James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 1 of 125)
Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 1 of 125)
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I WITH felLLUSTRivrmsl

Wm^ji 1882



Huntington Free Library

Native American



Cornell University

The original of this book is in
the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.





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Published by D. MASON & CO.,


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— 1882 —






In the preparation of the History of the County treated of in this volume, the authors have endeavored
to confine themselves to a concise and truthful statement of facts, leaving deductions and moralisms,
except where such were necessary to a proper elucidation of the subject, to the individual reader; and in
gleaning these facts they have laid under contribution every available source of information, in the eifort
to arrive at correct data. This, however, has not always been possible, for much is given that rests for
its authority entirely upon verbal statements, which, even among the best informed, are subject to the
lapses of memory. When conflicting statements have been observed, an honest effort has been made to
reconcile them and make them conform to the probable fact. To this end, records have been consulted
where such existed and were accessible, both to supplement and estabhsh a verbal fact, and as an original
source of information. These, however, though enabling us to correct many errors in statements of facts
made by other writers, were often fragmentary, sometimes entirely wanting, and while their incompleteness
was perplexing, their frequent indefiniteness was even more so, so that it was often necessary to supple-
ment them by verbal information.

The materials for such a work were widely scattered. They lay mainly in the imperfect town, county,
church, school, society and private records, and in the vague and faded memories of individuals. Much time,
labor, diligent research and patient inquiry have been required to gather these materials and collate them
into systematic order. Every town has been visited, and its records and well-informed citizens have been
consulted. In addition to these, the files of local and other papers have been scrutinized, and the works
of numerous authors laid, under contribution ; but as the latter have generally been referred to in the text
especially when quoted, we do not deem it necessary to enumerate them here. A few local gleaners of
acknowledged ability in this field of historic inquiry have rescued from oblivion much that has served to
embellish the annals of Duchess.- The fruit of their labors was kindly placed at our disposal.

We fully appreciated the onerous task assumed when we undertook to gather and compress within the
limited time and space allotted us, the abundant materials which make up the annals of a County of such
historic importance as Duchess. Much more might have been given, enough to swell the volume to twice
its present size, by the amplification of subjects and the multiphcation of details which some would regard
with interest and others as unimportant. Indeed, it was found necessary to eliminate much that was
prepared and to omit still more that was gathered in order to bring the materials within the scope of the
work. In discarding matter we have aimed to retain that which seemed most important — most worthy
of preservation.

An earUer preparation of the work would have lessened the labor and produced more satisfactory results,
as it would have given access to the personal experience and relations of many of the immediate descend-


ants of the first settlers, with whom have died facts and incidents which are now beyond recall. But few
of this sacred remnant are left with us, and fewer still retain their faculties sufficiently to relate coherently
and positively the interesting incidents of that early period. It must, therefore, be obvious that the time
for the publication of this work had fully come, and that a longer delay would only have added to the
obscurity of the facts and the difficulty of their acquisition.

The history of Duchess County dates back to the period when the Hudson was discovered by the
English navigator whose name it bears, though actual settlement was not commenced until three-quarters,
of a century later. The first settlers were Dutch, though no settlement was made under the Dutch regime,
and for fully half a century after it was begun it progressed but slowly. From the middle of the eighteenth
century, however, its growth was rapid^ and not until then did it approximate a primal importance. The
development of its varied industries and institutions is succinctly stated in the succeeding chapters.

Though this County is not as rich in historical incidents fraught with tragic interest as the counties
which bordered on the confines of civilization during the French and Indian wars, the sanguinary struggle
of the Revolution, and the more recent but memorable war with the mother country, which etched in
lines of blood the history of these eventful scenes, it witnessed many of the most pathetic and memorable
incidents of the Revolutionary struggle, and though no battle was fonght within its precincts, its soil is
not unhallowed by blood shed to establish those principles which, eighty-two years later, its sons fought so
nobly to perpetuate. Around the Revolutionary period cluster its most endearing associations. It has,
too, a pacific history, to which many will recur with interest, — yea, with reverence.

We are aware that in adopting an orthography in the name of this County differing from that which
usage has sanctioned since its organization, we enter upon debated ground, and a reason for this step may
seem to be due to those who diifer with us in opinion. We adopt this orthography in deference to that
progressive spirit which seeks to simplify and purify our language by purging it of its redundancies and
philological anomaUes, believing that the public mind will ere long demand official recognition of ortho-
graphic changes in this word corresponding with those to which philologists, etymologists, orthoepists and
lexicographers have long since subjected that from which it is derived.

This County was named in compliment to the Duchess of York, whose title, like that of all wives of
Dukes, is derived from the French word duchesse, which was authoratively spelled with a /until 1755,
when Dr. Johnson, the English lexicographer, omitted the t, and likewise the final e. The example thus
set has been followed by others, including Webster. It cannot be denied that the popular and official
form of the word has the sanction of precedent and long established usage ; but the same may be urged
with respect to its original, and analogy would suggest a conformity of the derivative to it. It may, how-
ever, be fairly questioned whether it is the legitimate province of the historian, whose duty it is to record
things as he finds them, to introduce such innovations, without subjecting himself to the charge of icono-
clasm, if not of sciolism. Highly respected local writers, however, agree with us in advocating this change.

In conclusion, the authors take this opportunity to tender their grateful acknowledgments to the many
who, in various ways, have so kindly aided them in this laborious work, and to testify to the uniform
courtesy which was extended to them, and the cordiality with which their labors were seconded by the
hosts from whom it became their duty to solicit information.


CHAPTER I. —Aborigines — Pre-Historio Period-
Antiquity of America — Ancient Civiliza-
tions — Obscurity of the Origin of the
North American Indians — Indian Tradi-
tions Bespecting It— Migrations of the
Lenni Leuapes — The Mahicang a Branch
of the Lenape Family — Extent and Loca-
tion of their Dominions 11

CHAPTER II.— The Iroquois Family— The Algon-
kin Family — The Delawares — Relative
Bank of the Three Tribes of the Dela-
wares — Their Organization and Govern-
ment — Duties and Powers of the Chief —
Organization and Government of the Ma-
hicans — Method of Declaring War — Of-
fensive and Defensive Weapons 16

CHAPTER III.— Aborigines of Duchess County-
Divisions of the Mahicans— Their Terri-
torial Possessions — The Wappingers —
Conflicting Statements Respecting their
Location — Chieftaincies of the Wappin-
gers — The Head Chieftaincy Located in
Duchess County — Villages of the Wappin-
gers — Traditional Indian Villages 19

CHAPTER IV. — Contemporaneous Emigration of
Delawares and Iroquois from the West —
Wars Between the Delawares and Iro-
quois — Differing Views Respecting the
Subjugation of the Delawares by the Iro-
quois — Wars Between the Iroquois and
Mahicans — The Mahicans Unsubdued—
Their Subjugation Asserted by Various
Historians — These Statements Refuted by
Documentary Proof —Traditional Reverses
of the Mahicans — Their Losses and Dis-
persion — War of 1755 — The Delawares in
the Revolutionary War 23

CHAPTER V. — The Moravians — Moravian Mission
at Shekomeko — Christian Henry Ranch
Establishes the First Successful Moravian
Mission in North America at Shekomeko —
Joined by Buettner— Joseph Shaw sent to
Shekomeko as Schoolmaster — The Mis-
sionaries Pyrlsaus, Senseman and Post
join the Mission — Mission at Pachgatgoch
Broken (Jp — Persecutions of the Mission-

CHAPTER v.— (Continued.) page.
aries and their Indian Converts — Death of
Buettner — Indians Driven from Shekome-
ko and Wechquaduaoh — Interest in She-
komeko and Wechquadnach Revived af-
ter the Lapse of a Century — Their Sites
Identified — Monuments Erected Thereon
to the Memory of the Missionaries Buett-
ner, Bruce, and Powell 28

CHAPTER VI.— Hudson's Discovery and Explora-
tion of the North River — Diverse Claims
of the English, French and Dutch — Char-
acter of the Dutch Colonists of New Neth-
erlands — The United New Netherland
Company — The Dutch West India Com-
pany — Dutch Colonization — The Esopus
Wars — The Destruction of Wiltwyok —
Expedition to Red Hook during the Sec-
ond Esopus War — Friendly offices of
Wappingers — Indian Treaty of 1664 —
Supersedure of the Dutch by the English. 40

.CHAPTER VII. — Titles to the Soil— Extinguish-
ment of the Indian Title — Land Patents
— Rombout Patent — Schuyler's Patent-
Great or Lower Nine Partners Patent —
Poughkeepsie Patent — Rhinebeck Patent
— Beekman Patent — Little or Upper Nine
Partners Tract — Oblong Patent — Dis-
puted Boundary Line Between New York
and Connecticut— The Oblong Granted
to English and American Patentees — De-
fective Titles — Anti-Bent Difficulties 47

CHAPTER VIII.— First Settlements — Traditions
Respecting Them — Projected Settlement
of New Englanders at the Mouth of Wap-
pingers Creek — NicholasEmigh Supposed
to be the First Settler — Settlements at
Poughkeepsie and Bhinebeck — The Pala-
tines—Huguenot Settlers — First Census
of Duchess County, 1714 — Freeholders in
Duchess County in 1740 — Descriptions of
the County in 1756 and 1813— Population
of County at Different Periods from 1714
to 1880— Present Status of the County-
Enrollment of Quakers in 1755 — Slaves in
Duchess County in 1755 — Early Civil Pro-
cesses—Oaths of Abjuration and Fealty


CHAPTER Vin.— (Continued.) page.
in 1760— Observations on Duchess Coun-
ty in 1780-'82, by the Marquis DeChastel-
hix 55

CHAPTER IX.— Early Civil Divisions— Duchess
County Divided Into Wards, Precincts
and Towns — Topography of County — Its
Mountains and Streams — Climate — Tem-
perature— Rain-FaU — Snow-Fail— Direc-
tion and Prevalence of Winds — Mortality
of Duchess as Compared with other Coun-
ties in the State — Soils — Agriculture —
Staple Productions — Manufactures 69

CHAPTER X.— Geology — Underlying Rocks of
Duchess County — Rocks of the Cham-
plain Division — Rocks of the Hudson Riv-
er Group — Grit and Slate Rocks — Utica
Slate Group — Trenton Limestone Gtroup —
Black River Limestone — Calciferous
Group — Barnegat Limestone — Roofing
Slate — The Taconic System — Metamor-
phic Rocks ^ — Dolomitic and Granular
Limestone — Duchess County Marble — The
"Stone Church"— Steatite— Iron Ore-
Galena — Copper — Silver — Gold — Prima-
rj- Rocks — Granite — Hornblende — Sienite
— Gneiss — Mica Slate — Augite Rock —
Greenstone — Alluvial Deposits — Shell
M.irl— Peat— Sink Holes— "Spook Hole"
— Clay Balls and Calcareous Concretions
— Mineral Springs — Gas Springs — Sub-
terranean Streams— Inflammable Gas —
Sulphate of Iron — Bog Ore — Manufactur-
ers of Bricks — Topographical Changes —
Drift Deposits — Smoothed and Scratched
Surfaces of Rocks — What they Indicate... 78

CHAPTER XI. — Internal Improvements — Routes
by which the Pioneers Reached their Wil-
derness Homes — Early Roads — Early Ex-
periments in Steam Navigation at DeKov-
en's Bay — Early Railroad Enterprises in
Duchess County — Duchess Railroad Co. —
Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad Co. —
Poughkeepsie, Hartford <fe Boston Rail-
road Co. — Duchess & Columbia Railroad
Co. — Newburgh, Duchess & Connecticut
Railroad Co. — Hudson River Railroad
Co. — New York & Harlem Railroad Co. —
Boston, Hartford <fc Erie Extension Rail-
road Co. — New York & New England
Railroad Co. — Other Railroad Projects —
Clove Branch Railroad Co. — Rhinebeck &,
Connecticut Railroad Co. — Projected and
Abandoned Enterprises — The Poughkeep-
sie Bridge Co 96

CHAPTER XIL— County Societies— Duchess Coun-
ty Medical Society — Homeopathic Medi-
cal Society of Duchess County — Duchess
County Mutual Insurance Company 103

CHAPTER XIII.— Early Courts- Courts First Au-
thorized in Duchess County— First Court
House and iTail in Duchess County— As-

CHAPTER XIII.— (Continued.) page.
^ sessments of Wards and Precincts at Dif-
ferent Periods — Subsequent County Build-
ings — Jail Limits — County Poor House —
Duchess County Civil List — Miscellaneous
Appointments to Distinguished Positions
— Delegates to State Constitutional Con-
ventions — State Senators — Members of As-
sembly—First and County Judges — Sur-
rogates — District Attorneys — Sheriffs —
County Clerks — County Treasurei s —
County Superintendents of Common
Schools — School Commissioners — Presi-
dential Electcrs— Senators and Represen-
tatives in Congress 118

CHAPTER XIV. —Military History of Duchess Coun-
ty — French and English Colonial Wars —
War of the Revolution — Military Organi-
zations in Duchess— Provincial Congress
— Measures for the FoHnation of a State
Government — Continental Ship Yard at
Poughkeepsie — Chain Across the Hudson
— Sir Henry Clinton's Expedition up the
Hudson — The Duchess Invinoibles — Sur-
render of Burgoyne and March of his
Army Through Duchess County as Pris-
oners of War — Fishkill a Depot of Sup-
plies for the Continental Army— Historic
Associations of Fishkill — Enoch Crosby —
Revolutionary Incidents in Pawling —
Adoption of the State Constitution —
Printed in Fishkill — State Government
Removed to Poughkeepsie — Tories At-
tempt the Seizure of Notable Men — Arti-
cles of Confederation Ratified by the Leg-
islature in Poughkeepsie — The Conven-
tion to Consider the Revised Federal
Constitution Meet in Poughkeepsie —War
of 1812 129

CHAPTER XV — Duchess County in the War of the
Rebellion — Early Measures to Suppress
Rebellion — Prompt and Generous Re-
sponse of Duchess County — ^Additional
Troops Called For — Some of tfie Organi-
zations with which the Early Volunteers
United— Call of July 2d, 1862— Military
Districts Formed — Regimental Camp at
Tivoli— Changed to Hudson— A District
Regiment Authorized— Town Quotas Un-
der the Call of July 2d, — Call of
August 4, 1862— Efforts to Promote En-
listments—The 128th Regiment— Its Or-
ganization and Services 142

CHAPTER XVI,— Duchess County in the War of
the Rebellion— Measures Instituted for
the Raising of a Duchess County Regi-
ment—Regimental Camp at Poughkeepsie
Authorized— War Meetings and Measures
to Promote Enlistments— Camp Duchess
—Muster and Departure of the l.^Oth for
the Seat of War— Arrival of the Regiment
at Baltimore— Joins the Army of the Po-



tomao — ^Participates in the Battle of Get-
tysbiirg — Transferred to the Army of the
Cumberland — The Atlanta Campaign —
Sherman's March to the Sea^ — Toilsome
and Perilous March Through the Carolinas
— Last Battle of the il50th — March
Through Richmond to Washington — The
Return — Muster out and Welcome Home. 155

CHAPTER XVII.— Duchess County in the War of
the Rebellion — Third District Regiment —
Fails to Complete its Organization — Prep-
arations for the Draft— Suspension of the
Draft — Services of the 21st Militia Regi-
ment Tendered and Accepted — Departure
For the Seat of War — Return and Wel-
come Home — The Draft in Duchess Coun-
ty—Aid of the Military Invoked— Call of
October 17, 1863 — Recruiting Agents Ap-
pointed—Enlistments of Colored Men —
Call of February 1, 1864— Call of March
15, 1864— Call of July 18, 1864— Progress
of Enlistments — Third Draft in Duchess —
Statement of Bounties Paid — Call of De-
cember 19, 1864 — Fourth and Last Draft
in Duchess— Close of the War — Woman's
Work in the War 165

CHAPTER XVIII.— History of the Town of Red

, Hook 172

CHAPTER XIX.— History of the Town of Milan... . 214
CHAPTER XX.— History of the Town of Pine Plains 220
CHAPTER XXI.— History of the Town of North East 238
CHAPTERXXII.— History of the Town of Rhine-
beck 252

CHAPTER XXIII.— History of the Town of Clinton 284
CHAPTER XXIV.— History of the Town of Stanford 291
CHAPTER XXV. ^History of the Town of Hyde Park 299
CHAPTER XXVI)- History of the Town of Pleasant

Valley 311

CHAPTER XXVIL— History of the Town of Wash-
ington 320

CHAPTER XXVIII. —History of the Town of Amenia 334
CHAPTER XXIX.— History of the Town of Pough-
keepsie — Topography of the Town — De-
rivation and Signification of^ Name —
Streams — Soil — Population — Area —
— Schools — First Settlement-^Early Land
Transfers Affecting the Town and City of
Poughkeepsie — Tax list of Poughkeepsie
Precinct in 1771 — Wappingers Falls
(Channingville) — New Hamburgh — Roch-
dale — Manchester — East Poughkeepsie —
Clinton Point — Milton Ferry — Van Wag-
ner's — Locust Glen — The War of the Re-
bellion 357

CHAPTER XXX. —History of the City of Pough-
keepsie — Poughkeepsie in 1799 — Tax
Lists of 1805, 1849 and 1880 Compared—
Poughkeepsie in 1812 and 1824 — LaFay-
ette's Visit — Poughkeepsie as Seen

CHAPTER XXX.— (Continued.) page.
Through Gordon's Eyes in 1836— The
" Improvement Party "—Poughkeepsie in
1841 — Dieturnell's Description of Pough-
keepsie in 1842 — Electric Telegraph First
Introduced Into Poughkeepsie — Popula-
tion of Poughkeepsie at Different Periods
— Village and City Officers from the Date
of Incorporation — First. Settlement 373

CHAPTER XXXI.— Poughkeepsie's Mercantile In-
terests 381

CHAPTER XXXII.— Poughkeepsie's Commerce and
Water Transportation — The Poughkeep-
sie Transportation Company — The Pough-
keepsie & Highland Ferry Co. Limited —
The Express Business in Poughkeepsie... 385
CHAPTERXXXIIL— Poughkeepsie's Manufactures 387

Banks of Poughkeepsie 396

CHAPTER XXXIV.— The Press of Poughkeepsie... 399
CHAPTER XXXV. —Educational Measures and In-
stitutions in Poughkeepsie — The Public
Library of Poughkeepsie — Private Schools
of Poughkeepsie — Duchess County Acad-
emy — Poughkeepsie Female Academy —
Poughkeepsie Collegiate School — River-
view Academy — Cottage Hill Seminary —
The College Preparatory School — Cook's
Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies —
Eastman Business College — Vassar Col-
lege — Bishop's Select School for Boys —
Dr. Warring's Boarding School — Pelham
Institute — Bockfie's School for Young La-
dies — The Home Institute — Literary Soci-
eties and Institutions of Poughkeepsie —
The Poughkeepsie Lyceum of Literature
Science and Mechanic Arts — The Pough-
keepsie Literary Club — The Poughkeep-
sie Society of Natural Science — Vassar

Brothers' Institute 405

CHAPTER XXXVI.— Churches of Poughkeepsie... . 418
CHAPTER XXXVII.— Auxiliary Religious, Benevo-
lent and Charitable Institutions — Young
Men's Christian Association — Hudson
River State Hospital — Old Ladies' Home
— Vassar Brothers' Home for Aged Men —
St. Barnabas Hospital — House of Indus-
try — Charity Organization Society —
Poughkeepsie Orphan House and Home

for the Friendless 430

CHAPTER XXXVIII.— City Water Works — Fire
Department — Fraternities — Poughkeepsie
Gas Light Co. — Citizens Gas Co.— City

Railroad Co.— Hotels and Taverns 432

CHAPTER XXXIX.— Poughkeepsie in the Rebellion 439
CHAPTER XL.— History of the Town of LaGrange 467
CHAPTER XLI,— History of the Town of Union

Vale 474

CHAPTER XLH.— History of the Town of Dover... 480
CHAPTER XLIII.— Histoiyof the Town of Wappin-

ger 491



CHAPTEB XLIV.— History of the Town of Fish-

kiU 605

CHAPTER XLV. —History of the Town of East Fish-
kill 536

CHAPTER XLVI.— History of the Town of Beek-

man 544

CHAPTER XLVII.— History of the Town of Pawl-
ing 550


Akin Hon. Albert J., Pawling, portrait, (steel)

„ ....facing 560

"Ankony," residence of William B'ergh Kip, Rhino-
beck between 262-263

Ayrault George, La Grange, portrait, (steel)

between 472-473

"Ayrault Place," residence of George Ayrault,

LaGrange between 472-473

Bartow Mrs. Ehzabeth D., East Fishkill,view of resi-
dence between 540-541

Blair Robert, Fishkill, portrait facing 536

Bentley Col. Gilbert, Clinton, portrait (steel). ..facing 289

Bisbee Otis, Poughkeepsie, portrait facing 458

" Bois Dor6," residence of R, P. Huntington, Rhine-
beck facing 272

BoWne James, Poughkeepsie, portrait facing 445

Bi-iuckerhoff James B. Jr., Fishkill, view of resi-
dence facing 633

Brown Samuel, Beekman, portrait facing 549

Carpenter Hon. B. Piatt, Poughkeepsie, portrait,

(steel) between 442-443

Carpenter Hon. B. Piatt, Poughkeepsie, view of resi-
dence facing 443

Carpenter Hon. Morgan, Poughkeepsie, portrait

(steel) between 442-443

Carpenter Hon. Isaac S., Stanford, portrait, (steel)

facing 299

Carpenter Hon. Jacob B., Washington, portrait, facing 333

Carpenter Hon. Jacob B., Washington, view of sum-
mer residence between 322-323

' ' Callendar House,"residence of Johnston Livingston,

Red Hook 213

Cairo Adam, Poughkeepsie, view of pottery and

sewer pipe manufactory facing 392

Campbell Cornelius N., M. D., Poughkeepsie, portrait 457
"Cedar Hill," residence of R. M. Taggart, Pough-
keepsie between 450-451

"Cedar Hill," view of entrance and grounds. ..facing 460

" Cedar HiU," view of barn between 450-461

Central Pawling Baptist Church 566

Clark Colonel Henry F., Poughkeepsie, portrait

between 444-445

Clark Colonel H. F., Poughkeepsie, view of medals

awarded between 444-445

" CliffSale," residence of Mrs. Cordelia E. Boardman,

Poughkeepsie between 440-441

"Cliffdale," view of the lake between 440-441

"Chateau of Tivoli," residence of Colonel 3. L.

dePeyster, Red Hook 212

" Cliffdale," view of the entrance 441

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 1 of 125)