Edward S. (Edward Smith) Wheeler.

Scheyichbi and the strand : or, early days along the Delaware ; with an account of recent events at Sea Grove ; containing sketches of the romantic adventures of the pioneer colonists ; the wonderful origin of American society and civilization ; the remarkable course of political progress and materi online

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Online LibraryEdward S. (Edward Smith) WheelerScheyichbi and the strand : or, early days along the Delaware ; with an account of recent events at Sea Grove ; containing sketches of the romantic adventures of the pioneer colonists ; the wonderful origin of American society and civilization ; the remarkable course of political progress and materi → online text (page 1 of 14)
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Copyright, 1876, by EDWARD S. WHEELER.

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who, firm in the faith themselves, can nevertheless respect the convictions of
others ; to earnest Christians whose spiritual trust and faith is so perfect,
they have no fear any fact can disprove truth, or human error annul
the divine law; to Christians whose character honors their creed,
whose fairness and honesty command regard, while their
kindness and courtesy inspire fraternal love; to all
who love truth better than their own conceit ; to all
who reverence God more than any theory; to all
who seek the good, the true, and beautiful
themselves, and devoutly labor for the
welfare and eternal happiness of hu-
manity, I dedicate this volume.



On page 5, 26th line, for *'its citizens discovered" read: their citizens

On page 8, ^26. line, for " the discoveries" read : the discoverers.

On page 16, 28th line, for "Peterzen" read : Pieierzen.

On page 19, 4th line, for " catalogue" read : catalogues.

On page 55, 30th line, for ''home and asylum of those who had deprived
him of liberty and life" read : asylum of those who had deprived his people
of liberty and life.

On page 6;^, 42d line, for " 1852" read : 1822.

On page 107, nth line, for ''seventeen" read: seven.

is deserved by all herein published.

But whatever discrepancies may mar the printed pages, there is no
occasion to criticise the illustrations for misrepresentation. They are
mostly drawn from photographic views, taken on the spot, with micro-
scopic fidelity, by artistic operators, and have been faithfully repro-
duced by the draughtsman and engraver. They may, therefore, be
looked upon as giving a correct idea of the physical features of the


beautiful locality in which they were taken, and the varied structures
which utilize and decorate the neighborhood.

Whoever has loitered along the shore of the summer sea, seeking
rest and recreation therefrom, has, when feeling his soul stirred by the
grandeur and loveliness of the scene, longed for some magic art which
could fix forever the transient glories of evanescent beauty in his mind,
making his memory thus the picture-gallery of nature.

This may not be, but somewhat has been done to recall the features
of the seascape where, in the bygone summer, so many earnest, Chris-
tian souls " took sweet counsel together," amid the healing breezes and
peaceful surroundings of the consecrated Sea Grove.

Neither the artist's pencil nor the photographer's skill can reproduce
all that presented itself before the delighted vision. No art can imitate
the tenderness of the dawn across the sea, or do justice to the resplen-
dence with which the sun sank among the western waves on quiet
Sabbath evenings ; but all this may be suggested to the sense, and with
many memory will fill the picture with colors true to nature, and even
recall the friends who shared their summer vacation.

Again, as they look upon the pictures of our unpretending book,
they will hear in memory the voice of exhortation and the music o\
praise, mingling with the undertone of the unceasing surges. Again
they will enter the broad pavilion, and, pausing but to offer a word of
prayer for all who share not in their religious blessings, bow the soul
in devotion to partake of the union communion service with their
numerous friends of many churches.

To awaken such reminiscences in those who know Sea Grove and
its associations by residence there, and to increase their interest and
pleasure in the place by bringing before them many facts pertaining to
their favorite resort, is the purpose of this book ; besides, it is requisite
that all who need the sea-side privileges of rest and cheerful recreation
should be informed where they can secure them at their convenience,
reasonably, without annoying contact with demoralizing dissipations,
as distasteful to the thoughtful as they are wearisome and hurtful to
the invalid, and physically and spiritually unprofitable to all.

Trusting that these ends may be fully served to the common benefit,
and that something of instruction and refined gratification may be
incidental thereto, the author with pleasure presents his work to an en-
lightened public.















History evinces the exceeding potency of religious ideas, as a cause
of material progress; as the phenomena of Nature manifest the power
of the Infinite Spirit.

Curiosity, avarice, and ambition induce exploration and discovery;
stimulate enterprise; found and foster states; but fanaticism, faith, and
spiritual convictions are the world's pioneers ; these move more pro-
foundly the passions of mankind, quicken higher and intenser energies,
and develop more sublime results.

Fanaticism, the fungi of religious growth, provokes the bigot to
draw the sword of exterminating conquest, changing the character and
boundaries of nations ; the mad zealot lights the fires of persecution,
expatriating the flower of a country's population, who carry religion
and the arts into their place of banishment. Devotion inspires the
propaganda, and missionaries penetrate the antipodean wilderness,
domicile among barbarians, and plant civilization to flourish above
their martyr graves. Faith feeds the courage of the believer, and
impels to self-consecration ; fired by religious enthusiasm, bound by
stern conviction, and led by the "inward light," the dissenting Hugue-
not, the Covenanter, the Puritan, and the Quaker dare the ocean, the
desert, and the savage, in search of a home of righteousness, for free-
dom and for peace. Hope stimulates them, a religious purpose sus-
tains them ; they confront every peril, endure every trial, survive all
suffering, outlive every hinderance, and triumph at last over every
difficulty in the adorable name of God! _

§ Prophesied in the rhapsodies and inspirations of the seers of all
ages; mysteriously reported in the literature of Asia in the early dawn
of the Christian era; celebrated obscurely in the historic runes of the
heroic Scandinavian sea-kings a thousand years ago, and claimed by
Icelandic and Danish historians as the familiar haunt of their fore-
fathers for many centuries, — the Western Hemisphere long nourished
on its soil nations who imitated the architecture of Egypt, perpetuated
the religious rites of Tyre, and may have shared in the commerce of
the Orient. On the shores of the Western World, it has been claimed,
was mined the gold of Ophir for the temple of Solomon ; while the



broad plains of its continents received, it is said, the lost and wandering
ten tribes of Israel.

Reflecting dubiously the life of unknown ages, from the sculptured
sides and hieroglyphic ornaments of its antique and symbolic monu-
ments, America inspires the imagination, but compels the mind to drift
unsatisfied over its vast and significant ruins, back into the twilight of
tradition and the night of pre-historic oblivion. The plains of America
are marked by the work of a race without a record; its great valleys
covered with traces of a numerous and active population, and yet they
have no chronicle. The American forests tower above the ruins of
large cities whose civilization is evident from their architecture, — still
the hosts of citizens have passed away: their origin, their history, and
their fate conjecture alone can intimate.

But, if the past of America is perplexing to the antiquarian, dubious
in historic twilight, or hid in the darkness of time and barbarism, its
modern life is clearly defined and of thrilling interest. Here are no
monuments of an enduring civilization, linking the present, generation
by generation, to the remote past; no vast collections of splendid
volumes, the record of a people's ancient glory; no empire, one in
faith and one in government for a thousand years, — all is new, primi-
tive, incomplete; but there are young states in America proud as Rome,
more free than Athens ; there are a hundred great, luxurious, and
growing cities ; there are public works that open up the long sought
passage to India, and millions of happy homes, of the best provided,
most intelligent, free, and independent people.

It is less than four centuries since the voyages of Columbus; the
history is brief, but the advance has been rapid, the development
immense. Each American generation has done the work of a hundred
years, and each century has become an era in civilization, an epoch in
history. To compile and elaborate the record of such an advance, and
educe the principles of progress from the facts of social and political
evolution, is the congenial and proper work of philosophic scholars,
and acute and comprehensive minds have employed themselves therein
with usefulness and honor.

It is not the purpose of the writer to ape the great historiographers,
but he may modestly hope to add a reliable note to the materials of
history, suggest some practical inference, or inspire an appropriate
reflection, just as the wandering but observant Indian, though unskilled
to build the monument of a nation, still faithfully places a votive pebble
upon the growing mound which tells of the greatness of his tribe.

However little the present publication may add to the vast sum of

.historic knowledge, it at least indicates the causes which have fostered

American liberty, and manifests the nature and temper of a free

people as the energetic cause of moral improvements and unexampled

material progress; this appears in the history herein given of the


settlement of the valley of the Delaware, especially in New Jersey, and
conclusively in the interesting and detailed account of the develop-
ments of Sea Grove, — that beautiful and prosperous town having been
instituted entirely in keeping with the spirit of the representative men
composing the Association which bears its name.

§ The discovery of America was prehistoric; its unrecorded monu-
ments, ruins, and sculptured rocks were antiquated when, in 1492,
Columbus voyaged to the West Indies, and various nations and races
had already left the traces of their visits and occupancy at a number
of widely separated localities upon the two Western Continents. The
modern history of America begins with the voyages of the inspired
navigator of Genoa. The rediscovery of the Western Hemisphere
commanded the attention of the civilized world; aroused the emula-
tion of nations, and the ambition of kings ; it inflamed the spirit of
the adventurous and enterprising ; kindled the imagination of the
enthusiastic; awakened the hopes of the people; encouraged the
aspirations of liberal statesmen, and actualized the dreams of the

India was the prize Europe coveted four hundred years ago. Colum-
bus sailed for Cathay, and supposed he landed on its eastern shore, —
"the beginning and the end of India." His voyages for a short route
to India discovered America; the search for a northwest passage
explored the shores of the " New World."

In the time of Columbus it was the uncertain international law of
Christendom, that Christian nations became entitled to anv land or
country its citizens discovered, took possession of and occupied, unless
it was already the territory of other Christians. This presumptuous
claim of the exclusive right of a sect, as such, to the secular owner-
ship of the whole world, was a political device, and, though endorsed
by popes and approved by bishops, was at once absurd, impudent, and
irreligious; but the heresy had a natural origin, and, becoming a dogma
and an apology, developed an awful historic sequence.

Numerous as the voyages of discovery to America were, and impor-
tant as trade became, for more than a hundred and fifty years after
Columbus, gross ignorance of the Western Hemisphere characterized
the action of even the courts and kings of Europe. Under the name
of the " West Indies," two vast and rich continents were long regarded
as but troublesome islands in the way of voyages to India, and frequent
and conflicting royal grants afterwards assumed to convey, in an impos-
sible manner, possession of the territories of America from ocean to
ocean, the grantors having the untroubled conceit that the average
width of the continent was no more than about three hundred miles.

Under the pretext supplied by the voyages of Columbus, Alexander
VI., ** the worst of the popes," assuming to be the temporal as well as
spiritual head of Christendom, pretended to invest Spain with regal


possession in perpetuity of all heathen lands found, or to be discovered,
to the west of a meridian three hundred and seventy leagues westward
of the Azores. In insolent and fanatical assertion of her declared
rights, which, thus derived, became a matter of religious faith, Spain
undertook to monopolize the trade of the West Indies and control
the navigation of the high seas. Hence, Portugal colonized and
traded only in part of Brazil, her minute allotment of all the vast
"Indies;" and so, in defense of the faith enshrined in her Papal mon-
opoly, the fleets of Spain pirated all vessels they overhauled sailing the
Atlantic to her pretended exclusive possessions. At the same time
Spanish kings made war upon Protestant maritime nations in a way
that left enterprising Holland no chance for existence but in her defeat,
and compelled England to sail to commercial and naval supremacy
over the sunken hulks of the " Invincible Armada."

§ Although Balthazar Moucheron, of Holland, and his associates,
patrons of discovery, moved by the terrible sufferings and failures of
their explorers, about the year 1600 abandoned as hopeless the quest
for a northern route to India, the immense importance of such a pas-
sage was obvious, and the Danes and English continued the resolute
search. The directors of the prosperous and powerful Dutch East
India Company, then in full operation, shared the notions of their
cotemporaries, and, overruling the experienced Moucheron and his
Zeeland partisans, the Amsterdam members of the Directory, jealous
of Denmark and England, decided the Company to seek for itself a
safer and more convenient way to their remote places of traffic. The
stockholders of the East India Company had received in one year a
dividend of seventy-five per cent, on their investment; they could well
afford a venture which promised even greater facilities to their business.
By orders from the Directory at Amsterdam, a very fast sailing vessel
named *' De Halve Maan," or Half Moon, of forty lasts or eighty tons,
a " vlie-boat," having two masts, such as were constructed especially
for difficult navigation in sounds and rivers, was fitted for an arctic
voyage. For a schipper, or commander, Henry Hudson, an P^nglish-
man, who had already made two such adventures, was engaged. The
under schipper, or mate, was a Dutchman, and the vlie-boat was
manned by twenty men, English and Dutch. Robert Juet sailed with
Hudson as his clerk, and became the historian of the voyage. The
De Halve Maan was ordered to look for a passage by the northeast or
northwest to China, the Directors trusting Hudson to find some way
past Nova Zembla, or some strait or channel between the islands of the
West Indies, by which their fleets of Dutch East Indiamen, fearless of
Spanish interference, could bear directly to India and all the Orient the
products of Europe in profitable exchange for the pearls of the Asiatic
Archipelago, the diamonds of Golconda, the lawns of the Dcccan, and
the spices of Cathay.


Accompanied by his only son, Hudson, hailing from Amsterdam, set
sail the 4th of April, 1609, for the northeast of Norway. He left the
Texel on the 6th of April, and doubled the cape of Norway on the 5th
of May. Finding his way toward Nova Zembla obstructed by vast ice-
bergs, and his ship crowded out of her course by great fields of moving
ice, Hudson ran the Half Moon to the west and south. Passing
through a great fleet of French fishermen off Newfoundland, and
touching at several points on the coast of New England, he arrived off
the Chesapeake in the middle of August. Hudson's old friend, Captain
John Smith, had given him a map of Virginia, on which, somewhere to
the north of the Chesapeake, a strait was laid down, by which Smith
was confident the Pacific Ocean could be reached. Knowing himself
to be in the neighborhood of the settlement of his countrymen and
friends at Jamestown, Hudson put his ship about, August i8th, and
kept along the coast to the north again. The Half Moon entered
Delaware Bay August 28th, which Hudson slightly explored and
sounded, making observations of its shores, but without landing.
Finding he could not sail his vlie-boat from Sea Grove to San Fran-
cisco, and hence that the Delaware was not the passage to Cathay,
Hudson coasted to the north along the Jersey shore, and on the 3d of
September anchored inside of Sandheuken, or Sandy Hook, where he
remained a week, and was frequently visited by the Indians. From
this anchorage the Half Moon sailed into the bay of New York, still
being visited by the Indians, whom Hudson and his crew taught, as
their first lesson in civilization, — how to get drunk.

Hudson examined the Hudson River for twenty-two days, his boats
going up twenty-five or thirty miles above Albany, and then, having
made sure that neither Hell Gate nor the Hudson were a water-way to
Hindustan, he, on the 4th of October, put out to sea, and, in conse-
quence of the dissensions of his crew, finally decided to set sail for

The Half Moon with her motley and mutinous company, of whom
Hudson became afraid, put into Dartmouth, in England, where, the
Dutch assert, she was detained and Hudson kept through the jealousy
of James I. Hudson, however, sent a brilliant report of his voyage to
his employers in Holland, in which he speaks of the country he
visited as "most beautiful," " het scoonste land dat men met voeten
betreden kon," etc. Whoever has voyaged up the " Great River of the
Mountains," above New York, by the Catskills, or yachted in August
off Sea Grove and up Delaware Bay, where the vlie-boat De Halve
Maan cruised in that month long ago, will certainly agree with him.

During his fourth voyage of discovery, made from England in i6ro,
Hudson with his only son and eight men, four of them being sick, was
driven by mutineers from his ship, the Discovery, into an unprovisioned
boat and cast loose among the ice, mid-seas in Hudson's Bay. There


the brave and persistent navigator must have cruelly and miserably

Could he but voyage once more out of the cold and ice-bound Arctic
seas, how overwhelming would be his astonishment! At the extreme
point of Cape May he saw, with admiration, long ago, the green woods
crowd down to the sandy strand, and from the primeval forest the
wondering Kechemechcs stare out, thinking his ship the canoe of their
Manitou. There he would now look in amazement upon the broad
avenues and handsome cottages of Sea Grove ; he would see hotels and
pavilions in the place of savage wigwams, and hear the Sabbath bell,
tlie organ, and the Christian hymn, instead of "the gaunt wolf's long-
drawn howl" along the shore, or the war-whoop of the exultant savage.

" The bay of the south river was the first place of which the men of
the Half Moon took possession, before any Christian had been there,"
says Vander Donk, the historian ; and the claim of the Dutch to the
adjoining territories by right of discovery was based upon the assumed
accuracy of the statement. Hudson may have been the first to form-
ally take possession of the Zuydt Baai, as the Hollanders called the
bay of Delaware, but Cabot, Cortereal, Verazzani, Captain John Smith,
and others, had at various times carefully observed the shores and
harbors of "Virginia," and cruised along the coast to the north;
besides, it is historical that very early, scores of years before the voy-
ages of Hudson, "there was hardly a convenient harbor on the whole
Atlantic frontier of the United States which was not entered by^
slavers." It seems that Hudson, following, perhaps unconsciously, in
the wake of others, merely took possession of the unrecorded dis-
coveries of some unknown navigator.

§ In answer to the petitions of a number of merchants, a general
edict was issued by the States General of Holland, March 27th, 1614,
for the encouragement of discovery and the protection of aboriginal
trade. It was enacted by the High and Mighty States General that
the discoveries of "any new courses, havens, countries, or places"
should have "the exclusive privilege of resorting to and frequenting
the same for four voyages," and all intruders were to be punished by
confiscation and fines. A number of merchants, chiefly of Amster-
dam, thereupon formed a partnership to make discoveries and carry
on trade to new countries, and five vessels were fitted out to follow in
the track of Hudson to Manhattan. One of these, named the Fortune,
was from Hoorn, a port in North Holland, and commande-d by Corne-
lis Jacobsen Mey ; another ship, also called the Fortune, was in
charge of Commander Hendrick Christiacnsen ; a third, named the
Tiger, was sailed by Captain Adriaen Block. Arriving at the mouth
of the Hudson, Block's vessel was accidentally destroyed by fire. To
retrieve this misfortune, he erected a few huts at Castle Garden, and
began to construct a yacht of about sixteen tons burthen, of the fine


timber he found there, the Indians kindly feeding him and his men, all
the winter of 1613. May, in the mean time, cruised to the eastward,
coasted along the southern shore of Long Island, and continued his
trip to Martha's Vineyard, then called " Capacke" by the natives.
Upon the completion of his new craft, the Onrust, or Restless, Block
sailed through the East River and Hell Gate, where he led the way as
a pilot, and through Long Island Sound, observing the coasts, harbors,
islands, rivers, and waters, as far as Cape Cod, the promontory to
which Hudson, in the summer of 1609, had given the name of " New
Holland." Block ascertained that Long Island was sea-girt, and visited
many other remarkable places along the New England coast. The
records of the voyages of the consort ships, the Fortune, the Little
Fox, and Nightingale, in 161 3 and 1614, are imperfect and unreliable.

The name of Block Island perpetuates the memory of its persistent
and intrepid discoverer, the first man to run a keel through Hell Gate,
and the first " Long Island Sound Pilot." The shores which Block
surveyed, and which Holland first colonized, have been for two cen-
turies or more, as now, " the land of steady habits," the home of in-
dustry, prosperity, intelligence, and freedom, — a " New Holland,"
indeed, a " New England" as well. They are glorious by day with
many a fair town and city, and sparkle at night with scores of shining
beacons, while over the seas the Dutchman slowly navigated speeds
in ceaseless succession a numerous fleet of" floating palaces," the best,
the safest, and most magnificent steamboats in the world.

The " Restless," built at Manhattan, in 1614, was thirty-eight feet in
the keel, forty-four and one-half feet from stem to stern, and eleven
and one-half feet wide. She was remarkable as the first vessel built in
the harbor of New York, but was not, as has been written, " the first
decked vessel built in the old United States," the ** Virginia," of " Saga-

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Online LibraryEdward S. (Edward Smith) WheelerScheyichbi and the strand : or, early days along the Delaware ; with an account of recent events at Sea Grove ; containing sketches of the romantic adventures of the pioneer colonists ; the wonderful origin of American society and civilization ; the remarkable course of political progress and materi → online text (page 1 of 14)