person would be attacked. But, says he, I was once, with good
diversion with some others, where in an orchard of Mr. John
Robinson's of New York they followed a bear from tree to tree,
upon which he would swarm like a cat. He came down back-
wards. He says that pennyroyal bruised and held to the smell
of a rattlesnake will soon kill it ! They also say the same plant
will expel a dead child, and it is also a remedy for a venomous
bite, applied to the wound. Their wigwams are made of bark
set upon poles. They bring many oysters and fish to market in
their canoes. The fort at New York is one of the strongest in
North America, and when taken by the Dutch was the fault of
Capt. Manning, who suffered it, in the absence of the governor;
for which he was condemned an exile to a small island, called
30 u 2
234 Remarkable Facts and Incidents.
from his name Manning Island, where / have been several
thnes, with the said captain, whose entertainment was commonly
a bowl of rum punch. The Dutch women almost always wear
slippers (down at heel). They have another custom peculiar,
which is that they feast freely and merrily at i\\e funeral of any
friend, eating and drinking very plentifully, as I have seen.
The betrothed Indian woman, covers her face like Rebecca, a
whole year before she is married. Her husband does not lie
with his S'4uaw, whilst the child has (not) done sucking, which is
commonly two years, for they say the milk will not be good, if
they get children so fast. They bury the body sitting upon their
heels, and put with them their weapons and wampum, &:c. like
those in Ezek. 32 : 27. They make thread of Indian hemp. They
were smart at cutting trees with a flint axe. They eat the lice
they find in one another's heads, and say they are wholesome !
All the companies he met of them, out of town, all bowed head
and knee to him, calling him the Sacka-makers' Kakin-do-ioet,
i. e. the governor's minister. Their war paint is black, for peace
red. Their tribes near on Long Island were at Rockaway ; 2d,
Sea-qua-ta-cy, to the south of Huntingdon ; 3d, Unckal-chau-ge ;
4th, Setauch, Setauchet North ; 5th, Ocqua-bang Southold ; 6th,
Shin-n-cock, Southampton the greatest tribe ; 7th, Mun-tauck, to
the eastward of East Hampton. Top-paum has one hundred and
fifty fighting men. The West Chester Indians have seventy-five
fighting men. The Na-usin or Neversinks are but few.
At New York he was minister and teacher to the English,
there were also two others, a Lutheran, the other a Calvinist Low
Dutchman, very shy and averse to each other's creeds, called
Domines, Avho spoke Latin fluently, to the shame of our A. M.
'himself! The English observed one of their customs the New Year,
and many presents were sent to him from the English residents
there, a measure he thought to be equally kind and singular.
New York in 167S, as seen by Gov. Andros's chaplain. He said
that Fredk. Phillips was deemed the richest Mun Heer there, and
that he had whole hogsheads of Indian money, or luampurn. Per-
sons could then buy plantations at two to three pence an acre ;
all covered with wood, under a permit from the governor. So
much encouragement for settlers ! but if inclined to merchandize,
then to pay £3 12.?. \ld. fees, or six beavers, (for the privilege
of trading,) and they may turn cent for cent, on what they may
import from London ; fifty per cent, is but an indifferent advance
considered ! So he took his shipments, — what he paid £43 for in
furs, he received £80 for in London. Horses there were rarely
shod, and their feet became like flints, by running in the woods.
The city was as large as some Market towns in England, all
being built the London way. The garrison, side of a high situa-
tion, and a pleasant prospect. The diversion, especially in the
winter by the Dutch, is aurigation, i. e. riding about in wagons,
Remarhahle Facts and Incidents. 235
and upon the ice, it is admirable to see men and women, as if
flying upon their skates, from place to place, with marketing upon
their heads and backs. He concludes, that its seasons and heal-
thiness are so bracing and so delightfully felt, that he could invite
cordially English gentry, merchants and clergy to go thither even
if they be of hypohcondriacal consumption : only, if it were not
for the passage — oh the passage thither is hie labour, hoc opus
est ! The ship may founder, or she may be taken by a Pickeroon.
He went home to England in a Quaker's ship, and should have
fared ill enough witli the nauseous old water, had not the gov-
ernor's lady kindly provided him with a rundlet of Madeira.
Smuggling before the Revolution. I have been told by respect-
able commercial gentlemen, who were in business at New York
before the revolution, that it was a common every day affair to
smuggle contraband goods ashore, at many places on Long Island
and Staten Island. They would even unload in day time with-
out any fear of informers, who were held to be odious, and were
visited with tar and feathers too. The measure itself, was entirely
in harmony with the will of the people, who considered that in
proportion to their success, they would profit by the lowness of
the prices. Besides, they all deemed it to be unreasonable, that
they should be taxed to raise funds to be sent and spent abroad.
In that way, much of the tea, gin, china, and sundry dry-goods,
came out from Holland ; other goods came from St. Eustatia as
an intermediate port. Some of the best names, now known in
New York as independent men, attained their wealth in the
Dutch contraband commerce. The king's officers, too, felt the
unpopularity of their position, and seemed well disposed to con-
nive at things not actually seen by themselves. For instance,
several vessels used to unload by night and day at a cove on
Staten Island, within a mile of Amboy, where the king's officers
of the customs, were established. The inside of the sound along
Long Island, was also a frequent and favourite place of discharge.
The teas which came from England, were of course subject to
duties, and paid highly — and every family thought themselves
interested to have them low. [The fact may serve to teach our-
selves, even now, that the best way to secure good faith towards
our own revenue, will be to make them moderate and acceptable
to the mass of the people : else we offer a lure to create and foster
It was not considered infamous then, as now, because the peo-
ple thought themselves oppressed by the exclusive measures of
the parent country, in monopolizing trade. It was considered
that the duties were not for ourselves, but for remote crown offi-
cers and favourites. Informers therefore were held in great de-
testation, and were almost sure to meet with tar and feathers, or
worse. Kelly and Kitchener at New York, having informed
against the mate of a vessel, who had invested his wages in wine
236 Remarkable Facts and Incidenis.
to make a little profit, were seized by the populace and paraded by
them through the streets in a cart, their faces and clothes smeered
with tar and sprinkled with feathers. The same was done to a
person at the drawbridge at Philadelphia, in 1169. At Newport
the people seized an informer, placed him in the pillory, and
then gave him tar and feathers. At Boston, a person informing
against a vessel from Rhode Island which had landed a cask of
wine, was seized and his naked skin well tarred and feathered,
and paraded about in a cart holding in his hand a lighted lanthorn.
We give a pleasant description of St, Nicholas' day, in which
is happily depicted many of the passing changes of the times :
SAINT NICHOLAS' DAY.
A safe arrival to Saint Nicholas to night
Througli all the windings of dark Anthracite.
I fear not one Dutch chimney can be found
In which the saint may turn his carriage round —
That magic coach, so famed in olden times,
And drawn by tiny steeds from distant climes ;
Ah, well I recollect the ample space,
Where little people did their stockings place,
Then sit delighted round the hickory blaze
And watch the chimney with expectant gaze,
Discussing all they thought the dawn would show,
And wondering where Saint Nicholas next would go.
And when the anxious night was passed
And the wished morning came at last.
Then each with haste the knot untied
And open flew the stocking wide,
Disclosing such a bounteous store,
No little mortals would desire more;
And oh, what smiling, happy dimpled faces,
What laughing, shouting, capering and grimaces.
What ships and tops, and bounding balls.
And sugar'd fruits, and toys and dolls.
What pleasure sparkling in each youthful eye.
How free from care — how full of ecstasy —
But children now, have so much wiser grown
That all their simple pleasures are unknown.
And little urchins who may read my rhymes
Will call them silly traits, of by-gone times.
Saint Nicholas, must marvel much to see
Such alterations in old Albany,
And when he looks, the gable ends to spy,
A gilded dome will strike his wandering eye
Instead of Holland bricks, and simple tiles,
Ionic temples from the Grecian Isles;
Our great grand sires could hardly tell the models,
But people now a days, have wiser noddles.
Old Pearl, 1 knew, a pleasant quiet street.
Snug houses and neat stoops, where friends would often meet,
The men with pipes, cock'd hats and fine long queues.
The girls with white short gowns, stulT petticoats and high heel shoes,
And knitting at the side, and fingers going.
And now and then a tender glance bestowing.
Remarkable Facts and Incidents. 237
Soon as the old Dutch bell rung out for eio^ht,
The bolt was drawn upon the little gate,
The table set — and for our supper
Supaan and milk, and bread and butter.
And Pearl street claims the mead of praise
For changing all these good old ways ;
Now she has courts, with grass and roses,
(Not pinkster blumies, nor Dutch posies,)
With seats of learning classical and pure.
Pity such columns cannot long endure.
I own my vision was at first astounded
By church and houses, somehow so confounded,
And something on the top I see
Like what the French call fleur de lis.
But altogether 'tis imposing,
And Fm no critic's skill disclosing.
But merely as an idle passer by
Note down what happens to attract my eye.
Then there are squares, and parks and pailings.
No wooden stiles — but iron railings,
And mansions towering in height,
W ith plate glass windows, clear and bright —
Marble and granite — and such domes,
Old Dutchmen scarcely know their homes,
And Knickerbockers of the day
Are sometimes seen to lose their way.
A study too is all the fashion
Call'd bumps — denoting any passion.
And these are found to my surprise
On cheek, and mouth, and nose and eyes ,
Now little hills upon the face
I humbly think quite out of place.
But mountains on the head are seen,
And no doubt rivers tlow between ;
All these to every crani-lover
Some strange propensities discover.
Saint Nicholas would wonder most of all.
Were he to see the City Hall.
Dutch worthies there have been forgot.
And in their place, is Walter Scott.
Now Holland's history proclaims
A list of great and brilliant names.
And Holland's sons should love to show,
How much to these great names they owe.
Here let me make this declaration,
Good men I love of every nation,
I like the Scotch — a clever race.
But think Sir Walter out of place.
My time is limited, and I,
Must bid my ancient friends good bye,
I came to celebrate the day.
And to our Saint, my homage pay. 1835.
St, Nicholas was born on the 6th of December, in the year 343,
at Patura a city of Lycia, of reputable parents, who early initiated
him in the doctrines of the Christian faith, which he practised in
so exemplary a manner as to reach the ear, and to receive the
238 Remarkable Facts and Incidents.
patronage of Constantine the Great, and through him became the
head of the church, or Bishop of Myra.
His legendary Ufc dbounds too greatly with absurd statements
of miraculous powers, to warrant recital, beyond what is abso-
lutely necessary in explanation of the origin of some of the
patronages which superstition formerly assigned to him, and
which are yet credited by those of the Latin and Greek churches.
When he was an infant, and consequently dependent upon the
sustenance with which Providence has so bountifully provided
the female parent, he never could be induced to receive such
natural support, on Wednesdays or Fridays ; a virtuous and
exemplary attention to the ordinances of the church, which
marked him — ^justly, could we but believe the fable, " as a pattern
for future infants," and caused him to be regarded as their
peculiar saint and patron, under the endearing title of " Child
Numerous free schools were established for the instruction of
youth, under the patronage of St. Nicholas, their great friend.
And before the reformation, the election of what was known by
the title of Boy Bishop, or Episcopus Puerorum in tiie cathedrals
in England, has been considered to have had its origin from the
alleged attachment of the saint to the rising generation. He is
styled in several of the legends as " the glorious confessor." His
was the peculiar honour of being worshipped by those of almost
every country " whose march was on the mountain wave, and
whose home was on the deep." In illustration of this fact, there
was scarcely a place of any note on the coast of Europe, or
adjoining the principal rivers, but what traces of temples of wor-
ship could be found, that were put under his protection, and
enriched by offerings from mariners, fishermen and others, as
well as by merchants trading beyond sea.
Dutch taste. — The last specimens of the old Dutch taste in
building have now, says the New York Transcript, nearly dis-
appeared from our city ; but they are still to be seen in great
alDundance a few miles out in the country. This is particularly
the case on Long Island, among the farmers, as may be seen in
Brooklyn, Flatbush, Gravesend, &c. There may be seen houses
with bevel roofs, from a story to a story and a half high, with the
gable end to the street, and the shingles on the said gable end
tastefully rounded at their lower ends, and looking all along their
lower edge like the herring-bone of a quilted petticoat ; while on
both sides of the houses are wide projecting eaves, sufficient to
defend two companies of men, rank and file, from the liardest
shower. So much for the houses. The barns are low, with high
roofs, and almost invariably painted red. In allusion to this latter
taste, a gentleman, the other day, asked a descendant of one of
the old original settlers, why it was that the barns were always
painted of that colour. He replied, " It is the Dutch coat of arms."
Remarkable Facts and Incidents. 239
" The Dutch coat of arms ? Well, what does that mean ?"
" Why, it means that white paint costs a shilling a pound, while
the red only costs fourpence."
This explanation appeared very rational, and the questioner
was satisfied. For our part, we like to see these ancient speci-
mens of the Knickerbocker taste. They exhibit economy, and
they are, moreover, as it were connecting links with the tastes,
feelings, and notions of the olden time, which the rage of modern
improvement is doing its best to drive entirely into the ocean of
THE FEDERAL PROCESSION AND SHIP HAMILTON,
AS THEY PASSED ALONG THE STREETS IN NEW YORK, IN 17S8,
TO CELEBRATE THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. TO WIT.
In the seventh division there appeared a frigate of thirty-two
guns, twenty-seven feet keel, and ten feet beam, with galleries
and every thing complete, and in proportion, both in hull and
rigging ; manned with upwards of thirty seamen and marines in
their different uniforms ; commanded by Commodore Nicholson,
and drawn by ten horses.
^ _______ =
,. ,,, - - - f
At the hour appointed for the procession to move, thirteen guns
were fired from the ship, as a signal for marching. She then got
under way, with her topsails a-trip and coursers in the brails,
proceeding in the centre of the procession. When abreast of
Beaver street she made the proper signal for a pilot, by hoisting
a jack at the foretop-mast head, and firing a gun. The pilot boat
appearing upon her weather quarter, the frigate threw her main
topsail to the mast ; the boat hailed, and asked the necessary
questions ; the pilot was received aboard and the boat dismissed.
The frigate then filled and moved abreast of the fort, where the
crew discovered the President and members of Congress. She
immediately brought to and fired a salute of thirteen guns, which
was followed by three cheers, and politely answered by the gen-
tlemen of Congress. The procession then moved ; when the ship
came opposite to Mr. Constable's, the crew discovered at the
window Mrs. Edgar, who had generously honoured the ship with
240 Remarkable Facts and Incidents.
the present of a suit of silk colours ; immediately they manned
the ship and gave three cheers. When she arrived abreast of
the old slip, she was saluted by thirteen guns from his most Cath-
olic Majesty's packet, then in the harbour, which was politely
returned. She then made sail and proceeded through Queen street
to the fields, when squalls came on, and the wind ahead, she beat
to windward by short tacks, in which the pilot displayed liis skill
in navigation, heaving the lead, getting ready for stays, putting
the helm a lee, by bracing and counter-bracing the yards, &c.
In the fields, she had to descend several hills, in rising which
she aiforded a delightful prospect to the spectators, her top-
sails appearing first and then her hull, in imitation of a ship at
sea ; exhibiting an appearance beyond description splendid and
majestic. When she arrived at her station abreast of the dining
tables, she clewed up her top-sails and came to, in close order
with the rest of the procession, the officers going ashore to dine.
At four o'clock she gave the signal for marching, by a discharge
of thirteen guns, when the procession moved by the lower road.
The manner in which the ship made her passage through the nar-
row parts of the road, was highly interesting and satisfactory,
being obliged to run under her foretop-sail, in a squall, and
keep in the line of procession ; this was accomplished with great
hazard, by the good conduct of the commander and the assiduity
of the seamen and pilot ; she arrived at her moorings abreast
of the Bowling Green at half past five, amidst the acclamations
of thousands ; and the difterent orders in the procession, as soon as
they were dismissed, honoured her with three cheers, as a mark of
approbation for the good conduct of the Commodore and his crew.
The ship Betsey and her voyage round the world. 1797-9,
By Captain Edmund Fanning.
This elegant little ship of ninety odd tons (first rigged as a brig)
which was built in 1792, was a matter of great interest to the
good city of Gotham in her day. She was constructed in superior
style for a Charleston packet, under Captain Motley, and what
was strange to the Gothamites of that day, and may be still
stranger to us now, she was built so up in the town, as to have
been launched across three streets, and to have occupied three
days in the launching. She was built on blocks set in Cheapside
street, a fancy or convenience of the master builder to build her
before his own door, and was first launched into George street
(now called Market street), then down into Cherry street, then
across to Water street, and finally over the dock into the East
river! Her first voyage in 1797 to go round the world, under
Captain Fanning, was a company concern for commercial enter-
prise in the South seas and Pacific ocean, and resulted in her
coming home at the end of two years with a valuable cargo of
silks, teas, china, and nankeens from Cbina, with a healthy crew
of young fellows, all decked in china silk jackets and blanched
Remarkable Facts and Incidents. 241
chip-hats, trimmed with blue ribbons. The ship presented a
daily sight at the Flymarket wharf, where hundreds were daily
visiters, to see the ship of war in beautiful miniature with her bat-
tery tier, fore and aft. The whole voyage was a fortunate
adventure, and resulted in 1000 dollars apiece to the seamen, and
sundry gifts of silks, nankeens, &c.
In the year ISOO he made his second voyage in the corvette
ship Aspasia of twenty-two guns, under commission of the
United States, having five lieutenants and eight midshipmen, &c.,
and discovering several new islands, and opening new places of
trade and profit.
It was to this style of fortunate exploration and beginning,
that we are indebted for our subsequent successful adventures in
the Pacific ocean, and South seas, as told more at large in the
published " Voyages round the world" of the same Captain
Fanning, who has been called by the British Reviewers a second
Cook* It was he who by his first and subsequent voyages set
in motion our annual fleets of whale ships, to seek cargoes of
sandal wood, seals, fur, beach-la-mer, birds' nests, mother of pearl,
pearls, sharks' fins, turtle shell, and all the cargoes of oil, &c.,
thus enriching our citizens, creating and employing hardy and
experienced seamen, and bringing into the national treasury
millions of dollars of revenue ! Finally, it is the same master spirit,
who by his memorials and personal applications and explanations
to Congress and the national rulers, has been actively employed
in getting up and finally accomplishing, the departure of the
national exploring expedition to the south pole, &c. He died at
New York in 1841, at the age of seventy years.
Steam Packets to Europe. On the 22d and 23d April, 1838,
arrived at New York, the famed new steam packets, the Syrius,
and Great Western, the former of 700 tons, from Cork, in eigh-
teen days, and the latter, of 1 300 tons, from Bristol, in sixteen
days. Their arrival was greeted, with much pomp and ceremony,
by the citizens and public authorities, — vide the Gazettes of the
day. They treated it however as too much of a iieiv wonder,
and as a first successful experiment, loading the British officers
of the vessels with honours, as if they had performed a new
thing. This was overlooking facts in the case. There had been
a steam packet of their own arrived about three weeks before,
which had gone out to the West Indies, her first voyage, safely,
and went from Jamaica to Norfolk and Baltimore. She was of
smaller size, and excited but little attention, called the City of
Kingston, of 325 tons, schooner rigged. It is however due to
ourselves as Jimericans to say, that as many as eighteen years
before, the New Yorkers had themselves made the successful
* His work had been republished with commendation in England, and also
translated into French, and published in France.
242 Remarkable Facts and Licidents.
experiment of traversing the Atlantic and northern seas in the
steam ship Savannah, commanded by Captain Moses Rogers.
She sailed from New York in JNIarch 1S19, went to Savannah,
left Savannah the 25th May, arrived at Liverpool the 20th June,
left there 23d July for St. Petersburg, moored off Cronstadt the
5th September, left there the 10th October, and arrived again at
Savannah on the 30th November, All this without accident or
harm. She stopped four days at Copenhagen, and four days at
Arundel in Norway, She was visited by the emperor of Russia,
and also by the king of Sweden, Bernadotte, and each, making
Captain Rogers a present, as a token of their approbation of his
skill and enterprise. The Savannah afterwards went to Constan-
tinople, where Captain Rogers also received a present from the
Grand Seignor. The present from the emperor of Russia might
seem singular : It was a silver teakettle, a first noticed generator
and condenser of steam ! These facts of steam ship enterprise,
should forcibly remind us of "poor Fitch," as he called himself,
when he wrote to Mr. Rittenhouse, in June 1792 (one of his
shareholders), saying, "■ This, sir, ivill be the mode of crossing
the Atlantic in time, whether I shall bring it to perfection or
not ! ! !"
Closing of the Hudson, by ice, to wit : — On Feb. 3, 1790, and
1802 ; Jan. 12, 1795 ; Jan. 23, 1796 ; Jan. 6, 1800 ; Jan. 3, 1801 ;
Jan. 12, 1804; Jan. 9, 1806; Jan. 4, 1808; Jan. 19, 1810:
Jan. 5, 1825; Jan. 11, 1830; Dec. 31, 1832. The earliest times
of closing in the foregoing period was on the 30th Nov. 1820.