HISTORY OF QUEENS COUNTY with illustrations, Portraits & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co.; 1882. pp. 74-143. History of Queens Countyenter name and hit return
THE TOWN AND VILLAGE OF FLUSHING.
THE first half of the seventeenth century was crowded with incidents and events of the gravest importance to the history of the world at large; and in no quarter of the globe was this more noticeably the case than on the Western hemisphere. The previous century had given an impetus to the spirit of adventure, and to commercial enterprises, that even the disasters attending the Spanish colonies or the almost ceaseless warfare in Europe had failed to check; and there had sprung up in the hearts of thousands, proscribed and exiled for their religious views, the hope that on the shores of America was to be found a haven of spiritual peace and freedom from persecution. That this feeling was prudently fostered by one or two of the European powers is well known to the readers of history, and in this wise and liberal course the States- General of Holland were so far the leaders as justly to entitle that country to the grateful memories of those who to- day enjoy the sunlight of free thought in this land of the free; and it may be well to remark here that, although we shall have occasion to censure the arbitrary acts of local officials, there is no evidence that such acts were other than the unauthorized officiousness of a governor, and there is much to prove that his course was not dictated by orders from the home government, but, rather, was severely censured. The writer is inclined to differ from many American historians as to the influence of certain events on the national character, and to believe that to the Dutch settlements under the Prince of Orange is due an equal if not a greater effect on the character of our institutions than can be traced to any contemporaneous colony. Antedating the Massachusetts settlements nearly a quarter of a century, the Dutch possessions had become influential when that of Plymouth Rock was still struggling against the disadvantage of a sterile forest- covered soil and fighting hostile tribes of Indians; and but eighteen years elapsed after the landing of the "Mayflower" before the growth of New Amsterdam had extended to the locality whose history this article narrates, and the first settler of Vlissingen staked out a home at the head of the bay. That these first settlers were Englishmen does not invalidate our claims as regards the Dutch, as they were English refugees, who came from their temporary residence in Holland, to which they had been driven because of their creed, belonging as they did to the community of Friends or Quakers. There is little doubt, however, that the love of their native land proved too strong for their allegiance to the Dutch government, and was a prominent factor in the final transfer of Long Island to the British; one of the instances, not infrequent, where English intolerance and injustice became the cause of her profit, and one which confirms the belief that the author of the famous adage "Honesty is the best policy" was not a Briton, or, if he was, that he did not draw the inspiration for his proverb from a perusal of British history.
SETTLEMENT AND ACQUISITION OF LAND.The best attainable data place the first settlement on Flushing Bay at about 1643, and in the next seven years the number of settlers had increased by additions of Friends from Holland, and several who were accredited as coming from the Massachusetts colony, and who were driven here by the practical operation of the strange interpretation placed on their boasted motto "Freedom to worship God," by the proprietors of that colony. The oldest official document throwing light on the first settlement of this place- Vlissingen, as it was then called, after a village in Holland in which the English refugees had lived, and of which name Flushing is a corruption- is dated in 1645, and is a charter for a town, granted by Governor Kieft and found embodied in a confirmation granted by the State of New York in 1782. The original manuscript, including a renewal granted by English authority in 1685, was lost in the destruction of the town’s records by fire in 1789; and on the 24th of February 1792 an exemplification of Flushing patent was issued by Attorney- General James Graham, which is now on file in the town hall. The English renewal of Governor Kieft’s charter was by Governor Dongan, in the name of James II, the reigning king of England. The tract in question was granted, according to the governor’s announcement, in 1666 to John Lawrence, alderman of the city of New York, Richard Cornell, Charles Bridges, William Lawrence, Robert Terry, William Noble, John Forbush, Elias Doughty, Robert Field, Edward Farrington, John Marston, Anthony Field, Philip Udall, Thomas Stiles, Benjamin Field, William Pidgeon, John Adams, John Hinchman, Nicholas Parcell, Tobias Feakes and John Bowne as patentees, for and in behalf ofthemselves and their associates, the freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Flushing, their heirs, successors and inhabitants, forever, and was described as follows: "All that Certaine Town in the North Riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island called by the name of Flushing, Scituate, lying and being in the north side of said island; which said hath a Certaine tract of land belonging thereto, and bounded westward beginning at the mouth of a creeke upon the East River known by the name of Flushing Creeke, and from thence including a certain neck of land called Tuesneck, to run Eastward from the head or middle whereof a Line is to be run South East; in length about three miles and about two miles in breadth as the Land hath been surveyed and laid out by virtue of an order made at the General Meeting held at the town of Hempstead in the month of March one thousand six hundred and sixty- four; then that there may be the same lattitude in Breadth on the South Side as on the North, to run in two direct Lines Southward to the middle of the hills, as is directed by another order made of the General Meeting Aforesaid; which, passing East and West as the two are now marked, is the Bounds between the said Towns of Flushing and Jamaica; for the greatest parte of which said tract of Land and premissess there was heretofore a Pattent granted from the Dutch Governor William Kieft, bearing date the tenth day of October one thousand six hundred and forty five, Stilo Novo, unto Thomas Farrington, John Lawrence, John Hicks and divers other Patentees, their Successors, Associates and assignes, for them to improve, manure, and settle a competent number of familyes there upon." The document then recites that on the 14th of April 1684 Elias Doughty, Thomas Willett, John Bowne, Matthias Harvey, Thomas Hicks, Richard Cornell, John Hinchman, Jonathan Wright, and Samuel Hoyt, agents of the freeholders of the town of Flushing, to perfect their title, bought from certain Indians who claimed their territory, "all the lands, situate, lying and being on the North Side of Long Island, called and knowne by the name of Flushing, within Queens County, the first bounds whereof begin to the West with Flushing Creeke, to the South by Jamaica Line, to the East by Hempstead Line, and to the North with the Sound, for and in consideration of a valuable sume then received." It is further stated that the inhabitants of Flushing and Jamaica agreed upon their boundaries as follows: "That from the foot or bottome of the hills upon the South side the Town of Jamaica shall have Seven Score Rodd upon a direct and straight point unto the hills in all places from the Eastermost Bounds of Jamaica, being at a marked Walnut tree upon Rockie hill, standing upon the West Side of the Road between Flushing and Hempstead, to the Westermost Bounds of Jamaica and Flushing in the hills;" also that "by another Certaine Writing or agreement, dated the last day of June one thousand six hundred eighty four, made by Elias Doughty, John Seaman, Thomas Willett and John Jackson, the Bounds between the towne of Flushing and Hempstead are to begin at the middle of the bay, where Capt. Jacques runn the line, and to hold the same until it comes to the land Called by the name of the Governor’s Land, and then from the South side of the Governor’s Land towards the End of the plaine to the former markt tree that stands in the Hollow, and to run from thence upon a direct line unto the Rockyhill Westerly, where Carts usually goe to Flushing;" also that the patentees and their associates "have, according to the Custom and Practice in this Province, made several divisions, allottments, distinct settlements and improvements of severall pieces and parcells of the above recited tract," and that application had been made to the governor by Joseph Smith and Jonathan Wright for a confirmation of the patent. In view of these facts Governor Dongan issued the following: "Now, for a Confirmation unto the present Freeholders and Inhabitants of the said Towne, their heirs and Assigns, in the Quiett and peaceable possession and enjoyment of the aforesaid Tract of Land and premises, Know Yee that, by virtue of the Commission and Authority, I have ratified, Confirmed and Granted unto Thomas Willett, John Lawrence Seignor, Elias Doughty, Richard Cornell, Moriss Smith, Charles Morgan, Mary Fleake, Wouter Gisbertson, John Masten, John Cornelis, John Harrison, Denius Holdron, John Hinchman, William Yeates, Joseph Thorne, John Lawrence Junior, Matthias Harveye, Harmanus King, John Farrington, Thomas Williams, Elisabeth Osborn, Joseph Havyland, John Washborne, Aaron Cornelis, John Bowne, William Noble, Samuel Hoyt, Madeline Frances Barto, John Hoper, Thomas Ford, John Jenning, John Embree, Jonathan Wright, Nicholas Parcell, William Lawrence, Richard Townly, Edward Griffin Junior, John Lawrence at the Whitestone, Henry Taylor, Jasper Smith, Richard Wilday, Thomas Townsend, John Thorne, Anthony Field, John Adams, Richard Stockton, James Whittaker, Hugh Copperthwaite, Richard Chew, James Clement, Margaret Stiles, Samuel Thorne, Thomas Hedges, William Haviland, Thomas Hicks, John Terry, David Patrick, James Feake, Thomas Kimacry, Phillip Udall, Thomas Davis, Edward Farrington, Thomas Farrington, Matthew Farrington, John Field, Joseph Hedger, John Talman, William Gael, William White, Elisabeth Smith, Thomas Partridge, William Hedger and Benjamin Field, the present freeholders and Inhabitants of the said Towne of Flushing, their heires and Assignes for Ever, all the before recited tract and parcell or neck of land set forth, limited and bounded as aforesaid by the aforementioned patent, Indian deed of sale, and agreements; together with all and singular the houses, Messuages, Tenements, Fencings, Buildings, Gardens, Orchards, Trees, Woods, Underwoods, Highways and Easements whaesoever belonging or in any ways appertaining to any of the afore recited tract, Parcell or neck of land, divisions, Allottments and settlements made and appropriated before the day and date hereof. And as for and concerning all and every such parcell or parcells, tract or tracts of Land and Meadow Remainder of the Granted premissess not yet taken up or appropriated to any particular person or persons before the day of the date hereof, to the use and behoof of the purchasers above recited and to their heires and assigns for Ever, to be Equally divided in proportion to the above recited Inhabitants and Freeholders aforesaid and to their respective heires and assignes for Ever, without any let, hindrance or molestacion, to be had or reserved upon pretence of joint tenancy or survivorship, or anything herein Contained to the Contrary in anywise notwithstanding: To be holden of his Most Sacred Majesty, his heires and successors, in free and Common Socage, according to the tenure of East Greenwich in the Kingdom of England, Yielding therefore and paying Yearely and Every Yeare an acknowledgement or Quit- rent to his Majesty, his heires and successors as aforesaid, or to such officer or officers as shall by him or them be appointed to receive the same, at New Yorke, in lieu of all services and demands whatsoever, Sixteen bushels of good Marchantable winter wheate on Every five and twentieth day of March." Attached to this is the official indorsement of George Clinton, governor of the State of New York, bearing the date of February 24th 1792 and the great seal of the State; well named, as it is nearly half an inch in thickness and three and one half inches in diameter, made of wax and covered with paper. Subsequent events seemed to prove that the charter granted by Governor Kieft was one which, while it fully guaranteed the freedom of its recipients from any more burdensome exactions than the patent confirmed by the British governor, was a source of annoyance to Kieft’s successor in office, as the sturdy independence of the patentees led them to resist any encroachments of the governor upon their vested rights and to refuse to render to the colony any assistance, other than that nominated in the bond. The Indians mentioned in the above instrument were the chiefs of the Matinecock tribe, once very numerous and whose principal settlements within the town limits were at Little Neck and Bayside, at which places they "dried" oysters and clams for winter use, and engaged in the manufacture of wampum of a very superior quality, which was the circulating medium of the locality for many years. In fact the Matinecocks operated the first mint ever opened on the island, and, though its raw material was not intrinsically valuable, yet the coin, even though made of sea shells, was the natural progenitor of the "fiat money" idea that is now attracting attention among financiers. So full a description of this tribe is given elsewhere in this volume that no more space need be devoted to the subject in this article, further than to say that here as elsewhere the edict "Move on" was early enforced, and that the annals of the period of which we are now writing make but slight allusion to them. It is, however, a credit to the pioneers of Flushing that they conceded to the poor red man some title to the soil; and that though, as Mandeville relates, the price paid for the fee simple was only one axe or its equivalent for each fifty acres, yet the present owners of the soil can trace their titles untainted by the robbery by which so much of the landed wealth of America was wrested from the aborigines. The extensive vlaies or salt meadows were probably among the inducements which led the agricultural people by whom the town was settled to locate here, as within four years after the date of the charter a writer described the town as a handsome village, tolerably stocked with cattle.
CIVIL TROUBLESThe earliest date of any event of importance to the new town is January 17th 1648, when John Townsend, Edward Hart, Thomas Styles, John Lawrence and John Hicks were summoned to appear before Governor Stuyvesant and council on January 23d as "the principal persons who resist the Dutch mode of choosing sheriffs, pretending it is against the adopted course in the fatherland, and who refuse to contribute their share of the maintenance of the Christian, pious Reformed minister, and if they refuse, to be apprehended and prosecuted by the attorney- general." This was the first symptom of resistance to Stuyvesant’s bigotry and oppression. Another entry from the court records is as follows: "April 8th 1648.- Thomas Hall, an inhabitant of fflishingen, in New Netherland, being accused that he prevented the Sheriff of ffiishingen to do his duty and execute his office in apprehending Thomas Heyes, which. Thomas Hall confessed that he kept the door shut so that noe one might assist the Sheriff, demands mercy and promise he will do it never again and regrets very much that he did so. The director general and Council doing Justice condemn the said Thomas Hall in a fine of 25 guilders, to be applied at the discretion of the council." On the 22nd of April 1655 Thomas Saul, William Lawrence and Edward Farrington were appointed magistrates from a list of persons nominated by the town; and Tobias Feake was appointed sheriff. The sentence of Henry Townsend (who had been a highly respected resident of the town, then living in Jamaica, or Rudsdorp as it was called by the Dutch) on the 15th of September 1647 for having called together conventicles aroused the freedom-loving people of both towns to unite in a remonstrance, dated December 27th in the same year, and resulted in the arrest of Sheriff Feake, Magistrate Farrington and Town Clerk Edward Hart. Feake was degraded from office and sentenced to banishment, or to pay a fine of two hundred guilders. Farrington sued for and obtained pardon, and on a petition from Hart, who showed that he was only acting in the matter as a scrivener, he was excused on payment of costs. Town meetings were then forbidden "except for highly interesting and pressing reasons," and in an order of March 26th 1658 Governor Stuyvesant, after bestowing his formal pardon on the town for its "mutinous orders and resolutions," says: "In future I shall appoint a sheriff acquainted not only with the English and Dutch languages, but with Dutch practical law; and in future there shall be chosen seven of the most reasonable and respectable of the inhabitants, to be called tribunes and townsmen, whom the sheriff and magistrates shall consult in all cases; and a tax of twelve stiver sper morger is laid on the inhabitants for the support of an orthodox minister, and such as do not sign a written submission to the same in six weeks may dispose of their property at their pleasure and leave the soil of this government." This was in direct violation of the town charter, which gave the people the right of choosing their own civil officers, and full liberty of conscience; yet so obstinate had the sturdy old Knickerbocker become, in his attempt to establish a State church, that he did not allow that trifling circumstance to affect his course in the least. His enmity toward the English settlers, dating back to the protest of 1653, in which John Hicks and Tobias Feake represented the town, led to an arbitrary exercise of his power. This, although unsustained by the home government, destroyed the sympathy for and loyalty to the States- General on the part of many who were inclined to be grateful for past favors; and in 1662 Flushing became one of the English towns which in convention at Hempstead offered their allegiance to the British colony of Connecticut. It was accepted by that colony, and steps were taken to protect the newly acquired territory from the claim of its late masters. The new association proved, in many respects, unsatisfactory. The authors of the Blue Laws seemed inclined to regard their new friends rather in. the light of vassals than equals; and the enforcement of the Duke of York’s claim on Long Island, by its capture by the British in 1664, was welcomed by the English- born residents, and tolerated by the Dutch and French, as an epoch that must restore their chartered rights. The tyrannical theories that proved the ruin of the Stuarts were then in full force, and the instruments of their power in America were chosen to carry them into effect. The inhabitants of Yorkshire, as the island was then called, saw no reason to congratulate themselves on a speedy recognition of their rights, but were soon in a position of passive hostility to the governor; in 1666 the wealthy and scholarly William Lawrence was arrested and fined heavily for seditious language, and four years later Governor Lovelace ordered the protest of the town against the unauthorized exactions of his government publicly burned on the court- house square at Jamaica.
GROWTH OF POPULATION AND BUSINESSAn important event of this period was the settlement here of a small number of Huguenot families, who, driven from France by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, had found a temporary refuge in Holland, and, at the advice of the authorities there, made part of a cargo of emigrants who located in different parts of the Dutch possessions. There are no traces of their participation in local politics, but to this day their old homes are marked by the bell pear and lady apple trees set out by them, and their introduction of these and other fruits from sunny France gave an impetus to horticulture that has led to results of the greatest importance. Love of their native land was their peculiar characteristic; and when, after a residence of some twenty years, a change of administration made their return safe, they, with but few exceptions, took advantage of the earliest opportunity to dispose of their estates here, and once more turn their faces toward their own vine- clad hills. The only names of these settlers that have come down to us are Jean Apree, Jean Gienon, Fre Braton, De Wilde, Esmond and Embre, the last of whom was the founder of the Embre families of Flushing and of Chester county, Pa; the others not appearing in the annals of this locality at a later date than 1690. In 1672 Flushing, by a vote of its town meeting, refused to assist in the repair of the forts on the coast, giving as a reason therefor that any such concession heretofore made by the people had been claimed as a right by the governor, whose excessive taxation and disregard of the good of his Majesty’s subjects had become intolerable. The year 1673 witnessed the recapture of New York by the Dutch, and the acquiescence of Flushing in its results. Francis Bloctgoct was chosen magistrate, and in March 1674 a commission was given by the governor- general to him as chief of the inhabitants of the Dutch nation residing in the villages Vlissingen, Heemstede, Rusdorp and Middleburgh, and the places belonging to these districts; by which he is commanded to communicate to said inhabitants that they on the first notice of the enemy’s arrival, or on the arrival of more ships than one, shall at once march well armed toward the city. The peace of 1674 restored Flushing to the British, and up to 1680 no important political events transpired. In that year the town voted to Governor Dongan a gift of land adjoining a tract that had been given to him by one of the neighboring towns. In 1690 occurred the usurpation of Leisler, whom the people of Flushing refused to recognize, despite a display of force made by him with a view of intimidating them. The closing years of the century were, except for religious difficulties, unmarked by any event of especial interest. Trade had been opened with New York, by means of large boats, the first of which was owned by a man who started a small barter store at the landing. It was a large canoe, purchased from the Indians at Bayside, and it is said to have been able to carry a hogshead of molasses and eight or ten persons at one time. The early products of the locality were wheat, tobacco, Indian corn, and live stock; while the oysters and clams that abounded in the bays and inlets proved a godsend to a class too unsettled in character to devote themselves to the pursuits of agriculture. Business alliances were being formed in the city that laid the foundation of some of the most noted commercial and monetary interests of New York, and the seventeenth century closed on a people alive to their own rights, enterprising and sagacious, and successful in a pecuniary point of view to an extent rarely witnessed in the first half century of a colony’s existence. One reason for this was that the first settlers were not poor in the sense in which the word usually applies to immigrants. It was not penury but persecution that drove them here; and the fact that the Lawrences, Bownes, Hickses and others were what in those days were termed wealthy men aided largely in building up, the young settlement. Two of the landmarks of that century remain carefully guarded by the citizens of the village- one the old Bowne house, a solidly built frame house, erected by John Bowne in 1661, the other the Friends’ meeting house, built in 1695. Besides the names of the patentee Henry Onderdonk jr. furnishes the following list of heads of families in the town at different times from 1645 to 1698: Poulas Amerman, Thomas Applegate, Derrick, John and Elbert Areson, Anthony Badgley, Cornelius Barneson, William Benger, Rudolf Blackford, George Blee, John, Elizabeth and Francis Bloodgood, Bernardus Bevon, Dirick Brewer, Moses Brown, Lyman Bumptill, Francis Burto, Widow Cartright, William Chadderton John Clement, Rebecca Clery, Nathaniel Coe, William Danford, Obadiah Dewitt, Lawrence Douse, Sarah and Francis Doughty, Deborah Ebell, John Esmond, Edward Feake, John Firman, William Fowler Weaver, William Fowler Carpenter, John Furman, John Forbosh, John Genung, John Gelloe, John Glover, Lorus Haff, Thomas Hall, Garrit Hansom, Edward Hart, John Harrington, John Harrison, Matthias Haroye, John Heeded, Gerrit Hendricks, Powell Hoff, Benjamin Hubbard, Nathan Jeffs, Josiah Jenning, John Jores, . George Langley, Madalin Lodew, John Man, Michael Millner, William Owen, Elias and Joseph Palmer, Mary Perkins, Arthur Powel, Edward Rouse, Abraham Rich, Thomas Runbey, John Ryder, Walter Salter, Henry Sawtell, William Silsbee, Nicholas and Robert Snether, Mary Southick, Thomas Stevens, William C. Stiger, Richard Stocton, Samuel Tatem, Dr. Henry Taylor, John and Robert Terry, Simon Thewell, Richard Tindall, Edward Van Skyagg, Ellen Wall, William Warde, Richard Weller, Richard Wilday, Thomas Willde, Martin Wiltse. The population of the town in 1700 could not have been far from five hundred, including slaves, of which there were about forty. The settlements were Flushing, Whitestone, Lawrence’s Neck and Bay Side. A blockhouse had been built at what is now the corner of Union street and Broadway in Flushing village; it was known as the Guard- house, and was used as an arsenal and for the temporary detention of criminals on the way to the county jail. Grist- mills were built on several of the streams. A regular disciple of Esculapius, Dr. Henry Taylor, had settled here. A road to Brooklyn by the head of the vlaie through Jamaica was opened and used to some extent, but for general purposes canoes and pirogues down the East River were the connecting links with. New York, and a taste for commercial ventures by water was growing which has since led to important results. During the first half of this century several small potteries were established. The Prince nursery was opened, and in 1745 an Episcopal church was founded, which was chartered by Governor Colden as St. George’s Church in 1761, and a church edifice erected in the following year.
RELIGIOUS PERSECUTIONS AND CONTROVERSIES.The pioneers of Flushing, having felt the keen blasts of proscription and outlawry for their religious views, sought Long Island as a permanent refuge, relying on the known liberality of the government of Holland, which had purchased for its subjects the prize, of religious liberty at a terrible cost of blood and treasure, and was inclined to accord the privileges it had gained to the oppressed of every nation. It was therefore with surprise and alarm that the people of Vlissingen found that within three years after the grant of their charter the Dutch governor sought to enforce arbitrary and uncalled for restrictions upon them, as well as to force on them the maintenance of a Reformed clergy. The governor having arranged for the support of a State church- that of Holland- by the taxation of the people, the Quakers refused to submit, urging the plea that the law was one binding their consciences; and, seeing in this rebellion against his authority, the arbitrary Dutchman, despite the fact that his country had always allowed the largest liberty to the consciences of its people, commenced a system of proscription and persecution. The arrest of John Townsend, Edward Hart, Thomas Styles, John Lawrence and John Hicks, in 1648, was followed by a series of petty persecutions, culminating September 15th 1657 in the arrest and punishment of Henry Townsend, who was condemned to pay a fine of £8 Flanders for having called together Quaker meetings. This aroused the indignation of the people of Jamaica and Flushing, and at a large assembly they adopted the following spirited remonstrance to Governor Stuyvesant: "Right Honorable- You have been pleased to send up unto us a certain prohibition or Command that we should not retaine or entertaine any of those people called Quakers, because they are supposed to be by some seducers of the people. For our part we cannot Condemn them in this Case, neither can we stretch out our hand against them to punish, banish or persecute them; for out of Christ God is a Consuming fire, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Wee desire therefore in this Case not to judge, least we be judged, neither to Condemn least we be Condemned; but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Maister. Wee are commanded by the Law to do good unto all men, Especially to those of the household of Faith. And though for the present we seem to be insensible of the law and the Lawgiver, Yet when death and the law assault us, if wee have our advocate to seeke who shall plead for us in this case of conscience betwixt God and our own souls, the powers of this world can neither assest us neither excuse us; for if God justifye who can condemn? and if God Condemn there is none can justifye. And for those Jealousies and suspicions Which some have of them, that they are destructive unto Magistracy & Ministerye (this) Can not bee; for the magistrate bath the sword in his hand and the minister hath the sword in his hand- as witnesse those two Great Examples which all magistrates and ministers are to follow, Moses and Christ, whom God raised up, maintained and defended against all the Enemies both of Flesh and Spirit, and therefore that which is of God will stand and that which is of man will come, to nothing. And as the Lorde hath taught Moses, or the Civil Powers, to give an outward liberty in the state by the law written in his hearte for the good of all, and can truly judge who is good, who is evil, who is true and who is false, and can pass definite sentence of life or death against that man which rises up against the fundamental law of the States- General; Soe he hath made his ministers a savour of life unto life and a savour of death unto, death. The laws of Love, Peace and Liberty in the State extending to Jews, Turks, and Egyptians, as they are considered the sonnes of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe Love, Peace and Liberty extending to all in Christ Jesus Condemns hatred, War and Bondage; And because our Saviour saith it is impossible but that offences will come, but woe unto him by whom they Cometh, our desire is not to offend any of his little ones in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to doe to all men as wee desire that all men should do unto us, which is the true law both of church and state, for our Saviour saith this is the law and the prophets. Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse into our Town and houses as God shall persuade our consciences. And in this we are true subjects both of Church and state, for we are bound by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man. And this is according to the pattent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States- Generall, which we are not willing to infringe and violate, but shall hold to our pattent and shall remain your humble subjects the inhabitants of Vlissingen.- Written this 27th of December in the year 1657 by mee
Edward Hart, Clerk.Tobias Feake, William Noble, Nicholas Parsell, William Thorne signior, Michael Milner, William Thorne junior, Henry Townsend, Nicholas Blackford, George Wright, Edward Terk, John Foard, Mirabel Free, Henry Bamtell, John Stoar, Nathe Cole, Benjamin Hubbard, Edward Hart, John Maidon, John Townsend, Edward Farrington, Philip Ed, William Pidgion, George Blee, Elias Doughtie, Antonie Field, Rich’d Horton, Nathaniel Coe, Robert Field sen., Robert Field jr., Tobias Feake, the Sheriff. The governor, not disposed to listen to such Scriptural admonition, caused, as has been stated, the arrest of the supposed leaders in the meeting and continued his course. Henry Townsend was fined £100 Flanders for lodging Quakers again and again, which he unconditionally confessed; the town government was changed and for five years the arbitrary course was continued, culminating in the arrest of John Bowne for attending Quaker meetings. He refused to pay the fine of £25 Flanders, was thrown into prison, and after being kept there for about a year was transported to Holland for the welfare of the community and "to crush as far as possible that abominable sect, who treat with contempt both the political magistrates and the ministers of God’s holy Word, and endeavor to undermine the police and religion." On presenting his case to the West India Company at Amsterdam they declined to favor such arbitrary measures, and treated him in the, most conciliatory manner; and in their next dispatch rebuked Stuyvesant as follows: "Although it is our desire that similar or other sectarians may not be found there, yet, as the contrary seems to be fact, we doubt very much whether rigorous proceedings against them ought not to be discontinued; unless indeed you intend to check and destroy your population, which in the youth of your existence ought rather to be encouraged by all possible means. Wherefore it is our opinion that some connivance is useful, and that at least the consciences of men ought to remain free and unshackled. Let every one remain free as long as he is modest, moderate, his political conduct irreproachable, and as long as he does not offend others or oppose the government. This maxim of moderation has always been the guide of our magistrates in this city, and the consequence has been that people have flocked from every land to this asylum. Tread thus in their steps and we doubt not you will be blessed." This message had the effect of moderating the governor’s zeal and rendering inoperative his orders dated in 1661, wherein he forbade the holding of any religious services other than those of the Reformed Church, on penalty of a fine of fifty guilders on each person attending- the fine to be increased with each violation and the fourth conviction to be visited with exemplary punishment. The change from Dutch to British rule in 1664 brought no relief, and in 1667 we find that William Bishop had "spoken seditious words at a publique meeting of ye Inhabitants of the Towne of Fflushing on ye 3d of this instant month." The complainant was one Captain Richard Betts, who declared that, after the governor had offered to furnish the people with powder and take firewood in exchange for it, he heard Bishop say that there was "another cunning trick." Bishop confessed the discourtesy, and was sentenced to be made fast to the whipping- post, "there to stand with rodds fastened to his back during the sitting of the court of Mayor and Aldermen, and from thence to be carryed unto the Common Goole (jail), until further order." On the 30th of October 1701 Samuel Haight, John Way and Robert Field petitioned in behalf of themselves and other Quakers of Queens county, setting forth that they were refused the right to vote in local affairs because they would not take the oath. It is not known what effect this petition had, but it is certain that the Duke of York, in his instructions to Governor Dongan, gave most explicit instructions to molest no one by reason of differing opinions on matters of religion. It was not until a much later date that this bigoted persecution ceased; for we find that on the 29th of November 1702, at a half-yearly meeting of the Quakers at Flushing, the missionary preacher, Samuel Bownas, was arrested and required to give bail in the sum of two thousand pounds, the court expressing its willingness to accept his own recognizance for one- half the amount. He refused, saying, "If as small a sum as three halfpence would do, I should not do it," and was consequently sent to jail. On the 28th of December the court met, and his case was presented to the grand jury, who returned the bill "indorsed, ‘Ignoramus’." The presiding judge was very angry and uttered severe threats against the jury, when James Clement, of Flushing, promptly administered a scathing rebuke. They were sent back to reconsider the case, and again returned the same reply. They were then dismissed and the unfortunate Quaker remanded to prison. A Scotch shoemaker living near the jail, although a churchman himself, sympathized with Bownas and taught him to make and repair shoes, and thus afforded him a means of securing many comforts by his own exertions; for he succeeded, as he relates in his diary, in earning fifteen shillings a week. During his imprisonment he was visited by the Indian king and three of his chiefs, who were puzzled to know why he should be so punished if he worshiped the same Great Spirit as did the other pale- faces, and why they should shut him up and leave bad white men at large. In the autumn of 1703 the court again assembled and the case was presented to another grand jury, who returned the papers indorsed, as before, "Ignoramus." On the next day he was liberated and "a large body of dear friends had him with them in a kind of triumph!" He had spent eleven months in jail. It was not until the stirring events of the French wars drove petty interference with the rights of the people out of the minds of the English governors that those who refused to favor the Episcopal mode of worship were allowed much peace. Fines, illegal assessments, imprisonment and banishment were the arguments employed, and finally a plan was adopted the cool malevolence of which was worthy of a Machiavelli. No marriages were to be recognized save those performed by the Church of England, and persons married by other forms were to be arrested for adultery, which was actually done in some cases; so that in the court records of those days an indictment or charge of adultery is more likely to be an evidence of the accused’s membership in the society of Friends than of his moral obliquity. Mandeville, in his "Flushing, Past and Present," has a list of sums taken from Quakers Decembere1st 1756, pursuant to two acts of the Assembly of the province of New York. It includes the following names and amounts: John Thorn, £2; James Burling, £2; James Bowne, £2; Benjamin Doughty, £2; Stephen Hedger, £2; Daniel Bowne, £2; James Person, £2; Daniel Lathum, £2; Samuel Thorn, £2; Caleb Field, £2; John Thorne, £1. The result of the persecution was what has been the case for all time; the proscribed sect grew and has never been without a place of meeting and the means of grace, while the churches upheld be the sword of man failed to find a hold on the hearts of the people until after that sword had been withdrawn.
INCIDENTS OF TRADE AND AGRICULTURE.The old account book of John Bowne, commenced in 1656 and carried down by his son Samuel to 1702, affords and amusing and instructive view of the primitive habits and simple wants of the people of their day, and a few extracts form its pages will at least serve as a contrast to some of the extensive monied operations with which may of the citizens of Flushing at the present are familiar. Bowne was an enlightened and thrifty farmer, served as county treasurer in 1683, and in 1691 was elected to the Assembly. He is believed to have acted as a sort of agent for his neighbors, or as a merchant on a small sacale, keeping up a correspondence with merchants in "Manhattans," as New York was then called; and he make and sold cider extensively for the times, shipping it to his old friend William Penn, the founder of Philadelphia, who once paid him a visit here. When this account book was commenced paper money was unknown and coin very scarce. Wampum or "se want," as the Dutch called it, was the measure of values, and payments were also make in labor, beaver skins, produce (called "country pay") and the like. Tobacco, however, seemed to have a cash value, and was eventually adopted as the medium of exchange. Weights, measures and values were given in Dutch. Henry Onderdonk, jr. has explained them as follows: "A guilder, maked g., seems to be about 6 pence; a stiver, marked st., a farthing. The precise value is not very clear, but 20 stivers make a guilder. The skepel was about 3 pecks; the anker, 4 gallons; the much, about a gill. The Dutch and English weights and measures differed though sometimes called by the same names." The most striking entries in this old business record, with their dates, are as follows: 1656.- R. Stockton dr., Salt I lent you, 2 of our little kettlefuls. 1658, May 5.- John Ford dr. for 1 ½ bushels peas, 3 days work at harvest, when I shall call for him. 1659.- Nich. Parcells dr., 117 good substanstial 5- hole chestnut post; also the rending out of 200 rails. 1668.- Dr. for a scythe I sold him for the leave me out 400 good rails, I finding the timber. 1660, Dec. 5.- Due me from father, £2 14s. to be paid in threshing of wheat at 7d. a bushel, and stubbing of ground at 16d. an acre, or as I think it worth. 1661, May 30.- Sarah Cornwellish (Cornelius) hired with me to do one year’s service for 70 guilders in wampum pay ($8.40). Humphrey Trimble cr. On day’s work, 30 stivers; 1 day at harvest, 2 guilders, due him in wampum. 1663, June.- Wm. Orins has 3 lbs. sheep’s wool for shoeing ad bleeding of my mare one whole year; one pint of liquor, 1s. 6d. Saml. Mills, dr. one day’s mowing for 2 combs; 2 combs at 2 pecks wheat. A. Cornelius, dr., half b. wheat for 2 combs. 1667.- I sent to Govert by Joseph, the boatman (Feb.) 3 skepels of peas for brother Underhill and one for myself. 1668.- I bo’t at Govert’s 8 lbs. of sugar, at a guilder a lb. In 1667 I owed Govert within a few stivers of 100 guilders. 1668.- Bought of David the turner, one winch for a wheel, 2g.; 6 chairs and a bottom for an old chair at 58g., to be paid at the crop in peas at 5g. a skepel, or Indian corn at 4g. a skepel at York; or in hogs, fat or lean, if we can agree. Agreed with David for what chairs I will at 4g. apiece for the bigger, and 50 st. for the children’s, to be paid in lean hogs before winter (as they are worth with us) upon sewant account. John Sprong being to act for them. If we can’t agree he is to choose one man and I another to make the price between us. 1670.- Two quarts liquor at 3 pecks wheat, 3s. 9d. Rum at harvest, 3s. Load of thatch at half a day’s work. Henry Gardner owes for a can of vinegar 10s. John Sprong’s hogshead of tobacco is paid for by 6 loads of hay. 1672, Dec.- John Marston, dr. Three loads hay fro the south; for the hay, carting and stacking, in all, £4. July.- Bought a deerskin from the shoemaker at 2 skepels of peas; cotton wool at 10d. a pound; sugar at 10d. a pound. (It will be noticed that the accounts are now kept in English money.) Jane Chatterton dr., 9 lbs. sugar at 6d. a lb.; wheat, 4s. a bushel. John Feke dr., by 3 days riding in the woods to seek his stray mare, 15s. if ever she be found. In 1668 there is a memorandum of his account as collector of taxes. As they were usually paid in produce there was either a town barn, or the collector furnished storage, charging for it. In 1684 he sums up an item of his business as county treasurer, as follows: "Waste of corn (by shrinkage), 7s. 6d.; Indian corn lost in measure, 20s.; carting corn in Flushing, 7s. 6d.; to chamber- room for corn, 20s.; collector’s salary, 14s. 4d." 1674, March.- Hay- dust sold Dr. Taylor, 12 bush. at 1s. a bush. May.- A fat cow, £4 3s. 4d., to Mynard, the shoemaker. 1675, Oct.- John Baylie, 8 lbs. wool for so much flax, Dutch weight. 1676.- N. Sneden dr., 8 good cider barrels, with broad hoops, for a cross- cut saw; a washing tub for a file. 1678.- Abm. Ogden cr., weaving 31 yards of linen, at 8d. a yard; 29 yards woolen, at 7d. a yard; 3 days reaping, at 2s. 6d. a day. 1680, Nov. 27.- Dorothy Bowne went to Mary Willis’s. Her things are: 8 handkerchiefs, 3 white and one black hood, 8 caps, 3 pair sleeves, 5 headbands, 4 aprons, 2 pair stockings, 2 new shifts, 4 petticoats, 2 waistcoats. 1680.- Account of charges for John Clay in his sickness and at his burial; 2 oz. cloves and mace, 4s.; 1 ¼ oz. nutmegs, 2s. 2d.; 6 lbs. currants, 4s. 6d.; 25 lbs. sugar 9s. 4 ½ d.; 2 galls. rum, 6s.; 6 lbs. butter, 3s.; coffin, 6s. 1681.- Due Edw. Burling, 6 bush. Indian corn or one barrel cider, which he pleaseth. Due John and Elias Burling, cr. by ringing pair of wheels, 15s. August.- I sold Geo. Lambert a mare for £5 in money and a mustard bowl; and a grey mare to John Newbold for £3 5s. Old England money. 1683.- Wm. Penn dr., 4 barrels boiled cider, at 30s. each; 3 barrels raw cider, at 15s. each; 36 bush., hay dust, at 2s. a bush. 1683.- Martha Joanna’s 30 weeks’ schooling and what else is paid for by a red petticoat to E.C. (Elisabeth Cowperthwaite?) 1685.- John Adams cr. by making 28 rods of stone wall at 1s. 6d. a rod; 4 days cutting thatch, 10s; 2 ½ days walling, 6s.; dressing 2 cows, 4s.; for 30 shingles, 9d. 1687.- Maria Feake, dr., canoeing and carting home 3 loads hay, 16s.; cr., making 10 shifts, 15s.; 3 petticoats 10s.; 2 weeks spinning, 10s.; making 5 shirts and knitting 2 pair stockings. (This woman was the deserted wife of Tobias Feake, the ex- sheriff, who ran away to Holland with another woman, to the great scandal of the community. She kept a farm, tried to pay his debts and raised a family of his children, retaining the respect of all her neighbors. It will be seen that the prices paid for her work were large, compared to the prevailing rates of men’s wages. It was probably the good old Quaker way to cover up a charitable act and relieve her from the humiliation attending a direct gift.) April 20- Jona. Wright, for cart hire, 1 day reaping or mowing. For 6 pecks oats, in reaping to satisfy me in reason; 3 days mowing for one pair worsted hose. Chas. Mordan, dr., for hay and fodder, one good day’s mowing or reaping. A doz. almanacs, 4s.; neck of veal, 6d. 1687.- Dr. Simon Cooper, cr., for letting Daniel’s blood, 1s.; .wormseed, 1s.; two journeys, from Oyster Bay to Flushing, 24s.; 5 plasters, 5s.; 7 doz. pills, 14s. 2 bottles cordials, 10s.; salve and cere- cloth, 3s.; a purge, 2s. 6d.; drawing a tooth, 1s. Paid Dr. Taylor for coming to let James’s blood, 3s. 6d. 1690.- Declined Ri. Stockton’s proposal for all his housing lands and conveniences thereto belonging (at Bay Side), 70 acres or more at home and 2 ten- acre lots and 2 twenty- acre lots at a mile or two distance, with so much meadow as may yield 20 or 25 loads of hay a year, price £300. 16 half- ankers of boiled cider for half of 2 oxen. I bought of Wm. Dearing a negro girl Betty for £23 in silver, £12 in hand and £11 next month. 1691.- Account of linen in John Bowne’s house: New diaper, 4 tablecloths, one doz. napkins, one doz. towels, fine sheets 6, and 2 cotton sheets, 4 coarse linen, 2 fine tow, 2 bolster cases, 9 fine pillow- biers, 4 coarse ones; small linen: 4 cravats, 5 handkerchiefs, 5 neck cloths, 8 caps, 7 bands; woolen, bedding, &c.: 8 coverlets, 12 blankets, 3 feather beds, 5 bolsters, 4 large do., 4 pillows, other pillows, 9 in all; six good chaff beds, 2 sets of curtains; pewter: 9 platters, 4 new basons, 8 plates, 5 porringers, 4 salts, one flagon, 2 tankards, one pot, 2 chamber- pots, 2 doz. spoons, 2 saucers; 3 brass candlesticks, 2 pair scales. 1693.- Dinner and wine for 7 men (in N.Y.), 10s. 6d.; one best pair yarn hose, 4s.; pair mittens, 1s. 3d. 1694.- The cooper is to make me 60 good barrels for cider, tight and sizeable, at 20d. each, the timber already got, he providing what is yet wanting, to be paid 1/3 in cash and 2/3 in cider at 12s. 6d. a barrel now, and 10s. a barrel from the press, he finding casks. In 1695 a school bill is stated as follows: Wm. and Thos. Richardson, dr. to John Urquhart for 4 weeks diet, £1 17s. 6d., and for writing and cyphering, 8 weeks at 1s. 3d. a week for both; teaching John to read, 10 weeks at 6d. at week; leather for his breeches, 9s. 8d.; 54 yard osenbrigs, 10d.; one ounce silk, 4s. 6d. So large a number of entries have been reproduced that the reader can gain a general idea of the prices of nearly all classes of mechanical, agricultural and professional labor that found a market in those primitive times.
THE FRENCH AND REVOLUTIONARY WARS.The hostilities between the French and English attracted much attention, and Queens county was called on to furnish a regiment of militia, to which, of course, Flushing contributed her quota. During the administration of Governor George Clinton this place was his residence, and that fact brought the most prominent of its citizens into a more close relationship with the surroundings and associates of a high official of the British government than they would otherwise have been, and may have had much to do in shaping their policy at a later date. The transfer of the scene of conflict to the Canadian frontier and the successful termination of the French war brought relief and joy to the people of this vicinity, whose location made them particularly exposed to danger had a French fleet entered the sound. A newspaper clipping reads as follows: "November 17th 1759.- A great celebration was held at Flushing over the reduction of Quebec, that long- dreaded sink of French perfidy and cruelty. An elegant and sumptuous entertainment was served, at which the principal inhabitants of the town were present. Toasts celebrating the paternal tenderness of our most gracious sovereign, the patriotism and integrity of Mr. Pitt, the fortitude and activity of the generals, &c., were drunk with all the honors. Every toast was accompanied by a discharge of cannon, which amounted to over 100. In the evening a bonfire and splendid illuminations." Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden owned and occupied the place now known as the Brower property, called by him Spring Hill. He retired to it on the appointment of Andros, and died there, September 20th 1776. His son David figures somewhat in the events of the Revolution, as a strong and active loyalist. The people of Flushing united with their fellow colonists in resenting and protesting against the aggressions of the mother country, but when rebellion was decided upon by the colonies many felt that nothing could be gained and much lost by precipitate action. The opening act of the Revolutionary drama was the pursuit of one Zacharias Hood, a stamp officer, to the residence of Lieutenant Governor Colden, where he had taken refuge, by a party of Liberty Boys from New York, accompanied by their sympathizers in this vicinity. The badly frightened revenue officer was ordered out, placed in a carriage, escorted to Jamaica, and made to take an oath of loyalty to the colonies, and then with three cheers the party disbanded. This was on December 5th 1765. The events of 1776 and 1777 were peculiarly trying to the inhabitants. Families were divided, some of the younger members joining Woodhull’s Continentals, while the older members clung to the cause of King George. Marriages with families in England, the large property interests involved, the long stretch of unprotected seacoast, and the non- combative principles of the Quaker population, are all to be considered in judging, at this day of the causes which led to the toryism of a great portion of the people of Queens county, and should have their weight with the unprejudiced reader. The abortive campaign of 1776, resulting in the defeat of the colonial forces at Brooklyn, led to the occupancy of this portion of the territory by a part of General Howe’s army, DeLancy’s brigade being quartered in a district extending through Jamaica and Flushing, and so placed as to guard the roads and protect the island from invasion from Connecticut. A large body of Hessians was quartered in this town, many of them being billeted at the houses of the citizens, who were not entirely unacquainted with foreign soldiers, as some of them had boarded French prisoners of war in 1656- 58. The head- quarters of the quartermaster were at the Aspinwall homestead; other officers were quartered at the old Bowne house, a stone house south of the cemetery, and the Bowron place on .Whitestone avenue. The old Quaker meeting- house was used at various times for a hospital, for a guard- house, and for storing hay. Troops were encamped at Fresh Meadows, near the Duryea place, on the Bowne property near the Manhasset road, and in a barn on the Hoagland farm. Loyalists from the mainland flocked here in considerable numbers as refugees, and, in turn, any one suspected of strong sympathy with the cause of the colonists soon found it advisable to leave. During the early years of the war but little loss was sustained by the well- known predatory proclivities of the Hessians, and the inhabitants soon learned to make good such losses by reports to the proper quarters. The influence, however, of the forced association with the degraded mercenaries was deeply felt, and did much to weaken the sympathy with the royal cause; and there is but little doubt that the people of Flushing were heartily glad to speed, the parting guest when the evacuation of New York withdrew the British army from their soil. In a pecuniary sense the British invasion was probably a profitable one, as the officers paid promptly and liberally in gold for their requisitions, and the increased dew and for farm products for the army here and at New York was a source of considerable revenue. There were, however, many individual instances of rapine; not all, however, chargeable to the enemy, as the Connecticut whaleboats made frequent incursions by night and, under the protection of letters of marque from the federal authorities, degenerated at List to mere pirates, robbing friend and foe alike. A few of the more interesting incidents of the five years experience of Flushing with a foreign army have been gleaned from the records of those days, published works and the recollections of old settlers. On the 4th of April 7775 an annual town meeting elected John Talman a deputy to the convention which was to form a Provincial Congress. He was present at the convention and acquiesced in its action; On May 22nd of the same year .a county meeting at Jamaica elected Thomas Hicks, of Little Neck, and Nathaniel Tom, a captain of militia, deputies to another colonial convention. Hicks, who was chosen to represent Hempstead, declined to serve, as he was "informed that the people wished to remain in peace and quiet." Captain Tom afterward joined the continentals. The county committee appointed as a sub-committee for Flushing John Talman, John Engles, Thomas Rodman, Thomas Thorne, Edmund Pinfold and Joseph Bowne. In November 1775 a county election was held to decide the question of sending deputies to Congress, and Flushing decided against the measure, as did the county at large. Next followed the raid of Colonel Heard in January 1776, for the purpose of disarming loyalists and seizing the ringleaders. He visited this town and seized some arms. The Flushing committee were, although in the minority, not entirely idle; for when Rev. C. Inglis, rector of Trinity Church in New York, found it necessary to retire to this place after Washington’s entry, a meeting of the committee discussed the propriety of seizing him; and so alarmed his friends that they removed him to some more retired quarters, and kept him secluded for some time. Capt. Archibald Hamilton was summoned by Congress to show cause why he should be considered a friend of the American cause; he expressed his love of country, but said he could not unsheath his sword against his king, or against his brother and other near relations in the British armies. He was paroled, and, violating his parole, became an active tory officer. June 24th 1776 Cornelius Van Wyck of this town was elected one of the representatives in the Provincial Congress, and Congress granted £200 to Flushing for the care of Whig refugees who had been driven from New York and had become objects of the town charity. The first entry of British troops was about 2 o’clock on a fine day in the last of August 1776, when a body of light horse galloped into the village and inquired at Widow Bloodgood’s for her sons. On being told they had already fled one of the troop seized a firebrand and threatened to burn the house, but was prevailed on to desist. Thomas Thorne, James Burling and one Vanderbilt were arrested and carried off to the prison ship, the first named dying there. Congressman Van Wyck was also seized and sent to the new jail. Most of the leading Whigs had already fled on hearing of the battle of Brooklyn. Many of them afterward returned and accepted the protection of the British. Capt. Nathaniel Tom accepted the captaincy of a company of continentals raised at Kingston, and fought through the war, afterward dying at Kingston at the age of 73 years. The 71st Highlanders were the first troops quartered at or near the village. Before the battle of White Plains one wing of the army passed through Flushing to Whitestone, and on the 12th of October crossed over to the mainland. It is said to have occupied half a day in passing a given point. The road from Hempstead and Jamaica was constantly traversed by bodies of troops carrying supplies from the landing at Whitestone, and it was in opening a lane to shorten the distance that the name Black Stump was given to the locality, the intersection of this improvised route with the highway being marked by the charred and blackened stump of a tree. The farmers were impressed as cartmen, but usually fairly paid for their services. After the occupancy of the town a system of signals was established by which alarms were transmitted from Norwich Hill to Beacon Hill; thence to Whitestone and so on to New York. An alarm pole was set up where the old Methodist church stood. It was wound with straw and terminated in a tar barrel. Some idea of the profitable market for farm produce can be gained from a general order of Howe, which fixed the price of fuel and food to prevent extortion, and also made offers for forage. Walnut wood, was made £5 per cord; all other wood £4. The wood of proprietors refusing to sell to boatmen at moderate prices was to be seized and confiscated. The price of wheat was fixed at 12 shillings per bushel of 58 lbs. wheat flour, 35 shillings per cwt.; rye, 20s.; corn, 17s. Farmers were ordered to make a return to the commanding officer of the quantity they had and how much they required for their own use. In a requisition for forage September 10th 1778, the prices, delivered at Flushing or Brooklyn, were .stated as follows: Upland hay 8s:, salt hay 4s., straw 3s. per cwt.; corn 10s., oats 7s. per bushel; carting or boating 2s. 6d. per ton. Forage of delinquents to be taken without pay. In the last month of 1778 Archibald Hamilton was appointed commandant of the militia of Queens county, and aide- de- camp to Governor Tryon, despite his parole of two years previous. It was to this perjured official that many of the indignities suffered by the people were due. The officers of the regular army had been careful to avoid offense, and had punished depredations severely. Under Hamilton there were a body of Maryland loyalists and what was known as the Royal American regiment quartered in, this vicinity, and their depredations were in many instances unnoticed if not even sanctioned by him. He was a passionate, ill- bred tyrant, and within a short time after his appointment a number of respectable citizens entered complaints to Governor Tryon against him. Among the complainants were the following: Thomas Kelley, who alleged that Hamilton entered a house where he was, and, because he did not remove his hat, beat him over the head and repeated the offense soon after; John Willet, who remonstrated with him for sending a negro to steal his fence rails, and was chased into his yard by the gallant officer, who endeavored to run him through with his sword, and called God to witness that he would cut-in pieces any one who opposed him; James Morrel, who was wounded by him; Walter Dalton, who, having been arrested for no offense, was knocked down twice with a. heavy club, and after being put under guard was followed to the road by the colonel and struck "with about thirty blows, which disabled him from labor for some weeks"; and eight others who made affidavits to similar outrages. The governor ordered David Colden to investigate the matter, but no punishment was inflicted, and Hamilton had the impudence, at the close of the war, to petition for the privilege of citizenship. It was refused, however, and he set sail for England in 1783. Benedict Arnold’s legion lay for a time near Black Stump. The Hessians were from the Jager corps- a higher order- and were quartered on the north side for three winters. Sir Robert Pigot’s 38th regiment was quartered at Fresh Meadows. Mandeville relates that civilians when passing the officers quarters were required to dismount and proceed on foot until a certain distance had been passed. Samuel Skidmore, near Black Stump, was shot through a window. No traces of the perpetrator were found. Some of Fanning’s tories entered the house of Willet Bowne at night, and, tying him to his bed- post, tortured him by holding a candle to the tips of his fingers, to induce him to disclose where his money was hidden. He however, remained firm, and, fearful of discovery, they were compelled to leave without having attained their object. The old Quaker recognized his assailants, but out of mercy for them never revealed their names. James Bowne was awakened one night by a disturbance at his barnyard, and on raising his window received a musket ball in his arm. Recruits to a tory regiment, "the Prince of Wales’s, Loyal American Volunteers, quartered at the famous and beautiful town of Flushing," were given £5 bounty and promised 100 acres of land on the Mississippi, and were thus drawn in squads of twenty or more from the New England colonies- many of them jailbirds and desperate characters. In 1780 Yankee whaleboats from New Rochelle visited Bay Side, and plundered several houses, among the rest that of John Thurman, a New York merchant. In 1781 Thomas Hicks, of Little Neck, was robbed of his law books and a large amount of personal property and later in the summer eight of these boats made a landing at Bay Side, but, finding the tory militia on the lookout, the crews re- embarked without a contest. On the 20th of April 1782 a party of soldiers with their faces blackened attacked James Hedger, shot him dead in his bedroom, and robbed him of £200 in coin and a large amount of clothing and silver plate. Col. Hamilton offered £100 reward for the detection of the criminals, and £100 and free pardon to any accomplice who would give the necessary evidence. It was this offer probably that induced a soldier named Perrot to confess that the crime was committed by himself and five other members of the 38th and 54th regiments. The other guilty men, suspecting Perrot, attempted to escape, but three of them were arrested at Lloyd’s Neck and brought back to Flushing village, where their regiments had been stationed. They were then taken to Bedford- the quarters of their regiments at that time- tried, and two of them hanged on a chestnut tree in the presence of the entire brigade, the notorious Cunningham and his mulatto acting as executioners. Hedger was the proprietor of the grist- mill located on the J.P. Carll property, about four miles east of Flushing village, and lived with his sister, a Mrs. Palman, in a house near the mill. He had once before been awakened by a noise, and found two men choking his sister. In a hard fight he beat them off, killing one and marking the other in the face with shot. The wounded man was arrested at Southold, found to be a British soldier, and punished by the infliction of 999 lashes; and the body of his companion was hanged in a iron frame on a gibbet on the Hempstead Plains. The people of the town, despite the murder of Hedger, seem to have been pleased with the conduct of the regiments named above, as on their departure an address was presented to Lieutenant Colonel A. Bruce, of the 54th regiment, who was in command, thanking him for his vigilant attention, the honor and politeness of his officers, and the orderly behavior of the men. This paper was signed by forty- seven of the prominent citizens. The house of Benjamin Areson, at Fresh Meadows, was robbed by some of Simcoe’s tories, who beat Areson severely and kept Benjamin Nostrand and his father under guard until the house was rifled. Three of them were afterward identified, but Simcoe declined to punish them. Mr. Areson had a new house unfinished when the Jagers encamped at Frame’s farm. They tore it down to use in building their barracks. Fences were destroyed without mercy, and when the army left there were but few fence rails to be found for miles around their encampments, and the loss inflicted by the reckless waste in felling tracts of timber was a serious one; as, although some compensation was received, it was by no means adequate. The 7th of August 1782 witnessed the only visit ever made to Flushing by a royal personage. On that day Prince William Henry, afterward King William IV., in company with Admiral Digby, presented a stand of colors to the king’s American dragoons, under Colonel Thompson, at their camp on the James Lawrence place, not far from Bay Side. The young prince was at that time a volunteer on board the Admiral’s flagship "Prince George." The old guard- house at Flushing was torn down by the soldiers and burned for fuel. Perhaps the most satisfactory fire that occurred was the burning of Colonel Hamilton’s residence, on the place now owned by the Mitchells on Whitestone avenue, on Christmas eve, 1780. Everything it contained was destroyed- "elegant furniture, stock of provisions, various sorts of wine, spirits intended for the regalement of his numerous friends, the military, and other gentlemen of the neighborhood, at this convivial season". It might have been saved had not his folly in storing a cask of cartridges and a lot of loose gunpowder in the garret been known, and prevented any exertions to save it. It is believed that some one who had been wronged by his brutality took this method of avenging himself. If so it was quite effectual, as Hamilton suffered severely by the loss, and when he was compelled to emigrate his farm was found to be heavily mortgaged. In 1780 the Hon. Mrs. Napier, wife of Captain Napier, who was absent with the fleet on the Charleston expedition, died at the residence of Jeremiah Vanderbilt, aged only twenty- three years, leaving two infant daughters. Her remains were deposited in a vault on Governor Colden’s place, attended by the officers of three regiments. She was said to have been an estimable lady, and loved by all who knew her. This is the only record attainable of any of the families of British officers at this place, although it is understood that many of the officers were accompanied by their wives and children; while a certain number of the privates and non-commissioned officers were allowed to be accompanied by their wives, who acted as laundresses and in other capacities about the officers’ quarters. The fort at Whitestone was an important strategic point It was located east of the creek, on a bank at Bogart’s Point, and the redoubt, which Mandeville attributes to Washington’s troops, was probably a part of the defenses. There is no evidence that any fortification of this locality was attempted by the American commander. The exit of the troops was as sudden as their entrance. A writer says: "In the morning the place was crowded, and barns all full; now all are gone, and it seems quite lonesome." There followed the usual day of reckoning. Every insolent act, harsh word or instance of treachery had been treasured by the Whigs, and no sooner had the courts opened, in 1784, than they were thronged with suitors seeking damages against the tory residents. David Colden, to whose influence more than that of any other was due the ill- timed loyalty of the town, petitioned for the rights of citizenship, but in vain; his beautiful estate was confiscated, and he joined the tory hegira to Nova Scotia. A large number of farms and residences changed hands, and a new class of settlers took the place of those who, although they had enriched themselves in many instances, had done so at the expense of their country. One of the most serious blows which befell the farmers here and elsewhere at the time of the Revolution, and thought to be traceable to it, was the almost total destruction of the wheat crop by the ravages of the Hessian fly, which is believed to have been brought to the island in grain imported for the British troops from Germany. Flushing had become famous for its wheat, and the loss was keenly felt here, That it was serious can readily be seen from the fact that, while in wheat flour was rated at 35s. per cwt., the price list made out by the commanding general in December 1779, which contained the prices at which farmers must sell their surplus produce, rates it at 80s. per cwt., and offers 26s. per bushel for wheat. When the pest was at its worst one of the Burlings, who at that time owned a grist- mill and farm, saw some southern wheat on board a coasting vessel at New York, and, actuated by a desire to experiment with it, purchased a few bushels, and sowed it. Of the success of his experiments the New York Packet of July 20th 1786 says: "The insect that has destroyed the wheat many years past continues to spread, but it has no effect on the white- bearded wheat raised on Long Island. This wheat was brought here from the southward during the war, and a few bushels sown by a Flushing farmer grew well, and afforded a fine crop. He kept on, and has supplied his neighbors. It grows twenty bushels to the acre, and weighs over sixty pounds. It is of a bright yellow color, and makes fine flour. The straw is harder, and resists the poison of the fly, and supports the grain, while bearded and bald wheat were cut off." Thus it will be noticed a Flushing farmer makes discoveries that save the wheat culture of the entire country. Apropos of this, the writer, when a child, heard his grandfather relate how, after the close of the war, he was sent by his neighbors, central New York farmers, from the Genesee valley to Long Island, to test the truth of the story that had reached them, that the farmers on the island had found a wheat that would ripen in spite of the "fly;" and that on his return he took with him a quantity, which he believed to be the first amber winter wheat ever sowed in central or western New York. The most important event of the closing years of the last century was the destruction of the town records by the burning of the residence of the clerk, Jeremiah Vanderbilt. It was set on fire by Nellie, a slave girl belonging to Capt. Daniel Braine, who had been hired to won in the family, and who, conceiving a dislike for her new mistress, took this way to revenge the fancied injury She was arrested in company with Sarah, one of Vanderbilt’s slaves, and on their own confession they were sentenced to be hanged. Sarah was afterward reprieved or condition that she be removed from the island. Nellie was hanged at Jamaica, after having been in jail fifty weeks. Aaron Burr, then attorney- general for the State, conducted the prosecution. The celebration of the adoption of the Constitution, held August 13th 1788, was another interesting incident, participated in by many prominent men from New York, and lasting an entire day and evening. In 1790 General Washington dined here, and was enthusiastically received, and in 1792 the people cooperated with the citizens of Jamaica in raising funds to found an academy at the latter place. No untoward event marred the peace and prosperity of the people, and the tide of improvement had set in that was destined to make of the little hamlet an important village, and to found thriving villages where but an isolated farm house then stood. The population had grown to an aggregate of 1,818, and commercial ventures with foreign parts, as well as a coastwise trade with Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore, had been carried on to some extent.
OLD FAMILIES AND PROMINENT CITIZENS.The Van Zandts.- Walter Barrett’s "Old Merchants of New York" contains so complete a history of the several generations of this substantial Knickerbocker family that any mention of the progenitors of the last Wynant Van Zandt would be superfluous here. Intermarried with some of the best of the old Huguenot families in the last century, the survivors of the Van Zandts possess the sterling qualities of both the Hollandish and Huguenot stocks. The first of the name to reside in this town was Wynant Van Zandt, born in New York, August 11th 1767, and for many years a member of the mercantile house of Lawrence & Van Zandt. He served as an alderman of the first ward from 1802 to 1806, and, as one of the building committee who erected the City Hall, protested against the use of colored stone in the rear of that building, urging upon his colleagues the belief that in a few years the city would extend far beyond the hall, and that then their parsimony would be ridiculed. His "wild ideas," as they were called, were laughed at by the other aldermen, and the brown stone was used. When it was proposed to make the width of Canal Street sixty feet he pleaded for one hundred feet, and it is due to his efforts that this important thoroughfare is wide enough to render traffic on it possible. He married Maria Allaire Underhill, of Westchester county, by whom he had eleven sons, several of whom are still living. Although he had been for many years an attendant at the old Dutch church, under which lie buried nearly all the Van Zandts for generations, later in life he became attached to Bishop Hobart, purchased a pew in Trinity church, and had a vault built near the McDonough monument, in which were buried his father, the old alderman, who died in 1814, his business partner William Lawrence, and several others. He became a vestryman in Trinity, serving from 1806 to 1811. About the year 1813 he purchased the Weeks farm at Little Neck, and, erecting on it a handsome mansion, removed there with his family, and in this beautiful home passed the remainder of an active and useful life. His residence here was marked by acts of liberality and public spirit; and his death, which occurred November 3rd 1831, when he was sixty- three years old, deprived the town of Flushing of one of its most valued citizens. He is buried in a vault under Zion’s church, where also lie his wife and several of his children; and, although no memorial stone was erected for him, the church itself is a sufficient and enduring monument. One of his sons, Henry, resided on a part of the old homestead until his death, since which time his widow has continued to make it her home. The only other representatives of the family here are Wynant Van Zandt’s widow and his youngest daughter, who married the late Peter Munford, a New York merchant, and who occupies a pleasant place in Flushing, and with whom her mother makes her home. Francis Lewis, the only one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who was identified by residence with the people of Queens county, was a native of Landaff in South Wales, and was educated at Westminster. Born in 1713, he decided on entering mercantile life when of age, and in 1735 converted his patrimony into money and sailed for New York, and from thence went to Philadelphia, where he engaged in business. Two years later he returned to New York, and he became one of the great ship- owners of his time, whose successful ventures were the real groundwork of Great Britain’s jealousy of her colonies. Led by his business interests to travel, he visited Russia and other parts of Europe, and was twice shipwrecked off the coast of Ireland. As a supply agent for the British army he was taken prisoner at Fort Oswego when it was surprised by Montcalm, was carried to Montreal, and from there to France. After his liberation he returned to New York to find the conflict between the colonies and the mother country already practically commenced; and, joining heartily in Revolutionary movements, he was in1775 unanimously elected a delegate to the Continental Congress, where his business experience, executive talent and knowledge of commerce made him a valuable member. At the next session he with his fellow patriots signed the paper to the maintenance of which they pledged "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor." Having some time previous purchased a country seat at Whitestone he removed his family to it in 1776, and then entered actively upon the performance of duties of importance with which he had been entrusted by Congress, one branch of which was the importation of military stores, in which he expended the bulk of his large fortune, and for which he was never repaid. Hardly had his family been settled at their home in Whitestone before they were visited, in the fall of 1776, by a body of British light horse, who plundered his house, wantonly destroyed his extensive and valuable library, and, taking Mrs. Lewis a prisoner, retained her several months, without a change of clothes or a bed to rest on. Through the influence of Washington she was released, but with her health so broken by the abuses she had suffered that she drooped and died- another victim to English chivalry in the eighteenth century. Mr. Lewis resided here until 1796, when he disposed of his property and retired to New York, where he died December 30th 1893, in his 90th year. Cadwallader D. Colden, the only son of David Colden, was born at the family mansion, "Spring Hill," in Flushing, April 4th 1769, and attended school at Jamaica. Only 15 years of age when his father’s estate was forfeited for treason, he was too young to have taken any very decided stand on the political opinions of that day, but not too young to feel an ardent love for his native country. Although he accompanied his father to England in 1784, where he attended a classical school near London, he found means in 1785 to return to New York, and entered the office of Richard Harrison, a prominent lawyer. He was admitted to the bar in 1791, practiced at Poughkeepsie five years, and then returned to New York, where he was soon after made district attorney. Young as he was he soon became a prominent rival of such men as Harrison, Hamilton, Livingston aid Jones, and for many years he was at the head of his profession in the specialty of commercial law. In 1812 he commanded a regiment of volunteers, and was active in assisting in building the forts and harbor defenses about the city. He served a term in Congress, and was afterward in the State Senate, where he became one of the most efficient promoters of the Erie Canal and a warm and faithful friend of De Witt Clinton. Mr. Colden died in 1834, at Jersey City. He was a descendant of the Willett family of Flushing, and one of whose birth within their borders the people of the town have a right to feel proud. Dr. John Rodman was one of the pioneer physicians and for more than forty years his broad brimmed hat and Quaker costume were familiar to the people of this and adjoining towns. His charges were moderate, but by combining agriculture with the practice of his profession he was enabled to leave his family comfortably endowed. At his death, in 1731, the Society of Friends entered on their records a eulogy of his consistent deportment and fidelity. The Lowerree Family are supposed to belong to the old Huguenot colony, who settled here about 1660. The name occurs infrequently in any of the early records, and family traditions are indistinct. It can, however, be traced by continuous residence for more than one hundred and fifty years. During the present century one of the family was a prominent merchant. Lowerree was the first president of the Flushing Gas Company, and Frank G. is proprietor of the Broadway stables. There are many persons of that name in the town. The Embree name is also identified with the Huguenot settlements, the first of the name coming first to New Rochelle, and then to Flushing. Never very numerous, the representation of the family has been worthy of its sires. In past generations they intermarried with the Lawrences and Bownes, and became Quakers in faith and practice. The only representative of the name now known to the writer as a resident of- Flushing is Robert C. Embree, a gifted New York lawyer. Colonel Isaac Corsa was a gallant soldier of the French and Indian wars. He served as lieutenant- colonel of the Queens county troops, and by his shrewdness in advising and gallantry in building and manning a battery at a particular point was chiefly instrumental in securing the surrender of Fort Frontenac. Retiring to his farm in Flushing he resigned his commission. In 1776, having been accused of loyalty to the cause of King. George, he was arrested by a committee of Congress, and paroled; ‘He remained at home a quiet spectator during the war, and died in 1807, at the age of 80 years. His only daughter married John Staples, of New York city. The Valentines were early settlers in Queens county, none, however, appearing in Flushing until after the time of the Revolution. Jeremiah settled on the Black Stump road, near Jamaica village, in 1800, and twelve years later removed to the farm in this town now owned by his son Thomas. He was a native of Suffolk county, married Sarah Brooks, of Flushing, and had seven children, but two of whom are now living- one a daughter, who married John M. Stearns, of Brooklyn, the other Thomas, who married Cornelia Cornell, of Flushing. Jeremiah Valentine was for many years a magistrate and justice of sessions in the county, superintended the building of Christ’s Church, Brooklyn, and was a director of the Williamsburg Savings Bank. Captain John Valentine was born on Long Island about 1740, and was a soldier in the Revolution. He was at one time a prisoner in a house that stood where the Main Street depot now stand in Flushing. He was the father of the mother of Edwin Powell. The last named, the oldest resident of Whitestone, was born on his farm in 1809; where his father, William Powell, was born in 1783. John Powell jr., father of William, was born on Long Island in 1740. John Powell, father of John Powell jr., born in 1705, was also born on Long Island. John Powell jr. in 1780 moved onto the farm now owned by Edwin Powell. The Havilands, Benjamin, Joseph and William, settled here prior to 1680, the names of the last two appearing on the list of patentees of 1685. But little is known of the families, except that in some instances they became prominent in wealth and mercantile enterprise. The best known member of the family in this town during the present century was William, who for about fifty years was a farmer at Little Neck, and died there about 1840, leaving six children. Mrs. Maria Smith is the only representative of the eldest, whose name was Roe. The Walters brothers, Henry, Samuel and John; were settlers in the east end of the town, in the Little Neck district, prior to the Revolution, and Henry served in Young’s militia, under Hamilton. John had a son Benjamin, born February 22nd 1755, who married, Elizabeth Valentine. They had eleven children. One of their sons; Charles, was born in 18o1, and married in 1832 to Elizabeth Roe. They had a son and daughter, Charles W. and Mary (now Mrs. Hendrickson), who are the only representatives of that branch of the family now here. Samuel WaIters, a brother of Benjamin, enlisted from Flushing in the war of 1812, served at Fort Greene, and was honorably discharged and pensioned. The Farringtons, once prominent in Flushing, descended from Edward Ffarrington, a brother- in- law of John Bowne. Mandeville relates that in his will, dated April 14th 1673, he bequeaths, after the decease of his wife Dorothy, to his "eldest son John all his housing, land, orchard, gardens in the town of Fflushing, etc, to returne to ye newt heire male of the blood of ye Farringtons and soe from generation to generation forever." It seems that even Quaker humility did not wipe out the pride of race, and prejudice in ‘favor of primogeniture, and it is a somewhat singular proof of the greater efficiency of American habits and customs that the writer fails to find a single person in Flushing of that name even remotely interested in the old estate that was to be so carefully kept in the family. The Thornes trace their ancestry on the island back to William Thorne jr., who was the original owner of an estate at what is now Willett’s Point, which for many years was called by his name. His family, large and respectable, were prominent citizens of Flushing many years; some of them, settling in adjoining towns, became active patriots during the Revolution, and Thomas Thorne, who was one of the Whig committee of Flushing, was seized by the British on their first visit here and ended his days in the prison ship. The Hicks Family descend from Robert Hicks (a descendant of Sir Ellis Hix, who was knighted by the Black Prince at the battle of Poictiers, in 1356), who came to America in the ship "Fortune," landing November 11th 1621 at Plymouth. He settled in Roxbury, Mass., and in 1642 two of his sons, John and Stephen, came to Long Island, the former being one of the original patentees of Flushing, and active in public affairs. His son Thomas drove out the Indians from Little Neck, and settled there. The family were early identified with the fortunes of the Society of Friends, to which, many of them still adhere. Elias Hicks, the famous preacher and founder of the Hicksite branch of that body, is a prominent instance. In 1880 Miss Anna L. Hicks and Mrs. A.W. Cock, of Flushing, were among the most prominent representatives of the family in the town. The Cornell Family.- This name is variously written. We meet it in early records as Cornhill, Cornwell and Cornell, according to the ignorance or indolence of the scribe. Onderdonk classes the family under the name of Cornwell, and is probably correct. The progenitors in this country seem to have been three brothers, who joined one of the early Massachusetts expeditions, and afterward scattered; one settling in Connecticut, another in Dutchess county, N.Y., and the third, Richard, coming to Flushing about 1643 and being one of the patentees here, and for many years a magistrate. His descendants became numerous, scattered throughout the country, and seem to have evinced a taste for public life both military and civil. The Old pioneer was a consistent Quaker, and so were many of his descendants. William Hallet, one of the first sheriffs of Flushing, had a singularly checkered career. In 1655 he was a planter near Hell Gate, and was driven from home and his house and plantation laid waste by the Indians. He fled to Flushing, and was appointed sheriff; but lost his position the following year, and was fined £50 for allowing a Baptist preacher to hold meetings in his house. The people petitioned for and obtained a remission of the fine. He seems to have been a builder, as the records show that he was the contractor, on the first "session house" or court- house built in Jamaica. The family afterward became prominent in Newtown. S.J. Hallet was the only known representative of the family in Flushing when this sketch was written. Michael Millner was the pioneer, inn-keeper of this town, and it was at his house town gatherings were held. Hare the people met to protest against Stuyvesant’s proscription of the Quakers, and for allowing what it would seem he could not well prevent, were he so disposed, Millner was punished. The Bloodgoods are of purely Knickerbocker origin, Francis Bloctgoct being the earliest settler of the name in Flushing, and, being recognized by the Dutch authorities as "chief of the inhabitants of the Dutch nation residing in the villages of Vlissingen, Heemstede, Rudsdorp and Middleboro," was made their commander and ordered to march with them toward the city should a hostile fleet appear in the sound. This was in 1674. In the year previous he was made a magistrate, was one of the privy council who advised with the governor on the surrender of the territory to the English, and was appointed a commissioner to visit the Sweedish settlement on the Delaware. Of his immediate descendants but little can be learned, although it is reasonably certain that some one of the name has ever since resided in Flushing. Two of his grandchildren, Abram and James, were left orphans under the care of a relative; but preferring to make their way in the world for themselves emigrated to Albany, where they became successful business men and amassed handsome fortunes. Abraham was born in Flushing, in 1741. He became also a merchant in Albany, and married Mrs. Lynott, one of whose daughters by a former husband became the wife of the celebrated Simeon De Witt. Abraham Bloodgood was for years a councilman of the city, was a member of the convention that accepted the constitution of the United States, and one of the famous ten who, in the old Vanden Heyden house, founded the Democratic party of the State. He left four sons, the younger of whom, Joseph, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1806, and was appointed trustee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York in 1811. Invited by a large number of the most prominent citizens of Flushing to settle here, he came to this village in 1812, and was for many years an eminent physician and a public spirited citizen. He died March 7th 1851, aged sixty- seven years. He had twelve children, four daughters and eight sons. Isaac, a prominent merchant, is now living in Flushing. Mrs. G.R. Garretson is a descendant of the branch of the family claiming continuous residence here, and resides on the old home farm, now in the heart of the village, in a house dating back to the early part of the last century. The Lawrence Family trace their patronymic back to the ancient Romans, claiming that from some of the Laurentii of that noble race descended their English ancestry; of whom the first named in the Doomsday Book was Sir Robert Lawrence, of Ashton Hall, who in 1119 planted the banner of the Cross on the battlements of St. Jean d’Acre, and received for his gallantry the honors of knighthood and a coat of arms from Richard the Lionhearted, the latter of which was in use (as a seal) by the family in, America for many years. Three brothers of this family, William, John and Thomas, came to Long Island about the year 1643, and the first two were among the patentees of Flushing recognized by Governor Kieft in 1645. John, although an owner of land here, removed to New York, where he became an alderman, mayor, judge of the supreme court and member of his Majesty’s council. William became the largest landed proprietor in Flushing, settling at Tew’s Neck (afterward called Lawrence’s), now College Point. He was a magistrate under the Dutch government in 1655, held a military commission under the British, and was in the magistracy of the "north riding." He was a man of marked ability, active in public affairs, and a fair type of the old fashioned country gentleman. His second wife was Elizabeth Smith, of Mishaquaked, L.I., whom he married in 1664. He died in 1680, and his widow married Sir Philip Carteret, governor of New Jersey. She was a woman of more than ordinary endowments; she was acting governor during Sir Philip’s absence in Europe, and many of the important acts of that period were "passed under the administration of Lady Elizabeth Carteret." Elizabeth, New Jersey, is named after her. From this and a previous marriage of William Lawrence’s descended the Flushing family of that name. Bernard Strong was an early resident of Jamaica, where he was born in 1727, and where he died in 1779, leaving three children, the oldest of whom, his namesake, entered the employ of John Jacob Astor. The second son, Daniel, married Ida Van Law and settled in Flushing, where he became a farmer. Of his five children David was run over and killed while a student of Union Hall; two daughters died without issue, and John married Elizabeth Robinson, by whom he had seven children, of whom Mrs. Ida A. Foster was the oldest, and is now the only one on the island.
THE COLORED POPULATION.The early growth of material wealth in this part of the island was marked by the accession of considerable property in slaves, and historians agree in the conclusion that the pioneers of Queens and Suffolk made kind and indulgent masters, and that, in fact, the kindheartedness of the Hollanders and Quakers was rather a bar to the maintenance of a state of discipline sufficient to make slavery a pecuniary success. Instances of cruelty there were; but they are rare, while the fact remains that any elements of discord to which we may allude were sown among the faithful slaves by a class of idle, dissolute freedmen from other localities, who were drawn here by the supposition that the well- known sympathy of the Friends for their race would show them the means of securing the blessings of liberty without its cares and responsibilities. The emancipation of the slaves left them, in the main, residents of their old homes, and where they were worthy of the confidence of their former owners the relation of master and servant was practically unchanged. The Friends, under the teachings of Fox, were led by their fine sense of justice and humanity to be the pioneers it the matter of schools for the negroes, and funds were early contributed for their education, and the lady members of the society were active in the work. Churches of the denominations whose devotional exercises best comported with the emotional nature of the race were established early in the century, and Flushing at that time offered special inducements for the retention of a class of people fond of gaiety, and not ambitious to become either wealthy or famous. Old residents relate that from 1820 to 1825 this element of the population had grown so numerous and become so aggressive that the streets were filled with them at night, and a system of out- door dances equivocal serenades and barbecues became so frequent that they proved a serious annoyance to the staid citizens who believed that "nights were made to sleep in." Town ordinances and the mild expostulations of their Quake friends proved alike unavailing; but ingenuity will overcome all obstacles, and the spirit that was to restore peace to the streets of this ancient village was moving not in the placid bosoms of the russet- clad Quaker, but in the restless brain of Young America. Parties of young men gathered on the outskirts of these noisy conclaves and nightly disturbed their harmony with volleys of stale eggs and other disagreeable missiles, gaining the name of the "Rotten Egg Club," The remedy was effectual peace reigned in Flushing, and the dusky orgies were transferred from the public squares to the shanties of Crow Hill and Liberty street. From that time to the present the colored population has in the main proved quiet and orderly, and supplied place in domestic service. A few have become clergy men, lawyers and small dealers, while a considerable number have found employment in minor positions in the New York, custom- house and post- office. They have two churches, Methodist Episcopal and Baptist; and, although poor in this world’s goods, evince that keen interest in devotional exercises that is to so great an extent a race characteristic. Education not being a prerequisite f the performance of pastoral duties, their preachers are often found following the Pauline practice of working with their own hands in humble avocations. The institution of slavery antedated, the earliest settlements on the island, and not only were African servants brought from Holland, but families who came from New England imported Indians, who were either prisoners of war or the children of those who had been. The earliest mention of slaves found in any of the old historical works is, however, in the Colonial History of New York, Vol. II, page 158, where it is written that this part of the island "produces from the servants’ labor corn, beef, pork, butter, tobacco and staves, which they exchange for liquors and merchandise." On the court records of 1726 is an account of the execution of "Samuel, a colored man of Flushing, for burglary committed in that place." Although nothing in the general conduct of the slaves in this locality had indicated any feeling of insubordination, yet the year 1741 was a period of anxious uncertainty and general suspicion. The "negro plot" in New York had been discovered and many slaves executed; and in Kings and Queens counties a number of arrests were made, but no sufficient cause was found to imperil the colored people or their masters in Flushing. On the 20th of May 1756 two slaves belonging to Bernardus Ryder and Benjamin Fowler were drowned in Flushing Bay while fishing. An advertisement, in the New York Postboy of April 14th 1760 reads as follows: "Ran away from Bernardus Ryder, Flushing, a negro man named Caesar, aged twenty- five; this country born, not a right black- has a little of the yellowish cast; a pretty lusty fellow; talks good English; if frightened stutters very much; has lost one of his front teeth; had on a light- colored Devonshire kersey coat, a soldier’s red jacket, breeches and hat, and a pair of old shoes. 40s. reward if taken on the island, or £3 if taken off the island." In 1788 a New York paper contained the following non- committal item: "Michael, a negro man slave of John Allen, of Flushing, died by chance- medley and misadventure from a correction he appeared to have from some person unknown." Onderdonk appends this note: "Allen had lost money, and severely flogged the negro, but could not extort a confession." This is the only instance of brutality recorded in the annals of Flushing. During the last years of the eighteenth century the stand taken by the Quakers against slavery, and the visits of free negroes, many of whom were at that time employed on American vessels, had stirred up a desire for freedom which led to many attempted and some successful escapes. On May 10th 1791 the Daily Advertiser contained the following: "$20 Reward. Ran away from Flushing two negro men! One Aaron, the property of Jeremiah Vanderbilt, who had on fustian trowsers, and wool hat, and is a good boatman; the other, Polydore, the property of Francis Lewis, who wore a blue cloth jacket and breeches, woolen stockings and wool hat." They stole a boat and went up the sound, as was supposed. Although they were well treated, and perhaps better off in that respect than their fellow serfs in other States, the desire for personal liberty had become to some extent general among the slaves, if we may judge from advertisements which were published from time to time. How far this feeling rendered them insubordinate we find little besides the instance just stated to prove, but it must have had a powerful, influence in securing the acquiescence of the masters in the steps taken by the State toward emancipation. Freed from slavery they have generally remained in the locality, and their descendants become orderly members of the working classes, with an occasional instance where genius has risen superior to caste and the unfortunate tyranny of circumstances, and become, to some extent, prominent. There are still living in the place some who were held in bondage when young.
RISE AND GROWTH OF THE NURSERY BUSINESS.The Prince Nurseries.- The climate and the soil of this town being peculiarly adapted to the propagation of trees and plants, the success attained by the Huguenot settlers in introducing the fruits of their native province led English gardeners, who had settled here, to experiment in horticulture, with such results that William Prince in 1737 laid out a tract of land in the village and devoted it first to the propagation of fruit trees, afterward extending his efforts to the growth and introduction of shade trees, of which the Lombardy poplar is believed to have been one. The lack of forest trees on the island made his venture a popular one, and we find him circulating the following notice, dated September 21st 1767: "For sale at William Prince’s nursery, Flushing, a great variety of fruit trees, such as apple, plum, peach, nectarine, cherry, apricot and pear. They may be put up so as to be sent to Europe. Captain Jacamiah Mitchell and Daniel Clements go to New York in, passage boats Tuesdays and Fridays." This is believed to have been the first nursery in the country. At the time of writing this a part of the old grounds was still open to the school children, who have termed the field "the wild nursery," and who roam there during the summer, gathering stray blossoms from plants once rare and choice, or weaving garlands from the parti- colored foliage. The extension of Prince’s business to the culture of shade and ornamental trees is first noticed in. an advertisement in the New York Mercury of March 14th 1774: "William Prince at his nursery, Flushing landing, offers for sale one hundred and ten large Carolina magnolia flower trees, raised from the seed- the most beautiful trees that grow in America- 4s. per tree, four feet high; fifty large catalpa flower trees, 2s. per tree; they are nine feet high to the under part of the top, and thick as one’s leg; thirty or forty almond trees, that begin to bear, 1s. and 6d. each; fifty fig trees, 2s. each; two thousand five hundred white, red and black currant bushes, 6d. each; gooseberry bushes, 6d.; Lisbon and Madeira grape vines; five thousand Hautboy Chili large English and American strawberry plants; one thousand five hundred white and one thousand black mulberry trees; also Barcelona filbert trees, 1s. The Revolutionary war put a stop to the conduct of any business requiring free communications, and we find Mr. Prince advertising for sale 30,000 grafted cherry trees for hooppoles. A return of peace brought with it increased trade to make good the depredations of the soldiery, as well as to the orchards of those who for seven years past had paid more attention to the science of war than the pursuits of horticulture, and in 1789 the nurseries had obtained a reputation that induced General Washington, then President of the United States, to visit them. In his diary for October 10th of that year is the following: "I set off from New York, about nine o’clock, in my barge, to visit Mr. Prince’s fruit gardens and shrubberies at Flushing. The vice- president, governor, Mr. Izard, Colonel Smith and Major Jackson accompanied me. These gardens, except in the number of young fruit trees, did not answer my expectations. The shrubs were trifling and the flowers not numerous." It should be remembered that General Washington’s estimate was that of a man familiar with the more luxurious vegetation of Virginia. The first notice of the Lombardy poplar occurs in 1798, when Mr. Prince advertises 10,000 of them, from ten to seventeen feet in height. They grew rapidly and became for years a popular shade tree, long avenues of them being planted in all parts of the island, and their leaves gathered for fodder for sheep and cattle by many. In 1806 they, however, received their death blow, as it was then claimed that they harbored a poisonous worm, and they were cut down in many cases and burned for fuel. Thompson, in his History of Long Island, relates that when the, British troops entered Flushing in 1777 General Howe ordered a guard to be stationed for the protection of these gardens and nursery. Originally confined to an area of eight acres the Linnaean Botanic Gardens, as they have been termed, were enlarged by Mr. Prince in 1792, to cover the space of twenty- four acres; and under the management of his son during the early part of the century to more than sixty acres, employing a force of about fifty men in their best days. Thus from a small beginning has grown up what has been for the past half century the most important industry of Flushing, employing a considerable force of intelligent men, and, what is perhaps of still more importance, deserving the credit of having, educated a ‘large number of the best landscape gardeners and horticulturists in the State. The great value of the lands used for nursery purposes here, and the springing up of the ‘forest tree business in western New York, has led the nurserymen of Flushing to abandon that branch of the business for the more lucrative one of ornamental shrubbery, plants and cut flowers. No better view of the business as it now exists can be given than by sketching ‘the history of such nurseries and greenhouses as are now in operation. The Parsons Nurseries.- Among the marked men of Flushing in the generation now passed away was Samuel Parsons, of whom De Witt Clinton once remarked that he had never met another man so truly courteous without compromising a single Christian principle. The mental training given by his classical education was supplemented by a knowledge of French, his fluency in which was gained by constant association with the French emigrees, who were welcome guests at his father’s house. Retiring from business with a liberal income, his benevolence abounded to the full extent of his ability, and in conferring a favor he made himself the one obliged. Although a minister in the Society of Friends, his liberality in thought to all denominations was well known. His sincere and fervent piety, earnest and continual desire for the spiritual improvement of those among whom his lot was cast, and the whole tenor of his life make his memory valued among those now living who recollect him. Foremost among the advocates of public improvements, his fondness for trees induced him to commence a system of street planting, which, continued by his sons has made Flushing noted for the beauty of its streets The same taste led him to fix upon the nursery business for his sons, and in 1838 to commence the business, which, with some changes, has been continued since his death, in 1841. Passing at that date into the hands of his sons Samuel B. and Robert B. it was continued until 1872, during which time it had grown steadily. When the greatest demand for grapevines sprang up, in 1862 lasting until 1865, they increased their facilities for cultivation until their annual production in this one branch of the business amounted to over 800,000 vines annually. They became the only growers in this country of rhododendrons and hardy azaleas and went largely into the culture of camelias. When the demand for dwellings made large inroads upon the nursery, and a single one of its acres sold for $10,000, Samuel B. Parsons, seeing no future, in that village for the proper extension of the business for which his sons had been trained, decided in 1872 to remove his share of the firm’s stock to some lands which he owned on Kissena Lake, the picturesque character of which particularly fitted them for an ornamental nursery. He hoped also to prove, as he has successfully done, that plants grown in an exposed locality, open to all winds, possess, in their hardiness, an additional value. At the same time he reserved for himself the southern part of the old nursery. To this new land there accompanied him, his two sons and J.R. Trumpy, the successful propagator for the old firm, whose genius and skill are well known. The Kissena Nurseries, as they are called, are managed as a limited company, under the name of the Parsons & Sons Company, of which Samuel B. Parsons is president. Continuing the propagation of the class of specialties fox which the old house was noted, they commenced gathering from foreign countries all the ornamental plants and trees which could be obtained; especially from Japan, whence by the aid of Thomas Hogg, the, well known collector, they were furnished with a variety rich, perfectly hardy, and containing many sorts unknown in Europe. Of these the Japan maples are conspicuous by their beauty, dwarf- like character, and thorough hardiness. One or two of these are grown elsewhere in this country and several in Europe; but the entire collection of twenty- four varieties can only be found in Japan and in the Kissena Nurseries. The great variety of this general collection is described in a catalogue just issued. Some idea of its extent can be gained from the fact that an order recently filled for an arboretum being made at Menlo Park by ex- Governor Stanford, of California, includes over sixteen hundred varieties. As a writer for the press Mr. S.B. Parsons has since 1840 attained a reputation for both literary ability and a knowledge of landscape gardening that has made his pen sought for by such publishers as the Harpers, and led to the republication of his articles in some of the best European magazines. His first published volume, "The Rose, its History, Culture, etc.," was issued in 1856, by Wiley & Halsted, and met with so favorable a reception that it was reissued in an enlarged and improved form in 1869, by Orange Judd & Co., as "Parsons on the Rose." It has found its way to thousands of American homes, and done much to aid the growth of a love for the beautiful. His son Samuel has also become known as a writer for Scribner and others, and becoming a partner with Mr. Calvert Vaux in the profession of landscape gardening carries to it a knowledge of trees rarely found among landscape artists. The other son, George H., whose education like that of his brother has been practical as well as classical, has recently been engaged by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company to organize a system of improvements on their lands in Colorado. The junior member of the old firm, Robert B. Parsons, retained the northern part of the old grounds, including the office and greenhouses on Broadway, and since the dissolution has conducted a large business in the specialties of the old house, to which he has recently added the extensive culture of roses and cut flowers, for which, owing to the large number of greenhouses, the nursery is well adapted. Located in a convenient portion of the village, the nurseries of R.B. Parsons & Co. will well entertain a visitor, who will find there some curiosities, among them a magnificent weeping beech, unequaled in the country. The writer has been inclined to devote more space to the histories of these nurseries and those who are and have been identified with them than he would have done did not every step in their progress mark the value of proper training and refined tastes in this as in other business enterprises. At present they represent the combined taste and skill of three generations, and the influences that have gone out from them and educated the tastes of others cannot be overestimated. John Henderson’s Floral Gardens, occupying some sixteen acres on Parsons avenue, were opened in 1867. The owner, a native of London and descended from two generations of English florists, came to America in 1854, commenced business in a small way in Jersey City, became part owner of The Oaks, and is now the most extensive cultivator of cut flowers in the vicinity. His extensive establishment comprises twenty- four greenhouses, averaging one hundred feet long, warmed by four- inch hot water pipes, of which there are two and three- fourths miles, heated by fifteen large furnaces, consuming annually four hundred tons of coal. Twelve men are employed and the sales for 1880 comprised some 700,000 choice flowers, of which more than 400,000 were roses. The products of these greenhouses are all handled through the New York city agency at 940 Broadway, and sold in bulk to retailers and bouquet makers. Among the specialties originated by Mr. Henderson are the Bouvardia Elegans, Tuba Rose Pearl, the new dwarf camelia and Carnation Snowden, the new dwarf white carnation. The Exotic Gardens, on Broadway near the Town Hall, were opened by John Cadness, and purchased by Leavitt & Lawlor. Their greenhouses are devoted to the culture of cut flowers, and the firm supplies the local demand for bouquets and funeral and bridal pieces. The gardens and hotbeds are also devoted to supplying the local demand for early plants, and a fair business is done in potted flowering plants. The location of the grounds is convenient, and the new proprietors are young men of enterprise and ambition. G.R. Garrettson, seedsman, has the only seed farm in Flushing. It comprises about one hundred acres, and is on the Jamaica road, about a mile from the village. Mr. Garrettson was a pupil of Grant Thorburn, and was afterward with Prince & Co. He established his present business on a small scale in 1836, and for many years did a large and flourishing trade. Increased competition has, however, induced him to curtail its dimensions, and it is now confined to the supply of his old customers, and the sale of seeds in bulk. Mr. Garrettson married a daughter of Daniel Bloodgood, and lives on the old Bloodgood homestead, which has been in the family since 1673. The Oaks, at Bayside, was first opened as a nursery by a member of the Hicks family, and was afterward owned by Lawrence and since his proprietorship by Henderson & Taylor. The estate has an area of three hundred and twenty- five acres, on which are twenty- four greenhouses, covering an acre, warmed by hot water "pipes, employing fourteen men, and with a trade in plants and cut flowers of about $12,000 annually. The present owner, John Taylor, is a native of England, and the estate, aside from the value of its hothouse products, is one of the finest in the town, if not in Queens county.
BURIAL PLACES.The oldest burial grounds known in the town are those of the : Lawrence family, at Bayside; Skidmores, at Fresh Meadows, and Friends’ meeting- house. We have some trace of the date of the Friends’ ground being set apart, as a record of that society shows that in 1695 they raised money by a subscription for the purpose of fencing in their burial ground. On this no stone was allowed to mark the graves, and when one sister evaded the rules in spirit by planting a tree at the head of her husband’s grave a stern old Quaker dug it up and destroyed it. Besides these the : Parsons and Loweree families have private grounds. An old cemetery is connected with St. George’s, and the Catholics have a consecrated ground connected with St. Michael’s church. The rapid growth of population at Flushing made it necessary to agree upon some site for a village cemetery large enough to meet the wants of the locality for generations to come, and capable of improvement to any extent deemed advisable. An association was incorporated in 1853, and purchased a plot of twenty- one acres in a pleasant part of the town, about one and a half miles from the village, in the vicinity of Kissena Lake. Here the funds received from fees and from the sale of lots have been largely expended in beautifying the place, and added to this the large expenditures made by the owners of burial plots have been sufficient to make the cemetery one of the finest on the island. The association will take entire charge of a funeral when desired, furnishing carriages and attendants, and has a scale of prices for such funerals. This course has been adopted to prevent exorbitant charges by undertakers and liverymen, as well as to prove of service in cases where the deceased has no near friend capable of assuming such charge.
WHITESTONE.This village- one of the earliest settled points in the town of Flushing- has a name of equal antiquity; it having been named from a large white stone or rock which lies off the point where the tides from the sound and the East River meet. During the popularity of De Witt Clinton a vote of the citizens at a public meeting named the village Clintonville; but the old name still clung to it, and when, in 1854, a post- office was established it was given the old familiar title. A. Kissam was the first postmaster. The present incumbent of the office is Oliver Taff. The place was one of no business importance up to 1853, and in the year 1800 there were but twelve houses within a circuit of a mile. The date at which the village first took any decisive advance was, as has been said, 1853, at which time John D. Locke & Co., a firm of eastern manufacturers, established a manufactory of tin, japan and copper ware, which employed several hundred hands, and is still the most important business enterprise in the place. Here was the home of Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and on his farm here, General Morgan Lewis, afterward governor of New York, passed his youthful days. During the early years of the present century a ferry was established here- its other terminus being Throgg’s Neck and the principal business done the transfer of cattle. It was under the charge of Henry Kissam for fourteen years. Sailboats were employed. In 1856 an unsuccessful attempt was made to revive the ferry. The rapid increase in population rendered necessary prompt and liberal action in educational and religious matters, and John D. Locke, who took up his residence here at the time of founding his factory, has been foremost in good works, and a public spirited citizen, without whose assistance the progress made would have been impossible. The shore at this place presents many attractions as a place of residence, and since about 1825 a considerable number of elegant mansions have been erected by gentlemen from New York city and from the southern States- some of which are now the homes of prominent business and professional men whose offices are in New York. The first store in the town is said to have been near the landing here, and at this place watchmen were stationed by order of the colonial authorities during the French war. Beds of potter’s clay were found here, some of sufficient purity to be used in the manufacture of tobacco pipes, which industry was carried on to a small extent during the first half of the last century. An advertisement dated March 31st 1835 reads: "The widow of Thomas Parington, offers for sale her farm at Whitestone, opposite Throgg’s Point. It has 20 acres of clay ground fit for making tobacco pipes." Another of May 31st 1835: "Any person desirous may be supplied with vases, urns, flower pots, etc., to adorn gardens and tops of houses, or any other ornament made of clay, by Edmond Annely at Whitestone- he having set up the potter’s business by means of a German family that he bought, who are supposed by their work to be the most ingenious that ever arrived in America. He has clay capable of making eight different kinds of ware."
LOCKE’S FACTORY.John D. Locke began business November 17th 1827, in the manufacture of plain tinware, japanned ware, toys, planished ware, stamped ware and trimmings, the factory being located in Brooklyn. In 1845 the business was removed to Whitestone. There are 18 buildings devoted to the various branches of the enterprise, and the works occupy a block. The average number of employes is from 300 to 350. The business has increased almost constantly from the date of its establishment, and is now growing rapidly. Mr. Locke has a very large domestic and a considerable export trade, most of the goods exported being shipped to Germany. A South American trade is about being established, and the reputation of the products of the factory is such that they will in time be introduced in most of the leading markets of the world. The goods are manufactured for the trade. The business is carried on under the personal supervision of the proprietor, and the affairs of the office and the accounts are managed by his son Frank M. Locke. The New York office and salesrooms, at 44 Cliff street, are under the supervision of Aubin G. Locke, another son of the proprietor.
NEWSPAPERS.The initial number of the Whitestone Herald was issued by the Whitestone Herald Publishing Company, with John Steren as editor, May 24th 1871. A few months later Mr. Steren was succeeded by Charles W. Smith, the present editor of the Flushing Journal, who continued at the helm until February 1875. The Whitestone Printing Company was then formed; the paper changed hands and was controlled by George W. Van Siclen until March 1878, when it was purchased by W.S. Overton, under whose control the paper entered upon an era of prosperity and has become a valuable property. It is Democratic in politics but is chiefly devoted to local interests. The College Point Mirror, published at Whitestone by W.S. Overton, was established in the spring of 1879 by the present publisher, with C.B. Westervelt as editor. In the fall of the same year Mr. Overton assumed editorial charge of the paper. The Mirror is independent politically, with a leaning toward Democratic principles. Its aim is purely to aid the best interests of the villages and the town whence it derives the greater part of its patronage.
GRACE CHURCH.The services of the Protestant Episcopal church were first held in Whitestone, regularly, about 1840, in a building erected by Samuel Leggett and others, members of the Society of Friends. All religious denominations were allowed’ the use of this building, and, accordingly, soon after its erection several members of the Protestant Episcopal church and others residing in the place who preferred the services of that church requested the rectors of the neighboring parishes to hold services in the new building as often as practicable. Among the clergymen who united in maintaining the services of the Episcopal church for several years succeeding the above date were the rectors of St. George’s church, Flushing, Rev. Henry M. Beard, D.D., of Zion church, Little Neck, the late Rev. W.A. Muhlenberg, D.D., at that time president of St. Paul’s College, at College Point, and other clergymen who were professors in the institution, among whom we may mention Rev. Mr. Van Bokelyn, and Rt. Rev. J.B. Kerfoot, D.D., late bishop of the diocese of Pittsburgh. Several students of St. Paul’s College, who were preparing for the university, also rendered very efficient service at this place as lay readers and teachers in the Sunday-school. In 1855 the same building in which services had been previously held was rented of the executors of Mr. Leggett, and, Whitestone became a regularly organized mission of St. George’s Church, Flushing. Services were now regularly held by Rev. William Short, assistant minister of St. George’s Church, with the understanding that his field of labor should be especially within the limits of the village of Whitestone. The building in which the congregation worshiped was occupied for a period of nearly six years. The connection with the parish of St. George’s, Flushing, was dissolved September 6th 1858, when the parish of Grace Church, Whitestone, was duly organized and the following officers elected: Abraham B. Sands and John D. Locke, wardens; Abraham Bininger, A.H. Kissam, Henry Lowerree, Henry Smith, Peter F. Westervelt, Griffith Rowe, Charles H. Miller and John Barrow, vestrymen. At a meeting of the vestry, held September 12th the same year, the Rev. William Shortt, the minister in charge, was chosen rector. Owing to an increased prosperity of the parish a very eligible site was purchased, and the corner stone of a new church edifice was laid with the usual ceremonies May 1st 1858. The new church, handsomely and tastefully built of brick, and estimated to have cost about $6,000, was completed and opened for service November 8th 1860. Rev. William Shortt continued his ministrations in the parish until May 31st 1865, when failing health compelled him to resign. In June following a call was extended to Rev. B.H. Abbott, of’ Carbondale, Pa., who accepted and soon entered upon the rectorship of the parish. The same year two additional lots adjoining the church property were purchased and a Sunday - school building was erected. Rev. Mr. Abbott continued his services as rector until April 3d 1877. In the following December Rev. Joseph H. Young was called to the parish, and at once entered upon the duties of the rectorship. He resigned April 28th 1879. In July of the same year a call was extended to the Rev. William F. Dickinson, M.D., rector’s assistant to the Rev. J.R. Davenport, D.D., New York city, who entered upon his duties August 1st 1879 and is the present incumbent.
THE METHODIST CHURCH.The M.E. church of Whitestone was organized March 28th 1850, and the building was erected the same year, at a cost of $1,200. The first pastor was Rev. A.Y. Abbott. From 1855 to 1857 Rev. Mr. Fitch, principal of public schools at Flushing, preached here on Sunday evenings, and Orange Judd, of Flushing, had charge of the Sunday- school. In 1858 Rev. David Tuthill was appointed pastor, but he left Within the year, going to Arizona as a missionary. In 1859 Rev. D.A. Goodsell was appointed. Since that time the history of the church has been that of a struggle for maintenance against adverse circumstances.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.There is a Catholic church in Whitestone, which is under the charge of Father Connolly. The house of worship was formerly used by Protestant denominations. These facts are all the writer has been able to learn regarding this church.
FIRE DEPARTMENT- OTHER ORGANIZATIONS.The Whitestone Hook and Ladder and Bucket Company was organized July 21st with Thomas A. Harris as foreman, John D. Scott as assistant foreman, Charles Garrison as secretary and Nicholas Doscher as treasurer. There were sixteen members. The present membership is about thirty- five. James L. Coffin is foreman, James Murphy first assistant foreman, Charles Unger second assistant foreman, Wilbur Whittaker secretary and Alfred Wilmot treasurer. A.G. Montgomery is chief engineer, of the department. J.G. Merritt and Joseph Winkler are assistant engineers. Captain Thomas A. Harris, who was prominent in the organization of the company, was for many years a member of the old New York volunteer fire department. The German Rifles, is a military organization, Captain A. Martens commanding. It has been in existence seven or eight years. The first captain was C. Ommanheiser. The Liederkranz, a German musical society, was organized in the fall of 1880 and has about a dozen members. John Seitz is the leader.
COLLEGE POINT.This village is on the northwestern part of the tract of land known on the early charts as Tew’s Neck, afterward as Lawrence’s Neck, and which for more than a century formed the estate of the celebrated William Lawrence and his descendants. Here the elder Lawrence maintained for many years the hospitable manners and courtly dignity of an English gentleman of his day, and took part in colonial matters of importance with a freshness and vigor that made him a marked man. After the close of the Revolution a part of this estate fell on the, market, and a tract of three hundred and twenty acres was bought by Eliphalet Stratton, for £500. But little of interest occurred here prior to the erection of St. Paul’s College by Dr. Muhlenberg, in 1846. This institution was intended for the education of young men for the ministry of the Episcopal church. The buildings were still incomplete, although accommodations had been provided for about one hundred students, when the death of the founder put a stop to the enterprise, and in the settlement of his estate the building passed into other hands. It has since been occupied by private residences, the chapel, however, being still devoted to religious uses. During Dr. Muhlenberg’s residence here he built, at his own expense, a plank walk across the meadows to Flushing, and in 1855 a causeway was constructed connecting the two villages. The history of the place is that of a rapidly growing manufacturing village, In 1854 Conrad Poppenhusen, a German manufacturer, erected here a large factory, called the Enterprise Works, for the manufacture of hard rubber knife handles, toilet articles and other specialties. This establishment has employed as many as five hundred hands, and its success has led to the immigration of a class of German factory operatives, among whom other manufacturers have found it easy to obtain the class of labor they required, and have accordingly sought this as a location for their works. In 1880 the village formerly called Stratton sport, now incorporated as College Point, contained the works of the Enterprise Company, the New York India Rubber Comb Company, Funcke’s College Point Ribbon Mills, the Germania Ultramarine Works, and the extensive brewery of Hirsch & Herman, with a goodly population, mostly of German and Swiss nationality. Many of those whose property is invested in manufacturing interests here are residents of the village, and a number of city business men have built fine residences here. About the year 1852 the daughter of Eliphalet Stratton part of his estate now included in the village, for $30,000, retaining 180 acres in the family; thus the original investment of about $6 per acre yielded for the portion sold more than forty times that amount. To the Poppenhusen family is due the building of the New York, Flushing and North Shore Railroad, and many acts of public spirit in local affairs, that have, done much to build up and beautify the place and increase the value of property. The College Point post- office was established in 1857, with H. Zuberbier as postmaster. Ferdinand Gentner is the present incumbent. The railway station was erected in 1868, and is a substantial brick building, two stories high, 100 feet long by 25 wide, containing baggage, express and telegraph offices, two spacious waiting rooms and a restaurant. The first station agent was Julius Buhl, who had charge of all the offices in the building for a year. He was succeeded by Eliza Sea, with Lizzie Miller as ticket agent, and she by C.R. Englehardt, who was followed by Wilson Lowerree of Whitestone, the present agent, who was appointed in 1874. Miss Miller was succeeded as ticket agent by Misses Alcburger and Banks; the last- named in 1873 by Anna Schiller, the present ticket seller and telegraph operator. The village is well supplied with beer gardens and places of a similar character, and is often a place of Sunday resort for military and civic societies from New York and elsewhere, who discourse in the "liquid gutturals" of the Fatherland while they enjoy the sea breezes and the foam from College Point lager; much to the annoyance of the class of citizens who deprecate the advent of "a continental Sabbath," and to the grief of at least one of the former historians of Flushing. The large foreign element here demands a lax interpretation of excise laws, and has heretofore been strong enough to practically enforce its view. Like most German villages College Point takes a deep interest in educational matters. Several private boarding schools, taught by German professors and devoted largely to teaching music and languages, are well sustained; and choral societies and saengerbunds are a popular avenue for social intercourse and the cultivation of the national taste for music. The Germans of this place in proportion to their ability- the large majority of them being poor factory operatives who have contributed liberally for the support of religion. The place is well adapted to ship building purposes, and at the time this article was written negotiations were pending for the establishment of a yard by an experienced builder from the east end of the island. This port is the terminus of the People’s line of steamboats running to and from New York, and during the summer is a stopping point for the East River passenger boats, which, with the convenient railroad facilities afforded by the North Shore road, render it convenient of access to parties doing business in New York, and tend to encourage immigration.
CHURCH HISTORY.St. Paul’s Free Chapel was built by a number of the friends of religious interests at College Point and elsewhere The Flushing Bible Society had for several years employed a colporteur, a Mr. Caldwell, at this place; but decided in 1859 to discontinue his services. A Sunday- school having been started by him, and growing rapidly in attendance, being held at the district school- house, it was determined to erect a free chapel, hoping that such an effort would crystallize the different elements of religious faith here, and encourage assistance from more favored localities. " W.O. Chisholm, F.A. Potts, C.W. Whitney, Spencer H. Smith, W.H. Stebbins jr., and H.A. Bogert became a committee to carry out the project. Mr. Poppenhusen generously donated a plot of ground, and nearly $3,000 was raised by subscription. The building was completed January 1st 1860. St. Fidelis Roman Catholic Church was built at College Point in 1856, the corner stone having been laid in July, and the dedication occurring on the 1st of November, Bishop Loughlin, of the diocese of Brooklyn, officiating. The church is a frame building, seventy- five by thirty- three feet. The founder of the parish was Rev. Joseph Huber, a native of Austria, who was ordained at Albany in 1853 and served as assistant pastor of Holy Trinity Church of Brooklyn until he was sent to this place to organize a parish, which now consists of perhaps one hundred and fifty families, about equally divided between the English and German speaking residents. The Sunday- school is in charge of Father Huber and a Miss Delaney and has an average attendance of sixty. A week day school, with about seventy- five scholars, in charge of a secular teacher, who is the church organist, and St. Fidelis Society, a co-operative relief association of about forty members, of which Jacob Becker is president, are the principal auxiliaries to the work of the church. One of the most imposing events in the history of St. Fidelis Church was the celebration of the twenty- fifth anniversary of the pastor’s ordination, which occurred on May 21st 1878, in the presence of Bishop Loughlin, seventy priests and a host of friends. The church building is located on Fifteenth street, near High. The German Evangelical Lutheran church(unaltered Augsburgian confession) is named St. Johannes, and stands at the corner of Sixth avenue and Fourteenth street. Some members of the Lutheran Trinity Church in Ninth street, New York, Rev. Th. J. Brohm, had moved to Strattonsport, and Mr. Brohm came and preached at their request to the German settlers in the new place. On March 15th 1857 The first regular meeting was held and an organization formed. There were six members, viz.: H. Bannewitz, V. Dissen, P. Illers, E. Grube, C. Otto and J. Hebel. They are all still residents of the vicinity except Mr. Dissen, who moved away. The first services were held in the public schoolhouse. G. Loeber, a nephew of the Rev. Mr. Brohm, organized a school, and preached Sundays until the end of the year 1857, when he received a call to Chicago. About this time the building of a church was resolved upon, money was collected among the members, as well as among friends in New York, Flushing and vicinity, and a building for church and school purposes was commenced. The walls and roof of the church were erected and the school- house was finished, in which through the winter Sunday services were held. In 1858 Rev. A. Heitmuller was called to be pastor of the congregation. The inside of the church was then finished, and on the 4th of July the building was dedicated by Rev. Th. Brohm. Rev. Mr. Heitmuller remained until March 186r, when he was called to Elyria, Ohio, which call he accepted. In September following Rev. Julius Retiz, of Fort Wayne, Ind., accepted a call and became minister. He staid until June 1863. In May 1864 Rev. A. Ebendrik was called to the pastoral care of the congregation. He accepted and still serves. In 1879 the church, 25 by 36 feet in size, proved too small, and it was resolved to make an addition of 20 feet to the length of it, which was accomplished. The congregation has no Sunday school of the kind common in this country, but every Sunday afternoon a public catechization of the young people is held by the pastor. In 1876 a lot adjoining the church was bought and a parsonage built upon it.
EDUCATIONAL.The only public school in this part of the town at the commencement of the present century was held in a small red school- house near the sound. John McDermott, who taught here for several years, was one of the first teachers, if not the first in Whitestone. The building becoming inconvenient in size and location a new one was decided on, and on May 1st 1818 a lease from Hewlett Kissam, of a lot 45 by 20 feet, was, granted to the district at a rental of three dollars. On this a small plain building was erected at a cost of $250. The first trustees were John L. Franklin, William Powell and Hewlett Kissam. This building was in use about twenty years. The first to teach in it was Thomas R. Starkins. Among the pupils who attended were Joseph Harris, James Fowler, George L. Smith and Edwin Powell- now among the most honored citizens of the town of Flushing. In 1838 the school had grown too large for its building and it became necessary to remove to the basement of what is now the Catholic church; a building owned at the time by Samuel Leggett, which is spoken of elsewhere, and the use of which was donated to the board by the philanthropic owner. Hon. B.W. Downing and William Thickett were teachers here for some time. After the death of Mr. Leggett his executor decided to charge rent for the basement, which fact, added to the dampness of the rooms, led to an effort to build a suitable school- house. This was met by an attempted secession of the part of the district near Bayside, which, after a long struggle, was foiled; and a new building was erected in what was then the central portion of the village, at a cost of $800. The first term of school taught there was under the care of William Thickett. Until the year 1857 the school was supported by the payment of part tuition by the parents, John D Locke very generously paying a dollar for every child who attended from the families of the employes in his large factory. On the 16th of April in the year last named a special law was obtained, making tuition absolutely free and providing for a board of education. This law went into effect June 1st 1857. Charles A. Roe, Aaron C. Underhill, W.H. Schemerhorn, Edwin Powell and Thomas Leggett jr. were appointed the first board of education. Under this system the school has continued prosperous. In 1873 the building then in use by the schools was purchased by the village council, who remodeled it into a town hall. The board then erected the present building, a two- story brick structure containing nine rooms, seven of which are separated by siding panels. Its entire cost was about $13,000. The schools are now consolidated into a union graded school, taught by seven teachers and with an average attendance of from two hundred and fifty to three hundred. The managers of the school state that its relations with the community are harmonious, and its reputation good. A school known as Leisemann’s Institute from a small beginning grew to be quite well known and successful. Three or four years ago it was purchased by Adolph Von Uerhtritz, the present manager. Otto Fuerst established a boys’ school, called Fuerst’s Institute, about 1874, which he conducted until his death in 1879. Mrs. Clark’s private school is one of the local educational enterprises of the present time.
THE COLLEGE POINT BREWERY.The brewing interests of this place have been among its most important business enterprises. The first one was started by Nicholas Gentner, a German, who came from Newark, N.J., in 1854, and opened a place on Sixth avenue, between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets, which was discontinued in 1856. The most important of them, however, has been the establishment founded in 1868 by Adolph Levinger & Co., who came here from New York city. The buildings are on Eleventh street, built of brick, and occupy a space two hundred feet square, with storing vaults below having a capacity of fifty thousand barrels, which is the annual capacity of the brewery. In 1872 the property was purchased by Jacob Hirsch, of New York, who removed here with his family in 1878. He has added to the buildings an ice- house, erected on the opposite side of the street, where the summer’s supply of ice- 5,000 tons- is annually stored. On the first of July 1880 George Herman, of Brooklyn, purchased an interest, and the brewery is now conducted under the firm name of Hirsch & Herman. About forty men and twelve teams are employed constantly, and the products of the brewery have acquired a wide demand among the lovers of the Teutonic beverage in many of the markets of the world, large quantities being bottled and shipped to Australia and other antipodal parts.
SOCIETIES- THE HOSE COMPANY.Harmonie Soriety.- This is the oldest society at College Point. It was organized August 24th 1855, and incorporated in 1874. It owns a good library, including a great number of music books; its hall is provided with a stage. The charter members were : Dr. Weitzel, F. A. Zoeller, Frederick Busch, Gottlieb Schwieger, C.F. Simon, G.A. Fritz, F.G. Meyer, H. Glaser and Peter Buhl. The first officers were: C.F. Simon, president; F.A. Zoeller, vice- president; Peter Buhl, secretary; H. Glaser, secretary; G.A. Fritz, treasurer; Dr. Weitzel, F.G. Meyer and H. Glaser, finance committee. The successive presidents have been : C.F. Simon, H. Zuberbier, J.H. Rehlander, Alexander Brehm, C. Glaeckner, C. Schiller and Matthias Conrad. The officers in 1880 were: Matthias Conrad, president; Moritz Roesler, vice- president; J. Neumann, secretary; Ernst Foeller, assistant secretary; Eugene Luthi, librarian; F. Hohn, assistant librarian; N. Beiderlenden, treasurer; G. Golsner, G. Schubert, C. Schmidt, P. Wacker, Anton Klarmann, Nicholas Rosenbauer and C. Koppmeier, executive committee; Albert Steinfeld, director. The membership is eighty- three. Regular meetings are held the first Saturday of each month, and singing lessons given every Saturday evening in Gaiser’s Hall. The property of the society is valued at $2,500. Union Hose Company, No. 1, was organized February 17th 1857, with the following first officers and original members : Messrs. Haubeil, foreman; Hebel, assistant foreman; Meier, treasurer; Schrell, secretary; Kannewitz, Winter, Corell and Wuerz. The successive foremen have been Messrs. Grossman, Nicholas Cauzet, Feidhaus, Henize, M. Jorch, F. Funk, A Ruebsamen, H. Mueller, C. Bauer, J. Becker, J. Wieners, Philip Lebknecher, Nicholas Becker, J. Strauss and F. Koch. The present (1881) officers, besides the foreman, are: Alvis Reiss, assistant foreman; M. Braentigam, treasurer; H. Geiger, secretary. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month in the Turn Hall. Society Krakehlia.- This is the name of a singing society organized August 15th 1858, with : F. Trunk, (the first president) Theodore Feldhaus, John Meyer, Richard Lutters (secretary) Robert Lutters as members. W. Kaufman, vice- president; W. Mehus, treasurer, Jacob Blank, musical director. F. Trunk was president five years, and was succeeded by W. Mehus, C. Regity, A. Rausch, W. Mehus, C. Krumme, - Lieber, R. Lutters, Philip Rattman (five years), F. Lutters (three years), James Blank and Jacob Huber, the present incumbents (1881). The other officers at that time were: Philip Lebknecher, vice- president; H. Dana, secretary; F.W. Mehus, treasurer; C. Doering, librarian; C. Decker and J. Steinbeck, archivists; C.F. Haas, director. Meetings are held at Kraemer’s hall every Saturday evening at eight. The objects of the society are vocal culture and social amusement, It has a good library. Marvin Lodge, No. 252, I.O.O.F. was organized October 26th 1870, with the following named first officers and charter members; William O. Duval, N.G.; William Heinge, V.G.; F.W. Grell, secretary; F. Lutters treasure; and C. Stender. The following members have been elevated to the chair of noble grand: William O. Duval, William Heinge, F.W. Grell, F. Lutters, H. Kraemer, J.F. Wieners, Charles Marse, A. Jackers, F. Buckley, Joseph Blank, T. Miller, Matthew Frees, Eugene Luthi, F.W. Dackendorf, F. Ewers, Charles Freygang, F. Hunold, William Grimm, H. Kraemer, and P. Matz. The officers in 1881 were: A.K. Hunter, N.G.; John Kraemer, V.G.; F.W. Dackendorf, secretary, F. Ewers, treasurer; John Friedman, C.; H. Williams; W.; Jacob Williams, S.W.; William Heinge, R.S.; William Grimm, L.S.; A. Jacobs, chaplain. Meetings are held at 8 P.M. Wednesdays, at the Poppenhusen Institute. Deutsche Rhein Lodge, No. 287, D.O.H.- This society was organized September 22nd 1872, and meets every Tuesday evening at Turn Hall. Its charter members were: Henry Horn, Jacob Huber, John Mangler, Moritz Levinger, H. Kugelberg and P. Hoffman. The first officers were: John Brehm, O.B.; John Mangler, U.B.; Moritz Leyinger, secretary; H. Kugelberg, treasurer; H. Horn, accountant. The successive presiding officers have been: John Mangler, Jacob Huber, H. Horn, Henry Dana, Joseph Dackendorf, H. Decker, F.A. Mueller, F. Lutters, William Knote, Karl Klein, Augustus Meyer, John Rech, John Schmidt and H. Grosskurth. The officers in 1881 were: H. Grosskurth, Ex.- B.; John Weitzel, O.B.; F. Dackendorf, U.B.; F. Lutters, secretary; Henry Decker, treasurer; Frank Reindel, accountant. The Sick Relief Association of College Point was organized February 11th 1873. The charter members were: Carl Haubeil, Michael Braentigam, Daniel Barth, Gottfried Mahler, Mabler, Fr. Hetzer, Nicholas Rosenbauer, George Hoffman, Nicholas Cauzet, August Kendell. The first officers were: Carl Haubeil, president; Michael Braentigam, vice-president; Gottfried Mahler, secretary; Daniel Barth, assistant secretary; Nicholas Rosenbauer, treasurer. The singing society Alpenroesli was organized January 11th 1880. The charter members were: A. Noetzli, J. Graefli, E. Luthi, J. Duerenberger, Th. Dannacher, Th. Bollier, M. Bollier, J. Wagner, G. Benz, E. Frey, William Recher, J. Hertner. The first officers were: A. Noetzli, president; J. Graefli, secretary; E. Luthi, vice- president. The presiding officers to this time have been: A. Noetzli, E. Luthi and J.Graefli. The officers in 1881 were: J. Graefli, president; J. Duerenberger, vice-president; Th. Bollier, secretary; William Cooper, treasurer; A. Steinfeld, director. Singing lessons are taken every Monday evening. This society received a silver goblet as a prize at the international singing festival in Newark in August 1881. The Germania Sick Relief Association was organized July 5th 1881, with the following charter members: John Wahl, George Seibert, John Haunfelder, Seb.Pickel, Nicholas Neu, August Kersten, Max Eisner. The first officers were: John Wahl, president; George Seibert, vice- president; John Haunfelder, first secretary; Ferdinand Schneier, second secretary; Nicholas Neu, treasurer. The officers in 1881 were: Jacob Mueller, president; George Hoffmann, vice- president; Michael Schaefer, first secretary; August Kendell, second secretary; Fr. Landes, treasurer; Conrad Schmidt, Heinrich Meyer, Fr. Kutger, finance committee; August Kersten, Jacob Ehm, John Schuetter, trustees.
BAYSIDE.Bayside, a pleasant line of handsome villas and substantial farm houses, was settled very soon after the first immigration to Flushing. Here the Indians lived on friendly terms with the whites until the edicts of the Dutch governor required their disarmament, when they drifted to the south side of the island. Dr. John Rodman, an eminent Quaker physician and minister, lived here some forty years, and died in 1731, respected by all who knew him. His family were some of them residents till long after the Revolution; and one of them, John Rodman, recovered in 1787 a judgment against the infamous Hamilton of £2,000 for the wanton destruction of his spruce timber by the tories, who were quartered here during his administration. The fine view of the sound and the healthfulness of the locality made it known as an eligible locality for country residences, and in Revolutionary times some of its residents were New York business men. The larger proportion of the property owners are of that class, including a number of retired professional men and a few Southern families. It is and probably always will be a country home; and as the surveyed village plot contains some five thousand building lots there will be ample room for years to come for all who are attracted by its many advantages. The enterprise and refinement of the residents of Bayside have led to important improvements.
THE UNION FREE SCHOOL.This school was organized from school district No. 2, which now has a population of about one thousand. The date of its establishment is January 15th 1864. The building, which was erected in 1860, is on leased ground on the property of James Cain; but the sum of $1,000 was voted in 1880 for the purchase of a site, and steps are being taken to select a more convenient location and one fully under control of the school board. Hon. Luther C. Carter was the first president of the board, and served in that capacity until his removal to New York. The school has two carefully selected libraries, one of which, containing some four hundred volumes, was the gift of President Carter. Three teachers are employed; the school is graded, and the reports for 1880 show a school population of 300, with a registered attendance of 170. The total valuation of the district is $460,500, and the tax rate averages twenty- five cents to $100. The board of education for 1881 consisted of. John W. Harway, James W. Cain, Abraham Bell, John Straitton and John W. Ables.
THE BAYSIDE LITERARY SOCIETY.In November 1868 the late Edward R. Sheffield organized an educational society, and it was named after the place. Its object was mutual improvement in reading, recitations and debate. Its meetings were held weekly during the winter season, at the school- house, and a large membership was attained. In 1872, the older members having mainly withdrawn, the school board refused to allow the society the further use of the school- house, which was perhaps the very thing needed to quicken it into life again. Meetings were held that winter at the homes of the members and others, and on February 7th 1873 articles of incorporation were obtained by Eugene C. Roe, James W. Cain, James O’Donnell, T. Whitney Powell and Frank C. Bouse as trustees for the Bayside Literary Society- an organization for the purpose of encouraging home talent and the cultivation of the art of debating, as well as for literary and scientific purposes generally. A fine plot of ground, one hundred feet square, was donated to the society by Messrs. Straitton & Storm, and on Decoration day 1874 the corner stone of a hall was laid by Robert Willets, president, in presence of a large gathering of people. Hon. L. Bradford Prince delivered an address, and an important work was pleasantly and safely inaugurated. On the 16th of October of the same year the building was completed and formally opened. Bands and glee clubs from adjacent villages discoursed music, and Hon. B.W. Downing, Hon. L.B. Prince, J.W Covert, Eugene C. Roe and M.D. Gould made short and appropriate addresses, congratulating the people on the successful completion of Bayside Literary Hall. The trustees of the institution in 1881 were John Straitton, John W. Harway, James W. Cain, Frederic Storm and William Ahles.
RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS.Some years since a feeble effort was made to establish a class of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, which resulted in failure. On the completion of Bayside Literary Hall its trustees voted its use to any and all religious denominations who would make an effort to establish regular services on Sunday. Immediately after the opening of the hall, St. George’s P.E. Church of Flushing accepted the offer and established here, a Sunday-school and mission, under the care of George R. Vandewater, lay reader, then in the theological seminary, now rector of a prominent church in Brooklyn. The meetings, which at first were largely attended, are still conducted, and with the Sunday-school form the only local religious interest. Some time about the year 1861 the Society of Friends contributed a fund with which they erected a small frame building on land the use of which was donated to them by Mrs. Bell, and opened a school, which they supported until 1877, when, the necessity for it having ceased by reason of the excellent character of the public schools, it was abandoned.
PROMINENT RESIDENTS.Messrs. Straitton & Storm, of New York, who built here country seats for themselves and homes for some eighteen or twenty families of the skilled workmen in their great cigar factory, have recently introduced the Holly water system, by an arrangement with the village of Flushing which permitted the tapping of one of its mains, and during the past year have effected a thorough system of sewerage on an improved plan, which applies to all of their buildings here and adds materially to their value from a hygienic stand point. James Cain, a well known, and active Democratic politician in the last generation, came to Long Island in 1828, engaging in farming and the milk business on land now covered by parts of Fifth avenue and Bergen street, Brooklyn, and at one time tilled land within two blocks of where the City Hall now stands. He afterward occupied the place known as Washington’s headquarters the farm- house on which was built in 1692. For twenty- three years he supplied a milk route in New York, and during eighteen years of that time claimed that he had never failed to serve his customers twice daily. In 1852 he became a resident of Bayside, purchased the farm on which he died, and took a general interest in political matters, though never as an office- seeker or in any official position. He died December 7th 1880, at the advanced age of seventy- six years.
LITTLE NECK.Little Neck, in the extreme eastern part of the town, on a bay of the same name, is one of the most interesting localities in the town from an archaeological point of view. The vast quantity of clams and oysters found here made it a favorite residence of the Indians, and here much of the wampum used by the Five Nations was said to have been manufactured. Traces of Indian occupancy are frequent, and a large variety of relics has been unearthed in the vicinity. The part now known as Douglaston was first settled in the latter part of the seventeenth century by Thomas Hicks, who, assisted by a party of adherents from the mainland, drove off the Indians and forcibly seized their lands. This is perhaps the only part of the town of Flushing where such rank injustice was practiced. The Hicks family have been represented in the locality down to the present time, although what was afterward called Point Douglass passed from them to one Shief, a Hollander; thence to Thomas Weeks, who sold it to Wynant Van Zandt, who in 1824 constructed the causeway connecting it with Flushing, and built the bridge at his own expense. His course was marked by the utmost liberality in all things, and the people of the town and of his neighborhood have in Zion’s P.E. Church, which he erected and furnished, together with the glebe donated to the people of the place, a monument to his memory that will be far more lasting than any which wealth of affection could have erected for him. A post- office was established in 1859, with J.A. Chapman as postmaster. A woolen- mill was built here at a place called "the Alley," by John Bird, who operated it until 1850, when it was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of $10,000 and putting an end to the manufacturing interests of the place. The Van Zandt farm on Douglass Point was sold to George Douglass, and by his son W.B. Douglass has been laid out in a village plot and thrown on the market. Inducements are offered to purchasers that have been taken advantage of to some extent, and as the place is supplied with fair railroad facilities hopes are entertained that it will eventually become a popular place of residence for city people. The principal industry now carried on at Little Neck is the shipment of the clams, now famous throughout the country. In this a number of sloops are engaged. The bay was planted with oysters and for several years the yield was satisfactory, but, owing to the depredation of oyster thieves, the supply is now nearly exhausted. The docks were built in 1862, and are now used principally by the Van Nostrands for the coal business.
WILLET’S POINT.This neck of land putting out into the sound east of Whitestone remained an unimportant farm district, owned by the family whose name was given it, until the commencement of the late war, when a speculator, noting its strategic value, purchased it of the owners, and soon after transferred it for a large sum to the United States government, which commenced the erection of a massive fortress that was to command the approaches to the East River. In May 1861 a Maine regiment was quartered here, and during the war, while the erection of the fort was being carried on, the reservation was used to some extent as a hospital. The revolution in maritime warfare begun by the "Monitor," and completed by the torpedo, proved the futility of such defenses as this, and the government wisely decided not to complete it, but to establish here a headquarters for a general system of coast and harbor defenses, by forming a permanent camp and school for the engineer corps of the regular army. It would be interesting to know how much of the success that the public attributes to skillful generals and brave soldiers is really due to this little body of men, whose organization up to 1846 consisted only of a few commissioned officers, and whose first company of sappers, miners and pontoniers, organized during that year and drilled by Lieutenant George B. McClellan, were the forerunners of the brave body of hard workers who were sneered at during the war for the Union as "McClellan’s Pets." This company first saw service in the Mexican war, where during the siege of Vera Cruz they proved their value. From that time to 1861 the members of the company were scattered throughout the entire army, surveying, superintending the construction of forts and roads, and at West Point giving practical instruction to cadets. In 1861 four additional companies were created, making a total of five companies, with 10 sergeants, 10 corporals, 2 musicians and 128 privates in each. After their laborious services in the late war- the worth of which every military man now appreciates- it was decided to make Willet’s Point the headquarters of the engineering department, with three companies forming its garrison. (One company went to Goat Island, on the Pacific coast, another to West Point). Two reductions ordered since then have reduced the garrison at headquarters to 5 sergeants, 4 corporals, 2 musicians and 39 privates in each company. The importance of this post consists in the fact that it is the only military engineer depot of the United States, the arsenal for all sapping and mining tools and pontoon material needed for the equipage of its armies, the school for submarine mining, and the depot for all material pertaining to the present system of torpedo defenses. Here are to be found men bearing only the rank of private who are trained to be good mining engineers and fair mechanics, and given a knowledge of the proper method of handling armies, as well as of constructing buildings, bridges and entrenchments, that fits any one of them for the command of a division of men. Such men cannot be readily found in the rank and file of an army, but they have been, and the enlistment of intelligent men is encouraged by the high pay offered and the advantages which such training might afterward afford in private life. The department and post are under the command of General Abbott, who has been in charge here since 1865. He is a courteous and accomplished gentleman, and his influence and that of his family, who reside with him, have had a refining effect on the men of his command, difficult to measure, but readily seen by any one conversant with the tendencies of garrison and camp life. The reservation contains- besides the incomplete fort of huge masses of granite, presenting a semicircle of, port- holes toward Hart’s Island, and the really strong and fine earthworks crowning the point and commanding the entire sound- the parade- ground, a few hundred yards from the parapet of the fort, and on the west side of this the residence of the commandant, facing the barracks of the troops, which are ranged to the east of the parade. The south side is enclosed by three buildings containing officers’ quarters and the "castle," a casino for them. On the north of the parade is the headquarters building, flanked on the right and left by two large buildings, accommodating married officers. The hospital and a few smaller buildings complete the immediate surroundings of the parade. In the background the company kitchens, post theater, model rooms, engine house, observatory, photographic and lithographic buildings on the south, with a line of gardens between them and the parade, and from the hospital south the post school, library, and six buildings each sheltering the families of four married soldiers, form a street leading to the quartermaster’s and subsistence departments; with shops for carpenters, painters, tinsmiths, blacksmiths and other artisans, warehouses, bakery, coal and wood yard, with stables and wagon yards closing on the southwestern portion of the miniature city, which is covered with sheds and warehouses containing the entire pontoon bridge materials for an army, wagons to transport them, and also a fire- proof building where are stored large quantities of valuable instruments. The garrison seems composed of a busy, energetic, soldierly body of men, well satisfied with their lot but willing and ready to put their training into practice whenever it is needed. They have many friends among the citizens, and are the recipients of frequent invitations to entertainments, both public and private, outside the reservation.
CREEDMOOR.Creedmoor, widely known as the location of the national rifle ranges and the scene of spirited contests between the sharpshooters of this and other countries, lies on the southern border of the town. It derives its name from the Creed family, its former owners. It was selected by the National Rifle Association as a suitable place for rifle practice, land was bought, and the ranges were fitted up. It has a hotel and restaurant, owned by the association, and a post- office established for their convenience. Dreary and desolate in winter, it is in summer thronged by thousands of lovers of the range, and the scene of all the more important trials of skill between those who aim to shoot aright. The members of the association are but few of them residents of Queens county; and as the information most desired by those interested in such matters is already contained in the very complete annual ‘reports issued by them, and to be had on application at their offices in Park row, New York, it is unnecessary to say more in a work of this character. NOTE: See CREEDMOOR
THE VILLAGE OF FLUSHING.It is to be regretted that there can be found no definite date of the first settlement within the present village limits, although the early ownership of the soil indicates that it was made on what is now the Parsons estate, in 1645, by the Bowne family. Early records give but little clue to business interests at that period, but it is believed that Michael Millnor kept the first inn, prior to 1657, and that at a corresponding date a man whose name was forgotten long since opened a small retail store at the landing, where farm products were receivable for molasses, salt, and a few other necessaries of life that could not be coaxed from the fertile soil. Dr. Henry Taylor was the first physician, who is known to have practiced during the last years of the seventeenth century, and the town clerk, Edward Hart, supplied the good offices of a conveyancer, and so made good the void which the absence of lawyers- of whom we find no mention until a much later date, must have otherwise left. The village, being for so many years merely the center of a farming country and devoid of manufacturing interests, was of slow growth, and its first onward impetus is believed to have been gained from the success of Prince’s Linnaean Gardens, which furnished employment for a few men. The events of the Revolution tended to increase its population temporarily, and at the commencement of the present century there were probably more houses "to let" than can be found at present. In 1800 the village presented a somewhat forlorn appearance. Main street was a rough, hilly country road; what is now Broadway was so narrow that it was with difficulty that two vehicles could pass each other. The water front was a disagreeable swamp, and near the foot of Main street, where is now the Town Hall, was a noisome frog pond. The entrance to Prince’s nursery was at what is now the southeast corner of Broadway and Prince street, and Bloodgood’s nurseries were a long way out of town. The old guardhouse at the corner of Union street and Broadway was the eastward terminus of the village. Main street had perhaps a dozen buildings on it, and in the radius of a mile might have been counted fifty dwellings, not one in five of the streets now crowded with human habitations having at that date any existence save perhaps in the imagination of some enthusiast whose vagaries were frowned upon as unwise and reckless. But within a few miles lay a city outgrowing its bounds, with thousands of people panting for country air and country quiet; and long ere convenient arrangements for transportation were effected the farmers of Flushing were selling corner lots, and two or three enterprising men were building to meet this growing want. Among these we have reason to mention Cyrus Peck and the senior Parsons, as well as Dr. Samuel Bloodgood, who became the village physician in 1812. The labor required to grade and open streets involved a large expense, and after the incorporation of the village, in 1837, some $25,000 was paid out by individual subscriptions for such purposes. Private schools found a footing here at an early day, and the movement in favor of the free school system was inaugurated about 1841, and carried into successful operation in 1848. St. George’s church, a small frame building, and the Friends’ meeting house, were the only church buildings in the village prior to the building of an African M.E. church. Besides the nurseries of the Messrs. Prince, Bloodgood and Parsons, a sandpaper factory and the shipping and lumber business of the Pecks gave employment to a considerable number of persons; and when, it 1837, the people of the village decided on incorporation, the population had increased to about two thousand people. The hard times following the panic of that year checked the growth of all places, and temporarily destroyed the value of real estate; but under judicious management Flushing village held her own, and in 1855 reported a population of 3,488- nearly one- half that of the entire town. Real estate speculation has of course been rife; but while at times prices were perhaps too high for business sites and houses on the most popular streets, there had never been a time that a family of moderate means could not build for themselves a home in a really pleasant locality at much less expense than in many other of the suburbs of New York city, as these semi - metropolitan villages may be termed. The earliest direct communication with the city by stage was made by Willett Mott, in 1801. It consisted of a daily coach running from this village through Newtown and Bedford to Brooklyn. He continued it seven years, charging fifty cents for a single fare. His successors were Carman Smith and Mesrs. Greenwall, Kissam and John Boyd, who commenced running to Williamsburgh, across Grand street ferry, up Grand street, New York, to the Bowery, and thence to Chatham square, for a fare of fifty cents. This route was run until 1854, when the opening of the Flushing and North Shore Railroad rendered it no longer necessary. As has been said, canoes and sailboats were the first means of transfer by water, and the old landing was where the Peck coal docks now are. After the erection of the bridge a water dock was built. A packet run by Howell Smith was the next improvement, and this, run afterward by Samuel Pryor and finally by Jonathan Peck, who replaced the old vessel by one with more ample and luxurious fittings, was the chief means of water communication until 1822, when a small steamboat ran as an experiment, and was followed, in the ensuing year, by ones built expressly for this route, and commanded by Captain Peck, the son of the old packet master. This boat was named the "Linnaeus," and is said to have been well built and neatly furnished. In 1833 she was transferred to the New Rochelle route, and has since been followed by the "Flushing," Captain Curtis Peck; the "Statesman," Captain Elijah Peck; the "Star," by the same; the "Washington Irving," Captain Leopard; "Island City," Captain S. Reynolds, and "Enoch Dean," Captain William Reynolds. In 1859 a company known as the Flushing, College Point and New York Ferry Company was organized, who purchased the "Enoch Dean," and built the People’s line. The channel in Flushing Bay has required the outlay of considerable sums to make it available for general travel by large boats, and has been the subject of various government grants. It was dredged and deepened in 1833, 1857,1859, 1880 and 1881. The opening of the two railroads which pierce the village has made it convenient of access, and with its steamboat facilities renders it to a great extent independent of those attempts at extortion which carrying companies have been known to practice at places where there was no competition for the business. The first post- office in the town was at what was known as the Alley or Little Neck, and was kept in a woolen factory there until about 1822, when it was removed to the village. Mandeville relates that many of the villagers were opposed to the change, as they said that their letters and papers were "now left at the public- house, where they could get them at any time, which they could not do if the office was kept in the village, and only open at certain hours." The present postmaster is John W. Rickey. Among early incumbents were Curtis Peck, William Peck, Dr. Joseph Bloodgood, Dr. Asa Spaulding, Francis Bloodgood and Charles W. Cox. The charter of the village of Flushing bears date April 15th 1837. At the first election Robert B. Van Zandt became president of the board of trustees, whose first meeting was held June 6th 1837. The number of real estate owners assessed that year was one hundred and three, and the assessed valuation $465,300. Up to the year 1843 the meetings of the village officers were held at the places of business or residences of the members; but in that year a town hall was built at a cost of $1,000.
EDUCATION IN THE PAST AND PRESENT.The first school- teacher in the town is believed to have been John Houldon, who taught a private school from about 1660 to 1670, and of whom nothing more is known. Elizabeth Coperthwaite, a daughter of the Quaker preacher, who was a power among his people, taught from 1675 to 1681. John Urquhart, who is first mentioned in 1690, was a man of family and kept boarding scholars to some extent. The Quakers, foremost in good works, seemed to tire of this desultory system of education, and in 1803 took steps toward purchasing a lot and erecting a school building. It is probable that this plan was abandoned eventually, for when their meeting- house was repaired In 1705 an upper floor was laid and the story thus constructed was divided into two rooms, which were used for school purposes. The first male teacher employed there is believed to have been Thomas Makins, who afterward became a somewhat noted teacher in Philadelphia, and is credited with the authorship of a number of Latin poems. The interest thus early awakened in public instruction has been, well sustained; and in the early years of the present century the village of Flushing was more than ordinarily well supplied with private schools and academic institutions. Lindley Murray Moore, and after him Joshua Kimber and William Chase, taught a boys’ school, dating back to about 1810 and closing its doors finally in 1858. In 1818 a building was erected for an academy at an expense of $1,250, which was borne by John Aspinwall, Hutchins Smith, William Prince and two other gentlemen. It was opened by Professor William A. Houghton, in 1819, and conducted until 1825, when its place was filled by other institutions, and it was abandoned, The building was afterward used many years as a lecture room for St. George’s church. Rev. Charles Carpenter kept a boarding school from 1820 to 1824, a few doors above the Ewbank store, on Washington Street. Mrs. Sarah K. Roberts’s young ladies’ school dates back to about 1854. Other private schools were short lived and of little note. The following are the most important of the educational institutions of to-day: The first public school in this village was opened in a dwelling standing near the site of the present negro school, in Liberty street, on the 6th of April 1814, with nineteen scholars. It was at first taught gratuitously by members of the Flushing Female Association, two of whom served at a time. In July of that year this association, which was the founder of the school, engaged a teacher, paying a salary of $60 a year, and an allowance of $2 per week for board. The school was regularly visited by members of the guardian society, and on June 10th 1815 the first public examination occurred, "to the satisfaction of the audience, several being present from New York, one of whom evinced his approval by a donation of $20 to the school, and $10 to the teacher for her becoming behavior on the occasion." It was at first supported by voluntary contributions, scholars both white and colored being admitted free of charge, except where the parents were able and willing to pay. In 1829 scholars were required to pay two cents a week. The number in attendance on the day of opening was nineteen, which was afterward swelled to more than one hundred. The original idea of its founders was the education of the colored children, sums of money having been bequeathed by several Quakers for that purpose, and it was believed by them that the advantage of free instruction would also draw in all the children of the poor white people in the village. This hope, to a great extent, proved delusive, and since about 1844 the school has been taught exclusively for colored children. It has a revenue of about $300 a year, derived from the income of the following bequests: Thomas Tom, $250; Thomas Lawrence, $100; Nathaniel Smith, $500, and James Boyd Matthew Franklin, £150 (the interest to be applied to buying books for poor negro children, and also toward paying their schooling), and from fees of members of the association, which also erected the building in 1819, at a cost of $845, and still owns it.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.At the time of the incorporation of the village its territory included nearly all of district 5, a small part of districts 2, 3 and 4, and a considerable portion of district 6; the only buildings within the corporate limits being that of No. 5 and the school just mentioned. By an act of the Legislature in 1841 the boundaries of district No. 5 were defined as follows: Beginning in the southwest corner of the village, running easterly to the street called Long lane; thence southerly along Long lane to its end; thence by the road eastward to a point two hundred yards southeast of the dwelling of G.S. Mitchell; from thence northwardly to a point one hundred yards east of the dwelling of Willet Bowne; thence northwesterly to a point one hundred yards east of the farm- house of’ Walter Bowne; thence in the same direction one hundred yards east of the dwelling of Daniel Higgins; thence also in a northwesterly direction to a point one hundred yards north of the house of G.S. Howland; thence westerly to Flushing Bay at a point two hundred yards south of the dwelling of Platt Stratton; thence southwardly by the west line to the place of beginning. The first entry on the earliest village school records in the possession of the present secretary is that of the meeting for organization under the law just quoted, at which John W. Lawrence, John Wilcomb, W.W. Valk, Samuel Willet and Robert B. Parsons were elected trustees. Steps were then taken toward the erection of a new school building, for which $400 was appropriated. This was afterward increased to $950. The building erected then, the Garden street school- house, was in 1844 supplemented by the basement of the Macedonia church, which, consisting of two rooms, accommodated the pupils until 1848, when the friends of education canvassed the subject of free schools, and on due notice a special meeting was held March 29th of that year, when the question was decided in the affirmative, by a vote of 140 to 87. A school- house site was then purchased of the Orthodox Friends, for the sum of $630, and a new building commenced. At the next regular meeting, November 27th 1849, new by- laws were adopted, and Thomas Harrison was engaged as principal, at a salary of $900. In 1855 the principal’s salary was increased $50 per annum, and at this time three lady teachers were employed. In 1855 an offer was made by the Flushing Female Association to turn over the colored school to the board of education, renting to them the building occupied by it, and agreeing to furnish suitable teachers for $300 per annum. As under the general school law this offer was advantageous to the district it was accepted, and that school has since been a part of the department. The rapid growth of the village and the demand for a higher standard of popular education led the board in 1873 to decide upon the issue of bonds and the erection of a high school building, which should be adequate to the wants of an increasing population and creditable to a village whose wealth and refinement had already placed it foremost in the list of rural municipalities. Here, as is sometimes the case, the friends of better schools met with the opposition of a class of taxpayers who regarded the question of cost as of prime importance; and after a long struggle they failed to secure the two- thirds majority necessary for their purpose. At the next meeting of the Legislature, however, a bill was passed making a majority vote sufficient, and after its passage the necessary vote was taken, and bonds to the amount of $40,000 were issued, grounds purchased of James B. Parsons, at a cost of $9,500, and the erection of the present handsome edifice commenced on the corner of Barclay street and Sandford avenue; the corner stone being laid October 17th 1873, with impressive ceremonies, in the presence of a large assembly, comprising many of the best known friends of public schools on the island. The board of education under whose care this important work was completed consisted of W.H. Farrington, Thomas Leggett jr. and Samuel B. Parsons. In 1876 the present efficient secretary, Marquis D. Gould, became a member of the board, and steps were taken to form the independent district of Flushing, with boundaries corresponding to the village lines, which was consummated by act of Legislature of June 15th 1877. The only town district suffering materially by the change was district No. 6, which lost thereby some $30,000 of assessable property. Acts of the Legislature in 1876 and 1878, conferring increased prerogatives and placing the school under the supervision of the regents of the university, have added to its efficiency, and made it popular with a class of nonresident pupils, who can here secure the benefits of an academic course at a low price, and of whom the reports for 1880 show over fifty in attendance. Some indication of the growth of the schools may be found in the fact that at the time of opening the high school building 416 pupils were reported on the rolls; while during the year 1880 there were 1,210 in attendance. The board reports to the regents in 1880 showed the number of children in the district to be 2,167; number of buildings (inclusive of the negro school building, leased), 3; value of buildings owned, $67,000; bonded indebtedness, $53,000; mortgage indebtedness, $11,000; number of volumes, 1,339, valued at $961.93; apparatus, globes, etc., $755.14. The teachers consist of one superintendent, who is also principal of the high school, at a salary as principal of $1,000 and as superintendent of $800 annually, and twenty lady teachers at salaries ranging from $120 to $600. The assessed valuation of the district is $1,745,341. The members of the board for 1881 were: W., Downing, whose term expired during the year; C.W. Brown, whose term expires in 1882; Marquis D. Gould, whose term expires in 1883; Isaac Bloodgood, who serves until 1884, and Samuel C. Parsons, whose term of office runs until 1885. Of these Isaac Bloodgood is president, Samuel B. Parsons treasurer, and M.D. Gould secretary.
FLUSHING INSTITUTE.The property occupied by this institution was first used for educational purposes by Rev. Dr. W.A. Muhlenberg. He came from New York to Flushing in 1826 to take charge of St. George’s Protestant Episcopal parish for two years. Hearing some gentlemen conversing one day about building an academy, with provision for a family and boarding pupils, he said if they would erect such a building as he desired he would occupy it and conduct the institution himself; and so the Flushing Institute was built, the corner stone being laid, with appropriate ceremonies, August 11th 1827. In April 1845 Ezra Fairchild transferred to the institute from New Jersey the school which he had begun in 1816. It is now conducted by his son E.A. Fairchild, as principal, and A.P. Northrop as vice- principal. It is a private institution, unsectarian, and is designed for the higher education of young men and boys.
ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY.St. Joseph’s Academy is the most imposing institution in Queens county, and one of the most popular educational establishments in the county. The buildings are large and commodious, having a front of 150 and a depth of 180 feet. They were erected at a cost of $300,000. The grounds are beautifully laid out in shady walks and choice parterres. The traveling accommodations are unsurpassed, the trains of the Flushing and North Side Railroad making hourly trips to New York. The course of study is divided into three grades, primary, grammar and academic; and at its completion diplomas are conferred on the successful competitors. Some two hundred graduates have already gone forth from the academy. From almost every State in the Union pupils have come to this calm retreat of learning, arid in many of the most distant homes Of the land there are those who cherish the sweetest and happiest memories of St. Joseph’s.
MERCHANTS OF FLUSHING.
The name of the first resident trader, who exchanged salt, molasses, spices and rum for wampum and leaf tobacco, is unknown. The next is believed to have been John Bowne. From his day for many years the retail trade was mainly conducted by boatmen, who transported produce, to New York, and brought back the goods ordered by the, shippers, thus obtaining freight both ways. The next resident merchant of any note was John Foster, who in 1736 suffered the loss of his house, store and contents by an incendiary fire. The New York Gazette reported but little saved, and the loss about £2,000. In 1757 Samuel Borden advertises in the New York Mercury that owing to his advanced age "he is leaving off trade and offers for sale his merchant shop in Flushing." In 1760 John Wilson ran a sloop between the village and New York and kept a stock of goods. About the, same time the ubiquitous Jew makes his appearance, and Hart Aaron and Jacob Cohen become dry goods dealers in the village. From the last date up to the close of the Revolutionary war there was no lack of mercantile establishments, nor has the village had cause to complain of their scarcity during the present century. The most prominent of the last generation of merchants here were the Peck family, who introduced, the coal trade about 1820, and the Lowerrees, who were active and enterprising dealers. The most important mercantile house of to- day is that of Clement & Bloodgood; while in specialties there are a number of houses worthy of mention. -In coal and lumber George B. Roe & Co., J. Milnor Peck and the North Side Coal Company (Successor to Robert Peck) share the trade. -The book trade conducted by F. L. Prine, on Main street, includes as complete an assortment of literary, musical and artistic articles as can be found outside the counters of some large city house. -In ice J.K.P. Bennett has practically a monopoly; but one judiciously and honestly managed. Mr. Prigge has a capital of $15,000 invested in the manufacture and sale of confectionery and ice cream, and employs four men, besides the saleswoman in his retail store. -S.J. Hallett & Co. are the principal furniture dealers, and -F.G. Fowler a prominent undertaker. The number of small stores, bakeries and groceries is legion.
INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS.The sash, blind and lumber- mill of J. Milnor Peck and the Flushing Lumber and Building Company was erected by Isaac Peck sen. and his son, the present owner, in 1851, the original intention being to supply a local demand for builders’ fittings. In 1868 the present proprietor commenced, in addition, the building of ready- made portable houses, under a new and improved system, which branch of the business is now conducted under the name of the Flushing Lumber and Building Company, which is understood to mean Mr. Peck and those interested in the patents. A trade in articles of this nature is always slow of establishment, but after a severe struggle against adverse circumstances a growing trade has been opened through resident agents with South Africa, the West Indies, South America and the Isthmus, that indicates a successful future for a house well worthy of it. Mr. Peck also conducts the lumber and coal business, and employs, in all, his enterprises, about forty men. In 1857 George B. Roe, Charles A. Willets and Charles C. Hicks associated themselves together under the firm name of George B. Roe & Co., for the purpose of carrying on the lumber business. At first they rented a small yard on the south of Bridge street, now Broadway, where they kept a fair assortment of building materials. They continued at that place eight years, when they purchased the property they now occupy. Two years later Mr. Hicks withdrew from the firm. The property of the firm is on Flushing Creek, with a water front of 900 feet, a frontage of 900 feet on Lawrence street, and 160 feet on Broadway. The only steamboat dock in the village is on this property. The firm extended its business by erecting a steam mill and placing therein all kinds of woodworking machinery, for planing, sawing, turning and making scroll- work, mouldings, &c. In addition to a large and varied stock of all kinds of lumber, the firm deals largely in brick, lime, cement, plaster and stone, and also largely in coal for domestic purposes, handling more, perhaps, than is handled at any other two yards in the county. Messrs. Roe & Co.’s facilities for handling coal are very complete. The coal is elevated by steam some thirty feet and dumped in iron cars, which hold one ton each. The cars pass over a tramway; on which is laid a T rail. This tramway is two hundred feet long, with turntables to enable the cars to run in any direction. The coal is then dumped in large "bunkers," capable of holding about 15,000 tons. From a comparatively small beginning Messrs. Roe & Co. have built up a large and lucrative business. Messrs. George B. Roe and Charles A. Willets are both natives of the village and town of Flushing. Their ancestors for several generations have also resided there. The following notice of this concern is from the Trade Review: "There is little doubt in our mind that one of the most extensive, if not the largest coal, lumber, lime, brick and Long Island, outside the boundaries, of the city of Brooklyn, is that of George B. Roe & Co., corner of Broadway and Lawrence street (office No. 9 Main street), Flushing. The operations of the firm are extensive and varied, and of course occupy a large space in the industrial interests of the handsome suburban village that lies at the head of Flushing Bay. A reporter of this paper visited Flushing a few days ago, and among other establishments he visited in quest of information for readers of the Trade Review was the yard and office of the above firm. He was at once impressed with the extent and great value of its business, and on retiring found his note- book well filled with items of trade interest, of which in this article we will make liberal use. The firm of George B. Roe & Co. is one of the oldest, in Flushing. It owns extensive properties, both on the water line and in the town. Its docks have a frontage of 900 feet, and the line of the yard has a corresponding length, with a depth of 140 feet. In this yard are immense coal sheds, filled with the various sizes and grades of coal, both hard and soft; many cords of pine, oak, ash and hickory wood for kindling, which are sawed and split on the premises, for the use of those who consume it in the town; a splendid planing and band saw- mill, where every class of moulding is made for the trade. In this mill turner work is also done by hand and machinery, and in every style that may be desired; and finally there are stocks of fine lumbers, lime in barrels, lath, brick from various well known yards, shingles in bundles, and additional to these tiling, and piping for draining, cement, and every other article needed by the carpenter and the mason for building or for repairing. The capital carried by the firm in general stock ranges from $80,000 to $100,000. In exceedingly active seasons it rises above the last named sum. The trade in coal, which is only one of the branches of the firm’s business, is of itself no light matter. The sales average about one thousand tons per month. Of course the demand for coal as well as for kindling wood is larger at certain seasons than at others, but at the end of the year the wood runs into hundreds of cords, and the coal reaches and sometimes goes beyond twelve thousand tons. Of the work of the planing and sawing- mill we have no special record, beyond the general statement that it is kept busy during the working hours of the day- the machinery, all of the best and most improved modem kinds, being driven by steam- and that to meet the demands of the trade a respectable number of hands are employed. In receiving and moving coal the firm has many advantages. Among the leading ones are ready capital, by which purchases from first hands can be made with the usual percentage deduction, a barge (the firm’s property), as also the docks, yards, mills, etc., by which not only coal but lumber and other stock is floated up the bay to the wharves and then stored in the adjoining yard. Mr. Roe, assisted by a son, has charge of the out- of- door business, which of course includes the docks, barge, yard, planing and sawing- mill and general stock; while Mr. Willets, with his son, has his field of operations in the office, where orders are received and business details and financial transactions are entered on and concluded. An idea of the business transacted in Flushing and its immediate neighborhood by this firm may be obtained when we state that in average seasons eight carts and wagons are needed to convey coal and lumber to customers; and that on busy days, such as are liable to come to them when least expected, they have to go outside of the yard and employ extra assistants." Murray’s Monumental Works, on Jaggar avenue and Bradford street, were established by J.F. Murray, a practical workman, and employ from two to four men in the manufacture of monuments, headstones, mantels and plumbers’ slabs of marble or granite. There are several cigar shops, one of them doing a wholesale business. Jules E. Cartier, manufacturer of cigars and wholesale and retail dealer in tobaccos, established business here in 1875, with a capital of $4,000. His store and shop is at 99 Main street. He now employs five men, has one team on the road, and does an annual business of about $20,000. The Ireland flouring mill, situated south of the village limits and run by the action of the tide, is believed to be on the site of the old Burling mill, of the seventeenth century. It has been in the hands of a branch of the Bowne family since 1800, at which time the present building was erected. It is a frame structure forty feet square and four stories high, and has four runs of stones. It is owned and operated by the Bowne Brothers, dealers in flour, feed and grain at 83 and 85 Broadway, Flushing.
THE FLUSHING GAS LIGHT COMPANYwas incorporated October 6th 1855, with a cash capital of $20,000 and the exclusive right of supplying gas to the village of Flushing for twenty years. Its first officers were: James R. Lowerree, president; Gilbert Hicks, treasurer; Charles A; Willets, secretary. The first year’s business of the company amounted to the putting in of fifty meters, supplying that number of customers; and it was not until five years later that they were able to report one hundred meters and eighteen street lamps, with a total of two and one half miles of street mains laid, and a monthly consumption of 100,000 cubic feet. The long distance to which pipes were laid to obtain custom, and the distances between the residences of patrons, rendered the cost of establishing a remunerative business very great; but the managers had a faith in the future of the village which was amply justified by the results, and continued to supply asked- for extensions, in many cases at a total loss for years. At one time one of the mains two miles long supplied but three meters. In 1868 the old works were replaced by the present substantial buildings, with a generating capacity equal to the demand for many years to come; and the capital was increased to $41,000. The condition of the business in 1880 was as follows: Total length of street mains, nine miles; street lamps supplied, 101; private consumers, 271; monthly consumption, 5,110,000 cubic feet. The officers were: President, J.B. Brewster; secretary; R.S. Tucker; treasurer, C.A. Willets; superintendent, Dennis Sullivan.
PROFESSIONAL MEN.Perhaps there is no village in the United States of its size that can count among its residents so many professional men as this; and to that class of brain workers it still offers unusual advantages, as convenient to the great metropolis, and yet sufficiently remote from the dirt and turmoil of the scene of daily contests to offer home in its best sense to the weary votary of ambition or science. The earliest known physician here was Dr. Henry Taylor, an Englishman, at one time an ardent advocate of royalty. A court record of 1675 relates his complaint against Francis Bloodgood and Myndert and Coerter for seditious words. In 1707 his barns at the village were destroyed by fire. The term of his residence and the time of his death are alike unknown; but, as his name appears prior to1675 and after 1707 as that of a physician in practice, more than thirty years of his life must have been passed here. Very nearly cotemporaneous with him was the well and widely known Rodman, physician, minister, farmer and Friend. A community having in it such families as the Lawrences, Bownes and Bloodgoods was not at a loss for legal advice on the simple real estate titles of the day; but for some years the business of conveyancing seems to have been delegated to Edward Hart, the clerk of the town. Thomas Hicks, of Little Neck, was, with David Colden, of this village, engaged in the practice of law prior to the Revolution; and as he was of marked tory proclivities, a Connecticut whaleboat robbed his house one night, carrying off his library, which the Yankee skipper might have deemed bad law and responsible for his ill- timed loyalty. Of those whose birth or residence here has identified, them with the history of the place we need only mention the younger Colden and Chancellor and Senator Sanford, who, made his home here at the close of his, marked professional and political career, and, after erecting the noble edifice known as Sanford Hall, died in 1837. These give some indications of the class of professional men with whom the generation just passed away was familiar; while of the attorneys of to- day Hon. L. Bradford Prince, Judge Onderdonk, R.S. Bacon, LL.D., Robert C. Embree, Judge Lawrence Messrs. Covert, Bogart, Downing, Van Bergen, Gibson, Johnstone, Frame, Roe, Treadwell, Hildreth and Van Nostrand are a few of the best known of Flushing’s citizens "who to the law, incline," and are, with but few exceptions, descendants of old Queens county families; many of them tracing their ancestry back in the town’s history for five generations. So much cannot be said of the medical profession, as its practitioners are men whose term of residence here has, not exceeded fifteen years, with the exception of -Dr. Hicks, who has spent the greater portion of his life here, and attained a respectable reputation as a general practitioner. -Drs. J. Howard Leven and E.A. Goodridge are partners, and occupy a handsome double house on Main street. -Dr. J. Foster Maynard has an office on Farrington street, -Dr. Badger one on Locust street. -Dr. E.P. Lawrence, a young physician graduated in 1879, is rapidly attaining a wide circle of patrons; a test of his popularity was made by his friends not long since, when a case of surgical instruments was to be given at a church fair to the most popular doctor on the island; although the contest was in Brooklyn, and Dr. Lawrence’s competitors Brooklyn physicians, the prize was voted to him by a large majority of the votes cast. -Dr. Leggett, and Mrs. Dr. Leggett, who has an office in New York, -Dr. Allen, a young homeopathist and an ardent habitue of the Niantic Club and advocate of athletic exercises, complete the list of general practitioners with whose diplomas or claims on the profession the writer has any knowledge.
MACDONALD’S INSANE ASYLUM.To the list of physicians it might be well to add the name of Dr. J.W. Barstow, who in 1854 succeeded Dr. Buell as resident physician of Macdonald’s private insane asylum, at Sanford Hall, and since that time has been in charge of it. Repeated efforts to obtain information relative to this institution have resulted in the writer’s being referred to Mandeville’s "Flushing." Taking this as a guide it is found that Dr. James Macdonald and his brother Allan Macdonald, somewhat known in insurance circles in New York, were formerly owners of a private asylum on Murray hill. The doctor had been in the employ of the State in the care of insane patients at Bloomingdale, where he obtained the post of resident physician when only twenty- one years old. Before he reached the age of thirty he was sent by the governors, of the New York Hospital as a commissioner to Europe to visit the various asylums and report improvements with a view to their adoption at Bloomingdale. Every important improvement in the care and treatment of the insane has been forced upon our notice by the asylums of Europe; and even now our asylum and hospital authorities are making frequent use of restraints and relics of barbarism long since discarded by similar institutions in England, France and Germany. After a tour of inspection lasting sixteen months Dr. Macdonald was invited to take charge of Bloomingdale, and make a practical use of his discoveries. He remained there about four years, and in 1839 revisited Europe. On his return, in 1841, he, with his brother, as stated, opened the private asylum as a business enterprise; and finding a rural site better adapted for it they purchased Senator Sanford’s country seat- a beautiful marble building said to have cost nearly $130,000 to erect, and set in a natural park of considerable extent- and to this place they removed their patients in 1845. The cost of purchasing and remodeling the place for its present use is not known, but must have been large; and tends to prove the profitable character of that class of practice. Dr. Macdonald was evidently devoted to his profession, and conscientious in his, care of the unfortunates to whom those marble halls were but the dingiest of prison cells. It is believed that too close application to the duties and studies of his position was the inciting cause of his death, which occurred May 5th 1849, after an illness of but three days. From the death of its founder the institution was continued by the surviving partner and the doctor’s widow until General Macdonald’s death; since which time a firm known as Macdonald & Company, composed it is believed of members of the old family, have had it in charge. Since 1860 there are no data obtainable through official sources. In that year Mandeville reports the average number of patients treated as forty- eight. Dr. Barstow has remained in charge twenty- seven years, which would seem to indicate that his services are satisfactory to the owners. One of the most beautiful places in this beautiful village, Sanford Hall is also the saddest, and the writer would have been glad to have had it in his power to throw some rays of light and hope among those whose friends are within its walls, by the publication of tables showing progress made in the successful treatment of the various forms of mania, and that skill and good management were annually increasing the ratio of cures. This, however, is impossible; and he can only hope that in the near future there will come a day when the managers of such institutions will learn that the real cause for the uneasy feeling as regards them, the anxious criticism of laws relating to lunacy, and the dark suspicions that have clung to and crippled some of the best of their class, is the cautious manner in which they seek to prevent intercourse between patients and their friends except in their own presence, and set up obstacles to furnishing information to the public, which is just as much its due as that contained in the catalogue of a college or seminary.
THE FLUSHING PRESS.The first newspaper published in Flushing was the Church Record; the initial number being issued in 1840; it continued until 1844, about 356 years. It was edited by Rev. Dr. F.L. Hawks and published by C.R. Lincoln. The Flushing Journal, which is published daily and weekly, is the oldest and largest newspaper in Flushing. It was started in 1842, its, founder being the late Charles R. Lincoln. In 1869 and again in 1873 the Journal changed hands. Since the latter date it has been edited and. published by Charles W. Smith, who has added greatly to the value of the concern in a business sense, as well as in the character and appearance of the paper itself. The Journal is perhaps the most widely read paper in Queens county, and enjoys a very large advertising patronage. The job printing office, which was fitted up expressly for the purpose, is probably not excelled outside of the great cities, and several publications have been issued from it which take equal rank with Harper’s or Appleton’s of New York. The Evening Journal was first published by. C.W. Smith in 1878. Politics, Democratic. The Flushing Pomologist was published in 1848 by William R. Prince, and had but a short career. In 1852 the Public Voice, was started by George W. Ralph, and in 1855 its name was changed to the Long Island Times. Up to September 1st 1881 it continued to be published by Walter R. Burling, it’s founder, who also established the Flushing Daily Times on September 1st 1865. During Mr. Burling’s ownership it was neutral in politics. On September 1st 1881 the proprietorship of the Long Island Times and Flushing Daily Times became vested in a joint stock company under the name of the Long Island Times Publishing Company (limited), which paid $12,000 for the concern. The editorial and general management of the papers is in charge of George R. Crowly, who was editor for a length of time under the former proprietor. E. A. Allen is president, Captain J.W. Dixon secretary, and A. K. P. Dennett treasurer. It is now Republican in politics. The Journal of the Institute was published for about three years between 1855 and 1859.
CLUBS AND SOCIETIES.The close relation sustained so long between the people of Flushing and the city of New York is undoubtedly the reason why, notwithstanding the age of the town, the establishment of local societies, lodges and clubs is a matter of recent date. Pacific Lodge, No. 85, I.O.O.F.- This lodge was chartered April 17th 1843, and organized two days later. The charter members were: C. Hilton, N.G.; J.S. Clutterbruck, V.G.; A.S. Wheeler, secretary; A. Winham jr., treasurer; P. Stevenson. The successive noble grands have been as follows: C. Hilton, J.S. Clutterbruck, A.S. Wheeler, A. Winham jr., Thomas Trenchard, James B. Devoe, William Knighton, Uriah Mitchell, James Taylor, John Milburn, George W. Huntsman, John W. Lawrence, Garret R. Garretson, Abraham Bloodgood, H.C. Smith, Henry S. Hover, Edward Roe, Cornelius W. Howard, Edmund Howard, John H. Cornell, Charles Vandervoort, William Samnis, George B. Roe, William W. Balk, Charles H. Hedges, John M.E. Balk, Banardus Lamberson, John Purchase, Charles P.L. Balk, George Pople, Charles W Cox, Frederick Thorp, Thomas Webb, Charles H. Miller, Richard Sanders, Thomas Elliott, Abram Johnson, John Conn, William H. Clark, George Lewis, Seahan W. Purchase, William Millne, Frederick Clages, George Fairbrother, George Hannett, Joseph Vedder, Charles A.S. Van Nostrand, Charles W. Brown, James W. Covert, Charles R. Baker, Henry F. Lincoln, Oscar F. Leek, Benjamin Byrd, William J.R. Clark, Henry A. Foreman, Frederick Webb, Fernando T. Whiting, James H. Samnis, John R. Conn, James H. Lowerree, George P. Smith, William C. Ellis, J. Harvey Randolph, Joseph Dyke, John M. Dannott, Frederick Quarterman, William E. Phillips, John A. Young, John R. Lawrence, Frederick Schmidt and Charles H. Higgins. The present officers of the lodge (1881) are: Thomas Heasely, N.G.; John Cleater, V.G.; John A. Young, treasurer; James H. Lowerree, secretary; Edmund Howard, permanent secretary. Meetings are held semi- monthly in Odd Fellows’ Hall, in the Queens County Savings Bank building. Ridgley Encampment, No. 60, 1.O.O.F.- Ridgley Encampment was chartered August 23d 1871. The following were the charter members: George Pople, Charles W. Brown, Henry F. Lincoln, Oscar C. Leek, William J.R. Clark, John R. Clark, Fred. Webb and James H. Samnis. A Rifle Company was organized in January 1849. It belonged to the 15th regiment, and was known as the Hamilton Rifles. Its officers were: Captain, George B. Roe; first lieutenant, Henry A. Peck; second lieutenant, Henry S. Barto. The Flushing Library Association was founded in 1858 and nurtured by the most prominent citizens of the town. Its second annual report showed a membership of three hundred and twenty nine and a library of 1,190 volumes. Its president for many years was Hon. L. Bradford Prince. During the early years of the association the secretary and librarian was selected from among its members, and served without pay. This was found to work badly and a salary was voted which has been sufficient to keep the office filled by a faithful and attentive librarian; Miss Treadwell has been acting in that capacity for a long time. In 1876 the library contained 4,000 volumes, and a well arranged and finely printed catalogue was issued. Some additions have been made since that date, sufficient to keep up with the range of thought in the scientific department, but the number of volumes is about the same. The library occupies a pleasant room on Amity street, and the fittings and book cases are in good tastes. The insurances amount to $5,000. As the association is not endowed, and depends almost exclusively on the slender membership fee of $2 per annum, literary, and dramatic entertainments have occasionally been given for its benefit. Mr. E.R. Pelton, the publisher of the Eclectic Magazine, and for years one of the warmest friends of the institution, is the president of the association. The Sylla Dramatic Association is the outgrowth of a desire to furnish the people of the place with a class of dramatic entertainments adapted for the family circle, and free from the objectionable features of professional plays. Its members are drawn from the best people of the village, and its success in accomplishing its end may be judged from the fact that while it always plays to well filled houses it requires a professional troupe of much more than ordinary ability to draw a paying audience here. Knights of Pythias.- This order is represented in Flushing by Oak Lodge, 166, which was instituted March 21st 1881, by Grand Chancellor O.M. Shedd. The first officers elected were: chancellor commander, G.A. Roullin; vice- chancellor, G. Roskell Crowly; prelate, S.J. Hallet; M. of E., Frederick Schmidt; M. of F., A. Foster King; K. of R. and S., M. Posner; M. at A., R. White; past chancellors, Hon. W.F.J. Youngs, J.; F. Huss, Charles L. Van De Water; trustees, J.F. Huss, C. Fichtner, A.F. King. There were 17 members when the lodge was instituted and 23 when the grand lodge granted a charter in July 1881. Since then the growth has been rapid, there being now 30 members. The Niantic Club was organized in 1860, by Morris Franklin, Robert Tucker, R.L. Bowne, Robert Loudon, W.B. Lawrence and others, its object being the encouragement of social intercourse. It comprises the most prominent citizens of Flushing, and has of late taken a lively interest in the development of athletic sports. It had in 1880 a membership of sixty, with an athletic auxiliary comprising one hundred and twenty members. In 1878 it secured grounds comprising five or six acres, bounded by Jaggar and Maple avenues, Irving place and Division street, which were enclosed and on which a club- house was erected. The rooms of the club are on Sanford avenue at the corner of Parsons, where it has leased the large house formerly occupied by Mr. Graham of Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, New York, and adjoining which it has built a bowling alley. Its rooms are furnished with all the appliances of a first- class clubhouse, and supplied with all the leading periodicals. The officers of the club for the year 1881 were: Morris Franklin, president; Robert Loudon, J.F.B. Mitchell and J.S. Tucker, vice- presidents; W.A. Allen, secretary; F. Elliman, treasurer. Its annual meetings occur on the first Friday in December, and monthly business meetings of the board of managers on the first Friday of each month. The morale of the institution is excellent and a membership in it is sought for by the most refined and intelligent citizens of Flushing. The Nereus Rowing Club was organized in June 185-, with the following members: H.L. Bogart, H.T. Van Nostrand, C.H. Van Nostrand, L.E. Embree, F.L. Northrup, E. Bowne, L.M. Franklin, J. Burdelle, J.J. Thompson, R.J. Loudon, E.M. Franklin, C.A. Willets jr. L.M. Franklin was elected president, C.A. Willets secretary and E.M. Franklin treasurer. The officers for 1880 were: President, L.M. Franklin; vice- president, R.S. Tucker; secretary, J.Q. Thompson; treasurer, Charles A. Willets; captain, John A. Walker; lieutenant, Frederick A. Guild. The fleet consists of one four- oared barge, one six, two, four and two two- oared gigs, together with two double gigs, one four- oared shell and a number of single sculls, owned by individual members. The boat- house is on Flushing Creek, off Jackson avenue. The rowing course is over Flushing Bay, and on the creek in rough weather. The membership had increased to forty- nine in 1880. Articles of incorporation have been secured, and although the club is independent it is governed by the usual rules of amateur boating associations, and participates to some extent in regattas. Its business meetings are held monthly from April to November. The present captain, J.A. Walker, is a somewhat noted oarsman, and under his leadership the club bids fair to become expert in the fascinating exercise of rowing. A Young Men’s Christian Association was organized in 1858 and supplied with a well- selected library of religious works. It held weekly meetings for prayer and literary exercises every two weeks. Some of its members were active in conducting mission Sunday- schools, distributing tracts and encouraging attendance on religious meetings. Peter Gorsline was its first president. Cornucopia Lodge, No. 563, F. & A.M.- A dispensation for the formation of this body was issued by M.W. Clinton F. Paige, September 12th 1864, and the lodge was duly warranted by the grand lodge of the State of New York in June 1865, and constituted by M.W. Robert D. Holmes, G.M., June 21st of that year. The following are the names of the masters and the years in which they were elected: C.W. Brown, 1864- 67, 1873- 75; L. Bradford Prince; 1868- 70; J.L. Frame jr., 1869; Alexander Rogers, 1871; George Pople, 1872; William L. Seaman, 1876; E.H. Frame, 1877- 79; W.T. James, 1880. Past Masters Brown, Prince and E.H. Frame have held the position of district deputy grand master- the last named being the present incumbent. Cornucopia Lodge has one of the most spacious and elegant rooms in the village; its charities are numerous, and its public entertainments and receptions are always welcomed by the people of Flushing, as they have always been of the highest order of merit.
THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.It is believed that the first meetings of this body of believers were held in private houses at as early a date as 1648, although no regular organized body existed until 1660. From the erection of the old Bowne house, in 166?, to 1695 the meetings were held there and on the adjoining grounds when, as was sometimes the case, the crowds were too great to gain admittance to the house. Perhaps the most prominent members were the Townsend brothers, Henry and John, who removed to Newtown and Oyster Bay within a few years, where they still witnessed for the faith; the Hicks family; John Lawrence, who became a convert through the influence of his wife; John Bowne, whose exile to Holland we have already related; his wife, who became a well known and powerful preacher; the Cornells, Farringtons, Hugh Cowperthwaite, Matthew Franklin, and, in latter days, the Parsons, Roe, Cocks, and Titus families. The following marriage certificate will give the reader an idea of what families were connected with the society in the old time, as the families of both bride and groom were prominent people, and the attendance at the marriage at least fairly representative. "Whereas, there bath been intentions of marriage between Richard Lawrence, son of Joseph Lawrence, and Hannah Bowne, daughter of Samuel Bowne, both of Flushing, in Queens county and province of New York now this is to certifie ye truth to all people whom it may concern that said Richard Lawrence and Hannah Bowne did propose their aforesaid intention of marriage at several men and women’s meetings of Friends in Flushing, by whom they were ordered to wait till inquiry was made whether they were clear from all others on that account. Inquiry being made and nothing appearing to hinder their proceedings, they having consent of parents and relations, the meeting gives them liberty to accomplish their intended marriage, according to the good order used among us. And accordingly on this sixth day of ye second month, 1717, at a meeting at the meetinghouse in Flushing aforesaid, the said parties Richard Lawrence and Hannah Bowne took each other by ye hand, standing up in ye assembly, did solemnly declare they took each other to be husband and wife, promising with ye Lord’s assistance to be true and loving husband and wife to each other till death separate. "And for further confirmation hereof they have hereunto set both their hand ye day and year above written, she taking ye name of her husband according to the custom of marriage. "RICHARD LAWRENCE.
"HANNAH LAWRENCE. "And we, whose names are under, with many others, are witnesses: Joseph Lawrence, Samuel Bowne, Mary Lawrence, Griffith Owen, John Salkeld, John Rodman, Hugh Copperthwaite, John Ryder, William Burling, Edward Burling, Joshua Low, Joshua Delaplaine, John Hunter, George Aston, John Embre, John Lewis, Mary Lawrence, Mary Rodman, Mary Horn, Sarah Frankly, Mary Kinnin, James Jackson, Obadiah Lawrence, Joseph Thorne, Jacob Thorne, Thomas Horn, Jane Latham, Anne Bowne, Thomas Lawrence, Sarah Rodman, Franklin Ogden, Esther Delaplaine, Sarah Farrington, Mary Bowne, Elizabeth Catharine Field, Susannah Hedger, Mary Jackson, Robert Field, Jane L. Thorne, John Bowne, Elizabeth Bowne, Joshua Lawrence, Hannah Field, Sarah Bowne, Benjamin Potter, Rebeckah Jackson, John Rodman jr., Joseph Thorne, Martha Thorne, Hannah Field, Deborah Lawrence, Field, Sarah Lawrence, Samuel Harrison, James Clement jr., Phebe J. Clement, Isaac Thorne, Adam Lawrence, Ann Haight, Benjamin Thorne, Hannah Bowne, Eleanor Bowne." One of the earliest large gatherings of Friends in Flushing is mentioned by the noted English Quaker Samuel Bownas. In his diary he says that he spoke to two thousand people on the Lord’s day following his first arrest and while he was in the hands of the people. This was in 1702. The visit of the celebrated George Fox, in 1672, was an important event, and so great was the crowd that flocked to hear him- some coming from a distance of thirty miles- that the meetings were held out of doors, in the-shade of two magnificent, oaks, one of which is still standing, the other having been leveled by a storm in 1842, to the grief of all lovers of old landmarks and relics of the past. The trees have since been known as the Fox oaks, and have been the subject of many essays and poems. Fox’s visit here strengthened the hands of the society, and it is said to have led to some important accessions. In all its history the society has been rich in good works; among them the first effort was made to educate the children of the slaves. The written records of the Friends comprise matters interesting to lovers of pioneer history sufficient in amount to fill a large volume, but the editor can only select from them a few of the incidents that tend to mark the course of the society on questions of general interest, and give the reader some idea of what must have been the influence of such an earnest, self- sacrificing body of men and women on the morals of the community at large. On the 11th of 7th mo. 1676, John Bowne sells a parcel of land for a burying place for 1 pound 4s., being in the northwest bounds of his plantation whereon he now dwells, being five rods long and five broad. 1687, 7th of 2nd mo.- Friends are to speak to Wm. Noble about his selling of drink and to bring into the next meeting what be saith. 1695, 2nd of 11th mo.- Samuel Deane, Samuel Haight, John Way and John Farrington are to take care that the advice from the Philadelphia yearly meeting relating to the plainness of apparel should be put in practice here. 1700, 7th mo.- Wm. Penn visited Flushing and was the guest of Samuel Bowne, who went with him on a religious visit to Jamaica, and there disbursed on account of entertainment for him and other Friends the sum of 1s. 1703, 5th of, 6th mo.- A schoolmaster being judged necessary for the town of Flushing, it is thought fit that Samuel Hoyt and Fr. Doughty seek out for a convenient piece of ground upon Richard Griffin’s lot upon the cross way, which is near the center of the town, to purchase it and build a school- house thereon for the use of Friends. 1707, 4th of 10th mo.- Friends at Rocky Hill desire a meeting to be at James Jackson’s every Third day. Granted; and it is to begin at 11 o’clock. 1709, 5th of 3d mo.- Thos. Makins, schoolmaster, signified his willingness to sit with his scholars in the meeting and take care of them, which the meeting think well of, and desire him as much as may be to bring all Friends’ children with him to meeting on Fifth day, and also unto the meeting day appropriated for the youth’s meeting. 1712, 24th of 3d mo.- The yearly meeting at Flushing moved to send to Friends in Europe and offer to receive and take care and pay the passage of about ten persons, such as shall come recommended from some meeting of Friends there- they serving such a time as shall be adjudged reasonable and equal between all parties. The meeting order £9 to be lent to Jacob Doughty to pay for James Scriven’s freedom till he shall be able to repay it. In 1716 a proposition was made by Horsman Mullenex concerning buying negroes for slaves, and at the next yearly meeting, was tenderly spoken to, and postponed for further consideration, and in 1718, 1719 and 1720 was still before the meeting and developing considerable opposition. Several Friends declared they were fully satisfied in their conscience that said practice was not right in the sight of God. In 1718 William Burling, of this meeting, published an "Address to the Elders of the Church" on slavery. This is perhaps the oldest anti- slavery publication in the country in 1765, 5th of 9th month, Samuel Underhill, of New York, is dealt with for importing negroes from Africa. He condemns the practice and hopes to conduct himself more agreeable to Friends’ principles in such matters. In 1775, 6th of 9th mo., "a committee is to visit such Friends as hold negro slaves, to inquire into the circumstances, and manner of education of the slaves and give such advice as the nature of the case requires. 1776, 2nd of 5th mo., the committee on negroes report that many Friends have them, but seem disposed to free them. Some have manumitted them, and instruct their children in necessary learning. Some justify their bondage. 2nd of 10 mo. the "committee are desired to labor with Friends who keep these poor people in bondage, in the ability that truth may afford, for their release; and if they continue insensible, then Friends can have no unity, with them so far as to employ them or accept of their services in "the church or receive their collections. No Friend shall hire any negro held in bondage, neither take any negro or other slave that is not set free when of age, nor to do any act acknowledging the right of slavery." In 1778, 1st of 7th mo., the monthly meeting conclude to testify against all Friends that do not free their negroes. In 1781 they decide that something is due manumitted negroes who have spent the prime of their life in their masters’ service. In 1781. John Bowne and Matthew Farrington report that the fines of Friends in Flushing for not training or serving in the army amount to £194 11s. 10d. There is a stern, uncompromising honesty about the records given above that commends them as one of the most valuable and remarkable additions ever made to the literature of freedom. Not a word of bluster, no criticisms on the conduct of others, but a calm decision arrived at after fifty years of deliberation and discussion as to the duty of Friends "whom the truth hath made free." 1692, 15th of 10th mo., John Bowne and John Rodman for £40 buy three acres of land for a meeting- house, in the town- spot, with the dwelling and orchard on it, with 60 acres more lying in the woods. From the erection of the meeting- house, in 1695, the most perfect harmony existed until the Hicksite controversy, relating to matters of doctrine and the authority of the London meeting, divided the society; the believers in Elias Hicks’s views retaining the meeting- house and property, and the others erecting a plain frame building a little north of the old house, and becoming known as the Orthodox society. This latter body was blessed with many excellent members, among them James Parsons, who was an eloquent and impressive preacher and for many years president of the New York yearly meeting; yet the defection of the rising generation has so far weakened them that, although they maintain their meetings for worship, they are too few in numbers to transact business as a separate church. The other body, known as the Hicksites, still occupies the old meeting- house.
THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCHES.The early efforts on the part of the British governors to secure a foothold for the Church of England in Flushing were rendered, in a great measure, abortive by the very means taken to perfect them. The people who had embodied in their charter a clause that freed them from the authority of a State church would not consent to nullify that charter, although many of them felt kindly toward the established forms of worship of their mother country. Ministers from Newtown were appointed to the charge of this field, but uniformly found great trouble in executing the edicts of the governor and awakening any very decided interest in church matters. Too shortsighted to see the real cause, the blame was laid upon the Quakers, and, British power having been thwarted, British philanthropy took up the losing cause. In 1691 the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts discovered in Philadelphia a missionary whom it deemed a power for good, in the person of Rev. George Keith, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, who had been a Quaker, held the office of surveyor general in New Jersey, and, having abjured the faith of the Friends and taken orders, was then acting as a tutor to the children of some wealthy families in Philadelphia. He was a learned and able man, with a fearless and unyielding disposition and more suited for the role of martyr in a persecution than that of a messenger of peace and good will to erring Friends. The society, however, believed that, having belonged to the Quakers, his influence for the church would be great in a Quaker community, and sent him to Long Island in 1702, in time to meet the eminent Samuel Bownas, who had recently arrived from Maryland, and who, after refusing to dispute with Keith, had been followed by him to this place. He visited the Friends’ meeting- house on a Sunday and interrupted their exercises by an attempt to address them. He was attended at that time by Rev. Mr. Vesey, of New York, Rev. John Talbot and several members of the Jamaica church. The scene that followed must have been a novel one, and well worthy of an artist’s pencil in his own words: "After some time of silence I began to speak, standing up in the gallery where their speakers use to stand when they speak; but I was so much interrupted by the clamour and noise that several of the Quakers made that could not proceed." The Friends who had been familiar with his course charged him with having caused the arrest of their missionary, Bownas, and declined to hear him, but did listen to an address from a member of their own society for about an hour. A discussion followed, in which he says that he was charged with defrauding the poor of fifty pounds. The Friends’ version of this is that he was warned by one of them that he was "liable in law for disturbing them, and that he had thus put himself in the Queen’s debt fifty pounds." In December of the same year be renewed his efforts, and he says: "I visited again the Quaker meeting at Flushing, Long Island, having obtained a letter from Lord Cornbury to two justices of peace to go along with me to see that the Quakers should not interrupt me as they had formerly done; but, notwithstanding the two justices that came along with me to signify my Lord Cornbury’s mind, by his letter to them, which was read to them in their meeting by Mr. Talbot, they used the like interruption as formerly, and took no notice of my Lord Cornbury’s letter more than if it had been from any private person." Thus his effort’s were again unsuccessful. It is not known that be made any further attempt to establish a church here; and during the following year he returned to England, becoming rector of Edburton, where he died. In 1704 Rev. Mr. Urquhart, of Jamaica, writes that he "preaches on the third Sunday, and prays at Newtown twice and Flushing once a month on the week days, and by the blessing of God the congregations in the respective towns daily increase." Rev. C. Congreve, in his report to- the society above- named for the same year in which Rector Urquhart’s hopeful message is written, takes another view of the case. He says: "Flushing is another town in the same county; most of the inhabitants thereof are Quakers, who drove through the country from one village to another, talk blasphemy, corrupt the youth, and do much mischief." In July 1710 Rev. Thomas Poyer became rector of the Jamaica church. He writes that his parish is fifteen miles long and six and a half broad, and his salary thirty- nine pounds sterling. This was paid to the Presbyterian minister, and expensive and tedious lawsuits resulted. He complains to the society at home that he is necessitated to keep two horses, "which is very expensive, and consumes me more clothes in one year than would serve another, who is not obliged to ride, for three or four. In Newtown and Flushing, for want of conveniences of private houses I am forced to make use of public ones, which is a very great charge to me, for I bring some of my family generally with me. If I did not they would be one- half the year without opportunities of public worship." He finally asked to be relieved and allowed to return to England. He, however, remained until his death, January 15th 1731, and in his twenty years’ ministry found his way to the hearts of a number of the most prominent people of Flushing. Rev. Thomas Colgan, who succeeded him, writes in 1735: "Several of the Quakers of Flushing do as often as it is my turn to officiate there attend upon divine service." In 1744: "The several churches belonging to my cure, Jamaica, Newtown and Flushing, are in a very peaceable and growing state." The services at this village were held in the old guard- house; but in 1746 Captain Hugh Wentworth, who had a country seat here, donated to the church a plot of ground, and a small frame building with a spire was erected. John Aspinwall and Thomas Grenell are credited with defraying the expense of the spire, and Mr. Aspinwall presented the church with "a every fine bell of five hundred pounds weight." The number of communicants was then about twenty, and the date of the organization was probably about 1744, but of that there is no record. The Bible given by the home society, at the request of Rector Colgan, a prayer book, dated 1746, and the chancel rail of the old building are now in possession of the rector. In 1749 the rector relates a somewhat remarkable incident: "It may be thought worthy of notice that a man who bad for many years strictly adhered to the principles of Quakerism, when the new church was opened and a collection made, gave money for the use of the church; but, thinking he had not put enough in the plate, went immediately after service and’ gave more to the collector." Mandeville in his "Flushing, Past and Present" remarks, in a cynical mood, for which his cloth is a sufficient excuse: "A thousand pities that he had not told his name; that such an example of liberality in sentiment and purse might have been perpetuated for the benefit of succeeding generations." In 1761 a charter of incorporation, under the name of St. George’s Church, was granted by Governor Colden. The petitioners were John Aspinwall, Joseph Bowne, Francis Brown, Charles Cornell, John Dyer, Isaac Doughty, Benjamin Fowler, Thomas Grenell (Grinnell), Joseph Haviland, Foster Lewis, John Morrell, Jacamiah Mitchell, John Marston, Christopher Robert, Daniel Thorn, Jacob Thorn, Nathaniel Tom, William Thorn, Benjamin Thorn, Charles Wright and John Wilson. In their petition they say that they have no minister of their own; that divine service is seldom performed, as there is but one minister for Jamaica, Newtown and Flushing; that they have erected a decent church, and intend to provide for the support of a clergyman. It will be noticed that among the above names are several of marked Quaker antecedents. This may be explained in this way: The French war had aroused the patriotism of the people, and the call for troops found many willing to respond, or at least disposed to furnish substitutes; the young men particularly were enthusiastic. The measures taken by the Quakers, who insisted on entire neutrality and the strictest interpretation of their noncombative theory, put them in an unpleasant position. They must either forego their ideas of patriotism and submit to heavy fines for not training in the militia, or withdraw from the society and find some church militant where they could both "worship God and keep their powder dry;" The latter alternative was taken by several, and to this is attributable, in a great measure, the fact alluded to. From 1795 to 1797 there was a controversy between the three churches about the arrangement of services; and in 1797 St. George’s church called to its pastorate Rev. E.D. Rattoone- Jamaica uniting in the call. This gentleman resided midway between Flushing and Jamaica, and was dependent for his support on the interest of £900 and the pledge of £100 additional if it could be raised. He presented to the church its present corporate seal, but was afterward repaid by the vestry. In 1802 Mr. Rattoone resigned, and, a disagreement arising between this church and that at Jamaica, owing to the latter soliciting and obtaining subscriptions from the members of St. George’s, this church decided to separate from Jamaica and unite with Newtown in the support of a pastor. In 1803 the two churches called Rev. Abraham L. Clark, who continued to officiate for both until October 3d 1809, when he confined his services to Newtown, and the pulpit of St. George’s was vacated, to be filled on November 4th of that year by Rev. Brazilla Buckley, who thus became the first sole rector of this church, and he remained so until his death, March 9th 1820. In August of that year Rev. J.V.E. Thorne was called, and a new church building was agreed upon. James Bloodgood, Thomas Phillips and Isaac Peck were building committee, and on May 25th 1821 the edifice, now standing in the rear of the church and used for school purposes, was consecrated. The list of rectors from that time to the present is as follows: Rev. W.A. Muhlenberg, D.D., called in 1826; Rev. W.H. Lewis, D.D., called in 1829; Rev. J.M. Forbes, 1833; Rev. S.R. Johnson, 1834; Rev. R.B. Van Kleek, 1835; Rev. Frederick Goodwin, 1837; Rev. George Burcher, 1844, and died in May 1847; and Rev. J. Carpenter Smith, D.D., called in 1847, and still the faithful and untiring pastor, whose life here has been eloquent of good works. For some years he has been assisted by a curate. In 1838 the church was enlarged, at a cost of $1,700, and in 1853 the corner stone of the present imposing edifice was laid. The building is of dark cut stone and cost some $33,000. Isaac Peck, Allan Macdonald and William H. Schemerhorn were the building committee. It was completed and consecrated in June 1854. The grounds and churchyard on Main street have been in possession of the society since 1746, and the old bell presented by John Aspinwall was on the erection of the new church remelted and incorporated in the new one now in use, at the expense of a descendant of Mr. Aspinwall.
METHODISM IN FLUSHING.The first Methodist church in the town was organized among the colored people, in 1811, known as the Macedonian Church, and supplied by white preachers until 1816, when it became connected with the African M.E. Church. At that time there were no white Methodists in the town; and it is said of Rev. Benjamin Griffin, who was junior preacher on the Jamaica circuit in 1815, that when he preached at Flushing he was accommodated with food and lodging by the colored people. The first Methodist minister that preached to a congregation of white people was Rev. Samuel Cochran, who in 1820 addressed an audience of twelve persons in a dwelling house on Liberty (now Lincoln) street, east of Garretson’s seed stores. The nucleus was thus formed of a society that afterward worshiped at a private house on Main street, and in 1821 in a school- room. The first white Methodist family of which we have any account was composed of William, James and Jane Quantock, from England, as it was in their house, on Lincoln street, that the first meeting was held. Gold Silliman soon after came here from Brooklyn, and proved an active member many years. Charles and William Peck arrived from New York, and by their zeal and efficiency gave great encouragement to the little class. In 1822 the society bought two lots on Washington street and erected a frame building, in which it worshiped until 1843, when a new church was built on Main street, north of Washington. In 1859, when Rev. J.L. Peck was pastor, the building was repaired, a tower erected, an organ bought, and other improvements effected, at a cost of $4,500. In order to obtain a more commodious and central location the church building was removed to its present site on Amity Street in 1875, when it was rededicated, Revs. L.R. Dashiell, D.D., and J.S. Willis assisting. There is no record of either of the former dedicatory services. . In 1823 Rev. Luman Andrews was appointed to the "mission on the west end of Long Island," and out of this mission Flushing circuit was organized August 14th 1824. The persons present at the quarterly meeting at which this action was taken, which was held at the residence of Charles W. Carpenter,’ were Rev. Laban Clark, presiding elder; J. Luckey and J.W. Lefevre, circuit preachers; C.W. Carpenter, local preacher; Charles Peck and Joseph Harper, class leaders; and Daniel North. The circuit was composed of Flushing, Newtown, Hallet’s Cove, Williamsburgh, Yellow Hook and New Utrecht. The financial report of this meeting shows that the "quaterage and traveling expenses" paid the presiding elder and circuit preachers for the previous three months amounted to $30.36, which was one cent in excess of the receipts. The following year the circuit paid $134.92 salary to Rev. Robert Seney, whose son has recently made gifts to Wesleyan University, and toward founding a Methodist hospital in Brooklyn, of more than half a million of dollars. In 1834 the Flushing church separated from the circuit and became a station, with Rev. Alexander Hulin as its first resident pastor. Charles Peck was the first class leader and William Peck the first steward. Caleb Smith was appointed class leader in 1838, and has held the office continuously since that time. The singing was first conducted by Samuel Post, whose brother William was for more than thirty years the chorister. Instrumental music met with some opposition, and the first melodeon was placed in the church gallery near midnight on Saturday order to obtain a test of its availability before some indignant opponent could prevent it. The Sunday- school was first held on Saturday afternoon and consisted of a small class taught by Miss Hannah Peck, afterward the wife of Joseph W. Harper, of Harper & Brothers. William Peck was superintendent many years. The school attained its greatest interest and membership during the superintendency of Orange Judd, who was elected in 1858 and served fourteen years. Since becoming a station this church has had pastors as follows: 1834, Alexander Hulin; 1835, David Plumb; 1836, John L. Gilder; 1837, 1838, William Thatcher; 1839, Daniel Wright; 1840, George Brown; 1841, Elbert Osborn; 1842, John J. Matthias; 1843, 1844, Benjamin Griffin; 1845, 1846, D. Osborn; 1847, J.W.B. Wood; 1848, 1849, J.B. Mervine; 1850, Samuel W. Law; 1851, Abraham s. Francis; 1852, 1853, Ira Abbott; 1854, 1855, W.F. Collins; 1856, 1857, T.H. Burch; 1858, 1859, J.L. Peck; 1860, 1861, E.L. Janes; 1864, 1865, Horace Cooke; 1866- 68, G.R. Crooks; 1869- 71, G. Taylor; 1872- 74, W.H. Simonson; 1875, 1876, George Stillman; 1877, 1878, Levi P. Perry; 1879, Arvine C. Bowdish; 1880, Robert W. Jones.
ST. MICHAEL’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.In October 1826 the Catholics of Flushing, then only twelve in number, invited the Rev. Father Farnham, of Brooklyn, to come and minister to them. He complied, and the first mass was celebrated in a small house on Main street. Their numbers increased gradually until too great for their place of meeting, and a larger house, on Liberty street, was bought and fitted up, where services were held once a month by Father Curran, of Astoria. This building, after being twice enlarged, proved insufficient to accommodate the increasing congregation; and on the 8th of June 1841 four lots were bought on the corner of Union street and Madison avenue, where the church now stands; and a frame church seventy- two by thirty- five feet was erected. The building of the church brought considerable accessions to the numbers of the congregation, and at the request of the people Bishop Hughes sent Father Wheeler to minister here; he thus becoming the first resident priest. After a few years he was succeeded by Rev. John McMahon. In 1854 the church, a slightly built edifice, became too dilapidated to be enlarged to meet the demands of a still growing assembly, and a new and more elegant building was decided on. The Rev. James O’Burne, who was at that time the pastor, took the matter in charge, and was aided by the heartiest efforts of all his people. The corner stone was laid on the 24th of June 1854, and on the following Christmas day the building was so near completion that mass was celebrated within its walls. The work from that date progressed slowly, assisted by munificent gifts from many ladies and gentlemen of different denominations, and on the 4th of October 1856 it was dedicated by Bishop Loughlin, of Brooklyn. The church is a beautiful gothic structure of cut stone, and is the most costly church building in the town. St. Michael’s parochial school was organized August 1st 1853, under the patronage of the pastor, Father McMahon. It had its origin in the objection of Catholic parents to having their children learn the Protestant Scriptures, which were read in the public schools. A meeting was held, a school decided on, and in a few weeks funds were raised for the erection of a building, from which has grown the handsome edifice accommodating the successful school of to- day. In 1858 the attendance was more than three hundred daily, and three teachers were employed, the school being entirely free to all. In 1880 the attendance was larger and the school was in every sense a success.
THE REFORMED CHURCH.The Protestant Reformed Dutch, now known as the Reformed, Church is of comparatively recent origin. The history of this denomination is somewhat analogous to that of the Episcopal church in its early efforts and failures. As is well known, it was the State church of Holland, and Governor Stuyvesant’s attempts to establish it here have already been referred to. About the year 1645 Rev. Francis Doughty- who had left England on account of religious persecutions, and, coming to New England, found, as he expressed it, that he had "got out of the frying- pan into the fire"- was banished from Massachusetts on account of his religious vagaries, and became the minister at Vlissingen. In a report to the classis of Amsterdam "Dominies Megapolensis and Drisius say in 1657 at Flushing they heretofore had a Presbyterian preacher; who conformed to our church, but many of them became endowed with divers opinions, and it was with them quot homines, tot sententiae. They absented themselves from preaching, nor would they pay the preacher his promised stipend." On June 10th 1645 the record contains the following: "William Gerritse sings libelous songs against the Rev. Francis Doughty, for which he is sentenced to be tied to the May- pole." In 1653 or 1654 the Rev. Mr. Doughty appears against William and John Lawrence, John: Hicks and Captain Underhill for back salary. Underhill, who was nothing if not quarrelsome, had locked the church doors against him, because, as he said, Doughty preached against the government. Underhill about that time had inaugurated a little private rebellion of his own against his Knickerbocker rulers. The defense to the action was that Governor Stuyvesant had forced the town to sign the call to Doughty against the wishes of the people. The contract for salary had been burned a year before the trial, by Mrs. William Lawrence, who with a woman’s habitual disregard for business papers (a trait she must have been cured of when as Lady Carteret she afterward became acting governor of New Jersey) had put it under a pie in the oven. Disheartened and financially embarrassed, Doughty left Flushing for Virginia, but left a son behind him, who in 1766 brought his father’s suit against the town to a successful issue, and obtained a verdict of six hundred guilders in payment of six years’ salary. Dominie Doughty was undoubtedly the first religious teacher in the place. He removed to Virginia in 1656; was said to have been imbued with some peculiar doctrines and opposed to infant baptism. His family, the descendants of a son and daughter who married here, were afterward for many years identified with the Quakers, and the ancestors of a large and widely scattered family of that name. From the time of Doughty’s departure there is no record of his place having been filled by any resident preacher; and it seems probable that during the remainder of the Knickerbocker administration preaching was supplied by preachers from Newtown and Jamaica, at which points churches had been erected. For nearly two hundred years a total blank occurs in the history of the denomination here. The arm of flesh failed to uphold the church, and it was not until the names of the old bigoted Knickerbockers had been lost to history that a successful effort was made, to found a Reformed church in Flushing. Rev. William R. Gordon, of Manhasset, commenced holding services, about the year 1841 in a ball on Bridge street, and in 1842 he organized a church of six members. Soon afterward Mr. Gordon was induced to become its pastor. Services were held in a school- room on Church Street, with an increasing congregation, until 1845, when Gardner G. Howland and William Henry Roe were appointed a building committee, and the church edifice was erected, at a cost of $12,000. It is pleasantly located at the corner of Prince and Washington streets, and is built of cut stone, which was brought from Blackwell’s Island. The tower contains a fine bell (which is also used for a fire alarm) and the town clock. In the spring of 1859 the church was enlarged and repaired, and an organ built, at an expense of $3,000. The lecture room is a neat building on a lot adjoining the church. In 1850 Mr. Gordon resigned and removed to New York, and after remaining vacant for nearly eighteen months the pulpit was filled by Rev. G. Henry Mandeville, who accepted the pastorate July 28th 1851. During a term of eight years service Mr. Mandeville was instrumental in largely increasing the membership and strength, and in his hours of leisure prepared, and after ward published, a breezy little volume entitled "Flushing, Past and Present," to which the present writer is indebted for much of the material used in this historical sketch of the town, in August 1859 he removed to Newburgh, N.Y., and in September following Rev. W.W. Halloway was called and settled as pastor.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.The movement which resulted in the organization of the First Congregational Church of Flushing began in a meeting which was held in the chapel of the Flushing Institute, January 23d 1851. At this meeting it was unanimously voted that it was "expedient to unite in a new organization for the public worship of God." This conviction was reaffirmed at a meeting held at the house of D.S. Williams February 18th of the same year; and at this meeting a committee, consisting of D.S. Williams, S.A. Smith and B.L. Fowler, was appointed "to take iniatory steps for the organization of a (new and independent) church, and to draw up a confession of faith, covenant, and standing rules for its government, to be reported at a future meeting of those who propose to unite with it." The denominational complexion of the new organization was determined April 4th, and steps were taken to secure a place for holding worship. The union schoolhouse on Church street was rented and fitted tip for this purpose, and on April 20th the first religious services were held, the Rev. Charles Parker, of New York, officiating. The articles of faith, the covenant, the form of admission, and the standing rules were adopted at various meetings held during the months of May and June, and on June 9th a committee was appointed "to invite the attendance of a council of ministers and delegates to organize a Congregational church," if it should be deemed expedient. Pursuant to the invitation a council convened at the union school- house Tuesday July 1st 1851. Rev. D.C. Lansing, D.D., was chosen moderator, and William C. Gilman scribe. After listening to the report of the committee, appointed by those who proposed to enter the new organization, and examining the confession of faith and covenant, the council signified approval of the action taken, and assigned the public Services of recognition as follows: Introductory prayer, reading of Scriptures and sermon, Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D.; reading the articles of faith and the covenant, and constituting prayer, Rev. D.C. Lansing, D.D.; fellowship of the churches, Rev. R.S. Storrs jr.; address to the church and concluding prayer, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher; benediction by the moderator, Rev. Dr. Lansing. On the same evening those who had applied for admission to membership in the new organization, and whose applications had been approved, publicly assented to the articles of faith and the covenant, and were received to membership. The church, as thus constituted, consisted of eighteen members, as follows: Robert B. Parsons, John B. Holmes and Richard Cornell, received on profession of faith; Scoville D. Foote, Mrs. Martha W. Foote, Benjamin L. Fowler, Mrs. Jane S. Fowler, Gilbert G. Weeks, Mrs. Cornelia M. Weeks, John Fowler, Mrs. Letitia Ann Fowler, S. Addison Smith, Mrs. Mary E. Holmes, Mrs. Nellopee C. Rickey, by letters from the Reformed Dutch church at Flushing; Jeremiah De Graff and Mrs. Caroline De Graff, by letter from the Presbyterian church of Newtown; David S. Williams and Mrs. Phila A. Williams, by letter from the Broadway Tabernacle Congregational church, New York city. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was celebrated for the first time September 7th 1851, Rev. Joshua Leavitt, of New York, officiating. The first board of officers was as follows: -Deacons, Thomas F. Harrison, John Fowler; -clerk, David S. Williams; -treasurer, Benjamin L. Fowler; -prudential committee, Richard Gornell, S. Addison Smith, Robert B. Parsons. Mr. Harrison resigned soon after his election, and at the first annual meeting, April 21st 1852, Gilbert G. Weeks was chosen in his stead. On the 9th of September 1851 the congregation met and organized a religious society in accordance with the laws of the State, under the corporate name of "The First Congregational Society Of Flushing, L.I." The following persons were elected trustees: Robert B. Parsons and John Rickey for one year, Thomas F. Harrison and Rufus Leavitt for two years, Edward Roe and David S. Williams for three years. The first pastor was Rev. Charles O. Reynolds, of East Hartford, Conn., who was ordained October 28th 1851, and dismissed by council September 5th 1854. His successors have been as follows: Rev. S. Bourne, of Hartford, ordained December 6th 1859, Rev. Henry T. Staats, of Princeton, ordained February 1st 1860, dismissed by council October 26th 1860. After Mr. Staats’s resignation Rev. P.M. Bartlett supplied the pulpit sixteen months, from January 1861 to May 1862. Rev. Henry H. McFarland was ordained June 16th 1863, and was dismissed by mutual council April 24th 1866. Rev. John A. French was engaged as stated supply in September 1866, and ministered about two years. Rev. Martin L. Williston began his labors in June 1869, was ordained. March 3d 1870, and dismissed by council May 7th 1872. Rev. Albert C. Reed was called in June 1873, installed October 30th 1873, and dismissed by council April 3d 1878. Rev. James O. Averill, the present incumbent, was ordained June 17th 1879. He has preached, as stated supply, since January 19th 1879. The first church building was erected on the east side of Union street, near what is now Washington street, and adjoining the present primary school building. Work was begun upon it about the 1st of December 1851, and it was dedicated January 29th 1852. Its seating capacity was about 275, and its cost about $800. This first edifice was subsequently removed to its present location on Lincoln street, in the rear of the church, and it is now used as a chapel and Sunday- school room. The large and commodious edifice in which the church now worships was built in 1856, on the southwest corner of Bowne avenue and Lincoln street on ground presented to the society by the Messrs. Parsons. The auditorium is 75 by 55 feet, and has a seating capacity of about five hundred. The building and its furniture are valued at $10,000. A Sabbath- school was established soon after the organization of the church, and it has been steadily maintained ever since. D.S. Williams was the first superintendent, and for twelve years or more he was annually elected to that office, until failing health compelled him to relinquish it. R.B. Parsons is the present superintendent. There are about one hundred names on the rolls of the school, and the average attendance is eighty. There is a small but well selected library of Sunday- school books, and a parish library of one hundred and fifty volumes. The Sabbath- school meets at 9 o’clock every Sabbath morning.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH.This body was organized January 17th 1857, two hundred years after the first attempt to instill the doctrines of the denomination here and the first act of persecution; which the colonial records relate as follows: "In 1656 William Wickendam, a cobbler from Rhode Island, came to Flushing, and began to preach, and went with the people into the river and dipped them. For this he was fined £100, and ordered to be banished. As he was poor and had a family the fine was remitted. Hallet, the sheriff, had dared to collect conventicles in his house, and had permitted Wickendam to preach and administer the sacraments, though not called thereto by any ecclesiastical authority. For this he was removed from office and fined £50. Wickendam, who was a personal friend of Roger Williams, submitted to his sentence, and the interest that had been awakened died out or was absorbed by the Quaker revivals of the time; and, strange as it may seem to those who know the fearless zeal and untiring missionary spirit of this denomination, no attempt to organize seems to have been made prior to the date first given above. The first meetings of the church were held in the school- rooms of a Miss Hammond, and in 1857 a neat little church was erected at the junction of Jamaica and Jaggar avenues. Rev. Howard Osgood was the first pastor.
MOUNT PLEASANT UNION CHAPELat what is known as "the head of the Vleigh," was built in 1858, Thomas Whitson donating the land and Mrs. Mary Poll subscribing the largest part of the cast of its erection. It has been occupied by a union Sunday- school and for mission services by the clergymen of different denominations from the adjacent villages. During the winter of 1880- 81 Rev. J.W. Smith, of Jamaica, held services there.
ROBERT M. BELL.
Robert M. Bell is a son of Richard and Rachael (Moore) Bell, and is of Irish extraction on his father’s side; his mother was a Quakeress. Mr. Bell was born about six miles west of Port Deposit, in Cecil county, Md., March 3d 1807. Orphaned at the age of ten, by the death of his father, Robert went to live, with his mother, at Sadsbury, Lancaster county, Pa., and remained there and with other relatives in the vicinity until 1824, when he was induced to take charge of the farm of his uncle, Abram Bell, in the town of Flushing, Long Island, of which a small part of Mr. Bell’s present farm formed a portion. December 19th 1832 Mr. Bell married Miss Catharine H. Lawrence, a sister of Cornelius, Joseph and Richard Lawrence, who were all at one time prominent and influential citizens of New York, who died January 7th 1880. Mr. Bell has two children, a son and a daughter, named respectively Richard M. and Lillie, the latter now the wife of Mr. John W. Ahles, a member of the Produce Exchange of New York. Richard M. Bell married Miss Julia Black, of Mt. Holly, N.J., whose father was for six years president of the Mt. Holly Bank. Left early, in a measure, on his own resources, Mr. Bell learned that self- reliance which, combined with accurate judgment, energy, perseverance and a wise administration of business affairs, has enabled him to carve out his own fortune successfully, and to stand at the present time among the best known and most respected of Flushing’s citizens. In 1830 Mr. Bell bought the old Lawrence farm, consisting of 160 acres, which, together with other lands and property, constitutes his estate. Upon the marriage of his son he provided an ample homestead from the paternal property for him and his. In all matters of local public interest Mr. Bell has ever been prominent, and has always aided with his time, judgment and means all efforts for the benefit of his townsmen. His home, which is located in one of the pleasantest spots in the town of Flushing, is presided over by a sister of his late wife, who supplies, as far as maybe, the place of he who has gone to her reward.
MAJOR ROEMER’S BATTERY.
The Flushing Guards was the first uniformed military organization in the town. It was commissioned as light infantry, and attached to the old 93d regiment as a flank company November 1st 1839. Its first parade, January 16th 1840, turned out twenty- six uniforms. Attaining a high degree of discipline, its designation was changed in 1843 to artillery; and in June 1845 to light horse artillery and it was attached to Storm’s famous 1st brigade, in which it took high rank. The brilliant movements of the battery attracted the attention of the general in command, and its parades called together the most celebrated tacticians of the State, who styled it "the incomparable," and gave it the name of Bragg’s battery- the hero of Buena Vista not then having become a traitor to his flag. At the outbreak of the Mexican war the battery, eager to prove that its members were not carpet knights, volunteered its services, but they were not needed. A time was to come, however, when the test of soldierly qualities was to be fully and severely made. The first captain was Charles A. Hamilton. On his promotion he was succeeded by William O. Mitchell, and he by Thomas L. Robinson, who was in command when the late war broke out. The battery soon abandoned the name by which outsiders had christened it, and adopted that of the old commander, by which it was known for some years. Responding to the call of President Lincoln for three years’ troops the Hamilton Light Artillery was recruited to its full complement early in June 1861, and 156 men, under Captain T.L. Robinson, First Lieutenant Jacob Roemer, Second Lieutenant Standish, Third Lieutenant Hamilton and Fourth Lieutenant Rowelle, marched to Washington, where in the spring of 1862 the battery was reorganized: Lieutenant Roemer becoming its captain, Lieutenant Rowelle first lieutenant, Standish second lieutenant, Cooper third and Heasely fourth; and the battery was attached to the 2nd N.Y. light artillery as Battery L, and assigned to duty in the 10th army corps. The first engagement of the command was at Cedar Mountain, August 9th 1862, in which six of the horses were shot. On the 29th and 30th days of the same month occurred the memorable battle of Manassas, or the second Bull Run, as it is sometimes called. During the first day Battery L sustained no losses; but on the second the left wing of the Union army was driven in by a charge and during a hot engagement, lasting but about five minutes, 56 rounds were fired, Captain Roemer and thirteen men were wounded- one mortally- and twenty horses killed. The next trial of the metal of this battery was at Antietam, September 16th and 17th 1862, when it supported the infantry who charged the Antietam bridge, and lost two men wounded and three horses killed. After this decisive victory the battery was assigned to duty with the 9th corps, and for twenty- seven days was stationed on picket duty before Fredericksburg; on the 11th and 12th of December it sustained a sharp engagement, in which one man was killed and two were wounded. After that date the corps fell back to Falmouth Heights, and went into winter quarters. On February 5th 1863 the corps struck tents and, marching to Acqua Creek, embarked for Newport News. After a stay there of three weeks it was ordered to Baltimore, and from thence sent to Lexington, Ky., to join the army of the Ohio, under Burnside. After three weeks the corps started in pursuit of Mosby, following him through Winchester, Stanford, Crab Orchard and Huckman’s, back to Lexington, and on the 3d of June marched for Vicksburg, where it arrived on the 18th, taking position on Haines’s Bluff. On the 4th of July occurred the memorable surrender of Vicksburg, and immediately afterward this battery was sent to Jackson, Miss., where with the 9th corps it took position on the 11th, bombarding that city for six days, when it was abandoned by the enemy. The next movement was a return to Lexington, and an advance to the Cumberland Gap, the taking of which and the march to Knoxville were without incidents of especial interest, After the capture of Knoxville commences a thrilling chapter in the history of this battery. The next movement of the army of Burnside was directed against Johnston’s advance, and the 9th and 24th corps were marched to Blue Springs, where a sharp engagement, without decisive results, was sustained, Battery L suffering a loss of but one man wounded. Moving to Loudon the army was ordered into winter quarters, which were, however, disturbed three days later by the advance of the rebel army. Meanwhile the time of the men’s enlistment had expired, and the battery re- enlisted in the veteran corps as an independent organization of light artillery. Longstreet’s advance drove them back to Knoxville, in a series of sharp encounters, during which the battery was almost constantly engaged, and Captain Roemer was on horseback five successive days and nights without sleep. Hotly pressed by the foe, the Union forces had but little time to prepare for the defense of Knoxville before the rebel batteries commenced the bombardment. Completely exhausted by the severe struggles of the last five days, when the streets of that city were reached and the order to halt was given the troops lay down in the ranks and slept two hours. They were then awakened and the meagre force employed to the best advantage to protect the important stronghold against the attack of four times their number, composed of the flower of the rebel army, flushed with victory and headed by their most popular and bravest leader. Battery L took position on East Tennessee College Hill, overlooking a redoubt, afterward named Fort Sanders. For twelve days the siege was continued, with famine staring the men in the face- only one- fourth of a pound of bread being given to each mail. Five thousand horses and mules were driven out of the city and abandoned, and to the rest three or four ears of corn apiece were doled out daily. Charges and counter charges filled the history of the working hours of that eventful fortnight, until 5 o’clock on the morning of the 29th of November, when, under the starlight, a picked body of volunteers, 5,000 strong, led by their favorite commander- in- chief, Longstreet, moved to the storming of Fort Sanders, the key of the defense. Only a few hundred strong, the half starved defenders were, however, led by men whose courage never flinched, and whose enthusiasm was contagious. Captain Roemer had been ordered to send one section of his battery under Lieutenant Heasely to the fort, and to furnish fifty rounds of shrapnel with twenty-second fuses to be thrown by hand into the trenches at points which the guns of his battery did not command. The charge was gallantly made, and desperately resisted. Once the rebel flag was planted on the rampart, but an instant after it fell, with its bearer a corpse, to the trenches. The gun at which Captain Roemer was stationed fired twenty- seven rounds of double canister, at every flash mowing a wide swath through the advancing column. It was loaded with its last remaining charge as onward through the storm of fire came the reckless, maddened foe. They swarmed up through the trenches, and a rebel major, laying his hand on the muzzle of the piece, shouted: "Cease firing, the gun is ours!" At that instant a white puff of smoke, a blinding flash, and the officer and fourteen files of men fell to rise no more. Terror stricken, seven hundred rebels threw down their arms, and entered the porthole as prisoners of war; The charge was over, the glory of the rebel army lay dead, dying and prisoners; and the cheers of the defenders of Knoxville were heard by Sherman’s advance forces, who came in sight that day. The siege was over; Longstreet was pressing every nerve to withdraw his shattered army to a safe distance from the approaching Union army. The best of the rebel guns had been trained on the single piece of light artillery that had contributed so signally to the victory; and yet but two men were wounded in Battery L. The gallant captain stood wearily leaning against his sword when General Burnside rode up. "Good morning, captain." "Good morning, general." "Captain, what made your shells explode so this morning?" "Oh, general, how should I know?" "What did you tell the sergeant last night?" "Don’t remember, general; I said much it were best to forget." "Well, I remember, and am proud of it. Captain Roemer and his battery will not be forgotten." This conversation had this source: On the night before the attack it was found that but little available ammunition, except some shells that had been buried by the rebels and dug up by our forces, could be found; and that these had corroded, so that but few exploded. Captain Roemer called for a volunteer to assist him in boring out the fuses of these shells, a work fraught with great danger. Sergeant Kauffman, of the 46th N.Y., immediately consented to help, saying that if the captain could afford to risk his life he could. Taking their ammunition box they crept close under the shelter of the ramparts to avoid the chance of a flying shot, and were busily engaged when a shell from a rebel battery struck the rampart and exploded, covering them with dirt and destroying the ammunition box, containing twelve shells, which, fortunately for the garrison, did not explode. The sergeant mildly remonstrated:- "Captain, if you keep on you’ll blow us all up." "Never mind," said the captain. "Better be blown up here than go to Richmond." "All right, captain, just as you say," was the only response; and the, duty of filling the shells (or their terrible morning work was grimly resumed. It was this incident of coolness and self sacrifice that had reached the ear of the commanding general. With such officers the defense of Knoxville was possible; without them no troops could have resisted the accumulated horrors of the situation. But little time was spared for rest; for on the 2nd the troops were marched in pursuit of Longstreet, as far as Strawberry Plains and Church Mountain, and encamping at the foot of the mountain lay there until January i9th, when the long-hoped-for veteran furlough order was received, and the battery was ordered to Albany for review and assignment of title by the governor of New York. Arriving in that city February 9th, under command of Captain Roemer and Lieut. Heasely (Lieut. Rowelle having previously been detached for duty on the staff of General Sturges), they were reviewed by Governor Morgan on the 10th, and given the name of the "34th N.Y. independent battery light artillery;" and on the 10th they filed into Flushing, sixty- nine men and two officers, amid the cheers of their admiring townspeople. Here a grand reception awaited them. Grave clergymen, judges and lawyers took off their coats and served as waiters at the table filled with the tanned and battered artillerymen while the silks and laces of Flushing’s lovely daughters fluttered wondrously close to the faded coats of blue, whose occupants found it a glorious rest after having traveled 9,600 miles in "Burnside’s Caravan" to no softer music than the boom of cannon. Thirty days’ rest was to be given to all; but the gallant captain, knowing the need of artillerists, resolved to fill up his ranks, and immediately commenced the work of recruiting, which was successful in enlisting eighty- five new men. No sooner was this work completed than the furlough expired, and the 34th was ordered to Fort Schuyler, whence it was transferred to an ocean steamer, having on board 700 more recruits, who were put under Captain Roemer’s orders, and the transport sailed for Fortress Monroe, from whence they joined the reorganized 9th corps at Annapolis. On the 4th of May the army crossed the Rapidan, and fighting with Lee’s army was renewed the following day, the battery being engaged on the left in a dense wood, with no loss. From the 8th to the 10th occurred the march to Spottsylvania, and on the 11th the battery crossed the creek and engaged the enemy, falling back at night to its quarters. The battle of Spottsylvania Court- house occurred on the following day, and the 12th of May is marked in the annals of the battery as the hottest of its many engagements. Stationed on the extreme left at Dr. Beverly’s house, it repelled the constant efforts of the enemy to turn that flank and withstood repeated charges, its well trained guns firing- seven rounds per minute some of the time and throwing in all 1,800 rounds of shell, doing terrible execution, the 34th sustaining a loss of five men wounded, including the captain, who had as yet scarcely recovered from his wounds received in the west, and who, his reputation as an artillerist having gained him a soubriquet among the rebels more forcible than polite, was a special mark for their sharpshooters. To the tent of the wounded captain came the bars of a major, forestalling a commission, which will be for generations to come a source of pride to his descendants, reading, "Promoted for meritorious services rendered on the field of battle, and particularly on the 12th of May 1864." The honor was justly earned; the battery held, as it were, the key to the position, and had it been taken or flanked the consequences would have been serious. From that time through that terrible forty- five days in which Grant opened the road to Petersburg the battery was engaged almost daily, losing at Cold Harbor one man killed before crossing the river, another afterward and two wounded, and having twelve horses shot. On the 16th of June the siege of Petersburg was undertaken, and this battery built Fort Wilcox in front of the "crater," and held it seven weeks, during which seven men were wounded. In August the 34th was sent to the left, where several engagements occurred, the most severe of which was at Pegram’s Farm, where the 34th battery lost three killed, four wounded and had six horses killed. During a change of line soon after, the battery was again placed in front of Petersburg, and owing to the exhausted condition of the men and horses was sent to the rear for two months. In November it advanced and took position on Crow Nest, where a winter of watchfulness but comparative rest was passed. On the 25th of March Major Roemer was ordered to occupy Fort McGilvery, near Appomattox. In the small hours of the ensuing morning the rebels surprised and captured Fort Stedman, situated immediately to the left, and under cover of its guns attempted to storm Fort McGilvery in the rear. Loading three guns of his light battery, and placing one en barbette in the rear of the fort, under the charge of a sergeant, the advancing rebels were met by twenty rounds, so rapidly, and skillfully fired that every shot told, and, totally demoralized, the foe threw down their arms and surrendered. Just as the last shot was fired by the barbette gun, at which Major Roemer had taken his post, a thirty- two pounder belonging to the rebels exploded and a flying piece struck him on the shoulder, crushing in his collar bone and severely injuring him, and, glancing, killed one of the men at the gun. So galling had been the fire from the improvised barbette defense that thirteen rebel cannon had been trained on it in an attempt to silence it; yet, besides the loss just named, but six of the 34th were wounded. From the date of this unsuccessful attack fighting was almost continuous until the morning of April 3d, when the successful assault on Petersburg was made. The last gun fired at a foe by the 34th was discharged at four o’clock on that morning; and when, as the report died away, the mighty cheer rolled back from the charging lines, and through the lifting pall of smoke could be seen the Union flag floating where had hung so long the star and bars, Major Roemer raised his head from the wheel of the gun which, in spite of his feeble condition, he had aimed and fired all the morning, and quietly remarked, "Cease firing, boys; it’s my birthday to- day, and Petersburg is ours." The events that followed the surrender of the only important rebel stronghold in northern Virginia are matters familiar to all. The 34th had fought and won its last battle, and soon after received orders to repair to Alexandria, where the men bade farewell to the guns which had been so long and so gallantly manned, and embarked for Hart’s Island, where, June 21st 1865, they, to the number of 118, were mustered out of the service. On their arrival in Flushing they were once more welcomed with open arms and hands. Of the history of this body, of which Flushing is justly proud, there is little more to say. The well- kept books of the captain show that from the date of entering the service until its discharge there had been enlisted 585 men; that the battery traveled during that time 18,700 miles, lost 20 men killed in battle, fought in fifty- seven engagements, fired 10,073 rounds, and lost 307 horses. The compiler of this record of gallant deeds deems it not out of place here to add a brief record of the distinguished commander of the battery. Major Jacob Roemer was born in Hesse Darmstadt, April 3d 1818, and served in the cavalry of the German army; but purchasing his discharge came to this country in 1839, settling in New York city, where he married, and from whence he came to Flushing in 1842. He enlisted in the Hamilton light artillery in 1845 as a private, and worked his way up from the ranks, securing his commission as captain after the battery’s reorganization by the War Department by a competitive examination. Early recognized as a practical artillerist he was intrusted with the defense of the most critical points, and, as has been remarked, won the rank with which he retired on the field of battle- the commission bearing with it the appointment as chief of artillery on the staff of Major- General Wilcox. At the close of the war Major Roemer resumed the business, of a boot and shoe dealer in Flushing, and he is still one of her most successful business men and honored citizens. The following is the muster roll of the officers of the battery: Captain, Jacob Roemer, commissioned June 6th 1862; date of rank, March 4th 1862; breveted major U.S.V.; mustered out with battery. First Lieutenants- Isaac B. Richmond, commissioned July 21st 1862; date of rank, June 4th 1862; commissioned first lieutenant in the 1st N.Y. artillery, July 21st 1862; discharged November 14th 1864. Henry J. Standish, commissioned June 6th 1862; date of rank, January 16th 1862; resigned, October 1862. Moses E. Brush, commissioned October 25th 1863; date of rank, ditto; resigned, November 8th 1863. Thomas Heasely, commissioned February 26th 1864; date of rank, November 8th 1863: mustered out with battery. Second Lieutenants- Jerome Van Nostrand, commissioned June 6th 1862; date of rank, January 16th 1862; resigned, October 8th 1862. Alonzo Garretson, commissioned May 3d 1864; date of rank, ditto; resigned, January 26th 1865. George H. Durfee, commissioned April 22nd 1865; not mustered. Moses E. Brush, commissioned November 29th 1862; date of rank, October 8th 1862; promoted first lieutenant, October 25th 1863. Thomas Heasely, commissioned October 25th 1863; date of rank, ditto: promoted first lieutenant February 26th 1864. Charles B. Lincoln jr., commissioned February 26th 1864; date of rank, February 21st 1864; resigned, May 31st 1864. John J. Johnston, commissioned November 16th 1864; date of rank, May 31st 1864; mustered out with battery. William E. Balkie, December 20th 1864; mustered out with battery.
THE PRINCE FAMILY.
The Prince family had its origin in the portion of England bordering on Wales, and can be traced back to a remote antiquity. Its coat of arms- "gules, a saltire or, surmounted of a cross engrailed, ermine"- was not granted, however, till the year 1584, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Shrewsbury and Abbey Foregate, Shropshire, were then the headquarters of the family. From this vicinity came John Prince, the ancestor of the Princes of Salem and Maine, in 1633; and about thirty years later came another John Prince, who was the progenitor of the Long Island family, and landed at Boston. He had two sons, Samuel and Robert, both of whom came to Long island and settled at Flushing. Samuel’s seven children were all daughters, so that the family name was not continued in that branch. Robert married Mary Burgess and had six children: Margaret, William, Elizabeth, Samuel, Robert and Susannah. Of these Margaret had two husbands, respectively named Phillips and Roe; Elizabeth married Arthur Burtis; Susannah married a Montrose. Neither Robert, Elizabeth nor Susannah left children, so far as is known. Samuel Prince, who was born May 20th 1728, married Ruth Carman April 24th 1751, and had nine children, named respectively: Robert, Elizabeth, James, Mary, Samuel 1st, Samuel 2nd, Elizabeth 2nd, Margaret and Susannah. Prince street in New York city was named from this Samuel Prince, who had a considerable tract of land there. From Robert is descended the Wintringham family of Long Island; from Mary, the Winter family; and Samuel (2nd) has very many descendants, named Prince, Watrous, Bass, McKeen, etc. William Prince who was the immediate ancestor of the present Flushing family married Ann Thorne, and lived until January 1802; having had thirteen children, of whom nine died young. Those who arrived at maturity were John, Sarah, William and Benjamin. John Prince moved from Flushing to Princetown, near Schenectady, where he had large flour mills. He was a member of the Legislature in 1797 and 1798, and died without issue, October 1862. Sarah married Major Charles McNeill, who resigned from the British army after the Revolution, and had seven sons, who are the progenitors of the McNeill families of Long Island, Washington and elsewhere. Benjamin married Rebecca Willets, and had two children, Anna and Rebecca. Anna married Charles Townsend and had one son, now deceased. Rebecca married Effingham W. Lawrence and had three children, William Henry, Francis and Frederick. A. Francis was the rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, New York, at the time of his death, in 1879. William Prince born November 10th 1766 married Mary, daughter of Eliphalet Stratton, December 22nd 1794, and died April 9th 1842. His children were: William Robert, born November 6th 1795; Mary Ann, born August 5th 1797; Alfred Stratton, and Edwin, the last of whom died young. Mary Ann (still living- 1881) married Thomas, H. Mitchell, of Richmond, Virginia, by whom she had two daughters, Rosalie A. and Josephine H.; and afterward married J. Dayton Harris, of New York. Alfred S. married Hannah Smith, and had two sons, Linnaeus and Charles A. William R. Prince married Charlotte G., daughter of Governor Charles Collins, of Rhode Island, October 2nd 1826, and died March 28th 1869, having had four children- Charlotte Collins, Seraphine Collins, William, and L. Bradford, all of whom survived him. Charlotte C. married Edwin Henry, March 10th 1853, and lives at Flushing, having three children- Florence L., Anna C. and Cornelia C. Florence married Wilson L. Gill, of Columbus, Ohio, in 1880. Seraphine C. married Henry F. Cox, of Racine, Wis., January 10th 1857, and died childless in 1870. William, born July 9th 1833, died December 18th 1880, unmarried. L. Bradford, born July 3d 1840, is spoken of in a separate sketch. Samuel Prince the elder lived on Great Neck, a little west of the church; and his brother Robert lived in Flushing. Samuel is named as a witness on the trial of Edward King for the murder of William Smith in 1733. The first establishment of the nursery which afterward became so famous was by Samuel Prince at Great Neck, about 1725; but it must soon have been followed by the nursery at Flushing, which continued during five generations and over 130 years in the family. Robert Prince and his son William occupied the land south of Bridge street, extending from Lawrence street to the middle of the block between Prince and, Main streets, and on the south about to the Reformed Dutch church, the family mansion being on Lawrence street, just northeast of the "Effingham Lawrence" house. The old mansion, which was of rounded shingles, remained until about 1863, when it was taken down. It was at this house that the Duke of Clarence, afterward King William IV. of England, was received when he visited the town, and here also General Washington and his distinguished party were entertained in 1789. In Washington’s journal (1789, October 10th) he speaks of this visit as follows: "I set off from New York about 9 o’clock, in my barge, to visit Mr. Prince’s fruit gardens and shrubberies at Flushing. The vice- president, governor, Mr. Izard, Colonel Smith and Major Jacobs accompanied me." It was at this house also that the bust of Linnaeus was crowned by De Witt Clinton at the celebrated meeting of foreign and American scientists in 1823. In 1793, June 26th, William Prince the second (1766- 1842) purchased from Bayard, Le Roy and Clarkson the property on the north of Bridge street, containing 80 acres, lying between the present railroad on the west and Farrington street on the east, and established his nursery there, calling it the "Linnaean Nursery," while his brother Benjamin remained on the old homestead and called his establishment the "Old American Nursery." Ultimately they were again consolidated. The residence of William Prince was on the north side of Bridge Street, just where Linnaeus street now is. This William Prince was a man of great energy of character, excellent judgment and much kindness of heart. In the language of Mandeville’s History of Flushing, he "was of an enterprising, amiable and kindly character, universally esteemed in life and regretted in death." He may truly be called the father of the prosperity of Flushing. Before his time the route to New York had been by Jamaica on the Head of the Vleigh to Bedford, and thence to Brooklyn ferry, a distance of 17 to 20 miles. In 1799 Mr. Prince organized a company, of which he was president, to build a bridge over Flushing Creek; this was accomplished in the next year. Soon after this, by his exertions, aided by Joshua Sands and others of Brooklyn, a bridge across the Wallabout was built, greatly shortening the route to the New York ferry. The amount of labor in accomplishing these matters was very great. In the work getting a turnpike constructed from Flushing to Newtown, which was shortly afterward accomplished, he counted that he had traveled over a thousand miles. Mr. Prince was a zealous churchman, being confirmed at the first episcopal visitation ever made to the village, by Bishop Provoost, June 28th 1802. He was a vestryman of St. George’s Church as early as 1798, and was a member of the vestry thirty- two years, during fourteen of which he was warden. He was devoted to botany and natural science generally; was a corresponding member of the Linnaean Society of Paris, the horticultural societies of London and Paris, and the Imperial Society of Georgofili, at Florence, and the author of the "Treatise on Horticulture," published in 1828. His son William R. Prince inherited his father’s love of botany and his great energy. He was connected with the American Institute, National Pomological Society, and many other leading societies, in whose transactions he took a prominent part; was the author of the "Treatise on the Vine," 1830, the "Pomological Manual," 1832, and "Rose Manual," 1835, and in his later days received the degrees of M.D. and LL.D. After his marriage he bought (July 8th 1827) the Embree property, corner of Bridge street and Clinton (now Lawrence) avenue, where he continued to live until his death, and which is still the family residence. Although never holding any public office he was enthusiastic in politics, especially as a friend of Henry Clay. In 1848 he was a member of the national convention at Harrisburg, which ultimately nominated General Taylor, going as a Clay delegate. In 1831 he delivered the 4th of July oration at Hempstead. William Prince the son of William R. Prince was a man of extraordinary scientific attainments. He entered the army as a private at the breaking out of the Rebellion, and served till wounded at Antietam. Subsequently he became an officer in the 155th N.Y. (volunteers), and, soon afterward was appointed a lieutenant of ordnance, U.S.A., passing a most brilliant examination on his admission to the corps in 1864. He was twice brevetted for "gallant and distinguished services;" became successively first lieutenant and captain, and died at Washington in 1880. During his service he was chief ordnance officer of the middle military district (Va.), of North and South Carolina, and on duty at the arsenals of Watervliet, Washington, Frankford, New Orleans and Springfield.
L. BRADFORD PRINCE.L. Bradford Prince was born at Flushing, on the 3d of July 1840. He is a lineal descendant on the maternal side of Governor William Bradford, of Plymouth, one of the "men of the Mayflower," and had for great- grandfather and grandfather respectively Governors Bradford and Collins of Rhode Island. His paternal ancestors are mentioned in the sketch of the "Prince Family." Owing to the delicate health of Mr. Prince much of his early life was passed in the south. As he grew to manhood he engaged in horticultural pursuits at his father’s place, in Flushing, but after a short experience abandoned this line of employment to study law. Entering Columbia College law school, he passed through the course with special honor, and upon graduating received the $200 prize in political science. From his youth he has been exceedingly active in all matters affecting the welfare and improvement of his native town. In 1858 he originated the Flushing Library Association, obtaining the first subscriptions, drawing its constitution, acting three years as secretary and afterward as president; for several years he was chairman of the village lecture committee, conducting courses of lectures in 1859, 1860 and 1861, which have never since been equaled in the town. For five successive years, 1861 to 1865, he was chairman of the "Fourth of July committee," which had charge of the public exercises and displays on the national holiday. In 1863 this committee erected the liberty pole at the west end of the park, and in 1865 inaugurated the movement for the building of the "soldiers’ monument." To this latter Mr. Prince devoted himself for over a year, in raising money and collecting the names of the fallen heroes. He was also the originator of St. George’s Brotherhood, a religious society, organized in 1868 and still doing an active and increasing work. On many public occasions, such as the foundation of the new public school, the opening of the opera house, the celebration at the introduction of water, etc., he has delivered appropriate public addresses. Very early in life he developed an extraordinary aptitude for political matters, and the activity he displayed in his district during the Fremont campaign won for him a vote of thanks from the town club, of which his age- he was then but a lad of sixteen- prevented his becoming a member. In the canvass of 1860, though still a minor, he was secretary of the local political organization, and worked enthusiastically for the success of the Lincoln ticket. In 1861 he was chosen a member of the Republican committee of Queens county, on which he served continuously almost 20 years, during several of which he was its secretary and chairman. He was a delegate to State conventions during the years from 1866 to 1878 with scarcely an exception; was elected a delegate to the national Republican convention held at Chicago in 1868, and the following year became a member of the State committee. The political labors of Mr. Prince at this period were all the more honorable from the fact that they were pursued purely as a matter of principle, and without the least expectation of personal advancement, the district in which he resided being strongly Democratic. His qualifications for filling a responsible position were, however, too apparent to be neglected, and in 1870 he was elected to the Assembly, receiving a majority of 1,415 votes, members of all parties joining in his support. In 1871 he was re- elected to the Assembly by a large majority, although his opponent was the strongest Democrat in the district and an experienced legislator who had already served both in the Assembly and in the Senate. The following year he received the extraordinary compliment of a request for his continuance in office, signed by more than two thousand voters, irrespective of party; and, having been nominated by acclamation, was re- elected without opposition. In 1873, having declined a nomination to the Senate, he was again returned to the Assembly, almost without an opposing vote. In the fall of 1874 the Democrats made a determined effort to redeem the district, which now for four years had been lost to their party, and placed the Hon. Solomon Townsend- who had served three terms in the Legislature and in the constitutional conventions of 1846 and 1867- in opposition to Mr. Prince. The canvass was an exciting one, but resulted in a victory for Mr. Prince, who secured a majority of 771 votes. There is believed to be no other instance on record of a person being elected five successive times in a district politically opposed to him. In the canvass of 1875 Mr. Prince received the Republican nomination for the Senate, and, although the Democrats were successful in the district on the general ticket by nearly 2,700 majority, he won the election by a majority of 904, running 3,594 ahead of the ticket. The legislative career of Mr. Prince was an exceedingly useful and highly honorable one. In 1872,1873 and 1874 he was chairman of the judiciary committee, performing the multifarious and arduous duties in the most creditable manner, and rendering valuable service to the State. While filling this position over eleven hundred bills came into his hands for reports- a larger number then were ever submitted to any other committee, either State or national, in a similar length of time. During the winter of 1872 it became his duty to conduct the investigation into the official conduct of Judges Barnard, Cardozo and McCunn. This investigation extended from the middle of February to about the middle of April, during which time 239 witnesses were examined, and over 2,400 pages of evidence taken. The thoroughness and fairness with which the investigation was conducted won the approval, of fair minded persons of all shades of political belief, and its results form one of the brightest pages in the history of the recent "reform movement." The reports of the committee in favor of impeaching two of the judges and removing the other met with general public acquiescence, and were adopted by the house, and Mr. Prince was chosen one of the managers to conduct the impeachment trial, receiving 110 out of 113 votes cast on the ballot in the Assembly. He was also appointed to proceed to the bar of the Senate and formally impeach Judge Barnard of high crimes and misdemeanors. He was active in the matter till the close of the trial, and it has been generally conceded that to no other man is the judiciary of the State so much indebted for being relieved of the disgrace that would have attended the retention of Barnard and Cardozo on the bench. The recent amendments to the constitution of the State received from Mr. Prince special attention. In 1872 he introduced, and succeeded in getting passed, the bill for the constitutional commission. During the sessions of 1873 and 1874 he had charge of the proposed amendments, both in committee and in the Assembly, and the task of explaining and defending them fell almost exclusively to his lot. Just previous to these amendments being submitted to the people for ratification- in the fall of 1874- Mr. Prince, at the request of the Council of Political Reform, wrote a pamphlet on the subject, which was widely circulated as a campaign document, and tended largely to their success at the polls. In the session of 1875 he prepared and introduced nearly all the bills required to carry the new constitutional system into effect, that work being assigned to him by general consent, although the Assembly was Democratic. The reformation in the system of legislation in New York occurred wholly during Mr. Prince’s terms, and its history is worthy of record, if only to show the results of persistent effort. During his first month in Albany Mr. Prince introduced two resolutions, one in relation to the organization of cities under general laws, and the other including the whole question of special legislation. On this latter he made a careful speech in February 1871, but the proposition to do away with special legislation was met with opposition and almost derision by all the old and leading members. In no way discouraged, he renewed the fight next year, made a striking speech on the "Evils of Hasty Legislation" in February, and later, as chairman of the judiciary committee, presented a report on "Reform in the Methods of Legislation," which has been the foundation of all action on the subject since. At the same time he introduced a bill for a constitutional commission to report the necessary amendments. The next winter he succeeded in getting the commission to report in favor of his propositions to prohibit special legislation; and, as we base before seen, championed these amendments for two years in the Assembly, and then before the people. In November 1874 he had the pleasure of seeing all the reforms which he had first proposed in January 1871 placed in the organic law of the State- the fruit of nearly four years of steady and untiring effort. While in the Legislature Mr. Prince gave special attention to the canal system of the State, and the question of transportation from the west to the seaboard. He made several speeches on this subject in the Assembly, as well as at the organization of the Cheap Transportation Association, at Cooper Institute in 1874, and at the great Produce Exchange meeting in 1875. The New York Chamber of Commerce twice formally acknowledged these services to the mercantile community by votes of thanks. In 1874 he was chairman of the Assembly committee to conduct the United States Senate Committee on Transportation Routes through the State; and performed that duty in September of that year. At different times during 1874 and 1875 he lectured on this subject of transportation in New York, Albany, Troy, Poughkeepsie, etc. In May 1876 Mr. Prince was a member of the national Republican convention which nominated Hayes and Wheeler. In 1877, though tendered a unanimous renomination to the Senate, he declined to serve again, on the ground that he could not afford longer to neglect his private business. Mr. Prince’s reputation is not, however, confined to the field of politics. As a lawyer he occupies a high position, his clear, incisive, reasoning power and rare ability as an advocate rendering him eminently successful. In 1868 he was chosen orator of the alumni association of the Columbia College Law. School, and for two years was president of the association. In 1876, having again been chosen alumni orator, he delivered an oration in the Academy of Music on "The Duties of Citizenship," enforcing the idea that men of character and education should take the lead in political affairs. Mr. Prince is well known also as a thoughtful writer and lecturer on various topics, among which those relating to legislative and governmental reform have attracted wide attention. His lecture on "Rienzi" has been delivered over 20 times; and a satirical one on "Queen Fashion" much oftener. A work from his pen entitled "E Pluribus Unum, or American Nationality," a comparison between the constitution and the articles of confederation, passed through several editions in 1868 and received the warmest commendations from statesmen and political scientists. In 1880 a Chicago firm published a work of Mr. Prince’s on a somewhat similar subject, entitled "A Nation or a League?" As a speaker he is well known throughout the State, having been active in the general political canvass every year when not himself a candidate, and in 1876 speaking over 40 consecutive nights, from Rochester and Salamanca to Plattsburg and Brooklyn. On occasions like the Fourth of July and Decoration day his talents have naturally been called into requisition, and he has delivered the orations at various times at Brooklyn, Sag Harbor, Ronkonkoma, Hempstead, Flushing, Katonah, Farmingdale, Ballston, Oneonta, New Brighton and Elmira. He is also a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, having been district deputy grand master of Queens and Suffolk counties for the years 1868, 1869 and 1870, and again in 1876. In 1877 he was appointed on the grand master’s staff as grand standard bearer. He is now grand representative of New Mexico to the grand lodge of New York. Mr. Prince has always taken a lively interest in all that pertains to the best interest of the farming community, and has delivered a number of addresses before various agricultural societies throughout the State- notably those of Saratoga, St. Lawrence Tioga, Orleans, Suffolk and Cattaraugus counties. For ten years he was superintendent or director of the Queens County Agricultural Society, and in 1862 wrote an agricultural history of the county, which was published by that society. He is also a life member of the Long Island Historical Society, and for 15 years- from 1864 to 1879- was an officer in that learned body. He is now first vice- president of the Historical Society of New Mexico. In religious affairs Mr. Prince is likewise prominent. He is a leading member of the Episcopal church, in which he has for years been a licensed lay- reader under the bishops of Long Island, Colorado and New Mexico. He has been a member of many diocesan conventions on Long Island, and was a deputy from that diocese to the Triennial General Convention at Boston in 1877 and again at New York in 1880. He is one of the corporation of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, on Long Island, and at the laying of the corner stone thereof, in June 1877, made the address on behalf of the laity of the diocese. In New Mexico he is senior warden of the church at Sante Fe, and chancellor of the jurisdiction of New Mexico and Arizona. In missionary matters he is very active, delivering addresses at various tunes in St. Peter’s Church, Albany; Calvary, New York; St. Ann’s and St. Peter’s, Brooklyn; Grace, Jamaica; St. James’s, Newtown; Bethesda, Saratoga; St. George’s, Hempstead; at the missionary conference of 1879 at Baltimore, etc. In the General Convention of 1880 he introduced the idea of the American Church Building Fund, and carried it to a successful organization. In September 1881 he delivered the address at the laying of the corner stone of the church in Sante Fe. In October 1878, without any application or request from him, Mr. Prince was nominated by President Hayes as naval officer of New York, in place of Hon. A.B. Cornell, at the same time Theodore Roosevelt was nominated as collector. This inaugurated the great contest in the Senate over the "New York appointments," between the President’s reform policy and the old system of senatorial dictation. No action being taken at the special session, President Hayes renominated Roosevelt and Prince in December. After a long contest the nominations were rejected by a vote of 31 to 25. During 1879 Mr. Prince was offered various appointments, including two, in foreign countries, the marshalship of New York, the governorship of Idaho, and the chief justiceship of New Mexico. The latter he declined three times, but finally, at the urgent request of Secretary Evarts and the Department of Justice, consented to accept, and left for his new home February 1st 1879. This position he still holds. Judge Prince is also president of the Territorial Bureau of Immigration of New Mexico, and is connected with nearly all the organizations of the territory. He is an enthusiast as to the resources and future of that territory, and has written much on those subjects for eastern papers. On the 1st of December 1879 Judge Prince was married at Grace Church, Brooklyn, by Bishop Littlejohn and Rev. Dr. Smith, to Hattie E. Childs, daughter of Dr. S. Russell Childs, of New York. After being entertained by President Hayes in Washington they proceeded immediately to New Mexico, where Mrs. Prince’s beauty and intelligence made her a favorite at once. But, on an excursion to Kansas City to celebrate the opening of railway communication, she caught cold, and after a single day of serious sickness died suddenly of pneumonia, at Sante Fe, on February 26th 1880. The mourning and sympathy at this sad event were universal throughout the territory.
CAPTAIN ISRAEL J. MERRITT.
There are few people, in the mercantile marine of this State especially, who will fail to recognize in the accompanying portrait an old and valued acquaintance. For more than a quarter of a century Captain Merritt has been actively engaged in maritime pursuits, and, after passing through the various grades of apprentice, seaman, mate and captain, was appointed in 1853 agent of the Board of Marine Underwriters, graduated as general agent of that world- renowned and eminently successful institution the Coast Wrecking Company of the City of New York, and at present, in connection with his son Israel J. Merritt jr., is proprietor of the Merritt Wrecking Organization, of which he is sole manager. Captain Merritt is of medium height, compactly built, has a florid complexion, light hazel eyes, iron grey hair, and Was born in the city of New York, August 23d 1829. As with very many of our most successful men, his opportunities for obtaining an early education were exceedingly limited; yet, endowed with ambition and a strong will, combined with good, sound, practical common sense, we find him at the early age of twenty years in the full confidence of his employers and in command of a fine schooner employed in the coasting trade. In the service of the Coast Wrecking Company he, by his skill, energy and earnest efforts, added largely to its reputation. In the performance of his labors and duties as its representative he has visited repeatedly all sections of our seacoast and lake borders, and, being eminently a social and genial man, he has made hosts of warm friends both for his enterprises and himself. One of Captain’s Merritt’s prominent characteristics is his perseverence, backed by untiring patience, pluck and energy. He knows no such word as fear, never counts the chances of defeat when pursuing a cherished object, and, once settled in his convictions of duty and right, he never was known to shirk a responsibility or flag in his efforts to accomplish the desired results. He is zealous and positive in whatever he undertakes, is a most agreeable, warm- hearted and genial companion, one of the truest of friends, and as such is honored and trusted by all who know him. He is modest and retiring when not in command, and aside from his social and domestic duties his heart is bound up in his business. To- day, wherever commerce spreads her wings and the Latin and Anglo- Saxon tongues are spoken, the name of Israel J. Merritt, the savior of the doubly- staunch steamer "L’Amerique," is a "household word." For three long weary months, through sunshine and darkness, the hearts of his friends and the good wishes of the entire civilized world were with him in this gigantic undertaking, and they watched with curious interest his bearing through all the discouragements and embarassments of his trying position; and when success, in its broadest sense, crowned his efforts and he gave back to commerce the good ship, as staunch, strong and shapely as when she first touched our shores, the world was ready to shake his brawny hand and say how heartily it accorded to him its praise. In this connection it will not be deemed inappropriate to give some of the more notable cases in which Captain Merritt’s brain, skill and labor have been the means of saving hundreds of lives and millions of dollars of property on our coast. Among his achievements may be noted : -the saving of the ship "Cornelius Grinnell," ashore at Squan, in 1852; -the crew of the brig "Kong Thryme," on Barnegat Shoals, in midwinter of 1856, for which he was awarded a gold medal by the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York; the ship "Great Republic," 3,000 tons, sunk in the East River, in 1853; -the passengers and crew of the ship "Chauncey Jerome," at Long Branch, in 1853; -the ship "Arkwright," at Long Branch, in 1862; the ship "Aquila," having as cargo the U.S. monitor "Comanche," near San Francisco, Cal., in 1864; -the crew, 65 in number, of the steamship "Black Warrior," at Rockaway Shoals, in 1859, for which act of bravery he was presented with $500 in gold; -the steamer "City of Norwich," sunk and lying bottom upwards in 120 feet of water in Long Island Sound, in 1866 (no other vessel ever having been raised from so great a depth); -the steamer "Dean Richmond," sunk in 38 feet of water in the Hudson river, in 1867, and the steamship "Australia," ashore near Galveston, Texas, in 1875. Scores and hundreds of other incidents might be mentioned, where his labors have been bestowed, but the above are sufficient to show that his has been a busy and eventful career, and that his efforts have been crowned with a full measure of success. To these let us add some account of the crowning effort of his life, the salvation of the steamship "L’Amerique," his greatest achievement. This vessel, one of the largest of the steamers belonging to the TransAtlantic Line between New York and Havre, as all will remember, was driven ashore at Seabright, N.J., about twelve miles from Sandy Hook, during a violent snow storm, on the night of the 7th of January 1877, where she remained imbedded in the sand until liberated by Captain Merritt on the 10th of the following April. During this entire period of ninety- three days he was constantly at his post on this ship, awaiting favoring winds and tides, yet with unbounded faith and confidence in the ultimate success of his labors. In the early part of this interval the entire cargo of the ship, valued at an immense figure, was saved without damage, and transferred to New York. In the meantime the requisite preparations for the saving of the vessel had been made, and machinery and appliances such as were probably never before brought into requisition were readily furnished and utilized by the Coast Wrecking Company under the direction of Captain Merritt. The necessity of these extraordinary preparations will be readily seen and comprehended when it is remembered that "L’Amerique" is an iron steamer of 4,845 tons capacity, i,000 horse power, 410 feet in length, 46 feet breadth of beam, and 43 feet depth of hold, equal in bulk almost to two blocks of ordinary three- story buildings. The needed appliances for moving this immense mass of iron being properly adjusted, then began the weary watching from day to day, till days grew into weeks, and weeks lengthened into months, and still the elements seemed laggard in coming to the aid of the sun- browned, weather- beaten man who earnestly watched and waited through calm and storm, upon her decks, for the opportune moment. Storms and tempests came which forced him to slacken his huge, unwieldy hawsers and let the ship be driven still farther upon the beach, and which, in their fury, dashed in pieces other ships within his sight; and still the good "L’Amerique," like a rock of adamant, withstood the shocks of old Atlantic’s mountain billows, as they came thundering and dashing against her sides; yet not one whit firmer stood the ship on the unfriendly shore than stood Captain Merritt, braving the dangers which encompassed him, in the calm confidence of ultimate triumph. Storm succeeded storm, yet with firm reliance he paced the decks of the grand old ship which, like himself, seemed to defy the elements, and waited, not patiently perhaps at all times, but confidently. At last came the eventful day when Old Ocean, as if repenting of his laggard efforts, sent bounding in upon the yielding sands of Seabright the long- prayed for rollers, which, born perhaps near the sunny shores of the land which gave birth to the good ship and Captain Pouzolz, her brave and noble commander, began to surge upon the shore and rock the huge monster in the "cradle of the deep;" and ere his hoarse murmurings had ceased she shook the sands of old Jersey from her keel, was riding safely at anchor far from the shore, and the waves were kissing her sides as if to welcome her once more upon the broad pathway to la belle France. Loud huzzas from the throats of the victors rent the air, and long and joyous shouts of Vive L’Amerique and "Le Merritt" mingled with the hoarse bellowings of the wind and the shrill whistles of the tugs as they bore her triumphantly from her prison. "L’Amerique" was free! Politically Captain Merritt has always been a Democrat and a consistent, liberal and disinterested worker for the advancement of the principles of that party; but he has never sought nor accepted a nomination for any office except at the hands of his townsmen, who have ever found in him a firm supporter of the best interests of the locality where he lives. He was instrumental in securing the incorporation of the village of Whitestone, and has most of the time since served as one of the village trustees. His interest in education has always been great, and he has for years been a school trustee and exerted a strong influence upon the management of the public schools of Whitestone. In 1853 Captain Merritt was married to Miss Sarah L. Nicholson, of New York, who died June 11th 1879, at the age of 45 years, 4 months and 2 days. He has six children living, named as follows, in the order of their birth: Israel J. jr., Emma, Irene, Ida, Flora and John J. Captain Merritt, who for twenty- one years has been a resident of Whitestone, has one of the most elegant residences on Long Island and is regarded as a most hospitable gentleman.
HON. JOHN W. LAWRENCE.
Few names are better known in Queens county than that of the subject of this sketch, who is one of the most prominent men the county has produced, and a descendant of one of its oldest and most illustrious families. Born at "Willow Bank," Flushing, in 1800, Mr. Lawrence yet lives on the old home place, though the house in which he was born was destroyed by fire and the present commodious residence on the old site was erected by Mr. Lawrence in 1835. The childhood of Mr. Lawrence was passed much as that of others of the time and locality was passed. He may be truly said never to have known any boyhood, having engaged in active business life at the early age of sixteen, as a clerk in the long- ago mercantile establishment of Hicks, Jenkins & Co., in which capacity he continued till 1821. Then, Mr. Jenkins having died, Mr. Hicks made a proposition to take young Lawrence into the firm, which the latter declined, entering instead into partnership with a fellow clerk in the shipping and commission business, under the firm name of Howland & Lawrence. In 1826 Mr. Lawrence was married to a daughter of Walter Bowne, of another old- time family of Long Island. A mention of several of the more prominent of the business enterprises with which Mr. Lawrence has been connected will not be out of place as an evidence of the high esteem in which he has for many years been held in business and financial circles, both on Long Island and in New York city. Mr. Lawrence’s fifteen years’ presidency of the Queens County Savings Bank, of which he is now a trustee, and his presidency for seven years of the Seventh Ward Bank of New York, of which he is now the oldest director, are features of a connection with monetary institutions which goes back to a time when he was a director in the New York branch of the United States Bank in the stormy financial period of President Jackson. For a third of a century he has been president of the Lawrence Cement Company, and he holds a similar position at the head of the Rosedale Cement Company. By the admirable manner in which he has transacted all business devolving upon him, in these and many other enterprises of note, and the fidelity with which he has, discharged all trusts imposed upon him, during a long, and active business career, Mr. Lawrence has won an enviable reputation, which will survive him and be a shining example to those who may come after him. In public and political life Mr. Lawrence has won and retained a name rivaled only by his reputation as a man of affairs. During the extended period of fifteen years he was president of the village of Flushing, and upon his resignation of that position the board of trustees waited on him in a body at his residence and requested that he would become a candidate for re- election. In 1840 he was nominated for member of Assembly from his district, his rival in the field being no less formidable an one than John A. King, whom he defeated. This was the "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" campaign, and the excitement over the election ran pretty high. On the night upon which the result became known a considerable body of the strongest and most active Whigs in Flushing went to his house, accompanied by a band of music, at 11 o’clock and tendered him a serenade; and informed him through the spokesman of the occasion that, as they had opposed him on political grounds only, they had now come to congratulate him as a townsman on the success which he had achieved at the polls. In 1845 Mr. Lawrence was sent to Congress by the vote of his fellow citizens, and upon the expiration of his term was offered a renomination; which he declined to accept, though he could not but regard the act as an evidence of the confidence with which he had inspired those whom he had so ably represented in the council of the nation. Later he was tendered the nomination for the office of lieutenant- governor of the State of New York. This was at a time when he had retired permanently from the cares and responsibilities of political life; and, with the desire for quiet and rest which all men feel as years advance upon them, he could not be prevailed upon to allow the use of his name in the manner requested, though urged to do so by some of the foremost men in his party on the ground of the strength it would lend to the ticket. In private and public life, alike, Mr. Lawrence has ever held the highest esteem of all his associates and the respect of all, of all classes and parties, who were cognizant of his course. In Flushing, where he is best and most intimately known, he is regarded as the friend of those in need of sympathy and assistance, and the abettor of every measure tending to the public good and the public improvement.
ALBION K.P. DENNETT.
The subject of this sketch is one of the best known and most prominent citizens and business men of Flushing. He was born in Lyman, York county, Maine, August 9th 1827, and was named in honor of Governor Albion K. Paris, of Maine. His parents were Jesse and Abigail (Hooper) Dennett. His grandfather Joseph Dennett was in the patriot service during the entire period of the Revolution. Mr. Dennett removed with his father’s family to the town of Dayton, adjoining the town of his birth, when he was about twelve years old. He received his education in the common schools of that locality, and resided on his father’s farm until the age of twenty- two, when he went to New York city, in 1849, and entered the employ of the Knickerbocker Ice Company, with whom he remained until April 1853, when he embarked in the ice trade in New York on his own account, remaining there until April 1868, when he removed to Flushing, where he has been since extensively and successfully engaged in the same trade, his office, at 1854 Main street, being one of the most noticeable business places on that street. December 22nd 1853 Mr. Dennett was married to Jane M. Smith, of New York, originally of Rensselaer county, by whom he has a daughter, Emma Grace, now the wife of W.T. James, of the Flushing drug firm of Hepburn & James. With his entire family Mr. Dennett is a member of the First Baptist Church of Flushing. Mr. Dennett cast his first vote with the Whigs, and since the organization of the Republican party he has been a firm believer in its principles, and has voted with it undeviatingly since the Fremont campaign of 1856. He has never been in the common acceptation of the term a politician, though ever alive to the important demands of the hour. Engrossed in his business affairs, he has never sought political preferment, but at the demand of his fellow citizens has from time to time accepted important public trusts at their hands. He was elected trustee of the village of Flushing in the winter of 1871 to fill a vacancy then existing in the board, by the vote of that body, and so satisfactory to the people of the village was his con duct during his term of service that he was four times thereafter nominated and elected to the same position against his wish and protest, but positively refused to qualify and serve the last time. In the spring of 1879 he was, in opposition to his own strongly expressed desire, nominated and elected to the position of supervisor of the town of Flushing, and re- elected in 1880. In 1858 Mr. Dennett joined Company B of the 12th regiment of New York State militia, of New York city as a private and was elected orderly sergeant about a month later, serving in that capacity till April 21st 1861, when he was made second lieutenant, while the regiment was formed in Union Square, just prior to its departure for the seat of war in response to the demand of the government for three months’ men. After the expiration of its term of service the regiment returned to New York, and in 1862 was re- organized, and Mr. Dennett was elected second and subsequently first lieutenant of Company D. Later he was several times offered but as often declined the captaincy of the company. Mr. Dennett is emphatically one of the self- made men of Queens county. Early in life he set out to make his way in the world by his own unaided exertions, and how successful he has been his present enviable position attests. A man of fine presence and genial and kindly address he has won and retains many friends, who speak highly of him as a man and a citizen in all relations of life.
BENJAMIN W. DOWNING.
Benjamin W. Downing was born at Glen Head, Long Island, on the first day of April 1835. His ancestry on one side was of Quaker stock, and members of the family on the paternal side had for many years had their home on Long Island. The subject of this sketch received his preliminary education at the public schools, but at an early age he entered Macedon Academy, at Macedon, Wayne county, in this State, where he completed a sound practical education, holding a high position in all of the various academic classes. Returning to his home on Long Island, Mr. Downing commenced the practical duties of life as a teacher, devoting a number of years to this arduous work. His longest term of service in this capacity was at Locust Valley, where he brought the public school at that place into great and deserved prominence by the introduction of new and valuable methods of instruction. It was while in charge of this school, in 1856, that he was elected to the office of superintendent of schools of the town of Oyster Bay; subsequently he was appointed school commissioner of all the schools in Queens county by the board of supervisors, and this promotion was followed by his election to the same office. Mr. Downing’s administration of school affairs, continuing seven years and six months, was marked by great energy and the fullest success. The standard of the schools under his jurisdiction was greatly raised, and an impetus was given to the cause of popular education in the district that is even yet felt and realized. Meanwhile Mr. Downing had abandoned his old profession of teaching, and had commenced the study of law in the office of the Hon. Elias J. Beach, county judge of Queens county. This season of law reading was supplemented by a severe course of study in the law school at Poughkeepsie, from which institution he graduated with high honors, receiving the title of LL.B., and was duly admitted to practice in the supreme court of this State. He established his law office at Flushing, to which place he had removed his residence from Locust Valley, and at once commenced an active and successful professional career. Mr. Downing early won deserved distinction at the bar. His readiness in grasping the salient features of a case, his quick and correct application of the law to the facts, his faculty of building up upon the pivotal points involved, and the earnestness and force of his appeals to juries, made his professional services sought in every section of the county and in adjacent localities. In a short space of time he became recognized as the most able, adroit and effective practitioner at the bar of Queens county. Declining a re- election to a third term as school commissioner, Mr. Downing was elected in 1864 to succeed the Hon. John J. Armstrong as district attorney of Queens county, and he has since January 1st 1865 continuously held and more than acceptably discharged the duties of that exceedingly important and difficult position. The same qualities which gained for Mr. Downing his success as a teacher, school officer and private practitioner have made him eminently successful as a public prosecutor. Queens county especially demands a prompt, energetic and able man to fill at all acceptably the office of district attorney. With nothing but the narrow belt of the East River separating it from New York city, it is liable at all times to be overrun with desperadoes of the worst metropolitan type; and it is an exceedingly fortunate matter for the county that under the administration of its present district attorney Queens has established the reputation among the criminal classes of being an exceedingly unpleasant place for them to be tried in. During the incumbency of Mr. Downing he has prosecuted a large number of indictments, the trials of which rank among the causes celebres. We have space only for the enumeration of a very few of the more important of these cases. One was the trial and conviction of Lewis Jarvis and Elbert Jackson for the murder of’ Samuel Floyd Jones. The prisoners were subsequently executed for the offense in the old court- house yard in North Hempsted, this being the first execution that had occurred for many years in Queens county. Mr. Downing prosecuted also the indictments against William Delany for the murder of Captain L. Lawrence on the 27th of August 1875 on board a vessel lying at the time at anchor in Long Island Sound near Port Washington. Delany was also convicted by the jury and subsequently executed. Mr. Downing also prosecuted the indictments against David Burke for the murder of a night watchman at Long Island City. Burke was defended with great zeal and ability by the late eloquent John H. Anthon, who when the jury rendered their verdict of guilty declared that he would never again defend a man indicted for a capital offense, and this declaration was always thereafter strictly adhered to. Burke was sentenced to death, but the sentence was subsequently commuted by the governor to imprisonment for life. Other remarkable trials were those of the murderers of Garrett Nostrand, at Syosett, and the murderer of little Maggie Bauer, of Hempstead, some few years ago; Mr. Downing securing conviction in all these cases. He was particularly active also in the detection and trial of the masked burglars of Ravenswood, and succeeded in bringing about the conviction and punishment of this entire gang of desperadoes, who were sentenced to State prison at hard labor for terms varying from twenty to thirty- five years. We have specified only a very few of the important trials Mr. Downing has conducted as public prosecutor during the last fifteen years. His conduct of the affairs of his office has been characterized not only by ability but by faithfulness. He has not neglected the prosecution of ordinary indictments in order to shine brilliantly in the trial of "star" cases, but every indictment charging the commission of a criminal offence when brought to trial by him received the careful, conscientious treatment of a trained and skillful prosecutor, and it was a matter of very rare occurrence that a guilty man escaped just punishment when Mr. Downing prosecuted. Of the trial of Etwood T. Van Nostrand for seduction under promise of marriage, which occupied the court of sessions for nearly three days in 1880, the Long Island City Star says: "The Hon. Judge Busteed addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner, finally closing his terrific denunciations at midnight. It had consumed six hours of intense effort; with the penalty of utter prostration to the great advocate- to the extent of his not being able to appear during the remainder of the trial or of hearing the reply and summing up of Mr. Downing. The address to the jury from the district attorney occupied four and a half hours. He spoke with much feeling, and it is probable that he would have spared denunciation but for the goading taunts heaped on the head of the crushed girl by Mr. Busteed. Mr. Downing felt too thoroughly the frightful harangue roared with phrenzied action against the artless girl, who quivered under every blow as if a culprit under the Russian knout; and it must be admitted that he was more than equal in repayment to Mr. Busteed. He had a more manly cause to vindicate, and easily won the hearts of the thronged body that flocked to hear him." While, however, he is zealous and indefatigable as a prosecutor, he yet realizes that he is an officer of the court charged with the administration of even- handed justice. The innocent man unjustly accused is and always has been afforded every opportunity at the hands of the district attorney to make his innocence manifest, and Mr. Downing has been the first to move to nolle prosequi an indictment when satisfied as a man and an officer that the accused is not guilty of the offense charged against him. Mr. Downing has the rare accomplishment of being a most excellent judge of character and of human nature, and very much of the success he has met at the bar and as a public officer may be attributed to this fact. A large proportion of the cost of conducting the public affairs of Queens- as indeed of every county in the State- comes from the expense of holding courts of criminal jurisdiction. It will be readily seen how far and to what extent a prompt, alert and vigorous district attorney can subserve the interests of taxpayers in curtailing the sessions of these courts by a proper discharge of his official duties. Mr. Downing has thus served the citizens of his county, and during his extended term of service he has made for himself the reputation of being among the first and most efficient public prosecutors in the State of New York. That his reputation as a lawyer and law officer has passed far beyond the limits of his own county is shown by the fact that his name has been within the last few years and is now very prominently mentioned in connection with the supreme court judgeship of his judicial district. It might be readily supposed that the conduct of a large private law practice and the full discharge of the duties of a position so exacting as the district attorneyship of a large and populous county would more than fill the time of any ordinary man. Mr. Downing has, however, seemingly unlimited capacities for work. He is what the French call "a man of affairs," and, in addition to the work we have hastily specified, he has acted as trustee of his home village, served as its president, and has for many years been one of the members of its board of education, of which body he is now the presiding officer. He has always taken a deep interest in the local affairs of his village, and has contributed’ very largely to build up and develop its resources. He is yet in the prime of life, with vigorous health and a robust constitution. He is noted for his acts of quiet, unostentatious charity, is firm and loyal in his friendship and self-reliant and positive in character. While he has already left his impress upon the time and locality in which he has lived and labored, there is every reason to suppose that the future has in store for him a wider fame and a still more honorable record.
THE NICOLL FAMILY.
The Nicoll family, of which De Lancey Nicoll, Esq., of Bayside, is the eldest male representative in Queens county, is of very ancient origin. Its coat of arms, the original of which is in the possession of Samuel Benjamin Nicoll, Esq., of Shelter Island, was issued to John Nicoll, of Buckingham, near Islip, in the county of Northampton, England, in the year 1601, and refers to a former John Nicoll, who died in the year 1467. The evidence concerning the fortunes of the English branch of the family is very scanty, nor is it possible to write with certainty of their position. The coat of arms, however, recites "that, whereas, anciently from the beginning it hath been a custome, in all countryes and commonwealthes well governed, that the bearing of certeyn markes in shields, comonly called armes, have byn and are used by persons ever of the best degree and calling, as the onlye demonstracons of their prowesse and valor in tymes of warre, as for their good life and conversacon in tymes of peace, amongst the which nomber for that I finde John Nicoll of Buckingham." This and certain other family records have led to the conclusion that the Nicolls of England belonged to the landed gentry, if not to the nobility. The family estate in Islip is supposed to have been confiscated at the time of the English Revolution. The ancestor of the American Nicolls was Matthias Nicoll, a lawyer of Lincoln’s Inn, who accompanied his sear relative General Sir Richard Nicoll to America in 1664. The Duke of York, afterward James the Second, having determined to send an expedition to America to wrest the important colony of New Amsterdam from the Dutch, selected Sir Richard Nicoll, who enjoyed his intimate friendship, to command it. Sir Richard took with him his young kinsman Matthias, and having successfully overcome the Dutch became the first English governor of the colony thereafter known as New York. Matthias became the first English colonial secretary. Sir Richard Nicoll soon tired of provincial life, and at his own request was recalled to England, where he died. Matthias, however, determined to remain. So satisfactorily to the Dutch citizens, who were inclined to fret at the English yoke, did he discharge the duties of secretary to the colony that he was elected by them to be the third mayor of the city of New York. His son William Nicoll married Miss Van Rensselaer of Albany, the daughter of the patroon, and received from the king a patent for a tract of land in Suffolk county, some twenty thousand acres in extent, which he settled and called Islip Grange, after the estate in Islip in North Hamptonshire, England. William Nicoll was a man of much distinction in the colony, and was the speaker of the first colonial Legislature. On his death the Islip estate, which was entailed, descended to his eldest son, Benjamin Nicoll. His youngest son, William- known as "the speaker"- devoted himself to public affairs and was elected speaker of the colonial Legislature eighteen consecutive years. He received by gift from his friends Nathaniel and Gyles Silvester a handsome estate of about four thousand acres on Shelter Island. It is a curious fact that the greater part of both the Islip and Shelter Island estates still remains in the Nicoll family. William "the speaker" was a bachelor, and left the Shelter Island property to his nephew William, the son of Benjamin, who had in the meantime inherited Islip from his father, and who thus became possessed of both estates. This William was a man of remarkable abilities and enjoyed a great reputation at the bar. To his eldest son William descended the estate at Islip, but during his lifetime he gave Shelter Island to his other son, Samuel Benjamin. The William last mentioned was succeeded by his son William, who was in turn succeeded by his son William, the father of the present William Nicoll of Islip. From Samuel Benjamin Shelter Island descended to his children, of whom there were eight. The second son, Samuel Benjamin, purchased the portions of his brothers and sisters and became the sole proprietor of the estate. On his death, in 1866, he left the property to his children- Samuel Benjamin, Charlotte Ann, William Courtland, Sarah Paine, Matthias and Anne. The Nicolls of Bayside represent both the Shelter Island and Islip branches of the family. Benjamin, the brother of "the speaker," had two sons. William, the eldest, as we have seen, inherited Islip from his father and acquired Shelter Island from his uncle the "speaker. Benjamin, the younger son, came to New York city, where he was educated at Kings (now Columbia) College, and married Mary Madalen, daughter of Edward Holland. His eldest son was Henry Nicoll, a merchant of much wealth, who purchased a large estate at Mastic, in Suffolk county. His eldest son, Edward Holland Nicoll, married Mary Townsend, of Albany. Like his father he engaged in mercantile life with success. His eldest son, Henry, was a lawyer of prominence in the city of New York and at one time a member of Congress; while his younger son, Solomon Townsend Nicoll, followed the footsteps of his father, and became a successful merchant. Solomon Townsend at the age of 38 married his third cousin Charlotte Ann Nicoll, of Shelter Island. In the year 1855 he purchased the present Nicoll estate at Bayside, designing it for a country seat. The mansion is beautifully situated in a grove of cedars on a high bluff, at the foot of which is Little Neck Bay. A long avenue of elms and maples, planted by the first proprietor but already grown to majestic size, makes the approach to the house resemble an English country seat. The children of Solomon T. Nicoll are: Annie Nicoll, who married William M. Hoes, an eminent member of the New York bar; De Lancey Nicoll, whose portrait is on page - ; Benjamin Nicoll, who married Grace Davison Lord, daughter of James Couper and granddaughter of the famous Daniel Lord; Edward Holland; and Mary Townsend, who married James Brown Lord, a brother of the wife of Benjamin; and Charlotte Nicoll. Both Benjamin and Edward Holland are merchants in New York city, the former an importer and member of the firm of Hall, Nicoll & Granbery, and the latter in the dry goods commission business. De Lancey, Benjamin Edward Holland are graduates of St. Paul’s School, Concord, N.H., and of Princeton College. De Lancey graduated with high honors in 1874, and was admitted to the bar in 1876, from Columbia College law school. Since that date he has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in New York city, residing, however, with his mother at the homestead at Bayside. The Nicoll family has intermarried with many of the old colonial families, including the Van Rensselaer, D Lancey, Woodhull, Floyd, Townsend, Lawrence, Haven, Holland, Saulsbury and Keteltas families. While no one member has attained any special distinction, the family in general has retained for two hundred years that prominent position which means and education always command. Almost all the male representative have been educated at one of the great American universities and have been members of the federal or the State Legislature, while many of the females have been distinguished for personal beauty and varied accomplishments. It is indeed an unusual circumstance in America to find a family, which, since the advent of its ancestor over two hundred years ago, has retained through all the changes and progressions of American life not only it integrity and traditions, but its property and landed estates, and its high social position.TOWN, VILLAGE AND CITY HISTORIES...Hempstead HISTORY of QUEENS COUNTY MAIN RETURN to QUEENS MAIN RETURN to BROOKLYN MAIN