HISTORY OF QUEENS COUNTY with illustrations, Portraits & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co.; 1882. pp. 469-576. History of Queens Countyenter name and hit return
OYSTER BAY.THE Indians who were the first known inhabitants of this town were of two tribes- the Matinecocks, who occupied the north part of the town, and the Marsapeagues, who occupied the south part. Their division line was the "middle of the island." The principal occupation of the males was hunting, fowling and fishing; the females practiced agriculture to some extent. Corn was the staple product, and the "old planting fields" mentioned in the early records are supposed to be fields previously’ cultivated by the Indians. The large piles of broken shells near the shores indicate another important occupation- the business of making Indian money. The generic name of this shell money, for which Long Island was so noted, is seawant. There were two kinds, viz. wampum, or white, which was made from the stem of the periwinkle shell; and suckanhock, or black, made from the heart of the hard clam shell. The black was rated much higher than the white. The arms used by the Indians previous to the coming of the Europeans were the bow, with its string of wild hemp or the sinew of a deer; the arrow, pointed with a sharp stone fastened by resin or with rawhide strings; the war club, the wooden spear and a square shield, which was worn upon the left arm. Their wigwams consisted of hickory saplings bent in the form of an arch and covered with bark. In the middle was the fire; a hole at the top permitted the egress of the smoke. They pounded their corn with stone pestles; their mortars were generally of wood, sometimes a hole in a large stone. The Indians ate their food from wooden bowls. Their knife was a sharpened shell, their axe a sharpened stone. There are a number of specimens of these axes preserved, and some of them show that their manufacturer had considerable taste in carving. The head of the axe has a deep crease on each side, to receive a handle, which is formed by the two parts of a stick, split at one end, being forced into these creases so that the ends project a little beyond the axe, and then firmly bound to their place by thongs of rawhide. The site of the village of Brookville is often mentioned as Susco’s Wigwam, and it is certain that most of the Matinecocks inhabiting the town resided at this place and Cedar Swamp. They also had a small village at Mosquito Cove. It is stated that Susconaman lived where Mrs. McKensie now resides. The principal settlement of the Marsapeague tribe was in this town at Fort Neck, which derived its name from the Indian fort at that place. The only battle of any consequence between the whites and Indians on Long Island was fought here with this tribe early in the year 1644, when their fort was taken and demolished by a force under Captain John Underhill, who afterward aided them and other Indians in negotiating a treaty with the whites, and was rewarded with land at Matinecock. After this the Indians when sober and well treated were peaceable, quiet and kind. The only trouble of which we have any intimation, except from "fire- water," was on account of the whites neglecting to pay them for their lands as agreed, and differences in boundary. The first was adjusted by paying them. In the second case the Indians also maintained their claim, which was adjusted by the settlers buying the land and paying for it. The first experiment mentioned in the town books for the prohibition of intemperance was tried on the Indians, and it is recorded as follows: "Dec. 13th 1660.- It is ordered that no person or persons whatsoever shall, doubly or individually, sell wine or strong liquor to the Indians, upon the forfeiture of five shillings for the first default and ten shillings for the second; and the third time to forfeit his right of meadow to the town." The Indians when selling their lands reserved their right of fowling and fishing. These rights were soon cast aside, and instead of being partial owners the natives became in many instances slaves to the purchasers. Their recognized rights dwindled to an old Indian woman coming to the farmers once a year and collecting what was called quit rent. Her coming long since ceased. They soon ceased to exist as communities here, but they have left their marks on the old deeds, and their remembrancers in the arrow- heads and axes which are occasionally brought to the surface by the plowshare. Of the few who have been inhabitants of the town during the last century one after another has passed away, until their only representative is an Indian girl living with a family in the south part of the town.
JURISDICTION AND TITLE.The first attempt at settlement of this town or its vicinity was the result of an agreement dated 17th April 1640, in which James Farret, as agent of the Earl of Stirling gave permission to Daniel Howe, Job Paine and others to purchase, lands and settle on Long Island "with as full and free liberty both in church order an civil government as the plantation of Massachusetts enjoyed." Clothed with this authority their leader, Daniel Howe, soon after made a purchase from the Indians of the island "which extended from the eastern part of Oyster Bay to the western part of a bay called, after him Howe’s bay, and to the middle of the plains, being half the breadth of the island." About the 60 of May following a settlement was commenced, the location of which is thought to have been on the west side of Cow Neck near the head of Manhasset or Cow Bay, which was formerly known as Howe’s or Scout’s Bay. News of the settlement having been carried to Governor Kieft, he sent a force which broke it up. Five years later the English attempted another settlement, advancing as far as Oyster Bay, within the track purchased by Daniel Howe, and were again frustrated in their design by Governor Kieft, who seized and imprisoned some of the settlers, and drove the others away. These settlers, however, could have remained had they acknowledged their subjection to the authorities of New Amsterdam, which they refused to do. The Dutch continued many years to claim jurisdiction over this portion- of the island; but on account of its local advantages and adaptation to commercial purposes it was as persistently claimed by the English. A treaty was made by representatives of the Dutch and English colonies in a convention which met at Hartford, Conn., September 19th 1650. The agreement was "that a line run from the westermost part of Oyster Bay and so a straight and direct line to the sea shall be the bounds betwixt the English and Dutch there; the easterly part to belong to the English, and the westermost to the Dutch." By this arrangement, giving to the English the whole of Long Island to the eastward of this boundary line, which merely included the site of the Townsend mill property on the side of the English, it was hoped the controversy was at an end; but this hope was doomed to disappointment. The Dutch in order to better secure their possession of the lands allotted to them on the west of said boundary line, and to prevent intrusions thereon, immediately planted a small colony on their eastern border, to which project the village of Brookville, formerly called Wolver Hollow, is indebted for its origin. When Oyster Bay came to be settled by the English a dispute arose between them and the Dutch governor respecting the "westermost" limits of Oyster Bay; and this, with the delay of the States General to ratify the treaty, furnished the Dutch governor with a pretext for not fulfulling it. Difficulties continued, for in 1656 we find that the commissioners of the united colonies of New England (Oyster Bay being at this time under the jurisdiction of New Haven), in answer to a communication from the Dutch governor, reproached him for still continuing to claim Oyster Bay, in violation of the treaty of Hartford; for, although the treaty was ratified by the States General February 22nd 1656, yet it seems that the governor never wholly relinquished his claim of jurisdiction over the town, or a part of it. We find also that in 1659 the directors of the West India company ordered the Dutch governor to erect a fort or build a blockhouse on their east bay (Hempstead Harbor), in order the more effectually to resist the encroachments of the English; but in 166r the governor informed them that he had not erected the fort on Long Island, near Oyster Bay, "because our neighbors lay the boundaries a mile and a half more westerly than we do, and the more as your honors are not inclined to stand by the treaty of Hartford." These disputes involved the people of Oyster Bay in much difficulty and perplexity. To avoid giving offense to one power or the other and to secure peace and quietness they were compelled to observe a kind of neutrality between the contending parties. December 13th 1660 they resolved, by a vote of the people in the town meeting, that no person should intermeddle to put the town either under the Dutch or English, until the difference between them should be ended, under penalty of £50. It is presumed that the town about this period united with the other English towns on the island east of Hempstead in voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of Connecticut. These disputes were, however, brought to a close by a surrender of New Netherlands to the Duke of York in 1664. This brought the whole island under the English authority. By decision of his Majesty’s commissioners, given November 30th 1664, it was decided that Oyster Bay, together with all towns to the east, should also belong to the Duke of York. This town then remained under his control except during the reoccupation of New York by the Dutch, when in October 1673 the people, upon their demand, took the oath of allegiance to the Dutch government. The close of the war between the two governments again brought the town under the duke’s control. As we have seen, individuals located in different parts of the town, but had no permanent organization as a town until 1653, when the first plantation was commenced on the site of the village of Oyster Bay. The first instrument of conveyance of land appears to be a deed from the Matinecock sachem, and is as follows: "Anno Domini 1653.- This writing witnesseth that I, Assiapum, alias Moheness, have sold unto Peter Wright, Samuel Mayo, and William Leveridge, their heirs, administrators and assigns, all the land lying and situate upon Oyster Bay and bounded by Oyster Bay River to the east side and Papequtunck on the west side, with all ye woods, rivers, marshes, uplands, ponds, and all other the appurtenances lying between ye bounds afore named, with all ye islands to the seaward, excepting one island, commonly called Hog Island, and bounded near southerly by a point of trees called Cantiaque; in consideration of which bargain and sale he is to receive, as full satisfaction, six Indian coats, six kettles, six fathom of wampum, six hoes, six hatchets, three pair of stockings, thirty awl- blades or muxes, twenty knives, three shirts, and as much peague as will amount to four pounds sterling. In witness whereof he hath set his mark in the presence of William Washborne, Anthony Wright, Robert Williams.
PURCHASERS AND SETTLERS.Thus we see that the first purchase was made by three men who associated with themselves seven others, each and all having equal property and rights. William Leveridge (or Leverich), a minister of the gospel, was born in England, graduated at Cambridge in 1625, and arrived in the ship "James" at Salem, with Captain Wiggin and company, October 10th 1633. He was the first pastor of a Congregational society organized in 1633 at Dover, New Hampshire, and was probably the first ordained minister who preached the gospel in that province. His support being quite insufficient he left his charge at Dover, came to Boston in 1635, was admitted a member of the church there, and afterward assisted Mr. Partridge at Duxbury for a short time. In 1638 he became the first pastor of the church at Sandwich, on Cape Cod, and he devoted much of his time to instructing the Indians in that quarter. In 1647 he was employed by the commissioners of the united colonies as a missionary and resided most of his time at Plymouth. In April 1653 he visited Long Island, in company with some of his former parishioners at Sandwich, and made the purchase recorded above. Samuel Titus, as will be seen certifies that Mr. Leverich received from the planters here 15 pounds per year for his services as clergyman. It has also been supposed that he devoted a part of his time after his removal to Oyster Bay to instructing the natives on Long Island and elsewhere. It appears that Mr. Leverich was allowed small sums for his services among the Indians from 1653 to 1658. In 1657 they desired him to instruct the Corchaug and Montauk tribes, at the east end of the island. He continued in the ministry till his death, in 1692; having been the first settled minister for four distinct parishes- Dover, Sandwich, Huntington and Newtown. Samuel Mayo, who owned the ship "Desire," of Barnstable, was employed by the Rev. Mr. Leverich to transport his goods to Oyster Bay. This vessel, which was under command of John Dickerson, was captured in Hempstead Harbor by Thomas Baxter, under pretense of authority from Rhode Island, while cruising against the Dutch; that province having taken part with England in the war against Holland, and the vessel being, as was alleged, within Dutch territory. It is stated that Mr. Leverich landed at Hempstead harbor, because there was no house at Oyster Bay to shelter his goods. Thompson says: "This Baxter was, beyond all question, a turbulent and unprincipled fellow, and the general court at Hartford, in April 1645, were compelled to notice his vile conduct, and to censure him for his reproachful speeches against that jurisdiction. They likewise imposed a fine upon him of £50, requiring him to execute a bond in £200 for his good behaviour for one year, and to be further responsible to New Haven and Rhode Island for his bad actions within their limits." Upon the complaint of Mayo for seizing his vessel under false pretenses, the court adjudged Baxter to pay the owner also, but that the sails, ropes, two guns, etc., if returned with the vessel, should be accounted as £18 toward that amount. It is gleaned from various records that Samuel Mayo was at Oyster Bay, and took part in transacting the business of the colony and apportioning out the different lots to those whom the town voted freedom to settle; and, although larger interests were claimed by his heirs, he appears never to have taken more than his equal share of land with other freeholders of the town. He died at Oyster Bay in 1670. The Wrights, Peter, Anthony, and Nicholas, emigrated from England to Massachusetts as early as 1636. They are supposed to have descended from Nicholas Wright of Norfolk, England, by his wife Anne Beaupre. They are found first residing at Lynn, then called Saugas, in Massachusetts, but shortly afterward removed to Sandwich, Cape Cod, in the settlement of which place they all became active leaders, acquiring lands and holding offices of military as well as civic trust. Here several of the children of Peter and Nicholas were born. In 1653 they joined the company led by the Rev. William Leverich, came to Long Island, and united in the first purchase of land from the Indians of the territory including the site of the present village of Oyster Bay. They all became large landed proprietors at that place. Anthony appears to have lived and died a bachelor; but Peter and Nicholas left large families. Anthony Wright died in Oyster Bay, on the 8th of September 1680. Peter Wright may be called the founder of Oyster Bay. He was the only one of the original three purchasers who settled here; and of those whom they admitted as partners, not one except Anthony continued longer than ten years. Thomas Armitage soon emigrated to another town on the island. Daniel Whitehead, having removed to Jamaica, became a very large landholder there, and afterward purchased Dosoris, which he gave to his daughter, the wife of John Taylor. Robert Williams was of Welsh descent, and a near relative of Roger Williams. He afterward bought from the Indians a large tract on the south boundary of the original Oyster Bay purchase. He was also the first purchaser of Dosoris. John Washborne was the son of William, who, with his brother Daniel, came here with Rev. Mr. Leverich. They or their family are frequently mentioned in the annals of Hempstead. Richard Holbrook built the first house in Oyster Bay. He afterward removed to Milford, Conn., as we learn from his will, dated at that place March 29th 1670. Indeed very many of the first inhabitants were of the Sandwich colony, who were collected there from different places in 1628.
BOUNDARY DISPUTES.That the settlers were not free from complications and difficulties appears from the following documents, which are copied from the Townsend Memorial: "Oyster Bay, 20th Dec’r. 1683. I, Nicholas Simikins, now an inhabitant of Musketo Cove, aged fifty- six or thereabouts, do declare that, I being at the first settlement of Oyster Bay, which was in the year 1653; Peter Wright, William Leverich and Samuel Mayo, they being the three first purchasers as by the grand deed from the Indian sachem, and they being mentioned in the deed as purchasers, condescended to the others to make a settlement of the said purchase; and for- - did accept of William Washbourne and his son John Washbourne, Thos. Armitage, Daniel Whitehead, Robert Williams and Richard Holbrook, as equal purchasers with them, and forthwith endorsed the same upon the back side of the bill of sale. That being done, and agreed upon, they immediately proceeded to the laying out of allotments but first they laid out all the highways in the town by joint consent. Secondly, beginning at the Mill river, from and so eastward to the harbor side, they laid out upwards of twenty lots, granting equal privileges to every lot; and next year Will. Smith and old John Titus, with several others, were accepted of as inhabitants, and had their allotments laid out to them by Peter Wright, by the consent of the purchasers. But so it happened that, the purchase money being not paid, the Indians began to be very unruly and dissatisfied; whereupon the purchasers, with the rest of the inhabitants then settled, desired William Smith and John Titus to prepay for the goods to pay the Indians, which they did to Mr. Briant, of Milford, and paid it in beef. And I killed the cattle and paid the debt, and when we came to levy the rate for the purchase it came to eighteen shillings and ten pence; and to my knowledge Samuel Mayo was at two town meetings at the first settlement of the place, and was always forward in joining and granting of allotments to each one that was free to settle amongst them as far forth as any of the rest of the purchasers or people settled, and this I can give upon oath, and much more if thereunto called or required as witness my hand. Richard Holbrook was the first man as a purchaser that got up his house in Oyster Bay. To which I subscribe my hand. "NICHOLAS SIMKINS." "I, Samuel Titus, of Huntington, aged forty- nine or thereabouts, doth witness and declare that about thirty years since, at the first settlement of Oyster Bay, being then with my father under his command, Mr. Leverich and the rest of the first purchasers, living in said town, who admitted freely of my father and two of my brothers as inhabitants and townsmen amongst them, who paid before his death his purchase money with the rest of the purchasers; and I well remember my father had an ox, and one cow, which was killed and sent over to Milford to Mr. Briant, excepting one quarter, to procure the goods to pay the Indians for the town purchase, which I suppose should have been paid before, but was not, whereupon the Indians began to be very surly until they bad their pay paid them as aforesaid. And further I well remember that Mr. Samuel Mayo was here at Oyster Bay several times after this payment and settlement of the town, and never made any objection against any of their proceedings in the settlement thereof; and further I remember that the said purchasers of the town did condescend to each other to have no more in the propriety thereof, but to be equal alike, which was, every purchaser a home lot containing six acres, and others that were to be taken in as townsmen to have but five- acre lots; and that I never all the time we lived in the town did hear or understand that said Mayo desired any more for his part among the rest of the town at the time than the lot which was laid out unto him, lying on the north side of Anthony Wright’s home lot, which I was informed by several of the town at the time he did intend to come speedily and settle upon it. And further I well remember that after the Indians had their pay now quiet and well contented, and then the inhabitants with the purchasers now agreed and was to give Mr. Leverich fifteen pounds per year as minister among them. This above written is the truth; and would have been present before the arbitrators at Oyster Bay to have declared the same, but was prevented by reason of my hay at the south, lieth upon _______. As witness my hand in Oyster Bay, 24th day of October 1684. SAMUEL TITUS. "This sworn before me this 24th day of October 1684. "THOS. TOWNSEND." "The boundaries of the Indian deed are indefinite, and controversies very soon arose about the western line; the Indians claiming the right to the lands on Matinecock and at Susco’s Wigwam (so called from Susconamon, by whom the greater part of the subsequent Indian deeds are given), now Wolver Hollow and Cedar Swamp, the whites maintaining Hempstead harbor to be the western boundary. Papaquatunk River is never mentioned except in this deed, and the terms of the grant make it evident that the Indians were right in claiming Beaver Swamp and Shoo Brook as the western line. For once they maintained their rights, and sold lands at all these places. Matinecock included Buckram, which was not so called on the records until after 1730. Buckram lot had been mentioned before, but that was a small parcel of land, not a district. In 1685 the Indian title was extinguished by the new purchase extending to what is now the western boundary of the town. There was also some difference of opinion as to the intentions of the Indians in selling, and the Rev. Mr. Leverich, who had then left here, gives his understanding of the matter as follows. The views of the Indians, on the subject, are not recorded. "‘Protest of William Leverich, Old Purchase, March 22nd 1663. Whereas I understand that there is some controversy about a sale of lands made by Assiapum, or Mohanes, made to Samuel Mayo, Peter Wright and William Leverich, for want of sound formalities usual in English deeds; and being desired what I understood about the points, I do therefore testify that the intention of the said Assiapum was to convey not only his right but the right of his heirs and extrs., which, though not expressed, is easily understood. 1st. For the Indians, so far as I can understand, have never made any sales for lives, but of custom- which is their law- passed the right of their heirs present, with their own, unless they made any express exceptions; 2nd, and there is enough in the writing to prove this to have been his intention, in the words interlined, Heirs and Executors, and which if it may help such (as) are on difference to a better intelligence I shall be glad. If otherwise, I shall be sorry that such as profess themselves Christians shall teach heathens less honesty under pretence of teaching them more law. "‘WILLIAM LEVERICH.’ "These misunderstandings seemed to have occasioned no hostile feelings between the whites and the Indians." Besides the difficulties with the Indians about the western boundary, there were controversies with the town of Huntington on the east and Robert Williams on the south. We copy the following remonstrance to the people of Huntington from the record: "Oyster Bay, this 3d day of the 7th month, 1663.- Neighbors: We are informed by one of your townsmen that some of your townsmen have mowed some of our meadows at the south, If it be a mistake we shall not regard it; but if appointed by you we desire to know your grounds, for we desire to be at peace with you, and to have our rights also, which we judge is your right desire also; and therefore, if you see cause to appoint a man, or more, and let him, or them, have your deeds, that fully show your title to the said land, then shall we do the like; but we request you to send us a line or two, that we may know your minds, and appoint the time and place, and we will meet you and end the difference if we can; but if you refuse our proposition herein to you, then we do by this request you to forbear mowing our meadow, which begins at the River Passasqueung, or east bounds. For peace and quietness we have done this, knowing that the best title must carry it, and that cannot be known but they must be compared, and we hope that is the readiest way for any that desire peace. "In behalf of the town, a true copy of what was sent by me. HENRY TOWNSEND." This letter does not appear to have brought about the desired results, for on the 5th of July 1669 we find another "letter to the people of Huntington," as follows: "Friends and neighbors of the town of Huntington: We once more desire you in a loving, friendly way to forbear mowing our neck of meadow, which you have presumptuously mowed these several years; and if, after so many friendly warnings, you will not forbear, you will force us, friends and neighbors, to seek our remedy in law, not else; but resting your friends and neighbors. By me in behalf of the town of Oyster Bay. "MATHIAS HARVEY, Town Clerk." We quote from the Townsend Memorial: "To settle this line, Thomas Townsend, Nathaniel Coles, and John Weeks were appointed by Oyster Bay, and Thomas Powell and Abiel Titus by Huntington; and on the 7th of August 1684 they ran the line of division. Several attempts were made to settle the difficulty with Williams, and, as appears from the following order, there was a settlement made; but long afterwards the affair seems to have given a great deal of trouble, and there are allusions to a suit between the town and Williams’s widow and heirs. This order is interesting, as it gives evidence of the industrious habits of the people: "‘Oyster Bay, June 13th 1684. At a Town Meeting then ordered that every freeholder of this Town, or that possesses any lands within this Town purchase, are to attend at the Town House on Monday next, being the 5th day of July ensuing, at sunrise at furthest in the morning, in order to run the line or bound between this Town’s lands and Robert Williams’s Lands; and that person interested in the Town that shall prove defective herein shall forfeit five shillings to them that run the same, according to this order, and to be taken forthwith, by distress, by the Constable. Provided that those that cannot go do cut brush in the town, where they shall be appointed by those persons appointed for that purpose this year. "The line between Oyster Bay and Hempstead was also the subject of negotiation, and was finally adjusted by Henry and Thomas Townsend, on the part of Oyster Bay; although late in the ensuing century there was still some disagreement between the towns respecting their boundaries."
PRIVATE LAND OWNERSHIP AND EXCHANGES.The key to the regulations which governed the management and distribution of the common property is gained from the deposition of Samuel Titus, already cited. We believe, from this and many other indications, that the first intention was that there should be no private property but the home lots, the first of which, as he says, contained six acres; but the practice by which subsequent purchasers were uniformly allotted five acres, as Titus states, does not appear to have been followed out, as the apportionment to some was no more than half an acre. The meadows were the property of the town. Each holder of a home lot was entitled to an equal right or share in their production. This plan was early departed from. We find from the records that for years certain days were appointed whereon to cut, the grass, and for some few years past the practice of selling the hay by auction has been resorted to; but this was not found to pay, and they have fallen back upon the old regulation. The town records, as well as the townspeople’s practice, show that no definite scheme was followed as to the division of property. This indefiniteness in their plans led to many difficulties and misunderstandings. Early in the history of the town it is found in trouble. The heirs of Peter Wright, Mayo and Leverich claimed rights which the town disputed. In an arbitration between the town and Mayo’s representatives the depositions already cited were taken to prove that Mayo never claimed more than a townsman’s rights. The town finally compromised with the heirs of Wright and Mayo, by giving them large tracts of land on the south side of the town. Many years afterward, in 1720, Nicholas Lang and others, encouraged by these results, brought a suit against the town for the rights in the old purchase under the title of William Leverich and Robert Williams; the suit was decided in favor of the town. From the labyrinth of theories and practices, although vague and variable, there are some matters of fact gleaned which may be interesting: Each home lot was entitled to certain privileges, such as shares in the common meadows, pastures and woodlands. These privileges were not inseparable from a home lot; for example, at a sale they were sometimes reserved by the seller, and sometimes divided into halt rights. Being in possession of land did not necessarily constitute a freeholder. For particular reasons home lots were frequently given by the town to persons having no rights, upon condition of their building upon the lot within a year and a day. These gifts were frequently forfeited. The lots varied in sizes and carried with them privileges designated and approved of by the donors, the townsmen. Many who obtained lots in this way or by purchase were at different times accepted as equal townsmen, whether by purchase or favor does not appear. The freeholders in Oyster Bay, in common with other English towns on the island, claimed the right to prevent the transfer of property to strangers without their consent. The following is copied from the town records: "Dec. 13th 1660.- It is this day ordered and agreed by the inhabitants of the town that no person whatsoever shall sell any land, lying or being within the bound of Oyster Bay, unto any until the town or a major part of the town do admit first of the said purchaser for an inhabitant." That the town did not enforce this resolution, although it attempted to do so, is shown by the fact that John Richbell, the only large landholder in the early days of the settlement, sold his interest to Latamore Sampson, and, notwithstanding the town’s entering a protest Sampson retained the property, and transferred it to others. Evidently it was the first intention to hold al but home lots as common property, but the intention was not very long carried out. At first shares of meadow were laid out to each, and then from time to time divisions of other common lands were made; generally to freeholders, but sometimes landholders not freeholders shared in the distribution. Frequently, if not generally when the land was divided and distributed the purchaser was authorized to take his "where he shall see cause." Sometimes the shares designated were distributed by lot. "A town meeting held the 1st of May 1677 there confirmed, by name, every freeholder which hath a free vote for giving and granting of common rights, and for otherwise; and that from henceforward no grant of township or common rights shall be confirmed, or held legal grants, without every freeholder bath legal warning that such a meeting is to be appointed, or that there are lands to be given out; and, after legal warning given them by the officer appointed, it shall be held legal, to all intents and purposes, all gifts or grants of common rights to either man or men, given by the majority of freeholders that doth appear at the time and place appointed. And it is further agreed that for every town right that any freeholder doth possess he shall have so many votes in the giving and granting land and common rights, and not otherwise to be understood, but to grant and divide, as they shall see cause." The freeholders named were as follows, each being entitled to one vote where not otherwise indicated: Henry Townsend, Joseph Dickinson, Edmund Wright, Anthony Wright, Joseph Ludlum (2), Samuel Weeks, Nicholas Simpkins, John Jones, Francis Weeks (1 ½), William Frost, John Rogers, John Dickinson, William Buckler, Nicholas Wright, Job Wright, Elizabeth Townsend (2), John Townsend, Josiah Latting (2), Nathaniel Coles (1 ½;), Richard Harcott, Adam Wright, Latamore Sampson, alias Simon Cooper (4), Daniel Coles, John Wright, John Townsend, Caleb Wright, Isaac Doutty, James Townsend, John Weeks, Samuel Andrews (2), Matthias Harvey Fyde (1/2), Samuel Furman (1/2), Alice Crabb, Henry Townsend jr., Gideon Wright, Richard Crabb, George Dennis, Thomas Townsend (2), Joseph Weeks, John Weeks, of Warwick, Thomas Weeks, Moses Furman (1/2), James Weeks. Only freeholders were eligible to office. Wood, in his history of Long Island, says that there were 41 free- holders who shared in the second division of land in this town, in 1680. The practice of apportioning to every man numerous small detached plots of land led to a system of exchanges and frequent sales, which make the records a very complete history of family relations for every owner; for the deed seldom fails to tell how the owner came by the land, and what degree of relationship existed between him and the purchaser, as well as the former owner. These plots of land sometimes contained no more than five acres, and very seldom, if ever, more than thirty acres. Excepting the farm of Simon Cooper, containing 400 acres at Cove Neck Point (now called Cooper’s Bluff), which he, with his right, purchased from Sampson, every farm formed from the Old Purchase and many of the New were formed by this system of exchange and purchase. Land was generally exchanged for other commodities; hence the number of acres and the price are seldom given. In a few instances, which we copy from the Townsend Memorial, the prices of different pieces of land and articles are given. "Thomas Townsend and Richard Harcut, appraisers of the property of Samuel Mayo, consisting of a home lot and a share of meadow containing two acres and a quarter, valued the whole at twenty- five pounds. The home lot was the place lately owned by Hamilton, containing six acres, one of the best in the village. This was in 1671; and about the same time, at the division of John Townsend’s estate, a bed and furniture were valued at ten pounds, and two cows at the same. Not long afterward Thomas Townsend bought the Fort Neck estate from the Indians (Dr. Peter S. Townsend says, nearly four miles square) for fifteen pounds, and Joseph Ludlam paid one hundred pounds for a homestead containing seventeen acres (Mrs. Miner’s place), with the buildings and privileges belonging to it. Indeed this homestead, with the privileges attached, bore about the same relative value to the Fort Neck property that a fine house on Fifth avenue bears to a township in Oregon; and the home meadows, as they called those near the village, were held at a higher value than even the home lots."
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.Each of the early settlers had made several homes; some of them as many as four. Their movables, comprising their household furniture, farming utensils, and livestock, had become scattered and lost; all their new goods were transported from England at large expense. Hence it is obvious that an article once lost was replaced only at an enormous cost compared with its intrinsic value. Everywhere in this country these things were scarce, and, when it is considered that Oyster Bay and vicinity figured prominently as an asylum for those escaping from the sufferings of religious persecution, and leaving in their hurried emigration their stock and other movables, we can but look with great allowance upon their sometimes seeming parsimonious conduct. Cattle, we learn from many sources, soon became very plenty, as the country was then peculiarly well adapted to their increase. The high value of goods continued for many years. We copy from the Townsend Memorial an amusing illustration of this, which happened as late as the year 1720. It is part of the decision of arbitrators in a dispute between Robert Coles and his step- son, Robert Shadbolt, after deciding the ownership of the house and lands: "Robert Shadbolt shall have the meanest of them two feather beds which was in the house where he now lives, which was his mother’s, as also a bolster, and two pillows, and a checkered coverlet, and one of the straw beds, and a set of blue curtains, and all his mother’s wearing clothes that are in the house now, and the high candlesticks, and one of the looking glasses, and all the window curtains in the house, and one iron pot that was his mother’s, being at Joseph Woolsey’s." The prominent mention of curtains seems to indicate that they were considered necessaries. We can infer this necessity came from lack of partition walls in their primitive dwellings. Wearing apparel does not seem to be scarce, as we have reason to think from the numerous weavers and fulling- mills mentioned. It is easy to decide, from the older wills, that sons generally receive the lands; the youngest the homestead, and the older ones other parts of the father’s farm previously given them. The extra gifts granted to the youngest were in consideration of some provision which he makes for the maintenance of the parents during their lifetime, but the wife generally had the homestead, or a part of it during her life or widowhood. In a society where the manner of living was so simple it was easy to start in life and maintain a family; hence they generally married young. History shows that new countries having special attractions generally have a preponderance of men; and here they seem quite ready to marry widows having families of children, especially when they could bring their full proportion of common stock notwithstanding the proportion would to- day be considered a rather small dower. During those early days land was of little value unless there was some one in the family to till it. Hired help could not be obtained. We are not surprised to find, during the first fifty years of the settlement, the names of only two widows, both Elizabeths, widows respectively of John Townsend and John Dickinson. These had each nine children, several of them married when their mothers became widows. Every other widow deemed it prudent and desirable to accept a second husband, to cultivate, her land, and render it available for the support of herself and children. Unless a wife originally owned the title to land she very rarely, if ever, joined in a deed with her husband. It is clear what title or right the wife was considered to have to her husband’s property; this was not the troublesome side of the question: what right the husband had in the wife’s property seemed to be very much in doubt, as the following copy of the assignment of a deed shows: "I, Alice Crabb, of Oyster Bay, do by these presents assign and make over all my right, title and interest in this above written deed unto my son Adam Wright and his heirs forever; only I do reserve to myself the use of the share of meadow mentioned in this deed, during my life, and after my decease it is to redown to my son Adam and his heirs forever, as witness my hand in Oyster Bay this 26th day of June 1675. "It is to be understood that, although Richard Crabb be not mentioned in the above written deed, yet, notwithstanding, he being considered head or chief, do by these presents confirm that his said wife, Alice Crabb, hath done by this assignment; only the said Richard Crabb reserves the above said shear of meadow to his own disposal." The above is a copy from the Townsend Memorial. Mary Willets, widow of Richard Willets of Jericho, and sister of the wife of Robert Williams, was assessed £220 in the year 1683. This assessment was the highest on the list. She became possessed of a large tract of land through her father and her brother William, and Hope Washbourne, it being a part of that held by Williams. All the Willetses in the town are descendants of this family. Her son Richard left a memorandum, preserved by the clerk of the meeting, which gives his birth (October 25th 1660), marriage (January 25th 1686 to Abigail Bowne), the birth of his daughter Hannah (November 11th 1686), and the death of his wife (April 16th 1689).
GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS.It has been before stated, in a general way, that the early settlers were not free from embarrassments and trouble by their Dutch neighbors. "April 2nd 1655 William Leverich and other English settlers at Oyster Bay are warned off the Dutch territories," thus showing that the Dutch were not satisfied with the so- called treaty. It is doubtful whether the English were, either. The planters, in order to strengthen their hands against these intruders, on the 28th of May following, through Mr. Leverich, desired to be annexed to New Haven colony. This petition was granted, and in time they, with New Haven, became a part of the colony of Connecticut. Their affairs were managed, to some extent, by Connecticut, for that colony ordered on July 22nd 1662 that John Rigebell be chosen constable of Oyster Bay. It is evident that the people did not like this foreordaining whom they should elect to office, as we learn that on January 4th 1664 Oyster Bay, Hempstead, Newtown, Jamaica and Flushing combined to govern their own affairs, irrespective of Connecticut. The court of that colony on the 12th of May following appointed two commissioners for each of these five towns, thus showing unwillingness to lose its newly acquired jurisdiction over this territory. John Rigebell (also written Rickbell and Richbill) and Robert Ferman (or Furman) were the appointees. Rigebell seems to have been a favorite with the Connecticut government. The matter was ended by the town becoming a part of New York, by a decision given November 30th of the same year, The early records and papers were kept in exceptionally good and handsome writing. The style was quite different from that of the penman of to- day, yet with a little practice one is able to read quite rapidly. Sometimes men made their "marks" on documents when it is quite certain, from other written papers that they could write, Some of these men occupied positions such as that of surveyor, which would require them to be ready writers.
FIRST PROFESSIONAL MEN.Little is known about provision for education. The only mention of a schoolmaster is in 1677, when "Thomas Webb, schoolmaster," was appointed town clerk, with a salary of forty shillings. No clergyman, except Mr. Leverich, is mentioned. "Feb. 19th 1693.- This day the town met together, in order to a late act of assembly for settling two ministers in the county, but nothing done about it; but made return that it was against their judgment, therefore could act nothing about it." This seems to indicate the feelings of the people at that time. Too strong inclination toward the Friends’ belief is the probable reason. The frequent sales and exchanges in land, and the laying out for new townsmen home lots together with meadow and pasture, caused the surveyor to take his position in the, front rank of the officers of the town, John Townsend, "at the mill," was elected to this office in 1686, and served until his death, when his nephew, Henry Townsend, succeeded him. Thomas Weeks, who was elected in 1686 to serve with Townsend, was succeeded in nine or ten years by Rhode Island John Townsend. These surveyors, dying in 1709, were after a short interval succeeded by George Townsend of Oyster Bay, and James Townsend of Jericho, each of whom continued to be elected for twenty years. The main inducement to hold this office was to know all the land in the town so thoroughly as to enable one to purchase and exchange to advantage. The fee was at first six pence per acre, and in 1686 was reduced to three pence.
SUBSTITUTES FOR MONEY.It is not to be supposed that money was received as payment for such work, or for anything else. Money was rarely used to extinguish a debt; The Townsend Memorial says: "If movables were scarce, money was more so, and there are constant allusions to payment in produce, at stipulated prices. We will copy a specimen of these transactions. In 1692 Henry Townsend sold several parcels of land at the Planting Fields to John Dowsbury, for sixty pounds of silver money, current in the colony, to be paid by annual installments of five pounds; but it is to be understood that these several payments before expressed are to be paid, the one half in money, the other half in goods, at money price.’ The following is the receipt for the first payment: ‘Received, this last day of October 1693. Then received of John Dowsbury, in this within- mentioned bill, one cow, one calf, and two- years old heifer, at the sum of five pounds, being in full of the first year’s payment, according to the within- written obligation. I say received by me.’ "HENRY TOWNSEND." The mode of paying debts of all kinds seemed to be very much like that of paying the minister of the gospel at a donation gathering- part money, and part produce. The people, having little money and little to sell, were obliged to make exchanges among themselves as best they could.
THE BLACKSMITH AND THE MILLER.It is certain that the pioneers raised wool and flax. Linen and woolen clothes were quite plenty. Shoemakers and weavers were in abundance. No blacksmith was found fit to mend their utensils and wares. They no doubt required an accomplished artisan, one who could make their old articles as good as new, and thus greatly extend their term of usefulness. John Thomson, whom the town receives as blacksmith and grants a home lot, is the first one mentioned. The lot if Thomson died in the town was to belong to his heirs, but if he left was to return to the town, it paying for his improvements. Thomson appeared to fill their requirements as blacksmith very well for a time, and was in high favor. Frequent allotments of land were made to him here and there. A dark cloud suddenly appeared in his horizon: The town meeting in 1677 ordered the constable, Thomas Townsend, to give Thomson notice to give up the land allotted to him by the town, the town authorities claiming a breach of covenant and threatening to bring him before the next session of court at Jamaica if be refused. Thomson did not give up the land, but employed two attorneys to contest the matter. The town ordered the constable to take possession, but soon saw fit to make a compromise with the attorneys, agreeing that Thomson should have liberty to sell his house and lands to any one that the town approved, "but not to come and live in it himself." The house was sold to Joseph Ludlam, and Thomson, not enjoying the popular attitude toward him, left the town. Abraham Alling, or Allen, was soon after accepted as smith. His lot was granted to him on the same conditions that lots had been granted to others without special trade or profession- that is, to be built upon in a year and a day, or forfeited. Allen seems to have given entire satisfaction as long as he exercised his trade, which was not however many years. He took up land on Mill Neck, and continued to add to it until he owned the tract on the east side of the neck, now divided into four farms, one of which is still owned in the family and situated at the point formerly called Cedar Point. The records show that for many years the settlement of a blacksmith in the village was considered a public concern. The first grist- mill in the town was built by Henry Townsend. We copy from the Townsend Memorial the following: "In 1661 the grant of the mill stream was made to Henry Town send. Dr. Peter Townsend says that before he built the mill the people were obliged "to carry their grain across to Norwalk to be ground, and that he was invited here to build the mill by the Wrights and John Dickinson. This is tradition, but is no doubt true. The original grant and the property conveyed by it are now in the possession of George Townsend, great- great- great- great- grandson of Henry: ‘Oyster Bay, September 16th 1661. ‘Be it known unto all men by these presents that we, the inhabitants of the town of Oyster Bay, on Long Island, in America, whose names are underwritten- we do by these presents firmly covenant and engage unto Henry Townsend, now in the said town, upon condition the said Henry Townsend build such a mill as at Norwalk, on the main, or an English mill on our stream called by us the Mill River, at the west end of our town, then we do give and confirm such lands to him, his heirs and assigns forever, without molestation or condition, as, namely, all the mill lot, bounded with Henry Disbrow’s lot on the east side, the salt meadow on the north end, Anthony Wright’s meadow lot on the west, and the highway on the south; and the said Anthony Wright’s lot is given also to the said Henry Townsend, that adjoin to the aforesaid mill lot on the east, and Latting’s salt meadow on the north end, and a highway on the, west side, two poles broad, between the said stream and mill lot, and the highway on the south; and we give him also the salt meadow and upland on the west side the mill stream, to a little stream of water on the west side of it, and the sea is the north bounds: on the south a highway of six poles broad adjoining unto the swamp. And we do hereby give unto Henry Townsend the said mill stream to build a mill or mills on it, as he shall see cause, and so to remain firm to him, his heirs and assigns, so long as he or they do keep a mill on it, as aforesaid. But if the mill cease to be for half a year after it is built, and no preparation is made to repair the mill again, that then the town may lawfully enter on the river again as their own, and improve it as the town shall see necessary. But if the said Henry Townsend’s heirs or assigns do make preparation to repair the mill, so that it be finished for service after a year’s decay, that the said stream shall continue his or theirs on condition a mill be kept up, or else the stream to return to the town, as aforesaid; and therefore we give him by this full power to trench and dam, and to take what timber he bath need of for his use, and to have commoning for his cattle, and on our charges we engage to trench and make a dam for the mill, as he shall give direction, when he calls to have it done. And we allow him the tenth part for grinding; but if, in process of time, the toll do so increase that less may be sufficient to uphold the mill, so that the miller be not discouraged, he shall have less, as understanding men in the case, chosen by him and us, shall judge. His toll dish to be made true, and to be struck in taking the toll, and we engage no other- than what is before mentioned shall be made join to the fore-mentioned lands we have given to said Henry Townsend, and we are content that the mill do- app- in a week- to grind our corn, and that when the said Henry Townsend do fence in the above said land, that such as have upland or meadow joining to the above said shall join in fencing with him their half, according to English custom; and is to have it all rates and taxes free forever, and to enter in present possession on the stream and lands. And so to the true and due and faithful performance of all and every of the above mentioned engagements and promises we bind us, our heirs and assigns, to perform unto the said Henry Townsend, his heirs and assigns; as witness our hand, the day and year above written; upon condition he build a mill as aforesaid, serviceable to the town of Oyster Bay, in the condition the town now is in, as the mill at Norwalk is serviceable to their town. "‘Nicholas Simkins, Robert Furman, Benjamin Hubbard, Richard Latting, Anthony Wright, Francis Weeks, Henry Disbrow, Richard Harcut, John Richbill, Nicholas Wright, Matthew Bridgman (town clerk), John Finch, John Dickinson, Jonas Halstead, John Bates, John Townsend sen., John Townsend jr., Thomas Armitage.’" There was some dissatisfaction at one time with the miller. It is said that Richard Harcut served for a time as miller, and he was probably there at the time mentioned. The action of the town meeting in reference to it throws light on the simplicity of habits and ideas among the early settlers. We furnish a copy: "30th of 7th month 1672. At a town meeting, ordered by reason of aspersions cast upon the miller, the town have taken it into serious consideration, and have ordered, with the consent and agreement of Henry Townsend, owner of the mill, that if any person or persons do not like their usage at the mill they are to give notice of it to the miller, and attend himself, or his wife if he have one, and see their corn ground if they will; but if they will not attend the grinding, and do cast blemishes notwithstanding on the miller, they are at liberty to grind in another place, and the miller at his liberty whether he will grind again for any such person or persons until him or them do tender such reasonable satisfaction as may be adjudged just by the town." This last action of the town would seem to savor strongly of the miller’s influence. Henry Townsend built a saw- mill in 1673, and the town granted him and his heirs forever, in consideration of his building, the right to cut and use timber from any part of the town he should choose. He also had the right granted to sell such timber, either in the town or out of it. In 1678 a grant was made to Isaac Homer of the mill privileges at Shoo Brook, for a fulling-mill. Homer did not build the mill, and in 1684 the grant was given to John Dowsbury, who built and improved the place, but afterward was sold out by the sheriff. The property finally, by sale and inheritance, came into the Hewlett family, of which Samuel J. Hewlett is the present representative. A saw- mill was built in 1694 at Mill Neck, by the two Birdsalls and two of the Townsends.
COMMERCE.A grant of land was made in 1668 to build a wharf into the sea at the place now called Ship Point. The grant was forfeited, and the foot of South street was called the dock. The first merchant mentioned is John Richbill. He sold his property to Lattamore Sampson, and disappeared. It may be he was unpopular here, as he was an official of Connecticut, appointed after the town had sought independence from that colony. The next merchant was George Dennis, who after a few years of trade was obliged to make an assignment in favor of his creditors. William Bradford, the first printer and publisher in New York, was a merchant here for a time. He is styled in his deeds for several years before 1703 "merchant of Oyster Bay;" then, and after that, "printer of New York." He, like modern merchants, appeared to live here some time after he commenced business in New York. Inscriptions in some of the old books of records show that the books were bought of him. Very few wills or records make mention of boats, shipbuilding or navigation, though their papers are so minute in particulars that it would seem as if they would. Ship Point had received its name in the early part of the eighteenth century, perhaps before. In 1699 a third part of the goods imported into the colony of New York were run into the Long Island ports of Setauket, Oyster Bay, Musquito Cove and South-old, John Townsend, of Oyster Bay, was appointed by the governor surveyor of the customs, with a salary of £30 per year and one-third of the seizures; but, being abused by the inhabitants, he soon resigned his office "through fear of being knocked on the head" by some of the smugglers. By the middle of the century following, shipping business had become better regulated, and was carried on extensively. Samuel Townsend built several ships of different kinds, and carried on an extensive trade with England and the West Indies, until the close of the Revolution, when he moved to New York. William and Benjamin Hawxhurst owned a store at Cold Spring, and probably one at Oyster Bay, doing a large business, and importing their goods from England. They also owned fulling and grist- mills at Cold Spring.
OYSTER BAY DURING THE REVOLUTION.As the war for independence approached, the question whether the town should espouse the cause of the colonies or remain loyal to the crown became a subject of controversy among the people, even to the rending asunder of families, whose members in many cases ranged themselves on opposing sides. To chronicle all the acts of the people of this town during the Revolution would furnish to their descendants some pleasant history, and much not as pleasant. Most that follows in this article is gleaned from the notes of Henry Onderdonk jr. Oyster Bay was among the first towns in the county to protest against the Stamp Act. The following is taken from Holt’s Journal under date of March 6th 1766: "To the Committee of the Sons of Liberty in New York. "GENTLEMEN: By order of a committee of the Sons of Liberty in Oyster Bay we are to acquaint you that at a meeting of the inhabitants, on Saturday February 22nd 1766, it was unanimously agreed and resolved: "I. That the person, crown, and dignity of our rightful sovereign King George III., with all his just and legal rights of government, we will to the utmost of our power support, maintain, and defend. "II. That the liberties and privileges which we as Englishmen have still enjoyed, particularly those of being taxed by representatives of our own choosing and being tried by our own juries, we will also support, maintain, and defend. "III. That the late Stamp Act is destructive of these our liberties, and is by us deemed to be arbitrary and unconstitutional; that as such we will to the utmost of our power endeavor to oppose and suppress the same. "IV. That the measures which you have taken and the several noble efforts you have made in vindication of the general cause of liberty we do heartily approve of, and that with our lives and fortunes we stand ready to assist you in the same. "V. That the committee now chosen do signify these our resolutions to the Sons of Liberty at New York, and elsewhere as they may think proper; that the said committee do for the future keep up appointed meetings, as may be thought necessary, at the house of George Weeks in Oyster Bay, and maintain a correspondence with your committee, in which we expect your concurrence." The Stamp Act being repealed, no more meetings were held at the time. The town records as set forth by Mr. Onderdonk furnish the next mention of them, as follows: "In December 1774 there was a notification signed by several of the principal freeholders, and set up in different parts of Oyster Bay, requesting the freeholders to meet at George Weeks’s on the 30th, to take into consideration the resolves of the Continental Congress. On that day, a number of freeholders appearing, they made choice of Samuel Townsend, town clerk, for moderator. A motion was then made for taking into consideration the resolves of the Continental Congress; and, there being present but a small part of the freeholders, the meeting was adjourned to the annual town meeting." A person signing himself SPECTATOR gives a report of the same meeting, from his standpoint: "At a meeting for choosing a committee for Oyster Bay, December 30th 1774, about ninety freeholders assembled to take into consideration the present unhappy dispute between the mother country and her colonies; when there appeared such~ a number of friends to our happy, regular- established government, under the crown and Parliament of Great Britain, as to deem that meeting illegal and void, and that no business could with propriety be done; and the meeting was adjourned till a future time, when it is hoped it will be so conducted as to convince the world that his Majesty is not without friends here who will support his government. The resolutions of the Congress were publicly read; after which Justice exerted himself with that prudence and firmness becoming a magistrate, by arguing the impropriety and illegality of such meetings in so masterly a manner as to have the desired effect of preventing any business being done till the legal day of calling town meeting, on the first Tuesday in April." March 27th 1775 Samuel Townsend, town clerk, published the following advertisement: "I have received a letter from the chairman of the committee pf New York, recommending it to the free- holders of Oyster Bay to choose their deputies so soon as that they may beat New York by April 20th, the day proposed for the meeting of the convention; and as our annual town meeting is so near at hand I thought it best, previous to said meeting, to acquaint the freeholders that I should lay said letter before the meeting, that in the interim they might have an opportunity of thinking whether it will be proper or not to choose a deputy on that day." At the annual town meeting Thomas Smith was chosen moderator; and, after going through the business of the town, Samuel Townsend read the above- cited letter, and offered it to the consideration of the freeholders and inhabitants. Many objected to having anything to do with deputies or congresses, and some insisted on choosing a deputy. The moderator proposed to go out and separate, but it was objected to, and a poll demanded. The town clerk wrote down the votes, and at the close of the poll there appeared on the list- for deputy, 42; against, 205. The minority of this meeting did not give up their intention, but voted the following address: "To the Provincial Convention. "Whereas the unhappy disputes between the mother country and the American colonies, we humbly conceive, has arisen from assumed power claimed by the British Parliament to pass laws binding on us in all cases whatsoever, hath given us great uneasiness; and, as we conceive, unanimity among the inhabitants of the colonies is the only means under Providence to secure the essential rights and liberties of Englishmen; and, in order that the inhabitants of the different colonies should know each others sentiments, and form general plans for the union and regulation of the whole, it is necessary there should be delegates appointed to meet in general Congress. And whereas the committee of correspondence of New York did request the people of Queens county to choose deputies, in consequence thereof there was a town meeting at Oyster Bay on April 4th, for the appointing of one deputy; but there appearing at said meeting a majority against it, yet nevertheless we the subscribers, freeholders of Oyster Bay, being determined to do all in our power to keep in unity with you and the colonies on the continent, and desirous of being in some measure represented at the general Congress, do hereby appoint Zebulon Williams as our deputy, giving unto him full power to act in our behalf in the premises aforesaid. In confirmation whereof we have hereunto set our hands respectively: "George Townsend, Micajah Townsend, William Seaman, David Layton, George Bennet, Joseph Carpenter, John Schenck, Peter Hegeman, James Townsend jr., John Wright, Gilbert Wright, Richard Weeks, James Townsend, Wm. Townsend, Prior Townsend, Wm. Latting, B. Latting, Joseph Thorney Craft, William Hopkins, Joseph Coles, Albert Albertson, John Luister, Rem Hegeman, Samson Crooker, Jacobus Luister, Albert Van Nostrand, Jotham Townsend, William Laton jr., William Laton, Peter Mutty (x mark), Benjamin Rushmore, William Wright, John Carpenter, James Farley (captain), Samuel Hare jr., Benjamin Birdsall, Joseph Doty, Isaac Bogart, Samuel Townsend, Gideon Wright, Gilbert Hare, Benjamin Townsend, Josiah Lattin." The justices of Oyster Bay- Thomas Smith, John Hewlett and John Townsend- who were appointed by the crown, were leaders against carrying out the resolves of the Continental Congress, and entered their protest on the town records, under date May 19th 1775, and they, with Captain George Weeks and Dr. David Brooks, were among the 26 principal disaffected persons from Queens county who were summoned to appear before the Provincial Congress at New York, December 19th 1775, and give satisfaction in the premises. June 5th 1776 these same men, substituting Thomas Jones for George Weeks, all of them office-holders, were among the 38 men ordered to be brought before a committee of the Provincial Congress to show cause why they should be considered friends to the American cause. A letter dated Oyster Bay South, July. 27th 1776, directed by Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Birdsall to Colonel John Sands, states that there are 30 or 40 tories in Massapequa (Marsapeague) swamp, and proposes to ferret them out with 400 men. He did not succeed in arresting all, for it is said that after the defeat at Brooklyn these loyalists came out and huzzaed for King George. August 12th it is stated that Dr. David Brooks and Thomas Jones, with 20 others, were arrested in the county by order of General Washington, and taken to Connecticut, where they were paroled December 9th following. July 29th 1776 Jotham Townsend, first lieutenant of Richard Manee’s company, received rules and orders as follows: "1. You are to take command of the recruits, and march them down to Matinecock Point, where you are to place sentinels in the most advantageous places to discover the enemy; likewise to be very careful there is no communication to the ships of war. Should you discover any persons attempting it, you are to put them under guard. "2. You are to build a shelter if there be none convenient. Should you want any materials, take such as will answer your purpose best. "3. Charge your men that they insult nor abuse any of the inhabitants, or destroy their effects. "4. Should you discover the enemy attempting to land, you are to send off express to me, and order the owners of stock to drive them off with all expedition. on the Great Plains. "5. Should any of your men disobey orders, steal, or abuse the inhabitants, you are to put them under guard. "6. Minute down daily what happens, and make a return Saturday next by 10 o’clock, at my house. "JNO. SANDS, Col. "Westbury, July 29th 1776." Additional orders, August 3d. "Should you discover the enemy in sight you are to immediately hoist your signal, then send off your express. "You are not to suffer your men to play at cards, dice, or any unlawful game, nor intoxicate themselves with strong drink. You are to observe that no small craft passes and repasses having any transient persons or negroes on board. Should you discover any you are to take them up. If, upon examination, you find them clear, discharge them; if guilty, put them under guard till discharged by the town committee. You are not to let your men waste their cartridges by firing wantonly at game. You are to exercise your men four hours every day." The Oyster Bay committeemen were in session at Daniel Cock’s, Matinecock, when news was brought of the defeat at Brooklyn. They at once broke up and hastened home, there to await their fate; except Joost Monfort and Isaac Bogart, who took leave of their families, mounted horses, and rode off to Huntington ferry, where they crossed, the same night, in company with Major Thorne and others, and proceeded to Fishkill. Joost Monfort, after a few months’ absence, returned home in the night, and before day hurried off to General Robertson, New York, to give up, before his loyal neighbors should molest him. Esquire A.V.W- , hearing of his return, hastened to New York to prevent his getting a pardon. He was so abusive when he found he could not succeed that Robertson ordered him out of his office, and gave Mon fort a certificate. When the Kings county light horse were driving the cattle from Hog Island they, hearing of the defeat at Brooklyn, left the cattle at Matinecock and crossed the sound at Huntington, August 29th, leaving their horses. A British sergeant and three light horse came to Cedar Swamp in September, and continued there some time, hunting Whigs, and impressing wagons. On the 7th of the month one Harrison, from Long Island, reported to Congress "that the ministerial troops have been to Oyster Bay and Hempstead; that the disaffected have joined the enemy, and proceeded as far as Setauket; that William Smith of - - administers oaths of allegiance, and Thomas Smith, of Hog Island, receives submissions. A week after the Kings county light horse had driven the cattle off Hog Island to Matinecock a detachment of the 17th light dragoons appeared at Norwich, and apprehended George Townsend, chairman of the Queens county committee, and John Kirk, also a committeeman. They conducted them to the house of Samuel Townsend, member of the Provincial Congress, who was also apprehended, but was allowed to remain at home on one Buchanan’s promising that he should be forthcoming at New York whenever summoned. Far different was the fate of the other two. George Townsend, having been chairman of the committee, and a bold, blunt, talented man, had exasperated his loyal neighbors past endurance, and could find no intercessor in his hour of peril. He and Kirk were taken to the provost and thrown among the offscouring of the earth. After nine weeks of imprisonment they were allowed to return home. Kirk had contracted the smallpox; his wife and infant daughter took it and died. Samuel Townsend was a prisoner in the provost in the summer of 1782. Brigadier General Oliver de Lancey took up his headquarters at Oyster Bay in the latter part of 1776, and in a notice dated November 14th announced that many drivers of wagons, from different counties of Long Island, who had been impressed from time to time into his Majesty’s service, had deserted their teams and wagons, which occasioned the loss and neglect of many of the horses. He also informed the masters and drivers of such teams that if they did not immediately return and take care of them, and attend to their duties as drivers, the quartermaster general would not be answerable for their loss. "Tunis Bogart and Andrew Hegeman were impressed to cart ammunition for the British army, and were present at White Plains and Fort Washington. They also saw the execution of Captain Hale (September 26th) on an apple tree near Colonel Rutgers’s." The impressing of teams was very annoying. No matter how urgent their business, whether plowing, going to mill, on a visit, at church, or at a funeral, the team must go. A body of British troops were moving from the south side with cavalry in advance impressing teams. On their approach Charles Collyer, a boy of 12 years, took his mother’s two horses and fled. He was fired at, but succeeded in evading his pursuers and hid the horses in a hollow east of Manetto Hill, just over the Huntington line, where he kept them a week, carrying hay to them at night. When forage was carried off a certificate was generally given, on presenting which at the forage office, New York, the holder received his pay at proclamation prices. Doubtless a great deal was taken (especially from Whigs) which was never paid for. More perfect arrangements seem to have been made after a time, and residents were appointed to collect the forage, leaving only so much with the farmers as was needed for their stock. The persons appointed in this town were: Justice Hewlett and Captain Thomas Van Wyck, at East Woods, now Syosset; Captain Abraham Van Wyck, at Wolver Hollow: Thomas Cock, at Buckram; John Underhill, at Musketo Cove; Thomas Jackson, at Jericho; Judge Jones, at Fort Neck; and Captain Israel Youngs, at Cold Spring. Lieutenant-Colonel Emerick, wishing to raise six companies of foot and two troops of light dragoons, states that his soldiers live like gentlemen, and all who behave themselves are treated like brothers. As an inducement to enlist he offers $5 above the regular bounty, together with clothing and provisions regularly, agreeable to the king’s allowance, without clipping or deduction. Refugees are promised pay f or their horses. All who wish to enlist are to apply to Captain Henry Seton, at Huntington, Oyster Bay, and Jericho. This proposal was issued in March 1778. In June "all gentlemen volunteers" were invited to enlist in the regiment called the Prince of Wales’s Royal American Volunteers, commanded by Brigadier General Brown. By applying to Lieutenant- Colonel Pattinson, at his camp on Lloyd’s Neck, they were to receive complete suits of new clothes, arms, and accoutrements, and one guinea more than the king’s greatest bounty. In December "all gentlemen volunteers" and others emulous of serving the king and willing to share the laurels of the Queen’s Rangers were desired to repair to the headquarters of the regiment at Oyster Bay, where many advantages were offered. Any person bringing an approved recruit was to receive one dollar. The following, taken from Simcoe’s Journal, pages 93- 99, is furnished by Onderdonk: "Lieut. Col. Simcoe arrived at Oyster Bay Nov. 19th 1778. As it was understood the village was to be the winter cantonment of the corps no time was lost in the fortifying of it. The very next day the whole corps was employed in cutting fascines. There was a centrical hill which totally commanded the village and seemed well adapted for a place of arms. The outer circuit of this bill, in the most accessible places, was to be fortified by sunken fleches, joined by abattis, and would have contained the whole corps; the summit was covered by a square redoubt, and was capable of holding 70 men; platforms were erected in each angle for the field pieces, and the guard- house in the center, cased and filled with sand, was rendered musket-proof, and looped so as to command the platforms and surface of the parapets; the ordinary guard of 20 was sufficient for its defense. Some of the militia assisted in working one day when Sir Wm. Erskine came to Oyster Bay intentionally to remove the corps to Jericho, a quarter the legion was to quit in order to accompany him to the east end of the island. Lieut. Col. Simcoe represented to him that in case of the enemy’s passing the sound both Oyster Bay and Jericho were at too great a distance for any post to expect succour, but that Jericho was equally liable to surprise as Oyster Bay; that its being farther from the coast was no advantage, as the enemy, acquainted with the country and in league with the disaffected inhabitants of it, could have full time to penetrate undiscovered through the woods, and that the vicinity of Oyster Bay to the seacoast would enable him to have a more watchful eye over the landing places, and to acquire a knowledge of the principles of the inhabitants in these important situations; and that provisions from New York might be received by water. Sir. W. Erskine was pleased to agree with Lieutenant colonel Simcoe; and expressed himself highly satisfied with the means that had been taken to ensure the post; and on his representation the corps was permitted to remain, in its present cantonments. There was a small garrison at Lloyd’s Neck, within twelve miles of Oyster Bay; a feint in case of attack would serve to have kept this post within its redoubts. The nearest cantonment was at Jamaica, where the British grenadiers lay; this was almost thirty miles from Oyster Bay. The New England shore was not more than twelve, and in many places but seven or eight miles over and there were many favorable landing places within a mile or two of Oyster Bay. The enemy could raise any number of men for such an expedition. General Parsons lay with some regular troops in the vicinity, and there were whaleboats sufficient to carry 2,000 men, who in three hours might attack the cantonment. The situation was an anxious one, and required all the vigilance and system of discipline to prevent an active enemy from taking advantage of it. Every separate quarter was loop-holed and surrounded with abattis in such a manner that it could not be forced. A house (the ‘New Light’ meeting- house) was moved bodily to the rear, near to the beach, where the highland and grenadier companies were quartered. A general plan of defense was calculated for the whole; and proper orders were given in. case of attack. The situation of Oyster Bay was extremely well calculated to secure the health of the soldiery: the water was excellent; there was plenty of vegetables and oysters to join with their salt provisions; and bathing did not a little contribute with the attentions of the officers to cleanliness, to render them in high order for the field. Nor were they without sufficient exercise; the garrison in New York being in great want of forage, Oyster Bay became a central an safe deposit for it, and frequent expeditions towards the eastern and interior parts of the island were made to enforce the orders of the commander- in- chief in this respect." A report from American sources, dated February 16th 1779, states that Simcoe’s Rangers numbered 250, and Ludlow’s battalion at Lloyd’s Neck 150. A report from British sources says, "The Queen’s Rangers, numbering 360, left their cantonments May 18th 1779, for King’s Bridge." Simcoe’s Journal, page 110, tells us that Captain Sanford’s company of Bucks county dragoons, Captain Diemar’s hussars, and the Queen’s Rangers, all under command of Lieutenant- Colonel Simcoe, marched from King’s Bridge for Oyster Bay August 13th 1779- the cavalry and cannon by the route of Hell Gate, and the infantry by Throg’s Neck- and arrived in Oyster Bay the 17th. Simcoe left Oyster Bay October 19th. The cavalry marched to Jericho, where they remained under Lieutenant- Colonel Tarleton; and the infantry to Jamaica thence to Yellow Hook, and embarked on the 24th Shortly afterward the hussars of the Queen’s Rangers and Captain Sandford’s troops went from Jericho to Staten Island. Page 150 of the same journal states that Simcoe returned from the east end of the island to Oyster Bay, where he saw Major Andre; and remained there and in its vicinity till September 22nd, when he marched to Jamaica, and crossed to Staten Island October 8th. This entry is dated August 23d ’80. Simcoe had his headquarters at the residence of the late Solomon Townsend. The colonel was of a large frame, heavy built, and fine looking, but of feeble health. The forage master here was Captain Wickham, of the Queen’s Rangers. He had a long stack of hay north of Townsend’s. During the holidays the British forage fleet was frozen in. As there were many loyalists and refugees unwilling to enlist as soldiers, to organize and employ these the "Honorable Board of Associated Loyalists" was established December 28th 1780, with William Franklin, son of Dr. Franklin, and a former governor of New Jersey, as president, and commissioned by Sir Henry Clinton with a view to annoy the seacoast of the revolted provinces and distress their trade. The post of Lloyd’s Neck was put under their direction, and they were furnished with suitable armed vessels, provisions, arms and ammunition to defend the post and carry on enterprises against the rebels. The conditions on which the association was formed were as follows: 1. Each associator was to receive 200 acres of land in North America. 2. All captures made by them to be their own property. 3. Prisoners taken by them to be exchanged for such loyalists as the board might name. 4. The sick and wounded to have the benefit of the king’s hospital; A skillful surgeon, with a complete medical chest, to reside at Lloyd’s Neck, and accompany the associators in their excursions. 5. "It will be their care to stop those distinguished cruelties with which colonial loyalists are treated, when in the hands of rebels, under the distinction of prisoners of war and prisoners of state. The directors will omit nothing to make the rebels feel the just vengeance due such enormities." In April 1781 there were 800 men, chiefly refugees and deserters from the American army, at Lloyd’s Neck; about 500 of whom were properly armed. Their naval guard consisted of one vessel of sixteen guns, two small privateers and one galley. Just before the war the Lloyds had cut off the timber on 100 acres of land around where Fort Franklin was built in 1778, so that half a mile east of the fort was clear. Here was the parade. South were the huts and gardens, on a declivity. The vegetables were left in good condition when the place was evacuated. The wood had mostly been cut off. The fort had a well, 130 feet deep, which Huntington was assessed £176 to pay for digging. Henry and James Lloyd’s farms were protected by Howe? but the rest, owned by John, who lived at Stamford, and Joseph, of Hartford, were confiscated, and the wood was cut off for fuel for the king’s troops. The wood was exceedingly large, some trees growing to a height of forty or fifty feet before putting out a-branch. All this was cut down in a most wasteful manner. The amount was estimated at 2,000 cords. Count de Barras detached three frigates and 250 land troops to drive the loyalists from Fort Franklin, on Lloyd’s Neck. The expedition was joined in the sound by several boats with American volunteers and pilots from Fairfield. They landed on the morning of July 12th, when it was discovered that the place was stronger than was supposed and not to be carried without cannon, which had not been provided. Two or three men were wounded by a cannon shot, when the party re- embarked. The British vessels fell back west, into an arm of Huntington Harbor, under protection of a battery of guns recently mounted from-a British armed schooner. The guide of the assailants, Heathcoat Muirson, of Setauket, had made himself acquainted with the position of the enemy. Their fort was picketed with trunks of trees set in the sides, with their branches sharpened; there were only two guns mounted when Muirson viewed the fort, and those on the west side, but on the very night before the attack the British finished mounting two more, twelve- pound guns, on the east side. It was this that frustrated the attack. Muirson was examining the works with a glass, when a shot from the fort took off his arm, from which wound he died. He described the place so closely that his sister afterward found his glass in a bunch of briers, where he had thrown it. The British account of the affair reads thus: "Three large ships, five armed brigs and other vessels appeared in Huntington Harbor and landed 450 men, mostly French, on the back of Lloyd’s Neck, two miles from the fort. At 11 o’clock they formed in front of the fort, at a distance of 400 yards, in open view. The fort fired grape shot from two 12- pounders, when the French suddenly retreated, leaving on the ground a number of surgeons’ implements, lint, bandages, etc. The grass was besmeared with blood." William Ludlam, residing on Hog Island, in the house now occupied by Henry Ludlam, saw the skirmish and gave the foregoing recital of it to Henry Onderdonk jr., who accompanied it in his "Annals of the Revolution" (page 222) with a plan, which he permits us to reproduce herewith.
LONG ISLAND SOUND.
EXPLANATION 0F THE MAP AND PLAN.a. Position of William Ludlam when he saw the attack. b. Fort Franklin, designed to protect the wood- cutters. c. Place where the French landed. d. A long narrow beach over which Ludlam saw the action between the vessels at h. e. A brig of 8 or 10 guns under protection of the fort. f. A large sloop attacking the fort on the west side, the fort bringing one gun to bear on her. g. Place where the British armed schooner landed her guns, and mounted them In battery on shore, and so beat off a 40-gun ship that came to the attack. h. A 40-gun ship attacking the British vessels, which are trying to keep out of her war. In July 1782 another call for recruits to the king’s American dragoons was made, offering ten guineas to volunteers, five to any one who brought a recruit, and five to the recruit. For convenience of those who might come from the continent via Lloyd’s Neck, an officer was to be kept constantly stationed at that post. Prince William Henry, afterward King William IV., then aged 18, visited Lloyd’s Neck. One Sunday night early in October 1782 Lloyd’s Neck was left without a garrison. The British demolished their works, and removed the stores and garrison to New York. Onderdonk says a great variety of troops lay at Oyster Bay village during the war. De Lancy’s corps was the first. Fanning’s corps, in charge of Major Grant, lay here one summer. They were rude and ill- behaved. An old bake- house, now Storrs’s store, was used as a guard- house. The streets were garnished with sentry- boxes, to shelter the patrol, who paraded the streets after 9 o’clock at night, when no one was allowed to pass without the countersign. One evening a respectable young man, John Weeks, when challenged by the sentinel, instead of giving the countersign left the road and ran off across the fields. He was seized, tried, and sentenced to be whipped. He was accordingly tied to a locust tree in front of Townsend’s, but before he received the full measure of his punishment the cries of the youth and the frantic appeals of his mother and sister so wrought on the people that by their interference he was set at liberty. Tarleton’s British legion, under Major Cochran, also lay here and at Jericho, and were not distinguished for good conduct. The 3d battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel Hewlett, lay at Oyster Bay village from June to August after the peace. They left one Sunday morning, before day, to escape observation. It seemed quite a fixed custom for the British to move on Sunday. The soldiers were not billeted on the inhabitants, but took an entire building instead to themselves. They occupied the old Baptist meeting- house, and also the "New Light" meeting- house, which was removed by Simcoe from the back road. The Friends’ meeting- house was used as a commissary’s store, and had a guard constantly at the door. British troops were stationed in the woods, where the Reformed church now stands, at Locust Valley. The officers boarded at Townsend’s, at Matinecock, and when leaving presented Mrs. Letitia Townsend with a castor, candlesticks, and snuffers, which are still in use in Isaac Townsend’s residence The Hessian troops lay around Norwich, Jericho, and Cedar Swamp, coming there about the first of December 1778. Walter Franklin, of East Norwich, says he has been told that Letitia Wright, who married his grandfather Walter Franklin, in 1796, used to furnish amusement to the Hessians who were quartered in her father’s house by their rolling her down the Bennett hill, on the land now owned by Charles Downing. Onderdonk says: "They lay in Wolver Hollow two or three summers and one winter, and had tents under the hill by Andris Bogart’s, and took the sacrament in the Dutch church." The free battalion of Hesse Hannau, raised in January 1781, Colonel N. Von Janecke, lay at Oyster Bay one winter. Major Scheele died while here. They left May 28th 1883. They were an ill- favored set of little men; the gleanings of German recruits. They ripped the boards off the Episcopal church, to make berths and barracks. On one occasion a noisy crowd had gathered in the street, when the Hessians wantonly shot and killed Stephen Lobden, who came to the door to know what was the matter. A petition for redress was sent to New York, and an officer was sent to hear the complaint; but, fearing to incur the hatred of the Hessians, no one came forward. So nothing was done. During the day officers in groups were seen talking in an excited manner, and that night the glass in the windows of S. Wooden, one of the petitioners, was broken. On one occasion the Hessians were reported shooting among the sheep of John Kirk. Jonathan Haire loaded his gun and hastened to the field. Six sheep lay dead. He fired on the Hessians, when they left their booty. Haire was taken before Colonel Wurmb to answer for the offense; but he would make no excuse or apology, and not even agree not to repeat his conduct. He was dismissed with a slight reprimand. Wurmb’s headquarters were for a time at Wheatley. Onderdonk says: "Jacobus Monfort, hearing a noise in his cow-yard, fired in the dark, and wounded a Hessian baker in the neck. He was seized and carried before an officer, who at once dismissed him, saying, ‘If you had killed him I’d have given you a guinea.’" Silas Downing’s store, at B. Rushmore’s, Cedar Swamp, was forcibly entered by five soldiers from Jericho, with their faces painted. Fortunately he had recently carried all his money to New York, so they went off with very little of value. Governor Tryon was not willing to use British troops to protect inhabitants from depredations from the main shore, and directed, through Major Kissam, on Marchh 9th 1779, that the inhabitants bear their share of the expense, and muster all their militia for the purpose of protection. An order to muster all the militia the first week in April following, for a general review, was directed- to Captain Israel Youngs, Cold Spring; Jarvis Coles, Mosquito Cove; Daniel Youngs, Oyster Bay; Thomas Van Wyck, East Woods, and Abraham Van Wyck, Wolver Hollow. These companies of militia did quite efficient service, protecting the communities from whaleboatmen; yet the people suffered many robberies from the Hessians and British soldiers in disguise. To some hearts there were bright sides to the British occupation: Miss Sarah Townsend received a soul- stirring poetical valentine on Valentine day 1779, written and delivered by Lieutenant- Colonel J.G. Simcoe. Hannah Townsend, Sarah Luyster, Patty Remsen and widow Vashti Carr, or Kerr, all acquired husbands among the invaders.
THE WHALEBOAT WARFAREforms an interesting portion of the Revolutionary history of this town. The design of the United States in commissioning these boats was honorable. They were to cruise on the sound and along the shores of the island to capture small craft plying to and from New York, thus cutting off a considerable source of supply to the British there; to harass and capture those persons actually engaged in the service of the enemy, and to carry off important men from the island, who were to be exchanged for Americans who had been taken prisoners. Washington’s strict orders were that no kind of property should be taken from any person under pretense of its belonging to tories; but, through the greed of gain of the crews, this warfare degenerated in many cases to plundering expeditions against both friend and foe. Yet it must be conceded that these brave men rendered their country most valuable aid in the service for which they were commissioned. The accounts of their captures are numerous and fragmentary, but are necessary in order to furnish a full history of this town’s connection with that branch of warfare. One of the first reports of the capture of a boat plying between the ports of this town and New York was published in New Haven, December 14th 1778:- "‘Peggy’ and cargo, Darby Doyle master, navigated with forty men, under a commission of Val. Jones, to supply New York with fuel, forage, and provisions, was taken by Peter Griffing, captain of a company of rangers." December 22nd 1777 Game says: "Sunday night, 14th, the rebels landed at Cold Spring, and carried off two market boats loaded with flaxseed, wood, cider, &c., &c." About the same time the sloop "Dove," with cargo, was taken in Cold Spring Harbor by Thomas Sellew, in the armed sloop "Lucy." The "Flying Fish," of Rye, captured the "Industry," Captain Abraham Selleck, from Oyster Bay to New York, loaded with fifteen cords of wood, seventeen half-barrels of cider and vinegar, seven or eight bags of meal, and rigging and sails for another vessel. About 12 o’clock March 3d 1778 seven men, with arms, were discovered crossing Lloyd’s Neck, bending their course for the narrow beach that leads off the Neck. They were pursued and taken by a party of loyal refugees. They were the noted William S. Scudder and his gang, as appears from his confession. He says he quit Long Island in September of 1776. After going with several expeditions he went to Hog Island with a party to take Squire Smith, but missed of him and took a Quaker, and plundered the house of considerable value. He had been with all the expeditions which had come to the island, and was the man who, took Mr. Ireland. He had been on the east end of the island in the interest of General Parsons, and some time afterward was of the party who took two sloops out of Cold Spring Harbor. He was of the party that had lately come over to Long Island and burnt the three vessels cast away while coming from Rhode Island, and it was his design in coming over at present to collect what he could from the wrecks then burnt. They robbed Samuel Skidmore’s cider mill- house, and then attempted to go over to the other shore; but, the wind being contrary, and the day becoming extremely cold, freezing their fingers and feet, they had to make for the first land, which proved to be Lloyd’s Neck. The confession is dated March 3d 1778, and signed by William Smith Scudder, with Tyler Dibble, a refugee, and William Quarme, captain of the guard ship "Halifax," in Oyster Bay, as witnesses. The prisoners on Saturday afternoon March 7th were brought to New York in the boat of the "Halifax," and secured. General Putnam on the 22nd of December following wrote a letter to Governor Clinton concerning Scudder, in which he mentions that Scudder had a commission from Governor Clinton to cruise the sound in an armed boat against the enemies of the United States; but complained that he had violated the orders of the commander- in- chief, by seizing private property on Long Island. General Putnam adds that he knows nothing, personally, against Scudder, but has heard that he is a brave man, has suffered much, and done considerable service in the cause of his country. On a Monday evening in the latter part of April a party of loyal refugees were cutting wood on Lloyd’s Neck when they were attacked by two row galleys and an armed vessel, and carried prisoners, 18 in number, to Connecticut. A little later in the same month Tyler Dibble and 15 wood- cutters were carried from Lloyd’s Neck by a galley carrying a 12- pounder, and four whale- boats. The alarm reaching the man-of-war on that station, the boats were pursued, but without success. On the 5th of May a small boat, commanded by Captain Adamson, with six men and ten swivels, went into Oyster Bay and fell in with the tender of the British ship "Raven," which mounted eight swivels and had nine men armed. The boat, after discharging her swivels and small arms, boarded the tender, and carried her the next morning into Stamford. She had on board three hogsheads of rum, several casks of bread, beef and other articles for the ship, and some dry goods. Early in June the schooner "Wild Cat," of 14 swivels and 40 men, came from Connecticut to Oyster Bay and landed 14 of the crew, who shot some sheep at Oak Neck. This vessel is described as having a large number of oars, which enabled it at every calm to cross over and pillage the inhabitants of the island. A few days after this the "Wild Cat" and the "Raven’s" tender, with four whaleboats well manned, came to Lloyd’s Neck to harass the wood-cutters, when a number of boats from the British ship pursued them, capturing the "Wild Cat," and recapturing the "Raven’s " tender and a wood boat which had been taken when coming out of the harbor, together with some of the whaleboats, and thirty prisoners, killing two men, with no loss to the pursuers. About the first of September the scale of success was changed again, and Major Grey, of Colonel Meigs’s regiment, killed three tories on Lloyd’s Neck, and carried off fifteen. A privateer also carried off a sloop loaded with wood and provisions. A party consisting of James Ferris, a refugee from the island, Benjamin Howell, Nathaniel Sacket, of Bedford, Obadiah Valentine, and Patrick Stout, came over from Connecticut on Thursday evening, a week after this, and plundered the house of William Cock of goods to the amount of £140, obliging him and his family to carry the goods nearly two miles to the whaleboats. On Saturday following another party came over, in two boats, to Red Springs, near Mosquito Cove, and robbed the houses of Jacob Carpenter and John Weeks of a quantity of valuable effects, and then made off, but returned that evening and robbed two unfortunate weavers at Oak Neck. On the 9th of June following, Clark Cock, at Oyster Bay, was robbed of considerable cash, and goods to the value of over by another band from over the sound. The "True Blue," Captain Elderkin, captured the "Five Brothers," a schooner of 24 tons, with Abraham Cock master, nine miles west of Huntington Harbor, on the 3d of February 1779. A sloop of 45 tons, going to New York, the property of one Youngs, was captured on the 15th, four miles west of Oyster Bay, on the high seas. Simcoe’s Journal dated April 18th 1779 relates that a party of refugees, led by Captain Bonnel, with Captain Glover and Lieutenant Hubbell, furnished with arms, agreeable to Orders from headquarters went from Oyster Bay to take the generals Parsotis and Silliman from the opposite shore. They did not risk an attack on General Parsons, but brought Brigadier- General Silliman to Oyster Bay. He was sent next day to New York. About the first of September following, Captain Glover, who headed this party, was himself, with twelve others, with some plunder, carried off from Lloyd’s Neck by a whaleboat from Connecticut. On the 11th of the next month a continental armed schooner, commanded by T. White, captured the "Charming. Sally" and cargo in Oyster Bay. Justice Hewlett and Captain Israel Youngs were carried off in June by a party from Connecticut. A number of refugees soon after went over to Connecticut and returned with thirteen prisoners, four horses, and forty- eight cattle. Rivington’s Gazette tells us that on Monday night July 3d a party of rebels, supposed to be from Horse Neck, headed by one Benjamin Kirby, attacked the house of Abraham Walton, at Pembroke, Mosquito Cove, and took him, together with his silver plate, and Mrs. Walton’s money. They then proceeded to the neighbors, and took Dr. Brooks, Albert Coles and eight more loyalists, and carried all to Connecticut. In the latter part of July, at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday morning, John Townsend of Oyster Bay was carried off by a company of rebels, led by one Jonas Youngs. They also carried away most of the valuable articles in his house, besides partly demolishing the house itself. Arnold Fleet, a millwright, was carried off at the same time. The men, fearing the militia, several companies of whom were stationed near, hastened away, carrying their boats over the beach, and left their sentinel, a young man, on Mill Neck. He wandered about the neck until compelled by starvation to give himself up. On a Monday in October five vessels came into Oyster Bay and captured a guard brig pierced for 14 guns, with 10 mounted; also a sloop of six guns, commanded by Samuel Rogers, who had been taken and carried to Connecticut three times since the first of March preceding. Three other sloops, also a schooner from under the battery at Lloyd’s Neck, were taken and all safely conveyed into port on the Connecticut shore. Hon. Thomas Jones, justice of the supreme court of New York, a noted and, active loyalist previously noticed in this article, was much coveted by the Americans as an offset for General Silliman, whose capture has already been mentioned. An attempt was made for his capture and conveyance to Connecticut; the mode and results are recorded as follows: "Fishkill, December 9th ’79.- On the evening of November 4th about 25 volunteers, under Captains Hawley, Lockwood and Jones, and Lieutenants Jackson and Bishop, crossed the sound from Newfield [since Bridgeport] to Stony Brook, near Smithtown, and marched to the house of the Hon. Thomas Jones, justice of the supreme court of New York, at Fort Neck, where they arrived about 9 o’clock on the evening of the 6th, hiding in the woods by day. The whole distance was 52 miles. There was a ball in the house, and the noise of music and dancing prevented the approach of the adventurers being heard. Captain Hawley knocked at the door, and, receiving no answer, forced it, and found Judge Jones standing in the entry. He told him he was his prisoner, and immediately conducted him off, and a young man named Hewlett. A guard of soldiers was posted at a small distance from the road. When they came near the spot the judge hemmed very loud, but was forbidden to repeat it. He did, however, but on being further threatened desisted. An alarm arose, which obliged the men to retreat rapidly, traveling 30 miles the same evening, and to secrete themselves the next day, by which time the British light horse were near. The next evening they reached their boats, having taken two prisoners more, and arrived safe at Black Rock, Fairfield county, on the 8th, except six men in the rear, who were overtaken and captured by the light horse. Judge Jones was taken to Middletown, and in May 1780 was exchanged for General Sullivan, a prisoner at Flatbush. Mr. Hewlett was exchanged for the general’s son, one Washburn being thrown in as a make- weight. After the exchange the judge and general dined together." Judge Jones had been paroled in Connecticut as a prisoner of the United States just three years, to a day, before the date of the above article. "New Haven, Nov. 24 ’79.- Monday sen’nit two small privateers, of 4 guns each, commanded by Captains Lockwood and Johnson, ran into Oyster Bay under British colors, where were four wood vessels under protection of a large 8- gun brig, who asked the privateers, ‘Where from?’ and on being answered, ‘From New York,’ they were permitted to run alongside the brig unsuspected, and, boarding her, the crew were surprised into immediate surrender, without firing a gun, though manned with 20 stout fellows; on which the other vessels also submitted, and were brought out of port, destined for Norwalk or Stamford; but, on being pursued by some armed vessels from Huntington Harbor, the brig unluckily ran on a reef of rocks near Norwalk Harbor, and fell again into the enemy’s hands, who got her off and took her away. The other prizes got safe into port." This brig was a guardship in the mouth of Oyster Bay. The first ship, the "Halifax," under Captain Quarme, was after two years condemned; when he was succeeded by Captain Ryley, who became superannuated. Then came Captain Townsend, who had been for some time ashore sick at William Ludlam’s, in the house now occupied by Henry Ludlam on Hog Island. One day after he had begun to be able to walk about he invited Mr. Ludlam to walk to the other side of the island to look at his vessel, when, to their surprise and chagrin, they saw the privateers run alongside and capture the craft, which was the above mentioned brig. The British had been expecting their own fleet of privateers, so did not suspect the trick. Mr. Ludlam was always sorry for his friend. The "Lively," of 70 tons, was taken in Oyster Bay December 7th, with a cargo of salt. Rivington’s Gazelle, July 25th, says that two whaleboats, the "Association" and "Henry Clinton," crossed from Fort Franklin, on Lloyd’s Neck, to Norwalk, landed 38 men, and returned to the island to escape observation, but were to be back at a given hour. The party marched five miles from the shore, and remained hidden in the woods till 2 o’clock. Captain Frost surrounded the sanctuary where the people of Middlesex (now Darien) had assembled for prayer, and took fifty "notorious rebels, their reverend teacher at their head. Forty horses ready saddled were taken care of at the same time, and all safely brought to Long Island." Onderdonk adds: "They were all ironed, two and two, on the green in front of Wooden’s, Oyster Bay, and so marched to the provost." On the evening of November 24th 1781 Lieutenant J. Hull, of Colonel Fitch’s corps, came over the sound in a whaleboat, navigated by eight men, and landed near Hempstead Harbor, the entrance to which was guarded by an armed vessel. He left his boat with two men, and with the others marched to Mosquito Cove. Finding a canoe, and embarking, they boarded nine vessels which lay in the cove and made prisoners of sixteen men; not deeming it safe to try to take the vessels away, they were ransomed and the prisoners paroled. The whole party returned without the loss of a man. About the first of December a number of whaleboats came into Oyster Bay and unrigged Captain Sheddan’s boat at Ship Point, and carried off another, which was ransomed for £200. Rivington’s Gazette, under date of September 18th 1782, says: "As Captain Thomas, of the ‘Association;’ carrying ten 4- pounders and 30 men, was convoying a fleet of wood boats down the sound, they were attacked off Tinnicock by two gunboats and 11 whaleboats manned with 200 men, the largest boat having a brass six- pounder in her bow. Captain T. hid his men, housed his guns, and thus decoyed the boats within musket shot, when his men suddenly discharged their muskets, and canister shot from the four- pounders. A number fell, but they did not desist from their attack, but towed off detached vessels, as it was a calm. They were, however, all retaken after a combat of six hours. These pickaroon gentry greatly infest our coast." In the latter part of December the schooner "Peggy," John Envidito master, and her cargo of broadcloths, coating, linen and other goods were taken. On one occasion the whaleboat men found a vessel aground at Cold Spring, They attempted to get her off, but failed. Threats of burning caused the vessel to be ransomed. The whaleboat men robbed the store of one Youngs at East Woods, and hid the plunder in the bushes near the shore, in order to remove it at a more suitable time; but, the goods being discovered, they were prevented. Nicholas Wright’s store was robbed. Justice Smith, of Hog Island, was robbed of silks, etc., and William Ludlam, a tailor who lived with him, was robbed of a great many suits of clothes which he was making up for his customers. Sarah Wright, at Cove Neck, was robbed, among other things, of a silver milk pot, which was carried to Stamford. Seth Wood’s store at East Woods was also robbed. The house of John Willets, at Cedar Swamps, was broken open, his hands were tied, every threat was used, and his house was even set on fire, to make him give up his money, but in vain.
OYSTERS AND CLAMS.Oyster Bay, as its name implies, has long been famed for the quantity and excellence of its oysters. Long before the advent of the first white settlers the Indians, as would be inferred from the mounds of clam and oyster shells still to be found, depended upon these two bivalves for a great part of their subsistence, and also to furnish material for making Indian money for themselves and the tribes round about. The oyster beds were natural to the harbor; and it was not until the commencement of the nineteenth century that the townspeople began to plant artificial beds; it is to these, with hard and soft clams, that the inhabitants of Oyster Bay village and its vicinity owe much of their financial prosperity. At first there were attempts made by the town to prevent the planters from claiming their beds as individual property. This the planters resisted; and, after several suits, established their rights to such beds as private property. No planter, however, can plant oysters either on natural beds or within wading distance of the shore. The following, copied from the town records, shows that the beds were held as common town property: "Whereas many people, not inhabitants of the town, have frequently come into the town and taken and carried away the oysters from off the oyster beds lying within the township, to the damage of the inhabitants thereof, at a special town meeting held at the house of Benjamin Cheshire, the 12th day of October 1784, called at the request of the respectable inhabitants of said town in order to prevent the taking and carrying away the oysters by strangers and to preserve them for the use of the inhabitants, it was ordered: 1st. That no person not an inhabitant of this town shall be allowed to take or carry away any of the oysters from off the oyster beds lying in the town, on penalty of five pounds, to be recovered by the persons hereafter named and to be paid to the overseers of the poor, for the use of the poor of the said town, on conviction of the aforesaid offense. 2nd. That no person an inhabitant of this town shall be allowed to take and sell any of the oysters from off the oyster beds lying in this town, to any person not an inhabitant of this town, on the penalty of twenty shillings on being convicted thereof, and to be applied as aforesaid. 3d. That Samuel Youngs, Esq., James Farley and Amaziah Wheeler, or the majority of them, be authorized to prosecute any of the offenders of the aforesaid order, and, it requisite, to take counsel therein at the expense of the town." These resolutions did not give satisfaction, for after the next town meeting, in 1785, appears the following: "It was voted that the town order of a special town meeting held in Oyster Bay Octr. 12th 1784, respecting the oysters, be no longer in force." In 1801 we find the following: "Voted that no oysters be caught in the harbor of Oyster Bay with rakes or tongs from the 1st day of May next to the 1st day of September following, under the penalty of five pounds for each and every offense, to be recovered by the supervisor, according to law; and that William Townsend, miller, Joshua Hammond and Thos. Smith be appointed to inspect in the aforesaid regulations, and report the transgressors to the supervisors, whose duty it shall be to proceed against the same." The oyster beds appear to have been considered town property till 1807, when the first permission was granted to private individuals to plant oysters and own the beds as private property, as follows: "Robert Feeks to have liberty, and the town to grant him the space of ten square rods under water, in some convenient place in the Gutt, for the purpose of making an oyster bed where no valuable bed has been known." After this date the inhabitants commenced to plant oyster beds and claim them as private property. The town attempted to dispute the ownership; but in a test suit the town was defeated, and since then any inhabitant exercises the right to plant oysters in any part of the harbor not previously planted. Among those first to plant were James Callwell, Ezra Miner, Isaac Smith and Alexander Sammis. The regulations for some years as to the disposal or sale of oysters, clams, eels, etc., were very stringent, as is seen from the following: "Voted that no person whatever, during the present year, sell or convey out this town, to be carried out by boats employed for that purpose, any oysters, clams or eels, under the penalty of twelve dollars and fifty cents for every offense; to be recovered as the other forfeitures are recovered, the one equal half to the complainer and the other half to the overseer of the poor." There seems not to have been any set time of the year appointed for taking oysters out of their beds till 1813, as the following shows: "Ordered that no person rake any oysters in the harbor of Oyster Bay from the 6th day of April to the first day of November, under the penalty of twelve dollars and fifty cents." The following extracts from the town records, from 1816 to 1880, show the resolutions passed for the regulation of the oyster production during those years: 1816: "Voted that no person not an inhabitant of the town of Oyster Bay shall be allowed to take, or employ another to take, oysters in the creeks or harbor of Oyster Bay, under the penalty of twelve dollars and fifty cents. 2nd. That no persons be allowed to rake oysters in the creeks or harbor of Oyster Bay but in the months of December, January and February, under the penalty above mentioned." These two resolutions were confirmed at a meeting held later in the year, and were again passed in 1819 and 1820; but, in addition, included the same penalty for carrying away clams or selling them. In 1825, at a special town meeting, regulation oyster papers were issued, to allow only the freeholders and inhabitants of Oyster Bay to oyster on the east side of a straight line from Plum Point to Cooper’s Bluff. This took in all Cold Spring Harbor. 1833: "Resolved, that no person from any other town shall be permitted to dig clams or take oysters out of the town." 1836: "Voted that no person be permitted to plant oysters in the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor. Voted that license for planting oysters be put at thirty dollars. 1839: "Voted that the people of the town shall enjoy the privilege of clamming, fishing and oystering below high water mark on all the shores and waters of the town, and defend the same." This is signed by John D. Feeks William H. Jones and Thomas D. Montfort, justices, and A. Bogart, town clerk. 1843: "Resolved that we will defend the rights of the town to the exclusive ownership of the oysters in Oyster Bay." 1847: "That the oysters in the bay or waters of the town be free to all of the inhabitants of the said town the ensuing year." This order was bitterly opposed by those who had planted oyster beds. This opposition led to a lawsuit, in which the town was again defeated. From 1847 to 1870 the rules do not appear to have been changed. In the latter year it was "resolved that no person be allowed to plant or bed oysters in any of the waters of the town of Oyster Bay or any of the shores of said town where oysters and clams grow naturally, and where persons can wade in the water and clam and oyster at low tide, under a penalty of twelve dollars and fifty cents for each and every offense of twenty - four hours so trespassing." This resolution was again passed in 1880, excluding the waters of South Oyster Bay. The town at different times voted to permit dredging with sailboats in the waters of the bay, but these permits have been withdrawn on several occasions. In 1875 the following resolution was passed, and it was repeated each year thereafter: "Resolved that, for the purpose of killing the sea stars which infest and injure the oysters, all persons are allowed to dredge oysters with sailboats or otherwise; and that any resolution heretofore passed prohibiting the dredging of oysters under sail be and the same is hereby repealed." Within late years the oyster trade has grown to large proportions, employing many sloops. A market is found principally in New York. Some of the oystermen, among them Daniel Smith, of Cove Neck, have as many as four or six sloops in the trade. Mr. Smith has shipped from $15,000 to $30,000 worth of oysters per year, and in 1880 planted 6,700 bushels of them. It is estimated that there could not have been far short of 200,000 bushels planted in the bay the same year. Most of the seed is obtained from the Connecticut shore. There is a growing shipping business to England; the buyers coming direct from there to the Bay to purchase, choosing the second class or smaller oysters for that purpose.
AGRICULTURE.Prominent mention is made of apple trees and nurseries as early as 1669 and 1670. Several leases of land are found. The following, seventeen years after settlement, is perhaps the most suggestive: "Oyster Bay, the first month, the 20th day, 1670. "This is an agreement made between me and Thomas Youngs jr. and Richard Youngs, his brother. First they are to have the free use of my team, cart and plow, with the iron chains, with all things thereto belonging; and they are to stub and break up and manure all the land now within fence that is fit for it; and they are to look well and carefully after all my creatures; and they are to have for their team and plow two thirds of the increase of all the land manured that I own there. And they are to have two thirds of the fruit, and I reserve one or two barrels for John Youngs; and so every year following as they enjoy it. Then for the sheep: there are thirty, and they are to deliver thirty pounds of wool per year, that is one pound for one sheep; and there are nine lambs, and at the end of three years and a half they are to deliver me thirty sheep and nine lambs. Now for the cattle: we are to have half the milk and one third of the increase, and they two thirds, and they are to find or provide me a beast to ride on when I please; and they are to provide me wood to burn, what is needful. Four cows, one two- year- old heifer, one two-year-old bull, four yearlings. And the principals engage to me to make good at the term and time of three years and a half of all these creatures; they do also engage to sow so many acres of wheat and rye on the ground as there is now, at the end of three years and a half, and to leave all my goods and carts and plows, and them with all things else that they receive of me, as good as they are now (two broad chisels, two narrow chisels, one saw, two adze, compasses, one inch- and - a- half auger, three lesser augers and bungborer, one pruner bit, one mattock, two forks, three pair of new traces and one old pair, two new collars, two old collars, one pair of cart traces with iron hooks, with a new collar, one cross-cut saw, one new file, a beetle, three wedges, one saw-set, two great devises with the bolts, two lesser devises with the bolts). And they are to tan my hides for one third. And they are to leave all my farm and tools in as good order and repair as they are now, with all things else, with six bushels of oats, two bushels and half peas, two bushels of barley, one bushel and half of flaxseed. "As witness our hand and seal the manner as within. "THOMAS YOUNGS senior." The following from Game’s Mercury throws light on the state of agriculture: "December 18th 1768 the New York Society for Promoting Arts adjudged a premium of £10 to Thomas Youngs, of Oyster Bay, for the largest nursery of apple trees. It contains twenty- seven thousand one hundred and twenty- three trees." In tracing the agricultural history of Oyster Bay the important fact must be admitted that the virgin soil on which the pioneers by’ their crude endeavors first experimented was by no means rich, in comparison with central New York, or even the river counties, not to mention the rich western prairies which the present century has brought so prominently to the notice of the world. The newly cleared lands gave only a medium return. The natural accumulation of vegetable deposit, unsupplemented by other necessary ingredients requisite to a rich soil, soon became exhausted by repeated cropping of potatoes, rye, wheat, flax, buckwheat and corn, the first staples grown for present food necessities and articles of barter for imported products. The soil, a sandy loam with sand predominating, inducing quick and rapid growth, plant roots readily penetrating surface and sub- soil soon absorbed the store of plant- food. Thus manure was quickly brought into prominent notice. The natural growth of coarse, unnutritious grass on the woodless plain composing the center of the town and on the salt meadows of the South Bay furnished forage for the stock of the first settlers. After clearings were made, fields in proximity to the homestead were mulched and manured by cattle feeding in winter, and made to produce a luxuriant growth of the short natural grasses- blue grass (not Kentucky), secretary red-top and many others, which were mown for the winter supply of hay. As a consequence of increased feed the stock of cattle and swine was increased, as through these, in the form of beef and pork, the only available market could be reached. For all purposes incident to clearing new land horses were in demand, and an increase in the stock was early manifested, and has continued, a legitimate and lucrative business, intelligently pursued, as the present race of roadsters and track horses, descended from the famous sires "Messenger" and "Duroc," owned and stabled in this town, will abundantly prove. Horses for heavy draught were not required here. The easily worked soil required agility rather than muscular force, and in this stock it was well supplied. Cattle for beef and the yoke, horses, hogs, sheep, flax rye, corn and wood were the main articles of trade and sale to near the end of the eighteenth century. Orcharding received early attention. The apple product of cider and whiskey found a ready sale. A whiskey still owned by a pioneer settler of Oyster Bay remains intact, having been transmitted through six generations, though unused through five of them. In the article of refined cider the town now holds a deservedly high reputation. As the nineteenth century dawned and progressed, hay, straw, wheat, corn and fruits of choice quality found near and ready markets and their production rapidly increased. These, sold off the land, at once rendered it imperative to replenish the exhausted soil, and the importation of manures was made obligatory. Long Island appropriates to its use a large portion of the manures collected in New York and Brooklyn, and Oyster Bay its proportionate quantity, insomuch that few sections vie with it in the yield per acre of corn, wheat, hay and vegetables. The cost of fertilizers would buy the land at a hundred dollars an acre every seven years. The question is often asked, will this pay? Farmers as a rule keep no accounts. The result can answer. Farms have been divided and subdivided. The son is no poorer than his sire, and the net product of his portion fully equals- in many instances far exceeds- that of the former undivided heritage. With a six- fold salable value he is rich if he wishes to realize in cash, where with widespread acres the sire was poor indeed. The regular farm routine has varied but little since the first settlement, viz.: corn on the inverted sod, oats and potatoes next, followed by what and seeding to grass, mowing three or four years, with as many following in pasturage, when the rotation begins anew. In some localities, notably between Oyster Bay and Glen Cove, asparagus, onions and rhubarb have been successfully cultivated, the former having a reputation not equaled elsewhere. An experiment about 1835 with half an acre of this esculent by the late Captain John Underhill, a descendant of the historic Captain John, and on his old homestead, followed by Isaac Townsend in 1841, has induced the cultivation of five hundred acres in the immediate vicinity, and brought thousands of dollars to farmers who wisely followed the experiment. The value of the present annual product is $150,000. The forests form a peculiar feature of the town, as they do of all Long Island. On the north the rough gravelly hillsides, not inviting to tillage, and the wet and sandy land on the south, were wisely left uncleared and have proved a continual source of income for fuel before the era of coal, and always for building material and fencing, for which latter, perhaps, no locality is so favored in cheapness and durability of timber as this region in the possession of the yellow locust and chestnut. As the demand for fuel has decreased the increasing necessity for railroad ties and the like more than compensates. Milk production for the city markets is a growing new business and is fairly remunerative. But few stock cattle are kept, and their produce, except choice or fancy varieties, is invariably sold to the butchers. The stock is mainly kept up by calves brought from the large dairy districts elsewhere; these are profitably grown to supply the demand for milk cows. Working oxen, once generally used for farm work, have become almost obsolete. Hay, vegetables, fruit and timber are the principal articles sold, and although this is a purely agricultural town it falls largely short of furnishing a home supply of grain. Much of this deficiency for stock is supplied by "corn feed" from the Messrs. Duryea’s starch factory at Glen Cove- about the only manufacturing establishment in the town. Bony fish, once a prolific source of manure, are now monopolized by oil factories, in which fishery Oyster Bay is little interested. Commercial manures are receiving much careful attention, but the old and well- tried stable product still has the preference as furnishing the requisites for plant growth in greater proportion than anything yet tried.
CHARITIES.By an act of the Legislature passed April 18th 1838. Andrew C. Hegeman, Ebenezer Seely and James C. Townsend, freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Oyster Bay, and Benjamin Albertson and Singleton Mitchell, freeholders and inhabitants of the town of North Hempstead, were appointed trustees of the Jones fund for the support of the poor in said towns, to hold their office two years from the first Tuesday in April 1838, and until their successors were appointed. The trustees of this fund were always to be three freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Oyster Bay and two freeholders and inhabitants of North Hempstead, who were to be elected every second year thereafter, at their respective towns’ annual meetings. The trustees and their successors were granted all the rights and powers of a corporate body, to take, hold, and manage the fund, or any part of it, as directed by the will of Samuel Jones, of the town of Oyster Bay, for the support of the poor in Oyster Bay and North Hempstead. The amount bequeathed by Mr. Jones was $30,000. Some years subsequently Walter R. Jones, of Cold Spring, bequeathed $30,000 to the fund, for the sole benefit of the town of Oyster Bay. The expenses of purchasing the farm, erecting buildings, etc., have been paid by the two towns, thus keeping the original bequest intact, using the income only. "An institution for the use and benefit of the poor among the black people" was established to help the needy colored people of the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay and vicinities- especially in the education of their children. The membership of the society was limited to thirty persons, all of whom must be members of the Society of Friends. Nine members constituted a quorum. Should the field for benevolence be increased the institution had the right to receive additional members from the new field. The money was raised by subscriptions from such persons as were inclined to give, and constituted a permanent fund, only the interest being used. By giving proper securities the subscriber might hold the principal, payable on demand, by paying 5 per cent. annual interest. The first meeting of this association was held June 7th 1794, when the following officers were elected: Thomas Willis, clerk; Samuel Seaman, treasurer; Samuel Willis, Edmund Willis Adam Mott, trustees. The original members were Elias Hicks, Fry Willis, Joseph Cooper, Thomas Willis, James Carhartt, Isaac Sherman, Royal Aldrich, Jacob Smith, John Carle, Jacob Willetts, John Whitehouse, William Willis Wheatley, Jacob Willetts jr., Israel Pearsall, Gideon Seaman, Joshua Powell, Edmund Willis, Refined Weeks, William Jones, Jacob Seaman, Samuel Willis, Adam Mott, Richard Townsend, Solomon Underhill, Stephen Mott, Samuel W. Mott, Richard Powell, Adonijah Underhill, David Seaman and Silas Titus. The institution continued to fulfill its purpose of ameliorating the condition of that oppressed race for many years; but as the fund is not now required for the education of the colored children here, in consequence of the excellent system of free education, it is now employed for the education of the children of the freedmen in the south.
SUPERVISORS AND CLERKS- STATISTICS.The following are lists of the supervisors and clerks of the town, so far as the record shows them: Supervisors.- John Townsend, 1707, 1708; Thomas Jones. 1712, 1713; Samuel Dickinson, 1714- 25; Benjamin Carpenter, 1726- 29; David Jones, 1730- 35; Thomas Jones, 1736- 41; David Seaman, 1742- 46; Benjamin Woolsey, 1747; Micajah Townsend, 1750-59; Thomas Smith, 1760- 66, 1777- 82; Benjamin Townsend, 1767; William Townsend, 1868.75; James Townsend, 1776; George Townsend, 1783; George Townsend and James Townsend, 1784 (James must have been appointed to succeed George); Dr. James Townsend, 1785- 89; Isaac Smith, 1790.97; Coles Wortman, 1798, 1804; Hewlett Townsend, 1799; Isaac Smith, 1800- 3, 1810- 13; William Townsend, 1805- 9; Samuel Youngs, 1814- 17; Ebenezer Seely, 1818- 22; William H. Jones, 1823- 28; Andrew C. Hegeman, 1829- 36; Samuel Youngs jr., 1837- 42, 1847, 1848; William Harrold sen., 1843, 1844; Peter H. Layton, 1845; James Luyster, 1846, 1855, 1856; David R. Floyd- Jones, 1857, 1858; George S. Downing, 1859- 66; Townsend D. Cock, 1867- 71; Walter Franklin, 1872- 74; George S. Downing, 1875- 80; Scudder V. Whitney, 1881. Town Clerks.- John Townsend, 1707, 1708; George Townsend, 1712- 22; Samuel Underhill, 1723- 47; Penn Townsend, 1750- 55; Jacob Townsend, 1756, 1757; Samuel Townsend, 1758- 76, 1783- 89; John Cock, 1777- 82; Samuel Youngs, 1790, 1793; Jacobus Monfoort, 1794- 1823; John Monfoort, 1824- 29; Charles H. Peters, 1830- 32; Andrew Bogart, 1833- 41; Albert G. Carll, 1842- 45; James M. Monfoort, 1846; Andris Bogart, 1847; George S. Downing, 1848- 52; John Vernon, 1853; Jonah S. Hegeman, 1854, 1855; John N. Remsen, 1856- 81. The valuation of Oyster Bay in 1823 was $1,575,550, the largest town valuation in the county. The steady and rapid increase of the population of the town during the present generation may be traced in the following census returns: 1845, 6,361; 1850, 6,900; 1855, 8,047; 1860, 9,168; 1865, 9,417; 1870, 10,595; 1875, 11,461; 1880, 11,923.
BURIAL PLACES.The Woolsey family has two burial places in Dosoris, each containing a quarter of an acre of land, where many of the family and near relatives are buried. These plots were reserved forever for burial places in the deeds conveying the two Woolsey estates to John Butler and Nathaniel Coles respectively. The Frost family burial ground is situated on the farm now owned by Valentine Frost, and originally purchased by William Frost, who was buried here in 1718, this being the first interment. The Weeks burial ground, on the farm of John Weeks at Matinecock, has many slabs which cannot be read. The earliest date legible is 1761. The Latting burial ground is on the farm of Mrs. Sarah Latting, Lattingtown. Josiah Latting was born at Concord, Mass., February 20th 1641; came with his father to Hempstead in 1653, then to Oyster Bay and Huntington; married Sarah Wright, daughter of Nicholas Wright, about 1667; resided in Oyster Bay until 1680, when he removed to the place afterward called Lattingtown, where he or some of his descendants have ever since resided. The cemetery adjoining the Reformed church at Locust Valley was purchased and laid out in 1868-69. The first person laid there was Mrs. Fanny Craft Morrell.
SOLDIERS OF THE UNION.The following residents of the town of Oyster Bay enlisted in the United States service during the late civil war: Second N.Y. Cavalry (called Harris Light Cavalry; enlisted in the latter part of August or early in September 1862).- T.H. Appleford; died in the service. Edward Bailey, Henry C. Baker, James W. Baker, Albert S. Barto, Samuel Bedell, Edward H. Bennett, John T. Boyd, Charles Bromley, Josiah C. Brownell, James Butler, John W. Campbell jr., William H. Carpenter, Tredwell Cheshire, Alfred Cock, Butler Coles, Wellington S. Conklin, John A. Conklin, William Craft, John Dempsey, Isaac Devoe, Amos Dickinson, George W. Dickinson. William H. Dodge; killed. Daniel L. Downing; killed. Michael Durkin, Henry T. Duryea, Thomas Fogarty, Francis Frost, Joseph Gibbens, Ephraim P. Golding, George Hadley. John P. Hall; killed. James Harold, William Hawthorn, Elbert Hegeman, Harry M. Hoogland, Joseph Johnson, George Johnson, Elbert H. Jones, William Kramer. Charles A. Layton; died in service. Jordon Layton, Thomas Lockard, David Lovel, George W. Lutherman, James V. Luyster, John P. McKey, John Merritt, Jacob S. Maybee, C. McMana, John Muller, Thomas Neat, John H. Parlement, William H. Prentiss, James B. Remsen. Cornelius H. Remsen; died in service. Henry W. Sammis, Sylvester W. Sammis, Stephen Seaman, James Sheridan, Jacob B. Sprague, William H. Springer, James S. Stilwell, Jeremiah Stilwell, John B. Tappen, John G. Taylor, Vernon J. Tiebout, Dolphus Torry, Oliver A. Turrell, Daniel J. Underhill. Charles W. Valentine; died in service. Peter L. Van Wicklen. James Vernon; killed. Samuel Vernon, died in service. Albert Vernon, David Wansor, John Wansor, Samuel M. Weeks, James M. Westervelt, William A. Westervelt, Edwin R. Whitney, Andrew Wilson. Fifth N.Y. Heavy Artillery (enlisted in August, September and October 1862).- W.H.H. Beatty, James Clark, Stephen Cox, D.B. Demilt, William H. Frost, Alfred, Augustus and Uriah Hall, J.J. Mack, Edward Malone, George Miller, James Mott, John O’Brien, Robert Potter, Charles V. Powell, Cornelius Powell, Leonard Rhodes, Andrew J. Riddell, Charles Van Wicklen. Stanton Legion (enlisted August 21st 1862).- Philip Darby, Silas C. Haff; John W. and Zachariah J. Hendrickson, William McVeigh, Harlan G. Newcomb, Andrew and John Powell, Theodore G. Smith, Alfred S. and Cornelius B. Walters, William W. Wood. Regiment organizing in the first seven Senatorial Districts of New York (enlisted August 21st 1862).- Charles A. Helmes, Andrew J., James N. and John McGreger, George Ryerson, David S. Shotwell, Andrew Stilwell. Fifth Regiment Excelsior Brigade (with dates of enlistment).- William H. Bennett, Aug. 16 ’62; Anthony Parks, Aug. 16 ’62; Isaac T. Southard, Aug. 26 ’62; Oliver Valentine, Aug. 26 ’62. Navy- Henry Fleet, Junius Hewlett, Frederick Meyers, Henry A. Townsend, Benjamin Van Wicklen, Charles Caleb Wright. Miscellaneous.- James W. Eldridge John C. Hewlett, 1st regiment national volunteers; enlisted August 12th 1862. Benjamin Hall, 3d regiment Excelsior brigade; enlisted August 20th 1862; killed. Zachary Bernhard, 1st regiment Excelsior brigade; enlisted August 20th 1862. Thomas A. Ford, 15th New York volunteers; enlisted August 29th 1862. James P. Cox, 6th New York cavalry; enlisted August 19th 1862. David Baldwin, Van Rensselaer Brush and Morgan Murphy, 102nd New York; enlisted August 29th 1862. John E. Francis, 3d metropolitan guards; enlisted September 16th 1862. Christopher Branch, George W. Hatfield, Sherman, Hart and Frederick Zeigler, 159th New York; enlisted in September 1862. Charles Powell, 4th metropolitan volunteers; enlisted September 30th 1862. John Cost Edward W. Sprague, 1st regiment metropolitan guards. Charles P. Simonson, second senatorial district regiment; enlisted September 1st 1862. Thomas Gillen. 119th New York. Emil Gauderdt, musician. Timothy McMann, Corcoran brigade. Henry Cost, 105th New York. Henry Lempke, Sickles brigade. Abraham Van Wicklen, Spinola’s brigade. Andrew C. and R.V.B. Hegeman, 14th regiment (Brooklyn). Jackson Valentine jr., John J. Tappen, Silas Bender.
THE TOWNSEND FAMILY.The three brothers John, Henry and Richard Townsend came from Norwich, county of Norfolk, England. The time of their emigration cannot be precisely fixed. It was, however, several years before 1645, as in that year Governor Kieft granted a patent of the town of Flushing to John Townsend and others; and from a petition of his widow to Governor Andros we learn that he bad previously taken up land near New York, and "peaceably enjoyed the same divers years." Alarms from the Indians, and difficulties which she does not specify, caused him to leave his improvements and commence the settlement of Flushing, where he was joined by Henry. The Townsends were Friends, and were soon at variance with the Dutch authorities, both as to religion and politics. On account of these difficulties with the government the Townsends left Flushing and went to Warwick, R.I., where they were all three members of the Provincial Assembly, besides holding municipal offices. In 1656 they determined once more to attempt a settlement on Lang Island, and in that year, with others, obtained a patent of Jamaica, then called Rusdorp. Their religious and political zeal soon brought them into trouble again. In 1657 Henry was sentenced to pay £8 Flanders or leave the province in six weeks, for having "called together conventicles." The people of Flushing addressed a remonstrance to the governor, written by the town clerk, and signed, among others, by Tobias Feake, sheriff, and Noble Farington, both magistrates, and presented by the sheriff. The clerk and magistrates were arrested, and John Townsend with them, upon charge of having induced the magistrates, to sign, and he was ordered to find bail in £12 to appear when summoned. Henry was brought before the council January 15th 1658, and condemned to pay £100 Flanders, and to remain arrested until it was paid. How these matters were settled is not stated, but Henry’s signature, as witness, on an Indian deed proves that he was in Oyster Bay the same year. He was again imprisoned, seeming to be much more involved in troubles coming from "countenancing Quakers" than his brother John; yet in January 1661 two of the magistrates furnished the names of 12 persons, including John and Henry Townsend and their wives, "who countenanced Quakers." John Townsend settled in Oyster Bay between the middle of January and the 16th of September 1661, as he was living at Jamaica at the first date, and his name being on the mill grant is proof that he was admitted as a townsman before the last date. Henry Townsend must have settled in Oyster Bay previous to September 16th 1661, the date of the mill grant made to him; but he was not admitted as a townsman until the 4th of November. Nothing is known of Richard Townsend, the youngest of the three brothers, until he appears in Jamaica in 1656. He first appears on Oyster Bay records in 1668, when he bought land of Robert Williams at Lusum. His first wife was a sister of Henry’s wife and a daughter of Robert Coles. The descendants of these three brothers have since been very numerous in the town, and have occupied many posts of honor and trust. James C. Townsend and his wife, who compiled the Townsend Memorial, are especially deserving of our gratitude for the aid we have derived, with their permission, from their work, both in gleanings and copies from it.
Solomon Townsend was born at Oyster Bay, Queens county (Long Island), on the 8th of October 1805. He was the grandson of Samuel Townsend, who was a great- grandson of the first John Townsend, who settled in Oyster Bay between the middle of January and the 16th of September 1661- the direct line being John, John James, Jacob, Samuel, Solomon, Solomon. Samuel Townsend, who was born at Oyster Bay in 1717, was the head of the great shipping house of "Samuel and Jacob Townsend," who carried on an extensive trade with England and the West Indies before the Revolution. The offices of the house were at New York and Oyster Bay. The wharves were between the present steamboat dock and White’s Creek, at a place which still bears the name of "Ship Point." He took an active interest in affairs of State, being a member of the first Provincial Congress and a delegate from Long Island to New York State’s first constitutional convention (1777). In the last he was one of the committee of thirteen appointed to draft the constitution which was adopted by the convention as the constitution of the State. He was also a State senator, and a member of the first council of appointment under the constitution of 1777. Before the Revolution he had been for thirty years a justice of the peace of Queens county. He died November 24th 1790, and was buried in the old graveyard on the south side of Fort Hill at Oyster Bay. Mr. Townsend was a zealous patriot, and did not hesitate in the part he was to act in the great struggle between the mother country and his own. Solomon Townsend, eldest son of Samuel and father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Oyster Bay, in 1746. He early engaged in navigation, for which almost from infancy he evinced a strong predilection, and in his twentieth year was put in charge of a brig belonging to his father. When the war of the Revolution broke out he was in command of the ship "Glasgow," belonging to Thomas Buchanan; but, owing to the interruption of trade between the colonies and England, she was left by direction of the owner in London. Obtaining permission to leave England Captain Townsend went over to France, and while at Paris made the acquaintance of his celebrated countryman Dr. Franklin, to whom he found means of making himself agreeable, and by whom he was introduced at court; he also received other tokens of his friendship and regard. He obtained the following certificate of protection from his friend when he left France for his native country: "PASSEY, near Paris, June 27th 1778. "I certify to whom it may concern that Captain Solomon Townsend, of New York, mariner, bath this day appeared voluntarily before me and taken the oath of allegiance to the United States of America, according to the resolution of Congress, thereby acknowledging himself a subject of the United States. "B. FRANKLIN." The original is now in the possession of the family at Oyster Bay. Captain Townsend was also commissioned by Dr. Franklin as a volunteer midshipman in the Continental navy, and for this purpose he obtained his necessary equipments in Paris. He sailed soon after in the frigate "Providence" for Boston, with Commodore Abraham Whipple. Captain Townsend followed the sea until he was 34 years old, crossing the Atlantic thirty- six times without accident. He often remarked that three- quarters of the accidents at sea occurred either through ignorance or carelessness. After leaving the sea he engaged extensively in the manufacture of iron, his works being at Augusta, Orange county, Riverhead, Suffolk county, and a large anchor forge in New York city. He was married on the first of February 1782 to Annie, daughter of his cousin Peter Townsend, son of the fourth Henry Townsend, who resided at Chester, Orange county. Peter Townsend was also largely interested in iron, his works being at Stirling, a few miles off. At his works was made the celebrated chain which was drawn across the Hudson River to prevent the British ships of war from going above the Highlands. The contract for the chain was made between the government and Mr. Townsend by Timothy Pickering, Washington’s secretary of war; he and Mr. Townsend driving down to the works, of a stormy night, to see the first link made, so that Pickering could report to General Washington. Owing to the great size of the chain only three links could be carted at a time by the double ox carts. Captain Townsend was a member of the constitutional convention of 1801, and represented New York city in the Assembly of the State for six years. He died of apoplexy, March 27th 1811, while a member. The children of Solomon Townsend were Hannah, Anne, Mary, Phebe, Samuel, Jacob, Peter and Solomon. -Hannah married Isaiah Townsend, of Albany, and left a large and distinguished family. -Anne married Judge Effingham Lawrence. Mary married Edward H. Nicoll, one of New York’s most distinguished traders and shippers. -Phebe married James Thorne. Peter Townsend was educated as a physician, and rose to prominence in his profession. He assisted Valentine Mott in his translation of Velpeau’s Surgery; and Dr. Townsend’s work upon the yellow fever, written fifty years ago, is an authority at this day. He was also the founder of the Seaman’s Retreat. -Jacob Townsend was a lawyer, and Samuel a merchant. It was with his brother-in-law, Edward H. Nicoll, that Solomon Townsend, the subject of this sketch, began his business life at the age of 15 years. In 1820 the firm of Smith & NicolI conducted the most extensive grocery and importing business in the city of New York, their yearly transactions amounting to $3,000,000, about one- tenth of the annual sales of the Claflins and Stewarts of to- day. Here for four years Solomon Townsend was taught thoroughly all that pertained to a commercial life, and when 19 years old he was sent as supercargo on the largest American ship of the day, the "Washington," 741 tons, to Canton, China, where he aided in the purchase and shipment of the largest cargo up to that time imported from China, amounting to 1,400 (measurement) tons and valued at $700,000. The customs duties on this shipment amounted to $600,000. In 1828 Mr. Townsend embarked on his own account in a commission and distributing grocery trade, and soon made himself thoroughly familiar with its minutest details. In relating the life work of this distinguished gentleman we should not fail to record an heroic act. When a young merchant, at the age of 30 years, he risked his life in the rescue of a lad who had fallen one December day from the steamboat wharf in his native village. It was only one of the marry unselfish acts of a well rounded, noble career. The financial disasters of 1836 and 1837 came, and a large portion of Mr. Townsend’s accumulations was swept away; but his care and economy of enterprise, as it might be termed, now stood him in good stead, for his credit remained unimpaired and his aptitude for unraveling the twisted and tangled affairs of finance not only made him successful in later days in his headship of the old house, to which his earliest services were given, but also pointed him out to the community as a man well qualified to represent the rapidly increasing interests of the metropolis in the State Legislature. After the good old method- seldom put in operation to- day- the office sought the man, and without solicitation or expectation, on the part of even his most intimate friends, he was placed in nomination for the Assembly in 1838 by the almost unanimous vote of the Democratic convention. At that time the county of New York was entitled to thirteen members of Assembly, who were chosen at large by the voters of the county. The intrusion of the 400 Philadelphia "pipe- layers," and their unchecked "repeating" at the polls of the several wards, during the three days of election then provided by law, defeated the entire ticket. Mr. Townsend’s name, however, stood first in the vote polled by his party, and in 1840, his popularity having grown meanwhile by reason of his sound articles on legislative matters in the public press, he was elected by a very flattering vote. He served during the sessions of 1841, 1842 and 1843, and held a leading position on the banking and insurance committee, then, as now, one of the most important committees of the Legislature. His reports upon the questions of currency had much weight with the Assembly. The members had learned to appreciate his thoroughness in the subject, his earnestness in the reforms proposed, his sterling integrity of purpose; so that in 1842 he was enabled to induce measures which settled the principles of what is now known as the Free Banking law, the leading features of which were incorporated in the banking law of Great Britain in 1844, and in 1863 in our national bank system. In 1846 Mr. Townsend was chosen a member of the convention for the revision of the constitution of the State of New York. The manner of his election showed the general confidence he had gained; for, although nominated as a Democrat, his large majority was made up in no small part by voters of an opposing political faith. The journal and the debates show that he took a very active part in the deliberations of a body distinguished by the membership of such men as John A. Dix, Charles O’Connor and Samuel J. Tilden. He was an earnest advocate of free public education, free homesteads, free banking; of the full completion of the Erie, Champlain and Oswego canals and the giving up of the lateral canals when they should be no longer needed; of courts of conciliation and arbitration, of an elective judiciary, and of the abolition of inspection laws and unnecessary offices; and his views received endorsement either in the constitution itself or by subsequent enactments of the Legislature. In his Opposition to special legislation he was always alert and pronounced. The State should legislate for the general welfare, and, except when the whole sovereignty was of necessity concerned, not for localities or for individual or class interests. On this principle he favored the increase of the power of county boards of supervisors. To preserve an organized system of defense he advocated the one- day muster and parade of the rank and file of the militia, and an organization of the officers as a corps for prompt service. The National Guard of the State is an outgrowth of this latter scheme. Mr. Townsend was regarded among his colleagues in public life of thirty- five years ago as a "radical," so that in his vigorous advocacy of strong innovations upon the old- time practices and usages of legislation he encountered determined opposition even among his closest personal and political friends; but in the going and the coming of the years public sentiment has steadily found its way to a pronounced approval of the measures and policies which were so slightly encouraged when first advanced by him either through the press or at the forum. Mr. Townsend was twice elected a commissioner of education in the city of New York, and was chairman of the finance committee of the board. It was he who negotiated the purchase of the site for the erection of the New York Free Academy, which has since become the College of the City of New York. Many other school sites were purchased and school buildings erected during his connection with the board and under his advice. The prices paid for these purchases thirty years ago, compared with the present cost of similar sites, show how marvelously rapid has been the increase meanwhile it the value of property in New York. At the breaking out of the great Rebellion in 1861 Mr. Townsend changed his residence to his native village while continuing his business connection in the city He was at once called upon to assist in organizing the succor which New York State was called upon to furnish to the national government. He had freely used his forcible pen in the endeavor to arrest the calamity of civil strife, but when it came he bent every energy to meet it, and in season and out of season worked strenuously to restore the supremacy of law and order. Among the mementos of this stirring period most prized and cherished by his family is the rough draft of a resolution prepared by him and adopted by his townsmen at a meeting held in the village of East Norwich, in which those present pledged their individual properties and fortunes to sustain the county supervisors in any measures taken in advance of necessary legislation to raise means to furnish the county’s quota for the patriot army. This procedure was quickly followed elsewhere in the State, and, indeed, the language of the resolution was adopted almost in terms in many places, in response to the president’s call for troops. To the very close of the terrible struggle Mr. Townsend devoted his large experience, his intelligent judgment and his great force of character to the public service, as a member of committees of safety, of vigilance and of relief, taxing his physical strength and endurance to the utmost in the work. Searching out and pursuing to their correction the frauds of the bounty jumpers, at the hazard of threatened violence he urged upon reluctant if not conniving public officials the condign punishment of those miserable wretches whose peculations and depredations were sapping the vitality of the measures for the reinforcement of the decimated ranks of the nation’s defenders. In 1867 Mr. Townsend was again chosen a member of a convention called, in pursuance of the requirements of the organic law of 1846, which he had helped to frame, to revise the constitution of the State. His election by a handsome majority over such a popular and distinguished opponent as Governor John A. King attested the appreciation of the people for his unwavering fidelity to their welfare, and their confidence in his abilities and his moral worth. In this convention Mr. Townsend was as active as in the years of earlier vigor, when he had forced his "radical" ideas upon the attention of the leaders of public affairs in the State. With natural force unabated, with experiences ripened and matured, with an intellect quick, clear and suggestive, he proposed or urged measures of moment which were adopted by the convention or afterward found their way into the organic law indirectly, by means of a commission whose function it was to propose amendments through the Legislature to the people. Mr. Townsend was the first to organize and put in practical operation the workings of the free school system in his native village, and was the first president of the board of education- a position he filled many years. In 1872 Mr. Townsend retired from active business, and in the old home which from time to time he had beautified and enlarged, and beneath the shade of the ancestral trees, he sought the well earned quietude and the gentle passing down into the twilight which they only can truly delight in who with senses keen, with faculties nerved and knit for action, and with manly ardor have fought the good fight throughout life’s bustling day. He died suddenly, of apoplexy, on the 2nd of April 1880. It is not required in a brief sketch like this that one should attempt to present more than an outline of the characteristics which distinctively marked the man. The point of departure and return in any fair description of Mr. Townsend must be his unswerving integrity of purpose. Honesty with him meant more than fair dealing with his fellow- men; it was the mainspring of his business life, of his public acts and of his home polity. To give to every man his just due, without distinction, was a precept to which he faithfully adhered. Large hearted, generous and charitable to the foibles of others, looking always rather for the good than the evil in the world, he held himself to strict account at the bar of conscience. His was a name that had been honored for generations, and there seemed to be ever abiding with him a sort of "noblesse oblige" which made him reverence the home traditions and with chivalrous devotion maintain and perpetuate what he held to be his family’s honor and fame, arising not from station or condition but from well acting their part in the earlier time; so that he treasured with warm filial devotion the relics of his father’s and grandfather’s day, and carefully preserved the evidences of their honorable connection with events which are part of the history of the country. So far did he carry this respect for ancestry that it was playfully said of him that "he built a house to preserve a door," and the saying was not without a fragment of truth. Indeed he had that tact to combine the practical with the aesthetic, either in form or ideal, which is very rare. The old homestead, for instance, is a study in this respect. It presents nothing very peculiar at first glance, but one finds it on examination to be a well harmonized structure of five different frames, each representing some period in the family history. The subject of water power, to which Mr. Townsend gave much time and attention, suggested to him to lead from springs, at some distance from the house, a supply of water, which is forced by hydraulic rams to a reservoir in one of the gables, and furnishes a convenient supply at all seasons of the year. The conduits were so constructed through the grounds as to refresh the vitality of certain old pear trees which Mr. Townsend cared for, not only because they added beauty to the lawn, but because they were planted by those he revered of a past generation. The swiftly passing months have filled out the period of mourning, but those who learned life’s best lessons from his words and his noble example will, with his widowed wife and her children- all of whom still gather about the family fireside- lovingly and reverently cherish a remembrance of Solomon Townsend that will not soon fade away behind the misty curtains which the years drop between the past and the future.
SCUDDER V. WHITNEY.
Henry Whitney, the earliest of the Whitney family who can be traced in America, was born in England, probably about the year 1620. The first mention of him on this side of the Atlantic is found in the records of the town of Southold, Long Island, where on the. 8th of October 1649 he joined with three others in buying lands at Hashamonock, in that town. In 1658 he is found in the town of Huntington, where he seems to have been an influential citizen until 1663, when, he removed to Jamaica in Queens county. Darling Whitney, the grandfather of the subject of this biography, and belonging to the fifth generation of the Whitney family in America, was born in Stamford, Conn., September 25th 1758. He married Sarah Valentine and settled in the town of Oyster Bay, at what was then known as East Woods, now Woodbury; and here, at his death, he left a family consisting of six children, viz.: Daniel; John, the father of Hon. D.B. Whitney, M.D., who now resides at East Norwich, L.I.; Israel C., Naomi, Esther and Sarah. Daniel, the oldest of these children, was born July 2nd 1781. He married Nancy Valentine of Suffolk county, and succeeded his, father on the homestead at Woodbury. His children were: Amelia A., who married Charles A. Van Sise; John C., who married in New York, was a merchant in Brooklyn, and died there in 1877; Daniel D., who has served six years as alderman and one term as register of arrears in the city of Brooklyn and is now president of the Hamilton Fire Insurance Company; and Scudder V. Whitney, the gentleman whose portrait and autograph appear at the head of this page. This youngest son was born at the homestead where he now resides, at Woodbury (a part of the East Woods tract) on the 11th of March 1821, and here on his father’s farm his early days were spent. The foundation of his education was laid in the common schools, but in a seat of learning by the family fireside, with Scudder V. Whitney as his tutor, he acquired most of that mental discipline which fitted him for the place he was destined to fill. Nor was his education all that he began in the old country school- house; for here as a pupil he won the confidence of the people so far that in the winter when he was but eighteen years of age he was invited to become the teacher in the school where he had hitherto been a pupil. He taught here two terms, and his success in this his that school was high proof of his executive ability and good judgment. Subsequently he attended the Oyster Bay Academy, under the Rev. Marmaduke Earle, where he learned surveying, a science which he has since quite extensively practiced as an art. In this capacity he has frequently served the highway commissioners, and in 1873 the board of supervisors appointed him to act in behalf of Queens county to settle with Suffolk county the division line between the two. Mr. Whitney in politics is one of those Democrats who, like poets, are born, not made; for he inherits his views and principles from at least two generations of his ancestors. He was elected superintendent of common schools in 1845 by this party, and has since been repeatedly elected to positions of trust in his native town, having served six years as trustee of the Jones fund, fifteen years as assessor, and finally at the town election in 1881 he was chosen supervisor of Oyster Bay by a majority of 413 votes in a total of 1,843, and had a majority in each election district in the town. Although this is his first year in the board of supervisors his well known ability and experience in other public duties secured his appointment on some of the principal committees, where he is ably vindicating the judgment of his townsmen who have called him to administer this important trust. Mr. Whitney has for twenty years been a director in the Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company, and had served as trustee in his school district for a like period when he resigned the latter position to qualify as supervisor. As peacemaker among men he has rendered valuable service to his friends and neighbors in a large number of cases in the community. It has frequently fallen in the line of his duty to administer upon the estates of his deceased neighbors or to execute their last wills, and, although not an attorney, he has been very frequently called upon as a careful conveyancer to write deeds, draft wills and prepare similar legal papers for his friends. His marriage to Elizabeth Titus, youngest daughter of Henry Titus and sister of Daniel D. Whitney’s wife, took place April 9th 1849. They have reared a family of three promising children- Phebe T., born January 26th 1852: Daniel S., born November 4th 1855; and Henry C., born May 31st 1867. These children are all living, and in the old homestead with their parents form a happy circle, respected socially by all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance.
The branch of the Smith family to be considered here has descended from Jacob Smith of Hempstead, who married Freelove Jones of South Oyster Bay. Their children were two sons, Thomas and Isaac, and a daughter. Thomas married Phoebe Allen of Great Neck, and raised a family of ten children. The sixth, named Thomas, was born in 1755 and married Deborah Butler, a sister of William and John Butler of Dosoris. He died December 3d 1807, leaving five children, viz., Thomas, Richard, Abram, Isaac and Sarah. None of these were married except Richard, who left two sons, Daniel W. and Thomas. Richard Smith mentioned above, whose portrait appears in connection with this sketch, was born August 5th 1791, on Center Island, where his family had resided for two or more generations. His wife was Phoebe, the daughter of Joseph White the old shipbuilder. Richard spent some part of his time working a farm at Oyster Bay. He was also engaged in driving a stage for a time between that place and Hicksville. In later life he parted with his interests on Center Island and bought land on Cove Neck, where he afterward, resided. He had strong faith in the final triumph of the Union armies during the war of the Rebellion, and accordingly invested in government securities at that time. These securities inured greatly to his benefit in after years. He lived a life of usefulness, and came down to his death in a good old age, departing this life March 12th 1868. His two sons reside on the property on Cove Neck owned by their father. Daniel W. is a large oyster producer, who has sold for cash in one year oysters to the amount of $40,000, besides those sold on running accounts. He owns several sloops engaged in the trade. His residence is finely situated on Oyster Bay Harbor, and his home though plain is a home of industry, comfort and hospitality.
DANIEL K. YOUNGS.
Beautifully located on Oyster Bay Harbor, and nestling among the hillsides which slope to the very edge of that picturesque sheet of water, is the Youngs homestead. Here eight generations of the family have been born, and here the family still reside, in a house a portion of which more than two centuries ago sheltered their ancestors. The Rev. John Youngs, the first of the family who came to America, set out from Hingham, England, and arrived at New Haven in 1638. From thence he migrated to Southold, Suffolk county, where many of his descendants still reside. He was known as a very devout man, but one fully alive and active in secular as well as religious affairs. His second son, Thomas, removed from Southold to Oyster Bay Cove in 1655, and was admitted into the original purchase, the share "set off" to him being what was usually known as a half right. The evidence of ownership was surveyor’s certificates, some of which are yet extant. Among the old documents of the family, recently compiled by Hon. William J. Youngs, is a lease made by Thomas Youngs to his two sons, bearing date 1670. It only historical value consists in showing how much had been done in fifteen years toward subduing comparative wilderness. The family increased, and settled in and about the Cove until the Revolutionary war, when, owing to political differences, one branch migrated to Connecticut. At this time Daniel Youngs 2nd was in possession of the homestead. He was a captain of militia, and his accoutrements, muster roll, and military order book are still preserved. One would suppose that the "captain" was not at heart very loyal to "His Majesty," for when Washington made his tour of Long Island he remained at the Youngs homestead while in Oyster Bay. The family still preserve many relics of this visit. Daniel Youngs 3d succeeded to the ownership of the homestead. He also seems to have had a liking for the military, for we find he was a "trooper" in 1812, although not in active service. He was afterward a justice of the peace of the town of Oyster Bay, and was noted for settling almost every suit brought before him. His highest emolument in any one year during his term of office was five dollars. An honest and upright man, of modest and retiring disposition, he was much beloved by all who knew him. He died in 1874, at the ripe age of 91 years. Daniel K. Youngs was born in 1817. At the age of 16 he succeeded his father in the management of the farm. A lad of studious habits, a finished education and a profession were intended for him by his parents; but, preferring the life of an agriculturist, he was permitted to remain on the farm. Much of his leisure time was now devoted to the study of standard works on agriculture and political- economy, while literature and the classics were not neglected. In 1850 he married Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel Smith, Esq., a lady of exemplary character and a lineal descendant of Sir John (usually known as "Captain" John) Underhill. The newly married people removed from the Cove to Center Island, where they remained several years, and from whence they removed to the old Underhill homestead (then owned by Daniel Smith, Esq.), at Matinecock. Mr. Youngs was at this time president of the Queens County Agricultural Society and one of the prominent farmers of the State. In 1865 he repaired to Huntington, Suffolk county, to obtain for his son the advantages of the academy there. Here he remained until 1875, when he returned to the homestead at the Cove. Although he desires to be known only as a practical farmer, the fact remains that he is in the broadest sense an "agriculturist," being an authority on nearly all agricultural and horticultural topics. Mr. Youngs, his unmarried sister Susan M. Youngs, and brother Thomas are now the owners of the homestead. Our subject has one son, William J., who is a lawyer by profession and has twice represented Queens county in the State Legislature. He married Eleanor Smith, daughter of David J. Youngs, in 1879, and they have one daughter, Mary Fanny, who is the sole representative of the ninth generation of this branch of the Youngs family. Overlooking the homestead and the bay is the family cemetery. Laid out with paths, and with shade and ornamental trees, it lies the peaceful resting place of those of the family who have gone to their last sleep. In the center a large marble shaft has been erected to the memory of the original progenitor of the family at the Cove. It is a beautiful spot, fitly chosen, and the honorable names borne by those who now rest there will ever act as an incentive to honorable deeds to those of the family living and yet to live.
It is understood that Theodorus Colyer was one of three brothers (the others Abraham and Jacobus) supposed to have emigrated from Holland, and that he had one son, named John. No record can be found of any other children of said Theodorus Colyer. John Colyer was born March 29th 1729. He had five children- Mary, Charles, Phebe, Amy and Charles 2nd, the last born March 27th 1769 and the only one that arrived at maturity. Charles 2nd married Martha Whitson. Their children were John (died in infancy), Stephen, Sarah, Richard, John, Zebulon W. (died in infancy), Charles, Abraham, Phebe, Jacob, Israel, Martha, Ruth W., and Rachel. Ten of these lived to be heads of families. It is related of Charles Colyer (son of John; that one day, when about twelve years old, on taking his horses to water he caught sight of some British officers who were "pressing" horses to move their artillery. They espied him at the same time, and ordered him to stop. On his refusal they pursued, and even fired at him; but the undaunted young hero, relying on the speed of his horses, put the whip to them and took a "wood road" which led to a thicket in a gully nearly a mile from his home. There he hid the horses for more than a week, carrying food and water to them at night. After they were secured he crept back to the brow of a hill a few rods from his home, and heard the officers threatening his widowed mother on his account and telling her that if they found her son they would kill him. They soon left, but a few days after, while at the house of a neighbor, the young lad recognized his former pursuers there. The recognition was mutual, and they inquired why he ran away, advised him not do the like again as he exposed himself to the danger of being shot, gave him a piece of silver and called him a brave little fellow. Farewells were exchanged and they saw no more of each other. His were the only horses of the neighborhood that escaped the pressgang. At the present time the people of the vicinity will point out their hiding- place. Although he owned several thousand acres of land in what is now known as Melville and Half Hollow Hills, and on the south shore of Long Island, he decided to become a teacher. Some of his pupils had been his schoolmates (for he was but 16 years old), and in order to keep in advance of them he studied diligently. He also became one of the first surveyors of western Suffolk county. While still very young he was elected to the office of justice of the peace, which office he held continuously until his death, at the age of 46. His son Charles Colyer, the subject of this sketch, was born December 23d 1799, in what is known as Round Swamp (town of Huntington, Suffolk county), which was a part of the "Bethpage purchase"- a tract of land bought by Thomas Powell sen. from four Indians (Mawmee, alias Serewanos, William Chepy, Sewrushung, and Wamussum) August 18th 1695, a "division" of which his great-grandfather Theodorus Colyer bought in 1755. On March 5th 1822 he married Mary, daughter of Richard Van Wyck and granddaughter of Theodorus Van Wyck, a lineal descendant of Cornelius Barentse Van Wyck, a member of an old and noble family of Holland, who emigrated to America in 1660 and was the progenitor of numerous Van Wycks, as mentioned in the history of the Van Wyck family, page 206 of this volume A few days after his marriage he purchased a farm in Woodbury town of Oyster Bay, which he occupied during the remainder of his life, and here children and grandchildren crowded around for many happy years before the family circle was broken by Death, the relentless, who claimed some as his own. The eldest. child, Martha, was born June 8th 1823; Charles W., born February 5th 1825, died December 8th 1868; Mary E., born July 8th 1827, died December 7th 1862; Mariam was born July 25th 1834; Sarah J. June 17th 1843; and the youngest, Richard C. Colyer, April 4th 1845. This son now occupies the homestead farm; and, although but a young man, has been called by his townsmen to the office of justice of the peace. Though having reached only the second year of his term he has been highly complimented by the people for his ability and fitness for the discharge of the duties of his office. Martha Colyer, daughter of Charles and Mary Colyer, married, first, John Nelson Monfort, a man of sterling character, who is remembered with respect by all who knew him, and by none more kindly than by her who became his wife August 10th 1842. Several years after the death of Mr. Monfort his widow married Francis M.A. Wicks, well known as a justice in Suffolk county. Charles W. Colyer married Mary Duryea. Mary E. Colyer married Francis Sammis, of Hempstead, May 23d 1844. Mariam married Ezra Smith in 1850. Sarah J. married Ketcham Buffet, March 1863. Richard married Alice O., daughter of Francis M.A. Wicks, September 28th 1870. Captain Colyer, whose portrait appears in connection with this article, brought his title of "Captain" from the training- field of the State militia, where he commanded a company eleven years. During his life it frequently became his duty to administer some of the minor offices in his adopted town. In politics Mr. Colyer was a staunch Republican, and in his religious views partook somewhat of the Quaker ideas of his ancestors. His wife, who survives to cherish the memory of him as a loving husband, comes from one of the old families whose Presbyterianism she inherits. Mr. Colyer was a person of a peculiarly happy disposition and sweet temper, and the twinkle of his eye when telling or hearing an amusing story showed how keen a sense of humor he possessed. After a life of nearly four- score years he died April 9th 1878, peacefully, as he had lived. He was honored when living by those who knew him, and when dead held in kindly remembrance. M.L.H.B.
THE WHITE FAMILY.Edward White, the first of the White family that settled in the village of Oyster Bay, was a Quaker, and came from England about the year 1660. He afterward married Mary, daughter of Simon Cooper, and settled on the property now owned and occupied by his great-great-grandson Joseph White. Their children were Simon, Mary, Robert, Joseph Abigail, Martha, Judith, Edward and Ann. Simon married Phebe Wright; they lived on the old family homestead and had two children, Judith and Joseph. Judith married Wright Craft, of Duck Pond, and had two children, Simon and Oliver. Joseph, who when the Revolutionary war broke out was a young man, left his native village and entered the service of his country. While he was on an American privateer the vessel was captured off Long Island by an English frigate, and all hands were carried prisoners to Antigua in the West Indies, where Mr. White was confined in prison two years, when he was released and returned home. He then went into the service of the United States as a ship carpenter, for which in his old age he received a pension from the government. After the war was over Mr. White returned to his old homestead in the village to see his mother (his father, Simon White, having died when Joseph was a young child), which he had not dared to do before, as the village of Oyster Bay was in possession of a regiment of British troops, commanded by Colonel Simcoe, who built a fort on the high ground overlooking the village. He then married Ann Alsop, by whom he had five children, named Daniel, Thomas, Alsop, Phebe and Philena. -Phebe died young; the rest of the children all grew up, married and had families. -Daniel married Mary Kemp and had two children, Daniel and Isabella. -Thomas married Amelia Velsor and had three children, Thomas, Phebe and George. -Alsop married Rhoda Wortman and had six children, Coles, Joseph, Jacob, Annie, Fannie and Rhoda. -Philena married Richard Smith and had children Daniel, Thomas, and others that died very young. The remains of Edward White and Mary his wife and of most of their descendants lie in the White family burial plot, containing about half an acre, situated in the eastern part of the village, on the north side of the main road leading to Oyster Bay Cove. The daughters of Edward White married into the Colwell, Chadyne and Larrabee families, and their remains and those of their descendants lie in the White family burial plot, as the many tombstones there will show.
OYSTER BAY VILLAGE.This village is beautifully situated on the south side of the excellent harbor from which it and the town take their name. The place is abundantly supplied with perennial springs and has long been noted as a healthy locality. This place and Roslyn are considered to be better supplied with spring water than any other places on Long Island. The railroad is reached by two lines of stages, running respectively to Locust Valley and Syosset, each of which stations is about four miles distant. Efforts are being made toward the construction of a "north side" railroad from New York through this place to Huntington. Many important business men of the metropolis reside here, some of them having retired. Vice-Chancellor William T. McCoun spent his last days here. Much of the early history of the place is embodied in the general history of the town. The original village site extended from the foot of Mill Hill to Cove Hill, and as far south as the head of South street, and included the village and the two small, settlements on the east and west known as the Cove and Oyster Bay Harbor. South street is mentioned in deeds under the name of Main street as late as 1848. Oyster Bay Academy for many years flourished as a useful school under the principalship of Rev. Marmaduke Earle. The present advantages for obtaining an education are furnished by a union free school. There is an extensive library and reading room in the village, under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Christ Church. A number of the residents of the village and vicinity have contributed liberally by donating books. The growth of the place has been slow. The chief industry is the taking of oysters and clams from the harbor. There are several stores dealing in general merchandise, also hardware, grocery, shoe, millinery, clothing and other stores, a coal and lumber yard and two fair sized hotels.
JAMES M. LUDLAM.
One of the principal business men, of this village is James M. Ludlam, whose ancestors were among the earliest settlers in Southampton, Suffolk county, L.I., where they owned a mill in 1665. The first will on record in the city of New York, dated April 27th 1665, is that made by William Ludlam of Southampton. It showed that he had three daughters, and three sons, Henry, Joseph and Anthony. Joseph removed to Hog Island (now Center Island) in 1680, where he died and was buried. One branch of the family still resides there. Thomas Ludlam, the grandfather of James M. Ludlam, removed from that island in 1740. He was one of those who during the Revolution were compelled to render aid and comfort to the British, and at one time was made to draw wood across the East River on the ice. One branch of this family is the subject of a special mention in the article on Center Island. James M. Ludlam, the gentleman first mentioned in this sketch, is a son of Joseph Ludlam. He was born at Mill Neck, on Oyster Bay Harbor, November 3d 1809, and lived here, giving his attention to agriculture, until 1836, when he removed to Oyster Bay village and commenced business in a country store. The building then occupied, a frame structure, was destroyed in 1848 by a fire which originated in an adjacent building. Mr. Ludlam immediately replaced his store by a substantial brick one, which is still owned by him and occupied by the firm of Frederick Ludlam & Co. Mr. Ludlam carried on this business alone about twenty- five years; at first in a small way, but with a gradually increasing prosperity. In 1861 his son James H. became a partner with him. After about forty years of activity in this business the senior Mr. Ludlam retired, leaving the business to his two sons, James H. and Frederick, and now the business has passed into the hands of Frederick Ludlam & Co. During the years he was engaged in this business many changes occurred, with general prosperity, though during the financial disasters of 1857 he suffered loss with others by bank failures. Most of his time has been devoted to his private affairs, to the exclusion of politics and public business, except as he has ever been deeply interested in the public schools. In the school board he has served ten years as trustee, and in local improvements he has been largely interested. He purchased ground and erected a large number of dwellings as a means of developing that part of the village in which he lived. To further the interests of the town he recently offered to build at his own expense a mile of the proposed north shore railroad. He was also largely interested in securing for the village a steamboat connection with New York. In politics Mr. Ludlam is a Republican, and althouglh frequently solicited by that party to be its candidate he has persistently refused to accept any such honors, preferring to devote his time to building up his business and advancing the interests of his native town. Here, in his comfortable home in the village where the active years of his life have been spent, this gentleman is enjoying the fruits of a successful career, and is surrounded by a family consisting of his estimable wife, two promising daughters, and two sons who have already taken and maintained a prominent place as young men of business. Mrs. Ludlam was formerly Sarah H. Carhart, of Poughkeepsie; they were married in June 1844.
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS, OYSTER BAY.The origin and early growth of this society are not recorded. John Taylor, a traveling minister, says a meeting was settled here in 1659. In 1661 Richard Harker, Samuel Andrews, Richard Chasmore, Nathaniel Coles and Henry and John Townsend, in order to escape persecution, removed from Jamaica to Oyster Bay. The earliest written document is the certificate of the marriage of Samuel Andrews and Mary Wright (August 8th 1663), which took place at the usual place of meeting, at Anthony Wright’s. George Fox was, here in 1672, and preached from a massive rock in the woods to a multitude too large for any house to hold. The "Ranters" had made themselves quite prominent, but .Fox and others did much to put down their doctrine. In 1672 Anthony Wright gave the Friends a lot six poles square on the northeast corner of his home lot, for a burial place, and also forty feet square at the southeast corner to build a meeting- house on. Samuel Andrews and John Feake built the house, thirty- six by twenty- four feet, and twelve feet in the studs, for £20, to be paid for in wheat at 4s. 4d. per bushel, peas at 3s. 6d., corn at 3s. 6d., and pork at 4d. per pound. The building had eight windows fitted for glass, two on each side and end, with shutters. It also had two windows in the gable end, fitted with shutters. There were two double doors, one on each of the tw6sidès. The carpenters were to have the building up for further finishing by the 60 of January 1673. In 1680 John Vokins came here and preached. He speaks of the Friends as the Lord’s "tender people;" but grieves that the "Ranters" oppress them. In 1691 the Oyster Bay meeting, which included all the Friends on Long Island and in New York, was represented in the general meeting at Newport, R.I. The first meeting- house was taken down and sold in 1693. From this time until 1721 dissensions seem to have reigned and weakened the sect. It seems that up to this time meetings had been held in connection with the Friends at Matinecock. The coming of John Fothergill in 1722 and Thomas Chalkley in 1725, each of whom held large meetings, seemed to revive the society; but no movement to build again was made until 1749. William Reckitt in 1758 visited Oyster Bay, where there had been a large meeting "but now much declined." During the Revolution the British soldiers destroyed the seats and galleries and otherwise damaged the meeting- house and encroached on the burying ground. Repairs to the building, fencing and the setting of monuments on the bounds cost £58 4s. Richard Jordan held a meeting here in 1797, but did not find many Friends. The meeting- house is still standing and is occasionally visited by traveling preachers.
CHRIST CHURCH (EPISCOPAL), OYSTER BAY.
As early as 1693 a law was passed, during the administration of Governor Fletcher, by which Hempstead and Oyster Bay were made one precinct or parish for settling and maintaining a minister. By an act of the same Assembly each parish was required to raise £60 by a general tax on all the freeholders for the support of the ministry of this establishment. At the first meeting of the society, in the library of Arch Tennison, in 1701, a communication was received from the Rev. George Keith, in which he says: "The places where the Quakers have the greatest meetings on Long Island are Cushing (Flushing) and Oyster Bay, in both which places I have been several times at their meetings." In a report to the society embracing an account of his labors from June 1702 to June 1704 Mr. Keith speaks of having traveled "on Long Island as far as Oyster Bay," and again he says: "We (meaning the Rev. John Talbot and himself) had very good success, most specially in Pennsylvania, the two Jerseys and Oyster Bay on Long Island, and New York, where we most labored and continued the longest time with them." A minister, under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, was sent out from England to the parish of Hempstead and Oyster Bay. This first missionary was the Rev. John Thomas, who settled at Hempstead in the spring of 1705, also having the care of Oyster Bay, thirteen miles distant. During the year 1707, or shortly before, the first church edifice must have been built, although it is probable that it remained for many years in an unfinished state. From a genealogical record in Thompson’s History of Long Island it appears that a great- grandson of the Rev. John Youngs "was a leading man in the Episcopal church and did much toward the erection of a place of worship for that denomination on or near the site of the present Oyster Bay academy, which land is still known as the church lot." This Mr. Youngs was born in 1716, and his exertions must have been directed toward the completion of the church. In 1754 an act passed the colonial Assembly of New York "empowering the inhabitants of Oyster Bay, of the congregation of the Church of England by law established, to raise by way of lottery a sum not exceeding £500 for furnishing the church and purchasing a bell for the same." Whether the lottery was ever drawn and the money so applied we cannot now determine. The bell, however, was never purchased. The question of the actual date of the erection of the first church is now definitively settled by a letter from the Rev. Mr. Thomas to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in which he speaks of a church having been erected in Oyster Bay. The date of the letter is April 22nd 1707. This first church was a plain building with shingled sides, standing high out of the ground, and its actual site could be traced as late as 1843. The present church covers most of it. It stood east and west, with a turret and tall spire at its western end. The spire was blown down some time previous to 1780, and the turret was roofed over. It had two arched windows on the northern and two on the southern side, and a large single arched window on the east. The entrances were two- one on the west, through the tower and the principal entrance, on the south. The pulpit standing high in the air, was on the north and the chancel on the east end. The following clergymen, who resided at Hempstead, furnished the church at Oyster Bay with stated services, but we are unable to give any particulars: 1. Rev. John Thomas, missionary from 1705 to 1724; died at Hempstead. 2. Rev. Thomas Young, the first rector, 1725- 42; had been missionary at Rye and chaplain to the fort and forces of New York; removed to Philadelphia and died in 1758. 3. Rev. Samuel Seabury (the father of the bishop), 1743- 64; died at Hempstead. 4. Rev. Leonard Cutting, 1766- 84. The war of the Revolution broke up this arrangement. The Rev., Mr. Cutting, who was a violent tory partisan, was compelled to leave his parish. The church became neglected and was injured by the various troops stationed here, and it is difficult now to ascertain which did the more harm, the king’s American regiment or a detachment from it known as Fanning’s corps, under Major Grant, which is still remembered here as exceedingly riotous and injurious. There is a strong probability, however, that the church received little injury during their stay, because the chaplain of the regiment was the son of the Rev. Samuel Seabury, who had formerly officiated as rector. This Seabury had commended himself to the higher powers by a sermon entitled "St. Peter’s Exhortation to Fear God and Honor the King," preached before his Majesty’s provincial troops September 28th 1777, and published by order of Governor Tryon. Among the numerous hired legions of England was the free battalion of Hesse Hanau, commanded by Colonel Von Janecke. It was stationed one winter at Oyster Bay, leaving May 28th 1783. These were an ill- favored race of little men, the gleanings of the German recruits. They ripped boards out of the Episcopal church to make barracks and berths. Others, following their example, took away piece after piece for firewood. The church finally blew down, and the materials were sold at auction in 1804. The proceeds of the sale, amounting to $67, were reluctantly paid over to the vestry of the church in 1845. The stones of the foundation were sold to William Townsend and are under the house now occupied by W.T. McCoun. Isaac Smith of Buckram bought part of the timber, which he employed for building his out- houses, and Divine Hewlett, of Cold Spring, bought the remainder. In the New York convention of 1786 it was "resolved that Mr. Fowler have the consent and approbation of this convention to officiate as a reader in the Episcopal congregations at Islip, Brookhaven and Oyster Bay, and that the secretary give him a copy of the same." In the convention of 1787 among the lay delegates was, "from Christ Church, Oyster Bay, Mr. Philip Youngs." In the convention of November 1788 among the lay delegates were David Jones and Philip Youngs, Oyster Bay. In the same journal is the following minute: "A request was made by the representatives of the congregations at Brookhaven, Huntington and Oyster Bay that this convention would recommend Mr. Fowler to the bishop for holy orders; and the, same being taken into consideration it was resolved that Mr. Fowler be accordingly recommended to the bishop," etc. In 1789 Christ Church was represented in convention by John Hewlett. In 1790 among the clergymen composing the convention was the "Rev. Mr. Fowler, rector of Christ Church, Oyster Bay," and the lay delegates from the same parish were John Hewlett and John Jones. In the register of the clergy appended to the journal for 1791 is the following record: "Rev. Andrew Fowler, of Christ Church at Oyster Bay, ordained deacon by Bishop Provoost in the month of June 1789, and priest on the 11th day of the same month 1790." About this time Mr. Fowler removed to Peekskill. The last vestige of the church having disappeared, and there being in all probability no Episcopalian in the parish, the church ground was taken for the location of an academy. One or more of the persons having charge of this new institution set out trees in the yard, took up tombstones and leveled graves, which at one time were numerous in all parts of the yard. Of the condition of the church at Oyster Bay between the years 1805 and 1835 but little is known save that for nearly a year previous to the summer of 1823 Edward K. Fowler officiated occasionally as lay reader in the academy. Haying been ordained in 1823 Mr. Fowler remained at Huntington until June 1826, officiating in the academy at Oyster Bay every other Sunday afternoon with but few intermissions. "On every occasion of public worship," he writes, "in which I was engaged in the academy the congregation was respectable, and oftentimes as large as the building would comfortably contain." Between November 1826 and May 1827 the Rev. Samuel Seabury, of Huntington, officiated in Oyster Bay. He was not immediately succeeded by any clergyman. From 1832 to 1835 Rev. Mr. Phillips used to officiate occasionally at Oyster Bay. He was rector of Christ’s Church in North Hempstead, and was not stationed at Oyster Bay. In 1835 this place was once more made a missionary station, and the Rev. Isaac Sherwood officiated in one, of the rooms of the academy. This arrangement lasted till 1836, when Mr. Sherwood was appointed missionary to the united parishes of Cold Spring and Huntington, and the parish of Oyster Bay ceased to be a missionary station. Efforts were made to establish a church independent of missionary aid, but the various parties interested could not agree upon the site for the proposed edifice. Some wished it to be placed upon Cove Hill, where Daniel Youngs offered gratuitously one or more acres of land, while others wanted it on the site of the old church, where it now stands: In 1843, the church at Huntington having become independent of the missionary fund, the parishes of Cold Spring and Oyster Bay were again united as missionary stations under Mr. Sherwood. In 1844, both parties having agreed upon the proper site, the parish declared itself independent of missionary aid. A church edifice, 36 by 50, was thereupon built, at a cost of $2,800, and the Rev. Edwin Harwood, of Philadelphia, was invited as the first rector. Mr. Harwood resigned this charge May 1st 1846. Rev. John Stearns was rector from the 2nd of August 1846 to July 4th 1849; Rev. Edmund Richards from December 1st 1849 to October 21st 1851; Rev. Joseph Ransom from 1851 to the spring of 1861; Rev. Richard Graham Hutton from October 9th 1861 to April 29th 1874; Rev. Charles W. Ward from October 18th 1874 to May 2nd 1875; Rev. James Byron Murray, D.D., six months in 1875-76; Rev. George R. Van De Water from October 1st 1876 to February 1st 1880. The last service in the old church building erected in the year 1844 was held March 17th 1878. The building committee for the erection of a new edifice upon the site of the old one consisted of David J. Youngs, senior warden, and Edward M. Townsend and William Trotter jr., vestrymen. The architects were Potter & Robertson, of New York, and the contractors Lyons & Bunn, of the same city. Work on the new church was begun March 25th 1878. In excavating for the cellar skulls and other bones were found, supposed to be those of Hessian soldiers placed there during the war of the Revolution. The corner stone was laid May 1st 1878, by Mr. Van De Water, the rector. The first service was held in the new church September 8th 1878. The consecration took place on St. Barnabas day, June 11th, 1879. The accompanying cut represents this handsome structure. Rev. William Montague Geer, the present rector, entered on his duties on Palm Sunday, March 21st, 1880. The vestry was constituted as follows in 1881, the senior warden, David Jones Youngs, having died during that year: Thomas F. Youngs, warden; John H. Weekes, Charles J. Chipp, Edward M. Townsend, William Trotter jr., Daniel K. Youngs, William R. Webster, James A. Roosevelt, Frederick Ludlam, vestrymen.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF OYSTER BAY.As early as 1700 William Rhodes, originally from Chichester, England, who had emigrated to Rhode Island to escape persecution, and who at the above date was a licentiate of the Second Baptist Church at Newport, came to Oyster Bay and preached with a view to the formation of a Baptist church. He collected a small number of hearers, and probably a church was constituted before 1724, for at that time the first Baptist meeting- house in the place was completed. In the same year Mr. Rhodes died, arid Robert Feakes, one of his converts, who had acted as his assistant for several years, was ordained to the ministry by elders from Rhode Island, and entered upon the pastorate. Under his preaching many joined the church; but Mr. Feakes, like his predecessor, was a Free-will Baptist, so that when Rev. Thomas Davis, a Calvinistic Baptist from New Jersey, was summoned as his colleague in 1743 a schism was soon developed in the church, which did not disappear until the close of the century. Mr. Davis remained on the field only about three years, and then retired to Pennsylvania. Contentions followed. These might have been allayed by the appointment to the pastorate of Caleb Wright, a grandson of Elder Rhodes, a member of this church and a young man of great promise. But the day appointed for his ordination (in November 1752) proved to be the day of his burial. After this sad occurrence the church was visited again by Elder Davis and other ministers, but all endeavors to restore peace were vain. At one time party spirit ran so high that the two factions, one headed by Elder Feeks, the other by Elder Davis, contended for possession of the house. In 1759 David Sutton, a young licentiate from New Jersey, was called to the pastorate, and for a time the breach seemed to be healed. For a time only, however, for some who had been excluded from the church, joined by other disaffected members, soon formed a new and distinct society, which assumed the name of the New Light Church. The ruling spirit of this new organization was a woman of unusual ability, Mrs. John Townsend, who, having been a schoolteacher, went by the name of Madam Townsend. Her son- in- law, Peter Underhill (grandson of Captain John Underhill, of New England fame), acted as pastor. At first the new church seemed to be prosperous and great numbers joined it. But eventually the members became tired of their own irregularities, and in 1789 they united with the old organization in the formation of a regular Baptist church. Meanwhile the old church had become well nigh extinct. For thirty years it maintained worship, favored only occasionally with preaching. William Roe, Elijah Wheeler and Benjamin Coles occasionally ministered. In 1788 the membership had been reduced to nine. When the reunion was formed in the following year Peter Underhill and Benjamin Coles (of Glen Cove) acted as co- pastors. Harmony was restored, and from 1790 to 1795 thirty- six joined the church by baptism. In 1801 the trustees of the Oyster Bay Academy, which, was then being built, invited Rev. Marmaduke Earle, of Stamford, Conn., to assume charge of that institution. The invitation was accepted, as was also an invitation to supply the pulpit of the Baptist church. He commenced his ministrations April 5th 1802, and the new union was so highly blessed that from December 1804 to September 1809 there were 96 acquisitions to the church by conversion- the largest ingathering of which the church has any record. Mr. Earle’s pastorate thus auspiciously begun continued through a period of 54 years, during which there were occasional additions, especially in the years 1822, 1833 and 1853. He acted as principal of the academy during most of this period. He died July 13th 1856, in his 88th year, beloved and universally esteemed. During the last thirteen years of his life he was assisted from time to time in his pulpit ministrations by Rev. Samuel H. Earle (his son), Rev. William G. Baker, Rev. William B. Harris, Rev. John Cook and Rev. Aaron Jackson, the last of whom supplied the pulpit for a time after Mr. Earle’s death. The present pastor of the church, Rev. Charles S. Wightman, was ordained in the church, November 23d 1868.
M.E. CHURCH, OYSTER BAY.This society was started in 1833. Revs. A. Hulin and R. Wymond, of the Huntington circuit, preached here in the academy during the summer. For a list of the preachers who afterward ministered here the reader is referred to the history of the Roslyn M.E. church, page 422. In the autumn of 1833 the presiding elder held a quarterly conference here, and continued evening meetings in the old parish house, the result of which was the formation of a class of nineteen, with Joseph Latting as leader. Services were held in the academy for several years, but, the members were notified to desist. After this they held their meetings in various places. In August 1856 a meeting was called at the house of Joseph Latting, at which it was decided to buy a lot and build a house of worship, and a committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions. A sufficient amount having been. subscribed, G.E. Dickinson, Richard B. Smith, George Gildersleeve, William Ludlam and Joseph Latting were in September 1858 chosen trustees for the proposed building. The corner stone was laid the same year by Rev. J.P. Kennedy, D.D. The building was completed and dedicated in the following summer, by the Rev. Mr. Millburn. A collection was taken up at the time sufficient to leave the church free of debt. The pulpit was supplied by preaching in connection with East Norwich, having only afternoon services until 1870, when the charge was divided and Rev. Abraham S. Emmons became the pastor. The congregation was small, with but slight increase in membership. Mr. Emmons’s pastorate was successful and satisfactory; but failing health caused him to resign in January 1871. Arthur M. Burns, M.D., was here a few months as pastor, but removed to Port Jefferson. Rev. John E. Perine, who had preached here in 1854, became the pastor in January 1872. He was succeeded in 1873 by Rev. John T. Langlois, under whose charge the society became better organized and the Sunday- school received especial attention. Rev. Calvin S. Brower became pastor in 1875. A revival attended his labors and extended to the other churches of the village. Owing to financial depression and withdrawals the church became pastorless; but, learning that the Rev. S.F. Johnson was about to settle at East Norwich for a period of rest, the stewards applied to him, and he was appointed pastor and served during 1877 and 1878. In May 1879 Rev. William W. Gillis was sent here, and he has labored to the date of this writing with evident success and to the satisfaction of the congregation. The Sunday- school was organized the next Sunday after the dedication of the church. William Ludlam was elected superintendent, and he has acted in that capacity or as assistant every year since. The school at present numbers 60.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, OYSTER BAY.The First Presbyterian Church of Oyster Bay was organized December 18th 1845, by the Presbytery of Long Island, with the following persons as members: Amanda Gerard, George W. Gerard, Alfred Sammis, Mary Sammis, Pamelia Snedecor, Lydia Stratton, Mary Ann Thurston, William Thurston, Louise Townsend and Samuel H. Townsend. Of these George W. Gerard and Samuel H. Townsend were chosen elders, and held their first meeting as a church session January 31st 1846, when a covenant and rules for the government of the church were adopted. In the absence of a regular pastor the church was for some time supplied by such clergymen as could conveniently be obtained; prominent among whom was Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge jr., of Hempstead. The following list gives the names of those who have been pastors of the church, with the dates of their respective installations, so far as can be ascertained: John T. Clark, 1846; Winthrop Bailey, 1847; Horace G. Hinsdale, 1855; Edward J. Hamilton, 1858; E.S. Fairchild, 1863; Benjamin L. Swan, 1866; Alexander G. Russell, 1876. The first member received after the organization of the church was Mrs. Lucy Hildreth, August 9th 1846; the first dismissals were those of George Hudson and wife, December 22nd 1846. The growth of the church has been gradual and slow, but there have been a few instances of considerable accession to its membership. The earliest of these occurred in February 1848, when 13 persons were received, and the latest in April 1876, when 34 names were added to the roll. Deaths and removals- the latter chiefly due to the comparatively stagnant condition of the village industries- have contributed to reduce the present membership to about 100. A Sunday- school was established in connection with the church at a very early date, and it has continued in successful operation to the present time. It has over 100 teachers and scholars and a library of 450 volumes. Meetings of the congregation were first held in the old academy building (now the rectory of Christ Church), arid subsequently in the Baptist church. The first church edifice was completed in 1848, at a cost of $3,000. It still stands on its original site in the center of the village. The lower part is used as a tinsmith’s shop, and the upper part as a tenement. The present church building was erected in 1873. It is beautifully situated on a hill near the center of the village, and presents a fine appearance, its gables, porches, transept, apse, tower and spire grouping effectively from every point of view. The interior is finished in the "natural woods," chestnut and oak prevailing; the walls are delicately tinted, and the ceiling is of the open- timbered style, showing the construction. The windows are filled with stained glass of elaborate designs specially prepared for them. At various points suitable texts of Scripture appear in the stained glass and on the walls. In the rear of the pulpit, beneath a large arch appropriately inscribed, is a fine Roosevelt organ, with the choir- screen and seats. The building is completely and tastefully furnished in harmony with the general architectural effect. The cost of building and fittings was about $16,000 and the entire property, including the land, is free from debt. The well- known architect, J.C. Cady, of New York, furnished the plans.
LLOYD’S NECK.Lloyd’s Neck (formerly called Horse Neck) contains about 3,000 acres of land projecting into the sound between Cold Spring and Huntington harbors. It is connected with the town of Huntington by a low sandy beach or causeway, which is entirely covered with water at high tides, making the neck on such occasions an island. The soil is of excellent quality and part of it is cultivated. The fame of the timber grown on this neck extends back through the Revolutionary war. Although nearly a hundred thousand cords of wood were taken off during the British occupation the neck was soon after producing more than a thousand cords annually for the New York market. The business of shipping wood is still continued. Not only can the neck boast of its highly productive soil, but there is an inexhaustible mine of white clay suitable for the manufacture of pottery of a fine quality. Some years past a valuable deposit of yellow clay was found, which answers all the purposes for which yellow ochre is used. The neck was made an independent plantation or manor, called Queens Village, in 1685, during the administration of Governor Dongan, this then being the only manorial estate in America. In 1790 an application was made by the owners to the Legislature for a renewal of the privileges of the estate, but they were refused. The neck (called by the Indians Caumsett) was bought September 20th 1654 from Ratiocan, sagamore of Cow Harbor, by Samuel Mayo, Daniel Whitehead and Peter Wright, some of the first settlers of Oyster Bay, f6r three coats, three shirts, two cuttoes, three hatchets, three hoes, two fathoms of wampum, six knives, two pairs of stockings and two pairs of shoes. The buyers sold out to Samuel Andrews on the 6th of May 1658 for £100, and the sale was confirmed by Wyandanch, the Long Island grand sachem, on the 14th of the same month. On the death of Andrews the neck was conveyed to John Richbill, September 5th 1660, who obtained a confirmation patent from Governor Nicolls December 18th 1665. Richbill sold to Nathaniel Sylvester, Thomas Hart and Latimore Sampson October 18th 1666, for £450. Sylvester released to his cotenants October 17th 1668, having first procured an additional patent from Governor Nicolls November 20th 1667. James Lloyd, of Boston, who through his wife Grizzle Sylvester (by a will of said Sampson) became entitled to part of the neck, obtained a confirmation of the patent from Governor Andros September 29th 1677, and in October 1679 bought from the executors of Hart his part of the neck for £200. Through this purchase he became sole owner, and the neck has since that time been called after his name. Mr. Lloyd died at an early age, August 16th 1698, leaving three children- Henry, Joseph and Grizzle. He devised the neck to his children in equal parts. Henry purchased the interest of his brother and sister, became sole proprietor, and settled here in 1711. The town of Huntington laid claim to Mr. Lloyd’s purchase on the ground that it was included within the general bounds of that town, but on appeal to the court of assize Mr. Lloyd got a verdict in his favor; and to prevent a like occurrence he got most if not all the free-holders of the town to sign a release of all their interest in the neck, whatever it might be. The dividing line was some time afterward ascertained and established by David Jones, Richard Woodhull and William Willis, who were mutually selected by the parties in 1734. Henry. Lloyd was born November 28th 1685, and died March 18th 1763. His remains, with those of many of his ancestors, rest in the old family burial ground on the neck. There is a tablet erected over the remains, in a remarkable state of preservation. Part of the neck has since continued in the possession of the Lloyd family, although there are none now bearing the name who hold possessions there. This family has become related by intermarriage to many of the first families of New England, New York city and Long Island. A number of the Lloyds have occupied with honor responsible positions of public trust. They have always been and still are noted for their gentlemanly and courteous manners. The annual produce of this valuable peninsula has been very large, consisting of wheat, corn, oats, hay, and salt grass. There may still be seen the fort erected during the Revolution on the west side of the neck. Within recent years several stock farms have been started upon the neck on a large scale; some have been failures, some of them successful. The neck is now divided into numerous farms, some of which have come into the possession of their present owners by marriage, etc., some by purchase.
MATINECOCK.Matinecock in early days embraced far more territory than the Matinecock of to- day. In 1697 it appears to have been bounded west by Hempstead Harbor, south by Hempstead Plains, east by Papequatunck River, and north by the sound or north sea; including "Musceato Coufe" and "Cillingworth" or the Matinecock of to-day. These two places are the only ones named, though the bounds include Glenwood, Greenvale, Locust Valley, Dosoris, Lattingtown and Mill Neck. The question to whom did Matinecock belong was a vexing one for some time. Hempstead under its grant of 1644 claimed a portion of it. Oyster Bay claimed to have bought part of it from the Indians in 1653. Portions of it were also claimed by some parties from grants through Farrett, the agent of the Earl of Stirling. The town of Hempstead granted Thomas Terry and Samuel Deering, under date of July 4th 1661, the right to settle on Matinecock land and hold the same as their own, with the same privileges enjoyed by other townsmen of Hempstead. One of the conditions of this grant was as follows: "Not to trespass against the town of Hempstead by letting of any of their calff trespass on any great playne and spoil thire corn or dooe like harm; and if they shall, to make satisfaction to ani person or persons soe ronged; also the above sayd planters dooe ingage themselves or ani that they shall bring or thire successors not to bring in any Quakers or such like opinions. Sayd planters shall or ought to be such as the inhabitants of the towne of Hempstead shall approve of; that is to be soe understood that these shall be admitted as inhabitants of the aforesaid place shall have letters of recommendation and approbation from the magistrate or townsmen of the place from which they came, that they have been and are like to be good members." A memorandum states that they are to settle on the land within two years. Another memorandum requires that Terry shall settle seven families on the land, and the town reserves the right to make the number ten. It would seem from the last memorandum and later writers that Deering had withdrawn. Terry did not occupy and improve the land as contracted, but sent a petition "To the Noble, Great and Respectful Director General and High Council in New Netherlands" asking that the limit of his time for improvement be extended one year. The petition was granted, and the seven families were settled on the land. In the petition Terry mentions one Mr. Nichol, a resident of Oyster Bay, who claimed that the Matinecock land was covered by his patent; but this is not recorded in the Oyster Bay records, as deeds were not given by the town until some years afterward. The earliest mention of Matinecock lands found on the Oyster Bay records is the appointment on March 2nd 1664 of Francis Weeks, Jacob Youngs and John Coles "to use their endeavor to bie Matinecock land of the indians." What success attended this "endeavor" does not appear. Among the first permanent settlers of Matinecock was Captain John Underhill, who settled on a piece of land (150 acres) granted him by the Indians for services rendered them. The Hempstead people continued up to 1666 to claim Matinecock lands by virtue of their purchase from the Marsapeague Indians; but they were defeated in their claims by the Indians acknowledging that they never claimed to own any part of the Matinecock lards. The Matinecock Indians also complained to Governor Nicolls of the people of Hempstead for intruding upon their lands without paying for them. The Indians however agreed, by request of the governor, to allow the seven families to remain in peaceable possession of the lands occupied by them. This lengthy dispute was settled soon after, we know not how. The territory came into peaceable possession of the people of Oyster Bay, who had been and were from time to time purchasing it from the Indians. On the 26th of May 1663 the Indians sold a part of Matinecock to Captain John Underhill, John Frost and William Frost; another part on the 20th of April 1669 to Richard Latting; another on the 1st of December 1683 to Thomas Townsend; and on the 9th of January 1685 the chiefs- namely, Susconaman alias Runasuck, Chechagen alias Quaropin, and Sampse, son of Tackapousha- being empowered thereto by the rest of the Indians, conveyed the residue of Matinecock, with some other lands, for the price of sixty pounds current merchantable pay, to James Cock, Joseph Dickerson, Robert Townsend, Samuel Dickerson, Stephen Birdsall, James Townsend, Daniel Weeks, Isaac Doughty, John Wood, Edmund Wright, Caleb Wright, John Wright, William Frost and John Newman, and thereupon the grantees agreed to accept as joint purchasers with them the following inhabitants and freeholders of the town-comprising the most complete list of names which the records present at that period: George Downing, John Townsend sen., Richard Harcutt, Daniel Townsend, Nathaniel Coles jr., John Dewsbury, John Cock, William Crooker, John Weeks, John Applegate, Henry Franklin, Thomas Youngs, John Townsend jr., John Rogers of Lusum, Hannah Forman for her son Moses, Henry Bell, Richard Willett, John Robbins, Meriam Harker, Thomas Townsend, Hope Williams of Lusum, Samuel Birdsall, Josias Carpenter, Lawrence Mott, Sampson Hawxhurst, William Buckler, Adam Wright, Josias Latting, Thomas Weeks, Thomas Cock, John Pratt, William Hawxhurst, Thomas Willets, Elizabeth Dickson, Samuel Weeks, James Bleven, Joseph Weeks, Daniel Whitehead, Peter Wright, Samuel Tiller. We give here a portion of an original deed from the Indians, now in the possession of Valentine Frost; conveying Matinecock lands: "This instrument of writing or deed, of sale witnesseth to all Christian people to whom it may come or any ways concern. Know ye that for us we underwritten, Susconaman alias Runasuck, Samouse And Querripin, all three Indians, being empowered by ye rest of ye Indians and proprietors of Cheaf ye lands called by ye English Matinecock, situate, lying and being within ye patent of Oyster Bay wth’n Queens county upon Long Island, And by Virtue whereof And for ye ffull of twenty pounds silver or equivalent to silver money in goods, to us paid before ye signing and sealing thereof, have bargained and sold and by present possession deliver unto John Underhill, John Ffeexes, and William Ffrost, all three inhabitants of Matinecock, all that our Comons, or individual lands unsold, lying and being to ye northward of ye now highway between ye Beaver Swamp so called and Mosquito Cove, lands being to be understood ye the highway from Oyster Bay to Mosquito Cove to ye sound or North Sea, be it more or less; excepting twenty acres to be laid out to John Pryor at ye rere of his lands bought of Joseph Eastland fforman, by grantal. It is to be understood that every inhabitant below the path settled are to have equal privileges, provided they pay ye above three persons nominated their equal proportions in money according to agreement."
CAPTAIN JOHN UNDERHILL.It is now time to give a sketch of some of the early settlers of Matinecock. Captain John Underhill came from England to Massachusetts soon after the first settlement of that colony. He had served as an officer in the British forces in the Netherlands, in Ireland and at Cadiz, and had a command in the war with the Pequots during, the year 1637. After the termination of the Pequot war he removed to Connecticut and settled at Stamford. He was a delegate from that town to the general court at New Haven in 1643, and was appointed an assistant justice there. During that year he was sent for by the Dutch governor at New York to take a command in the war in which the Dutch were then engaged or were about to engage with the Indians north of the sound and west of the Connecticut settlements. This war lasted till the summer of 1646, and was terminated by a great battle at Strickland’s Plain, Horse Neck, in which the Dutch with difficulty obtained the victory. It is supposed that Captain Underhill had the chief command under the Dutch governor in this war, and it is stated by Trumbull in his history of Connecticut that he destroyed 300 Indians north of the sound, and 120 upon Long Island who had crossed the sound in order to ravage and destroy the Dutch plantations there. After the conclusion of the war he settled at Flushing. He discovered and disclosed the intrigues of the "Dutch fiscal with the Indians to detach them from the English and to excite them to hostilities against them in 1653. On the refusal of the commissioners of the united colonies to embark in the war then in progress between England and Holland he applied to Rhode Island, which colony had taken part with the mother country, for assistance. He received a commission from that colony, with the aid of a small number of volunteers, authorizing him to act in defense of the English towns against any attack of the Dutch or Indians, and with regard to further hostilities to act in conformity with such orders as the colony should prescribe. Under this commission he made the attack on the Indians at or near Fort Neck and took their fort, and thus contributed to arrest the defection of the Indians, to defeat the hostile designs of the Dutch against the English settlements, and to preserve the peace of the island. In 1665 he was a delegate from the town of Oyster Bay to the assembly held at Hempstead by Governor Nicolls, and was appointed by him under sheriff of the "north riding of Yorkshire," or Queens county. In 1667 the Matinecock Indians gave him a deed for 150 acres of land, which has remained in the family ever since and is now in the possession of Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Underhill, wife of George R. Underhill and a direct descendant through eight generations from the old pioneer, her father being Robert F. Underhill. This land consigned by the Indians to Captain Underderhill he named Cillingworth or Kenilworth. On the old farm mentioned above is the grave of this remarkable man, of whose singular career so much is said in the histories of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. He was the trusted companion of distinguished men and held many important and responsible trusts. Few individuals were more conspicuous or rendered more important services to the colonists than Captain John Underhill.
JOHN FEAKESmentioned in the above deed was the son of Henry, who came from England about the year 1630 and settled in Lynn, Mass. John removed with Captain Underhill to Matinecock, where they purchased land of the Indians and built their houses in fields contiguous to each other, now known in each family as the "old orchard," although the trees have entirely disappeared in the one and almost in the other. They established a burying place common to the two families on a beautiful elevation overlooking the sound, the creek and much of the surrounding country. A tradition in the family makes John Feakes and Captain Underhill brothers- in- law. John Feakes was a preacher in the Society of Friends, and was buried by them in their burying ground at Westbury. He died in March 1724. His wife, who was Deborah Pryor, is supposed to have been the daughter of Matthew Pryor. John Feakes left one son, afterward the Rev. Robert Feakes, a Baptist minister at Oyster Bay, and several daughters. Rev. Robert Feakes inherited the estate of his father, to which he greatly added by his marriage with Clemence Ludlam, of Hog Island. He owned in addition to the homestead a large tract of land on Mill Neck, all the farm now owned by Stephen C. Underhill, a part of John Van Cott’s farm on the east side of the neck, and a farm on the south side of the road leading to Oyster Bay. He built the mill now owned by Abraham Underhill and previously by Henry Demilt, Thomas Covert and Thomas Cock. He built his house on the site of the residence called "Meadow Side." Shortly before his death the house burned, together with all its contents, consisting of the furniture, title deeds and a valuable collection of paintings by his son Robert. The house was rebuilt immediately, and remained until it was torn down to make way for the present one, built on the old foundation by his great- great- great- grandsons in 1849. Rev. Robert Feakes died April 1st 1773, aged 89, leaving a large family. Henry, the eldest child, inherited the homestead, but sold it to his brother Charles, from whom the present family is descended. John Feakes, another son, inherited a farm on Mill Neck and left one child, who was the grandmother of the present Henry Ludlam, of Center Island. Robert Feakes, another son, was one of the most eminent painters of his time in this country.
THE FROSTS AND VALENTINES.Next comes the Frost family, but from want of data which have failed to reach us we are unable to give a history of it. We know it was one of the first and principal ones, and has done much toward making Matinecock what it is to- day. The Valentines were another family which came into the town about 1716. Daniel Valentine is the first mentioned. He was born about 1689 and married Charity, daughter of Nathan and Rachel Coles, of Mosquito Cove, now Glen Cove. On the 11th of March 1719-20 he bought of his father-in-law property costing him £500. This place has never passed out of the family, being now in possession of the daughter of the late Elwood Valentine. We pass down through a long list of descendants till we reach Mary Valentine, daughter of David, who married Lot Cornelius, their issue being Valentine M. and Amanda, who married Jarvis Underhill. Catherine, daughter of David, married Isaac B. Lewis. She was the mother of Mary Anna, who married Daniel Vail and has issue Louis Herbert and Clara Irving. Others of the Valentine family were Thomas and Robert Valentine, who were brothers and resided on their father’s old farm near West Hills. This farm was divided between them, and was supposed to contain 1,000 acres. Thomas married Elizabeth Hewlett and resided upon his part of the farm. Of Robert’s farm there is a tradition that a brook ran through, it which emptied into Cold Spring mill pond, and which was never dry or frozen over. This Valentine farm is now owned by Benjamin Brush. There is an old burial ground upon it which is thought to contain the remains of some of the ancestors of the two brothers. It was once owned and occupied by Hewlett, father of James W. Valentine, now of Green Point.
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS, MATINECOCK.Probably some of the residents of Matinecock, particularly of Cillingworth, became members of the Society of Friends as early as 1659, and attended the Oyster Bay meeting or held meetings in private houses. It was agreed in 1671 that First- day meetings should be held alternately at this place and Oyster Bay. The Friends here soon began to suffer from the law; many of them having their property sold to pay fines imposed for refusing to train and to work on a fort. In 1725 it was decided to build a meeting- house. Thomas Pearsall and Samuel Underhill were the builders. In 1757 some gravestones were set up in the burying ground, with superfluous inscriptions engraved thereon contrary to the practice of Friends. The relatives of the deceased were requested to remove them. Repairs on the house were made from time to time. The building is now in good condition and the society prosperous.
HON. TOWNSEND D. COCK.
Townsend D. Cock was born at Locust Valley, on the farm on which he now resides, on the 3d day of December 1838. His father was Alfred Cock, and his mother was Phebe Ann Townsend, a daughter of Jackson S. Townsend. The author of the "Townsend Memorial," in speaking of the subject of this sketch, says: "This gentleman is most appropriately named, being descended in ten different ways from the three Townsend brothers." The foundation of Mr. Cock’s education was laid at the district school, and later he was a student at the private school founded and maintained for so many years by that successful educator Lot Cornelius. In 1867 Mr. Cock was chosen supervisor of the town of Oyster Bay, in which position he was continued by the people until April 1872. In the fall of 1871 the Democratic party of the district selected him as its candidate for State senator. After an active and exciting canvass Mr. Cock was successful, receiving a majority of 1868. He had the support of many of the intelligent and independent Republicans of the district, who were dissatisfied with the nominee of their own party. The sessions of the Senate of which Mr. Cock was a member were memorable ones. The downfall of the Tweed ring in New York and the developments that led up the dethronement of this remarkable combination suggested the necessity of measures looking to the purification of the judiciary of the State. The bar association of the city of New York preferred charges against some of the judges then upon the bench, and the Senate was called upon to examine into the truth of those charges. John H. McCunn, a judge of the superior court of New York city, was the first one against whose official conduct charges were preferred. The governor transmitted these charges to the Senate, with a recommendation to that body to inquire into their truth. The result was that the Senate after an exhaustive examination found them sustained, and Judge McCann was removed. George G. Barnard, a judge of the supreme court, was impeached by the Assembly, and the Senate, associated with the court of appeals, was called upon to try the charges. The hearing was had at Saratoga; by a unanimous vote of the court Judge Barnard was found guilty, and by an almost unanimous vote he was debarred from ever after holding any position of honor or trust in the State. This was the first and only court of impeachment ever held in this State. H.G. Prindle, judge of Chenango county, and George M. Curtis, a judge of the marine court of New York, were afterward tried by the Senate, but a majority of that body voted against their removal. After the expiration of his senatorial term Mr. Cock remained in private life until the fall of 1875, when, at the, earnest solicitation of the leaders of the political party of which he is a member, he accepted a nomination for the Assembly, and was successful. In 1881 he was urged to accept the nomination for the same position, and reluctantly consented. He was again honored with the public confidence, and took his seat in the body that secured for itself historic prominence in consequence of the senatorial deadlock occasioned by the feud in the Republican party, growing out of the course pursued by Senators Conkling and Platt in their disagreement with the action of President Garfield in the appointment of W.H. Robertson as collector of the port of New York. Mr. Cock was also elected to the Assembly of 1882, and served during the session as chairman of the committee on commerce and navigation, and a member of the ways and means committee. Mr. Cock was chosen a vice- president of the Queens County Agricultural Society in 1863, and re- elected in 1864 and 1878; in 1879 he was chosen president of the society, and served three consecutive years. He has been an industrious contributor to the journals of the day, and has occasionally delivered addresses upon ‘topics pertinent to the times.
WILLIAM TOWNSEND COCK.The subject of the present memoir was born the 26th day of November 1803, in the village then called Buckram, in the town of Oyster Bay. (The village is now called Locust Valley, but was originally called- and more properly-Matinecock, that being the name of much of the surrounding country.) His parents, Samuel and Elizabeth Cock, reared a family of eight children, six of whom married and settled in the same neighborhood; one died in early life, and William T., being the youngest, remained with his parents, expecting that to be his permanent home. His grandparents on the paternal side were Clark Cock and Elizabeth Pierce, she of Westchester county, N.Y.; they died in the same house, he at the ripe age of 83 and she at 91. His parents succeeded to that house, and resided therein nearly seventy years, dying at the advanced age of about 90 years. His grandparents on the maternal side were Daniel Cock and Rosanna Townsend, who lived and died at the old family mansion near the Friends’ meeting- house at Matinecock. The same place is now occupied by the subject of this memoir, and from the best information that can be obtained it is believed that the family has maintained a continuous ownership of it since the title was granted by the native Indians. The ancestors of our subject have for the most part been connected with the Society of Friends since their establishment in this country. We find Mr. Cock early introduced into active life. During the war with England lasting from 1812 to 18i5 he was placed in a large country store, the owners of which were much of the time absent- one in the army, the other attending to outside business; consequently he was frequently at that early age left alone in the responsible position of having sole charge of the concern. He continued in this place a number of years, spending a few days at a time, when he could be spared from the store, attending a select school near by. After leaving this occupation he had the opportunity of attending the district school for a brief period. He was then placed in his father’s mill to learn the trade of a miller. He often speaks of this apprenticeship a little boastingly, as he accomplished the task in one day so far as to take charge of the mill on his own responsibility. After a short service at the old mill he returned to his father’s farm, delighted with the prospect of spending his days there, pursuing the honorable occupation of an agriculturist. He remained in this position until about the 28th year of his age, when he was married to Elizabeth H. Seaman, the widow of Dr. William Seaman and the daughter of Isaac and Sarah Hicks, of Westbury, Long Island, at which place she resided with her widowed mother. It was the understanding before their marriage that he should reside with his wife at the home of her mother, which he accordingly did, remaining there more than thirty years. They had two children, Mary H. and Isaac H. The former died in her 20th year and the latter, a highly esteemed citizen, now occupies the old Hicks mansion. Near the beginning of the year 1865 Mrs. Cock died. In the latter part of the year 1865 Mr. Cock was united in marriage with Hannah F. Burling, of New Rochelle, Westchester county. Two years later they removed to the old family residence of his maternal ancestors, before mentioned as his present home, where he is quietly pursuing his favorite occupation of cultivating the soil. By his present wife he has one child, William Burling Cock. While a very industrious and successful man in business affairs, Mr. Cock has never been negligent in the really more weighty matters of life. He has long been a regular attendant of the meetings of the Society of Friends, and has frequently been appointed to responsible services in its administration. Not only has he traveled many miles with its ministers in their labor of love, but at his home he has been a laborer in imparting religious instruction. For a few years past his interest has been largely centered in the affairs of the Friends’ College of Long Island, founded by his late friend Gideon Frost. They conferred much together as to its location and administration. The site was decided upon and purchased for a moderate compensation from Mr. Cock, who was named as executor, trustee and president of the board by the founder during his life. The two latter appointments he holds at the present time. Mr. Cock still remains among the scenes and friends of his childhood. His long life of usefulness and devotion to the elevation of his fellow men has won for him the respect, esteem and affection of all who know him.
FRIENDS’ COLLEGE, MATINECOCK.This school was established by the late Gideon Frost, in 1876, for the purpose of giving to the children of Friends and others an opportunity to gain a thorough education, with a guarded moral training, to be conducted in accordance with the principles of the Society of Friends. The buildings are new and the school is surrounded by no bad influences. The course of study is designed to prepare for the freshman class of any college. The officers are: William T. Cock, president; Stephen Rushmore, vice-president; James Willets, treasurer; Frederick E. Willets, secretary; Leonard F. Coles, J. Augustus Prior and Frederick E. Willets, executive committee.
LOCUST VALLEYformerly called Buckram, is the terminus in this section of the Long Island Railroad, and has a post- office and several stores. Here live the descendants of some of the oldest families of the town, including the Cocks, Underhills, Townsends, Weekses and Tillys. The first store was opened about 1815 by Ambrose Cock, where Mrs. Lot Cornelius now lives. Benjamin Hawhurst also started a store about that time. Michael Weeks opened a store about 1820 where E. Weeks now keeps one. Edwin Weeks succeeded Michael Weeks in 1836; the firm name was S.C. & E. Weeks. Isaac Cock kept a store about seventy-five years ago on the site of the house now occupied by Edwin Weeks. This was carried on till 1832, when Mr. Cock was succeeded by Samuel C. Weeks, who in turn was followed by the present proprietor, Albert Weeks. Among other early merchants were Richard Cock and Underhill & Downing. The first hotel was kept by Michael Weeks, where the store of Albert Weeks now stands. Abraham Hall succeeded Michael Weeks. After him there was no regular hotel until Mr. Fleming opened his well kept house. The principal merchants now are S.W. Thurston, dealer in pure drugs, medicines, perfumery, etc.; A. Weeks, dealer in family groceries, foreign and domestic wines, ales, etc.; Mr. Davis, dealer in all kinds of groceries, dry goods and hardware, and C. Weeks, dealer in family groceries, flour, dry goods, provisions, etc. On the advent of William E. Kirk, the veteran blacksmith of the place, who came here when 19 years of age, there were only two buildings where the depot now is, those of Lot Cornelius and Uncle John Whalley. There are now in the neighborhood of the depot two stores, a meat market and numerous private dwellings. In early days the mails were brought here on horseback from New York.
LOCUST VALLEY SCHOOLS.Locust Valley’s inhabitants appear to have been energetic in the cause of education. To their district school, established at an early date, they paid particular attention. It was taught by Lot Cornelius for thirteen years before he established his boarding school, which continued twenty years. This boarding school consisted of some forty pupils, and during its whole existence there was no sickness of any account among them, which speaks well for the salubriousness of Locust Valley. Previous to the establishment of his boarding school this veteran educator had been teaching in the vicinity many years, and he was superintendent of the schools of the town of Oyster Bay a number of years. Some of the leading men of the town received their education at his hands. In the school district the facilities for education during some years were meagre. The school was held in a building which partook of the nature of a dwelling and a school- house. The inhabitants, becoming alive to the necessity of better accommodations, built the present school- house, which is thought to be the first one with all modern improvements in the township. A member of the Cock family gave $5,000 toward its erection. The land was bought of Isaac Townsend, who offered it at a nominal price. The building is two stories high and large enough to afford room for all the children in the district; its builders having in view the probability that the district might be enlarged. Mr. Chamberlain succeeded Mr. Cornelius as principal of the school; then came Messrs. Bell, Skidmore, Keller, Mathews, Downing, Green, Bellows, Valentine, Robinson and McDonalds. The present principal is Mr. Surdam, under whose care and teaching the pupils are very proficient.
THE REFORMED CHURCH OF LOCUST VALLEY.The first evangelical organization in the vicinity of Locust Valley was connected with the Methodist Episcopal church, and was established about 1838. For many years it continued to afford, the only regular preaching that was enjoyed by the people living in the neighborhood, and was supported, regardless of denominational preferences, by all interested in the maintenance of the Christian church. During a vacancy in the pastorate of this church, which occurred in 1864 and which resulted in a partial suspension of its services, a proposal was made and agreed to by the officers of the Methodist church, that the Rev. E.S. Fairchild, of the Presbyterian church of Oyster Bay, should be invited to supply this pulpit every alternate Sabbath; and somewhat later the Rev. Jeremiah Searle, of the Reformed church of Oyster Bay (situated at Brookville), was requested to preach regularly upon the unoccupied Sunday. These arrangements, proving satisfactory to all concerned, were continued until the resignation of their respective charges by these ministers interrupted the services held at Locust Valley. In 1866 the Rev. John H. Smock became the pastor of the Reformed church at Brookville, and, in accordance with the desire of the people of Locust Valley, preached for them every other Sabbath, alternating with the supplies by the Methodist conference with which the Locust Valley church was connected, and continued his services until 1867, when, a settled pastor being obtained by the Methodist church, it was deemed undesirable to continue the union services, which had hitherto been carried on with great unanimity and profit. Many of the people, however, had become attached to the forms of worship and government of the Reformed and Presbyterian churches, and, desiring a continuance of them, they retained the services of Rev. Mr. Smock; and, securing the use of the district school building, held their first service therein August 25th 1867. The interest in the movement continuing, it was, soon thought advisable to proceed to the erection of a church building. A plot of ground containing about half an acre, adjoining the district school- house, was donated to the enterprise by D.V. Smith, of Lattingtown, and a neat frame buildings with a seating capacity of nearly 250, was erected thereon, at an expense of about $5,000. This edifice was dedicated July 4th 1869, and the congregation worshiping therein was considered to be under the care of the consistory of the Reformed church at Brookville. Upon the resignation of the pastorate of the Brookville church by Rev. Mr. Smock it was decided by the congregation at Locust Valley to request a separate organization, which was accordingly effected May 30th 1871, at which time the following named persons, sixteen in number, were received from the Reformed ,church at Brookville, and were constituted the original membership of the Reformed Church of Locust Valley: Mrs. Angeline Bayles, Thomas A. Cock, Mrs. Anna Hall, Mrs. Ann A. Lawson, Mrs. Sarah Mallison, Benjamin C. Nevins, Mrs. Amanda Thurston, Mrs. Frances S. Townsend, Mrs. Anna Valentine, Miss Matilda Valentine, Joseph W. Valentine, Mrs. Ann E. Weeks, Miss Mary E. Weeks, Daniel V. Weeks, Mrs. Cornelia Wright, Daniel Wright. From these sixteen the membership of the church has grown to sixty, while many more are regular attendants upon its services. The first consistory of the church was composed of Daniel V. Weeks and Daniel Wright, elders, and Benjamin C. Nevins and Thomas A. Cock, deacons. Of these gentlemen Mr. Weeks alone still serves among the officers of the church as an elder; his present associates being, in the eldership Charles H. Williams and in the diaconate John Bayles and Henry Bond. The first pastor of this church was the Rev. John Hart, who was ordained and installed July 2nd 1872 and served the church nearly three years, resigning his charge in March 1875. His successors in the pastorate have been the Rev. Horace P. Craig, installed June 16th 1875, resigned April 18th 1880; and the Rev. A. De .W. Mason, who was installed October 7th 1880 and is the present incumbent. The Sabbath school of the church was organized August 25th 1867, under the superintendency of the Rev. Mr. Smock. Since that time its sessions have been regularly held throughout the entire year. Its present officers are: Joseph W. Valentine, superintendent; C.F. Williams, secretary and treasurer. The school numbers upon its roll eleven officers and teachers and nearly one hundred scholars.
DOSORIS.Dosoris is situated on the sound, two miles north of Glen Cove. The original tract, nearly 1,000 acres, was purchased November 24th 1668 by Robert Williams from several chiefs of the Matinecock Indians. A patent of confirmation was issued the same year by Governor Nicolls. This patent included "West Island" and "East Island." Williams sold the premises September 24th 1670 to Lewis Morris, of Barbadoes, brother of Richard Morris, first proprietor of Morrisania. May 16th 1686 Governor Dongan gave Morris a patent, reserving a quit- rent of one bushel of wheat yearly. Morris conveyed the premises, August 10th 1693, for £390 to Daniel Whitehead, who for the same consideration conveyed them to his son- in- law John Taylor. Taylor dying intestate, the property descended to his daughter Abigail, afterward the wife of Rev. Benjamin Woolsey. This gentleman resided on the premises from 1736 to the time of his death, August 16th 1756. The name Dosoris is supposed to be a contraction of dos and uxoris- a wife’s dower- the property having come to Mr. Woolsey by his wife. By forms of lease and release the title was vested in the husband, who devised three- fifths to his son Melancthon Taylor Woolsey and the remaining two- fifths to his son Benjamin Woolsey. In 1760 the executors of the former conveyed his part of the estate, about 416 acres, including East Island (sometimes known since as Mutlear Island, Presque Isle and Butler’s Island), for £4,000, to John Butler. Butler built the first flouring- mill here, on the dam between the mainland and West Island. Nathaniel Coles (son-in-law of Butler) came here to reside and bought the remainder of the Woolsey estate, containing about 300 acres; and also West Island, sometimes called Cavalier Island, for $3,600. The two sons of Nathaniel Coles, John Butler Coles and General Nathaniel Coles, built the two flouring- mills on the dam between the two islands. All three of the mills did a large business. The first was taken down; the last two were burned. The scenery here is beautiful, the soil excellent and the air salubrious, rendering it a delightful place of residence. Dosoris contains some of the oldest locust trees on Long Island. The place was thickly populated with Indians, as the numerous skeletons and domestic utensils show. It is now occupied by the Coles family, who came here over a century since, and several other families. East Island contains about 75 acres, and is occupied by Townsend Cox, commissioner of charity in New York city. West Island contains 50 acres, and is occupied by Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun.
GLEN COVE.This village at its first settlement was called "the Place," then "Musceata Coufe," and for some time went by the name of "Pembroke." In 1834 by a vote of the people the name was changed to Glen Cove. In 1667 one Joseph Carpenter applied to the governor for permission to buy "a certain piece of land on each syde of the ryver at Musceata Coufe, where he proposes to settle two or three plantations and to erect a saw and fulling- mill." This petition was granted. On the 24th of May 1668 Carpenter bought the land of the Indians, November 24th 1668 he joined with him as equal shareholders in the property Nathaniel Coles, Abia Carpenter, Thomas Townsend and Robert Coles. In 1677 Governor Andros granted letters patent to Joseph Carpenter, N. and R. Coles and Nicholas Simpkins for the land around Mosquito Cove. The following is a partial copy of this ancient document: "Edward Andross Esq., by the grace of God lieutenant- and governor-general under his Royal Highness James Duke of York and Albany, &c., of all his territory in America. Whereas there is a certain tract of land at Musketo Cove, in the north, riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island, which by my order hath been laid out for Joseph Carpenter, Nathaniel Coles, Robert Coles, Daniel Coles and Nicholas Simpkins- the said land lying by the side of Hempstead Harbor, beginning at a certain marked tree, formerly marked for Colonel Lewis Morris; running then due east by the land of the said Colonel Morris 80 chains, ranging the same course from Colonel Morris’s eastern bounds to a certain marked tree upon the common 40 chains; thence south 160 and 4 chains to certain markt trees; 90 chains due west, to the rear of the lots of Richard Kirby, Jacob Brocken, George Downing and Robert Godfrey; thence due north by the said lots 60 chains; and thence due west to the water side; ranging then by the water side to the run of Colonel Lewis Morris, and thence nearest south to the first markt tree; including in the same the swamp and mill run- I have given and granted and by these presents do hereby give and grant unto the said Joseph Carpenter, Nathaniel Coles, Daniel Coles, Robert Coles and Nicholas Simpkins, their heirs and assignees, the aforementioned track of swamp, mill run and premises, with their and every of their appurtenances; they making improvements thereon according to law and yielding and paying therefor yearly and every year unto His Royal Highness’s use as a quit- rent one bushel of good winter wheat, unto such officer or officers as shall be empowered to receive the same." We will give the bounds of this patent in a form more comprehensible to the present generation. The starting point was at a marked tree, now replaced by a stone marked B, upon the land of John T. Valentine; from there the line ran in an easterly direction, a little to the south of the present residence of Stephen M. Cock, to a point at or near the northeast corner of his farm; thence in a southerly course, crossing the highway just east of the dwelling of the late Simon Craft, to the northwest corner of Pound Hollow Woods; along the west side of the woods to the northeast corner of Andreas McQueen farm; thence westerly along the north side of his farm an across the Cedar Swamp road to a point a short distance southeast of the residence of Darius Benham; then northerly, passing a little west of Samuel Craft’s residence, until about opposite Littleworth lane; then westerly to and along that lane as far as the first turn of the lane southwardly; then in a direct line to Hempstead Harbor and Long Island Sound, to Dosoris Creek, up the creek to the pond; then to and through the west or old pond (thus including West Island) to the mouth of Flag Brook; up that brook (which is a southerly course) to its head, and then in a direct line, which is still southerly, to the marked stone. The tract contained according to the patent "seventeen hundred acres;" but from a list of the landholders dated November 11th 1786 (which we give below), made out upon the occasion of a final payment of quit-rent and which gives the number of acres owned by each person within the patent, the total number of acres appears to amount to 3,678; which being more than double the quantity given under the hand of the surveyor points to a mistake somewhere, in which the Indians must have been the losers. In the following paragraph the number of acres of each owner is followed by the amount of his tax: Caleb Coles, 125, 2s. 6d.; Benjamin Coles, 100, 2s.; Jacob Valentine, 277, 5s. 6d.; Coles Mudge, 80, 1s. 8d.; Jordan Coles, 19, 4d.; James Bennett, 3, 1d.; Henry Mott, 26, 6d.; Charles Thorne, 19, 4d.; Thomas Kipp’s estate, 6, 2d.; Joseph Wood, 120, 2s. 5d.; Benjamin Craft, 73, 1s. 6d.; Joseph Craft, 147, 2s. 11d.; Solomon Craft, 60, 1s. 3d.; Morris Carpenter, 15, 4d.; William Hyde, 11, 3d.; Coles Carpenter, 200, 4s.; Albert Coles, 75, 1s. 6d.; Derich Coles, 62, 1s. 3d.; William Coles, 48, 1s.; Benjamin Coles jr., 100, 2s.; Isaac Coles, 19, 4d.; Daniel Coles, 120, 2s. 5d.; Ananias Downing, 156, 3s. 2d.; William Hopkins, 80, 1s. 8d.; Thomas Hopkins, 140, 2s. 10d.; Silas Downing, 20, 5d.; Jeromas Bennett, 80, 1s. 8d.; George Bennett, 80, 1s. 8d.; Thomas Pearsall, 185, 3s. 9d.; Charles Frost, 3, 1d.; John Frost, 3, 1d.; Williham Bennett, 6, 2d. Joseph Carpenter, the first purchaser, appears to have resided for some time with his father, William, at Providence, R.I.; from there he moved to Oyster Bay early in the year 1667, and thence to Mosquito Cove. Nathaniel Coles was the son of Robert Coles, one of the associates of Governor Winthrop in the settlement of Ipswich, Mass. He came to Long Island in 1654, in company with Robert Williams, and settled at Oyster Bay. Many of the descendants of these two men are still living in the village and vicinity. A saw- mill was built immediately after the settlement, and soon afterward it was thought necessary to build a grist- mill for the convenience of the settlers. The following is a copy of the builder’s agreement with the settlers after it was built: "Agreed yt whareas I, Joseph Carpenter, haveing Built A grist-mill joyneing to oure new saw-mill, and upon ye stream which belongeth to us five purchasers- Nathanell. Colles, Daniel Colles, Robert Colles, Nickolas Simkins and my selfe- and in consideration of three parts in ye streme and timbar I Joseph Carpenter doe pledge my selfe, my heyres, Exsexetors, Administrators, and Asignes, soe long as my selfe, my heyres, Exsexetors, Administrators, or Asignes shall keep or mantaine ye said mill, tto grind ye aforesaide proprietors’ corne or grayne for each of their famylies well and Tolle- free for ever; and iff my selfe, my heyres, Exsexetors, Administrators, or Asignes for ye futar shall see case to Lett ye sayde grist- mill fall, and not, to keep it in repayre for ye fulfilling of ye conditions as above inserted, that then and after, forever, ye aforesayde streme to remaine to us five proprietors and our heyres and Asignes for ever, to order and dispose of as we shall see Case- to which I have sett my hand and seale ye 14th of Janewry 1677. "JOSEPH CARPENTER. "Signed, sealed and delivered in ye presence of us- Tho. Townsend, Samuel Pell." The saw- mill and grist- mill were erected upon a dam thrown across the stream, and we are told vessels would run up to the dam and load at the lowest tide. The saw- mill soon grew very advantageous to the colony, for in 1678 we find Carpenter receiving extensive orders for plank to be used in the construction or repair of old Fort James, which stood on the Battery, New York. The growth of the settlement was rapid. Following Carpenter, Simpkins, Coles and Mudge came Robert and Daniel Coles, John Thompson, Matthias Harvey, Thomas Townsend, Job Wright and Isaac Doughty. A year after the settlement of the Cove the list of freeholders in Oyster Bay included but forty-one; yet the increase in population was so rapid that in twenty years (1687) Governor Dongan stated that the people complained of a want of room. The records would show some confusion of boundaries among the proprietors; but, such was the liberal and friendly policy pursued by the people, we can hear of no disputes, but confirmations, concessions and grants. Under one of these Richard Kirby, Jacob Broking, George Downing and Robert Godefree were established in the ownership of land which was part of the original purchase by Simkins, Coles and Carpenter. The Weeks family appears as interested in lands, but resided at Oyster Bay until somewhat later. There is no trace of Simpkins or any of his descendants, so it is supposed he must have left Mosquito Cove soon after becoming associated in the purchase. Besides the families above mentioned the names of Mudge, Albertson and Thornycraft appear very often upon old papers. It is a curious fact that the name of Thornycraft now furnishes two distinct surnames- Thorne and Craft- both of which can be directly traced back to their common ancestor William Thornycraft. In selecting places for their homes the early settlers chose sites in proximity to springs or streams, or where water would be found near the surface of the ground, which fact is very noticeable along Cedar Swamp Valley. In the war of the Revolution the inhabitants espoused the cause of the colonies, and none endured more or suffered more to defend that liberty which hitherto they had held as sacredly their own. In this region a company of eighty men was organized, which marched to join the brigade of gallant Woodhull, who afterward fell in defense of his country, as related on page 41. It would be hard to surmise which felt the ravages of war the most- those who marched to the field or those who were left at home to put up with the insults of the British and Hessian soldiers, who swarmed through all parts of the country. On the arrival of the news of peace the people made every manifestation of joy and gratitude. When treason threatened to subvert our national government few villages gave a readier or more generous response. Through the long struggle of north and south her sons defended many a post of honor and trod many a field of death, and her daughters were foremost in works of mercy to soften in camp and hospital the misery occasioned by the war. The growth of the village itself was slow for many generations. It had but twelve houses during the Revolutionary war, and had but little increase up to 1812. In 1835 a boarding house called the Pavilion was erected by William M. Weeks, which in after years was extended to an establishment accommodating 300 people and worth $35,000. This valuable building has since been destroyed by fire. For some forty years past Glen Cove has been a favorite resort for the elite of New York and other cities. Some of these gentlemen have splendid residences in the village and its vicinity. The brothers Duryea have added much to the prosperity of the village by establishing here their starch manufactory, of which an account is given elsewhere. In addition to this the industries of the locality consist of the New York Block Building Company, which compresses sand and lime into a building material; Atwater, Benham & Co.’s tin and sheet iron ware factory; the very extensive Glen Cove Flour Mills, and the large sand and clay works at South Glen Cove. Land around the village is valued at from $400 to $1,000 an acre. There are four churches (Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist and Catholic). The first school of importance was a private academy, which was succeeded by the present union school. The village is situated on the north shore of Long Island, on Hempstead Harbor, and about twenty- five miles from New York. Among the noted men who have been residents of Glen Cove we must mention the great Quaker George Fox, whose gift of opening the Scriptures was unrivaled. He visited this region about four years after its settlement. His preaching was powerful and impressive. The sect which he founded has adorned humanity and passed into a proverb for the personal virtues of its members. The place has given birth to two distinguished physicians- Dr. Thomas Cock and Valentine Mott. Dr. Cock enjoyed a high reputation and stood among the leading physicians of New York city. Dr. Mott’s renown was as broad as the expanse of civilization.
GLEN COVE’S BICENTENNIAL.
A public meeting was called on the 15th of April 1868 to arrange for celebrating the 200th anniversary of the settlement of Glen Cove. The call was signed by Samuel M. Titus, William M. Weeks, David A. Valentine, J.K. Munor, R.M. Bowne, Isaac Coles, Willet Weeks, John T. Valentine, Samuel Frost, James Titus and Elwood Valentine. The proposed celebration was carried out on Monday September 25th, having been postponed from the 23d through the inclemency of the weather. The president of the day was William M. Weeks. The vice- presidents, thirty-five in number, were in great part descended from the original settlers. The marshal was Samuel M. Titus, with General Charles A. Hamilton, James B. Pearsall and Samuel M. Weeks as aids. The toast master was C.B. Gruman. The procession included a band, Company E fifteenth regiment N.Y. State militia, the fire department, civic societies, the children of the public schools, etc. It was formed opposite the Glen Cove public school- house, marched to Union Square, and returned through School and Glen streets to the grove of James H. Coles, where the following exercises preceded the clambake: Music by the band; invocation by the Rev Thomas Mallaby; singing by the schools; prayer by the Rev. Dr. Goodsell; singing by the glee club; address by H. J. Scudder; toasts and sentiments; singing by the schools; benediction. The attendance was very large, and the address of Mr. Scudder was listened to with a great deal of interest. The feast that followed the intellectual treat consisted of a bake of sixty bushels of clams, and 2,000 sandwiches. The day was one which will ever be held in pleasant recollection by all who participated in the celebration.
STEAMBOATS.The first steamboat, which was called the "Linneus," had previously run to New Rochelle on the main shore. She was owned and commanded by Captain Elijah Peck. A stock company was formed in 1829, which issued eighty- two shares at $20 each. The building of the dock cost $2,000, and its site $50. The dock was at Cape Breton; Henry Hyde was the builder. The following is a list of boats which have been on this route: "Linneus," "Flushing," "Fairfield," "Nimrod," "Westchester," "Sun," "American Eagle," "Croton," "Norwalk," "Glen Cove," "Mayflower," "George Law," "Island City," "Stamford," "Long Island," "Arrowsmith," "General Sedgwick," "Jessie Hoyt," "Seawanhaka." The "Glen Cove" and "Long Island" were burned in the south during the war. The memory of the burning of the "Seawanhaka" is but too deeply engraved in the hearts of many a household to need further mention here. The "Idlewild" succeeded the "Seawanhaka," making regular trips between Roslyn and intervening ports and New York up to the year 1881.
TEMPERANCE EFFORTS.The first meeting known of at Glen Cove was held about July 8th 1815 in Jacob Titus’s store, which stood on the site of Fancher’s jewelry store. Benjamin Coles was chosen chairman and George D. Coles secretary. The meeting was called to consider the expediency of adopting measures to enforce laws for the suppression of vice and immorality. After a review of the ravages caused by the use of intoxicating drinks the following resolutions were adopted: "Resolved, unanimously, that as good citizens the friends of civil liberty and religious order, regarding the present and- everlasting welfare of our fellow men, we are in duty bound to unite with promptitude and zeal to stop the progress of these threatening evils, and to prevent the sale of spirituous liquors on the first day of the week. "Resolved, unanimously, that James Coles, Richard Udall and Lewis Valentine be a committee of vigilance, vested with power and authority to nominate and appoint supernumerary agents to give information to the proper authority of all persons who shall vend spirituous liquors or any kind of merchandise, contrary to the law of the land, on the first day of the week. "Resolved, unanimously, that the proceedings of the meeting be published in the Long Island Star." There is now in existence in the village a very strong temperance organization, as well as a Young Men’s Christian Association; the influence of both these organizations is widely spread and felt.
GLEN COVE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY.The great fire in the city of New York which happened in the winter of 1835-36, causing the failure of nearly all the insurance companies in that city and the consequent difficulty of effecting insurance after this event, was the prime cause which led to the organization of the "Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company." William M. Weeks, a prominent merchant of Glen Cove, having received notice of the failure of the company in which he was then insured, conceived the idea of engaging the attention of property holders of Queens county on the subject of mutual insurance. A meeting of the prominent citizens of Glen Cove and vicinity was called at his suggestion, and during the year 1836 the subject was frequently considered in public meetings convened for that purpose. It was resolved to petition the Legislature to incorporate the Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company, and an act to that effect was passed March 27th 1837, to continue in operation 20 years. On the 18th of August 1837 a meeting of the petitioners was held, the act as passed was accepted, and the following gentlemen were appointed officers: President, James C. Townsend, M.D.; secretary, Elwood Valentine; together with 21 directors. The plan devised for the prosecution of the business, and which has always been adhered to, is based on a strictly mutual and cooperative system. Each member is credited with all payments of premiums and with interest on yearly balances, and is charged with his or her proportion of losses and contingent expenses. Any surplus remaining is the sole property of such member. The company now insures over $7,000,000 worth of property- being an annual gain of about $170,000- which testifies to the soundness of its principles and the care in its management. The charter has been twice renewed and the company still enjoys the highest confidence of its numerous patrons and friends. Of the original incorporators only two remain- James C. Townsend and William M. Weeks. The former is yet and always has been president of the company, and the latter, who was the originator of the enterprise, is now acting as assistant secretary. The present officers are: James C. Townsend, M.D., president; Daniel V. Weeks, secretary; William M. Weeks, assistant secretary; George S. Downing, treasurer.
THE GLEN COVE MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
Over a quarter of a century has passed since this company commenced the manufacture of starch in the beautiful village of Glen Cove. when the Duryeas started the business here, which has carried the name of Glen Cove starch, to every quarter of the civilized world, the country was on the verge of a great commercial revolution. Telegraphy, discovered only a few years before, had but recently come into general use, and our railroad system, since grown to such gigantic proportions, was then I in comparative infancy. The old methods of starch- making, which had been practiced for hundreds of years, were still in vogue, and with some slight modifications and clumsy: machinery furnished the imperfect manufactures that supplied the starch with which our grandmothers dressed their laces and, stiffened their ruffles, half a century ago. Corn, wheat, rice, potatoes and other vegetables and cereals had been well known for ages as factors in the starch, manufacture, but it remained for the Duryeas to bring the manufacture of starch from corn to perfection, which has led to corn now being the principal agent for the manufacture- of starch, and one before which every other has faded into comparative insignificance. The Glen Cove Manufacturing Company was formed in the year 1855. The population of the United States was then only a little over half what it is at present. Starch- such as there was- was abundant and cheap, and the only hope of success for the new firm lay in creating a quality superior to any then known, the superiority of which should make it supersede all similar grades then in use. Unlike most new productions the starch manufactured by the Duryeas was at once a, success. It was no sooner placed upon the market than its superiority was recognized throughout the commercial world. The growing necessities of their business compelled addition to their works, till they have reached their present surprising magnitude. In 1862 the second great international exposition was held in the city of London. The fame of the first Exposition and the unequaled resources of the British Empire drew competitors in every department of trade from the four quarters of the globe. It almost seemed like a hazardous experiment to enter the lists against such tremendous odds. Yet the result was the triumphant vindication of the Duryeas’ starch when placed in competition with the manufactures of the world; and their corn starch, which had been entirely unknown in Europe before, received the highest medical endorsement, and was specially mentioned as "Exceedingly Excellent for Food." Paris, Vienna, Belgium, Holland, even the Cap of Good Hope and the distant continent of Australia saw the Duryeas enter into competition with their best manufacturers of starch, and saw them everywhere triumphant. The Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876 was another great opportunity. The company on that occasion made a most magnificent display in beautiful Moorish kiosk, which was erected at a cost of several thousand dollars and was regarded as one of the chief attractions of Agricultural Hall. The starch manufacturers from all parts of the world were there, and numbers of our domestic manufacturers made a splendid showing. Yet even against these tremendous odds the Glen Cove makers received a medal, coupled with the endorsement of "Notable or Absolute Purity." The international exposition at Paris in 1878 brought them once more prominently before the public of Europe In 1867 they had received a medal and the endorsement of the empire "for Perfection of Preparation." The last exposition was under the republic; an-d against all competitors they received a gold medal, coupled with the endorsement "the Best Production of its Kind;" also at Brussels, 1876, for "Remarkable Excellence," and at Franklin Institute, Pa., "for Superior Merit, not alone as being the Best of the Kind Exhibited, but as the Best ‘Known to Exist in the Market of American Production." Since the company started its works at Glen Cove a beautiful village has grown up in the immediate vicinity of the factory, the homes of a contented and happy population. The works are pleasantly situated on- a small stream which reaches up from Hempstead harbor, on the sound. They occupy about thirty acres and employ several hundred hands. One large engine, of 600 horse power, and about thirty smaller engines supply the working power of the factory, the works being the most extensive of the kind in the world. They are an example of what may be accomplished by skilled knowledge, steady push, indomitable pluck and abundant capital. The success of the Duryeas is due to a thorough knowledge of their business, and a perfect appreciation of the wants of the public which they were called upon to supply. The evidence of their energy and success is found all over the continent of America, from Cape Horn to Alaska; through the islands of the Pacific, on the continent of Australia, on the Cape of Good Hope, through British India and every portion of Europe, the starch manufactured by the Glen Cove Manufacturing Company can be found. In the commercial contests of the past twenty- five years in the four quarters of the globe American manufacturers have done much to maintain American supremacy abroad, but among them all there have been none that have left a more honorable record than the Glen Cove Manufacturing Company.
JAMES THORNE’S LUMBER AND COAL YARDS.
The lumber and coal yards at Glen Cove, established by James Thorne, are still owned and operated by their original proprietor. Mr. Thorne, a descendant of one of the pioneers, was formerly engaged as a contractor and builder at Glen Cove. In 1855 he erected the starch works, which were subsequently burned. In 1858 he began business at this place as a dealer in lumber, timber, lath, shingles, wood, coal, lime, cement, brick, slating, sewer pipes, builders’ hardware, paints, glass and all other materials for building purposes. He has a well established trade, amounting to at least $50,000 per annum, and has extensive means for carrying it on. His property shown in the accompanying view has a large water front, some 200 feet of which is thoroughly docked, giving him ample facilities for receiving supplies by water from New York or other ports. The cooperage shown in the illustration has been in operation since 1871, and is conducted by parties leasing the shop from Mr. Thorne.
PEMBROKE LODGE, No. 73, I.O.O.F.This lodge was instituted July 23d 1846, the charter having been granted, July 14th 1846, to William M. Weeks, James W. Merritt, Edwin A. Wilson, John F. Golden and Stephen B. Smith. At the institution of the lodge the following officers were duly elected and installed: N.G., William M. Weeks; V.G, James W. Merritt; secretary, John F. Golden; treasurer, Stephen B. Smith. The following are the past grands of the lodge at present in good and regular standing: James W. Merritt, Isaac V. Baldwin, Thomas J. Davis, James C. Miller, David S. Clows, A.V. Hicks, George W. Hatfield, Robert Jeffries, Samuel Thorne, James Taylor, E.T.L. Youde, George Washington, G.W. Cox, Charles G. Miller, N.R. Stetson, C.B. Gruman, John B. Kirby, Thomas Lockard, George W. Robbins, Isaac Downing, E.P. Titus, C.K. Boardman, Alex. McDougal, William M. Peck, Edward Eastment and A.M. Davis. The present officers are: Willis M. Corwin, N.G; John P. Tappan, V.G.; William M. Peck, secretary; Robert Jeffries, treasurer; James M. Wansor, permanent secretary; N.R. Stetson, C.B. Gruman William M. Peck, trustees. The lodge meets every Saturday evening in Baldwin’s block. Pembroke has admitted 392 members. Among the first initiated were : Thomas J. Davis, Edgar Wright, William Valentine, M.D., Robert F. Ludlam, Elbert S. Hendrickson, Elisha Germain, George Germain and George Wilcoxson. At present the lodge has a membership of 119. Each full member, when disabled by sickness or other cause from pursuing his "usual occupation," receives a weekly benefit of $3 besides attendance. The lodge is in an excellent financial condition, being managed by sagacious business men.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, GLEN COVE.The precise date of the introduction of Methodism into Mosquito (now Glen) Cove is unknown. Several circumstances point to 1785 as the year of the formation of the first Methodist society. The first class leader was Jesse Coles. At that period religious meetings were held alternately at the houses of Jesse Coles and the senior Latting Carpenter. The former place afterward became the residence of Dr. Garvey, near Sheep End Point; the latter is still standing, included within the limits of what is now known as Sea Cliff. The public services were continued in private residence until 1827, when they were removed to the new school- house, now a part of the union school building. The Rev. David Buck preached the first or dedicatory sermon. About this time a union Sunday- school was organized, and the sessions were held in the school building. James S. Carpenter, John E. Platt, and other Methodists took part in conducting the school. From this sprang the present Methodist Episcopal Sunday- school of Glen Cove. The year 1844 marks a new epoch in the history of this church. On the 60 of February a meeting was held at the house of J.B. Kirby (now living and an officer in the church), when definite action was taken in reference to the erection of a suitable house of worship. James S. Carpenter, Latting Carpenter, J.B. Kirby, Amerman Wright and Carman Wilson were elected trustees. In March following land was secured on School street, virtually the generous gift of Jacob Titus. During that year a building 30 by 40 feet was erected and dedicated. At the time of the dedication a sufficient amount of money was secured to free the building from all indebtedness. The union Sunday- school, which had been continued from 1827, was in March 1846 removed from the school- house to the basement of the church, and it continued a union school until 1851. The increase in the society and congregation demanding more ample accommodation, in 1861, during the pastorate of Rev. F.C. Hill, the church was rebuilt and enlarged, with the addition of a steeple. The reopening sermon was preached by Rev. Cyrus D. (now Bishop) Foss. At this time a reed organ took the place of the tuning fork. J.B. Kirby acted as leader of the choir for over thirty years without pecuniary compensation. In 1868, during the pastorate of Rev. C.T. Mallory, a beautiful and convenient parsonage was erected in an eligible location, in the north part of the village, at an expense of $4,000. The present membership of the church is about 140. The Sunday-school numbers 150, teachers and scholars. The present pastor is the Rev. J.L. Gilder.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, GLEN COVE.This church was organized by the presbytery of Nassau, synod of Long Island, June 8th 1869, being then composed of 15 members. From April 11th to Tune 8th of the same year the services were conducted by the Rev. J.H. Hopkins, of Ravenswood, and by clergymen appointed by the presbytery until December 1st 1869. At that date the church engaged Rev. John H. Roberts, a returned missionary from China, to supply the pulpit. From September 1st 1870 the Rev. T.S. Bradner, of Hudson Presbytery, supplied the pulpit until October 27th 1871, when he was elected pastor; and he has remained to the present date, the only pastor the church has had. Moving his family to Glen Cove in April he was duly in-stalled pastor June 18th 1872. From the organization of the church it worshiped in Continental Hall, owned and for two years granted free of rent by Wright Duryea; Having secured a beautiful and commanding lot of one and a half acres in a grove near the hall, in the fall of 1875 the constituted authorities began a church, building. January 20th 1876 the present neat and beautiful building, capable of seating 250 people, with furnace, gas, sofa pews of black walnut and green rep, and stained glass windows, was dedicated. Since the organization with 15 members 70 members have been received into its communion. The Sabbath-school numbers about 100 regular attendants; William Robinson is the superintendent.
PROMINENT CITIZENS OF GLEN COVE.
JAMES S. CARPENTER.
James S. Carpenter, son of Latting and Martha Carpenter, was born January 13th 1793. He lived with his father on the farm until he was 21 years old, when he engaged in the war of 1812. He served until the war was ended, and he was honorably discharged; and he drew a pension from the time the government began to issue pensions until his death. After the close of the war he lived a seafaring life for some years, and became captain of a market vessel, and he was known as "Captain Jimmy" as long as he lived. His father persuaded him to leave the water and return to the farm, which he did, working for his father for three shillings a day and boarding himself. At the age of 28 he married Sarah Ann, daughter of Jesse and Deborah Coles, of Tarrytown. In a few years they were able to buy a small farm about half a mile below what is now called the homestead. On this little farm they lived twenty years, six children being born to them. In 1842 Mr. Carpenter had an opportunity to buy the homestead farm, containing forty acres, for which he paid $3,600, hiring the money and paying 5 per cent. interest. It took many years to pay for this farm, which was considered a poor one by the neighbors, and many thought he had made a poor bargain; but soon he commenced digging in the banks and- discovered beautiful clay and a superior quality of sand, specimens of which he took to the different potteries, and a permanent business became established, which is still carried on by his two youngest sons under the name of James S. Carpenter’s Sons. Clay was first found on the Carpenter property as early as 1827. In 1853 Mr. Carpenter commenced the manufacture of fire- brick, which he continued eight years. During that time he built three large docks, two in the creek and one outside, now called the Sea Cliff dock. In 1864 he bought his father’s farm of 174 acres for $18,000. In 1871 he sold to the Sea Cliff Grove and Metropolitan Camp Ground Association of New York and Brooklyn for $400 per acre, and in less than ten years this farm became a beautiful growing city. In 1872 Mr. Carpenter bought the William Downing farm of 79 acres at $200 per acre. The men employed by Mr. Carpenter were many of them his neighbors, and in this way the money brought into the neighborhood remained there and was an aid to the improvement of that part of Glen Cove. Mr. Carpenter built many houses on his lands and was the first to erect a two- story house in his vicinity. June 30th 1869 Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter celebrated their golden wedding. There were about two hundred relatives present, including all of the children of this venerable couple: Smith S., Jesse L., Coles A., Charles W., Mary K. (Mrs. Hicks), Martha D., Phebe E. and Sarah J. Seven years later their oldest son, Smith S., started from Schoharie county to attend the anniversary of the golden wedding. The horses attached to the coach on which he was riding became frightened and ran away, and Mr. Carpenter was thrown from the coach and instantly killed. This sad accident cast a gloom upon the whole family, and the anniversary of the golden wedding became as much a day of mourning as a day of rejoicing. The next death that occurred in this family was that of its head, James S. Carpenter, who died April 19th 1880, at the advanced age of 88 years. During Mr. Carpenter’s last illness his son Jesse L., who came to help nurse him, was suddenly taken ill at his father’s bedside, and died within five days after his father’s death. Captain James S. Carpenter was distinguished chiefly for his long and unbroken connection with the Methodist Episcopal church, which extended through a period of seventy-one years; and for the valuable services he rendered the church, both in its material and spiritual interests. He held the offices of class-leader, steward, trustee and Sunday- school teacher and superintendent, and was honored by being made the first superintendent of the first Sunday-school ever organized in his neighborhood. Cautious in his utterances, conciliatory in his spirit, gentle in his manners and punctual in his business relations, he secured the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. Such were his strictness in the observance of the public and social means of grace and the uprightness of his daily life that he was regarded by all who knew him as the type of a genuine Christian. The infirmities of age gradually impaired both his physical and mental energies, until he was finally compelled to relinquish attention to business and attendance upon the public services of religion; and in the quiet of his home and the society of his wife and children, who were ever ready with loving hearts and willing hands to minister to his needs and his comforts, he patiently waited and watched for the time of his departure. Mr. Carpenter constituted one of the few remaining links which connected the early with the present generation of Methodists. It is a remarkably interesting, fact that he lived to see the Methodists, in this country alone, increase from 163,000 in 1809 (the year he joined the church) to over 3,300,000 in 1880. With the advance of time there came increasing debility, until without any perceptible disease the heart ceased its pulsations, "the golden bowl was broken," and Father Carpenter was no more an inhabitant of earth. Thus closed a life of rare excellence. He lived as we all should live, and left the world as we should all be prepared to leave it.
DR. ALT- MULLER.
Detler George Christoph Alt- Muller; doctor of medicine and surgery, was born October 4th 1808, at his mother’s old homestead in Schwartan, Germany, and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church. His father was a merchant of Lübeck. Muller was the original family name. Alt was prefixed to it to distinguish it from others of the same name. His mother, whose maiden name was Anna Wilhelmine von Buchwald, was the youngest daughter of Johannes von Buchwald, who for his chemical and literary attainments was twice honored by a call from Catherine the Second, Empress of Russia, to visit St. Petersburg. The father of the doctor died young, leaving two daughters and three sons to the care of a young mother, to whose influence our subject attributes all the good that he in after life may have been instrumental in achieving. He attended a private school from his fifth until his ninth year. From this time until his fifteenth year his mother entrusted him, for guidance and education, to Head Master George Blume and Frederick Richter, of the Dom Platz Institute. He left the institute, third in the highest class, for Hamburg, to profit by the literary advantages of that city. There he studied under the special supervision of Eckmeier, Phy. Dr., and his uncle Adolph von Buchwald, M.D., an eminent surgeon, in whose family he resided. Encouraged by his uncle, he at that early age frequently attended the anatomical lectures of Prof. Von Spangenberg and Dr. Fricke, and with his cousin often visited the dissecting ‘rooms in the anatomical theater, where his taste for anatomy was developed. In 1830, in order to pursue the study of medicine and surgery, he became a student of the University of Copenhagen. Upon leaving, after a full two years’ course, in 1832, he received from Prof’s. Saxtorph, Thale, Herhold, Svitzer, Eschericht, Withusen and others very flattering testimonials of industry and diligence in attending special lectures on anatomy, general physiology, pharmacology, chemistry and fractures and luxation. During a visit to his home in 1832 the first cholera epidemic broke out, affording him an excellent opportunity of studying this new Asiatic plague. The postmortem examinations and pathological investigations in the hospital, which he voluntarily made in the presence of the sanitary committee, evinced such proficiency that the members thereof unanimously chose him assistant to the resident physician, Dr. Frederick Liebold, until the cessation of the epidemic. In 1832, in order to pursue his studies, he went to the Frederick William University in Berlin, whose medical faculty was at that time considered one of the best, if not the very best. Here on the 24th of October he was matriculated as student of medicine and surgery, and his abiturient certificates from the rector and senate, after two years’ faithful application to the study in all branches of medical and surgical science, demonstrate that he was an attentive student during that time. To this his alma mater, and to the many friends he made there, he is much attached. The most noted among his professors there were Ehrenberg, Von Grafe, Rust, Dieffenbach, Horn, Busch, Hufeland, Johannes Muller, Schlemm, Rose, Link and Mitscherlich. At the lectures and experiments in natural philosophy of Mitscherlich he had the pleasure of occupying a seat near Alexander von Humboldt, who, in his advanced years, refused the seat of honor assigned to him, preferring to mingle with the students, an attentive listener and observer of the professor’s lectures and experiments. At the end of the summer semester of 1834 he wished to perfect himself in general hospital and clinical practice, and, to accomplish this, he went to Rostock’s University, where he profited by the teachings of Dr. Von Vogel, Stremple, Kraul, and others. This completed his medical studies. From Rostock he went as doctorant to the University of Kiel, where in May 1835 be received his diploma as Doctor Medicince et Chirurgia from the Christian Albert University. His dissertation was Nonnulla de Epilepsia. It is gratifying to him that some of his investigations, made nearly fifty years ago and expressed in his dissertation, have stood the test of time. In the same year (1835) he commenced to practice in Lübeck, where, by constant application to his duties, he soon acquired a large and lucrative practice. From boyhood he had possessed an ardent desire to visit America; so, after practicing eleven years, he embarked for this country in the company of a younger brother, and landed at New York in September 1846, intending to remain three months. But, prolonging his visit to fifteen months, he had learned to like the liberty, customs and institutions of this country so well that he decided, in January 1848, to return to Europe and arrange his affairs preparatory to becoming a citizen of the United States of America. Returning in May 1848, he speculated largely in real estate, in and near Hicksville, with no profit except in experience, verifying the old adage Ne sutor ultra crepidam. In April 1850 he married Miss Charlotte Vietch, of New York city, and moved to his farm in Manetto Hill, intending to spend the summer there; but the loss, by fire, of his house induced him to settle in Jericho, where he earnestly practiced his profession, and soon enjoyed a large patronage. By this marriage he has had eight children, three sons and five daughters. Two sons and a daughter died in infancy, and in 1879 he was greatly bereaved by the death of his only remaining son, who had reached the age of 16, a lad of rare promise and ability. Four daughters are living, one of whom is married to Dr. C.F. Clark, of Brooklyn. In 1853 Dr. Alt- Muller became a member of the Queens County Medical Society, and after filling several offices was elected president in 1867. In 1854 he received his naturalization papers, and in 1860, in response to repeated calls from many friends, he removed to Glen Cove, where he now resides. By keeping up with the age, and by familiarizing himself with all the discoveries and improvements in the science of medicine, he has won the confidence of his many patients, and his practice extends over a large area in Queens county. Although not a specialist he delights in difficult cases. The time unoccupied by professional duties he devotes to the study of botany, geology, numismatics, etc., and he has made quite extensive collections in these branches. He is especially fond of electricity and microscopy, and at an early hour daily he may be found investigating the many phenomena of electricity, or the wonders revealed by the microscope. It is his custom every night, before retiring, to spend thirty minutes or more reviewing his daily work. His large library, to which he is constantly adding, contains some valuable medical works.
The Mudge family of Long Island traces its ancestry back to 1637, when Jarvis Mudge came from England and settled in Boston, Mass. From there he removed to Pequot (New London), where he died in 1653. His son Moses, born in 1652, came to Oyster Bay and became the progenitor of the present generation. He died in 1729, leaving a son William, who subsequently settled at what is now Glen Cove. Here he raised a prosperous family and at his death left the homestead to his son Coles Mudge, who in turn’ left it to his son Jacob. Jacob Mudge married Hannah Titus, and their family consisted of one son and one daughter. The daughter, now deceased, was the wife of John Valentine, and the son, now occupying the same old homestead, is William Mudge whose portrait accompanies this sketch. He was born August 17th 1812. His wife, Martha. T. Willets, a daughter of Richard Willets, was an estimable woman, whose death he was called to mourn January 1st 1872. Their two sons, William J. and Henry W., are well situated in life. Henry W. was married in 1879 to Jessie C. Jackson, and is now a practicing attorney in New York city. His brother William J. is on the homestead with his crippled father. Several, generations of this family have been members of the Society of Friends, and the survivors still live in the faith and practices of that sect. Politically, Mr. Mudge is identified with the Republican party, as the successor of the Whig party, to which his father also belonged. In the business world he is regarded as a successful man, and in the community as a useful citizen.
WILLIAM M. WEEKS.William M. Weeks was born November 6th 1803, at Red Spring, near Glen Cove, L.I. He was reared on the farm of his ancestors, where he remained, aiding in the duties of the farm, until he arrived at the age of 21 years. He then left the farm and purchased a small place, called Cape Breton, lying about a mile south of his former home. The access to the place was through a thicket of trees and bushes. Here he commenced his business career by establishing a small grocery in a part of the old house standing on the place, keeping "bachelor’s hall" and devoting his spare time to grading and improving his place. After five or six years he removed to Mosquito Cove, now Glen Cove, leased a small store and commenced trade, living and sleeping in his store in single life for a few years. Here he gradually increased his business, and, taking a lively interest in local enterprise, he built shops and otherwise aided mechanics, such as carriage makers, blacksmiths, tailors, and shoemakers, in starting their respective kinds of business. He also acted in the capacity of auctioneer in different parts of the country, and became well-known as well as popular in that branch of business. Soon after his coming to the village and commencing business the movement for starting a steam-boat line between, that place and New York city was organized, and Mr. Weeks caused the wharf to be built at Cape Breton, as the point was then called. A small hotel was erected here to meet the wants of the visitors who now began to come from the city in quest of summer board. The name of the place was changed to the new and more attractive appellation Glen Cove, the old name, Mosquito Cove, having a certain suspicious sound to would- be visitors, who feared lest the name and nature of the locality might be one. After the great fire in New York in December 1836 Mr. Weeks conceived the plan of a mutual insurance company. This resulted, after many meetings and much exertion, in the establishment of the present Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company, which began business in 1837. After Mr. Weeks’s mercantile business had sufficiently increased he took his brother Willet Weeks as partner. They continued in business together until 1852, when William M. was succeeded by his son, Jacob M. Weeks. In January 1848 Mr. Weeks became a partner of A.J. Bleecker in the auction and commission business in New York city. In 1855, at the solicitation of Wright Duryea, he became the financial support of the then new starch manufacturing company at Glen Cove. Mr. Weeks still resides at Glen Cove, and enjoys the esteem and respect of his townsmen. Although seventy- eight years of age he remains at his desk in the insurance company’s office. He has been a director of this company since its organization, and was elected a number of years since, by unanimous vote, to the position of assistant secretary, a position which he now holds. History enrolls William M. Weeks as one of Glen Cove’s most useful citizens.
SEA CLIFF.The "Sea Cliff Grove and Metropolitan Camp-ground Association of New York and Brooklyn" was first organized and became a body corporate, under the laws of the State of New York, October 12th 1871. During the ensuing session of the state Legislature a special charter was obtained (bearing date April 24th 1872) confirming and extending its rights, privileges and franchises as a corporation. The object for which the corporation was formed was declared to be "the erection of buildings for meetings for religious purposes, and for the accommodation of those who shall attend them; the acquiring of the necessary ground and land therefor, and the erection thereon of suitable buildings, cottages, and improvements for meetings, dwellings, boarding- houses, shelter and other purposes connected with the general objects of such society." The plan was to provide a select, healthful and delightful seaside summer resort for Christian families, where such families could, with ample privileges of camp-meeting and other religious services, spend a few weeks during each season free from the large expense and objectionable associations incident to most of’ the fashionable summer resorts throughout the country. Costly or permanent residences were not anticipated, and provision was made only for accommodating families in the use of tents or inexpensive cottages. To this end the grounds were laid out into small lots of 40 by 60 feet, and, except a few business streets, the avenues were narrow, in most cases being scarcely more than lawn avenues. No provision was made for barns on the portion of the grounds set apart for tents and cottages. A great open tabernacle and large open dining- halls were erected, all arranged for use only during the heated season of summer. Provision for water was made, also, for a brief season, and the supply pipes were laid without protection from the frosts of winter. The expense of furnishing water was to extend only for about three months of each year. In order to protect the grounds for the occupants, and to arrange permanently for meeting the current expenses of keeping up the grounds, the lots were disposed of by restricted leases instead of deeds, and the annual rental was permanently limited to a maximum charge of only $10 per year. As a protection against business or speculative monopoly the stockholders were limited to a maximum of twenty shares each (in a total of 1,500 shares), and the early lot purchasers to the selection of only two lots each. With these objects, plans and restrictions the Sea Cliff enterprise was inaugurated and conducted during its early stages. Large sums of money, received from stock and lots, were spent in building docks and roads, providing a suitable water supply, erecting commodious buildings and furnishing convenient transportation for residents and visitors. The lands of the association embrace a total purchase of 240 acres. The original cost of the land, together with the association buildings and furniture, the tents, docks and piers, the water-works, the cost of laying out and mapping the grounds, building of streets and avenues, aggregated the sum of $270,000. Add to this the sum since expended in repairs, interest, taxes and improvements, and the total is several hundred thousand dollars greater. The association purchase embraces about a mile of water front. The proximity of Sea Cliff to New York (twenty miles in a straight line from the City Hall, and only about twenty- five by the boat or cars) and its beauty and healthfulness of location have led to a marked change in the plan of temporary residences. Instead of the tent and cheap summer cottage, to be occupied only for a few weeks, permanent homes were arranged for, and cottages and grounds have been fitted up at a cost varying from $1,000 to $20,000 each. Avenues have been widened, the water- pipes have been enlarged and laid deep, so as to be protected from the frosts’ of winter, and barns have been erected, under proper restrictions, for the convenience of those desiring to keep horses and carriages. The trustees have also arranged for selling larger plots of ground, and to give deeds instead of leases to those who prefer them. The trustees determined to turn over the municipal management to the lot owners and residents as soon as they (the trustees) were relieved from the financial obligations which they assumed in conducting the affairs of the association. At a meeting of the lot owners, held a few years ago, and largely attended, a resolution was adopted approving of this changed plan as to the management, and agreeing to accept the transfer of the corporate authority. In accordance with this plan, and as a necessary preliminary step to its earliest possible consummation, the trustees funded the debts of the association by the issue of bonds amply secured by mortgage upon all its unsold property: About fifty thousand dollars worth of these bonds was immediately taken at par.
EAST NORWICH.This small village was formerly called Norwich, by James and George Townsend, sons of John Townsend 1st. The word East was prefixed to designate the post- office. The brothers owned a tract of land here about 1680, and named the place in honor of their father’s birth place, Norwich, England. Andrew C. Hegeman (an officer in the war of 1812) is credited with having done much for the prosperity of the village. It contains a hotel; a general store, where the post- office is kept; a small grocery; a tailor’s establishment, John N. Remsen proprietor (who has been town clerk over 25 years); a wagon shop; a printing office and a church; also the residences of several active business men. It is situated about two miles south of Oyster Bay, on the turnpike leading through Flushing to New York. A few gentlemen residing at East Norwich contributed about $1,000 to purchase a hand press and necessary appurtenances, and issued on the 11th day of September 1880 the first copy of the East Norwich Enterprise, a weekly newspaper, with Halsted H. Frost as manager. The Enterpise has met with marked success.
THE EAST NORWICH M.E. CHURCH.Nearly one hundred years ago (1784) the Rev. Philip Cox, a Methodist minister belonging to the Jamaica circuit, preached in this place. Services were held at private houses. From 1784 to 1822 traveling ministers of the Jamaica circuit officiated here. In 1822 the Rev. Joshua Burch was located here, and held services at the residence of Thomas Cheshire. During the summer of 1833 a grove meeting was held at Muttontown, then called Christian Hill. This grove meeting was a memorable one; out of it grew a well organized and efficient working Methodist society in this place, and the erection of a suitable building. About forty persons were converted upon this occasion, and among them we find the name of James Vernon. The first thought of this good .man after his conversion was to devise plans for a suitable place of worship. He aroused enthusiasm among a few neighbors. They held a meeting in a barn now standing, drew up a paper stating their object, and Mr. Vernon started the list of subscribers with $40, a very large sum in those days. Attached to this paper are seventy-four names, with the amount promised. George Peters, Thomas Cheshire, Henry Cheshire, John Nostrand, Abraham Remsen, Catherine, Mary and Sally Peters Andrew C. Hegeman gave $25 each; Thomas Cheshire and William Duryea, $20 each; John Van Cott $15; Jackson Vernon, George Remsen, John Jackson, John Layton, John Cheshire, Charles Cheshire, Joseph White, C. & J. Stores, Samuel Mott, Gideon Wright and Townsend W. Burtis, $10 each; and others from five dollars down to one as they were able. The members of the Society of Friends also contributed liberally. The church was built in 1834, and it has been of great use and benefit to the entire neighborhood. It is 31 by 37 feet, located just south of the village, and is worth with the ground attached, about $2,500. The site was a gift from James Vernon. The parsonage, situated a short distance north of the village, is a two- story structure, built in 1866 or 1867, and, with the plot of ground, worth perhaps $1,500. The Sabbath-school was started during the year 1834, and George Remsen, father of John N. Remsen, had much to do with its organization. Joseph Latting was its first superintendent. Rev. George Hollis (now living) is credited with starting this school. At present there are 75 scholars and 10 teachers and officers. Joseph C. Thomas was stationed here as preacher in 1875 and 1876, and under his ministry forty new members were added to the church. A younger class of men now controls its management, and its future usefulness is well assured.
GEORGE S. DOWNING.
(BY H.H. FROST, OF THE "EAST NORWICH ENTERPRISE.")George S. Downing was born in the village of East Norwich, Queens county, N.Y., on the 30th of March 1815. His father, Richard Downing, resided in his early life in Littleworth, now Sea Cliff, L.I., with his father, George Downing, who was the grandfather of George S., and also of William H. Downing, now of Greenvale, and of Benjamin W. Downing, of Flushing, who has been district attorney of Queens county during the last sixteen years. The facilities afforded by the district schools half a century ago for obtaining an education were limited, and Mr. Downing’s opportunities in this respect were not extensive. The lack of early advantages, however, in this particular has not impaired his usefulness as a public servant, nor detracted from his standing as a citizen. Early in life evincing an interest in politics, he was in 1844 chosen constable and collector of taxes of his native town, and held the position four years. At the expiration of his term he was elected town clerk, and he held that office five years. When Robert S. Seabury took the office of sheriff of the county, January 1st 1850, Mr. Downing was made under sheriff, which position he held until January ist 1853, when he succeeded Mr. Seabury as sheriff. At the expiration of his official term, in January 1856, he accepted the position of under sheriff, under his successor, Bernardus Hendrickson, and this office he retained until the close of the term of Sheriff. Hendrickson, in 1859, when he returned to his native village, locating upon the homestead purchased of the estate of Townsend U. Franklin. The next year, 1860, he was chosen supervisor of the town, and for seven consecutive years thereafter he was re-elected, and in several instances without opposition. This period covered the four years of the great Rebellion. The varied and responsible duties that devolved upon him as the financial officer of the town during this troublous period Mr. Downing discharged in such a manner as to win the approval and elicit the indorsement of an appreciative constituency. War has been said to be the father of all things; for it is only in the strife of strong passions, and amid the sudden and pressing demands which arise in a state of war, that fine qualities, noble impulses, and superior abilities find opportunity for their action, and come to the light of day and the admiration of men. No war was ever so sustained by the persistent devotion and. zeal of the home population as was this great civil conflict. Aside from the regular and enormous expenditures of the government nearly $80,000,000 were raised and expended by the loyal citizens in providing for the soldiers, and the widows and orphans of those who died in defending the Union. While the town of Oyster Bay raised its full share of money with which to pay liberal bounties to its volunteers it did not forget to afford relief to the needy wives and children, and in some instances to the aged and infirm parents, of those who had left their homes at their country’s call. By referring to the town records it will be found that at a special town meeting held in East Norwich August 26th 1862 it was decided to raise by taxation the sum of $20,000, a part of which was to be expended in payment of bounties to volunteers, and the remainder to be appropriated to the relief of the needy wives and children of those who had gone forth, with their lives in their hands, to defend and preserve their government. At the regular town meeting held April 7th 1863 the sum of $3,500 was authorized to be raised by taxation, to be used exclusively for the relief and benefit of the families of volunteers. The testimony of one of the oldest commanding officers of the war was that the two most effective ways in which our armies in the field were sustained in the long struggle were- first, by the general assurance that was felt that neither the wives, children, parents, nor others dependent on those in the field would suffer for the necessaries of life while their supporters were in the service of their country; second, that the sick and wounded would not lack for any of those things which, though not provided by army regulations, might conduce to comfort, expedite recovery, save the lives and sustain the morale of the soldiers. On the 16th of July 1864 a special town meeting was held, when it was voted to raise $60,000 for the purpose of supplying the town’s quota of men upon an anticipated call by the government. At another special town meeting, held January 17th 1865, the sum of.$150,000 was voted, to be expended in furnishing men to fill the quota of the town under a then recent call of the president. During the war the town incurred an indebtedness of $220,000, a debt that in amount surpassed anything ever dreamed of by that generation until the Rebellion, with its fearful prophecy of the dissolution of the Union, was evidencing unthought of vitality and strength. It is simply Mr. Downing’s due to have herein recorded the fact that, previous to any action of the town authorizing the raising of money by taxation, to be paid to volunteers as bounty or for the relief of their families, he had, aided by a few patriotic citizens, advanced thousands of dollars for that purpose, having no security for its return by the town. It is perhaps needless to add that the town honored this patriotic act of its citizens at its first meeting. The town was particularly fortunate at that time in having for its chief officer a gentleman of acknowledged executive ability, of unquestioned integrity and of indomitable energy and courage; one who possessed to a marked degree the fullest confidence of the citizens of the town, wholly irrespective of party affiliations. He was enabled, with the co- operation of prominent men of both political parties, to carry forward to a successful issue the raising of enormous sums of money, with which they promptly forwarded to the seat of war the town’s full quota of men, and very liberally provided for the families of volunteers. The disbursement of all the monies raised by the town to defray the expenses of the war was placed in Mr. Downing’s hands as supervisor, with discretionary power to use and apply it as he deemed most judicious. There were 769 men furnished the government by the town, of whom 54 were substitutes procured by and for citizens who had been or were liable to be drafted. In August 1862 a large number of young men from the town volunteered and joined the government forces at Washington. Among these patriotic young men from the village of East Norwich were James Vernon and Daniel L. Downing, the last named being the son of the subject of this biography. At the battle of Brandy Station the valiant and courageous young soldier Vernon was killed, and about ten days later (June 17th 1863) the fearless hero young Downing lost his life at the battle of Aldie, Va. The loss of his son was a severe trial to the father, and the sad fate of these two estimable boys was deplored by all who knew them. The loss of a battle, the disastrous repulse of the army, in no one case cast so dark a gloom over the village or created so profound and lasting a sorrow as did the sudden death of these two promising young men. In Virginia soil lies buried the one, Vernon, his resting place unknown; and the other is entombed at Brookville, in this town. Thus sleep these two sons- the best their fathers had to give, the costliest sacrifice they could offer on the altar of their country. Their last battle is fought, their last march ended, their last bivouac is made. They sleep well, in that slumber from which no bugle call or sound of any kind can awaken them. They fell bravely. Their names shall be forever linked with the great battle fields. The cause for which they shouldered arms and for which they lost their lives has been carried, by the united struggles and sacrifices of all, to a triumphant issue and a glorious peace. In January 1865 Mr. Downing was presented with an elegant and costly gold watch and chain by his townsmen, as a testimonial of their high regard and esteem for his personal character, and as an imperfect recognition of his valuable and efficient aid during the alarming and trying period of a protracted and terrible war. The watch bears the following inscription: "GEORGE S. DOWNING. From his Fellow Townsmen, in appreciation of his services as Supervisor of the town of Oyster Bay, Queens County. January 1st 1865." Doctor James C. Townsend, of Glen Cove, made the presentation address, in forcible language eloquently portraying the many excellencies and the substantial worth of Mr. Downing’s character, closing his masterly effort with the quotation "an honest man’s the noblest work of God." After leaving the office of supervisor Mr. Downing occupied his time in cultivating his farm and managing the numerous estates of which he is custodian. In 1875, however, he was again elected supervisor, and held the office until 1881, when he peremptorily declined to accept the nomination, much to the regret of the taxpayers of the town, signally irrespective of party. In connection with the other positions Mr. Downing has filled may be mentioned that of director of the Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company, of which institution he was chosen treasurer, a position he now occupies. He is also a director of the Roslyn Savings Bank, and for several years has been a director of the Queens County Agricultural Society: Throughout his entire life Mr. Downing has been the recipient of the popular confidence, and during a long public service, nearly forty years, that confidence has been faithfully maintained. The personal character of the subject of this sketch is as stainless as his private life is unassuming. Universally esteemed by friend and foe for his unswerving integrity, he has won a reputation for straightforwardness, exactitude in all his business relations, and inflexibility of purpose, which has everywhere made him honored and universally respected. In personal opinion Mr. Downing is outspoken, never timid, but resolute and at times, perhaps, somewhat unyielding. A man of strong convictions, he is never reluctant in giving expression to his views and opinions. He is not inclined to sacrifice what he regards as right and just to the doctrine of expediency. He is a man open to reason, patient in investigation, cautious and jealous of false conclusions, ready to admit mistakes, and always open to new truths. His moral nature is constitutionally pure and noble. He utterly abhors duplicity, and makes truth the first article of his moral code. Nothing can bend him a hair’s breadth from the line of rectitude. While his charity for the unintentional errors of others is broad and liberal his detestation of premeditated wrong and injustice is signally pronounced. He is wholly unostentatious, disliking show, form, and all vain and idle pageantry. Even now, having attained an affluent position, he retains the simplicity of habits and manners that has been peculiar to his life. While he is and always has been strictly temperate in all his habits, he adopts no ultra theories, but lets his moderation be known of all men. Before his children had reached manhood’s estate his government was absolute as regarding his family, as a father’s government ought to be, and was prompted by the highest possible disinterested regard for their future well- being. An intelligent affection for those who are connected with us is best displayed by bringing our own knowledge and experience to bear upon disputed points, as against conclusions reached by those who, from their limited years and experience, are but superficial observers. He enforced perfect respect and obedience from his children, and even the deference of the younger to those who were more matured, and he is now honored and looked up to by them as a father who made no mistake in their earlier training. He governed by the power right actions give, and by the evident, although perhaps unexpressed, affection he had for them. Every man of natural executive talent and possessed of a decided character has a ruling passion. From early life Mr. Downing has been ruled and moved by a passion for usefulness. It has engrossed his life, and will never cease. When once he had erected and consecrated the idol of his devotion there was not a thought, not a feeling, that went forth upon the broad track of the future, which failed to come back again to tell the issue of its errand. In the orthodox sense of the term he is not a professor of religion, but he has the profoundest veneration for the divine will and character. He spends his life in doing good. He misses no chance to serve the wronged, the suffering, the weak or unfortunate. He is especially the widow’s and the orphan’s friend. He loves wholly and truly the things of God, if by these are meant peace, truth, justice, purity, and his fellow man. In wise words, in ingenious suggestions, in serious remonstrances, in incentives to encouragement, he makes his life a precious possession and power in his own community. The crown which his patient, discreet, and faithful service to his neighbors and the public has placed upon his head can never be dethroned.
BROOKVILLE.Brookville, called by the Indians Susco’s Wigwam and by the Dutch Wolver Hollow, is a hamlet on Shoo Brook, above Beaver Swamp. It was founded soon after 1650, by the Dutch, for the purpose of affording protection to their eastern border. A Dutch settlement has sprung up here, and from it
THE REFORMED (DUTCH) CHURCH OF OYSTER BAY.The house of worship is in Brookville. The church took its name, as was not unusual many years ago, from the township rather than from the immediate locality in which it was situated. On the 9th of September 1732 the people of Wolver Hollow, Cedar Swamp (now Greenvale), Eastwood (now Syosset) and Matinecock (now Locust Valley) and vicinities met and decided to have a church of their own. Some were members of the Reformed Dutch church of Jamaica, more attended there, and most of them were of Dutch parentage and spoke the Dutch language; so the new church was Dutch Reformed. For many years the services were conducted in that language. At the meeting of the 9th of September 1732 a subscription was started and it was determined to build a house of worship at once. On the 25th of the same month an acre of ground for a building site was bought of Edmund Wright for £6, New York money. The church building was probably completed as early as April 1734,for on the 25th day of that month the people met in it and elected Peter Luyster and Cornelius Hoagland church masters (kerche meesters), to have charge of the sittings, and to take a general oversight of the house of worship; The first structure was an eight- sided building, with pointed roof, surmounted by a weather vane. The good old Dutch people were accustomed to look toward the church to see which way the wind blew, in more than one sense. When it did not blow from the right quarter, especially inside, they were inclined to inquire the reason. The men and women occupied different parts of the church, the former sitting on benches (bancken) or pews near the pulpit (though there was a row of benches along the walls), while the latter were seated farther away, each by herself on a straight backed chair. The first house of worship stood for nearly one hundred years. It was taken down in 1832, and the present one was raised August 29th of the same year, and dedicated January 20th 1833. This was remodeled in 1875. There is in the records no list of members at the organization, but there is a record of those who subscribed for building the first church. In this list there are names spelled : Amerman, Brinkerhoff, Bennet, Durland, Haff, Hegeman, Hoogland, Hardenberg, Janse (Jansen), Koole (Cole), Luister, Loyse, Monfoort, Noorstrant, Onderdonck, Polhemus, Remsen, Reyde (Ryder), Schenck, Symense (Simonson), Snedecer, Van Nortstrant, Voorhis, Vanvoris, Van Wyck and Woertman. In 1836 a house near the church, with several acres of ground and necessary buildings, was bought for a parsonage. This has at different times been repaired, and in 1880 was rebuilt, remodeled and enlarged, making it a tasty and comfortable parsonage. The Sabbath-school connected with the church was begun about 1834, with James Madison Montfort as superintendent. No records of the school except of late years remain. During the past few years J.B. Luyster, W. McKay, William Chapman and H.A. Stoutenberg (the present incumbent) have superintended the Sabbath- school. Its present membership is 150; its library contains over 300 volumes. For two- thirds of the first century of its existence the church was associated with the Reformed churches of Newtown, Jamaica and Success, now North Hempstead (at Manhasset), and under the same pastoral care; and from 1802 until 1834 was associated with the church at Manhasset alone. For nine years after its organization the church of Oyster Bay, with its associates, waited in vain for a pastor from Holland; and in 1741 settled Johannes H. Goetschius, who left in 1748. From 1754 to 1760 Thomas Romeyn was pastor. He was followed after an interval of years, in 1766, by Hermanes Van Boelen, who remained six years. In 1775 Solomon Froeugh, noted in later years for his secession from the Reformed Dutch church, became pastor. His stay was short. He was a noted Whig and was forced to leave Long Island to escape from the British, after a pastorate of fifteen months. After him came Rymer Van Nest, who remained as pastor from 1785 to 1797. In 1794 Z.H. Kuypers (Cooper) became a collegiate minister, and remained in charge as pastor until 1824. With Mr. Kuypers in 1813 D.S. Bogert became colleague, and he left in 1826. Henry Hermanes followed, but staid less than a year. He was succeeded in 1827 by James Otterson, who gave up his charge in 1834. After Mr. Otterson left, this church separated from that of North Hempstead, and called R.A. Quinn in 1835. In 1841 he left and Thomas B. Gregory became pastor, remaining until 1844. He was followed the same year by P.D. Oakey, who removed at the beginning of 1847. From the middle of that year Rev. N.E. Smith was pastor until February 1853; then J.L. McNair twenty months; I.A. De Baun three years from 1855; J.C. Lowe from 1859 until 1863; J. Searle, 1863-66; J.H. Smock, 1866-71; M. Swick, exactly six years. In 1877 J.A. Davis, the present pastor, assumed charge. The church reports a membership of 131, and about 130 families under the care of its pastor. While its increase has not been great, considering its years of life, it is well to remember that as many as twelve churches have been formed within what were once its bounds.
JOHN B. LUYSTER.
John B. Luyster was born at Greenvale, Queens county, L.I., October 22nd 1813. The family in a short time moved on to his grandfather’s farm at Syosset, and lived with him. John B. was sent to school, and finished his education when about 18 years of age. February 12th 1833 he began teaching in the Syosset school district, and taught six quarters (a year and a half). He then went back and lived with his father, working on the farm until the spring of 1837, at which time he removed to East Norwich and engaged in a mercantile business which had been commenced the fall previous. He continued in that business about nine years. December 30th 1842 he connected himself with the Reformed Church of Oyster Bay, located at Brookville, and since that date he has a great portion of the time been superintendent of the Sunday- school of that church. He exerted his influence and contributed of his means to build the houses of worship of the Reformed churches of Locust Valley and Jericho. In the winter of 1846 he exchanged his property in East Norwich, consisting of a dwelling and store- house, for a farm of about 204 acres in Brookville; on March 16th following moved on to it, and has resided there ever since. In April 1856 he was elected one of the trustees of the Jones Fund, and he served eleven years in that capacity. It is the constant endeavor of Mr. Luyster, through the blessing of God on his exertions, to have the world better for his having lived in it, and in some degree to answer the divine purpose in bringing him into this state of existence.
GENEALOGY OF JOHN B. LUYSTER.
Great- great- grandfather,
Peter Luyster, was born November 9th
1696, and died April 18th 1772.
76 years of age.
Sarah Monfort was born February 28th 1696,
and died February 7th 1757,
61 years of age.
Peter Luyster and Sarah Monfort were married May
11th 1718. DESCENT OF FATHER:Great- grandfather,
John Luyster, son of Peter and Sarah Luyster, was born January 24th 1721 and died June 2nd 1803, 82 years of age. Elizabeth Van Voorhis was born ____ and died March 17th 1792. John Luyster and Elizabeth Van Voorhis were married June 12th 1747.Grandfather,
Peter Luyster, son of John and Elizabeth Luyster, was born May 26th 1748, and died August 11th 1834, 86 years of age. Gertrude Onderdonk was born August 23d 1756, and died May 27th 1848, 91 years of age. Peter Luyster and Gertrude Onderdonk were married October 19th 1781.Father,
Adrian Luyster, son of Peter and Gertrude Luyster, was born April 29th 1790, and died December 16th 1861, 71 years of age. Adrian Luyster and Phebe Luyster were married April 15th 1812. DESCENT OF MOTHER:Great- grandfather,
Peter Luyster, son of Peter and Sarah Luyster, was born September 30th 1722, and died November 27th 1801, 79 years of age. Phebe Bennet was born October 27th 1736, and died November 23d 1822, 86 years of age. Peter Luyster and. Phebe Bennet were married August 3d 1753.Grandfather, James Luyster, son of Peter and Phebe Luyster, was born October 29th 1760, and died March 24th 1847, 86 years of age. Sarah Bennet was born June 14th 1758, and died April 16th 1837, 79 years of age. James Luyster and Sarah Bennet were married June 24th 1792. Mother,
Phebe Luyster, daughter of James and Sarah Luyster, was born February 12th 1794, and died November 6th 1880, 86 years of age. John B. Luyster, son of Adrian and Phebe Luyster, was born October 22nd 1813. Ann Simonson, daughter of Mouris and Catharine Simonson, was born February 25th 1811. John B. Luyster and Ann Simonson were married April 20th 1836.
THE HEGEMAN FAMILY.
Adrian Hegeman, the first of the name who settled in the town of Oyster Bay, located primarily at Dosoris, and afterward at Cedar Swamp, where he resided till the year 1743, when he died, in the 69th year of his age. He left three sons. The eldest, named Peter, who was born in 1704 and died in 1770, left one son, Joost (George) Hegeman, who was born in 1733 and died in 1790. He left four sons, the eldest of whom, Jacobus (James) Hegeman, was born in the year 1765 and married Catherine Onderdonck, a sister of Peter Onderdonck of Cow Neck, in the town of North Hempstead. They raised a family of seven children, viz., Peter Onderdonck, Daniel, Elbert, Gertrude, Maria, Elizabeth and Anna, who were twins. Of these none are living except Daniel, the second son, and his brother Elbert, who resides at Glen Cove. Daniel, whose portrait appears in connection with this sketch, was born July 25th 1802, on the farm which he now owns and upon which he is spending the evening of his days. It is the old farm at Cedar Swamp, so long in possession of the family. Mr. Hegeman received his education at a common district school. His chosen vocation was farming, a business in which he has been rewarded with success. In 1827 he left the home farm and purchased and removed to the farm of Andrew C. Hegeman, at East. Norwich. He purchased the old homestead in 1845, and has since resided upon it. He was married June 16th 1824 to Mary Jane Simonson, a daughter of Norris Simonson. They had eleven children, six of whom are living, viz., James A., William, Peter, Mary (now the widow of George Mitchell), Elbert, Ann Eliza, wife of William Chapman of New York. Elbert resides in Brooklyn, and is an employe in the National Park Bank in New York; William is on the farm with his father, and the other two sons occupy farms on the north and south sides of the homestead. Mrs. Hegeman died January 13th 1861, and on the 9th of June 1862 Mr. Hegeman married Ann Van Cott, a daughter of George Van Cott of Greenvale. Mr. Hegeman is a man universally loved, honored and respected by the people of his town, having been called to serve them a number of years in each of the offices of assessor, overseer of the poor, and trustee of the Jones Fund. He also served with fidelity twelve years as superintendent of the county poor. He is an attendant and supporter of the Reformed church at Brookville, of which his wife and several of his children are members.
BAYVILLE.Bayville, formerly called Oak Neck, contains 90 dwellings and 325 inhabitants. The peninsula Oak Neck derived its name from its many large oaks. Only one remains, which stands on an eminence styled Mt. Pleasant. At Francis Cove, on the east side of the neck, the Indians had a camping place, which is marked by a pile of clam and oyster shells. There was a rock with a deep hole in it, in which they pounded their corn. Arrow heads and stone mortars and pestles are found. William R. Bell presented the writer with a stone axe which was plowed up near his house. In 1745 a road was surveyed commencing at Beaver Swamp and running through Bayville to Mingo Springs, on Center Island, where Charles Ludlam furnished the surveyors with a sumptuous dinner, which ended the survey of the road. In 1836 there were fifteen houses in the place. Oysters and clams were the chief source of income. The names of the oyster planters in 1832 were : George Campbell, Daniel Dickerson, John Ellison, Reuben Hall and Jacob Baldwin. From planting a few hundred bushels the business has increased to planting 50,000 bushels a year. A meeting called at William R. Bell’s in 1850 decided to build a school-house. Money was raised by subscription and a building erected. An application to be set off into a separate district was granted. Aaron Payne was the first teacher. One of the two main branches of business was started here in 1825, when John Bell planted half an acre of asparagus, which produced two years afterward 25 bunches a day. The number of bunches has increased to 11,000 a day and the acreage to 125. The place was provided with a Methodist Episcopal church in 1860, and a post-office in 1876. The first store was built by Lewis Dickerson and William R. Bell, the present owner. James Beatty opened a grocery store in 1866.
BETHPAGE.Bethpage is a farming settlement in the south part of the town. The original Bethpage tract .was purchase from the Indians August 18th 1695, and settled upon by Thomas Powell, an active Friend from Huntington. He made another purchase in 1699, and sold a third of his interest the following year to Thomas Whitson, the second settler. This tract was large, embracing most of the central portion of the southern part of the town. The tract was surveyed by Thomas Willis. A Friends’ meeting every five weeks, on First- day, was commenced here as early as 1698. In 1742 a meeting house was commenced. In the year 1816 $1,250 was raised for a new meeting- house; a surplus of $175 was contributed toward building horse sheds at Westbury The meeting is described as irregularly attended in 1826 and the society as well as the building seems to be going into decay. The Stewart estate has an extensive brick yard here, with H.F. Barton as superintendent.
JERICHO.The Indian name of this village was Lusum. It has also gone by the name of Springfield or "the Farms." It is pleasantly situated near the center of the town, upon the Jericho turnpike, 27 miles from New York. It was a part of the purchase made by Robert Williams in 1650, and was settled by a number of substantial Quaker families, the descendants of whom remain here, including a branch of the Underhills, several families of Willetses, the Seamans and others. The village is supplied with abundance of pure water from springs which never fail, issuing from the foot of a neighboring hill. There are now in the village two stores, the principal one kept by S.J. Seamans, a descendant of one of the oldest families and first settlers here. It is a wholesale and retail store of drygoods, groceries, hardware, etc. There are here also blacksmith and wagon shops and a large cider- mill in which is manufactured only the pure, refined article, which is shipped to various points. The proprietors are Ketchum & Jagger. The school facilities are good, there being a large, substantial school building.
THE FRIENDS’ SOCIETY.Here is the Hicksite Friends’ meeting- house. The origin of this society runs into the hidden past, before minutes were kept. In 1676 the quarterly meeting desired Friends of " the Farms" to observe their week- day meetings with diligence as formerly ordered. For over a century there was no public meeting-house, but Friends met at private houses. . Mary, widow of Thomas and mother of Richard Willets ("a mother in Israel"), as early as 1678 had opened her house for meetings and the entertainment of traveling Friends. She died at Jericho in 1713, aged 85 years, a worthy minister of the Church of Christ. In 1683 it was agreed that Friends’ papers be read at "the Farms" in the twelfth month every year "that our children may come to understand the order of Friends in their marriage and other relations." In 1690 a First- day meeting was held at Jericho every five weeks but the week- day meetings were kept, alternately at Westbury and Jericho, Friends of both meetings joining in one. In 1713 the monthly meeting kept at Jericho was directed in future to be at Westbury. In 1758 William Reckitt had a meeting of several hundred on a First- day. In 1786 it was proposed to divide Westbury preparative meeting and settle one at Jericho, in the house of the two widows Seaman. In 1787 it was proposed to build a meeting- house, which was done. This is the building now standing and used as a Hicksite Friends’ meeting- house. The value of the buildings, etc., is thought to be about $3,000. There are two branches of this society, one at Jerusalem and one at Bethpage. The celebrated Elias Hicks occasionally officiated here for many years. The graveyard attached to the church has been in use since 1790. It is under the sole care of the Friends, but others than members of that society are permitted to use it. The first interments are supposed to have been those of John Willets and a son of Elias Hicks.
JERICHO REFORMED (DUTCH) CHURCH.In 1870 Rev. J.H. Smock, pastor of the Reformed church at Brookville, began preaching on Sabbath afternoons in the public school- house at Jericho. The large audiences indicated that there would soon be a call here for a church. Shortly, however, the school- room was closed to religious services. A chapel was at once proposed, and, Lewis Ficken giving the ground, a subscription was started and the chapel begun. Aid was given by the Church Building Fund of the Reformed Church, and in April 1871 the chapel was dedicated. Rev. M. Swick, who succeeded Mr. Smock at Brookville, also preached in. the Jericho chapel until 1875, when the pulpit was supplied by theological students from the seminary at New Brunswick, N.J. In 1876 a request was made to the North Classis of Long Island for an organization. A committee was appointed, which, strange to say, organized a church here with only six members, and only one man among them. Rev. H. De Vries, a recent graduate of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, was called in September 1876, and installed near the close of the same year. He left the year following; but sometime before his leaving both of the elders had removed- the one dismissed, the other not, as he really had never been a member at all. The North Classis of Long Island met, decided that this organization had not been legally made, and attached the members to the Oyster Bay church. At the close of 1877 Rev. J.A Davis became pastor of the Brookville church, and he supplied the pulpit at Jericho each Sabbath. After two years increasing duties and lack of strength compelled him to relinquish the service at Jericho. In 1880 Rev. E. Schultze assumed charge on trial, but left at the end of three months, and for the three months ending that year Mr. Davis again supplied .the pulpit. Early in 1881 Rev. James B. Wilson became pastor in charge, under the care of the Domestic Mission Board of the Reformed Church, in the hope that the enterprise would soon be strong enough to be separated from the church at Brookville. The Sabbath-school connected with this enterprise was begun in 1870, with Mr. B. Imlay as superintendent.
Captain John Underhill, a narrative of whose life as a pioneer has already been given at some length in the history of this town, was the ancestor of several of the most worthy men and women that the town of Oyster Bay has produced. Among these it is very proper to make special mention of Daniel Underhill of Jericho, who is one of the most stalwart representatives of this old family and one of the most influential citizens of his native town. His descent from the illustrious ancestor is thus traced: Captain John Underhill married Mary Mosely. Their son, John Underhill 2nd, married Mary Prior. Abraham, their son, married Sarah daughter of Thomas Townsend. One of their sons became the head of a family, and his son Adonijah Underhill married Pheba Willets, a daughter of Daniel Willets. Adonijah settled at Jericho and purchased of the Townsend family the farm which has since been the birthplace of five generations of the family. Here his son Daniel was horn. Daniel married John Jackson’s daughter Mary, and here on the 28th of July 1797 their son Samuel Jackson Underhill was born. His wife was Samuel Willets’s daughter Mary, and they were the parents of Daniel Underhill, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Underhill was reared on the farm where he was born, and after improving all the advantages afforded by the district school he attended for a few months a private school at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was married on the 26th of October 1847- just 30 days before he was 21 years old- to Caroline a daughter of James Post, of Old Westbury, and sister of Captain Charles Post, of Glen Cove. Their only living child is Samuel J. Underhill, who is also the head of a family, his children representing the tenth generation of the Underhill family from the progenitor first mentioned. Mr. Underhill has made farming his leading occupation, although largely interested in other business. While not regarded as a politician in the modern sense of the term, still there are few men, if any, in the town who wield a wider influence. He has been identified with the Republican party since its formation. He is a trustee of the Roslyn Savings Bank and was for eleven years a director of the Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company, of which his father was one of the original incorporators. In religious interests Mr. Underhill is identified with the Society of Friends, and he is at the present time a member of the board of managers of Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia. He was happy in his domestic relations, and his married life for over thirty- four years was a signally pleasant one; but in January 1882 his wife died, in the full respect of all who knew her.
MANNETTO HILL,a small settlement north of Bethpage, received its name from an Indian tradition concerning a spring of water here. The spring, found during a severe drought, was considered a "godsend," and the hill was named after their god Mannet. There is a small Methodist Episcopal church here, built in 1857.
FARMINGDALE.Farmingdale (formerly called Hardscrabble) is situated both on the main line of the Long Island Railroad and on the Stewart Central extension, about thirty-two miles from New York. The place is a part of the Bethpage tract. It contains a hotel, several stores, a bakery, a union free school, three churches and Bernard Levino’s picture frame and moulding manufactory. This business has been established a year, and is the first factory started in the place. His business is large, as he has little competition. Mr. Levino has here 100 building lots, which he offers gratis to those who will build there on. The street is 60 feet wide and set with shade trees. The Free Methodist church here is of recent origin. The Methodist Episcopal church built a small edifice here in 1843, and it is at present an active, energetic society. A more complete account of this church would have been given had not a gentleman failed to furnish a promised history of it.
ST. THOMAS’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH.The corner stone of this neat and churchly edifice was laid July 19th 1877 by the Rev. J.A. Paddock, D.D., then rector of St. Peter’s Church, Brooklyn, now bishop of Washington Territory. Services had been previously held in a small hall for more than a year, and a congregation of about thirty families collected. The church edifice was completed in May 1878, and opened May 11th by Bishop Littlejohn. The structure is 60 feet long by 26 feet wide, with basement 8 feet high under the whole building, fitted up for social meetings, Sunday- school, etc. The church is ceiled with narrow white pine on the rafters, and has a recess chancel. The windows on the sides are of plain stained glass; the chancel window is filled with appropriate emblems. The church has a beautiful spire, with belfry, in which has been placed a bell of suitable size. The cost of the building was $2,500. This church is pronounced by experts a perfect "gem," considering its cost and size. The building was erected under the supervision of the Rev. Thomas Cook, head of the Associate Mission for Suffolk county, acting for and under the missionary committee of the diocese. He is not only the founder of the mission, but by his indefatigable zeal in raising the necessary funds has brought the work to a successful termination. The ground upon which the church stands was donated to the trustees of the diocese of Long Island by A. Noon, and the cost of the building was defrayed by subscriptions obtained by the missionary in charge. Rev. J.J.A. Morgan officiates at present.
CENTER ISLAND.Center Island, sometimes called Hog Island, was in the original deed reserved by the Indians; but was soon purchased by Cornelius Van Raynen, Govert Lockermans (Kissam) and Jacobus Bucker, who transferred it to the town of Oyster Bay in 1665. This, and Pine Island, both properly peninsulas, were among the town’s most valuable property. Part of it was planted occasionally, to prevent the use of it as common pasture, and there are several engagements with different persons to live there and take care of the crops. But its principal value was in its grazing and meadow lands. For grazing purposes the island was divided into twenty- two equal shares. Each of these shares entitled the owner to pasturage for six cows; or he might put in the place of each cow either two swine or four sheep, or two yearling cattle and one horse in the place of two cows. Goats were free for each owner to keep as many as he pleased.
THE LUDLAM FAMILY.Joseph Ludlam, the first of the name who settled on Center Island, purchased the house of John Pratt, which is now standing and constitutes a part of the residence of Henry Ludlam. Joseph at his death, in 1698, left two sons, Joseph 2nd and Charles. The eldest, according to British law, inherited the landed property; but, not thinking it just to his brother, Charles, he divided with him; Joseph retained the south part of the island, which is at present owned by the Smith family, and gave to his brother the north part, which is mostly owned by his descendants. The family is of English origin. The first Joseph was buried beside a large rock near the old homestead. Most of the other deceased members of the family are buried in the Ludlam burying ground on Center Island. Joseph Ludlam 2nd died in 1730. His descendants are represented by James Ludlam, S.Y. Ludlam, and Elbert Ludlam of Oyster Bay. Charles Ludlam 1st was born on Center Island, in 1691, and died in 1769. His wife was Elizabeth Feakes. Their issue were born as follows: In 1717, Charles 2nd, progenitor of the families of Robert Ludlam and William Ludlam; in 1720, Sylvanus, who died in Nova Scotia; in 1722, Henry Ludlam, in 1725, Daniel, in 1728, Cleamants, in 1730, Elizabeth, in 1733, Susannah.
Henry Ludlam, who was born in 1722, married Naomi Feakes, and at his death, in 1791, left six children, viz.: Henry, who left no issue; Susannah, who married Nathaniel Smith of Islip; Sarah, who married Jonathan Cables; Phoebe, not married; Esther, who married William Birdsall: and Charles 3d, who was born in 1770 and married Sarah Feakes. Charles Ludlam 3d had one child, Henry Ludlam, who was born at the old homestead on Center Island, February 4th 1796. The portrait which appears in connection with this biographical sketch represents him as he now appears, in the 86th year of his age. The signature underneath is a facsimile of his name as he now writes it. He was married January 28th 1822 to Ruth F. Coles, a daughter of Rev. Benjamin Coles of Philadelphia, and a grand-daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Coles who was for many years the pastor of Oyster Bay Baptist church, of which she is now a member. The twain still reside on the old ancestral farm. They are surrounded by their family of children, all now grown to manhood and womanhood. Their house is a home of hospitality. Mr. Ludlam has, always devoted himself mainly to the care of his farm and is an admirer of good livestock, especially horses. He is kind, charitable in a quiet way, and always very positive in his views and conclusions. In politics he was an "Old Line Whig," and afterward a Republican until later in life, when he came to indorse the Democratic party.
SMITH’S BRICK YARD.
This brick yard is located on the extreme south end of Center island, on a part of the old Smith farm; with the accompanying clay beds and necessary room it occupies over fifteen acres of ground, and has 400 feet of docks fronting Oyster Bay harbor. The yard was started in the year 1854 by Jacob and Daniel V. Smith, who were associated with their father, Daniel Smith. The buildings were erected that year, and the manufacture of brick was commenced the following year. The machinery is propelled by the same steam engine which has been used from the establishment of the yard. The primitive pits were the old style sod pits. In 1878 Jacob Smith and his son Charles put in the new circular pits and introduced new, machinery, improving the quality of the brick and increasing the producing capacity, until now the yard turns out annually five millions of brick, which are well known in the trade as Center Island brick and are of extra quality. The yard has furnished brick for Steinway’s piano factory at Astoria, Bogart & Grant’s factory at Flushing and other important buildings. Forty men and boys and four horses are employed. The manufacture of brick is superintended and managed by G.W. Conway, a native of Haverstraw, who has had more than thirty years’ experience in the business. About 500,000 brick are burned in a kiln. To properly burn these according to the improved process requires 80 cords of’ wood and 600 bushels of culm or coal dust. In the year 1880 Daniel V. Smith died, and his interest in the business passed by will to his son Henry T. Smith, who purchased the remaining interest of Jacob Smith and is now carrying on the business as sole proprietor.
SYOSSET.Syosset is a village of 250 inhabitants. It has a station on the Long Island Railroad, sixty or seventy residences, a post- office, a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, a tavern, two groceries, a school- house and a free church edifice, standing on a one- acre lot, donated by S.W. Cheshire. This church was built in 1860, under the direction of five inhabitants of the place, who became trustees. It cost about $1,300. The free church building is open to all denominations of Christians, and various clergymen have officiated from time to time. A Sunday- school of 50 or 60 scholars is maintained, with a corps of efficient teachers of both sexes. John Cook is the superintendent. Rev. R.G. Hutton, rector of Christ Church, Oyster Bay, obtained a parish organization, according to statute, under the title of St. George’s Church of Syosset. This Episcopal congregation has not yet attained sufficient strength to support a minister, and depends upon lay reading, with services by clergymen on special occasions.
OLIVER D. BURTIS.
The derivation of the name Burtis comes down to us through the misty vale of tradition. It is said that two brothers who came from Italy purchased lands on Manhattan Island and engaged in the cultivation of tobacco; but, finding the soil poor, one of them removed across the East River and purchased lands at the place called Wallabout, where he resumed his former business. As a confirmation of this traditional statement we find in the Kings county register’s office (page 34, Vol. I of deeds) that on the 22nd of June 1643 Goveror Kieft granted lands at Wallabout to one Peter Cesar, Italian, for a tobacco plantation. May 1st 1647 Peter Cesar received an additional grant of land adjoining his first. This property was afterward sold by the vendue master to John Damon, by authority of the children of Peter Cesar. In connection with this sale we find the name "Albertus" or "Alburtus" added to Peter Cesar’s name, and in Vol. II, pages 65 and 70, of the same records, two of his sons’ names are written in each respective place "John Alburtus" and "William Alburtus." These two sons were then residents of Newtown.Riker’s "Annals of Newtown"- mentions the name among those of early settlers of the town. In the records of the town of Hempstead for the year 1685 we find that Arthur Alburtus was owner of 249 acres of land. The name "Alburtus" is in some records written "Al Burtus." To simplify this name to Burtis required less change than in many contemporary cases; an instance, for example, being the division of the name "Thorneycraft" into the two names "Thorne" and "Craft." We find that James Burtis was born in Hempstead, September 1st 1708. He had a son Elias Burtis, born in Hempstead, June 22nd 1746. The latter had a son by the name of Elias D. Burtis, born also in Hempstead, January 12th 1781; he was a farmer; his wife was Elizabeth Dorlon. To them were born a number of children, among whom was Oliver D. Burtis. He was born November 5th 1809, and was reared on the old farm at Hempstead. At the age of 10 years we find him with his father on a farm in Oneida county, which Long Island people then considered in "the far west," Buffalo being on the frontier. His education was limited to what he himself denominates the "commonest kind of common schools." After his father’s death, which occurred April 26th 1826, he returned to Long Island, and at the age of 1654 years became a clerk in a grocery house in Brooklyn, where he was thus employed until 1830, when he obtained the position of book- keeper in a clothing house. His wages were less than $100 a year, but he saved $50 from this and started bus mess in 1831 for himself as a clothier in Brooklyn, or Fulton street, nearly opposite Hicks. His "pile" in money was exceedingly small, but he had a capital in good credit; he says his credit was then as good for any thing he wanted to buy as it has ever been since. He continued his business as a clothier in Brooklyn until 1857, investing his surplus capital in real estate in that city. Having, in the 26 years, amassed a snug fortune, he began to experience a longing for the vocation of his youth- "to enjoy the pleasures of an agricultural life." Accordingly he relinquished all business in the city and purchased a farm of 125 acres at Syosset where he now resides. Mr. Burtis is the only one left of his father’s family, except a sister in Brooklyn. His wife, formerly Rachel Smith, whom he married in 1833, died in 1848. Of their children five sons and a daughter are living, viz. Augustine W., commission woolens, in New York; B. Franklin, chief clerk yards and docks department, Brooklyn navy yard; Theodore E., a farmer at Queens; George Alvan, of the firm of Smyth & Burtis, real estate and insurance, in New York; Charles H., an attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Olivia R., wife of William Wisner Taylor, an attorney of Grand Rapids, Mich. The portrait printed in connection with this sketch represents Mr. Burtis as he now appears, in his 73d year. His family are old- time Episcopalians. He was chiefly instrumental in the erection of the Free Church at Syosset in 1861. While Rev. Mr. Hutton, rector of the church at Oyster Bay, was holding services at Syosset he requested Mr. Burtis to officiate one evening as lay reader, which service he performed with acceptance, and he has since culled and collated a considerable number of sermons. He is interested in schools and education generally. A characteristic of his family is honest industry without aspirations for distinction; he takes no part in politics, not even voting. In temperance work Mr. Burtis has always taken an active part: he has lived to see some fruits from his labors, and has the credit for such work in the community where he resides. He says to his sons, "Your father has never in his life taken a glass of intoxicating drink at a public bar." Although Mr. Burtis has retired from business life he did not retire from his life of usefulness. His friends do not like to be regarded as selfish, but they do wish him many more years to live, in which to do his good work for the community.
HICKSVILLE.This village takes its name from Elias Hicks, who was well known as the founder of the Hicksite branch of the Society of Friends. In 1836 he and others bought a large tract of land and laid it out in streets and building lots. In 1842 the Long Island Railroad was extended to the village. In that year Elias Hicks and others put up some fifteen buildings, and the railroad company built an engine house and extensive sheds for the storage of wood. These sheds some time afterward were burned, with other buildings, leaving nothing standing but the hotel. In 1849 Frederick Heyne, a native of Germany, bought over a thousand acres of land here and began a settlement. He was quickly followed by others, and their thrift and energy once more commenced to build up the village. Some of these first settlers were Jacob Sevin, Christopher Yeagle, E.H. de Languillette, and John F. Heitz. Land was broken up, houses were erected, trees planted, etc. John F. Heitz took particular interest in the laying- out of wide and regular streets and the planting of trees and laying of walks along both sides. In 1852 a public school- house was built on land donated by Mr. Heitz; the school still flourishes. From the healthfulness of the village and the picturesque scenery about it soon began to attract a large number of settlers, of different nationalities but principally Germans. The village is laid out on what may be called a rolling prairie, surrounded by hills on the north and east. Extensive woods lie to the south. Hicksville is now a thriving village. There are eight firms engaged in gold and silver beating, giving employment to 60 or 70 persons. There are numerous stores, some of them large. Julius Augustin does a very extensive business in dry-goods, groceries, coal, wood and fertilizers. Other business men are E.H. de Languillette, William Fraytag, wholesale dealer in liquors, etc., Henry Kahn, William Becker, brewer, and Edgar Davis, soda water manufacturer. There is also a sash and door manufactory. There is here a farmers’ and mechanics’ club, with its own hall and grounds. The agricultural association of the town of Oyster Bay holds its meetings in this village in its own hall. A Lutheran church and a Methodist union church stand on land donated by John F. Heitz, a Baptist church on land donated by Joseph Wallace, and a Roman Catholic church on land donated by Mr. Parker. The Hicksville people had to go to Jericho for mail until 1855, when a post- office was established, and David Sammis appointed postmaster. He held the office till 1857, and E.H. de Languillette from 1857 to 1861. David Sammis was then appointed postmaster, but soon afterward his house with the post- office papers was destroyed by fire. In 1862 the office was under the charge of John H. Bonnihr; and it was kept at F. Herzog’s store for two years. It was then transferred to the store of E.H. de Languillette, who was postmaster till 1869, since which year Ernest Liebke has held the office. The hotel is a very extensive one, owned by F. Herzog and kept by Charles Gottert, under the name of the American House. Every convenience may here be found for man and beast. Hicksville is 24 miles from the city of New York, 734 miles from Long Island Sound and 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean; it is 126 feet above sea level.
Frederick Herzog was born in the village of Wilhelm mine, Prussia, May 1st 1825. He was the son of a farmer His education was obtained at such schools as were furnished to the common people at that time. At the age of 15 years he adopted the life of a sailor, shipping before the mast, in which station he remained nearly ten years. In the year 1849 he shipped from Hamburgh for the new world, and arrived in New York after a long and tiresome passage of fourteen weeks. He was very poor, but in less than a year after his arrival in New York he was made the second officer on board a merchantman in the New Orleans trade, under Captain Ward. He is next found under Captain Singer on board of a merchantman engaged in the European trade. Here he learned the first elements in the science of navigation. The next year he studied it with Captain Thompson, of Cherry street, New York, who was principal of a school of navigation. Having attained proficiency in this direction he again essayed to take his place as a. sailor. His increased knowledge of the science now commanded a better position, and he shipped in the year 1854 as first officer on board the "Lexington." During this year he took to himself a wife, Wilhelmine Braas, a native of Eberfeld, Prussia. This led to his quitting the sea, and before the close of the year 1855 he was busily engaged in the retail grocery trade in New York city. His career as a grocer was prosperously continued until 1863, when he sold his business in New York on account of ill health and removed to Long Island. Previous to Mr. Herzog’s settling on the island he traversed nearly the whole of it on a tour of inspection, going down on the south side and returning on the north side, but could find no satisfactory rest for the sole of his foot until, turning his steps toward the interior, he reached the village of Hicksville. He saw at a glance that here was a possible reward for all his searchings, and immediately made up his mind to settle down to business. He reasoned that, as the railroad ran through the center of the then scantily populated village, there must in course of time be some commerce, and by perseverance and energy the place could soon be made to take a brighter appearance. His capital was limited, but returning health inspired him with new zeal and courage, and with the assistance of his wife (whose business qualities are excellent) he was encouraged to rent the place where he is now located, which the former owner claimed that he could not make pay. Being located opposite the depot, he could observe the traffic, of the railroad and see freight trains pass day after day without leaving a pound of freight, which was not encouraging. But, knowing that the railroad had given Hicksville the best facilities for traffic of all places on the island, he determined not to let them go unused. Accordingly he, in addition to his grocery business, began shipping brewers’ grains from New York, and dealing in all kinds of fertilizers, besides establishing a coal and wood yard. In this way he soon built up a trade, and in a few months purchased the property and commenced to make additions to it. The work of addition was continued until he now has a building, including his dwelling, with a front of 85 feet and a depth of 20. In addition to this, he has a storehouse on the opposite side of the railroad track, besides grounds for his wood and coal yard. He also owns the large hotel at Hicksville and the barns connected. Mr. Herzog tells of his first aspirations for emigration to America as follows: When a boy on board of a Prussian ship, with sails all reefed on account of stormy weather, he saw a vessel heave in sight with full sail and moving very rapidly. The Prussian captain hailed by a sign, when the fast ship ran up the stars and stripes. The boy immediately conceived the idea that he should like to live in a country where they do business in that way.
JOHN F. HEITZ.John F. Heitz, whose portrait appears in connection with this sketch, was born February 21st 1818, at Neuenkirchen bey Melle, near Osnabrueck, Germany, and is the son of John Frederick Nicholas Heitz. His mother’s name was Anna Maria Elsa Hanhardt. The father, who died when the son was but six years of age, desired him to become a minister. Accordingly he studied diligently for this object, acquiring more than a common education. Changing his purpose, he left his studies at the age of 16 or 17 and commenced an apprenticeship as a watchmaker. At this he served four years, and he afterward traveled several years in different parts of Europe to perfect his knowledge of the trade. Returning home he commenced business for himself in the manufacture of watches and clocks. He continued at this business until 1847, when he with his widowed mother and her children decided to come to America. Arriving in New York he spent a few months as a workman in order to better learn to speak the English language. Then, having some means of his own, he started the business of watchmaking again in a small way for himself. He had become proficient in his chosen work, and by his thrift and energy was soon enabled to pave the way to fortune and an honorable position among his fellow men, owning valuable real estate both in New York and Brooklyn. In the year 1850 he invested a portion of his surplus funds in the village of Hicksville, and in the year following erected a small dwelling and made Hicksville his home. Gradually, as his funds increased, he purchased more lands in and around the village, until at the time of his death he was the largest landholder in the place. In 1863 he retired from business in the city, intending to live a private life. He followed farming for a time, but being restless in his new life he again entered business in 1869 at Hicksville, as a dealer in dry goods and clothing, in which business he continued until his death. Mr. Heitz, being one of the first business men who came to Hicksville, was one to take a strong interest in the future development of the village. He was a great admirer of trees, and to him the village must render thanks for her wide, shaded streets. He donated the sites of the public school building, the Lutheran church and the union church. He was also the originator of the "Heitz Resting Place," a cemetery on Mannetto Hill avenue, which was incorporated in 1870. It contains two or three acres of land, with more adjoining which may be added as necessity requires; is nicely ornamented with shade trees, and is neatly laid out with walks and drives. Mr. Heitz was at one time an officer in the Lutheran church, and at the time of his death was secretary and trustee in the union church, and also vice-president of the Oyster Bay Town Agricultural Society. On the occasion of his death this society met and passed these appropriate resolutions: "WHEREAS, this society has learned with sorrow of the death of John F. Heitz, one of its originators and founders, and his death has caused a shadow to pass over our village; therefore be it "Resolved, That by his death the community has lost a valuable citizen and friend, his family an honored member and a good husband and father. "Resolved, That the deceased, though quiet and modest in his bearing; fully exemplified the highest type of manhood in his truthfulness, his integrity, his practical charity to all. He fully demonstrated the poet’s motto: ‘An honest man’s the noblest work of God.’ "Resolved, That we tender to his beloved relatives our earnest sympathy, to the society this evidence of the great loss it has sustained, and to the community this memento of one who made the world brighter by his life and precepts. "Resolved, That this preamble and these resolutions be engrafted upon the minutes of this society, and a copy thereof, signed by the president and secretary, be forwarded to the widow of our beloved member; and that these proceedings be published in the Signal." Mr. Heitz was married August 10th 1861 to Jane Sutton Norris, and at his death, August 14th 1881, left a family of three children, viz.: Olma Maria, now a pleasing young lady of 19 years; Frederick N., born November 10th 1864, and Arnold, born September 15th 1870. Two others, William Alexander Norris and Nicholas Heitz, are deceased.
COLD SPRING.Cold Spring, called also Cold Spring Harbor, to distinguish it from Cold Spring on the Hudson, is a pretty village lying at the head of Cold Spring harbor and mostly within the limits of the town of Huntington. It has a number of fine residences on the Oyster Bay side of the line. The Indian name on the west side of the creek was Wawepex, that on the east Nachaquatuck. The place has been a port of entry for many years. William and Benjamin Hawxhurst about the middle of the last century were actively engaged here in importing goods from England and elsewhere. They also owned a store and grist and fulling- mills. The present mill was built near the close of the last century. The Hewlett and Jones families have been largely engaged in fitting out whaling ships, and to some extent in the manufacture of woolens. An Episcopal church, standing a few rods west or the town line, was erected in 1836 by the aid of Trinity Church, New York. The society is now active and self-supporting. Woodbury, formerly East Woods, is an old settlement, and is now the railway station for Cold Spring, which lies about a mile north.
THE JONES FAMILY.
This family may be classed among the older and most numerous families that Long Island has produced. Perhaps none has furnished a greater number of men who have left the impress of strong character and individuality. From the date when its founder settled here until the present time the Jones family has not beer without one or more distinguished representatives in business and political life. Thomas Jones was a major in the army of King James II. The king being dethroned and his army defeated, Major Jones sought a home in the new world, emigrating to Rhode Island from Strabane, Ireland, in 1692. Soon afterward he is found in Oyster Bay, where he married Freelove, daughter of Thomas Townsend. Mr. Townsend presented the newly wedded pair with his Fort Neck estate, under a deed dated June 16th 1695. The old brick house was built by Major Jones from brick burned on this estate. During his life here he was called upon to occupy several of the important offices of the county. He left a family of seven children, viz.: David, Thomas, William, Margaret, Sarah, Elizabeth and Freelove. David, the eldest son, known as Judge David Jones, left two sons, neither of whom left male descendants. The estate of his eldest son, Judge Thomas Jones, passed by entailment to the children of his sister Arabella, the wife of Colonel Richard Floyd. These children, in order to fully conform to the terms of entailment, added the word "Jones" to their name, and they with their descendants have since been known as Floyd- Joneses. Thomas, the second son of Major Jones, was drowned in crossing the sound while yet a young man. Thus it was left to William Jones, the third son, to raise up a family to perpetuate the name, and he may therefore be regarded as the head of the Jones family. Unlike his brother David, who devoted his time to politics and the law, William was obliged to apply all his energies to the management of his estate in order to provide for the wants of his large family. In this he was blessed with success, and of his sixteen children fourteen came to be heads of families. His wife was Phoebe Jackson, a daughter of Colonel John Jackson. The names of their children were David, Samuel, William, Thomas, Gilbert, John, Walter, Richard, Hallet, Freelove (married Benjamin Birdsall), Elizabeth (married Jacob Conkling), Margaret (married Townsend Hewlett), Phoebe (married Benjamin Rowland), and Sarah, who married John Willis. Samuel, the second son, came to be a distinguished lawyer and statesman; his son Samuel was no less distinguished as a lawyer and judge; and he in turn was succeeded by a son, Judge Samuel T. Jones. John Jones, the sixth son of William and father of a branch of the Jones family to which this article is specially devoted, was born on his father’s farm at South Oyster Bay, June 27th 1755. He was married May 2nd 1779 to Hannah Hewlett, a daughter of John and Sarah Hewlett, of Cold Spring. Purchasing a farm of his father- in- law, he removed from the south side and settled upon it. Here he built a new house and pursued the cultivation of his farm. He was the father of nine children- a family no less distinguished in business and commercial pursuits than his brother Samuel’s family was in law and politics. His children were: -William H., born October 14th 1780, married Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Hewlett; -John H., born May 18th 1785, married Louretta, daughter of Divine Hewlett; -Sarah, born July 22nd 1787, not married; -Mary T., born June 4th 1790, not married; -Walter R., born April 15th 1793, not married (named Walter Restored, in lieu of a son born in 1783, who was killed by an accident when six years of age); -Phcebe J., born December 13th 1795, married Charles Hewlett; -Elizabeth H., born December 9th 1798, married Jacob Hewlett; -Joshua T., born July 60 1801, not married; -Charles H., born November 6th 1804, married Eliza G. Gardiner, a daughter of Jonathan Gardiner of Eaton’s Neck, L.I. At Cold Spring the father and his sons William H., John H., and Walter R. established and successfully carried on extensive woolen manufactories and flouring mills. During the prosperous years of the whaling business the sons fitted out from that port eight vessels of their own. Later in life Walter R. founded and organized that most successful institution the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company of New York, of which he was the head through life. This institution is now managed by his nephew John D. Jones, a son of John H. Jones, and is the largest and wealthiest of its kind on the continent.
CHARLES H. JONES.Charles Hewlett Jones, the youngest child of John and Hannah (Hewlett) Jones, was born, on the farm where he last resided, and where he died on Monday, January 23d 1882, aged 77 years. He was of the third generation from Major Jones, the founder of the family on the island. The house in which he was born was built by his father. It is still standing, about thirty rods southeast of his late residence, in a fair state of preservation, and is now occupied by laborers on the farm. Mr. Jones took pleasure in showing his friends the old house, which awakened in him many fond and tender remembrances of the days of his childhood. He married Eliza Gracy Gardiner, daughter of Jonathan Gardiner, and granddaughter of John Gardiner of Gardiner’s Island, who removed therefrom about 1793, having purchased the whole of Eaton’s Neck from Robert Watts of New York city. The marriage took place July 12th 1838. They established their home on the farm, and reared a family of four children, viz.: John G., born June 22nd 1839; Fanny Hannah, born April 18th 1842; Phoebe Jackson, born August 20th 1845; and Mary Elizabeth, born July 5th 1854. Mr. Jones attended the district school at Cold Spring, but was early called from the school- room to hard labor on the farm. Here he spent his life. Although largely engrossed with the cares of his farm, yet by his industrious habits he found time to engage in other pursuits. During the prosperous days of whale fishing he was interested with his brothers in that business. In 1836 he commenced operating in brick, starting yards on the east side of Cold Spring Harbor. In this business as in whaling he was connected with one or more of his brothers. His next elder brother, Joshua T., was the principal manager and owner of several brick yards up the Hudson River, but Charles H., after the death of his brother, had the entire management of them. The four yards at Green Cove and Caldwell on the Hudson he rented, but of the two at Cold Spring Harbor he retained a personal supervision. He had also large amounts of property in New York and Brooklyn. He was always busy, and yet had time to give a kindly greeting to those he met, causing one to feel that he was in the presence of a man possessing a noble and generous heart. The Jones family has generally been allied to the Episcopal church, as was C.H. Jones, with all his family. The wife united with that communion after her marriage, having been brought up in the Presbyterian faith. Mr. Jones was very unfortunate in the loss by death of nearly all his family, and had left to him in his latest years’ only his youngest child, Mary Elizabeth, who lived in and ‘presided over his house, though married November 5th 1873 to Oliver Livingston Jones, M.D. Dr. Jones was born May 4th 1850, and is a son of Oliver H. Jones, a son of William H., the eldest brother of the subject of our narrative. Dr. Jones is a graduate of Bellevue Hospital Medical College, receiving his degree at 21 years of age. Pressure of business in managing his estate prevents his practicing in his chosen profession. He is a grandson of the late James Duane Livingston, of Livingston Manor. Dr. and Mrs. Jones have a family of three children- Louise E., born September 18th 1875; Charles Herbert, born December 18th 1877; and Oliver Livingston jr., born April 1st 1880. Their residence, which stands on a farm of 700 acres, was erected in 1855 by Walter R. Jones, president of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, six acres having been set apart to him by the brothers and sisters for that purpose. The building was made with natural braces, the posts being trees brought from the forest with a part of their branches remaining. It is one of the largest residences on Long Island. Its builder made his home here with his brother Charles H. until his death. The walls of the rooms are hung with portraits of the Jones family. There are also preserved here many relics of their ancestors, among which is an ancient punch bowl, with these words inscribed in the bottom: "Heroick Britons, Boldly strive, Renown of Old Maintain; Your ancient Fathers When alive Oft humbled France and Spain."
DAVID W. JONES.
In the preceding biographical sketch of Charles H. Jones, Samuel Jones is casually mentioned as the second son in William Jones’s family of fourteen, and from this point in the family history we trace the line of descent to a branch which has also reflected its share of credit on the family name. Hon. Samuel Jones was born at West Neck, South Oyster Bay, July 26th 1734. He was a distinguished lawyer and jurist. Among the many students who studied in his office and afterward rose to distinction was Governor De Witt Clinton. At the dawn of the Revolution he was called into the public councils and served his country’s cause with much zeal and capacity. He was chosen in 1788 as a member of the convention in which New York adopted the constitution of the United States. The revising of the statutes of the State of New York in 1789 was principally executed by him. He was also appointed, the same year, to the position of recorder of the city of New York. In 1796, at the request Of Governor John Jay, he organized the office of comptroller, and was the first to fill that office in this State. He was twice married. His second wife was Cornelia Haring, of an ancient Dutch family of the province of New York. This marriage was blessed with a family of seven sons, five of whom, Samuel, William, Elbert Haring, Thomas, and David S., lived to old age. Hon. Samuel Jones died on the 21st of November 1819, at the advanced age of 85 years, and is by common consent remembered as the "father of the New York bar." The eldest of his five sons, afterward Judge Samuel Jones, became quite as noted as his father, and at his death left a son known as Judge Samuel T. Jones. William, the son next younger than Samuel, was born in the city of New York, October 4th 1771. By living in the country with his aunt he acquired a taste for farming, and after his marriage (October 14th 1790) to Kezia Youngs, daughter of Captain Daniel Youngs, of Oyster Bay, he commenced life as a farmer at South Oyster Bay. In April 1793 he purchased and remove to a farm on the western border of Cold Spring Harbor. All of his children except the first were born here. Their names were: Samuel W., David W., Cornell Haring, Susan Maria, Elbert W., Eleanor, Hanna Amelia and Daniel. All of these grew up and raised families except Elbert W., who died aged 22. In the year 180o William Jones erected a large and commodious mansion on his estate, beautifully situated with lawn extending down to the harbor, surrounded by ornamental trees. The grounds are under a high state of cultivation and abound in fruits of all kinds. Soon after his settling at Cold Spring a military organization was formed by the young men of the vicinity, and he was appointed by the governor as captain. He was afterward raised to the rank of major, by which title he ha since been known. In the year 1816 he was elected member of the State Legislature, and was, with the exception of one or two years, annually re- elected until 1825, when he positively declined renomination. In this capacity he formed the lasting friendship of many of the leading men of his State. He was a kind and charitable neighbor and an indulgent husband and father. He died September 16th 1853 leaving behind a name of which his descendants may well be proud. The portrait which appears in connection with this sketch is that of David W. Jones, the second son of Major William Jones. He was born May 3d 1793, on the paternal estate, upon a portion of which he lived and died. His education was but little more than that afforded by the common schools in the vicinity. His mind was active and his judgment singularly sound and reliable. As a farther he was successful; but to succeed in that vocation drew largely on his physical as well as mental powers, absorbing all his energies. After gaining a competence he lessened somewhat his labors on the farm and employed some of his time in other directions. He was a frequent contributor to the Spirit of the Times, under the nom de plume of "Long Islander." He inherited from his father a great admiration for the "blooded horse." Among the fruits of his practical knowledge in that direction is his contribution to Henry W. Herbert’s great work on the horse, which stands in the book precisely as he wrote it. All his writings are so comprehensive and as graphically and gracefully written that they show a high order of thought as well as culture and taste. He was married on July 4th, 1822 to Dorothy Adams, who was born in England, December 30th 1792. His death took place July 6th 1877, in the 85th year of his age. To his family he has left, in addition to a handsome estate, something which is far more valuable, and which money cannot buy- a character with no dishonoring stain, honest and faithful. His family consisted of five sons, viz.: Edmund, unmarried; Robert, who died, unmarried, in 1868; Charles and Elbert W., who married sisters, Clara and Margaret Foster of Waupun, Wis.; and David, who was married August 2nd 1870 to Julia W. Neilson, a great- granddaughter of General Nathaniel Coles. David was educated at the common school and at Jamaica Academy. He and his wife reside at the old homestead.
WALTER R. JONES.Queens county is closely connected and largely identified with the commercial interests of the State. The names of Woolsey, Sands, Lawrence, Townsend, King and other prominent merchants and bankers will occur readily to the memory of our readers. At present many of the leading citizens are actively engaged in conducting various branches of commerce, and hence are deeply interested in marine insurance. Some of the most important fire insurance companies and several of the marine underwriting organizations of New York city are managed by them, and notably the foremost institution of the kind in the country, as is generally conceded, the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company of New York. As the present chief officer of this company, John D. Jones, and his able predecessor Walter R. Jones, were Long Islanders by birth, by long descent and by early associations, and were loyal in the maturity of their powers to their home and the home of their forefathers, it seems appropriate in this connection to include a brief notice of them. In Hunt’s "Lives of Eminent American Merchants" there is a memoir of Walter Restored Jones, which will explain and excuse the brevity of this slight outline of his career and character. He was born at Cold Spring, Queens county, April 15th 1793; was a most prominent member (in an entirely new direction) of the old and well known Jones family of Queens’ county, particularly distinguished for the celebrity of four generations of its members at the bar and on the bench of the colony, city and State of New York, for the period of a century and a half. For over a quarter of a century the late president of the Atlantic was a most intelligent, active, energetic and successful man of business, chiefly in the line of marine insurance, to whose financial interests and their beneficial development he devoted his remarkable powers. At an early age he was engaged as a clerk in the United Insurance Company, one of the first institutions of the kind for undertaking marine risks. In 1829 he was elected vice-president of the Atlantic Insurance Company. This company pursued a successful career and continued business to 1842, when the old stock company was discontinued and a new one organized on the mutual plan. This had become the popular method of conducting insurance, as being the most secure and at the same time the most advantageous to the assured. The present Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company was then organized, with Mr. Jones as president. His untiring industry, acute penetration, high character for probity and honor, exact methodical habits, promptness and punctuality all combined to raise this association to the highest rank and insure its success and reputation. After thirteen years of unexampled prosperity the company sustained an immense loss in the death of its chief by apoplexy, induced and aggravated by intense labor and unflagging attention to the business interests of the company and unselfish neglect of the laws of health. He was succeeded by his nephew John D. Jones, the present incumbent, who has wisely and energetically carried out the rules of his predecessor, which had established the character of the company, and in following them advanced the institution to a higher degree of reputation and greatly increased its’ strength, influence and resources.
JOHN D. JONES.
John D. Jones was born at Cold Spring, Long Island on the 15th of August 1814. His father, John H. Jones was a son of John Jones, one of the sons of William Jones, a son of Thomas Jones, the common ancestor of the Queens county family of that name. His mother was a daughter of Judge Divine Hewlett, of an old Huguenot family. The father of Mr. Jones was a man remarkable for intelligence, activity and versatile business talents, occupied with agriculture, manufactures, commerce and whaling adventures; of high character and endearing domestic qualities, most hospitable and kindly in disposition, he was all together a genuine man. In his father’s house and in management of his farm, mills and store the son was early well grounded in the fundamental principles of political economy and their application to the practical conduct of affairs. These occupations constituted an admirable school for an underwriter, and formed the basis of his business education. The mother of Mr. Jones was a lady warmly beloved by her children, and her character as wife, mother, hostess and neighbor, and indeed in all the relations of life, warranted their affectionate devotion to her memory. Mr. Jones, at the early age of fifteen years (November 29th 1829), was engaged as clerk for the Atlantic Insurance Company of New York, and as the youngest employe performed duties the modern clerk would not consider his proper work. In those days the higher officers thought differently, and considered that the humblest offices were fitting work of the young aspirant, who having thus practically learned his calling from the very rudiments would be educated intelligently to direct and command in the highest sphere he might thereafter attain. Josiah L. Hale was the presiding officer at this date. He was a cultured gentlemen, of much experience in underwriting, obtained by practice in Boston, Mass., of which State he was a native. He was popular with the merchants of New York, and by his honor and integrity gained their esteem and confidence. Mr. Jones continued as clerk with various advancements until July 1842, when the institution discontinued business as a stock company and was succeeded, under the same officers and management, by the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, a marine underwriting organization, as before stated, on the mutual plan. In this company Mr. Jones continued his clerkship until July 23d 1842, when he was elected secretary. He was appointed second vice- president in the same institution June 6th 1849 (a new office then created by reason of increase of business). He was appointed vice- president February 15th 1854, and on the 25th of April ~ after a novitiate of over 25 years of faithful and efficient service, succeeded to the presidency. During the years from 1837 to 1841 Mr. Jones was secretary of the Merchants’ Marine Insurance Company, of which Thomas Hale, a brother of Josiah L. Hale, was the president. At the same time, by request of the officers of the Atlantic Insurance Company, he retained charge of the department of loss- adjusting of that company, and performed the duties pertaining thereto; thus continuing unbroken his relation with that and the succeeding mutual company from the commencement of his career in 1829, making a period of over 52 years. Thus the united business lives of Walter R. and John D. Jones for over half a century have been devoted to, and really embody the history of, that institution, which it would require a separate chapter to give. There are other kindred institutions with which Mr. Jones has long been identified through his positions as vice- president and president for the past 27 years- among them the Board of Underwriters, the Coast Wrecking Company, the American Shipmasters’ Association and the Life-saving Benevolent Association. In the management of each of these he took an active part. These most useful associations, growing out of and closely allied to the work of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, commended themselves especially to his attention. Mr. Jones is of course a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Of the domestic life and character of Mr. Jones we do not feel at liberty to speak as freely as we could wish in the present brief sketch of his career as a man of affairs. For this purpose, and to render justice to his purely business character as well, a much fuller and more elaborate memoir, similar to that of his uncle, is demanded, which with that referred to would comprise a comprehensive sketch of these two careers and an outline history of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company. A few personal details are essential to complete this brief sketch of this representative Long Islander. Mr. Jones married, on the 9th of June 1852, at the "old home," the residence of the late General Henry Floyd- Jones, one of the daughters of that well known senator and accomplished gentleman, his third cousin once removed, Miss Josephine Katharine Floyd-Jones, whose mother, a most estimable lady of old Scottish blood, was thoroughly imbued with the characteristic national virtues. She was a sister of Judge Watts of Louisiana, and one of her sons, whose career has reflected honor on his family and name, is Colonel De Lancey Floyd-Jones, of the regular army of the United States. The health of Mr. Jones was delicate for many years, and is preserved now by care and attention. This induced him in 1859 to take a European tour, and for some years past to make annual visits to the south, for benefit from the climate and relaxation from the toils and anxieties of business. He has always been accompanied on these journeys by his devoted wife. His portrait was painted in early life by Shepherd Mount, a very pleasing picture; and later, at the request of the Board of Underwriters, by Mr. Huntington, the eminent artist.
JACOB C. HEWLETT.
The subject of this memoir was born at Cold Sprint Harbor, N.Y., September 23d 1800, and died at the same place, December 28th 1879. His ancestors were among the earliest settlers in their respective sections. He was the lineal descendant of George Hewlett, who was actively engaged in the early settlement of the town of Hempstead, L.I. John the youngest son, from whom Jacob C. descended and who is designated as John Hewlett the first, settled at Rockaway. His wife’s name was Mary Smith. They had a son John, who in the line of descent is called John Hewlett second. He married Hannah Jackson, daughter of the second Colonel John and Elizabeth Jackson, who lived at Jerusalem, L.I. After their marriage he bought a tract of land located in East Woods (now known as Woodbury). Here he settled and remained till his death, May 5th 1790, in the 88th year of his age. His wife, Hannah J., died three years previous, viz, March 3d 1787, in the 90th year of her age. Their remains rest in a family burying ground situated on a narrow projecting mound a short distance east of the house now designated as Mount Nebo. The place is now in the possession, and the ground thus dedicated is to be the burial place, of the descendants of John Hewlett the second, who among other children left a son John, born February 17th 1731,who is designated as John Hewlett the third. He married Sarah Townsend, a daughter of Rumoan and Mary Townsend. John Hewlett the third died April 4th 1812, and his wife Sarah died September 9th 1808. They had seven children married, including Devine, who was the father of the subject of this memoir. Devine Hewlett married Annie Coles, daughter of Jacob Coles and Sarah Cock. Annie Coles, the mother of Jacob Coles Hewlett, was of the 7th generation from Robert Coles, who came from England in 1630 and settled in Massachusetts, afterward going with Roger Williams to Rhode Island, where he died about 1651. Devine and Annie Hewlett had twelve children, as follows: -Sarah, who married John Hewlett for her first husband and Singleton Mitchell for her second; -Amelia, married Thomas Coles; -Loretta, married John H. Jones; -Elizabeth, married Henry Scudder; -Martha and an infant son, died young; -Hannah, married Thomas Harrison; -Phebe, died unmarried; -John D., married first Jane P. Townsend, second Elizabeth T. Townsend; -William, unmarried; -Margaret Anne, married Edward K. Bryar; -Jacob C. Hewlett, married Elizabeth Jones. She was the daughter of John and Hannah Jones, and was born December 9th 1798, and died at Cold Spring Harbor January 13th 1869. The children of Jacob C. Hewlett were: -Mary E., who married Townsend Jones; -John D., who married Harriette A., daughter of Thomas Harrison, for his first, and Emma E., daughter of Isaac and Maria L. Labagh, for his second wife; -Sarah, who married William E. Jones; -Walter R., who married Henrietta Muhl; and -Phebe A., who married John E. Chase. The children of Walter R. Hewlett now living are -Walter J., -Phebe E., -Louis, -Robert, and -Henrietta A. The children of Townsend Jones and Mary E. Hewlett are -Townsend, who married Katharine S. Howard, and -Joshua Thomas. The children of William E. Jones and Sarah Hewlett are -Sarah E., -Florence L., and -William E.
(BY H.H. FROST)Laurelton is located on the west side of Cold Spring Harbor, near the sound, and is thirty miles east of New York city. The property upon which Laurelton Hall is built formerly belonged to the late Oliver H. Jones, of New York city, who was president of the New York Fire Insurance Company for thirty years. Twenty- five years ago Mr. Jones erected a spacious mansion upon the site occupied by the present mammoth structure. It was his custom to bring his family to this secluded and picturesque spot for summer recreation, remaining until late in the season, the scenery being particularly attractive and the foliage charmingly beautiful when tinged with the various hues which follow October frosts. In the distribution of the large estate of his father Dr. Oliver L. Jones became owner of this choice bit of real property. This occurred in 1871, at the time the doctor graduated. This young man possessed to a commendable degree a spirit of enterprise, which he inherited from his public spirited father, and which directed his attention to the project of establishing a summer resort upon this delightful and attractive peninsula, which subsequently was named Laurelton. In November 1872 ground was broken for the erection of the building that now adorns the locality. In June of the following year the hail was opened for the reception of guests. The edifice is 150 feet long, 50 feet wide and four stories high, with mansard roof. A fine basement and cellar are under the entire building; in the former of which are the laundry and kitchen, thoroughly equipped with the best approved of modern appliances. The purest of spring water is led through the house, and every portion of the large structure is supplied with gas, which is manufactured in an adjacent building erected for that purpose. One hundred sleeping rooms are conveniently and pleasantly arranged upon the upper floors, with broad corridors running between them, affording perfect ventilation to each apartment; while abundant light is secured, and also a magnificent view of the broad bay, a long stretch of the sound just beyond, and near by the sloping hills and quiet valleys which very nearly surround this delightful home. As the hall stands upon an elevation, which almost constitutes a peninsula, the facilities for perfect drainage are not surpassed by those of any similar summer resort anywhere, for the bold shore and deep water of the bay enable the sewers to discharge their contents beyond recall. The healthfulness of this location is one of its particular characteristics, and is combined with rare and exquisite beauty of natural scenery, with which the eye never wearies. A generation ago the perfect healthfulness of this immediate neighborhood had been widely published and commented upon in the metropolis, and thus it was that the late lamented Dr. James R. Wood, the eminent surgeon of New York city- with whom Dr. O.L. Jones pursued his medical studies- selected here the site of his beautiful summer residence, which he purchased of the former owner of Laurelton, and which is but a few hundred feet from the hall. Dr. Thomas F. Cock, also of New York city, owns, and occupies from May until November each year, a handsome residence near by, and during the season of 1881 Louis Bell, who married the daughter of Dr. Wood, built a charming "box," which is fittingly alluded to as the central gem in the diadem that crowns this scene of rural beauty. Laurelton enjoyed marvelous prosperity so long as direct traveling facilities were, afforded it, but when the steamboat, from lack of support from other sources, ceased to run, and the patrons of the house were compelled to depend solely upon the railroad, the nearest station of which was three miles distant, the number of visitors decreased to some extent; yet it is claimed that a wealthier and more select class abundantly compensates for any deficiency in this respect. From the upper stories of the house the Connecticut shore is plainly visible, the eye taking in at a glance the entire country from Rye Beach on the west to and including Bridgeport on the east. The pretty New England villages reflect the morning sun, and the blue hills rise grandly in the background. Lloyd’s Neck, a bold promontory bordering the sound, is but a short distance from Laurelton, and, although wholly separated from it by water, is a portion of Queens county. Upon Lloyd’s Neck is Fort Hill, a relic of Revolutionary days, which was the center of dark, traitorous, and murderous deeds, that ought to bring regretful feeling to every patriotic heart. English vessels were cruising in the sound, and those who should have stood firmly by their country in her imminent peril in many instances gave aid and comfort to the enemy, supplying them with provisions by raiding the farm yards of the patriots at night in search of stock and poultry, which they exchanged for British gold. Not far from Laurelton, on the west side of the harbor, is Cooper’s Bluff, which has been visited by the curious for, the, purpose of viewing a remarkable depression in the earth at this point. The height of the bluff above tide-water is probably ninety feet, and this deep cavity is only a short distance inland. It is formed like an inverted cone, with surprising regularity of outline. At the surface, of the ground this vast identation, which is sixty feet deep, occupies an area of six acres, but at the bottom it comes to a point. Nothing appears to prove the wonder the result of human agency. Tradition connects it with the aborigines of the locality. This section of the island was occupied before the whites came by the Matinecock tribe of Indians. They were engaged in many conflicts with the Pequots of Connecticut, who every autumn invaded the harbors and bays of the north shore for the purpose of obtaining game and corn, and wives too from among the many comely maidens that belonged to this lordly tribe. But the race is gone, the name of the once powerful tribe dwelling here would have been forgotten long ago had not the Society of Friends adopted it in locating their meeting-house near Glen Cove. Hundreds of this brave tribe died, roan by man, on the ground they loved, before the wig-wams they guarded, and are now part and parcel of the earth under our very feet. The ferocious wolves of the tribe across the sound were ever preying upon their substance. The last battle of these two tribes is said to have occurred on the extreme northern point of Lloyd’s Neck. The Matinecock tribe was driven inland by the hordes of Pequots. That night the gallant defenders of their homes and hunting grounds retreated to Cooper’s Bluff, there to await succor, and the invaders, with the dawn, rushed into an empty fortification half a mile south of Cold Spring Harbor. During the night the valiant Long Island braves, who were intrenched near Laurelton, were reinforced from the section of country now comprising Oyster Bay, Locust Valley and Glen Cove, and the approach of the enemy was awaited with confidence. At early dawn they came, but when hosts of young warriors emerged from the cover the huge excavation afforded them they precipitately fled. Many were slain, and the few who reached their canoes and subsequently their homes conveyed the intelligence that the Matinecocks "outnumbered the stars," which resulted in the cessation of hostilities and depredations by the Pequots. It is recorded somewhere that these island Indians were never conquered, and it is said they left a purer name for good faith and friendship than any other tribe of America. We were at Laurelton soon after the place was formally opened to the public. A sweet faced little girl, whom we afterward knew to be the eldest child of the present owner of Laurelton, was playing upon the beach, tossing the smooth pebbles and pretty shells in the water; and later in the day a company of young men and maidens, who were the guests of the hall, were crushing the yielding sand under their feet as they promenaded hither and yon. We contrasted these scenes with those enacted there centuries ago, and in our reverie the following words, from another writer, came to mind: "Little thought the gay maiden’s and gallant beaux gave to the bones of the mighty dead that lay mouldering everywhere about them. How lightly rang the song, the laugh, the clear glad carol of youth in the serene sunshine; and yet how solemnly, in what fearful calmness, slept a thousand men under the grass. The same air once rang to the wail of Indian maidens, who sat by the bodies of the valiant dead. The same sunshine fell on horrible wounds, and teeth clenched in the last long gasp, and cold foreheads moist with the death dew. The same holy twilight that mantled us after a while, as with an atmosphere of love, shrouded the sleep of the Matinecock, as his grasp relaxed on the throat of his foe, his brown cheek was laid quietly on the green sward, and he sank to rest under the stars. They have slept well thus far, through centuries. Thrones have crumbled. The thunder of the invaders’ cannon shook these hills to their foundation. The meteor like lives of men have dazzled the world with their radiance while they reddened it with blood. More than ten generations have been born and returned to the earth from which they sprang, and the sleep of the stalwart brave is as deep as when the dark- eyed girls sang sadly over him, and his dust was mingled with the dust of his foe. Four hundred years ago! What right had we to be sitting within sound of those glad voices down by the shore, where the waves rippled so musically, and think of the forgotten centuries? What right had we to summon ghosts of the grim warriors to frighten the maidens of quiet later years? But they were there. Their giant forms stalked through the wooded uplands, and we gazed on their plumes and saw their dark eyes flash, in the gloom of the coming evening. Four hundred years ago, fair child of the white man, on the site of Laurelton Hall, sat an Indian girl, holding in her arms the head of her dying lover. He is buried under the green turf of your croquet ground." The facilities of travel afforded the patrons of Laurelton are scarcely satisfactory, although with a shorter route, by a road recently opened to the station, the lime from the city, in the summer at least, is only one hour and a half- not so tedious a trip, all things considered, as at first appears. All visitors are well rewarded for any loss of time incurred, if only for one day to breathe the delicious air of Laurelton, and in connection with this enjoyment they are permitted to look upon a landscape of surpassing beauty. Crest upon crest of the surrounding hills rise in every direction save to the north, and the soft and ever varying shadows which pass over their verdant slopes and wooded ravines, and that peculiar atmosphere which gives so great a range of vision, in so picture- like a scope, impart that serenity, that softness and beauty, which are as enchanting as indescribable.
SOUTH OYSTER BAY.South Oyster Bay is a continuous line of residences on the south road for about three miles, which is the breadth of the town on this side of the island. There are a number of very fine places here, occupied principally by members of the Jones family. This place is noted for its beautiful and productive trout ponds
BENJAMIN S. POWELL..
Benjamin Seaman Powell was born April 23d 1824, on the old homestead farm in South Oyster Bay, that had been in the possession of his forefathers for several generations. His father, Walter Powell, was born November 6th 1792 and died January 30th 1853. The father of the last named was Benjamin Powell, and after him our subject was named. Mrs. Walter Powell was Maria, daughter of John and Mary Seaman, of Jerusalem, in the town of Hempstead. She was born October 6th 1796, and died May 30th 1879, in the 83d year of her age. They had two children, Mary Alice, born January 27th 1822, and Benjamin Seaman, whose portrait appears above. This brother and sister have always remained on the old home farm, with the exception of about a year’s time, when Benjamin, then near the age of 20, was a clerk in the store of S.S. & W.D. Jones & Co., in Jerusalem South, now called Seaford. In return for the care they received from their parents in childhood they have enjoyed the privilege and nobly performed the duty of tenderly caring for them in their declining years, and administering that comfort which is such a blessing when parents reach their second childhood and receive back the gentle attentions they had lavished so many years before. Since the death of the father and mother they have still remained- in the home of their childhood, neither of them ever having been married. Although not active members of the church organization, the members of the Powell family have always been nearer to the Friends’ way of thinking in religious matters than to any other. In politics Mr. Powell has been a firm, consistent Republican ever since the campaign of 1860. He has been to the polls and voted when he was the only Republican in all his section of the town. He has never sought or accepted any political or other public place. His life is a fine example of the thrift, prosperity and integrity of an upright farmer, who has attended to his own business and done it well .
FORT NECK.Fort Neck was bought from the Marsapeague Indians in 1693, for 15 pounds current silver money, by Thomas Townsend, who gave the same to his son-in-law Major Thomas Jones and his daughter Freelove, the wife of Jones, on the 29th of June 1695. This neck was the principal dwelling place of the Marsapeague Indians. There were two Indian forts here, for which reason the English gave it the name Fort Neck. The forts were nearly quadrangular. The breastwork or parapet of the first is of earth; a ditch or moat extended around the outside, appearing to have been about six feet wide. The other fort, situated at the most southern, point of the salt meadow, adjoining the bay, consisted of palisades set in the meadow. The tide has worn away the meadow where it stood, and it is now covered with water. Between the beach and the meadows are the Squaw Islands. Tradition says that the Indians erected these forts a long time ago to protect themselves from their enemies, and in times of battle the squaws and papooses were sent over to these islands. Thomas Jones came to Rhode Island from Strabane, Ireland, in 1692. He very soon came to Oyster Bay, married and settled on his new estate. Here he built "the old brick house" from bricks burned on his own land. This old relic, the subject of many legends, was taken down in 1837 to make way for more modern improvements, after standing more than 140 years. This part of the estate is called Massapequa, and is now occupied by William Floyd-Jones.
William Floyd-Jones, second son of General Thomas Floyd-Jones, and at the present time the oldest living member of the Floyd-Jones family, was born March 10th 1815, at the family mansion on Fort Neck, South Oyster Bay. Preferring a commercial to a professional career, he left school in 1831 and entered the old and highly respected wholesale hardware house of Tredwell, Kissam & Co., of New York. He became a partner therein in 1837, upon the retirement of Seabury Tredwell. He continued in the business, prosecuting it with close application and energy, always in association with his friend and fellow clerk William Bryce. In 1855, having by the death of his father become the owner by inheritance of a large and valuable estate at South Oyster Bay, he retired from business, and, making that his future residence, devoted his time and attention to its care and cultivation. For a time he was engaged in the breeding of thoroughbred cattle, with what success the premium lists of the Queens County Agricultural Society bear honorable record. One of the greatest attractions of his country home was in the opportunities it afforded for his two favorite amusements, casting the fly for trout in the spring, and duck hunting in the fall. As to the former, being the fortunate owner of Massapequa Lake, a beautiful sheet of water near his residence, covering about 60 acres and known by all fishermen as probably the finest trout preserve in the State, and being also the owner of Massapequa River, flowing for about four miles through his property, he possessed unusual facilities for its enjoyment. As for quail shooting, his large domain furnished an ample field for the pleasure sought in that direction. For political position he has had no taste whatever, therein differing widely from his elder brother David R. Floyd- Jones, who entered political life almost immediately after leaving college and continued more or less in connection with State affairs until his death, in 1871, having occupied all the prominent positions from that of lieutenant- governor down; and differing also from his younger brother Elbert Floyd- Jones, who for several years creditably represented the first Assembly district of Queens county in the State Legislature. The subject of this sketch, though often solicited, never under any circumstances would permit his name to be used in connection with any elective political position, prefering independence of thought, speech and action to the trammels and obligations with which such positions are necessarily encumbered. He was one of the earliest and most energetic movers in the construction of the South Side Railroad of Long Island. While to Charles Fox, its president, the great honor of its construction under the adverse circumstances of limited means and the bitterest opposition is mostly due, yet the subject of this memoir, for several years its vice- president, was his confidential friend, adviser and co-worker for the successful completion of this enterprise, so much needed and so important to the south side of Long Island. In church matters Mr. Floyd-Jones took an active and leading interest, having always since 1855 been either warden or vestryman of Grace Church, South Oyster Bay. He was also among the earliest movers in the effort to withdraw Long Island from the old diocese of New York, and erect it into a separate diocese, which being accomplished, every diocesan convention since that time has found him numbered among the attending delegates, and for the last six years he has been annually elected a member of the standing committee. This, as is known among churchmen, is the highest and most honorable position in church organization to which a layman can attain, as the standing committee is canonically the bishop’s adviser, and in his absence becomes the episcopal authority of the diocese. In personal appearance Mr. Floyd-Jones is of full medium height, fair complexion and good physique; he has robust health, being almost a stranger to ailments of any kind. In 1847 he married Caroline A., daughter of the late Robert Blackwell, a prominent merchant of New York, and a granddaughter of James Blackwell, formerly owner of Blackwell’s Island, which takes its name from him. Their family consists of five sons and three daughters, the hand of Death having up to this time been mercifully withheld from this family circle; and, although now somewhat scattered, all still bear with them the most charming memories of and cling with the fondest affection to "Massapequa," their happy island home.
MAJOR JOHN BIRDSALL.
Among the earliest settlers of the town of Oyster Bay was Nathaniel Birdsall, who, judging from the numerous conveyances made by him, was one of the largest landholders in the young settlement. After residing for a time at Oyster Bay, on the north side of the island, he moved to the south side in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, where he had purchased, in connection with a few others, a large tract of land, a portion of which he and his descendants lived upon for several generations, and where was born Seaman Birdsall, grandfather of Major John Birdsall, the subject of this sketch, Seaman Birdsall with his family removed from Jerusalem to Flatbush, Kings county, when his son James Birdsall, the father of John, was about 15 years old. James Birdsall married Elizabeth Jackson and lived at Flatbush, where his son Major Birdsall was born. James Birdsall afterward moved to Brooklyn (where John was educated), and from Brooklyn he moved to Glen Cove. At the breaking out of the Rebellion, John, then scarcely having attained his majority, was commissioned as lieutenant in the 13th regiment of New York volunteer cavalry, and was promoted to a captaincy on entering upon service in the field. The regiment was ordered to Washington, D.C., and did very active work in guarding the approaches to the capital, as well as making effectual sallies within the rebel lines in Virginia and along the Shenandoah Valley. In 1864 he was promoted to the rank of major. At the close of the war he was, without any solicitation and upon the recommendation of General Grant, appointed by President Johnson captain of cavalry in the regular army. Having seen enough of military life he declined the appointment, and soon after entered on the mercantile business, which he prosecuted for some time. It was during this period in 1868, that he was married to Annie, daughter of Samuel Frost. Afterward he held several responsible positions in the customs service, from which he resigned in 1879. During that year his name was brought before the public as the probable Republican candidate for the office of State senator, which nomination he received the comments of the press during the campaign that followed, after all necessary allowance is made for partisan bias, constitute a tribute to the substantial and agreeable qualities of Major Birdsall of which any man might be proud. The New York Times said: "Major John Birdsall, the Republican candidate in the first Senate district, comes from one of the oldest Long Island families, his ancestors having occupied property in Oyster Bay fox about 230 years. In the war he made a magnificent record for so young a man, becoming, though barely of age, a major of cavalry, and at the end of the war he was appointed a captain of cavalry in the regular army, fat specially gallant services, but this he declined. Fox many years he has been prominent in the politics of Queens county, generally being the representative of his county in State conventions. Major Birdsall is a man of fine physique, generous to a fault, and exceedingly popular." The Flushing Times, then occupying a neutral position in politics, spoke as follows: "While an active and earnest Republican, yet no one is more generally popular among the Democrats- his frank manners, generosity, and never- failing readiness to assist others making friends in all quarters. He was far from seeking this nomination; in fact it was forced upon him by the weight of general public opinion." An opposition journal was compelled to say: "In selecting Major John Birdsall for their senatorial nominee the Republicans and independent Democrats have chosen a gentleman of immense political strength. Personally unassailable, his only drawback is his party proclivities." Major Birdsall was elected by a very large majority. As senator he had the confidence and esteem of his colleagues; and his course as a legislator was such as to be highly satisfactory to his constituents. He was a member of the county committee a number of years, as well as of the State committee. He has been delegate to numerous State conventions, and has always exercised a marked influence in them. He was also delegate to the national convention held at Chicago that nominated the lamented Garfield, and was active it bringing about the final result in that body.
THE FIRST LAND PURCHASE.The following deed for land in Oyster Bay, older than any mentioned in the foregoing history of this town, was discovered by William S. Pelletreau, of Southampton, Suffolk county, and furnished by him for publication after our account of early real estate transactions in the town was printed.: "Know all men whom this p’snt writeing may concearne that I, James ffarrett, gent., Deputy to the right Honorable the Earle of Starelinge, doe by these p’sents, in the name and behalfe of the said Earle, and in my own name as his deputy as it doth or may any way concerne myselfe, give and graunt free leave and liberty unto. Mathew Sinderland, Seaman at Boston in New England, to possesse and ymprove and enjoy two little necks of Land, the one uppon the East side of Oyster Bay Harbour, and the other uppon the west side of the said Harbour, w’ch two necks, and every part of them, and all belonging therunto or that the aforesaid two necks may afford, to remain unto the said Mathew Sinderland, his heires and assignes for now and ever, with full power to the said Mathew to dispose thereof at his own pleasure. But, forasmuch as it bath pleased our Royall King to grant a patent of Long Island to the said Earle, in consideration thereof it is agreed upon that the said Mathew Sinderland shall pay or cause to be paid yearely to the said Earle or his deputy tenn shillings law full, money of England, and the first payment to bee and beginn at our Lady day next ensuinge, in the year of God one thousand six hundred and fforty yeares, and so to continue. And it shall bee lawfull for the said Mathew to compound and agree with the Indians that now have the possession of the said necks for theire consent and good will. "In witness I have sett my hand and scale this day, beinge 18th of June 1639. "ROBERT TURNER. JAMES FARRETT." "Whereas Mathew Sinderland, seaman, hath apporcon of Land at Oyster Bay on Long Island from one James Farrett, in the name and behalfe of the Earle of Starelinge, and the said Mathew is to pay for the said proportion tenn shillings a yeare to the said Earle or his deputy, Know you that I James ffarrett to have received from the said Mathew twenty shillings, and that for the rent of the said land for the first yeare of his possession, beinge from thirty- nyne unto the fortieth, w’ch I reseaved and graunt the receipt thereof. "Witness my hand the 4th of September 1639. "JAMES FARRETT, "Recorded the 1st of March 1660, by me. "WILL: WELLS, Recorder."
The subject of this sketch was born on Long Island, near Hempstead, Queens county, in the year 1813. His parents gave him a good common school education, and being naturally ambitious he profited to the full extent of his opportunities. At the age of 15 he entered as clerk the wholesale grocery house of Gardiner & Howell, New York, and at 19 he had risen to be chief clerk of an importing house in Broad street. His employers, sustaining heavy losses, became bankrupt; and so high was young Charlick held in the estimation of the mercantile community for integrity and ability that at this early age he was selected by the creditors (among whom were Victor Bardalow, E.H. Nicoll and Scribner & Hickcock, leading merchants) to close out the business and divide the assets. After this he went into business on his own account and prospered until the great fire of 1835, which devastated the first ward, then the business center of New York, almost ruined him. But he rose superior to disaster. Opening a grocery and ship chandlery he engaged in the supplying of coastwise and seagoing vessels with stores. He gave the closest attention to business, being personally on hand early and late to meet the wants of his customers. By this means he prospered abundantly for those days, and soon became recognized as a rising and successful merchant. In 1843, although still young, he was drawn into politics, being nominated as an independent candidate for assistant alderman of the first ward and elected. Subsequently he was chosen alderman, and for three terms represented that ward with credit and fidelity in the common council. In the latter part of his official career he was president of the board, and acting mayor during the absence of Mayor Havemeyer. This latter patriotic and public- spirited magistrate, whose name is still synonymous with the best era in New York municipal affairs, conceived a friendship and respect for Mr. Charlick, from this official relation, which, surviving all the mutations of party strife, continued uninterrupted until his death. Mr. Charlick was tendered the nomination for mayor; but, having resolved to retire from politics, he declined the honor and returned to mercantile pursuits. The gold excitement in 1849 was the golden opportunity of many an enterprising man, and Mr. Charlick was not slow to see the advantages which it offered. In connection with Marshall O. Roberts and others he took an interest in an opposition line of steamships on the Pacific, and went out and gave the business his closest personal supervision. Such were his energy and foresight that in fifteen months, from the most meagre beginnings and with quite inadequate resources, he had placed his enterprise on such stable foundations that the old line gave way and a consolidation took place. When success was assured he returned to New York and entered upon the construction of the Eighth avenue railroad. For seven years he had the sole management of this line; and when he retired he turned over to the stockholders a road built at an expense of $800,000 an already paid for out of the earnings, after paying 12 percent, dividend in the interim. In 1860 he disposed of his stock in horse railroads and went into steam lines. Taking the Flushing Rail road, which was sold under foreclosure, he renovated it developed its resources, and sold it again. He also in vested largely in Harlem, Hudson River, Vermont, and other lines, taking an active part in the management. But his main achievement was in the resuscitation, of the Long Island Railroad, then a sadly dilapidated and dangerous concern. When it became apparent to the managers that he would get the control of the road they contrived to hamper the property with all sorts of contracts for extensions, supplies, etc., before he got it into his possession, and when he finally took it there was not a pound of spikes on hand, not a cord of wood, and hardly a sound rail or tie on the track, while the rolling stock was rickety and almost worn out. Judicious and economical management enabled him to relay the track with new ties and rails, extend the branch roads, and renew the rolling stock, and now there is no safer or sounder road in the country. Mr. Charlick’s forte as a railroad manager appears to have been to develop and improve a great property and then turn it over for public use. Many of our roads are indebted to him for their present proportions. As a man Mr. Charlick was close in his bargains, but rigid in the fulfillment of his obligations to the uttermost. To those whom he knew and could trust he was liberal and confiding to a degree, and many young men of New York city now rising in the world can date their start in life at the time when he lent them a helping hand. He was ready to forgive an enemy, and he never deserted a friend. He was free, frank and outspoken, was an inveterate foe to pretenders of all sorts, and never considered his personal popularity when a question of duty was involved. In short, Oliver Charlick was emphatically a self-made, self-reliant, thoroughly trustworthy, progressive man of his day.
Hon. Perry Belmont, son of August Belmont, was born in New York city, December 28th 1851; graduated at’ Harvard College in 1872; was admitted to the bar in 187 6, and has since been engaged in the practice of law. In 1881 he was nominated for member of the House of Representatives in the XLVIIth Congress by the Democrats of the first district of New York, consisting of the counties of Suffolk, Queens and Richmond; and was elected over the Republican candidate, John A. King, by a vote of 20,815 to 18,163. As a young man, in his first term of Congressional service, he has taken remarkably high rank and attracted unusual attention, especially in connection with the foreign relations of the United States government.
HISTORY of QUEENS COUNTY MAIN RETURN to QUEENS MAIN RETURN to BROOKLYN MAIN