DESCRIPTION of THE TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP of 1766-7
1766 MAP Main
Source: Manual of the Common Council of the
City of Brooklyn for 1864.
The map herewith resented of " Part of Nassau Island," was the result
of a government survey, New York being under English jurisdiction at the
time and its perfect accuracy may therefore be relied on.
A belief exists that at one time people and cattle waded across from Brooklyn
to Governor's Island, across Buttermilk Channel, which was then fordable.
It will be seen by a view of the map, the water
in the channel in 1766 was four fathoms deep.
The origin of the story in this, given by the indefatigable antiquarian,
T. G. BERGEN, Esq.
On a trial which took place in 1741. between Israel HORSEFIELD, plaintiff, and
Hans KERGEN, defendant, in which the matter in controversay was the boundaries
of their respective farm : Maritie BEVOIS testified that she was aged near 85,
had resided in "Brookland" about 63 years, and had heard Jeromus REMSEN's
mother say, that there was only a small creek between Nutten Island and the
shore, and that a "Squah" carried her sister over in a tub, that that sister
was the first born in this country.
Jeromus REMSEN testified, that he was aged 77 yrs and was born and
had alw»ys lived in Brookland. "Says he had heard his mother say she
was carried off Nutten Island by a Squah, and that it was all sedge and
meadow, only a creek between Nutten Island and Long Island; his mother's
sister waa first born in this country; if's now 116 or 117 yrs since she was
born: his mother was 4 yrs younger, he heard often from other
people that there was but a creek between Nutten and Long Island."
From this testimony it may be inferred, that Jannetie, daughter of Joris
JANSEN de RAPAPLIE, wife of Rem VANDERBEECK, the ancestor of the REMSEN'S and
mother of Jeromus, as well as her sister Sarah was carried from
Nutten to Long Island, Sarah being born about 1625, which agrees with
the recorded date of her birth. Possibly from REMSEN referring to his
mother's sister Sarah, he may have intended to have been understood as
saying that Sarah, and not his mother, was the one carried over, as previously
testified to by Maratie BEVOIS, and that the tridition referred to
the same person.
The tradition is given by these witnesses, that Govemor's Island and
Long Island were so closely connectedat the time of the early settlement
of the country, and which has been reiterated by some of our writers,
with the addition that cattle were in the habit of wading over, is doubted
by many intelligent persons, and there is nothing in the early maps of
the vicinity favoring its accuracy. RATZER'S map of 1776 giving three fathoms
as the least depth of the channel. Old traditions on being compared
with documentary evidence, are found to be very unreliable. No docks,
until about the period of this trial, were built east of Wall street, that
could have the least effect in diverting the currents of the East River towards
Buttermilk Channel. It is well known to residents on the Bay of
New York, that the loss by abrasion on its shores is caused mainly by the
waves during storms and high tides, and very little, if any, by the ordinary
currents. The theory advanced by some, that the docks of the city
changed the current so as to sweep the intervening meadows, and form a
fordable creek from a deep, wide, and navigable strait, does not therefore
appear to be very tenable.
BUILDINGS AND LOCALITIES MARKED ON THE MAP
1. This building was the old VAN DYKE mansion, whose owner kept the
mill known by his name, where the wheat and grain of the neighboring farmers
were brought to be ground. Both the mill and the mansion have disappeared.
2. SEABRING'S mansion-
the residence of Isaac SEABRING, the site of whose mill is also given on the map.
3.This old edifice was ownedand occupied by Jacob BERGEN
and was torn down only about ten yrs ago. (c1855)
4. Was built by Frederick LUBBERTSE,
one of the old residents, whose name
frequently appears among thosc of the early settlers in town
records and in which chronicle the local political movements of his day.
He had a patent for a large tract of land covering over 400 acres, a description
of which was given in the manuel of last year.
The house afterwards came into the possession of Johannas, father of Jacob BERGEN,
and has long since disappeared.
5. Is the old CORTELYOU house,
of which was given in the manuel of last year and
which rears it's venerable front on Fifth avenue near Fourth street.
6. This house was built by Tuenis TIEBOUT.
It afterwards came into the possession
of Theodore POLHEMUS, who is the present owner. It also still stands, having up
to this time successfully resisting the elements and the march of progress.
7. This old house was built and occupied by Michael BERGEN,
and was located on the patent of land granted to Albert Cornellissn WENTENEAR.
The land was subsequently aquired by Michael BERGEN, and at a later date becam part
of the George POWERS estate. It was rebuilt at the time of the Revolution by
Michael GRANT, a grandson of Michael BERGEN and was torn down within a few years.
There is quite a romantic incident connected with the history of this edifice.
GRANT, by whom it was rebuilt was a suitor (so runs the legend), for the hand of a
Miss COWENHOVEN, of Bedford, with a fair prospect of his suit reaching a favorable
consummation. In anticipation of the completion of his happiness, he built,
the house with all suitable conveniences, to gratify the taste and promote the
comfort of its future mistress. But his cup of bliss was rudely dashed from his lips,
for the fair one, with the proverbial fickleness of her sex, rejected the ardent
swain, and in a fit of bitter disappointment he sold the mansion and transferred
himself to Nova Scotia, where he ultimately settled down in life, and where his
descendants, now reside.
There is no doubt whatsoever of the authenticity of the story.
8. The old COWENHOVEN house-
the family mansion of the ancestor of
very numerous descendants, many of whom now reside Brooklyn.
9. This is the site of the old house of Jores JANSEN de RAPAPLIE
father of Sarah, the first white child born in the colony of the New Netherlands,
and from whom the family of Gen. Jeremiah JOHNSON is indirectly descended.
10. This is the site of an old house occupied by Jacob VAN BRUNT,
a descendant of LUBBERTSE, and whose descendants still reside in Brooklyn.
II. This is the site of the old DUFFIELD house,
a fine view which is given on the
plate representing the old Dutch Reformed Church in this volume.
In 1828 a survey was being made on the part of the city including the old DUFFIELD
farm, but Mrs. DUFFIELD, the old lady who then occupied the house resisted it
strenuously. Advantage was taken of her temporary absence in New York on a
certain day, when the surveyors ran their lines over the premises. Duffield street
was afterwards opened, and the street cut off a part of the Dutch kitchen, which,
it will be observed was a conspicous feature of the edifice. No wonder the venerable
proprietress objected to have her Lares and Penates so rudely cast from their niches.
16. This was an old brick house which stood on the left hand side
(going up from the ferry) of the tortuous and winding road which afterwards
became Fulton street. It was situated near what is now the junction of
Nassau and Fulton streets, and was owned and occupied by Isaac NICHOLS, about
the commencement of the present century. The house waa originally the residence
of John RAPELYEA, who adhered to the Tory cause in the time of the Revolution
in consequence of which his property was confiscated. He went to England himself,
where he remained, until his death. The property, including the house, was bought by
Joshua and Comfort SANDS, shortly after the Revolution, and was occupied by the
SANDS family for a long number of years. It yielded to the march of events, and
disappeared many years since.
16. This house was the family mansion of John MIDDAGH, who owned a
large estate in the vicinity. The HICKS mansion does not seem to have
been erected until a later date, as it does not appear upon the map. The
MIDDAGH and HICKS estates, however, covered a large section traversed
in part by the streets which have derived their names from the founders
of these estates. The old mansions of course, are now among the things
17. LIVINGSTON'S Distillery-
situated ut the foot of the present Joralemon street.
This was a very extensive distillery in its day; but it was
destroyed by fire in the time of the Revolutiouary War. On the hill
above the distillery stood the mansion of Tuenis JORALEMON,
(who purchased of the LIVINGSTONS) whose daughter afterwards became the
wife of ex-Mayor SMITH. The house was situated near LIVINGSTON'S Distillery.
The Heights then presented the appearance of a rough and bold promontory; no
docks, wharves or store-houses lined the shore: but a sandy
beach, from which arose a promontory of rocky cliffs, as unlike the present
aspect of the locality, as can well be imagined. The cliffs were covered with
a fine growth of cedar trees, which gave to the place a remarkably pictuesque
appearance, when seen from the New York side. The old mansion stood on the right
hand side going up of what is now Joralemon street, and right across the street
stood the REMSEN manaton, situated on the REMSEN estate, which comprised a large
tract of land, including that on which the City Hall now stands. The estate
commenced at the river, southeast of the JORALEMON estate, and ran out to
Fulton street and Ful ton avenue.
18. The Old BROUWER MILL or "Upper Mill"(Freeckes)
19. BROUWER MILL or "Lower Mill", afterwards: Dentons
20.The GOV. GOLDEN HOUSE
21. The BAMPER HOUSE
22. The MIDDAGH HOUSE
23. BERGENS HILL
A. CORPORATION HOUSE
B. Site of bridge between Red Hook and mainland on Smith; about 100 ft. west of Dwight St.
C. CEDAR TREE HILL
D. KOETIES KILL (from Kooije, a cow) its entrance on East River was between
Tremont & Williams Sts. 150 ft east of Van Brunt St,
E. GRAVERS KILL, erroneously cofounded with Koeties Kill. Its entrance on East River
was at N.E. cor. Ewer & Van Brunt Sts.
Transcriber: Nancy E Lutz
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