HISTORY OF QUEENS COUNTY with illustrations, Portraits & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co.; 1882. pp. 193-257.
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THIS is the southwestern town in Queens county. It is bounded on the south by Rockaway Beach, a narrow neck of land belonging to Hempstead, which extends between the ocean and Jamaica Bay; on the west by the towns of Flatlands and New Lots, in Kings county; on the north by Newtown and Flushing, and on the east by Hempstead. It has an average length and breath of about seven and one- half miles, and includes a surface of about fifty- seven square miles. About one- third of the town, in the southwestern part, is covered by the waters of Jamaica Bay, which communicates with the ocean through Rockaway Inlet. Through its central portion this bay is thickly interspersed with low islands, which are separated from each other by narrow water passages. Between its northern boundary and the bay the town occupies a portion of the level part of the island south from what is known as the "backbone." The Indian inhabitants of the town previous to its settlement by the whites were the Canarsees and the Rockaways. The former claimed a portion which now, adjoins Kings county, and the latter were scattered over the southern part of the town of Hempstead, with a part of Jamaica and the whole of Newtown. The prevalent opinion concerning the origin of the name Jamaica has been that it was the designation of a few families of Indians who resided near the head of the bay, and that it was originally spelled Jameco, Jemeco, or, as it appears in the town records, Yemacah. It is always safe when the derivation of a name is uncertain, as in this case, to accept statements concerning it with many grains of allowance; for very slight resemblances are sometimes deemed sufficient to establish relationships between names. Dr. O’Callaghan derives Jamaica from Amick, or, as it was spelled by the French, Amique, the Indian word for beaver. The place was called by the Dutch Rusdorp, which means a country village, and this name was used in early conveyances of property; but after the colony was surrendered to the English, Jamaica soon came to be the only name used. Some of the first, settlers preferred the name Crawford. Census returns from. 1845, inclusive, give the population of the town as follows: 1845, 3,883; 1850, 4,247; 1855, 5,632; 1860, 6,515; 1865, 6,777; 1870, 7,745 1875, 8,983; 1880, 10,089.


It is not known who were the first actual settlers of the town, or when they came. It is known, however, that the first proprietors came from Hempstead, which was settled in 1644. The oldest known written document relating to the town is a deed from the Indians, of which the following is a copy: "Bee it known vnto all men by these presents that wee whose names are under written have sold & set over from our selves, our heires, executors, Administrators or Asigns vnto Mr. Richard Odell, Nicholas Tanner, Richard Ogden & Nathaniell Denton, their Associates, heirs, executors, administrators Assignes A Certain tract off land beginning at a great swamp lying on ye west side off Rockeway Neck Aand so running westward to a river lying on ye east side off a neck off land which Mr. Coe hath hired off ye indeans, wch river is called by ye indeans Waubheag; ye North line running Near vntoorabout ye path yt goes ifrom Hemstead (to?) Midlburroug, wt all ye uplands & meadowing within ye afforesd bounds, with all privileges & appurtenances thereunto belonging. In consideration whereoff the aforesd Mr. Richard Odell, Nicolas Tanner, Richard Ogden, Nathaniel Denton & their Associates shall give unto theese whose names are under written two guns, a coat And a certain quantity off powder & lead. In witness whereoff wee have subscribe our hands this 13th of September Ano Domini 1655." This deed is signed by Daniel Denton, and by Roger Linas, Casperonn, Adam or Achitterenose, Ruckquakek, Runnasuk, Aumerhas, Caumeuk, Manguaope and Waumetompack by their "marks." In 1656 the associated settlers petitioned the governor as follows: "To the Right Worshipfull Peter Stuyvesant, Esquire, Governor General of the N. Netherlands, with the Councell of State there established: "The humble petition of us subscribed sheweth that, where as wee have Twice already petitioned, soe are bold once againe to petition un to your worship & honourable Councell for a place to improve our Labours upon; for some of us are destitute of either habitation or possession, others Though inhabited yett finde that in the place where they are the cannot comfortably subsist by their Labours and endeavours. By which means they are necessitated to Lookout for a place where they may hope with Gods Blessing upon theyr Labours more comfortably to subsist. The place they desire & have alreadie petitioned for is called Conorasset, & Lies from a river which divideth it from Conarie see to the Bounds of heemstead, & may containe about twentie families. This place, upon incoeragement from your worship by our messenger that presented our petition sent the second tyme, wee have purchased from the Indians, & are not willing to Remove out of the jurisdiction itt wee may be tollerated to possesse our purchase; &, whereas we are desirous To settle our selves this spring, wee humbly crave that this place may bee confirmed unto us with as much expedition as may be soe. With Appreciation of all happiness to your worship and honored Councell wee humbly take our leave, who are your humble petioners." "Robert Jackson, Nicholas Tanner, Nathaniel Denton, Richard Event, Rodger Linas, Daniel Denton, John Eazar, Abraham Smith, Thomas Ireland, Thomas Cane, Edward Sprag, John Rhoades, Andrew Messenger, Samuel Matthews. "Hempstead, the 10th of March 1656." The following response to this petition has been translated from the Dutch records by E.B. O’Callaghan: "The Directors and Council, having seen the request of the petitioners, at present inhabitants of the town of Heemsteede and subjects of this province, do consent that the petitioners may begin a new town according to their plan in this respect, between the land called by us Canaresse and the town Heemsteede, on such freedoms, exemptions and special ground briefs as the inhabitants of N. Netherlands generally enjoy; as well in the possession of their lands as in the election of their magistrates, on the same footing and order as is customary in the towns of Middleborch, Breukelen, Midwout and Aamersfoort. Done at Fort Aamsterdam, in New Netherland, March 21st 1656.


In Jamaica, as in the other towns in the county, the title to the soil was vested in the people of the town by virtue of the foregoing grant from the governor and council and the deeds that were from time to time obtained from the Indians. The following memoranda, which appear in Lhe town records, show what disposition was at first made of these lands: "The town have given Mr. Robert Coe & and his son Benjamin Coe each of ym a home lot. "The town have Alsoe given Nicholas Tanner, Abraham Smith, John Eazar, Samuel Smith Morace Smith, & William Thorne each off ym a house lying upon ye west quarter. "The town have granted Andrew Messenger, Samuel Matthews, Thomas Wiggins, Richard Chasmore, Richard Harkert, Richard Everet, Henry Townsend, Richard Townsend, John Townsend and John Roades each off ye a house lot lying upon ye north quarter. "To Samuel Dein, Nath. Den ton, Geo. Mills, Rodger Linas, Dan’l Denton & Sam’l Andrews each a house lot on ye south quarter of ye town. The aforesay home lots are to be six acres in a Lot- 18 ffoot to ye pole, 12 pole in breadth, 8 in Length." "Novembr ye 25th 1856, Stylo novo.- These presents declareth yt wee whose names are vnderwriten, being true owners by vertue off purchase ffrom ye indians& graunt ffrom ye Governor & Councell given & granted ye 21st of March 1656, I say wee, who are ye true owners by vertue of purchase, & our Associates, our names being vnder written, living at ye New plantation near unto ye bever pond, Commonly Called Jemaica- I say wee, in Consideration off our charge & trouble in getting & setting off ye place, have reserved ffor our selves ye ffull & just sum off ten acres off planting Land a man besides ye home lotts in ye nearest & Convenientst place yt can be found; & soc likwise 20 acres off medowing a man, Convenientst place they can find; & yt shall Remain as theirs, their heirs’, executors’, or Assignes’, ffor their proper Right, every man taking his lot according to their ffrst Right to ye land. "witnesse our hands this day & date above written: Robert Coe, Nic: Tanner, Nat: Denton, And: Messenger, Daniell Denton, Abra: Smith, Rodger Linas, Samuel Mathews, John Eazar, Richard Everet, John Townsend, Hen: Townsend, Rich: Townsend, Ri: Harkert, Ri: Chasmore, George Mills, John Roades." "January ye 13th 1657.- It is this day granted by ye town that Mr. Robert Coe & his son Benjamen shall take vp, possesse & enjoy Ten acres off land a peece at ye rear off their home lots." "Feb. 27th 1658.- It is agreed upon by the town yt, according to a fformer order, yt ye ffirst proprietors and their associates shall have ten acres off planting Land a piece in ye most convenient place, wch they shall chuse so yt ye shall now yew & have there lots layd out according to ye sayd order. "Theese men following doe conclude to have their lots east ward: John Townsend, John Roades, Nathaniel Denton, Daniel Denton, Richard Everet, Richard Harkert, George Mills. "These men following take up yere ten- acre lots west ward: Nicolas Tanner, Andrew Messenger, Samuel Mathews, John Eazar, Richard Chasmore, Abraham Smith, Rodger Linas. "Richard Townsend & Nicolas Tanner are chosen to lay out the ten- acre lots & to have 2ds an acre ffor yere labour. "Henry Townsend, Richard Townsend and Daniell Denton have each of ym a ten- acre lot lung to ye northward off ye way yt goes to Hempstead, on ye side ye Rocky Hollow next adjoining to ye home lots upon ye north east quarter; Henry Townsend lung ye ffirst & next adjoining to ye northeast quarter, Daniell Denton’s ye next & Richard Townsend ye 3d & last off ye three. "These ten acre lots above speciffied are given and granted to ye Afforesayd men by ye town & layd out according to order." November 22nd 1658 a town meeting voted "that ye medow shall be layd out for the purchasers, 17 lots, 20 acres A lot. Richard Everet, Rodger Linas, Richard Hanker and John Eazar chosen to lay out ye medow & to have 3ds an acre ffor their labour." It appears from the record that not only was each man’s lot designated by vote at town meeting, but that subsequent transfers were supervised and regulated by the people. An entry made January 21st 1659 states that a man named Benjamin Hubbard had purchased a house lot without the approbation or knowledge of the town. He was required to give a pledge of good behavior as the condition on which he- might continue in the enjoyment of his purchase. The population of the town gradually increased, and lands were allotted to acceptable settlers. From the allotment of 1660 the following in addition to those already named are found to have been freeholders: John Baylis, George Woolsey sen., Joseph Smith, John, Event, John Carpenter, Samuel Dean sen., John Oldfield, Thomas Smith sen., Thomas Ward, Samuel Mills, John. Ludlum, John Wood, Nathaniel Denton jr., Thomas Oakley, Waite Smith, Nehemiah Smith, Samuel Davis, Fulke Davis, Abel Gail, Nathaniel Mills, Alexander Smith, Caleb Carman, Samuel Matthews, Henry Foster, Jonas Holstead, William Ruscoe, Samuel Barker, John Speagler, Samuel Messenger, Nicholas Event, Samuel Smith, Joseph Thurston, Edward Higbie, Bryant Newton, John Rowlifson, Thomas Wellin, Robert Ashman, John Lynas and Morris Smith. It must be remembered that at this period, though nominally subject to the Dutch provincial government, the town was practically an independent republic and commonwealth. The legislative, executive, and judicial functions were combined in the people assembled in town meeting; and matters both of general and special interest were there discussed and determined. One can hardly repress a smile as he glances over the records of their proceedings at these town meetings; but when the circumstances by which they were surrounded are considered, and when it is remembered that two and a quarter centuries have gone by since these records were made, the conviction will be inevitable that their affairs were managed wisely. A more ample charter or patent was granted by Governor Stuyvesant in 1660 to the town, which was named in it Rusdorp. Jealousy of power that did not emanate from him was a characteristic weakness of this governor, and under the promptings of this feeling he was occasionally guilty of arbitrary acts, as well toward the people of this town as of others within his jurisdiction. At almost every town meeting during two centuries action was taken concerning the common lands of the town. At first, as shown by the foregoing extracts, these lands were divided among the original settlers, and other portions were afterward allotted to such immigrants as were acceptable to these. As the town became more and more populous of course the common lands became less. Within a comparatively recent period the town has taken measures to dispose of these lands, and sales have been effected. A sale was made of the common lands known as Little Plains in 1843; and in 1854 Beaver Pond, which was the last of the public lands owned by the town, was sold in small parcels. Lands were purchased from the Indians at various times, usually for trifling considerations. In 1662 the town voted to the Indians a trooper’s coat and a kettle; and their sachems signed the following release: "Wee whose names are vnderwritten doe by these presents acknowledge ourselves satisfied for the 8 bottles of licker yt was promised vs by the town off Rustdorp & ffor all rights & claims whatsoever ffor any land yt wee have fformerly sold to ye town off Rustdorp. Witness our hands this fiveteenth off Aprill one thousand six hundred sixty and two." This was signed (with their "marks ") by Waumitampack, Rockause and Ramasowie, before Daniel Denton, and the following note was appended: "The 8 bottles of lickrs was insted of a ketle wch ye indeans was to have had." This deed of confirmation was executed in 1663: "Know all men whom it may Concern That I, Waumitumpack, Sachem off Rockeway, having fformerly sold to ye inhabitants off Crafford, Alias Jemaica, a tract off land bounded eastward by a great swamp or River which is ye west bounds off Rockeway neck, I say which makes Rockey a neck on ye west side, & so to run betwixt ye great plains & ye little plains to ye hills, as appears by ye markt trees, I say I, Waumitumpak afores’d, doe ffor my self, my heires or any others that may lay any claime thereunto, Ratiffie & Conffirme my fformer sale made to ye inhabitants off Crafford aforesd in ye year off our lord 1655, by laying out ye bounds off sd sale by markt trees as above, running nortward to the hills betwixt ye sd playnes. In witness wherevnto I, wt 2 others off Rockeway, set our hands ye 7th of March 1663." The two others were Rockause and Nannowat, and the deed was subscribed before Daniel Denton and "Thomas Bennydick." In 1674 the town "voted to be paid to the Indians" for what was termed the west purchase "one trooper’s coat, five guns, three blankets, sixteen coats, nine kettles, ten pounds of powder, ten bars of lead, one coat in liquors, thirty fathoms of wampum, and a quart more of liquor." In 1686 a new patent to the town was issued by Governor Dongan. This patent set forth that, in accordance with a previous agreement, the town of Jamaica should make no claim to Rockaway Neck, and that by "Rockaway River" should be understood "the river that runs out of Rockaway Swamp, and to be Jamica’s eastbounds;" and that the meadows on the west thereof should belong to Jamaica. The persons named as patentees, in behalf of themselves and their associates, were Nicholas Event, Nathaniel Denton, Nehemiah Smith, Daniel Denton sen., John Oldfield, William Creed, Bryant Newton, Benjamin Coe, Jonas Wood, William Fforster, John Event, Edward Higbie, Daniel Whitehead, John Carpenter, John Freeman, Samuel Smith, Richard Rhodes, Joseph Smith, George Woolsey, John Bayles, Thomas Smith sen. Wait Smith. In 1665 a patent, confirming such lands as had been purchased, was granted by Governor Nicoll to Daniel Denton, Robert Coe, Bryant Newton, William Hallett, Andrew Messenger, Anthony Waters and Nathaniel Denton; in which the bounds of the town were set forth. A rate made in 1708 included 190 names of taxable inhabitants in the town. The last record of quit rent paid by the town was for the five years from 1721 to 1725 inclusive. A receipt was given to the town of Jamaica for £s 135. 4d. by Archibald Kennedy.


The following is a copy of the record of proceedings at the first town meeting. The apparent discrepancy in the date of this meeting and of the permit to organize the town is accounted for by the confusion between old and new styles. Previous to 1652 the year commenced on the 25th of March, and after the adoption of the new style, which made the first of January the commencment of the year, some adhered to the old style in reckoning. "A town meeting held at ye town ye 18th day off Feb. 1656. "Daniel! Denton to write and enter all acts & order off publick concernment to ye town, & is to have a daie work a man for ye sayd employment. "It is voted & concluded by ye town yt whosoever shall ffell any trees in ye highways shall take- both top & body out of ye highway. "It is ffurther voted & agreed upon by ye town y whosoever shall kill a wolff within ye bounds of ye town shall have ffifteen shillings a wolff. "Likewise it is agreed upon by ye town yt whereas they have ye Litle plains by purchase & patent wtt if their limits, to maintain their right & privilege in ye sayd place ffrom any such, as shall goe to deprive ym off it, & so to make vse of it as they shall see cause." The following extracts from the records of the town are introduced to show the manner in which public business was transacted at that early period. These records have been carefully bound and preserved in an unbroken series from 1656 to the present time. "____ 30th 1658.- It is ys day voted ordered & agreed upon by this town off Rustdorp that no person or persons whatsoever whithin this town shall sell or give directly or indirectly to any indian or indians whatsoever within or about ye sayd town Any strong licker or strong drink whatsoever or off what sort soever, either much or litle, more or lesse, upon the fforfiture ffiffty Guilders ffor every offence." "January ye 21st 1659.- The town have hired 2 bulls for ye ensuing year, one off Richard Chasmore & another off Benjamin Coe, & are to give ym Twentie shillings of peece." "March ye 25th 1659.- It is concluded by ye town yt as formerly so ye ensuing year they shall mow by squadrons. Lots drawn: John Townsend and his squadron at ye east Neck, Mr. Coe and his squadron at ye Long Necke, Nicolas Tanner’s squadron at ye old house’s necke, Nathaniel Denton & his squadron at ye Haw trees." "It is ordered ye 15th off January 1661 yt A rate shall be made ffor ye wolves, one off Abraham’s killing, 2 off ym ytt John Towsend pit cacht; & one bull hired; 20 shillings; and 30 shillings ffor ye clark; ye whole is 4 pounds 15s. John Townsend and Thomos Ffoster chosen to gather ye rate." "April ye 30th 1661.- The town have agreed to hire a cowe- keeper jointly together to keep all ye town cowes & calves for this year." "April ye last.- The town doe by these presents promise & engage to pay vnto Wm. Coe, off Rustdorp, the sum of eleven pounds seventeen shillings, to be payd in good passable wampum, sixe months from ye date hereoff. This money above speciffied is payd to Mr. Coe off ye money Nicholas Tanner lent ye town. "Written by order -from ye town, by Daniel Denton, clark." January ye 30th 1662.- The town doe promis to give Abraham Smith 305 ffor beating ye drum a year." "March ye 6th 1662.- It is voted by ye town yt John Baylie, Nathaniel Denton & Thomas Ffoster shall act and order all matters off publick concernment ffor ye town, unlesse disposing off lands & taking in off habitants, during ye term off one year. March ye 13th 1662.- It is ordered and Aagreed by ye Town yt John Baylie shall keep an ordinary in ye Town of Rustdorp ffor entertaining of strangers & allsoe to sell drink, and that no man shall have liberty to sell drink, whether bear or likers or any sorts ,of wine, wt in this town onely ye ordinary keeper afforesayd; & yt he shall fforthwith set upon ye work to provide for strangers &to give entertainment to such strangers as shall come at present "It is ffurther voted & agreed by ye town that Richard Britnell shall bee Marchall ffor ye year: It is ffurther ordered by ye town to build a house ffor ye minister, off 36 ffoot long." "November ye 15th 1662.- It is voted, concluded & agreed upon by ye town yt ye neck on ye west side off ye haw trees, with ye upland lung to the hills above it, bee bought off ye indeans. "The town have voted & concluded yt, whereas Mr. Waters have given ym intelligence off a man yt is a tanner yt would, have a lot amongst vs and svch accommodations as may sute his calling ffor to ffollow his trade, the town are willing to accomadate him as well as they can." "January ye 29th 1663.- It is voted by ye town yt John shall be marshall ffor this ensuing year, & to have ye ffees belonging to ye place ffor his labour. Aand if any man shall deride him in respect off his place or cast any aspersion upon him hee shall be liable to ye censure off ye court. "It is voted by ye ttown yt Abraham Smith shall have thirty shillings a year ffor beating ye Drum vpon sabbath daies and other publike meetings daies, & to have his pay in tobacco pay; or wheat at 6s. 8d. & indean at 4s." In 1663 "all cattle, colts or hoggs" less than one year old were exempted from rates, and it was ordered that failure to "give in" ratable cattle should be punished by forfeiture of these cattle to the town. All business relating to public worship, such as the procuring of a minister, providing a house for him, regulating his salary, and fixing the value of the produce in which it was paid, was -transacted at town meetings. Men were appointed from time to time to look after his temporal wants, and in 1663 it was "voted yt all ye inhabitants off this our town shall pay towards ye maintenance of ye ministry according to what ye possesse." At different town meetings in 1663 regulations were adopted concerning animals, especially swine, that ran at large. Such "as doe damage by coming into ye corn fields" were to be sufficiently yoked, and "such hoggs as lie about town, though ye have done no damage at present, shall be kept vp every night." Fences were to be repaired, under the penalty of 12d. per rod for neglect. It was afterward voted "yt every hog shall pay ffive shillings yt shall be cacht in ye ffields wt out a yoke, whether hog or sow or shoat;" and proportionate penalties were imposed on horses and oxen found tresspassing "in ye corn ffields." In December 1663 John Bayles and Daniel Denton were appointed "ffor ye ending off differences betwixt man and man according to ye laws of England, in place of magistrates." Francis Finch was chosen constable and Goodman Benedick "Livtenant off town." it was also "concluded yt John Baylies, liefftenant Benedik & Daniel Denton shall meet ye deputies off ye severall towns to agitate wt ym or act About such things as may bee ffor ye generall good off ye towns." A disposition was evinced by these acts to act in concert with other towns in emancipating themselves from Dutch rule. Five townsmen were chosen to order affairs for the town, except disposing of lands. These men made orders which were confirmed in a subsequent town meeting, compelling people, under penalties, to keep sufficient ladders, and sweep their chimneys. A commission was appointed in January 1664 to "byy a peece of land of ye indeans, over ye hill on ye north side of ye hills about a mile in breadth or thereabouts;" another committee was appointed to report this purchase to the governor for his approval, and still another "to gather ye rate made ffor ye purchase of ye hills." In 1665 a commission was- appointed to defend the town against a complaint, of Flushing, and to request of the governor that the several deeds from the Indians be recorded. Probably the controversy with Flushing related to boundaries. The town directed Richard Everit to visit the sachem Waumitampak and induce him to appear before the general court and verify the several purchases that had been made, and for this to promise him a new coat. In 1679 a resolution was adopted to send for the Indians "to make our east bounds according to our former purchases." Questions as to boundaries often arose between this and the neighboring towns of Flushing and Hempstead, and commissioners were appointed to settle these questions. In 1681 the constables of Jamaica and Flushing, each accompained by citizens of his town, met "to agetate determin marke out and conclude of division boundes to be and remaine betweene the land of Flushing and the land of Jamaica from time to time and to the end of time," and such line was recorded. In 1670 fifty- two freeholders or proprietors were recorded as residents of the town. Nothing which appears in the records indicates that the revolution of 1664 affected the management of town matters. The extracts and statements that have been made show what the general plan of management was at that early time. The first recorded road in this town was laid out in 1727 by Jonathan Whitehead, Gabriel Luff and Richard Betts, commissioners. This road is described as being two rods in breadth, and running "through the land of Thomas Whitehead in Jamaica, beginning at the northwest corner of Abraham Montonya’s green, so running westwardly over the said Whitehead’s land to a certain white oak tree standing near the mill pond, with a bulge on the south side near the root; and the said road to be on the north side of the said boundaries; and from the said white oak tree running southwardly along the said mill pond as near the said pond as to leave a sufficient road as aforesaid; and from thence to a certain place where the people passeth over the brook below the mill now in the, possession of Saml. Skidmore; then westwardly over the brook to the house of said Skidmore." Several other roads were established within a few years, but the descriptions of them were quite as indefinite as this. At a town meeting in 1786 it was "voted that no hogs shall run at large in this town, and if catched at any time in any inclosure shall be liable to be pounded, and the owner or owners of such hogs to pay the damage." In 1787 it was enacted "that Abraham Ditmars and Benjamin Everitt Esqs. be appointed to bind out the poor children as apprentices, and to compel such persons to work as have no visible means of gaining a livelihood." In 1797 William Ludlum, Abraham Ditmars and Benjamin Everitt were ordered to set up a "cage" in the town, at such a place as they should determine; and the expense was directed to be paid by the overseers of the poor. In 1808 Abiathar Rhodes was directed to provide "a stocks " for the town, and the sum of thirty dollars was voted to defray the expense thereof. The first recorded division of the roads in the town into districts was made in 1830, by George Johnson, Michael Skidmore and Abraham Hendrickson. Ten districts were then established. In 1859 the road districts were revised and fourteen were established. The following appears in the record for 1846: "At a special town meeting, held May i9th 1846 at the house of Rem. J. Snedeker, in- the village of Jamaica, county of Queens, State of New York, pursuant to an act passed May 14th 1845 and February 16th 1846, to ballot for license or no license; in which was 316 votes polled for license, and 204 votes for no license. Majority was one hundred and four in favor of license."


In Jamaica, as in other portions of Queens county, the tory feeling was dominant during the Revolutionary struggle. This feeling was held in check, and efforts were made to smother it, during the latter part of 1775 and the first half of 1776, but after the battle of Long Island and the re- establishment of British authority there existed scarcely an obstacle to its exercise. A company of "minute men for the defense of American liberty," consisting of fifty- six, was formed in this town. Of this company John Skidmore was captain, Jacob Wright first lieutenant, Nicholas Everitt second lieutenant, and Ephraim Marsten ensign. Their uniform dress was a, linen frock reaching below the knee, with a fringe around the neck and arms, and a white feather in the hat. Early in 1776 a company of forty was formed, of which Ephraim Bayles was captain, Increase Carpenter first lieutenant, Abraham Van Osdoll second lieutenant, and Othniel Smith ensign. It will be remembered that an effort had been made to disarm the tories on this end of the island, and when, for disobeying Captain Bayles’s order to appear in arms, the cattle and effects of some of these were seized and sold they petitioned the Provincial Congress for relief, alleging that they had been disarmed, and could not therefore obey the order to appear in arms. Their sincerity was doubted. The Harford Courant for April 25th 1776 contained the following: "Last Saturday the James pilot boat, one of the piratical tenders that infest this coast, came into Rockaway Inlet for plunder, but got aground. A party of American troops, receiving information, of it, marched with two field pieces to attack her, but on the appearance of our men her hands took the long boat and fled. Our men took possession, and found four wooden gun mounted; got her off and brought her into safe harbor. In April 1776 the town committee, which had ceased to act, was revived, and the chairman, Captain Bayles gave notice of the fact, at the same time warning all people of the town that acts in disaccord with, the resolutions of the Continental Congress would not be tolerated. In May this committee resolved that no person should be permitted to move into the town without bringing a certificate of his faithfulness to the cause of American freedom, and that suspicious persons passing through should be arrested and examined. A mar named John Livingstone, a furloughed soldier, was arrested by the committee, and on refusing to answer their interrogatories sent to New York. For this contumacy he was imprisoned. It has been stated elsewhere that a partially successful attempt was made to disarm the tories in Queens county, and that they were promptly supplied with arms from the "Asia" man- of- war. Captain Benjamin Whitehead, Charles Ardin, Joseph French and Johannes Polhemus, who had been thus supplied, were summoned before the Provincial Congress to "give satisfaction" concerning themselves. In July William Ludlum jr. was made captain of the Jamaica minute men, and Thomas Denton was chosen lieutenant in one of the companies of the first regiment in Queens county. An account of the capture and death of General Woodhull has been given on page 41. Of events in Jamaica succeeding the battle of Long Island the following account is taken from Onderdonk’s Revolutionary Incidents of Queens county: "The day after Woodhull’s capture Elias Bayles, chairman of the Jamaica committee, was walking over to Nicholas Smith’s, at the one- mile mill, to hear the news, when he was arrested by a neighbor, who wished to do something to ingratiate himself with the British. "When the venerable man, blind as he was, was brought before the British officer at Jamaica, he exclaimed in surprise, ‘Why do you bring this man here? He’s blind; he can do no harm.’ The unfeeling wretch who had informed against him replied, ‘He’s blind, but he can talk.’ Bayles did not attempt to conciliate the officer, but unfortunately dropped a few words in vindication of the American cause. This was enough. He was shut up in the Presbyterian church that night, and the next day carried to the prison at New Utrecht. He was subsequently removed to the provost in New York. He was an elder in the Presbyterian church and stood high in the community. He was visited in prison by his wife and daughter. After a confinement of about two months, at the intercession of friends, he was released, but barely in time to breathe his last without a prison’s walls. He died in crossing the ferry with his daughter, and his mortal remains now repose without a stone to mark the spot or commemorate his worth. The heartless wretch who arrested him fled on the return of peace, to Nova Scotia, dreading the vengeance of his fellow citizens; after a two years exile he ventured to return, but looked so poor and forlorn that he was never molested. "Daniel Duryee (afterward assemblyman), Wm. Furman, Wm. Creed, and two others were put in one pew in New Utrecht church. Bayles wanted them to get the Bible out of the pulpit and read to him. They feared to do it, but led the blind man to the pulpit steps. As he returned with it a British guard met him, beat him violently, and took away the book. They were three weeks at New Utrecht, and then marched down to the prison ship. "As fast as the Whigs were seized they were put in the Presbyterian church till a sufficient number were collected to send under guard to the prison ship. It is said that when these unfortunate prisoners, embracing, as they did, some of our worthiest and most aged citizens, were drawn up and ready to march, a crowd of spectators assembled to witness their departure, attracted, some by sympathy, others gazing with a fiendish smile on the Whigs in this their hour of retribution. One aged Whig, named Smith, appealed to a loyalist to intercede for him. The cold reply was, ‘Ah, John, you’ve been a great rebel.’ Directly the old man’s searching eye detected a more benevolent look in the face of another loyalist. McEvers, this is hard for an old man like me, to go to prison; can’t you do something for me?’ ‘What have you been doing, John?’ ‘Why, I’ve had opinions of my own.’ ‘Well, I’ll see what I can do for you.’ McEvers then went to the officer, and made such a representation that Smith was immediately released. "John Thurston was put in prison and had his health ruined. Abraham Ditmars, Robart Hinchman, David Lamberson (and who can tell how many more?) were carried off to prison. "Rev. Abraham Keteltas crossed to the main; J.J. Skidmore went up the North River, and returned at the peace, his wife dying in the meantime. Increase Carpenter was commissary to the army." During the time of the occupation of Long Island by the British, which extended from August 1776 to the close of the Revolution, many incidents of local historical interest occurred in Jamaica, of which a lack of space prevents the record of more than a few here. Others will be found in the history of Jamaica village. A town meeting was held November 24th 1777 to concert measures "for providing firewood and other necessary articles consisting with the article of billeting, the king’s troops, now quartered in Jamaica, for the use of the hospital and guard- house in the said town." All persons having soldiers billeted on them were exempted from furnishing any such necessaries. "John Polhemus for the western district, John Lamberson for Springfield, John Doughty and Jacamiah Valentine for the eastern district and Dow Ditmars for the southern district "were appointed trustees to provide for wood, and Edward Willetts was appointed to inspect the wood and give receipts.


Jamaica Bay, as before stated, is thickly interspersed with islands through its central portion from east to west. A part of these islands are simply sand bars that are completely submerged at high tide, a portion are overflowed by the highest tides only, and a few are composed of dry land that the tide never overflows. The sand bars are of course destitute of vegetation, and those which are at times overflowed produce a coarse grass called sedge, while a few of the higher are arable. The bay is navigable through Broad and Beach channels, for vessels drawing six or eight feet, and through many of the other channels and in its northern portion at high tide by vessels of a lighter draft. It is crossed, near its middle, by the New York, Woodhaven, and Rockaway Railroad, which is built on piles across it, and has draw- bridges over three of the principal channels. This bay has always been a place of resort for procuring clams, crabs, and oysters. The first recorded action by the town prohibiting the indiscriminate taking of these shellfish was taken in 1763. In July of that year the following notice was given: "Whereas divers persons, without any right or license so to do, have of late, with stoops, boats and other craft, presumed to come into Jamaica Bay and taken, destroyed and carried away quantities of clams, mussels and other fish, to the great damage of said town, this is to give warning to all persons who have no right or liberty that they do forbear to commit any such trespass in the bay for the future; otherwise they will be prosecuted at law for the same by Thomas Cornell Jr. and Waters Smith. By order of the town." The following is found in the colonial manuscripts: "May 31 1704 Tunis Johnson, Derick Johnson Amber-man and Derick Longstreet, fishermen, of Flatlands, were brought prisoners to Jamaica for trespassing in Jamaica Bay by fishing with nets without consent of the freeholders. They were let off on their giving a bond for £100 not to do so again. But in May 1707 Governor Cornbury ordered them to attend him at Rockaway Beach, with their boats and nets, and bid them, when there, to fish and draw their net. After Cornbury was out of office (May 1709) the people of Jamaica sued the fishermen for the penalty of their bond which they had forfeited. The prisoners petition for a release from their bond." In 1791 it was "voted that all persons be precluded from coming with boats and pettiaugers in the bay of this town for the purpose of getting clams or oysters without paying to the commissioners authorized to receive the same the sum of one shilling for every thousand so taken as aforesaid, on pain of paying 40s. for each offence." This regulation was re- enacted several times in subsequent years. At the same town meeting it was "voted that no person or persons other than inhabitants of the township and paying taxes within the same presume to cut any sedge on the marshes in the bay of this township, on the penalty of 40s. for each offence." In 1863 the trustees of the town, for a consideration of six cents, granted to D.H. Waters "the privilege of planting oysters under the waters of Jamaica Bay to the extent of one hundred square yards, under said waters known as Hell Gate Marsh." At the annual town meeting in 1869 the exclusion of non- residents from the fisheries in the bay was recommended, and at the town meeting in 1871 the trustees were instructed to remove all stakes or other obstructions illegally standing in the waters of the bay, or in the marshes thereof. In 1871 an act was passed by the Legislature authorizing the board of auditors to lease to actual residents of the town, on certain prescribed conditions, portions of land under the waters of the bay for planting oysters, and prescribing penalties for any trespass on lands so leased. In 1875 a vote on the question of these leases was taken by ballot, resulting as follows: "For granting exclusive privileges in the waters of Jamaica, 167: against the same, 808." Notwithstanding this emphatic protest of the people lessees are still in the enjoyment of the rights they acquired under the law. The following appeared in the New York Mercury of January 27th 1754: "Last Monday morning, the weather being uncommonly pleasant and warm, many people were induced to go into Jamaica Bay for oysters, clams, etc.; but about noon such a severe gale of wind arose from the northwest, with a sudden change from warm to cold, as was scarce ever known here, when all the small craft put off to gain the shore in the best manner they could. A number of canoes and pettyaugers came on shore at a point of meadow south of Jamaica, and, with the utmost difficulty, the people belonging to them traveled up to a house two miles from the place of landing. All got safe to the house, though much benumbed and several speechless, except Daniel Smith, a young man, who perished on the meadows half a mile from the house, his companions not being able to help him any further, having dragged him a mile after he lost the use of his feet. The same day the crews of two canoes in Jamaica Bay, consisting of eighty people, from Newtown, not returning at night were sought for next day, but the ice being so thick it was impracticable to go far in quest of them until Friday, when one canoe was found driven on an island of sedge, in which were found the bodies of Samuel Leveridge, Amos Roberts, William Salier and Thomas Morrel, alias Salier- all frozen to death; the steersman sitting in an erect posture at the helm. The three former were married men, leaving distressed families behind them. Today another canoe was seen but could not be come at by reason of the ice, in which, it is supposed, are the other four missing persons- one white man servant and three valuable negroes."


Slavery prevailed in Jamaica, as well as in other towns on Long Island, down to the time of its abolition by the several enactments of the Legislature. Here, however, as in the other towns, it had not the opprobrious features that characterized it in other countries, and in other regions of this country. As penalties for crimes corporal punishments were inflicted on slaves, but it must be remembered that freemen were also subjected to these penalties, for the pillory, the stocks, the whipping post and the branding iron were approved institutions in those days. The following paragraphs and advertisements, among others, have been collected by Mr. Onderdonk and recorded in his "Queens County, in Olden Time." In 1672 Andrus, a negro slave of Captain Wm. Lawrence, was whipped 39 stripes, and branded on the forehead with a hot iron, for theft and larceny of some linen etc., at Jamaica. "A mulatto fellow, Isaac, aged 24," was advertised July 3d 1749, as having run away from John Betts, of Jamaica. August 20th 1764 was advertised a negro man, "who speaks broken English," taken up. In 1766 a negro man, Mink, was advertised by John Polhemus; and another-- Primus- by John Combes; both runaways, from Jamaica. In 1775 a. report was circulated in Jamaica of a conspiracy among the negroes to destroy the whites, and several were arrested; but the report proved to be false. In October of the same year an advertisement appears for the sale of some real estate at Old Neck, on which is a grist- mill etc.; also a fine healthy Negro boy ten years old. In 1781 Ray & Fitzsimmons advertised an absconding "negro, Hercules, apt to stutter on surprise; and a wench, young and lusty, with three scars on each cheek, from the southward." In 1784 Rev. John Bowden, of Jamaica, "offers a, reasonable reward and charges for his negro boy Bill, who ran away," etc. The Long Island Farmer of December 5th 1822 stated: "In and about Jamaica are great numbers of colored people growing up in ignorance of the Bible and everything that belongs to civilization, and who have nowhere to look for instruction but to the Sabbath- schools. The teachers, having obtained permission, have opened a school for them in the Presbyterian, church, and have already gathered in about fifty." In the year 1814, and several years immediately following, many certificates of manumission of slaves by their owners were recorded. These were preceded by certificates of the overseers of the poor that the slaves manumitted were less than forty- five years of age, and capable of providing for themselves.


According to the census returns of 1880 the colored population of Jamaica is 324, most of whom reside in the village. Some of these are descendants of those who were slaves here before the "peculiar institution" was abolished in the State of New York. The first known record concerning a school in Jamaica was made between January and March 1676, as follows: "ye constable & oversers have & doe give libberty unto Richard Jones to make use of ye meting house for to teach scoule in for ye yere ensuing, provided he keep ye windowes from breaking and keep it deasent & clean one Saturday nights against ye Lords day & seats to be placed in order:- excepting what times ye constable and oversers shall have o’cation to make use of it; then they to have it at their disposal by order of ye constable and oversers." Without doubt this "scoule," if Mr. Jones gave much attention to orthography, met an obvious want among the inhabitants of the town at that time. It is a well known fact that, as a rule, wherever New Englanders or their descendants settled the school- house as well as the church quickly made its appearance; and this town was not an exception to this rule, though the histories of the early schools here are lost. The records for 1726 include this entry, which, it must be admitted, does not give evidence of astonishing progress: "Jamaica May the forth 1726.- At a town meeting held at Jamaica at the time aforesaid it was voted ye majority of the freeholders then & there assembled voted that Mr. Pier (Poyer) Mr. Cross Just Betts Just Messinger Just Smith & Clerk Smith are appointed and chosen to see what people are willing to agree to doe or subscribe toward ye incorrigement of a free scoule in ye town "entered by me nehem Smith clerk" Under the common school system which was established in 1812 the town in 1813 voted to "receive their quota of the school fund for the appropriation of common schools of this State, and that the sum of $125 be raised for said fund." In that year Benjamin Wright, Jeremiah Skidmore, and David Lamberson jr. were elected school commissioners; and Daniel Smith, John Ludlum, Johannes S. Lott, Jacob Bergen, Abraham Hendrickson, and John J. Messenger inspectors. The town was divided by the commisioners into seven school districts. The following resolution, adopted the next year, illustrates the conservative spirit which renders people cautious in adopting what they regard as innovations: "Voted that the town do not receive their quota of money from this State as regards common schools, and agreed that the town give the money to the poor that was raised ‘as the quota for common schools." In 1844 Henry Onderdonk jr. was elected the first town superintendent of common schools under the law creating that office. There are now seven school districts in the town outside of the village of Jamaica, and in these tasteful and convenient school- houses have replaced the ruder structures of former times. In the schools taught in these houses two and in some instances three teachers are employed; and as far as practicable they are graded. From "reading, writing and ciphering" the curriculum of study has come to embrace many of the higher branches, and a good education is thus placed within the reach of all, whether of indigent or wealthy parentage.


At first the people of the town determined what officers to elect; and prescribed the duties of those officers. No machinery of local government had then been devised for them, and from time to time, when assembled in town meeting, they chose such officers, and invested them with such functions, as circumstances seemed to require. At the first town meeting, in 1656, Daniel Denton was chosen "Clark." He served about ten years, and was followed by Samuel Ruscoe, Nathaniel Denton, John. Skidmore, Samuel Ruscoe; Benjamin Coe, and Zachariah Mills; each of whom served served several years during the first half century after the settlement of the town. In 1659 Mr. Coe, Richard Everet, Samuel Mathews, and Luke Watson were recommended to the governor for appointment as magistrates. For the same office Robert Coe, John Baylie, Benjamin Coe, and Daniel Denton were ‘recommended in 1662; John Baylie and Daniel Denton in 1663, and Robert Coe in 1664. In 1662 Richard Brittnell and Richard Darling were chosen marshals. In 1663 William Foster and Daniel Denton were elected overseers of the poor, Francis Finch constable Goodman Benedick lieutenant of the town. Subsequent elections resulted as follows: 1664- William Waters, William Foster, Luke Watson, Abraham Smith, and Joseph Smith, townsmen; 1665- Henry Whitney, Benjamin Coe, Thomas Smith, Joseph Thurston and Samuel Mathews, townsmen; 1666- Samuel Smith, constable; 1670-- John Carpenter and Nehemiah Smith, overseers of the poor’s stock; 1675- Samuel Smith, constable; 1679- Daniel Whythead and Nicholas Event, overseers; 1681- Henry Foster and George Woolsey, overseers; 1682- Nicholas Event, constable, Samuel Smith and Nathaniel Denton, overseers; 1684- Daniel Denton, Joseph Smith and Nicholas Event, commissioners; 1686- Thomas Smith, constable; Capt. Carpenter, Nehemiah Smith and Daniel Denton sen., commissioners. The first record of the choice of a supervisor in Jamaica was made in April 1696, when William Creed was chosen; and it appears he was re-elected in 1697 "to meet and consult with those from the other towns;" from which it is reasonable to infer that the functions of the office then and now were, at least, similar. It does not appear who were chosen subsequent to 1697, till 1703, when William Creed was again elected. In the following list of supervisors each was annually re-elected until his successor was chosen; Nathaniel Denton, 1704; Zachariah Mills, 1705; Jonathan Whitehead, 1710; Joseph Smith (clerk of the peace), 1712; Daniel Bull, 1719; John Everit, 1722; Clerk Smith, or Joseph Smith, 1728; Samuel Higbe, 1729; capt. Benjamin Whitehead, 1777; Abraham Ditmars, 1776; Capt. Benjamin Whitehea.4, 1777; Samuel Doughty, 1781; Nicholas Event (in December), 1783; John J Skidmore, 1786; William Ludlum, 1799; Isaac Hendrickson, 1809; James Foster, 1815; John S. Messenger, 1817; Daniel Smith, 1820; John D. Ditmars, 1823; Daniel Smith, 1827; Silas Roe, 1829; George Johnson, 1831; John C. Smith, 1832; George Johnson, 1833; John C. Smith, 1834; John S. Lott, 1840; Martin I. Duryea, 1852; John B. Smith, 1866; James Nostrand,1868; John H. Brinkerhoff, 1874. After the conclusion of peace, in 1783, by an act of the Legislature town meetings were held in December in all the towns for the election of town officers under the new regime. It is worthy of note that at the town meeting in April 1772 Joseph Prue was chosen "whipper."


About 1850 the Nassau Water Works Company, which supplies the city of Brooklyn with water, purchased the water rights of One- Mile, Baisley’s, and Simmons’s mills and paid damages for diverting the water from Cornell’s and Conselyea’s. The water thus procured was turned into a brick conduit, ten feet in diameter, with a fall of six inches per mile and a capacity of 40,000,000 gallons daily. Baisley’s Pond was excavated, and, when full, gave a water surface of forty acres, the stream delivering 33,000,000 gallons per day. Simmons’s Pond was also cleaned out, and afforded a water surface of 8 ¾ acres and a daily supply of 2,000,000 gallons. The works have been extended to Rockville Centre, in Hempstead. In 1880 the water right was purchased from Frederick Loerz, a well fifty feet in diameter was sunk to a depth fifteen feet lower than the bottom of the pond, the water from the stream and pond was turned into it, and thence pumped into the main, conduit, giving an additional daily supply of 300,000 gallons. These streams were originally well supplied with brook trout, but on the completion of the water works pickerel and perch were introduced, which in a few years exterminated the trout.


At an early day encouragement was given to such settlers as proposed to establish manufactories or mills. It is recorded in 1663 that John Ouldfield, a. tanner, was voted a home lot, and twenty acres of meadow, "at ye neck beyond yehaw trees," as an encouragement to settle and pursue his calling in the town. An obligation which he afterward executed, is recorded, wherein ht pledged himself to follow his trade "as afforesayd and to make such lether as will passe under ye seal." In 1869 a lot was offered to Mr. Hubbard of Graves to encourage him in establishing a mill in the town; and in 1670 the town stipulated to build a dam for a mill to be established by Benjamin Coe, who was "to grind ye tound’s come before strangers’," the people to bring it on such days as he should designate. At another meeting permission was given to Mr. Coe "to set up a grist- mill upon the river betweene Seller Neck and Plunden Neck." An agreement in accordance with the above stipulations was entered into by Mr. Coe, and the town afterward consented to the sale of this mill to a Mr. Jacobson. In 1675 an agreement was made with Joseph Carpenter and Caleb Carman to build a gristmill and saw- mill "where the old mill stoode" Concerning the grist- mill they were to perform the same covenant that Benjamin Coe had made. They were to be permitted to use timber from the common lands of the town, "except clapboard and rayle trees under eighteen inches." They were to saw for the town "twelve pens in the hundred cheaper than any other person of any other towne have it," and for citizens of the town "that bringeth the timber one halfe of the sawn stuf for their laboure, provided that it is only for their owne use." It was voted in 1670 "that Nicholas the cooper shalt have half an acre of land by the Beaver Pond to build a house on to supply the town with such cooper’s work as they shall stand in need of." In 1685, at a town meeting, liberty was given to Benjamin Coe and John Hansen to establish a grist and fulling- mill on Foster’s River. They were granted the privilege of the stream on the condition that they should maintain a good mill and grind for the inhabitants of the town at a toll of one-twelfth. In 1704, at a town meeting, "it was voted by ye majority of ye sayd freeholders that Jonathan Whitehead & Benjamin Thirstone shall have liberty to put up a fulling- mill in ye town of Jamaica aforesayd, on ye terms and conditions heretofore mentioned; that is to say, that ye sayd Jonathan Whitehead and Benjamin Thirstone shall be obliged both them & their heirs and assigns to full all sorts of cloth, press ye same for three pence per yard, and.to full for ye town’s people before other town’s people." Three principal streams flow through the town of Jamaica, from sources immediately south of the range of hills that divides the town from Flushing. The largest of these runs from the vicinity of the village of Jamaica, and at Cornell’s (or "Three- Mile") mill empties into a creek that flows into Jamaica Bay. Formerly three grist- mills were boated on this stream. The first was one mile south from the village, and was known as One- Mile mill. Baisley’s, or Two- Mile mill, was a mile farther south, and at the distance of another mile south, at the junction of the stream with the before - mentioned creek, was Cornell’s. Farther east a grist- mill and a saw- mill are located, on a stream that runs through Springfield; the former belonging to Frederick Loerz and the latter to Peter Nostrand. Near the eastern boundary of the town is a stream that once propelled two grist- mills, Simmons’s and Conselyea’s. Formerly, when grain was abundantly procured, these mills did a prosperous business. At a special town~ meeting held August 27th 1862 a resolution was offered by ex- Governor John A. King, and adopted, that a sum not exceeding $15,000 be borrowed on the credit of the town, for the purpose of paying each volunteer from the town, under the calls of the President of the United States for 600,000 men, a town bounty of $75, and that the amount expended be levied on the taxable property of the town, and collected in the same manner as other town taxes. In pursuance of the act of May 7th 1863 the supervisor, town clerk, and justices of the peace of the town met on the 29th day of August 1863 and organized as a board of relief: At a meeting of this board on the first of September 1863 a resolution was adopted to borrow $30,000 on the credit of the town, and to issue town bonds of $500 or more for the payment thereof. A resolution was also adopted to expend, if necessary, $300 of this fund for the relief of the family of any white volunteer or drafted man. It was also resolved that the board might, in the exercise of their judgment, expend this money in payment of substitutes, or exemptions for indigent men. This board met from time to time and made appropriations under these resolutions; and the minutes its proceedings show that relief was ordered in the case of colored drafted men. At a special town meeting held February 19th 1864 the action of the board of supervisors in reference to raising money to pay volunteers was approved. At a special town meeting July 30th 1864 the borrowing of a sum not exceeding $60,000 was authorized for the payment of volunteers. The vote by ballot stood- 10 favor of the resolution, 237; against it, 6. In the case of the last call of the president for 300,000 men the raising of the sum of $60:000 for the payment of bounties was authorized at a special town meeting held January 7th 1865.


Within the last twenty- five years market gardening has come to be the principal business of the people in the rural districts of the town. The increased and constantly increasing demand for garden vegetables in the city of New York and the facility with which they can be marketed there have effected this change. A change in one part of any business usually necessitates other changes, and the agriculture of Jamaica is not an exception to this rule. The increased production of garden vegetables has called for a greater amount of labor than before on an equal area of ground, and the result has been a reduction in the size of farms, and an increase of their number. The successful prosecution of this industry has necessitated the more liberal use of fertilizers, and improved methods in the application of these manures. A great improvement in the quality of the soil and an increase in its average productiveness have resulted. The change has also stimulated producers to the invention and adoption of improved methods of cultivation, whereby not only has the quantity been further increased, but vegetables have been produced out of their usual season; and the tables of consumers have come to be supplied in the depth of winter with the vegetables of midsummer. In the invention and adoption of these methods of forcing the production of vegetables out of their season Abraham Van Siclen has been a pioneer. He commenced his experiments about twenty years since with the production of rhubarb. From this he proceeded to the forcing of cauliflower, the preservation of squashes, and the production of other vegetables, till now the establishment includes six hot- houses, each 108 by 22 feet, for the production of lettuce and cucumbers; about 800 sash, each 3 by 6, for hotbeds to force cauliflower and produce various other plants, and two buildings for the preservation of squashes, with a capacity for holding 2,500 barrels. The apparatus for heating, watering, and attending all these establishments has been mostly the invention of Mr. Van Siclen. Ditmars Van Siclen, John B. Hopkins, John Selover, James Fredericks, and others are also engaged in this branch of gardening, and the markets in New York and Brooklyn are now supplied at all seasons with the vegetables that were formerly procurable only in summer. Farmers’ Co- operative Union.- In April 1870 a call was published for a meeting of the farmers of Jamaica at the hotel of James S. Remsen "to take action in reference to the unjust imposition of a tax upon farmers as produce brokers." This call was signed by Abraham Van Siclen, John O’Donnell, and eighteen others. At this meeting a committee, of which John O’Donnell was chairman, was appointed to wait on the commissioner of internal revenue at Washington, and endeavor to obtain a redress of the grievance. In this they were successful; and their success led to the organization of the "Farmers’ Co- operative Union of Jamaica," in May of the same year, with Samuel E. Vanderveer president, John O’Donnell and Abraham Van Sicklen: vice- presidents, P.W. Remsen secretary, Ditmars Van Siclen treasurer, and 82 members. By the action of this union several matters affecting the interest of the farmers and gardeners of this town have been accomplished, and the utility and practicability of farmers’ protective associations have been demonstrated. By the action of the union two robbers of a farmer in the town, on the highway were captured, convicted, and punished; the Wallabout market in the city of Brooklyn was projected, and is now in the hands of a commission; the election of town officers in the interest of tax- payers and the removal of corrupt officials have been accomplished; the remission of fines imposed on farmers and gardeners for selling produce in the streets of New York has been procured, additional market facilities for such producers have been obtained and many other things accomplished, of which a want of space forbids even the mention. Patrons of Husbandry.- In February 1874 the Farmers Co- operative Union took action which resulted in the organization of Union Grange, No. 152, P. of H., of the town of Jamaica, on the 17th of March 1874, with fifteen charter members and the following officers: John O’Donnell, master; E.F. Titus, overseer; E. Vanderveer, lecturer; James Van Siclen, treasurer; Charles Debevoise, secretary; Samuel E. Vanderveer, chaplain; John A. Hegeman, gate keeper. The masters since have been: John O’Donnell, 1875; E.F. Titus, 1876, 1877; Oliver P. Lott, 1878; John A. Hegeman, 1879; Garret Vandyne, 1880. Of the members of this grange John O’Donnell has been during seven years a member of the executive committee of the State grange. This grange meets at its rooms in Harriman Row, Fulton street, Jamaica, the second Saturday evening of each month during the summer, and the second and fourth Saturday evenings, at half- past seven, during the winter months.


The company that built this road was incorporated March 21st 1877. It was organized with Daniel D. Conover as president, Julius F. Chesebrough secretary and treasurer, and James C. Lane, Warren S. Peck, George M. Van Nort, Sheridan Shook, Daniel D. Cçnover, Elihu Hostord, James M. Oakley, Martin Freleigh, A.D. Conover, F.S. Gibbs, E.R. Phelps, F.E. Stewart and J.F. Chesebrough directors. The road was completed so as to come into partial use September 1st 1880. It crosses Jamaica Bay on piles, with draw bridges over the main channels. This road connects with the Long Island, Railroad at Long Island City and Woodhaven, and by steamboat with New York city. It is mainly used for the conveyance of passengers to and from the seaside resort at Rockaway Beach. It is equipped with palace cars not excelled in tastefulness and convenience by those of any road in the United States. The present officers are: A.S. Hatch, treasurer; D.D. Conover;vice- president; J. Chesebrough, secretary and treasurer; J.M. Lunt, superintendent.


In the spring of 1856 Rev. S. Baker, a local preacher of the Methodist Protestant church, commenced labor in South Woodhaven. At that time there were only the famed Union race- course, three liquor saloons, and a few dwellings there. Services were at first held in the house of a Mr. Reeves; then in a wood near this house, and afterward for about a year in an old barn. In this barn the M.P. church of South Woodhaven was organized, with twelve members. In time this little congregation and their faithful pastor succeeded in erecting a house of worship, at a cost of $1,100, the ground having been donated by W. Spencer. The house has an upper room, fitted up for church services, and a lower for Sunday- schools, etc. During several years Mr. Baker was pastor, superintendent of the Sunday- school, steward, and sexton. In 1863 he relinquished the charge of this little church, leaving it in a prosperous condition and free from debt. He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Morley, of Brooklyn, who served the church about seven years, since which different local preachers have been in charge.



The subject of this sketch is a son of James and Ida (Kouwenhoven) Van Siclen, and was born in the house where he now lives, October 5th 1824. His father was a native of New Lots, Kings county, and died about eighteen years ago, having lived on the Van Siclen homestead about forty years. On his mother’s side, Mr. Van Siclen is descended from the Kouwenhoven and Bergen families. The Van Siclens were among the earliest settlers on Long Island. Mr. Van Siclen’s great- uncle, Cornelius Cornell, saw service in the Revolution, was made a prisoner of war and detained in the prison ship at the Wallabout, and died while being brought ashore. Mr. Van Siclen was reared on the farm, and is one of the most practical farmers, and probably, without exception, the most successful market gardner on Long Island. He has been a leader in many improvements in the business, being the first to introduce green- houses for vegetable culture, and to engage in the cultivation of lettuce on an extensive scale. His aim has ever been to produce vegetables of a finer quality than those of any of his competitors, and his products have brought the highest market price, and have a reputation in the markets of New York that is alone an attestation of the excellence of Mr. Van Siclen’s system and the success of his efforts. Mr. Van Siclen’s early years were spent at home and in the district school of his neighborhood. Later he was for three years a student at the Union Hall Academy, at Jamaica, then under the management of Henry Onderdonk as principal. At the age of 28 he began business for himself, as a farmer and market gardener in partnership with his brothers, James and Peter, leasing the home farm for seven years, when, their father having died, a division of the estate was made, where by the homestead became Mr. Van Siclen’s property He has since lived there and has continued in business alone, with the result above stated. He married Martha A. Nostrand, of Flushing, by whom he has six children: Anna A., born March 8th 1864; Peter N. born June 10th 1865; Ida K., born September 17th 1866; Abram J., born August 15th 1868; Samuel B. born July 18th 1870, and Cornelia N., born July 3d 1873. The Van Sicklen family were long members of the Reformed church, but Mr. Van Sicklen and his house hold worship with the First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica. Descended from a Whig family, Mr. Van Siclen is an ardent Republican. He is well known in the town and greatly respected by his fellow citizens, by whom he was tendered at one time the nomination for supervisor, which he declined to accept. For years he has been president of the Union Place and Rockaway Plank Road Company.


James Van Siclen is a son of James and Ida Van Siclen, and was born July 4th 1827, on the old family homestead in Jamaica, now the home of his brother Abraham. His education was obtained in the common schools of the vicinity and in Union Hall Academy at Jamaica. He was reared to farm life, and was early acquainted with all the details of successful market gardening, in which department of agriculture he has since been remarkably successful. So high is his reputation as a market gardener that it is not surpassed by that of his brother Abraham, and the name of either is a guarantee in the markets of New York of the superior excellence of such produce as they offer for sale. Upon the death of the elder Van Siclen James began business alone, taking as his share of the property of the three brothers, James, Abraham and Peter Van Siclen, ‘that, portion where he now lives. Mr. Van Siclen was married August 2nd 1864, to Gertrude R. Lott, of Newtown. He has served as executor of the estates of Abraham Griffin and Stephen I. Lott, and as guardian of the children of the latter. He has been director and superintendent of the Union Place and Rockaway Plank Road Company, and has been prominent in the affairs of the town, having served as one of the trustees of the common lands of Jamaica and as chairman of the board, and having been for two years past overseer of highways, besides having refused several important trusts. Mr. Van Siclens home is one of the pleasantest and most completely appointed in Jamaica, and his farm is a model of neatness. All of the present improvements on the place were made by Mr. Van Siclen himself. His household are members and attendants of the Reformed church of Jamaica.


Cornelius Barentse Van Wyck, from whom the family of Van Wycks in America descend, was born in Holland; emigrated to this country in 1660, settled at Midwout (now Flatbush), on the west end of Long Island, and was one of the patentees of that tract of land. He there married Anna, daughter of the Rev. Theodorus Johannes Polhemus, by whom he had seven children, two sons and five daughters, all natives of Flatbush. In 1701 his sons removed from Flatbush to North Hempstead, Queens county. Theodorus, the eldest, settled at Great Neck, on the place now in the possession of Benjamin Hicks. The original house is still standing and is in a good state of preservation. Johannes, the second son, settled at Flushing, at the head of Little Neck Bay, the place now in possession of (Earl) William Douglas. The two brothers of the second generation are identified with Queens county. Theodorus was one of his majesty’s justices of the peace. The oldest registry book in St. George’s church, Hempstead, bears the following inscription: "This book was given to the parish of Hempstead by Theodorus Van Wyck, Esq., justice of peace and inhabitant of said parish." The register begins with; June 1725, Robert Jenny being then rector of the parish. Theodorus married Margretia, daughter of Abraham Brinkerhoff, and had four sons and three daughters. Of these Cornelius and Theodorus second left Long Island after 1730 and went to Fiskill, Dutchess county, and their descendants are iden‘tified as the "Fishkill Van Wycks." Abraham, the third son, settled in New York, and from him Pierre Courtlandt Van Wyck, for many years recorder of the city of New York, descended. Barent, the youngest son, in 1724, when he was 21 years of age, settled at East Woods, now Woodbury, L.I., in the town of Oyster Bay, and was possessed of a large tract of land in that vicinity. His descendants are still upon Long Island, in Queens and Suffolk counties. Barent Van Wyck married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Carman, and had four sons and three daughters. The sons, Thomas, Theodorus, Samuel and Abraham, were all farmers in the town of Oyster Bay. Of these Thomas was captain of the loyal Queens county militia and Abraham captain of the provincial militia. About 1787 Captain Abraham Van Wyck left Queens county, and bought 200 acres of land of James Rogers sen., at West Neck, on Huntington Harbor, L.I. This property he sold in 1793 to Abraham Van Wyck jr., his nephew and son- in- law. This farm became exceedingly productive, and so well known as to be a perfect market place. Its orchards bear the finest fruit, and its pasture has never failed. The stock is watered from a spring upon the shore, and tradition says whatever drank therefrom grew fat. The scenery here is of surpassing beauty. After you enter the gateway a beautiful panorama is before you. The landlocked harbor is at your feet, with West and East Necks standing sentinel, and beyond Loyd’s Harbor Long Island Sound stretches in the distance; and the rising hills of Connecticut, with its beautiful towns reflected back to view, complete the picture. The antiquated mansion is located near the water side, and is of the old Dutch style. Its corner closets and wainscoted mantel, its half doors (upper and lower), and its small window panes, its Franklin stove, in which ,the hickory still burns, and its large old kitchen, with its chimney extending across the room, and under which the oven had its place, are still before us. This homestead was left to his eldest son, Samuel A. Van Wyck. By will of Samuel A. Van Wyck this property was left to his nephew Whitehead Hewlett, only son of his deceased brother Joshua H. Van Wyck, and he is the present proprietor. Abraham of West Neck had four sons and three daughters. Of these Abraham H., whose name is so often repeated in Queens county records, invested largely in real estate between East New York and Jamaica. His idea was that by the increase of population Brooklyn would naturally extend itself, and the land adjoining would be as necessary to it as the West End to London. Having bought the property of John Polhemus, Jamaica (a farm consisting of 200 acres, extending from the turnpike to the south road), he opened Van Wyck avenue in September 1834. Later he sold land at Woodhaven for a cemetery, now known as "Cypress Hills Cemetery." He died on the 24th of June 1849. Joshua H. Van Wyck (third son of Abraham of West Neck) removed from Suffolk to Queens county and settled at Jamaica in 1836, where his descendants are still identified. He studied law and became a member of the Queens county bar. He died on the 11th of February 1847. William, the youngest son of Abraham Van Wyck of West Neck, ,was a practicing lawyer in the city of New York, and was never identified with the history of Queens county. Thomas (son of Barent of Woodbury) was captain of the loyal Queens county militia during the Revolution. At the peace he went to Nova Scotia, giving a power of attorney to his two sons, Eldred and Barent. His son Eldred married and settled in Cold Spring, L.I. He was corporal or captain in Israel Young’s troop of horse for Cold Spring.- His property embraced a large portion of the water front on Cold Spring Harbor; he is recorded as of Queens and of Suffolk county. In 1787 he gave a power of attorney to Obadiah Wright, and after this we are unable to trace him. Johannes Van Wyck (second son of Cors. Barentse), who settled in Flushing, bought land at the head of Little Neck Bay of Richard and Sarah Cornwell in 1705, and subsequently other lands near Little Neck on the Great Neck, road. This land was held by, the Van Wvck family and their descendants until 1819, when Cornelius Van Wyck sold the last 125 acres to Wynant Van Zandt jr. for $13,750, after which it all passed from the family and has since been cut up in lots and sold for building purposes. Johannes died in 1734 leaving four sons and three daughters. -Cornelius, his eldest son, married Mary, daughter of Judge Isaac Hicks, and settled at the homestead at Little Neck. -John, his second son, married Deborah, daughter of Adam Lawrence (high sheriff of Queens county), and settled at Flushing. He was sheriff of Queens county from 1747 to 1753, and died in 1762. -William, the third son, bought land at Newtown, married and settled there. He died in 1785, leaving a wife and seven children. He and his family became members of the Society of Friends in Newtown. -Theodorus, the youngest son, married Mary, daughter of Philip Ritchie, of New York, and settled in Flushing. Cornelius, his eldest, who settled at the homestead at Little Neck, married Mary, daughter of Judge Isaac Hicks. He died in 1759, leaving three sons and three daughters. Stephen, his eldest son, was a deputy for Queens county to the Provincial Congress in 1775, as was also his second son Cornelius. This Cornelius married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Hicks of Flushing, and had sons Stephen and Whitehead, and daughters Harriet and Margaret. Harriet married Henry son of Joseph Lawrence, Bay Side, L.I. They were the parents of Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence, who died in 1861. He held many positions of trust, being at one time mayor of New York, from 1832 to 1834 member of Congress, in 1836 president of the electoral college, twenty years collector of the port of New York, and president of the Bank of the State of New York. Gilbert, third son of Cornelius and Mary, was one of his majesty’s justices of the peace and a loyalist during the Revolution. After the death of Cornelius the homestead at Little Neck came into the possession of his eldest son, Stephen, at whose death it was left to his two nephews Cornelius (known as Major Cornelius), son of his brother Gilbert, and Stephen (son of his brother Cornelius), the former of whom by purchase became sole proprietor; and this property remained in the Van Wyck family until 1819, when it was sold to Wynant Van Zandt.


John B. Hopkins, a son of William Hopkins who came from Wales in 1828, was born in New Utrecht, Kings county, April 1st 1837. He resided with his parents in various parts of Kings county until 1858, when he was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Luke Eldred, and came to Jamaica as a farmer on the place where he now resides. His father, although finally successful in acquiring a fortune, came to this country a poor man, and hence the young man was early thrown upon his own resources in the battle of life. He too has succeeded, and he is now one of the prominent farmers of Jamaica. His property shown in the illustration on page 211 is pleasantly situated in the extreme southern part of the town. As a garden farmer he was one of those who saw that hot- houses would have to be used to compete with the South in supplying the New York market, and in 1874 he erected his first one. He has now some two acres covered with hot- houses, where he propagates vegetables and plants for the market in winter and early spring. Mr. Hopkins is known to most of the farmers in this part of Long island as an agent for the Excelsior Fertilizer. Politically he has been allied with the Republican party, and he is an officer and leading member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Jamaica. He was prominently identified with the organization, in 1879, of the Sunday Observance Association, of which he is now president.


A settlement was commenced at Springfield, about three miles southeast of Jamaica, almost as early as that of the latter place. It has never acquired the dimensions of a village, but has always been what it now is, a pleasant rural settlement. It has a post- office, a railroad station, and the other conveniences which the wants of the people have called into existence. Springfield Presbyterian Church.- In March 1860 Rev. P.D. Oakey, then pastor of the Presbyterian church of Jamaica, commenced holding monthly services in the school- house at Springfield, for the accommodation of the members of his congregation residing in that vicinity. Services there continued with increasing interest during six years. On the 14th of October 1865 the corner stone of the present church edifice was laid, on ground donated by Thomas Rider, and on the 7th of February 1866 the building was dedicated. The building committee consisted of Gilbert Rider, George Higbie, Ephraim, Baylis, J.S. Hendrickson, and Aury Mills. An additional lot of ground had been purchased, which with the building and furniture cost $4,454. At the time of the dedication the congregation subscribed $603, which paid all indebtedness, and left a surplus of $123 for sheds, fences etc. The church has since been refurnished and improved, at an expense of about $1,600. A parsonage was erected in 1270, which, with a stable since built, cost $4,785. The building committee in charge of the erection of this parsonage were William H. Farrington, William W. Durland, Samuel Compton, Lucas E. Decker, and Thomas B. Rider. Under the superintendence of James Pagan, Samuel H. Durland, Nicholas Everitt, Morris Watts, and Thomas Mills, a lecture room was, erected at an expense, in money, of $421, little more than the cost of the material. The labor was voluntarily contributed, and the building was erected in a very short time. The inside is not completed. On the 23d of October 1867 Rev. P.D. Oakey, Dr. I.D. Wells, and Rev. J.P. Knox, who had been appointed a committee for that purpose by the presbytery, organized the church by the reception of sixty members from the Presbyterian church at Jamaica: Foster Hendrikson, Ephraim Baylis, George Higbie, Joseph S. Higbie were elected elders, and Samuel Compton and Nathaniel Baylis were chosen deacons. The pulpit was supplied for a time by Rev. W.W. Knox, of Woodhaven. On the 19th of July 1869 Rev. Alexander Miller was installed pastor, and he continued in that relation till 1876. August 28th of that year his successor, Rev. P.D. Oakey, the present pastor, was installed. The Sunday- school of this society was organized at the time of organizing the church, with, forty scholars. The present number is 200. Nicholas Everitt is the superintendent. Springfield M.E. Church.- The pioneer members of the Methodist Episcopal church within the limits of this charge were Daniel Higbie and Mrs. Amy Higbie, his wife, Daniel Murray, Thomas Foster, Henry Bedell and others. At first these members were connected with the Foster’s Meadow society, which was a part of the Rockaway circuit. Afterward the number had so increased that services were occasionally held here. Still later this became a part of the Far Rockaway and Foster’s Meadow circuit, and regular services were held here. In 1867 or 1868, the number of members having greatly increased, the present church edifice was erected, and in the spring of 1869 this was made an independent station. The first pastor was Rev. Seymour Landon. He was succeeded in 1872 by Rev. L.P. Perry. In 1875 Rev. George Holus commenced his pastorate, succeeded in 1877 by Rev. H.S. Still, and he in 1880 by Rev. William H. Russell, the present pastor. During the year 1870 the church received a considerable accession of numbers, and a still greater increase during 1874. The church has since its organization been uniformly prosperous. Its present membership is 173. Its house of worship, which has a value of $6,000, seats 350 persons. The society owns also a parsonage, worth $2,000. A Sunday- school was organized at the formation of the church, with Alexander Higbie superintendent, and about 30 pupils. John R. Carpenter became superintendent at the death of Mr. Higbie in 1876, and was succeeded by John Bedell, the present superintendent, in 1880. The present number of scholars is 150. The school has a library of 500 volumes. Springfield Cemetery.- The cemetery at Springfield is one of the oldest in the county, embracing within its limits the land used for a burial place by the first settlers of that neighborhood. Interments were made as early, probably, as 1670. At an early period the inhabitants of the vicinity enclosed 50 square rods, and allotted the same, each taking a plot of one rod square for his separate use. These plots passed to descendants of the original proprietors, and most of them have living representatives at the present time. The first additional land was purchased in 1823, when 28 square rods were bought and added on the north. At that time the proprietors of the original plots embraced the names of Amberman, Baylis, Bennet, Boerum, Covert, Fosdick, Golder, Hendrickson, Higbie, Lamberson, Losëe, Mills, Nostrand, Remsen, Rider, Skidmore, Smith and Van Ausdoll. September 14th 1849 the plot-holders met and incorporated themselves into an association, adopting the name of "The Springfield Cemetery Association" and electing as trustees Henry Mills, Daniel Hendrickson, Samuel Higbie, Daniel Rider, Daniel Smith, John W. Nostrand, Abraham B. Hendricksoh and Abraham A. Hendrickson. Since the incorporation purchases of adjoining lands have been made, and the cemetery now embraces about three acres, consisting of 288 plots. The plots and walks are kept in good order, the cost being met by an annual tax of fifty cents upon each plot. Proceeds of sales of plots are mainly reserved for purchases of additional land when required. The sale of plots is limited to permanent residents and descendants of old residents of the neighborhood. The present officers of the association are: President, James Nostrand, Springfield; secretary, John M. Higbie, Queens; treasurer, Lewis L. Fosdick, Jamaica; superintendent, Lucas E. Decker, Springfield. The other trustees are Daniel Hendrickson, Daniel Smith, Wright P. Higbie, Daniel H. Simonson, William.W. Durland, and Peter Van Siclen.


This place is pleasantly located on the Long Island Railroad, about three miles east from Jamaica. It is a fine collection of residences, with a post- office, a railroad station, and such shops etc. as the wants of the people there and in the region immediately surrounding it require. The character of every small place in the vicinity of the great commercial center of the country, unless it is the seat of some important manufacturing interest, is modified by its nearness to that center. The facility with which most of the ordinary wants and all the luxuries and superfluities of the people can be supplied from the city prevents the development of trade beyond certain limits, and, at the same time renders such a place a desirable residence for people in easy circumstances who wish for quiet surroundings. In 1846 the supervisor was authorized to have surveyed and fenced for a public burying place a tract of not less than two acres of the public lands of the town known as "the Little Plains." This cemetery is located at Queens, and is known as Potter’s Field. Queens Episcopal Mission.- Many years ago Thomas Brush, an enterprising citizen of this town, erected a hotel, a store, and a church at the place which was named from him Brushville. During some years regular weekly services were held in this building by Rev. Mr. Rushmore, a Methodist local preacher of Hempstead. It was afterward closed, except for occasional services. In the spring of 1870, at the suggestion of Rev. Thomas Cook, then assistant to Dr. W.L. Johnson of Jamaica, it was purchased by the Brotherhood of St; George’s church of Flushing, and a mission was established under the charge of Rev. Mr. Cook, who held afternoon services, and established the Sunday- school. He was, succeeded by Mr. Babcock, who was followed by Revs. Joshua Kimber and F.B. Carter, who officiated alternately; then Mr. Carter alone till 1873, after which Rev. Henry Bedinger was in charge till 1873. The mission was then placed in charge of lay readers. B.J. Brenton, L.B. Prince, and George Van Nostrand, superintendent of the Sunday- school, officiated successively till the summer of 1879, when Mr. Barnes of Brooklyn took charge for a few months, followed by Mr. Fitzgerald. In the autumn of 1880 Mr. Van Nostrand again became the officiating layman. Occasional morning service is read, and the church is open for worship on particular days in the church year. By the united efforts of the people of Flushing and of the mission, and by the personal efforts of Hon. L.B. Prince, the church is free from debt and ready for consecration. The Sunday- school numbers about eighty. Mr. Van Nostrand has been superintendent from the first. Reformed Church at Queens.- It is said that the first expressed wish for the organization of a church at Queens was communicated by Dr. William D. Creed to Rev. Dr. Macdonald, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Jamaica. Subsequently the subject was mentioned to Rev. Mr. Alliger, pastor of the Reformed church. Though both these men looked with favor on the project no tangible result was reached. Soon after the burning of the Reformed church in Jamaica, in 1857, steps were taken for the formation of a church here: A meeting was held at the chapel in Brushville to consider the matter, and a committee was appointed to ascertain and report what denomination a majority of the inhabitants favored. This committee reported in favor of the Reformed church, and on the 18th of April 1858 the organization was effected, with fourteen members, from among whom Dr. William D. Creed and Thomas W. Tompkins were chosen elders, and Henry Suydam and Henry Dean deacons. At first services were held in the Methodist chapel by supply clergymen. In September 1858 a contract for the erection of the church edifice was made with Sidney J. Young, of Jamaica, at $4,479 and the corner stone was laid by Dr. Creed. It was dedicated May 21st 1859. Through the exertions of the ladies of the congregation the church was furnished at a cost of $553.75. The site was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin W. Doughty. The bell was the gift of Henry R. Dunham, and at the dedication D.F. Manice presented his check for the balance of the indebtedness, $776.25. In 1865 the building was renovated, at a cost of $900, and a parsonage and grounds were purchased at $5,000. A Sunday- school and lecture room was completed in 1876, and dedicated January 4th 1877, and at about the same time the interior of the church was again renovated. Rev. John W. Hammond was installed as pastor of this church May 22nd 1859. He resigned in November 1863, and his, successor, Rev. James Wyckoff, was installed July 3d 1864. He was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Nichols, who was installed November 16th 1871, and in the spring of 1875 the present pastor, Rev. A. Hageman, was called. Although this church, like all others, has seen its lights and shadows, it has had a prosperous career. The present membership is 136. The Sunday- school of this church was organized in 1860.


In 1836 John R. Pitkin laid out the village of Woodhaven, which was at first called Woodville, in honor of an old resident. The financial crisis which soon followed prevented any growth for some years. In 1851 John Sharp & Sons erected a chisel factory on the site of the present establishment of Lalance & Grosjean. It was a stone building about 40 by 50 feet. He also built two houses for workmen’s residences. This factory continued in operation till 1855. In 1853 Phineas Walker erected a dwelling. In 1854 J.R. Pitkin erected two; S.H. De Mott, F.L. Allen and James M. Wiswell each one. In 1855 Daniel Cobleigh, Claude Fietie, and E.U. Jones built each a house. During some years the place had no growth by reason of a want of the facilities for communication with New York which the people had enjoyed. In 1863 Messrs. Lalance & Grosjean commenced the manufacture of pressed tin and iron ware in the old chisel factory, and two years later they began to enlarge the works and to build houses for workmen. From that time till the present the village has continued to increase in size with the enlargement of the manufactory, till at present it has about 175 houses and 1,122 inhabitants. Unsuccessful attempts have been made to establish other manufactories. A post- office was established in 1855, and the name changed to Woodhaven. Daniel Cobleigh was the postmaster. It was discontinued after a year and a half. It was re- established in 1866, with Joseph Lapage postmaster, succeeded, in 1875, by Daniel Cobleigh, the present postmaster. The village contains a few elegant residences, of which the summer establishment of Mr. Grosjean is the most extensive and elaborate. The most important manufacturing establishment in the town of Jamaica as well as at Woodhaven is that of the


Operations were commenced here as early as 1863, and the building which had been erected by John. Sharp & Sons for a chisel factory was first utilized. Additions were made to this till the whole comprised three buildings, each about 150 by 30 feet. In 1870 a stock company, with the above title, was organized. The officers were: F. Grosjean, president; John C. Milligan, vice- president; E.W. Martin, secretary and treasurer; John H. Smith, superintendent. The capital stock of the company is $500,000, all of which is paid- up. Most of this stock is held by the officers, clerks and foremen of the company, only four outside parties having any. Large additions have been made to the buildings and machinery of this manufactory from year to year as the business of the company has increased. In 1876 all the buildings except the warehouse were destroyed by fire. When rebuilt many of the buildings were constructed of brick and iron, and where wood is used the covering is of sheet iron. There are separate fire- proof vaults for valuable tools. The works are lighted by gas, but electric lights are to be introduced. The manufactory consists of some ten buildings, which cover an area of about three acres. Mr. Grosjean owns about forty houses- residences of workmen- and about sixty are owned by operatives in the establishment. The first engine used was of 50 horse power, of which only 20 horse power were required to propel the machinery. The present engine is of 150 horse power, and its capacity is hardly sufficient. The machinery was all invented and constructed by members of the company or its employes. The wares manufactured by this company embrace all kinds of house and cooking utensils that are stamped in one piece, such as pans, pails, sheet iron kettles, etc. etc., and very large quantities of iron, tin plate, and block tin are used in making these articles. The wares manufactured are sold mostly in America, to all parts of which they are sent. They also find a market in almost- every other country. The company constantly employs about 500 men.


About forty years ago Abraham Smith and some others organized a Sunday- school and prayer meeting in the Woodhaven school house, then known as the Ferry road school- house. At that time the inhabitants attended church either in Jamaica or East New York. Fifteen or sixteen years since a chapel was built at Woodhaven, under the auspices of the ladies of the place, and soon afterward a Presbyterian church was organized in this, building, where worship is now held. Many of the oldest families in the vicinity worship at this church, the origin of which may be said to be in the organization of the Sunday- school and prayer meeting. Mr. Smith is still living, at the age of 84, and is the ruling elder of the church. Revs. James G. Mason, now pastor of the Presbyterian church of Metuchen, N.J., and William W. Knox, now of the Huntington (L.I.) Presbyterian church, have been pastors. The present pastor is Rev. J. Abed Baldwin. J. Cogswell president, John A. King, John Simonson, Abraham D. Snedeker, John G. Lamberson and Wessell S. Smith trustees. The succeeding presidents have been Abrahan D. Snedeker, John S. Snedeker, Alexander Hagner, John M. Crane, Aaron A. Degrauw and George H. Creed. The present trustees are S.S. Aymar (president), John Fleming, John Adikes, Jerome Covert jr., Charles H. Stewart, J. Tyler Watts, B.S. Brenton (treasurer), and George L. Powell (secretary). They meet the first Thursday in every month in the village hall. The place for holding town meetings in Jamaica was the county court- house till it was torn down and carried off by the British soldiers in 1777 in order to make their barracks. After that meetings were held at the village inns as follows: In 1778, at Edward Willett’s; 1779, Thomas Rochford’s; 1781, Hope Mills’s; 1782, Rol5art Hinchman’s; 1784- 1800, widow Johanna Hinchman’s; 1801, Creed & Willis’s; 1808, 1811- 16, 1819- 21, Captain Joseph Roe’s; 1809, Captain C. Eldert’s; 1810, Isaac Platt’s; 1817, Hewlett Creed’s; 1818, 1822, 1823, Cornelius Eldert’s; 1824- 26 Laurens Reeve’s; 1827, 1836, Alexander Rogers’s; 1835, Richard Jacksons; 1837, Henry Woolley’s; 1838, William, Hunter’s; 1839, James Carpenter’s; 1840, Henry Conklin’s; 1841, 1846, R.J. Snedeker’s; 1842, 1845, James S. Remsen’s; 1843, 1848, 1852, 1854, Michael P. Holland’s; 1844, Mrs. Hunter’s; 1847, 1850, Caleb Weeks’s; 1849, O. Conklin’s; 1851, Remsen & Hentz’s; 1853, George C. McKee’s; 1855, B.W. Curtis’s; thereafter at the town hall. The General Assembly or Legislature of the Province of New York sat at Jamaica twice, once in 1702 and again in 1753. Washington visited Jamaica April 20th 1790, and lodged at William Warne’s inn, which he calls a pretty good and decent house. In 1858-89 a town hall was erected on Herriman avenue, about sixty yards from Fulton street, at a cost, including the site, of nearly $2,000. It was a wooden structure, two stories in height, with a basement in which were five cells and a police court room. The first floor was fitted up for town meetings and public business generally. The second floor was used for justices’ courts. Under the provisions of the act for the erection of a new town hall this building was in 1870 sold to John H. Brinkerhoff, and by him converted into dwellings.

In 1864 a law was enacted by the Legislature authorizing the erection of a town hall in the village of Jamaica, and appointing Aaron A. Degrauw, John Gracy, Stephen L. Spader and John H. Sutphin commissioners, with the supervisor of the town, for carrying the provisions of the act into effect. They were authorized to borrow $30,000, on the credit of the town, for the purchase of a site and the erection of the building. In 1867 the act was so amended as to make the commissioners elective, and to authorize the borrowing of $60,000 in addition to the sum first authorized. Under the amended act Daniel Smith, George Skidmore, John M. Crane, and Daniel Hendrickson were elected commissioners in 1867. The building, which stands on the corner of Fulton street and Flushing avenue, was completed and accepted by the town in 1870. It is of brick, two stories in height, with a basement, and it covers an area of 114 by 70 feet. The basement is divided into the janitor’s residence, thirteen cells, a police court room, and several other rooms, that are rented for various purposes. On the first floor are a large room for lectures, courts, town meetings, and other public business, a smaller court room adjoining it, several town offices, and some attorneys’ offices. On the second floor is a large hall for lectures, concerts, exhibitions, etc. It is supplied with a stage, scenery, etc., for theatrical exhibitions, and is the best public hall on the island outside of the city of Brooklyn. In the attic is a large water tank with hose, etc., to protect against fire on the stage. On the second floor are three attorneys’ offices, and over these a lodge room. The total cost of building and site was $90,000. The green was the scene of an execution November 12th 1784. William Guthrie and Joseph Alexander had robbed Thomas Thorne, of Cow Neck, of a silver tankard and other articles. The old jail standing at Mr. Peck’s pharmacy had been destroyed by the British, so the prisoners were kept in the Bridewell, in New York, and brought up to Jamaica for trial by an escort of soldiers. The court was held in the Presbyterian church. The convicts were taken to the gallows in a wagon, each seated on his own coffin. Here follow some items of the cost of the execution: Queens County to Nehemiah Hinchman, Dr.:





For making the gallows, and my trouble,



Timber and spikes



Blacksmith’s work



2 carpenters, 4 days each



Wagon and horses to take the gallows to the Pond



William Thurston, for staples



2 coffins, each 16s



Rope to hang with, and handkerchiefs to tie over their eyes



Sheriff’s fees for hanging



Digging the graves



Ringing the bell for the procession to move and cleaning the church where the trial was held.




The village cemetery is very ancient; for in 1668, November 5th, the town agreed with John Wascot to fence the burying place 10 rods square with a sufficient five- rail fence, and promised him 4 pounds in current pay for his pains and labor. In 1670 William Brinkly was granted a lot on the west side of the burying place, leaving a passageway between his fence and Beaver Pond. Many of the tombstones (called "field stones") were very rude, with the initials and year of death scratched on. Some have doubtless been covered by the earth and hidden from view. Among the oldest ones visible are those of Thomas Parmyter, who died February 2nd 1732, aged 65; Thomas Walton, who died in March 1737, aged 55, and Judith, wife of Rev. John Pierson, who died October 19th 1764, aged 67. In 1857 Nicholas Ludlum of New York bought three acres of land east of the old burying ground and had the "Chapel of the Sisters" built at his own expense, in memory of his daughters. It is built of brown and gray stone, forms the entrance to the cemetery, and is used for funeral services. The cemetery was incorporated in 1879 under the name of Prospect Cemetery, with Judge John J. Armstrong as president, John H. Brinkerhoff treasurer and Starr Edwards superintendent. Walks and burial lots have been laid out, flowers planted and the grounds (about eight acres) beautified. In the village are also the Methodist, Roman Catholic and Episcopal cemeteries. The last contains the tombs of Rufus King and his son Governor King, with many others of note. The oldest is that of Charles Welling who died in 1736; the next that of Miriam Hinchman who died April 26th 1745, aged six years. On her tombstone is chiseled the archangel, with outstretched wings, blowing his trumpet, and beneath, these simple lines: "Blest angels, sound Your last alarms; Then will lily Into Christ’s arms." Madam Clark, wife of Andrew Clark, county clerk, has this inscription, under a cherub’s face: "Here lieth interred the body of Mrs. Catherine Clark, the beloved wife of Andrew Clark, who departed this mortal life for a blessed eternity December 11th 1755, aged 76 years. A prudent wife and pious Christian ever to be remembered. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." Another stone reads: "Here lies interred the corpse of Sarah, wife of Jacob Banks. She resigned her breath the 18th day of July A.D. 1763." Beneath the inscription is an hour- glass, with the Latin motto Tempus Fugit. Persons of rank and wealth were often buried in church, laymen under their pews, clergymen in the chancel or beneath the pulpit. For this an extra charge was made. Thus in 1775 five shillings was charged for taking up the church floor for John Troup; in 1776 six shillings for taking up and putting down the church floor for Mrs. Mary Colgan; in 1781 the bill of Dr. Field was for laying his wife in the church, 1 pounds 4s. for the grave, 19s. for taking up the floor, use of pall 4s., funeral bell 5s. In 1790 Rev. Joshua Bloomer died. His estate was charged 20s. for laying him in the church; cleaning the church, 4s.; tolling bell three times, 5s.; three funeral bells tolling, 15s. The bells of the Dutch, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches all three tolled. The last instance of interment in church was in 1809, when 26s. was charged by the sexton for laying a child of John Troup in the church and cleaning the building. The inferior class of people were buried in the church yard. Hence these lines, copied from a tombstone: "Here I lie outside the church door,
Here I lie, because I’m poor;
The further in, the more they pay;
But here I lie as snug as they."


When our forefathers first entered on the Revolutionary struggle they did not contemplate a separation from the British crown, but merely desired to reform abuses and resist the encroachments of Parliament and the ministry on their rights and privileges. Their motto was "No taxation without representation." But they advanced step by step, till at last there could be no return, and then they went into open, rebellion. No doubt some long-headed statesmen saw from the first that this would be the final result. On the passage of the bill in Parliament shutting up the port of Boston on account of the throwing of tea overboard, some persons in Jamaica assembled at the inn of Increase Carpenter, a mile east of the village, and after an interchange of opinions requested Othniel Smith, the constable, to warn-the freeholders to a meeting at the court- house (where now is the Hall of Pharmacy), to take into consideration the state of public affairs. The inhabitants met December 6th 1774 and resolved: 1. To maintain the just dependence of the colonies upon the crown of Great Britain, and to render true allegiance to King George III. 2. That it is our right to be taxed only by our own consent; and that taxes imposed on us by Parliament are an infringement of our rights. 3. We glory to have been born subject to the crown and excellent constitution of Great Britain; we are one people with our mother country, and lament the late unhappy disputes. 5. We sympathize with our brethren of Boston under their sufferings. 6. We approve the measures of the late General Congress at Philadelphia. 7. We appoint for our committee of correspondence and observation Rev. Abraham Keteltas, Waters Smith, Capt. Ephraim Bailis, Capt. Joseph French, William Ludlum, Capt. Richard Betts, Dr. John Innes, Joseph Robinson, Elias Bailis. This meeting would have been held much sooner but for the refusal of Capt. Benjamin Whitehead, supervisor, to show the townspeople the letter he had received from the Whig committee of New York. Abraham Keteltas, though a clergyman, said that sooner than pay the duty on tea as required by Parliament he would shoulder his musket and fight. The Jamaica committee met January 19th 1775, and, after thanking the New York delegates to the General Congress for their important services, said: "We joyfully anticipate the pleasure of seeing your names enrolled in the annals of America and transmitted to the latest generations as the friends and deliverers of your country, and having your praises resounded from one side of this continent to the other." Only 8 days after the committee had thus indorsed the action of their delegates, 136 inhabitants of Jamaica signed a protest, stating that "a few people of the town have taken on themselves the name of a committee. We never gave our consent thereto, as we disapprove of all unlawful meetings. We resolve to continue faithful subjects to His Majesty King George III., our most gracious sovereign." March 31st 1775, the day-appointed for taking the sense of the freeholders of Jamaica on the expediency of choosing a deputy to the Provincial Congress at New York, a poll was opened at the court- house. The town refused by a majority of nine to send a deputy. May 18th 1775 an address was presented to Lieutenent Governor Colden, at Jamaica, requesting him to intercede with General Gage and the king to stop their violent measures. His reply was unsatisfactory, though given with tears. September 2nd 1775 Congress granted Joseph Robinson leave to receive 100 pounds of gunpowder for the use of the Jamaica militia, on his paying cash for it. By the general association, a test paper, the signers pledged themselves to stand by each other in the great struggle for their rights, and to support the Congress September 16th 1775, Congress, having need of arms for the soldiers in the continental service, sent troops to Jamaica to impress them from those who refused to sign the general association. Abraham Skinner, of Jamaica reported to Congress that but few arms had been collected, for want of a battalion of soldiers to intimidate the loyalists "The people conceal all their arms of any value, many say they know nothing about Congress and don’t care for their orders, and they will blow out any man’s brains that would attempt to take their arms." December 13th 1775, as some disaffected persons in Queens county had been supplied with arms from the "Asia" ship of war, and were arraying themselves to oppose the measures taken by the united colonies for defending their just rights, it was ordered that Captain Benjamin Whitehead, Dr. Charles Arden, Captain Joseph French and Captain Johannes Polhemus, all of Jamaica appear before Congress on the 19th inst., to give satisfaction in the premises; and that they be protected from insult, coming and returning. The following associated themselves as "minute men" for the defense of American liberty, and engaged to be obedient to the Congress: John. Skidmore, captain; Jacob Wright, first lieutenant; Nicholas Everet, second lieutenant; Ephraim Marston, ensign; Privates- Cornelius and Derick Amberman, Isaac, Nehemiah, Daniel and John Bayles, John Bremner, Richard and Robert Betts, William Cebra, Peter Canile, Benjamin and Nehemiah Everet, Samuel, Joseph, Thomas and Daniel Higbie, James Hinchman, Hendrick, Aaron and Abraham Hendrickson, John Innis, William, Nehemiah and Nathaniel Ludlum, David and Waters Lambertson, Andrew Mills, Andrew Oakley, Urias and Stephen Rider, Hope, Richard and Nathaniel Rhodes, Joseph Robinson, Richard, Nathaniel, Walter, John, Obadiah, Simeon, Sylvester, Nicholas and Benjamin Smith, Daniel Skidmore, John and William Stin, William and Benjamin Thurstdn, Thomas Wiggins, Jesse Wilson. March 27th 1776 a military company of 40 men associated themselves as Defenders of Liberty. The officers were: Ephraim Bayles, captain; Increase Carpenter, first lieutenant; Abraham Van Osdoll, second lieutenant; Othniel Smith, ensign. April 26th 1776 all friends of American liberty in Jamaica were entreated by Elias Bayles, chairman of the patriot committee, to aid the committee. Should ‘any officers in the service of Congress meet with insults in the discharge of their duties the offenders were ordered to be treated as enemies to their country. May 28th 1776 Congress ordered 100 lbs. of gunpowder to be delivered to Captain Bayles to be distributed to those well affected to the American cause. At the same date Captain Thomas Harriot, of Jamaica, having refused to take the continental money, was held up by order of Congress as an enemy to his country. May 15th 1776 Chairman Bayles ordered that no person "shall move into Jamaica without producing a certificate from the committee where he last resided that he is a friend of the American cause. All suspicious persons passing through the town will be arrested for examination." The Whig committee sent to the Congress in New York (June 21st 1776) the following list of suspicious characters who kept in and about Jamaica: 1. Dr. Chas. Arden. He instigated the tories to sign against having a Congress or committee. 2. Capt. Ben. Whitehead, late supervisor. He refused to communicate to the people of Jamaica the letters he received from the Whig committee of New York. 3. Alex. Wallace, merchant of New York, but now lives in Waters Smith’s house. 4. Geo. Bethune, from Boston. He is intimate with Arden and Whitehead. 5. (Samuel) Martin, from Antigua. He lives in Oba. Mills’s house, and associates with Jas. Depeyster. 6. Chas. McEvers, formerly a stamp- officer. He lives in John Troup’s house. 7, 8 and 9. Thos. and Fleming Colgan, and John W. Livingston jr. They often go on Creed’s Hill to look out for the British fleet expected off Sandy Hook. 10 and 11. John and Wm. Dunbar shut themselves up and refused to train or pay their fines. 12. George Folliot, merchant from New York. He lives at Jaques Johnson’s, Fresh Meadow. 13. Theophylact Bache, of Flatbush. He comes to Alex. Wallace’s at Jamaica. 14. James Depeyster. He lives next to Wm. Betts and is said to be a dangerous tory. His son Frederick has been pursued several times, but can’t be taken. The Presbyterians of Jamaica were not slow in honoring our Revolutionary heroes, for we find January 28th 1776 a child baptized John Hancock Marston, and on July 24th another named George Washington Smith. As an offset we find one named (1780) Beloyal Livingston. When the American army abandoned Long Island to the enemy the more active Whigs fled. Rev. Messrs. Keteltas and Froeligh crossed to the main, as did John I. Skidmore, Increase Carpenter, Joseph Robinson, Nehemiah Carpenter sen. and others. The property of those who fled was seized by the British authorities. But most of the Whigs staid at home with their families, and took their chance. The more obnoxious were arrested and taken to the British camp in Kings county. Among these were Elias Bayles, an aged and blind man, an elder in the Presbyterian church; David Lamberson, Abm. Ditmars, Robert Hinchman, John Thurston and others. The more quiet Whigs were not disturbed. They took the oath of allegiance to the crown, signed a paper of submission, and prayed to be restored to the royal favor, and wore a red ribbon on their hats. Some Whigs who did not come promptly forward and get a protection paper from the British general were informed against by their malicious neighbors, and hurried off to the provost prison in New York, where, by the inhumanity of Cunningham, the provost marshal, they suffered great privations, and some even died. All Whigs were notified that if they expected any indulgence from the crown they must make proof of their attachment to the royal cause by supplying fresh provisions; cattle, grain, etc., for the army. Several of the more active loyalists of Jamaica made offers of their services to the British, and were sent into Suffolk county to collect wagons and horses, livestock, forage and the like for Howe’s army. Among these were Joshua and Hope Mills. In the summer season the British troops were out on expeditions to various places on the mainland, as to Connecticut, New Jersey, the Carolinas, Georgia, etc.; but in the winter they quartered on Long Island, and Jamaica bad her full share. Huts were dug into the hillsides north of the village, and covered with boards, thatch and sods. Some soldiers were billeted on the householders. The first notice they had was, "Madam, we have come to take a billet on your house," and they chalked on the door the number of soldiers each house must receive; usually about half the house was taken. Then, to save fences, the owner must keep a big wood pile at the door, for soldiers were very handy with their hatchets, and would convert fencing stuff into fuel without hesitation. Billeting is so called from the billet or ticket that the soldiers exhibited to the master of the house, as their warrant to occupy a part of it. The higher officers had a house to themselves, especially one that had been deserted by its Whig owner. Thus General Skinner had the house of Rev. Mr. Keteltas; Rev. Mr. Bowden occupied the Dutch parsonage. Among British officers who were quartered in Jamaica were General Oliver Delancy, who had command of all the island; General Tryon, Lord Rawdon, Sir William Erskine, and Lord Cornwallis. The English officers expected the utmost reverence from all who came into their presence. If a farmer should meet one in the street and forget to pull off his hat he might expect a caning. In the fall of 1780 one Captain Crow, a British half- pay officer, sent his servant to Derick Amberman’s mill for some flour. The miller, half joking, bid the servant tell his master to send the money with his bag next time as he could trust him no longer. This message so enraged the officer that he at once mounted his horse and rode to the mill, and calling the miller out beat him on the head with a loaded whip till he fell lo the earth, when a brother officer ran him through with a sword. While this assault was going on a wagon came along with several people in it, who would have assisted the miller, but the officer bid them in the king’s name to stand; and such was their timidity that they dared not lift a hand to help him. The miller died of his wounds. Soldiers were billeted in almost every house in Jamaica. When they had behaved well, had not stolen too much, and had treated the farmers civilly, a parting address was often presented them. Though the farmers and laboring classes had to live frugally and on homely fare, different was it with the British officers. They spent their money freely and loved good eating and drinking. A little boy once got a dollar for a quart of strawberries. A fat turkey would fetch a guinea, a quarter of veal half a "Joe," eggs 6 pence a piece. Here is a note from an officer to a farmer: "SIR: If you can get me a good quarter of veal, or a good pig, or half a dozen good chickens, pray do so, for I can’t live on salt meat every day; and you’ll oblige yours, COR’S VAN HORNE." The standing toast at an officer’s table was "a long and a moderate war." The out- door amusements were fox- hunting, shooting grouse and other game, horse- racing, cricket matches, hurling matches, billiards, cards, etc. They indulged in music also, for we read of pianos, harpsichords, organs, etc., besides military bands. Some of the officers had their ladies with them; others married American girls. Some of the common soldiers brought their wives with them from the old country, especially the Hessians and Scotch. Their children were baptized in the Presbyterian church. On one occasion the sexton had forgotten to have the water ready and was going to get some, when the mother pulled a bottle out of her pocket and said, "Here’s water." This was poured into the baptismal basin. In 1780, 1781 and 1782 each town was required to furnish able- bodied horses for the army. The horses were brought to Jamaica, delivered to the commissary general, and after inspection and valuation paid for. As there were many refugees from the mainland without employ, recruiting offices were from time to time opened in Jamaica, 1777, September 1st.- "The people of the little town of Jamaica have contributed £219 to encourage the raising of a new corps to be commanded by Col. Fanning." 1778, May 2.- "All gentlemen volunteers who are disposed to serve His Majesty in Capt. Kinlock’s troop of light dragoons are desired to repair to his quarters at Jamaica, where they will find a horse, clothing and accoutrements, and enter on the same pay with British dragoons." 1779, November 3d.- "Loyal refugees are now recruiting at Betts’s tavern, Jamaica, by Abraham C. Cuyler, who is authorized to raise a battalion of 600 men." Jamaica, being somewhat central, was usually the headquarters of the British commandants of Long Island, Gen. Oliver Delancey, Tryon and others. The street was patrolled day and night, so that stragglers, deserters and runaway negroes were liable to be arrested and brought before the commandant for examination. Persons traveling without passes were liable to be arrested by the British patrols. Hence when an officer impressed a farmer to go on any errand or business for him he gave him a pass. The following is a sample: "JAMAICA, 29th Aug. 1776. "Permit Isaac Bennet to pass and repass without molestation: WILL. ERSKINE, Brig. Gen." About 4,500 cords of wood were annually required of Queens county for the use of the British army in and about New York. While the British officers were in Jamaica every occasion for amusement was improved. October 26th was the anniversary of the accession of George III. to the throne. So there must be a good time. Accordingly we read this advertisement in the papers (1779): "Tickets for the Accession Ball, for the inhabitants of Jamaica and the officers quartered there are now being issued. A grand band of music will be wanted." March 17th 1780 a munificent entertainment was given by Lord Rawdon, colonel of the volunteers of Ireland, to his regiment quartered at Jamaica, in honor of St. Patrick, the tutelar saint of Ireland. Here follow a few lines of a song by Barney Thompson, piper of the regiment: "So, Yankees, keep off, or you’ll soon learn your error,
   For Paddy shall prostrate lay every foe." "Hand in hand! Let’s carol the chorus,
As long as the blessings of Ireland hang o’er us;
The crest of rebellion shall tremble before us,
Like brothers while we thus march hand in hand." There were several taverns in Jamaica, named Vauxhall, Spring Garden etc., and they were well supported, as British gold was abundant. They were named also after the pictures on their sign- boards, as the Half Moon tavern, the Queen’s Head, the King’s Arms, the General Amherst, etc. Here follow a couple of advertisements: 1779, July 10th.- "Wm. Betts has opened the tavern formerly kept by John Comes, the Gen. Amherst, where he has provided choice liquors. Dinner on the shortest notice, and good stabling." 1781, May 12th.- "Thos. Rochford, of the Queen’s Head, has a house of 8 rooms. He begs leave to inform the ladies and gentlemen that he has an elegant garden- a tea garden with arbors, bowers, alcoves, grottos, statues of naids, dryads, hamadryads, &c., &c. He has a stock of good liquors, and can at any time furnish genteel dinners. The ladies and gentlemen who choose to make an excursion from N.Y. to the pleasant village of Jamaica (so remarkable for the salubrity of its air) may depend on good cheer at his house, and the utmost attention." The drinks at a tavern were Jamaica and Antigua spirits, sangaree, negus, punch, lemonade, slings (i.e. spirits and water sweetened with loaf sugar and nutmeg grated in); for the ladies there would be milk punch, tea, coffee, chocolate, and wines. The fashion of brandy drinking was introduced by the French officers. While the British were in occupation of Jamaica stages to New York were in great demand, and had odd sounding names. October 6th 1777 the new stage wagon was advertised to set out from Hope Mills’s at 7 o’clock on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings for Brooklyn ferry and return on the same days. "For freight or passage apply to the public’s humble servant, Hope Mills. Proper care taken of all the letters and newspapers." May 26th 1779 Loosely & Elms proposed to run a caravan to Jamaica and back to Brooklyn ferry on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. "Benjamin Creed’s Jamaica and Brooklyn Hall stage Machine, 6s. a passage," was advertised in 1781. "He will not be answerable for any money, plate or jewels, unless they are entered on his book and paid for." October 3d 1782 was announced a "new Flying Machine on steel springs, Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday, from Brooklyn at 8 o’clock to Jamaica, and return same evening. Breakfasting at Brooklyn on stage mornings." Shopping had to be done in Revolutionary times, as well as now. The ladies sometimes went to the city, though there were plenty of good stores in Jamaica. But no goods could be brought out of New York without a permit. Here is a copy of a permit: "Pursuant to, His Excellency Sir Wm. Howe’s proclamation, permission is hereby given to Aaron Van Nostrand to cart to Jamaica one bushel salt, he having complied with the directions. "JOHN NIJGENT, Dep. Supt." The following is a list of articles a lady had permission to bring out of the city: 14.lbs. sugar, ¼; cwt. rice, 10 yds. calico, 7 yds. russet, 6yds. durant, 1 lb. whalebone, 1 lb. pepper, 2 galls. molasses, 2 galls, rum; 1lb. tea, 1 lb. coffee, 1 lb. chocolate, 1 bush. salt, 1 pair gloves. The restriction put on taking goods out of New York was intended to prevent smuggling from Long Island across the sound to Connecticut. Imported goods were scarce on the mainland, and commanded a high price. For the seven years of British occupation there were no courts, but military rule prevailed. The king’s justices of the peace held over, and their decisions were backed by the soldiery. Court martials were the only tribunal to which the injured could resort till July 15th 1780, when an office of police (as it was called) was established at Jamaica, and George D. Ludlow appointed superintendent. His jurisdiction extended over the island. David Colden was his assistant, and James Creighton secretary. On Monday December 8th 1783 the glorious event of peace was celebrated at Jamaica by the Whigs of Queens county. At sunrise a volley was fired by the continental troops stationed in town, and the thirteen stripes were displayed on a liberty pole which had been erected for the purpose. At four o’clock a number of the gentlemen of the county, and officers of the army who were in the neighborhood, sat down to an elegant dinner, attended by the music of a most excellent band formerly belonging to the line of this State. After drinking thirteen toasts, the gentlemen marched in column, thirteen abreast, in procession through the village, preceded by the music and saluting the colors as they passed. In the evening every house in the village and for several miles around was most brilliantly illuminated, and a ball given to the ladies concluded the whole. It was pleasing to view the different expressions of joy and gratitude apparent in every countenance on the occasion. The whole was conducted with the greatest harmony and gave universal satisfaction. The church bells were rung and there was a free table for the populace. Such loyalists as were found in the street met with rough handling. An address to the governor, George Clinton, was also agreed on. Governor Clinton appointed Thursday December 11th as a day of thanksgiving for the establishment of independence. The farms of the more active loyalists in Jamaica were confiscated: Johannes Polhemus’s farm of 200 acres was sold for £1,650; George Folliot’s’farm of 21 acres for £500; Joseph Ford’s lot of four acres for £450; George Duncan Ludlow’s land, 26 acres, for £265. Some of the loyalists of ‘Jamaica at the approach of peace went into voluntary exile in Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Most of them returned to their former homes after the angry passions of the Whigs had subsided. A few, however, breathed their last in a land of strangers.


March 25th 1797 James Waters and others, owners of an engine, petitioned for an act for the better extinguishing of fires. April 1st 1797 the proprietors of a fire engine in Jamaica were authorized by the Legislature to form an organization, of from three to five trustees, ,who were to choose thirteen firemen (volunteers), to be exempt from military duty. Application was afterward made to the Legislature for leave to increase the Jamaica fire company from eighteen to twenty- four members. Of the present fire department the -chief engineer is William Durland jr.; -assistant engineer, Theodore J. Armstrong; -secretary, Jacob Shipley; -treasurer, Benjamin F. Everitt; -fire wardens: John Spader, S. Henderson, James McDonald. Protection Engine Company<>, No. 1: Foreman, William Kavanagh; assistant foreman, Thomas Carman; secretary, S.B. Carman; treasurer, Edward H. Remsen. Neptune Engine Company, No. 2: Foreman, Michael O’Brien; assistant foreman, Thomas F. Archer. Atlantic Hook and Ladder Company No.1: Foreman, John B. Fosdick; assistant foreman, William E. Tilton; secretary and treasurer, James A. Betts. Eagle Hose Company No. 1, incorporated December 1st 1864, was disbanded in 1871 and organized as Degrauw Hose Company; No. 1. The present officers are: William E. Everitt, foreman; John L., Boyd, assistant foreman; Winfield Powell, secretary; Charles Wood, treasurer. Continental Bucket Company No. 1 (organized April 5th 1860): Foreman, Martin S. Rapelye; assistant foreman, John J. Gracy; secretary, Richard. W. Rhoades; treasurer, Granville Yeaton; fire patrol, Captain George L. Peck.


The Long Island Farmer was established in 1821; Albert B. Pine editor and proprietor. The Long, Island Democrat was established in 1835; Brenton Brothers editors and proprietors. The Jamaica Standard was established in 1868 John O’Donnell editor and proprietor. The present resident physicians are Skidmore Hendrickson, William D. Wood, Philip M. Wood, Charles H. Barker, John H. Seabury, Thomas W. Nadal, C.A. Belden, C.K. Belden and R.W. Rockwell. There are two resident dentists- Dr. Charles H. Stevens and Dr. P.L. Hull. The resident lawyers are John J. Armstrong, Theodore J. Armstrong, Richard Busteed sen. and jr., William S. Cogswell, James P. Darcy, Lewis L. Fosdick, John Fleming, W.W. Gillen, Joseph R. Huntting, Charles M. Kirby, Henry A. Montfort, Pierrepont Potter, Samuel Potter, Wm. J. Sayres, Henry H. Smith, Joseph G. Stewart and William J. Stanford. There are four druggists here, viz. George L. Peck, B. O. Lamphear, William Barget and John S. Seabury. The Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad Company was formed April 25th 1832. The Jamaica and -Brooklyn Plank Road Company was formed May 21st 1850. The iron- track horse railroad was constructed in 1863; and the two were consolidated in 1880 under the name of the Jamaica and Brooklyn Road Company. The Jamaica Savings Bank was incorporated April 20th 1866, with Aaron A. Degrauw president, John J. Armstrong and Daniel Smith vice- presidents, Morris Fosdick treasurer and Lewis L. Fosdick secretary. The Jamaica Gas Light Company was incorporated June 2nd 1856; capital $20,000. George Skidmore was president, Isaac Amberman treasurer, L.M. Jaggar secretary, J. Tyler Watts superintendent.


The earliest date relating to education in Jamaica is January 1676, when the constable and overseers granted liberty to Richard Jones to make use of the meeting- house to teach school in for the year ensuing, except when it was wanted for town business; "provided he keep the windows from breaking and keep it decent and clean on Saturday nights against the Lord’s day, and have the seats placed in order." The next mention we have is of a female school: Goody Davis July 4th 1685 kept school in a little house of John Rodes. For fear that teachers might be Jesuits in disguise, and so instill their pernicious doctrines into the minds of their pupils, Governor Cornbury insisted that all teachers should first obtain a license from him. April 18th 1705 Lord Cornbury licensed Henry Lindley to keep school in Jamaica, and instruct all children that he should be intrusted with in the English and Latin tongues, and also in the art of writing and arithmetic. December 7th 1705 Thomas Huddleston was licensed to teach the English language, writing, and arithmetic, in Jamaica. We suppose this restriction on teachers was abandoned by Cornbury’s successors. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts allowed from £10 to £15 per annum to teachers approved by their missionaries. These teachers taught elementary branches, and were required to catechise their scholars in the church catechism and make them learn the Lord’s prayer, creed and ten commandments. Mr. Poyer says (1724) there were schools in each town of his parish, but kept by Presbyterian or Quaker masters. In 1726, at a town meeting, it was voted that Mr. Poyer, Robert Cross (the Presbyterian minister), and Justices Betts, Messenger and Smith should see what the people were willing to subscribe toward the encouragement of a free school in Jamaica. Probably nothing came of this. Mr. Poyer sent his oldest son, Daniel, in July 1731, to Thomas Temple, and in October he was kept home from Mr. Rock’s school on account of smallpox. James Loquart (Presbyterian schoolmaster) died in Jamaica in 1722. In 1756 William Sherlock (Episcopal) was teaching here. In 1732 the venerable society voted £15 a year to Mr. Willett, who was of exemplary life and conversation and taught school with diligence. In 1737 he had forty- three, scholars, of whom twenty- three were taught gratis by the bounty of the society. Thomas Temple was also a teacher here at times from 1731 to 1746. In 1743 John Moore, a graduate of Yale College and a candidate for holy orders, was recommended to the society by Messrs. Vesey and Colgan as the most proper person to succeed to the vacant school at Jamaica; £15 a year was granted him. In 1761 "the old school- house" was sold for £3. The next notice of schools is in January 1777, when Andrew Wilson opened a grammar school. Board was to be procured in Jamaica. Simeon Lugrin, a teacher here in 1778, had a fine- toned double harpsichord. None of the ministers of any denomination appear to have taught school till after the Revolution. We find the following notice from the pastor of the Presbyterian church, dated May 17th 1784: "EDUCATION.- The Rev. Matthias Burnet begs leave to inform the respectable public that he will undertake the instruction of a small number of youth (not exceeding twelve or fourteen) in the Latin and Greek languages; and to render his plan more extensively useful he has engaged a person to attend a part of every day to instruct (such as may desire it) in writing, vulgar arithmetic and book- keeping. Those who shall please to commit the education of their children to his care may depend upon the strictest attention to their learning and morals." Mr. Burnet soon gave over teaching.


a grander enterprise than had ever before been undertaken in Jamaica: "At a meeting of a number of the inhabitants of Jamaica and Flushing, March ist, at the house of Mrs. Joanna Hinchman, in Jamaica, for the purpose of carrying into effect the building of an academy in Jamaica, the Rev. Rynier Van Nest in the chair and Eliphalet Wickes clerk, it was resolved that twelve persons be appointed for the purpose of getting subscriptions, viz.: Nathan Woodhull, William Hammel, Francis Lewis, John Hicks, Abraham Ditmars, Daniel Minema, George Faitoute, fames Foster, Samuel Brownjohn, John Smith, Daniel Kissam and Charles Roach." Subscription lists were circulated in Jamaica, Flushing, Newtown and New York; and when £800, the sum intended to be subscribed, was made up, James Mackrel was requested to report a plan of the academy, which he did, and was thereupon appointed master builder. The persons named below paid the number of pounds given in connection with their names: John Allen, 3; John Amberman, 2; William Ballard, 3; Robert Benson, 2; Barnet Bennet, 4; Ephraim Bayles, 2; Daniel Bayles, 3; Leonard Bleeker, 5; Edward Bardin, 10; Joseph Beesley, 1; Cornelius Bogert, 2; Aury Boerum, 1; William Buckle, 5; James Burling, 3; Jacob Beadle, 1; Samuel Brownjohn, 10; Benjamin Carpenter, 3 (and 4s.); William Carpenter, 1; Whitehead Cornell, 3; Lewis Cornwall, 3; Thomas Cornwell, 1; Cornelius Creed, 2; William Creed 3d, 2; Benjamin Coe, 2; William Creed jr., 5; Charles Crommelin, 5; Sylvester Cornell, 1; Matthew M. Clarkson, 10; Governor Clinton, 10; Robert Crommelin, 10; James Cumming, 2; James Depeyster, 30; Abraham Ditmars jr., 5; Samuel Denton, 3; James Denton, 8; John Dewint, 5; John Dixon, 1; Henry Dawson, 2; Abraham Ditmars, 5; Jarvis Dobbs, 3; Thomas Durie, 2; John Durye, 2; Aaron Durye, 1; John Dudley, 3; John Evers, 2; Samuel Eldert, 1; Hendrick Eldert, 1; Nicholas Everit, 10; William Edgar, 20; Rev. George Faitoute, 10; Robert Furman, 5; William Forbes, 4; Thomas Fairchild, 1; James Foster, 25; Samuel Forbus, 5; Waters Forbus, 2; Luke Fleet, 10; John Faulkner, 2; Matthew Farrington, 1 (and 4s.); James Herriman, 30; Stephen Herriman, 25; Joanna Hinchman, 10; Richard Holland, 2; Jonah Hallet, 3; John Hinchman, 4; Bernardus Hendrickson, 5; John Hicks, 4; Rev. William Hammell, 4 (and 5s.); Henry Higbie, 1; Daniel Higbie, 2; Hendrick Hendrickson, 5; William Hendrickson, 1; Richard Harrison, 2; Albert Hoogland, 3 loads timber; Jonathan Jones, 1; Martin Johnson, 5; John Jay, 5; Daniel Kissam, 5; Dr. William Lawton, 2; Isaac Lefferts jr., 5; Dr. Isaac Ledyard, 2; David Lamberson, 30; Waters Lamberson, 3; Nathaniel Lawrence, 5; Jacobus Lefferts, 1 (and 4s.); William Lewis, 1; Bernardus Lamberson, 10 shillings; Hendrick Lott, 1; Francis Lewis jr., 4; William Ludlam, 3; Nicholas Ludlum, 3; Dr. Daniel Minema, 10; James Morrell, 2; Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, 3; Uriah Mitchell, 2 ; Lambert Moore, 2; James Mackrel (for the job of building the academy), 40; Nathaniel Mills, 10 shillings; Jacob Morton, 4; Alexander McComb, 5 (and 4s.); Patrick McDavitt, 1; John Murray, 2; Dr. Jacob Ogden, 10; Richard Platt, 10; William Prince, 2; Joseph Robinson, 10; James Renwick, 3; Michael Ritter jr., 1; Nathaniel Rhoades, 15; Abiathar Rhoades, 15; James Smith, 5; Christopher Smith, 15; Abraham Skinner, 10; Melancthon Smith, 5; James Southard, 3; Mary Smith, 2; Rem Snedeker, 1; Femetie Suydam, 2; John Smith sen., 6; Daniel Smith, 2; John Smith jr., 3; Silvester Smith, 2; John I. Skidmore, 2; Joshua Sands, 5; Eliphalet Stratton, 5; Thomas H. Smith, 1 (and 4s.); Captain John Smith, 2; Nicholas Smith, 3; Othniel Smith, 10; Abigail Skidmore, 1; David Sprong, 5; Jacob Smith, 10; Platt Smith jr., 10; Thomas Tredwell, 6; John Troup, 10; Robert Troup, 2 Joseph Totten, 5; Richard Thorne, 1 (and 12s.); David Titus, 2; Benjamin Thurston, 5; John Thatford, 3; Daniel Tuthill, 5; Abraham Tuthill, 4; James Van Lew, 10; Richard Van Dam, 5; Rev. Rynier Van Nest, 5; John Van Lew,1; Jost Van Brunt, 3; Abraham Van Arsdale, 2; John Vanderbilt, 2; Samuel Vail,5; John Van Lew, 5; John Van Dyne, 10 shillings; Eliphalet Wickes, 10; John Williamson, 10; Samuel Welling, 3; Thomas Willet, 2; James Willet, 2; Lawrence Willet, 2; James Woodhull, 2; James Waters, 20; William Warne, 5; William Waters, 10; Thomas Welling, 2; John Wykoff, 4; William Wilkins, 1 (and 4s.); Stephen Wright, 3. On Tuesday May 1st 1792 the academy, called Union Hall, because built by a union of Jamaica, Flushing and Newtown, was opened for the reception of students. About twelve o’clock the trustees moved in procession from Hinchman’s inn to the Hall, the secretary being in front and bearing the charter granted by the regents. On arriving at the academy they were conducted by the master builder to the hall. The company then being seated, a psalm was sung by a number of young ladies and gentlemen, selected for the purpose. An oration was delivered by Abraham Skinner, Esq., to a very numerous and respectable audience, and the chanting of an ode (composed by the Rev. George Faitoute for the occasion) concluded the business. The trustees then returned to the inn and dined together. After dinner toasts and sentiments were drunk. On the 21st of May 1792 Maltby Gelston, a gentleman of approved character and abilities, having been appointed principal, began teaching Latin and Greek, mathematics, etc., for £6 per annum; writing, arithmetic and English grammar, £4; reading, writing and arithmetic, £3 4s.; reading and writing, £2 8s.; reading only, £2. Board was to be had on very reasonable terms. Mr. Gelston was to have for his compensation the profits arising from the tuition of the scholars. The following text books were adopted by the trustees: English.- The Monitor, to be read daily as the last lesson; Webster’s Grammar, to be read, or repeated by memory; the Testament or Bible, to be read by inferior scholars, and once a day by all. Latin.- Ross’s, Ruddiman’s, or John Holmes’s Grammar; Colloquia Corderii, Erasmus, Selectae Veteris, Selectae Profanis, Nepos, Aesop’s fables, Florus, Mair’s Introduction, Caesar, Virgil, Cicero’s Orations and De Oratore, Horace.

Greek.- Moore’s Grammar, Testament, Lucien’s Dialogues, the Cyropaedia, Longinus, the Iliad. Rhetoric.- Blair’s Belles Lettres. Geography.- Guthrie’s or Salmon’s grammar. Mathematics.- Stone’s Euclid, Martin’s Trigonometry or Warden’s Mathematics. Among the rules are the following: 3d. Every scholar, when the tutor, or any gentleman, comes in or goes out, shall rise up with a respectful bow. 7th. Every scholar shall be particularly careful to treat all men, and especially known superiors, with the greatest modesty and respect. The motto of the seal was: Sigillum aulae unitatis. Semper luccat scientiae sol. Within: Hic lux et veritas. (Seal of Union Hall. May the sun of science always shine. Here be light and truth.) It was announced May 24th 1796 that "the Latin and Greek languages, and sciences, are taught at Union Hall Academy, Jamaica, under the care of the Rev. George Faitoute. A room is devoted to the instruction of young ladies in the refinements of the needle." In 1797 Mr. Faitoute removed his school from the academy to his house, where he continued-to teach the Latin and Greek languages, sciences, etc. The school has been in a flourishing condition. At first the academy seemed to fail of its object. The principals were not successful till 1797, when L.E.A. Eigenbrodt took charge. He soon gave it a celebrity by his skill, discipline and tact, that attracted many students from abroad, the West Indies and southern States. He was cut off by an early death August 30th 1828, in his 54th year, having been principal thirty- one years. In January 1831 the first number of the Union Hall Gazette appeared. It was semi- monthly, edited by the students of the academy. Here follows a list of the principals: Rev. Maltby Gelston, Samuel Crosset, John W. Cox, William Martin Johnson, Henry Liverpool, Henry Crosswell, Rev. George Faitoute, Albert Oblenas, L.E.A. Eigenbrodt, Michael Tracy, Rev. William Ernenpeutch, Rev. John Mulligan, Henry Onderdonk jr., John N. Brinckerhoff, Daniel O. Quimby, Jared Hasbrouck. On March 1st 1873 the academy and lot were sold to Alexander Hagner for $5,250, and the male department of Union Hall Academy was closed, after an existence of eighty- one years.


From the days of Goody Davis (1685) to modern times there doubtless have been schools for girls, though the names of the teachers have passed into oblivion. From 1802 to 1804 a Miss Wooffendale kept a boarding and day school in Jamaica. In 1815 there appeared the following advertisement: "Wanted, to take’ charge of a female academy, in the village of Jamaica, L.I., on the first of May next, a lady who is well qualified to teach all the branches appertaining to a polite and well- finished female education. The academy is sufficiently capacious to enable the instructress to accommodate from 20 to 30 boarders. The trustees are determined to give every support and patronage to the institution, and feel confident that the inducements that may be offered will make it an object worthy the attention of home person of the best, talents and experience. "Reference may be made to Mr. Henry Kneeland, 74 South street, in New York, or to the Rev. Jacob Schoonmaker, at Jamaica, L.I. "Jamaica, November 1st 1815" "The trustees of Union Hall appear to have felt the necessity of having a young ladies’ seminary that would rank in the higher grades of education with Union Hall, which had now reached a commanding position. Having secured suitable teachers they issued in November 1816 the following notice: "The trustees of Union Hall Academy, Jamaica, purpose to open a female academy, May 20th 1817, in a building that will accommodate from thirty to forty boarders. They have engaged two ladies of approved talent and experience, Mrs. Elizabeth Bartlette and Miss Laura Barnum, by whom young ladies will be instructed in all the branches of a polite and well finished education." The prices of tuition per quarter were: Reading and spelling, $3; writing, plain sewing, arithmetic and English grammar, $3.50; geography and mapping, with use of globes, composition, history, chronology and astronomy, $5 filigree, painting and embroidery, $7; fancy work in wax, and velvet painting, $10; extras- French $5, dancing $10, music $18, use of piano $2, entrance fee $5, board $35, washing $5. In 1819 Mrs. and Miss Dawson opened an opposition boarding and day school, where music, French, Italian and English were regularly taught. In 1824 Miriam Ann Simonson opened a female school at the house lately occupied by Mrs. Bartlette and Miss Barnum. Mr. and Mrs. Halworth also advertised a female academy. William White, from London, advertised a boarding academy. In 1825 Rev. Mr. Kingsbury opened a female academy, and William P. Robertson, with an assistant, kept a school. William Puntine about 1808 and thereafter kept a school in the front room of his tin shop. Miss Eliza M. and Mary Hannah were in succession preceptresses of the female department of Union Hall from 1828 to 1841. March 11th 1843 the corner stone of the present female academy was laid, the former one, erected in 1792, having been burned February 12th 1841. The preceptresses in succession were Margaret Adrain, Helen M.G. Stevens, Hannah M. Fleury and Anna C. Townsend.


Emile Vienot conducts a classical and English school called Maple Hall, which may be considered a continuation of old Union Hall. The village of Jamaica was organized as a school district by act of the Legislature July 19th 1853. The district is a circle of about two miles in diameter. A three- story frame building was erected and subsequently enlarged. The principal is assisted by nine teachers. The board of education consists of Lewis L. Fosdick, president; Pierpont Potter, secretary; Isaac C. Hendrickson, treasurer, and Henry Onderdonk jr., committee on library. There is a branch (colored) school maintained by the board in a separate building. The "Sisters’ school" (Roman Catholic), opened in 1878, is intended for youth of both sexes, and is under the supervision of Rev. Anthony Farley.



Jamaica or Rusdorp was settled in 1656 by colonists mostly from Hempstead, who were independents or Presbyterians, and of one way of thinking in religion, so that church affairs were considered and transacted at town meetings. For the first six years they had no settled minister. In 1661 "some of the inhabitants earnestly petitioned Governor Stuyvesant that he would send one of the Dutch ministers of New Amsterdam to preach for them and baptize their children. In compliance with this request the Rev. Samuel Drisius (who could preach in Dutch or English) repaired to Jamaica on Saturday January 8th, and next day preached two sermons and baptized eight children and two women." On March 6th 1662 it was "voted that the townsmen shall look after the procuring of a minister, and to build a house for him 26 feet long, 17 feet wide and 10 feet in, the stud, for £23 in wheat at 6s. and corn at 3S. 6d. per bushel, and to be paid by Christmas next." The house was to have the sides clapboarded, the roof shingled, two fireplaces, one above and one below; a partition, to be well smoothed and "knast;" the chimney well "catted," two windows below and one above. The town was to provide hinges and nails and draw the timber and other stuff. On the 20th of December Mr. Coe, Goodman Benedict, Goodman Smith, Luke Watson and Daniel Denton were appointed to make the rate for the minister’s house and cost of transporting him to Jamaica, the rate to be levied on meadows and home lots. On January 29th 1663 it was voted that Abraham Smith should "have 30s. a year for beating the drum on Sabbath days and other public meeting days, in tobacco pay, or wheat at 6s. 8d. and Indian corn at 4s. per bushel." February 14th 1663 it was voted that Zachary Walker should have £60 per year by a rate levied on land and estates, to be paid yearly, in December, in., wheat at 6s. and Indian corn at 3s. 6d. per bushel. March 2nd 1663 "the house and home lot are given to Mr. Walker, provided that if he leaves us without just cause the town shall have the refusal on paying for what he has expended for improvements; but if the town cause his leaving then the property is to be his." To this record twenty- four names are appended, being probably those of all the freeholders in the town, viz.: John Bayles, William Brinkley, Thomas Benedict, Benjamin and Robert Coe, Daniel Denton, Richard Everett, William and Thomas Foster, George Cummings, John Hinds, Rodger Linas, Samuel Matthews, Andrew Messenger, Nathaniel Denton, John Rodes, Edward Rouse, John Stickland, John Skidmore, Abraham Smith, William Smith, Samuel Smith, Joseph Thurston and Henry Whitney. August 30th 1663 the town agreed with George Morton to build a meeting- house 20 feet square. September 4th 1665 the town (for his further encouragement) agreed to cut and draw the minister’s firewood to till the ground he had broken up, and harvest his corn in lieu of this £65 per year was voted Mr. Walker, provided he agreed to continue here and procured ordination so as not only to preach but to baptize infants. Mr. Walker, now aged 31, concluded to leave Jamaica, and a final settlement was made with him August 7th 1668; he was paid for the improvements he had made on the parsonage, and on September 14th the town voted to procure another minister. His successor, John Prudden, a graduate of Harvard, was 25 years old when he was called "to be our minister," at £40 a year in good current country pay and the use of the house, land and accommodations commonly called the "minister’s lot." As the meeting- house had benches instead of pews, and a table instead of a pulpit, the town voted that a pew or pulpit be made for the minister to preach in. January 1st 1671 Nicholas Everett was voted 20s. a year for beating the drum to give the town warning to come to meeting on the Sabbath. ‘The town, "being, desirous to come into a church way [i.e. the organization of a Presbyterian church], according to the rules of the gospel in this town, by Mr. Prudden and such as will join with him," desired a positive answer (January 13th 1674) from him whether he would remain as its minister. He replied that he was engaged to another people. June 24th 1675 the town agreed to give Rev. William Woodruff £60 per year, "in such pay as will pass current from man to man- i.e. wheat at 5s. per bushel, pease at 4s. and rye at 4s., Indian corn at 3s.- and the use of the parsonage and lands attached." June 19th 1676 the town set apart 40 acres of meadow in the East Neck, together with upland, for the use of a minister. In the town records, April 21st 1753, it is said to have been continued "for the use of a Presbyterian minister since June 19th 1676." June 19th 1676 Mr. Prudden appears to have come back to Jamaica and been re- engaged as minister on the following conditions: The town agreed to give him the house, land and accommodations set apart for a minister, with all their privileges and appurtenances, on condition that he continue as minister ten years; but if he left before that the accommodations were to revert to the town after he had been satisfied for his expenditures; it was also agreed to give him £40 a year, half in "merchants’ pay delivered at York, and the other half in country pay in this town, and his firewood free." The undersigned agreed to bring Mr. Prudden a load of wood apiece yearly: John Carpenter, Nathaniel Denton, John Everet, Henry Foster, Abel Gale, Jonas Halstead, Roger Lynas, Samuel Mathews, John Oldfield, John Rodes, William Ruscoe, Thomas Smith, Samuel Smith, Wait Smith, Nehemiah Smith, Joseph Smith, John Skidmore, Anthony Waters, George Woolsey. Mr. Prudden was a Congregationalist; his people, some at least, were slack in paying their rates, and- to satisfy the preferences of the congregation it is thought- he became a Presbyterian. December 6th 1689, at a town meeting, it was voted to build a meeting- house, 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, "and every way else as shall be convenient and comely." January 9th 1690 Daniel Whitehead, William White, Joseph Smith, Nathaniel Denton, John Carpenter and Nehemiah Smith were appointed to agree with workmen for building and finishing the meeting- house; "and the town will stand by them in paying according to their abilities or estates proportionably." August 21st 1691 a committee agreed with Mr. Prudden about the proposals he made respecting his arrearages and for his encouragement to continue here. His proposals were accepted by the town, and September 3d it was agreed that he should have £60 per year paid him and his firewood free. August 23d 1692 Mr. Prudden accepted a call to a Presbyterian church in Newark. September 29th 1693 he conveyed the parsonage to the town in exchange for other land. Rev. George Phillips was minister here from 1693 to 1696. He was a licentiate and not a pastor; a graduate of Harvard College, aged 29. "The parsonage remaining in the hands of the town it was concluded to give Mr. Phillips the money raised by free gift, being £60 for one year from date, and to pay for his diet where he shall be dieted." March 8th 1694 it was voted that Mr. Phillips should have "all the overplus of the money freely given above the £60 and take the parsonage in his own hands, the town paying his first quarter’s diet." January 1st 1694 a meeting was held in order to the building of a meeting- house for the town, and five men were chosen "to divide the town into five squadrons and to see timber, stones and lime all gotten and fitted proportionably as shall be necessary for said work." February 19th 1694, at a town meeting called by order of the justices, Nehemiah Smith and William Creed were chosen to be vestrymen for Jamaica pursuant to act of Assembly, and to meet with the rest of the vestrymen from the other towns, with full power to choose two church wardens. April 3d 1694 it was voted that "if Mr. Phillips continues his lifetime among us one year’s salary, £60, shall be paid his widow." July 15th 1697, at town meeting, it was agreed by lot that the meeting- house should stand "between the sessions- house and the crossway west of it." October 2nd 1697 "the west end of the town condescends that the meeting- house shall be set up near the pound, the east end people agreeing to procure a good bell. January 5th 1698 It was agreed by vote at town meeting that there should be a church built, and to begin the work the next spring and continue it with all diligence. September 13th 1698 Joseph Smith and Jonas Wood were empowered to treat with the governor about settling Rev. Jeremiah Hobart in the ministry here; and Captain Carpenter, Captain Woolsey, Jonas Wood, Benjamin Thurston, Captain Whitehead, Joseph and John Smith, Edward Burroughs and John Hansen were deputed to carry on the work on the meeting- house. April 15th 1698 "the people of this town did signify their willingness for continuing Mr. Hobart, our present minister, by holding up their hands in a public vote." January 4th 1699 at town meeting it was "agreed that John Oakey, Richard Oldfield, Theodorus Polhemus and Daniel Smith sr. shall go amongst their neighborhoods to see what money can be raised by free will offering for the building of the church." Their report is not recorded, but Colonel Morris writes that one party of the dissenters resolved to build a church, and got subscriptions and materials enough to build it about three feet from the ground; but, being unable to finish it without the assistance of the rest, they got a church-building act passed which enabled the town trustees to make a rate for erecting a church where wanted. By aid of this law the church was soon completed. April 15th 1701, Frederick Hendrickson, John Oakey, William Creed, Hendrick Lott, Theodorus Polhemus, Eldert Lucas and Robert Reade (chirurgeon), living at the west of Jamaica, refusing to pay toward the building of the church, it was referred to arbitrators, who decided that they must pay their rates. November 25th 1700 it was agreed unanimously at town meeting that, "as Mr. John Hubbard has continued some considerable time in the ministry in this town, we are willing to continue him still and have him ordained according to the Presbyterian way." January 13th 1702 church, wardens and vestrymen (all dissenters) were chosen, who called Mr. Hubbard (already their pastor) to be the minister of the town. The former governors of the colony had mostly been indifferent in religious matters; but Lord Cornbury (1702) strove to enforce the English statutes of uniformity and set up the Church of England, according to instructions he had received from Queen Anne. As he interpreted the law "all meeting- houses raised by public tax become vested in the ministry established by law, and so of all lands and glebes set aside by public town meetings." He accordingly encouraged the Rev. John Bartow, a clergyman of the established church, to crowd Mr. Hubbard out of the Presbyterian meeting- house in Jamaica. Hence occurred a scene which we will allow Mr. Bartow to describe in his own graphic style: "I once met with great disturbance at Jamaica [on Sunday, July 25th 1703]. Mr. Hubbard, their Presbyterian minister, having been for some time in Boston on a visit, returned to Jamaica the same Saturday night as I came to it, and sent to me at my lodging (I being then in company with our chief justice, Mr. Mompesson, and Mr. Carter, her Majesty’s comptroller) to know if I intended to preach on the morrow. I sent him answer I did intend it. The next morning the bell rang as usual, but before the last time ringing Mr. Hubbard was got into the church and had begun his service, of which notice was given me, whereupon I went into the church and walked straightway to the pulpit, expecting Mr. Hubbard would desist, since he knew I had orders from the governor to officiate there, but he persisted and I forbore to make any interruption. In the afternoon I prevented him by beginning the service of the Church of England before he came. He was so surprised when he got to the church door and saw me performing divine service that he suddenly started back and went aside to an orchard hard by, and sent in some persons to give the word that he would preach under a tree. Then I perceived a whispering through the church and an uneasiness of many people, some going out, some seemed amazed and not yet determined to go or stay. In the meantime some that had gone out returned again for their seats; and then we had a shameful disturbance, hauling and tugging of seats, shoving one another off, carrying benches out and returning for more, so that I was fain to leave off till the, disturbance was over and a separation made; by which time I had lost about half the congregation, the rest remaining devout and attentive the whole time of service; after which we locked the church door and committed the key into the hands of the sheriff. We were no sooner got into an adjoining house but some persons came to demand the key of their meeting- house; which being refused they went and broke the glass windows, and put a boy in to open the door, and so they put in their seats and took away the pulpit cushion saying they would keep that for their own minister. The scolding and wrangling that ensued are by me ineffable. "The next time I saw my Lord Cornbury he thanked me for what I had done, and said he would do the church and me justice. Accordingly he summoned Mr. Hubbard and the heads of the faction before him, and forbade him evermore to preach in the church, for as it was built by a public tax it did appertain to the established church. He also threatened them all with the penalty of the statute for disturbing divine service, but upon their submission and promise of future quietness and peace he pardoned the offense." On July 4th 1704 Lord Cornbury ordered Rev. John Hubbard to give up to the sheriff the house and lands whereon he dwelt; and ordered the sheriff to deliver the premises to Rev. William Urquhart, the Church of England minister. So the Presbyterians were now ousted from both church and parsonage. They erected a place of worship or used a barn at the east end of the village, where they held services. They at times met in the county hall. The parsonage they soon recovered by an odd incident: The daughter of the rector’s widow had married a Presbyterian student, and the widow surrendered the parsonage to the Presbyterians. The meeting- house was recovered by due course of law in 1728. Mr. Hubbard died October 5th 1705, at the age of 28. Francis Goodhue was the next pastor, licensed (January 1706) by Lord Cornbury to be the minister of the Presbyterian congregation at Jamaica. He died in the summer of 1707, while on a visit to New England. For two or three years there was no pastor; but in the spring of 1710 Rev. George McNish was called, when the Presbyterians had a brief occupation of the meetinghouse, owing to the death of the incumbent, Rev. William Urquhart. The Presbyterians were soon ejected and six of them arrested for riot or forcible detainer of the church; brought before the, court of sessions April 11th 1710 and fined 3s. each, which was afterward remitted. The town, however, by vote (July 25th 1712) confirmed Mr. McNish in the possession of the parsonage; and in a memorial to the governor complained of being "deprived of their meeting- house by force and violence without any process, trial or judgment," and prayed such relief as his excellency should judge consistent with equity and justice. Mr. McNish died March 10th 1722, and was succeeded (October 16th 1723) by Robert Cross, aged 34 years. He married Mary, daughter of Justice Oldfield, and her sister Sarah married Mr. Poyer, the Church of England rector of Jamaica. In 1737 Mr. Cross removed to Philadelphia. At a town meeting January 20th 1725, "whereas Mr. Thomas Poyer, the Church of England minister, brought a suit of ejectment against several tenants in possession of the parsonage lands and was cast," it was voted that "Mr. Robert Cross shall have the use and benefit of said lands during the time he shall continue our minister." The Presbyterians had made several violent attempts to regain possession of their church, but failed and were fined and punished. At a town meeting February 21st 1727 a majority of the freeholders of Jamaica voted that "the ground and the stone building or meeting- house now in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Poyer shall be granted to John Carpenter, Jonas Wood and Benjamin Thurston, some of the surviving trustees by whom it was built, to hold in trust for the town, and to be disposed of according to the first intention of the builders." Justices Betts and Oldfield, Richard Comes and Samuel Clowes protested against this vote. On the strength of the above vote they commenced a suit at law, and were successful. This was one of the most important suits ever prosecuted on Long Island, and aroused all the bad feelings of the litigants. In the absence of a full report, we give the minutes of the trial as we find them noted in the private record book of the judge before whom the case was tried. They are dry and technical, but they are all we have to give" Supreme Court held at Jamaica, December 23d 1728, Lewis Morris, Esq., chief justice. Stephen Theobalds on the demise of Carpenter and others vs. Thomas Poyer, rector of the parish of Jamaica. Evidence for defendant: Copy of town vote read. Copy of warrant for town meeting road. Benjamin Wiggins sworn.Defendant being called on confesses lease entry and ouster. A vote in 1698 empowering persons to carry on the building of a meeting- house or church. An act of Assembly for the erecting public edifices in 1699 read. Jonathan Whitehead sworn. A receipt from the trustees to Jonathan Whitehead as collector, for money gathered by him in 1702. Samuel Smith sworn. An act for settling a ministry in several towns in the province read. A copy of a record of a trial between Thomas Poyer and George McNish in the supreme court was produced as evidence, and allowed. A patent from Governor Nicoll to the, inhabitants of Jamaica read. A release from William Hallett, the surviving patentee, to Thomas Poyer, for the church or building in dispute, Charles Doughty took his affirmation. Evidence for plaintiffs: Nehemiah Smith sworn. Colonel Dongan’s patent to the inhabitants of Jamaica read. Zachariah Mills sworn. Town vote of Jamaica in 1726, to vest the ground on which the church stands in certain persons, read. John Foster and Samuel Smith sworn. William Carpenter and Thomas Smith sworn. Thomas Gales took his affirmation. Derick Brinckerhoff, John Petit and Andrew Clark sworn. A motion of Mr. Bickley, in an inferior court held at Jamaica, read. Daniel Whitehead sworn. Three orders of the town in 1689 read. Two orders of the town in 1697 read. Nicholas Berrian sworn. The jury find for plaintiff 6 pence damages and 6 pence costs. Mr. Poyer’s counsel complained of the partiality of the judge, for he designed to put the matter on some points of law which were in his favor, and in the time of trial offered to demur in law, but was diverted therefrom by the judge, who told him that he would recommend it to the jury to find a special verdict, and if they did not he would allow a new trial. This he afterward refused to do, saying a bad promise was better broken than kept. Though the Presbyterians had now their church and parsonage in quiet possession they were taxed toward raising £60 per annum for the maintenance of the Church of England minister. This tax was levied on the three towns of Jamaica, Newtown and Flushing from 1704 till the Revolutionary war. This explains the following vote: "At town meeting, Jamaica, April 5th 1737, voted by the majority of freeholders that Nathan Smith and Hendrick Eldert are chosen assessors; they are obliged to take a new assessment and deliver a copy of it to the vestrymen in order to their making the parish rate." Walter Wilmot was ordained and installed here April 12th 1738 as pastor. He was 29 years of age. He married Freelove, daughter of Jotham Townsend a woman eminent for her piety. The town voted April 21st that Mr. Wilmot should have possession of the parsonage etc. as long as he remained its minister. He died August 6th 1744. He was greatly beloved and many children were named after him, some "Walter" and some "Wilmot." David Bostwick was ordained and installed here October 9th 1745. He was 24 years of age. At a meeting April 21st 1753 the town gave in trust the meadow and upland which in 1676 had been "set apart for the use of a minister of the Presbyterian denomination" to the elders and deacons, to be sold and the proceeds to be put at interest for the support of a Presbyterian minister forever. Samuel Clowes jr., Robert Denton and Joseph Oldfield dissented. John ‘Johnson bought this land May 21st for £163. In 1756 Mr. Bostwick was called to a Presbyterian church in New York. Elihu Spencer labored here as pastor or stated supply from May 22nd 1758 to May 1760, when he was appointed chaplain to a regiment going to the French and Indian war. Benoni Bradner preached here from 1760 to 1761. He was 26 years old, and married Miss Rebecca Bridges, of this place. He left on account of a division in the congregation, and William Mills, of Smithtown, aged 22, began to preach here in July 1761 as a candidate. There were, he says, but twelve communicants and no church records. There was a revival and many were added to the church. He died March 18th 1774, having been sick about a year. Matthias Burnet was ordained and installed pastor here April 1775, at the age of 26. He married Ann Combs, of Jamaica, an Episcopalian, and was perhaps the only Presbyterian minister who did not side with the patriots. During the armed occupation of Jamaica by the British Mr. Burnet was permitted to preach undisturbed, and by his influence with the loyalists preserved the church edifice from desecration. Soon after the British were established in Jamaica a parcel of loyalists perched themselves in the belfry of the church and commenced sawing off the steeple. Word was brought, to Mr. Burnet; he had Whitehead Hicks, mayor of New York, as a guest at his house, who soon put a stop to the outrage. Though Mr. Burnet saved the church from desecration, yet after the peace, when the exiled Whigs returned home, party spirit ran so high that he was forced to leave. He kept a school for a short time, but left for Norwalk in May 1785. He annually visited Jamaica, and in 1790 preached to an overflowing assembly in his old church. James Glassbrook preached here some time in 1786-87, but did not become a pastor. George Faitoute came here in July 1789, aged 39 years. The church then consisted of 96 heads of families and 58 communicants. He died on Sunday afternoon August 21st 1815, having preached in the morning.


The above cut is a representation of the stone meeting- house erected by the town of Jamaica as a common place of worship for its inhabitants in 1699. It stood in the middle of the main street at the head of Union Hall street, then and long after called "Meeting- house lane." The building was taken down in 1813, when the present Presbyterian church was erected. After the war and while there was no county courthouse, the judges held their courts in the old church. Two robbers were here sentenced to death, and hanged at Beaver Pond in 1784. The edifice was of stone, 40 feet square, and had three doors, and aisles to correspond. The pulpit, surmounted by its sounding- board, stood on the north side, facing the gallery. For a time Mr. Bernardus Hendrickson, aged and hard of hearing, sat in the pulpit beside the minister. The minister had gown and bands. There was no stove. The women, arrayed (some at least) in scarlet, cloaks, sat on chairs along the wide aisle, and had foot- stoves. The floor was sanded. There was little work for the sexton, Joseph Tuttle, to keep the house in order, so he was content (1791) to take up with a yearly salary of 1 pound taking care of the church, and 1 pound for ringing the bell. The minister’s salary was $300, and parsonage, with some incidental advantages, as marriage fees, spinning parties and special gifts when he had had sickness in his family, or other misfortunes. There were two services on the Lord’s day, with an hour’s intermission, when the people ate what they had brought from, home, or went into Capt. Joseph Roe’s bakery (where widow Waters now lives), and regaled themselves on gingerbread and spruce beer. Those that wished something stronger could get it at William Betts’s inn (since Hewlett Creed’s inn), over the way. Thomas Bailey, Joseph Tuttle and Charles S., Lord successively led the singing. Mr. Lord stood in the gallery, the others in front of the pulpit. In course of time the edifice, though often cleaned, repaired, shingled and painted, was not thought sufficiently convenient. The old glebe was sold and used as a female academy. Richard Creed’s house and land was bought (the present parsonage) and May 24th 1813 the workmen began to take down the old stone church against whose walls the academy boys had played ball for years. After the rubbish had been removed the ground under the church (especially beneath the communion table, in front of the pulpit) was carefully dug over, and the remains of those who had been buried there gathered up, placed in a box, conveyed in procession headed by the sexton, Jeffery Smith, to the village burying place, and again committed to the earth. So says the late Charles B. Shaw, who was present. Among these relics must have been the remains of Rev. Patrick Gordon, Rev. William Urquart, and two wives of Rev. Thomas Poyer. The new church was dedicated January 18th 1814, the corner stone having been laid June 9th 1813 by John Rider. The preacher was Rev. Dr. Milledoler, of New York. Rufus King was captivated with the discourse and asked Rev. Mr. Sayres, as they were coming out of church, the name of the eloquent divine. "Strange," says be, "that I never heard of him before." The cost of the church was $9,510.74. The accompanying engraving does not show the building in its original beauty. It had a graceful tapering spire, which rose 102 feet from the ground, and could be seen from far. In the course of time some persons thought it had been strained by the September gale of 1821, and that it was racking the frame work of the building, and in spite of the protests of a few objectors 27 feet of this symmetrical spire was sawn off and ignominiously pulled down by ropes. It fell with a crash and was broken into a thousand pieces, which were gathered in piles and sold for fuel to the highest bidder. Thus was this well proportioned edifice, peerless among the churches on Long Island, shorn of its principal ornament. The people had become slack and careless under the failing strength of the good Mr. Faitoute, and few could pray in public. Rev. Henry R. Weed, fresh from Princeton Seminary, was called in 1815. He quickly infused a new energy into the religious life of his people. He started week day lectures and prayer- meeting, formed a Bible class and (though for a long time before there had been yearly contributions to the Education Society) prompted the ladies to organize societies for religious purposes. The ladies made a beautiful heavy cloth cloak, which they presented to him in form. After recovering from his surprise he thanked them for their care of his bodily comfort; and then, with an arch smile, he added (as if the cloak were a douceur), "Ladies, how can I hereafter, in preaching, call you sinners?" Mr. Weed was of acknowledged ability, a preacher of the old school, of sterner stuff than ministers now are. There was no mistaking his notions of a future state, especially of the wicked. Smith Hicks, who from a carpenter had become an irreverent publican, used to say he "never knew a, preacher who could take up a sinner in both hands, hold him out at arms length, and so shake him over hell fire as Mr. Weed could." Hitherto there had been no stove in the church. One Lord’s day Mr. Weed broached the subject, and said he could stand the cold and keep warm by preaching, but he feared his people would be too uncomfortable to sit and listen patiently to his discourses. So the stoves, amid opposition, were set up. Mr. Weed found the hour’s intermission too short to rest himself in, and the services were held later in the afternoon. The church had then no lamps for night service, nor sheds for the horses. He let the people know he sought not "theirs but them," and when some one hinted he should be content with less salary he quietly left. Mr. Weed discouraged the practice, then prevalent in the best families, of giving wine at funerals. In this he was seconded by Rev. Mr. Sayres. Time out of mind in humbler families rum was handed from one to another as they stood out of doors about the house, each man drinking directly out of the mouth of the upturned flask; wine was passed around to the women within the house. Captain Cod wise, who lived at Beaver Pond, had a cask of the choicest wine stored away in his cellar for years, reserved for his funeral. The last and most distinguished occasion in Jamaica of thus regaling the attendants was the funeral of Rufus King, our minister to England, who died April 29th 1827, at the age of 73. It was a warm day, and the waiters were kept going about, in doors and out, with silver salvers before them loaded with decanters, glasses and segars. Mr. Weed and Mr. Sayres were (1818) chosen inspectors of, common schools for Jamaica. They did their duty so strictly and exposed so many shortcomings in the teachers that they were not re- elected. In 1821 an auxiliary missionary society was formed with 350 members. May 27th 1822, was formed a society for, ameliorating the condition of the Jews. December 5th 1822, more than a dozen years before similar action in any other church, a Sabbath- school for colored people was started in the Presbyterian church. In 1823 a lecture room was built. April 5th 1825 Othniel Smith died, leaving $2,000 to this church, $2,500 to the Princeton Theological Seminary, and $500 each to the Bible Society, Tract Society and Domestic Missionary Society. January 31st 1839 Miss Mary Hanna presented a beautiful set of chandeliers to the church. Mr. Weed was succeeded in 1823 by Seymour P. Funck, who was ordained here March 6th. Some dissatisfaction arising, his pastoral relation was dissolved May 9th 1825. Personal dissensions were rife and were not allayed till the advent of Asahel Nettleton, in the winter of 1826. He ignored his parishioners’ quarrels, and instead of listening to their recriminations preached to them all as sinners, and, brought on a wonderful revival. On the 2nd of July 72 were added to the church and 18 baptized. He declined the pastoral charge, and was followed by Elias W. Crane, aged 30, who was in stalled here October 31st 1826. He died suddenly November 10th 1840, a few hours after preaching an evening lecture. He was much esteemed. Mr. James M. Macdonald was installed here May 5t1 1841, and left April 16th 1850. His successor was Pete D. Oakey, who was installed here May 25th 1850 and re signed September 4th 1870, from ill health. The congregation resolved to present him with $2,000, and continue his salary till November 1st. In the spring of 1846 the church was enlarged by the addition of 13 ½ feet to the length, making it 90 feet b7 46, with 144 pews. Lewis Lampman, the present pastor, was ordained here November 10th 1870. In 1879 the interior of the church was renovated, the organ was placed back of and over the pulpit and 104 comfortable pews were made on the lower floor. Ministers have taken charge of this church as follows: Zechariah Walker, February 14 1663; John Prudden March 6 1670 and June 19 1676; William Woodruff, June 24 1675, George Phillips, 1693; Jeremiah Hobart, September 13 1698; John Hubbard*, **, February - 1702; Francis Goodhue**, 1705; George McNish**, 1711; Robert Cross, September 18 1723; Walter Wilmot*, **, April 12 1738; David Bostwick*, October 9 1745; Elihu Spencer, D.D., May 22 1758; Benoni Bradner, 1760; William Mills**, July 1761; Matthias Burnet, D.D., April 1775; James Glassbrook***, March 11 1786; George Faitoute**, July 1789; Henry R. Weed, D.D.*, January 4 1816; Seymour P. Funck’*, March 6 1823; Asahel Nettleton***, February to November 1826; Elias W. Crane**, October 31 1826; James M. Macdonald, May 5 1841; Peter D. Oakey, May 25 1850; Lewis Lampman*, November 10 1870.


In August 1657 Robert Hodgson, a traveling Quaker preacher, came to Jamaica, where he, was received with gladness and made his home at Henry Townsend’s, who invited his neighbors to come in and listen to a word of exhortation. As the governor, Peter Stuyvesant, had forbidden the harboring of Quakers he fined Townsend in the sum of £8 Flemish, or else to depart the province under the penalty of coporal punishment. A few months after (December 29th) another Quaker preacher found his way to Jamaica; and Townsend offered him the use of his house to preach in, for which act he was (January 8th 1658) fined 300 guilders, or about $120. At length another traveling preacher, Daniel Wilson guided by Samuel Spicer and Goody Tilton, made his way into Jamaica, and he found the door of Townsend standing wide open for his welcome reception. The names of those present Samuel Andrews, Richard Britnell, Richard Chasmore, Samuel Deane and wife, Richard Harker, Henry Townsend, John Townsend and wife were reported to the governor January 9th 1661, and Townsend for the third time was brought before the now exasperated governor, who sentenced him to pay 600 guilders (about $240) and with his brother John to be banished from the province. Refusing to pay his fine Townsend suffered a long imprisonment. The governor next sent a dozen soldiers to inforce obedience to his ordinance against Quaker preaching, and to be quartered on the inhabitants of Jamaica till they should pledge themselves to aid the authorities in putting down Quaker’ meetings. To escape the annoyance of having soldiers in their houses the following householders signed the pledge: Benjamin and Robert Coe, Richard Chasmore, Nathaniel Denton, Richard Everitt, Thomas and William Foster, Rodger Lynas, Samuel Mathews, Andrew Messenger, George Mills, John Rods, Samuel, Abraham and Morris Smith, Henry Steves, Thomas Wiggins and Luke Watson. The soldiers were then quartered on those who refused to sign the pledge, viz., John Townsend, Samuel Deane, Nathaniel Coles, Richard Britnell, Benjamin Hubbard and Richard Harker. Soon after this Coles, Harker and the two Townsends removed to Oyster Bay to be beyond the governor’s jurisdiction. We hear no more of Quaker agitations till George Fox visited Long Island, when Christopher Holder and other Friends came to. Jamaica (6th month 1672) and held a meeting. Holder was succeeded by others from time to time. The persistent preaching of Friends against "hireling priests" had its effect; for in 1674, May 9th, William Creed and Humphrey Underhill refused to contribute to the maintenance of a minister who was paid by the town in general. In 1678 Samuel Deane complained that "he was distrained of 18 shillings by the magistrates of Jamaica for priests’ wages of Zachary Walker and John Prudden, and a little more for his not training. Hugh Cowperthwaite also had 10 shillings taken from him by constraint for the wages of the priest of Jamaica." Friends’ principles had now taken such growth in Jamaica that on the 27th of December 1686 it was agreed that a quarterly meeting should be held there on the last First day of July 1687. In 1699 Roger Gill with others came to Jamaica and "held a pretty large meeting in an orchard. The Lord’s power was there." In July 1700 William Penn and other Friends visited Jamaica, held a meeting and disbursed 1 pound for their entertainment at an inn. Thomas Story, a preacher, says in 1702: "We had a large, good meeting in Jamaica. Several lawyers who were attending the court there and other company came to listen to us, all very sober and attentive," The next year Story had another large meeting there and visited Samuel Bownas, imprisoned in the county jail for preaching against the ceremonies of the Church of England. In 1706 the Friends bought for £s a lot of ground 80 by 50 feet on which to build a meeting- house. In 1725 Thomas Chalkley had a large meeting in Jamaica, at which "several in authority were present, who were very loving and respectful." In 1727 Samuel Bownas had a large meeting. With others came generally his old neighbors, among whom he had been a prisoner twenty years before, and were glad to see him. In 1729 and again in 1738 the meeting- house required repairs; and from time to time it was rented out with the land, the Friends reserving the privilege of holding meetings there. At last the society began to dwindle and the rents were not promptly paid, so that the yearly meeting offered the property for sale. "The Quaker lot" was bought in 1797 by William Puntine for £200. From this date Quaker preachers have from time to time held meetings in some public room, taking care to send word around the village.


The organization of this church at Jamaica is veiled in obscurity. It seems to have occurred before 1702, for the first record of baptism is dated June 1st of that year. But long before this time the Dutch had gradually been emigrating from Kings county into the western part of Queens, for we find twenty- one Dutch names among the contributors of a free gift (January 21st 1694) to Rev. Mr. Phillips, the Presbyterian minister at Jamaica. As there was a church built at the common expense of the town in 1699 it is probably that the Dutch ministers from New York and Kings county whenever they visited Jamaica officiated in it for the Dutch congregation, as one of them (Antonides) certainly did on Sunday September 20th 1709. In 1714 the congregation paid £40 New York money for their share of the services of the ministers of Kings county. April 29th 1715 the elders and deacons of the Dutch congregation throughout all Queens county resolved unanimously to build a church at Jamaica. The sum of £361.18.6 was raised by subscription. The surnames of the subscribers were Adriance, Ammerman, Antony, Atten, Baird, Barentse, Bas, Beekman, Bergen, Berrien, Blaw, Blom, Boerum, Boog, Bras, Brinkerhoff, Burtis, Carpenter, Cockefer, Cornell, Covert, Crankheid, Demott, Ditmarse, Doesenburg, Dorlandt, Dreck, Dowe, Elderse, Edsall, Foreest, Forheisen, Fyn, Gennon, Gerritse, Glean, Goetbloet, Golder, Haff, Hardenburg, Hagewout, Haviland, Hendrickson, Hegeman, Hoogelandt, Jansen, Kip, Kolyer, Loosie, Lott, Lammerse, Lucasen, Luyster, Masten, Monfort, Montanye, Norstrandt, Onderdonk, Polhemus, Probasco, Rapelye, Remsen, Reicke, Robertsen, Ryder, Schenck, Smith, Snedeker, Springsteen, Stevense, Teller, Van Cleef, Vanderbilt, Van Hoek, Van Leuwen, Van Lettingen; Van Nostrand, Van Wicklen, Van Wyck, Wiltse and Willemsen. The surnames of purchasers of seats from 1716 to 1753 were Bennet, Clowes, Coerten, Cornelisse, Durye, Ecker, Freest, Grix, Humphreys, Lanen, Laton or Letten, Lefferts, Lent, Lupardus, Molenarr, Read, Ryerse, Simonson, Sherlock, Stillwell, Stockholm,Van Arsdalen,Van Duyne,Van Solingen,Van Soolen and Wyckoff. May 23th 1715 a lot of 25 square roods next to Henry Filkins’s was bought for the site of the new church, from Rev. Benjamin and Abigail Woolsey (of Dosoris), for the nominal price of five shillings. The church having been erected the congregation met in it for the first time On June 15th 1716, and chose persons to allot the men’s and women’s seats. The building was an octagon, with a steep roof, in the center of which was a cupola with a bell cast at Amsterdam, at a cost of £8. In 1720 the church was painted at a cost of £15.10. June 7th 1727 the consistory of the church wished to withdraw from their combination with the Kings county churches and have a pastor to themselves, because they were surrounded by Quakers and Anabaptists, and their children were apt to intermarry with strangers and go off to other religious bodies. The project failed for the time, but in three or four years afterward churches were started at Newtown, Success and Wolver Hollow, all in. connection with the mother church at Jamaica. A call was made out August 20th 1730 for a minister from Holland, at a salary of £80 New York currency; but no minister would leave Holland for so small a sum. It was increased to £100, but still no minister could be found there who would accept it. The floor of the church was sanded. In 1737 15 pence was paid for sweeping the church and 4 pence for half a bushel of sand. In 1741, after waiting nine years and having made several unsuccessful efforts to procure a minister from Holland, a call was made on Rev. Johannes Henricus Goetschius, of Pennsylvania, who was installed April 19th in the church at Jamaica, by Dominie Freeman, who preached from these words: "Lo I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." In September a parsonage was bought (where Aaron A. Degrauw now lives) of Thomas Smith, at a cost of £185. Mr. Goetschius was an able preacher and a learned man, but of a warm temperament. He preached a sermon August 22nd 1742 on the unknown God, wherein he rebuked the lukewarmness of his congregations. This aroused a spirit of resentment, which caused a division among the people and ended in his removal in 1748. November 21st 1752 Thomas Romeyn preached a trial sermon, which proving satisfactory he received a call on condition of his going to Holland for ordination. April 10th 1753 he gave his departing sermon and then took ship for Holland; on April 9th. 1754 he had returned, and he was inducted November 10th by Dominie Ver Bryck according to the order of classis. In March 1755 he made a pastoral visitation from house to house throughout the whole congregation of Jamaica, and met with rough handling from the friends of Goetschius. On April 6th he celebrated the Lord’s Supper and admitted 16 members. The divisions continuing in the congregation caused Mr. Romeyn to leave. He preached his last sermon November 30th 1760, from Ephesians vi. 24, "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." In 1766, February 2nd, Dominic Boelen arrived in port from Holland, and on the 4th gave his introductory discourse from Psalms xxxiv. 12. He was inducted by Dominie Van Sinderen, with a text from Hebrews- "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God." June 1st he had his first communion, and in the afternoon he gave a thanksgiving sermon, such being the custom on sacrament days. In 1768 the collection on Paas Sunday (Easter) was 6s. 10d., on Paas Monday 2s., on Pinkster (Whitsunday) 10s., On Pinkster Monday 4s. 4d. The congregation, as the collections show, was smaller on the festival days than on Sundays. In 1772 Domine Boelen left. A call on Rynier Van Nest in 1773 being declined, Solomon Froeligh was ordained and installed in the church at Jamaica, June 11th 1775. Froeligh was an ardent Whig and was so outspoken in the pulpit that when the British got possession of the island he fled to the mainland. The Dutch church was taken by the British for a storehouse. The pulpit was left, but the seats and floor were ripped up, taken out and used for building barracks or huts for the soldiers. To this church every Sunday wagons. repaired to load up with the weekly allowance of rum, pork, flour and peas for the soldiers’ rations. The congregation whenever the ministers (Dominies Rubell and Schoonmaker) from Kings county visited them were allowed the use of the Episcopal church for religious services. After the Revolutionary war the church was repaired; and March 7th 1785 Rev. Rynier Van Nest, having accepted a call, became the minister. In 1792 it was decided to have the public services in church half the time in the English language. July 23th 1794 Zachariah H. Kuypers or Cooper was called as assistant to Mr. Van Nest. His salary was thought by classis to be too small. It was £126 a year, without a parsonage. April 21st 1795 the treasurer paid the "fore-singer" £1.14 for a year’s service and £1.12 to the bell- ringer. January 8th 1797 Mr. Van Nest left, and Mr. Cooper was sole pastor of the four Dutch churches of Queens county. The parsonage was sold in 1801 and the money distributed to the four congregations to buy two parsonages. Jacob Schoonmaker was called to the churches of Jamaica and Newtown April 20th 1802, and ordained October 24th, and the connection of the four Dutch churches terminated. In 1809 a parsonage was bought for him at Jamaica, opposite the former one. In 1811 the Jamaica church comprised 107 families and ~6 communicants. The parsonage was sold to Dominie Schoonmaker. The church built in 1716 was now too small and inconvenient; and March 20th 1832 proposals for building a frame church 82 by 62 feet were issued. The corner stone was laid July 4th in presence of a large concourse of people, who were addressed by Rev. Dr. Janeway. On Sunday June 2nd 1833 Rev. Dr. Schoonmaker preached the last sermon in the old church in the Dutch language, which was understood by very few. The next day commenced the work of tearing down the building, which had stood 117 years and was the last specimen on the island of the old Dutch churches. The new church was dedicated July 4th 1833, with a sermon by Rev. Elihu Baldwin. On January 6th 1835 Rev. Garret J. Garretson was called as assistant to Dr. Schoonmaker, and he left in June 1849. On Sunday August 4th 1850 Dr. Schoonmaker, having received a satisfactory compensation, preached his farewell sermon and celebrated the communion, assisted by his old friend Rev. Dr. Brodhead. January 7th 1851 John B. Alliger was installed here. In May a large organ was set up in the church, costing $1,200; a melodeon and a seraphine had been used for some time before. A parsonage was provided for the minister in 1853, and a consistory room was dedicated May 8th 1858. November 19th 1857 about 9 o’clock at night, by the mismanagement of the firemen, a fire in Rotten Row was allowed to get under too great headway, and the wind, suddenly veering about, drove the flames to the church and it was totally consumed. It had just been repaired, painted and beautified at a cost of $3,000. The workmen had put on it the finishing stroke only a few hours before the fire. The books, cushions, carpets and clock were saved. The communion and baptismal vessels were lost. The burning of the church was the cause of erecting one at Queens, which was dedicated May 8th 1859. The corner stone of a new church was laid September 14th 1858, by Richard Brush. Addresses were made by Rev. Messrs. Cuyler and Van Zandt. The new church, of the round- arch style, built of brick, covered with slate and having stained glass windows, costing in all about $20,000, was dedicated by Dr. Thomas E. Vermilye, who also preached the sermon. The Rev. Mr. Alliger resigned May 30th 1870. November 20th 1870 Rev. John G. Van Slyke was installed. He celebrated the communion and gave his last sermon December 4th 1876. May 3d 1877 Rev. William H. De Hart was installed as pastor of the church at Jamaica.



The Episcopal church dates from 1702, when the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts sent over Rev. Patrick Gordon, with the title of "rector of Queens county" and an allowance of £50 per annum. In passing through New York he caught a violent fever then prevalent there, and, going on to Jamaica with intent to preach in his parish, was taken sick the day before he designed to preach, and so continued till his death, about eight days after. He was buried in the stone meeting- house on July 28th 1702. The following inventory shows a portion of Mr. Gordon’s outfit for his mission: Silver watch and seal, £10; tin tobacco box, 9d.; cloth colored cloak, £2; 4 old razors, 3s.; rewfarino gown and cassock, old, £2 10s.; black coat, £3 10s.; two pair colored gloves, 5s.; 3 doz. and 8 pair of bands, £2 4s.; 12 pair of cheat sleeves, 7s.; 2 perukes, £1 6s.; 1 hat, £1 4s.; 2 old perukes, 10s.; cane with a prospect glass in it, £1 10s.; 2 pair of new breeches and an old waistcoat, £2 10s.; fine silk morning gown with cape, £5 10s. Besides the above there were saddle, bridle, boots and spurs, two teapots, some pewter dishes, a half- dozen wooden trenchers, two dozen and eight napkins, a dozen white handkerchiefs, two flannel shirts, three hats, three knit night- caps, twenty fine shirts, seven pair of sham sleeves, a large collection of books, etc., etc. Rev. George Keith visited Jamaica September 24th 1702; and on Sunday November 14th 1703 he preached there from Hebrews viii. 9, 10. Lord Cornbury appointed to succeed Mr. Gordon Rev. James Honeyman, who writes (April 15th 1704) that "we have a church (the meeting- house) but neither Bible nor prayer book, no cloths for pulpit or altar." The society sent over a silver paten and chalice, inscribed, "The gift of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1704." This chalice is still in use. The society had appointed Rev. William Urquhart its second missionary to Jamaica. He was inducted July 27th 1704. Lord Cornbury ordered the Presbyterian minister to give up the parsonage house to the new rector. This dispossessing by the governors’s warrant merely and otherwise than by due course of law gave rise to a long series of troubles and litigation. Chief Justice Mompesson said it was a "high crime and misdemeanor;" a short way of proceeding but contrary to law, and did the church more hurt than can be easily imagined. The governor also ordered the money (church rates) made from the sale of corn to be paid to Mr. Urquhart, and the justices and vestrymen to lay a tax (according to a law enacted September 22nd 1693) on the inhabitants of the parish for raising the maintenance of the minister, Mr. Urquhart, which was £60 per year. The society allowed him £50 per year and £15 for books for the use of his mission; so his salary was £110 and the use of the parsonage. "Mr. Urquhart has the most difficult task of any missionary in this government, for, though he is a good man and extraordinary industrious, yet having the Presbyterians and Quakers to thwart him, and very little assistance in his parish except from those who have no interest with the people, his work can’t but go on very heavily." Some of the most rigid dissenters, however, were brought over into a close communion with the church. Mr. Urquhart while in Jamaica became the third husband of Mary, daughter of Daniel Whitehead, and by the help of her money became one of the patentees of a tract of land in New Jersey. He died about the last of August 1709. "Mr. Urquhart, being settled among the adversaries of the church, was at great pains and charges to maintain the title of his church and parsonage, besides repairs. His natural good inclinations to hospitality led him into extraordinary expenses to support the credit of his character, and he has left his widow in such incumbrances as we can but pity." The society made the widow a present of £50. The neighboring clergy continued services in the church till the arrival of Rev: Thomas Poyer, the society’s third missionary, who was inducted July 8th 1710. Mr. Poyer after a stormy passage of thirteen weeks was wrecked on the south side of the island, about one hundred miles east of Jamaica. After wending his way to his parish he found the door of his parsonage shut against him, so he had to take a hired house. He, however, served the tenant with a lease of ejectment by way of continuing his claim. Mr. Poyer at once set about the work of his mission. He distributed the religious books given him by the society; took the names of the recipients, so as to look after them, and gave private advice as he went from house to house in his large parish. He preached in turn once a fortnight at Jamaica and once a month at Flushing and Newtown. In 1714 he reports that the church increases, he has gained over some independents, his communicants have risen, from thirty to sixty, and at Flushing among the Quakers he has fifty and sometimes one hundred hearers. In 1717 Mr. Poyer begins to complain of his hardships. His parish is fifteen miles long, and six and a half broad; has 409 families in it, but not above 80 come to church; he has 400 hearers, and but 60 communicants; has worn out two gowns and cassocks and the third very bare, and his family wants are such that he don’t know how he shall get another; he has not as yet received a penny of his salary in this country, though he got a verdict for part of it. The obstinate independents, being church wardens, put him to as much trouble as they can in suing for it. Jamaica is a dear place to live in and things are costly. (Bohea tea is 7s. per pound and loaf sugar 13 pence) He lives below the character of a missionary, and yet runs in debt. The society sent him a gown and cassock and £10. The communicants in 1723.7 were : Justice Betts and wife, Madam Clarke, Andrew Clarke and wife, Justice Clement and wife, Mr. Clowes and wife, son Samuel, ____ Gerardus, Mrs. Clowes and son John, Mr. Comes, Daniel Denton and wife, John Hutchins, Christopher Kernan, Captain Luff, Judith "the negress," D. Mills, Mr. Power, Mrs. Poyer, Mr. Reynolds, Mrs. Sawyer, Mr. Smith and wife, brother and sister to Mr. Clowes, Samuel Smith and wife, Mrs.Arthur Smith and wife, Mrs. Katrina Stillwell, inn- keeper, Mrs. Rachel Stroud, Mr. Taylor, Mrs. William Thorne, Foster Waters and wife Mary, Mr. Wiggins and daughter Bedford, Mrs. Isabel Wiggins, Thomas’ Wiggins and wife, Catherine Wiggins, Mrs. Williamson, daughter Mary, and her two , daughters, Colonel Thomas Willett, Edward Willett and wife. Mr. Poyer says that, besides the service on the Lord’s day and the holidays set apart by the church, he gives frequent lectures on week days; many of his parishioners live twelve miles distant and he must keep two horses. This wears out more clothes in a year than would last three or four if he hadn’t to ride. In Flushing and Newtown there is no convenience of private houses, so that he has to use public ones, at a very great charge. He celebrates the communion four or five times a year or oftener, as he has health. He catechises and expounds the catechism to all such as are sent to him, twice a week in church, and once a fortnight the year round at his house. At first Mr. Poyer had to put up with many abuses and affronts from the dissenters. He says (in 1718): "They tried to tire me out with their ill- usage. I am threatened to be starved, and denied victuals for my money. The miller wouldn’t grind my corn, but sent it home and said I might eat it whole, as the hogs do. They say if the constables offer to collect my salary they will, scald them, they will stone them, they will go to club- law with them." This threat was soon carried out; for on December 5th 1718, as the constable, Ri. Combs, went to Daniel Bull’s and demanded the rate, he took up an axe and swinging it over Combs’s head said he would split, his head if he touched anything there. The constable commanded Jacamiah Denton in the king’s name to assist him, but he laughed, said he was no constable, and wouldn’t obey him. He then went up and down the town and mustered sixteen or seventeen people, with Justices Clement and Whitehead, and on coming before Bull’s door saw him with William Carman, Samuel and Henry Ludlum, Robert and Hezekiah Denton, and’ Ephraim Smith, standing there with great clubs in their hands and stripped to their waistcoats. On the constable saying he had come to distrain, they lifted up their clubs and bid him come if he durst, and gave him scurrilous language. On seeing that Bull had between twenty and thirty persons in his company the constable walked off and made no distress. The Rev. George McNish bid the people not mind the constable, and even invited them into his house to drink cider. These rioters were subsequently let off with a small fine on promise, of future peaceable behavior. Samuel Clowes acted in the absence of the king’s attorney. In 1724, October 29th, Mr. Poyer brought suit against the tenants of the parsonage lands, homestead and out- lands, in which he was cast. We give the minutes of the trial from the judge’s book: At a court, by nisi prius, held at Jamaica. Present- Lewis Morris, Esq., chief, justice. John Chambers vs. Joseph Hegeman jr. The same vs. Robert Denton. Defendants confess lease, entry and ouster. Jury find for defendant. Murray for plaintiff and Jamison for defendant. Evidence for plaintiff: Thomas Welling, John Dean, Nehemiah Smith sworn. A vote of the town meeting, in 1676, for parsonage lands. Richard Combs. Warrant from Lord Cornbury to Cardale to survey church lands. Act of Assembly to settle a ministry in Queens county (1693). An act of Assembly to explain the former act (1705). John Chambers sworn, and Thomas Whitehead. An exemplification of the special verdict read. Evidence for defence: An agreement of the town of Jamaica with Rev. John Prudden read. Votes of the town for Rev John Hubbard and George McNish, to be ministers read. Joseph Smith and Elizabeth Stillwell sworn. Mr. Prudden’s exchange of land with the town (September 29th 1693) read. The inaugural sermon that Mr. Poyer preached here, July 30th 1710, is still preserved in good condition. He also preached on the Gunpowder plot, November 5th; martyrdom of King Charles, January 30th; the negro plot in New York, May 21st 1712; the accession of King George II., April 7th; on the defeat of the Pretender in Scotland, June 28th; at his wife’s funeral, May 10th 1719; at Lloyd’s Neck, November 27th 1722. These sermons and many others are still preserved. December 28th 1728 the Presbyterians "by the sly tricks and quirks of the common law got the church into their possession," says Rev. A. Campbell. "In suing Mr. Poyer" (says Rev. Thomas Colgan), "upon a very odd turn in the trial the independents cast him. Mr. Poyer’s counsel always designed to put the matter on some points of law which were clearly in the church’s favor, and in the time of trial offered to demur in law; hut was diverted therefrom by the judge, who said he would recommend it to the jury to find a special verdict and if they did not he would allow a new trial. The judge did not hold to his promise, and thus an end was put to the controversy." June 16th 1731. Mr. Poyer complains of his trials and difficulties:- "I have been in poor health for years past, my life has been one continued scene of trouble, kept out of my allowance from this country for years and some of it lost, a great deal of sickness in my family, buried two wives and two children within five years, now eleven in the family, house rent £16 a year, the infirmities of years bear hard on me. I beg to quit my mission and return to my native land." The society granted his request; but Mr. Poyer died at Jamaica in the middle of January 1732. Rev. Thomas Colgan was inducted here January 31st 1733; and by his marriage with Mary Reade and money acquired thereby took a higher social position than Mr. Poyer had. He bought the farm of widow Poyer, on the west side of Beaver Pond, which he enlarged to 66 acres, with an orchard of 100 apple trees that made 100 barrels of cider a year. This house had eight rooms on a floor, and sash windows. We hear of no more complaints of non- payment of salary, no law suits, no riots or quarrels. He writes (February 16th 1733) that his congregation increases very much; more than 200 come to church every Sunday. After worshiping five or six years in the county courthouse the people began to exert themselves toward building a new church, and solicited, help from abroad. On Friday April 5th 1734 the new church was opened, with the name of Grace Church, and divine service performed there for the first time. Mr. Colgan preached a sermon on the occasion, from Genesis xviii. 16, 17. Governor Cosby and his whole family were pleased to honor the meeting with their presence, and by their very generous benefactions great encouragement was given. The militia was under arms to attend his excellency, and so great a concourse of people met that the church was not able to contain the number. After the sermon was ended his excellency and family, and several gentlemen, ladies and clergy, were very splendidly entertained at the house of Samuel Clowes, a tavern in the town, by the members of the church. The governor’s lady gave cloth for the pulpit, reading- desk and communion table; also a large Bible, prayer book and surplice. Mr. Colgan writes (October 11th 1737): "We now worship in the church, which ‘tis thought will be one of the handsomest in North America, but is not yet completed. We want a bell. Our church is flourishing. We are at peace with the sectaries around us." The following were the pew- holders in Grace Church February 23d 1737: Richard Betts, Richard Betts jr., Timothy Bridges, Andrew Clark, Samuel Clowes, Samuel Clowes jr., Thomas Colgan, Robert Freeman, Robert Howell, Gabriel Luff, Sarah Poyer gratis, George Reynolds, Daniel Sawyer, Samuel Smith, William Steed, Benjamin Taylor, Benjamin Thorne, Isaac Van Hook, Anthony Waters, William Welling, Benjamin and Daniel Whitehead, Edward Willett, John Willett, William and Silas Wiggins, Henry Wright, Guy Young. Also see Documentary History, Vol III., page 324; for twenty- one petitioners for a charter. The New York Postboy announced in 1747: "The Jamaica lottery will be drawn on November 10th, in Queens County Hall, in the presence of three or more justices of the peace and such other persons as the adventurers may nominate. The managers, Jacob Ogden and Samuel Clowes, give their trouble gratis. There are one thousand three hundred tickets, at 8s. each, equal to £520. From each prize 12 ½ per cent. will be deducted for purchasing a bell for Grace Church." Rev. Thomas Colgan, rector of the church, died in December 1755. The parochial vestry presented Simon Horton, a dissenting minister, to Governor Hardy for induction; but he collated Samuel Seabury jr. to the cure. Samuel Clowes jr. and William Sherlock certify that "Samuel Seabury jr., minister of Jamaica, on the 23d day of January in the year of our Lord Christ 1757, did read in his parish church of Jamaica, openly, publicly and solemnly, the morning arid evening prayer appointed to be read by and according to the book entitled The Book of Common Prayer, etc.; and, after such reading, did openly and publicly declare his unfeigned assent and consent to the use of all things therein contained; and did read certificates of his having declared his conformity to the liturgy of the Church of England, before Thomas, Lord Bishop of London, and Sir Charles Hardy, captain- general and commander- in- chief of the province of New York, and did renew this declaration in his parish church aforesaid; and did read the Articles of Religion and declare his unfeigned assent and consent thereto." Mr. Seabury writes in 1760 that the people are remiss in attending church. His communicants scarce exceed 20. He labors publicly and privately to bring them to a sense of their duty. Communicants and professors of the church at Jamaica on the 8th of April 1761 petitioned C. Colden, acting governor of the province, for a charter, setting forth that some years before, by voluntary contributions, they had erected a decent and convenient church for the celebration of divine worship according to the use of the Church of England; but that, from a want of some persons legally authorized to superintend the same and manage the affairs and interests thereof, the said church was greatly decayed and the petitioners discouraged from contributing to the repair thereof, lest the moneys given might be misapplied; and that, on that account also, charitable and well disposed people were discouraged in their design of establishing proper funds for the future support of said church and the better maintenance of its ministry. The following signatures were appended to the petition: Samuel Seabury jr., rector; Robert Howell, Jacob Ogden(4*), John Comes(4*), Benjamin Whitehead(4*), Richard Betts(4*), Thomas Betts(4*), Benjamin Carpenter, Joseph Oldfield, Gilbert Comes, Samuel Smith jr.(5*), Isaac Van Hook, George Dunbar, John Huchins, Joseph Oldfield jr., Thomas Truxton, William Sherlock(4*), Thomas Hinchman(4*), Thomas Cornell jr., John Smith, John Troup(5*), Thomas Braine(4*), John Innes, Adam Lawrence, William Welling. There were now two vestries, one parochial, elected by the freeholders of the parish to levy the minister’s and poor tax; the other ecclesiastical, elected by those in communion of the Church of England. The terms of the charter (dated June 17 1761) were that the vestry should pay yearly, on the anniversary of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, to the receiver general at New York a pepper- corn (if demanded) in lieu of all other rents and claims. The vestry could appoint a clerk, sexton or bell- ringer for the church, and a messenger or clerk for themselves. Mr. Seabury writes in 1762 that the church had been completely repaired, chiefly at the expense of John Troup, who also presented a silver collecting plate, large prayer book and communion table. The amount of assistance given by others is shown in the following subscription paper, dated Jamaica, May 1st 1761: Whereas it becomes necessary for the preservation and decency of the parish church of Jamaica that the building should be thoroughly repaired, especially the steeple, windows, etc., and also that the church- yard be more decently enclosed; therefore we, the subscribers, being desirous to promote and secure the order and decency of the public worship of God, do voluntarily engage and oblige ourselves to pay to John Troup or Thomas Braine the sum annexed to our names for the above purpose:



£ s


£ s.

John Troup


Phillip V. Cortland.

1 10

John Betts


Thomas Cornell jr.


Richard Betts


Hutchins & Howell


Thomas Betts


Tunis Polhemus


Benj. Carpenter


William Howard


John Comes


Isaac Van Hook


Thomas Truxton


Fleming Colgan


Dr. John Innes


John Jauncey

1 10

Thomas Braine

2 10

Thos. Hammersly

1 5

Jacob Ogden

2 10

John Armstrong


Benj. Whitehead

2 10

William Murray

1 4

Sam. Smith jr


George Dunbar


Joseph Oldfield


John Smith, Union


Wm. Sherlock


William Betts


Thomas Hinchman


Joseph Robinson


Robert Troup

1 10

Dan. Horsmanden


John Burnett


Old school- house sold for


Thomas Jones



£93 18

February 1st 1762 the following advertisement was published: "To be sold and entered on when the purchaser pleases, a small plantation (since Walter Nichols’s) half a mile east of Jamaica village, on which Mr. Seabury, rector of the church, now lives. It contains twenty- eight acres of good land, a good dwelling- house (one end new), a genteel building, a dry cellar under the whole house, a well of good water, new barn, hovel and smoke- house. There is a fine orchard that makes fifty barrels of cider; also a screw-press and cider mill of a new invention, that grinds fifty bushels of apples in an hour. Also, fourteen acres of woodland two miles from the farm, and eight acres of salt meadow that cuts twenty loads of salt hay, Apply to the above said Samuel Seabury jr., who will give a good title." In 1766 Mr. Seabury, whose necessary expenses at Jamaica far exceeded the amount of his professional income seeing but little hope of the congregation redeeming the pledge which they gave on his coming among them, of providing him with a parsonage house, intimated to the venerable society his wish to accept the offer of the mission at Westchester, made to him by the church wardens and vestry. He was installed there December 30th. Joshua Bloomer was appointed missionary, with a grant of £30 yearly, to the parish of Jamaica, including Flushing and Newtown, at the earnest request of the people, signified to the society by the church wardens of those towns. He came to Jamaica in those troublous times that intervened between the passage of the Stamp act and the breaking out of the Revolution. He was inducted May 23d 1769. He writes (February i5th 1770): "I preach generally to crowded assemblies, who behave whith decorum. Though I enjoy the love and esteem of my hearers I have a troublesome lawsuit against the parish for £60 yearly salary which they refuse to pay me." He had to institute a suit in chancery against Hendrickson & Edsall, church wardens. It was long pending, and not till April 1774 did Governor Tryon, the chancellor, decide in Bloomer’s favor, each party to pay their own costs. To alleviate the misfortune of the losing party, Mrs. Tryon, before her departure for London, kindly made them a present of the costs, amounting to £80. The chancellor’s decree was as follows: "I decree that the defendants shall, on or before the fourth day of June next, at the door of the parish church of Jamaica, between the hours of ten and twelve in the forenoon, pay Mr. Bloomer his salary from the time of his induction to the commencement of his suit in. this court, out of any moneys that may have accrued under the Ministry act and have been received by the defendants, as church wardens, prior to the filing of the bill, but without any interest. And I recommend the parish of Jamaica to pay all arrears of salary to the Rev. Mr. Bloomer that are due him since filing the bill, as any delay or further dispute would justly subject~ them to payment of costs." In 1778 was published the following: "Scheme of a lottery for raising the sum of £780 for the benefit of the established church in the parish of Jamaica, on Nassau Island, toward purchasing a glebe near said parish church. "The lottery will be drawn under the inspection of a number of persons of character, who are appointed for that purpose. "Adventurers in the first class are desired to renew their tickets within ten days after drawing each class, otherwise they will be excluded. Very little more than two blanks to a prize. The whole subject to a deduction of fifteen per cent.


1st class, 2,000 tickets at 4s.,


2nd " 2,000 " 8s.,


3d " 2,000 " 16s.,


4th " 2,000 " 24s.,


With the money realized from this lottery a farm was bought, but it did not suit Mr. Bloomer, and it was after some years offered for sale, as appears by the following advertisement, February 9th 1786: "For sale, the farm belonging to the Epicsopal church, Jamaica, pleasantly situated, a mile west of the village. It contains seventy acres (six of which are wood), good for pasture or tillage, a house, barn and young orchard, with a variety of other fruit. Enquire of Christopher Smith, Jamaica; Daniel Kissam, Flushing Fly, or Rev. Mr. Bloomer, Newtown." Mr. Bloomer writes (April 9th 1777) that the principal members of his congregation, who refused to join in the measures of the Congress in 1775- 6 had their houses plundered, were seized, some put in prison, and others sent under guard to Connecticut, where they were detained as prisoners several weeks. "I administered the sacrament at Newtown, where I had but four or five male communicants, the rest being driven off or carried away prisoners. I was forbidden to read the prayers for the king and royal family. On consulting my wardens and vestry, rather than omit any portion of the liturgy, we shut up our church for five Sundays; but on the arrival of the king’s troops services were resumed, and in 1777. I had sixty- six communicants; and since my last have baptized twenty- four infants and two adults." In 1779-80 Rev. John Sayre, a refugee, then residing at Flushing, assisted Mr. Bloomer. The Rev. John Bowden, who occupied the vacated Dutch parsonage at Jamaica, occasionally assisted also. The Dutch church was taken by the British and occupied as a storehouse. Whenever their ministers (Schoonmaker and Rubell) came to Jamaica they were allowed the use of the English church. Mr. Bloomer wrote in 1781 that his mission went on well. He was punctual in the duties of his office and the people were regular in their attendance on public worship. He died unmarried and intestate, June 23d 1790, aged 55, universally regretted, and was buried in the chancel of the church. In 1786 the church was shingled, painted and otherwise repaired. In 1790 Rev. William Hammell was called, at a salary of £40 from Newtown, £35 from Flushing, £40 from Jamaica, and £30 additional in lieu of the glebe, which was sold for £693. He was presented with a horse, saddle and bridle. His eyesight became so weak that he could not read the prayers. He resigned in 1795 and received £100 yearly from Trinity Church for thirty years. Rev. Charles Seabury, son of the bishop, was called January 15th 1796, and continued till March 2nd. March 3d 1797 a church glebe was bought for £300, and it being out of repair £100 was expended on it. Newtown having withdrawn from the three united churches Elijah D. Rattoone was called May 12th 1797 by Jamaica and Flushing, at a salary of $500 and the interest of £900, the glebe money. He purchased for himself a country seat of 110 acres, with 1,200 peach trees on it and a fine large house, having a widely extended prospect. In 1802 he resigned and went to Baltimore. Rev. Calvin White was called December 10th 1802, He soon complained that his house was out of repair, leaky and smoky. The vestry complained of his neglect in visiting the people in a friendly way, and more especially the sick. He left abruptly August 17th 1804. Rev. George Strebeck, who had been a Methodist and also a Lutheran minister, was called for six months from May 1st 1805. April 8th 1806 Rev. Andrew Fowler was called for six months, and May 1st 1807 Rev. John Ireland for six months. April 1st 1808 Rev. Edmund D. Barry, a teacher in New York, was called for a year at a salary of $500, the vestry engaging to pay his stage expenses and board from Saturday night till Monday morning. The church was now at a low ebb. The communicants on June 6th iSo8 were John and Mrs. Hewlett, Mrs. King, Aaron Van Nostrand, Jeremiah Valentine, David Rowland, James Mackrell sen. and his wife, Mrs. Barry, John Hogland, Mrs. Elizabeth Brewer and Tom, a black. The communion money was only $2.34. Some members had gone over to the Methodist church, which was now being started. Rufus King, who had settled in Jamaica, procured for the church a gift from Trinity Church of three lots in New York, which yielded £100 per year for the support of a clergyman. Rev. Timothy Clowes was called April 23d 1809, at a salary of $700 per year; but left April 23d 1810. He boarded at the widow Dunbar’s and became engaged to her niece Mary. The engagement was broken off by mutual consent. The people would not let the matter drop thus, but took sides for and against the girl. She brought suit against Mr. Clowes for slander and recovered $4,000 damages. Rev. Gilbert H. Sayres was called May 1st 1810, at a salary of $750 per year. At his first coming he wore the conventional dress of that day, viz., breeches buckled at the knee, black stockings and shoes. His health failing him he retired from the charge May 1st 1830, on an allowance of $100 per year for five years; though a grateful vestry made him further allowances till near the time of his death, April 27th 1867, aged 80. May 5th 1812, the old glebe having been sold, the farm of Smith Hicks was bought for £1,800.; a part was sold off at once, and the remainder Mr. Sayres bought for himself in 1826 for $1,400. The old church had been often repaired, but kept getting out of order, so that on receipt of a gift of $1,000 from Trinity Church, and $1,000 by home subscription, the plan of a new church was adopted September 7th 1820; $750 was borrowed. The church was consecrated July 15th 1822. Rufus King gave $500 and a stove, and he with Timothy Nostrand and L.E.A. Eigenbrodt assisted the carpenters in planning the edifice. The taste for church music was at a low ebb. Music books were few and not much studied, the singing being by rote rather than by note. Music such as it was vocal. In 1827 a flute was introduced, and then a bassoon. Not till 1835 was an organ introduced, a gift of the ladies of the missionary society. On December 3d 1829 Geo. E. Ryerson was arrested for stealing prayer books, altar decorations and carpet from Grace Church. Rev. Wm. L. Johnson commenced his labors here May 1st 1830, at a salary of $600 a year and finding his own dwelling. He was then rich in Brooklyn lots, but, being a better minister than a financier, he lived to see the end of his wealth. Being a good classical scholar of a literary turn he published several sermons. He died August 4th 1870, aged 70. Masonic honors were superadded to the usual funeral solemnities. In January 1837 a free school for negroes was established by the church, It had 55 scholars. Soon after this a Sunday school was started; but it did not succeed very well till Jeremiah Valentine became superintendent and Miss Anne Van Wyck taught and drilled the scholars in singing. On December 30th 1856 the grateful scholars and teachers presented Mr. Valentine with a gold pen and pencil worth $22; and January 1st 1860 they gave him a handsome Bible. April 20th 1841 the vestry voted to repair the church, at a cost of $1,550. In 1860 the church was repaired, improved and beautified at a cost of $3,200, stained glass windows being put in at a cost of $300, mostly given by the ladies through Miss Anne Van Wyck; but on New Year’s morning of 1861 this comely edifice was burned to the ground by a fire originating in the flues of the furnace. The organ, two tablets containing the Lord’s Prayer, creed and ten commandments, a communion table of English oak and graceful pattern, a bell weighing over 400 lbs cast in 1748, two old locust trees and some tombstones were included in the ruin. On May 21st 1861 the vestry contracted with Hendrick Brinkerhoff and Anders Petersen to build for $14,900 a gothic edifice of Jersey blue stone, 43 by 90 feet. The corner- stone was laid by Bishop Potter July 6th 1861, and the building consecrated January 8th 1863. The rector being infirm Rev. S.J Corneille was engaged as assistant Nov. 1st 1852. Rev. Augustine Cornell was settled as assistant in January 1864. Rev. Thos. Cook was called May 10th 1866, at a salary of $800 per year, as assistant. Rev. George Williamson Smith was called January 18th 1872. He was the twelfth rector and twenty- second minister of this ancient parish. His salary was $2,000 and the use of the parsonage; which was bought in May 1872 at a cost of $8,000. He preached his farewell sermon August 28th 1881. The church has been robbed several times. On Tuesday night December 17th 1855 thieves entered the church by placing a barrel under one of the rear windows and so climbing inside; carpets, pulpit cushions, etc., to the value of $50 were stolen. On the night of May 31Ist 1866 the church was robbed of its carpets in the center and one side aisle. The thieves entered in the rear by the northwest window. On the night of February 26th 1874 thieves entered the church by breaking a pane of glass from the west window near the organ. They tore up the carpets in the aisles, cut the letters from the altar cloth and destroyed one surplice, leaving a gown and another surplice unharmed. The vestry had a burglar alarm put in; but on the night of June 17th 188i some thieves set up a ladder and took a pane of glass out of a rear window, detached the wires of the burglar alarm and carried off the altar cloth, the rector’s black gown and vest, and the communion wine. The greatest benefactors of the church have been the King family. Rufus King procured much help to the church from "Old Trinity." His son, Governor John A. King, besides bountiful contributions in money gave land for enlarging the church yard at different times. In 1847 he gave a baptismal font of Italian marble. In 1862 an organ was given the church in the name of John A King and Mary, his wife. Mrs. James G. King gave a large Oxford Bible and four large prayer books. Mrs. James G. King sen. gave a beautiful stone font. The bishop’s chair and books for the reading desk were gift of the King family. On January 15th 1867 Mrs. Charles King had three tablets for the creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the ten commandments set up in the rear of the chancel. On the death of John A. King it appeared that he had left $1,000 to the church to keep the burying ground in good order, and his executors gave the church more land for a cemetery at a nominal price. On St. John’s day 1873, the children of Mrs. Mary King endowed a bed in St. John’s hospital for the needy sick, to be at the disposal of the vestry. On August 7th 1878 a memorial lectern of carved oak was placed on the steps of the choir. The inscription on it was, "A.D. 1878. In memoriam Mary King, 1873." On the north wall of the church is a marble tablet with a raised profile of John Alsop King, who was born January 3d 1788 and died July 7th 1867.


In 1767 Captain Webb, a converted soldier of the British army, having a relative living in Jamaica, came here On a visit, hired a house and preached in it, and 24 persons received justifying faith. From that time till 1784 (when Philip Cox was sent to the circuit) we hear nothing more of that denomination. Jamaica was at first included in the Long Island circuit and then in the Brooklyn circuit- called circuit from the fact that the ministers rode around from place to place- and was not made into a separate appointment till 1843, when Rev. Joseph Henson was pastor. Jamaica first appears in the printed annals of the Methodist church in 1810, with Francis Ward and Isaac Candee as pastors, who reported for the circuit (which included all of Queens county and the western part of Suffolk) 629 members. In a private manuscript of 1807 Luman Andrews, John Kline and Joseph Lockwood are named as preachers and Joseph Crawford as presiding elder. The site of the first Methodist church was the free gift of Israel Disosway and his sister Ann, of New York, who on July 28th 1810 "sell for one dollar to Mark Disosway, Peter Poillon and John Dunn, of Jamaica; to Joseph Harper and Thomas Hyatt, of Newtown; to Andrew Mercein, John Garretson and Joseph Mason, of Brooklyn, and to Israel Disosway, of New York, as trustees, 8 lots (that were conveyed by Edward and Mary Bardin January 27th 1803 to Nicholas Roosevelt) bounded east by Church street and west by Division street, being 100 by 225 feet on the north and south sides, to build thereon a place of worship for the use of the meeting of the Methodist Episcopal church in the United States of America, to permit Methodist preachers and none others to preach in and expound God’s word." A subscription list of December 4th 1809 reads as follows: "Whereas the Methodist society in Jamaica are about to build a house there for the worship of God, we, willing to encourage the undertaking, promise to pay the sums annexed to our names: Mark Disosway, $75 Peter Poillon, $50; George Codwise, $10; James Denton, $5; Abraham D. Ditmars, $15; Abraham Ditmars, $3.50; John Ryder, $3; John Thatford, $3 William Creed, $4; a friend, $30; William Sales, $3; Smith Hicks, $5 John Martson, $2; Mary P. Austin, $2; Daniel Rhodes, $2.50; Michael Skidmore, $2; John S. Messenger, $2; Cary Dunn jr., $5; Joseph Seeley, $4; Joseph Robinson, $10; B.T. Rowland, $1; Silas Roe, $1; David Lamberson, $3; Nicholas Ludlum, $2; Miss Clarissa Keteltas, $2; Anna Scriba, $5; J.P., $2.50; Elizabeth Brewer, $4; S.S. Carman, $1; Abraham Snedeker, $1; Elisha Sweet, $3; from a friend (C. Elderd), $3; Jacob Smith, $5; Washington Smith, two days’ work." Besides the above $711 were subscribed by residents in New York. A class paper of 1808 has the following names of members: Mark and Judith P. Disosway, John, Deborah and Amasa Dunn, Adra and Peter Poillon, Elizabeth and Rebecca Jones, Joseph and Hannah Dunbar, Abraham and William Cole, Mary Pettit, Lenah Leech, William and Charity Francis, Garret Murphy, Daniel Stringham. The frame was got out by contract and transported from Smithtown to Jamaica. At the raising of it a serious accident occurred. All the frame had been erected except the rafters, and, instead of erecting these two by two, they were first all piled together on the beams of the newly erected frame, which broke down under the superincumbent weight and severely injured Smith Hicks and Joseph Dunbar. Several of the Methodists had withdrawn from the Episcopal church, such as : Mark Disosway, John Dudley, John Dunn, Obadiah and Abraham Leech, Joseph Dunbar and others. Before the erection of the church, meetings Were held in private houses. Disosway was the father and chief patron of the denomination in Jamaica He lived in the house now George Nostrand’s. He was impoverished by his unbounded hospitality. The ministers were then itinerant and rode the circuit on horseback with saddle bags which contained their books and clothing: Sometimes nine horses at once stood in Mr. Disosway’s stables, feeding from his mangers, while the riders sat at his table and slept under his roof. The Methodist congregation did not increase much for some years. In 1844 there were only 33 members; but under the ministry of Rev. M.E. Willing about 90 joined the church on probation. In 1846 a second church was erected, on the corner of Fulton street and New York avenue, at a cost of nearly $4,000. The building committee consisted of O.P. Leech, A.D. Snedeker and Harvey Parcel. At his death Mr. Leech left $300 to buy a bell for the church. An organ costing $500 was put in the church in 1868. In 1866 an acre of ground was bought of Rev. J.M. Huntting for $9,000, and the place was used as a parsonage till 1873, when the old house was sold and removed. The corner stone of a new church was laid October 9th 1873 by Rev. R.C. Putney, the pastor. The building was dedicated by the pastor, Rev. William T. Hill, October 1st 1874. It was a frame structure of by 80 feet, and cost about $14,000. A parsonage on the same lot with the church was completed in April 1874. In the rear of the church is a Sunday- school building and lecture room. The plan of the church and parsonage was devised and drawn by John C. Acker, who with Rev. W.T. Hill, Isaac B. Strang, John B. Hopkins, John W. Selover, Thomas W. Clary, Smith B. Crossman and Isaac B. Remsen constituted the building committee. The total cost of the church property was about $40,000. The present membership is about 240. Rev. Thomas Stephenson is now the pastor. The Sunday- school in 1844 numbered only 34 scholars. In 1881 it had increased to 149 scholars, with 29 officers and teachers; John C. Acker being superintendent, Geo. E. Tilly assistant, and Richard W. Rhoades secretary. The library has about 400 volumes.


The first Roman Catholic church (St. Monica) was a small edifice of wood, erected in 1839, in the pastorate of Rev. James O’Donnel, at a cost of $1,000. The present building, of brick, costing $25,000, was planned by Rev. Anthony Fancy, the pastor, and erected on lots given by a lady in New York, in 1856. The Baptist church was organized November 11th 1868. A church was built at a cost of $1,800. The pastors have been Revs. George H. Pendleton, Mr. Fuller, A. Stewart Walsh, Charles Colman, Charles Edwards and Samuel Taylor. The Baptist Shiloh negro church was organized December 22nd 1872, and the building, valued at $1,200, was dedicated in November 1877. There are 25 church members. The Sunday- school was started in 1873. The preachers have been Charles Colman, Joseph Francis and John Cary. The German Reformed church of St. Paul was erected ifl 1873, at a cost of $5,000. The society was taken under the care of the north classis of Long Island in 1876. The pastors have been P. Quirn, S.H. Gundt, Ernest Oxee, Julius Hones and Henry Frech.



Morton Lodge (1802).- R.W. Isaac Hagner, M.; W. William Mott, S.W.; W. Henry Hagner, J.W.; Abram Bedell, treasurer; Silvanus Smith, secretary; Daniel Bedell, S.D.; Wright Nichols, J.D.; William Anson, steward; William Crooker, tiler; R.W. David R. Floyd-Jones, P.M. Number of members, 40. Jamaica Lodge, No. 546, organized under dispensation from the grand lodge of the State of New York March 3d 1864. The first communication was held March 15th 1864, when the officers were as follows: Henry Pooley Cooper, master; Peter Waters, S.W.; Thomas Barker, J.W; Clinton A. Beldin, treasurer; Pierpont Potter, secretary; P.D. Hoffman, S. deacon; Bernard Muldoon, J. deacon; William L. Johnson, chaplain; Benjamin B. Wood, S. master of ceremonies; Joseph Hawkins, J. master of ceremonies; Michael Shaw, tiler. A charter was granted and the lodge constituted by the officers of the grand lodge June 14th 1864. The officers in 1882 were: George M. Gale, W. master; John Ryder, S. warden; Charles H. Acker, J. warden; Pierpont Potter, chaplain; Samuel S. Aymar, secretary; Charles H. Stevens, treasurer; John S. Denton, S., deacon; J.E. Spillett, J. deacon; David L. Brinkerhoff, S.M. of C.; Elijah Raynor, J.M. of C.; George W. Allen, musical director; Theodore J. Armstrong, organist; Stephen Ryder, marshal; William F. Rosst, tiler; John J. Armstrong, John H. Brinckerhoff and George W. Allen, trustees. Meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday evenings in each month.


There have been three medical societies. The first was formed October 1st 1806, with Daniel Minema president, Henry Mott vice- president, Thomas Cock secretary, and James Searing treasurer. The second medical society was formed December 17th 1829, with Nathan Shelton president, Lucius Kellog vice- resident, James C. Townsend secretary, and Austin Chapman treasurer. About 1853 the present society was formed. It numbers about 180 members. The officers are: James D. Trask, president; W.P. Overton, vice-president; Dr. Finn, secretary and treasurer.


Jamaica Lodge, No. 81, I.O.O.F. instituted January 21st 1843. In 1860 the charter was surrendered to the grand lodge; but in 1870 it was restored and the lodge was reinstituted as Jamaica Lodge, No. 247, I.O.O.F., with the following officers: James A. Kilburn, N.G.; Joseph B. Everitt, V.C.; William T. Brush, secretary; George L. Peck, treasurer. The present officers are: John A. Campbell, N.G William Dykes, V.G.; James S. Jones, secretary; Lewi C. Buckbee, treasurer. Meetings are held in the lodge room, No. 20 Washington street, Monday evenings.


Jamaica Council, No. 433, instituted January 28t 1880, by Charles Davis, grand regent of the State of New York. It meets every second and fourth Thursday evening at Odd Fellows’ Hall, Jamaica. The trustee are George A. Hicks, George Durland and George W. Sullivan.


Long Island Bible Society was formed August 1st 1815. The following is a list of its officers to the present time: Presidents- Adrian Van Sinderen, Rev. John Goldsmith, Laurens Reeve, John A. Lott, John J. Armstrong; corresponding secretaries- Revs. David S. Bogart, John V.E. Thorne, John Goldsmith, M.W. Jacobus, Jonathan Greenleaf, N.C. Locke, John P.Knox, B.F. Stead, Franklin Noble, Cornelius L. Wells; recording secretaries- Revs. Jacob Schoonmaker, Thomas Strong, Elias W. Crane, Ichabod Spencer, George A Shelton, William H. Moore, G.H. Sayres and Rev. A.H. Allen; treasurers- John Titus, Van Wyck. Wickes Hosea Webster, Henry Onderdonk jr., L.L. Fosdick The Suffolk County Bible Society, formed October 3d 1815, was merged in the Long . Island. Bible Society in 1826. Jamaica Bible Society was formed in 1816, with William Ludlum president, and collected $153 the firs year. It has usually raised from $100 to $200 a year, an sometimes over $400. Charitable Visitation.- There is also a Queens count a society for visiting prisons, poor- houses and asylums, of which William H. Onderdonk is president. Queens County Sunday- school Teachers’ Association was organized June 13th 1872, as auxiliary to the State society. Its meetings are held quarterly, at places convenient of access by railroad. The officers are: A.I. Downer, president; Adam Seabury, treasurer; Joseph Bernhard, secretary.


Morris Fosdick, of Jamaica, was born at Springfield in that town November 7th 1814. He received common school education and entered upon business life at an early age. His father, Morris, was a teacher, land surveyor and conveyancer by profession, and on his death, in 1833, the subject of this sketch succeeded him, beginning to teach at the age of nineteen in the same district where his father had taught for twenty- five years, and continuing to teach there until 1849. During this period his surveys were extensive, reaching throughout the county and beyond its limits. Besides attending t his profession he took an active interest in local and public affairs. He was appointed commissioner of deeds in 1838, elected justice of the peace in 1841, re- elected in 1845 and again in 1849, and and pointed judge of the court of common pleas by Governor Silas Wright in 1846. His acquaintance with the law (although he was never formally admitted to the bar gave him a large practice as counsellor, and led to his election in 1849 to the office of county judge and surrogate of Queens county, to which office he was re- elected in 1853. On the separation of these offices in 1857 he was elected surrogate, and re- elected in 186z, his term ending January 1st 1866. He was also a member of the board of education from 1856 to 1865, and has been on of the trustees of Union Hall Academy since 1851. Since his retirement from public life he has devoted his attention to the affairs of the Jamaica Savings Bank, of which he has been the treasurer since its organization in 1866, and to the financial interests of his large clientage... died in infancy; 11, Joris (George), born August 30th 1791, married (June 28th 1815) Catharine Snediker and had children Martin G., Catharine, and Phebe; 12, Johannes (John), born May 17th 1794,married (August 22nd 1815) Maria Lott and had children Martin I., Stephen, Phebe, Eldert, George, Maria Ann, Catalina, Henry, Jeremiah, Sarah, Ditmars, and Catharine; 13, Jannetie (Jane), born February 22nd 1797, died in infancy. Martin Johnson, the grandfather of Martin G., died April 27th 1798. Phebe, his wife, died October 27th 1828. Martin Johnson was earnest in the cause of independence, and was compelled to give up the best part of his house to the British officers, who occupied it while their army was encamped at Jamaica. He and his family were greatly discommoded, but it was better to submit quietly than to object and perhaps suffer more. Martin Johnson was an active member and an elder of the Reformed Dutch church, and one of the committee to repair the church edifice after the Revolutionary war, during which it was dismantled by the British soldiers. He was one of the contributors to the fund for founding Union Hall Academy. The first building was erected on the south side of Fulton street, where Herriman’s brick row now stands, and was opened May 1st 1792. Here his sons George and John were educated, when Lewis E.A. Eigenbrodt, LL.D., was principal, which position he held from 1796 to 1828. GEORGE JOHNSON, born August 30th 1791, married (June 28th 1815) Catharine Snediker, who was born December 5th 1788. They had three children: 1, Martin G. Johnson, born April 26th 1816, married (May 31st 1859) Margaret T. Nostrand, who was born February 19th 1815- no children; 2, Catharine Johnson, born July 8th 1819, married (May 13th, 1856) Elias J. Hendrickson,(6*) who was born August 10th 1812- no children; 3, Phebe Johnson, born January 4th 1824, married (June 19th 1854) George O. Ditmis (who was born July 22nd 1818) and died December 27th 1866. George O. and Phebe Ditmis had six children: 1. Catharine, born November 26th 1856; 2, Georgianna J., born May 5th 1859; 3, John D., born December 18th 1860; 4 and 5, Martin G. J. (born January 30th 1862, died February 18th 1878) and Margaret N., born January 30th 1862, died in infancy; 6, Caroline Maria, born November 9th 1863, died in infancy. George Johnson, the father of Martin G., held at different times the town offices of supervisor, commissioner of common schools, inspector of common schools, inspector of election, commissioner of highways, and assessor. He was an elder in the Reformed Dutch Church of Jamaica, and one of its most liberal supporters. He died May 14th 1865. His wife died December 15th 1858. A short genealogy of the Johnson family is as follows: Gaspard Colet de Rapalje, from France, married the daughter of Victor Antonie Jansen, in Holland, by whom he had two sons and a daughter Breckje, who married her. cousin, Victor Honorius Jansen, who was the father of Abram, who was the father of Antonie, who was the father of Hendrick, who was the father of John, who was the father of Martin, who was the father of George, who was the father of Martin G.


Jan Snediker, the common ancestor of the Snediker family, came from Holland to this country as early as 1642, and was among the first settlers of Flatbush, and his name appears in the patent of New Lots, 1667; by his will (1670) he devised his land to his son Gerret. (New Lots was then part of the town of Flatbush.) Gerret Snediker of New Lots (son of Jan) married 1st, Willemtje Vooks; 2nd, Elstje Denyse; he died in 1694. Children: Jan of Jamaica, Margaret, Christian of Jamaica, Abraham, Isaac of New Lots, Sara, born 1683 (married Adrian Onderdonk); Gerret, and Elstje. Abraham Snediker of New Lots (son of Gerret), born 1677, married, and had children Abraham, Johannes, Gerret, Theodorus, Elizabeth, Altie,and Sara. Isaac Snediker of New Lots (son of Gerret), born 1680, married Catryntje Janse; died in 1758. Children: Garret, Abraham, Antie, Sara, Isaac, Catryntje (born 1721, married Douwe Ditmars), Jacob of New Lots, Femmetie (Phebe), and Elstje, born 1731. John Snediker of New Lots married Neiltje, daughter of Johannes Lott, of Flatbush; she was born November 13th 1730. They had a son Isaac I. (grandfather of Martin G. Johnson). Isaac I. Snediker of New Lots (son of John), born July 17th 1759, married Catharine, daughter of Jacob Rapelje of Newtown. She was born January 18th 1760. They had four children: 1, Jacob, born May 18th 1787, died in infancy; 2, Catharine, born December 5th 1788 (the wife of George Johnson and mother of Martin G.), died December 15th 1858; 3, Nelly, born November 5th 1790, married (October 5th 1815) John E. Lott, of New Utrecht, L.I. Who was born December 16th 1789), had one daughter, Catharine, and died May 1st 1866; 4, Jacob, born November 2nd 1792, married (March 1822) Anne Lott, daughter of Hendrick Lott of Jamaica; no children. Jacob Snediker belonged to the Reformed Dutch church of New Lots, and was one of its firmest friends and supporters. He died September 20th 1859. His wife died August 22nd 1867. Isaac I. Snediker (father of Jacob) died February 1st 1804. His wife died September 9th 1796. The Snediker homestead, on which Jacob Snediker and his forefathers were born and lived and died, is situated on both sides of the New Lots road, at the crossing of the New York and Manhattan Beach Railroad and the Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach Railroad. The house, probably 200 years old, still stands in a good state of preservation. This farm originally extended to what is now the center of East New York; but Jacob Snediker sold 45 acres of the northerly part to Whitehead Howard, and 69 acres of the middle and easterly part to Abraham Vanderveer. The homestead still belongs to the heirs of Jacob Snediker. It has been in the family 215 years.


The Nostrand family derives its origin from Hans Jansen, who came to Long Island in 1640 from the Noortstrandt in the duchy of Holstein. He married Janneken Gerrits Van Leuwen, and had four sons- Jan, Gerrit, Peter and Folkert. His sons adopted the name of the place from which their father emigrated, which in the course of time has been changed to the present name, Nostrand. Different branches of the family have informer times lived and their descendants still live in New York, Brooklyn, Flatbush, New Utrecht, Flatlands and New Lots, Kings county; in Jamaica, Flushing and Hempstead, Queens county; and in Huntington, Suffolk county. Margaret T. Nostrand, the wife of Martin G. Johnson, is the daughter of Timothy Nostrand, who for many years was a merchant in New York. When he retired from business he bought the farm, on which his son George now lives, situated on the Brooklyn and Jamaica Plank Road, one mile west of the village of Jamaica, where he died December 21st 1831. Her grandfather, John Nostrand, owned and lived and died on the homestead farm at Valley Stream, in the town of Hempstead; it descended to his son John Nostrand jr., and there he lived and died; after his death it belonged to his son Foster, who also lived and died there. On this farm Timothy Nostrand was born, February 8th 1767. Timothy Nostrand married first (September 27th 1793) Garchy, daughter of John Suydam of Newtown. Their children were: Sarah, born October 1st 1794, married James Bogart, died October 14th 1845; and John S., born March 16th 1796, who died unmarried, February 6th 1836. Timothy Nostrand married second (September 8th 1804) Catharine, daughter of Stephen Lott of Jamaica. Their children were: 1, Stephen L., born August 31st 1805, married (January 30th 1826) Cornelia L. Remsen of Flatlands. They had one child, Catharine Ann, who married Jacob Ryerson of Flatlands. 2, Garchy (Gitty) Ann, born March 16th 1807, died, unmarried, January 8th 1831. 3, George, born February 5th 1809, married first (March 26th 1846) Mary Bogardus. They had one child, Henry L. Nostrand, who married Phebe W., only child of Dominicus Vanderveer of Jamaica. George married second (October 12th 1859) Cornelia C. Van Siclen of Jamaica. No children. 4, Catharine L., born December 31st 1810, married (April 7th 1836) Dr. Richard T. Horsfield of New York. Their children are Richard T, Timothy N (who married Sophia Frisbie), and Catharine L. (who married John K. Underhill). Catharine L. Horsfield died February 2nd 1879. 5, Margaret T., born February 19th 1859, married (May 31st 1859) Martin G. Johnson. No children. 6, Timothy, born April 21st 1817, married first (October 19th 1853) Catharine Lott of New Utrecht (cousin of Martin G. Johnson). Their children were Ellie (deceased), J. Lott, T. Foster, Margaret (deceased), and George E. Timothy married, second, Belinda Hegeman of New Utrecht, who survives him. He died December 6th 1878. All the children of Timothy Nostrand sen. are dead except George Nostrand and Margaret T., wife of Martin G. Johnson. Timothy Nostrand sen. was one of the most prominent members of Grace Church, Jamaica, and was for many years warden, and for several years, and at the time of his death, senior warden. The following notice of his death appears on the records of the church, January 2nd 1832: "The vestry have heard with deep regret of the decease of Mr. Timothy Nostrand, their clerk, the senior warden of this church, and treasurer, and sincerely condole with the congregation with whom he was connected, and with his family, in the great bereavement they have been called to sustain; and we implore the Divine compassion on them that this afflictive providence may be, sanctified to them, and to the church of which he was a member." He was a member of Assembly of the State of New York, and a trustee of Union Hall Academy. He died December 21st 1831. His wife Catharine died February 13th 1860.


Jan Jansen Ditmars, the common ancestor of the family, emigrated from Ditmarsen in the duchy of Holstein. He married Neeltie Douws; obtained a patent March 23d 1647 for 24 morgens, at Dutch Kills, Newtown, Queens county; died prior to 1650. Douw(7*) Jansen Ditmars(8*) resided first at Flatbush, and finally settled at Jamaica. He died about 1755. He held office in the Reformed Dutch church, Jamaica. Abraham Ditmars, of Jamaica, married (June 18th 1725) Breckje, daughter of Abraham Remsen, of Newtown, and died on his farm at Jamaica, August 7th 1743. He was the father of Douw Ditmars and Abraham Ditmars jun., the two brothers who married two sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, the daughters of John Johnson of Jamaica (great-grandfather of Martin G. Johnson). Douw Ditmars Of Jamaica, born August 24th 1735, married Maria, the oldest daughter of John Johnson of Jamaica. They had five children, John D., Abraham, Breckje, Maria and Catalina, who were twins. He was an office holder in the Reformed Dutch Church. He died August 25th 1775. John D. Ditmis of Jamaica (son of Douw Ditmars) married (November 5th 1791) Catalina, the oldest daughter of Martin Johnson (grandfather of Martin G. Johnson). They had eight children: Martin, Dow, John, Abraham, Phebe, Maria, Catalina and George, who are all deceased except Maria. Dow I. Ditmis, son of John D., married (April 22nd 1817) Catharine Onderdonk(9*) of Cow Neck (Manhasset). Their children are: George O., John and Jacob Adrian Ditmis, all of Jamaica. Abraham Ditmis, son of John D., married (April 8th 1827) Katie Onderdonk of Cow Neck (.Manhasset). They had one child, Henry O. Ditmis. John D. Ditmis held the military office of major; he was a member of Assembly in 1802 and 1804, and a State senator from 1816 to 1820, and held the office of surrogate of Queens county. He was a trustee of Union Hall Academy; he belonged to the Reformed Dutch Church. He died March 11th 1853; his wife July 6th 1847. Abraham Ditmars jr. (son of Abraham of Jamaica), born December 9th 1738, married Elizabeth, the third daughter of John Johnson (great-grandfather of Martin G. Johnson). They had four children- Abraham, born October 6th 1760; Catalina, born September 20th 1762, married Samuel Eldert of Jamaica; John A., born April 9th 1766, and Dow, born June 12th 1771. John A. Ditmars married Nancy, daughter of Johannes Wyckoff of Jamaica. They had three children: Margaret Ann, A. Johnson and Elizabeth, all deceased. Elizabeth Ditmars married (December 30th 1839) Martin I. Johnson, who was for some years, and at the time of his death, county clerk. He was the eldest son of John and Maria ‘Johnson, and cousin of Martin G. Johnson. Martin I. and Elizabeth are both deceased, but one son, A. Ditmars Johnson, of Jamaica, survives them. Dow Ditmars, son of Abraham Ditmars jr., studied medicine, and went to Demarara, South America, where he had a lucrative practice for fourteen years. When he returned he married Anna Elvira, daughter of Samuel Riker of Newtown, and bought a farm at Hell Gate (now Astoria), where he spent the remainder of his life, and died, at an advanced age, in 1860. Their children were Thomas T., Richard R., Abraham Dow, and Anna. They are all deceased but Abraham Dow Ditmars, who is a lawyer in New York. Abraham Ditmars Jr. held office in the Reformed Dutch church, Jamaica, and so did his son John A. Ditmars. Abraham Ditmars jr. (father of John A.) was a captain of militia in the Revolution. He was known among the British soldiers who were quartered at Jamaica as the "rebel captain," and he suffered much from their depredations. They stole the crops from his farm, the provisions from his cellar, and all of his fowls but one, which went to the top of the barn to roost. One day the soldiers ordered him and his family to leave the house, as they intended to burn it. He had to obey, and his sick wife was taken on a bed and placed in the door- yard! But it seemed that an Almighty Power interposed; the consciences of the fiends stung them, and the dreadful threat was not executed. So great became the demands upon him for the produce of his farm, and for the use of his men and teams in carting the supplies of the British army, that he at last refused to comply. For this the petty officer who made the demand arrested him, took him to the village of Jamaica, and locked him up in the dungeon in the cellar of the old county hall, which stood on the spot now covered by Herriman’s brick row. He was confined until the next day, when he was brought before a superior officer of the British army, to whom he made a frank statement of the sufferings he had endured, and of the unreasonable claims continually made upon him. The officer at once gave him an honorable discharge; and at the same time severely reprimanded the underling who had arrested him. This decision had a good effect, as he afterward did not suffer much annoyance. It is proper to say that the highest British officers always condemned the cruel and barbarous acts which were committed by the dregs of the army. The home of Abraham Ditmars Jr. was the farm of the late William C. Stoothoff, one and a half miles southwest of the village of Jamaica; and the old house, in which he lived and died, still remains. The home of his daughter Catalina, who married Samuel Eldert, was the old house on Eldert’s lane now belonging to Henry Drew; and the old house on the Brooklyn and Jamaica plank road now belonging to Dominicus Vanderveer was formerly the home of Douw Ditmars, of another branch of the Ditmars family. It is a singular circumstance that these three old houses, probably the oldest in the town, should all have belonged to members of the Ditmars family. They still stand as monuments of the solid style of building of the early Dutch settlers. Abraham Ditmars and Abraham Ditmars jr. were contributors to the fund for building Union Hall Academy and were two of the first trustees, at the time its charter was signed by Governor Clinton, March 9th 1792. Abraham Ditmars jr. died November 19th 1824. John A. Ditmars was colonel of the State militia in the war of 1812, and he and his cousins George and John Johnson and their nephew Dow I. Ditmis were encamped at Fort Greene (now Washington Park), Brooklyn. They were under the command of General Jeremiah Johnson of Brooklyn, who was the cousin of George and John Johnson and John A. Ditmars. There our soldiers were for some time, in daily expectation of the landing of the British forces, whose vessels of war were lying off the harbor of New York; but the British wisely concluded to depart without landing.


The union of the Johnson and Ditmars families in this country began by the marriage of two sisters of Martin Johnson, Maria and Elizabeth, daughters of John Johnson of Jamaica (great-grandfather of Martin G.), to two brothers, Douw and Abraham Ditmars of Jamaica. Catalina, daughter of Martin Johnson of Jamaica (grandfather of Martin G.), married John D. Ditmis, the son of Douw. Martin I. Johnson, a great-grandson of John Johnson above named, married Elizabeth, daughter of John A. Ditmars. Phebe, daughter of George Johnson of Jamaica, married George O. Ditmis, a grandson of John D. Ditmis. Victor Honorius Jansen of Holland married Breckje Rapalje(10*). Martin Johnson of Jamaica married Phebe Rapelje. General Jeremiah Johnson, of Brooklyn, married Sarah Rapeije. Breckje, sister of John D. and daughter of Douw Ditmars of Jamaica, married (December 29th 1791) Peter Rapelje, of New Lots. Their children were Jacob, Dow and Peter. Maria and Catalina were twin daughters of Douw Ditmars, of Jamaica, and sisters of John D. and Breckje Ditmars. Maria married Jacob Rapelje, of Newtown. They had one child, Susan. Catalina married John R. Ludlow, of Newtown. She was his second wife. They had one son, Ditmars. Susan, the only child of Jacob and Maria Rapelje, married the Rev. Gabriel Ludlow, D.D., who for many years, and at the time of his death, was pastor of the Reformed Dutch church at Neshanic, New Jersey. He was the son of John R. Ludlow by his first wife. Another son was John Ludlow, D.D., who was twice professor in the Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N.J., for many years pastor of the Reformed Dutch church at Albany, and afterward provost of the University of Pennsylvania.


Martin G. Johnson was born and has always lived on the farm which he inherited from his father, situated on Liberty avenue, one and three- quarter miles west of the village of Jamaica and one mile south of Richmond Hill. This farm was bought October 5th 1744 by his great- grandfather John Johnson, who removed from Flatbush to this place, which was his home at the time of his death. His son Martin, the grandfather of Martin G., inherited the farm, and here he spent his life; and here was born George Johnson, the father of Martin G., and here he lived and died. There are few cases, if any, in Queens county where property has remained in the same family for nearly 140 years. There is a tradition that when his great-grandfather was looking for a home be noticed a fine growth of natural white clover on the road through this farm, which evidence of the fertility of the soil induced him to buy it. Barent, another son of John Johnson, remained at Jamaica for many years, when he removed to Wallabout in Brooklyn. He was the father of the late General Jeremiah Johnson, of whose children there are still living Sarah Ann, wife of Nicholas Wyckoff, president of the First National Bank of Brooklyn; Jeromus J. Johnson, and Susan, widow of Lambert Wyckoff.

Martin G. Johnson commenced his education at the district school, and then attended Union Hall Academy, Jamaica; but his mathematical education was completed under Thomas Spofford, the teacher, and author of a practical work on astronomy, who at the time of his death wags principal of the Yorkville Academy, New York city. At the age of 15 and for several years while at school young Johnson made the calculations for Spofford’s Almanac, and at the same age began to make surveys, thus combining theory and practice, which his teacher considered essential to a perfect understanding of surveying. At 16 he was, with his teacher Mr. Spofford, one of the assistants in making the preliminary surveys of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad, which work was in charge of Major Douglass of Brooklyn as chief engineer. At that time, 1832, Brooklyn was only a small village and extended but a short distance from Fulton Ferry. Above Henry street the houses were "few and far between," and on the line run for the railroad, near the present Atlantic avenue, it was mostly farming land. The business on Fulton street was nearly all below Sands street. Then (1832) there were only two railroads in the United States- the Albany and Schenectady (opened in 1831) in this State, and the Camden and Amboy Railroad in New Jersey. The Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad, opened in 1836, was the third. At the age of 18, 19, 20 and 21, in the years 1834, 1835, 1836 and 1837, Martin G. Johnson surveyed a great number of farms in the westerly part of Queens county and the easterly part of Kings county, nearly all of which were laid out into lots and mapped. He made all the surveys and maps for John R. Pitkin, who purchased in 1835 and 1836 many farms at New Lots, Kings county, and Jamaica, Queens county. It was Mr. Pitkin’s intention to lay out in one general plan all lands from the easterly limits of the city of Brooklyn to the westerly line of the village of Jamaica; and four separate maps were made, in accordance with this plan. The westerly part was to be used for manufacturing purposes, and the easterly part was laid out into parks, avenues, streets and sections for country seats. East New York was to be the name of the whole tract. This name was for some time kept strictly secret, as he feared it would be taken by the village of Williamsburgh (now part of Brooklyn), which then began to expand. So careful was he to conceal his plans that the planning and mapping were mostly done in a rear office in Wall street, New York, which overlooked the South Reformed Dutch church in Garden street (now Exchange place) and its burial ground. (The human remains were about being removed from the burial ground at that time, 1837). At last he had his plans ready and presented them to the public; but gradually yet surely the downfall of real estate came, and the grand scheme, as a whole, was defeated. But he was able to hold some land at East New York, and some at Woodville (now Woodhaven), and he laid the foundations for these villages, which have grown and are growing rapidly. At that time there was not a building at East New York, except a few farm houses and out- buildings along the Brooklyn and Jamaica turnpike; and the land was used for farming purposes, Martin G. Johnson has been actively engaged in his profession from 1834 to the present time; and has surveyed, divided into lots and mapped very many of the farms in the easterly part of the city of Brooklyn, in New Lots and in the westerly part of Jamaica, and some in adjacent towns, comprising an area of thousands of acres. Besides the land laid out into lots he has made many farm surveys and maps. He has made several surveys by authority of different acts of the Legislature: Town of Bushwick, southerly part (now part of the city of Brooklyn)- surveying, plotting, planning new avenues and streets, monumenting, and drawing map showing the same as laid out; Bushwick, southerly part- leveling, making profiles, determining grades, and drawing grade and sewerage plan; town of New Lots- surveying, plotting, planning new avenues and streets, monumenting, and drawing map showing the town as laid out; and surveying and drawing maps and profiles for the opening, grading, and paving, or graveling, of several of the principal avenues leading through and from East New York into the city and into the country. Many of his maps are in the register’s office of Kings county and the clerk’s office of Queens county. Politically, he is a very decided Democrat, and in early life was frequently a delegate to the county convention, and several times to the State convention; but he never would indorse the nomination of any one wanting in honesty and integrity, and always held it to be his duty to oppose any unfit and improper nomination. He has been and is executor of several estates, which trusts he managed with the strictest fidelity. For many years he has been a director of the Williams-burgh City Fire Insurance Company; was for many years a director of the Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach Railroad (East New York and Canarsie Railroad); has been from its organization, and until lately, a director of the New York, Bay Ridge, and Jamaica Railroad (now part of the New York and Manhattan Beach Railroad), and was a director of the Eastern Railroad of Long Island (which was abandoned after the Long Island Railroad came into the hands of Austin Corbin, as receiver and president). He is an elder of the Reformed Dutch church, Jamaica, the church of his fathers, and takes a deep interest in its welfare, being one of the foremost in furnishing the means which are constantly needed for keeping the church and all things connected with it in a prosperous state. He is a friend of religious, benevolent and charitable societies and institutions; and does not confine his gifts to the charities of his own church. The needy are kindly remembered. He is a life member of the American Bible Society, and of the American Tract Society. Although much engrossed in professional business and engagements, yet he is greatly interested, and takes much pleasure, in the cultivation of his farm, which is one of the best in the county. He is a life member of the Queens County Agricultural Society. The roads in his district of the town have been in his charge for many years; and their good condition is the best evidence of the judgment and care which have been used in constructing and keeping them in order.


James S. Remsen was born at Jamaica, Queens county, in 1815. Mr. Remsen is a hotel keeper of over 40 years experience as proprietor of the Jamaica Hotel. He was to the manor born, his father before him having followed the same calling for a livelihood, in the village of Queens (then called Brushville), his hotel standing opposite the tobacco factory. Our subject was quick to learn, of close observation, and possessed of judgment and foresight that have made him a famous man. In 1854, 28 years ago, he bought 5 ½ miles of Rockaway Beach, nearly one half, of the present Rockaway for $550. The same year he built the Seaside Hotel, showing that his forecast had compassed the future of to- day; that he was not a visionary, but a practical man, who had deep laid plans, with confidence in his own judgment. In 1875 Mr. Wainwright became a partner. Only a few years ago there were but two men on the beach who paid taxes, and they paid less than $25 per year. Now Mr. Remsen owns 20 hotels, and Remsen & Wainwright have recently enlarged and improved the Seaside Hotel and all its surroundings. He gave the land (comprising half a mile of beach) to the company that built the mammoth hotel which enjoys the proud distinction of being the largest in the world. This beach will soon draw a crowd for which the great house will be none too large. The strip of barren sea coast that sold 28 years ago for so small a sum could not be bought to- day for half a million dollars. Mr. Remsen married Mary Seaman, by whom he has had a family of ten children, of whom only the following are living: John A., who is married and is keeping one of the hotels on the Beach; Charles and Sarah, both unmarried and living at home. A brother of Mr. Remsen was once sheriff of Kings county. Mr. Remsen has always belonged to the Democratic party, and has entertained at his hotel some of the most prominent politicians of both parties in the nation.


Abraham De Bevoise is a son of Charles and Ann De Bevoise, of Bushwick, Kings county, and was born in Bushwick, February 11th 1819, the only son and the eldest of three children. His father died in 1858, his mother in 1856. Mr. De Bevoise was educated at the common schools and reared to farm life. December 6th 1843 he married Ann Maria Covert, of Newtown. They have five children (one, a daughter named Ellen Amanda, having died in infancy), named in the order of their birth Charles C., Jane Amenia, Anna Delia, Elizabeth Augusta, Abraham Underhill. About 1846 Mr. De Bevoise began business life on his own account in Bushwick. There he lived till 1861, when he removed to Jamaica, where he had purchased his present farm and erected his elegant and commodious residence, one of the handsomest and most convenient in that portion of the village, the plans of which were designed and drafted by Mr. De Bevoise, who has great talent for architecture, drawing and the construction of remarkably finely wrought mosaics of different kinds of wood, in the forms of center tables, jewel-caskets and various other articles of beauty and utility. Mr. De Bevoise has long been a Republican politically, and has taken an earnest though passive interest in public affairs. His judgment is much esteemed by his fellow citizens, and he has been appointed to serve on several commissions for opening roads in Jamaica, and was for several terms one of the trustees of the village. In 1858 Mr. and Mrs. De Bevoise identified themselves with the old Bushwick Reformed church. In November 1861, upon their removal to Jamaica, they united with the First Reformed Church of that village, which with their family they have constantly attended since. Mr. DeBevoise was a deacon in the Bushwick church, and during most of the period of his connection with the Jamaica church he has held the office of an elder. In 1879, in connection with Rev. Mr. Alliger, then pastor, Mr. De Bevoise and others opened a Sunday school at East Jamaica, of which Mr. De Bevoise was superintendent until he had firmly established it as a permanent institution. For years he has been a teacher in the Reformed Sunday- school at Jamaica, of which he has been superintendent since 1873. In his domestic relations Mr. De Bevoise has been most happy, it often being remarked by those who know best whereof they speak that "his wife has ever been to him a help- meet indeed,"


One of the most prominent living representatives of the old and honorable family of Brinckerhoff is he whose portrait and autograph appear at the head of this page. The ancestor of this numerous American family, Jores Derrickson Brinckerhoff, emigrated from Holland in 1638 and in 1661 settled in Brooklyn. His third son, Abraham Jores Brinckerhoff, was born in Flushing, Holland, in 1632, and died at Flushing, Long Island, in 1714. He had but one child, Jores Brinckerhoff (1644- 1729), whose tenth child and youngest son, Hendrick, formed the connecting link in the line of descent to the next generation. Hendrick was born in 1709 and died in 1777, leaving eight children, one of whom, Abraham, became the father of the sixth generation of this family in America. Abraham’s oldest son, John, was married in 1791 to Rebecca Lott, and thus their seven children were lineal descendants of another one of the oldest families on Long Island. Their oldest son, Abraham, had seven children. His oldest son, John H. Brinckerhoff, the gentleman first alluded to in this sketch, was born at Jamaica, November 24th 1829, and in 1853 was married to Laura Edwards, a daughter of Gouverneur Edwards of Westchester county, N.Y. Their three children are of the ninth generation of Brinckerhoffs in America, and of each generation the family has definite records. Mr. Brinckerhoff has had an experience as varied as most men of his years, and has reached, unaided, a summit of success rarely attained by those whose lot is cast in this land and age of stern competition. His school days terminated when he was fifteen, and he began an apprenticeship as engineer and machinist, with the Long Island Railroad Company. For this he seems to have had an especial aptitude; for within two years he was given charge of a locomotive as engineer. In 1854, the year after his marriage, he went to Syracuse, N.Y., as machinist for the New York Central Railroad Company, and before the close of the following year the Michigan Southern and Indiana Railroad Company gave him charge of its shops at Adrian. In September 1857 he began his present mercantile business in Jamaica. In 1866 Mr. Brinckerhoff came into politics as trustee of his native village; he served in that capacity four years, and within that period he was a member of, the board of education and treasurer of the board for four years. In 1869 he was also elected commissioner of highways, and in the last year of his term he was elected to the office of justice of the peace and entered upon its duties January 1st 1872. Here he served very acceptably, but had only just completed one- half of the term for which he was elected when he resigned his seat as justice to accept from the Democratic party the supervisorship of the town of Jamaica in April 1874. In the capacity of supervisor Mr. Brinckerhoff has made a record with which he has just reason to be satisfied. That his constituents thoroughly appreciate the straightforward way in which he has administered this important trust is fully evidenced by his re- election to the office year after year from that time until the present. In the board of supervisors his ability and worth are recognized by his associates, who elected him their chairman the second year he was a member; and in 1881, being one of the most experienced gentlemen in the board, he was again chosen chairman, in which capacity he is now ably and acceptably serving.


Hon. J.M. Oakley is a son of J. M. and Frances (Smith) Oakley, and was born in New York city June 19th 1838. His father died when our subject was but seven years old, and his mother subsequently married Richard W. Smith, of Suffolk county. Mr. Oakley has long been well known and popular on Long Island and in New York. His official career began by his choice to the position of chief engineer of the fire department of Jamaica village. In 1870 he was a candidate for member of Assembly and was elected, after a hot contest, over two well known opponents (Francis B Baldwin, the candidate of a rival Democratic faction, and George Everett, a Republican) and subsequently was re elected four times. In the fall of 1875 Mr. Oakley was a candidate for nomination for State senator, but was defeated by the nomination of Stephen D. Stephens, of Richmond county, who was defeated at the polls by Hon. L. Bradford Prince. April 5th 1876 he was appointed by Governor Lucius Robinson one of the commissioners of quarantine, and he served in that capacity three years. In 1877 he received the nomination for State senator and was elected over James Otis (Republican), of Suffolk county, by a majority of about 2,500. Since the expiration of his term of service Mr. Oakley has not been a candidate for office, but has devoted his attention to railroad interests, having become a director in the New York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Railway Company, organized in 1877, and elected to the presidency of the corporation in April 1881. February 4th 1869 Mr. Oakley married Hester A., daughter of ex- Sheriff Durland, of Jamaica.



Rufus King, an American statesman, born in Scarborough, Me., in died in New York city, April 29th 1827. His father, Richard King, a successful merchant gave him the best education then attainable. He was admitted to Harvard College in 1773, graduated in 1777 and went to Newburyport to study law under the direction of Theophilus Parsons. In 1778 he served as aide- de- camp to General Glover in the brief and fruitless campaign in Rhode Island. He was admitted to the bar in 1780, and at once entered upon a successful practice in Newburyport. He was an ardent patriot, and in 1782 was chosen a member of the general court of legislature. In that body, to which he was repeatedly re- elected, he took a leading part, and successfully advocated, against a powerful opposition, the granting of a 5 per cent, impost to the Congress as indispensable to the common safety and the efficiency of the confederation. In 1784 he was chosen by the Legislature a delegate to the Continental Congress, then sitting at Trenton. He took his seat in December, and in March 1785 moved a resolution "that there be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the States described in the resolution of Congress Of April 1784, otherwise than in punishment of crime thereof the party shall have been personally guilty; and that this regulation shall be made an article of compact, and remain a fundamental principle of the constitution between the original States and each of the States named in said resolves," This resolution was, by the vote of seven States (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland) against four (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) referred to the committee of the whole, where for the time it slept. The ordinance offered by Thomas Jefferson in the previous year (April 1784) proposed the prospective prohibition of slavery in the territories of the United States after the year 1800. Mr. King’s proposition was for its immediate, absolute and irrevocable prohibition. When two years afterward the famous ordinance of freedom and government for the Northwest Territory was reported by Nathan Dane, of Massachusetts (July 11th 1787), Mr. King, who was a member of that Congress (then sitting in New York), had gone to Philadelphia to take the seat to which he had been elected by Massachusetts as a member of the convention for framing a constitution for the United States; but his colleague embodied in the draft of his ordinance the provision, almost word for word, which Mr. King had laid before Congress in March 1785. While occupied with his duties as a member of Congress he was designated by his State as one of the commissioners to determine the boundary between New York and Massachusetts, and was empowered with his colleague to convey to the United States the large tract of land beyond the Alleghanies belonging to his State. On August 14th 1786 Rufus King and James Monroe were appointed a committee on behalf of Congress to wait upon the Legislature of Pennsylvania and explain the financial embarassments of the United States, and to urge the prompt repeal by that State of the embarrassing condition upon which it had voted its contingent of the 5 per cent. impost levied on Congress on all the States. The speech of Mr. King on this occasion, though no notes of it remain, is commemorated as most effective and brilliant. On May 26th 1787 he took his seat in the Federal convention. The journals of the convention and the fragments of its debates which have come down to us attest the active participation of Mr. King in the important business transacted; and, although one of the youngest members of that body, he was selected as one of the committee of five to " revise the style of and arrange the articles " agreed on for the new constitution. Having signed the constitution as finally adopted, Mr. King went back to Massachusetts, and was immediately chosen a delegate to the State convention which was to pass upon its acceptance or rejection. Fierce opposition was made in that convention to this instrument, Mr. King successfully leading the array in defense. In 1788 he took up his permanent residence in New York, where in 1786 he had married Mary, daughter of John Alsop; and in the following year he was elected a representative of that city in the Assembly of the State. In the summer of the same year he was chosen by the Legislature the first senator from the State of New York under the new constitution, having for his colleague General Schuyler. In this body he took rank among the leaders of the Federal party. In the bitter conflict aroused by Jay’s treaty he was conspicuous in its defense, both in the Senate and as the joint author with Alexander Hamilton of a series of newspaper essays, under the signature of "CAMILLUS." In 1795 Mr. King was re- elected to the Senate, and while serving his second term was nominated by Washington minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, having previously declined the office of secretary of state, made vacant by the resignation of Edmund Randolph. He embarked with his family at New York in July 1796, and for eight years ably fulfilled the duties of the office. No foreign minister was more sagacious in ascertaining or divining the views and policy of nations, or more careful in keeping his own government well informed on all the public questions of the day. His diplomatic correspondence is a model both in style and in topics. The Federal party having lost its ascendancy in the public councils Mr. King, shortly after Mr. Jefferson’s accession, asked to be recalled. He was, however, urged by the president to remain, as he had in hand important negotiations. The recurrence of war in Europe consequent upon the rupture of the peace of Amiens leaving little hope of success on the point to which his efforts had been chiefly directed, that of securing our seamen against impressment, he renewed his request to be relieved; and accordingly a successor was appointed, and Mr. King returned to his country in 1804, and withdrew to a farm at Jamaica, L.I. In 1813, during the war with Great Britain, he took his seat for the third time as United States senator Yielding no blind support to the administration, and offering to it no partisan opposition, he yet was ever ready to strengthen its hands against the common enemy. When the capitol at Washington was burned by the British forces he resisted the proposal to remove the seat of government to the interior, and rallied the nation to defend the country and avenge the outrage. His speech on this occasion in the Senate was one of those that marked him as a great orator. At the close of the war he applied himself to maturing the policy which should efface its evils as speedily as possible, and build up permanent prosperity. To a bill, however, for a United States bank with a capital of $50,000,000 he made earnest opposition. He resisted the claim of Great Britain to exclude us from the commerce of the West India Islands; and to his intelligent opposition of the laws of navigation and defense of the mercantile interests and rights of the United States we are indebted for the law of 1818. He likewise early discerned the danger of the sales of the public lands on credit, and by his bill substituting payment and a fixed but reduced price for these lands, stipulating a remission of interest and of a portion of the principal of the debt then due therefor, he averted a great political peril and gave order and security to the receipts from the sale of those lands. In 1819 he was re- elected to the Senate, as in the previous instance by a Legislature of adverse politics to his own. In 1816 he had been, without his knowledge, named as the candidate of the Federal party for governor of New York. He reluctantly accepted the nomination, but was not elected. Shortly afterward the so- called Missouri question began to agitate the nation. Mr. King was pledged against the extension of slavery; and when Missouri presented herself for admission as a State with a constitution authorizing the holding of slaves he was inexorably opposed to it. The State of New York, by an almost unanimous vote of its Legislature, instructed him to resist the admission of Missouri as a slave State; and the argument made by Mr. King in the Senate, though but partially reported, bas been the repertory for almost all subsequent arguments against the extension of slavery. He also opposed the compromise introduced by Mr. Clay, which partially yielded the principle, and voted to the last against it. His fourth term in the Senate expired in March 1825, when he took leave of that body, and, as he hoped, of public life, in which for 40 years he had been engaged. One of his latest acts was to present the following resolution, February 16th 1825: "That as soon as the portion of the existing funded debt of the United States for the payment of which the public land of the United States is pledged shall have been paid off, then and thenceforth the whole of the public land of the United States, with the net proceeds of all future sales thereof, shall constitute and form a fund which is hereby appropriated, and the faith of the United States is pledged that the said fund shall be inviolably applied, to aid the emancipation of such slaves within any of the United States, and to aid the removal of such slaves and the removal of such free persons of color in any of the said States, as by the laws of the. States respectively may be allowed to be emancipated or removed to any territory or country without the limits of the United States of America." The resolution was read, and on motion of Mr. Benton of Missouri ordered to be printed. John Q. Adams, now become president, urged Mr. King to accept the embassy to England, with which country unadjusted questions of moment were pending, which the president believed Mr. King was specially qualified to manage. He reluctantly accepted the mission, but his health gave way, and after a few months spent in England, where he was warmly welcomed, he resigned and came home. His son John Alsop, born in New York, January 3d 1788, was seven times elected to the State Legislature, was a member of Congress in 1849- 51, and governor of the State in 1857- 59. He was for many years president of the State agricultural society, and died in Jamaica, L.I., July 8th 1867. His second son, Charles, born in March 1789, was for some time a merchant, member of the Legislature in 1813, from 1823 to 1845 editor of the New York American, afterward associate editor of the Courier and Enquirer, and from 1849 to 1864 president of Columbia College. He died in Frascati, Italy, September 27th 1867. He was the author of a " Memoir of the Croton Aqueduct" (1843), "History of the New York Chamber of Commerce," "New York Fifty Years Ago" and other historical pamphlets.


John Alsop King, the eldest son of Rufus King and Mary, the only child of John Alsop, was born in New York, on the 3d of January 1788. During his father’s residence in England as ambassador from the United States, from 1797 to 1803, he was placed with his younger brother Charles at Harrow, where they obtained the fine classical and manly education which characterized their after life. In 1803 they were sent to Paris for a year to study mathematics and the French language. Returning to New York John entered the office of Edmund Pendleton for the study of law, and when admitted to the bar began his practice in the court of chancery. In January 1810 he was married to Mary, the only daughter of Cornelius Ray, a gentleman of wealth and culture in New York. When the war of 1812 with Great Britain broke out Mr. King applied for and secured from Governor Tompkins a commission as lieutenant of hussars, to be stationed at New York, thus practically carrying out, as did his brothers Charles and James, the principle upon which their father had acted- that, though in judgment opposed to the war, as citizens they had but one duty, to sustain the country. Upon the return of peace he resigned his commission, and soon after removed to a farm which he had bought at Jamaica, L.I., near to his father’s. In the cultivation of this and in advancing the agricultural and various interests of the county the next ten years were passed, as he often said, the happiest years of his life. His means were moderate, but by his habits of close application and personal industry, rising early and working late, plowing, sowing, reaping, assisting in putting up fences and out-buildings, he was enabled to live in comfort. When the work was over; as there was an abundance of game on the island, he enjoyed the use of his fishing rod, his gun, and his sporting dogs, and rode in the fox- hunt on a famous mare. A lover of fine cattle, and especially of fine horses, he constantly attended the races on the Union course, within a few miles of his home and at that time the field upon which the speediest and best- blooded horses from north and south contended for victory, and he was for many years the president of the Jockey Club. The affairs of the State were always matters of deep interest to him, and so well pleased were the people with his stirring addresses that he was by them sent to the Assembly in 1819, 1820 and 1821. These were years in which political feelings were much excited, and Mr. King took an active and prominent part, arraying himself, with many of his Federal friends, upon the disruption of the Federal party, in opposition to the ambitious schemes of Mr. Clinton. Though opposed to him politically Mr. King was with him an early and ardent advocate of the Erie Canal, and continued to be so to the latest hour of his life. After the adoption of the new constitution he was elected to the Senate and took his seat in 1824, drawing the shortest term. His onward career in State politics was at this time checked by his appointment as secretary of legation to Great Britain, in order that he might accompany his father, who had been charged by Mr. Adams with a special mission to the court of St. James; and when, in consequence of impaired health, his father was obliged after a brief sojourn to return home, Mr. King remained behind as charge d’affaire’s until the arrival of the new ambassador. It was a pleasant service to him, for he was thus brought into official and friendly relations with many of his old comrades at Harrow, now the leading men of Great Britain. In 1827, after his father’s death, he bought from his brother the fine old mansion at Jamaica; where he continued to reside until his death. During his absence abroad great political changes had taken place, many of his old friends having became adherents of General Jackson, and he was defeated as a candidate for Congress, for which he had been nominated by the friends of Mr. Adams. In 1832 the people of Queens county, desiring to secure several privileges, among others a railway between Jamaica and Brooklyn, sent Mr. King to the Assembly; a charter for one was obtained, he was made president of the road, and was active in locating and finishing it. Nor did his interest in, such improvements stop here, for he assisted in developing the railway system on the, island, as well as in the making of turnpike and plank roads to benefit the farmers in transporting their crops to market. In 1838 and 1840 he was again sent to the Legislature. In 1839 he was a delegate to the national convention, where, though earnestly pressing Mr. Clay, he felt it to be his duty finally to cast his vote for General Harrison. At this time and always he firmly maintained the distinctive views of the Whig party, and especially on the subject of slavery. Elected to Congress in 1848, he was enabled to act upon these opinions and to assist in moulding the public action during the two sessions of the 31st Congress, from 1849 to 1851. Both in private and in public debate he strenuously resisted the passage of the compromise measures and of the fugitive slave bill, one of the measures which exposed the purposes of advocates of the extension of slavery and exasperated the manly sentiment of the north against their demands. He also took an active part in discussing the measures which resulted in making California a free State- the first decided evidence of the determination of the people to restrain slavery within its then limits; a result which his father had so ably but so unsuccessfully contended for on the admission of Missouri. In 1852 he was a delegate to the national convention which nominated General Scott, and in 1856 he was sent to the Philadelphia convention, where his earnest and active efforts, resulting in the nomination of Fremont, so commended him to the other members that he was prominently named as the candidate for vice-president, but he yielded to the plea of New Jersey in favor of Mr. Dayton. In the previous year he had been chairman of the Whig convention of New York, at Syracuse, which fused with the Republican convention and thus blended the Whigs with the independent Democrats and formed the Republican party. By this party he was in 1856 nominated for governor of New York, and was elected by a very large majority. He took the oath of office on the 1st of January 1857, and, as has been said, "discharged the duties with rare firmness and sagacity." In his first message he advocated the cause of popular education and that of internal improvement. He assumed that the people of New York, by his election, declared as "their deliberate and irreversible decree that so far as the State of New York is concerned there shall be henceforth no extension of slavery in the territories of the United States." "This conclusion I most unreservedly adopt, and am prepared to abide by it at all times, under all circumstances, and in every emergency." In 1860 Mr. King was at the Chicago convention, and with the New York delegation earnestly sought the nomination of Mr. Seward; but the convention cast its vote for Mr. Lincoln. Mr. King was afterward chosen one of the electors at large. Once again he was tempted from his retirement at Jamaica, by the vain hope that some means might be discovered to stop the effusion of blood and the desolation which threatened the country, and accepted from Governor Morgan the appointment of delegate to the peace conference which assembled in Washington February 4th 1861 at the invitation of Virginia. The effort was unsuccessful, but Mr. King lived long enough to see slavery, the cause of so many troubles and of the civil, war, entirely abolished, and the country again united, with the national flag floating in peace over every State in the Union. While addressing the young men at Jamaica on the 4th of July 1867, and commending that flag to their care, telling them in warm and heartfelt words that their aim should ever be the service of their country and their God, he was seized with sudden faintness, and, sinking paralyzed into the arms of his friends, he was carried to his home, where, on the 7th, he died peacefully, surrounded by his family. Mr. King gave, much of his time and thought to agriculture, both as a practical and a scientific pursuit, laboring earnestly in the Queens County Agricultural Society, of which he was one of the founders and often president. He was one of the founders and afterward president of the New York State Agricultural Society, from whose meetings he was rarely absent; one of the founders and a vice- president of the United States Agricultural Society and a promoter of the agricultural college at Ovid, which was afterward transferred to Cornell University. He was deeply interested in the prosperity of Jamaica, and especially in the educational and religious institutions, in advancing which he spent much time and thought, as well as money. An earnest and faithful member of the Protestant Episcopal church, in which he was brought up, he was for many years a vestryman and warden of Grace church, Jamaica, to whose welfare he was warmly devoted and under the shadow of whose walls he now rests in peace. Nor was his love for the church confined within the narrow limits of his parish, for he was long an able and trusted councillor in the affairs of the diocese of his native State and of the General Theological Seminary. He was an honorary member of the New York Chamber of Commerce, a member of the New York and Long Island Historical Societies, and of the St. Nicholas Society, of which he was one of the founders. Inheriting a manly and vigorous constitution, quick and active in his movements, and having lived a temperate and well regulated life, he retained his physical and intellectual qualities almost unimpaired until the end of his long life. The resolutions adopted by the Union Club of New York, of which he had long been president, briefly but truly sum up his character: "Resolved, That, individually, we have lost the companionship of a cultivated gentleman, a man of spotless integrity and a kind and genial friend. "Resolved, That our State has lost a distinguished citizen, the purity of whose motives and the sincerity of whose patriotism have never in the bitterest contest of party been questioned, and whose long- life example of unvarying integrity and of uniform public and private virtue is a rich and endearing legacy to his countrymen." Mrs. King continued to reside in the house at Jamaica where she had lived so happily for nearly half a century, and there after a brief illness she passed away in August 1873, a Christian lady, beloved of all, full of gentleness, sound judgment and good works. A large family survived her. The eldest daughter, Mary, married P. M. Nightingale, of Georgia, a grandson of General Nathaniel Greene. Charles Ray, an alumnus of Union Hall Academy, of Columbia College and of the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, studied medicine in Philadelphia and Paris. He married Hannah Wharton, and after her decease Nancy Wharton; daughters of William W. Fisher of Philadelphia. After practicing medicine in New York and Philadelphia he bought a farm upon the Pennsylvania bank of the Delaware, in Bucks county, where he now resides. Though an earnest Republican he has never sought political life, but has occupied himself in striving to advance the interests of agriculture and the education of the people. A lifelong member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, as vestryman and warden since 1851 in his own parish, as deputy to the convention of the diocese of Pennsylvania for thirty years, and as an overseer in the divinity school in Philadelphia from its foundation, he has given his time and efforts to promote the welfare of the church of his affection. Elizabeth Ray married Colonel Henry Van Rensselaer, who was a son of the elder Stephen Van Rensselaer and died in the service of his country during the late war of the rebellion. Caroline married her cousin James Gore King, son of James G. King. Richard married Elizabeth, daughter of Mordecai Lewis of Philadelphia, and has always been honorably engaged in commercial and banking business, being now president of the National Bank of Commerce in New York and a vestryman of Grace Church, Jamaica. Cornelia, the youngest child, unmarried, lives at the homestead at Jamaica; given to hospitality and zealous in good works and for the welfare of the parish.


John Alsop, second son of John Alsop and Mary King, was born July 14th 1817, at Jamaica, where he went to school, graduating at Harvard University in 1835. He entered a counting- house, and then went into business, but soon left, to study law. He was married, in 1839, to Mary Colden, only daughter of Philip Rhinelander. He lived in the city until 1854, when he purchased part of Hewlett’s Point, at Great Neck, North Hempstead, where, with the exception of several visits abroad, he has since resided, carrying on, personally and assiduously, the various labors of the farm, actively connected with the agricultural societies of Queens county, the State, and the United States. He is an interested member of many of the societies devoted to the educational, material, historical and charitable affairs of the county and of the State; warden of the church, delegate to the diocesan conventions, twice deputy to the General Convention, one of the executive committee of the General Theological Seminary and a manager of the board of missions. In politics he was a Whig, and. then a Republican; he has often been sent to the State conventions, and in 1872 was a delegate to the national convention which renominated General Grant, and a member of the college of electors. Chosen to the State Senate in 1873. he was a zealous supporter and defender of the Erie Canal, and of the constitutional amendments, which brought about many reforms in the State government. With the aid of the members from the first district he succeeded in having the infamous act of 1868 repealed, by which, unknown to the owners, the salt meadow water fronts of Staten and Long Islands had been sold for a trifling sum to a land company. He received a vote of thanks from the Chamber of Commerce in relation to the act establishing the court of arbitration. He was defeated for Congress in 1876, and again in 1880. He was appointed by Governor Cornell, in 1881, the commissioner for the State of New York at the Yorktown Centennial; and was made chairman of a commission of fifteen citizens’, named by the governor, under a resolution of the Senate of the State, to receive and extend the courtesies and hospitalities of the State to the delegation from France, and the other foreign guests invited by the United States to take part at Yorktown in the centennial celebration. Both duties were faithfully discharged.


John J. Armstrong was born September 6th 1828, in the town of North Hempstead. He received an academic education at the seminary at Hempstead, and was admitted to practice law in November 1849. He began the practice of his profession at Jamaica, where he has resided ever since. He was elected district attorney in November 1859, and was re-elected in November 1862. He was elected county judge of the county of Queens in November 1865, and re-elected in November 1869, November 1875, and November 1879. In December 7872 he was a member of the constitutional commission (appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate) to prepare amendments to the constitution for submission to the people. In politics he has always been connected with the Democratic party. Judge Armstrong is a man habitually kind and courteous, methodical in his habits, and a hard worker- going to his office before breakfast and returning to it after supper to continue his labors in the evening. His success as a professional man has been worked for and fairly won. He is a member and elder in the Presbyterian church of Jamaica, regular in attendance at its services, and always ready to contribute labor or money for the church. His temperament is nervous and quick. His leading characteristic is his loyalty: he does not forget his friends, he spares neither time nor labor to serve them. He is free, from, the taint of intemperance or profanity. He is most careful in speaking of others, having the quality of justice in an eminent degree. He is devoted to his home and family, and toward the poor and unfortunate sympathetic and generous.


the founder of East New York in Kings county, and of Woodhaven, Queens county, Long Island, was a son of John and Rebecca Andrews Pitkin, and was born in Colebrook, Litchfield county, Connecticut, in the year 1794. His father worked at his trade, making boots and shoes, carrying on also a small farm. The son at the early age of 12 left home to seek his own support, the father feeling that, although young, his habits and principles had so developed themselves that they would be to him (as his later life fully proved) a staff and shield which would never fail. For years he worked on a farm in the summer, receiving from $5 to $10 a month, and in the winter his board and clothing, he being permitted to attend the district school, some two miles distant. At 20 he was offered, and accepted, a position as teacher in the New Hartford school, the same in which he had been an earnest and attentive scholar. Then, embarking in what were called "trading expeditions," he in company with others fitted out wagons, loaded them with dry goods, and drove through to Georgia, there disposing of all. After making a few trips, which took about four weeks each (now accomplished by railroad in three days), he became a partner with S. & L. Hurlburt, of Winchester, Ct., and the firm founded and maintained stores at Madison, Monticello, Eatonton and Warrenton, Ga., all meeting with marked success. But Mr. Pitkin’s aims were still higher, and he returned to New York, formed a copartnership, and opened a wholesale dry goods house, which, not proving pleasant or profitable, was dissolved and its business closed. At this time he became interested in real estate and took an active part in laying out and straightening some of the streets in New York, notably the upper part of William street. Being attracted to Long Island, he with his brother-in-law, George W. Thrall, purchased three farms lying east and south of’ the old "Howard House," on the Jamaica turnpike; laid the same out in streets and blocks, planted trees, built houses, and named the locality East New York. Happy was he in later life to walk through a then busy and thriving town, with streets traversed by both steam and horse railroads, and with an enterprising and prosperous population of 15,000 people. In 1846 he was instrumental in drawing, and after two years of diligent, persistent work, succeeded in having adopted one of the general manufacturing laws of the State of New York, under which to- day a vast amount Of individual capital and enterprise is associated in the development of the State’s resources; the capitalists working for their own not only, but for the good of humanity at large. A library of over 50 letter books today attests his untiring zeal and persistency. He became thoroughly wrapped up in the development of the shoe manufacturing interests, and was instrumental in inducing prominent practical shoe manufacturers to remove from New England to New York. With a few near friends in 1860- 61 he founded the East New York Boot, Shoe and Leather Manufacturing Company, now officered by his children and making an average of 3,000 pairs a day, their works being carried on at Albany, New York. Mr. Pitkin, although living beyond the allotted three- score and ten, was ever earnest in advocating those principles which would tend to elevate the, working classes; and he wrote: "As long as I am blessed with unimpaired faculties of body and brain I shall continue to agitate the union of labor with education, together with the progress of mind and wealth combined." He was a man of indomitable energy, untiring perseverance, pertinacity of purpose, an iron will, never yielding to the word "can’t," and had such a clear perception of what was yet to be that in forecasting the future he had no superiors, and very few equals. As a father he was loved and respected. He was indulgent, kind, generous to a fault, but always insisted on the right. He was temperate, even to total abstinence. He was ready at all times to do his part for The welfare of others, and to- day both in East New York and in the growing village of Woodhaven there are churches and schools upon grounds he quietly gave, without regard to sect or religion. He died at Brattleboro, Vermont, September 2nd 1874, and now rests with his father, mother, wife and children on a beautiful slope in Cypress Hills Cemetery; a solid granite sarcophagus marking the spot. Mr. Pitkin was twice married; first to Sophia M. Thrall, of Winchester, Conn., October 1st 1823. She died at Woodhaven, November 30th 1849. Their children (now all living except one) were: George De Witt, Frances Amelia, Henry Fowler (who died August 18th 1832, at Symsbury, Conn., and is buried there; Georgeanna Louise, Frederick Eugene, Wolcott Homer, and John Winfield. June 1 1857, at Woodhaven, Mr. Pitkin married Mary Allyn, who survives him. They had three children: Mary Ella, who died December 13th 1863; William Timothy, who died January 8th 1862, and Emma Victoria. *Ordained when settled here. **Died pastors of this church. ***Not installed as pastors. (4*)Named vestryman in the charter. (5*)Named warden in the charter. (6*)James Hendrickson, the father of Eiias J., was an elder, and one the pillars of the Reformed Dutch Church of Jamaica. (7*)Variously spelled, Douwe, Douw, Dowe and Dow. (8*)Spelled Ditmarse, Ditmars, Ditmis and Ditmas. (9*)Henry Onderdonk Jr., A.M., married Maria H, sister of Catharine Onderdonk, wife of Dow I. Ditmis. (10*)Written by different families Rapalje, Rapelje, Rapelye, and Rapelyea.