(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Old Streets of New York Under the Dutch: A Paper Read Before the New York Historical Society ..."

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 



at |http : //books . google . com/ 



Hosted by 



Google 



Hosted by 



Google 



THE 



OLD STREETS 

OF 

NEW YORK 
Under the Dutch. 




A PAPER READ BEFORE THE 

New York Historical Society, 

June 2, 1874. 



JAMES W GERARD. 



NEW YORK: 

F. B. Patterson, 32 Cedar Street. 



1875. 



Hosted by 



Google 



Hosted by 



Google 



PROEM. 

The desire expressed by many interested in our local history to 
possess a copy of the paper on "The Old Streets of New York, 
UNDER the Dutch," recently read before the New York His- 
torical Society by Mr. Gerard, has induced its publication by the 
subscriber. 

Tt rejates to the most interesting and dramatic period of the 
history of our ancient city, over which Time is rapidly weaving 
his mystic web. 

The style, at times quaint and familiar, and at others eloquent, 
with which the author has presented the subject, and the extent 
of his researches into the minutice of the life of our Dutch pre- 
decessors, will commend the publication, not only to the an- 
tiquarian, but to all citizens who take pride and pleasure in our 
local annals. 

A limited number of copies have been printed, solely on the 
publisher's account, after permission obtained from the Historical 
Society ; and, it is hoped that the pamphlet will prove an accept- 
able addition to the other antiquarian publications issued by the 
Public's. obedient servant, 

F. B. PATTERSON, 

32 Cedar Street, 

NEW YORK. 



Hosted by 



Google 



Hosted by 



Google 



Mr. President and Gentlemen 

OF the Historical Society : 

In venturing to present a sketch of some of the old streets and 
people of New York, under the Dutch rule, it may be well, first, to 
glance at antecedent discoveries and settlements in the region 
by other nations. 

Awaking from the sleep of the Middle Ages, the aroused energy 
of the European mind, towards the close of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, developed itself in geographical, as well as scientific re- 
search. 

Long intellectual slumber had created a rest which wearied as 
well as dwarfed. 

The invention of printing had distributed knowledge no 
longer hoarded in cloisters. Improvements in the use of gun- 
powder tended to subdue caste, and give intellectual as well as 
civil freedom and vigor. 

No longer content with dogmas and traditions, man yearned to 
break local boundries and forms — to expand, to learn, to dis- 
cover. 

Marco Paulo's travels had instigated a thirst for adventure; and 
men's minds were still excited by stories of the wealth and won- 
ders of Cathay andOopango. 

The art of navigation had been improved under the leader- 
ship of Prince Henry, the Navigator. 

New maps were planned. New enterprises stimulated the 
ambition of the curious or the avaricious. The great problem of 
the earth was still unsolved. The earth! man's abode and man's 
study. What was it? What were its limits? 

Pythagoras had claimed its rotundity in the mj^stic days of 
history. Still, the force of habit and the inertia of ignorance 
kept concert with error. 



Hosted by 



Google 



The scholastic world still dreamed its old dreams, and wrapped 
itself in its cloak of Aristotle. Circumnavigation was impos- 
sible. 

Columbus, however, at tlie close of the fifteenth century, made 
the egg stand on its end, and rediscovered the Northmen's lost 
continent. The shade of Pjthngoras triumphed through the 
Genoese. 

Geography vindicated her sister astronomy, and the world was 
round. 

The Portuguese, now roused in rivalry, vigorously attacked 
Eastern realms. Bartiialamy Diaz had theretofore reached the 
southern point of Africa; and Vasco de Gama, in 1497, in 
searching for the realms of Prester John, carried the Portuguese 
flag around the African continent, which Pharaoh's vessels had 
done for the Egyptian flag over 2,000 years before. 

The wealth of either Indies now lay open. Unknown El Dor- 
ados awaited adventure. Spaniard and Portuguese fiercely 
claimed the prize of the unknown earth. 

Alexander VT. adjudged the great process. 

The geographical bulls of 1493 and 1506 made the division 
for all prospective discovery. 

A line from pole to pole was to divide the infidel world be- 
twen the two most holy navigating powers, who vigorously set 
to work to utilize the prize. 

Magellan, for Spain, in 1519, passed through the straits that 
bear his name, and circumnavigated the globe. 

The Portuguese culled rich productions from Ceylon and the 
Moluccas, the Persian Gulf, and the coast of Coromandel ; while 
Cortes and Pizarro filled galleons that bore golden fruit to Spain 
from Mexico and Peru. 

Meanwhile the bleak northern coasts lay uncared for. The 
gold of southern seas and the spicy treasures of the East kept 
enterprise from them. 

England had, in 1497, felt the geographical impulse, and nobly 
closed the discoveries of the fifteenth century. 



Hosted by 



Google 



The great problem of the day — the northwest passage to India 
and Catliay through the northern seas (since fruitlessly found by 
McOlure)— turned Heniy VII. from affairs of State to win lauri^fi 
in the new field of geographical research. The Cabots commSs- 
sione'd by him cruised along the North American coast frojB 
Lal)rador to Florida. 

Hence Engbmd's exclusive claim, deriding the Papal bulls, to 
the entire country, from these glimpses of the coast by the 
Cabots, 

French Fisliermen now began to swarm on the Newfoundland 
Banks, and f )und there an El Dorado of their own, in savage 
contrast with Cortez' and Pizarro's sunny conquests. 

In 1521, the French ap})ear upon the scene of discovery ; and 
Verrazano carried the French flag from 36^ to 50^ of north lat- 
itude, and named the coast. 

Anchoring his ship off the Narrows, in our harbor, as it is sup- 
posed from liis description, the Italian, in his shallop, entered our 
bay. 

He says, in his letter to King Francis : " We found a very 
'' pleasant situation among some steep hills, through which a 
^' very large river, deep at its mouth, forced its way to the sea. 
" We passed up the river about half a league, when we found it 
" formed a most beautiful lake three leagues in circuit. All of 
^' a sudden a violent, contrary wind blew in from the sea, and 
'' forced us to return to our ship, greatly regretting to leave this 
^^ region, which seemed so commodious and delightful." 

The first of civilized men, Verrazano gazed upon the virgin 
beauties of our isle, " Manhatta," then slumbering in primeval in- 
nocence,— ere long, under the magic hand of civilization, to rise 
and ripen into stately magnificence, the Queen City of the Hem- 
isphere. 

Estevan Gomez, with his Spaniards, succeeded Verrazano in the 
exploration of our bay, and named the North Eiver, San Anton- 
io : after him, also, called on some ancient charts, Eio de Gomez, 



Hosted by 



Google 



We next read of Cartier on the St. Lawrence, and Frobislier 
and Gilbert in Labrabor and Newfoundland ; and of Ealeigli's 
colonies at the Soutli, and of Gosnold's failures on the Massa- 
chnsett's coast, and of King James' sweeping patents to the ton- 
don and Plymouth companies, embracing territory from Cape 
Fear to Nova Scotia. 

Then of settlements by the Plymouth Company on the Saga- 
dahoc in Maine, whence the adventurous colonists are soon driven 
homeward by the rigors of the wintry blast. 

Then of the Sieur de Monts and his hardy pioneers, under a 
patent from Henry lY., reaching from Philadelphia to Cape 
Breton. 

While the English and French crowns were thus granting- 
patents of the whole explored region, and settlements were being 
made North and South, a tract lay between them claimed by 
both, but settled by neither. 

This belt of territory was still uncared for by the Euro- 
pean. 

There still roamed wild beasts through primeval forests 
that shadowed a land genial in clime and rich in soil. 

There the untamed red man chanted barbaric runes amid dim 
traditions of his State, unconcious that the force of civilization 
was at hand, as with the sword of doom, to drive him from his 
ancient seats. 

A new nation now appeared in the arena of discovery. 

A people daring, enterprising, persevering— born almost in the 
sea which they had mastered— descendants of the ancient Norse- 
men, whose hardihood they inherited — nurtured amid morass and 
fen— exposed to icy blasts from the North sea and humid ex- 
halations from canal and dyke— taught early and ever to battle 
with nature or to perish — where the face of sea and land and 
sky, pale, sad and leaden, gave seriousness to the mind and re- 
solve to the character. With a country less than a quarter the 
size of this State, this people, in 1579, had made a nation whose 
character had been formed amid perils and tears and blood. 



Hosted by 



Google 



For over forty years they had battled with the fierce legions of 
Spain in defence of home and life. 

' For over forty years they had shown a courage and a perse- 
verance, under trial and defeat, almost unparalled in human his- 
tory and now, the seven " United Provinces of the Nether- 
lands," having established their liberties and consolidated their 
State, were vicing with the other nations of Europe in schemes of 
exploration and dominion. 

Their naval power was rapidly augmented. They wrested from 
Spain and Portugal a large portion of their Indian trade. They 
planted colonies in the islands of the East; they visited realms of 
sun and snow in furtherance of commerce and discovery, and be- 
came the factors and carriers of Europe; they built up a navy 
that, at one time, checked the Spanish Armada, and at another 
drove English fleets from the sea, and triumphantly sailed up the 
Thames. 

Hendrick Hudson now appears upon the scene. 
In April, 1609, under the direction of the Ketherland East 
India Company, and for the purpose of finding a N. W. passage 
— that great sea problem of the day — he dared the perils of the 
Atlantic in the '' Half Moon," of 80 tons, with a crew of twenty 
men. After stopping at various places along the coast, in Sep- 
tember, 1609, he brought his little vessel to anchor in what is 
now the bay of New York. 

According to the Indian tradition, on the appearance of the ''Half 
Moon," there was great consternation among the simple aborig- 
ines who then inhabited the dense forests where now this city 
stands. Some thought it an immensely large fish or huge mon- 
ster of the sea, others that it was a very large hut. As it con- 
tinued to move in a threatening manner towards the land, cour- 
iers were sent off to notify the scattered chiefs and their people 
of the phenomenon, and put them on their guard, and to gather 
in the warriors. These various Indians arriving in large numbers 
on the Manhattan shore, and viewing the strange object that was 
slowly moving toward them, concluded that it was a large canoe 



Hosted by 



Google 



or house, in which tlie great Manitto, or Supreme Being, liimself 
was, and that he was coming to visit them. The cliiefs then de- 
liberated in council how the great Manitto should be received. 
Meat was arranged for sacrifice ; the women were directed to pre- 
pare tlie best of victuals; idols or images were anxiously exam- 
ined and put in order, and a grand dance was prepared, as this 
was supposed to be not only an ngreeable entertainment for the 
Manitto, but it might contribute to appease him in case he was 
angry. The conjurors were also set to work to determine what 
the meaning of the phenomenon was, and what the result would 
be. To the chiefs and wise men of the nation, women and chil- 
dren were looking up in terror for advice and protection. Be- 
tween hope and fear, and in confusion, a dance, that great 
j-esource of the Indian in difficulty, commenced ; and woods and 
shore rang with the wild and agitated cries of the leaping savages 
and the loud beat of the tom-tom. 

Scouts coming in declare the object to be a house of vai-ious 
colors, arid crowded with living creatures. It now appeared cer- 
tain that it was the great Manitto bringing them some new kind 
of game. Soon there is hailing from the vessel in a strange 
tongue. Many now begin to run to the interior woods. The 
house or large canoe having stopped, a smaller canoe comes 
ashore with a man altogether red from head to foot, and dressed 
differently from the others. In the meantime the chiefs and wise 
men had formed a large circle, and calmly and in resigned 
silence awaited the aw^ful visitor. The red-clothed man then en- 
tered the circle, and we find, by the tradition, that the fear of the 
savages presently disappeared under the conciliatory deportment 
of the explorer and his men ; and soon, by dint of presents and 
kind treatment, the best understanding was established, which 
was continued on the arrival of the vessel in the following 
season. 

Hudson then began the exploration of the " Great Eiver of 
the Mountains," as it was called, hoping that by it there might 
be a passage through the continent to the Asiatic seas. 



Hosted by 



Google 



Tlie explorers liave left accounts of their expedition up tlie 
river, and express delight at its size and the beauty of the scen- 
ery, beginning to be clad, as nature then was, in gorgeous hues, 
shuiing through the soft haze of the autumnal summer. 

Hudson penetrated to the highest point of navigation beyond 
Albany, and was a month in his exploration. He sent an ac- 
count of his voyage to his Dutch employers at Amsterdam, 
stating, among other things, that " it is as beautiful a land as the 
foot of man can tread upon." 

We can imagine the surprise and consternation of the savage 
tribes that lined the banks as the little " Half xMoon," gigantic to 
them, cautiously crept on its way up the " Kiver of the Moun- 
tains"— its motley crew peering over the vessel's sides to gaze 
upon the wonders and beauties of the strange land, and half 
mistrusting the savages that gazed back at them from the shore. 
The daring commander, "the man clothed all in red," we may 
picture reposing himself, after his long and anxious sea voyage, 
on the lofty poop, smoking, perhaps, some of the raw tobacco 
just got from the Indians, and viewing the noble river that was 
to bear his name. Now he watches the smoke curling up from 
some wio-wam in dade or dell, now admires the frowning battle- 
ments of the Palisades, now passing in wonder under the shadow 
of the " Dunderberg," or the lofty " Crow Nest," or the bold 
headland since called, as tradition narrates, Anthony's Nose, 
after the nasal organ of Anthony de Hooge, Secretary of the col- 
ony of Eensselaerswyck, and marvelling at the depth of the 
pellucid stream as the little ship wound cautiously through the 
weird gorges of the highlands, and gazing with the delight of a 
traveller as he approached the lofty range of the Kaatskills, 
whose crests, illumined by the sun, came peering through the 
moving clouds. 

Anon, a shot from a Culverin plows through the glassy stream 
and awakes the silent forests. 

The startled deer rush back to inner glades ; and wolf and 
otter, and fox and bear, and basking snake, retreat to den and 



Hosted by 



Google 



10 

brake. The eagle slirillv scieams, and wljeels a riirther fliglit, 
Avliile eclioes prolonged resound from sliore lo shore, imd proud- 
est chief, and squaw, and child fall down in dread as they see 
tlie lightning flash from the moving mcmster, and hear the sharp 
thunder that shakes the silence of their ancient abodes. 

A quaint extract from an account, wi'itten by Eobert Juet, one 
of Hudson's mates, shows the friendly intercourse established by 
Hudson with the red man as he went up the river, and the ready 
manner with which they took to the white man's fiery drink, 
soon the bane of their dehorned race: — 

"In the afternoon our master's mate went on land with an old 
savage, a Governor of the Countrie, who carried him to his 
house, and made him good cheere. ^ ^ ^ ^ The People of 
the Countrie came flocking aboard, and brought us grapes and 
Pompions, which we bought for trifles. "^ ^ "^ ^ Qur car- 
penter went on land and made a foreyard ; and our master and 
his mate determined to trie some of the chiefe men of the coun- 
trie, whether they had any treacheiie in them. So they took 
them down into the cabbin, and gave them so much wine and 
Aqua viice that they were all merrie ; and one of them had his 
wife with him, wdiich sate so modestly as- any of our countrie 
women would doe in a strange place. In the end one of them 
was drunke, which had been aboard of our ship all the time that 
we had been there ; and that was strange to them, for they could 
not tell how to take it." 

The Indians, we read, recipi'ocated their good treatment by 
bringing oysters, and fish, and wampum, and other tributes on 
board. 

On Hudson's return down the river, the Inciians, becoming 
more familiar with the moving house, were more inclined to hos- 
tility, possibly under some provocation given. Their warlike 
and venturesome spirit was also aroused to try conclusions with 
the strange race; and we read further, in Juat's journal, this 
brief account of the first conflict and bloodshed between the 



Hosted by 



Google 



11 

white and red man on these shores, when gunpowder, the new 
civilizing ngent, wns employed : 

" This afternoon one canoe kept hanging under oar sterne, with 
one man in it, whicli we conld not keep from thence, who got up 
by our rudder to the cabin window and stole out my })illow and 
two shirts, and two Biindeleers. Our master's mate shot at him, 
and stroke him on the brest, and killed him; whereupon all the 
rest fled away, some in their canoes, and some leapt out of them 
into the water. We manned our boat and got our things agnine. 
Then one of them that swamme got hold of our boat, thinking to 
overthrow it. But our cooke took a sword and cut off one of 
liis hands, and he was drowned." 

Another trouble occui-red about off the present Nyack, as the 
vessel was descending the river : 

"At break of day," Juet recounts, "we weighed, the wind 
being at N. West, and got down 7 leagues. Then the flood was 
come strong, so we anchored. Then came one of the savages 
that swam away from us at our going up the river, with many 
others, thinking to betray us. But we perceived their intent, 
and suffered none of them to enter the ship. Whereupon two 
canoes full of men, with their bows and arrows, shot at us after 
our stern; in recompense whereof we discharged six muskets, 
and killed two or three of them. Then above a hundred came 
to a point of land to shoot us. Then I shot :i falcon at them, 
and killed two of them; whereupon the rest fled into the woods. 
Yet they manned off another canoe with 9 or 10 men, which 
came to meet us. So that I shot at it also a falcon, and shot it 
through and killed one of them. Then our men with their 
muskets killed 3 or 4 more of them. So they went their way." 
Hudson's account of the beauty and fertility of the region, 
and the rich peltry to be obtained there, aroused the attention of 
Ids Dutch employers, who immediately started expeditions with 
a view to settlement and trade. 

Voyages were undertaken, at private risk, in 1610 to 1612, to 
trade with the Indians at and along tlie river "Mauritius," as 



Hosted by 



Google 



12 



it was called after Prince Maurice, and a few houses or huts 
ereclel. 

A trading liouse was also establislied on Castle Island, at the 
west side of tlie river, a little below the present Albany, and 
cjdled Fort Nassau. 

In 1614 a charter or monopoly of trading was granted by the 
States-General to an Amsterdam Association, and the territory 
wns recognized for the first time under its new name of " Kieuiv 
Nederland,''' which comprised the region, as set forth in the char- 
ter, between "New France and Virginia, the sea coast whereof 
extend from the 40th to the 45th of latitude." 

In 1621 an exclusive charter, with almost sovereign powers, 
was given to the Dutch West India Company. This company 
immediately begnn the business of colonization and the con- 
struction of buildings for the occupation of the colonists, and 
sent out cattle and farming materials and implements. By the 
chnrter the West India Company became the immediate sove- 
reign of New Netherland, subject to the general supervision and 
control of the States-General, in whom the ultimate sovereignty 
resided, and to whom allegiance w^as sworn. 

The colony was put under the government of a Director and 
Council, of whom the Governor or Director was directly commis- 
sioned by the States-General. The Council was appointed by 
the Director with the approbation of the Companj^ 

We read that Peter Minuit, one of the early directors, in 1626, 
purchased the island of Manhattan, for the Company, from the 
Indians, for sixty guilders, or about twenty- four dollars. 

This amount seems not a very large one for the City of New 
York, but, on compounding the interest, it reaches at this time 
about the sum of two hundred millions of dollars. 

The sum of twenty-four dollars, paid in wampum, was doubt- 
less quite satisfactory to the Red man, who had most of the Con- 
tinent at his disposal ; and it is to be remarked that the dealings 
of our Dutch ancestors with the aborigines was characterized by 
a rigid regard for their rights, whatever they were, and no title 



Hosted by 



Google 



18 



was deemed vested and no right absolutely claimed, until satis- 
faclion to the savage owner was made. 

The City of New York at tliis time, that is to say at fourteen 
years of age, consisted of less than two score rudely fashioned 
log-houses extending along the soutlieast shore, together with 
one or two buildings of greater importance belonging to the Com- 
pany, including a simple block house for defence against the red 
men. 

Time will not allow us to go into details of the little colony 
under its successive directors, May, Verhulst, Minuit, Van Twil- 
ler, and Kieft, extending from 1624 to 1647. 

The sturdy colonists battled with the wilderness that surround- 
ed them and maintained their little settlement amid danger and 
privation. 

They threw the charms of home and family and peace where 
for all time had been rude nature and barbaric life. Industr}^, 
thi-ift, and order gave cheerful aspect to the scene, and made suc- 
cess to follow labor. 

.Little "bouweries" or farms began to spring up even on adja- 
cent shores, and the Metowacks on Sewan-hacky (Long Island), 
and the Monatons on Staten Island (Monacknong)^ and the San- 
liickans on the Jersey shore, looked cm in wonder at the novel 
implements, the docile cattle, and the steady industry of the 
white man, who soon, with fruit and flower and golden grain, 
gave bloom and beauty to the barren land. 

Little clearings now were made among the more favorite situa- 
tions on the Island along the Ilelle-gat or East Eiver, and time- 
scarred oak and stuixly beach and elm began to fall before the 
woodman's axe, that penetrated and resounded through the hith- 
erto silent mysteries of the woods, and drove back beast and bird 
to inner shades. 

The size and prosperity of the settlement rapidly increased 
under thrift and perseverance. Lands were given to settlers, re- 
ligious freedom guaranteed, and the tide of immigration began 
rapidly to flow. 



Hosted by 



Google 



14 

Of course, while these earlier settlements were being made, tlie 
present city and county presented a highly rural aspect. A 
dense forest covered the middle and upper portions of the region, 
where lived the red man in primitive barbarism. 

Brooks, |)onds, swamps, and marshes characterized other por- 
ti(ms of tlie Island of the '• Manhattoes." Lofty hills were on 
the site of parts of Beekman and Ferry streets, on both sides of 
Maiden Lane, and on the present site of parts of Nassau, Cedar, 
and Liberty streets. 

A range of sandy hills traversed the city from about the cor- 
ner of Charlton and Yarick to the junction of Eighth and Greene 
streets. North of them ran the brook or rivulet called by the 
Indians Minetta, and by the Dutch '' Bestevaer's Killetje," or 
Grandfather's Brook, which, coursing througli the marshes of 
Washington Square, emptied into the North River at the foot of 
Charlton street. 

A chain of waters extended from James street at the south- 
east, to Canal street at tlie northwest. A ditch and inlet occu- 
pied the place of Broad street. Extensive meadow or marsh 
land, known subsequently as Stuyvesant meadow or swanip, ex- 
tetided from 14th street down to Houston street. 

Near the present Tombs in Centre street, was a large pond or 
lake of fresh water, subsequently called the '' Kalchhoeck;' with 
verdant hills and sloping banks. This pond was connected with 
the East Eiver by a rivulet called the Versch Water, or fi-esli wa- 
ter, running eastward and crossing Chatham betweeu Pearl and 
Roosevelt streets. An extensive swamp extended north of tiie 
present Laight street, subsequently called Lispenard s swamp or 
meadows, and joined the Kalck-hoeck to the north of that potuk 

A marsh also lay between Exchange Place, Williatn and New 
streets, called the " CompQuys Valley,'' whose watei\s were drained 
by the great ditches in Broad and Beaver streets. 

A swamp or marsh also extended over parts of Cherry, James 
and Catharine, streets; and what was subsequently Beekman 



Hosted by 



Google 



15 

swamp covered what is slill known as "The Swamp/' over tlie 
region about Ferry and Cliff and Frankfort streets. 

The lower pait of the isLind was luxurijint in verdure, rolling 
and well watered, and invited the colonist to rest there, not only 
by its propinquity to navigation, but by superior fertility and aj)- 
titude for culture, and the picturesque beauty of its situation. 

Wolves roamed at large through the wilderness north of the 
present park; and as kite as 1685 we read of a gubernatorial pro- 
clamation, speaking of the mischief done by wolves, and giving 
permission to any inhabitants on the Island of Manhattan to 
hunt and destroy them. 

On the unsettled portion of the ishmd continued to dw^ell and 
follow tlie clmse the fierce tribe of the Man-hattas. 

OCt the inf mt colony w^jis startled by the wild hoops of the red 
man and the rush of the game, as wolf or deer or hare, in the ar- 
dor of the chase, was driven into the cluster of cottages that con- 
stituted tlie first settlement on the island, 

: Subsequently, difficulties witli tlie red men at times brought 
rapine and ruin, ^i'he desolating war with the Indians, initiated 
through the unwise policy of Gov. Kieft, last-ed nearly five years, 
with hardly a temporary cessation, and " Nieuw Amsterdam" 
became nearly depopulated. Scarcely one hundred able men 
besides traders could be tiien found. Father Jogues, a Jesuit 
Father, travelling there in 164:3, speaks of the sufferings of the 
inliabitants fnnn the murderous attacks of the I'ed man as "griev- 
ous to see." 

During the period above I'eferred to, colonization by the Eng- 
lish had been going on in New England. The colonies oi Ply- 
mouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut and New Haven were 
established in succession, and occasional communication took. 
})lace between their officials and the Dutch Governors on the 
" Manhattoes," which was conducted with great courtesy and 
kindness. In answer to a letter from de Rasieres, the Dutch Sec- 
retary, which, as a tribute of neighborly kindness, was accompa- 
nied by "a rundlett of sugar and two Holland, cheeses," William 



Hosted by 



Google 



16 

Bradford, tlie Governor of Plymouth in 1627, expresses himself 
as follows: ''It is our resoluiion ar^d hearty desire to hold and 
continue all friendship and good neighborhood with you as far 
as we may and lies in our jjower. ^ ^ ^ ^e cannot like- 
wise omit (out of our love and good affection toward you, and 
the trust you repose in us) to give you warning of the danger 
which may befall you, that you may prevent it; for if you light 
either in the hands of those of Virginia, or the fishing ships 
which come to Virginia, peradventure thej will make prize of 
you, if they can, if they find jou trading within their limits; as 
they surprised a colony of the French not many years since 
which was seated within their bounds." 

These communications, although always courteous, and gener- 
ally friendly, even when the home governments were at war, we 
find always accompanied by a protest or claim by the English 
that the'Dutch were occupying their possessions without legal 
claim or right, and in opposition to the English title; while the 
Dutch as persistently retaliated, asserting their claim as founded 
on Hudson's discovery and a continuous occupation. 

I propose now to take a stroll about the City of *' Nieuw Am- 
sterdam," sometimes call.ed the town of the " Manhadoes," or 
*' Manhattans," or of the " Manatthanes," the capital of New- 
Netherlands, somewhere about the period between 1658 and 
1660, under the administration of his PJxcellency Petrus Stuyve- 
sant,-the last of the Dutch Governors, and a few years before the 
surrender of the province to the English. 

The Governor had returned successful, two or three years be- 
fore, from his great campaign against Fort Casimer and Fort 
Christina, and the Swedish settlements on the South or Delaware 
Eiver; the Indians had been awed into submission, and with the 
exception of an occasional disturbance by the malcontents among 
the English settlers on Long Island, or a cloud of apprehension 
that was continually lowering from New England on the vexed 
question of territorial rights, the little city was progressing in 
peace and prosperity. 



Hosted by 



Google 



17 

New Amsterdam at this time contained but 220 houses and a 
population of about 1,400, among whom it is said there were 
spoken eighteen different tongues. The greater part of the 
houses were of wood, covered with reeds or shingles, some of 
them with wooden chimneys ; others, of a more pretentious char- 
acter, were built of little shiny, yellow, glazed bricks, baked in 
Holland, variegated with bhicker bricks of quaint cross and 
checkerwork design, and were roofed with red and black tiles. 

There were a few residences built of stone, as were the com- 
pany's store-houses on Winkle street. Nearly all of these houses 
were placed with their gable ends towards the street ; the end of 
the roofs rising to a peak in successive steps. 

Surmounting all was that great comfort of a Dutchman, re- 
vered at home through sad experience of broken dyke and sea 
barrier — the weathercock. 

These primitive mansions were placed in a straggling man- 
lier — some in thoroughfares, and some at random — about the 
quaint little town, which was then mostly comprised in the spe- 
cies of semicircle made by Wall street and the East and North 
Rivers. 

If we could have penetrated the best room of one of the bet- 
ter class of the residences of this oklen time, we would have 
beheld an interior in which the inherited order, thrift, and clean- 
liness of the race was pleasingly manifested. 

Outside, under projecting eaves, was the '' stoeij^'' the place of 
social interchange and domestic repose. 

The bulls-eye in the door, and the small size of the lower win- 
dows, indicated a residence amid peril and apprehension of the 
savage foe. 

Within, the well-scrubbed snow-white floor is covered with 
finest sand drawn in figures and festoons. Above, the polished 
oaken rafters are cut in quaint device and motto. 

Through the glass doors of the nutwood cupboard shine, glit- 
tering in the sunlight or by the blaze from cheerful hearth, the 
generous pewter tankard and two-eared cup, and portly dram 



Hosted by 



Google 



18 

mug, and silver porringer and ladle— relics brought from the old 
sea home— and Delft ware tea-pot and bowl, and a few tiny china 
cups, wherein tlie social bohea is often dealt out to appreciative 
guests, who knit and gossip between the frequent sips. 

At one end, in an alcove, is the great four-posted family bed- 
stead, the pride of tlie house, the family heirdoom, endeared 
through associations with the past, on which rest its two beds of 
down, and flowered curtains, and intricate patchwork quilt, and 
silken coverlid — triumphs of domestic thrift and handicraft. 

In another place is the great cedar chest, where reposes the 
valued store of household linen, snow-wdiite and substantial, the 
good housewife's hereditary dowry, increased by industry, and 
destined to be apportioned among the blooming maidens of tlie 
household, when some Jan or Pieter or Jacobus can muster cour- 
age to ask them to leave the paternal roof 

. Extending almost along the breadth of the room is the great 
iire-place of those days,, in whose ample embi-asure would gather 
the children and the cats and dogs, and the old negro slave cron- 
ing out his stories on the long winter eve. 

Brass-mounted irons support the blazing pile of solid logs. 
In front is a brazen fender of intricate design, sent over by Hol- 
land friends. 

Scenes of Scriptural history are illustrated there by the little 
blue tiles that line the chimney-piece — Jonah's adventures, and 
Toby's travels, and Sampson's exploits— while on the lofty man- 
tle, covered with flow^ered tabby cliimney cloth, stands the hour- 
glass, the old Bible with its brazen ends and clasps, the well-bui-. 
nished family warming-pan, the best pipe of the master of the 
house, and his trusty sword and fire-piece, that had often helped 
to defend his home— that had done good service in the expedi- 
tion against the savages, with old Jan de la Montngnie, at Heem- 
stcde, when Kieft was director— that had fought with Sergeant 
Btodolf at Pavonia— that had flourished in the great campaign 
.against the castles of the Weckquaesgeeks, in the valley of Saw- 



Hosted by 



Google 



19 



Mill-Greek — and that bad participated in the bloodless victory 
over the Swedes on the South Eiver. 

In one corner stands the fire-screen, with its gay designs ; in 
another the best spinning-wheel, curiously inlaid. 

Against the wainscoated walls is the round tea-table, with its 
turned up leaf, the benches in the windows, and in prim array, 
each in its accustomed place, are the high-backed chairs of Kus- 
sia leather, adorned with double rows of brass-headed nnils, one 
or two covered, perhaps, by embroidered back and seat, and 
trimmed with lace — the work of the dexterous fingers of the 
good house-wife herself, in earlier days. 

On the walls might be seen a little mirror in a narrow ebony 
frame, and also so framed a few engravings of Holland social 
life, portraits of some Dutch magnate, or scenes of naval fight — 
the taking of a galjeon from hated Spain, or a broadside conflict 
between two high-pooped frigates. 

Here, too, was the loom fi-om which was made the home-spun 
cloth that clad the good man and his boys, and made stoat petti- 
coats for the girls. 

These humble homes were scenes of placid joy and content. 
No artificial pleasures lured from the domestic scene. The 
family circle formed a tie of strength, where all were attached, 
occupied, and happy. 

Industry kep)t off' the attacks of weariness and the inroad of 
vice; and the scenes of beauty that nature exhibited around 
them — the sports of the chase — the arrival of another ship from 
Amsterdam, with its varied goods and budget of European 
news — the rumors of an Indian war, or tidings from the New 
England colonies — kept the inhabitants of the little town far 
from the stagnation that routine often brings to rural circles. 

We will begin our perambulations, if yon please, at about the 
present corner of Broadway at the head of Wall — at the old 
city gate, called the Land-gate, closed nightly by the city watch, 
where was the outlet from the city walls or palisades, called the 
" Cingel^''^ running a little north of the line of the present Wall 



Hosted by 



Google 



20 



sti'eet. These palisades were originally erected for defence 
against the savages, under Governor Kieft's administration, and 
subsequently strengthened in 1653, when a war was threatened 
with New England, and a ditch and rampart constructed inside. 

We now turn our face down what is modern Broadway, then 
called the " Heere StraaC We pass the present site of ^i'rinily 
Church and Church-yard, then the West India Company's Gar- 
den, running to the river ; on which, on a bank overhanging the 
stream, were the locust trees, the resort of lad and lass for senti- 
mental walk. Here they viewed together the glories of the bay, 
illumined with beams of setting sun, or whispered hopes under 
Dian's light, and listened to music of the wave, breaking over 
what was then the pebbly shore. 

Below, on the West side, w^ere the picturesque mansions and 
gardens and peach orchard running to the river of the Schout 
Fishael^ Plendrick Van Dyck, whose rosy daughter, Diewertie, 
might be seen looking over the low-cut door. Then came the 
fine brick house and orchard of Burgomaster Vandiegrist. 

Then we pass the old Dutch Church-yard or burying-ground 
of the settlement, just above the present Morris street, where 
many of the rude forefathers of the hamlet still lie — the hardy 
pioneers that bore the toil and battle of the earlier time, and 
carved the way for empire. 

Even at this time, in digging foundations in that part of the 
city, is found some disregarded relic of a former sturdy life. 

This venerable abiding place of the earlier dead was sold in 
building lots, under the advancing spirit of the age, in 1677. 

In a goodly house near by dwelt the revered Dominie Mega- 
])olensis, of whom we shall have something to say by and by. 
Also, hereabout, some on the west and some on the east side of 
the street, were Peter Simkan the tailor, and Jan Joostan the 
skipper, and Jan Stevenson the schoolmaster, and the tavern of 
the doughty captain and ex-burgomaster, Martin Cregier, who, 
reposing after his varied campaigns, was still ready for the tented 
field. 



Hosted by 



Google 



21 



On the east side of Broadway, going down from Wall, tlie 
houses wei'e rather of a meaner order ; the proximity of the 
marsh, or Company's Valley, called " Schaap-Waytie," or sheep's 
walk or pasture, a swampy meadow surrounded by hills, running 
from Wall street and Exchange Place to Broad and Beaver, not 
making the east as desirable as was the west side. One of these 
hills was called " Verlettenberg " and terminated the little canal 
that led up Broad street. This name was subsequently converted 
into " Flattenbarach " Hill. 

Tlie movement of tlie cattle from the highways to this meadow 
made the then rural path, or Schaap-waytie, which now is known 
under the more businessdike title of Exchange Place, and was 
known, under the English regime, as Garden street. 

This region was drained by the ditches dug on the site of 
Broad and Beaver, which ditches were the humble origin of 
these two timedionored streets. 

We now pass on our left what was known as the old ditch, the 
'' Bever-graff' or " straat," which, east of Broad street, was known 
as '-De Prince straaL" On this street lived many well-to-do 
citizens, whose national instincts caused them not to dislike a 
little muddy water. 

Passing down Broadway, we come to what was called the 
"Oblique Koad," also the '' Marckvelt-steegie;' or the Marketfidd 
path," now still Markelfield street. This road or path led from the 
Broad street canal to the marckvelt, or market-place, which was 
opposite the present Bowling-green, commencing on the east side 
of Whitehall street, near Stone street, and extending as far up 

as Beaver. 

Here was a busy and bustling place. Besides the market- 
place on the east, there was the fort at the foot of Broadway, just 
south of the present Bowling Green, and the parade in front. 

There, also, towards the North river, near Battery Place, was 
the great town windmill, to which farmers carried their wheat in 
ox-drawn wains, or on the backs of some of the shaggy horses 



Hosted by 



Google 



22 



that were allowed to browse and roam unchecked around the 
woods on the upper part of the island. 

Here was a sort of business and social exchange, whence was 
distributed the news from New England or Holland, or the last 
gossipy rumor of the town — where the Domine's last sermon was 
discussed, and where the Burgher's rights were upheld in argu- 
ment against the invasions of the Governor. 

At the Marckvelt was held, also, the great annual cattle fair, in 
October, and beasts driven from Straaifort and New Haven, and 
Suidhampton and Oosthampton, might be seen in competition 
with those raised on the island, or transported from Heemstede 
and Esopus and Eensselaers-wyck from Oosi-dorp (Westchester) 
and Rust-dorp (now Jamaicn). 

Another market was held on Saturdays at the Strand, near the 
house of Dr. Hans Kierstede, then on the north side of Pearl 
street, at about the foot of Moore street, where was the weigh- 
house and the little dock, then the only one in the town. 

At these two markets flocked the country folk, some for pur- 
chase, some for sale ; coming in farm carts or on horse and pil- 
lion, or from the Jersey or Long Island shore by the ferry, or in 
their own l)oats. Here bustled the housewife, battling for a bar- 
gain with obstinate vendors from ^' Gamoenepa; " here stood the 
dusky Indian with his wampum belt ; and here the substantial 
burgher interchanging views with some financial wise trader — 
mayhnp the price of beaver skins, or a sudden rise in clay pipes. 

Anchored in the inlet in Broad street, and at the little dock on 
the Strand, might be seen the shallops and canoes of Indian and 
country people from Long Island, bringing to the markets veal, 
pork, butter, cheese, roots and straw, I'aised on their well-tilled 
farms; and there was venison, and milk, and tobacco, and 
peaches, and pork, and smoked " twaeflt," or striped bass. 
There, too, are " Gouanes " oysters, not less than a foot long, as 
recorded in a journal kept at this period, and cider, and herbs, 
and melons ; and here is Indian maize or Turkey wheat, brought 
by the Corchaug^ the Secataug^ or the Najach Indians from tlieir 



Hosted by 



Google 



23 

homes on Long Island, from which maize was made the favorite 
Indian pap or mush, called " Sapaen^'—dlm extensively adopted 
by the Dutch, and still known by that name among us moderns- 
Here, too, in rather short but voluminous petticoats, hob-nail 
shoes, woollen stockings, and kirtle and hood, are the sturdy 
farmers' vrouws, gathered from " Breuchelen " and Vlahe-hos (Flat- 
bush) ; and buxom lassies from Ahasimus, and Hoboken- Baching, 
and New Utrecht, and New Amersfoordt (Flallands), and Ompoge 
(Amboy), in close-quilted caps and head -bands, and beavy gold 
earrings, and copper shoe buckles, vending, and bargaining, and 
chatting ; and there are stout farmers from Sapokanican (now 
Greenwich), and from the new village of " New Haerlem," and 
from Ylissingen (now Flushing), and froni Boomptie's Hoeck, 
come to buy cattle or poultry, or seeds for their farms. 

There are also drovers from the English settlement on the 
Sound, who, in their little trading-sloops, had muttered good Pur- 
itan prayers as they passed through the trials and perils of the 
" Helle-gaC 

There, also, in the season, were " elft " (the modern shad), and 
the water terrapin, whose good qualities were known, even m 
those days, by the City officials, as testifies Counsellor Van der 
Donck, who writes, in 1656, " Some persons prepare delicious 
dishes from the water terrapin, which is luscious food." 

At the little dock, or in the catial in Broad street, we may also 
see canoes of the Marechkawick Indians, living between Nieaw 
Amersfoordt and Breuchelen,hYmg\\\g wild turkeys, and quail, and 
white-headed wild geese, and coot.^, and whistlers, and blue bills, 
and pelicans, and eel shovelers. 

Jan Evertsen Bout, too, is there from " Gamoenepa ; " Farmer 
Vei-planck, too, is there from " de Smit's Valey," now Pearl 
street; and Hermanus Smeeman, from Bergen; and Jan Pieter- 
sen, from Nieuw Haarlem; and George Holmes, the Englishman, 
from his tobacco plantation at " i^m^^g," now Turtle Bay; and 
Peter Hartgers, the trader, from the Heeregraft; and Daniel Den- 
ton, from lleemstede; and one or two Tappaen Indians from the 



Hosted by 



Google 



24 

Hudson river, or a '^ Sint Sing," with skins of fux and squirrel, 
or wolf; and perhaps a Enritan or a Eackingsack might be there, 
Avilh the spoils of the chnse, from the Jersey shore ; and a Ma- 
quaa, with beaver skins, from the valley of the Mohawk. The 
various little boats and sloops take back, at the close of the day, 
medicines, Barbadoes rum, called by the Dutch ''' Kill devil;'' aho 
muscovado sugar, ''arrack'' for their punch, and, doubtless, some 
"Olykoeks" and ginger-bread for the little people; and fresh 
ribbons and caps for Sunday wear ; and stout linsey woolsey 
stuffs, and perhaps some new pipes to please old Granny in the 
chimney corner. 

The medium of exchange between buyer and seller, at these 
ancient markets, was of a various character. Sometimes it was 
beaver, or other skins; sometimes grain ; sometimes Dutch guild- 
ers, or stuyvers ; but the favorite currency, preferred by both 
Dutch colonist and Indian, as well as by the English settlers— in 
fact, the great common basis of trading— was wampum, Sewan, or 
Seiuant 

The best was made by the Indians on Long Island, or Sewan- 
hackey. That was rated as the truly genuine currency, and 
found its way over all the marts of trade then established in 
North America. 

A fathom of wampum, so called, was as much as a man could 
reach between his outstretched arms, and was equal to abont four 
guilders. Sti'ictly speaking, j&wa7it was the generic name for 
the money. Wampum was the white, and Suckauhock the black 
beads, which were double the value of the white. The white 
was made from the stem or stock of the periwinkle, now seldom 
found ; the black, or purple, from the inside shell of the hard 
clam. It was made into beads strung on the sinews of animals, 
and polished. Three beads of black, or six of white, as a gen- 
eral thing, equalled a Dutch stuyver, or English penny. This 
was at about par, although there were as many fluctuations and 
commercial panics affecting this currency as we in these days ex- 
perience with gold coin. 



Hosted by 



Google 



25 

As an illustration of tlie varied money for the payment of la- 
bor at tlie time, we read of a contract rnade in 1655, between 
Egbert Van Borsam, the ferry man on the Long Island side, 
under wliicli the carpenters were to be paid 550 guilders (about 
220 dollars) : one-third in beaver skins, one-third in good mer- 
chantable wampum, and one-third in good silver coin, and small 
beer to be drunk during work. 

We now come to the Fort^ pride and glory of New Amster- 
dam, emblem of home authority, local manifestation of that great 
sovereign power, their High Miglitinesses the States-General — 
around whose walls the earliest memories of the settlers clustered 
— on whose bastion floated the flag that recalled the brave Fa- 
therland — before whose walls, on the parade, were drilled the lit- 
tle armies of two or three hundred men that went out to battle — 
under whose protecting power the young hamlet had nestled, and 
spread, and grown— that still, even with its few and ancient can- 
non, and crumbling earth works, and broken bastions, exposed 
from the river and commanded by heights within, bade stern de- 
fiance to both civilized and savage foe. 

The first Fort was a mere block-house. 

The second Fort was commenced in 1633, and constructed of 
earth woi'ks. It was bounded by the present Bridge, Whitehall 
and Slate streets, and the Bowling Green. It had four points or 
bastions, with no moat outside, but was enclosed with a double 
j'ow of palisades. 

Originally called Fort Amsterdam, under the Dutch ; subse- 
quently Fort James, under the Duke of York; changed by Gov. 
Colve, on the Dutch i-estoration, to Fort Wilhelm Hendrick ; 
changed by Gov. Andros, to Fort James; by Leisler, to Fort 
William ; by Sloughter, to Fort William Henry ; and afterwards 
called Furt George — its nomenclature exhibited the varying for- 
tunes and history of New Amsterdam. 

Several brick and stone dwellings were located within its 
walls; among them the governor's brick house, and the church 
built of stone; a windmill was at one of the bastions, and a high 



Hosted by 



Google 



26 

flng-staff, on which tlie orange, yellow and blue colors of the 
" Privileged West India Co." were hoisted when any vessel was 
seen in the bay. 

During the Indian war, brought about by the unwise and ag- 
gressive policy of Governor Kieft, in 1641, the inhabitants fled to 
the shelter of the Fort, and established their huts as near as pos- 
sible to the protecting ramparts. These buildings subsequently 
remained; and grants of land were made to the holders. Thus 
was formed a portion of the present Pearl street next to White- 
hall street, and also a portion of the latter street. 

Those were perilous times in the " Manhadoes." 

All the farms and exposed habitations about the Island were 
destroyed, and tbeir panic-stricken inhabitants were driven into 
the Fort, where the garrison was not over fifty or sixty men. 

The plantations about Westchester and Staten Island, and the 
blooming "bouweries " on the East river, and on the line of the 
present Chatham street, and at Hoboken-IIacking, Pavonia, Na- 
visink, and Tappaen, were laid waste, and almost every settle- 
ment on the west side of the Higijlands was destroyed and the 
inhabitants slaughtered. 

The great dramatic event connected with the history of the 
Fort was its capitulation to tbe English in 1664, in a time of 
peace between England and the Netherlands. 

Charles IL, as is well known, !iad given a patent of a large ter- 
I'itory to his brother, the Duke of York and Albany, compre- 
hending Long Island and all the lands and rivers from the west 
side of the Connecticut Eiver to the east side of Dehiware Bay. 

In Se[)tember of 1664, accordingly, while the colony was un- 
der the direction of Gov. Stuyvesant, Col. Nichols, the Deputy- 
Governor appointed to reduce and govern the pi-ovince for the 
Duke, with scarcely note of warning, appeared in the bay with a 
a fleet of four ships of nearly 100 guns, and a body of 500 regu- 
lar soldiers, besides seamen. New Englanders also swelled the 
invading force, and the services of Long Island settlers and Sav- 
ages were also engaged. 



Hosted by 



Google 



27 

The Dutch colony was quite unprepared to contend with such 
a force, the Fort being in a dilapidated condition, manned by 
only 250 soldiers, and commanded by liills witliin pistol shot. 

The little garrison accordingly capitulated, with the honors of 
war, on the 8th of September. The Governor protested against 
the act, wishing to fight to the last, and exclaiming to the citi- 
zens requesting him to surrender, " I had much rather be carried 
out dead ! " 

The conclusion of Gov. Stuyvesant's reply to the summons of 
the English to surrender the town, against which they threatened 
the miseries of war, is worth recalling: 

" As touching," he writes, "the threats in your conclusion, we 

have nothing to answer, only that we fear nothing but what God 

(who is as just as merciful) shall lay upon us ; all things being in 

His gracious disposal ; and we may as well be preserved by Him 

with small forces, as by a great army, whicli makes us to wish 

you all happiness and prosperity, and recommend you to His 

protection. 

*' My lords, 

" Your thrice humble and affectionate servant and friend, 

"P. STUYVESANT." 

A dramatic picture suggests itself, representing a part of the 
English fleet in the bay between the Fort and Nutten (now Gover- 
nor's) Island, with its guns trained against the old fortification, 
whose flag was still flying in the Summer breeze ; the other ships 
landing their troops just below Breuckelen, there combining their 
forces with the English militia from New England, and crossing 
the river in boat and barge. 

The stout old Governor, standing on one of the outer bastions 
of the Fort, an artilleryman, with lighted match, at his side, wait- 
ing the approach of the invaders. A throng of the notables of 
the city. Burgomasters, and Schepens, and Burghers, all begging 
him to surrender, and exhibiting the liopeless condition of New 
Amsterdam, ." encompassed and hemmed in by enemies," whei-e 
defense w^as impossible, and the two Domines Megapolensis, 



Hosted by 



Google 



28 

father and son, imploring him not to commence hostilities which 
must end in destruction, and finally leading him between tliem, 
protesting and sorrowful, from the ramparts. 

The Dutch soldiers marched out of the old Fort, according to 
tlie terms of ca[)itulation, with their arms fixed, drums beating, 
and colors fl.ying, and matches lighted, down Beaver lane to the 
Waterside, and embarked for Holland. The English flag was 
hoisted over the Fort, which then became Fort James and ''Nieuw 
Amsterdam " " New York'' 

After its surrender to the English, the little town settled down, 
with Dutch stolidity, under its English rulers, wliose Government 
was kindly. For eight. years it pursued an even course under a 
Mayor and Aldermen, instead of a Sellout, Burgemeesteren, and 
Schepenen, until, on the war breaking out between the English 
and the Dutch in 1672, it was retaken by the latter. 

IN'ew Yoik thereupon was rechristened by the Dutch Governor 
Colve "New Orange." The name of New Netherland was 
restored, and the old fort was re-christened Fort ''Wilhelm Hen- 
drich;' in lionor of the Prince of Orange. 

On the subsequent peace, however, between England and Hol- 
land, in 1674, the region of New Netlierland was finally ceded to 
the English. 

Gov. Andros took possession for the Duke and re-christened 
'' New Amsterdam " as " New York," and the fort again became 
'''Fort James'' 

The fort was also the scene of stirring events during the times 
of anarchy when Leisler was dictatoi-. 

Here, with his owu hand, the self-constituted Governor had 
fired one of the fort guns at the King's troops, as they stood on 
parade, and in a sort of desperate infatuation began to batter the 
town. 

The old fort, during English colonial times, was the scene of 
gubernatorial state and show, and here too were fired salutes for 
His Majesty's birth-day, and for victory over Frenchman and 
Spaniard. 



Hosted by 



Google 



29 

The fort was also the scene of stirring events during our revo- 
lutionary period, and changed its flag under the fortunes of 
the war. 

At length, when peace had been estaiblished in the land, the 
services of this venerable servant of Bellona were considered no 
longer necessary by the " Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty," 
whose utilitarian spirit, in 1788, caused its final destruction and re- 
moval. And now no remnant remains of this ancient structure, 
that rose wnth the settlement of our island, and saw and shared its 
changing fortunes. 

The Chukch. 

Situated in the fort was the Church, where the purest Calvan- 
ism, as determined by the Synod of Dort, was disseminated suc- 
cessively by Domine Michaelius, Domine Bogardus, Domine 
Backerus, and Domines Megapolensis and Drisius. 

The earliest church services of the colony had been held in a 
spacious room or loft over a horse mill; and religious services 
were at first conducted by a " Kranhhesoeker " or consoler of the 
sick. This room was replaced by a plain barn-like wooden 
structure in 1633, situated on the north side of the present Pearl 
street, near AVhitehall. 

Under Governor Kieft the increasing population of the settle- 
ment required better accommodations, and the colonists came to 
the determination that their New England brethren, who had 
erected fine meeting-houses in their various settlements, ought 
not to excel them in this matter. 

In 1642, a church edifice was accordingly begun, and placed 
wdthin the fort for greater security against the attacks of 
Indians. 

The subscriptions for the new church were accomplished dur- 
ing a merry-making at the marriage of a daughter .of Domine 
Bogardus, and the Grovernor thought wisely that tlie hilarity in- 
cidental to such an occasion would stimulate the generosity of the 
wedding guests. A chronicle of the time tells us that, after the 



Hosted by 



Google 



80 

fourth or fiflh round of drinking, his Excellency, Governor Kieft, 
started the subscription with a large sum of guilders, and the rest 
followed his example and " subscribed richly." "Some of them," 
says De Yries, a then sojurner at the settlement, " well repented it, 
but nothing availed to excuse." 

This church had twin roofs side by side, and upon the gable 
end, toward the water, there was a small wooden tower wdth a 
bell, which called the good people to their devotions, and was also 
rung on occasions of warning or rejoicing. There was no clock, 
but a sun-dial on three sides, or the tower was surmounted by 
the usual weather- cock. 

Domine Evernrdus Bogardus came over in 1683, with the new 
Governor Van Twiller. The Domine was a prominent man in 
those days, next only in importance to the Governor, with whom 
he was often at loggerheads. Soon after his arrival he was smitten 
with the attractions of the widows of Roeloff Jansen, then the pos- 
sessor of the fine farm on the Hudson, and now favorably known 
to us as Anneke Jans. The Domine led to the hymeneal altar 
that historical pc^rsonage, of whom we shall have something more 
to say by-and-by. The Domine was often in contention with tlie 
governors of the period, and is recorded, when excited under a 
difference of opinion with Governor Yan Twiller, to have ad- 
drcwssed that functionary as a " Child of the Devil." 

Bogardus was continually at sword's-point, also, with Director 
Kieft. Kieft charged the Domine with continual intoxication, 
and a love of strife and slander, and with whatmust have cut him to 
the quick, of pi'eaching stupid sermons ; and sent missives to him 
of threat and denunciation, and divers orders to show cause why 
he should not be removed, which orders the Domine treated with 
open contempt. 

The Domine, on the other hand, fulminated against the Gover- 
nor from the pulpit and elsewhere, and denounced him as a con- 
summate villian; and declared that his (the Domine's) goats were 
a superior animal to the Dii'cctor ; and boasted, on one occasion, 
that he would give the Director from the pulpit, on the next 



Hosted by 



Google 



81 



Sunday, such a shake as would make them both shudder ! Kieft 
in retaliation, and to drown the Domine's anathemas, would also, 
at times, have a drum beaten and the cannon discharged from the 
the fort outside the church during service. Those were, indeed, 
trying times ! 

The Domine, also, was quite a litigant, and the gossips of the 
day must have been rarely exercised over their tea cups with the 
details and progress of an action brought by him against An- 
thony Jansen Yan Salee, as husband and guardian of his wife, 
Grietie, for slandering the Domine's wife. It seems Mrs. Anneke 
Bogardushad, on one occasion, iinpleasantly talked about Madame 
Van Salee; whereupon Madame Van Salee had said thatMadame 
Bogardus, in passing througli a muddy part of the town, 
had displayed her ankles more than was necessary. Under the 
judgment of the Court, Madame Van Salee had to make declara- 
tion in public, at the sounding of the bell, that she knew the 
minister to be an honest and a pious man, and that she had bed 
falsely. She was further condemned to pay costs, and three guil- 
den for the poor. This treatment might not be amiss for petty 
gossips even at the [)resent day. 

Tlie Domine, also, was defendant in a slander suit brought 
against him by Deacon Olof! Stevenson Van Cortlandt, which 
was of long duration ; and the attention of the little town was 
divided between these stirring events and divers troubles with 
the New Haven and Hartford colonies in the east, occurring 
about the same time. Domine Bogardus was finally drowned, 
together with his old opponent, ex-Director Kieft, they having 
together sailed in the ship "Princess" for Holland, which was 
wi-ecked off the English coast in 1647. 

Domine Backerus succeeded Domine Bogardus when Stuyve- 
sant became Governor, in 164:7, but left in a year or two, being 
succeeded by the learned Johannes Megapolensis, with whom was 
subsequently associated his son Samuel, and Domine Drisius. 

We may present to our.^^elves, for a moment, a picture of a 
congregation of our New Amsterdam predecessors, gathered 



Hosted by 



Google 



82 



together for a morning service in the church in the old fort; Jan 
Gillesen, the hlifnh, or bell-ringer, is lustily pulling at tlie sono- 
rous little Spanish bell, captured by the Dutch fleet from Porto 
Eico, whose sounds roll gently o'er hill and meadow, and reach 
the settlements on the Long Island shore. The morning sun 
is shining brightly over the bay, which glistens through th^ trees 
that are scattered over the verdant iield that rolls between the 
bay and the fort, while the cottages, with their high-peaked 
roofs, and the windmill by the fort, and a few sheep grazing in 
the distnnce, give a varied aspect to the peaceful scene. All 
labor hns ceased, the song even of birds seems hushed ; and the 
calm repose of the Sabbath seems to pervade the very aii', and 
gives to Nature nn additional serenity and repose. The neatly- 
clad people, in family groups, slowly and sedately wend their 
way through road and rural lane to the house of worship— some 
on foot, others on horse-back, or in vehicles, some hmding in 
boats from distant settlements or neighboring farms on either 



river. 



.Nicassius de Sille, the city "aS'c/wt/^^," accompanied by Hendrick 
Yan Bommel, the town, crier, is going his rounds to see that all 
is quiet and conformed to the sacredness of the day ; to keep the 
lazy Indians and negroes fi-om fightilig and gaming, and the tap- 
sters from selling liquor. In front, and on the side of the fort, is a 
concourse of waggons and horses; some animals let loose to 
graze on the hill-side that ran towards the water; otliers drink- 
ing from the trough supplied by the well before the fort; others 
cared for by the negro slave boys, who, proud of their charge, 
walk them to and fro, and occasionally take a sly ride from a 
complaisant animal. 

Now, preceded by old Claes Van Elsland, the Marshal of the 
Council (who also fuiailed the functions of sexton and doo-- 
whipper), and marching between the bowing people up the aisle, 
we behold him whose presence represents the "High and 
Mighty Lords, the States-General of the United Netherlands, 
His Highness of Orange, and the Noble Lords the Managers of 



Hosted by 



Google 



33 

the privileged West India Company " — no less a persoi^age, in 
fact, walking with a cane, sturdy and erect, in spite of bis 
wooden leg, than his Excellency De Heer Directeur Generaal 
Petrus Stuyvesant^ Governor of Nieuw Nederland^ accompanied 
by his wife, the lady Judith, walking stately and prim, as 
becomes her position as wife of the great Director; and by her 
side old Dr. Johannes de la Montagnie, ex-Councillor, and now 
Vice-Director at Fort Orange (Albany), who has come down on a 
visit to talk about state affairs. 

Following the Governor is the provincial secretary, Cornelius 
Van Ruyven, and his wife, Hildegonde, a daughter of Domine 
Megapolensis ; and here are tiie ''most worshipful, most prudent, 
and very discreet," their mightinesses the Burgomasters and 
Scliepens of New Amsterdam, answering to what are now the 
aldermen and common councilmen. Preceding them to tlieir 
official pew, with their velvet cusldons brought from the Stadt 
Huys, or City Hall, is old Maillicw de \'os^ llie luAn Muisljul. 

Walking in portly dignity are the Burgomasters, Oloff Steven- 
sen Van Cortlandt and Pauius Leedersen Vandiegrist ; and the 
most worshipful Schepens, Cornelius Steenwyck, Johannes de 
Peyster, Peter Wolfersen Van Couwenhoven, Isaac de Foreest 
and Jacob Strycker. 

Following them we observe Allard Anthony and Isaac Bed- 
low, the prosperous traders ; and Johannes de Witt, the miller 
and flour merchant; and Dr. Hans Kierstede, with his wife Sara, 
who was a daughter of Mrs. Anneke Jans Bogardus. And here 
is Madame Cornelia de Peyster, wife of the Schepen, with her 
golden-cksped psalm-book hanging from her arm by its golden 
chain ; and the wealthy fur trader, Peter Rudolphus de Vries, 
and Margaretta Hardenbrook, his bride, who, four years later^ 
married the lively young carpenter, Frederick PhilHpse, he, who 
a few years later became also Lord of Phillipse Manor, on the 
Hudson, by the Pocantico creek or Mill river, just above Tarry- 
town. And there was the great English merchant, John Dervall, 
and his handsome wife, Katherina, the daughter of Bui-gomaster 



Hosted by 



Google 



34 

OlofF Stevenson Yan Cortlandt— which lady, in after time, also be- 
came a wife of and brought a large fortune to the same lucky Mr. 
Frederick Phillipse, who then sat humbly in the back benches, 
little dreaming of the good fortune that was awaiting him by his 
marriage with the neigliboring two rich widows. And here is the 
substantial merchant, Jerominus Ebbing, and the widow de Hul- 
ler, to whom he was betrothed, daughter of old Johannes de Laet, 
one of the original proprietors of Eensselaerswyck ; and Mad- 
ame Margaretta de Eiemer, formerly Gravenraedt, just married 
to Schepen Cornelius Steenwyck ; and Mrs. Catherine de Boogh 
Beekman, daughter of Captain de Boogh, then running the 
smartest craft on the river, which Mrs. Catherine wns married to 
Wilhelmus Beekman, Director on South river. And hei-e is the 
widow of the late Secretary, Cornelius Van Tienhoven, whose 
hat and cane had been found in the North rivei", which was the 
last seen of the most unpopular man in Nieuw Amsterdam. 

Now enters Mrs. Elizabeth Backer, formerly Van Es, the great 
fur trader on the Heere-graeft, followed by her little slave boy, 
Toby, carrying her New Testament with silver clasps. 

And here, also, is the young baronet. Sir Henry Moody, son 
of Lady Deborah Moody, from " Gravenzandt,'' she who left the 
Massachusetts colony because of her views on infant baptism, and 
who had twice defended her house against savages in the troub- 
lous times. 

And come also to hear the Domine are some of the Van Cur- 
lers and Gerritsens and Wolfertsens and Slryckers, fiom New 
AmersfooKJt (Flatlands) ; and the Snedekors and Elbertsens and 
Van Ilattems, from ''Vlachehos;' or Midioout (Flatbush) ; and old 
Lubbertsen Vanderbeck from Breuckeltn ; and Eapeljes and 
Duryees and Cershous, from the WaalbogJu. 

Ami then follow tlie rest of the good citizens of the place, 
both those of the great and the small citizenship, the " Groote 
Bargerrechr and the '' Khine Burgerrecht''~J)\vQkYd.Y\ Schell- 
uyne the notary, Vanderspiegle the baker, whose two little girls 
subsequently married, one a DeForeest, and the other Eip Van 



Hosted by 



Google 



35 

Darn, the Colonial Lieutenant Governor; and burly Burger Jori- 
sen, tlie patriotic blacksmith from Hanover Square, the last man, 
ave years later, to advocate resistance to the English, and who 
abandoned the city in disgust after the surrender. • 

And then Pieter Cornelius Yanderveer and Mrs. Elsje, his 
wife, the daughter of the great mercliant, Govert Lockermans, 
which Mrs. Elsje subsequently married the unfortunate Jacob 
Leisler. Behind Mrs. Vanderveer were lier lively sisters, Mar- 
ritje nnd Jannetje, and near by, casting sheep's-eyes at the 
former, was Master Balthazar Bayard, whom she subsequently 
married. 

After the Domine's exhortntion was finished, and a prayer from 
Domine Drisius, and a psalm had been sung, led by Harmanus 
Van Hoboken, the schoolmaster and "- zieken-irooster '' or choir- 
leader, whose voice the widow Marritje Pieters particularly 
admired, the members of the congregation wended their way 
over street and path and meadow to their respective homes. 

The ladies dofEed their Sunday finery and set to work in 
hearty preparation of the noontide meal. 

The last we hear of the old Church is the finding of the stone 
which had been placed, when it was building, over the door in 
front. The New York Magazine, in 1790, records the finding of 
this venerable relic in these words : 

"June 23. On Monday last, in digging away the foundation 
of the fort, in this city, a square stone was found among the 
ruins of a chapel (which formerly stood in the fort), with the fol- 
lowing Dutch inscription on it : ' Ao. Do. M.D.CXLII. W. Kieft, 
Dr. Gr. Heefi de Oemeenten dese Tempel doen Bouwen.' In Eng- 
lish : 'A. D. 164:2. Wm. Kieft, Director General, hath caused 
this temple to be built for the community.' " 

This stone was removed, it is reported, to the Reformed Dutch 
Church in Garden street, now Exchange Place, where it was de- 
stroyed in the great fire of 1885. 

Quitting the Fort and .the Marchvelt, we proceed down the 



Hosted by 



Google 



S6 

rest of the modern Whitehall street, a part of which was in- 
cluded in the Marckvelt. 

A part of Whitehall, north of Stone, w^as also subsequently 
called '•' Beurs straat^' or Exchange street. 

On this street stood the Governor's house, built of stone by 
Stuyvesant, and called, under the English, the Whitehall, which 
gave the modern name to the street. The grounds extended to 
the river, where was a dock, to which was moored the Guberna- 
torial State barge. 

Crossing Whitehall is Stone street. This street, between 
Broad and Whitehall, was originally '' Bromver straat;'' between 
Broad and Hanover square, and up Pearl to Wall, it was called 
''Hoogh straat,'' High street, also " the road to tlie ferry," it being 
the nearest direct route from the Fort to the Long Island ferry. 
The i.iiiih^a) ihus made to the ferry was ihe origin of this street. 

The ferry road was continued through Hanover square and 
Pearl street to about the present Peck Slip, where were the prim- 
itive boats of the feriy of those days. 

On Brouwer straat lived many of the most prosperous citizens. 
Several breweries there gave its name to the street. 

We now come to Bridge street, which was the second street 
laid out or occupied as such. This street was called '' De Brugh 
straat;' or Bridge street, from its leading from the Fort to the 
bridge across the canal, which ran through Broad street. 

Winchel stieet lay parallel to Whitehall, between the present 
Pearl and Bridge streets. On this Winckel street, or Shop street, 
were five substantial stone store-houses, belonging to the Dutch 
West India Co. This street has now disappeared, there being no 
thoi-oughfare to represent it. 

We come next to what is the present Pearl street. Pearl 
street formed the original bank of the East river— Water, Front 
and South streets having been all subsequently reclaimed and 
built. Here was the first settlement; and some thirty or forty 
little bark or wood houses, clustered along the bank of the river 
south-east of the Fort, were the nucleus of this great city. 



Hosted by 



Google 



37 

Between Whitehall and Broad streets, Pearl street was called 
the Strand, " T Water,'' or at 'Hhe waterside." A portion of this 
street, between State and Whitehall, was also called '' Paerel 
straaty 

Between Broad street and Hanover square it was known as at 
the East river ; also " De Waal,'' being so called from a wall or 
siding of boards to protect the street from the washing of the 
tide. 

On Pearl street, between Broad and Whitehall, in the vicinity 
of the landing-place, were the residences of the principal traders 
and merchants. 

The old '' Stadt-huys," or City Hall, formerly the City Tavern, 
stood on the present northwest corner of Pearl and Coenties Al- 
ley. It had a cupola and a bell, which was rung on great occa- 
sions, and for the sessions of the Burgomasters and Schepens, and 
on publication of new laws. 

This '' Stadi-huys" was sold at auction in 1699, and the new 
City Hall erected about 1698, under the English rule, on Wall 
street at the head of Broad. 

The report of a trial held in the old "• Stadt-huys," hQ^orQ i}ie 
Court of Burgomasters and Schepens, has come down to us. It 
exhibits the original and primitive manner in which legal points 
were raised and justice dispensed, in that early time. 

Jan Haeckins was plaintiff and Jacob Yan Couwenhoven de- 
fendant. An abstract of the report reads thus : The plaintiff 
demands pay from defendant for certain beer sold according to 
contract. The defendant says the beer is bad. Plaintiff denies 
that the beer is bad, and asks whether people would buy it if it 
were not good? He further insists that the beer is of good qual- 
ity, and such as is made for exportation. Couwenhoven denies 
this, and requests that after the rising of the bench the Court 
may come over and try the beer, and then decide. The parties 
having been heard, it is ordered that after the meeting breaks up 
the leer shall he tried; and if good, then Couwenhoven shall make 



Hosted by 



Google 



38 

payment according to the obligation ; if otherwise, the plaintiff 
shall make deduction. 

Near the junction of the modern Pearl street and Stone street, 
was what was then known as Burger Jorisen's path, or Burgher's 
path, in the vicinity of the present Old Slip, so called after the 
sturdy blacksmith who lived there. 

We next in our peregrinations come to Broad street. 

Broad street w^as called '' c?e Heere graft ^^ and ^^ Breede graft^^ 
also the Common Ditch. 

Above Beaver street Broad street was " de Prince graft^^ and 
ran into the ^^Schaaep waytie^^ or sheep pasture, before spoken of. 

Our Dutch ancestors, of course, w^ere not happy without a ca- 
nal, and accordingly a miniature one was easily arranged out of 
the Broad street ditch ; a little estuary also ran in there from the 
Bay. . The ditch or canal ran up beyond Beaver street, and also 
branched to the west, into Beaver street. Its sides were planked 
in about the year 1657. 

Up this canal wei'e rowed and fastened the boats from the 
farms and market gardens on the opposite shores of Long Island, 
and the Bouweries^ on the East and North Kivers. 

The ditch in Broad street was not filled until after the English 
occupation in 1676. 

We now come to the modern William street. 

William street below Wall to Pearl was ^^ Smee straat^^' after- 
w^ards Smith street. 

South William street was formerly ^^ Slyck Steegie^^ or ^' Dirty 
Lane,'' subsequently ''Mill Street Lane;" there being a mill 
erected in the lane, which was originally a cid desac^ leading from 
Broad street to the mill. 

We have now again reached Wall street, at the foot of which 
is the Water poort or Water gate, closed at bell-ringing at nine in 
the evening, and opened at sunrise. 

We may for a moment picture to ourselves an assemblage of 
the good people of New Amsterdam, gathered together at the 
widow Mietje Wessels' tavern on Pearl street, near Broad, on the 



Hosted by 



Google 



39 

celebration of some festival day,, say that of their patron, Saint 
Nicholas, on the 6th of December, or a celebration of the ''Nieuw 
Jaar^'' or New Year. 

The assemblage embraces all classes of the citizens. The dis- 
tinctions of wealth and rank are not drawn so sharply as in 
larger communities, but a sympathy of interests and of dangers 
binds together the little settlement, gives stronger ties to fellow- 
ship, and produces a comparative social equality. 

The oil lamps and the dipped candles are flickering gaily from 
the snowy whitewashed walls of Madame Wessels' large assem- 
bly-room, and the fresh sand is arranged in gay festoons around 
the well-scraped floor, carefully prepared by the widow's daugh- 
ters Jannetje and Hendrickje. Old Mingo, the Governor's black 
slave, who has been lent for the occasion, is tuning his fiddle for 
the dance ; while on benches around the room sit many of the 
dignitaries and high officials of the settlement. 

We take a glance at the gentle sex as it assembles. 
We see complexions fair, features regular, and countenance 
placid— the invidious might call it somewhat inanimate. 

The figure is not tall, but healthy and generous. Nature is 
allowed to have her sway, without unseemly pressure or restric- 
tion. 

The hair is bound close to the head with a small cap on the 
back, leaving the dainty ear exposed with its ponderous gold or 
silver earrings. Large plates oF thin gold project from each side 
of the forehead, and in some cases there is a plate in the middle. 

Necklaces, too, hang around many a snowy neck, and at the 
sides of some hang embroidered purses, with silver ornaments 
and chain. 

Gowns of thick silk, heavily embroidered, with waists of a ro- 
tundity that would startle a modern Venus, encase forms that 
though substantial are agile in the dance, as the glowing and 
shiny face.^, after the active capering then in vogue, amply attest. 
. Some wear short petticoats, of fine blue or scarlet cloth, or of 
some gay striped design. Coat-tails, of a darker hue, project in 



Hosted by 



Google 



40 

the rear, and colored hose, with lively clocks on the side, encase 
limbs which attest the solid charms that result from health and 
exercise. 

Some of the more elegant dancers wear petticoats of quilted 
silk, of varied hue, embroidered with filagree in silver or in gold. 
The elderly ladies have about the head the crape or tartanet 
^'samare'' then in vogue. 

The gentlemen appear in homespun, serge, or kersey, or col- 
ored cloth; some in velvet or silk breeches, and coat flowered 
wiih silver, with, perhaps, gold or silver buttons, and lace neck- 
cloth, and silken stockings; shoes with buckles of copper or sil- 
ver, as suits the wearer's taste or means ; and some with steel or 
silver-handled sword hanging by the side. 

Among the young Juffers or misses, We notice Margrietje Van 
Cortlandt, subsequently Mrs. Jeremias Van Kensselaer, daughter 
of the notable burgomaster, Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt, who 
IS walking with becommg dignity about the room, with his little 
boy Johannes. 

We notice, also, Captaiii Martin Cregrier's pretty daughters, 
Lysheth and Tryntje, with their young brother Frans, who has 
proudly on his arm Miss Walburg de Silla, with whom the bans 
had just been published. 

Further on is de Heer Dirck Van Cleef, the prosperous trader, 
and his wife Geesje, and their two little people from the Cingel, 
the little girl in a mob-cap and long earrings, and the little boy 
in knee-breeches and silver-buckled shoes. 

And there is the fine lady of the day, Madame Ann Bayard 
Verlett, wife of Captain Nikolaes Verlett, formerly Ann Stuyve- 
sant, a relative of the Governor, and her three sons, Balthazar, 
Pieter, and Nikolaes, by her first husband, Samuel Bayard, all of 
whom became famous men during the English colonial time. 

"With Madame Bayard is her relative, the beautiful Judith Ver- 
lett, who, a few years later, when visiting Hartford, was arrested 
as a witch, and only delivered from the clutches of the ungal- 
lant Puritans by the most earnest action of the Governor. Now 



Hosted by 



Google 



41 

her witchery is exerted upon her attendant swain, Master Niko- 
Jaes Bnyard, whom she subsequently married. 

Walking with some dignitary of the day, is the proud Juffroma 
Antonia Van Slaghboom, Arent Van Corker's wife, who as- 
sumed her former name to show her descent, as being of the 
house of the Shighbooms. 

Talking with the bride, Mrs. Domine Drysius, we behold Do- 
mine Johannes Megapolensis and his wife, Mrs. Magteldt, near 
whom is her son Samuel, the young Domine, who has just grad- 
uated with honor at Harvard University, and her other sons, 
Dirck and Jan. And there, too, is her daughter, Hillegonde, car- 
rying her head pretty higii, for she is married to no less a person 
than Cornelius Van Ruy ven, the Colonial Secretary. 

And here is the elegant Margareta de Eiemers, now the bride 
of Cornelius Steenwyck, the rich merchant; and young Wilhelm 
Bogardus, a son of the late Domine, walking proudly with Miss 
Wyntje Sybrants on his arm, wiih whom he is soon to enter the 
bonds of matrimony. 

And there is the Don Giovanni of the period, Geleyn Verplanck, 
who, after many scrapes, finally was permanently captured by 
the fascinations of Hendrickje, daughter of Madame Wessels, 
then a young miss of about fifteen. 

Here also is Juffrouw Vander Donck, widow of iVdrian Van- 
der Donck, the Patroon or feudal chief of the colony of Colon 
Donck, between the Hudson and Zaeg-Kill,or Saw-mill Creek, who, 
from his Dutch appellation or sobriquet of the " Jonker," gave, its 
appellation to the modern Yonkei's. 

And theie is Nikcdaes de Meyer, and his wifeLydia — she that 
was' a Van Dyck, daughter of the rich Schout Fiskaal^ Van Dyck, 
and at whose wedding it is said a disappointed lover, young De 
Haas, took the lucky bridegroom by the throat, and would have 
strangled him bad the guests not interfered. 

Leaning on the arm of Jacob Steendam, the New^ Amsterdam 
poet, we see the gay divorcee, Mrs. Nikolaes de Sille, the only re- 
corded phenomenon of that kind in New Amsterdam. 



Hosted by 



Google 



42 

And here, too, is Mrs. Dr. Hans Kierstedt, from the Water- 
side, and her little girl Blandina, and near them Master Pieter 
Bayard, who afterwards married'the fair Blandina. 

And there were the lively young fellows, StofEel Hooglandt 
and Jan Ter Bosch, and also Conraedt or Coentie Ten Eyck, the 
tanner, on the Heere grafts who gave his name to Coenties 
Sh*p. 

Dancing lustily we see some more of tlie young girls and 
belles of the period — Gysbertje Hermans, and Tryntje Kip, and 
Maretje Yan Hoorn, and Geertruyd Wyngaerdt, and Jannetje 
Hillebrants, and Magdnleentje Yan Tellickhuysen, and Bellettje 
Plottenburg; all then buoyant and palpitating with life and joy, 
now vanished and numbered with the army of the Past. With them, 
too, is the stately Judith Isendorn, who soon after fell captive to 
the classic wooing of Aegidius Luyck, the Latin school- 
master. 

Here is bluff Thomas Hall, the English farmer, from the 
^^ Smiths Valley^''' near Beekman street, and Evert Duychingh and 
his wife Hendrickje, and Johannes Pietersen Yan Brugh, from the 
Hoogh Straat, the latter of whom married a daughter of Mrs. 
Domine Bogardus. 

There, also, walking about in uniform, with a proud beaut}'' on 
either arm, is the redoubtable commander. Ensign Dirck Smit. 
He who, with a dozen men, had marched through the then terra 
incognita down to the South or Delaware Eiver, to capture a 
Sweedish ship ; who, with a little garrison of 60 men, had defended 
the village of Esopus from the Indians, and had stood a three 
weeks' siege in the stockades, and who afterwards fought his way 
through the woods and took an Indian fort nine miles inland, just 
north of Esopus, and made the great Indian chief Popogunachen 
to flee before him. 

And there were the rich bachelors Balthazar de Haert, Jan 
Yan Cortlandt, and Jacobus Kip, and Johannes Neviu-S, the Clerk 
of the Court ; and also Carl Yan Brugh, the Company's " Opper 
Koopman " or chief commissary. 



Hosted by 



Google 



43 

And Jacob Melyn, son of the former Patroon of Staten Is- 
land ; and many more of the lads and lasses of the time who 
we may not further particularize. 

And there were solid rounds of beef, and pork, and venison, 
and sapaen and oysters, and Oly-Koechen. and Panne- KoecJcen in 
variety. 

And there was Antigua rum and brandy punch, and Fiall, 
Passado, and Madeira wines, and other strong potations that 
suited the stamina of the time — and kept off the cold of the 
wintry walk or drive. 

The revel, which began at five, was tinished by nine — when 
Captain de Pos with his rattle watch began to go the rounds — and 
there was a putting on of woollen and cloth wrappers, and " rain 
cloths," and yellow and red " love hoods," through which peered 
roguish eyes that often invited some entei'prising Jan or Dirck to 
take a New Year's smack^ on the home drive to the Bouwene — and 
soon the guests were gone, the lights out, and the full moon shone 
down on the glistening snow, piled on high peaked roof, and 
weathercock, and the gigantic windmill that stood like sentinel 
over the sleeping town, with no noise to break the silence of the 
night, save its creaking arms as they moaned under the blasts 
from the bay. Swinging in the moonlight, too, was the sign at 
the Widow Litschoe's tavern, on the water side, facing the East 
river, where had been another party of a different character. 

There — playing draughts and enveloped in smoky clouds, 
drinking capacious potations to his Mightiness of Orange and de 
Heer Directeur^ and confusion to the red men and Spaniards, 
and swearing big oaths of valor — had been Hendrick the smith 
from Brugh-Straat, and Jacob Schaafbanck the jailor, Albert 
Pietersen the trumpeter, and Hendrick Hendricksen the drummer, 
from Sinee street, and little Jan Jansen Busch the tailor ; which 
latter, being too noisy in his demonstrations and pugnacious in 
his mode of argument, Hendrick Van Bommel and Jan Jansen 
Van Langstraat, two of the night watch, were carrying off, kick- 
ing and roaring, to the jail-room in the Stadt-huys, there to finish 



Hosted by 



Google 



44 

the evening's amusements until he could resume his wonted 
phlegm. 

Outside of the city walls there were various localities of inter- 
est, but time will not allow more than a hasty glance at a few of 
them. 

Beyond the ^^ Water poort'' and city palisades, Pearl street was 
continued along the shore, and bore the name, up to about Peck 
Slip, of the " Smifs Valley " vley^ or valley. 

At about the foot of Peck Slip was the ferry to Long Island, 
where the passenger, if he desired to cross, blew tiie horn hang- 
ing there to summon William Jansen, the ferry man,, who for 
about three stivers, or six cents, would take him over the 
stream. 

Outside of the city palisades, beyond Wall street, Broadway 
was called the ^^Heere-Wegh.'" 

Beyond Wall street was the ^^ Maagde-Padije,'' or the Maiden 
Path, which nomenclature was changed to Green Lane or Maiden 
Lane about 1690. 

This lane was, under our Dutch ancestors, a rural shady walk, 
with a I'ivulet running through it, and sloping hills on either 
side, from one of which looked down Jan Yinge's windmill, on 
the Darnen farm, just north of Wall street. 

South of the Maiden Lane stretched the ^^ Klaaver Waytie^'" or 
pasture field of clover, belonging to the Jan Jansen Damen farm; 
and near by, a little cascade, formed from living streams, fell 
through the foliage over the rocks, and delighted the eye of the 
poet or lover of the period, as he roamed amid these then seques- 
tered shades. 

We pass Vandercliffe's orchard and Gouwenherg Hill, on part 
of the present Pearl, Cliff and John streets, then a favorite place 
of resort for the citizen on sultry summer nfternoons. 'J'here he 
might rest, fanned by breezes from the bay, overlooking the 
romantic wooded shores on the opposite side of the river, and re- 
freshed by a little stream that came singing down its rocky bed 
along the present line of Gold street. 



Hosted by 



Google 



45 

We pass also Bestevaers Kreupel hos, or Kripple Bush, since 
Beekman's Swamp, covering parts of Ferry, Gold, Frankfort and 
adjacent streets, and arrive at the Park, in those days called the 
''Vlacke,'' the Flat, or the Commons. 

On one side of this passed the main highway leading out of 
the town to the Bonweries, afterwards known as the Post road to 
Boston. 

To this Common the cows of the inhabitants were driven from 
the city by Gabriel Carpsey, the herdsman, who, as he passed 
along Broadway, Pearl street and Maiden Lane, blew his horn, 
and collected the cattle to be pastured, which came out lowing 
from their various enclosures. On his return along those streets, 
each respective cow, knowing her home, stood at the gate until 
admitted, the herdsman again blowing his horn to notify the 
owner to receive his docile animal. 

Passino- the corner of Chatham and Duane, we come to the 
fresh-water pond or lake, called the Kalch-hoeck, in subsequent 
days corrupted into the Colleck, or Collect. 

This pond was very deep, one of the most romantic spots on 
the island, and a favorite resort for the angler and the pleasure- 
seeker. 

Where the '^ Tombs " now looks grimly down on noisome 
Centre street, there was presented in those days a charming syl- 
van scene. Lofty hills, clad with verdure and rich with varied 
foliage, surrounded the clear waters of the lake, which was fed 
by rivulets that flowed in through gi'oves fragrant with flowers, 
and musical with the song of bii"ds. Little pleasure-houses were 
placed upon the banks and shore, and fairy-like boats skimmed 
the pellucid waters. 

Here the angler pursued his gentle sport, and here the lover 
of Nature came from the busy haunts below, and found repose 
and solace amid the peaceful scene. 

On this pond, in 1796, then 60 feet deep, John Fitch paddled, 
to the admiration of the gazing multitudes, his little experimen- 
tal steame-', about 18 feet long. 



Hosted by 



Google 



46 

North of the lake stretched the range of marsh land, which it 
was subsequently found necessary to drain thiough Canal street. 
From the Kalck pond, a little sparkling fresh water stream, 
called the '' Ould Kill;' or tlie ''Versch Water;' or fresh water, 
ran over Wolfert's meadow, which covered the present Eoosevelt 
street, and emptied into the East river at foot of James street, 
wliich stream was covered by a bridge at the junction of Eoose- 
velt and Chatham streets, in English times called the Kissing 
Bridge — so called because a certain salute was claimed there by 
enterprising travellers from their complaisant companions. 

Near this was the celebrated tea-water pump, whose water was 
subsequently carried in carts about the city, within the memory 
of many here. 

North of the Kalck Iloeck pond was land called the Werpoes, 
originally granted to Augustine Heermans, in 1651— about 50 
acres — and for a time a plantation for old negroes. 

In 1644 the woods were partially cleared between this planta- 
tion and the great Bouvvery, where was afterwards Governor 
Stuyvesant's house, between the present 2d and 3d avenues and 
10th and 11th streets, about 125 feet west of St. Mark's Church. 
There were five other Bouweries or farms that had belonged to 
the Company, between the Chathani Square and Stuyvesant's 
Bouwerie, that were sold to various individuals. 

The above farms were devastated by the Indians in 1655, but 
subsequently houses were again built on them, and the Bouwery 
road was established, running at first through dense woods. 

We read of one Jansen about this time asking to be released 
from his tenancy of land near the Bouwery, " as he had two 
miles to ride through a dense forest." 

On the west side of Broadway, between Fulton and a line be- 
tween Chambers and Warren Streets, and extending to the North 
Kiver, was the West India Company's farm, subsequently confis- 
cated by the English, afterwards known as the Duke's and 
King's Farm, and by the Crown ceded to Trinity Church. 



Hosted by 



Google 



47 

North of it was the Domine's farm or Bouwerie. This is the 
domain of Mrs. Anneke Jans or Jansen— as has been humorously 
said, " One of the few immortal names that were not born to 

die." 

This lady was born in Holland, and came over early ; her first 
husband was one Roeloff Jansen, a superintendent at Kensselaer- 
wyck, who subsequently came to New Amsterdam. On the de- 
cease of Jansen the fair widow was persuaded to re-enter the 
bonds of Hymen by Dornine Everardus Bogardus. Subse- 
quently, on the Domine's decease, the widow went to Albany, 
and died there in 1663. 

She had eight children, four under the first and four by the sec- 
ond marriage. 

Her will is at Albany, dated 29th January, 1663, by which she 
leaves to her children and grandchildren all her real estate in 
equal shares, with a prior cliarge of 1,000 guilders in favor of the 
children of the first marriage, out of the proceeds of their fath- 
er's place, viz.: a certain farm on Manhattan Island, bounded on 
the North Eiver. 

This farm had originally been conveyed by Governor Van 
Twiller to Koeloff Jansen. It was confirmed to Mrs. Anneke 
subsequently by a grant given by Stuyvesant in 1654, and was 
again confirmed in 1667 by the first English Governor, Nicolls. 

The farm consisted of about 62 acres, running on Broadway 
from Warren to Duane ; it then left Broadway on a northwest 
course, and ran north along the river. It commonly went by the 
name of the Domine's Bouwerie, the upper part above Canal be- 
ing called the Domine's Hook. 

A majority of the heirs, after Mrs. Anneke Jans Bogardus' 
decease, about the year 1670, made a conveyance of the tract to 
Governor Lovelace, whose interest in the same was subsequently 
confiscated for debt by Governor Andros, under orders from the 
Duke. It was then called the Duke's farm, and was subse- 
quently granted to Trinity Church by Queen Ann. 



Hosted by 



Google 



48 

The claim of the heirs who did not join in the transfer of the 
propei-tj, and their descendants, has been asserted at different 
times down to the present day, and a riglit of escheat has also 
been claimed as against Trinity Church in favor of the State. 

The heirs claim that the grant of the tract by Queen Ann 
to the Church was invalid, inasmuch as the Crown had no title to 
their portion of it. 

The first suit we i-ead of was brought by Cornelius Brower, 
one of the heirs, in 1750, in which he was non-suited, and in 
1760 a verdict was rendered against him; and for the rest of the 
century, in the newspapers of the time, are to be found notices 
of meetings of the heirs for the assertion of their claims. 

In 1807 suit was brought by one Col. Malcolm ; one in 1830, 
by three of the heirs ; and other suits in 1834: and in 1847, and 
also since that date, which all resulted in favor of the churcli. 

We subsequently read of private meetings and mass meetings, 
at different times, of these irrepressible heirs, who are now daily 
increasing, in geometrical proportion. 

At one of the last grand meetings in 1868, in Philadelphia, 
delegates were present from five States, and upwards of two 
thousand heirs were represented, and bonds were issued to pay 
expenses. 

A suit, I believe, is now being prosecuted in the Circuit Court 
of the United States, of this circuit, to re.cover this ancient piece 
of swamp pasturage, which now is worth many millions, but at 
one time is stated to have been leased for the annual rerit of two 
hogs ! 

The church title is not, as is alleged by the heirs, placed upon 
the deed from a majority of the heirs in 1670 to the English 
Governor Lovelace, but upon the grant to the Church by Queen 
Ann in 1705, and a continuous and open adverse occupancy and 
possession by the church, since that time, which possession under 
a claim of title has made, it is asserted, an indefeasible title. 

The heirs in their litigation meet the defence of adverse pos- 
session — which, by law, in twenty years ripens into a title — by 



Hosted by 



Google 



49 

the plea that Trinity Church does not hold adversely, but 
merely by a possessorship as tenant in common under the deed 
to Lovelace by a part of the heirs; and claim the well-known 
principle of law that one tenant in common holds for the joint 
benefit of his co-tenants, and cannot hold adversely. 

North of tlie Domine's Bouwerie was an extensive swamp, and 
north of that the tract known to antiquarians as " Old Jans 
land ; " being the land of old Jan CelQS, a settler from New Eng- 
land in 1635. 

Time will not allow me further to pursue my sketch of the 
people and places of this our earlier period. 

A period which seems to increase in interest as it recedes into 
the past. 

Kecent historians have brought forward pi-ominently the cour- 
age, tbe patriotism, and the worth of the Batavian people, 
co-workers with the Anglo-Saxon in vindicating human rights 
and extending the area of liberty. 

A people, it has been remarked, whose country, created in the 
midst of marshes, had no solid foundation except in tbe wisdom 
of her rulers and the untiring industry of her people. 

A people whose learning has given to science discoveries that 
have proved of lasting benefit to humanity. 

A people whose patriotism overwhelmed their land with the 
floods of ocean to keep.it from invasion, and whose courage has 
never given way under oppression or defeat. 

A people who, emerging triumphant from the bloody struggle 
which for nearly half a centuiy had taxed their life and their 
resources, established public schools, and gave to Europe free- 
dom of education, of conscience and leligion. 

A people whose country, in the face of the inhumanity and 
intolerance of the time, was, like the Jewish altar, an asylum for 
the persecuted and oppressed ; and which, says Michelet, was 
the bulwark, the universal refuge and salvation, humanly speak- 
ing, of the human race. 



Hosted by 



Google 



Hosted by 



Google