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From the old-fashioned house, and quiet surroundings in
Hudson street, where he had so long lived with his mother and
brothers (for he never married), he removed, about 1865 — follow-
ing, as was necessary, the upward trend of the city's population —
to No. Tfi West 2 2d street, where amid his beloved books, still
practicing, though in more leisurely fashion than in the old
"down-town" days; caring for, and cared for by, the family of
his deceased brother, he passed his later years until death came
to him, September 29th, 1900, in his 79th year.

As a physician, Dr. Purple was, as has already been said, con-
servative; he held to the best and loftiest traditions of the pro-
fession; in the sick-room his dignity, his quietness of manner and
movement; his voice modulated in low tones — and, above all, the
touch of sympathy which brings comfort amid distress and
anxiety — were characteristic of the man. Benevolence shone in
his face and lightened the woes of many whose names still stand
and always will stand on the debit side of his ledgers until before



I go I.] Samuel Smith Purple, M.D. t

the Great White Throne in Heaven, " every man's account shall
be rendered."

While but a boy of twelve or thirteen, Dr. Purple joined the
Baptist Church in Earlville. When he settled in this city he
joined, of course, the Laight Street Baptist Church, of which his
old friend, Rev. Mr. Everts was pastor. Some dissension after-
wards arose in this church, which disrupted its congregation, and
which, though he maintained his position, and came out of it
unscathed, yet so affected him that he never afterwards joined
any church organization.

And now we must say a word concerning him as a life mem-
ber of our Society. Dr. Purple was not one of our constituent
members, at the meeting of February 27th, 1869; but his name
stands upon our records as the first of the five members added at
the succeeding meeting of March 7th, and he was one of the
eight who signed the Certificate of Incorporation, on the i6th day
of the same month. And, from that time to this, it would be
difficult to find upon our roll of membership, one who has been
more intimately and continuously connected than he, with the
work and interests of the Society. He was a Trustee from 1869-
1900, inclusive; Second Vice-President from 1888-1893; First
Vice-President from 1893-1900; Treasurer, 1869-1877; a member
of our Publication Committee from 1872 until his death; Editor
of the Record from 1 874-1 886.

In all these relations he rendered us most faithful and loving
service. Especially, in connection with the work of the Publica-
tion Committee he was our main-stay, and it was due, we think,
to his suggestion, that the Society received from the late S. Whit-
ney Phoenix, Esq., the means for copying and publishing the
Baptismal and Marriage Records of the First Reformed Dutch
Church of this city — a most invaluable treasury of material for the
New York genealogist— and to the accuracy of which, in printed
form. Dr. Purple (who was a most inexorable proof-reader) de-
voted his untiring personal oversight, from the beginning of its
appearance in our quarterly, down to the very last week of his
life. He was also engaged, with his brother Edwin R. Purple,
in the preparation of other New York Dutch family genealogies,
some of which were published in our Record, and some in private
form: Genealogical Memorials of William Bradford, the Printer,
Quarto, pp. 8, 1873. Contributions to the History of Aricient
Families of New Amsterdam and New York. By Edwin R.
Purple, with a Biographical Sketch of the Author; and Additions,
and Emendations to the Work. By Samuel S. Purple, M.D.
Quarto, pp. 138, 1881. A Memoir of the Life and Writings of Hon.
Teunis G. Bergen {with Pedigree), 1881. By Samuel S. Purple,
M.D. Quarto, pp. 8. A Brief Memoir of Abram Du Bois, M.D.
{with Pedigree.) By Samuel S. Purple, M.D. Quarto, pp. 8, 1893.

Among his papers since his death, have been found extensive
manuscript collections for the genealogies of the Purple, Sheffield,
Close, Lynch, Fones and Gardner families. Dr. Purple from an
early date in his career, began the collecting of works on Ameri-
can local history and genealogy, at a time when there were com-



6 The Fields of Stockbridge and New York. [)*"•»

paratively few collectors in these lines, and had acquired, even as
far back as 1870, a library of such books which ranked as one of
the completest in the State. This library of Americana will soon
be put upon the market at auction. Many of these books are
very rare. A number of years ago he secured a volume contain-
ing as many as five of the earliest books printed in New York by
William Bradford, this city's first printer. Notable among the
five rarities are Keith's Truth Advanced, New York, 1694, and
Maule's Nezu England's Persecutors Mauled, no place or date, but
printed in New York in 1697. His judgment was very keen, and
his "luck" very noticeable; his patience and intimate knowledge
of books often made him the happy owner of a rare volume, which
another man might have not found.

Among his effects, also, was found a great collection of material,
both in manuscript notes and printed form, rare portraits, etc.,
which the Doctor had brought together in preparation for a
History of the New York Academy of Medicine — and which he
had hoped to make his magnufn opus. It is to be hoped that his
professional brethren will see to it that this design is ultimately
carried out to completion.

Singular modesty and reticence as to himself, his labors and
his plans, concealed from his friends and associates, both in the
profession and in our Society, the value and importance of his
life-work; it is only now, when death has removed him from the
spheres of his activity, that we fully appreciate the value of what
he has done. We remember his quiet ways, his few, but always
helpful words, his gentle measured speech, and the interest that
spoke so plainly from his eyes, as we "took sweet council to-
gether" in our Society and Committee meetings; and we are
thankful to have been so long permitted the companionship and
friendship of so true a man, and so wise a counsellor.



THE FIELDS OF STOCKBRIDGE AND NEW YORK. A

DISTINGUISHED FAMILY OF ANCIENT AND

NOBLE ANCESTRY.



By L. Hasbrouck von Sahler, Genealogist.



The English ancestor, Hubertus de la Feld, went over to
England from Normandy, with William the Conqueror, in 1066.
He was of the family of the Counts de la Feld, who lived in the
Chateau de la Feld, at Colmar, on the Rhine, in Alsace, who traced
their ancestry to the sixth century, and who had lived there since
that time. One of the family entertained in the eleventh century,
Pope Leo the Ninth, and his court, on their way to the consecration
of the Cathedral of Strasburg, of which the family were benefactors,



Igoi.j The Fields of Stockbridge and New York. 7

and several are resting there in the chantries that they founded.
In the third year of William the Conqueror, Hubertus de la Feld
held lands in Lancashire, undoubtedly granted for military ser-
vices, and in the twelfth year of Henry the First, John de la
Feld owned lands in the same county. Up to the time of Richard
the Second, the de la Felds were numerous, but after his reign
the name began to be changed. Owing to the feeling resulting
from the wars with France, the prefixes were either compounded,
with the surname Delafeld-Delafield, or left off, as Feld-Field.
The first of the family in America was Zachariah Field, a son of
John Field, and grandson of John Field the noted astronomer,
who was the first to introduce the Copernican system into Eng-
land. Zachariah Field was born at the old home at Ardsley, in
Yorkshire, about 1600, and came to this country about 1632, ar-
riving at Boston. He first lived at Dorchester, but remained
only a few years. As early as 1639, he removed through the
wilderness to Hartford, becoming one of the first settlers on
the Connecticut river, and acquiring large tracts of land, por-
tions of which are now in the center of the city. His home was
on Sentinel Hill. Owing to the dissentions that arose in the
church after the death, in 1647, of the Rev. Thomas Hooker, a
number of the settlers purchased in 1658, from the Monotuck
Indians, a territory about five miles square, north of Mount
Holyoke, and during the next two years sixty proprietors, and
their families, took possession. Over forty settled at Hadley,
and thirteen in that part of Hadley now Hatfield, and at North-
ampton. Zachariah Field settled at the latter place, probably
in the first year of the settlement. In January, 166 1, he and five
others were appointed a committee "to lay out a tract of land
on the west side of the Connecticut river for house lots." This
was at Hatfield, and he received a grant of land, and removed
there, where he died in 1666, leaving the homestead to his eldest
son, Zachariah Field, Junior, who married Sarah Webb, daughter
of John Webb, of Northampton, and after the birth of their three
sons they removed to Deerfield. Shortly after their settlement
occurred the Indian massacre of 1675, one of the most awful of
that period, and consequently the surviving settlers fled to
Northampton, and other places, and not until 1782 did Zach-
ariah, Junior, and his family, return. In 1696, the second son,
Ebenezer, removed to that part of Guilford, now called Madison,
on Long Island Sound. Again in 1704, a band of French and
Indians attacked Deerfield, and burned the town, and the in-
habitants were murdered and taken captive. At that time one of
the children of John, son of Zachariah, Junior, was killed, and his
wife and two other children were taken captive to Canada. The
wife and son were soon rescued, but the daughter was kept, and as
she grew up became so infatuated with the Indians that she mar-
ried a chief. In after years she visited her relatives, but preferred
her adopted influences. Ebenezer married Mary Dudley, and their
eldest son, David, married, first Mary Bishop, second, Catherine
Bishop, third Abigail Stone, a widow. The eldest child by the
third wife, and the youngest of his sons, Timothy, was born



8 The Fields of Stockbfidge and New Yo}-k. [Jan.,

March 12, 1744, and inherited the homestead. He was prominent
and respected in the town, and was active in the Revolution. In
1776 he was appointed sergeant major of the Seventh Connecticut
regiment, and in 1781, he was appointed lieutenant of a company
for coast defense, and on the death of its captain, received that
commission. He married Anna Dudley, daughter of David
Dudley, descended from the ancient and honorable Dudley family
of England.

Their second son. Rev. David Dudley Field, D.D., was born,
May 20, 1 781, at North Madison, and was prepared for college by
the Rev. Dr. Elliott of Madison. Entering Yale in 1798, he
was graduated with honor in 1802. He studied theology with
the Rev. Dr. Backus, of Somers, and was licensed by the asso-
ciation of New Haven East in 1803. At Somers he met his future
wife, Submit Dickinson, daughter of Captain Noah Dickinson,
who had served in the French and Revolutionary wars, and a
descendant of Thomas Dickinson, who came from England, and
settled at Rowley, Massachusetts, in 1643, They were married
October 31, 1803. As soon as Mr. Field was licensed to preach
he conducted services for a few weeks at Somers, and was urged
to become pastor, but he also received invitations to several
places and finally decided on Haddam, Connecticut, and remained
there fourteen years, when he was dismissed at his own request.
He then connected himself with the old missionary society of
Connecticut, and was sent to the new settlements on the southern
shore of Lake Ontario, and on the banks of the Oswego river,
where he remained five months. When he returned home he
passed through Stockbridge, and as he arrived on Saturday night,
he was asked to preach in the Congregational meeting house the
next day, as the pastor, the Rev. Stephen West, whose pastorate
continued for sixty years, was beyond active service. The people
were so pleased with his abilities that they urged him to stay the
following Sunday, and the next, when he felt that he must return
home. Soon he received an urgent call to become the pastor,
which he accepted in the same year, 181 9. He remained there
nearly eighteen years, when a division arose in his former parish
of Haddam, and he was asked to return to them, and try to unite
the two factions. At his request he was dismissed from Stock-
bridge, and re-installed at Haddam, in 1837. Williams College
conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity that year. After
seven years, as the parish was too large, it was divided, and he
took charge of the new church at Higganum, two miles north of
the original church, and he remained there seven years. In 1848
he went, with his son (Justice) Stephen J. Field, to England,
spending several months in London, and travelled in France and
Belgium. At the request of his children, in 1851, when he was
seventy, he returned to Stockbridge, to spend his remaining years
in less activity. He was especially interested in historical re-
searches, and was at one time vice-president of the Connecticut His-
torical Society, and a corresponding member of the Massachusetts
and Pennsylvania historical societies. In 1819, he published a
history of Middlesex County, Connecticut, and in 1829 was pub-



igoi.] The Fields of Stockbridge and New York. g

lished the history of Berkshire County, which he, assisted by
many of the neighboring ministers, wrote, and which he edited.
A historical address delivered at the second centennial of Middle-
town, Connecticut, grew into a book of several hundred pages,
and he was also interested in the genealogical element of history,
for he published the Brainerd Genealogy. In his youth he es-
pecially attracted the admiration of the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Trum-
bull of North Haven, the historian of Connecticut, who antici-
pated that he would be his associate or successor, but the urgent
call from Stockbridge came before his plans were formed. He
was very painstaking in his ministerial work, both in the theo-
logical and parochial parts. Several of his discourses were pub-
lished. .

The ten children of Dr. Field and Submit Dickinson were:
David Dudley, the distinguished lawyer, born 1805; Emilia Ann,
married Rev. Josiah Brewer, a missionary in the East; Timothy
Beals, an officer in the navy, who died young at sea; Matthew
Dickinson, a manufacturer and civil engineer; Jonathan Edwards,
a lawyer, who finally settled and remained during his life at
Stockbridge; Stephen Johnson (first), died young; Stephen John-
son (second), Justice of the United States Supreme Court; Cyrus
West, the father of the Atlantic telegraph; Rev. Henry Martyn
Field, D.D., long associated with the New York Evangelist, and a
well-known traveller and author, and Mary Elizabeth, married
Joseph Frederick Stone.

The eldest son, David Dudley Field, was born at Haddam,
February 13, 1805. His first instruction was from the common
school, but when he was nine he commenced, under his father's
guidance, to study Latin, Greek and mathematics. When he was
fourteen, his father removed to Stockbridge, where he attended the
academies of that place and Lenox, and at sixteen he entered
Williams College, and was graduated in 1825. At once he began
the study of law, in the office of Harmanus Bleecker, at Albany,
and later entered the office of Henry and Robert Sedgwick, m
New York city. In 1828 he was admitted to the bar of New York
State, as attorney and solicitor, and in 1830 as counsellor, and
soon gained first rank in his profession. He found the practice
of law, which was under English influences, very complicated,
slow and expensive, and so immediately began the careful study
of and vigorous influence which penetrated his whole career, and
added greatly to his honor for legal reforms His first essay
on the subject was published in 1839. In 1847 the New York
legislature appointed him one of a commission to reform the
legal practice of the state, and the results of the two years' labor
were contained in two codes of procedure, civil and criminal. A
large portion of the civil code was adopted by twenty-seven states
and territories, and was the basis of the legal reform, established
by the judicature acts of England, and the practice of several
of the British colonies, including India. In 1857 the New York
legislature appointed him the head of a new commission to codify
the entire laws of the state, and in 1865 they reported a civil,
penal and political code. The work of the two commissions de-



10 The Fields of Stockbridge and New York. [Jan.,

volved principally on Mr. Field, and covered the general laws of
the United States, common and statute. The states of California
and North and South Dakota were the only ones to adopt the laws
in full. New York accepted the code of criminal procedure and
the penal code, while the civil code has been twice passed by the
legislature but has been defeated by the governor. In 1861 he
was a member of the peace conference at Washington. In 1867
he brought a proposition for an international code before the
British Association of Social Science, and this led to his preparing
a work on the subject, including the principle of arbitration be-
tween nations, and called the "Outlines of an International Code,"
although it was a very complete treatise. It attracted widespread
attention in Europe, and was translated into French and Italian.
In 1873 he was one of the founders of an international association,
to reform and codify the laws of nations, with the special pur-
pose of arbitration instead of war. He was elected, in 1877, to
the House of Representatives. In 1890 he presided at the great
peace convention in London. In 1884 he published a col-
lection of his speeches and arguments before the United States
Supreme Court, and miscellaneous papers — a book of decided
interest. In 1893 he read a paper, prepared by request, on
American Progress in Jurisprudence and Law Reform, connected
with the Columbian Exposition at Chicago. This was his last
important public appearance, and I am fortunate in possessing an
autograph copy of the paper, which he presented to my father,
J. Hasbrouck von Sahler. Mr. Field was a man of great height
and splendid presence, capable, broad and cultivated mind,
courtly and gracious manners, and distinguished legal career,
with many honors. Like all men, especially public men, he had
his detractors, but that he did beyond human knowledge for his
countrymen and others, by his almost life-long and active advo-
cacy of legal reforms, must be credited to him. Although Mr.
Field was in his old age and I in my boyhood when we became
cordial friends, his manner was always most considerate, and I
shall continue to hold our conversations, and his letters, in appre-
ciation. Mr. Field had by his first wife, Jane Lucinda Hopkins,
sister of Mrs. Mary Hopkins Goodrich, founder of the Laurel
Hill Society, and a descendant of the Rev. John Sergeant, mis-
sionary to the Stockbridge Indians, two children, Dudley Field,
who married Miss Laura Belden, and died without issue, and
Jeanie Lucinda, who married Sir Anthony Musgrave of England,
and who became the mother of Mr. Field's only grandchildren.
"Eden Hill," Mr. Field's country place, at Stockbridge on Field
hill, was one of the finest estates in the Berkshire hills, and
not far from the mansion, is still standing the ruins of the old
Sergeant homestead, built by the missionary in 1737, and for
which he had much veneration, saying that it should never be
removed during his lifetime. He suggested and wished me to
write a magazine article about the same — "Memories of the
Homestead of John Sergeant, Missionary to the Stockbridge In-
dians," which would include mention not alone of the Sergeants
and the Indians, but many of the early families and noted visitors,



Igoi.] The Fields of Stockbridge and New York. II

and I had started the article at the time of Mr. Field's death, but
have never completed it. On the site of the mission house, near
the later Congregational Church, Mr. Field built a stone chimes-
tower as a memorial of the mission, and gave a set of chimes, as
a tribute from his grandchildren to their ancestor Sergeant, and
in his will he provided for a chimes-ringer. Mr. Field traveled
extensively abroad, receiving many pleasing attentions, and on
his return from his last trip, in the spring of 1894, he took a severe
cold, which resulted in his death on the the thirteenth of April,
and he was laid to rest in the Stockbridge cemetery.

I will also mention briefly two other brothers.

Stephen Johnson Field was born July 11, 1815, at Haddam,
and when he was thirteen went to the far east with his sister, and
her husband, the Rev. Mr. Brewer, a missionary. On his return,
in the fall of 1832, he entered Williams College, and was gradu-
ated in 1837, with the highest honors of his class. He studied
law with his brother, David Dudley Field, and on his admission
to the bar, a partnership was formed, which continued imtil
the spring of 1848, when he went abroad for a year's traveling,
and on his return, in the fall of 1849, he settled in California,
where he held many public honors, the last being the office of
chief justice of the state, and at the time of his death, in 1899,
he was one of the associate justices of the United States Supreme
Court.

Cyrus West Field, was born November 30, 18 19, at Stockbridge
and went to the common schools and academy there. As his am-
bition was to become a merchant, at fifteen he went to New York,
and became a clerk for A. T. Stewart. At twenty-one he was es-
tablished as a wholesale paper merchant, to which business he
devoted himself with the exception of a trip abroad, for about
twelve years, when he desired to retire from business, but the
wishes of his junior partners were considered instead. At this
time he traveled extensively in South America, where his com-
panion was F. E. Church, N. A., the artist. In 1854 Mr. Field
first thought of the Atlantic telegraph, which made him famous,
but its history is too long to detail in this place. Undoubtedly
the guiding hand of his brother, David Dudley, was of great
assistance, although full credit must be given to Mr. Field, and
the prominent men associated with him. He received many
medals, the thanks of Congress, and other honors at home and
abroad. Subsequently he was engaged in other large enterprises,
among which was the construction of the elevated railroad in
New York city. He died July 12, 1892.

The Field ancestry is interesting to trace through the past
centuries, as it has produced many men of especial note, whose
influences have been far spreading, but in this sketch I have been
obliged to confine myself to a very few and to treat them briefly.
The family are now represented in Stockbridge by the Rev. Dr.
Field.



12



Records of the Church of Christ



[Jan..



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN SALEM,
WESTCHESTER CO., N. Y.



The First Church in the Town, with some Places Adjacent.



(Continued from Vol. XXXI., p. 242, of The Record.)



1795, Feb. 19.
Mar. I.
July 19.
July 20.
Oct. 23.
Nov. 18.
Dec. 22.

1796, Jan. 26.
Jan. 28.
Feb. 3.
Feb. 10.
Mar. 24.
Apl. 13.
June 12.
Aug. 12.
Sept. 15.
Sept. 25.
Oct. 18.
Dec. 20.
Dec. 27.

1797, Jan. 2.
Jan. 5.
Jan. 26.
Feb. 9.
Mar. 2.
Apl. 12.
June 18.
Sept. 14.
Oct. 19.
Oct. 26.
Nov. I.
Nov. 2.
Nov. 23.
Nov. 30.

1798, Jan. 14.
Jan 25.
Jan. 30.
Feb. I.
Feb. 8.
Feb. 12.



MARRIAGES.

Enoch Bouton & Prudence Hays.
Stephen Shearman & Betty Lockwood.
Solomon Benedict & Abigail Rundle.
Caleb Smith & Sarah Smith.
James Dan & Sarah Wood.
Mathew Lockwood & Martha Brown.
Jerre Stebbins & Sarah Conklin.
Shadrack Richards & Phebe Bloomer.
Samuel Townsand & Elisabeth Benedict.
Ira Lockwood & Betsey Utter.
Ebenezer Mobey & Sarah Scofield.
Lewis Homes & Mary Miller.
Abraham Adams & Betsey Boughton.
Thomas Northrup & Clarisse Rockwell.
George Brush & Polly Keeler.
Nathan Adams & Nancy Stebbins.
Minor Lawrence & Hannah Rundle.
Thomas Gilbert & Esther Conklin,
David Canfield & Hannah Northrup.
Henry Hoit & Johannah Hoisted.
Ezra Smith & Elisabeth Hull.
Stephen Newman & Eunice Hoit.
David Conklin & Anna Gilbert.
John Vedenburg & Abigail Butson.
Samuel Smith & Anna Smith.
John Cross & Jerusha Scofield.
Reuben Scofield & Mary Waterbury.
Samuel Fancher & Hannah Raymond.



Online LibraryNew York Genealogical and Biographical SocietyThe New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 78) → online text (page 2 of 37)