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Under the Dutch.
A PAPER READ BEFORE THE
New York Historical Society,
June 2, 1874.
JAMES W GERARD.
F. B. Patterson, 32 Cedar Street.
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
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
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,
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-
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-
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.
The scholastic world still dreamed its old dreams, and wrapped
itself in its cloak of Aristotle. Circumnavigation was impos-
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
Geography vindicated her sister astronomy, and the world was
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.
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
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
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-
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,
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
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-
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
it was called after Prince Maurice, and a few houses or huts
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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-
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
*' My lords,
" Your thrice humble and affectionate servant and friend,
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,
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
Gov. Andros took possession for the Duke and re-christened
'' New Amsterdam " as " New York," and the fort again became
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
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
The fort was also the scene of stirring events during our revo-
lutionary period, and changed its flag under the fortunes of
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
.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
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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.
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
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
On Pearl street, between Broad and Whitehall, in the vicinity
of the landing-place, were the residences of the principal traders
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
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
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-
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
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
the rear, and colored hose, with lively clocks on the side, encase
limbs which attest the solid charms that result from health and
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
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
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.
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
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-
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.
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.
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
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
the evening's amusements until he could resume his wonted
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
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
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-
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.
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
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-
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.
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.
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
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-
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.
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
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
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
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
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.