James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 2 of 125)
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Congdon Jarvis, Washington, portrait 330

Cooper John R., M. D., Poughkeepsie, portrait 461

Davies Wm. A., Poughkeepsie, view of the Hudson

river from the farm of facing 364

Dibble House, Fishkill 525

DePeyster Major General J. Watts, Red Hook, por-
trait, (steel) facing 204

Butcher House, Pawling ....between 552-568

Dutcher Hon. J. B., Pawling, view of residence,

between 564-555

Eastman Place, Poughkeepsie 411

Eastman Place, South Avenue approach 411

Eastman National Business College, Poughkeepsie,

view of ,. "138

"Eden Hill," residence of John P. Adriance, Pough-
keepsie facing 388

Elting Captain L., Poughkeepsie, view of the Hudson
river and Catskill mountains from residence,

between 406-407

Eno Wm. S., Pine Plains, view of residence. ..facing 287
"Ferncliff," residence of Wm. Astor, Rhinebeck,

view of the lawn facing 264

"Ferncliff," view of the race stables... between 264-265

"Ferncliff," view of the cattle barns between 264-265

"Ferncliff," view of farm entrance and coach house

facing 265

"Ferncliff," view of conservatories, the approach

to the mansion, and park view facing 281

" Ferncliff," view of lawn and river, and of the Cats-
kills facing 282

"Ferncliff," view of the entrance and lodge 281

"Ferncliff," view of residence, from the lawn front

...between 282-283

"Ferncliff, view of residence, from the river front,

between 282-283

"Ferncliff," The Ambassadress, N. Y. Y. C, at

anchor v.. .facing 283

Friends Brick Meeting House at Nine Partners,

facing 327

FaBkill Ironworks, Poughkeepsie between 388-389

First American Flag Hoisted over Richmond, April

3d, 1865 209

GiUender Theophilus, Rhinebeck, portrait 280

"Hemlock Farm," former homestead of Alexander

H. Cofan, Union Vale 479

"Homestead," residence of William H. Taber, Pawl-
ing facing 561

Hooker James, Poughkeepsie, portrait, (steel) facing 460

Howard Hon. James, LaGrange, portrait facing 467

Innis George, Poughkeepsie, view of residence, '

' facing 373

Ketoham Hon. John H., Dover, portrait facing 484

Lamoree George, Pleasant Valley , portrait facing 316



CONTENTS.



"Lawn Brook," residence of Dr. D. Guernsey,

Amenia between 356-357

"Leacote,'' residence of Douglas Merritt, Khine-

beck facing 25.5

Lossing Benson J., view of birth-place, Beekman, 547
" Marienruh,"residence of Louis A.Ehlers,Khinebeck,

facing 28+

Martin Homestead, Bed Hook, property of Edward

Martin, view of facing 186

Merritt Wm. T., Poughkeepsie, portrait facing 447

Mizzen-Top Summer Hotel, Pawling between 558-559

Nine Partners Boarding School, from a sketch by

Alex. H. Coffin in 1820 facing 327

Nichols Thomas G., Poughkeepsie, portrait 459

Odell Luman B. , Beekman, portrait self and wife,

between 548-549

O'Brien John, Bhinebeck, view of residence, facing 268

"Old Store Building" in Mechanic facing 328

"Kose Lawn," residence of Edgar M. Vanderburgh,

Washington between 334-335

"Eose Hill," residence of Major General J. Watts

dePeyster, Bed Hook 210

" Eose Hill," view of tower and library, . 211

Eiverview Military Academy, Poughkeepsie... facing 409
Eossevelt James, Hyde Park, view of Hudson Eiver

from residence facing 302

St. Paul's Church, Eed Hook 193

St. Paul's Church, Red Hook, view from the South, 195
St. Paul's Church, Eed Hook, view from the West, 196

St. John's Church, Pawling 557

Storm John V., Fishkill, portrait facing 506

Sohell Augustn8,NewXork City, portrait (steel) facing 455
Shear John C. and A. , La Grange, view of residence

between 468-469

Shear John C, La Grange, portrait, (steel'). ..facing 471

Skidmore Peter Akin, Beekman, portrait 549

Sleight Peter E., La Grange, portrait facing 473

Tallman John P. H., Poughkeepsie, portrait (steel)

facing 452

Taber William H., Pawling, view of residence,

facing 561

Taber WiUiam H., Pawling, portrait < 561

"The Locusts," residence of Wm. B.Dinsmore, Hyde

Park between 300-301

" The Locusts," view of the lawn in front of resi-
dence between 302-303

"The Locusts," view of the flower garden and

conservatories between 304-305

" The Locusts," view of the lodge and carriage house

facing 306

" The Locusts," view of farm yard, bam and

stables between 306-307

"The Locusts," view of the carriage house. ..facing 307

" The Locusts," view of the garden facing 309

" The Locusts," view of avenue from the post-road 309
" The Locusts," view up the Hudson river from the

landing facing 310



"The Locusts," Initial 310

"The Locusts," view of residence from the river

between 310-311

Thompson Hon. John, Poughkeepsie, portrait, (steel)

facing 448

Thome Jonathan, New York City, portrait, (steel)

facing 329

" Thorndale," residence of Edwin Thome, Washing-
ton, view of lodge and entrance 331

"Thorndale," view of residence facing 332

" Thorndale," view of the farm bams and training

stables between 332-333

Thorne, old homestead of Samuel, and birth-place of

Jonathan, Washington, facing 328

Tower Albert, view of summer residence, Beekman,

facing 547

Tuthill Samuel, M. D., Poughkeepsie, portrait 451

Vassar Matthew, Poughkeepsie, view of birth-place, 412
Vassar Matthew, Poughkeepsie, view of first resi-
dence in Poughkeepsie 413

Vassar Matthew, Poughkeepsie, view of last residence, 413
Van Voorhis Major WiUiam Eoe, Fishkill, portrait,

(steel) ' facing 534

Van Voorhis Major William Eoe, Fishkill, view of

homestead 535

Van Voorhees Johannes Coerte, view of homestead 535
Wheeler Francis B., M.D., Poughkeepsie, portrait... 462
Whitehouse, residence of the late Hon. John 0.,

Poughkeepsie facing 404

Whitehouse Hon. John 0., Poughkeepsie, por-
trait facing 454

Whitehouse John O., Poughkeepsie, view of boot

and shoe factory facing 387

Willets Jacob, portrait, Washington, 329

Willets Deborah, portrait, Washington...; 329

" Wood-Cliff," residence of John F. Winslow, Pough-

lie between 380-381



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Akin Hon. Albert J. Pawling 560

Ayrault George, LaGrange 472

" Ayrault Place," LaGrange 473

Brown Samuel, Beekman 549

Bentley Col. Gilbert, Clinton 289

Bisbee Otis, Poughkeepsie 457

Bowne James, Poughkeepsie 445

Bockfie Family, Poughkeepsie 442

Blair Eobert, Fishkill 536

Booth George, Poughkeepsie 463

" Callendar House," residence of J. Livingston, Eed

Hook 213

Campbell Cornelius N., M. D., Poughkeepsie 457

Carpenter Hon. Isaac S., Stanford 299

Carpenter Hon. Morgan, Poughkeepsie 442



CONTENTS.



PAGE.

Carpenter Hon. B. Piatt, Poughkeepsie 443

Carpenter Hon. Jacob B., Washington 333

"Cedar Hill," residence of B. M. Taggart, Pough-
keepsie 460

"Cliffdale" residence of Mrs. C. E. Boardman

Poughkeepsie 441

Clark Henry P., Poughkeepsie., 444

Coffin Family, Union Vale 479

Congdon Jarvis, Washington 330

Cooper John K. , M. D., Poughkeepsie 461

DePeyster Family, Bed Hook 204

EnoWm. S., Pine Plains 237

"Perncliff," residence of William Astor, Ehine-

beck 281

Friends Brick Meeting House, Washington 327

Gillender Theophilus, Ehinebeck 280

Guernsey Desault, Amenia 3.56

Howard Hon. James, LaGrange facing 467

Hooker James, Poughkeepsie 460

Ketcham Hon. John H., Dover facing 484

Lamoree George, Pleasant Valley facing 316

Lossing Benson J., Dover., 488

"Marienruh," residence of Louis A. Ehlers, Bhine-
beok 283

Members of the Poughkeepsie Bar 463



PAGE.

Merritt Wm. T., Poughkeepsie 447

Medical Prof ession of Poughkeepsie 466

Nine Partners Boarding School 326

Nichols Thomas G. , Poughkeepsie 459

Odell Luman B., Beekman 548

Skidmore Peter Akin, Beekman 549

Schell Augustus, New York City 455

Shear John C., LaGrange 471

Sleight Peter B., LaGrange 473

Swan Cyrus, Poughkeepsie 451

Storm John V. , Fishkill facing 506

TaberWm. H., Pawling 561

Tallman John P. H.. Poughkeepsie 452

"The Locusts," residence of Wm. B. Dinsmore,

Hyde Park 310

The Old Store Building in Mechanic, Nine Partners, 328

Thompson Hon. John, Poughkeepsie 448

" Thomdale," residence of Edwin Thome, Washing-
ton facing 330

Tuthill Samuel, M. D. , Poughkeepsie 451

Vanderburgh Edgar M. , Washington 334

VanVoorhis Family, Fisl^^ill 534

Willets Jacob and Deborah, Washington 329

Wheeler Francis B., D. D., Poughkeepsie 462

Whitehouse Hon. JohnO., Poughkeepsie 454



HISTORY



OF



Duchess County



CHAPTER I.

Aborigines — Pre-Historic Period — Antiquity
OF America — Ancient Civilizations — Theo-
ries Regarding their Origin — Obscurity of
THE Origin of the North American Indians —
Analysis of Theories Respecting It — Indian
Traditions Respecting It — Migrations of
the Lenni Lenapes — The Mahicans a Branch
of the Lenape Family — Extent and Loca-
tion of their Dominions.



' ' ^ X 7" HAT we usually term the begin-
V V "^'"g of history," says Humboldt's
Cosmos, "is only the period when the later genera-
tions awoke to self-consciousness." The historic
period for the region of country the history of
which it is the purpose of this volume to give,
may be said to date from the advent of European
explorers to its contiguous shores — more specifi-
cally of that English discoverer, whose name has
been given to the noble river which washes its
western border — for their reports give us the
first as well as the most exact and comprehen-
sive account we have of the people who then
inhabited it. These people are classed under the
generic term Indians — a name which obtains
from the fact that when this continent was discov-
ered by Columbus and others who succeeded him
in search of a western passage to the East Indies,
it was supposed to be the eastern shore of the con-
tinent of India.* Their history prior to their inti-

* Indians of North A merica, I, 3.



mate association with civilized people is shrouded
in obscurity, and is transmitted to us in the form
of vague and fragmentary legends. The Indians
were a barbaric race and have left no written his-
tory, except that we occasionally discover traces of
their rude paintings and still ruder engravings.
But these are pronounced merely the totems of the
Indians by Catlin, who says, " I have been unable
to find anything like a system of hieroglyphic writ-
ing amongst them."* Heckewelder, however,
says, that, although they "do not possess our
art of writing," and " have no alphabets, nor any
mode of representing to the eye the sounds of
words spoken, yet they have certain hieroglyphics,
by which they describe facts in so plain a manner,
that those who are conversant with those marks
can understand them with the greatest ease, as
easily, indeed, as we can understand a piece of
writing."! But these records were of so perishable
a nature as to be almost valueless for historical pur-
poses. They were made upon fragments of bark,
or upon the smooth surface of trees from which the
bark had been removed for that purpose. This
absence of a connected written history is, however,
compensated in a measure by the less enduring
reUcs, consisting of the implements of husbandry,
the chase and war, which the plow and other means
of excavation have numerously disclosed. Their
fortified villages and places of burial are rich also
in suggestive incidents.

*Catlin's North American Indians^ II, 246.

\ Historical Account of the Indian Nations^ in Transactions of the
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 117.



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



Who were the aborigines of this country is a
subject of much learned inquiry. It is pretty gen-
erally believed that the races who occupied it on
the advent of the Europeans, were preceded by
one more numerous and more highly cultured,
though- the evidence that such is the fact is meager
and unsatisfactory. De Witt Clinton points to the
numerous mural remains which existed throughout
the northern, central and western parts of this
State, and to the more remarkable ones bordering
the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and their branches
as evidence of the fact ;* while more recent authors,
reasoning from more exact data, ascribe the origin
of the former works to a much more recent date,
and to a different race of people than the latter.f
The evidences referring to a pre-historic period
within this State are rare, though the celebrated
Pompey stone X may be cited as an instance of
this character, without, however, furnishing neces-
sarily conclusive proof.

That the nations of the eastern hemisphere had
knowledge of the existence of the American conti-
nent long before its discovery by Columbus, their
literature gives abundant evidence ; and that its
aboriginal inhabitants were descended from eastern
peoples is generally conceded, though the theory
that American antiquity ante-dates that of Asia, is
not without its advocates.

Humboldt, from his observations of the remains
of the civiUzations of Mexico and Central America,
was convinced that communication had existed
between the eastern and western continents, evi-
dence of which he found in the religious symbols,
the architecture, the hieroglyphics, and the social
customs made manifest by these ruins ; and the
Abbe? Brasseur de Bourbourg shows that the sym-
bols of phallic worship, once so prevalent, and still,
to some extent, practiced in the East, were de-

* CoUectioMS oftlie New York Historical Society for 1814, 89,
t Says E. A. Squier, M. A., " * * * none of the ancient works of this
State, (New York, ) of which traces remain, displajing any considerable
degree of regularity, can lay claim to high antiquity. All of them may be
referred, with certainty, to the period succeeding the commencement of
European intercourse." — Antiguiiies of New York and the ]Vesi, 9.

X This is a small boulder about thirteen inches long and twelve inches
wide, bearing a most remarkable inscription and figures, which, if genu-
ine, and correctly interpreted, furnishes what is supposed to be the ear-
liest evidences of the presence of Europeans in North America. It dates
back to a period earlier than the discovery of New England, New York
or Virginia, a hundred years earlier than the-founding of Plymouth colony,
and within twenty-three years of the discovery of the new continent by
Cabot. It has been reasonably conjectured by the author of Clark's
Onondaga to be a sepulchral monument, erected, possibly, by a party of
Spaniards, who, stimulated by the love of adventure, allured by the love
of gold, or driven by some rude blast of misfortune, may have visited that
region and lost one of their number by death. This stone was found some
sixty years ago at Watervale, in the town of Pompey, in Onondaga
county, which town, says Dr. Henry S. Holmes, Librarian of the State
Library at Albany, " has yielded up more relics of the aborigines than
any other place in this State."



scribed by the Spanish writers at the time of the
conquest. " These," says Baldwin, "with the ser-
pent devices, the sun worship, and the remarkable
knowledge of astronomy that existed in connection
with them, show a system of religion,'' of which,
with the social institutions it consecrated, "Asia,"
says the Abb^," " appears to have been the cradle."
" The traditions of these countries," says the same
author, " are still more explicit. Their uniform
testimony is, that the ancient American civiliza-
tion came originally from the East across the
ocean." *

The origin of the barbarous Indians of North
America is buried in even greater obscurity than
that of the probable aborigines of this continent.
Our information regarding it is almost wholly tra-
ditional and conjectural. Eiforts have been made
to connect them with the Mound-builders as their
progenitors, and there are able .advocates of the
theory which supposes the unity of the races ; but,
says Foster,! ^ broad chasm is to be spanned before
we can link the two, who, he says, " were essen-
tially different in their forms of government, their
habits and their daily pursuits." The former,
" since known to the white man, has spurned the
restraints of a sedentary life, which attacfl to agri-
culture, and whose requirements, in his view, are
ignoble. He was never known to erect structures
which should survive the lapse of a generation."
" The Mound-builders," he adds, "cultivated the
soil in a methodical manner, far different from the
mode presented by the present Indians," and he
cites as evidence "the vestiges of ancient garden-
beds" left by them. Baldwin says, referring to the
savage tribes, or wild Indians, their barbarism was
" original ;" there was nothing to indicate that they
or their ancestors, near or remote, had ever been
civilized, " even to the extent of becoming capable
of settled life or organized industry."| He adds,
"the constant traditions of these Indians, sup-
ported by concurring circumstantial evidence, ap-
pears to warrant the belief that they came to this
part of the continent originally from the west, or
north-west, at a period too late to connect them in
this way with the Mound-builders." After referring
to the skill of the Mound-builders in the ceramic
and other arts, he asks, "who can imagine the
Iroquois or Algonquins working the copper mines
vi'ith such intelligence and skill, and such a com-
bination of systematic and persistent industry!



* Pre-Historic Nations^ by John D. Baldwin, A. M., 391-395.
t Pre-Historic Races of the United States, 347.
i Ancient America, 59.



PROBABLE ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS.



13



They had no tradition of such a condition of life,
no trace of it. It is absurd to suppose a rela-
tionship, or a connection of any kind, between
the original barbarism of these Indians and the
civilization of the Mound-builders. The two
peoples were entirely distinct and separate from
each other. If they really belonged to the same
race, which is extremely doubtful, we must go back
through unnumbered ages to find their common
origin and the date of their separation."* Says
Bancroft, " It has been asked if our Indians are
not the wrecks of more civilized nations." He
answers : " Their language refutes the hypothesis,
every one of its forms is a witness that their ances-
tors were, like themselves, not yet disenthralled
from nature."!

Charlevoix and other later writers have entered
into elaborate disquisitions on the probable origin
of the American Indian, and the curious reader
will find much to interest, if not to instruct him on
this vexed question. The theory of a northwest-
ern immigration by the barbarous hordes of Asia
has long been advocated and has gained credence
among modern authors generally. John de Laet,
a Flemish writer, was an early advocate of this
theory and among the first to remark 3, resem-
blance in the features, complexion and manners of
the Scythians, Tartars and Samoeides and those of
the American Indians. "Ledyard," says Bancroft,
"whose curiosity filled him with the passion to
circumnavigate the globe and cross its continents,
as he stood in Siberia, with men of the Mongolian
race before him, and compared them with the
Indians who had been his old playfellows and
schoolmates at Dartmouth writes deliberately that,
universally and circumstantially, they resemble the
aborigines of America. On the Connecticut and
the Obi, he saw but one race." "The American
and Mongolian races of men, on the two sides of
the Pacific," adds the latter author, "have a near
resemblance. Both are alike strongly and defi-
nitely marked by the more capacious palatine
foBsa, of which the dimensions are so much larger
that a careful observer could, out of a heap of
skulls, readily separate the Mongolian and Ameri-
can from the Caucasian, but could not distinguish
them from each other. Both have the orbit of the
eye quadrangular, rather than oval; both, especial-
ly the American, have comparatively a narrow-
ness of the forehead ; the facial angle in both,
but especially in the American, is comparatively

* Ancient America, 59-61.

t History of the United States, II, 4i7'



small; in both, the bones of the nose are flatter
and broader than in the Caucasian, and in so
equal a degree, and with apertures so similar, that,
on indiscriminate selections of specimens from
the two, an observer could not, from this feature,
discriminate which of them belonged to the old
continent ; both, but especially the Americans, are
characterized by a prominence of the jaws. The
elongated occiput is common to the American and
the Asiatic; and there is to each very nearly the
same obliquity of the face. Between the Mon-
golian of Southern Asia and of Northern Asia
there is a greater difference than between the
Mongolian Tartar and the North American. The
Iroquois is more unlike the Peruvian than he is
unlike the wanderer on the steppes of Siberia.
Physiology has not succeeded in defining the quali-
ties which belong to every well-formed Mongolian,
and which never belong to an indigenous Ameri-
can; still less can geographical science draw a
boundary line between the races."* Priest's obser-
vations led him to the conclusion that " Asia and
America were peopled by similar races of men."t
The traditions of the Lenni Lenape % or Dela-
wares as they are called by the English, say that they
" resided many hundred years ago in a very distant
country in the western part of the American conti-
nent." They resolved to migrate eastward, and hav-
ing reached the Mississippi, then fell in with the
Mengwe, (Iroquois,) who had likewise emigrated
from a distant country and struck upon this river
somewhat higher up. The Iroquois, like the Dela-
wares, were preceding eastward. The country east
of the Mississippi was inhabited by the Alligewi,§ a

* History of the United States, II., 460,461.

t A merican A^quitifS.

X Lenni Lenape, says Heckewelder, who spent forty years among the
Indians as a Moravian missionary, is the national and proper name of the
people we call Delawares. It signifies ^^ *■ original people,' a race of
human beings who are the same that they were in the beginning, ««-
changed and unmixed?' The Lenape are known and called, he says,
by all the western, northern, and some of the southern nations, by the
name of Wapanachki, which, among them, is a generic name, signifying
" 'people at the rising of the sun,' or as we would say, Eastlanders"
and which the Europeans corrupted into Abenaki, Openagi, Ahenaguis
and Abe7takis.-~(Introduction to Jlisiorical Account of the Indian
Nations, 25-26.) '* The term Lenape," says Schoolcraft, '^ appears to
carry the same meaning as inaba, ainale, and the word was probably
used nationally, and with emphasis in the sense of men." Loskiel
defines the name *'' Lennilenape," as meaning ** Indian tnen,^' and ^ays
'^ the name Delawares was undoubtedly first given them by the Euro-
peans." — {History of the Mission of the Uftiied Brethren among tlie
Indians in North America, hy George Kehrv Loskiel, Part I., Chap.
I., i.)

§ " It is generally believed," says Yates and Moulton^ (History of New
York,) "that the Allegewi, QxAUeghans, were of Welch origin. Priest"
(American Antiguities,) traces the A liegewi from the lake country to
the "vale of Mexico, where they finally and permanently rested," and
there assumed the name of Aziecas, or people ofvthe lakes. The course
pursued in their migration is marked by the mounds where they rested,
or dwelt temporarily. Schoolcraft says, ** they occupied a large portion
of the western area of the State of New York, comprising the valley cif
the Alleghany river to its utmost source, and extendingeastwardly an un-
defined distance." "The Alleghany river and mountains," says Hecke-
welder, have " indubitably been named after them." — (Historical Ac-
count of the Indian Nations, 30.)



14



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



powerful nation, of great physical development,
who had many large towns and regular fortifica-
tions of earth on the great rivers flowing through
their lands. They denied the Leuape the privilege
of settling in their neighborhood, but gave them
permission to pass through their country to the
eastward ; when, however, they observed the great
numbers of the latter they were alarmed and treach-
erously attacked with great fury those who had
crossed the river, . threatening the others with
destruction if they persisted in crossing. The
Lenape, being too weak to force a passage against
so powerful an enemy, made common cause with
the Iroquois, and after a series of sanguinary
battles, continuing through many years, and in
volving immense losses on either side, the AUigewi,
to avoid destruction, abandoned their country and
fled down the Mississippi, whence they never re-



Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 2 of 125)