proved to exist to-day. The Town of New Harlem was cre- 
ated an aggregate corporation, a body defined by Mr. Justice 
Story to be : 

An aggregate corporation at common law is a col- 
lection of individuals united into one collective body, 
under a special name, and possessing certain immunities, 
privileges and capacities, in its collective character, which 
do not belong to the natural persons composing it. 
Among other things, it possesses the capacity of per- 
petual succession and of acting by the collective vote 
or will of its collective members, and of suing and being 
sued in all things touching its corporate rights and duties. 
It is, in short, an artificial person, existing in contempla- 
tion of law, and endowed with certain powers and fran- 
chises which, though they must be exercised through the 
medium of its natural members, are yet considered as 
subsisting in the corporation itself as distinctly as if it 
were a real personage. Hence, such a corporation may 
sue and be sued by its own members, and may contract 
with them in the same manner as with any strangers. 
A great variety of these corporations exist in every 
country governed by the common law ; in some of which 
the corporate existence is perpetuated by new elections, 
made from time to time ; and in others, by continual ac- 
cession of new members, without any corporate act. 

1. 2 U. S. App. 581. 

2. 7 Wheat., 212. 

3. IS Peters, 93. 

4. 2 Wall, 525; 13 id., 72; id. 92; 19 id., 646; 23 How., 235; 104 U. S., 636. 

i 5 4 NEW HARLEM. 

The Grant Accepted by the Patentees. 

As the same presumptions are raised in favor of a corporation 
as of a natural person, its assent to, and acceptance of grants and 
deeds beneficial to it, may be applied as in case of an individual. 
"Suppose," says Mr. Justice Story, in his very full and learned 
opinion in the case of Bank of the United States vs. Dandridge, 1 
"a deed poll, granting land to a corporation ; can it be necessary 
to show that there was an acceptance by the corporation by 
an assent under seal, if it be a corporation, at the 
common law ; or by a written vote, if the corporation may signify 
its assent in that manner? Why may not its occupation and im- 
provement, and the demise of the land by its agents, be justly ad- 
mitted by implication to establish the fact in favor and for the 
benefit of the corporation? Why should the omission to record 
the assent, if actually given, deprive the corporation of the prop- 
erty which is gained in virtue of such actual assent? The validity 
of such a grant depends upon the acceptance, not upon the mode 
by which it is proved. It is no implied condition, that the cor- 
poration shall perpetuate the evidence of its assent in a particular 
way.'"' 2 

From the statutes of New York State, history, and from deeds 
and other evidences, it is apparent that the Town, immediately 
after its incorporation, entered upon the enjoyment of its lands, 
properties, privileges and rights, and may be said to have con- 
tinued in active life until about seventy years ago, or as late as 
1830 to 1835, being recognized as a town by acts of the New York 
legislature passed as late as 1823, and by deeds made and recorded, 
under and by virtue of said acts, between 1824 and 1835. 3 

The Town of New Harlem in 1903. 
Mr. Webster, in his famous argument in the Dartmouth Col- 
lege case, denied in most characteristic language the right of a 
legislature to take away vested rights : 

It is not too much to assert that the legislature of 
New Hampshire would not have been competent to pass 
the acts in question (acts altering the charter) and to 
make them binding upon the plaintiffs without their 
assent, even if there had been, in the Constitution of New 
Hampshire, or of the United States, no special restric- 
tion on their power ; because these acts are not the exer- 
cise of a power properly legislative. Their object and 

1. 12 Wheat. 64. 

2. Angell & Ames, nth Ed., p. 150. 

3. Ch. CXV laws 1820; ch. LXXXVII laws 1823, Appendix E. 


effect is to take away from one rights, property and fran- 
chises, and to grant them to another. This is not the 
exercise of a legislative power. To justify the taking 
away of vested rights there must be a forfeiture ; to 
adjudge upon and declare which is the proper province 
of the judiciary. Attainder and confiscation are acts of 
sovereign power, not acts of legislation. 

The argument clearly defines the extent of the legislative 
power : 

The legislature of New Hampshire has the same 
power over this charter, which belongs to the king who 
granted it, and no more. By the law of England, the 
power to create corporations is part of the Royal preroga- 
tive. By the Revolution, this power may be considered 
as having devolved upon the legislature of the State, and 
it has accordingly been exercised by the legislature. But 
the king can not abolish a corporation, or new model it, 
or alter its powers, without its assent. This is the 
acknowledged and well known doctrine of common law. 
. . . Corporate franchises can only be forfeited 
by trial and judgment. 

The code of civil procedure adopting this "well known doc- 
trine of common law" provides for an action of forfeiture by 
the Attorney General of the State, 1 in grants made by the State. 
A non-user of the right, although lasting for Two hundred 
years, or the lack of sufficient funds, was held to be no defense 
to a mandamus to compel a municipal corporation to do its duty 
in respect to holding a court. 2 

Though a corporation may forfeit its charter by an abuse or 
neglect of its franchises, yet such forfeiture must be ascertained 
and declared by regular process of judgment of law before its 
powers can be taken away or the corporation considered as dis- 
solved. 3 

In the case of the Cleveland Insurance Co. v. Reed 3 it was 
held that : 4 

The courts are bound to regard it as a corporation, 
so far as third persons are concerned, until it is dissolved 
by judicial proceedings on behalf of the government that 
created it. 6 

and that : 

1. Sections 1961 and 1977. 

2. Rex v. Hastings, 1 B. & A. 148; 5 B. & A. 692. Rex v. Havering, 5 B. & A. 

291. Rex v. Mayor, 4 Dowl. P. C. 562. 

3. Slee v. Bloom, Vol. 1, Ann'd Ed., mi N. Y. Ch. R. 

4. 24 Howard, 284. 

5. Citing Angell & Ames, Sec. 774, and cases referred to. 


A corporation may also be dissolved by a forfeiture 
of its charter, judicially ascertained and declared. 

In the case of Jones v. Dana, in 1885, it was held: 1 

The validity of the organization of an acting cor- 
poration can not be questioned in collateral proceedings, 
but only in direct proceedings for that purpose counten- 
anced by the sovereignty. 

The non-existence of the managers does not imply the non- 
existence of the corporation, — the latter is dormant. During that 
time its franchises are suspended for want of means of action, 
but the capacity to restore its functions by means of election re- 
mains. 2 

As to whether a corporation has legal existence is a ques- 
tion between the corporation and the State. 3 

The privileges and immunities, the estates and possessions 
of the corporation, when once vested in them, will be For- 
ever vested, without any new conveyance to new successions, — 


dies, as the river Thames is the same river though the parts which 
compose it are changing every instant.* 

From 1666 to 1686 the Hudson River formed the western 
boundary of the Harlem lands and properties. The same Hudson 
River flows between the same banks in 1903, although made up of 
different particles of water. The Town of New Harlem existed 
in 1666 ; and the same Town of New Harlem exists to-day, in 1903, 
although made up of different "particles," or members. By these 
and other common law decisions, mention of which lack of space 
alone prevents, it will be seen that the Town of New Harlem ex- 
isted in 1666, and, beyond doubt, exists to-day, in 1903. 

The Present Members of the Corporation — The Town of 

New Harlem. 

Assuming it to be proved, therefore, that the Town of New 
Harlem, created in 1666, exists to-day, there having been no judg- 
ment of forfeiture, or act on the part of the members thereof in 
the way of a dissolution of the body corporate, the question natur- 
ally arises, Who are the members of the Town? In the previous 

1. 24 Barb. 395. 

2. Vol. 4, Am. & Eng. Cy. First Ed. 301-2. Cases cited: Russell v. McKellan, 14 

Pick 63. 

3. Dal. Co. v. Iluideskoper, 154 U. S., 651. 

4. Lewis Blatkstone, Vol. 1, p. 468. 


pages, in a comparison of the Harlem grants and patents, it was 
shown that in the first patent the lands were conveyed to the 
"freeholders and inhabitants in general, their heirs, successors 
and assigns" (p. 28). And in the second Nicolls patent, the 
lands were conveyed to "Thomas Delavall, Esq., Johannes Ver- 
veelen, Daniel Tourneur, Joost Oblinus and Resolved Waldron, as 
patentees, for and on behalf of themselves and their associates, 
the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns" (p. 41). While, in the third grant, the lands 
were conveyed to the twenty-three individuals therein mentioned, 
"as patentees, for and on behalf of themselves, as the present free- 
holders and inhabitants of the said Town of New Harlem, their 
heirs, successors and assigns forever" (p. 120). 

In the wording as given, it will be noted that the members of 
the Town are the heirs of the original twenty-three patentees, to- 
gether with the heirs of their associates thereafter made. It was 
the custom throughout Harlem's history, in the alienation of its 
lands, to include in the deeds made by the representatives of the 
Town the transfer of the "patentee rights." The naming of these 
rights in the deeds, and their transfer with the lands in the con- 
veyances mentioned, constituted the grantee an associate, and 
carried with it the privilege of sharing in the common lands as 
fully, and to all intents and purposes, as though said associate had 
been originally nominated a patentee in the Harlem grants. 
Several instances of these associates acting as patentees under the 
aforesaid "patentee rights" are to be found in Riker's History of 
Harlem, as taken by him from the Harlem records themselves. 
Under this custom, Jan Louwe Bogert, by the purchase of the 
Montagne farm (1672), became entitled to act as a patentee, 
and did so act for many years thereafter. 1 Johannes Benson be- 
came a patentee in this way, and shared under the patentee rights 
in the allotment of the common lands, — the heirs of the said 
Bogert and Benson having the same rights as the heirs of the 
original Harlem patentees. Of the original twenty-three, named 
in the Dongan patent (in the absence of the Harlem Records), all 
but two are considered to be bona fide patentees, afterward shar- 
ing in the divisions of the common land. The two exceptions to 
the rule are found in the cases of John Spragge and Peter Par- 
mentier, both being named in the Dongan patent (p. 123). In the 
former case, John Spragge bought the Baignoux farm of Des- 
champs. As he was the secretary of the Court of Assizes and a 
member of the Governor's Council, and owned the Baignoux farm, 

1. Riker's History of Harlem, p. 491. 


Spragge was named in the patent; but directly after sailed for 
England, and did not return, — sold his farm to Daniel Cox, of 
London, who in 1692 ordered Jeremiah Bass, his agent, to re-sell 
it. No common land was ever laid out within the Harlem 
patent in virtue of this freehold. In the latter case, 
Peter Parmentier took the place of Jan Louwe Bogert, 
as a patentee, having contracted to buy said Bogert's farm at 
Harlem. No sale took place, however, Jan Louwe Bogert retain- 
ing the farm. Said Bogert thereafter acted as a patentee, and was 
duly recognized as such. Parmentier is not again mentioned 
among the patentees, and died at Kingston, Ulster County, New 
York, in the year 1701, in reduced circumstances. 1 

Accordingly, the heirs of the original twenty-three patentees, 
as named in the Dongan patent, with the two exceptions mentioned, 
together with the heirs of the associates, Jan Louwe Bogert and 
Johannes Benson, and of all others who can produce proof of 
transfer of "patentee rights" by the representatives of the Town 
to their ancestors, are the present members of the Town of New 
Harlem. The following are alleged to have owned "patentee 
rights," exclusive of those in the Dongan patent : 2 
Captain Charles Congreve, 
Zacharias Sickles, 
Marcus Tibout. 

The heirs, then, of the twenty-six holders of "patentee 
rights," some forty thousand in number, represent the present 
Town of New Harlem. 

It will be admitted, then, that the Town of New Harlem, cre- 
ated in 1666, and existing in 1903, with its membership intact, is 
the owner to-day of all the undivided common lands conveyed by 
the Harlem grants, if the statute of limitations, or "adverse pos- 
session" (as it is commonly called), for more than twenty years 
does not interpose an insurmountable barrier. 

A short examination of the legal principles involved will 
show that: 

The Statute of Limitations Has No Bearing on the Owner- 
ship of the Harlem Lands. 

Under the decision in the case of Dartmouth College 
v. Woodward," all grants similar to those under which Harlem 
takes title were declared to be "contracts" within the meaning 

1. Kilccr's History of Harlem, p. 491. 

2. Rikcr'a History of Harlem, p. 545, 333 and 442. 

3. 4 Wheat., 518. 


■ 1 



^ll 'V^l 

.J9 «K^ 7 ' Sib ' 

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1 19 



of Article 1, Section 10, of the Constitution of the United States, 
which provides that : 

No State shall pass any bill of attainder, ex post 
facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of con- 

On the question as to whether or not statutes of limi- 
tation impair the obligation of contracts generally, an extended 
discussion will be found in the case of Ogden v. Saunders ;* four 
of the learned judges there declaring that statutes of limitation 
were within the meaning of the section of the Constitution men- 
tioned ; a minority of three holding, per contra, that the statutes of 
limitation affect the remedy and not the obligation of contracts. 

In that case MR. JUSTICE WASHINGTON declares : 

A contract is defined by all to be an agreement to 
do or not to do some particular act ; and, in the construc- 
tion of this agreement, depending essentially upon the 
will of the parties between whom it is formed, we seek 
for their intention with a view to fulfil it. Any law, 
then, which enlarges, abridges, or in any manner changes 
this intention, when it is discovered, necessarily impairs 
the contract itself, which is but the evidence of that in- 
tention. The manner or the degree in which this change 
is effected, can in no respect influence this conclusion ; 
for whether the law affect the validity, the construction, 
the duration, the mode of discharge, or the evidence of 
the agreement, it impairs the contract, though it may not 
do so to the same extent in all the supposed cases. . . . 

It is a law which impairs the obligation of contracts, 
and not the contracts themselves, which is interdicted. 
It is not to be doubted that this term obligation, when 
applied to contracts, was well considered and weighed 
by those who framed the Constitution, and was intended 
to convey a different meaning from what the prohibition 
would have imported without it. It is this meaning of 
which we are all in search. 

What is it, then, which constitutes the obligation of 
a contract ? The answer is given by the Chief Justice, 
in the case of Sturges vs. Crowninshield, to which I read- 
ily assent now, as I did then ; it is the law which binds the 
parties to perform their agreement. The law, then, 
which has this binding obligation, must govern and con- 
trol the contract in every shape in which it is intended to 
bear upon it, whether it affects its validity, construction, 
or discharge. 

1. 12 Wheat., p. 134. 


Again ; it is insisted that if the law or the contract 
forms a part of it, the law itself cannot be repealed with- 
out impairing the obligation of the contract. This propo- 
sition I must be permitted to deny. It may be repealed 
at any time at the will of the legislature, and then it 
ceases to form any part of those contracts which may 
afterwards be entered into. The repeal is no more void 
than a new law would be which operates upon contracts 
to affect their validity, construction, or duration. Both 
are valid (if the view which I take of this case be cor- 
rect), as they may affect contracts afterwards formed; 
but neither are so if they bear upon existing contracts ; 
and, in the former case, in which the repeal contains no 
enactment, the Constitution would forbid the application 
of the repealing law to past contracts, and to those only. 

To illustrate this argument, let us take four laws, 
which, either by new enactments, or by the repeal of 
former laws, may affect contracts as to their validity, 
construction, evidence, or remedy. 

Laws against usury are of the first description. 

A law which converts a penalty, stipulated for by 
the parties, as the only atonement for a breach of the con- 
tract, into a mere agreement for a just compensation, to 
be measured by the legal rate of interest, is of the second. 

The statute of frauds, and the statute of limitations, 
may be cited as examples of the last two. 

The validity of these laws can never be questioned 
by those who accompany me in the view which I take of 
the question under consideration, unless they operate, by 
their express provisions, upon contracts previously en- 
tered into ; and even then they are void only so far as 
they do so operate ; because, in that case, and in that 
case only, do they impair the obligation of those con- 
tracts. . . . 

It is thus most apparent, that, whichever way we 
turn, whether to laws affecting the validity, construction, 
or discharges of contracts, or the evidence or remedy to 
be employed in enforcing them, we are met by this over- 
ruling and admitted distinction between those which 
operate retrospectively and those which operate pros- 
pectively. In all of them the law is pronounced to be 
void in the first class of cases, and not so in the second. 

Let us stop, then, to make a more critical examina- 
tion of the act of limitations, which, although it con- 
cerns the remedy, or, if it must be conceded, the evidence, 
is vet void or otherwise, as it is made to apply retro- 
actively or prospectively, and see if it can, upon any 


intelligible principle, be distinguished from a bankrupt 
law, when applied in the same manner. . . . 

And MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON likewise holding: 

Right* and obligation are considered, by all ethical 
Writers, as correlative terms. Whatever I, by my con- 
tract, give another a right to require of me, I, by that 
act, lay myself under an obligation to yield or bestow. 
The obligation of every contract will then consist of that 
right or power over my will or actions, which I, by my 
contract, confer on another. . . . 

I must not be understood here as reasoning upon the 
assumption that the remedy is grafted into the contract. 
I hold the doctrine untenable, and infinitely more restric- 
tive on State power than the doctrine contended for by 
the opposite party. Since, if the remedy enters into the 
contract, then the States lose all power to alter their laws 
for the administration of justice. . . . 

By classing the bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, 
and laws impairing the obligation of contracts together, 
the general intent becomes very apparent ; it is a general 
provision against arbitrary and tyrannical legislation over 
existing rights, whether of person or property. It is 
true that some confusion has arisen from an opinion 
which seems early, and without due examination, to have 
found its way into this court ; that the phrase, "ex post 
facto" was confined to laws affecting criminal acts alone. 
The fact, upon examination, will be found otherwise ; 
for, neither in its signification or uses is it thus restricted. 
It applies to civil as well as criminal acts, ( I Shep. Touch. 
68, 70, y$;) and with this enlarged signification attached 
to that phrase, the purport of the clause would be, "that 
the States shall pass no law, attaching to the acts of 
individuals other effects or consequences than those at- 
tached to them by the laws existing at their date ; and 
all contracts thus construed shall be enforced according 
to their just and reasonable purport. . . . 

It is in vain to say that acts of limitation appertain 
to the remedy only. . . . 


The same rule applies to contracts of every descrip- 
tion ; and parties must be understood as making their 
contracts with reference to existing laws, and impliedly 
assenting that such contracts are to be construed, gov- 
erned and controlled, by such laws. . . . 

That the prohibition upon the States to pass laws 
impairing the obligation of contracts is applicable to 


private rights merely, without reference to bankrupt laws, 
was evidently the understanding of those distinguished 
commentators on the Constitution who wrote the Fed- 
eralist. In the 44th number of that work, p. 281, it is 
said that "bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws 
impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the 
first principles of the social compact, and to every prin- 
ciple of sound legislation. The two former are expressly 
prohibited by the declarations prefixed to some of the 
State Constitutions, and all of them are prohibited by the 
spirit and scope of these fundamental charters. Our 
own experience has taught us, nevertheless, that addi- 
tional defences against these dangers ought not to be 
omitted. Very properly, therefore, have the convention 
added this constitutional bulwark in favor of personal 
security and private rights. 

While it is true that since the decision rendered in the case 
mentioned, the courts have held in certain instances that statutes 
of limitation have affected the remedy only, and not the obligation, 
the question of the impairment of the Harlem contracts or patents 
must be considered by the Court with all the surrounding circum- 
stances of the case. 

The case of Van Hoffman v. The City of Quincy 1 discusses 
the principles involved at length, and cites in support of the con- 
tention the case of Ogden v. Saunders above mentioned. Portions 
of the opinion of Mr. Justice Swayne bearing upon the subject 
follow : 

The question to be determined is whether the 
statute, in this respect, is valid, or whether the legisla- 
ture transcended its power in enacting it. 

The duty which the Court is called upon to perform 
is always one of great delicacy, and the power which it 
brings into activity is only to be exercised in cases en- 
tirely free from doubt. 

The Constitution of the United States declares (Art. 
1, Sec. 10) that "no State shall pass any bill of attainder, 
ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of con- 

The case of Fletcher vs. Peck,* was the first one in 
this court in which this important provision came under 
consideration. It was held that it applied to all con- 
tracts, executed and executory, "Whoever may be parties 
to them." In that case, the legislature of Georgia had 
repealed an act passed by a former legislature, under 

1. 4 Wallace 548. 

2. 6 Cranch 87. 


which the plaintiff in error had acquired his title by 
mesne conveyances from the State. The Court pro- 
nounced the repealing act within the inhibition of the 
Constitution, and therefore void. Chief Justice Mar- 
shall said: "The validity of this rescinding act might 
well be doubted were Georgia a single sovereign power; 
but Georgia can not be viewed as a single, unconnected 
sovereign power, on whose legislature no other restric- 
tions are imposed than may be found in its own consti- 
tution. She is part of a large empire. She is a member 
of the American Union, and that Union has a Constitu- 
tion, the supremacy of which all acknowledge, and which 
imposes limits to the legislatures of the several States, 
which none claim a right to pass." This case was fol- 
lowed by those of New Jersey vs. Wilson, 1 and Terret 
vs. Taylor. 2 The principles which they maintain are now 
axiomatic in American jurisprudence, and are no longer 
open to controversy. 

It is also settled that the laws which subsist at the 
time and place of the making of a contract, and where 
it is to be performed, enter into and form a part of it, as 
if they were expressly referred to or incorporated in its 
terms. This principle embraces alike those which af- 
fect its validity, construction, discharge and enforcement. 
Illustrations of this proposition are found in the obliga- 
tion of the debtor to pay interest after the maturity of the 
debt, where the contract is silent ; in the liability of the 
drawer of a protested bill to pay exchange and damages, 
and in the right of the drawer and endorser to require 
proof of demand and notice. These are as much inci- 
dents and conditions of the contract as if they rested upon 
the basis of a distinct agreement. 

In Green vs. Biddle, 8 the subject of laws which af- 
fect the remedy was elaborately discussed. The contro- 
versy grew out of a compact between the States of Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky. It was made in contemplation of 
the separation of the territory of the latter from the 
former, and its erection into a State, and is contained in 
an act of the legislature of Virginia, passed in 1789, 
whereby it was provided "that all private rights and in- 
terests within (the District of Kentucky) derived from 
the laws of Virginia prior to such separation, shall re- 
main valid and secure under the laws of the proposed 
State, and shall be determined by the laws now existing 
in this State." By two acts of the legislature of Ken- 

1. 7 Cranch 164. 

2. 9 id. 43. 

3. 8 Wheat. 92. 


tucky, passed respectively in 1797 and 181 2, several new 
provisions relating to the consequences of a recovery in 
the action of ejectment, — all eminently beneficial to the 
defendant, and onerous to the plaintiff, — were adopted 
into the laws of that State. So far as they affected the 
lands covered by the compact, this Court declared them 
void. It was said: "It is no answer that the acts of 
Kentucky, now in question, are regulations of the remedy, 
and not of the rights to the lands. If these acts so change 
the nature and extent of existing remedies as materially 
to impair the rights and interests of the owner, they are 
just as much a violation of the compact as if they over- 
turned his rights and interests." 

In Bronson vs. Kinzie, 1 the subject was again fully 
considered. A mortgage was executed in Illinois con- 
taining a power of sale. Subsequently, an act of the 
legislature was passed which required mortgaged premi- 
ses to be sold for not less than two-thirds of their ap- 
praised value, and allowed the mortgagor a year after the 
sale to redeem. It was held that the statute, by thus 
changing the pre-existing remedies, impaired the obliga- 
tion of the contract, and was therefore void. 

In McCracken vs. Hayward, 2 the same principle, 
upon facts somewhat varied, was again sustained and 
applied. A statutory provision that personal property 
should not be sold under execution for less than two- 
thirds of its appraised value was adjudged, so far as it 
affected prior contracts, to be void, for the same reason. 

In Sturges vs. Crowninshield, 3 the question related 
to a law discharging the contract. It was held that a 
State insolvent or bankrupt law was inoperative as to 
contracts which existed prior to its passage. 

In Ogden vs. Saunders, 4 the question was as to the 
effect of such a law upon a subsequent contract. It was 
adjudged to be valid, and a discharge of the contract 
according to its provisions was held to be conclusive. 

A statute of frauds embracing a pre-existing parol 
contract, not before required to be in writing, would af- 
fect its validity. A statute declaring that the word ton 
should thereafter be held, in prior as well as subsequent 
contracts, to mean half or double the weight before pre- 
scribed, would affect its construction. A statute pro- 
viding that a previous contract of indebtment may be 
extinguished by a process •»* bankruptcy would involve its 

1. 1 How. 297. 

2. 2 id. 608. 

3. 4 Wheat. 122. 

4. 12 Wheat. 213. 


discharge, and a statute forbidding the sale of any of the 
debtor's property, under a judgment upon such a contract, 
would relate to the remedy. 

It can not be doubted, either upon principle or au- 
thority, that each of such laws passed by a State would 
impair the obligation of the contract, and the last men- 
tioned not less than the first. Nothing can be more 
material to the obligation than the means of enforcement. 
Without the remedy the contract may, indeed, in the 
sense of the law, be said not to exist, and its obligation 
to fall within the class of those moral and social duties 
which depend for their fulfilment wholly upon the will 
of the individual. The ideas of validity and remedy are 
inseparable, and both are parts of the obligation, which is 
guaranteed by the Constitution against invasion. The 
obligation of a contract "is the law which binds the par- 
ties to perform their agreement." * The prohibition has 
no reference to the degree of impairment. The largest 
and least are alike forbidden. In Green vs. Biddle 2 it 
was said: "The objection to a law on the ground of its 
impairing the obligation of a contract can never depend 
upon the extent of the change which the law effects in 
it. Any deviation from its terms by postponing or ac- 
celerating the period of performance which it prescribes, 
imposing conditions not expressed in the contract, or dis- 
pensing with those which are, however minute or appar- 
ently immaterial in their effect upon the contract of the 
parties, impairs its obligation. Upon this principle it is 
that if a creditor agree with his debtor to postpone the 
day of payment, or in any other way to change the terms 
of the contract, without the consent of the surety, the 
latter is discharged, although the change was for his 

"One of the tests that a contract has been impaired 
is that its value has, by legislation, been diminished. It 
is not, by the Constitution, to be impaired at all. This 
is not a question of degree or cause, but of encroaching, 
in any respect, on its obligation, — dispensing with any 
part of its force." 3 

This has reference to legislation which affects the 
contract directly, and not incidentally or only by conse- 

The right to imprison for debt is not a part of the 
contract. It is regarded as penal rather than remedial. 

1. Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122. 

2. 8 Wheat. 84. 

.3. Planters' Bank v. Sharp et al., 6 How. 327. 


The States may abolish it whenever they think proper. 1 
They may also exempt from sale, under execution, the 
necessary implements of agriculture, the tools of a me- 
chanic, and articles of necessity in household furniture. 
It is said : "Regulations of this description have always 
been considered in every civilized community as properly 
belonging to the remedy, to be exercised by every sov- 
ereignty according to its own views of policy and 

It is competent for the States to change the form 
of the remedy, or to modify it otherwise, as they may 
see fit, provided no substantial right secured by the con- 
tract is thereby impaired. No attempt has been made to 
fix definitely the line between alterations of the remedy, 
which are to be deemed legitimate, and those which, 
under the form of modifying the remedy, impair sub- 
stantial rights. Every case must be determined upon 
its own circumstances. Whenever the result last men- 
tioned is produced, the act is within the prohibition of 
the Constitution, and to that extent void. 2 

If these doctrines were res integroe, the consistency 
and soundness of the reasoning which maintains a dis- 
tinction between the contract and the remedy, — or, to 
speak more accurately, between the remedy and other 
parts of the contract, — might, perhaps, well be doubted.* 
But they rest in this Court upon a foundation of authority 
too firm to be shaken ; and they are supported by such 
an array of judicial names that it is hard for the mind 
not to feel constrained to believe they are correct. The 
doctrine upon the subject established by the latest ad- 
judications of this Court render the distinction one rather 
of form than substance 

A right without a remedy is as if it were not. For 
every beneficial purpose it may be said not to exist. 

It is well settled that a State may disable itself by 
contract from exercising its taxing power in particular 
cases. (New Jersey v. Wilson, 7 Cranch. 166; Dodge 
v. Woolsey, 18 Howard, 331 ; Piqua Branch v. Knoop, 16 
id. 331). It is equally clear that where a State has author- 
ized a municipal corporation to contract and to exercise 
the power of local taxation to the extent necessary to 
meet its engagements, the power thus given can not be 
withdrawn until the contract is satisfied. The State and 
the corporation, in such cases, are equally bound. The 

1. Beers t. Haugnton, 9 I'eters 359; Ogden v. Saunders, 12 Wheat. 230; Mason T. 

Haile, 12 id. 373; Suirgcs v. Crowninshield, 4 id. 122. 
3. Bronson v. Kinzie, 1 How. 311; McCracken v. liny ward, 2 id. 608. 
3. Kent's Commentaries 456; Sedgwick on Stat, and Cons. Law 652; Mr. Justice 

Washington's dissenting opinion in Mason v. Haile, 12 Wheat. 379. 


power given becomes a trust which the donor can not 
annul, and which the donee is bound to execute ; and 
neither the State nor the corporation can any more im- 
pair the obligation of the contract in this way than in any 
other. 1 

The case of White v. Hart, United States Supreme Court, 2 
citing the case of Van Hoffman v. The City of Quincy, above men- 
tioned, holds: 

The laws which subsist at the time and place of 
the making of a contract, and where it is to be performed, 
enter into and form a part of it as if they were ex- 
pressly referred to or incorporated in its terms. . . . 
Nothing can be more material to the obligation 


remedy the contract may, indeed, in the sense of the law, 
be said not to exist, and its obligation to fall with- 

The ideas of validity and remedy are inseparable, 
and both are parts of the obligation, which is guaranteed 
by the Constitution against invasion. The obligation of 
a contract "is the law which binds the parties to perform 
their agreement." It is competent for the States to change 
the form of the remedy, or to modify it otherwise, as they 
may see fit, provided no substantial right secured by the 
contract is thereby impaired. Whenever the result last 
mentioned is produced, the act is within the prohibition 
of the Constitution, and to that extent void. 
Leaving the question of the degree of sanctity and immunity 
to be accorded the Harlem patents under the legal principles 
mentioned, due regard being had to the circumstances surround- 
ing the case, a more careful study of the grants themselves will 
show that : 

The Statute of Limitations is Void and of No Effect 
so Far as the Ownership of the Harlem Lands is Con- 
cerned, and That Possession For Any Length of Time 
Whatever Adverse to the Claim of Ownership by the 
Town Has Never Existed. 

In the first Nicolls patent the habendum reads : 

To have and to hold all and singular the said lands, 
hereditaments and premises, with their and every of 
their appurtenances, and of every part and parcel thereof, 

1. People v. Bell, 10 California 570; Dominic v. Sayre, 3 Sandford 555. 

2. 13 Wall 646. 


to the said freeholders and inhabitants, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns to the proper use and behoof of the 
said freeholders and inhabitants, their heirs, successors 
aad assigns forever. 

In the second Nicolls patent: 

To have and to hold all and singular the said lands, 
islands, commonage, hereditaments and premises, with 
their and every of their appurtenances, and every part 
or parcel thereof unto ye said patentees and their asso- 
ciates, their heirs, successors and assigns, to the proper 
use and behoof of the said patentees and their associates, 
their heirs, successors and assigns forever. 

And in the third or Dongan patent : 

. . . to have and to hold the said several tracts and 
parcels of land and premises, with their and every of their 
appurtenances unto the said . . . (23 patentees) 
. as patentees for and on behalf of themselves, 
their heirs, successors and assigns, to the sole and only 
proper use, benefit and behoof of the said patentees, their 
heirs, successors and assigns forever. 

The habendum and tenendum in a grant, deed or other con- 
veyance indicate in what manner the property conveyed is to be 
taken and held by the grantee. A careful consideration of these 
words of the patents prove the creation of : 

A Gigantic Trust, 

a trust unknown to modern times, having the power of aliena- 
tion, and thereby a method of bringing the trust to an end, or a 
trust absolute, in which the alienation is limited to a life estate 
to the grantee, as may be hereafter decided by the court. 

A trust 1 is defined as : "A right of property, real or 
personal, held by one party for the benefit of another. 

"A trust is merely what a use was before the statute 
of uses. It is an interest resting in conscience and equity, 
and the same rules apply to trusts in chancery now which 
were formerly applied to uses ; 10 Johns. 506. A trust is 
a use not executed under the statute of Henry VIII. ; 3 
Md. 505. The words 'use' and 'trust' are frequently used 
indifferently. See 3 Jarm. Wills, 6th Am. ed. 1139-1140. 

"Trust implies two estates or interests, — one equit- 
able and one legal ; one person as trustee holding the legal 
title, while another as the cestui que trust has the bene- 
ficial interest. 48 Minn. 174." 

1. Bouvier's Law Dictionary, p. 1144. 


By the three Harlem grants, the legal estate in the lands 
described in the patents, vested in the twenty-three men named 
in the Dongan patent, and their heirs, as trustees for themselves 
and their heirs, as well as trustees for their associates and their 
heirs, as members of the body corporate, — the Town of New 

A corporation aggregate, by the strict rules of common law, 
could not be seized of lands to the use of another, for this was held 
to be foreign to the purpose of its institution. 
Kyd on Corporations says r 1 

Neither can a corporation aggregate, by the strict 
rules of the common law, be seized of land to the use of 
another, for this is foreign to the purpose of its institution. 
The persons who compose the corporation might in their 
natural capacities have been seized to the use of another. 
It would, therefore, be nugatory to allow them to do that 
in their corporate capacity which they had power to do 
in their natural, as the sole purpose of incorporating 
them was to confer powers upon them which they could 
not otherwise have. Another reason given for this in- 
capacity is that the corporation aggregate could not be 
compelled by subpoena to execute the possession to the 
use, because if it disobeyed it could not be compelled by 
imprisonment. Notwithstanding this rule, however, it is 
certain that many corporations are made trustees for 
charitable purposes, and are compelled to perform their 
trusts which may, perhaps, be reconciled to the rule in 
this way; the trust is not vested in a corporation as 


Kyd explains the difference between a corporation aggregate 
and a corporation sole, in relation to their capacity to take lands, 
as follows : 

By the general rule of the common law, a body 
corporate is capable of taking any grant of property, 
privileges and franchises in the same manner as private 
persons, but with respect to the capacity of taking land 
there is this difference between a corporation aggregate 
and a corporation sole, that the former has only a 
corporate capacity, and therefore as a collective number 
of persons the members of it can not take land by their 
corporate name to them and their heirs, but only to them 
and their successors. Sole corporations have two ca- 

t. Vol. 1, 72. 


pacities, their natural and their corporate, and may there- 
fore take either to them or their heirs or to them and their 

The Harlem patents conveyed to a corporation aggregate, 
not only to the grantees and their successors, but to their heirs 
as well. 

In reference to the claim that the Harlem patents constitute 
a "trust," attention is called to the case of The Trustees of East 
Hampton v. Kirk, 1 in which Judge Allen holds : 

It must be assumed that the premises in controversy, 
parcel of a large tract included in the same grant, were 
granted to the trustees of the freeholders and Common- 
alty of the town of East Hampton, by Governor Dongan, 
by patent issued in 1686, and that the grant was in trust 
and for the use of the inhabitants of the town mentioned. 

Again, in the case of Robins v. Ackerly, 2 Judge. Miller hold- 

The title of the town of Huntington is derived from 
several patents issued at different times by the colonial 
governors of the colony of New York, the first of which 
bears date on the 30th day of November, 1666, and the 
last upon the 5th day of October, 1694. 

The judge upon the trial found that the title of the 
lands covered by water in Northport harbor, with the 
shell fish growing thereon, was in the trustees of said 
town under ancient patents, and the testimony sufficiently 
sustains such finding. 

Judge Andrews, in the case of Roe v. Strong, 8 upholding 
the trust theory in the following words : 

The construction of the patent granted by Governor 
Nicolls, (358) in 1666, to the trustees and freeholders of 
the town of Brookhaven, and of the confirmatory patent 
of Governor Dongan, granted in 1686, was elaborately con- 
sidered by this Court in the case of the Trustees of Brook- 
haven vs. Strong, 60 N. Y. 56. It was held in that case 
that by virtue of these patents and the confirmation there- 
of by the colonial legislature, the town was vested with 
the titles to the lands under the waters of the bays and 
harbors included within the boundaries of the patent, as 
well as to the uplands not already the subject of private 
ownership. The grant under these patents was in 


1. 68 N. Y., 461. 

2. 91 N. Y. t 100. 

3. 107 N. Y., 356. 


is well known that titles to large tracts of land in various 
towns of Long Island are held under similar patents. The 
uplands have, to a great extent, by grants from the towns, 
become the subject of private property. The public trust 
has been subserved by grants to individuals in severalty, 
the towns receiving the consideration. The title to the 
soil under navigable waters vested in the Long Island 
towns under the colonial patents was, undoubtedly, sub- 
ject to the public right of navigation, and it would 
seem to follow that the towns could not alienate the 
title so acquired to the material prejudice of the common 
right. But whatever limitations may have been imposed 
upon the title of the Town of Brookhaven for the pro- 
tection of the public in the use of navigable waters, it 
is no longer an open question that the colonial patents 
to the Long Island towns vested in the towns the legal 
title to the soil under the waters of the bays and harbors 
within the bounds of the patents. Gould v. Jones, 6 Cow. 
369 ; Rogers v. Jones, 1 Wend. 237 ; 19 Am. Dec. 493 ; 
Trustees of Brookhaven v. Strong, 60 N. Y. 56 ; Hand v. 
Newton, 92 id. 88; Robins v. Ackerly, 91 id. 98; Mayor 
v. Hart, 95 id. 451. The plaintiffs, therefore, who 
. assert a title to that part of the shore of Setauket harbor 
on which the bridge is erected, are met in the first instance 
by the fact that the title was originally in the town. 

The grants and charters, the legal significance of which is 
determined by the cases mentioned, are similar in import and 
construction to the Harlem grants and charters under considera- 
tion herein. 

Town Lands. 

The early part of this book contains a historical sketch of 
the "Town of New Harlem," and its existence from the time of 
the charters, 1666 to 1686, clearly showing, among other inter- 
esting features, the customs of the time, and portraying the vari- 
ous methods of allotment of lands among the members of the 
"Town," and the subsequent alienation of said lands to others. 
A more extensive treatise in this connection is to be found in the 
"History of Harlem," by James Riker, published in 1881. 

Of the large tract of land conveyed by the Harlem patents 
above a line crossing the present city of New York, from 74th 
Street and the Harlem River to 129th Street and the Hudson, 
by far the greater portion was divided and otherwise alienated 
by the Harlemites. The portions remaining undivided, and to- 
day owned by the Town, may be consistently divided into three 
divisions or sections, as shown by the map of the territory. (See 


Map Appendix.) A small parcel of common land will be noticed 
at or about the intersection of noth Street and Fifth Avenue, and 
a second portion at or about 204th Street, adjacent to the Hud- 
son River (several smaller portions of common land being 
omitted), — these lands being left over from the allotments of 
1691 and 1712, form the first division or section mentioned. A 
second division of the undivided or common lands is to be found 
in the waterfront or strip of land between high and low water 
mark, extending from 74th Street and the Harlem River, around 
the Northern end of Manhattan Island, through Spuyten Duyvil 
Creek as far as 129th Street, on the Hudson River, all of which 
land, now immensely valuable, is and for some years has been 
in the possession of and assumed to be owned by the City of New 

The question of the ownership of the Harlem waterfront 
has been for years the subject of much litigation in the courts 
of New York State, many decisions being from time to time 
rendered by the New York Court of Appeals (the court of last 
resort of the State). A summary of these decisions is to be 
found in the recent leading case of Sage vs. The Mayor, etc., of 
the City of New York, 1 wherein the latest and most extensive 
consideration of the subject is to be found in the opinion of As- 
sociate Judge Irving G. Vann. The decision of this case, while 
seemingly considering all the conditions appertaining to the Har- 
lem waterfront question, does not, however, pass upon the merits 
of the controversy. In fact : 

The Question of the Ownership oe the Harlem Water- 
front Has Never Yet Been Decided by the 
Courts oe the State oe New York. 

All decisions of the New York State courts take cognizance 
of the Harlem tide-way, as claimed by either the City of New 
York or an individual. In each case beeore the State Courts 


of the Empire State have never yet been called upon to 
pass upon the question whether the harlem waterfront 
did or did not pass under the Harlem patents as the JURA 


the first time in the history of the upper New York waterfront con- 
troversy the Town of New Harlem appears as plaintiff, with the 
City of New York as defendant, demanding of the United States 

1. 154 New York 63. 

x z 

n ?s.' 


Courts the judgment that all riparian rights passed to it as part 
of the Royal prerogative under the Harlem charters from the 
Duke of York and the King of England. The case of Martin 
against Waddelf clearly proves this to be sound in law. 

No extensive reference is made in these pages to the Sage 
case, while the legal principles advanced by the Martin case are 
considered at length for the reason referred to, namely, that the 
individual ownership of the waterfront is not involved in the 
merjts of the controversy. While it is true Judge Vann, in the 
Sage, and Chief Justice Taney, in the Martin case, both discuss 
the grant of Charles II. to the Duke of York, and Judge Vann 
further considers the grant by the Duke of York to the 23 paten- 
tees of Harlem, and the Chief Justice, the grant of the Duke of 
York to the 24 New Jersey proprietors (these grants to Harlem 
and New Jersey being similar in legal significance), yet it is evi- 
dent that Judge Vann treats the waterfront question under the 
claim of an individual plaintiff (Sage), and the Chief Justice 
passes upon the question of public or governmental owner- 
ship of the title by the 24 New Jersey proprietors. 

The facts and principles of law involved in individual own- 
ership differ vastly from those underlying the public claim of 
the government ITSELF. The distinction is clearly elucidated 
by the Chief Justice in the opinion rendered in the case referred 
to :— 

Martin vs. Waddell. 

Chief Justice Taney, in delivering the opinion of the Court, 
includes the facts of the case. The action came up for review 
to the Supreme Court of the United States on a writ of error 
from the United States Circuit Court for the District of New Jer- 
sey. It was fully argued at one term, and again re-argued at a 
later term before a full Court, such re-argument being deemed 
necessary by reason of the important principles of law involved, 
and some of the justices not being present at the first argument. 
The Court states: 

The questions before us arise from an action of 
ejectment, instituted by the defendant in error, who was 
the plaintiff in the Court below, to recover one hundred 
acres of land, covered with water, situated in the township 
of Perth Amboy, in the State of New Jersey. At the trial 
in the Circuit Court, the jury found a special verdict, 
setting forth, among other things, that the land claimed 
lies beneath the navigable waters of the Raritan River 
and bay, where the tide ebbs and flows. And it appears 

1. 16 Peters 367. 


that the principal matter in dispute is the right to the 
oyster fishery in the public rivers and bays of East New 

The plaintiff makes title under the charter granted 
by Charles II. to his brother, the Duke of York, in 1664 
and 1674, for the purpose of enabling him to plant a 
colony on this continent. The last mentioned grant is 
precisely similar to the former in every respect, and was 
made for the purpose of removing doubts which had 
then arisen as to the validity of the first. 

The boundaries in the two charters are the same, 
and they embrace the territory which now forms the 
State of New Jersey. The part of this territory known 
as East New Jersey, afterwards, by sundry deeds and 
conveyances, which it is not necessary to enumerate, was 
transferred to twenty-four persons, who were called the 
proprietors of East New Jersey; who by the terms of 
the grants were invested, within the portion of the terri- 
tory conveyed to them, with all the rights of property and 
government which had been originally conferred on the 
Duke of York by the letters patent of the King. Some 
serious difficulties, however, took place in a short time 
between these proprietors and the British authorities ; 
and after some negotiation upon the subject, they, in 
1702, surrendered to the crown all the powers of govern- 
ment, retaining their rights of private property. 

The defendant in error claims the land covered 
with water, mentioned in the declaration, by virtue of a 
survey made in 1834, under the authority of the pro- 
prietors, and duly recorded in the proper office. And, if 
they were authorized to make this grant, he is entitled to 
the premises as owner of the soil, and has an exclusive 
right to the fishery in question. The plaintiff in error also 
claims an exclusive right to take oysters in the same 
place ; and derives his title under a law of the State of 
New Jersey, passed in 1824, and a supplement thereto, 
passed in the same year. 

The point in dispute between the parties, therefore, 
depends upon the construction and legal effect of the 
letters patent to the Duke of York, and of the deed of 
surrender subsequently made by the proprietors. 

The letters patent to the Duke included a very 
large territory, extending along the Atlantic coast from 
the River St. Croix to the Delaware Bay, and containing 
within it many navigable rivers, bays, and arms of the 
sea; and after granting the tract of country and islands 
therein described, "together with all the lands, islands, 


soils, rivers, harbors, mines, minerals, quarries, woods, 
marshes, waters, lakes, fishings, hawkings, huntings and 
fowlings, and all other royalties, profits, commodities 
and hereditaments to the said several islands, lands and 
premises belonging and appertaining, with their and every 
of their appurtenances, and all the estate, right, title, 
interest, benefit and advantage, claim and demand of the 
King, in the said land and premises ;" the letters patent 
proceed to confer upon him, his heirs, deputies, agents, 
commissioners and assigns the powers of government, 
with a proviso that the statutes, ordinances and proceed- 
ings, established by his authority, should "not be contrary 
to, but, as nearly as might be, agreeable to the laws, 
statutes and government of the realm of England ; saving 
also an appeal to the King, in all cases, from any judg- 
ment or sentence which might be given in the colony, 
and authorizing the Duke, his heirs and assigns, to lead 
and transport out of any of the realms of the King to the 
country granted, all such and so many of his subjects 
or strangers not prohibited, or under restraint, who would 
become the loving subjects of the King, and live under 
his allegiance, and who should willingly accompany the 
Duke, his heirs and assigns." 

The right of the King to make this grant, with 
all its prerogatives and powers of government, cannot 
at this day be questioned. But in order to enable us to 
determine the nature and extent of the interest which is 
conveyed to the Duke, it is proper to inquire into the 
character of the right claimed by the British crown in the 
country discovered by its subjects, on this continent; 
and the principles upon which it was parceled out and 

The English possessions in America were not 
claimed by right of conquest, but by right of discovery. 
For, according to the principles of international law, 
as then understood by the civilized powers of Europe, 
the Indian tribes in the New World were regarded as 
mere temporary occupants of the soil, and the absolute 
rights of property and dominion were held to belong to 
the European nation by which any particular portion 
of the country was first discovered. Whatever forbear- 
ance may have been sometimes practised toward the 
unfortunate aborigines, either from humanity and policy, 
yet the territory they occupied was disposed of by the gov- 
ernments of Europe at their pleasure, as if it had been 
found without inhabitants. The grant to the Duke of 
York, therefore, was not of lands won by the sword, nor 


were the governments or laws he was authorized to 
establish intended for a conquered people. 

The country mentioned in the letters-patent was 
held by the King in his public and regal character, as the 
representative of the nation, and in trust for them. The 
discoveries made by persons acting under the authority 
of the government were for the benefit of the nation ; 
and the crown, according to the principles of the British 
constitution, was the proper organ to dispose of the public 
domains ; and upon these principles rest the various char- 
ters and grants of territory made on this continent. The 
doctrine upon this subject is clearly stated in the case 
of Johnson vs. M'Intosh, 8 Wheat., 595. In that case, 
the Court, after stating it to be a principle of universal 
law that an uninhabited country, if discovered by a num- 
ber of individuals who owe no allegiance to any govern- 
ment, becomes the property of the discoverers, proceed 
to say that: "If the discovery be made and possession 
taken under the authority of an existing government, 
which is acknowledged by the emigrants, it is supposed 
to be equally well settled that the discovery is made for 
the benefit of the whole nation ; and the vacant soil is 
to be disposed of by that organ of the government which 
has the constitutional power to dispose of the national 
dominions ; by that organ, in which all territory is vested 
by law. According to the theory of the British constitu- 
tion, all vacant lands are vested in the crown, as represent- 
ing the nation, and the exclusive power to grant them is 
admitted to reside in the crown, as a branch of the royal 
prerogative. It has been already shown that this principle 
was as fully recognized in America as in the island of 
Great Britain." 

This being the principle upon which the charter in 
question was founded, by what rules ought it to be con- 

We do not propose to meddle with the point, which 
was very much discussed at the bar, as to the power of the 
King since Magna Charta, to grant to a subject a portion 
of the soil covered by the navigable waters of the king- 
dom, so as to give him an immediate and exclusive right 
of fishery cither for shell fish or floating fish within the 
limits of his grant. The question is not free from doubt, 
and the authorities referred to in the English books can- 
not, perhaps, be altogether reconciled. But from the 
opinions expressed by the justices of the Court of King's 
Bench, in the case of Blundell vs. Catterall, 5 Barn. & 
Aid., 287, 294, 304, 309; and in the case of the Duke of 


Somerset vs. Fogwell, 5 Barn. & Cress., 883, 884, the 
question must be regarded as settled in England against 
the right of the King since Magna Charta to make such 
a grant. The point does not, however, arise in this case, 
unless it shall first be decided that, in the grant to the 
Duke of York, the King intended to sever the bottoms 
of the navigable waters from the prerogative powers of 
government conferred by the same charter ; and to convert 
them into mere franchises in the hands of a subject, to 
be held and used as his private property. And we the 
more willingly forbear to express an opinion on this sub- 
ject, because it has ceased to be a matter of much interest 
in the United States. For, when the Revolution took 
place, the people of each State became themselves sov- 
ereign; and in that character hold the absolute right to 
all their navigable waters and the soils under them for 
their own common use, subject only to the rights since 
surrendered by the Constitution to the general govern- 
ment. A grant made by their authority must therefore 
manifestly be tried and determined by different principles 
from those which apply to grants of the British crown, 
when the title is held by a single individual in trust for 
the whole nation. 

Neither is it necessary to examine the many cases 
which have been cited in the argument on both sides, 
to show the degree of strictness with which grants of 
the King are to be construed. The decisions and author- 
ities referred to apply more properly to a grant of some 
prerogative right to an individual, to be held by him as 
a franchise, and which is intended to become private 
property in his hands. The dominion and property in 
navigable waters, and in the lands under them, being held 
by the King as a public trust, the grant to an individual 
of an exclusive fishery in any portion of it, is so much 
taken from the common fund intrusted to his care for the 
common benefit. In such cases, whatever does not pass 
by the grant, still remains in the crown for the benefit 
and advantage of the whole community. Grants of that 
description are therefore construed strictly, — and it will 
not be presumed that he intended to part from any portion 
of the public domain, unless clear and especial words are 
used to denote it. But in the case before us, the rivers, 
bays and arms of the sea, and all prerogative rights within 
the limits of the charter, undoubtedly passed to the Duke 
of York, and were intended to pass, except those saved 
in the letters patent. The words used evidently show 


this intention ; and there is no room, therefore, for the 
application of the rule above mentioned. 

The questions upon this charter are very different 
ones. They are: Whether the dominion and propriety 
in the navigable waters, and in the soils under them, 
passed as a part of the prerogative rights annexed to the 
political powers conferred on the Duke ; whether in his 
hands they were intended to be a trust for the common 
use of the new community about to be established; or 
private property to be parcelled out and sold to individu- 
als for his own benefit. And in deciding a question like 
this we must not look merely to the strict technical mean- 
ing of the words of the letters patent. The laws and 
institutions of England, the history of the times, the object 
of the charter, the contemporaneous construction given to 
it, and the usages under it, for the century and more which 
has since elapsed, are all entitled to consideration and 
weight. It is not a deed, conveying private property, to 
to be interpreted by the rules applicable to cases of that 
description. It was an instrument upon which was to be 
founded the institutions of a great political community; 
and in that light it should be regarded and construed. 

Taking this rule for our guide, we can entertain 
no doubt as to the true construction of these letters 
patent. The object in view appears on the face of them. 
They were made for the purpose of enabling the Duke 
of York to establish a colony upon the newly-discovered 
continent, to be governed, as nearly as circumstances 
would permit, according to the laws and usages of Eng- 
land ; and in which the Duke, his heirs and assigns, were 
to stand in the place of the King, and administer the 
government according to the principles of the British 
constitution. And the people who were to plant this 
colony, and to form the political body over which he was 
to rule, were subjects of Great Britain, accustomed to be 
governed according to its usages and laws. . . . 

The estate and rights of the King passed to the 
Duke in the same condition in which they had been held 
by the crown, and upon the same trusts. Whatever was 
held by the King as a prerogative right, passed to the 
Duke in the same character. And if the word "soils" 
be an appropriate word to pass lands covered with 
navigable water, as contended for on the part of the de- 
fendant in error, it is associated in the letters patent with 
"other royalties," and conveyed as such. No words are 
used for the purpose of separating them from the jura 
REGALIA, and converting them into private property, to 


be held and enjoyed by the Duke, apart from and inde- 
pendent of the political character with which he was 
clothed by the same instrument. Upon a different con- 
struction it would have been impossible for him to have 
complied with the conditions of the grant. For it was 
expressly enjoined upon him, as a duty in the government 
he was about to establish, to make it as near as might 
be agreeable in their new circumstances to the laws and 
statutes of England. And how could this be done if, in 
the charter itself, this high prerogative trust was severed 
from the legal authority; if the shores, and rivers, and 
bays, and arms of the sea, and the land under them, 
instead of being held as a public trust for the benefit 
of the whole community, to be freely used by all for 
navigation and fishery, as well for shell fish as floating 
fish, had been converted by the charter itself into private 
property, to be parcelled out and sold by the Duke for his 
own individual emolument? There is nothing, we think, 
in the terms of the letters patent, or in the purposes for 
which it was granted, that would justify this construction. 
And in the judgment of the Court, the land under the 
navigable waters passed to the grantee as one of the 
royalties incident to the powers of government ; and were 
to be held by him in the same manner, and for the same 
purposes, that the navigable waters of England, and the 
soils under them, are held by the crown. 

This opinion is confirmed by referring to similar 
grants for other tracts of country upon this continent, 
made about the same period of time. Various other 
charters for large territories on the Atlantic coast were 
granted by different monarchs of the Stuart dynasty to 
different persons, for the purposes of settlement and 
colonization, in which the powers of government were 
united with the grant of territory. Some of these charters 
very nearly resembled in every respect the one now in 
controversy; and none of them, it is believed, differed 
materially from it in the terms in which the bays, rivers, 
and the arms of the sea, and the soils under them, were 
conveyed to the grantees. Yet in no one of these colonies 
has the soil under its navigable waters, and the rights 
of fishery for shell fish or floating fish, been severed by 
the letters patent from the powers of the government. 
In all of them, from the time of the settlement to the 
present day, the previous habits and usages of the colon- 
ists have been respected, and they have been accustomed 
to enjoy in common the benefits and advantages of the 
navigable waters for the same purposes, and to the same 


extent, that they have been used and enjoyed for centuries 
in England. Indeed, it could not well have been other- 
wise; for the men who first formed the English settle- 
ments could not have been expected to encounter the 
many hardships that unavoidably attended their emigra- 
tion to the new world, and to people the banks of its bays 
and rivers, if the land under the water at their very doors 
was liable to immediate appropriation by another as 
private property ; and the settler upon the fast land there- 
by excluded from its enjoyment, and unable to take a shell 
fish from its bottom, or fasten there a stake, or even bathe 
in its waters, without becoming a trespasser upon the 
rights of another. The usage in New Jersey has, in this 
respect, from its original settlement, conformed to the 
practice of the other chartered colonies. And it would re- 
quire very plain language in these letters patent to per- 
suade us that the public and common right of fishery in 
navigable waters, which has been so long and so carefully 
guarded in England, and which was preserved in every 
other colony founded on the Atlantic borders, was in- 
tended in this one instance to be taken away. But we 
see nothing in the charter to require this conclusion. 

The same principles upon which the Court have de- 
cided upon a construction of the letters patent to the 
Duke of York, apply with equal force to the surrender 
afterwards made by the twenty-four proprietors. It ap- 
pears by the special verdict that all the interest of the 
Duke in East New Jersey, including the royalties and 
powers of government, were conveyed to these proprietors 
as fully and amply, and in the same condition, as they 
had been granted to him ; and they have the same do- 
minion and propriety in the bays, and rivers, and arms of 
the sea, and the soil under them, and in the rights of 
fishery, that had belonged to him under the original 
charter. In their hands, therefore, as well as in those 
of the Duke, this dominion and propriety was an incident 
to the regal authority, and was held by them as a pre- 
rogative right, associated with the powers of govern- 

And being thus entitled, they, in 1702, surrendered 
and yielded up to Anne, Queen of England, and to her 
heirs and successors, "all the powers and authorities in 
the said letters patent granted." etc. (Appendix F.) 

The learned Chief Justice, of this surrender, says : 

We give the words of the surrender as found by the 
special verdict, and they are broad enough to cover all 
the JURA REGALIA which belonged to the proprietors. 


They yield up "all the powers, authorities and privileges 
of and concerning the government of the province ;" and 
the right in dispute was one of these authorities and priv- 
ileges. No words are used for the purpose of with- 
holding from the crown any of its ordinary and well- 
known prerogatives. The surrender, according to its 
evident object and meaning, restored them in the same 
plight and condition in which they originally came to the 
hands of the Duke of York. Whatever he held as a 
royal or prerogative right, was restored, with the politi- 
cal power to which it was incident. And if the great 
right of dominion and ownership in the rivers, bays, 
and arms of the sea, and the soils under them, were to 
have been severed from the sovereignty and withheld 
from the crown ; if the right of common fishery for the 
common people, stated by Hale in the passage before 
quoted, was intended to be withdrawn, the design to 
make this important change in this particular territory 
would have been clearly indicated by appropriate terms ; 
and would not have been left for inference from ambigu- 
ous language. 

Thompson, /., and Baldwin, /., dissented, the former giving 
an elaborate opinion differing mainly in holding that the King 
was not trustee of the soils for the benefit of the public, but that 
he owned them in full dominion and propriety, and had full power 
and authority to convey same. 

The Harlem Waterfront Passed as a Royae Prerogative. 

It is evident, then, that the grant from Charles II. to the 
Duke of York passed to the Duke the soil under navigable 
waters as one of the royalties incident to the powers of govern- 
ment, to be held by him in the same manner and for the same pur- 
poses as this soil had been previously held by the crown ; and 
that the Duke, under the grant of Charles II., conveyed to the 
twenty-four proprietors, the soil under the navigable waters. The 
twenty-four proprietors, in turn, surrendered to the crown all the 
powers of government, together with the soils under navigable 
waters, and, in the Revolution, these became vested in the State of 
New Jersey. Similarly, the Duke of York, under the same grant 
from Charles II., as owner of the soil under navigable waters, 
conveyed said soil, as one of the royalties incident to the powers 
of government, to the Town of New Harlem by the Nicolls 

There has been no surrender to the crown of any soil or 
powers of government by the grantees of the Harlem patents. 


The Town of New Harlem is, therefore, owner of the soil under 
navigable waters, subject to the jus publicum, or right of navi- 

The Waddell case holds that all was conveyed save what 
was reserved. Xo part of the tideway or the lands beyond or 
under the water round and about Harlem were reserved. All 
passed from the Duke, under the Xicolls charter, to the Town of 
Xew Harlem. 

M ost aptly has the Court held in the case mentioned that 
the men who first formed the English settlements could not have 
been expected to encounter the many hardships that unavoidably 
attended their emigration to the Xew World, and to people the 
banks of its bays and rivers, if the land under water at their 
very doors was liable to immediate appropriation by another 
as private property, and the settler upon the land thereby excluded 
from its enjoyment, and unable to take a shell fish from its 
bounds, or fasten there a stake, or even bathe in its waters, with- 
out becoming a trespasser upon the rights of another. 

At the time of the issuing of the grants creating the Town 
of Xew Harlem, the City of Xew York was located at the Bat- 
tery. The territory granted to the Town was a wilderness, deni- 
zened by wild beasts and the Red Men alone. 

The creation of the Town was necessary to the very ex- 
istence of the Settlement, — Xew York. History attests this fact, 
in relating that three times within a period of twenty-five years 
the villagers were driven from their abodes under the cruel hor- 
rors of Indian massacres, returning each time to renew the 
pioneer struggle in the occupation of the protective zone north 
of the City of New York. 

Applying the words of the Court to the Harlem grants, 
they were not deeds conveying private property to be interpreted 
by the rules applicable to cases of that description. They were 
instruments "upon which were to be founded the institutions of 
a great political community, and in that light should be regarded 
and construed ;" the court further holding that in grants of this 
nature (to the Duke of York) the laws and institutions of Eng- 
land, the history of the times, the objects of the charters, and the 
contemporaneous construction given them, were all entitled to 
consideration and weight. 

These words stand out in strong contrast to those used in 
a similar connection by the learned judge, in the case of The Mayor 
of the City of Xew York against Hart, 1 who said: 

i. 96 N. Y., 445- 


But the interesting and careful researches for the 
city demonstrate that Harlem was established as a vil- 
lage within the general limits of the city itself, which was 
meant to embrace the whole Island, and that the new vil- 
lage or settlement was formed for the promotion of agri- 
culture, the security of the Island and the cattle pas- 
turing thereon, and the recreation and amusement of 
the City of New Amsterdam. 

The city was to be the seaport, and for this purpose 
its waterfront was to girdle the Island, while the village 
was for a rustic hamlet, whose inhabitants should own 
cattle, rather than ships. 

That the village settlement was created for the promotion of 
agriculture, the security of the Island and the cattle pasturing 
thereon, was certainly true ; but history would seem to deny the 
learned judge's contention, that it was intended that the Town 
of New Harlem should form the Coney Island of New York. 
The very words in the opinion, "security of the Island" and 
"recreation and amusement," present a marked antithesis. 
The fact, too, that the charters creating the corporation imposed 
the strict condition that the villagers should run a ferry between 
the Island and the main land (pp. 28 and 41), therein stipulating 
that one or more suitable boats be provided for the purpose, "fit 
for the transportation of men, horses and cattle," would tend to 
refute the "rustic hamlet" theory. 

The villagers, being denied the use of ships, and allowed the 
aid of cattle only, by the learned judge, must have experienced 
great difficulties in the way of transportation to and from their 
lands on the Main across the Harlem. 

The Sage Case. 

As before stated, the case of Sage vs. The Mayor, presents 
another instance of a riparian claim by an individual plaintiff. 

In this case, the title to the waterfront was held to vest in 
the City under the Dongan and Montgomerie charters, ratified 
by an act of the Colonial Legislature of October 14th, 1732, 1 
which, in turn, was alleged to be confirmed by the constitution 
of the State, in 1777. The last Harlem patent was issued by 
Governor Dongan, on the 7th of March, 1686, and the first patent 
to the City of New York was issued by the same Governor on the 
26th of April of the same year. Under this last named patent, 
issued to the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of 
New York, was conveyed "all the waste, vacant, unpatented and 
unappropriated lands lying and being within the said City of 

1. Laws of 1732, ch. 584. 

1 84 


New York, and on Manhattan Island aforesaid, extending and 
reaching to low water mark in, by and through all parts of the 
said City of New York and Manhattan Island aforesaid, together 
with all rivers, rivulets, coves, creeks, ponds, water and water- 
courses in the said city and island, or either of them, except such 


The city also claimed title to the lands under water in front 
and outside of the tide-way, and extending into the river for a 
considerable distance, by virtue of certain grants from the State, 


viz.: Laws of 1852, ch. 285; Laws of 1857, ch. 570; Laws of 
1871, ch. 574; Laws of 1874, ch. 763. 

A review of the statutes mentioned is omitted, for the reason 
that if the claims to the Harlem waterfront are maintained under 
the theories and principles of law above mentioned, it will be 
admitted that the statutes in question would be declared to be 
an impairment of the obligation of the Harlem grants or con- 
tracts, 1 and therefore void. 

It will be remembered that Chief Justice Taney, in the case 

1. Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518. 


of Martin vs. Waddell, held that the rivers, bays and arms of the 
sea passed to the Duke of York. Judge Vann, in the Sage case, 
held per contra, that the title to the tide-way and the land beyond 
continued in the English crown after the Nicolls charter. In 
this connection, the following juxtaposition of portions of the 
two opinions will show the different consideration accorded the 
subject in the Federal and State courts : 

Judge Vann. Chief Justice Taney, 

sage case. martin vs. waddell. 

The title to the tideway But in the case before us, 

and to the land beyond the rivers, bays and arms of 

continued in the English 
Crown as a public trust 
after the Nicolls char- 
ter, the same as before, for 
nearly twenty years, and 
until the year 1686, when 
Governor Dongan granted 
to the City of New York 
all the lands between high 
and low water mark. 

the sea, and all prerogative 
rights within the limits of 
the charter (from St. Croix 
River to Delaware Bay, on 
Atlantic Coast), undoubt- 
edly passed to the Duke 
of York. . . . The es- 
tate and rights of the King 
passed to the Duke in the 
same condition in which 
they had been held by the 
crown, and upon the same 
trusts . . . and they 
(the 24 Proprietors, — gran- 
tees) had the same do- 
minion and propriety in the 
bays and rivers and arms 
of the sea, and the soil un- 
der them and in the rights 
of fishery that had belonged 
to him (the Duke) under 
the original charter. 
Each of these honorable judges is speaking of the same 
patent of King Charles to the Duke of York, and of lands under 
navigable waters. 

The decision of this case, The Mayor vs. Hart, reversed 
the judgment of the General Term, where a most comprehensive 
opinion was rendered by Mr. Justice Daniels. 1 The opinion of 
the learned Justice is in accord with the views held in the case 
of Martin vs. Waddell. Portions referring to the Harlem grants 
are given in full: 

This action was brought to recover possession of 
land outside of the high-water line of the Harlem River, 

X. 16 Hun. 380. 


and between that and the exterior line established by 
Chapter 285 of the Laws of 1852. A deed of this land 
was executed and delivered by the plaintiff to the de- 
fendants on or about the 21st day of June, 1870; but the 
plaintiff assails the validity of this deed, because it was 
executed and delivered without any previous public notice 
of the sale of the property. The defendants applied for 
its purchase to the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund of 
the City of New York, for the reason that they owned 
the land directly south of it, a portion of which was 
bounded by the Harlem River, and the residue had in 
terms been conveyed to them by a deed extending the line 
to the low-water mark. In support of the title which 
the deed from the plaintiff was intended to convey, 
the original patents to the inhabitants of Harlem have 
been given in evidence in the case for the purpose of 
extending their previous right in the property to the 
low-water line of the river. These patents, so far as 
their consideration has become necessary in this case, 
were made and delivered in May and October in the year 
1666 (1667), for that which followed them in 1668 
(1686) was merely confirmatory of the preceding grants. 
By these two prior patents the lands described, and the 
privileges mentioned in them, were given and granted to 
the freeholders and inhabitants of what is stated to have, 
at that time, become the Town or Village of New Harlem, 
and by the first the property and privileges granted were 
declared to extend easterly to the town and Harlem River. 
This description was evidently considered too indefinite 
and obscure to subserve the purposes intended to be pro- 
moted by the grant, for by the patent succeeding this, 
and issued on the nth of October, 1666 (1667), the prop- 
erty and privileges granted were, in terms, extended "east- 
ward to the end of the town and Harlem Ryver, or any 
parte of the said ryver on which this land doth abutt, 
within the lymitts aforementioned, described, doth and 
shall belong to the said towne . . . together with all 
the soils, creeks, quarries, woods, meadows, pastures, 
marshes, waters, lakes, fishing, hawking, hunting and 
fowling, and all other profits, commodityes, emoluments 
and hereditaments to ye said lands and premises within ye 
said bounds and lymitts sett forth, belonging or in anywise 
apperteyning." By this patent, the grant made to the vil- 
lage or town was extended to the river, but whether to 
high or low-water line was not in terms stated. Ordinarily, 
a grant made and limited by such a reference would end 
at the high-water line, as the river mentioned was not 


only navigable, but also affected by the ebb and flow of 
the tides. But a consideration of the circumstances ex- 
isting at the time of, and under which these patents were 
issued, and which, as well as their language, may be al- 
lowed to affect their construction 1 and the purposes they 
were designed to advance, appear to suggest the pro- 
priety of a different rule for the interpretation of these 

The intent of the patents must be ascertained, in 
order to determine the point on the river by which they 
should be bounded; and as that may be gathered from 
• their terms, and the circumstances then existing by which 
those terms were necessarily affected, it must be main- 
tained as controlling over the case. 2 The grants made 
by these patents were not to individuals, but to a town 
or village, whose prosperity and growth had attracted the 
attention of the colonial government. An element of 
that prosperity must have been its facilities for prospec- 
tive trade and commerce ; and as that prosperity was 
evidently intended to be advanced by the grants made, 
those facilities could not have escaped the notice of the 
granting authority. The controlling and paramount pur- 
pose of the patents was evidently to place the town or 
village in the position previously maintained by the 
colonial authority, and that could only be done by extend- 
ing its proprietary rights as far into the river as should 
be considered necessary for the development of the com- 
mercial advantages of the place. No good reason exists 
for the supposition that the colonial governor intended 
to confer on the village the title to the high-water line, 
and to retain and withhold all that was beyond it, when, 
without that, the inhabitants, whose interests as a com- 
munity were to be promoted, would be excluded from 
the possibility of enjoying the commercial advantages 
of their immediate vicinity. Retaining the land between 
the high and low-water lines would be of no practical 
advantage to the granting authority, while its right and 
enjoyment would be indispensable to the prosperity of 
the village, which had then become a community of im- 
portance. A grant from the public authorities to indi- 
viduals would undoubtedly require a different construc- 
tion. 3 But the language, purposes, and the circumstances 
affecting these patents, appear to require a broader con- 
struction. They were executed to donate to the village 
or town the lands undisposed of, lying within the pre- 

1. Knapp v. Warner, 57 N. Y., 688. 

2. Canal Co. v. Hill, 15 Wallace, 94. 

3. Exparte Jennings, 6 Cow., 518. 


scribed bounds, to subject them to its authority, and con- 
tribute them to its improvement and the advancement of 
its interests. That could only be done by giving it the 
unrestricted benefit of its waterfront, and its exclusion 
would not be consistent in the least with the probable 
design and purpose of the grants. This has been made 
manifest by the terms used, for they are of the most 
general nature ; and these are followed by such special 
enumerations as show that it was the intent to give to 
the village all that the colonial governor had the power 
to bestow within its limits, as they were declared. The 
object plainly was to confer the title to the territory 
which it was deemed useful for the village to own, and 
the waterfront constituted a most important attribute of 
that territory. It was, in terms, the grant of the un- 
disposed village site, with its adjacent water, and whether 
made by patent or by legislative authority, it would be little 
less than absurd to suppose that it was the intent to ex- 
clude the inhabitants from the privileges of those waters. 
A prominent purpose in the establishment of such a 
community is that of trade and commerce by means of 
the contiguous waters, and conferring the territory re- 
quired for its existence must be ordinarily intended to 
include that of the promotion of this purpose ; beside 
that, the waters appertaining to the bounds and limits 
set forth were, in terms, given by the patents, and the 
waters of this river were certainly included within these 
terms, as well as those extending the grant as far as the 
island abutted. 

The succeeding Governor, Dongan, by his patent of 
March 7th, 1686, confirmed those made by his predeces- 
sor in office ; and when, in the succeeding month of April, 
he conferred the original charter on the Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the City of New York, he apparently 
had these patents in his mind, for it was only in the lands 
which were then unpatented that he granted that which 
laid between the high and low-water lines to the city. 
The description given was in the nature of a saving 
clause, by which the land between the high and low- 
water lines was declared not to be included in the grant 
then made, when it should be found to appertain to what 
had been previously donated by public patents, as this 
land had been. 

Under these instruments, as they should be con- 
st rued in order to give effect to and carry out the evident 

us nf the granting power, the land should be held 
to have been conveyed to the village as far as low-water 


mark, and that of itself will prevent the plaintiff from 
recovering in the case, for that reason to that extent, 
even though the defendants have not succeeded, by the 
conveyances through which their title has been derived, 
in acquiring the title to it, for title out of the plaintiff 
is a complete defense in an action of this nature. . . . 

The Dongan Charter Creating the City oe New York. 

Governor Dongan was held to be a man of "integrity and 
moderation" by Chancellor Kent, in his notes on the Dongan 

Under this charter, issued on April 22d, 1686, one month 
later than the Dongan patent to Harlem, certain decisions of the 
New York Court of Appeals hold that the City of New York is 
the owner of the Harlem waterfront, Mr. Justice Finch, in the 
Hart case, supra, maintaining : 

If any injustice has been done to the upland owners, 
it came through the Dongan charter, which made the 
city (of N. Y.) absolute owner of the tideway, and, with- 
out pre-emption rights at that time, reserved to the 
adjacent owners. That evie had no remedy, except in 
the will and pleasure of the city and its voluntary sub- 

The sections of the New York City charter relating, in 
the least degree, to the question of the ownership of the Harlem 
waterfront, are but four in number, as follows : 

1. Provided always, That this said license, so as above 
granted, for the establishing, making, laying out of streets, lanes, 
alleys, highways, ferries and bridges, be not extended, or be con- 
strued to extend, to the taking away of any person or person's 
right of property, without his, her, or their consent, or by some 
known law of the said province. 

2. And I do, by these presents, give and grant unto the 
said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the said City of New 
York, all the waste, vacant, unpatented and unappropriated lands, 
lying and being within the said City of New York, and on Man- 
hattans Island aforesaid, extending and reaching to the low 
water mark in, by and through all parts of the said City of New 
York and Manhattans Island aforesaid, together with all rivers, 
rivulets, coves, creeks, ponds, waters and water courses in the 
said city and island, or either of them, NOT HERETOFORE 



3. And, moreover, I will, and bv these presents do, grant, 
appoint and declare that THE SAID CITY OF NEW YORK, 
shall from henceforth extend and reach itself, and may and shall 
be able to reach forth and extend itself, as well in length and in 
breadth as in circuit, to the farthest extent of, and in and through- 
out all the said Island Manhattans, and in and upon all the 
rivers, rivulets, coves, creeks, waters and water-courses belong- 
ing to the same island, as far as low water mark. 

4. And also, I do, by these presents, for and on the behalf 
of his most sacred majesty aforesaid, his heirs and successors, 
grant to the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the said city, 
that they and their successors and assigns shall, and may at any 
time or times hereafter, when it to them shall seem fit and con- 
venient, take in, fill and make up, and lay out, all and singular 
build upon, or make use of in any other manner or way, as to 
them shall seem fit, as far into the rivers thereof, and that en- 
compass the same, at low water mark aforesaid. 

5. And further, I do appoint and declare that the incor- 
poration to be founded by this charter shall not, at any time here- 
after, do, or suffer to be done, anything by means whereof the 
lands, tenements or hereditaments, stocks, goods or chattels 
thereof, or in the hands, custody, possession of any of the citi- 
zens of the said city, such as have been sett, lett, given, granted 
or collected, to and for pious and charitable uses, shall be wasted 
or misemployed contrary to the trust or intent of the founder or 
giver thereof, and that such and no other construction shall be 
made thereof than that which may tend most to advantage re- 
ligion, justice and the public good; and to suppress all acts and 
contrivances to be invented or put in use contrary thereunto. 

It will be noticed that No. 1 provides that the license for 
the establishing, making and laving out of streets, etc., shall not 

By the second clause above mentioned, the Governor mani- 
festly gave and granted to the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty 
of the City of New York all the WASTE, VACANT, UN- 


PROVINCE," a clear, manifest and undoubted transfer of a 
certain class of lands, namely those not previously granted by 
any governor, lieutenant-governor or commander-in-chief ; the 
balance of the charter being in all respects subject to this granting 

The third paragraph presents simply the extension of the 
jurisdiction of the City of New York, and the limits thereof in 
length and breadth "to the farthest extent of, and in and through- 
out all the said Island Manhattans, and in and upon all the 
rivers, rivulets, coves, creeks, waters and water-courses belong- 
ing to the same island, as far as low water mark." This clause 
is in keeping with the provisions of the Harlem patents them- 
selves, which provide in terms that the town shall be dependent 
upon the city, admittedly creating a town within a municipality, 
as said patents more fully disclose. (See pages 28, 41 and 120.) 

Clause No. 4 above may be said to have provided that the 
city authorities might, at their option, "take in, fill and make up, 
and lay out, all and singular the lands and grounds in and about 
the said city and Island Manhattans, and the same to build 
upon or make use of in any manner or way as to them shall seem 
fit, as far into the rivers thereof and that encompass the same at 
low water mark aforesaid." 

Does this clause grant to the city the right to take in, make 
up and lay out the Harlem waterfront at its option? Can any 
such intention be imputed to Governor Dongan in the clause in 
question? Judge Earl, in his opinion in the case of Langdon vs. 
The Mayor, etc., of New York, 1 so held in the following words : 
Under the Dongan charter, in 1686, the crown of England granted 
to the City of New York all the lands between high and low 
water mark around the Island of Manhattan's, and with jurisdic- 
tion over the same, and with power "to take in, fill and make up, 
and lay out, all and singular the lands and grounds in and about 
the said city and Island Manhattans, and the same to build upon 
or make use of in any manner or way as to them shall seem fit, 

1. 93 N. Y., 133. 


as far into the rivers thereof, and that encompass the same, at 
low water mark aforesaid." 

To reconcile the construction of the clause in question with 
the terms of the granting clause of the Dongan charter (No. 2 
above), restricting the grant "to waste, vacant, unpatented and 
unappropriated lands not previously given or granted by any 
former governors, lieutenants or commanders-in-chief, under 
their, or some of their, hands and seals, or seal of the province," 
will be within the province of the United States courts in the 
decision of the questions to be submitted in the undertaking to 
recover the Harlem waterfront and other lands. 

Since the incorporation of the Town of New Harlem, be- 
tween 1665 and 1687, as above described, the divisions of common 
lands among the members of the corporation occurred ; first in 
1691, and last in 1712. At that time, and for a long period 
thereafter, there were no filled-in lands either on the Hudson or 
Harlem Rivers. Many of the creek beds formerly under water 
from recession of the tide water have become dry land now of 
great value. That these lands, formerly under water and neces- 
sarily undivided among the Harlemites, vest in the town, is most 
ably discussed in the opinions of Hon. Richard O'Gorman and 
Hon. W. C. Whitney, counsel to the corporation of the City of 
New York, written at the request of the Comptroller, on the 1st 
day of August, 1870, and the 10th day of November, 1880, 

Opinion of Richard O' Gorman, Esq., Counsel to the Corporation 

of New York. 

Law Department, 
Office of the Counsel to the Corporation. 
New York, August 1st, 1870. 
Hon. Rich'd B. Connoley, Comptroller, &c. : 

Dear Sir: — 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your communication, in which your request my opinion 
whether certain lands in the Harlem River, between 91st 
and 104th Streets, and 107th and 108th Streets, ex- 
tending to the Third Avenue, are owned by the city under 
the provisions of any of the charters and grants vesting 
the city with the title to land under water. 

In answer thereto I beg leave to say: 

A claim on behalf of the city to the lands in ques- 
tion can only be urged under the 3d section of the Don- 
gan Charter of 22d of April, 1686, which grants to the 


Corporation of the City of New York all the waste, 
vacant, unpatented and unappropriated lands lying and 
being within the City of New York and on Manhattan 
Island, extending and reaching to the low water mark, 
etc., not theretofore given or granted by any of the 
former Governors and Lieutenants or Commanders-in- 
Chief, or by any of the former Mayors, or Deputy 
Mayors, or Aldermen of the said city. 

I am of the opinion that this grant did not convey 
the land in question, for the following reasons, viz. : 

1st. In May, 1666, Governor Nicolls granted and 
conveyed to "the Inhabitants and Freeholders of Har- 
lem," their successors and assigns forever, a large tract 
of land (embracing the land in question) by the follow- 
ing description : "All the land in Manhattan Island lying 
eastward and northward of a line commencing on the 
East River at the saw mills over against Hogges or 
Vercher's Island, and running due north until it strikes 
the Hudson River at the round meadows, together with 
all soils, meadows, creeks, marshes, waters, fishing, etc. 
(Hogges Island is now called Blackwell's Island. Hoff- 
man's Title of Corporations, Vol. 1, page 147.) 

Another patent was made to the said Inhabitants, 
etc., of Harlem, on the nth of October, 1667, granting 
the same privileges and the same lands as were embraced 
in the former patent (of May), but reserving payment 
of certain duties, which did not, however, impair the 
force of the granting words of the patent. 

On the 7th of March, 1686, Governor Dongan con- 
firmed these patents or grants to the said Inhabitants, 
etc., of Harlem (See Book of Patents No. 6, page 192, 
in office of Secretary of State). 

The boundaries and division line between the com- 
mon lands of the then Town of Harlem and the then City 
of New York were definitely settled under the Colonial 
Act of 1774 (Laws of 1774, 1775, pages 171, 172 and 
173. Also, Valentine's Laws, page 1156). 

The division line began on the East River, about 
74th Street, crossed Second Avenue at 79th Street, and 
struck the Hudson River about 129th Street. 

2d. The lands in question are marsh or meadow 
lands lying along the Harlem River, above the original 
high water line, and not between the lines of high and 
low water. 

They are designated as marshes or meadow land on 
the old maps of the city (Vide Commissioner's Map, 
1807. Blue Book Maps. Dripp's Map of the City of 


New York, 1867, compiled from surveys of Randall 
and Blackwell). 

The grants to the said "Inhabitants, etc., of Harlem," 
in express terms, included all marshes, meadows, creeks 
and soils, and in my opinion embraced all lands, whether 
marsh or meadow lands, to the ordinary line of high water 
of the East or Harlem Rivers, although the same were 
sometimes, and at unusually high tides, partially or wholly 
submerged (Rogers v. Jones, 1 Wendell, 237). 

The terms "marshes and meadows," used in the 
Nicolls charter of 1666, seems to me to be an apt and 
proper designation of land situate as are the lands in 

These lands were claimed by the said Inhabitants, 
etc.. of Harlem, under the grants and patents above men- 
tioned, and were conveyed by them in the year 1672. 

The competency of the Inhabitants and Freeholders 
of Harlem to take, hold and convey land, was recognized 
and approved by the Colonial Legislature in the enact- 
ment of the Laws of 1774 above referred to, appointing 
Commissioners to define the boundaries thereof, and, sub- 
sequently, by the Act of 1820, whereby the State Legis- 
lature provided that the land acquired by and under 
the patents and grants above mentioned, and not previous- 
ly conveyed by them, shall be sold for the benefit of the 
Inhabitants, etc., of Harlem (Chapter 115, Laws of 

I am unable to discover in the various charters of 
the city or in any of the grants of land under water to 
the corporation, any provisions which vest in the Mayor, 
etc., of the City of New York, any title to the land in 

Yours truly, 

Richard O'Gorman, 

Counsel to the Corporation. 

Opinion of William C. Whitney, Esq., Counsel to the Corporation 

of Nezu York. 

NEW York. NOVEMBER IO, l88o. 

Hex. John Kelly, Comptroller, Etc.: 


I have received your letter of November 4th, trans- 
milting the application undo to the Commissioners of the 
Sinking Fund, by William F. Russell, Receiver of the 
Sixpenny Savings Bank, for a release of whatever claim, 
if any, the City of New York may possess to certain 


lands, formerly under water, in certain streams, subject 
to the flow of tide water, running through the block 
bounded by 101st and I02d Streets and the Second and 
Third Avenues, which streams have been filled up by 
improvements made on the said premises, leaving no 
vestige thereof. 

You then ask my advice as to the rights of the City 
in this land, and what action, if any, may legally be taken 
by the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, to grant the 
relief asked for in said application. 

I am aware of only one source from which it may be 
supposed that title to the lands in question has been de- 
rived by the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the 
City of New York, namely, the Dongan Charter, granted 
the 27th of April, 1686, by which the Sovereign "gave 
and granted unto the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty 
of the City of New York, all the waste, vacant, unpatented 
and unappropriated lands lying and being within the said 
City of New York, and of Manhattan Island aforesaid, 
extending and reaching to the low water mark in, by 
and through all parts of the said City of New York and 
Manhattan Island aforesaid, with all the rivers, rivulets, 
coves, creeks, ponds, waters and water-courses, in the 
said City and Island, or either of them, not heretofore 
given and granted by any of the former governors, lieu- 
tenants, or commanders-in-chief, under their, or some 
of their hands and seals, or seal of the Province, or by 
any of the former Mayors or Deputy Mayors and Alder- 
men of the said City of New York, to some respective 
person or persons, late inhabitants of the said City of 
New York or Manhattan Island, or of other parts of the 
said province." 

The grant thus made was subsequently confirmed 
by the Montgomerie Charter, January 15th, 1730, and is 
sufficiently broad to include the lands in question if 
such lands had not theretofore been granted by competent 

Such a prior grant is found in the patent, dated May, 
1666, granted by Richard Nicolls, Governor, unto the 
Freeholders and Inhabitants of Harlem. 

In said grant it is provided that the extent "of their 
bounds shall be as follows, viz. : That from the west 
side of the fence of the said township a line be run 
due west four hundred English poles without variation 
of the compass, at the end whereof another line being 
drawn to run north and south with the variation, that is 
to say, north to the end of a certain piece of meadow 


ground commonly called the Round Meadow, near or 
adjoining the Hudson River, and south to the saw mills 
over against Hog Island, commonly called Ferkin's 
Island, it shall be the west bounds of their lands, and all 
the lands lying and being within the said line so drawn 
north and south, as aforesaid, eastward to the town and 
Harlem River, as also to the North and East Rivers, shall 
belong to the Town, together with all the soils, creeks, 
quarries, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, waters, 
fishings, huntings and fowlings and all other profits, 
commodities, emoluments and hereditaments to the said 
lands and premises within the said line belonging, or in 
anywise appertaining, with their, and every of their ap- 
purtenances, to have and to hold all and singular the said 
lands, hereditaments and premises with their and every 
of their appurtenances and every part and parcel thereof, 
to the said Freeholders and Inhabitants, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns, to the proper use and behoof of the 
said Freeholders and Inhabitants, their heirs, successors 
and assigns forever." (Vide Liber No. 1, page 57, 
Record of Patents, Office of the Secretary of State.) 

The above mentioned patent was confirmed by a 
further patent, granted by Governor Nicolls, October 
nth, 1666. (Vide Book of Patents No. 4, page 57.) 

The patent was further confirmed by grant made 
by Thomas Dongan, Captain General, etc., dated March 
7th, 1686, recorded in Book of Patents No. 6, page 

The last named patent confirmed to the "Freeholders 
and Inhabitants of the said Town of New Harlem, their 
heirs, successors and assigns, all and singular the be- 
fore recited tract, parcel and parcels of land and meadow, 
butted and bounded as in the said patent is mentioned 
and expressed, together with all and singular the mes- 
suages, tenements, houses, buildings, barns, stables, or- 
chards, gardens, pastures, mills, mill-dams, runs, streams, 
ponds, woods, under-woods, trees, timber, fencing, fish- 
ing, hawking, hunting and fowling, liberties, privileges, 
hereditaments and improvements whatsoever to the said 
tract of land and premises belonging or in anywise ap- 
pertaining or accepted, reputed, taken or known or used, 
occupied and enjoyed as part or member thereof, with 
their and every of their appurtenances." 

It is. therefore, plain that the lands and appurtenances 
granted to the Freeholders and Inhabitants of Harlem 
were sawd and excepted from the operation of the grant 
made by Governor Dongan to the Mayor, Aldermen and 

Hudson River at the foot of 129TH Street. 


East River at the foot of 74TH Street. 


Commonalty of the City of New York on the 27th day of 
April, 1686. 

Subsequently to these grants, controversies arose 
between the Freeholders and Inhabitants of Harlem 
and the City of New York in relation to the boundaries 
of the land acquired by each under their respective 

In order to settle and determine such controversies, 
an Act was procured to be passed on the 24th day of 
March, 1772, by which Commissioners were named 
to fix upon and settle, and ascertain the boundaries be- 
tween theTownship of Harlem and the lands granted to 
the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of 
New York. The proceedings of the Commissioners under 
such Act were confirmed by an Act passed April 3d, 1775. 
(Vide Laws of New York, 1774 and 1775, pp. 171 and 

It is understood that Hog Island, named in the 
grant, is now called Blackwell's Island. (Vide Hoffman's 
Estate and Rights of the Corporation, Vol. 1, page 147.) 

The report of the Commissioners is recorded in the 
Register's office in the City of New York, wherein the 
extent and boundaries of Harlem Commons is set out 
by them. 

The division line began on the East River, about 
74th Street, crossed Second Avenue at or near 79th 
Street, and struck the Hudson River at about 129th 

It seems, therefore, that the premises in question are 
included within the grant to the Freeholders and In- 
habitants of Harlem, and that the Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the City of New York have acquired 
no title thereto under their charter. 

The title of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of Har- 
lem to the common lands acquired under the above recited 
grants, was transferred, by act of the Legislature passed 
March 28th, 1820, to trustees therein named and declared 
to be trustees in behalf of the said Freeholders and In- 
habitants of Harlem, and seized in fee simple of the 
common lands, in trust, however, for the said Freeholders 
and Inhabitants, and invested with power to take posses- 
sion of the said common lands, etc. 

The Act further confers power upon the said trustees 
to sell the lands, and makes direction as to the disposition 
of the proceeds of such sale. 

The validity of the last recited act has been passed 
upon by Chancellor Kent, in an opinion given by him 


August 23, 1825, in relation to the title of a purchaser 
from said trustees. 

I am, therefore, of the opinion, and advise you, that 
the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of 
New York have no right in the lands in question, and 
therefore, no action in relation thereto, by the Commis- 
sioners of the Sinking Fund, would be legal or proper. 
Yours respectfullv, 

(Sgd.) William C. Whitney, 

Counsel to the Corporation. 

A further elaborate and comprehensive discussion of the 
Harlem waterfront claims is to be found in the opinion of the 
Hon. Murray Hoffman, as follows : 

Opinion of the Hon. Murray Hoffman, Relating to Harlem Mill 


Mr. Yoorhis is the owner of a piece of ground, 
lying between the Second and Third Avenues, on the 
northerly side of 108th Street stretching toward 109th 
Street. I shall assume for this opinion, that at the time 
of the Patents, Deeds and Statutes hereafter mentioned, 
down to 1775, a portion of the ground in question lay 
between high and low water mark, affected by the flux 
and reflux of the tide coming from an arm of the sea. 
But when the locality is fully understood, this proposition 
may admit of doubt. The exact position of the parcel 
must be more definitely pointed out. 

The general course of Harlem River from Benson's 
Point, near 106th Street to about 117th Street, is north- 
erly. About 107th Street a body of water sets up from the 
river, which I call Harlem River. It is sometimes marked 
as the East River. It stretches from the river westerly, 
and was known as Harlem Creek, sometimes Montanya's 

About midway between 107th and 108th Streets 
a cove sets up northwardly from the general course of 
this creek and extends toward 109th Street. At the ex- 
tremity of this cove is the strip of land in question cov- 
ered at high water. 

( Mi the northern line of 108th Street, and between 
Second and Third Avenues, was a mill, a mill pond to- 
ward Third Avenue, and the water leaving the mill ran 
into this cove. There was a mill-dam just beyond Third 

Tins mill had been projected in 1661, when the Mon- 
tanya family petitioned the authorities of Harlem for 
certain privileges for families about to settle near the 


site. It was erected before 1747, but when, I have not 
traced. It is stated that small vessels or barges could 
come up to the mill at ordinary high water. 

In the year 1837, the Second Avenue was opened ac- 
cording to law, and in the year 1849 was graded and 
traveled. Culverts were made at various points ; but it is 
plain that there was no longer any flux or reflux of the 
tide at the place in question, and navigability of any 
description was destroyed to westward of Second 

I proceed to state the patents, etc., bearing upon the 
question, on the fact as assumed. The Patent of Gov- 
ernor Nicolls, of May, 1666, was entitled "A Patent 
granted to the Inhabitants and Freeholders of Harlem, 
alias Lancaster, upon the Island of Manhattan." It con- 
tained a grant as follows : I likewise grant unto the Free- 
holders and Inhabitants in general, their successors and 
assigns, the privileges of a town. The extent of their 
bounds shall be as follows, viz. : From the west side 
of the fence of the said township, a line be run due west 
four hundred English poles, without variation of the 
compass, at the end whereof another line being drawn to 
run north and south with the variation, that is to say, north 
to the very end of a certain piece of meadow ground, 
commonly called the Round Meadows, near or adjoining 
to Hudson River, and south to the saw mills over and 
against Hog Island, commonly called Ferkms Island, 
it shall be the west bounds of the said land, and all the 
lands lying and being within the said line so drawn north 
and south as aforesaid, eastward to the town and harlem 


belong to the town, together with all the soils, creeks, 
quarries, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, waters, 
fishings, and all other profits, hereditaments, etc. 

The confirmation by Nicolls, of October, 1667, varies 
in these particulars: The island is called Vercher's or 
Hog Island, in the South or East River, and after the 
words "Harlem River," is added: "or any part of the 
said river on which this island doth abut." 

This second patent is to Thomas Delavall and others, 
as patentees for themselves and associates, the Freeholders 
and Inhabitants of the Town. 

The confirmation by Dongan, of the 7th of March, 
1687 (1686) is also to the patentees, and adds the words : 
Mills, mill-dams, runs, streams, ponds, wood, etc. The 
Round Meadow of the Patent was a lot of salt meadow 
just north of Manhattanville, near the foot of 129th Street. 


It is needless to attempt an explanation of these 
boundary lines. The settlement under the Act of 1772, 
ratified in 1775, must be taken as defining them, as matter 
of fact. But we notice that the rivers named are the 
Hudson River, the East River, and the Harlem River. 
The Verchen (Blackwell's Island) lies in the East River, 
and we may conclude, what other proofs show, that the 
East River proper ended at about 89th Street, opposite 
Middle Reef, and Harlem River was the arm beyond 
Grade's Point. Here, it seems, was the point of division, 
according to grant and records. We notice also that it is 
the river to which the grant extends. 

On the 10th of March, 1772, a Bill was brought from 
the Assembly to the Legislative Council entitled "An Act 
to settle and establish the line or lines of a division 
between the City of New York and the Township of 
Harlem, so far as concerns the right of soil in con- 
troversy." On the 12th March it passed the Council, 
and on the 24th was approved by the Governor. The 
boundary having been settled, an Act was passed on the 
3d of April, 1775, "To confirm the proceedings of the 
Commissioners heretofore appointed by a law of this 
colony, to settle the line or lines of division between the 
City of New York and the Township of Harlem, and 
for establishing the boundary line between said city and 

The Statute of 1772 provided that the settlement of 
the line when recorded shall operate as a total extinguish- 
ment of all claim, title and interest of the township and of 
all persons, etc., in and to the lands to the southward and 
westward of such division line, and shall also operate as 
a total extinguishment of all the right, title and interest of 
the City of New York to all lands, etc., which shall 
lie to the northward and eastward of the said division 
line so to be ascertained and run out, the lands lying and 
being between high and low water mark within the City 
of New York to the northward and eastward of the said 
division line only excepted. 

The City of New York, jurisdictionally, at any rate, 
included the lands to low water mark, even on the West- 
chester side of Harlem River. 

The Statutes of 1775 ratified and confirmed the 
proceedings of the Commissioners, and we understand 
that the boundaries thus adjusted have remained unaltered 
and unquestioned since. The line run by the Commis- 
sioners commenced on the East River at 74th Street, 
crossed the Second Avenue at 79th Street, the Third 


Avenue at 81st Street and struck the Hudson River near 
129th Street. 

Another and most important fact is the establish- 
ment of the title to the parcel in question. From the 
various deeds, abstracts of which are heretofore annexed, 
maps, surveys, old records and documents and statements 
of persons acquainted with the antiquities of Harlem, 
I am fully satisfied that this parcel was included in the 
partition which took place in 171 1, 171 2, among the 
Inhabitants, Freeholders and the representatives of the 
Patentees. It deserves especial notice, that Thomas Dela- 
vall was one of the Patentees, that each Patentee was to 
have twelve acres (sixty in all), and that in the deed of 
1747, the parcel conveyed to Benson is called Delavall's 
land. Upon these documents and statutes I consider, 1st: 
That the best construction of the Patents and confirmation 
is that the strip between high and low water (the tideway, 
as it is conveniently called) passed to the Freeholders, etc., 
of Harlem. The grant embraces "lands, soils, waters, 
streams, meadows, marshes, runs, creeks and ponds." 
It would be difficult to get together terms which would 
more fully embrace anything of land, of water, and of any 
combination of the two. The word creek is as pertinent 
to a body of salt water as to one of fresh. In the Statute 5 
and 6 Edw., 6th chap. 14, anyone bringing any wares, 
etc., toward any city, port, haven, creek or road of the 
realm from any port beyond sea should be subject to a 
penalty as provided. So in the Statute 5 Eliz., chap. 5, 
paragraph 8, it is forbidden to bring fishing vessels 
owned by strangers into any port or creek of the realm. 

It is defined in the Encyclopedia "a port of a haven 
where anything is landed from the sea." So in Cunning- 
ham's Law Dictionary, it is "a port of a haven where any- 
thing is landed from the sea." And in Henry 4, chap. 40, 
we have : "in great ports of the sea, and not in Crykes or 
small 'arrivals.' ' : We can here draw a natural, and, we 
think, legal distinction between the river proper and a 
creek of it. The former is defined by the general course 
(filum) of the body of the stream, and such course is from 
point to point, where there is an indentation into the land, 
properly a cove. The latter is that indentation. And we 
could very consistently hold that the land under water, 
within the cove, between high and low water, passed, 
but not outside of it. This view would be tenable even if 
that was an indentation from Harlem River; a fortiori 
when from Harlem Creek. But the creek itself, we con- 
tend, passed, and the case is then much stronger. 


Again, we have the words "waters, lands and soyles." 
"What is the meaning of this last word ? The Lord Chan- 
cellor, in The Attorney General vs. Johnson (12 Wilson, 
Rep. 95) says, "A grant includes the water between high 
and low water mark, if it covers the soil." The right 
of wreck, says Lord Hale, affords a strong presumption 
that the soil is intended to pass (cited Hoffman's Law 
of the Corporation, etc. Appendix 108). 

So in the important case of Logen vs. Jones, I 
Wendell, it is said, "The King has the property tam 
acquac quam soli." So in the rivers which have the flux 
and reflux of the sea. But by grant or prescription the 
subject may have the interest in the water and soil of 
navigable rivers. 

Instances are cited by Lord Hale of words in a grant 
sufficient to convey this right. But as the river is the 
boundary, there could be no pretence for carrying it be- 
yond low water mark. Thus the right of the State is re- 
tained to the navigable rivers in its true sense, and effect 
is given to the word sovle, which otherwise would con- 
vey nothing which is not conveyed by other words. There 
is, then, legal ground for holding that the slip between 
high and low water passed by the patents, and particularly 
at the locality of the property in question. 

But the Act of 1772, and the confirmatory Act of 
1775, create a difficulty. It is obvious that there was a 
controversy as to the rights of soyle between Harlem and 
the Corporation of New York ; and we are to remember 
that, under the charters of Dongan, 1686, and of Mont- 
gomerie, 1730, the corporation became entitled to all 
waste, vacant and unpatented land on Manhattan Island 
reaching low water mark. (See Hoffman's Treatise, vol. 
1, p. 180, etc.) 

Here, then, is an express Legislative enactment that 
the title of New York shall not be extinguished by the 
Commissioners' adjustment of bounds, in the parcels 
between high and low water within the City. The City 
limits included all, even to low water on the Westchester 
side. Then the fact /that the parcel in question was 
comprised in the deeds consequent upon the partition 
of 171 1 is most important. A title became vested in an 
individual before the statutes of 1772 and 1775. The 
source of such title was either old Dutch groundbriefs 
before 1666, in which case the patents of Nicolls operated 
as confirmation, or a direct -rant by the proper officers 
of Harlem under the patents, (of which there was an 
example in February, 1672) or a confirmatory grant under 


the patents of an older title. In Delavall's case the con- 
clusion is next to a certainty that he took under the 
patent whether he had any title before or not. Then his 
title goes back to 1747, at least, and the action of the 
Legislature in the Statutes referred to, was wholly in- 
operative to divest a vested right, interest or title. 

Let us concede, which admits of strong argument, 
that it amounts to an express legislative declaration that 
the title was in the City of New York, not merely that 
the adjustment should not impair whatever title they had ; 
concede also that it was competent for the authorities of 
Harlem to compromise the interests of the Town in this 
respect, — to restrict any right the town and inhabitants 
had to the tide-way. This could only be for the future. 
It is impossible that the compromise or surrender could 
in any form or manner prejudice or affect the right of 
a grantee acquiring title before the arrangement and 
getting it under the patents. The quasi corporation 
might bind for all future grants, but could not take away 
rights conferred under previous ones. 

Thus we are come back to the question whether the 
several patents covered the soil under water at the place 
in question. If any conclusion had been that the strip 
in question could not be considered as having passed un- 
der the patent, then it did pass, under the charter, to the 
corporation of the city giving them the waste, vacant, 
unpatented lands around the island to low water mark. 
This grant, and its extent, is discussed in Hoffman's 
Treatise (Vol. 1, p. 183). And it is considered that it 
covers the tideway, even where the upland adjoining was 
vested in another by a grant before 1686, but not com- 
prising the tideway. But the corporation, in exercise of 
the power conferred by statutes (a portion of the power 
of eminent domain delegated to them), have opened the 
Second Avenue and effectually destroyed the naviga- 
bility of the cove at this place in question, and all the 
advantages once arising from it. 

Now, on the assumption that the title was in the 
corporation, this was an inquiry to interest or right, 
to be claimed and paid for, or compensated by benefits. 
The lands which clearly passed were subject to the 
exercise of this power of opening avenues and streets 
for public use; and the benefit arising from the flow of 
water at the place, and every possible interest in the 
soil was, of course, as liable. Even the late important 
case of Gates v. The City of Milwaukee is entirely con- 
sistent with this view. (See Gerard's Treatise, p. 14). 


Upon the whole, I conclude that the title and right to the 
strip in question did pass under the patents, was 
vested before or in the year 1747, in one claiming under 
the patents, could not be affected by the statutes of 1772 
and 1775, and is now vested in Mr. Yoorhis. 
New York, March 13, 1873. 

(Signed) Murray Hoffman. 

The acts of the Legislature referred to in the foregoing 
opinions will be found set out at length in Appendix E of this 
work. The Act of- 1772 is entitled: "An Act to settle and estab- 
lish the line or lines of division, between the City of New York 
and the Township of Harlem, so far as concerns the right of soil 
in controversy. Passed 24th day of March, 1772." 

The Act, in its main features, names the commissioners and 
the manner in which proceedings shall be taken; grants author- 
ity to settle the line of division, and to cause the same to be run 
out and marked; provides that the royal approval shall be ob- 
tained within one year ; and that the description shall be recorded, 
etc. ; and that the line shall remain the established boundary ; 
providing, further, for the charges to be paid by the Town of 
Harlem and by the City of New York. 

The royal approbation having been secured within the time 
limited, the Act of the 3d April, 1775, was passed, entitled: 
"An Act to confirm the proceedings of the commissioners here- 
tofore appointed by a law of this colony to settle the line or lines 
of division between the City of New York and the Township of 
Harlem, and for establishing the boundary between the said city 
and township." Omitting the preamble the enacting clause 
follows : 

Be it therefore enacted by his honor the Lieutenant- 
Governor, the Council and the General Assembly, and it 
is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that the 
said lines of division so settled, ascertained, fixed upon 
and adjudged, and above particularly mentioned and 
described, are and shall forever hereafter be and remain 
the boundary and division lines between the lands of the 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New 
York and Township of Harlem; and that the said lines 
of division so fixed upon, run out and marked as the 
boundary between the said lands of the Mayor. Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the City of New York and Township 
of Harlem, shall be and operate as a total extinguishment 
of all the right, title, interest, claim or pretences of 
claim whatsoever of the Township of Harlem, and of 
all and every other person and persons whatsoever claim- 


ing or to claim under the said Township of Harlem of, 
in and to all and singular and every the lands, common 
of pasture, tenements, hereditaments, appurtenances and 
advantages whatsoever, which shall lie to the southward 
and westward of such division lines : and shall also at the 
same time operate as a total extinguishment of all the 
right, title, interest, claim or pretences of claim what- 
soever, of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of 
the City of New York, and of all and every person 
or persons claiming under the said Mayor, Alder- 
men and Commonalty of the City of New York of, in 
and to all the lands, tenements, hereditaments and ap- 
purtenances whatsoever which shall lie to the eastward 
and northward of the said division or boundary lines 
(the lands lying and being between low and high water 
mark within the City of New York to the eastward and 
northward of the said division or boundary line or lines 
only excepted). 

The additional sections of the Act provide that the boundary 
mentioned shall not affect the jurisdiction of the City of New 
York, nor affect private claims, and empower the committee 
of the Township of Harlem to sell the common lands. 

To avoid entry upon the law of estoppel, a statement is here 
made that, under the enacting clause above reproduced, the ques- 
tion will be submitted to the Court, in the recovery of the Harlem 
lands and properties, as to whether or not the City of New York 
is estopped from denying that all lands north and east of the 
Harlem line, excepting the Harlem waterfrontage, belong to and 
are owned by the Town of New Harlem. 

The Act of 1820 appoints trustees for the freeholders and 
inhabitants of Harlem seized in fee simple of the common lands. 

The Act of 1823 grants power to the chancellor to fill vacan- 
cies, and provides that a majority vote of the trustees shall 

The Harlem Land Boundaries. 

A well known principle of law holds that all within the 
limits of the description contained in a grant passes to the 
grantee. 1 

The rule is that "When a patent or grant conveys 

a tract of land by metes and bounds, the land under 

water as well as other land will pass if the land under 

water lies within the bounds of the grant." 8 

If such is law, the Harlem River itself was included within 

1. Lownes v. Huntington, 153 U. S. 1; 174 U. S. 230. 

2. 19 Am. Dec. 493. (Cites Rogers v. Jones, 1 Wend. 293.) 


the bounds of the grant, and passed to the Harlem patentees under 
the Harlem charters, subject to the right of navigation, — the 
description of lands granted including a large tract on the West- 
chester side of the river under the designation, 'lots I, 2, 3 
and 4." (Pp. 28, 41 and 120.) 

It is not intended in this review to give the impression that 
the judges of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York 
have been or are in harmony of opinion on the subject of the 
Harlem waterfront vesting in the City of New York. 

New York Court of Appeals' Decisions Ih harmonious. 

In the case of the Trustees of the Town of Brookhaven v. 
Strong, and other cases above referred to (p. 170), decided in 
said court, it is maintained that grants of land upon Long Island 
and vicinity (similar in form to the Harlem Patents), issued by 
Governors Nicolls and Dongan, conveyed to low water mark ; 
legal sentiments practically the opposite to those set forth in the 
opinions of the Sage and Hart cases, and in accord with the 
decision in the case of Martin v. W'addell above mentioned. 
Harlem would seem to have been favored with a special ruling 
in its waterfront controversies ; in States having a greater sea- 
board than NewYork, the courts holding that grants from the 
King of England, prior to the Revolution, conveyed to low water 

The Common Law of England. 

References are made throughout these pages to the common 
law of England for the reason that all questions arising out 
of grants and interests in real property derived from the King 
of England must be construed and determined by the laws of 
England as they existed prior to the American Revolution. Nu- 
merous leading cases adduce this principle of law, a case in 
New York State 1 holding that : "Two years earlier the Dutch 
surrendered New Amsterdam to Col. Nicolls who with an armed 
force asserted the right and authority of the Duke of York and 
the English government. The common law of England entered 
the city with him," and by the constitution of the State of New 
York in 1777, it is declared : "That such parts of the common law 
of England and of the statute laws of Great Britain as together 
did form the laws of the colony on the 19th day of April, 1775, 
should be, and continue the laws of this State." 

1. Mayor v. Hart, 95 N. Y. 450. 


Treaties and the New York State Constitution. 

It is assumed that, admittedly, treaties between nations con- 
stitute the "paramount law of the land." 

The contention that by the treaties between Holland and 
England, and England and the United States, all rights and 
franchises under the Harlem patents became vested for all time 
in the grantees, will be reserved for the Court. A short con- 
sideration of the Constitution of the State of New York follows : 

Article XXXVI of the Constitution of 1777. 

XXXVI. And BE IT FURTHER ordained, that all 
grants of lands within this State, made by the King of 
Great Britain, or persons acting under his authority, after 
the fourteenth day of October, one thousand seven hun- 
dred and seventy-five, shall be null and void; but that 
nothing in this Constitution contained, shall be construed 
to affect any grants of land, within this State, made by 
the authority of the same King or his predecessors, or 
to annul any charters to bodies politic, by him or them, 
or any of them, made prior to that day. And that none 
of the said charters shall be adjudged to be void, by 
reason of any nonuser of misuser of any of their respec- 
tive rights or privileges, between the nineteenth day of 
April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hun- 
dred and seventy-five, and the publication of this Consti- 
tution. And further, That all such of the officers, 
described in the said charters respectively, as, by the 
terms of the said charters, were to be appointed by the 
governor of the colony of New York, with or without 
the advice and consent of the council of the said King, 
in the said colony, shall henceforth be appointed by the 
council established by this Constitution for the appoint- 
ment of officers in this State, until otherwise directed 
by the Legislature. 


(Article VII., Par. 14.) 

All grants of land within this State, made by the 
King of Great Britain, or persons acting under his 
authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one thous- 
and seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null and 
void; but nothing contained in this Constitution, shall 
affect any grants of land within this State, made by the 
authority of the said King or his predecessors, or shall 
annul any charters to bodies politic or corporate, by him 
or them made, before that day; or shaee affect any 



Article I, Par. 18, of the 

Constitution of 1846, 
is identical with the last-mentioned clause of the Constitution of 
1821, while in Article I, Par 17, of the 

Constitution of 1894, 
the same clause is reproduced without change. 

The difference between the wording of the clause in the 
Constitution of 1777 and that of the subsequent paragraphs of 
the constitutional provisions of 182 1 -1846 and 1894, can be 
clearly seen in the following juxtaposition of the sentences men- 
tioned : 


1777. 1846, 1894. 

That all grants of land All grants of land within 
within this State, made by this State, made by the 
the King of Great Britain, King of Great Britain, or 
or persons acting under his persons acting under his 
authority, after the four- authority, after the four- 
teenth day of October, one teenth day of October, one 
thousand seven hundred thousand seven hundred 
and seventy-five, shall be and seventy-five, shall be 
null and void ; but that null and void ; but nothing 
nothing in this Constitution contained in this Constitu- 
contained shall be con- tion shall affect any grants 
strued to affect any grants of land within this State, 
of land, within this State, made by the authority of 
made by the authority of the said King or his pre- 
the same King or his pre- decessors, or shall annul 
decessors, or to annul any any charters to bodies poli- 
charters to bodies politic tic and corporate, by him 
by him or them, or any of or them made, before that 
them, made prior to that day; or shall impair any 
day. other rights of property. 

That the rights under the Harlem patents were intended 
to be vested in all respects is accentuated by the fact that for 
more than one hundred and twenty-five years since the inaugu- 
ration and adoption of the first CONSTITUTION,— the 10th 

1. Words in small capitals added. 


day of July, 1776, — the birthday, as it were, of the State of 
New York, no legislative acts, or parts of acts in KNOWN 
contravention of the HARLEM GRANTS AND CHARTERS, 
and the rights thereunder, have been forthcoming. 

While the object of the construction of a Constitution is to 
give effect to the intent of the people who adopted it, as a general 
rule this intent is to be found in the instrument itself. 1 

In the memorable words of Mr. Chief Justice Marshall : 2 

As men whose intentions require no concealment 
generally employ the words which most directly and aptly 
express the idea they intend to convey, the enlightened 
patriots who framed our CONSTITUTION, and the 
people who adopted it, must be understood to have em- 
ployed words in their natural sense, and to have intended 
what they said. 

And, further, while from a well-known principle of juris- 
prudence, construction gives way to enforcement, when the 
law is plain and unambiguous ; and in such cases it is provided 
that words are to be taken in the sense which they naturally bear 
on their face, 8 and, moreover, a resort to contemporaneous in- 
terpretation must carry with it much of qualification and reserve, 
bearing in mind that the text itself was alone adopted by the 
people; 4 yet in order to gather the full intent of the framers of 
the Constitution as adopted by the people and conveyed, in the 
language of the clause mentioned; to answer the question 
whether it was intended that grants and charters made by the 
King of Great Britain prior to October 14th, 1775, should or 
should not be invested with peculiar sanctity ; to learn whether 
the provision that "nothing in this Constitution shall affect" the 
class of grants named, constitutes a restraint upon legislative 
power, or was inserted merely to indicate that the Constitution, 
in the abstract, had no power to affect such grants or annul 
charters to bodies corporate, granting that the words them- 
selves are precise and unambiguous, it is submitted that it is 
essentially justifiable and necessary to resort to contemporaneous 
interpretation and to intelligently meet the problem of construc- 
tion to apply the well-known canon of constitutional interpre- 
tation devised by Mr. Thomas Jefferson, in the words : 

On every question of Construction (we should) carry 
ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was 

1. Cooley Con. Lim., p. 69. 

2. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat., 187. 

3. United States v. Fisher, 2 Cranch., 399. 

4. Storey on the Constitution, 5 ed., p. 309-310. 


adopted ; recollect the spirit manifested in the debates ; 
and, instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed 
out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the 
probable use in which it was passed. 

Portions of the debates in convention, pertinent to 
the subject, follow: 

Debates in Convention. 1 

Mr. Murphy offered the following: 

Resolved, That it be referred to the following com- 
mittees respectively to inquire into the expediency of 
striking out of the Constitution, as useless and un- 
necessary, and liable to popular misconstruction, as fol- 
lows : 

"i. To the committee on the creation and division 
of estates in lands, so much of the Constitution as de- 
clares that nothing contained therein shall affect any 
grant of land within this State made by authority of 
the King of Great Britain or his predecessors before 
the 14th day of October, 1775, or affect any such grants 
since made by this State or by persons acting under its 

"2. To the committee on the organization of cities 
and villages, so much as declares that nothing contained 
therein shall annul any charters to bodies politic or cor- 
porate by the said King or his predecessors, made before 
the said date, or shall affect any such charters since made 
by this State, or by persons acting under its authority."' 

Mr. Murphy said it would be proper, in order to 
prevent misapprehension as to his object, to state that 
in offering this resolution he had no desire or wish to 
interfere with the rights of property, whether that prop- 
erty be in lands or in franchises in the nature of private 
property. If this provision be stricken out of the Con- 
stitution, there will still remain the provision that nothing 
contained in that instrument should affect or impair tin- 
obligations of contract or the right of property, which 
would serve every purpose for which this proposition 
was originally introduced. The object for which he 
introduced this resolution was to prevent a very common 
error in this community. — an extensive error, — that there 
is something in charters granted prior to the formation 
of the Constitution, so very sacred that they may not be 
touched, while charters granted since may be. Now, 
the charter of the city of Buffalo or Brooklyn may be 

ork Constitution, — Debates in Convention, 1846, by Bishop and Atree, 
p. ii7- 


altered or repealed by the Legislature, but the moment 
you touched the ancient city of Albany, granted in 1686 
by a royal Governor, you are touching something sacred. 
Now, he did not present an imaginary case here, but one 
in which we had before us every day, — the evidence of the 
truth of what he said. By the charter of the city of 
Albany, to which he referred, there is conferred on the 
Mayor the exclusive power to grant licenses to tavern 
keepers, as he was informed, (and if he was wrong the 
gentleman from Albany could correct him). And he 
understood that the Mayor of that city, — notwithstand- 
ing the supreme power of the State and the people of 
Albany have united to say that no license shall be 
granted, — persevered in granting them. He (Mr. M.) 
did not wish to be misunderstood on this subject. In 
regard to temperance, he did hold that the great cause 
was more likely to be injured than benefited by attempts 
to enforce obedience to a sumptuary law, as he regarded 
it. He merely referred to this as an illustration, and if 
it was law it should be obeyed, as well in Albany as in 
Buffalo. He held that all public powers were held in 
trust for private purposes, and he did not wish that the 
error should prevail, as it did in the community, and in 
high places, too, that the charter of a city was now pro- 
tected by the Constitution from the exercise of the sov- 
ereign power. In regard to the form of the resolution, 
a part of it referred to the committee of which he was 
chairman. Properly, perhaps that did not belong, under 
the present arrangement of committees, to that com- 
mittee, but, however, in order that it might be before 
some committee he had moved its reference there. It 
was immaterial whether it went there or to the committee 
on the rights and privileges of the citizen. It was a 
mere matter of form. 

Mr. Jordan considered this a pretty important reso- 
lution in its principles, and he rose to move that it be 
laid on the table, so that in some form or other, the sense 
of the convention might be taken out before it was re- 
ferred to a committee. It was a matter of very great 
question whether, under the treaty of 1783, between the 
British Government and the American People, we were 
at liberty, in any way, to legislate, either by Constitution 
or otherwise, so as to affect vested rights. He was not 
disposed to go into an explanation of his views at this 
time ; he had risen but to move to lay the resolution on 
the table, in order to direct attention to it before it went 
to a committee. 


The resolution was laid on the table, with the assent 
of Mr. Murphy. 

Debates Continued. 1 

Mr. Murphy said, that, seeing the gentleman from 
New York in his place, he would now call up his resolu- 
tion, Xo. 29 (Resolution omitted). 

Mr. Shepard said it appeared to him that the gen- 
tleman from Kings had evidently mistaken the proper 
committee for the reference of this resolution ; he pro- 
posed to commit it to the committee on the rights and 
privileges of citizens of this State. Now but a small 
portion of the gentleman's resolution can properly go to 
that committee, — only the grants to private individuals. 
But there are two important branches to that resolution. 
First, the one that relates to grants of land to individuals ; 
secondly, the grants to bodies politic, corporations, etc. 
Now, grants of land made by the King of Great Britain, 
were made to individuals as well as to corporations. And 
the grants thus made to individuals may be thus very 
properly referred ; but the grants thus made to bodies, 
do not come properly within the supervision of that 
committee. So the second branch of the gentleman's 
resolution, as to "charters to bodies politic and corporate, 
by him or them made," etc., ought not to go to commit- 
tee No. 2 on the rights and privileges of citizens of 
this State. There is, in fact, no committee that has been 
raised in this convention that that subject can be appro- 
priately referred to. He did not see that it came within 
the peculiar province of any of the present standing 
committees. Of those now raised, the one to whom it 
would seem to be the most proper to send it, was the 
14th committee, the one on the organization, etc., of 
cities, towns and villages, and of which the gentleman 
from Kings (Mr. Murphy) was himself the chairman. 
But at the same time, it was very clear that vested rights 
in a city or village was not a matter of city or village 
organization. It does not enter into the mode of ad- 
ministering their local affairs ; it has nothing to do with 
their organization ; but if it is to be referred to any of 
the present standing committees, the 14th seems to be 
the most proper one. But, this is a' matter of vast im- 
portance to the people in that part of the State which 
he had the honor in part to represent ; in the city of 
New York, great rights were to be affected by the action 

3. N. Y. Constitution, Debates In Convention, 1846, by Bishop and Attree, pp. 160- 
163, Atlas Edition. 


of the committee on this subject; and he would therefore 
move its reference to a select committee of five. 

Mr. Murphy was very happy to hear the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Shepard) say that this resolution 
did not affect the rights and privileges of citizens of any 
portion of this State. It was precisely what he — 

Mr. Shepard wished to correct the gentleman; what 
he said was that it did not so peculiarly affect the rights 
and privileges of the citizens of this State as to be re- 
ferable to the committee on the rights and privileges of 
the citizens. Everything, however, that was or could 
be done here, must, directly or indirectly, affect every 
citizen, more or less. 

Mr. Murphy said: He understood the gentleman. 
And if this did not thus affect the rights and privileges 
of any of the citizens of this State, then the view in 
regard to the reference which he had taken of it was 
fortified by the views of the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Shepard). But in speaking of this question of 
reference, the gentleman from New York has fallen into 
the very error which he (Mr. M.) had sought to remove 
by that resolution. He (Mr. M.) had originally pro- 
posed to refer the two parts of it to two distinct com- 
mittees. He, then, the other day, called it up, and modi- 
fied it, saying that he would waive the separate refer- 
ence of its parts ; that, probably, in first referring it he 
had been wrong, and that the reference belonged properly 
to Committee No. 2 on the rights and privileges of 
citizens, and to that committee he said he should move 
its reference, because, as he then said, the clauses pro- 
posed to be struck out were contained in that part of the 
Constitution which had been referred to committee No. 
2 (Article 7 of the present Constitution, Sec. 14, re- 
ferring particularly to the rights and privileges of citi- 
zens). Then why should the resolution not be referred 
to that committee? It was true, that so much of the 
resolution as related to corporations was not technically 
referable to that committee; but, in realty, even that 
subject very nearly and intimately concerned the rights 
and privileges of citizens. The gentleman from New * 
York (Mr. Shepard) contends that a part relates to 
grants and lands to individuals, and the other part to 
bodies politic and incorporate (that have no existence, 
except what is termed a legal existence) ; and that, there- 
fore, the reference is wrong. But he contended the whole 
subject more or less affected all citizens of the State, and 
their rights and privileges, and, therefore, ought to go 


to the committee having that very important matter in 
charge. The gentleman had talked about vested rights. 
Now, he (Mr. M.) did not wish to interfere with vested 
rights, as, from this resolution, some had supposed. And 
if the gentleman had examined this matter, he would 
have seen a reservation in this resolution on this very 
subject in favor of vested rights. He did not propose 
to attack any vested rights here at all ; but he did pro- 
pose a thorough examination into all that political 
power arising out of what was called vested rights in 
corporations, and which was so often shamefully exer- 
cised by corporations to the injury of the rights and 
privileges of the great body of citizens. This was what 
he did intend most fully : That the convention should in- 
quire into this corruptly exercised political power, — 
which some gentlemen seem to regard as, in a measure, 
sacred, — that must not be examined into or touched in 
any way. But he denied this position ; for the rights of 
man (as had been said by a distinguished writer many 
years ago), the rights of man, were not the rights of 
one generation, and they cannot be monopolized, — they 
belong to all ! And if there is anything in the charter 
of any city, etc., which interferes with the political rights 
of man, it must fall ; powers of all kinds which inter- 
fere with man's individual and political rights cannot 
stand, — they must fall. They cannot be vested. The 
gentleman had also fallen into a further error, in sup- 
posing that there is something peculiarly powerful in 
royal grants. Now, the people here succeeded to all the 
royally-conferred power. They succeeded to all the 
powers, rights and prerogatives enjoyed in this country 
by royalty previous to the Revolution. After that Revo- 
lution they were the sole depositaries and exercisers of 
these powers. And whatever the King of Great Britain 
could have done before that Revolution, the people could 
do now ; and what they cannot now do, the King could 
not have done then. The clauses he desired to strike out 
of the Constitution had been very mischievous and in- 
jurious to the people in their tendancies. We found men, 
even in high places, — and found members in that con- 
vention, — and they found legislative bodies putting con- 
structions on these clauses of the Constitution which have 
frequently been repudiated by the most eminent men, and 
by the courts of law. These clauses had led to the per- 
petration of most monstrous and mischievous errors ; 
not only in the case of the City of Albany, to which he 
referred the other day, but in the legislature. There 


was an instance of a town setting up the same question 
of royal grants. The town of Huntington, in Suffolk 
County, was a royally chartered town, and the Legisla- 
ture gravely referred it to the then Attorney General, 
now Chief Justice, to get his opinion, whether they pos- 
sessed the power to divide the town of Huntington, in 
consequence of its being a royal grant and charter. 
What did he do? He reported as he (Mr. M.) con- 
tended now. He stated in his opinion (Assembly docu- 
ments of 1830) that this very proposition, which it is 
now sought by this resolution to have expunged from 
the Constitution, was an entire nullity, and had no busi- 
ness there. That was the opinion of your present Chief 
Justice. Then, why not let this go to the committee, 
selected by the President from the body of the house, 
and, in his opinion, proper to take into consideration the 
rights of citizens of this State, and those of other than 
its citizens, in this matter, and to look to the rights of 
the whole State. He knew that this touched very closely 
the opinions of his friends from New York, and the citi- 
zens there ; but there were those even there who did not 
believe that chartered rights were of such a nature as to 
prevent an exercise of sovereignty here with a view to 
correct evils. No ! the spirit of Leggett still lives there, 
and there were many, very many, there who wished to see 
this doctrine of vested political rights broken up. With 
a view of having it sent to the proper committee, and 
not to those whose peculiar interest and local feelings 
were involved, he desired it should go to the committee, 
at the head of which was the most experienced and vener- 
able member from Dutchess. 

Mr. Shepard certainly did not propose to examine, 
nor did he, in any degree, examine, the section of the 
Constitution which the gentleman from Kings had in- 
troduced by way of amendment. It had appeared to 
him that to examine that would be to discuss the merits 
of this question, and with the merits of it at this stage 
of the proceedings he determined to have nothing to do. 
The gentleman from Kings had not answered his (Mr. 
S.'s) objection to the reference, except by stating that the 
particular section of the Constitution which he proposes 
to strike out, and in place of which he proposes to insert 
his substitute, was arranged in the 7th Article of the 
present Constitution, among the rights and privileges of 
citizens of the State. So it was, — that was conceded, — but 
there were other things arranged there, too. There were 
propositions in regard to the rights of toll, and some 


other matters not peculiarly the subject of privilege to 
the citizens of the State. 

Mr. Murphy said, as he stated before, he did not 
propose, in his resolution, to interfere with the rights of 

Mr. Shepard understood the gentleman to say so. 
He confessed he did not understand the section to be as 
broad as that; and whether it was so or not, he did not 
feel at liberty to examine, as he was not discussing the 
merits of the proposition. If he (Mr. S.) should under- 
take to convince the President that the vested rights of 
the City of New York were now secured, — that the propo- 
sition was substantially defective in its merits, — he would 
be decided to be out of order. Now, he would take up 
the argument he left off a moment since. And sup- 
posing that the 7th Article of the Constitution was en- 
tirely made up of the enumeration of the rights and privi- 
leges of citizens of the State, still that would propose 
nothing in favor of the present reference. Why? Be- 
cause you appointed a standing committee, and referred 
to them various subjects without any reference to the 
particular part of the Constitution in which these sub- 
jects were placed at present. Accordingly, his (Mr. S.'s) 
colleagues from New York had reported upon the veto 
power in connection with the duties of the Executive of 
the State. These were not found together in the present 
Constitution, but were widely separated. Now, he must 
say, to pass on to another consideration, that he was under 
peculiar obligations to the gentleman from Kings for 
placing on his lips arguments that he did not use, and 
he would concede, all the arguments so placed had been 
satisfactorily and triumphantly answered. But he would 
not say as much for the arguments he (Mr. S.) had 
placed 'on his own lips. Now, he did not stand here as 
the advocate of royal grants, except so far as they had 
been acquiesced in by the people, and were acted upon 
for the advantages of the interests of the State by the 
grantees themselves. He supposed that vested rights 
were sacred, though the gentleman appeared to think 
not. He supposed, that, aside from any provision in the 
Constitution, that they would be protected by the genius 
and spirit of our laws. There was no danger, whether 
the proposition was in the Constitution or stricken out. 
But there was a large class of rights which the City of 
New York exercises. It is an extensive corporation, 
and stood in two relations to the people of this State. 
First, as a large political corporation, exercising the 


rights of political government; and, in the second place, 
as a large private corporation, exercising the rights of 
such corporations, taking fees, and deriving a large 
revenue from sources such as a mere public corporation 
had no right to derive it from. The right of the cor- 
poration had been secured by a long chain of statutes, 
and by a number of courts, extending through many years, 
and it seemed to him that it would be entirely unwise 
for the mere purpose, as the gentleman in conclusion 
states, of avoiding popular misconstruction, hastily to 
cast aside these sections of the Constitution that were 
inserted by the wise foresight of the Convention of 182 1, 
for the purpose of securing those great private rights 
about which we have been speaking. It seemed to him 
to be unwise for that purpose merely to strike these 
propositions out, without the fullest and most compre- 
hensive examination. Now, he desired that examination 
should be made by a proper committee. He had no ob- 
jection to the committee of which the venerable gentle- 
man from Dutchess (Mr. Talmage) was chairman, ex- 
cept that in the order and division of the business it had 
nothing to do with the subject. And it seemed to him 
that would be a conclusive objection. It applied to every 
other committee as well, as he would undertake to demon- 
strate, if the gentleman from Kings should think differ- 
ently. There was no alternative but a special committee ; 
and there was in the magnitude of the question itself 
everything to call for its consideration by a special com- 
mittee at the hands of the convention. 

Mr. Morris agreed with the gentleman from Kings, 
that the proper reference of this subject was to the stand- 
ing committee on the rights and privileges of citizens. 
He agreed also with that gentleman, that he had cor- 
rectly stated the law on the subject of corporations, etc. ; 
and he (Mr. M.) did not know, — he was not aware that 
there had been, any different opinion entertained since 
the delivery of the learned opinion to which the gentle- 
man had referred. No one now dreamed or contended 
that political power given to corporations of any kind 
could not be touched. That was conceded by all, — all 
contended that it only required a two-thirds vote to affect 
or alter them, whether granted by king or given by people. 
There was no man, anywhere, even though the spirit 
of Leggett was not there, that would contend for a 
contrary doctrine. Then the object of the clause in the 
Constitution which the gentleman wishes to have stricken 
out was nugatory, and could only be to preserve private 


rights. When we lawyers said "private rights," we meant 
the rights of property of incorporations as well as of 
individuals. It did strike him, therefore, that the proper 
committee was the one the gentleman from Kings had 
selected, — on the rights and privileges of the citizens, — 
whether the citizen was made by God or manufactured by 

Mr. Shepard was not aware before that a corporation 
was a citizen, — he was very much obliged to his colleague 
for informing him of the fact. 

The question was then put on referring to the 
eleventh standing committee and it was agreed to. 

Report of Committee. 1 
The report of ''The Committee (No. n) on the rights 
and privileges of the citizens of the State." Paragraph 
or Section 19 reported without change: 

Mr. Talmage (chairman) said that his committee had 
spent much time, labor, and research upon the subj ect con- 
tained in this report. They had retained all these pro- 
visions contained in the existing Constitution which it 
was not deemed desirable to amend or alter ; and in order 
to facilitate members, etc., in understanding the report, 
the committee had carefully distinguished the old from 
the new provisions inserted. With regard to the reso- 
lutions which had been offered by the members of the 
convention from time to time, and had been referred to 
his committee, he would state that they had, each and all, 
been carefully considered by the committee ; and if those 
gentlemen who offered them did not find them embodied 
in this report, it was because the committee either con- 
sidered the resolutions as properly appertaining to leg- 
islation (which was the case with many of them), or 
else, where the committee had been opposed to any action 
on, or to the adoption of, the resolutions or propositions 
presented to them. But the gentlemen who presented 
those resolutions would, however, have an opportunity 
to present them in the shape of amendments to the report, 
when the Convention came to act upon it, section by 
section, in committee of the whole. And he would fur- 
ther state, that when the sections came up in order for 
consideration hereafter, some member of the committee 
would explain the reasons that had actuated them in 
their adoption as they stood ; and for this reason the com- 
mittee had not made any report in detail. He would not 
now remark any further, as he wished to avoid all dis- 

1. New York Constitution, Debates in Convention, 1846, by Bishop and Attree, 
p. 196. Atlas Edition, page 196. 


cussion on the report at present ; and therefore moved 
its reference to the committee of the whole. It was 
referred as usual. 

Debate Continued. 1 

Mr. Townsend offered a substitute for the seventh 

The Chair said the motion was not now in order. 

The seventh section was then read: 

"Sec. 13. All grants of land within this State, made 
by the King of Great Britain, or persons acting under his 
authority, after the fourteenth day of October, one 
thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be null 
and void ; but nothing contained in this Constitution shall 
affect any grants of land within this State made by the 
authority of the said King, or his predecessors, or shall 
annul any charters to bodies politic and corporate, by 
him or them made, before that day ; or shall affect any 
such grants or charters since made by this State, or by 
persons acting under its authority, or shall impair the 
obligation of any debts contracted by the State, or in- 
dividuals, or bodies corporate, or any right of property, 
or any suits, actions, or other proceedings in courts of 

Mr. Dodd asked for the previous question, but it was 
not seconded. 

Mr. Murphy proposed the following amendment: 

"But such charters to bodies politic or corporate 
made by the King of England shall have no other or 
greater effect, by virtue of this section, than similar char- 
ters granted by law in this State." 

Mr. Allen opposed the amendment. 

Mr. Bascom moved to strike out the last two lines 
of the section, as being entirely unnecessary. Lost. 

The debate was continued by Messrs. Simmons, 
O'Connor, Stetson, Worden and Russell. 

Mr. Worden moved the previous question, and it 
was passed, 49 to 40. 

The amendment of Mr. Murphy was negatived, 68 
to 30. 

The section was agreed to, 69 to 23. 

The convention then adjourned. 

The Missing Records. 
The Town of New Harlem, geographically and otherwise, 
proved to be a "thorn in the flesh" to the City of New York. 

1. New York Constitution, Debates in Convention, 1846, by Bishop and Attree, 
p. 1046, Atlas Edition. 


New York City wished to spread over the whole island of 
Manhattan. In full possession of the upper half of the island, 
north and east of a line running from 74th Street and the East 
River to 129th Street and the Hudson, stood Harlem. Must the 
growing town be recognized as a separate and distinct corpora- 
tion within the city limits, with all its independent rights, priv- 
ileges, franchises and belongings, including ferry rights, water 
rights, courts, etc, — by Royal Charter a town within the muni- 
cipality, — or should the overgrown Dutch village "built for sheep 
and not for ships," x be gradually absorbed, lose its name, its ac- 
tivity, its officers, courts, records and lands, and become merged 
and hidden in the greater city ? 

There is little cause for wonder at the efforts made by the City 
on many occasions to increase this dependency of the town, and 
especially in the promulgation of the charter of liberties (p. 115). 
Nor is it strange that a portion of the town lands should have been 
sold through the agency of no less a celebrity than William Tweed 
himself, or that the City should seize upon the waterfront, the 
belt surrounding the town lands between high and low 
water mark, from 74th Street on the East River to 129th 
Street on the Hudson, or that the learned justices of the Supreme 
Court and of the Court of Appeals (the highest judicial tribunal 
of the State of New York) should maintain, in the absence of any 
representation of the Town of New Harlem, by counsel or other- 
wise, in the various water-front suits, the City's contention that 
the Harlem patents convey only to high-water mark. But that 
the City, in years past, should have resorted to the mutilation of 
records ; should have bought up (and thus suppressed) publi- 
cations bearing upon Harlem and the titles to its lands ; with- 
drawn and secreted volumes of ancient deeds, titles and other 
manuscripts from the City archives, in the only too apparent 
effort to prevent the reclamation of the Harlem lands, comes 
in the nature of a shock to the public sensibility of right and 
the Anglo-Saxon love of fair play. 

Grim's Essay tells of the first overt act, though small in 
itself, in a long series of attempts by the City of New York to 
prevent the substantiation of the Harlem claims. In that pub- 
lication the author describes the seizure of the books from his 
hands, seventy years ago, by the Register of the City of New 
York, in a refusal to permit an inspection of the public records 
by a citizen, with a view to the publication of an index of all 
conveyances on file in the City archives. 

1. 9S N. Y. 443. 



The white line, marking approximately the western boundary of New 
Harlem, runs back of Columbia College Library and ends north of Grant's 


Looking southward from Cathedral Heights, along New Harlem Line, to 
its southern point on the East River. 


Herbert L. Osgood, a Professor at Columbia University, in 
his "Report of the Archives and Public Records of the State of 
New York and of the City of New York, 1 gives in detail the 
much to be deplored condition of the City records, quotes the 
criminal code on the subject of stolen records, and mentions 
not only pages and volumes, but even sets of records, missing from 
the City depositories. 

It is of general public interest to know that fifty-six valuable 
city maps of city lands have disappeared from the map room of 
the Register's office, and that the following volumes of convey- 
ances are missing from the same office: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 
10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 27. 

The Long Lost Harlem Records. 

What are commonly known as the "Harlem Records" con- 
sist of volumes of records of the Town Court, some twenty in 
number, with manuscripts and other papers, setting forth the 
ancient records of the Town of New Harlem; wills, deeds and 
other documents of the freeholders and inhabitants of the body 
corporate, and containing further the story of the existence of the 
Town from the time of the patents, 1666 and 1686 (including 
Town Meetings and the like). 

Under the claims put forward by the descendants of the 
patentees, as herein-above described, these records must prove 
of inestimable value to the present owners of land situated north 
and east of the Harlem line. (See map Appendix.) 

If the Courts should hold that, according to precedent the 
power of alienation vests in the Town, the claim and demand on 
behalf of the Town will include all lands in the territory mentioned 
and described in the Harlem grants and charters, except such as 
may have been hitherto legally alienated. This will manifestly 
necessitate a close inspection of the abstracts of all titles to lands 
above the Harlem line stretching from 74th Street and the East 
River to 129th Street and the Hudson River. In that case, all 
titles that can trace back to the patentees or to town deeds will 
be held to be valid. The lost Harlem Records alone can solve 
the problem of the Harlem titles. 

In the effort to recover the Harlem lands and properties, the 
importance of the lost records, not only to descendants of the 
patentees, but to all property owners above the Harlem line, was 
early appreciated by those engaged in the work, and earnest 
efforts made to discover their whereabouts. The complete suc- 

1. Printed by the Government at Washington, in 1901. 


cess that has attended these efforts may cause more or less sur- 
prise, resulting at is has in the tracing of the missing records to 
No. 146 Broadway, New York City. 

It is stated upon the best authority, — no less than the com- 
pany itself, — that the public has been denied the privilege of 
viewing these missing records since their acquisition by the 
company, some twenty years ago. 

The following letter, received by Mr. Potter, the head 
of the genealogical department in the undertaking to recover the 
Harlem lands and properties, in reply to his request for an in- 
spection of the Harlem records, or for a translation of a part of 
the same from Dutch into English, explains fully the attitude 
the company assumes in relation to these long-lost records : 

C**Atn.€S MDow gf CuntohDBu*oic* 

eo"*«°°s**%fzZ* S ' Real Estate Title Insurance. jt^KkniSTj r ^ 

ton -. WSne^^o^ Nclsom B Simon L^t^w^g 

-<ss» T0S+B Horace Aa 

^t^^g^-k ^j^cjfe^ iBMuia, ^22-* 

Sterling Potter, Esq., 
348 Broadway, 


Dear Sir:- 

I have your favor of June 11th in regard to the Harlem 
records. 1 think to explained to ycu why we purchased those papers 
originally. We preferred that as little publicity as possible be 
given to them and found the ownership of them so troublesome because 
of continual requests to see them that the Company disposed of them 
to friendly parties. The present owners would prefer that no trans- 
lations be made from them and that their ownership of them should 
not be known. 

Yours very truly, 

Ass't Secretary. 



The following letter from the President of the Title Guarantee 
and Trust Company, received by Mr. Anderson Price, of the firm 
of Blair, Price & Lyman, No. 25 Broad Street, New York, in 
reply to his communication in relation to the Harlem records, is 
reproduced herewith by permission of Mr. Price: 

CtAfrHCt H Ktist 
Edward O Sta» 


•S7S .jrfrni/.t*/- -J$iss£ 

Real Estate Title Insurance. 


Hqjoci Ahdosoh' 


July 17^6, <c^3, 

ISr, Anderson Price, 

25 Broad St, N. Y. 

Dear Sir:- 

Referring to your letter of July 13th, I 

■would say that the owners of the records do not wish 

to open them to examination and inspection. 

Truly yours, 

9-£) /ij^£*x_ 

, J ri^^L^^^nt^J r^, ^ 



It will be noticed that in the Company's reply to Mr. Potter, 
it is admitted : 

ist. That the Harlem Records were purchased by the Title 
Guarantee and Trust Company. 

2d. That the Company "preferred that as little publicity as 
possible be given them." 

3d. That because of continual requests to see them, the 
ownership became troublesome and the Company disposed of 
them to "friendly parties." 

4th. That the "friendly parties" prefer that no translations 
be made from them and that their ownership should not be 

Former Efforts to Recover Harlem Lands. 

Many unincorporated associations, and at least three incor- 
porated bodies have, in the past, been formed by the descendants 
of the twenty-three original patentees, all having for their object 
the recovery of the lands in question, and all proceeding upon the 
theory of individual ownership in the Common Lands of Har- 
lem, — a theory based upon the conclusion that the living descend- 
ants of the twenty-three patentees are tenants-in-common, and 
that, being such, one heir can sue for the benefit of all. 

One determined effort to recover the Harlem lands was made 
in the years 1884 to 1887, — the only attempt culminating in a 
suit based upon the theory mentioned, — resulting in the dismissal 
of all proceedings in the Circuit Court of the United States in 
the City of New York. 

A company was incorporated, with John C. Fremont, Presi- 
dent, made up of three or four hundred descendants of the paten- 
tees, capitalized at $100,000, for the express purpose of reclaiming 
the Harlem lands ; so-called legal advice was first secured, to the 
effect that the descendants were tenants in common, and that 
one could sue for all. Meetings were held in different parts 
of the country; the stock of the company sold to the confiding 
claimants at $25.00 per share ; Bibles and documentary data rela- 
ting to the proof of descent from the patentees transferred to and 
retained by the company; and, finally, a suit brought in the name 
of Simon P. Morgan v. Samuel J. Waldron in the Circuit Court 
of the United States, as above indicated, — a pursuit of an ignis 
Patuus, bom of the densest ignorance, and following closely in 
many respects the border line of criminality. 

The Present Undertaking. 
Nearly two years ago, Mr. Henry Pennington Toler, a mem- 


ber of the New York Stock Exchange and a resident of the City 
of New York, undertook to recover the Harlem lands and proper- 
ties, and therein to trace and prove the direct descent of the liv- 
ing heirs of the twenty-three original Harlem patentees through- 
out a period of more than two hundred and fifty years. The 
work was undertaken upon the theory that these living descend- 
ants are members of a corporation, — the Town of New Harlem, 
— in contradistinction to the idea of individual ownership and 
the tenancy-in-common theory of past efforts to recover the Harlem 
lands. An ingenious method of charting the various data apper- 
taining to the births, baptisms, marriages and deaths of the de- 
scendants from generation to generation, was devised. The work 
itself has grown into a regular business, and has reached such pro- 
portions, that at the present day over forty expert workers are em- 
ployed in four large offices in New York City. As a result 
of two years' labor, more than 16,000 living descendants of 
the original patentees have been traced and proved by birth, 
baptism and marriage, back to the patentees. At a conservative 
estimate, the number of members of the town corporation having 
the right to attend and participate in a town meeting will not 
be far from 40,000. The plan for the recovery of the Harlem 
lands and properties on behalf of the descendants of the patentees 
is simple to a degree, comprising, as it does, the holding of a town 
meeting for the purpose of assembling members of the body cor- 
porate for the transaction of business, and especially to take steps 
to eject trespassers from the Town lands; to be immediately fol- 
lowed by the institution of a test case in the Circuit Court of the 
United States for the Southern District of New York. 

The liability for costs in the case mentioned, in the event 
of an adverse decision, would amount to a mere nominal sum. 
This liability, however, with any subsequent costs that may be 
incurred in taking the case on appeal to the Supreme Court at 
Washington, if such action becomes necessary, is to be assumed 
by Mr. Henry Pennington Toler. There is, therefore, no lia- 
bility whatever attaching to the Town or its members in the 
recovery of the Harlem lands and properties. 

The descendants are being traced and proved at the rate of 
about 2,000 per month. 

The purpose of the undertaking (together with a synopsis of 
the nature of the claims involved) appears in the first communi- 
cation issued to the heirs, in the form of a circular letter, dated 
May 1st, 1903, as follows: 


Circular Letter. 

Counsellors at Law, 

Exchange Court, 
William Pennington Toler. (Room 3), 

Harmon De Pau Nutting. Exchange Place, 

New York. 

Telephone Connection. 

May 1, 1903. 
My Dear Sir or Madam : 

(1.) As a descendant from one of the twenty-three 
grantees in the Patents and Grants herein described, you 
are directly interested in lands and properties, many mil- 
lions in value, situated within the limits of the present 
City of New York, together with rights, privileges and 
franchises connected therewith. 

(2.) Between 1664 and 1688, under Grants and 
Charters from the King of England and his brother, the 
Duke of York, through Governors Nicolls and Dongan, 
twenty-three men were created a Corporation known 
as the "Town of New Harlem," and said body corporate, 
under such Grants and Charters, became owner of certain 
lands on Manhattan Island (now forming a part of the 
City of New York), together with certain rights, priv- 
ileges and franchises, among others, those incident to the 
constitution and government of a town, as more particu- 
larly set forth in said Grants and Charters. 

(3.) The names of the twenty-three grantees (in- 
cluding your ancestor) follow : 

John Delavall, 

Resolved Waldron, 

Joost Van Oblinus (Oblinus), 

Daniel Tourneur. 

Adolph Meyer (Myer), 

John Spragge, 

Jan Hendricks Brevoort, 

};m Delamater, 

Isaac Delamater, 

Barent Waldron, 

Johannes Vermilje (Vermilye), 

Lawrence Jansen (Lowe), 

Peter Van < >blinus 1 I >blenus), 

Jan Dykeman (Dyckman), 

Jan Nagel, 

Arent Harmanse (Bussing), 

Cornells Jansen (Kortright), 


Jacqueline Tourneur, 

Hester Delamater, 

Johannes Verveelen (Van Valen), 

William Haldron (Holdrum), 

Abraham Montanie (De La Montayne), 

Peter Parmentier. 

(4.) All lands on Manhattan Island, east and north 
of the line between New York and Harlem, and certain 
other lands outside of said island, were given, granted 
and conveyed by said patents to the twenty-three grantees 
above named, and to their "heirs, successors and assigns 

(5.) As such descendant, as aforesaid, you are a 
member of said Corporation and entitled to participate 
in its government, including, among other powers, the 
right to reduce to possession and to dispose of all lands 
and properties belonging to said Corporation not here- 
tofore lawfully alienated. 

(6.) Certain of the lands so granted were divided 
by the Town among the twenty-three original members 
of the Corporation ; certain other of such lands remain 
to-day undivided, either unoccupied or in the possession 
of unlawful occupants. 

(7.) All previous efforts to recover these lands, 
rights and properties have failed, because based on the 
theory that, in law, said properties vested in the individual 
heirs of the original twenty-three grantees named, instead 
of in the Corporation, the "Town of New Harlem," as is 
now known. 

(8.) It therefore becomes necessary, in order to 
exercise control over or disposition of such lands and 
properties so belonging to the "Town of New Harlem," 
that the Town, as such, in its corporate capacity, take the 
initial action in any such proceedings. 

(9.) The "Town of New Harlem" Corporation, 
being now dormant, must therefore hold a Town Meeting 
for the purpose of electing proper officers, adopting a 
common Seal and taking such other corporate action as 
may be found necessary to enable it to resume the exercise 
of its corporate functions. 

(10.) A little less than two years ago Mr. Henry 
Pennington Toler undertook: 

I. To trace the living descendants and prove 
their descent from the said twenty-three original 
grantees, by means of church and' public records, 
ancient manuscripts and other sources of informa- 


tion and evidences which at this time it is not deemed 
advisable to disclose. 

II. To secure proof of the location, extent 
and present condition of the lands and properties 
conveyed by said Grants and Charters. 

III. To investigate and determine through 
counsel the requisite legal methods for the recovery 
of said rights and properties, — involving an exhaus- 
tive research of all facts and law bearing on the 

(n.) It is needless to add that these efforts have 
been successfully carried on without the aid of the "Har- 
lem Records," which records, as is well known, were 
several years ago abstracted from the New York City 

(12.) The primary purpose of this communication 
is to secure authority to legally call a Town Meeting of 
the "Town of New Harlem" (of which notice will be 
hereafter given), — a meeting of successors, — the living 
descendants of the twenty-three original grantees herein 
described. To this end and purpose, a document, dupli- 
cate of the one enclosed, granting the necessary authority 
for calling such meeting, is being forwarded to each 
member of such Corporation traced and located as above 
indicated. You are requested to sign and acknowledge 
before a Notary Public "Authority to Call a Meeting" 
herewith enclosed. 

(13.) It is manifest, that with the thousands of 
members of said body corporate, widely scattered as they 
arc, it is inexpedient and impracticable, if not impossible, 
for them to unite, recover, control and govern the vast 
properties and interests involved as a body aggregate, 
except in one way, viz. : by the appointment of an attor- 
ney in fact, — one head, — one duly authorized representa- 
tive or sole agent, — to act for and in the place of said 
body and its numerous members. 

(14.) When a meeting of the Corporation shall 
have been held, and its proper officers duly elected from 
among the members, Mr. Henry Pennington Toler will 
present to such meeting an offer to commence and prose- 
cute, for and on behalf of said Corporation and its mem- 
bers, suits in equity or other appropriate actions to re- 
cover the lands and properties now belonging to said 
Corporation unlawfully withheld from its control, to the 
end that such Town may make proper division of such 
lands, properties and rights among the members thereof. 
Mr. Toler, in consideration of his undertaking the re- 


covery of said lands, and of the cost incurred and to be 
incurred by him, having acquired, at his own expense, 
the necessary proofs and evidences for this purpose, will 
ask of said Corporation a sum equal to one-quarter of the 
net proceeds of the properties upon the recovery, division 
and disposal of same. It is expressly understood and 
agreed that you are not held responsible or liable for any 
expense heretofore or hereafter incurred by Mr. Toler 
in this matter, nor shall he be liable to said Corporation, 
or to the members thereof, for any costs or expenses in- 
curred by the Town or such members. 

(15.) To insure the largest possible representation 
at such meeting of the living members of said Corpora- 
tion, we are counting upon the assistance of yourself and 
all other members, and would respectfully urge upon you 
the importance of duly acknowledging the enclosed ''Au- 
thority to Call a Meeting" of the "Town of New Harlem," 
and returning same at once. 

(16.) The genealogical work we have been pre- 
paring for publication is in print, and when completed 
will constitute a "Membership Roll" of said body corpor- 

(17.) If any members of your family (who are in 
the same line of descent as yourself) have not received 
copies of this letter, please send us their full names and 
postoffice addresses at once. Bear in mind that all de- 
scended directly from the twenty-three original grantees 
through the male line, or collaterally by marriage through 
the female line (keeping in mind that the blood of the 
twenty-three original patentees only is being traced) 
are members of the Corporation. 

(18.) All descendants over fourteen years of age 
are asked to execute the "Authority to Call a Meeting." 

(19.) If any descendant has at any time signed any 
quit claim, deed or similar document affecting his sup- 
posed interest in any Harlem lands as an "heir," it is of 
no effect in a proceeding of this nature, and need not 
deter him from signing the enclosed "Authority to Call 
a Meeting" of the Corporation above described. 

(20.) To anticipate inquiry regarding Mr. Henry 
Pennington Toler, we beg to say that he is a graduate 
of Princeton University ; a member of the New York 
Stock Exchange, and senior member of the firm of Toler 
& Higgins, Bankers and Brokers, of No. 7 Wall Street, 
New York City. 

(21.) The lapse of time since the issue of the 
Grants and Charters mentioned, and the occupancy of 


said lands adversely, need not cause apprehension ; the 
rights and privileges under said documents being con- 
clusively protected by leading and controlling decisions 
of the Supreme Court of the United States, as well by 
the Constitution of the United States and of the State of 
New York. 

(22.) We cannot too strongly emphasize the im- 
portance of having the enclosed "Authority to Call a 
Meeting" duly signed, executed and returned to us at 
your earliest convenience, as the institution of any pro- 
ceedings looking to the recovery, control and distribution 
of the vast properties involved, in which you are vitally 
interested, is dependent upon concerted action of the 
members of the Corporation — the "Town of New Har- 
lem." Very trulv yours, 


Counsellors at Law, 
Exchange Court (Room 3), 

Exchange Place, N. Y. 
To the Members of the Corporation, — the 
"Town of New Harlem." 

The following document was enclosed with the 
above : 

Authority to Call a Meeting. 

Know All Men By These Presents: — That whereas 
I am advised that, under and by virtue of two certain 
Patents of Governor Nicolls and one of Governor Don- 
gan, issued in the years 1666, 1667 and 1686 respectively, 
the "Town of New Harlem" was created a Corporation, 
and became and still is the owner of certain undivided 
common lands and certain unclaimed and adversely held 
lands and properties within the present City of New 
York, State of New York, which are fully described in 
said Patents ; and 

Whereas, I am advised that Henry Pennington 
Toler, of New York City, has at great expense located 
and obtained proof of the corporate membership of the 
undersigned, and many thousands of others in said Cor- 
poration, and also evidence necessary for the recovery of 
said lands and properties ; and 

YViikrkas, a meeting of said Corporation is necessary 
to elect proper officers, adopt a common Seal and take 
other corporate action, and for the appointment of an 
agent, substitute and one head, to act for and on behalf 
1.1" said Corporation and its members, as more fully ap- 
pears in the circular letter written by Toler & Nutting, 


attorneys for said Henry Pennington Toler, dated the 
first day of May, 1903, received by me with this form of 
authority : 

Now Therefore, in consideration of the premises 
and other good and valuable considerations, the said 
Henry Pennington Toler is hereby authorized and em- 
powered by the undersigned as a member of said Cor- 
poration to call a meeting of the "Town of New Harlem" 
Corporation and the members thereof, to be convened, 
and held at such time and place as to him shall seem 
best, (of which meeting notice will be hereafter given,) 
and to take any and all such further action in the premises 
as may be necessary. 

Witness my hand and seal this day 

of , 1903- 

In presence of [l. s.] 


State of 

County of 

Town or City of 

On this day of 1903* 

before me personally appeared 

to me known and known to me to be the person described 
in, and who executed the foregoing instrument and duly 

acknowledged the execution thereof, and the said 

being by me 

duly sworn, did depose and say that he is °^ r 
twenty-one (21) years of age, — that h parents' names 
and Post Office addresses are as follows : 

Fathers' name 


Mother's Name (Maiden) 


Notary Public in and for. the County of. 
[l. s.] and State of 

A second circular letter, dated August 15th, has been for- 
warded to the descendants of the patentees by those in charge of 
the recovery of the Harlem lands and properties, urging the 
necessity of executing and returning the "Authority to Call a 
Meeting" immediately, and setting forth the fact that all present 
facilities, consisting of church records, wills, deeds and ancient 
manuscripts, together with all the assistance a large and expert 
corps of workers can furnish, are now at the service of those 


who sign and return the document mentioned, to prove, without 
cost to them, their descent from the Harlem patentees. 

The letter in question further states that all genealogical 
proofs are being prepared, not for the Court, but for the cor- 
porate body itself, — the "Town of New Harlem," — which will 
be and is the judge of its own membership. 

The genealogical proofs mentioned are being collaborated 
into a "Membership Roll," which will be ready for publication 
at the meeting of the members of the town above described. 


As indicated in the foregoing pages, the following conclu- 
sions of law, among others, will be submitted to the Court, in 
the recovery of the Harlem lands, rights and properties, namely : 

I. That under the Nicolls Patent of 1666, as ratified and 
confirmed by the two succeeding Patents of 1667 and 1686, the 
Town of New Harlem was created a Corporation. 

II. That the Town of New Harlem has been in esse since 
its creation, and exists to-day, in 1903. 

III. That the heirs of the original twenty-three Patentees, 
named in the Dongan Patent of 1686, together with the heirs of 
their associates thereafter made, constitute and are the present 
members of the Corporation, — the Town of New Harlem. 

IV. That the Statute of Limitations is void so far as the 
rights, franchises and properties conveyed by the Harlem Grants 
and Charters are concerned, the same being vested in the grantees 
and their heirs, and the heirs of their associates thereafter made 
as a body corporate, for the reasons that : 

a. The Harlem Grants are "Contracts," within the mean- 

ing of Article I, Section 10, of the Constitution of the 
United States. 

b. All rights, franchises and properties therein conveyed, 

or intended so to be, are vested under the Treaties 
between Holland and England, and England and the 
United States. 

c. That the Harlem Patents create a Trust, by the terms 

whereof the present members of the Town of New 
Harlem are Trustees for others. 

d. That all rights, franchises and properties conveyed by 

said Harlem Grants and Charters are vested rights 
under the provisions of the Constitution of the State 
of New York. 


V. That the City of New York is estopped from denying 
that the lands on Manhattan Island, above the Harlem line, 
running from 74th Street and the East River to 129th Street 
on the Hudson River, belong to the Town of New Harlem, under 
the Acts of the Legislature of the State of New York, passed 
in the years 1772 and 1775, in confirmation of said line, and 
other acts supplemental thereto or amendatory thereof. 

VI. That the Town of New Harlem is the owner of all 
lands north and east of said Harlem line on Manhattan Island, 
together with the lands across the Harlem River, conveyed by 
the Harlem Grants and Charters, or so much thereof as has not 
been heretofore legally alienated. 

VII. That the beds of the creeks and the Harlem water- 
front passed to the Grantees of the Harlem Patents as the Jura 
Regalia, or Royal Prerogative, incident to the powers of gov- 
ernment, and do not now vest, and never have vested, in the City 
of New York, under the Dongan Patent of April 22d, 1686, or 

From a drawing published in Amsterdam in 1618. 

Seal of the Netherlands. 

Seal of New Netherlands. 



APPENDIX A. — King Charles the Second's grant of New Nether- 
land, etc., to the Duke of York. 

APPENDIX B. — The Duke of York's commission to Colonel Richard 

APPENDIX C. — Commission to Colonel Thomas Dongan. 

APPENDIX D— Second Grant of New Netherland, etc., by King 
Charles the Second to the Duke of York, 1674. 

APPENDIX E. — Confirmation of the Harlem line — acts of the Legis- 
lature, etc. 

APPENDIX F. — Surrender by the twenty-four Proprietors of East 
New Jersey of the Jura Regalia and soils under 
navigable waters to Queen Anne of England 
(cited case of Martin vs. Waddell, p. 173). 

APPENDIX G. — Sketches of the patentees, intermarriages, estimated 
number of descendants by families, and list of 
names showing who are descendants by the male 
line and those who have been traced through the 
female line of descent. 

APPENDIX H.— I. Key to Riker's map. 2. Key to Village Map 
(facing page 58). 

APPENDIX I. — 1. Map by James Riker, showing all the divisions of 
lands by the patentees and their descendants 
(1656 to 1713). 2. Map showing the Manhattan 
boundaries of the Town of New Harlem, includ- 
ing undivided lands, creek beds and waterfronts. 

Appendix A 


Charles the Second by the Grace of God, King of England, 
Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To 
all to whom these presents shall come, greeting: 

Know ye that we for divers good causes and considerations 
us thereunto moving have of our especial Grace, certain knowl- 
edge and mere motion given and granted by these presents for 
us our heirs and successors do*give and grant unto our dearest 
brother James, Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, All that 
part of the main land of New England beginning at a certain 
place called or known by the name of St. Croix next adjoining 
to New Scotland in America and from thence extending along 
the Sea Coast unto a certain place called Petauquine and so up 
the River thereof to the furthest head of the same as it tendeth 
Northward; and extending from thence to the River Kinebequi 
and so upwards by the shortest course to the River Canada 
Northward. And also all that Island or islands commonly called 
by the several name or names of Matowacks or Long Island 
situate, lying and being towards the West of Cape Cod and the 
narrow Higansetts abutting upon the main land between the 
two Rivers there called or known by the several names of Con- 
necticut and Hudson's River together also with the said River 
called Hudson's River and all the land from the west side of 
Connecticut to the East side of Delaware Bay. And also all 
those several Islands called and known by the names of Martin's 
Vineyard and Nantukes, otherwise Nantucket ; Together with 
all the Lands, Islands, Soils, Rivers, Harbors, Mines, Minerals, 
Quarries, Woods, Marshes, Waters, Lakes, Fishings, Hawking, 
Hunting and Fowling and all other Royalties, Profits, Com- 
modities and Hereditaments to the said several Islands, Lands 
and Premises belonging and appertaining with their and every 
of their appurtenances ; and all our Estate, Right, Title, Inter- 
est, Benefit, Advantage, Claim and Demand of, in and to the 
said lands and premises or any part or parcel thereof, and the 
reversion or reversions, remainder and remainders together with 
the yearly and other rents, Revenues and Profits of and singular 


the said premises and every part and parcel thereof; to have 
and to hold all and singular the said lands, islands, Heredita- 
ments and premises, with their and every of their appurtenances 
hereby given and granted or hereinbefore mentioned to be given 
and granted unto our Dearest Brother James, Duke of York, 
his heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and behoof 
of the said James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns forever, 
to be holden of us, our heirs and successors as of our manor of 
East Greenwich and our County of Kent in free and common 
soccage and not in Capite nor by Knight service yielding and 
rendering. And the said James Duke of York doth for himself 
his heirs and assigns, covenant and promise to yield and render 
unto us, our heirs and successors of and for the same yearly and 
every year forty Beaver skins when they shall be demanded or 
within Ninety days after. And we do further of our special 
Grace certain knowledge and mere motion for us our heirs and 
successors give and Grant unto our said Dearest Brother James, 
Duke of York, his heirs, Deputies, Agents Commissioners and 
Assigns, by these presents full and absolute power and authority 
to correct, punish, pardon, govern and rule all such the subjects 
of our heirs and successors who may from time to time adven- 
ture themselves into any of the parts or places aforesaid, or that 
shall or do at any time hereafter inhabit within the same accord- 
ing to such laws, Orders, Ordinance, Directions and Instru- 
ments as by our said Dearest Brother or his assigns shall be 
established ; and in defect thereof in case of necessity, according 
to the good discretion of his Deputies, Commissioners, Officers, or 
Assigns, respectively ; as well in all causes and matters Capital and 
Criminal as civil both marine and others ; so always as the said 
Statutes, Ordinances and proceedings be not contrary to but as 
near as conveniently may be agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, and 
Government of this Our. Realm of England, and saving and 
reserving to us our Heirs and successors the receiving, hearing 
and determining of the Appeal and Appeals of all of any person 
or persons of in or belonging to the territories or Islands afore- 
said in or touching any Judgment or Sentence to be there made 
or given. And further that it shall and may be lawful to and 
for our said Dearest Brother his heirs and assigns by these 
presents from time to time to nominate, make, constitute, ordain 
and confirm by such name or names, stile or stiles as to him 
or them shall seem good, and likewise to revoke, discharge, 
change and alter as well, all and singular. Governors, Officers and 
Ministers which hereafter shall be by him or them thought fit 


and needful to be made or used within the aforesaid parts and 
Islands ; and also to make, ordain and establish all manner of 
Orders, Laws, Directions, Instructions, forms and ceremonies 
of Government and Magistracy fit and necessary for and con- 
cerning the Government of the territories and Islands aforesaid, 
so always as the same be not contrary to the laws and statutes of 
this Our Realm of England ; but as near as may be agreeable 
therunto : And the same at all times hereafter to put in execu- 
tion or abrogate, revoke or change not only within the pre- 
cincts of the said Territories or Islands but also upon the seas 
in going and coming to and from the same as he or they in their 
good discretions shall think to be fittest for the good of the 
adventurers and Inhabitants there, and we do further of our 
special Grace, certain knowledge and mere motion grant, ordain 
and declare that such Governors, Officers and Ministers as shall 
from time to time be authorized and appointed in manner and 
form aforesaid, shall and may have full power and authority to 
use and exercise Martial Law in cases of rebellion, insurrection 
and mutiny in as large and ample manner as Our Lieutenants 
in our Counties within Our Realm of England have or ought 
to have by force of their Commission of Lieutenancy or any Law 
or Statute of this Our Realm. And We do further by these 
presents for us Our heirs and successors, grant unto our said 
Dearest Brother, James, Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, 
that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said James, Duke 
of York, his heirs and assigns in his or their discretion from 
time to time to admit such and so many person or persons to 
trade and traffic unto and within the territories and islands afore- 
said and into every or any part and parcel thereof, and to have, 
possess and enjoy any Lands and Hereditaments in the parts and 
places aforesaid as they shall think fit according to the Laws, 
Orders, Constitutions and Ordinances of Our said Brother, his 
heirs, Deputies, Commissioners, and assigns from time to time 
to be made and established by virtue of and according to the 
true intent and meaning of these presents and under such con- 
ditions, reservations, and agreements as Our said Brother, his 
heirs or assigns shall set down, order, direct and appoint and 
not otherwise as aforesaid, and we do further of Our especial 
Grace, certain knowledge and mere motion for us our heirs and 
successors give and grant to our said Dear Brother, his heirs 
and assigns by these presents, that it shall and may be lawful to 
and for him, them or any of them at all and every time and times 
herafter out of any Our Realm or Dominions whatsoever to 


take, lead, carry and transport in and into their voyages and for 
and towards the Plantations of Our said Territories and Islands 
all such and so many of Our loving subjects or any other strangers 
being not prohibited or under restraint that will become Our 
Loving subjects and live under Our allegiance as shall willingly 
accompany them in the said voyages together with all such 
clothing, implements, furniture and other things usually trans- 
ported and not prohibited as shall be necessary for the inhabit- 
ants of the said Islands and Territories and for their use and 
defence thereof and managing and carrying on the trade with 
Yielding and paying to us, Our Heirs and successors, the Cus- 
toms and Duties therefore due and payable according to the 
Laws and customs of this Our Realm. And we do also for us 
Our Heirs and successors, grant to Our said Dearest Brother, 
James, Duke of York, his heirs and assigns and to all and every 
such Governor or Governors or other officers or Ministers as 
by Our said Brother his heirs or assigns shall be appointed, to 
have power and authority of Government and Command in or 
over the inhabitants of the said territories or Islands that they and 
every of them shall and lawfully may from time to time and at 
all times hereafter forever for their several defence and safety 
encounter, expulse, repel and resist by force of Arms as well 
by sea as by land and all ways and means whatsoever all such 
person and persons as without the special License of Our said 
Dear Brother, his heirs or assigns shall attempt to inhabit within 
the several precincts and limits of Our said territories and 
Islands: And also all and every such person and persons what- 
soever as shall enterprise or attempt at any time hereafter the 
destruction, invasion, detriment or annoyance to the parts, places 
or Islands aforesaid or any part thereof. And lastly, our will 
and pleasure is, and we do hereby declare and grant, that these 
Our Letters Patent or the enrollment thereof shall be good and 
effectual in the law to all intents and purposes, whatsoever not- 
withstanding the not reciting or mentioning of the premises or 
any part thereof, or the metes or bounds thereof, or of any 
former or other Letters Patents or Grants heretofore made or 
granted of the premises, or of any part thereof by us or of any 
of our progenitors unto any other person or persons whatsoever, 
bodies Politic or Corporate or any Act, Law or other restraint 
incertainty or imperfection whatsoever to the contrary in any 
wise notwithstanding; although express mention of the true 
yearly value or certainty of the premises, or any of them, or 
any other gifts or grants by us or by any of our progenitors or 


predecessors heretofore made to the said James, Duke of York, 
in these presents is not made, or any statute, act, ordinance, 
provision, proclamation or restriction heretofore had, made, 
enacted, ordained or provided, or any other matter, cause or 
thing, whatsoever to the contrary thereof in any wise notwith- 

In Witness Whereof, we have caused these, Our Letters, 
to be made Patents, Witness Ourself at Westminster the twelfth 
day of March in the sixteenth year of our reign (1664). 

By the King. 


Appendix B. 


James, Duke of York and Albany, Earl of Ulster, Lord 
High Admiral of England and Ireland, etc., Constable of Dover 
Castle, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Governor of 
Portsmouth, etc. Whereas it hath pleased the King's Most 
Excellent Majesty, my Sovereign Lord and Brother, by His 
Majesty's Letters Patents, bearing date at Westminster the 12th 
day of March in the sixteenth year of his Majesty's Reign, to 
give and grant unto me and to my heirs and assigns, All that 
part of the main land of New England, Beginning at a certain 
place called or known by the name of St. Croix, next adjoining 
to New Scotland in America, and from thence extending along 
the sea coast, into a certain place called Petaquine and so up the 
River thereof to the furthest head of the same, as it tendeth 
Northwards, and extending from thence to the River of Kinebequi, 
and so upwards by the shortest course to the River Canada 
Northwards, And also all that Island or Islands commonly called 
by the several names or names of Matowacks or Long Island, 
situate, lying and being towards the west of Cape Cod and the 
Narrow-Higansets, abutting upon the main land, between the 
two rivers there called or known by the several names of Con- 
necticut and Hudson's River ; Together also with the said River 
called Hudson's River and all the lands from the West side of 
Connecticut River to the East side of Delaware Bay ; And also all 
those several Islands called or known by the name of Martins 
Vineyard and Nantukes otherwise Nantucket; Together with all 


the Lands, Islands, Soils, Rivers, Harbors, Mines, Minerals, 
Quarries, Woods, Marshes, Lakes. Fishing, Hawking, Hunting 
and Fowling, and all other Royalties, Profits, Commodities, 
Hereditaments, to the said several Islands, Lands, and premises 
belonging and appertaining, with their and every of their ap- 
purtenances ; to Hold the same to my own proper use and behoof 
with power to correct, punish, pardon, govern and Rule the in- 
habitants thereof, by myself, or such Deputies, Commissioners 
or Officers as I shall think fit to appoint; as by His Majesty's 
said Letters Patents may more fully appear ; and Whereas I have 
conceived a good opinion of the Integrity, Prudence, Ability and 
Fitness of Richard Nichols, Esquire, to be employed as my 
Deputy there, I have therefore thought fit to constitute and ap- 
point, and I do hereby constitute and appoint, him, the said 
Richard Nichols, Esquire, to be my Deputy Governor within 
the lands, Islands and places aforesaid, To perforin and exe- 
cute all and every the Powers which are. by the said Let- 
ters Patents, granted unto me to be executed by my Deputy, 
Agent or assign, to have and to Hold the said place of Deputy 
Governor unto the said Richard Nichols, Esquire, during my 
will and pleasure only ; Hereby willing and requiring all and 
every the Inhabitants of the said Lands, Islands and Places to 
give obedience to him the said Richard Nichols in all things, 
according to the tenor of his Majesty's said Letters Patents; And 
the said Richard Nichols, Esquire, to observe, follow, and exe- 
cute such Orders and Instructions as he shall from time to time 
receive from myself. Given under my hand and seal at White- 
hall, this second day of April, in the sixteenth year of the Reign 
of Our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, 
King of England, Scotland and Ireland, etc.. Annoque Domini, 


By Command of His Royal Highness, W. Coventry. 

Appendix C. 

Commission to Col. Dongan, on file at the Hague, Holland. 
Recorded in Vol. 1 of "London and New York Entries," pages 


Appendix D. 

(In the statement of the right of the Colony of New York with 
respect to its Eastern boundary on the Connecticut River, contained 
in the Journal of the New York General Assembly, March 8, 1773. 
p. 92, is the following Declaration: "To remove any doubt of the 
validity of the Duke's title, either from the want of Seizin in the 
Crown when it originated, or on account of the intermediate con- 
quests by the Dutch, which was confirmed to His Royal Highness by 
further letter patent dated 29th day of June, 1674." The Confirmation 
of the grant is recorded in Volume 1, of Deeds in the office of the 
Secretary of State of New York at Albany, p. 1. The following copy 
of a portion of the Charter was made from a copy of the confirmation 
contained in a "Report of the Regents of the University on the 
boundaries of the State of New York," transmitted to the Legisla- 
ture May 28, 1873). 

Charles the Second by the Grace of God, King of England, 
Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c, To all 
to whom these presents shall come Greeting; Know yee, that wee 
for divers good causes and considerations, Have of our especiall 
Grace, certaine knowledge and meer motion, Given and granted 
and by these presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors Do give 
and grant unto our Dearest Brother James, Duke of York, His 
heirs and assigns, All that Part of the Maine Land of New Eng- 
land beginning at a certain place called or known by the name of 
St. Croix next adjoining to New Scotland in America ; and from 
thence extending along the Sea-coast, unto a certaine place called 
Petuquine or Pemaquid, and so up the River thereof, to the farthest 
head of the same, as itt tendeth Northwards, and extending from 
the River of Kenebeque and so upwards by the shortest Course 
to the River Canada Northwards ; And all that Island or 
Islands, commonly called by the severall name or names of 
Matowacks or Long Island scituate and being towards the West 
of Cape Cod, and the narrow Higansetts, abutting upon the 
Maine Land, between the two rivers there, called or known by 
the severall names of Connecticut and Hudson rivers, together 
also with the said River Hudson's river and all the Land from 
the West side of Connecticut river to the East side of the Dela- 
ware Bay ; And also all those severall Islands, called or known 
by the names of Martin-Vineyards and Nantuckett; Together 
with all the Lands, Islands, Soiles, Rivers Harbors, Mines, 
Mineralls, Quarryes, woods, Marshes, waters, Lakes, ffishings, 
Hawking, Hunting and ffowling ; and all other Royalties, proffits, 
commodities and Hereditaments to the said severall Islands, 
lands and premises belonging and appertaining with their 


and every of their appurtenances, and all our Estate, right, title 
and Interest, benefit and advantage, claims and demand of in 
or to the said lands or premises or any part or parcell thereof; 
And the Revercon and Revercons remainder and remainders 
together with the yearly and other rents, Revenues and proffits 
of the premises and of every part and Parcell thereof: To 
have and to hold &c. (Continuing substantially the same 
as in Grant of 1664.) 

In Witness Whereof wee have caused these our letters 
to bee made patents, Witnesse or selfe at westm. the 29th day 
of June, in the 26th yeare of our Reigne. 


(See Vol. I, The Colonial Laws of N. Y., p. 104.) 

Appendix E. 

The confirmation of the Harlem Line by Commission 
appointed by the Town of Harlem and the City of New York 
with reports, etc., as the same appear of record in the office of 
the Register of the City of New York : — 

"The Corporation of the City of New York, becoming seized 
of the lands on the south-west of the Harlem patents, contro- 
verted the right of the freeholders of Harlem, to the rights of 
commonage claimed by them on account (as it is presumed) of 
the indefiniteness in their grants of their west bounds, which 
after long disputes and controversies was fixed and settled upon 
by commissioners chosen by the parties under an act of the Legis- 
lature passed on the 24th March, 1772. The report of the 
commissioners is recorded in the Register's office in the City 
of New York, wherein the extent and boundaries of Harlem 
Commons is set out by them, and which ever since has continued 
to be the boundaries of the property known on the island of 
New York as 'Harlem Commons.' 

"The following are all the minutes which are to be found 
in the proceedings of the corporation of New York, and in the 
proceedings of the Harlem proprietors in relation to their dis- 

"Vol. 4, p. 120, Tuesday, 25 April, 1727. Ordered that 
Mr. Mayor, Mr. Recorder, Alderman Cortland, Alderman Rut- 
gers, Mr. Teller, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Hunt, or any five of 
them whereof, the Mayor or Recorder to be one, for a commit- 
tee to cause the partition line between the lands of this corpor- 


ation and those of Harlem, to be new surveyed and ascertained 
on the fourth day of May next, if the weather will permit, or 
on the first fine day thereafter, that the said committee do take 
the surveyor of this corporation or any other surveyor to their 
assistance, and that the same committee do give notice to the 
trustees of Harlem, that they be present at the said survey with 
a surveyor on their behalf if they see cause in order the said 
partition line be duly and fairly ascertained. And that as soon 
as that line is surveyed and ascertained, that the same com- 
mittee do inspect and enquire, what encroachments are made 
upon the lands of this corporation in the outward of this city, 
and remove the same incroachments as in them lies, and cause 
the said survey, or to make a draft or drafts of the said incroach- 
ments, and also of all the lands that are the property of this 
corporation in the same outward, and make their report with 
all convenient expedition. 

"Lib. 4, p. 122, 9th May, 1727. The committee appointed 
to cause the line between the lands of this corporation and those 
of Harlem, to be new surveyed and ascertained on the first day 
of this May, instant, do report that they, together with the sur- 
veyor of this city, have been upon that service. Most of the 
inhabitants of Harlem, and Mr. Clowes, their surveyor being 
present, but had not time to finish the said survey, according to 
the order of this court of the 25th April, Instant, and make their 
report with all convenient expedition. 

"Vol. 5, p. 207. In common council, Friday, 27th Jany, 
1748-9. Ordered that Alderman Stuyvesant, Alderman Schuy- 
ler, Alderman Livingston, Mr. Brinckerhoof, Mr. Bayard and 
Mr. Provost, or any four of them, with as many more of this 
board as shall attend, be a committee to run out a partition line 
between the lands belonging to this corporation, and the town- 
ship of New Harlem, and to make enquiry of what encroach- 
ments have been made by Adolph Benson and others, upon said 
lands of the corporation, and to take to their assistance Francis 
Marschalk, one of the sworn surveyors of this city, to survey 
the same and to make report thereon with all convenient speed. 

"Vol. 5, p. 232. Tuesday, 9th Jany, 1749. Mr. Mayor 
having produced a letter to this board from Jacob Myer, in the 
name of the freeholders of Harlem, granting this corporation 
leave to survey their lands, ordered therefore that Mr. Recorder, 
Alderman Stuyvesant, Alderman Schuyler, Alderman Livings- 
ton, Mr. Bogert, Mr. Bayard and Mr. Brinckerhoff or the major 
part of them, with as many more of this board as shall please 


to attend, be a committee to survey the same, and make their 
report with all convenient speed, and that they take a surveyor 
and chain bearers to their assistance. 

"Vol. 5, p. 247. Thursday, 12th July, 1750. Ordered, that 
Alderman Stuyvesant, Alderman Schuyler, Mr. Bayard and Mr. 
Roosevelt, or any three of them be a committee to meet the 
trustees of the Town of Harlaem, and to hear the proposals to 
be offered by them, relating to the accommodating and settling 
the controversies depending between them and this corporation 
of lands claimed as Commons, of and belonging to this corpora- 
tion, and that they make report thereof to this board. (Mr. Van 
Home enters a protest against the above order.) 

"Vol. 5, p. 285. Friday, 23d August, 1751. Ordered, that 
Mr. Lodge be, and he is hereby appointed counsel for this cor- 
poration, together with John Murray, Esq., in support of the 
title of their lands, against the claims of the inhabitants of the 
town of Harlem. 

"Vol. 5, p. 281. Monday, 3d June. 1751. Ordered, that 
Alderman Stuyvesant be, and he is hereby appointed one of the 
committee, together with the gentlemen before appointed to 
carry on the suit between this corporation and the inhabitants 
of Harlem, and that any two of them be empowered to carry 
on the same. 

"Vol. 5, p. 330. On 30th March, 1753. Whereas there 
has for sometime past been a dispute subsisting between this 
corporation and Harlem, with respect to the boundaries of this 
corporation and the township of Harlem. And whereas it 
being represented to this board that the freeholders of Harlem 
have appointed a committee to meet a committee of this board 
in order to settle the difference between them and this corpora- 
tion. It is therefore ordered that Mr. Mayor, Mr. Recorder, 
Alderman Stuyvesant, Alderman Livingston and Mr. Nicolas 
Bayard or any four of them be a committee to make and receive 
proposals from the said committee of Harlem, and report the 
same to this board with all convenient speed. 

"Lib. 7, p. 86. On 19th February, 1771. Ordered by 
this board that Mr. Recorder, Alderman Desbrosses, Alderman 
Dyckman, Alderman Lott, Mr. Huggit, Mr. Van Wagenen and 
Mr. Abeel or the major part of them, be a committee to enquire 
into the encroachments made upon the rights of this corpora- 
tion in the outward of this city, and make report thereof to 
this board with all convenient speed. 

"Liber A of rough minutes, page 55. On Wednesday, 20th 


March, 1771. The committee who were appointed to enquire 
into the encroachments made upon the corporation lands in the 
outward, made their report in the words following. 'We the 
subscribers being the major part of a committee &c.,(this report 
is not entered in the minutes and cannot be found) which report 
being read, was approved of by this board and ordered that the 
same be entered and filed. 

"Ordered by this board, that the above committee carry 
into execution the several matters by them recommended in the 
above report as soon as possible, and report to this board what 
progress they shall make therein with all convenient speed. 

"Lib. 7, page 160. On 9th Jany, 1771. The committee 
appointed for carrying into execution the several matters by 
them recommended, in a report made the 20th March, 1 770-1, 
made one other report thereon, in the words following, viz: 

' 'We, the major part of a committee appointed by an 
order of this board, dated the 20th March last, to carry into 
execution the several matters by us recommended in a report 
made on that day, relative to the encroachments made upon 
the rights of the corporation in the outward, do in obedience 
thereto, report that in consequence of the above order on the 
25th of the said month of March, we writ and sent circular let- 
ters to David Devoor, David Devoor Junr., Lawrence Hartman, 
Peter Pra Van Zandt, Wm. Beekman, the widow Richardson, 
John Hardenbrook, David Provoost, John Devoor, John Devoor 
Junr., Dirck Lefferts, Nathaniel Marston, Adolph Benson and 
Johannes Waldron, persons whom we had reported to this 
board as having encroached upon the corporation lands in the 
outward, in which letters we acquainted the aforesaid persons, 
that we were appointed a committee to settle the dispute with 
them, relative to the lands in their possession claimed by the 
corporation that in order for a conference upon the subject, we 
had appointed a meeting to be held in the Common Council 
Room, in the City Hall, on Tuesday the 9th of April, then next, 
at two of the clock in the afternoon of the same day, at which 
they and each of them were requested to attend, that on the said 
9th day of April, we attended at the time and place appointed, 
That Johannes Waldron, hereinbefore mentioned, appeared and 
declared that he claimed no title to the lands in his possession, 
and promised to take a lease from the corporation which, how- 
ever, he has not thought proper to do. That the Widow Rich- 
ardson sent us word that she claimed no right or title to the 
lands in her possession, and that she was willing and ready to 


take a lease for the same from the corporation, which she has not 
yet complied with. That Lawrence Benson appeared and de- 
clared, that he was willing to agree with the corporation, as 
soon as the line should be agreed upon and run between the 
township of Harlem and the corporation. That Lawrence 
Harteman also appeared and declared, that he would take a 
lease from the corporation of the lands in his possession, claimed 
by the corporation, if the same were not included in his deed, 
but has done nothing in the matter since. That William Beek- 
man and Peter Pra Van Zandt also appeared, and declared their 
willingness to settle the disputed lands in their possession amic- 
ably with the corporation, and proposed to leave the lands in 
dispute to the decision of arbitrators in preference to that of 
going to law, which the committee then thought reasonable. 
That John Hardenbrook did not appear, but sent word that he 
had hove out all the lands claimed by the corporation, but upon 
examining the city surveyor or Mr. Marschall it appeared to 
this committee, that the said John Hardenbrook has still some 
lands in his possesion which are the property of the corpora- 
tion. That David Devoor, David Devoor Jr., David Provoost, 
John Devoor, John Devoor Jr., Dirck Lefferts and Nathaniel 
Marston paid not the least regard to the letters sent them by 
this committee. That it is our opinion that the several persons 
mentioned in our report to this board of the 20th March last, 
should be immediately ejected, except William Beekman and 
Peter Pra Van Zandt who we think ought not to be ejected at 
present, if any reasonable method can be fallen upon of settling 
the dispute between this board and them, as they offer to leave 
the matter in controversy to any indifferent men to determine, 
and even go so far as to declare their readiness to submit the 
dispute to the sole determination of the corporation itself, and 
to rest satisfied with such decision rather than engage in an 
expensive and tedious law suit. We do further report, that we 
have caused the lands contained in the patent formerly granted 
to Priscilla, William and John Holmes, and now possessed by 
the representatives of Sir Peter Warren Kip and Vanderhoof, 
to be surveyed by Mr. Marschalk the city surveyor, upon which 
survey several of us personally attended, and found that Van- 
derhoof has a small piece of land enclosed, belonging to the 
corporation ; that Kipp has also enclosed a small piece of land, 
the property of the corporation, which he claims under the 
patent granted to the aforesaid Priscilla, William and John 
Holmes. And also that that part of the said patent which is 


now owned by the representatives of Sir Peter Warren, com- 
prehends a considerable quantity of lands nninclosed, and the 
whole of what Jochim Anderson has in his possession, as by 
the map or plan of the lands contained in that patent made by 
the city surveyor and hereto annexed do fully appear. We do 
also further report, that we have endeavored to get the patents 
under which Kipp claims his land but have not been able to 
procure them, though we are informed by Mr. Marschalk, the 
surveyor, that he formerly run out the boundaries of the several 
patents under which Kipp claims at his request, that the lands 
are held under four different patents, the three northermost of 
which bind upon the county road, and the southermost extends 
from the East River 130 rods into the woods, which will carry 
him a considerable distance into the lands which are now deemed 
common lands. We also report it as our opinion that Vander- 
hoof should be sent to, and unless he takes a lease from the 
corporation within one month from this day that he should be 
ejected. We do also further report that in consequence of the 
order hereinbefore mentioned, we caused a letter to be wrote to the 
trustees and freeholders of the Town of Harlem, relative to the 
settlement of the boundaries between their town and the cor- 
poration of this city, a true copy of which letter is hereunto 
annexed and marked No. 1. That in answer to the said letter 
we received certain proposals from the Town of Harlem which 
are contained in their letter to us as hereunto also annexed and 
marked No. 2 ; and we do humbly report it as our opinion that 
the method mentioned in this letter for an amicable settlement 
of the boundaries between Harlem and this corporation ought 
to be adopted. All which is nevertheless submitted by 

Thomas Jones, 
John Dikeman, 
Benjamin Huggert, 
John Abell. 
Nov. 1st, 1 77 1. 

"'20th June, 1771. Copy of a letter from the Committee 
of the Corporation to the town of Harlem. 

" 'New York, 20th June, 1771. 
" 'To the committee appointed by the township of Harlem, 
for settling the boundary line between the said township and 
the corporation of the City of New York. 
"" 'Gentlemen, 

' 'We being appointed a committee for settling the present 
•differences relating to the boundary line between the corpora- 


tion of New York and the town of Harlem, do propose to the 
town of Harlem that the line mentioned in their grant, to wit, 
a certain piece of meadow ground, commonly called the round 
meadows, near or adjoining to Hudson River or the North 
River, and south to the place where formerly stood the saw 
mills over against Verchens or Hog Island, in the Sound or East 
River, shall be run out and ascertained by the city surveyor or 
surveyors, as shall for that purpose be appointed by the com- 
mittee nominated by the township of Harlem, and that in the 
presence of the committees appointed by the corporation and 
township of Harlem or the major part of each of them, and also 
in the presence of such ancient persons as can prove the two 
stations upon the East and North Rivers, and when such a line 
is run and marked out, that the corporation of New York 
release to the town of Harlem, all their right and title to the 
lands to the northward and eastward of the said line, and that 
the township of Harlem shall also release to the corporation of 
New York, all their right and title to the lands to the westward 
and southward of the said line, and that such north and south 
line shall be the perpetual boundary between the corporation of 
New York and the township of Harlem. 

" 'We are, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble 

" 'Thomas Jones, by order and on behalf of the committee. 

"'28th June, 1771, proposals from the town of Harlem, to 
the corporation of New York, about settling the division line 
between their lands. 

" 'At a general Town Meeting of the Freeholders and 
Inhabitants of Harlem, on Friday the 28th day of June, in the 
year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, 
Mr. John Livingston laid before the town a letter lately received 
by him from Thomas Jones, Esq., Recorder of the City of New 
York, in behalf of the committee appointed by said corporation, 
which was read and ordered to be entered. 

' 'Mr. Livingston then desired to know the sense of the 
town upon the subject matter of the said letter; and after mature 
consideration it was unanimously resolved that Mr. Livingston 
be desired to signify to Thomas Jones, Esq., and the Committee 
for the Corporation of New York, that the town of Harlem can 
by no means agree to the running of the line they propose, 
because the titl<- of Harlem, as they conceive, extends more 
southerly than <he line proposed on the part of New York. 
That we are, nevertheless, sincerely disposed to put an end to 


this old controversy in a cheap, speedy and amicable way, and 
to that end, propose that a joint application be made by com- 
mittees both from New York and Harlem to the Legislature at 
their next meeting for a law to terminate the dispute by com- 
missioners, to be hereafter chosen by both committees, and Har- 
lem prefers this method to a reference by Bonds of Submission, 
because that mode will excite a great deal of trouble and expense 
in deducing the titles under Harlem, to such a vast number of 
persons as must be parties to the Bonds and to the Deeds to be 
awarded for extinguishing the claim of Harlem to the south- 
ward of the line or lines that may be ascertained as the boundary 
between New York and Harlem, not to mention that the difficul- 
ties may be greatly increased by deaths of freeholders happening 
between the date of the Bond of Submission and the Deeds in 
Execution of the award, and we are of opinion that this manner 
of ending the controversy will be most efficacious and safest for 
both parties. We have appointed a committee for the Town 
of Harlem, to join with such equal number of persons as New 
York shall elect to be their committee, and to employ counsel 
and do all things necessary on the part of Harlem, for the pur- 
poses aforesaid. 

" 'An extract of the Proceedings of the Town Meeting at 
Harlem, dated above. 

" 'John Livingston. 

" 'Which report being read was approved of, and thereupon 
ordered by this board that the several persons recommended by 
the said committee in this said report to be proceeded against, 
be immediately and without delay ejected, and that the said com- 
mittee have power to retain gentlemen of the law for that pur- 
pose. That the proposals in the said letter from the Town of 
Harlem to this corporation relative to the settlement of the 
boundaries between them and this corporation by commissioners 
meet with the approbation of this board, and for as much as 
this corporation conceive it absolutely necessary that the said 
proposals be immediately carried into execution, They do, 
therefore, on their part name William Nicoll, of Suffolk County, 
and Thomas Hicks, of Queens County, Esq., Commissioners for 
that purpose, and that they in conjunction with two other com- 
missioners to be chosen by the town of Harlem, do name a 
fifth person, which five persons shall be commissioners for fin- 
ally settling the aforesaid boundaries between the town of Harlem 
and this corporation. 

" 'And it is further ordered and agreed to that Mr. Recorder 


be desired to prepare a bill to be laid before the general assembly- 
investing the said persons who are to be the commissioners for 
settling the said boundaries with full and absolute power to 
settle effectually the controversy aforesaid, between this corpor- 
ation and the said town of Harlem &c. 

" 'Extract from Harlem Records : 

" 'New Harlem, 15th Dec, 1700. 
" 'At a meeting held, present the whole community, in order 
to choose and authorize two persons from themselves to main- 
tain the advantages and privileges of the town of New Harlem, 
and to go to New York on Saturday next, the 25th November. 
" 'Whereas it has come to our knowledge that there is about 
to be sold a certain parcel of land which we claim by our patent, 
We have chosen for the purpose of preventing this sale, the 
following persons, Mr. Thomas Codrington and Peter Oblienis, 
who are hereby requested to do what is right at said time and 

Signed in the name of the Town, 

Adr. Vermule, Clerk. 

New Harlem, 24th Dec, 1702, 
" 'At a town meeting called by the justices, Jacob De Kay, 
were chosen and authorized, Capt. Thomas Codrington and Peter 
van Oblienis to speak in defence of all the town rights and 

Adr. Vermule, Clerk. 
New Harlem, March ye 28th, 1749. 
" 'Here is this day at a publick town meeting held for the 
town above said, Jacob Meyer, William Waldron and Jacob 
Dykman, Junior, truly chosen and elected by the Freeholders 
and Inhabitants of the said town, to be trustees for the said 
town and to carry on a law suit, or other ways settle the lines 
of our patent and to clear up the dispute concerning the commons 
of the said patent with the corporation of the city of New York, 
and we, the said subscribers, being freeholders and inhabitants 
of the town above said, do give and grant unto the said Jacob 
Meyer, William Waldron and Jacob Dykman Junior, full power 
and authority as far as in us lies to take all lawful ways and 
means for the settling of the same and to employ one attorney 
or more as they shall think proper, and we do promise for our- 
selves, our heirs and assigns, for to stand and forever abide 
by the said division or settling of the said lines and privileges 
of commonage with the corporation of the said City of New 



York and to let all such privileges of commonage which belongs 
to the said patent, lay as a general commons for the inhabitants 
and freeholders of the said township of New Harlem, and like- 
wise wee, the said subscribers, freeholders and inhabitants of 
the said town, do bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and admin- 
istrators, in the penal sum of one hundred pounds current money 
of New York, each and each for himself, his own heirs, execu- 
tors and administrators, to pay or cause to be paid an equal share 
of all such money as shall be expended for performing the busi- 
ness abovesaid to the said Jacob Meyer, William Waldron and 
Jacob Dykman Junior upon demand. In witness whereof wee, the 
said freeholders and inhabitants have hereunto set our hands 
and seals the day and year above written. 

Abram Myer, 0- s 


Jacob Dykman (l.s.s) 

Adolph Meyer (l.s.) 

Arent Bussing (l.s.) 

Petris Waldron (1-s.) 

Benjamin Waldron 0-s.) 

John Nagel (l.s.) 

John (IOB) Van Oblinus (l.s.) 


johnannes bensen 0-s.) 

Johannes Bensen Jr. 0-s.) 

John Roomer 0- s -) 


John (ID) Devore (l.s.) 


Johannes Myer Jr. 0-s.) 

Abraham Meyer Jr. 0-s.) 


Arent Meyer (l.s.) 

Daniel McGown (l.s.) 

" 'Sealed and delivered in the presence of 

" 'Before the signing and delivery of these presents it is 
only intended that the commons above mentioned is the commons 
lying the west side of the line our patent, notwithstanding what 
is above written. 

Cornelius Sickels 
William Moore 


" "22d February, 1760. 
" 'At a meeting of the whole community of New Harlem, 
for the purpose of choosing two men for the purpose of main- 
taining and defending our patent, Benjamin Benson and Johannis 
Sickels were chosen. 

' 'Signed with our hands 

Adolph Myer 
Petrus Waldron 
Benjamin Waldron 
Abraham Meyer 
John Dyckman 
Benjamin Benson 
Peter Bussing 
Arent Kortright 
Johannes Meyer 
John Meyer Jr. 
Marinus Low 

An act to settle or establish the line or lines of division, 
between the clty of new york and the township of 
Harlem, so far as concerns the right of soil in contro- 
Passed the 24th day of March, 1772. 

Whereas disputes and controversies have long subsisted be- 
tween the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of 
New York, and divers persons claiming under the township of 
Harlem, in the outward of the said city, respecting the division 
line, between the lands granted to the said Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the City of New York, and the said township of 
Harlem, which are productive of great trouble, expense and vex- 
ation to both parties: For prevention whereof, as well the said 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the said City of New York, 
as the proprietors and claimants under the said township of Har- 
lem, have humbly prayed that the boundary of property in the 
said contested lands may be finally settled and adjusted by com- 
missioners, to be appointed and authorized by an act of the Legis- 

Commissioners named and the manner in which they shall proceed. 
I. Be it therefore enacted by His Excellency the Governor, 
the Council and the General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted 
by the authority of the same, that William Nicoll, Esq., of Suffolk 
County, Thomas Hicks, Esq., attorney at law of Queens County, 


and George Clinton, Esq., of Ulster County, shall be and hereby 
are appointed commissioners, to agree, fix upon, settle and fin- 
ally ascertain the boundary between the township of Harlem and 
the lands granted to the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of 
the City of New York within the said city of New York afore- 
said, and the said commissioners, or the major part of them, or 
the survivors or survivor of them, or the major part of such sur- 
vivors, shall be and hereby are fully authorized and empowered 
to meet for the purpose aforesaid, at such place or places within 
the city of New York aforesaid, as often as they the said com- 
missioners or the major part of them, or the survivors or survivor 
of them, or the major part of such survivors, shall think proper, 
and shall be and hereby are authorized and empowered to sum- 
mon and order any person or persons within the colony, to appear 
before them, when and as often as they the said commissioners 
or the major part of them, or the survivors or survivor of them, 
or the major part of such survivors, shall think necessary to be 
examined and give evidence touching the matters in controversy ; 
and also to bring along with them all such books, deeds, papers, 
records or other written evidence, as the said commissioners or 
the major part of them, or the survivors or survivor of them, 
or the major part of such survivors, shall from time to time 
think proper to order and direct for the execution of the trust 
reposed in them by this act ; and it shall and may be lawful to 
and for the said commissioners, or either of them, to administer 
an oath or affirmation, in cases where the law directs an affirma- 
tion to the witnesses to be examined before them, to declare the 
truth, touching the matters in question ; and if any witness so to 
be examined, shall give false evidence or wilfully and knowingly 
affirm or depose falsely on such examination, and shall thereof 
be duly convicted, such witness shall for such offense, suffer the 
pains and penalities inflicted by law for wilful and corrupt per- 
jury. And if any person or persons being summoned or ordered 
by the said commissioners to attend in order to give evidence 
before the said commissioners, or to bring along with him or them, 
any book, deed, paper or record, or any books, deeds, papers or 
records, by a writing under the hands of the said commissioners 
or any of them, duly served on such person or persons, or left at 
his or their last place of abode, if the same shall be in the city 
of New York five days, and if in any other part of the colony 
thirty days before the day required by such summons, for his, 
her or their attendance as aforesaid, shall neglect, refuse or delay 
to give such attendance, or to bring such written evidence as shall 


be required by the said commissioners or any of them, such per- 
son or persons shall forfeit for every such neglect, refusal or 
delay, the sum of ten pounds current money of New York, to be 
recovered in the name and for the use of the Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the City of New York, if the summons for 
the appearance of such witness shall have issued at the instance 
of said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty ; but if the same shall 
have issued at the instance of the said township of Harlem, then 
in the name of the committee of the said township of Harlem, 
hereinafter named, and for the use of the said township, and that 
in a summary way, before any one of his majesty's justices of 
the Supreme Court of Judicature of this colony,, who is hereby 
authorized and required to hear and determine the same, and to 
award execution for the same against the goods and chattels of 
every such offender. 

Authority to settle the line of division and to cause the same to 
be run out and marked. 

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the said commissioners, or a major part of them, or the survivors 
or survivor of them or the major part of such survivors, are hereby 
authorized and empowered to settle and ascertain the said line 
or lines of division, at such place or places as they or the major 
part of them, or the survivors or survivor of them, or the major 
part of such survivors, shall think just, right and equitable, and 
most agreeable to the grants under which the Township of Harlem 
and the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New 
York hold their lands ; and shall, after they have agreed upon 
such line or lines of division aforesaid, choose and elect one or 
more proper person or persons, to survey, run out and mark, in 
the presence of some of them, such line or lines as they the said 
commissioners or the major part of them, or the survivors or 
survivor of them, or the major part of such survivors, shall deter- 
mine to be the boundary or division line or lines between the said 
Township of Harlem and the lands of the said Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the City of New York. 

In one year after the act shall be approved of. 

[II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that the said commissioners or the major part of them, or the 
survivors or survivor of them, or the major part of such sur- 
vivors, shall, within some convenient time after this act shall have 


received the Royal approbation, not exceeding one year, settle, 
fix upon and ascertain the line or lines of division aforesaid and 
cause the same to be run out, in manner and form aforesaid; a 
description of which line or lines so settled, agreed upon, ascer- 
tained and caused to be run out and marked by the said com- 
missioners or the major part of them, or the survivors or survivor 
of them, or the major part of such survivors, as aforesaid, specify- 
ing the places of beginning and ending, the course or courses and 
distance thereof, shall be entered upon record in the secretary's 
office of this colony within one month thereafter, and shall for- 
ever afterwards be and remain the boundary or division line or 
lines between the said township of Harlem and the lands of the 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, 
and shall operate as a total extinguishment of all the right, title,, 
interest, claim or pretences of claim whatsoever of the Township 
of Harlem and of all and every person and persons whatsoever, 
claiming under the said Township of Harlem, of, in and to all 
the land, tenements and hereditaments which shall lie to the south- 
ward and westward of such division line or lines, and shall also 
at the same time operate as a total extinguishment of all the right, 
title, interest, claim or pretences of claim whatsoever of the said 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, and 
of all and every person and persons claiming under the said 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, of, 
in and to all the lands, tenements and hereditaments which shall 
lie to the eastward and northward of the said division or boundary 
line or lines so as aforesaid to be ascertained, fixed upon, run 
out and marked by virtue of this act, the lands lying and being 
between high and low water mark within the city of New York, 
to the eastward and northward of the said division or boundary 
line or lines only excepted. 

Moiety of the charges to be paid by each party. 

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that all such expenses, costs and charges as shall arise or accrue 
in fixing, ascertaining and running out the boundary line or 
lines of division before mentioned, or for or by reason of any 
other matter or thing respecting the execution of the powers 
given by this act and other the premises shall be paid in equal 
proportions, (that is to say,) the one equal half part or moiety 
thereof by the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of 
New York, and the other equal half part thereof by the Township 
of Harlem, except all such expenses as have arisen, been paid 


or as shall hereafter arise or be paid by either the Mayor, Alder- 
men and Commonalty of the City of New York, or the Town- 
ship of Harlem, to their counsel for advice in, about or any 
ways relating to the settlement of the boundary line or lines 

Line not to affect the jurisdiction of the city or to diminish the 
powers of the township of Harlem. 

V. Provided always and be it further enacted, that the 
settlement and establishment of the said boundary line or lines 
or any matter or thing to be done or concerted in pursuance of 
this act shall not operate or be construed to lessen, diminish or 
affect the bounds, limits or extent of the said City of New York, 
in point of jurisdiction, or to alter, abrogate or defeat any of 
the powers, preeminences or immunities, over or in respect of 
the said Township of Harlem, which are vested in or have ever 
lawfully been or may be claimed or exercised by the said Mayor, 
Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, in virtue 
of the respective Royal charters to them given and granted ; 
but the same shall operate and be forever received and adjudged 
as an absolute and final determination and establishment of the 
right and property of the soil so in controversy between the said 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, and 
all claiming or to claim, by, from or under them and the said 
Township of Harlem, and all claiming or to claim by, from or 
under the same, anything in this act to the contrary thereof in 
any wise notwithstanding. 

Commissioners' allowance to be settled before they proceed. 

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that John Livingston, John Sickles, David Waldron, John Nagle, 
and John Myer, or the majority of them who are appointed by 
the township of Harlem, to be a committee to manage the said 
controversy before the commissioners aforesaid ; shall and may 
have authority to treat with them concerning the satisfaction to 
be made to the said commissioners for their trouble in the execu- 
tion of the trust reposed in them by this act, and shall enter into 
a bond to the said commissioners to secure their wages in such 
maimer as the said commissioners and committee shall agree; 
before the commissioners shall proceed to hear any witnesses or 
proofs, relative to the same dispute to the intent that the said 
commissioners may be under no bias of interest, in the execution 
of the residue of the trust hereinafter assigned to them, And 



Washington, from this spot, directed the first successful manoeuvre 
against Lord Howe, at the battle of Harlem Heights. 



for the defraying of all such charges and expenses as have ac- 
crued or shall accrue on the part of the township of Harlem, 
towards obtaining a final settlement of the controversy above men- 

Commissioners to fix the sum to be contributed by each proprietor. 
Poiver to sell their lands for non-payment. 

VII. Be it further enacted by the same authority, that the 
said commissioners, or the majority of survivor of them, shall 
have authority to adjudge and determine which of the proprie- 
tors of lands in the said township are chargeable with or liable 
to contribute to any part of the same burthen, and in what par- 
ticular sum ; of which they shall give a certificate under their 
hands and seals, and therein fix a day for the payment thereof, and 
the same certificate and adjudication shall be final and conclu- 
sive to all parties therein named, and the several sums so certi- 
fied shall be recoverable from the several persons so certified 
to be chargeable therewith by action or actions grounded on this 
act in the name of the said committee or the majority or sur- 
vivors of them in any court of law, having cognizance of such 
suit or suits, to the intent that the said committee may thereby be 
reimbursed for all the money they shall expend or be liable for 
in the service aforesaid; and if the said committee shall not be 
able to commence any such suit or action against any person or 
persons so certified to be chargeable to contribute the settlement 
of the said controversy on the part of the said township by reason 
of the absence of the defendant or defendants from the colony, in- 
fancy or other impediment ; then it shall be lawful for the said com- 
mittee, or the majority or survivor of them, to sell the lands, tene- 
ments, and hereditaments of the person or persons whose propor- 
tion of the expense shall so remain unpaid, and to retain to their 
own use out of the produce of the sale the sum so certified to be 
due, as the proportion of the proprietor or proprietors thereof, with 
lawful interest thereon from the time so fixed for payment 
thereof, together with the costs and charges attending the same 
sale, returning the surplus to the proprietor or proprietors thereof 
when thereunto lawfully required ; and every sale of such lands, 
hereditaments and tenement shall convey as good an estate and 
title to the purchaser as the proprietor or proprietors thereof 
held in the same at the time of making such sale. 

Sale to be made at public auction. 

VIII. And be it also enacted by the same authority, that 
every such sale shall be made by the said committee, or the ma- 


jority or survivor of them, at public auction or vendue to be 
held on the premises to be so sold, of which eight weeks previous 
notice shall be given by advertisement, one copy whereof shall 
be inserted from week to week in one of the public newspapers 
of this Colony, and the other to be fixed up for the space of time 
aforesaid on the outside of the Church door of the said Town of 
Harlem ; but no such sale shall be made on the day appointed 
for the auction if the person or persons chargeable with such 
proportion or any other person for him or them shall before 
such sale tender or offer to pay the sum intended to be raised 
by the same for the purposes aforesaid to the said committee, 
any or either of them. 

Act not of force till it receives Royal approbation. 
IX. Provided always and be it further enacted by the au- 
thority aforesaid, that this act nor anything herein contained, 
shall be of force until the same shall have received his Majesty's 
Royal approbation. 

A letter to Mr. John Livingston, or John Sickles, at Harlem, 
April 7th, 1772: 


I am informed by the speaker that the act for settling 
the dispute between the Corporation and the Township of Harlem, 
is ready to be sent to England for the Royal assent. That there 
is another private bill also ready to be sent. That a packet will 
sail on Monday next, by which, if we can send our act it may 
hasten its passing at home, as there will be two acts of the like 
nature. That as ours is a private act, cash must be paid to 
officers for getting it brought before his Majesty for his assent. 
And it is therefore necessary that a bill of exchange should be sent 
with the act to make it pass the more readily. The speaker tells 
me that between 30 pounds and 40 pounds sterling must be paid to 
officers for such a law, and that we should send a bill of about 
Fifty Pounds Sterling. As we would improve the earliest op- 
portunity of getting this act confirmed we should be glad to 
have it sent by the Packet, and would be glad that the people of 
Harlem or their committee would join with the Corporation in 
purchasing a bill of Exchange to send home, their half will 
amount to about 25 pounds sterling. As this must be done 
sooner or later, I think the sooner the better, that we may have 
our dispute settled. I shall hold a Common Council on Friday 
next at 3 o'clock, in the afternoon, about this matter, by which 
time we shall expect to hear from you, and make no doubt you 


will join with us in sending this bill, that we may not lose this 

I am, Sir, your Humb. servant, 

Whitehead Hicks. 

At the Court of St. James, the 28th day of July, 1773, 
present, the King's most Excellent Majesty, 

Lord Privy Seal Earl of Pomp fret 

Duke of Ancaster Lord Edgecombe 

Lord Chamberlain Lord Hyde 

Earl of Suffolk 

Whereas the Governor of His Majesty's Colony of New 
York, with the Council and Assembly of the said colony did in 
March, 1772, pass an act which hath been presented in the words 
following, viz. : Vide act. 

Province of New York, 30th March, 1772. This act was 
passed by the general assembly of the said Province on the 9th 
day of March, 1772. By the Council on the twelfth day of the 
same month, and on the twenty-fourth day of the same month 
of March, 1772, was assented to by the Governor. 

Which act having been perused and considered by the Lords 
commissioners 'for trade and Plantations and by them presented 
to his Majesty as proper to be approved, his Majesty was there- 
upon this day pleased with the advice of his Privy Council to 
declare his approbation of the said act ; and pursuant to His 
Majesty's Royal pleasure thereupon expressed, the same act is 
hereby confirmed, finally enacted and ratified accordingly. 
Whereof the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Commander in 
chief of his Majesty's said colony of New York, for the time 
being, and all others whom it may concern are to take notice 
and govern themselves accordingly. 

Wm. Beair. 

Copied from the originals, which is deposited in the Comp- 
troller's Office, New York, January 16th, 1819. 

G. N. Bleecker, Compt. 

Ordered that Mr. Recorder, Alderman Dikeman, Alderman 
Lefferts, Alderman Brewerton and Alderman Waddell, together 
with Messrs. Abell Hugget, Theoph. Hardenbrook, John Harden- 
brook and Hammersly be a committee to appear and manage the 
controversy before the commissioners appointed to settle the line 
or lines of divisions between the city of New York and the town- 
ship of Harlem, so far as concerns the right of soil in controversy. 

Know all men by these presents, that we John Livingston 


of the City of New York, Esquire, and John Sickles, David Wal- 
dron, John Nagel and John Meyer of the township of Harlem 
in the city and county of New York, farmers, are held and firmly 
bound unto the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City 
of New York, in the sum of two thousand pounds lawful money 
of the province of New York, to be paid to the said Mayor, 
Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York, their 
certain attorney, successors or assigns. To which payment, well 
and truly to be made, we bind ourselves and each of us, our 
and each of our heirs, executors and administrators and every of 
them jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with 
our seals and dated the twenty-fourth day of May, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four. 

Whereas, disputes and controversies have long subsisted 
between the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of 
New York and divers persons claiming under the township of 
Harlem, in the outward of the same city, respecting the division 
line granted to the said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of 
the City of New York, and the said Township of Harlem, and 
also respecting the right of commonage for range and food of 
cattle and horses, to the westward of the division line claimed 
by the said Township of Harlem. 

And whereas, for the preventing and avoiding all future 
suits and controversies, and in order to an amicable settlement 
of the said line or lines of division, and all other disputes that 
did then subsist between the said Mayor, Aldermen and Com- 
monalty of the said City of New York and Township of Harlem, 
as well they the said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of 
the city of New York, as the claimants and proprietors under 
the said township of Harlem, sometime in or about the year of 
Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-two, did 
make application to the honorable the general assembly of this 
province with intention to obtain an act of the Legislature of 
the said Province for the appointing and constituting commis- 
sioners to be invested with full powers and authorities to settle 
and adjust all disputes and controversies whatever then sub- 
sisting between the parties aforesaid. 

Whereupon an act of the Legislature of this Province en- 
titled "An Act to settle and establish the line or lines of division 
between the City of New York and the Township of Harlem, 
so far as concerns the right of soil in controversy" was in the 
year aforesaid made and passed constituting and appointing 
William Nicoll, Esq., of Suffolk County, Thomas Hicks, Esq., 


attorney at law of Queens County, and George Clinton, Esq., 
of Ulster County, or the survivors or survivor of them, com- 
missioners to agree, fix upon, settle and finally ascertain the 
boundary between the said township of Harlem and the lands 
granted to the said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the 
City of New York, which said boundary line or lines when fixed 
run out and marked by the said commissioners was in and by 
the said act declared to be from thenceforth and forever there- 
after the boundary or division line or lines between the said 
township of Harlem and the lands of the Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the said city of New York, and should operate 
as a total extinguishment of all the right, title, interest, claim or 
pretences of claim whatsoever of the said township of Harlem, 
and all and every person and persons whatsoever, claiming under 
the said township of Harlem of, in and to all the lands, tene- 
ments and hereditaments which shall lie to the southward and 
westward of such division line or lines, and should also at the 
same time operate as a total extinguishment of all the right, title, 
interest, claim or pretences of claim whatsoever, of the said 
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the said City of New York, 
and of all and every person and persons claiming under them 
of, in and to all the lands, tenements and hereditaments which 
lie to the eastward and northward of the said division or boundary 
line or lines, so as aforesaid to be ascertained, fixed upon, run 
out and marked, by virtue of said act, the lands lying and being 
between high and low water mark, within the City of New York, 
to the eastward and northward of the said division or boundary 
line or lines in the said act thereby only excepted. 

And whereas doubts have arisen on the said act whether 
they the said commissioners are authorized and impowered in 
and by the said act to determine and adjudge on the right claimed 
by the said township of Harlem to a common of pasture for 
range and food of cattle, to the westward of the line of division 
from the round meadow to the saw mill, the said round meadow 
and saw mill being the stations mentioned and expressed in the 
patent to the said township of Harlem, for the division line be- 
tween the said township and the lands of the Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the said city of New York, and whether if 
the commissioners should determine a right of common in the 
town of Harlem, they can give so much land to the westward 
of the line, from the said meadow to the saw mill, in fee simple 
to the township of Harlem, as will be a compensation for their 
common and so fix a line so far westward of the line from the 


meadow and saw mill as will include such land, and mark the 
last line as a boundary line between the contending parties. And 
whether any line so fixed by the commissioners would not ex- 
tinguish the right of common claimed by the said township of 
Harlem to the westward of the line as fixed. 

And whereas at the time of obtaining and passing the said 
act, it was the true intent and meaning of the said parties and 
petitioners that the aforesaid commissioners should be invested 
with full powers and authorities to determine and adjudge on 
the said several questions relating the said commonage so claimed 
as aforesaid and to put an entire end to all controversies sub- 
sisting between the said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of 
the said city of New York, and the said town of Harlem, as 
well in relation to the soil as the said right of commonage. 

And whereas the said Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty 
of the city of New York, and the proprietors and claimants under 
the township of Harlem, are still willing and desirous to refer 
all matters, disputes and controversies between them subsisting 
to the above named commissioners or the major part of them, 
whose judgment and award of and concerning the premises to 
be final and decisive between the parties aforesaid, and for that 
purpose have come to a mutual agreement, notwithstanding the 
doubts that have arisen, or any omissions in the said act to refer 
the whole controversy to the award, order, arbitrament and final 
determination of them the commissioners aforesaid, or any two 
of them. And in order to obviate all doubts that may arise con- 
cerning the said award to make a joint application to the hon- 
orable the general assembly of this colony at their next session, 
for an act of the legislature of this colony to confirm whatever 
award or settlement shall be made and awarded by the said com- 
missioners or any two of them touching the said controversy. 

And whereas, they the above bounden John Livingston, John 
Sickles, David Waldron, John Nagel, and John Meyer, or the 
majority of them have been constituted and appointed a com- 
mittee to manage the said controversy before the commissioners 
aforesaid and were lately fully authorized and empowered at a 
general public meeting of the said township of Harlem, held for 
this purpose to enter into such agreement as aforesaid. Now, 
therefore the condition of the above obligation is such, that if 
they the said John Livingston, John Sickels, David Waldron, 
John Nagel, and John Meyer, do and shall, when award shall 
be made by the said commissioners or any two of them, petition 
and make application to the honorable the general assembly at 


their next session, for an act of the legislature to allow, ratify, 
establish and confirm the proceedings of the said commissioners 
or any two of them, and whatsoever award, order, settlement or 
determination shall be by them or any two of them so made, and 
awarded as aforesaid, of and concerning the said division line 
and soil, and the right of commonage so submitted to them as 
aforesaid, and also do and shall, in and by all lawful ways and 
means whatsoever use their best endeavors to procure and obtain 
such act of the legislature of the colony for the confirmation of 
the proceedings of the said commissioners and their award as 
aforesaid. Then the above obligation to be void, else to remain 
in full force or virtue. 

Sealed and delivered in the presence of us, 
Robert Huee 
John Lott 

J. Livingston 
Johannes Zickees 
David Waldron 
Jan Nagle 
John Meyer 
Copied from the original which is deposited in the Comp- 
trollers office. New York, Jany. 16th, 1819. 

G. W. Bleecker, Comptr. 

Report of the commissioners for settling the right and prop- 
erty of the soil submitted to them, between the corporation of 
the city of New York, and the township of Harlem, agreeable 
to an act of assembly, passed for that purpose. 

Recorded for and at the request of the Mayor, Aldermen and 
Commonalty of the city of New York, the 23rd day of Nov., 
Anno Dom. 1774. 

To all to whom these presents may come or in any manner 
concern, we, William Nicoll, Esq., of Suffolk County, Thomas 
Hicks, Esq., attorney at law of Queens County, and George 
Clinton Esq. of Ulster County, send greeting. Whereas by one 
certain act of the legislature of the colony of New York passed 
on the 24th day of March in the year of Our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and seventy-two, and confirmed by his present 
Majesty in Privy Council on the 28th day of July last, entitled, 
"An Act to settle and establish a line or lines of division between 
the city of New York, and the township of Harlem, so far as 
concerns the right of soil in controversy," certain powers and 
authorities are therein given to us the subscribers as commis- 


sioners which by the said act reference being thereunto had, may 
more fully appear. 

Now therefore know ye, that we in compliance with the 
said act having met with the committee for the said township 
of Harlem and concluded a treaty concerning the satisfaction 
to be made for our wages and taken security therefor according 
to the directions of the said act, and having afterwards fully 
heard the parties and considered the allegations and proofs rela- 
tive to the controversy submitted to us between the said city and 
township by the act aforesaid, do declare, settle, ascertain, fix 
upon, adjudge, award and determine that the line of division 
between the lands of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of 
the said city of New York and the township of Harlem, so far 
as the same concerns the right and property of the soil sub- 
mitted to us are and shall be forever hereafter as follows, be- 
ginning at a bass wood stump, from whence grows several cyons, 
being on a certain point on the east side of Hudson's River, on 
the south side of the Bay, lying before a certain piece of meadow, 
commonly known by the name of the Round Meadow or Mutje 
David's Fly, from which stump the south end of Jacob Vree- 
lands house on the west side of the said river bears north eighty- 
five degrees west; the south side of Stephen Bourdetts house 
north four degrees and fifteen minutes west, the south side of 
Samuel Prince's house, north fifty-three degrees and fifteen min- 
utes west, and the large bluff point on the west side of the said 
river north nineteen degrees east; and from thence running south 
one degree and thirty minutes east one hundred and ten chains 
and eighty links to a heap of stones on the south west side of 
a large flat rock, from whence a large White wood tree bears 
north sixty seven degrees west distant sixty seven links and from 
thence running north fifty six degrees west four chains and 
seventy links to a red cedar stake with a heap of stones about 
it, thence south thirty five degrees, west fifty one chains and 
twenty nine links to a small pepperage tree, marked with a blaze 
and three notches on three sides standing four chains from the 
Bloomingdale New cross road, measured on a course from the 
tree south thirty five degrees west ; and from the west bank of 
Hudson's River fifty seven shains and seventy five links measured 
on a course from the said tree north fifty six degrees west ; and 
from thence running with a direct line on a course south eighteen 
degrees east one hundred and twenty chains to an ancient heap 
of stones on the east side of a brook, which stones are said to 
have been the foundation of a saw mill mentioned in a patent 


from Richard Nicoll Esquire, formerly Governor of the Colony 
of New York, to the Township of Harlem, and from thence along 
the said brook as it now runs to the East river the distance from 
the said heap of stones to where the said brook empties into the 
East river, between a ledge of rocks being thirteen chains on a 
course of south fifty five degrees and thirty minutes east. All 
the aforesaid courses and bearings being run and taken as the 
Magnetic Needle now points, which said lines of division being 
unanimously agreed upon by us, we have chosen and elected 
Francis Marschalk to survey, run out and mark and have caused 
the same to be surveyed, run out and marked by the said Francis 
Marschalk, in our presence. In testimony whereof we have 
hereunto and to a duplicate thereof set our hands and seals this 
thirteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and seventy-four. 

W. Nicoll (l. s.) 

Tho. Hicks (l. s.) 
Geo. Clinton (l. s.) 

Sealed and delivered (the words fifty six on the fifth line 
on the third page being first wrote on an erasure) in the pres- 
ence of 

Gerard Bancker, 
Robert Hull. 

Be it remembered, that on the thirtieth day of May, one thou- 
sand seven hundred and seventy four, personally appeared before 
me, William Smith Esq., one of his Majesty's council for the 
Province of New York, William Nicoll, Thomas Hicks and 
George Clinton Esq. the within named commissioners and ac- 
knowledged that they severally executed the within written 
instrument as their act and deed for the uses and purposes therein 
mentioned and I having perused the same and finding no 
erasures, interlineations or obliteration therein other than those 
which are noted to have been made before the execution thereof, 
do allow that it be recorded. 

William Smith. 

Pursuant to an act of the Legislature of the colony of New 
York, entitled "An act to settle and establish the line or lines of 
division between the City of New York and the Township of 
Harlem" so far as concerns the rights of soil in controversy, 
passed the twenty-fourth day of March, one thousand seven hun- 
dred and seventy-two ; we, William Nicoll, Thomas Hicks and 
George Clinton, commissioners therein named, do hereby certify 


our Judgment and determination, that the several proprietors 
of lands in the said township of Harlem are chargeable and liable 
to contribute and pay the several sums of money annexed to their 
respective names, (being one half of the whole charges and ex- 
penses that have accrued in the settlement of the said contro- 
versy), to wit: 

£ d s 

John Devoore i 16 

John Devoore, Jr 9 

Dirrick Lefferts, paid 3 12 

Nathl. Marston, paid 6 6 

Jacob Leroy 3 12 

Benjamin Waldron 2 14 

David Waldron 1 1 7 

Adolph Waldron 2 10 5 

Benjamin Benson, paid 5 17 

Samson Benson 18 

Andrew M'Gown 1 7 

Adolph Benson 4 10 

Samson Benson 1 7 

Lawrence Benson, paid 18 

Lawrence Kortright, Paid 5 17 

Peter Bussing 2 6 10 

Hendrick Van Bremers 10 10 

Benjamin Vandewater 12 8 

Adolph Myer 2 10 5 

Isaac Day 1 7 

John Myer 4 19 

Martineus Schoonmaker 18 

Aaron Bussing 6 5 

Elizabeth Waldron, paid 4 10 

Peter Waldron, paid 10 10 

John Livingston, paid 1 16 

Mattie Myer 18 

John Bogert 4 I 

Dirrick Banta 3 8 

Peter R. Livingston I 7 

John Sickles 5 8 

Waldron 1 16 

Fowler 14 6 

Aaron Meyer, paid 4 19 

Charles Atkins, paid by 4 10 

by John Watkins 8 2 

John Kortright, paid 18 

William Dykman 2 5 

Jacob Dykman 1 16 


John Naugle, paid 1 13 

Jacob Naugle, paid I 13 

William Naugle, paid 1 13 

Cornelius Hyett 1 16 

Jacob Walton 3 3 

Adrian Shearman 7 3 

Jonathan Randall, paid 9 

Hon. Roger Morris, paid 4 10 

Abraham Devoe 14 6 

Hendrick Oblinus, paid 14 6 

Blasey Moore 2 5 

David Provort 14 6 

Stephen Berdett 14 6 

John Rome 3 6 

Abraham Myer 3 6 

Benjamin Benson, paid 7 3 

Amounting ^125 2 8 

Which said sum of money in the whole to one hundred and 
twenty-five pounds, 2 8. We do order to be paid by the several 
persons above mentioned, to Messrs. John Livingston, John 
Sickles, David Waldron, John Nagle, and John Myer or the 
majority of them, or the survivors of them on the first day of 
July next. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands 
and seals, the thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord, 


W. Nicoll, (l. s.) 

Tho. Hicks, (l. s.) 

George Clinton (l. s.) 
Signed and sealed (the words sums of, being first wrote on 
an erazure) in the presence of 
Gerald Bancker, 
Robert Hull. 

(Recorded for, and at the request of Jacob Schieffelin this 13th 
day of November, 1806. Lib. 73, p. 420). 

To all to whom these presents shall come, Whereas, at a 
Town meeting of the freeholders of the Town of Harlem in 
the State of New York, held at the house of William Marrener 
in the said town on the 19th day of December, 1801, it was re- 
solved and agreed (reference being had to the minutes thereof) 
that the common lands belonging to the said town should be 
allotted and divided among such of the freeholders thereof, their 
heirs, successors or assigns as were freeholders of the said town 


on the 13th day of May, in the year of our Lord, 1774, that is to 
say to each of the said freeholders only to have one equal part 
or share let his pretensions for more rights or shares be what 
they may, both on account of having a greater quantity of acres 
or having since added one or more farms together. And to the 
respective heirs, successors, or assigns of each of them as having 
since died or granted their estates to others, together one equal 
part and share which their respective ancestors or grantors if 
still living or seized would have taken. And that the several 
persons entitled to such share should each execute mutual releases 
for the part or share which shall fall to them respectively, to hold 
to them, their heirs and assigns forever subject only to payment 
of a ground rent of $2 per annum on each share towards the 
maintenance and support of an academy in the said town. And 
whereas Thomas Marston, William Mollenor, Andrew McGown, 
Samuel Broadhurst, Jacobus Dikeman and John P. Waldron 
were at the said meeting nominated and chosen commissioners 
to make and carry into effect such division and allotment. Now, 
Therefore, Know Ye that we the several persons whose names 
and seals are hereunto subscribed and affixed being the several 
freeholders of the said town of Harlem, who were freeholders 
thereof on the said 13th day of May, in the year of our Lord, 
1774, or the heirs, successors or assigns of such freeholders, have 
and each of us hath made, ordained, constituted and appointed, 
and by these presents do and each of us for himself doth make, 
constitute and appoint the said Thomas Marston, William Mol- 
lenor, Andrew McGown, Samuel Broadhurst, Jacobus Dikeman 
and John P. Waldron, and the major part of such survivors to be 
our and each of our true and lawful attorney and attorneys, here- 
by giving and deputing unto them full power and authority for 
us and each of us and in our and each of our names or otherwise 
to enter upon and take possession of all and singular the lands, 
tenements and hereditaments lying in common and undivided 
within the said Town of Harlem, and the same to allot, divide 
and make partition of among us respectively in the manner and 
according to the proportions hereinbefore mentioned and the part, 
share and proportion which shall be allotted and divided to us 
respectively of deed or deeds, conveyance or conveyances, certi- 
fying that we do forever allot, quit claim, grant, release and con- 
vey all the right, title and interest in and to the said common 
lands to and among each of the said freeholders, or their succes- 
sors and assigns, who were at the town meeting considered, and 
then judged to be possessed of equal and common right, reference 




being had to the resolves then made. And the said commis- 
sioners by such deed to grant, release and convey to us re- 
spectively and for us and each of us to seal and as our and each 
of our acts and deeds to deliver to be held and holden to us re- 
spectively and to our respective heirs, successors or assigns for- 
ever, subject to the payment of a ground rent of $2.0 per annum 
upon each or every part or share to and in trust for the use, bene- 
fit, support and maintenance of an academy for the education of 
children to be established in the said town. 

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and 
seals the 10th day of March, 1803. 

Abraham King, (l. s.) 

Q. Schieffelin, (l. s.) 

William Kenyon, (l. s.) 

John Gerard DePeyster, (l. S.) 

Arch Gracie, (l. s.) 

Jos. Blackwell, (l. s.) 

John Delancey, (l. S. ) 

Samson Benson, Jr., (h. S.) 

Hannah Benson, (l. s. ) 

William Brady, (l. s.) 

John Kortright, (l. s.) 

Hendrick Van Bramer, (i,. s.) 

Adolf Bussing, (l. s.) 

Valentine Nutter, (l. s.) 

Joseph Mott, (l. s.) 

Jaop Moore, (l. s. ) 

William Nagel, (l. S.) 

Jacob Hyatt for Caleb Hyatt, (l. s.) 

Cornelius Hason, (l. s.) 

Aaron Bussing, (l. s.) 

John S. Sickles, (l. s. ) 

Benjamin Vredenburg, (l. S.) 

John Samler, (l. s.) 

Benj. Judah, (l. s.) 

David Waldron, (l. S.) 

Yelles Hopper, (l. s.) 

Henry (his x mark) Sherman, (1,. S.) 

Jno. P. Waldron, (ls.) 

Samuel Meyer, (l. s.) 

Andw. McGown, (l. s.) 

Samuel Broadhurst, (l. s. ) 

Jacobus Dikeman, (l. s.) 


Thomas Marston, (l. s.) 

William Mollenor, (l. s.) 

Sealed and delivered in the presence of us, the words "of 
more than one" in line 6, and "each" in line 7, being first inter- 
lined, John Bussing, Amos Andrus. 

State of New York, ss: On the 18th day of September, 
1806, personally came and appeared before me, Abraham King, 
William Kenyon, William Mollenor, Thomas Marston and 
Henry Sherman, and on the 23d day of September, came Benja- 
min Judah, and on the 24th day of September came Valentine 
Nutter, Joseph Blackwell, Joseph Mott, Benjamin Vredenburgh, 
William Brady, Samson Benson, William Nagel, and Cornelius 
Harsen, to me known to be the same persons named and des- 
cribed in the within instrument and who have executed the same 
and they severally acknowledged that they did execute the same 
and there being no material erazures or interlineations therein 
(except such as are noted), I do allow the same to be recorded, 
(as to them) William L. Rose, 

Master in Chancery. 

Appendix F. 

Surrender by the twenty-four Proprietors of East New Jer- 
sey to Anne, Queen of England, in the year 1702, cited in pre- 
ceding pages, case of Martin against Waddell, 16 Peters 
Reports, 353. 

All the powers and authorities in the said letters- 
patent granted to correct, punish, pardon, govern and rule 
all or any of her Majesty's subjects, or others, who then 
were inhabitants, or thereafter might adventure into or 
inhabit within the said province of East New Jersey; 
and also to nominate, make, constitute, ordain, and con- 
firm any laws, orders, ordinances, directions, and in- 
struments for those purposes, or any of them ; and to nomi- 
nate, constitute, or appoint, revoke, discharge, change, or 
alter any governor or governors, officers or ministers, 
which were or should be appointed within the said 
province ; and to make, ordain, and establish any orders, 
laws, directions, instruments, forms, or ceremonies of 
government and magistracy, for or concerning the same, 
or on the sea, in going to or coming from the same ; or 
to put in execution, or abrogate, revoke, or change such 


as were already made, for or concerning such govern- 
ment, or any of them ; and also all the powers and au- 
thorities by the said letters-patent to use and exercise 
martial law in the said province of East New Jersey; 
and to admit any person or persons to trade, or traffic 
there; and of encountering, repelling, and resisting by 
force of arms, any person or persons attempting to in- 
habit there without the license of them, the said pro- 
prietors, their heirs and assigns ; and all other the 
powers, authorities and privileges of and concerning the 
government of the province last aforesaid, or the inhabi- 
tants thereof, which were granted or mentioned to be 
granted by the said several above-recited letters-patent, 
or either of them. 

Which said surrender was afterwards accepted by the 

Appendix G. 



Captain Johannes Benson, not named in Dongan's patent, 
because he did not come to New Harlem until several years 
after the issuance of the charter, became a patentee by the pur- 
chase of certain lands and patentee rights. It is supposed that 
he originally came from Sweden, or Denmark, and passed through 
Amsterdam, Holland, en route for his home in the New World. 

New Harlem's Benson bought lots i and / (see village map) 
from Oblinus' son. Here he lived for a time, but Greenwich 
village attracted his attention, and he sold the lots at Harlem 
to his son Samson. Samson's purchase included "a negro, with 
a plough, and ironwork for a wagon, as also 37 schepels of seed 
rye and wheat," all for $650, for which purchases he had four 
years' grace. Later, on September 21, 1706, Captain Benson re- 
turned, to end his days at Harlem on the farm which he purchased 
of Jan Louwe Bogert, including the Montagne's Point district. 
At his death, in 1715, the Captain had accumulated 182 acres of 
Harlem property. Captain Benson, up to five years before his 
death, held the important position of Surveyor of Highways for 
New Harlem; and his son Samson was a constable in 1700, a col- 
lector in 1704, and an assessor in 1708. 

Samson's son, Adolph Benson, born in 1703, was made a 


constable at the age of 30, — an important office at that day for 
so young a man. He died, aged 99, in 1802, in his old home- 
stead, which stood on the site of his first Harlem purchase until 
1854. His home was situated on the line of I22d Street, about 
one hundred feet east of 7th Avenue. 

Adolph's eldest son, Samuel (or Samson), rendered import- 
ant service with his Harlem regiment as a guard at the time of 
the meeting of the Colonial Convention at Harlem. This was 
held in the old Dykeman public house, which was later sold to 
Airs. McGown (see Riker, pp. 490 and 506). The Colonial 
Assembly first met here in 1752, from October 24th to November 
nth, the Governor and Council, while in attendance, lodging at 
the house of Benjamin Benson, which stood on the site of the for- 
mer S. Benson McGown residence. Samuel Benson stood guard 
until the Convention was forced by the enemy to retire. 

The old Benson mill, a Harlem landmark, stood on the 
south side of Montagne's Creek, and had two run of stones, some 
18 inches in diameter (Riker, p. 486). While building it, in 
1840, Samson Benson had died. His youngest son, Benjamin, 
completed the mill which was burned during the Revolution, 
while the British were in possession, and the Bensons (sturdy 
Americans) were in exile. 

The Bensons, have been not only noted landowners and 
patriots, but officeholders, judges and statesmen, as well as pro- 
fessional men and artists, among whom is the celebrated Eugene 
Benson, of Rome, Italy. 


Jan Louwe Bogert, a compatriot of Kortright and Low, 
came from Schoonrewoert, Holland. Bogert is not mentioned in 
tin- Dongan patent, because he had intended to sell his Harlem 
lands to Peter Parmentier. The sale, however, was not consum- 
mated, and Bogert remained proprietor of the Montagne's Point 
farm until 1706, when he sold the property, of which he had been 
the owner for 34 years, to Capt. Johannes Benson. 

Bogert was a magistrate in 1675, and so well did the Har- 
lemites like his rulings that they re-elected him the following 
year. At this time, too, he and his wife, Cornelia Everts, were 
received into membership by the Harlem congregation. Bogert 
participated in the drawings of 1677 and 1691. The first allot- 
ment brought him lot No. 6, on Hoorn's Hook. This he after- 


ward sold to Joost van Oblinus. In the latter allotment he 
drew lot No. 25, which, as shown on the map, lay back of Hell- 
gate Bay, between Montagne's Point and 95th Street (known 
as the Bogert Meadows). 

Mr. Bogert, well known as President Roosevelt's ancestor on 
the maternal side, more than once exemplified the love of right, 
manifest in his descendants to-day. Among the many instances 
recorded is an interesting episode of legal nature, in which the 
object of this sketch brought suit against David du Four and 
others who were accustomed to take a short cut across the Bogert 
meadows en route for the mill, the village and the church. The 
plaintiff won his case and thus preserved to Harlem forever the 
inviolability of her fence lines. 

After the sale of his Harlem property to Benson, Bogert 
and his wife removed to New York City. One of his sons, 
Gysbert Bogert, who married Annetie, daughter of Lawrence 
Jansen Low, about the time that his parents left Harlem for New 
York, removed to Tappan. Another son, Peter, who is called 
Peter Jan Louwe in the Harlem records, served as a soldier under 
Leisler in the Leislerian troubles in 1689 and 1690. A great grand- 
daughter of Jan Louwe Bogert, Anna, born in 1728, married 
Jacobus Roosevelt,— the ancestor of President Roosevelt. John 
Bogert, Jr., a great-grandson of the patentee, born in 171 8, was a 
distinguished and prosperous New York merchant, who served 
as alderman from 1756 to 1766, and during the same period was 
a deacon and elder for several terms. He seems to have been the 
first of the Bogerts to return to Harlem and take up his residence 
there. By a strange coincidence, even as Benson returned to 
Harlem and bought out the Bogert ancestor, so this distinguished 
Bogert progenitor, on March 12, 1766, bought out John Benson's 
farm, lying on Van Keulen's Hook, and devoted his remaining 
years to farming. 

Mr. Bogert afterward added to his Harlem holdings the 
Lawrence Benson homestead. "In 1776, when the Revolution 
opened, the Provincial convention, on leaving New York, met 
for a month in the church at Harlem, and Mr. Bogert being a 
good Whig, the records were kept at his house, which stood on 
the same site as the present Morris Randall house, at the foot 
of 125th Street, Harlem River" (Riker, p. 493). 



Arent Harmanse Bussing, "one of the most worthy of the 
Harlem patentees" (Riker, p. 497), not only served New Harlem 
in many capacities, but furnished many descendants whose names 
are prominent on the public roster. 

Mr. Bussing, together with his friends Meyer and Dyckman, 
came to New Harlem from Westphalia, and first appears in 
the Town service as a cadet, under Isaac Vermilye, lancepesade. 
Side by side with Mr. Bussing, in the little Town militia, com- 
posed of twenty-nine men, marched Glaude Delamater and Joost 
van Oblinus. So successful was the drilling in Church Lane that 
New York sent for New Harlem's quota to help vanquish the Red 
Men at Esopus. Mr. Bussing was among the eight volunteers, 
and so valiantly did he deport himself in this campaign that he 
was promoted to the rank of Corporal. 

Love strode hand in hand with war in the early New Har- 
lem annals. Photographs were unknown then. But in his 
heart, as he paddled to the Battery on his first campaign, young 
Bussing carried the image of beautiful Susanna Delamater. 
Nor was he alone in this campaign of sentiment. Jan Dyckman, 
so the Town gossips had it, was engaged to Madelaine Tourneur, 
and speculation was rife as to which couple would first marry. 
"Wait till I return a Corporal," exclaimed both the West- 
phalians, as their canoe put out from the quiet waters of the 
cove at 124th Street and the Harlem River. Handkerchiefs and 
hearts fluttered for answer. 

Both youths rose in the world. Both married their sweet- 
hearts. That Bussing was a "good fellow" is evident by 
all reports. That Mr. Bussing, like young Kortright, who took 
Verveelen's place as Town host, was a lavish entertainer, is 
suggested in the Harlem Town Records by an occasional half- 
vat of "strong bier." 

But there was the serious side to the man, as well as the 
jovial. When little Daniel Demarest was run over and killed 
by a horse and sleigh on Church Lane, Mr. Bussing was one of 
the first to be called, for it was felt that the rugged honesty and 
mature judgment, even of so young a man, would be valuable 
in determining responsibility for the accident. 

Just before the Bussing-Delamater marriage, Daniel Tour- 
neur died, the first of the Nicolls patentees to pass away. His 
death did not delay the Dyckman-Tourneur nuptials, however, 
and both young couples settled down to village life, — Dyckman 


on Van Keulen's Hook (see map) ; Bussing on lots 19 and ib 
of the out-garclens (i. e., about 119th Street and Lexington 

Mr. Bussing, now a tax-payer, put his name down for $3.20 
toward the dominie's salary for the year (1673-4). He was 
also appointed a New Harlem magistrate, to which office he was 
reappointed . His signature is found on many documents 
connected with the village life of New Harlem. Neglect- 
ing his private business in no respect, in spite of long service in 
the public cause, Mr. Bussing added one lot and then another 
to his holdings, until, at his death in 1718, he owned one hundred 
and twenty-seven acres of valuable Harlem property. To this 
his descendants added other holdings, until the ancestral estate 
was almost doubled, comprising at one time over two hundred 
acres. This property was practically intact until the death, in 
1730, of Aaron Bussing (grandson of the patentee). 


John Hendricks Brevoort was the forerunner of the "self- 
made New Yorker" of to-day. He started in life without a 
guilder, but rose to wealth and prominence, like many another 
of the early Harlem settlers, whose bouweries were many times 
destroyed by the Red Men, but whose courage and perseverance 
placed their names in the forefront of New York's roll of honor. 
Brevoort was only 14 years old when Harlem village was first 
settled. He was living at that time at Bushwick, with his father, 
Hendrick Jansen Van Brevoort. Their farm was on a little 
eminence called Kyckuyt, or lookout. Young Brevoort was often 
called Kyckuyt on this account, and is even mentioned on the 
later tax lists of Harlem as Jan Hendricks Brevoort, alias 
Kyckuyt. But he discarded the nickname eventually, and, 
throughout the latter years of his life, maintained his proper sur- 
name, which originated in the diocese of Utrecht, a little hamlet 
to the Northwest of Amersfoort. 

Brevoort, it is said, was led to go to Harlem in 1675 because 
of his acquaintance with Cornells Jansen Kortright. At this 
time Pierre Cresson was desirous of leaving Harlem. Brevoort 
seized the opportunity of buying Cresson out, thus securing lot 
No. 5 on Jochem Pieter's Flat, together with lot h in the vil- 
lage, and No. 20 on Van Keulen's Hook, with meadows at Sher- 
man's Creek. Brevoort participated in the Division of 1677, 


drawing No. i of the new lots shown on the map just north of 
Jochem Pieter's flat. "Natural abilities making up in a good 
degree his lack of education, Brevoort rose to be an overseer 
of the town in 1678, and was reappointed the next year. He 
bore an active part in the building of the new church in 1686. 
In 1691 Brevoort drew lot No. 6 on Jochem Pieter's Hills, 14 
morgen, to which, on May 27, 1698, he added No 7, being 10 
morgen, by purchase from Jacques Tourneur. 

"He was living on this property February 21, 1701, when 
he sold it to Johannes Myer. 

"Mr. Brevoort was elected assistant alderman of the Out 
Ward in 1702, and filled the same office from 1707 to 1713. He 
died in 17 14, leaving four children, among whom was Hendrick. 

"Hendrick Brevoort, after that excellent Dutch usage which 
gave each son a trade, was bred a weaver, but followed farming. 
He married, in 1699, Maria, daughter of Johannes Couwenhoven, 
late secretary between Harlem and Bowery" (Riker, p. 497). 


Quite as interesting a character study as Peter Stuyvesant, 
in the annals of New York, was Magistrate Glaude Delamater 
in the history of New Harlem. Mr. Delamater, always a man 
of firm convictions, lost in his trip to America none of the 
resolute courage which led him to leave France for a region 
of religious liberty. In spite of the fact that he was chosen a 
deacon in the little Dutch church on 125th Street, Mr. Delamater's 
leanings were always toward the French church. This gave rise 
to innumerable quarrels with his sturdy Dutch associates, in 
which the Magistrate often submitted to taxation for the Dutch 
church debts only after vigorous persuasion. 

Glaude Le Maistre, as he signed his name, was ancestor of 
the thousands of Delamaters who have been successfully traced. 
He was an exile from his home at Richebourg, in Artois ; went 
to Amsterdam in 1652, in which year he married Hester Du Bois, 
and shortly afterward came to New Harlem, where he began 
life as a carpenter. 

His educational training, and his wide experience gained 
in Europe, peculiarly fitted him for the position of Magis- 
trate, and it is not surprising that the quick-witted Harlemites 
offered him this office, which he filled for seven years. 

Mr. Delamater bought two allotments of land from Daniel 


Tourneur (Riker, p. 501), for which he took out a patent June 
25, 1668, and this estate was enlarged until it equalled about one 
hundred acres. Here, until his death, in 1683, Delamater stormed 
and showed mercy alternately. Unfortunately, he died before 
the issuing of the last Harlem patent, hence his name does not 
appear in the list of patentees. His widow, Hester, however, 
and those sons who remained at Harlem (Jan and Isaac), were 
named by Governor Dongan in the list of 1686. 

As in the case of Mr. Bussing, the first Town mention of 
Glaude Delamater occurs in connection with the militia, in which 
he was a Cadet, in 1663. 

Delamaters of to-day, who may have served in the Civil or 
in the Spanish war, will be interested in a list of the munitions 
of war furnished Cadet Delamater and his associates. The list 
includes : 3 cannons, carrying a seven or eight pound ball ; 5 
firelocks, 3 matchlocks, 36 cannon balls, 50 pounds of cannon 
powder, 10 pounds of fine powder, and 15 bars of lead for run- 
ning bullets. New Harlem was now regarded as sufficiently 
garrisoned and equipped to defy all-comers. 

Mr. Delamater's presence at the Town dinner to determine 
how best to raise money to build the first Harlem church, is the 
next entry on the Records. The members of the Town decided 
to sell the out-gardens for this purpose. Glaude bought lot No. 3, 
and later added lots numbered 19 and 20, — one and a half acres 
of as fine land as New Harlem contained, — for $30. Mr. Bussing, 
son-in-law of Magistrate Delamater, succeeded to lots 19 and 20 
through his marriage with Susanna Delamater. 

Subsequently, the Town's shoulders stooped under a $470 
debt. Mr. Delamater and his associates came valiantly to the 
rescue. His subscription was $32. But even the aid of this 
large sum, — as it was then regarded, — was not enough. Two 
hundred dollars were still due to creditors three years later 
(1676), and again Mr. Delamater subscribed his quota, — six 
pecks of wheat, or $4.80. Seven years before, our patentee had 
made his will, leaving $20 to the poor. 


Capt. Thomas Delavall, the father of John Delavall, the 
Dongan patentee, appeared on the scene of New Harlem in con- 
nection with the arrival of Governor Nicolls. Mr. Delavall. it 
will be remembered, was closely associated with court matters, 


and, consequently, was always high in authority in New York 
City. His first active participation in New Harlem village affairs 
was his offer, under date of January 3, 1667, to build a mill for 
the accommodation of the villagers, provided they would make 
a dam and build a road to the mill camp. (See Riker's map.) 

The New Harlemites met on the village lawn, and accepted 
Mr. Delavall's proposition. From this time on his holdings in 
New Harlem property became extensive, and it was not to be 
wondered at, therefore, that he was named as one of the five 
Nicolls patentees in the second patent. The following year Mr. 
Delavall made Mr. Tourneur his agent, and from this time on 
was rarely in the village, his business demanding his attention 
alternately in New York City and London. 

John Delavall, who succeeded to the management of the 
Harlem estates, was quite young when his father came to this 
country. (See Riker, p. 447.) He was brought up to a mer- 
cantile life in the City of New York, where he joined the Dutch 
Church, August 29th, 1678. Four years later, after the death 
of his father, he was commissioned captain of militia, but this 
honor he soon relinquished, having changed his religious views 
for those of the Quakers. 

Mr. Delavall married, on May 31st, 1686, Hannah, daughter 
of Thomas Lloyd, of New York, subsequently Governor of 
Pennsylvania. Later he went to Philadelphia, where he con- 
tinued in business with Mr. John White, who had been his partner 
in New York. He died in Philadelphia on August 10th, 1693. 

The descendants of this worthy ancestor will be interested 
in the following notice of Mrs. John Delavall : 

"Being earnestly solicited in marriage by John Delavall, who, 
though a worthy man, was not, at that time, of the same religious 
communion, she, by her prudent conduct and pious resolution 
to maintain the principles she professed, without deviating there- 
from, in a matter of such importance, did not agree thereto until 
he, after some time, embraced the truth in sincerity of heart, 
and bore his cross like an humble follower of Christ" (Riker, 
p. 447). 

His wife pays this loving tribute to his memory : 

"He never used to me an expression of anger or the product 
of a disturbed mind." 


Jan Dyckman's rise in fortune was the marvel of all who 
knew his history. In company with his early and life-long 


On the left is Tubby Hook (see map), on the line of 205T11 Street and 
Hudson River. The road leading to the right is Dyckman Street, one of The 
boundaries of part of h.arlem's undivided lands. 


M JsBt ■ 


1^1 1 ' 


^'^ J ^jb* 







friends, Aclolph Meyer and Arent Bussing, Mr. Dyckman came 
from Westphalia to the New World, via Holland, and joined 
Harlem for better or for worse. As far as hardships went, it 
was for worse, for Mr. Dyckman, together with Jan Nagel, did 
much toward clearing and planting upper Harlem at a time when 
wild beasts and Indians tested the hearts of the bravest. 

Previous to his removal to the vicinity of 200th Street and 
Kingsbridge Road Mr. Dyckman joined the New Harlem militia, 
and served with distinction in several Indian campaigns, from 
which he fortunately emerged without wound. At this time 
he held no real estate, but his signature on legal documents was 
valued nevertheless, his name appearing frequently in company 
with the largest property owners and most respected villagers. 


With no capital, but gifted with a quick wit and a keen 
business sense, Mr. Dyckman set about the building up of 
a fortune second to none among the Harlem patentees. First, 
he borrowed $800, and, with Bussing and Meyer, bought up the 
De Ruine farm. Harlem's taxes, and the difficulty of getting a 
start, proved too much for him, and the property was turned over 
to Captain Delavall for about what it cost. Mr. Dyckman now 
had a chance to show his grit. He went to work for others ; 
grasped his axe more firmly, felled more trees than ever before, 
and by his splendid perseverance won a small fortune. 
Coincidently with the fortune came a good wife, Madelaine 
Tourneur. Almost in the same breath with the publishing of the 


bans, Mr. Tourneur, Madelaine's father, died. Two out-gardens r 
and other Tourneur lands, thus came into Mr. Dyckman's hands. 
From this time forward there was never a question in the vil- 
lagers' minds as to whether young Dyckman would succeed. 
Y\ "here would he stop, was the only question. 

With Jan Xagel he introduced the practice of taking up 
large farms and renting them out to laborers. They even made 
the rent as light as a hen, or two hens, a year, for seven years. 
"If we win at all," they reasoned, "we shall win heavily." And 
they did. 

After Mr. Dyckman's death, which was followed four years 
later by that of his wife, the Dyckman and Xagel heirs divided 
the property equally. Gerrit Dyckman (Jan's eldest son) had 
already come into possession of 90 acres, and other parcels of 
the Dyckman estate being disposed of, there remained to be 
divided some 271 acres (Riker, p. 509). 

Gerrit Dyckman was constable in 1710-11. His son Jan 
was likewise constable in 1734-5 ; acted as an elder of the Har- 
lem church, and, with Jacob Meyer and Benjamin Benson, was 
appointed an attorney to sell certain remnants of the common 
land. He died five years before the Revolution. A number of 
his descendants, however, saw active service in the war. Accord- 
ing to Riker, Sampson and William Dyckman (grandsons of the 
patentee) warmly espoused the cause of their country, and upon 
the invasion of the British army left their home for a seven 
years' exile. Their sons were very active during the war in 
aiding the American operations, immortalizing themselves as 
the "Westchester Guides." Jacobus Dyckman (great grandson 
of the patentee) was a member of the Constitutional Convention 
in 1821. 


New Harlem's village smith, William Haldron, whose anvil 
was the first to echo through the Church Lane elms, appears in the 
Harlem records in 1685, the year before Dongan's patent was 

He is described as an Englishman of tireless activity, de- 
termined to make his way in the world, for the sake of his wife 
and little son, by dint of more than ordinary industry. He was 
a blacksmith by trade; and as the little band of villagers were 
sadlv in need of someone to make ansrle irons and the like,. 


Mr. Haldron's coming was hailed with delight. "Just the one 
we needed," exclaimed the villagers, unanimously, as they 
welcomed him with one hand, holding in the other the specifica- 
tions of the church. Undeterred by the fact that this edifice was 
to be 36 Dutch feet across, with an arched roof, a small 
steeple, and a scuttle in the roof, Mr. Haldron intimated that the 
sooner his forge was completed the quicker they would get the 
supplies he was expected to furnish. 

Rapidly the forge was built, where the road ran down by the 
green to the creek, at 124th Street, and willing hands supplied 
Haldron's needs almost faster than they came up. Neighbors 
opened their homes to Mrs. Haldron and the children of the 
village opened their hearts to little Henry, the son. 

Meanwhile the new patent was drawn up by Governor Don- 
gan, and the names of those who had subscribed their names to 
the document of January 8th preceding were entered as patentees, 
with the following changes : Jacques Tourneur stood also for 
his son Jacques, and Peter Parmentier took the place of Jan 
Louwe Bogert ; John Delavall was added in the stead of his 
father, and Councillor Spragge, Johannes Verveelen and William 
Haldron, the smith (all freeholders), w T ere entered as patentees; 
and in the tax list for Dec. 3d, 1685, William Haldron is rated 
at 1 erf, taxed at 1 :iy l /2 florins. 

Then Mr. Haldron plied his hammer and pumped his bel- 
lows, waking the neighbors at early dawn with the music of 
his anvil. Showers of sparks flew riverward, and, night and day, 
the smith worked, the zeal of the entire community spurring him 
to action ; for was not this the proudest event in the history of 
New Harlem, — the building of her second church? "Think of 
Haldron's opportunity ;" exclaimed the men over their pipes and 
mugs of ale at the ordinary. "You should be proud, Vrouw Hal- 
dron," commented the women. 

Immediately, every nerve in Haldron's strong arms was 
strained to its utmost, with the result, that almost before the vil- 
lage realized it, 139 pounds of iron at 1 guilder 10 stivers (sixty 
cents) the pound, was turned out, drayed over to the church site 
(between 125th and 124th Streets on First Avenue), and the gilded 
"haen" (weather-cock) floated triumphantly in the sound breezes. 

Alas ! the arm which was master at the anvil was no match 
for East River currents. On December 7, 1687, William Hald- 
ron was drowned. Neighbors comforted Mrs. Haldron as best 
they could, but she survived the shock only a few months, leav- 
ing the lad Henry to fight his way alone in the world. 


In April, 1690, the town court ordered "that the property 
found in the house where William Haldron's widow died, accord- 
ing to the inventory, and also the smithshop, shall be given over 
to the deaconry of New Harlem and to Johannes Vermilyea. 7 ' 
(Riker, p. 513). 

Three years later (June 1st, 1693) Zacharias Sickels, an 
Albany blacksmith, took possession of the Haldron establish- 
ment, which included the "house, with smithshop and garden 
(smith tools included)" signing therefor with the deacons of 
New Harlem a three years' lease. Included in the New Harlem 
Records Riker found this document, in English, signed and dated 
April 17, 1696, by Henry Haldron, giving the deaconry full 
power to sell or otherwise dispose of William Haldron's effects : 

"I, Henry Haldron, son of William Haldron, de- 
ceased, do hereby acquit and discharge the Overseers 
and Poormasters of Harlem, and by these presents do 
give them full power to sell and dispose of all the goods 
and movables that did belong to my father, William Hald- 
ron, deceased." 

"Mr. Haldron's children, so far as known," says Riker (page 
513) "were Henry, John and Anna, who, in 1705, married John 
Allen of Milford, and. in 1720, Thomas Cox of Boston." 

Of Henry there is no further account, after the signing of 
this deed. John Haldron, born at Harlem, married, May 18th, 
1707, Cornelia, daughter of Doctor Lucas van Tienhoven, and 
widow of Andries Hoist. She was born in 1678. About 1712 
they removed to Tappan on the Hudson, where their descendants 
became numerous. The children were William, born 1708; 
Elizabeth, 1709; Lucas, 171 1; Elsie, 1713 ; Sarah, 1716; John, 
1719; Cornelius, 1721. William married and had nine children, 
whose births are recorded. John and Cornelius also had families. 


Jan Kiersen appeared in New Harlem's history, according 
to Riker, by "purchasing the lands and patentee rights of William 
Haldron, deceased." In addition to Mr. Haldron's erf, the late 
blacksmith's property included lot No. 17, on Jochem Pieter's 
Hills, set off to the Haldron erf-right, in 1691. Mr. Kiersen, who 
was born about 1650 at Arnhout, an obscure little village in the 
"Groot Veenen" (desert-like fens) of the Dutch county of 


Drenthe, came to America, in 1657, with his parents, his two 
brothers and one sister, Grietie. 

The real name of Jan's father was Kier Wolters, but, accord- 
ing to a Dutch custom, Jan was called Kicrsen (Kier's son) 
instead of Jan Wolters. 

Mr. Wolters, the father of the little family, went first to New 
Amstel, a Dutch settlement under New Amsterdam's protection, 
on the Delaware River. The thrifty habits and excellent farm- 
ing judgment of this new settler soon came to the attention of 
Governor Stuyvesant. "They tell me," said the Governor, who 
sent for Air. Wolters to come to New Amsterdam, "that you can 
beat any of my people at farming." 

Mr. Wolters acknowledged the compliment with a slight 
bow. ' 'Tis news to me," he said. "I knew how to make a 
living in the Groot Veenen. Here it is easier." 

Pleased alike with the man's modesty and his talent, the 
Governor replied: "You shall bring your family to New Am- 
sterdam, and I will give you charge of my bouwery." 

Thus the little Wolters entered life on Manhattan Island, 
with which they were identified for generations. Mr. Wolters, 
after serving the Governor with distinction, came to New Har- 

"Glad to welcome you," said the burghers, who had heard 
of Mr. Wolter's proficiency with the hoe. 

Immediately, however, the Town recognized the newcomer's 
judgment in Town as well as farm matters, and he was accorded 
many tokens of their appreciation of his merit. He resigned as 
Overseer when he left New Harlem for Fordham. 

Shortly after the first Nicolls charter, Archer, the West- 
chester thorn in the side of Mr. Verveelen, offered every induce- 
ment to get people away from New Harlem. Archer began by 
leasing his land in parcels of twenty to twenty-four acres, to 
such persons as would undertake to clear and cultivate the land. 
With the farm Archer also gave a house and lot in the village. 

Mr. Wolters, never daunted at hardship when he saw a 
chance to better his family's resources, left cleared Harlem for 
uncleared Fordham, determined, if necessary, to fight his way 
to fortune at whatever cost, and, on February 12, 1669, signed 
a lease with Archer for a Fordham farm, the lease to run for 
seven years from September 20, 1668. 

Soon after Mr. Verveelen settled at Papparinamin (Spuyten 
Duyvil), where he held the key to Manhattan Island, the ferry- 


master was appointed Constable of Fordham. Here he stood 
shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Wolters, now risen to Overseer 
in his new home. With the ferryman, Mr. Wolters assisted in 
building the first bridge over the salt marshes, between Fordham 
and Spuyten Duyvil. After his death (1670) the family sepa- 
rated, Jan returning to New Harlem to pick up the thread of 
Town affairs. 

Jan married Gerritie Van Dalsen, the daughter of a well-to- 
do Captain, and with his father-in-law he obtained from New 
Harlem a twelve-year lease of part of the Great Maize Land, as 
it was called, on Harlem Heights, just south of Fort Washington. 
But the lands there being laid out and alloted to the inhabitants 
in 1691 (Riker, p. 512), Mr. Kiersen, on July 2, 1694, bought 
for "1,000 guilders in money" lots 16 and 18. Five years later 
(March, 1696) he obtained the "signatures of every inhabitant 
of the Town" to a paper granting him "a half-morgen of land 
from the common woods, lying at the south-east hook of the 
land that Samuel Waldron has drawn out of the common woods, 
which half morgen he may build upon, thereon setting a house, 
barn and garden, for which he promises to let lie a morgen of 
land upon the northeast hook of the aforesaid lot ; leaving a suit- 
able road, or King's way, betwixt his house and the lot of Samuel 

Kiersen built his house and barn, laid out his garden, and 
on March 7, 1700, the Town officers gave him a deed. This 
was the first settlement on the well-known Jumel homestead, and 
Riker says, was the first spot permanently occupied on the heights 
which lie just north of 155th Street, overlooking the Speedway. 

Mr. Kiersen, by purchasing the lands and patentee rights 
of William Haldron, came to own the lot (No. 17) lying between 
his two, west of the road. A resurvey of the tract, in 1712, 
united the three lots in one, known as lot No. 18, and it was 
subsequently reckoned as forty acres. He sold the old black- 
smith shop to Samuel Waldron, as it adjoined the Waldron 
meadows, but reserved the erf, on which he drew land in 17 12. 

From time to time Mr. Kiersen added to his holdings on the 
Washington Heights site. In 1682 he joined the church, served 
as deacon, also held the position of Town Collector and Constable, 
and was a party to the Mill Cam]) grant, in 1738. It is not known 
when he died, but a signature very like his is found on a Town 
document of 1749. Possibly this signature is his son's. 

.Mr. Kiersen left two sons, whose names appear on the roll 
of Captain Stuyvesant's regiment in 1738, and a daughter, Jan- 


netie, who married Jacob Dyckman, of Kingsbridge. Like their 
grandfather Wolters, the lads were rarely heard from. They 
were modest, retiring, always working, but never bragging of 
their accomplishments. Gradually they drifted away from New 
Harlem, and their property, according to a deed of January 29, 
1763, went to James Carroll, of New York, for one thousand 
pounds. From Carroll the Kiersen property passed to Colonel 
Roger Morris, whose stately mansion, better known as the Jumel 
house, still remains, a sign of New Harlem's brilliant past. 


Cornells Jansen Kortright, the ancestor of one of the wealthy 
New Harlem families, made his entrance into the village life as 
the successor of Mr. Verveelen, the town host. 

Mr. Kortright, born in 1645 at Beest, in Gelderland, came 
to America with his father, Jan Bastiaesen, in 1663. In 1665 
he married Metje, daughter of Bastiaen Elyessen, in which selec- 
tion he was particularly fortunate, for Mrs. Kortright, after her 
husband's death, in 1689, managed the estate with admirable 

On the town records, at a date shortly after Mr. Kortright 
took charge of the ordinary on lot i (see village map), there ap- 
pears this item : 

Cornelis Jansen, credit. 
Drank at the settlement of the fines, the 25th Oct., 

1671, at two bouts . f. 34 : o 

Also for Mr. Arent, engaged at riding, 2 vans beer 1:12 
Further, after the settlement was concluded, also 

drank five van beer and one muts rum 4:10 

f . 40 : 2 

These and similar items from the pen of Mr. Kortright will 
suggest that in the early days of New Harlem all business trans- 
actions gave occasion for liquid refreshments at the hospitable 
Indian Trail Inn. 

One of the first town offices filled by Mr. Kortright was that 
of constable, a position in which he served with credit. On 
December 8, 1674, and again in 1681 and 1682, he served as an 
overseer. He held the position of Commissioner of the Town 
Court in 1686, and was re-elected the following year. Further 


record of his service as a New Harlem town officer was cut short 
by his untimely death, an event that was mourned by all the vil- 
lagers. Mr. Kortright left to his eldest son, Johannes, his "best 
horse" and his best trooper's saddle, his "best boots, and the best 
pistols and holsters, and carbine and cutlass." He also left him, 
over and above his share of the estate, "the lot of land at Jochem 
Pieter's, to wit, the lot by the great gate." 

Mr. Kortright's widow, known as Metje Cornelis, drew 
largely of the common lands in the several divisions, but sur- 
vived the partition of 17 12 only a short time. To Johannes, 
already mentioned, came more than his father's boots and saddle, 
for the mantle of officeholder fell upon his shoulders. Johannes 
Cornelissen, as he was known, was Collector of the town in 1698, 
a constable in 1702, and a Surveyor of Highways three years 
later. Nicholas, Johannes' eldest son, was Constable of the town 
in 1729, and also Collector. Another of the Kortrights, Nicholas, 
was a Vestryman of Trinity church from 1787 to 1792. Laurens 
C. Kortright, second son of the Patentee, from whom sprang the 
main branch of the family at Harlem, served as Constable in 
1708-9. He succeeded to the homestead on Harlem Lane (since 
Nutter's Farm). Lawrence Kortright, son of Laurens, who died, 
unmarried, in 1761, was the last of the name to hold the home- 
stead. Cornelius Kortright, eldest son of Laurens, was assistant 
Alderman of Montgomery Ward, 1738 to 1740. Lawrence, Cor- 
nelius' eldest son, became a wealthy and prominent merchant. In 
the French War he was part owner of several privateers fitted 
out at New York. His name appears as one of the founders of 
the Chamber of Commerce in 1768. His daughter, Elizabeth, in 
1786, married the Hon. James Monroe, afterward President of 
the United States ; and another daughter, Mary, in 1793, married 
Thomas Knox. 


Laurens Jansen Low, born in Holland, 1651, first comes into 
prominence in New Harlem as the joint owner with his brother, 
Cornelis Jansen Kortright, of Nicholas De Meyer's two farms. 
His share of the De Meyer lands laid the foundation for a large 
Harlem estate which, however, did not remain in the family any 
great length of time. After working the De Meyer farm for a 
year, the brothers agreed to part, Laurens taking the farm of 
Lubbert Gerritsen. Cornelis took the De Meyer farm entirely 


upon his shoulders, and Laurens gave his brother a lease of his 
part for four years from September 15, 1670, at the yearly rent 
of 400 guilders in grain. Laurens then went to Esopus, married, 
and did not return to Harlem for many years. He eventually 
returned, and in the division of the De Meyer land took lot No. 2 
on Jochem Pieter's, Number 6 on Van Keulen's Hook, the two 
north gardens (later forming the John P. Waldron homestead) 
and the two erven on one of which the new church was built in 
1686. On February 6, 1667, one year after the first Nicolls 
patent, Mr. Low was chosen to the very difficult position of 
fence-master. Tourneur's angry reply when taken to task for 
the weakness of his fences, and his subsequent beating of the 
complainant with one of the fence staves in question, indicates 
the courage required in a fence-master in those days. 

The next record of Mr. Low is the occasion when he and 
his brother joined hands with Daniel Tourneur as plaintiffs in 
the famous law suit with Col. Lewis Morris over the Stony 
Island meadows. The incident throws light on the character of 
the two brothers. As the lands adjoined the Morris estate, and 
as Col. Morris had plenty of slave labor to carry out his orders, 
it seemed as if that preponderance of ownership which rests in 
security of possession was vested in the Morrisanians. The 
sturdy brothers from Beest took exception to this, however, being 
daunted by no obstacle. To Mr. Low the fact that Col. Morris 
was likely to send a score of negro slaves to give him a beating 
if he entered the Stony Island meadows (across the Harlem River 
from the village), only spurred him to insist upon what he con- 
sidered his rights. "New Harlem owns those meadows," argued 
Mr. Low, " so why on earth shouldn't she have them?" Re- 
peatedly the intrepid brothers paddled across the river and 
attempted to mow the salt hay, and as repeatedly were ejected 
by overwhelming numbers, after exciting skirmishes, in which 
pitchforks, rakes, scythes, and other interesting weapons were 
brought into play. "No one shall trespass upon these meadows," 
was the ultimatum of Col. Morris. "But we will have them," 
protested the brothers, with equal vehemence, "because we own 
them." The warfare was kept up for years, and the brothers 
finally prevailed. A little later, Cornelis Jansen Kortright pur- 
chased of the town a small piece of land on Montagne's Flat for 
$10. Laurens, not to be outdone in progressiveness, but with an 
eye to business, successfully petitioned the town to let him take 
in a corner of the street near his house "so far as the land 


The New Harlem court, in November, 1686, found itself 
"weakened by animosities." The old board had been invited to sit 
with the new, but one from each, namely, Cornells Jansen and his 
brother Laurens, were absent, the latter having just left on a visit 
to his kinsfolk, the Roosas, at Esopus, where he and his cousin, 
Ryer Michielsen, had been only the year before. Two of the other 
members hal a quarrel, one of the old and one of the new Board, 
Jan Nagel and Jan Dyckman, — all because of a goose of Nagel's 
getting into Dyckman 's grain, had been bitten by his dog. Doubt- 
less, had Mr. Low or his brother been present at the time, one or 
the other would have been called upon to settle this weighty mat- 
ter, which Dyckman and Nagel went to court to thresh out. It may 
be imagined that Mr .Low hurried home from Esopus, to the town 
meeting at which it was decided to petition Governor Dongan 
for a new patent. With other of the patentees his name appears 
in the list of those who agreed to pay according to their estates, 
and to distribute the common woods in proportion to their hold- 
ings. Accordingly, when the Dongan patent was issued, Mr. 
Low's name was in the list. He died in 1727, after many years 
of quiet retirement upon the valuable estate acquired by him as 
a young man. Immediately the family seemed to separate ; Law- 
rence, the youngest son, succeeded to his father's lands at Har- 
lem, but his descendants quickly distributed the estate and moved 
away from Manhattan. 


Closely interwoven with the councils of New Harlem vil- 
lage are the affairs of the Montagne family, whose ancestor, Dr. 
Johannes de la Montagne braved the perils of Indian massacre 
in his energetic search for a homeland where he might enjoy 
religious liberty. 

There is no better site in New Harlem than that of 
the doctor's first settlement, — Montague's Flat. On previous 
pages it has been pointed out that this bouwery (farm) is prac- 
tically bisected by St. Nicholas Avenue, between 109th Street 
(now in Central Park) and 124th Street. Included in this dis- 
trict arc many of the quaint relics, including old block houses, 
etc., which make New Harlem a mecca for historical students 
and searchers for the curious. Within its ancient borders lie 
the Harlem lake at the northern end of Central Park, Morning- 


side Park, the great curve of the elevated railroad, the Washing- 
ton-Lafayette statue, and Washington's block houses 

Dr. Montagne's first impressions of the Battery after leaving 
populous Amsterdam must have been that Manhattan Island had 
only a handful of houses and a fair wooden fort. 

Accustomed as he was to wielding the scalpel, or handling 
a portable medicine chest, imagine his sensation when he started 
with his family up the East River in a rough wooden dugout. 
To-day there is a different, a modern, grandeur about the East 
River, with its swirling tides and bottomless pits, into which ships 
have sunk, leaving no trace of their location. 

But what of the day when this dauntless medical student 
took the paddle in his own uncalloused hands, — a modern Ulysses, 
steering his way through strange and hazardous channels. The 
East River was lined by stately forests. The lonely heron's 
shrill cry alone broke the "sabbath stillness of the wilderness," 
and it may be supposed that as the Montagnes reached the end 
of Blackwell's Island, and heard the roaring "as of a bull" of 
Hellgate, their hearts were touched by some emotion of dread. 

Undeterred, nevertheless, they pushed through Hellgate Bay 
and up to Montagne's Point (see map) and ascended Montagne's 
Creek to about 117th Street. Here the medical student camped 
for the night, and in this wild land began a new experiment in 

The close association of the name Montagne with Town 
affairs is noted throughout the history of the corporation. Un- 
fortunately, the doctor died in straitened circumstances, in 
1670, four years after the first Nicolls charter. The death of 
his son John occurred two years later, and the event fell as a 
personal blow to every member of the town, for Mr. Montagne, 
as Voorleser and school-master, had assisted in guiding the 
affairs of the town for so long that he was considered a fixture 
of the village itself. Interesting indeed, are the accounts of 
his excellence at horseback riding and other athletic pursuits. 

Abram Montagne, or Montanie, as he wrote his name, the 
only son of John Montagne, Jr., to remain at Harlem, claims 
attention as the only one of the Montagnes to be mentioned in 
the Dongan charter signed fourteen years later. lie was bred 
a weaver, and having the schoolmaster characteristics of his 
father, he taught his trade to all the young men of the village who 
would listen to him. Three years after the Dongan charter, in 
1689, he married Rebecca, eldest daughter of Theunis Ides. 

Shortly after the marriage Abram's mother, Mrs. John Mon- 


tagne (Kip), died and the young man succeeded to her house 
and lot in the village. "His rights as a patentee," says Riker, 
"were by virtue of this freehold ; and upon this he drew, in 1691, 
lot No. 23, five morgen, which in the deed given by the town 
March 21, 1701, is described as follows:" 

There is set off to Abraham de La Montanie (for the 
right of one erf), a piece of land lying west of the King's 
way, bounded against the Harlem limits to a steep rock 
standing in the run, upon it four rods northerly a small 
maple treet of Metje Cornells (Mrs. Kortright) ; and 
southerly along the King's way to a run where the King's 
way passes over. 

"This piece of land, now within Central Park, lay opposite 
to and below the old McGown place, stretching along the west 
side of the road from 99th to 140th Streets, or thereabouts, and 
upon its southern end afterward stood the Black Horse Tavern, 
of Revolutionary notoriety. The west side of this grant lay in 
proximitv to the lands of his father-in-law, Theunis Ides (see 

On May 18th, 1671, the year before John's death, Jan Louwe 
Bogert bargained with the owner for his "piece of land named 
in the Dutch language Montagne's Punt, or by the Indians Recha- 
wanis," for the sum of 3,000 guilders. He reserved "the crop 
of grain, the hop plants, apple and pear trees, and twelve cherry 
trees." Full possession was given on May 1, 1672. 

"Two years later Mrs. Montagne closed the sale of the farm 
to Mr. Bogert, by a warranty deed, dated March 30, 1674, ac- 
knowledging the receipt of the 3,000 guilders, and conveying for 
herself and her heirs ; having power to do so, as is evident, either 
under the will or by the recognized sanction of the public secre- 
tary and one of the Magistrates. Later still, — that is, in Novem- 
ber 14, 1679, — sne conveyed, for 300 guilders, to Mrs. Bogert, 
"authorized by her husband," to take the deed, the parcel called 
the hop garden at the rear of the farm, or 'lying behind the land 
of Jan Louwe, over against the hill.' " 

Subsequently, Mrs. Montagne bought a village residence, the 
inheritance of Abram at her death, as we have seen. 

Brave soldiers and "toilers of the sea" were many of those 
who followed in descent from Abram. His son Jacob was a block- 
maker, and other descendants were either block-makers, ship- 
builders or sailors, worthy successors of their illustrious ances- 
t< »r who braved sea tides to wrest a home from the savage-haunted 
wilderness of the New World. 



Descended from the counts of Bentheim, Adolph Meyer, 
compatriot of Arent Bussing and Jan Dyckman, found his way 
to Harlem five years before the first Nicolls patent and was al- 
most immediately recognized as a leader, in spite of his then 
slender fortune. , 

Ten years after his arrival the following bans were published 
in this quaint wording: 

Persons whose bans of matrimony are entered by 
consent of the Worshipful Mayor of this City, New 
York, and, according to custom, published in this church. 

April 29th. Adolph Meyer, young man, born at 
Ulsen, in Westphalia, with Maria Verveelen, born at 

After three years of married life Mr. Meyer joined the 
church, and established his home on Third street (see village 
map), lots k and / where, with his father-in-law, Mr. Verveelen, 
he lived for some time. Lot I, it will be remembered, was also 
the site of the village ordinary, first built by Mr. Verveelen, and 
afterward run by Mr. Kortright. 

Among the first to recognize the danger in Governor Andros' 
peremptory division of the New Harlem undivided land, was Mr. 
Meyer, shown by his signature to the following document : 

To His Excellency, the Governor General at New York: 
The Constable, Magistrates and Inhabitants of the 
Town of New Harlem respectfully represent that your 
petitioners have understood and been informed by their 
Constable and Joost van Oblinus, that your Excellency's 
purpose is to distribute the lands lying within their 
Town's jurisdiction, for bouweries and plantations ; 
wherefore they the petitioners and undersigners request 
that each may be allowed a part of the same to build 
upon and plant, etc. Remaining, etc. 

In fact, few movements in the village life were without the 
personal presence or influence of Mr. Myer, and the town records 
show the list of offices held by him to have been important, both 
in number and responsibility. Throughout the Indian wars Mr. 
Myer served as a corporal, usually in charge of Company No. 1. 

In 1674 he served as schepen ; in the same year as overseer. 
This office he filled so acceptably that he was re-elected in 
'76, '77 and '82. He was constable for three years, from 1684 to 
1687, an authorized attorney of the town in 1691, an assistant 


alderman in 1693 and 1694, a surveyor of highways in 1696 and 
1697; again elected authorized man 1699; again appointed over- 
seer in 1 701 ; served as assessor in 1703, and once more as sur- 
veyor of highways, in 1710. In addition to holding these town 
offices Air. Myer served as elder of the church most of this time, 
and between 1691 and 1701, with others chosen for that purpose, 
he had much to do with the first allotment of the common lands 
under the Dongan patent, and in this division he signed the deed. 
Mr. Myer died in February, 171 1, and by his will made the thir- 
teenth of that month he left the use of his property to his widow. 

Mrs. Myer, mother of a large and worthy progeny, identi- 
fied, as she was, with Harlem from her early childhood for a 
period of eighty-five years, and, as daughter of the patentee, 
Johannes Verveelen, directly concerned in the principal distri- 
bution of the common land, becomes a historic character. After 
a married life of forty years and thirty-seven of widowhood, 
and having survived all the Dongan patentees, except possibly 
Barent Waldron, death overtook her at the advanced age of 91 
years, in 1748 (Riker, p. 304). 


Jan Nagel, a soldier in the service of the Dutch prior to 
the first English occupancy, is spoken of as a man of sterling 
qualities, but one who was by no means backward in expressing 
his sentiments. Nagel, it seems, was thoroughly Dutch, and the 
thought of having any other ruling power than Stuyvesant in 
command at Fort Amsterdam was a last drop in his overflowing 
cup of bitterness against the new government. Mr. Verveelen 
met Mr. Nagel shortly after the fall of Fort Amsterdam, and ad- 
vised him of one of Governor Nicolls' rulings. Nagel sat down 
at once and wrote one of the most pungent protests against 
English rule that appears in the history of Harlem. The protest 
reads as follows : 

April ye 12, 1667. 
I take this opportunity to send you word that I will 
see you to-morrow to comply with ye orders of ye new 
government, as such a course seems now necessary, and 
leaving no other alternative ; but not without very strong- 
ly protesting against ye injustice, which has long been 
heaped upon us. Not finding satisfaction in ye confisca- 
tion of very valuable property, they are now compelling 
us to submit to an illegal and tyrannical foreign govern- 




ment. If God has designed in His providence that ye 
Dutch people should become victims to ye treachery and 
rapacity of ye English, then all they can do is to submit. 

Jan Nagel. 

Mr. Nagel's temper was not sweetened by a fine of $2.40 for 
this act of insubordination, and, in fact, it took some time to heal 
the wound which this action on the part of Harlem's English 
sympathisers had occasioned. 

Three years later Resolved Waldron made over to Jan Nagel 
part of lot No. 4 on Jochem Pieter's. This set the village gossips 
buzzing. Someone suggested that the young Hollander, who was 
said to be a widower, had been several times on Church Lane with 
Rebecca, daughter of the esteemed Resolved Waldron. In fact, 
those best posted in the village society news of the day affirmed 
that there was a possibility of a double wedding in the Waldron 
household, for Altje Waldron and Johannes Vermilye were said 
to have been pierced by Cupid's shafts. No one was aston- 
ished, therefore, when these four appeared at the Stadt-huys 
in New York and "entered their bans of matrimony before his 
Honor, the Mayor of this city, to be proclaimed at the usual time 
and place." The prophesied double wedding followed in due 

Mr. Nagel's subsequent rise as a real estate operator of 
magnitude dates from this period. He seems to have had a men- 
tal insight into the possibilities of large land speculations in Har- 
lem, and to have waited in his rather meteoric career only long 
enough to entrench himself securely in the position he held on 
Van Keulen's Hook. Within three years he had leased from the 
town for six years some land at Sherman's Creek, from May 1st, 
1671, at $12.40 a year, — a big price for the rent of a farm in those 
days. As the success of his undertaking became assured he was 
led to go still deeper into real estate transactions, and in 1677 
he is found signing the famous "two hens a year for seven 
years" lease, as joint proprietor with Jan Dyckman, of lots at the 
northeast end of the island, marked I, 2, 3, 4 and 5, containing 
74 acres of upland, — the beginning of the fine estates subsequently 
held there by the Nagel and Dyckman families. Subsequently, 
Messrs. Nagel and Dyckman became joint owners of the adjacent 
tract known as the Jansen and Aertsen patent, and afterward of the 
Papparinamin patent, the site of Verveelen's second ferry at 
Spuyten Duyvil. 



Joost van Oblinus' parents entered Harlem life on Nov. 
8th, 1663, by buying a lot on Van Keulen's Hook from the heirs 
of Philip Casier, mentioned in some of the earlier New Harlem 
documents. The parents soon returned to Europe, leaving young 
Joost in Harlem, as indicated in a letter written soon after the 
English took New York, to his "virtuous, well beloved brothers 
and sisters." 

"Know, my beloved brother, that we are here in the land be- 
fore this called New Netherland and now New England, by the 
English masters, being to the injury of our Dutch nation," etc. 

When the elder Joost left Harlem, the young man, it seems, 
succeeded to his father's estate, and it is doubtful if the record 
of any Harlem youth excels that of the patentee under consider- 
ation. Left practically to his own guidance, this youth managed 
his estates with such sagacity, and otherwise conducted himself 
with such level-headedness, that he may be said to have been 
looked upon as the Nestor of the patentees. In him, during the 
latter years of Harlem's village life, rested the final decision in 
all matters politic and spiritual. He was the Solomon of the 
community. Land questions, complicated to almost everyone 
else, were always finally referred, — "with the aid and advice of 
Joost van Oblinus, Constable." Perhaps the keynote of Mr. 
Oblinus' success lay in his constant giving to the church and the 
town. One of the early mentions of him occurs in 1669, when he 
offered to cut and deliver 12 loads of firewood for the voorleser. 
It is not improbable that his tendency in this direction was in- 
fluenced somewhat by the excellent advice and counsel of his 
companions, Demarest, Bogert, Kortright and Low, who reached 
New Amsterdam on the Spotted Cow, in 1664. However this 
may be, Mr. van Oblinus continued to give largely to the support 
of the town of his adoption, for on May 1st, 1670, we find him 
second only to Resolved Waldron in the generosity of his dona- 
tion to help pay the town's indebtedness. It is noteworthy, too, 
that of the 243^ erven held by the villagers, Mr. van 
Oblinus held the highest number, — that is, three. The youth's 
properties constantly increased through his good management. 
It might be said, in passing, that in his early days in the village 
he had entered the employ of Mr.. Delamater, in order to familiar- 
ize himself with the best farming methods of the day. The wisdom 
of this action is shown in the excellence of his subsequent 
management of his estates. Throughout his career the qualities 


that resulted in his being an acknowledged leader were first mani- 
fest in his unflinching service. In 1675 he is found serving, 
musket in hand, as a private in the night watch. The next year, 
at a meeting held Monday, Feb. 19th, 1676, the town met to try 
and arrange some way of settling the town debts. At this meet- 
ing there were present "their honors, Resolved Waldron, Con- 
stable ; Jan Louwe Bogert, Adolph Myer, Arent Harmanse Bus- 
sing, Daniel Tourneur ; with the advice of Joost van Oblinus." 
Still increasing his real estate holdings from time to time, Mr. 
van Oblinus came into possession of No. 2 of the north gardens. 
His generosity was again displayed by a gift of forty florins 
($16), as a farewell contribution for the support of the voor- 
leser for that year, more than twice the amount given by any 
other contributor, with the exception of Mr. Waldron. 

After being included in the list of petitioners for the Dongan 
patent, and after being named therein as a patentee, Mr. Oblinus 
now appears as a typical village solon, whose thrilling tales of 
the French invasion of Flanders, the escape with his parents to 
Holland, his sojourn at Mannheim, the second flight before the 
French invaders and the final adieu to the shores of Europe, en- 
deared him to all the children of Church Lane. 

This last survivor of the Nicolls patentees died in 1706. His 
son Peter, who wrote his name Oblienis, became a church member 
at the early age of 19, served many times as deacon and elder, 
and throughout most of his 80 years was a leader in church and 
town affairs. One can understand the significance of his mar- 
riage to Cornelia, daughter of Resolved Waldron, on June 8th, 
1685, for by this union were joined together two extremely in- 
fluential families. 


One incident in Harlem history must forever stand out as 
indicative of the Tourneur characteristic, — the fight over the 
Stony Island meadows. In this memorable contest young Daniel 
Tourneur was the victor, after a running fight with Col. Morris 
extending over several years. His conquest, however, was only 
typical of the tenacity of his father, Daniel Tourneur, senior, who 
died before the issuance of the Dongan patent. 

The Tourneurs, it seems, had been victims of repeated per- 
secutions in France, and had been driven from home in the fruit- 
ful valley of the Somme in the wake of a relentless war. 


Subsequent incidents indicated that their flight was not un- 
accompanied by violence. In fact, Mr. Tourneur was repeatedly- 
accused of having killed a man, but it was shown that he, with 
others, was only acting in self defence. 

Leaving Picardy, Mr. Tourneur went to Leyden, and on 
September 5th, 1650, married Jacqueline Paresis. Two years 
later he sailed with his wife and infant son, Daniel, Jr. for New 
Netherland. Mr. Tourneur first lived in Flatbush, with many 
other refugees who later became famous in New Harlem. Here 
his military prestige served him in good stead, and he was made 
corporal of a company formed April 7th, 1654, for protection 
against marauders ; after which he moved to New Amsterdam 
and built a house on the Prince's Graft. On August 16th, 1660, 
six years before the first Nicolls patent, he was offered a magis- 
tracy at Harlem, but he probably continued doing business in 
New Amsterdam for some time, since in the following October 
he was made one of the "sworn butchers" (Riker, page 544). 

The next winter he put up a barn on his village plot at Har- 
lem, where he had already built a house, and whither his son re- 
moved, serving in the magistracy at various periods, and for 
several years as deputy sheriff. He was repeatedly chosen dea- 
con, besides which he was a delegate to the General Assembly of 
1664 and was also one of the Nicolls Patentees. 

Mr. Tourneur was an under sheriff when Jan Nagel wrote 
his remarkable protest to Mr. Verveelen. Mr. Tourneur recom- 
mended that the offender "be bound over to the Mayor's court as 
a rebel, on the charge of having refused to obey the charge of 
the constable." So many were involved in this discussion, and so 
numerous were the sympathizers of Mr. Nagel, that Nelis Mat- 
thyssen, a former magistrate, was asked to take the bench. Mr. 
Tourneur strongly protested. "Nelis is a rebel," shouted Tour- 
neur. Thereupon the carpenter summoned Mr. Tourneur to prove 
his accusation, and seemingly, he made good the charge, for 
Matthyssen was fined $2.40 and costs of suit. From this time 
forward Mr. Tourneur appears as the champion of the town, no 
matter what the dispute. In 1669 he fought Archer for the preser- 
vation to Harlem of the Spuyten Duyvil and Westchester 
meadows. In the same year, as magistrate, he was summoned to 
appraise the effects of Delavall's miller, Hage Bruynsen. Later in 
the same year he was appointed a commissioner for the Harlem 
district, together with Resolved Waldron, — their duties being to 
see that New York and Harlem be connected by a suitable road- 
way at the earliest possible moment. About this time Mr. Tour- 


neur's negro ran away, and the affair caused concern, even at the 
executive mansion. "Whereas," read Governor Lovelace's procla- 
mation, "there is lately a negro servant run away from his master's 
service and supposed to be gone your way toward New England, 
these are to require all persons within this government and to 
desire all others, if the said negro can be found within your 
liberties or precincts, that you forthwith seize upon and secure 
him, and cause him to be safely conveyed to this place, or to his 
master, Daniel Tourneur, at Harlem, upon this island. The 
Negro is big and tall, about 25 or 26 years old, and went away 
from his master four or five days since. Given under my hand 
at Fort James in New York, this 28th day of June, 1669. Francis 

Besides being a "sworn butcher," in 1670, Mr. Tourneur, to- 
gether with Resolved Waldron, was appointed an official "bran- 
der" for the town, the intention being to brand all cattle so that 
the villagers could be made responsible for stray animals. 

The details of the thrift by which Mr. Tourneur acquired 
his goodly fortune will possibly never be known, but various items 
in the town records indicate his continued and ever-increasing 
prosperity, as in an item brought to the attention of the town 
by Resolved Waldron, stating that the village owed Mr. Tour- 
neur 73 florins 16 stivers. This sum, equal to about $30, repre- 
sented a good many days' labor. 

After being mentioned in almost every town event of im- 
portance for the next two years, Mr. Tourneur's life closed on 
a remarkably successful career. Of him Riker says that he was 
"a man of generous instincts and of great energy, and to his tact 
and abilities the town owed much of its success." 

Mr. Tourneur left five children, all of whom married and left 
descendants. Daniel, the eldest son, was a magistrate, a Dongan 
patentee and a fighter like his father. Under Leisler he was made 
a lieutenant of militia. 


Everyone who has followed Mr. Johannes Verveelen's his- 
tory must admire the sterling courage of the early New Harlem 
ferryman. His ancestors were German, citizens of Cologne, 
whence his grandfather, Hans Verveelen, removed about 1610 
to Amsterdam, obviously to escape the oppressive policy directed 
against those of the reformed faith. 


Mr. Verveelen, the patentee, first comes to notice in the 
history of Harlem shortly after the ordinance of Governor Stuy- 
vesant calling for the establishment of a village for the further 
promotion of agriculture at the end of the island, that is, at 125th 
Street and First Avenue. Previous to this time he had been in the 
brewing business, in partnership with Isaac De Forest ; and so 
popular had he become in New York that when the ground was 
broken for the village of Harlem he was the natural choice for 
tapster, and "regaled the company with generous potions of his 
New Amsterdam beer." 

One clause in Governor Stuyvesant's ordinance read: 

Seventhly; for the better and greater portion of 
neighborly correspondence with the English of the North, 
the Director General and the Council will, at a more con- 
venient time, authorize a ferry and a suitable scow near 
the aforesaid village in order to convey over cattle and 
horses; and will favor the aforesaid village with a cattle 
and horse market. 

In this clause Mr. Verveelen saw an opportunity to combine 
the duties of the town host and official paddler. Accordingly, he 
petitioned for the franchise, and his request was granted. Mean- 
while he had identified himself with Harlem interests to such an 
extent that his name appears on the first petition for a little 
church at Harlem. The petition read : 

To the noble, very worshipful, their honors the 
Director-General and Council of New Netherland. 

Gentlemen : Your noble worships' petitioners, resi- 
dents of New Harlem, show with due reverence and sub- 
mission, that by their saving faith, obtained through hear- 
ing the gospel preached and taught, they too find them- 
selves, for the sake of their salvation, compelled 
conscientiously to promote with increased diligence and 
zeal whatever your noble worships' petitioners and com- 
missaries of this village have determined upon and un- 
dertaken for the maintaining of public worship and the 
outward means of grace, to the magnifying of God's 
name, the observance of His day of holy rest, and the 
up-building of the body of Jesus Christ. But having 
seen from sabbath day to sabbath day the small and in- 
significant success of the public gatherings, and believing 
confidently that everything relating to public worship 
may be brought in better train and all be more properly 
ordered, by the services of a salaried voorleser and school- 
master, to read God's word and edifying sermons, keep 
school, catechise and visit the sick, your noble worships' 


petitioners, appointed to attend to the public welfare 
and advantage of the said village, thought it proper, very 
timely and only their duty, to speak to the community 
about this matter, that they persuade Jean de la Mon- 
tagne, a resident of the said place, to undertake such ser- 
vices provisionally for the least possible salary, and then 
present themselves before your noble worships as pat- 
rons of the church of Jesus Christ with this humble and 
Christian petition, that your noble worships may please 
to consent both to the office and person before named, for 
the benefit of God's church and not less necessary teach- 
ing of the children. But perceiving their present in- 
ability and incapacity to give in the aforesaid case a full 
and proper salary, and not having been able to collect 
for his support more than 24 schepels of grain, they re- 
spectfully request your noble worships, that in their 
usual noble discretion your noble worships contribute 
something toward a decent salary and the greater en- 
couragement of your noble worships' very humble 
petitioners and God's subjects. 

Your noble worships' most dutiful petitioners and 
humble subjects, 

D. Tourneur, 
Johannes Verveelen, 
J. P. Slot. 
Done New Harlem, Dec. 25, 1663. 

Mr. Verveelen, it may be added, was so earnest in his effort 
to secure the voorleser for the village that he was made chairman 
of the committee to present this appeal to "their Noble Worships." 
Either the wording of the document or the worshipful way in 
which it was presented, or both, appealed to the Director General 
and Council, for within fifteen days this answer was returned: 

Received and read the foregoing request of the Com- 
missaries of New Harlem, and therewith heard the verbal 
statement of Sieur Johannes Verveelen, at present Com- 
missary there, that it is highly necessary that a person 
be appointed there as voorleser and schoolmaster; there- 
fore the Director-General and Council accept and ap- 
point thereto the proposed person, Johannes la Montagne, 
Junior, and in order that he may attend to these officers 
with greater diligence, to him shall be paid annually on 
account of the company, the sum of fifty guilders ($20) 
according to the state of the treasury. 

Soon after this successful diplomacy in behalf of religion 
Mr. Verveelen purchased, together with Daniel Tourneur and 


others, a consignment of negroes. For his servant Verveelen 
paid 445 florins ($198). Tourneur paid 465 florins for his negro. 
"These were probably," says Riker, "the first slaves owned at 
New Harlem." Shortly afterward, as if to keep religion and 
business well balanced, Messrs. Tourneur, Montagne and Vervee- 
len gave Governor Stuyvesant a little dinner that cost the town 
about $8.40. Here was discussed the advisability of attempting 
to build a New Harlem church. Over Verveelen's ale and good 
Virginia tobacco they determined to make a start, by laying out 
the Buyten Tuynen, or gardens, across Church Lane from the 
stockaded village site, these to be sold to actual Freeholders or 
residents at 25 guilders ($10) each. Anna Jaersvelt, now Mrs. 
Verveelen, was present on this occasion. 

When Mr. Delavall made his proposition to build a mill for 
New Harlem if the town would erect a suitable ordinary for the 
convenience of travelers, Mr. Verveelen agreed to take both the 
ferry and the ordinary for six years, in order to help the village 
to get its flour mill. He was formally sworn to provide proper 
entertainment for travelers, victuals, drink and lodging, etc., and 
further, not to tap liquor to the Indians who should resort to the 

Harlem was very grateful to Mr. Verveelen for his willing- 
ness to help her on this occasion, and out of gratitude gave him 
at his request an addition of six feet to his house lot next the 
street, "as he was cramped for room and must make convenience 
for his ordinary." Hence it was that the little inn, subsequently 
run by Mr. Kortright, extended six feet over the line of the Indian 
trail fence and the sign of mine host, patterned after that of the 
village tavern at Schoonrewoerd, could be read fully three blocks 
away from the village green. The establishment of the ferry 
gave new ambition to the village. Verveelen having fitted up his 
ordinary and provided boats for transportation, put his negro, 
Matthys, in charge, and found plenty of work to do in taking care 
of those who called for refreshment at the inn, or asked to be 
accommodated for the night, Daniel Tourneur, always a cham- 
pion of the right, at no matter what expense, now disturbed Mr. 
Verveelen's seemingly unalloyed happiness with the charge that 
Johannes Verveelen "did, on the 6th February, wickedly smuggle 
one half vat of good beer." Mr. Tourneur suggested that it 
would be a good plan to fine mine host 2,100 guilders ($840), for 
his "wicked smuggling." Mr. Verveelen, being a close observer 
of human nature, not only got around the line, but succeeded in 
having the excise laws set aside, in his particular case, for the 


period of a year. An excellent account of Mr. Verveelen's thrill- 
ing experiences at his post as ferryman in the hour of trial and 
danger may be found in Riker's history of Harlem. As has been 
seen, the 125th Street and Harlem River ferry proved imprac- 
ticable, because people would wade their horses and cattle across 
Spuyten Duyvil creek rather than pay Mr. Verveelen a few cents 
for ferrying them across where the water was deeper and the 
danger greater. Accordingly, the ferry was moved to Papparin- 
amin ("The Place Where the Stream is Shut"). "The public 
duties entrusted to Mr. Verveelen, and his long retention as ferry- 
master evidenced the favor in which he was held." 


Capt. Johannes Vermilye was the progenitor of all the Ver- 
milyes in America. His forefather, Count Stephen Vermigli, 
lived in Perugia, not far from Florence, some twenty-five years 
before Columbus discovered America. 

The New Harlem Vermilye's predecessor, awakened by the 
preaching of Savonarola, the Protestant Reformer, renounced the 
Roman Church, accepted the new faith, married a nun, and went 
to Holland, where his fame as a scholar had preceded him. There 
he was invited by Archbishop Cranmer to fill a professional chair 
at Oxford. Here he spent the later years of the reign of Henry 
VIII., of England, in compiling, in collaboration with Cranmer, 
the first Book of Common Prayer of the Reformed Church of 
England. When Bloody Mary succeeded Henry on the English 
throne, he was again obliged to flee for his life. He went to 
Zurich, in Switzerland, and remained there until Edward VI 
became King of England. 

Isaac Vermilye, father of the New Harlem Patentee, had little 
of the blood of his Italian ancestors in his veins at his birth in 
Leyden in the year 1632. 

Of his life and wanderings in his efforts to secure 
a permanent refugee from the bitter religious persecutions 
which those of his faith were compelled to undergo in the stormy 
years of the first half of the seventeenth century, no record re- 
mains. We only know that he was born and baptized in London 
in 1601 ; that he married a wife from Amsterdam in 1627; that he 
was living in Leyden in 1632, when his youngest son Johannes 


was born, and that he came to Harlem in 1662 and died there in 

As the records of the town of New Harlem and the re- 
ceipt for the family's passage money on the good ship which 
brought the family to America do not mention the name of his 
wife, it is quite certain that Isaac Vermilye was a widower when 
he reached New Harlem with his children. Johannes was about 
30 years of age when he arrived in New Harlem. In 1676 he 
married Aeltie, daughter of Resolved Waldron. 

Air. Vermilye was first made captain of the company of 
militia which was organized to defend the town of New Harlem 
from the Indians. Next he was elected constable, and subse- 
quently served several terms as a magistrate of the town. 

In his later years he became the friend and adviser of the 
unfortunate Governor Leisler, was a member of the latter's Com- 
mittee of Safety and of the Common Council of New Amsterdam 
under Leisler's Governorship, taking his seat in the Council on 
December nth, 1689. Shortly afterward he was sent by Leisler 
on an embassy to New Haven. He remained a member of Gov- 
Leisler's Council until a sudden end was put to that Governor's 
rule by the arrival in New York of Col. Slaughter, on March 
20th, 1691, by whose orders Leisler and his Council (Vermilye 
included) were committed on the charge of high treason. 

The execution of Leisler and Milbourne foreboded a similar 
fate for Johannes Vermilye, but after a period of painful sus- 
pense of over seventeen months, he and his fellow prisoners were 
liberated by Gov. Fletcher on his arrival and pardoned by the 
King, February 20th, 1693. Johannes Vermilye survived his 
trying ordeal only a short period, dying in 1696, leaving his widow 
and seven children, two sons and five daughters, surviving; two 
sons, Abraham and Jacob having died in infancy. 

Of the five daughters, the eldest, Rebecca, married Peter Bus- 
sing: Hannah married Jonathan Odell, who was one of the great- 
grandfathers of the present Governor of New York. Several 
of the patentee's descendants have occupied prominent positions 
in New York's financial and social affairs. 


Resolved Waldron, perhaps the most noted of the Harlem 
patentees, respected and beloved by all for his clear judgment, 
wide experience, and unvarying affability, came from English 


stock, of the time of William the Conqueror, but was born 
and raised at Amsterdam, and acquired many of the character- 
istics of the Hollanders ; in fact, so thoroughly Dutch was he 
in his leanings, that when the English conquered the province, 
he retired from New York to Harlem, in disgust. One reason 
for this, perhaps, rested in the fact that he was a great favorite 
with Governor Stuyvesant, to whose notice he had come shortly 
after his entry upon public service in New Amsterdam, in 1657. 
On April 17th of that year he was made an overseer of workmen. 
So conscientiously did he perform his duties, that the Director 
and Council, in the following year, appointed him Deputy to the 
Attorney-General, and the Burgomasters were ordered to recog- 
nize him as Deputy Sheriff. Mr. Waldron, with his English 
blood and Dutch training, was the kind of a man who would 
carry out an order to the letter. He was charged by the Quakers, 
some of whom he arrested, with being hard-hearted. But how 
his obedience must have appealed to Governor Stuyvesant, one 
may imagine who has read the story of Stuyvesant's constant 
insistence upon the enforcement of obedience. 

Mr. Waldron visited, upon public errands, every part of the 
province, and even the neighboring colonies; and, in 1659, was 
sent to Maryland to vindicate the Dutch title on the Delaware. The 
next year the Directors in Holland would have made Waldron 
Sheriff of the towns on Long Island, had it not been for the 
Governor, who insisted that he could not spare him. 

"Respecting the person, Resolved Waldron," said the Gov- 
ernor, "we may be permitted to remark, that when appointed as a 
deputy to the fiscael and as schout-by-nacht in this city, he con- 
ducted himself with so much fidelity and vigilance, that he gave 
to us and the magistrates great satisfaction, so that his services, 
both as respects the company and the fiscael, can hardly be dis- 
pensed with." 

So the Governor was permitted to retain his favorite officer 
until the arrival of the English, on which occasion, says Riker, 
Waldron took the oath of allegiance (October, 1664), but re- 
tired to private life at Harlem, with all the disappointments of 
one whose interests, as well as sympathies, lay with the former 

The withdrawal of the Dutch soldiers from Harlem, — most 
of these, at the surrender, returning to Holland, — and the abrupt 
departure of others, gave an air of desertion to the village ; but 
into this breach Waldron now stepped, with the assurance of one 
thoroughlv familiar with governmental affairs and with the man- 

3° 6 


agement, not only of New Amsterdam, but of the various colonies 
along the coast. Stern, resolute, unbending, yet tender-hearted 
withal, Mr. Waldron helped to mould the affairs of the little 
village with the master-hand of one who felt well qualified for 
the position at New Harlem's helm. 




At the beginning of the Eighteenth Century the little isolated 
community of New Harlem consisted of half a hundred homes. 
The fear of race suicide, which 200 years later was to be seriously 
discussed by their descendants, had not yet entered the domestic 
or political problems of these more primitive times. The small 
two-story Dutch homes generally sheltered each a half-score or 
more of sturdy youngsters. "Intermarriage," says Riker, "among 
the resident families was the rule, and he was thought a bold swain 
truly who ventured beyond the pale of the community to woo a 

This simple, natural practice of marrying among neighbors 
was fraught with consequences not to be foreseen by the 40,000 
descendants of the thirty families who constituted the village of 
New Harlem two centuries ago. As a matter of fact, all, or very 
nearly all, of those who to-day bear the names of the twenty-three 
original patentees of New Harlem, and the seven or eight hun- 
dred others of different surnames who later married into these 
families, are knit together by ties of kinship of which few are at 
present aware. 

The children and grandchildren of the patentees were nearly 
all cousins. Some two hundred and fifty or three hundred chil- 
dren and grandchildren of the original settlers were all closely 
bound by ties of blood relationship. Fifty years after the village 
was settled, or about the end of the first quarter of the eighteenth 
century, there was scarcely one of the families of the patentees 
that was not related to every other of the twenty-five or thirty 
families that first settled the village. 

Of Resolved Waldron's four daughters, Altie married Jo- 
hannes Vermilye ; Rebecca married first Jan Nagel and afterwards 
Jan Dyckman ; Ruth married first Jan Delamater and afterwards 
Hendrick Bogert ; Cornelia married Peter Oblinus, and their 
brother Johannes married Anna Von Dolsen. These marriages 
resulted in the binding by ties of close kinship the seven families, 
of Waldron, Nagel, Dyckman, Vermilye, Oblinus, Delamater and 

This was but the beginning of a series of marriages between 
cousins, which in two or three generations resulted in welding 
closely together all or nearly all the families of the original 
settlers. Of the 40,000 or more descendants of these families 


now living, nearly all are cousins, not further removed than the 
fourth degree. 

The following list of intermarriages of the children of the 
patentees may interest some of their descendants : Of the Bussing 
family, Arent Harmanse Bussing, the patentee, married Susan 
the daughter of Jan Delamater. His son Peter married Rebecca, 
daughter of Johannes (and Aeltie Waldron) Vermilye. John 
and Margaret Bussing married respectively a daughter and son of 
Cornelis Jansen Kortright. Elizabeth Bussing married Matthew 
Benson and Engeltie married Abraham Meyer. Of Peter Bus- 
sing and Rebecca Vermilye's four children, two married Bensons 
and two Meyers. 

Jan Dyckman married first, Madeline, the daughter of Daniel 
Tourneur, and after her death, as already mentioned, Rebecca 
Waldron, who was at the time of her second marriage the widow 
of Jan Nagel. 

Jan Dyckman's son Jan married his cousin Deborah Nagel, 
while his sister Magdalena married Deborah Nagel's brother, Jan 
Nagel 2d. Jacob Dyckman married Jannetie Kiersen ; Sarah mar- 
sister Rebecca, Joseph Hadley, and their daughter Mehitabel mar- 
ried her cousin Isaac Vermilye. 

Adolph Myer married Maria, the daughter of Johannes Ver- 
veelen, and their children married respectively into the Van Dol- 
sen, Benson, Bussing, Waldron, Lent and Haring families ; while 
their grandchildren married into the Dyckman, Waldron, Bussing, 
Delamater and Kortright families. 

Maria Vermilye, sister of Capt. Johannes, the patentee, be- 
came the wife of Jean De la Montagne, and her children married 
into the Bogert, Bussing and Kortright families, while Nicasius, 
the son of John de la Montagne by his first wife, married Chris- 
tina Roosevelt. 

Of Johannes Vermilye's daughters, besides 'Rebecca, who 
married Peter Bussing, Maria married Peter Kiersen ; Sarah mar- 
ried Teunis Van Dolsen and Hannah married Jonathan Odell, 
the great-great-grandfather of the present governor of New 
York ; and in the two following generations of the Odell and 
Vermilye families, and of the Dyckman family, there were no 
less than ten intermarriages of cousins belonging to the three 
families. Aeltie Vermilye, a granddaughter of Johannes and 
Aeltie Waldron, married John Kortright. 

Daniel Tourneur's children married into the Kortright, Ob- 
linus, Dyckman and DeVoe families, while his grandson Jacobus 
married a granddaughter of Laurens Jansen Low. 


In addition to the connection by marriage between the Ver- 
veelen and Meyer families, already noted, there is that established 
by the two grandchildren of the old ferryman, Johannes Vervee- 
len. Bernardus and Jacobus married, the one a Delamater and 
the other a Nagel. 

Jan Louwe Bogert's two daughters, Margaret and Cornelia, 
married a Haring and a Quackenbos respectively ; while his 
granddaughter Jannetie became a Waldron, and his great-grand- 
daughter Anna married Jacobus Roosevelt. 

Jan Nagel and Rebecca Waldron had a son Jan, who, as 
we have seen, married his cousin, Magdalena Dyckman ; another 
son, Barcut, who married Jannetie Kiersen ; and a daughter, 
Johannes, who became the wife of Wm. Waldron; while Sarah, 
their granddaughter, married Peter Oblinus, and her sister 
Deborah married Benjamin Waldron. 

Jan Hendricus Brevoort's grandson Hendricus married a 
Delamater; Wm. Haldron's grandson Cornells married Anetje 
Meyer, and Jan Kiersen's daughter Jannetje married Jacob Dyck- 

Joost Oblinus' daughter married Isaac Vermilye,' and his 
grandchildren married respectively into the Nagel, Tourneur and 
De Voe families. The children and grandchildren of Laurens 
Jansen Low intermarried with the Bogert, Delamater, Tourneur, 
Oblinus and Meyer families ; and those of Cornelis Jan Kort- 
right into the Dyckman, Benson, Bussing, Quackenbos, Dela- 
mater, Meyer and Vermilye families. 

The following is a summary of the estimated number in each 
family (including main line and branches) descended from the 
twenty-three Harlem patentees : 


Number of Estimated No. 

Descendants of Living 

Already Traced. Descendants. 

Main Line 59 

Branches 101 

Supplements 17 

Lane 33 

Marks 33 

Westervelt Banta 14 

Cowenhoven 14—257 1,500 


Main Line 164 

Branches 191 


Number of Estimated No. 

Descendants of Living 

Already Traced. Descendants. 

Supplements 92 

Quackenbos 165 

Brinckerhoff-Ouackenbos 56 

Leggett " 82 

DeForest " 107 

Lansing " 38 

Wynkoop " 121 

Haring 171 

Blauvelt-Haring 88 

Powless " 135 

Demarest " 44 

Firman 20 

Van Houten-Haring 96 

Van Houten 7 

DeBean-Haring 171 

Forshee " 34 

Hopkins " 48 

Roosevelt " 118 

Roosevelt " 100 


Van Antwerp 96 

Westervelt 131 — 2,281 4,500 


Main Line 55 

Branches JJ 

Supplements 68 

Slater 89 — 289 1,500 


Main Line 20 

Branches 90 

Supplements 19 — 129 £500 


Main Line 442 

Branches 377 

Supplements 285 

Pierce 201 

Lamreaux 88 

Brayman y^ 

Gilbert 58 


Number of Estimated No. 

Descendants of Living 

Already Traced. Descendants. 

Ostrander 57 

Jackson 66 

Newman 17 

Van Vredenburgh . 23 

Smith 30 

Low 8 

Stearns 47 

Van Gasbeek 151 

Bogert 133—2,056 7,000 

No Main Line. 

Bryant Supplements, Carteret Branch. . . 40 
Carteret Supplements 172 — 272 1,000 


Main Line 43 

Branches 31 

Supplements 19 

Hadley 165 

Stewart 198 

Meade-Stewart 38 

Smith 2.J — 521 1,000 


Main Line 14 

Branches 2 

Supplements o — 16 300 


Main Line 173 

Branches 53 

Supplements 12 

Sherman 52 

Holly 83 

Line 38 

Ransom 47 

Writer 53 — 511 1,500 


Main Line 55 

Branches 91 


Bodine 204 — 350 2,000 



Number of Estimated No. 

Descendants of Living 

Already Traced. Descendants. 

Main Line 123 

Branches 39 

Supplements 37 

Brower 20 — 219 1,000 


Main Line 23 

Branches 16 

Supplements 32 

Lent 125 

Randalll 55 

Backhous 12 

Campbell 41 — 304 1,500 


Main Line 25 

Branches 68 

Supplements 25 

Aerianse 247 

Ferdon 26 

Huyler 42 

Montanye 36 

Westervelt 44 

Demarest 39 

Quack. Aerianse 80 

Westervelt Aerianse 89 — 721 1,500 


Main Line 74 

Branches 54 

Supplements 45 

Van Orden 17 — 190 500 


Main Line 36 

DeVeaux Main Line 554 

DeVeaux Branches 593 

Supplements 165 

Disbrow 54 

Wight 175 


Number of Estimated No. 

Descendants of Living 

Already Traced. Descendants. 

Church 25 

Mabie 18 

Valentine 29 

Newman 85 

Strong 39 

Eaton 19 

Magee 20 

Brown 16 

Teller 34 — 1,862 3,000 


Main Line 62 

Branches 131 

Supplements 42 

Blanch 113 

Tallman 88 

Westervelt 37 

Ferdon 56 

Schuerman 1 56 — 694 2,000 


Main Line 371 

Branches 420 

Supplements 170 

Brown 38 

Hunt 46 

Shear 249 

Smith 35 

Teller 62 

Odell J2 — 1,463 3,000 


Main Line 557 

Branches 365 

Supplements 150 

Shaw 1 10 

Hopper 10 

Forker 60 

Hennion 37 

Woods 30 

Beckmen 150 


Number of Estimated No. 

Descendants of Living 

Already Traced. Descendants. 

Goodwin 10 

Campbell 47 

Mandeville 4 

Ostrander 33 

Henderson 19 

Byron 20 

Phillips 77 

Southwick 64 

Peterson 17 

Weiant 40 

Tipton 33 

Yarick 16 

McGuire 18 

Hoyt 12 

Yates 14 — 1,893 10,000 


The following is a list of the names of the original Harlem 
Patentees. All descendants are members of the Corporation, — 
the Town of New Harlem, — and, as such, interested in the Har- 
lem lands and properties : 

John Delavall, 

Resolved Waldron, 

Joost Van Oblinus [Oblinus], 

Daniel Tourneur, 

Adolph Meyer [Myer], 

John Spragge, 

Jan Hendricks Brevoort, 

Jan Delamater, 

Isaac Delamater, 

Barent Waldron, 

Johannes Yermilje [Vermilye], 

Lawrence Jansen [Low], 

Peter Van Oblinis [Oblenus], 

Jan Dykeman [Dyckman], 

Jan Nagel, 

Arent Harmanse [Bussing], 

Cornells Jansen [Kortright], 

Jacqueline Tourneur, 



Hester Delamater, 

Johannes Verveelen [Van Valen], 

William Haldron [Holdrum], 

Abraham Montanie [De La Montanye], 

Peter Parmentier. 

Jan Louwe Bogert. 

Johannes Benson. 

The following is an alphabetical list of the branches or 
names of those who have married into the families of the Pat- 
entees. Any descendants of the following named are members 
of the Corporation, — the Town of New Harlem, — and inter- 
ested in the Harlem lands through the female line of descent, 
having all the rights and privileges enjoyed by those of the 
male line who bear the names of the Patentees : 

George W. Abel, 
Thomas McKay Abell, 
John Abbott, 
Arie Ackerman, 
Theo. Ackermann, 
Garret Ackerson, 
James I. Anderson, 
Elisha Adams, 
Fred Adams, 
Hagon W. Adams, 
John M. Adams, 
William Adams, 
Elmer Adle, 
Isaac Adriance, 
Laverne Devilier Aiken, 
William Alberson, 

David Babcock, 
William L. Babcock, 
John Backhous, 
Jacob N. Bacon, 
Henry S. Badolet, 
Nathaniel Bailey, 
Reilly Baird, 
Abram P. Baker, 
O. A. Baker, 
William Baker, 
Willis Balden, 
Henry Baldridge, 
Orin Baldwin, 
Benjamin Banks, 
George Banner, 
Peter Banta, 
David Banta, 

Andries Albody 

(alias Anderson), 
G. W. Alger, 
William Allaion, 
Dr. Allen, 
George P. Allen, 
John Allen, 
Robert Allen, 
Rosevelt G. Allen, 
William Allen, 
Frank Allington, 
Howard Alpaugh, 
Daniel Amerman, 
David Anderson, 
James Anderson, 
John C. Z. Anderson, 


Joseph Betts, 
Samuel Beyea, 
John W. Bibbins, 
Horace Billows, 
Joseph H. Birdsall, 
Joshua Bishop, 
Edward B. Bissett, 
Eugene W. Bladgett, 
Samuel Blain, 
John Blank, 
Cornelius Blauvelt, 
Henry Blauvelt, 
Hubartus Blauvelt, 
Isaac Blauvelt, 
Jacobus Blauvelt, 
James Blauvelt, 
Nelson Blauvelt, 

John Anderson, 
Samuel Anthony, 
Fred R. Apgar. 
George S. Applegate, 
Abraham Archer, 
Benjamin Archer, 
GeresolveertArieyanse r 
Robert Armstrong, 
James W. Arrowsmith, 
A. G. Armour, 
Arthur E. Ashdown, 
George Ashmore, 
Jacob Atwater, 
Charles Atwood, 
Abraham Auchmoody r 
Shirley P. Austin. 

Montraville Bronson, 
James Brooks, 
Martin VanB. Brooks, 
Samuel Brooks, 
Charles Broot, 
Frank T. Brough, 
Cornelius T. Brouwer,. 
Abraham B rower, 
Theophilus Brower, 
John Brower, 
Henry Browers, Jr., 

Charles Brown, 
David Brown, 
Eavourt Brown, 
Eugene Brown, 
Frank B. Brown, 



Derek S. Banta, 
Hendrick J. Banta, 
John J. Banta. 
Peter Banta (Band), 
Peter Banta, 
Richard Barber, 
Johannes Barhyte, 
David Barkins. 
Everett M. Barkley, 
Rev.Edward F. Barlow, 
Charles P. Barnes, 
James Barnes, 
Willett Barnes, 
Edward Barr, 
Gerard M. Barretts, 
James H.Bartholomew, 
Elijah Barton, 
James Barton, 
Miles Oakley Basley, 
John Bass, 
Obadiah Beardsly, 
Rev. Seth W.Beardsley, 
James Beattie, 
Don Alonzo Beck, 
Martinus Becker, 
Martin Beekman, 
Adam Bell, 
Richard Bell, 
James S. Bellis, 
John P. Bender, 
John Benjamin, 
Nelson Benjamin, 
John D. Bennett, 
Adolph Benson, 
Benjamin Benson, 
Lawrence Benson, 
Matthew Benson, 
Samson Benson, 
William Gustavus 

William IT. Benton, 
Johannes Berck, 
Abram Bergh, 
B. H. Berkaw, 
Jacob Berrian, 
Nicholas Berrian, 
James Bertholf, 

Teunis Blauvelt, 
James Bleecker, 
Nathaniel Boardman, 
Thomas C. Bodine, 
Edward Bogert, 
Cornelius Bogert, 
Martin Bogert, 
David Boice, 
William Bolmer, 
David Bonnett, 
Seth Bonnett, 
Frank Boone, 
Cornelius Booraem, 
Irving D. Booth, 
John Booth, 
John Boots, 
Samuel G. Booz, 
Robert Bogardus, 
Ashel Bostwick, 
Stanley Bostwick, 
L. H. Bosworth, 
William Botorf, 
John D. Bough, 
Thomas Boughton, 
Charles W. Bouren, 
Thomas Bowie, 
Robert Boyle, 
Isaac M. Bradbury, 
William Bradbury, 
Harry Ellsworth 

Henry K. Bradley, 
Abraham Brasher, 
Derick Bratt, Jr., 
Francis Brazier, 
William Braymen, 
Roger Bresba, 
William Breath, 
Abraham L. Brenton, 
Henry Brevoort, 
George Brice, 
George F. Brickel, 
Walter Briggs, 
Stephen Brinkerhoff, 
Charles Astor Bristed, 
William B. Brogaine, 
Abram N. Bronk, 

Frederick Brown, 
George E. Brown, 
Hendrick Brown, 
Isaac Brown. 
Jacob Brown, 
James Brush, 
John H. Brush, 
Gerrit Bruyn, 
Alanson F. Bryant 
Henry E. Bryson, 
Sylvester Buchmour, 
Abel Buel, 
Charles Buell, 
Luther H. Buell, 
Benjamin S. Buhl, 
Alexander Bulen, 
Nathan Bull. 
William Bullis, 
Abram Bulson. 
John W. Bundy, 
Frank Bunting. 
Dr. Thomas B. Burd, 
Isaac Burgaw, 
Charles Burgdorf, 
Charles Burinells, 
William D. Burnett, 
Dr. ? Burnham, 
C. S. Burt. 
Valentine V. Burtis, 
John B. Burton, 
Henry Bush, 
Jeremiah Bush, 
Nelson Bush, 
Samuel A. Bussick, 
Aaron Bussing, 
Abraham Bussing, 
Arent Harmanis 

John Bussing, 
Peter Bussing, 
John Buys, 
Robert R. Byers, 
F. K. Byrkit, 
Edward Byrnes, 
George Byron, 

Tobias Cachlin. 
John Caden, 
E. H. Caldwell, 
Anthony Call, 
Benton Callard, 
Hendrick James 

Christian Cammel, 
Adolf W. Campbell, 
David F. Campbell, 

William Cheney, 
Stephen F. Cherrytree, 
Fred Chichester, 
Benssaler Chichester, 
Dr. Frank Childs, 
S. W. Childs, 
Joseph S. Choat, 
Jacob Cholwell, 
David Christie, 
Stephen Christie, 

Eugene A. Connor, 
Andrew J. Conselyea, 
John Conselyea, 
David Cook, 
William Cook, 
Jacob Cool, 
A. J. Cooley, 
Leonard Coonley, 
Frederick W. Coollidge, 
Daniel Coon, 



David F. Campbell, 
George V. Campbell, 
Dr. John R. Campbell, 
Dr. John W. Campbell, 
Lucas Campbell, 
Peter D. Campbell, 
Robert Campbell, 
Thomas Campbell, 
William Campbell, 
William D. Campbell, 
William H. Canfield, 
Dr. James S. Cannon, 
Abraham Cantein, 
Daniel Cantine, 
Charles R. Capps, 
Joseph Carle, 
James L. Carisle, 
Simon Carlock, 
Isaac Carmen, 
George Carpenter, 
P. H. Carpenter, 
James Carteret, 
Charles Carson, 
John Carwright, 
Robert Case, 
Ashbill R. Catlin, 
James H. Caulkins, 
Edwin B. Chamberlain, 
Volney Chapin, Jr., 
William Chappell, 
Martin Chase, 

John Chrystie, 
DeWitt C. Church, 
L. M. Churchwell, 
John J. Cisco, 
Thomas Clancy, 
Benjamin Clapp, 
Cornelius Clark, 
Daniel D. Clark, 
John G. Clark, 
Moses Clark, 
Nathan E. Clark, 
Patrick Clark, 
Thomas J. Clark, 
Thomas Clark, 
Gerardus Clarke, 
David J. Claus, 
Walter C. Cocheron, 


Hiram Coddington, 
Thomas Codington, 
John Coe, 
Isaac Cole, 
Peter W. Cole, 
George Coldwell, 
Philetus Coleman, 
William Colwell, 
Winneld S. Colwell. 
Frederick K. Condict, 
Daniel M. Conklin, 
Matthew Conklin, 
Stephen Conklin, 

James Davidson, 
William Darvall, 
John Davenport, 
Silas David, 
Jabez H. Davis, 
Dr. James Davis, 
Lyman H. Davis, 
Jefferson Davidson, 
Samuel Davidson, 
Albrid M. Davis, 
Hugh M. Davis, 
Senall S. Davis, 
Albert L. Dawson, 
Edward Dawson, 
John Dawson, 
Isaac Day, 

John Q. Adams Day, 
Orsimus D. Day, 
Capt. Joseph P. Dean, 
Moses Dean, 
Isaac De Baun, 
Zena De Bevoise, 
Charles Debost, 
John L. Decker, 
Stephen De Clark, 
Derick De Clerck, 


Peter Delamater, 
J. Henry Dellicker, 
Christian De Marer, 
Ira Demarest, 
Joseph Demarest, 
Peter Demarest, 
Samuel Demarest, M.D. 
Nicholas D. Demarest, 
Jacob Demmerest, 
William I. Denglar, 
Joseph Dennis, 
R. W. Dennis, 
Dr. Daniel Dennison, 
Henry M. Denton, 
Chester De Puy, 
John Derby, 
John Derbyshire, 
David De Voe, 
John De Voe, 
Joseph De Voe, 
David Devoor, 
John De Voor, 
Charles Dewitt, 
Cornelius De Witt, 
Daniel Dexter, 
Elias Dexter, 

Benjamin Cope, 
Robert Hamilton 

Sidney Corbett, 
John Corrie, 
Andrew Corsa, 
Charles Corsa, 
Aren Cortright, 
Samuel Corum, 
Henry B. Corwin, 
John Cory, 
Samuel Cosgrove, 
George L. Cottle, 
John Cowenhoven, 
John C. Covert, 
John Cox, 
Thomas Cox, 
Aaron G. Crane, 
Thomas S. Crane, 
Edgar Cranson, 
Daniel Crassman, 
James Creed, 
Samuel Crieger, 
Charles D. Crittenden,. 
William J. Crolins, 
James M. Cross, 
Shubel Cross, 
Nicholas Cruger, 
James J. Crum, 
Samuel D. Crumb, 
W. W. Cutshall, 

John Doble, 

F. B. Dodds, 
John Doe, 

William Donaldson,. 
John J. Doolittle, 
Fernando Dor, 
George Doremus, 
C. R. Doughty, 
Eugene Doughly, 
Thomas Doughty, 
John Dove, 

G. Downing, 
Francis W. Downs, 


Nelson H. Drake.M.D. 
James H. Dresser, 
Ephraim Dubois, 
James Duboise, 
Conrad Du Boys, 

F. M. Duckwity, 
Alonzo Douglass, 
Abraham Dumont, 
Claude Duncan, 
N. B. Duncan, 
George B. Dunfee, 
William Dunlap, 



Elbert Degraff, 
Elias De Grush, Jr., 
Peter V. De Hart, 
Daniel De Klerck, 
Abraham Delamater, 
Bradley M. Delamater, 
Capt. Isaac Delamater, 
Jacob Delamater, 

Charles Earle, 
Thomas Eckerson, 
Ulyses D. Eddy, 
Daniel Edge, 
Samuel Edgerton, 
John Edmonds, 
W. I. Edson, 
James Edward, 
Anthony Edwards, 
George W. Elder, 
Dr. John A. Elkinton, 
George W. Ellison, 

Dr. Daniel Deyo, 
Charles Dickenson, 
Christian Diemer, 
John G. Dietz, 
Philip Dietz, 
Joseph Dillentash, 
Felix V. Dillon, 
George R. Dingee, 
Burton C. Dinius, 


James Ellsworth, 
John S. Ellwood, 
Jacob Elmendorf, 
Jan Elmendorph, 
Matthew Elmendorf, 
William Elting, 
John Elwell, 
Charles R. Ely, 
Cornelius Emans, 
Romeo Emerson, 
Abijah Emmerson, 
William Enderby, Jr. 

Benjamin Dunning, 
Jacob Dunton, 
John Durj^ee, 
James Dutcher, 
Frederick Dyckman, 
Jacob Dyckman, Jr., 
John Dykeman, 
John (Johannes) 


Johannis Enderson, 
Joseph G. Enright, 
John Erving, 
Edward Esler, 
Jacob E. Etzell, 
James M. Everhart, 
J. B. Evans, 
George W. Evens, 
Alexander Exceen, 
John C. Ten Eyck, 
Henry Fanning, 
S. B. Fares, 

John C. Farrington, 
James C. Faulkner, 
Peter Felen, 
Jacob Felter, 
Warren Felter, 
William Felter, 
William F. Fetters, 
William P. Felter, 
Nicholas Few, 
Benjamin Finch, 
Joseph Fink, 
Benjamin Fisher, 
Benjamin Flanders, 
William Flandrean, 

Joseph Flannagan, 
William L. Flanngan, 
Jacob Flecrboom, 
Joseph Fletcher, 
Alexander Forbes, 
Capt. Forbes, 
Charles D. Forbush, 
George Forker, 
John Foshay, 
Charles Fostor, 
Edward Foulkes, 
John Fountain, 
Charles Fowler, 

George Fowler, 
John Fowler, 
Milan Fowler, 
Wilson L. Fox, 
William G. Frear, 
Abraham Freelon, 
Harry T. Freeman, 
Ephreum Frost, 
Abraham Fulper, 
John C. Fuller, 
William H. Furman, 
Henry Fyren, 

Robert Galbraith, 
Andrew Gale, 
Hiram L. Gale, 
David Galentine, 
Francis D. Gallatin, 
John R. Gamble, 
Joel Ganung, 
William B. Ganson, 
Jacob Gardener, 
Barent Gardenier, 
John Gardner, 
Tobias L Garner, 
Ephraim P. Garrison, 
Gilbert Garrison, 
Jacob I. Garrison, 
Elanathen Gates, 
Samuel Gautier, 

William George, 
Jacob Gerritsen, 
H. D. Gibbs, 
Charles Gilbert, 
Charles E. Gilbert, 
John Gilbert, 
William Gilbert, 
Harvey C. Gilchist, 
James Gillespie, 
John Goetcher, 
"George W. Goetchins, 
Benjamin Goewey, 
David Godwin, 
Louis J. Goldsmith, 
Henry Goodwin, 
Jame Gorden, 
Nicholas Gouverneur, 

John Gray, 
Rev. William Gray, 
Dr. James Green, 
Jonas Green, 
John A. Green, 
Stephen Green, 
John Greenfield, 
John E. Greenleaf, 
William Gresimer, 
Austin Grey, 
George F. Griffin, 
George Groora, 
Joseph Grosvenor, 
George S. Guinnison, 
I. Voorhees Gulick, 
William R. Gulick, 
Henry Guliger, 



Sewell Gawer, 
Peter Gendron, 
Nicholas Groesbeck, 
Daniel George, 
Robert George, 

Francis Hagerman, 
Samuel J. Hake, 
Alonzo Hale, 


Andrew Hall, 
Charles Hall, 
Rev. E. C. Hall, 
John T. Hall, 
James M. Halleck, 
Jacob Hallenbeck, 
Samuel J. Hallet, 
Cornelius Hallida}', 
Jacob Ham, 
Joseph R. Hamer, 
Charles S. Hamilton, 
Edward Hamilton, 
Horace Hamilton, 
Warren Hamilton, 
G. A. Hamlin, 
John Wells Hammon, 
Jacob Dewitt 

Wilfred B. Hanmore, 
Henry Harden, 
Abraham Haring, 
Abram Haring, 
Frederick Haring, 
Nicholas Haring, 
Peter D. Haring, 
Samuel Haring, 
John B. Harned, 
John Hendrick Harper, 
Joseph Harrington, 
Benjamin Harris, 
George B. Harris, 
John Harris, 
Thomas Harris, 
William H. Harris, 
Morris Harrison, 
Marshall B. Hart, 
James Hartell, 
Jacob Harter(Herder), 

David Graner, 
Bradley F. Granger, 
Roswell Granger, 
John Graves, 
William Graves, 


William Harven, 
John Harvey, 
Dr. Charles Hasbrouck, 
Tobias Hasbrouck, 
William H. Hasson, 
Henry Havell, 
Sylvanus Haverly, 
Henry O. Havermeyer, 
Charles A. Haviland, 
De Witt C. Hays, 
William Hazelton, 
Charles W. Heafford, 
John W. Heck, 
Jde Heimion, 
Henry A. Hemstreet, 
James M. Henderson, 
W. Henderson, 
Oblenus Hendricks, 
H. Heniques, 
Nicholas Hennison, 
Joseph Henry, 
George A. Herzer, 
Capt. John Heyliger, 
James Hiatt, 
Thomas Hiatt, 
Henry Hickman, 
David Stafford Hickox, 
Hon. Whitehead Hicks, 
William C. Hicks, 
Joseph H. Higgins, 
William F. Higgins, 
Henry C. Higginson, 
Edwin Higley, 
William H. Hildreth, 
John Thomas Hill, 
Allen Hilliker, 
James Hilliker, 
Edward Hinch, 
John Hinchman, 
Jacob Hinds, 
Abel Hine, 
Patrick Hine, 
D. S. Hines, 

John Bath Gully, 
William B. Gundrey, 
Patrick Gunn, 
Lewis Guyon, 
Reuben Gypson, 

John Hitchen, 
Noell Hitchkock, 
John Hoever, 
John Hofford, 
William Hogland, 
John Holbert, 
Sinas Holland, 
George Holmes, 
John Holmes, 
John Hoogland, 
Wilhelmus Hoogteling, 
Jeremias Hoogtelingh, 
Emanuel Hoover, 
John Hopper, 
Yellies Hopper, 
Samuel Hopping, 
Harvey Horton, 
Henry R. Horton, 
Melvin Horton, 
George Houghtaling, 
Samuel B. House, 
John Howard, 
Walter Howard, 
M. W. G. Howell, 
John Howlett, 
Charles Hoyt, 
Edgar Hoyt, 
Captain Eunis Hoyt, 
William P. Hubbard, 
Robert Brick Hudson, 
Isaac Huff, 
Ely Hull, 
Robert Hull, 
William Humes, 
Benjamin Humphrey, 
David Humphrey, 
Frederick A. Humphry, 
James Hunt, 
Charles Hurd, 
Smith Hurlbut, 
J. Hutchinson, 
Millard Hyatt, 
William Hyer, 

Hiram W. Ingersoll, James Iseman, 
Smuel Dana Ingraham, Isaac Iselstein, 
Charles N. Ironsides, John Ives, 

Ralph O. Ives, 

W J 

Jabez Jackson, 

Hon. Nathaniel Jarivs, Edward Johnson, 
Thomas Jenkins, George Johnson, 



James K. A. Jackson, 
Jacob B. Jackson, 
Joseph Jackson, 
William Jackson, 
Frank Jacobs, 
Egbert Jansen, 
Daniel Jarvis, 
Elias Jarvis, 

Lemuel S. Jenks, 
Thomas Jennings, 
Nicholas Jerolamen, 
Abram B. Jersey, 
Winfred Jersey, 
Edward H. Jessup, 
John Jewell, 
David Johnson, 

Jacob J. Johnson, 
Tonathan Johnson, 
Dr. W. R. Johnson, 
Rev. Josiah Johnston, 
William Johnston, 
Andrew Jones, 
John D. Jones, 
Samuel Jones, 

Pierre C. Kane, 
A. Kauterman, 
David Kay, 
Hamilton M. Keefe, 
William F. Keeler, 
Joseph Keeley, 
Murray L. Kellogg, 
John Kennedy, 
David Kent, 
John Kent, 
Patterson Kerr, 
W r illiam Ketcham, 
John Keyes, 
Aldert Kiersted, 
John S. Killman, 



Charles F. King, 
Ruful P. King, 
J. W. Kingsley, 
Clalon P. Kinna, 
R. M. Kinnear, 
G. L. Kinney, 
Joseph D. Kinney, 
Win Kinney, 
Maurice Kinsey, 
David S. Kirkpatrick, 
Joseph Kissam, 
Mouris Klaerwater, 


Freeborn Knapp, 

Henry J. Knapp, 
Moses L. Knapp, 
Reuben Knapp, 
Isaac Knight, 
William Knight, 
James I. Knowlton, 
Thomas Knox, 
Barent Kool, 
Jan Kool, 

Lawrence Kortright,. 
Walter Kraft, 
Reuben C. Kraig, 
William Krelsel, 
Frazure Krips, 
Gysbert Krom, 

George A. La Bar, 
Hueston Labaw, 
David LaFontaine, 
John Lake, 
Abraham D. Lamb, 
Conrad Lamberte, 
Rufus Lamereaux, 
Ira Lampson, 
Rev. William Lamson, 
William F. Landrine, 
John J. Lang, 


Augustus Lasher, 


Daniel Lawrence, 
Oscar Lawrence, 
P. Lawrence, 
Tobias Lawrence, 
David Lawton, 
James Leach, 
Leonard Leah, 
Benjamin Leak, 
Jermima Leary, 
George Le Baron, 


Moses Le Count, 
Dr. Charles Lee, 
John D. Lemngwell, 
John Leggett, 
John Leggett, Jr. 
Samuel Legrange, 
Thomas A. Lennox, 
Abraham Lent, 
Charles Lester, 
Elija T. Lewis, 
John Lewis, 
Abraham Leydecker, 
Albert Leydecker, 
Benjamin Lightbourne, 
Oscar L. Lincoln, 
William N. Lindmark, 
Orlando Lines, 
George J. Linkletter, 
Richard H. Lippincott, 
L. K. Lippman, 
Samuel L. Liscomb, 
Lewis Litchfield, 
Theron N. Little, 
Daniel Livingston, 


David D. Mever, 
of Fishkill, 

John Lockhart, 
Levy Lockling, 
Alva Lockwood, 
Frederick W. Loew, 
George Lombard, 
Derick Looten, 
Remy Lorreaux, 
John Lott, 
Willett Lounsbury, 
Jacob Lovejoy, 
Albert Low, 
Cornelius Low, 
David Low, 
John Low, 
William Lowry, 
Peter Lozier (Lishier),. 
William Lozier, 
William W. Lu, Jr., 
Thomas P. Lushbauglv 
Dr. William T. Lusk, 
Joshua G. Lute, 
Cornelius Lydecker, 
Ryck Lydecker, 
Joseph Lyman, 

George Mackey, 

Renssaerelville, N.Y.John Meyer, 
Charles S. Macey, M.D.Peter Meyer, 
Henry Madden, Joris Middagh, 

Jonathan Morey, 
James Morgan, 
Joseph S. Morgan, 
Elisha Morrell, 
John Morrell, 



Adolph Magra, 
Joseph Mand, 
James J. M. Mandeville, 
Matthew Mandeville, 
Henry N. Mann, 
Jacob Peter Manselle, 
Samson Marks, 
James Marr (or) Man, 
John H. Marrs, 

Marsh (son of 

Rev. Cyrus of Conn.), 
S. T. Marsh, Jr. 
George Marshall, 
Henry Marshall, 
William J. Mason, 
David A. Masterson, 
Dr. Rodney Mattheus, 
Charles W. Maxwell, 
Thomas Maybee, 
Jacob Mayer, 
William Mayes, 
John Medford, 
Daniel Megie, 
Joseph Megranigle, 
George H. Melville, 
Jacob Melvin, 
Albert A. Meras, 
Calvin Merey, 
Charles Merey, 
Edwin Merrill, 
Peter Merseles, 
Charles Mescroll, 
Philip Mescroll, 
Aaron Meyer, 
Abraham Meyer, 
Abraham Meyer, 
Jacob Meyer, 

Reynier Nack, 
Herbert Nagel, 
Abraham Nagle, 
Joseph Napier, 
E. R. Nash, 
Andrew Naudin 

Byron S. Nelson, 

Frederick Mienerssen, 
Daniel C. Millard, 
Rev. Philip Milledoler, 
Andrew Miller, 
Benjamin Miller, 
Henry Miller, 
James Miller, 
James Madison Miller, 
Putnam Miller, 
Frances L. Mills, 
Joseph Mills, 
Joseph Mitchell, 
David Molenar, 
Charles G. Moller, 
Hon. James Monroe, 
Henry Montagne, 
John M. Montanye, 
Teunis de la Montanye. 
George Monteath, 
Abraham Montfort, 
Jacob Montfort, 
Peter Montfort, 
Thomas Montgomery, 


Edward Moore, 
George F. Moore, 
George T. Moore, 
James H. L. Moore, 
J. P. Moore, 
Theodore Moore, 
Capt. William Moore, 
Smith Moorehouse, 
James Moran, 
Jacob More, 
John I. Moore, 
Joseph More, 
Joseph Moreau, 


Joseph Nelson, 
Thomas Nevill, 
Irving Newcomb, 
Joshua Newman, 

Stamford, Conn. 
Elias Nexsen, 
John Nichols, 
Garrit M. Newkirk, 

Melvin Morris, 
Alexander Morrison, 
George W. Morton, 
John Mosher, 
Elisha Moss, 
Barton Mott, 
Henry Mott, 
Adrian Moufort, 
William W. Moulton, 
Gilbert A. Munson, 


John J. Murray, 
Mahlen S. Murray, 
Abram Musch, 


John Myer, Jr., 
Joseph S. Myers, 
William McConnell, 
Fred MacClaverly, 
Nathaniel L.McCready, 
John McCullagh, 
George McCullough, 
G. W. McDowell, 
Patrick McDowell, 
Thomas McDowell, 
Willis McDowell, 
Capt. Martin McEvoy, 
William McGee, 
Andrew McGowan, 
Capt. Daniel McGowan, 
Archibald McGuire, 
Joseph McGure, 
William Mcintosh, 
John McLean, 
John McLeod, 
Alexander McPherson, 

John H. Nilley, 
Salmon Noble, 
John Norris, 
Dr. James Northrop, 
Albert S. Norton, 
Thomas Nottingham, 
Ebenezer N. Nuttman, 

Henry Odell, 
Isaac Odell, 
John Odell, 
Philip Odell, 
C. C. Olney, 


M. J. O'Riley, 

Horatio Orr, 

Christopher Osborne, 

William D. Osborne, 

William Rose Osborne, Fred Outcault, 

Everet Ostrander, 
Petrus G. Ostrander, 
Charles Osterhout, 
Jesse Oothout, 

Abner Palmer, 
J. W. Palmer, 

Abraham Persel, 
Samuel T. Peters, 

John A. Piatt, 
Abraham Polhemus, 



Peter Palscraff, 
Peter Parcells, 
William Parish, 
Elisha Parker, 
Solomon Parker, 
Joseph S. Parks, 
William R. Parks, 
William E. Parrey, 
William Parsel, 
Harold W. Patterson, 
Dr. Josiah Patterson, 
Jacob Paulisse, 
Clifton Payne, 


George Peck. 
William T. Peck, 
Cornelius Peek, 
William Peell, 
Samson Pels (Pelts), 
or Simson), 
Lt. John Bard 

Frederick W. Penney, 
Johnathan Penny, 
Peter Pennock, 
R. W. Perkins, 
Hugh Perry, 

Charles J. Peterson, 
Cornelius Peterson, 
James Peterson, 
Nicholas Peterson, 
William Peterson, 
Hendrick Pettinger, 
J. B. Pfort. 
Barney Philips, 
Capt. David Philips, 
Noah Philips, 
John L. Phyfe, 

George E. Pickett, 
John C. A. Pickett, 
Lewis F. Pickett, 
Daniel Pierce, 
John Pierce (Pearce), 
Henry Pierson, 
Robert P. Pierson, 
Andries Pieterse, 
Klass Pieterse, 
Ashar Pike, 
Janie Pine, 


Robert L. Pirsson, 
Robert Pitcher, 

John M. Polhemus, 
Richard B. Pollard, 
Charles M. Polley, 
John Poole, 
Townsend Poole, 
Charles Porter, 
Horace Porter, Jr., 
Russel Porter, 
Samuel N. Porter, 
Abraham Post, 
Hendrick Post, 
Samuel Post, 
Isaac Potter, 
Frederick A. Potts, 
George Potts, 
W. Rockhill Potts, 
Thomas Powell, 
Charles Pratt, 
Jacob H. Pratt, 
Thomas F. Pruden, 
Oliver Puff, 
Warren Purrington, 
Israel Purviance, 
Alfred E. Putnam, 
Joseph Putney, 
Frederick Pyer, 


Adrian Quackenbos, Reyner Quackenbush, William Quackenbush, 
Cornelius Quackenbos, Jacob Quick, Edward Quyer, 

John Quackenbush, Teunis Quackenbush, 

John Ramsey, 
Jonathan Randall, 
Prof. Louis C. Rauch, 
Robert Ray, 
Harry Raynor, 
Abel S. Reed, 
Leonard Reed, 
Thomas L. Reese, 
Richard J. Reeves, 
Benjamin Reid, 
James Reid, 
Abraham Relay, 
George Renaud, 
Herbert Renville, 
Edward Isbine 

James Renwick, LL.D., 
Abram Rapelye, 
Richard Rapelye, 
William Rhinelander, 
Joseph Rhoads, 
Ira A. Rhodes, 
Capt. Amos Rice, 
Abraham B. Rich, 

Lindsay J. Riggins, 
Edward Riker, 
John Riker, 
John H. Riker, 
Matthias Riker 

Peter D. Riker, 
Daniel Riley, 
George Riley, 
James Riley, 
Michael Riley, 
William Riley, 
Emmett P. Rinnsey, 
John Riter, 
Jeremiah Roat, 
Caleb Robbins, 
William W. Robbins, 
Thomas M. Robertson, 
James Robinson, 
John Robinson, 
Luther Roblee, 
Benjamin R. Robson, 

? Rockenstyne, 
Starr Rockwell, 

George Lewis Rogers, 
Dr. Joseph Rodgers, 
Stephen Rogers, 
Johannes Rogers, 
Samuel Rogers, 
William Rogers, 
William Rolsten, 
John Rome 

(Hanse Romer,) 
William P. Roome, 
Isaac Roosa, 
Petrus P. Roosa, 
John H. Roschans, 
Milton Rose, 
William Rose, 
Solomon C. Rowe, 
A. Millo Russell, 
Charles Russell, 
David Russel, 
Richard Ryal, 
William H. Ryan, 
Philip Ryckman, 
Frederick A. Ryer, 
Theunis Ryer, 



Abraham Rich, William Rodgers, 
Phineas Rich, Franklin Roe, 
A. T. Richards, Gusta Roem, 
Thomas C. Richardson, Rogers, 

George L. Ryerson, 
Abraham Ryken, 
Gerardus Ryker, 

Silas B. Safford 

Samuel Salisbury, 
Edward Salyer, 
Joseph Sammis, 
Jacob Sammon, 
William Sandallan, 
Albert G. Sandford, 
Obadiah Sands, 
John Sanxay, 
John H. Saums, 
John Saunders, 
Henry Savage, 
Joseph W. Savage, 
Judson C. Sayer, 
Charles E. Scarlett, 
David P: Schamp, 
Peter Clover Schenck, 
Dirck Schepnoes, 
John Schepnoes* 
Peter Schermerhorn, 
Samuel Schermerhorn, 
Benjamin Schoed, 
John Schoonmaker, 
Luther Schoonmaker, 
Louis Schroeder, 
Jeremiah Schureman, 
Henry Schwad, 
Alonzo Schwartz, 
Aaron Scott, 
George Scott, 
Bjljop B. Seaman, 
Charles B. Seaman, 
George E. Seamon, 
William Seaman, 
William Seamon, 
Samuel Secor, 
William. EMery 

Marcus. T. Seeler, 
Samuel Seely, 
Frank Selkirk, 
Mitchell Sellars, 
James Sergeant, 
John G. Serviss, 
Robert Seyler, 
John Sharp, 
Peter Sharp, 
Peter Shaver, 
Henry Shaw, 
William Shaw, 
Lt. Col. Thomas Shea, 
Emory K. Sheak, 

Henry Sherman, 
Ricard P. Sherman, 
Jonathan Sherwood, 
Wesley Sherwood, 
Bernard Shields, 
James Shonnard, 
Capt. Luke Shourd, 


Dr. John S. Shuler, 
James Duane Shuler, 
D. N, Shull, 
Peter Shulters, 
Johannes Sickles, 
John S. Sickles, 
John Sickles, 
Thomas Sickles, 
Zacariah Sickles, 
Lafayette Silliman, 
Rev. Charles E. 

George H. Simpson, 
John Sinical, 
Ramson Sisson, 
Sylvester D. Skelton, 
David Skidgell, 
Isaac Skidgell, 
Thomas Slartle, 
Elias Slater, 
Alonzo L. Slawson, 
Arthur Sleight, 
Henry Sleight, 
Stephen Sleight, 
Tunis Sleight, 
Harvey A. Sloane, 
Josiah R. Sloat, 
William Sloe, 
John Van Slyke, 
Abraham Smith, 
Albert M. Smith, 
Arthur Smith, 
Cornelius Smith, 
Rev. Ebenezer Smith, 
Edward Smith, 
Edward A. W. Smith, 
Eugene Smith, 
Henry J. Smith, 
James Smith, 
Jonathan Smith, 
Justis Smith, 
Lewis Smith, 
Garret Snediker, 
Piatt M. Snyder, 
Rev. John A. Soben, 

Thomas Sowers, 
John B. Sowle, 
Gilbert R. Spalding, 
William Sperrey, 


Johannes Springsteed, 
William W. Springsteed, 
Carleton Spurr, 
Frans Spurys, 

John Stillwagon, 
Abraham Stagg, 
Charles Stair, 
John, Stanton, 
Richard Stayley, 
Amory Stearns, 
John Stegg, 
Edmund Stephens, 
Thomas Stephens, 


Hendrick Stevenson, 
Stephanus Stevenson, 
Charles W. Stewart, 
Byron H. Stickney, 
Abraham Storm, 
Thomas Storm, 
Thomas Stoughton, 
Benjamin Stout, Jr., 
Benjamin Stout, Jr.,(?) 
Henry Stoutenburgh, 
Jacobus Stoutenberg, 
John H. Stotthuff, 
William Strachan, 
Henry Straight, 

John Straight, 
Freeman Strait, 
William Stratton, 
William Struby, 
Peter Stryker, 
Henry A. Stults, 
Isaac R. Stures, 
John Sturgis, 
Stephen Stymets, 

: — Sutphen, 

Alexander Sutherland, 
O. S. Sutton, 
George W. Sutton, 
Cornelius Suydam, 
John C. Suydam, 
Rev. George Swain, 
George Sweeny, 
William Switzer, 
Francis Swords, 



Harvey Shelley, 
Silas J. Shepard, 
James Shepherd, 
James B. Sheridan, 

Judah L. Taintor, 
Bethnel Talbot, 
Frank Tallman, 
Isaac N. Tallman, 
Isaac Tallman, 
John C. Tamer, 
Richard Tamos, 
Job D. Tanner, 
John W. Tanner, 
Edward Taylor, 
John Taylor, 
Peter Taylor, 
Robert Taylor, 
Capt. Willett Taylor, 
Adelbert Teachout, 
Frank Teason, 
Cornelius Ten Brock, 
Ralph V. Ten Brock, 
John Teed, 
Arthur H. Temple, 
Jacob Tenbroeck, 
John Ten Broeck, 
Peter Terhune, 

Henry Sopels, 
Jacob Sopha, 
Trumann Southwick, 
Bloomer Sowers 


Benjamin Terpenning, 
Asil Terril, 
Thomas Tewsbury, 
Alford Thomans, 
Richard Thomas, 
Horatio W. Thompson, 
James Thompson, 
John H. Thompson, 
W. B. Thompson, 
R. A. Thompson, 
Thomas J. Thornhill, 
Conway Thornton, 
Albertus Tiebout, 
Teunis Tiebout, jr., 
Christian H. Tieljen, 
George W. Tilt, 
George Tippet, 
Joathon Tipton, 
John Toles, 
George W. Tollowday, 
Calvin Tomkins, 
D. S. Tomkins, 
Emory G. Tompkins, 


WilliamW. Underwood, 

C. Sykes, 
Samuel Synder, 

Frederick Tomkins, 
Walter Tomkins, 
Nathaniel Tompkins, 
John Tourneur, 
Stevenson Towle, 
Robert H. Towt, 
Charles Tozer, 
William Travers, 
William Travis, 
William Tremper, 
Ferris Tripp, 
William F. Truelson, 
William Tubbs, 
William Tunison, 
Jeronimus Turk, Jr., 
Bruc Turner, 
Raleb L. Turner, 
Hiram Tuthill, 
J. B. T. Tuthill, 
Jacob Tutor, 
Phineas Tyler, 

George R. Vail, 
Dennis Valentine, 
Gilbert Valentine, 
Isaac Valentine, 
John Valentine, 
Lemuel Valentine, 
Smith Valentine, 
John M. 

Van Valkenburgh, 
William F. 

William Vallean, 
Henry Van Aerman, 
George Van Alst, 
Simion Van Antwerp, 
William H.Van Arnum, 
Abraham VanArsdale, 
Hendrick Van Arsdale, 
Dr. Peter Van Arsdale, 
Leonard Vanarsdall, 
Samuel L. Van Beuren, 
William Ricketts 

Van Cortland, 
John Van Cott, 

Loyd Vanderveer, 
Thomas Van Dervere, 
Benjamin Vanderwater, 
Adam Vanderwerker, 
Arent Van Deusen, 
Cornelius Van Deusen, 
James Van Deusen, 
Johannes Van Dolsen, 
William Van Dorn, 
Martin V. B. Van Etten, 
Vincent Van Franken, 

Van Gaasbeck, 

Van Gassbeck, 

John M.Van Harlingen, 
Johannes Van Horn, 
Peter Van Houten, 
Teunis Van Houten, 
Jacob Van Houten, 
James Van Keuren, 
Josiah Van Keuren, 
.Mathews Van Keuren, 
Nicholas Van Loon, 
Aaron Vanderbilt, 

Abraham Van Vleet, 
Benjamin A. 

Van Vredenburgh, 
Hendrick Van Wie, 
Johannes Van Wyck, 
Isaac Varian, 
John Varick, 
Olean A. Vaughn, 
John H. Veeder, 
Harvey Veers, 
Nicholas Veghte, 
William Verbryck, 
John Vredenburg, 
A. Vermuile, 
David Verrill, 
Bernardus Verveelen, 
Henry Verveelen, 
Sephen Viele, 
William Viele, 
Levi Vincent, 
Warren R. Vincent, 
John Vlerebome, 


Jacob Voorhees, 



Everett Vandenburgh, 
John M. Vandenburgh, 
Nicholas Vandenburgh, 
Weiant A. 

John Van Deusen, 
Andrew Vanderbilt, 
Henry W. Vanderbilt, 
Jacobus Vanderbilt, 
Johannis Vanderbilt, 
John G. Vanderbilt, 
Samuel Vanderbilt, 
Tolkert Vanderburg, 
Cornelius Vanderhoef, 
Jacob Vanderpool, 
John Vanderpool, 

John R. Vanderveer, 
Elmer Vannaman, 
Steven G.W.Van Natte, 
Simon Van Ness, 
Johannes Van Nest, 

Van Nostrand, 
Jan Van Orden, 
Philip Van Ornam, 
Pieter Van Scheyren, 
Abraham Van Tassell, 
Andries Van Tuyl, 
Abraham Van Valen, 
Barnardus Vanvalen, 
Daniel Vanvalen, 
Peter Van Veghtan, 

Garret Vorhees, 
Col. Keert Vorhees, 
J. H. Vorhees, 
J. I. Voorhees, 
John Vorheese, 
John R. Vorhies, 
Pieter Vouck, 

Joseph Van Dorn 

Matthias Vredenburgh, 
Jacob Vroman, 
Gysbert B. Vroom, 

of New Jersey, 

Robert Wade, 
Hugh Waddell, 
John Wagner, 
Mattison Waits, 
Irving Wakeman, 
Nathan Waldo, 
Johannes Waldron, 
Johannes B. Waldron, 
Johannes Waldron, Jr., 
John Waldron, 
Peter Waldron, 
Petrus Waldron, 
Pieter Waldron, 
Resolvert Waldron, 
Samuel Waldron, 
William Waldron, 
Lewis Walker, 
George L. Wall, 
Dirck Wannemaker, 


Robert C. A. Ward, 
Gabriel Ward, 
Job Warfoot, 
Clarkson Warne, 
George Warner, 
James Warren, 
Matthias Warner, 
William H. Warner, 
William Warren, 
Henry B. Washburn, 
Hiram M. Waterman, 
Jeremy Waterman, 
James Webster, 
A. R. Waters, 
William Watkins, 
Isaac B. Watts, 
John Webb, 


Jacob Weeks, 
John Weeks, 
William Weeks, 
George Weiant, 
Peter J. Weiant, 
Saul Weiant, 
Francis Weis, 
E. T. Wilson, 
Samuel Wescott, 
Francis Wessel, 
Charles H. Wessels, 
Wessel Wessels, 
Jacobus Westervelt, 
Robert Westgate, 
Fred Welty, 
Robert Whaley, 
William Whaley, 
William Whare, 
Albert Westervelt, 
Benjamin White, 
Edward F. White, 
William E. C. White, 
Ivory White, 
James H. White, 
John White, 
Joseph Whitenach, 
Albert Whitlock, 
Ezekiel Whitney, 
David C. Whyte, 
John N. Wickes, 
Edwin J. Wilcox, 
Joseph Wildey, 
Joseph Wilkie, 
Amos R. Weller, 
Archie Williams, 
Charles Williams, 
Elam Williams, 

John William, 
Lewis Williams, 
Russell Williams, 
Thomas Williams, 
William Williams, 
William H.Williamson, 
Abner Wilson, 
Rev. Drake Wilson, 
George Wilson, 
James Wilson, 
James A. Wilson, 
John Wilson, 
William G. Wilson, 
Philip Winegar, 
William Winter, 
Dr. Gabriel Wisner, 
William Wisner, 
John F. Whitbeck, 
Joseph Wollon, 
Gabral Wolverton, 


Anthony Wood, 
James Wood, 
Clarence Woodford, 
George C. Woodhull, 
Charles Woodruff, 
Isaac Woodruff, 
George Woods, 


Benjamin Woodward, 
Ellis Wool, 
William J. Woolsey, 
C. W. Wormington, 
Ellis Worthington, 
Charles Wright, 
George Wyckoff, 

Cornelius Yates, 


Capt. George Young, Moses Young, 


Peter Yates, James S. Young, Samuel Young, 

Stephen Yeury, John J. Young, 


Jacob C. Zabriskie, John M. Zane, Peter Zenger. 

Appendix H. 

The square at the left of the Harlem line marked "Theunis 
Ides' land," was obtained by Theunis Ides "apparently by buying 
up the title to several lesser grants" (Riker, page 443). The tract 
comprises 460 acres, extending from 89th Street to 107th Street, 
and from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. 

On the right of Theunis Ides' land is "Jacob De Key's land," 
granted to Jacob De Kay on July 21st, 1701, by the Mayor, Alder- 
men and Commonalty of the City of New York, for £237. 
(Riker, page 444.) 

The "H. Bosch" triangle, next to Jacob De Kay's land, was 
granted and set off on July 9th, 1677, to Hendrick Bosch by Gov- 
ernor Andros, who also gave Shotwell, Young and Bennew the 
three lots bearing their names between Avenue B and Second Ave- 
nue, opposite Blackwell's Island. (Riker, page 383). These lat- 
ter were Harlem's property, being included under the Harlem 

The triangle designated as "Harlem Commons," north of the 
three lots just named, and lying along the Harlem line, was sold 
in 1825 to Dudley Selden for $25,500 by the Town of New Harlem 
(See Appendix E). 

"The 10 lots," (Hoorn's Hook) opposite the upper end of 
Blackwell's Island, were allotted in 1677 by the Town of New 
Harlem to the following persons : 

1. Meyer 6. Bogert 

2. Low 7. Tourneur 

3. Verveelen 8. Waldron 

4. Delamater 9. Boch (Later Oblinus') 

5. Vermilye. 10. Oblinus 

The next main division by the Town of New Harlem was 
Montagne's Flat, northeast of Theunis Ides' land. This flat, which 
Dr. Montagne, the pioneer settler, called Vredendal (i, e. 


"Quiet Dale," see page 4) was divided up by the Town of New 
Harlem among the following : 
1. Kortright 


Demarest (later Kortright's) 

do do 


Montagne's Point (called by the Indians "Rechewanis") was 
granted by the Town to Jan Montagne, Jr., who, in turn, sold the 
land to Jan Lou we Bogert, on May 16th, 1671. 

Across Montagne's Creek (108th Street and Harlem River) 
from Montagne's Point lay Van Keulen's Hook (called by the 
Dutch "Otter-spoor"). This was divided by the Town among 
the following inhabitants : 

1. David du Four (later Haldron's). 

2. Jan Cogu (later Waldron's). 

3. Lubbert Gerritsen (later Benson's). 

4. Michael Zyperus (later Verveelen's). 

5. Tourneur. 

6. Sigismund Lucas (later Low's). 

7. Jan Slot (later Verveelen's). 

8. do do 

9. do do 

10. Philip Casier (later Oblinus'). 

11. Jean Gervoe (later Delamater's). 

12. Simon de Ruine (later Bussing's). 

13. Adam Dericksen (later Delavall's). 

14. Jaques Cresson (later Nagel's). 

15. Nic. De Meyer (later Kortright's). 

16. David Uzille (later Brevoort's). 

17. Dirck Claessen (later Tourneur's). 

18. Jan Sneden (later Tourneur's). 

19. Jan de Pre (later Montagne's). 

20. Pierre Cresson (later Brevoort's). 

21. Jacques Cousseau (later Tourneur's). 

22. Jean le Roy (later Delavall's). 

Lot number 22, at the west end of the Hook, was later the 
site of Delavall's grist mill, erected in 1677. The land adjoining 
the mill was thereafter known as the "Mill Camp." Part of the 
Camp was sold to A. Bussing, in 1753 ; but still another part of it 
(see map giving the "undivided" lands) is still undisposed of 
(Riker, p. 591). 


North of Van Keulen's Hook was the village site (see village 
map facing p. 57), beginning on the line of 125th Street and 
the Harlem River and running west to Lexington Avenue and 
117th Street. 

North of the village lay Jochem Pieter's lots (called by the 
Dutch Zegendal, i. e. Peaceful Valley), divided into 22 lots among 
the following" villagers : 








Lubbert Gerritsen (later Meyer's). 


Pierre Cresson (later Brevoort's). 


Meynard Journee (later Nagel's). 


Demarest (later Montagne's). 




Karsten (later Nagel's). 




Jean le Roy (later Oblinus'). 



l 3- 




















Beyond Jochem Pieter's lots, to the north, lay the "New 
Lots" (at about 138th Street and the Harlem River) which were 
distributed thus : 



















By mistake or otherwise (Riker p. 585) the "New Lots" 
"encroached three lots on the 'Jochem Pieter's old lots'." To 
remedy this the Delavall heirs were given the adjoining Island, 
thereafter known as "Carteret's Island," lying to the east of the 
"New Lots." 

In the early part of 1687, the Magistrates, concluding to sell 
"the piece of land called Gloudie's Point," Resolved Waldron 



bought it for his son Barent. Thirteen years after (March 7th, 
1700) Barent obtained a deed from the Town for this property, 
which he occupied until 1740. It was afterward known as the 
"Bussing Point Farm." 

All underscored figures (see footnote on map) denote the di- 
vision of 1691 among the following: 






















Tibout (later 
































The allotment of 1712 was divided into four parts. The first 
division is designated on the map by a dot before each number 
(see map footnote). Number I of this division began southwest 
of Mt. Morris Park, about the intersection of 110th Street and 
Fifth Avenue, on the line of the old village Indian trail, and was 
allotted among: the following: 


























1. Kortright. 

2. Waldron. 

3. Kiersen. 

4. Low. 

5. Waldron. 

6. Vermilye. 

1. Waldron. 

2. Tourneur. 

3. Vermilye. 

Second Division, 1712. 

7. Congreve. 

8. Benson. 

9. Nagel. 

10. Meyer. 

11. Oblinus. 

12. Sickels. 

13. Waldron. 

14. Tourneur. 

15. Tiebaut. 

16. Delavall. 

17. Dyckman. 

18. Benson. 

19. Delamater. 

20. Bussing. 

Third Division, 1712. 

4. Benson. 

5. Low. 

6. Waldron. 

7. Waldron. 

8. Kiersen. 

9. Tiebaut. 





13. Bussing. 





14. Delamater. 





15. Delavall. 
Fourth Division, 





7. Kiersen. 





8. Bussing. 





9. Delavall. 





10. Nagel. 





11. Low. 





12. Waldron. 



The tract marked Peter van Oblinus (on the Hudson River 
about 129th Street) was common land just prior to the division 
of 1712. How it came into the hands of the son of Harlem's sur- 
viving patentee, Joost van Oblinus, is not clear. 

In March, 1696, Kiersen obtained the signature of "every 
inhabitant of the Town" to a paper granting him "a half-morgen 

of land from the common woods " This spot, marked 

"Kiersen," is situated between 159th and 163d Streets, running 
from Kingsbridge Road to the edge of the cliff over-looking the 
Harlem River, now known as the site of the Jumel Homestead. 
(See picture of the Jumel Homestead, facing p. 128.) 

Northeast of the third division is located Sherman's Creek 
(200th Street on the Harlem River) ; and northeast of this the 
Jansen and Aertsen patent, as it was called. The land under this 
patent fell to the lot of Dyckman and is even now known as the 
old Dyckman homestead property. Between this and the "Com- 
mon Land, 1712" (225th Street) lay five lots, allotted to: 

Vermilye (later Dyckman's). 
Boch (later Dyckman's). 
Nagel (later Dyckman's). 

The "Common Land, 1712" (at the end of the Island), first 
granted for Yerveelen's use as town ferryman, was later, by a 
vote of the Magistrates, on August 10th, 1677, set apart as a 
Town lot ; but this piece of property, which first came to notice in 
Harlem's history as part of the Matthys Jansen patent, was final- 
ly allotted to Dyckman. 

For a description of the six lots (Dyckman's), running from 
Tubby Hook at 205th Street and the Hudson River to Spuyten 
Duyvil Creek, see Riker, p. 510. 







The triangle marked "G" on the Hudson River, between 203d 
and 205th Streets is "undivided land," never allotted or appointed 
by the Town of New Harlem. (See map showing undivided 


Key to the Erven. 

On the erven, designated by letters, lived most of the pat- 
entees, as follows : 












, d ° 









k. Adolph Meyer. 
Bogert's erf was at Hellgate Bay. 























Key to the Gardens North of the Village. 










Church and reader's 











Le Roy. 






Church Farm. 



Key to the 



Dirck Claessen. 


Capt. Thos. Delavall 


Daniel Tourneur. 




Glaude Delamater. 




Nicholas de Meyer. 













Jan Nagel. 















Appendix I. 

(See Maps at End of Book). 



This stately building stands on the crown of the hill at Park Avenue and 
95th Street, which marks the Harlem Line at this point. 




V * 

T i.» 








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