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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George Paulmier, Walter Proper, John Smith,
Edward Van Kerwan.

Co. B. — William Gastin (was in the seven days'
fight, died Dec. 4, 1863, and was buried in Red
Hook), John N. Hapeman (wounded in the seven
days' fight and discharged), James Lane, Joseph
Martin (in battles of WilUamsburgh, White Oak
Swamp, and seven days' fight before Richmond,
discharged July 22, 1862, for disability), Peter G.
Miller, John D. Martin (promoted Corporal Dec.
II, 1861, died on Lower Potomac, brought home
and buried in Red Hook), George Pultz, Sullivan
Shaffer, Irving Shoemaker.

5^4 JV. Y. Cavalry. — Charles Decker, Co. B.,
Edward Martin, Co. C, (promoted to Corporal),
Henry Oatman (deserted twice).

Scatiering.^]oh.vi Dillon, Co. D, 63d N. Y. Inft.;
Edward Curtis, Co. D, 48th N. Y. Inft; Charles
Lewis, Co. C, 44th N. Y. Inft.; Nelson Lewis, Co.
C, 44th N. Y. Inft; John N. Moses, 2dN. Y. Vols.;
Joseph Martin, Co. B, ist N. Y. Inft; Herman
Near, Co. F, 12th N. Y. Inft; John S. Stickel, Co.
B, s6th N. Y. Inft.; James Seism, Co. C, 3d Md.
Inft.; Thomas Murphy, Co. C, ist N. Y. Vols.; Ja-
cob Winchell, Co. G, 2d N. Y. Cavalry.

On the 12th of August, 1862; a war meeting
was held at the village of Madalin, which resulted
in mustering in nineteen volunteers, as follows : —

\2%thN. Y. Inft., Co. C— Benjamin H. Coop-
er; Geo. A. Norcutt, one of the Forlorn Hope at
Port Hudson ; Lewis W. CashdoUor, was with his
regiment at Port Hudson on the Red River, and
in the Shenandoah Valley in the charge of the
One Hundred and Twenty-eighth upon the Lou-
isiana Tigers, he was hit at the upper edge of the
middle third of the right leg, the ball penetrating
six inches along the fibula bone, thence to the
tibia, and descending to the ankle joint, necessi-
tating amputation ; Jno. H. Hager, rose from pri-
vate to First Lieutenant commanding Color Com-
pany C, March 28, 1864, he was taken prisoner
near Alexandria ; George F. Simmons, wounded
twice in battle of Winchester, September 19,
1864; Samuel Simmons; Lewis Simmons; Mont-
gomery Fingar ; Henry A. Brundage ; John Emory
Cole, in battles of Port Hudson, Winchester,
Cedar Creek, discharged July 2, 1865 ; Albert Cole ;
James Doyle, taken prisoner Oct. 19, 1864, at Cas-
tle Thunder, discharged July 12, 1865; Gilbert
Dederick, taken prisoner at Cedar Creek and tak-
en to Salsbury Prison, was paroled and discharged
May 22, 1865; Augustus Golbel, discharged July



12, 1865 ; William Hover, wounded at Fisher's Hill
Sept 22, 1864, discharged July 12, 1865; Norman
Heermance; Peter Moore; Daniel Neenan,
wounded and taken to hospital, discharged May 22,
1865 ; Peter Wyer, (or Dwyer), killed at Winches-
ter Sept. 19, 1864; John Van Etten, died at
Savannah; George W. Minkler, badly wounded
at the battle of Cedar Creek ; John W. Oster-
hout. Company K, wounded at Port Hudson,
discharged, July 12, 1865 ; Freeman Ostrander,
Company A, was a prisoner in the hands of the
Rebels five months, discharged July 12, 1865;
Robert N. Rector ; Robert M. Harris, Co. K. The
majority of these enlisted under Acting Company
Commandant, Johnston L. de Peyster, aged 16, at
this time a pupil of the Highland Military College.

In 1864 the following enlisted in Co. C, of this
regiment, Henry Miller, PhiUp H. Moore, Wallace
Moore, James E. Outwater.

Enlistments of 1^62, ie,oth N. Y. Inft.,Co. F. —
Stephen VanRensselaer Cruger,went out as ist Lieut
of this company, but was its actual commander at
Gettysburg ; Peter W. Funk was appointed Cor-
poral, Company F, participated in the battle of
Gettysburg, July 2d and 3d, 1863, and in the bat-
tle of Resaca, and served until close of the war ;
Thomas B. Paulmier, on August 26, 1862, was
appointed Corporal, March, 1863, Color Corporal,
June 27th, on the march to Gettysburg Color-
Sergeant Brandt having been taken sick, Paul-
mier received and carried the State Color ; John
McGill, October 15, 1862, was appointed Third
Sergeant of Company F, was in the battle of Dal-
las, Ga., May 25, 1864, promoted to Orderly Ser-
geant July 29, 1864, and again promoted for meri-
torious conduct to Second Lieutenant ; Morris O.
Connors, enlisted Sept. 12, discharged May 25,
1865 ; Robert Dowling, enlisted Sept 29 ; Thomas
M. Fraleigh, enlisted Sept. 31, discharged May 25,
1865 ; Virgil H. Group, enlisted Sept. 15, was in
the battle of Gettysburg, discharged June 8, 1865;
William Gahagan, enlisted in September, promoted
to Sergeant April 9, 1863, discharged June 8, 1865 ;
Nelson F. Hermans, enlisted Sept. 6, discharged
June 8, 1865 ; Eli Houghtailing, enlisted in Sept.;
Peter Houghtailing, enlisted Sept. 13, discharged
June 8, 1865; Thomas Kellon, enlisted Sept 12,
discharged June 8, 1865 ; John Kelly, enlisted in
September, discharged June 8, 1865; Richard
Lown, enlisted September 10, discharged June 8,
1865 ; Henry Miller, enlisted September 6, died at
Baltimore; John McGill, enUsted Oct. ist, was
taken prisoner June 31, 1863, discharged June 8,



202



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



1865 ; Daniel H. Ostrander, enlisted Sept. 12, pro-
moted to Corporal, Nov. 26, 1862, to Sergeant,
July 27, 1864, discharged June 8, 1865; Virgil
Ostrander, enlisted September 6, taken prisoner at
Gettysburg, discharged June 8, 1865 ; Andrew Os-
trander, enlisted in October, discharged for disa-
bility; Martin Ostrander, enlisted in September,
discharged June 8, 1865; John E. Pultz, enlisted
September 6, was wounded the last of July,
1864, before Atlanta, and died Sept. 16, 1864,
buried at Chattanooga; Ezra J. Stickel, enlisted
September 20, promoted to Corporal in February
1863, died of typhoid fever at Raleigh (?) and
there buried; Isaac F. Smith, enlisted September
6, promoted to Corporal, was wounded, died, and
was buried on the battle-field ; James Smith, en-
listed September 9, discharged June 8, 1865;
James Smith, Jr., enlisted April i, 1863, discharged
June 8, 1865 ; John Sleighter, enlisted September
16, was wounded, and died at Washington, D. C,
June 15, 1864, and was buried in the Capital burial
ground ; Peter Showerman, enlisted September 9,
discharged June 8, 1865 ; Allen Showerman, en-
listed August 25, discharged June 8, 1865 ; Oscar
Stickel, enlisted in September, discharged June 8,
1865 ; Peter Stickel, enlisted September 6, dis-
charged June 8, 1865; Nicholas S. Schammer-
horn, enlisted September 13 ; Nelson Shaffer, en-
listed in October, lost an eye in the service and
was discharged ; John A. Wagner, enlisted Septem-
ber 4 ; Robert Wagner, enlisted September 3 1 ;
Albert Wagner, enlisted September 31, was wound-
ed and discharged ; Alfred Wagner, enlisted in
September ; Daniel Wyer, enlisted in September,
killed in the service.

Co. K. — William Simmons, enlisted Oct. 4 ;
Henry B. Rynders, enlisted in Sept.; Edward F.
Killmer, enlisted Oct. 4 ; Chauncy Bailey, Co. B,
enlisted in Sept., wounded in leg ; George W.
Breese ; George Bullock, Co. K, enlisted Sept. 6.

The following are the additional enlistments in
1862 :—

Joseph Carry, Co. B, 6sth N. Y. Inft., enlisted
in Sept.; Patrick Hays, Co. B, 6sth N. Y. Inft.,
enlisted in Sept.; Dewitt Clinton, 25th N. Y. Inft,
enlisted January r ; Lewis Henry, (colored,) Co.
B, 20th N. Y. Colored Regt., enlisted Aug. 24 ;
Frederic Martin, Co. I, 115th N. Y. Inft., enlisted
in Aug., was taken prisoner, paroled and exchanged
in spring of 1863 ; Beekman R. Near, Co. 1, 115th
N. Y. Inft., enlisted Aug. 22, promoted to Sergt.
in Feb., 1863.

Enlistments 0/1863. — William P. Bush, of Mad-



alin, Assistant Surgeon 6ist N. Y. Volunteers, died
in the service from diseases contracted while in the
discharge of his duty ; John W. Stickel, Co. G, ist
N. Y. Light Artillery, enlisted in Dec; Geo. W.
Althiser, Co. E, 15 th N. Y. Engineers, enlisted
Dec. 20 ; Michael Yeagal, Co. E, 15th N. Y. En-
gineers, enlisted in Dec; William Burhans, Co. B,
20th N. Y. Colored Regt., enlisted in Dec; Charles
Fingar, Co. D, 14th R. I. Inft., enlisted Sept. 17 ;
Henry Hermans, Co. D, 14th R. I. Inft., enlisted
Sept. 17 ; Charles Statley, (re-enlisted,) Co. B, 5th
N. Y. Cavalry, enlisted Dec. r.

Enlistments 0/ 1864. — gist M Y. Heavy Artil-
lery, Co. A. — Dewitt Clinton, enhsted Sept. 5 ;
William C. Cramer, enlisted Sept. 5 ; Freeborn G.
Fraleigh, enlisted Aug.'3i ; Andrew Fraleigh, en-
listed Aug. 31, was killed March 31, 1865, at Oak
Roads, near Petersburgh, and buried on the field ;
Peter W. Fraleigh, enlisted Sept. 5 ; Nicholas
Hutton, enlisted Aug. 3 1 ; John H. Ham, enlisted
Aug. 31; David Ham, enlisted Aug. 31; Charles
Lewis, enlisted Aug. 31; WiUiam Near, enlisted
Aug. 31 ; Edwarjd H. Stickel, enlisted Sept. 2.

Co. D. — William Feller, enlisted Sept. 5 ; Isaac
Mead, enlisted Sept. 5 ; Alexander Paulmatier, en-
listed Sept. 5, died in the service of heart disease,
April 29, 1865 ; Adam Plass, enlisted Sept. 5 ;
Stephen Paulmier, enlisted Sept. 5, died in the ser-
vice, and was buried near Washington, D. C.

Co. I. — David W. Ostrander, enhsted August
31 ; James P. Overbaugh, enlisted Sept. 2, died
of typhoid fever at Black and White Station, Pa.,
April 27, 1865 ; Martin B. Proper, enhsted Aug.
31 ; WiUiam F. Pulver, enlisted Aug. 31.

j^tk N. V. Engineers, Co. ^.— David S. Al-
thiser, enlisted Jan. 14; Lafayette Howard, enlisted
Jan. 13; Jerome Lyke, enlisted Jan. 14, discharged
for disability in September, 1864 j Eleazer Moore,
enlisted Jan. 14; Frederic Lasher, enhsted in
January ; Silas Van Steenburgh, enhsted in Janu-
ary, died at Poughkeepsie a few weeks after en-
Hstment.

Scattering. — Philip H. Proper, Co. E, 6ist N.
Y. Infantry, enUsted Aug. 8; Charles N. Lown,
Co. G, I St N. Y. L. Artillery, enlisted in October;
John Gibson, Co. L, 125th N. Y. Infantry, en-
listed in September; John H. Jarvis, (colored,)
Co. B, 20th N. Y. Colored Regiment, enlisted in
September, Acting Sergeant ; Edward L. Mooney,
Co. F, 84th N. Y. Vols., enlisted in August ; Ed-
gar Tompkins, Co. A, 6th N. Y. H. Artillery, en-
Usted September 8 ; Jacob Whitney, regiment un-
known, enlisted Sept. 5 ; John W. Boice, Co. F,



TOWN OF RED HOOK.



203



4th N. Y. Cavalry, enlisted in April, was wounded
and discharged July 27, 1865 ; James Cole, Co.
F, 4th N. Y. Cavalry, enlisted in April, was taken
prisoner and has not been heard from since ; David
Griffen, Co. F, 4th N. Y. Cavalry, enlisted Oct. 5,
promoted to Corporal and Sergeant.

The various other enlistments in different regi-
ments, and in the navy, were as follows : —

Derick Koedam, Co. F, 96th N. Y. Infantry,
enlisted March 21, 1865; Leonard B. Curtis, en-
listed Aug. 13, 1862, on the Colorado; Charles
Gibson, enlisted March lo^ 1864, on the Benbill;
John Bates Lown, enlisted March 10, 1864, on
the Benbill ; Philip Lown, enlisted April 9, 1 864,
on the North Carolina ; David Rensselaer Pulver,
enlisted Dec. 8, i860, on the Minnesota; Clarence
Shook, enlisted Aug. 13, 1862, on the Colorado;
Andrew Van Steenburgh, entered the service in
the Navy Yard, Aug. 13, 1862; Jacob Van Steen-
burgh, enlisted in 1863, on the Rescue ; John
Stewart, Co. B, " Ulster Guard," killed at Manas-
sas, Aug. 30, 1862; Rufus Warrenger, Co. B,
"Ulster Guard," killed ,at Manassas, Aug. 30,
1862 ; Lieut. Warren W. Chamberlain, 14th U. S.
Infantry, from Lower Red Hook, previously held a
commission as Lieutenant in the 12th N. Y.
Militia, was killed near Groveton, Va. ; Charles
Henry Tillottson, aide to Capt. Swarthout com-
manding the Portsmouth, in the Mississippi River
fight under Admiral Farragut, in 186 1-3.

J. Watts de Peyster, Jr., in the winter ol 1861-
'62, left the law school of Columbia College, and
took a prominent place in the ranks of the Army
of the Potomac as volunteer aide-de-camp to his
cousin. General Philip Kearny. Was First Lieut,
in Scott's 900 Cavalry, promoted at his Majority to
the First New York (Morgan) Light Artillery, he
joined his command at Harrison's Landing, and
was present with his batteries during the famous
night attack of July 31, 1862, was then stricken
with malarial fever ; in the spring of 1863 he was
again able to lake the field; at the battle of Chan-
cellorsville he was Chief of Artillery of the Third
Division, Sedgwick's Sixth Corps. " Fighting Joe "
Hooker, under whose eyes de Peyster received
his baptism of fire at Williamsburgh, recommended
him for promotion to the brevet rank of Lieuten-
ant-Colonel, for his coolness and bravery at that
battle and at Chancellorsville. Lieutenant-Colonel
de Peyster never recovered from the effects of the
fever, and he was honorably discharged August 14,
1863. He died April 12, 1873, in New York.

Louis Livingston was appointed additional aide-



de-camp U. S. Army, with the rank of Captain, he
was assigned as senior aide to Brigadier-General S.
W. Crawford. At Antietara, his first battle, his
courage was so conspicuous that he received the
brevet of Major ; and at Gettysburg, the decisive
battle of the war, he is said to have accompanied his
General leading a decisive charge, for which he was
brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel. Captain Augustus
Barker was commissioned Second Lieutenant, De-
cember 4, 1861, in the sth N. Y. V. Cavalry.
Twice promoted for gallant and honorable service,
he was shot by guerrillas at Hartwood Church,
near Kelly's Ford, Va., on September 17, 1863,
and died on the ensuing day.

At MadaUn-Tivoli is erected a monument to
the patriots who died in their country's cause.
Four cannon, partially embedded in the ground,
breech uppermost, serve for posts, to which is at-
tached a chain enclosing the shaft. The cannon
were presented by Johnston Livingston, Eugene
A. Livingston, William Chamberlain, and Brevet
Major-General de Peyster. Upon its western side
it bears this inscription : —

" This Immediate Neighborhood

to her

DEFENDERS,

Who lost their lives in Suppressing the

SLAVE HOLDERS' REBELLION

and sustaining the

GOVERNMENT

OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE,

BY THE PEOPLE."

The southern and eastern sides bear the follow-
ing names of those who were killed in battle or
died of wounds received upon the battle-field : —

"At Upton Hill, March 17, 1862, John Decker,
20th N; Y. S. M.

''Manassas, Aug. 30, 1862, Lieut. Warren W.
Chamberlain, 14th U. S. I.; Alfred Lasher, George
Kelly, Lewis Redder, C. Gruntler, June 20th, N.
Y. S. M.

"ChanHlly, Sept. i, 1862, Major-General Phihp
Kearny, U. S. V.

''Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862, Rufus Warringer,
20th N. Y. S. M.

"CkanHlly, June, 1863, John Shleterer, isoth
N. Y. V.

"Keliys Ford, Sept. 17, 1863, Capt. Augustus
Barker, 5th N. Y., C.

"Dallas, May 24, 1864, Corporal I. F. Smith,
iSoth N; Y. V.

"Cold Harbor, June, 1864, Henry Khne.

"Atlanta, Sept. 12, 1864, J. E. Pultz, isoth N.

Y. V.

"Winchester, September 19, 1864, Peter Wyer,

128th N. Y. V. , ^ ,

"Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864, Andrew Decker,
6th N. Y. V. Cav.



204



HISTORY OF DUCHESS COUNTY.



"Five Forks, March 31, 1865, Andrew Fraleigh,
91st N. Y. V."

The north bears the names of those who died of
disease while in the army, or after their return
home, immediately in consequence of maladies in-
curred in the service : —

" John Corrigan, May 22, 1861.

"John D. Martin, 7th N. J. V., on Lower Poto-
mac, January [June?] 3, 1862.

" Hiram Risedorf, 20th N. Y. S. M., at Upton
JEBU, March 4, 1862.

"Eugene Livingston, 95th N. Y. V., December
31, 1862.

" H. N. Fisher, Assistant Surgeon, March 1 2,
1863.

"H. C. Muller, May 14, 1863.

"W. P. Bush, Assistant Surgeon, Oct. 3, 1863.

" Wm. Gaston, 7th N. J. V., June, 1864.

" Christian Gruntler, Sr., 20th N. Y. S. M., July
4, 1864.

"John Showerman, 128th N. Y. V., in New Or-
leans, 1864.

"Stephen H. Paulmier, 91st N.Y. V., in Wash-
ington, May 21, 1865.

"Ezra J. Stickle, isoth N. Y. V., in Raleigh, N.
C, May, 1855.

"John Van Etten, 128th N. Y. V., at Savannah,
Julys, 1865."



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.



THE DE PEYSTER FAMILY.

It is somewhat remarkable that the idea presented
by Solomon as to physical progression in a circle —
" Unto the place from whence the rivers come,
thither they return again " in many instances applies
to families. It has certainly applied to the owner
of Rose Hill. Two hundred years ago his ances-
tors owned much land, and successive generations
of progenitors resided where they are now to be
found. In the very mansion in which his grand-
father, Frederic de Peyster, married his wife, Helen
Hake, about ninety years ago, General de Pey-
ster found his wife, Estelle Livingston, belonging
to the same race. The fact is^ all the leading
families in the Colony of the New Netherlands, af-
terwards the Province of New York, had not only
become connected by marriage before the com-
mencement of the Revolution, but in many instan-
ces they were knit together by the strongest and
closest additional ties of blood.

Brig.-Gen., Brevet Major-Gen. S. N. Y., John
Watts de Peyster, is the immediate representa-
tive of two families who exercised a leading in-
fluence in the Colony and Province of New York,
and filled the most important offices under the
Dutch and EngUsh administrations, through his
paternal and maternal, as well as collateral lines,



by reciprocal marriages with Wattses, de Lanceys,
Coldens, Livingstons, Beekmans, Schuylers, van
Cortlandts and other prominent stems.

The first of the de Peyster name, Johannis I.,
who came to this country about 1645, was the scion
of an exiled or refugee French Protestant family,
and was a young man of means for the period and
of unusual ability. He was descended from one of
the unhappy Huguenot famiUes who were com-
pelled to leave France after the Massacre of St.
Bartholomew, August 24, 1572. The other mem-
bers of this circle were scattered far and wide by
this cruel, crimson cataclysm. One wandered as
far east as. Greece (?), others settled in Holland,
another in England.

Johannis, born in Haarlem (Holland) — ^where he
married his wife, Cornelia Lubbertse, a native of
the same place — transferred his fortunes to the
New World. He brought with him many curious
articles of furniture, some beautiful pictures, por-
traits, and articles of silver, which for their concep-
tion and execution are equal to any manufactured
at this time. His first commission on record, was
that of Adelborst (Cadet) in one of the city com-
panies. This shows he must have been very young
when he first came over, and consequently it is
likely that he returned to Holland for his wife, who
survived him. He was one of "The Six," who
were associated to draw up the first charter for the
city of New Amsterdam, now New York. He
filled, successively, between 1655 and 1677, the
offices of Schepen, Burgomaster, Alderman and
Deputy Mayor. On the 15th of October, 1677,
he was appointed Mayor of New York, but de-
clined the promotion in consequence of his imper-
fect acquaintance with the English language. His
descendants were all distinguished for their public
spirit and activity in connection with the affairs of
the city. One of his grand-daughters was the mother
of William Alexander, titular Earl of Stirling, Ma-
jor-General in the Continental ai-my. Griswold, in
his rare work, " Washington and his Generals of
the Revolution," (I., 165,) observes, "his mother
was an extraordinary person." Those who knew
her personally, and lived to relate their early expe-
riences to individuals still alive, confirmed this re-
mark, adding that her unusual mental charms and
capacity were not more striking than her graces of
face and figure.

The eldest son of Johannis I., Abraham I., was
one of the most distinguished men in the Colony
in which he was born, July 8th, 1647. April sth,
1684, during a visit to Amsterdam, he married his
kinswoman, Catherina de Peyster. Abraham held
successively the offices of Alderman, 1685 ; Mayor,
169 1 -'95 J Judge of the Supreme Court j Member
of the King's Council; and as presiding officer.of the
same, was acting Governor in 1700. He was also
Colonel commanding the MiUtia (one company
Horse, and eight companies Foot, 685 men,) be-
longing to the city and county of New York. In
1 706, he was appointed Treasurer of the Provinces
of New York and New Jersey. Few men have
exhibited more patriotism than he did in crises.




'T'^?^, W^^




BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.



205



Although this sketch is coniined to direct de-
scent, still it is impossible to refrain from men-
tioning other members of the family who have
peculiarly distinguished themselves. One of the
grandsons of Abraham I. was the good and gallant
Col. Arent Schuyler de Peyster, who received his
first commission as Ensign in the deservedly cele-
brated Eighth, "the King's" Regiment of British
Foot, (known in 1688, as " Princess Anne's Regi-
ment,") June loth, 1755, and rose through a long
period of interesting and important service to its
command, October 12th, 1793.

For many years, as Captain and Major, he was
stationed on the remote frontier, particularly at
Michilimackinac. While at this post his control of
the Indian tribes was exercised for good. After
the Revolution became a certainty, he more than
once was called upon to bring them from the re-
motest points of the West and North-west, to par-
ticipate in operations which culminated in conflicts
on Lake Champlain and on the Hudson and its
affluents. Curious to state, one of his first orders
in this connection was dated July 4th, 1776. As a
subaltern he was one of the first British officers to
explore the region about Lake George, and he re-
corded the incidents of his visit in his " Miscella-
nies." This rare work — now almost unattainable
— containing a large amount of valuable and inter-
esting information in connection with the Indians
and the period, published at Dumfries some ninety
years ago, has been a mine te historians. Colonel,
then Lieutenant de Peyster built, on the site of
the Porter mansion, a saw-mill, worked by the
water-power of " the Rapids," at Niagara Falls in
1767, one of the first, if not the first civilized con-
struction at that point.

About the end of the eighteenth century. Col.
de Peyster settled at Dumfries, Scotland, and re-
sided at a country-seat named " Mavis (Lark) Hall."
He hes buried under an imposing monument in the
chapel-yard of " St. Michael's " in that city. Here,
" towards the close of his life, he was called upon
to embody, disciphne and command the First Regi-
ment of Dumfries Volunteers, organized to defend
the United Kingdom against the successive French
revolutionary governments. The poet Burns car-
ried a musket in this regiment, and to this Col. de
Peyster, he addressed in 1796, his sparkling verses
sometimes entitled " A Poem on Life."

The nephew and namesake of the colonel, Arent
Schuyler de Peyster, junior, was quite a distin-
guished navigator and explorer of the Pacific and
the western coasts of America, when both as yet
were little known to our people. No sensational
romance ever written, could embody more start-
ling adventures than fell to his lot. During one
voyage, in 1809, he discovered several groups of
islands to the north of the Fiji Archipelago, one
of these comprising seventeen islands. One of
considerable size bears his name, the de Peyster
or Peyster Group. Another circlet of islets, sur-
rounding a large lagoon, in the South Pacific, he
named after a friend, Mr. EUice. He was on the
South American coast at the same time when the



celebrated Admiral Cochrane was operating against
the Spaniards; and the one in blockading the ports,
then Spanish, and the other in running the block-
ade, came in contact more than once.

Abraham II., eldest son of Abraham I., married'
Margaret, eldest daughter of Jacobus van Cortlandt.
He succeeded his father as Treasurer of New
York and New Jersey. His benevolence has
been celebrated in the work devoted to a
description of the startling " Adventures of Mons.
Viaud. The whole city turned out to accom-
pany his remains to their last resting-place. He
was a gentleman of large means, and very com-
manding influence, both personally and through
his powerful connections, as Smith in his history
admits — although the historian was a bitter polit-
ical enemy of the de Peyster, Watts, and de
Lancey families, and those united to them through
blood or marriage. He died September 17, 1767,
universally respected, regretted and beloved. His
fifth son, Frederic — from his elegance of dress and
deportment, known as the " Marquis," — was ap-
pointed Treasurer in his room. This son Frederic
did not serve, but resigned the position to go to



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 42 of 125)