William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) online

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Laurens Hendrickse.
Hendricke Van Borsum,
Jannetje Cornells,
Thymen Van Borsum,
AVyd Timnier (Wood Tim-

Oristje Langendyck,

Smit Straat.
William Street, south of Maiden Lane.)

widow of Elias Provoost.

wife Wieske Huy]ikens. {He icas

the first child horn mi Maitliattan


wife Neeltje Jans.

wife Hester Pluvier.

wife Anna Van Vorst.

wife Elizabeth Van Hoogten.

wife Willemyntie De Kleyn.

wife ^Farritje Jans.

wife ^larritje Cornells.

wife Grietjie Focken.

widow of Dirck Dev.



Frans Corueliseu,
Jan Pietersen Bosch,
William Biiyell (Boyle),
David Provoost,
Tryntje Eeymers,
Jau Pieterseu,

wife Jaiiettje Dey.

wife Janettjie Barents.

wife Janettje Frans.

wife Tryntje Lanrens.

widow of Meynardt Barentsen.

wife ]\[arritjie Pietersen.

Smits Vallye.

Smith's Val


Elizabeth Lnbberts.
Jan Jansen Van Langendyek
Pieter Jansen Van Langen-
Herman Jansen,
Albert Wantenaer,
Hilletje Pieters,
Johannes Clopper,
^Margarata Vermeulen,

Adriaeutie Van de Water,
Abraham Moll,
Fytie Sipkens,
Wilhelmus De ^Nleyert.
Jacob De Mill.
Dirck Yanderclitf,
Joost Carelse,
Will em Hillacher,
dement Ellswaert,
Wilhelmns Beekman,
Johannes Beekman,
Jacob Swart,

Street, north of Wall Street.)
widow of Dirck Fhivt.

wife Breehje Ellswaert.
wife Tryntje Hadders.
widow of Cornells Clojiper.

widow of

Hendricks Van de

wife Jacomyntie Van Dorlebeek.

wife of Eoeloff.

wife C'atharina Bayard.

wife Sarah Joasten.

wife Geesje Hendrickse.

wife Styntie Jans.

wife Tryntje Baelen.

wife Anna Maria Englebert.

wife Catharina De Boog.

wife Aeltje Thomas.

wife Tryntje Jacobse.

BrYTEN De Land Pookt.
(Beyond the Land (Jate, on Broadway, north of Wall Street.)
Thenuis Dev, wife Annake Schouten.



0\EE Het Versch Water.

(Beyond the Fresh Water. A small pond called Kolck, at what
is now corner of Centre and Leonard Streets. The peo-
ple beyond that all lived on farms, or boweries.)

A^'olfert Webber,

Dirck Cornellisen,
xlrie Corneliseu,
Franciscus Bastianse,
Solomon Pieters,
Anthony Saileyren,
Franeais Vanderhoof,
Daniel De Clerck,
Cozyn Gerritsen,
Jan. Thommasen,
Peter Jansen,
Jacob Kip,
Maria Kip.
Jnffrow Judith Tsendorn,

wife Geertruyd Hassing (near

Cherry Street),
wife Neeltje Cornelissen.
wife Rebacea Idens.
wife Barbara Emanuel,
wife Marritje Anthony,
wife Jasyntie Thomas,
wife Wyntie De Uries.
wife Grietje Cozyns.
wife Yrowtje Gerrittse.
wife Apolonia Cornelis.
wife Marritje Jacobs,
wife ?ilaria De la ^fontaffne.

widow of Lord Pieter Stuyve-
Nicolaes Willem Stuyvesant, wife Klizalieth Slechtenhorst.
Gysbert Servaes, wife Alaritje Jacobs.

Abraham Van de Woestyne,
Catalyntje Van de Wooes-

Abel Blootgoet (Bloodgood), wife Ida Adriaense.

Pieter Jacol)son.

Jan de Groot,

Jacob de Groot,

Jillis Mandeville,

Grietje Mandeville,

Egbert Facksen,

Johannes Thomasen,

Johannes Van Covenlioven,

Sara Frans.

(Xote: The widow of the former (lovernor Peter Stuyvesant

wife Reltje Anaense.
wife Afargarietje Gerritse.
wife Grietje Jans,
wife Elsje Hendricks.

wife Elsje Lucas,
wife Aefje Jacobs.


lived on her liusbaud's bowery, on Bowery Lane, north of
Eighth Street. kSolomon Pieters, a free negro, owned thirty
acres where the Fifth Avenue Hotel stands. Jillis Mande-
ville owned a farm south of Twenty-first Street and Eighth
Avenue. Jacob Kip lived on the "Kips Bay Farms," on
East river. '\\'olfert Webber owned a large tract of mead-
ows near Roosevelt Street.)

Aen De Geoote Kill.

(By the Big Creek.)

(The Groote Kill was a brook which emptied into the Hudson
river at Forty-ninth Street.)

Conradus Vanderbeek, wife Elsje Jans.

Claes Emanuel s and
Jan de Vries, negroes.

Arme Bowery. (Poor Farm.)

Arnaut AVebber, wife Jaunekeii Conielis.

Hendrick Martense, wife ]\Iargareta ]^leyrink.
Abraham Eycking,

Herck Tiebout. wife Wyntie Tennis.

Tennis Cornelisen. wife Annetje Claes.



AVitliin a few years tliere was discoveved a letter, written
))y Dominie .lonas Micbaelins. wliich, so far as known, is the
first letter written from New Netlierland, and is tlie most ini-
l)ortant docnment eonneeted witli onr early history. It shows
the condition of the new settlement, confirms the fact that Peter
jNIinnit was then director, and shows the various ditificulties
nnder which tlie writer, in his ministerial ('a])acity, was laboring.
It was doubtless the story of all new settlements — a story of
jn'ivation and much trouble. U)) to the time when this letter
was discovered. Rev. Everardns P)Ogardus had always been sup-
posed to be the first ministei- in New Amsterdam. The original
letter is now among' the priceless collection of the Lenox Li-
brary, and the copy is from a translation recently made at the
sugg-estion of the authorities of the Dutch church.

"De Vrede Christi. (The Peace of Christ to You.)
"Reverend Sir. Well beloved brother in Christ. Kind friend.

"The favorable o])portnnity, which now presents itself of
writing to your Reverence, I cannot let pass without embracing
it, according to my i^romise. And I first unburden myself in
this conmumication of a sorrowful circumstance. It pleased the
Lord, seven weeks after we ar)'ived in this country to take from
me ray good partner, who was to me for more than sixteen years,
a virtuous, faithful and altogether amiable yoke felloAv; and I
now find myself with three children, very much discommoded,
without her society and assistance. P)ut what have T to say?
The Lord Himself has done this against whom no one can op-
pose liimself. And why should I wish to, knowing that all things
must work together for good to them that love God. I hope
therefore to 1)ear my cross ])atiently and by the grace and liel])


of the Lord, not to let tlie courage fail me ^Ylliell in my duties
here I so especially need.

"The voyage was long, namely from the l:l4tli of January
till the 7th of April, when we first set foot upon land. Of storm
and tempest which fell hard upon the good wife and children,
though tliey bore it better as regards sea sickness and fear than
I had expected; we had no lack, particularly in the vicinity of
the Bermudas, and the rough coasts of this country. Uur fare
in the ship was very poor and scanty, so that my blessed wife
and childreu, not eating with us in the cabin, on account of the
little rooms in it, had a worse lot than the sailors themselves;
and that by reason of a wicked cook, who annoyed them in every
way: but especially l)y reason of the captain himself, who al-
though I frequently ('om])lained of it in the most courteous man-
ner, did not concern himself in the least about correcting the
rascal; nor did he even when they were all sick, give them any-
thing which could do them any good, although there was enough
in the ship; as he himself knew very well where to find it in
order out of meal times, to fill his own stomach. All the relief
which he gave us, consisted merely in liberal promises, with a
drunken head, upon which nothing followed when he was sober,
but a sour face, and he raved at the officers and kept himself
constantly to the wine, both at sea and especially here while
lying in the [Hudson] river; so that he navigated the ship daily
with a wet sail and an em])ty head, seldom coming ashore to the
Council and never to Divine service. We bore all with silence
on board the ship, but it grieves me, when I think of it, on ac-
count of my wife, the more because she was in such a i)hysical
state as she was; believing herself to be in a delicate condition,
and the time so short which she had yet to live. On my first
voyage I roamed about with him a great deal, even lodged in the
same hut. but never knew that he was such a brute and drunk-
ard. But he was then under the direction of Mi-. Lam, and now
he had the chief connnand himself. I have also written to Mr.
Godyn about it, considering it necessary that it should be known.

"Our coming here was agreeable to all, and I hope, by the
gi'ace of the Lonl. that my service will not be unfruitful. The
peojile, for the most jiart, are rather rough and unrestrained,
but 1 find in most all of them both love and respect towards me;
two things with which hitherto the Lord has ever^nvhere gi'ac-
iously blessed niv labors, and wliicli in our calling, as your
Eevereuce well knows and finds, are especially desirable in order
to make [our ministry] fruitful.


"From the begiiniing we established a form of a church
and as Brother Bastian Crol very seldom comes down from
Fort Orange, because the directorship of that fort and the trade
there is committed to him, it has been thought best to choose
two elders for my assistance and for the projier consideration
of all such ecclesiastical matters as might occur, intending the
coming year, if the Lord permits, to let one of them retire and to
choose another in his i)lace from a double number tii'st lawfully
proposed to the (Congregation. One of these whom we have
now chosen is the Honorable Director himself, and the other is
the store keeiier of the Oompany, Jan Huyghen, his brother in
law, ])ersons of very good character, as far as I have been able
to learn, having both been foi'merly in office in the church, one
as deacon, and the other as elder in the Dutch and French
churches respectively at Wesel.

"At the first administration of the Lords Supper which
was ol)served, not without great joy and comfort to many, we
had fully fifty connuunicants. Walloons and Dutch, of whom a
portion made their first confession of faith before us, and others
exhibited their church certificates. Others had forgotten to
bring their certificates with them, not thinking that a church
would be formed and established here, and some who brought
them had lost them unfortunately in a general conflagration,
but they were admitted upon the satisfactory testimony of
others, to whom they were known, and also ui^on their daily
good deportment, since we cannot observe strictly all the usm!
formalities in making a beginning under such circumstances.

"We administer the Holy Sacrement of the Lord, once
in four months, ]n'ovisionally until a larger number of pecile
shall otherwise recpiire. The Walloons and French have no
service on Sundays, otherwise than in the Dutch language, for
those who understand no Dutch are very few. A portion of the
Walloons are going back to the Fatherland, either because their
years here are expired, or else because some are not very serv-
iceable to the Oom])any. Some of them live far away and could
not well come in time of heavy rain and storm, so that it is not
advisable to appoint any special service in French for so small
a number, and that upon an uncertainty. Nevertheless the
Tvord's Supper was administered to them in the P^rench lan-
guage and according to the French mode with a discourse pre-
ceding, which I had before me in writing, as I could not trust
myself extem])oraneously. If in this and in other matters your
Reverence and the Honorable Brethren of the (*onsistorv who


have special superintendence over us here, deem it necessary to
administer to ns any correction, instruction or good advice, it
will be agreeable to us and we will thank your Reverence there-
for, since we must have no other object than the glory of 6rod
in the Iniilding up of His kingdom and the salvation of many
souls. I keep myself as far as practicable within the pale of
my calling; wherein I find myself sufficiently occupied. And
although our small consistory embraces at the most, when
Brother (h'ol is down here, not more than four ])ersons, all of
wliom, myself alone excepted, have also public business to attend
to, I still hope to sejiarate carefully the ecclesiastical from the
civil matters, which occur, so that each one will be occupied with
his own subject. And though many things are of a mixed kind,
and political and ecclesiastical i^ersons can greatly assist each
other, nevertheless the matters and offices belonging to each
other must not be mixed but kei»t se])arate, in order to prevent
all confusions and disorder. As the council of this |)lace consists
of good people, who are however, for the most ])art simple and
have little experience in public affairs, I slionld have little ob-
jection to serve them in any serious or dul)ious affair with good
advice, provided I considered myself callable, and my advice
should be asked, in which case I supjjose that I would not do
amiss or be suspected by anyone of being a meddler, or l)usy

"In my opinion it is very expedient that the Honorable
Directors of this place should furnish plain and precise instruc-
tions to their Governors, that they may distinctly know how
to conduct themselves, in all possible public difficulties and
events; and also that T should have all such Acta Synodolia, as
are adopted in the Synods of Holland, both the special ones
relating to this region and those which are ])rovincial and na-
tional, in relation to ecclesiastical ])oints of difficulty, or at least
such of them as in the judgment of the Honorable Brethren, at
Amsterdam, would be most likely to be of service to us here. In
the mean time I hope matters will go well here, if only on both
sides we do our best in all sincerity and honest zeal, whereto I
have from the first entii'ely devoted myself and wherein I have
also hitherto by the grace of God, had no just cause to complain
of any one. And any dubious matters of importance happen
to me, and esjiecially if they will admit of any delay, I shall be
guided by the good and prudent advice of the Honorable
Brethren to whom I have already wholly commended myself.
"As to the natives of this countrv I find them entirelv


savage aiul wild, stvangers to all (leceuey, yea, uncivil and .stuiii<l
as garden ix)les, proficient in all wickedness and godlessness ;
devilish men who serve nobody bnt the devil, that is the s})irit
which in their language they call Menetto, nnder which title
they compreliend everything tliat is subtle and crafty and be-
yond human skill ami power. Tliey have so much witch craft,
divination, savageiy and wicked tricks, that they cannot be
held in by any ])ands or locks. They are as thievish and treach-
erous as they are tall, and in cruelty they are altogether in-
hu]]ian, more than barbarous, far exceeding the Africans. I
have written concerning these things to several persons else-
where not doubting that Brother Crol will have written to your
Reverence and to the Honorable Directors; as also of the base
treachery, and the murders whicli the ^Lohicans at the upper
I)a]-t of this rivei', iuid {ilanned against Fort Orange, but by the
gracious interference of the Lord for our good, who when it
l)leases Him, knows how to ]iour unexpectedly, natural imjuilses
into these unnatural men, in order to ]>revent them, they did not
succeed. How these peoi)le can best be led to the true knowledge
of God, and of the Mediator, C'hi'ist, is hard to say. I cannot
myself wonder enough, who it is that has im])osed so nuicli u^ion
your Reverence and many others in the Fatherland, concerning
the docility of these jieople, and their good nature the proper
princi])les of religion and the remains of the law of nature
which should be among them; in whom I have as yet been able
ro discover hardly a single good point, except that they do not
speak so jeeringly and so scoffiugly of the god like and glorious
majest}" of their creator, as the Africans dare to do. But it is
because they have no certain knowledge of Him, or scarcely any.
If we speak to them of God it ap])ears to them like a dream, and
we are compelled to s])eak of Him, not under the name of Men-
etto, whom they know ;ind serve, for that would be blasphemy,
but of one great, yea, most high Sackiema, by which name they,
living without a king, call him who has the command over sev-
eral hundred among them, and who by our own people are
called 8ackemaker's; and as the people listen some will begin to
mutter and shake their heads as if it were a silly fable and others
in order to ex]U'ess regard and friendship for such a pro])osi-
tion will say, orifJi, that is good. Now by what means are we to
make a salutory breach for the salvation of this peojile? I take
the liberty on this point of enlarging to your Reverence.

"Their language. Avhich is the first thing to be enii)loyed
with them, methinks it entirely peculiar, llany of our com-


inon people call it an easy language which is soon learned, but
I am of a contrary opinion. For those who can understand their
words to some extent, and re])eat them, fail greatly in the pro-
nunciation, and speak a broken language like the h\nguage of
Ashdocd. For these people have difficult aspirates and many
guttural letters, which are formed more in the throat than by the
mouth, teeth and li])S, to which our people are not accustomed,
and making a bold stroke at which they imagine that they have
accomplished something wonderful. It is true one can learn
as nmch as is sufficient for the purpose of trading, but this oc-
curs almost as nuu'h by signs with the thumb and fingers as by
speaking, but this cannot l)e done in religious matters. It also
seems to us that they rather design to conceal their language
from us. than to jiroperly communicate it, except in things which
hap]ien in daily trade, saying that it is sufficient for us to under-
stand them in that, and then they speak only half sentences,
shortened woi'ds and frequently call out a dozen tilings, and
even more, and all things which have only a rude reseml:)lance to
each other, thev frecjuently call by the same name. In truth it
is a made up childish language, so that even those who can best
of all speak with the savages and get along well in trade, are
nevertheless wholly in the dark, and bewildered when they hear
the savages talking among themselves.

■'It would be well then to leave the })arents as they are
and begin with the children who are still young. So be it. But
they ought in youth to be separated from their parents, yea, from
their whole nation. For without this they would forthwith be
as mucli accustomed as their ])a]'ents to heathenish tricks and
deviltries, which are kneaded naturally in their hearts liy them-
selves through a just judgment of God ; so that having once by
liabit, obtained deep root, they would with great difficulty be
emancipated thei-efrom. But this separation is hard to effect,
foi' the parents have a sti-ong affection for their children and
are very loth to part with them; and when they are separated
from tliera as we have already had |)roof, the parents are never
contented, but take them awav stealthily, or induce them to run
away. Nevertheless although it would be attended with some
expense, we ought, by means of presents and promises, to obtain
the children Avith the gratitude and consent of the parents, in
order to place them under the instruction of some experienced
and godly schoohnasler, Avhere they may be instructed not only
to speak, read and write in our language, but also es]iecially in
the fundamentals of our C'hristian religion, and where besides


thoy will see nothing bnt the good example of virtnous living;
])nt they must sometimes speak their native tongue among them-
selves, in order not to forget it, as being evidently a ])rincipal
means of spreading the knowledge of religion through the whole
nation. In tlie mean time we should not forget to beseech the
Lord, with ardent and continual prayers for His blessing, who
can make things which are unseen suddenly and opportunely to
apjiear, who gives life to the dead, calls that which is not as
though it were, and being rich in mercy has i)ity on whom he
will, as he has compassionated us to be his people when before
we Avere not com|>assionated and were not his people, and has
washed us clean, sanctified us and justified us when we were
covered with all mannei- of corruption, calling us to the blessed
knowledge of His son, and from the power of darkness to His
marvelous light. And this T regard so much the more necessary
as the wrath and curse of God resting u]ion this miserable peo-
|)le is found to be the heavier. Perchance God may to that end
have mercy upon them, that the fullnes of the heathen may
be gradually brought in, and the salvation of our God may be
here also seen among these wild and savage men. I hope to
keep a watchful eye over these people, and to learn as much
of their language as will be ])racticable, and to seek better op-
pnt-funities for their instruction than hitherto it h^s been pos-
-\h]o to find.

".\s to what concenis mvself anil my household, 1 find my-
self by the loss of inv good and helpful ])artner, very much
i^indred ;mu1 di-tiessrd, foi' my two little daughters are yet
small ; mnid servants are not here to be had, at least none whom
tlipv advise me to t-^ke, and the Angola slaves are thievish, lazy
and useless fvash. The voung man whom I took with me T dis-
clrn-aed after Whitsuntide, for the reason that I could not
employ him out of doors, at any working of the land, and in-
doi-r-' he was a luirden to me instead of an assistance. He is
now e'se where at service among the farmers.

"The lu'omise which the Honorable Directors of the C'om-
pany had made me of some acres of surveyed lands for me to
m-ike mvself a liomp. instead of a free table which otherwise
belonsed to me, is void and useless. Fov their Honors well
knew that there avp va horses, cows or laborers to be obtained
here for monev. Kvervone is short in these particulars and
wi^nts more. T sh'mid not nnnd the expense if the opi)ovtunity
only ( ffered. for the sdse of our own comfort. Althou2h there
;;re no i;rofit in it, (the Honorable Directors nevertheless re-


maining indelited to ine for as much as the vakie of a free tal)le)
for refreshment of butter, milk, etc., cannot be here obtained,
Though some is indeed sold at a very high price, for tliose who
bring it m or bespeak it are jealous of each other. So I shall
he compelled to ];ass through the winter without butter and
otlier neces.^aries which the ships do not bring with them to be
sold here. The rations which are given out and charged foi'
high enough, are all hard, stale food, as they are used to on
board ship, and frequently not very good, and even so, one can-
not obtain as much as he desires. I began to get considerable
stiength hy the grace of the Lord, but in consequence of this
hard food of beans and gray ])eas which are hard enough,
barley, stock fish, p^c.. without much change, 1 cannot fully re-
cu]ierate as 1 otherwise would. The summer yields something,
but what of that foi' an.y one who has no strength I The savages
also bring some thing,-, Imt one who has no wares, such as
knives, beads and the like, or seewan (wampum) cannot come
to any terras with them. Though the peo]3le trade such things
for proper wares, I know not whether it is permitted by the laws
of the Company. I Irn'e now oixlered from Holland most all
necessaries. Imt ex])ect to pass through the winter with hard
and scanty food.

"The country yields many good things for the supi)ort of
life, but they are all too unfit and wild to be gathered. Better
regulations should be established, as, doubtless, will gi-adually
be the case, so that people who have the knowledge and im])le-
ments for seeking out all kinrls of things in their season shall
secure and gather then). In the mean while, I wish the Honorable
Directors to be courteously entpiired of how T can have the op-
j)ortunity to possess a portion of laud, and at my own exi)ense
to sujiport myself upon it. For as long as there is no more
accomodations to be obtained here from the country peoi)le, 1
shall be compelled to order everything from the Fatherland at
great ex^Dense and with much risk and trouble, or else live here
u]>on these poor and hard rations alone, which would badly suit
me and my children. We want ten or twelve farmers with
horses, cows and laborers in ])roportion, to furnish us Avith bread
and fresh butter, milk and cheese. There are convenient places
which can be easily protected, and very suitable, which can be

Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 4 of 26)