James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 80 of 190)
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In 1731, John Black purchased the 600 acres on
Flatbrook north of the Nevill purchase known as the
Black Tract. About 1760 it was purchased by John
Cleves Symmes, and became the well-known Symmes

* This Indian village stood on a hill below Mill Brook, on part of the
farm of the late Andrew Itihble, Esq.



Oct. 1, 1786, Hendrick Van Gordei located a sur-
vey of 100 acres on the Delaware River below Flat
Rock. He was In ing on this land in 17 13, when John
Lawrence, in running the partition line between East
and West Jersey, took mi ollsct from hi- I -e.

The Stoul tract, of 120 acres, on the Delaware, be-
tween Kirkbride's lower tract and the lands of John
Emans, was surveyed to John Stout in 17 11. He had
also another tract of 245 acres in the township.

In 174"', Samuel Nevill located a tract of 1012 acres
in Walpack, cast of Kirkbride's lower tract. It ex-
tended up the Flatbrook (o a point above Haney's
Mill-. Portions of this were bought by Adam Ding-
imui ami by a man named Ciphers in 1768. Adam
Dingman had previously purchased a portion of the
Nevill tract, for we find in Book A of land records of
Sussex (.'on nty that "in 1760, Ldam Dingman agreed
(as it i« recited in the deed | to sell l -l acres on the
Flat Brook, in Walpack, to Hendrick Aurands. a
miller of the same place. In 1769 (Adam Dingman,
having meantime died without making the convey-
ance) Andrew Dingman, his son anil executor, exe-
puted the deed in accordance with his father's agree-
ment." The land was a portion of the Samuel Nevill
iraci. which had been conveyed to Mr. Dingman pre-
vious to 1760.

In the above conveyance Hendrick Aurands is re-
ferred i" as a "miller" of Walpack. There was an
old mill near or within the limits of the land de-
scribed in his deed, the ruins of which were seen over
sixty years ago by several old persons now living.
The location of the "Id ruin is on the Flatbrook, mar

where Miss Sally Warner mm live-. This was prob-
ably 'I'c mill at which Hendrick Aurands operated
previous I" the dale of his deed, — 171)0. If so. the

mill was undoubtedly older than the Barton mill, at
Flatbrookville. Several old settlers are of the opin-
ion that this mill was the oldest in the township, if

m>t ill the count] .

In 1749, Andrew Cole located 188 acres near Wal-
pack Centre. It was situated on Flatbrook east of
the Nicholas Emans tract.

Martin Ryerson, in 1750, located 248 acre- on Flat-
brook, above Hie ['.lack trad.

In 17.".:;, Samuel Nevill located Mm acres on the
Delaware, above the lands surveyed to Bonis & Co.,
extending to the East Jersey line. Hon. Samuel Ne-
vill was an early judge of I he Supreme < '"iirt of New

Jersey, and held the lirsl Court of Oyer and Termi-
ner in Sussex ( '■unit \ .
Nicholas Emans, Ma\ •">, 1754, located 105 acres,

Adjoining Andrew Cole's land, near Walpack Centre.

Iii 1768, Richard Gardner had surveyed ti> him
about ■"'! acre-, east of the Btout tract, on Flatbrook.

Asher Harriot owned 26 acres east of tin' Black
tract, .in Flatbrook; the date of its location i.- not


• See Said book •' John I

thll »,.rk.

Hi- Partition Line,

The Knuis tract, situated on the Delaware, above
Joseph Kirkbride's 500 acre-, was resurveyed to Cor-
nelius Ennis, Christian Smith, ami John Shoemaker,
May 27, 1814.

Abraham Van Campen was an early settler in that
part of Walpack which is now Pahaquarry, Warren
Co. He was a member of tin Consistory of the four
Reformed Dutch Churches iii 1711. a justice of the
peace for man] years, and a judge of the County
Courts. When the border troubles began with the
Indians, in 1755, he wa- the first to inform Governor
Belcher, and was appointed colonel of a Sussex regi-
ment of militia and assigned to tin duty of protect-
ing the frontiers. An interesting correspondence
ensued between him and Governor Belcher, which
will he found in the chapter on the French and
Indian war, in this work.

Isaac Van < 'ainpen. of Shapanack, was also a prom-
inent citizen of the township. lie \\:i- one of the
early justices of the peace, a judge of the County
Courts, and a member of the Legislature from 1782 to

1785. He had a son Abraham, who has >

been confounded with the senior Abraham Van I 'ain-
pen. Abraham, the son of Isaac, succeeded hi- father

in the estate at Shapanack, and became prominent in

public affairs about the beginning of the Revolution.
The Van Campens became a numerous and influen-
tial people iii Walpack. The graves of nineteen of
them may be counted in the old Shapanack bury-
ing-ground. The old stone house at Shapanack was
probably built by Isaac Van Campen. That and the
stone hoiis!' now occupied by Jacob Roe the old
Jacob Myers house, arc probably the oldest now
Standing in the township, and antedate the period of
the Revolution, Abraham, the son, becoming in-
volved, sold the place to the He Witt- about 1811 or

1812, and removed to the adjoining place formerly
occupied by Col. John Rosenkrans. Abraham Van

< 'ampeii had a large family, most of them cripple-.

On Oct 15, 17.85, Adam Dingman purchased, "f
John Crooks. 47'.» acres of land in Walpack (extend-
ing from the Delaware River to flatbrook, and in-
cluding portions of the property now owned by
David Bunnell, BowdewineVan Auken, and John B.

Fuller); and in 1768 1. ought an additional tract, lo-
cated cast of the first He subsequently divided this
propertj -with the exception of a few acres -old to
Nicholas Emans, .Ian. 12, 1761— between his three

sons, , lame-, Jacob, and Peter. Jacob and Peter sub-
sequently d led it t'i James, who, on May 1'. 1786,

conveyed it to .lame- and Peter Schoonover. Peter,
in turn, conveyed it to Benjamin Schoonover in 1797,
and Benjamin transferred a portion of it to Henry
Bunnell, Ma} 28, 1812. This was the last conveyance
of the Dingman property in Walpack. and none of the
descendants now reside in tin- township. Three deeds
from James Dingman to Jam.- and Peter 5

Over hear the -ame date. Max J, 1786, I US., the one
referred to above and the following.



James and Peter Schoonover purchased of James
Dingman, May 2, 1786, 15 acres on the Delaware ad-
joining lands of Jacob Van Campen, deceased. This
was part of a tract conveyed by the proprietors of
West Jersey to Richard Gardner, April 10, 1753, and
assigned by Gardner to Martin Ryerson, Feb. 19,
1754. It was reassigned by Martin Ryerson to Adam
Dingman, Feb. 19, 1757, and devised by Adam Ding-
man, in his last will and testament, to his son James.

James Dingman and Antje, his wife, May 2, 1786,
conveyed, to James and Peter Schoonover, 429 acres
of lands along the Delaware (formerly part of the
Crook tract) willed to James, Jacob, and Peter Ding-
man by their father, Adam Dingman, deceased.
These lands were afterwards conveyed to James Ding-
man by his brothers, Peter and Jacob.

John Emans owned 250 acres of land on the Dela-
ware as early as 1729. This embraced part or all of
what is now David Bunnell's flat-lands. Nicholas
Emans, a son of John, lived and died on a portion of
this purchase. He also owned 105 acres in the vi-
cinity of Walpack Centre in 1754. Daniel Emans, a
son of Nicholas, lived an old bachelor on a portion of
the homestead, where he died in 1849, aged about
eighty. What remained of the Emans homestead was
then purchased by David Bunnell. Daniel Emans
and his father, Nicholas, were buried on the old

Nicholas Schoonhoven was a resident and land-
owner in Walpack in 1737.* He and Thomas Brink
together owned at the above date lands subsequently
possessed by Emanuel Hover, and still later by Jonas
Smith, son of John Smith. Peter and James Schoon-
hoven (afterwards spelled "Schoonover") owned
lands in the township as late as 1786, and Benjamin
as late as 1812. Hendricus Schoonhoven was a free-
holder for Walpack in 1762.

Capt. Emanuel Hover, who was a prominent early
resident of Walpack, appears from the following deed
of conveyance to have left the county before 1797.
April 18, 1797, Manual Hover and Mary, his wife, of
Northampton Co., Pa., conveyed to Jonas Smith and
his wife, Mary, of Walpack, 150 acres, excepting one-
half acre, it being "the common burying-ground of
Walpack" ; also 25 acres in an undivided 300-acre
tract conveyed to Hover by Anne Brink, Nicholas
Brink, Nelly Schoonover, widow of Nicholas Schoon-
over, Elijah Schoonover, and others.

John Clevcs Symmes, one of the most distinguished
citizens of Sussex, removed from Long Island to Wal-
pack about 1760. The prominence of this family, to-
gether with some disputed points respecting portions
of their history, induces us to give more space than
usual to the subject. The following facts have been
furnished chiefly by Thomas G. Bunnell, of Newton.

The Symmes family, so prominent and so well

* See deed for church and burial lot, dated Fob. 1, 1737, in history of
Walpack Church.

known in Sussex County during the Revolutionary
era, trace their descent from Rev. Zachariah Symmes
(1), who was born in Canterbury, England, April 5,
1599, and came to New England in 1634 in the same
ship with Ann Hutchinson and John Lathrop. He
became pastor of the church at Charlestown, Mass.,
which position he held until his death, Feb. 4, 1671.
His son, William Symmes (2), was born at Dunstable,
England, in 1627, and came to this country with his
father in 1634. He was a sea-captain and died Sept.
22, 1691, leaving a son named Timothy, who was born
in 1683. Timothy Symmes (3) married Elizabeth
Rose in 1710. He was by occupation a farmer, and
lived near Scituate, Mass., where his grandson, John
Cleves Symmes, visited him in 1762. He died in
1765, leaving a son Timothy, who was born at Scit-
uate in 1714. This son Timothy (4) was educated
to the ministry, having graduated at Harvard Uni-
versity in 1733. He received ordination as a Pres-
byterian minister at East Haddam, Conn., Dec. 22,
1736, and married his first wife, Mary Cleves, in
1740. In 1742 he went to River Head, L. I., where
his two sons were born, — John Cleves, July 21, 1742,
and Timothy, April 10, 1744. For several years Rev.
Timothy Symmes was engaged in missionary work in
New Jersey, and at one time, we are told, was pastor
of a Presbyterian Church at Elizabeth. He married,
for his second wife, Eunice Cogswell, about 1750, and
died at Ipswich, Mass., April 6, 1756.

John Cleves Symmes (5) was educated to the law,
but never, as we can learn, practiced his profession.
Previous to the Revolutionary war, about 1760, he
removed from Long Island to Walpack, Sussex Co.,
N. J., where he became the owner of several hundred
acres of the choicest land in the Flatbrook valley, in-
cluding the present site of the village of Walpack
Centre. In this neighborhood, on the farm now
owned by Mrs. Nancy Cole, on the west side of the
Flatbrook, he reared a dwelling, and around it planted
an orchard of apple-trees. Some of the old trees in
this orchard are still standing, but the house has been
removed many years. Bowdewine Van Auken, Sr.,
one of the oldest men now living in the township,
tells us that he well remembers the Symmes mansion.
On a mountain-stream on the opposite side of the
Flatbrook, Judge Syinmes also erected a grist-mill,
the site of which can yet be pointed out by those
familiar with the location.

John Cleves Symmes was married to Anna Tuthill,
daughter of Henry Tuthill, of Southold, L. I., when
about eighteen years of age, and probably before he
emigrated to Walpack. From this marriage there
were two daughters, Maria and Anna. The latter
lived with her grandfather Tuthill, at Southold, on
Long Island, after her mother's death, and was edu-
cated in the female academy at East Hampton, and
afterwards in the family and school of the celebrated
Mrs. Isabella Graham, of New York. She accompa-
nied her father to the valley of the Miami in 17S8,



being in licr fourteenth year, and 'in Nov. 22, L795,
was united in marriage to William Henry Harrison.
After the death of Judge Symmes' first wife, Anna
Tuthill. be married the " Widow Halsey," who lived
only a lew years, when he again married, hi- third
wil'i- being Susannah, daughter of the Eon. William
Livingston, Governor of New Jersey, and Bister to the

wile of the celebrated John Jay.

Judge Symmes was chairman of the Committee of
Safety for Sussex County, and at a meeting held in
the court-house, Newton, on Aug. 10 and II. 1775, he
offered the patriotic preamble and resolution which
were adopted by that body, and which appear in the
Revolutionary history in this volume.

In 1770, Symmes was c mi—ioned colonel of one

of the militia regiments of Sussex, and on September
L8thof the same year was appointed one of the judges
of the County Court. This latter position he resigned
a year later, and his brother, Timothy Symmes, was
appointed Sept. 24, 1777, to fill his place. In March,
1776, he was ordered with his regiment to New York,
where it was employed in erecting the forts and bat-
leHe- on Manhattan Island and on Long Island.
Shortly before the battle of Long Island he was
elected a delegate to the State Convention of New
Jersey, which met at Burlington in June of that year,
and was a member of the committee which was ap-
pointed to draft a constitution for the State. Towards
the close of 1770, Col. Symmes was sent by the Legis-
lature, in company with Theunis Day, of Bergen
County, to Ticonderoga, with the delicate task of
making a new arrangement of the ollicers of the New
Jersey regiments in the Northern Department. Their
report, will be found on page- 25 and lit; of "Officers
and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War."
On the return of ( 'ol. Symmes from this important
expedition he was ordered with his command to Mor-
ris County to join the brigade of Col. .laeob Ford.
On Dei'. 7, 177(5, while quartered at Chatham and
charged with the duty of covering the retreat of

Washington through New Jersey, Col. Ford n ived

intelligence that son British troops, i mutinied by

Hen. Leslie, had advanced to Springfield, four mile-

away. Col. Symmes was ordered to check the ap-
proach of thi' enemy if possible. The following doc-
ument, which we accidentally discovered in the clerk's
office "ii the court records for February term, L782,
may he taken as conclusive authority on this point:

"Thaw may certify thai on Hi- -iv.Tiih day ..f I mlier in Die year

.1 0U1 I ill. ii 'i ml even hundred and MVI -nty-six. I tli.. »il1«crll>cr
tli. n having Iho conininml of the mllilia from the i-oiinly "f Siivvn iii

Hi.- si. i i Horn Jereey, lay at Chatham iii -'I State, with otli D

loMof nrillHaformlng a Brigade nml.-i Hi 1 end ufOol.Jl

whan Col. Ford hud edrl thai the British i r... .|— Do the m

Eight Hundred Men, under ilio command Oon< Leello had adrai i to

Springfield within four mile* of Chatham. Ool. Ford il up rdere I

topnx 'I to Springfield and ol enemy if

pnarible. I marched to 8pringfleld with

meat of tho Brigade and attaokad ii"- enemy In Springfield that oven-

Ing. in the iklrmlth Capt Samuel Klrkendall ol I

wai wounded in the Band, lilt hand wai ipllt Ii) a muaksl ihot.froni nil

middle fingai to hiawriet, b) wbloh wound he lias load the nee oi hie

right Hand. Given under my Hand at Sowlon in the State of New J-r-
-y thli 0th Maj 1780.

"Joint i i.i.ms Symmes Colonel.
" To whom ii ma]

The object of this certificate on the part of Judge
Symmes was to ind the court to recommend '.'apt.

Kirkendall for a position to do light garrison duty.

and thus be enabled to earn something in the service.
In a civil point of view Col. Symmes rendered him-
self equally conspicuous and serviceable to the gov-
ernment. While a citizen of this State he Served as

it member of the Council of Safety, was a State sen-
ator in 1777 and 1780, resigned his command of the
Third Sussex Battalion, May 23, 1777, to accept;
under his father-in-law. i lovernor Livingston, the ap-
pointment of associate justice of the Supreme Court
of New Jersey, which position he held about ten
years. He also served two years in the Continental

Mrs. Symmes died Julj 25, 1776, and was buried in
the old Shapanack burying-ground, about six miles
above, on the farm now owned and occupied by the
heirs of Moses Hull, deceased. This old graveyard is
but a \'ew hundred yards from the banks of the Dela-
ware, near the ruins of the old Shapanack Dutch
church, which was also erected previous to the Revo-
lution. This old church was built of logs in the shape
of an octagon. It was still standing and in use sixty
years ago, ami is well remembered by our older citi-
zens. We last visited the spot July 15, 1871, and
copied the following inscription from the plain marble
slab which marks the spot where Mrs. Symmes is laid:

" In Remomtirnnco of

Mus. A\n\ Sonus,

who was born o, lobar ITU,

married to the HohbuJno Snout, 30th October 1760,

., died 2a July \~~<~. tearing two daughter),

M IBM S .Uvi"

Maria (or Mary, a- we find it in some old deeds)
married Maj. Peyton Short, of Kentucky, and Anna
married William Henry Harrison, afterwards Presi-
dent of the Dnited States. Mrs. Harrison died at.
North Bend. Ohio, in February, 1864. The -rave of
Mrs. Symmes is surrounded bj a rude stone wall,
now badly crumbled to pie,,s and overgrown with
briers and brambles. Down from the top of this

grave was a large hole dug by burrowing animals and

worn - ih and fresh 1 •> use. The following letter

will explain how the stone inclosure came to be place, 1
there :

" IIITIIIMOM. I'... lug. 14, 1871

-My nun sin,— I'ie lancet partly beyond my control hare pre-

vonto.1 an earlier reply to your letter reladra to the graTe of >lu. John
CIotm s, mm,., in Shapanack, Sui I l now bare the

I -a> thai ebonl i - had hut attest!

,,, ,|„, urn ' '>• Wynkoop, then

a rceldent on the DeWlU num. My eon wrote '<• Mr- Inna Harriaon,

,,i r the daughter! ■•< Mr-. Bymmee, and widow • •! Praaldenl Harriaon,

redding at (Serae, Ohio, who Immediately aothoriied blm to

till., i.. ii,,. property and hare i wall erei •• i around the gimn

who real

wis],, . |o in.-, ami I had n - " f title.

About the lame II Mi- H ""■' •'



Bethlehem, Pa., to visit the spot and make a painting of the place, which
"was done in a very handsome manner and to the satisfaction of Mrs. Har-
rison. The painting was sent to her at her residence in Cleves, a short
distance below Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Truly yours, etc.,

"A. G. Brodiiead.
" To Thos. G. Bi-nxf.ll, Esq., Newton, N. J."

Judge Symmes, having made a contract with the
government of the United States for the purchase
(by himself and associates) of all the lands lying be-
tween the Great and Little Miami Rivers, embracing,
as was supposed, about 2,000,000 acres, left his home
in New Jersey some time in the year 1787 for the
examination of the purchase, afterwards known as
" Symmes' purchase." This contract with the govern-
ment, for some reason (see "Burnet's Letters") was
not in full carried out. Only about half of the origi-
nal quantity of land contracted for was conveyed to
Judge Symmes and his associates, among whom was
Gen. Jonathan Dayton, of this State, after whom
Dayton, Ohio, was named.

Judge Symmes, after inspecting the lands of his
purchase, returned to New Jersey, and in the month
of July, 1788, again left for the West with a small
colony of emigrants and landed at North Bend, 15
miles below the present site of Cincinnati, in Febru-
ary, 1789. He must have left New Jersey on his final
remove West as early as July, 1788, as on the 6th of
August in that year Rev. Manassa Cutler met him
and his party at Bedford, Pa., of which he made the
following notice in his journal:

"Judge Symmes— John Cleves— had taken lodgings at the best tavern
fin Bedford) ; we, however, made shift to get lodgings in the same house,
— Mr. Wert's, a Dutchman. Judge Symmes was complaisant. I had a
letter to him from his brother (Timothy Symmes) at Sussex Court-bouse
(N. J.). He had his daughter (Anna) with him, a very pretty young
lady, one or two women with husbands, six heavy wagons, one stage-
wagon, and a chair, — a two-wheeled covered conveyance for two persons,
— thirty-one horses, three carpenteis, and one mason ; has been out three

" August 7. — I rose early this morning ; foggy, so that we could see hut
little of the town ; set out just after sunrise. Judge Symmes' wagons
wore nearly ready to start when we left the house," etc.

This journal, which is now the property of the New
Jersey Historical Society, is conclusive on two dis-
puted points, — viz., it settles beyond doubt the time
of Judge Symmes' final removal from New Jersey,
and also that his daughter was not married to Wil-
liam Henry Harrison until after their arrival in Ohio.

A grandson of Judge Symmes, and a son of Gen.
Harrison,* now living in Indiana, gives us the follow-
ing additional particulars:

"Judge Symmes laid out a town at North Bend, to be called ' The City
of Symmes,' but, Cincinnati having been selected for tho station of the
government troops and location of Fort Washington, emigrants flocked
to the Cincinnati settlement OS Offering greater protection against Indian
depredations. Judge Symmes had sold some lots in the proposed city,
but Boon repurchased the most of them ami abandoned the enterprise.
The judge made North Bend his home, though ho was much of his timo
at Cincinnati, attending to the sale and setllemont of hiB lands.

"Soon after the organization of tho Northwestern Territory Judge
Symmes was appointed (Fob. 19, 1788) one of the judges of tho Supremo
Court of the Territory, and attended the sittings of the court at Detroit

1 Hon, J. Scott Harrison, of I.awroncohurg, Ind.

and Marietta. About the year 1S0S lie built a large and costly dwelling
at North Bend, and when not engaged from home on judicial duties em-
ployed himself in making titles for lands sold and superintending the
clearing up and improvement of the lands about North Bend, which
(with the consent of his associates) he had reserved for his own use and
cultivation. Some time in the year 1810 the judge's fine residence at
North Bend was destroyed by fire, the work of an incendiary whose
aspirations for the dignified position of justice of the peace the judge
did not happen to indorse. With the house all the judge's valuable
papers were destroyed, causing some inconvenience and embarrassment
in arranging the titles of settlers to lands purchased. After the destruc-
tion of his house at North Bend the judge made one of the hotels of
Cincinnati his principal headquarters, visiting frequently his settlement
at North Bend, and residing while there at the house of Mr. John Cun-
ningham, the devoted and faithful manager of his lands. In the spring
of 1812, Gen. William H. Harrison, his son-in-law, moved his family from
Vincennes, Ind., to Cincinnati, and the judge at once became aH inmate
of Gen. Harrison's family, where, under the tender care of his daughter,
he lived until his death, which occurred Feb. 26, 1814, in the seventy-
third year of his age. He died of cancer, and was buried at North

An appropriate monument marks his resting-place,
upon which is the following inscription :

Rests the Remains


John Clkves Symmes

who, at the foot of these hills, made the first settlement

between the Miami Rivers.

Born on Long Island, State of New York, July 21, 1742.

Died at Cincinnati, Feb. 26, 1814."

Judge Symmes is spoken of as being a man of labo-
rious habits, temperate and frugal in all things, and
eminently distinguished for kindness and inflexible

Timothy Symmes, a judge of the county for many
years, resided in Walpack and kept a hotel. He was
a brother of John Cleves Symmes and father of John
Cleves Symmes, Jr., the famous author of the theory
of concentric spheres, or the hollow spheriosity of the
earth. Timothy Symmes was appointed judge Sept.
24, 1777, in place of his brother, John Cleves Symmes,
resigned. He held the office, presiding over the court
of the county, till 1791. In 1793 he removed to Ohio.
He was a staunch patriot during the Revolution, and
a prominent Freemason. John Cleves Symmes, Jr.,
was a captain in the war of 1812, and distinguished
himself for bravery in the battles of Bridgewater, Fort
Erie, and Lundy's Lane ; he was a native of Walpack.

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 80 of 190)