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

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tives held by the Esopus Indians, and through the
friendly intercession of five Mohawk Indians were
partially successful. Tired with fruitless parle)dng
it was resolved to attempt their rescue by force.
After some delay occasioned by wet weather, and
the return without success of an expedition
designed for this purpose, Capt. Krygier set out on
the 3d of September with a force of one hundred
and twenty-five men, guided by the younger of the
Wappinger Indians detained on the 7th of July,
who was promised his liberty and a "cloth coat"
if he directed them "truly to the Esopus Indians."
Besides inflicting heavy losses on the Indians,
the expedition returned with twenty-three Christian
prisoners; and the following October their un-
finished fort, huts and crops were destroyed and
much booty secured. October seventh, after the
return of the latter expedition, a girl escaped from
her Indian captor, with whom she had cohabited,
and returned to the fort. November seventh
Peter Wolfertsen brought in two children whom
he received in exchange for a squaw and Indian
girl. He also brought two Wappingers, one a
chief, who engaged to return a Christian woman
who was detained by his tribe, having been bought
from an Esopus squaw, which he did on the thir-
teenth. On the fourteenth he was presented with
an "Esopus squaw and a little sucking infant,"
" also with two pieces of cloth in token of friend-
ship." He requested that the Dutch " should live
with him in friendship, which should be preserved
by him." He gave in token thereof a bow and
arrow, and said, " I will not make war against the
Dutch but live in peace with them." He further
promised to obtain from the Esopus Indians the
remaining prisoners held by them. On the twenty-
eighth he returned with a quantity of venison, and
said that, but for the misfortune of having " burnt



his buttock," he should have secured the captives.
Six of them, he said, "were together at the river
side," and the seventh — "Albert Heyman's oldest
daughter — he "gave ten fathom of sewan to an-
other Indian to look up." He promised positively
to restore all the Christian prisoners in three days,
" provided it did not blow too hard from the north ;
otherwise, he could not come before the fourth
day.'' Having sold his venison he departed. He
returned December 3d with two captive children,
saying, that, owing to absence and detention, he
had been unable to fulfill his promise in respect
to the remaining five. But he promised to renew
his efforts, and all, " except three," were subse-
quently recovered . *

A treaty of peace was concluded with the In-
dians, including the remnant of the Esopus tribe,
May 16, 1664, in which Tseessaghgaw, a chief of
the Wappingers, participated in behalf of that
tribe. This was the last treaty concluded by
Stuyvesant with the Indians; and though he
was impelled to it by the necessities of the
Dutch colonists, who were sorely harassed on every
hand, and contrary to instructions of the company
whose interests he represented, it put an end
to Indian hostilities in this State until the Revo-

Events were culminating which were destined to
terminate the occupancy of New Netherland by
the Dutch, who were menaced and their territorial
rights violated almost continually from the time
they took possession ; first by the Connecticut col-
onists upon the north and east, and later by the
Swedes and Marylanders on the Delaware. O'Cal-
laghan's commentary on the administration of Di-
rector Stuyvesant is not less appUcable to the whole
period during which the Dutch struggled to main-
tain a colony in America. It was, he says, " one
of trouble and anxiety. Discontents and broils
were its sponsors ; clamors and disaffections its
pall-bearers ; whilst scarcely an hour of its exis-
tence was free from menace and danger from its
neighbors, whether savage or civilized. Lacking
those impulses which filled other colonies so rap-
idly, whatever advantages the Dutch province pos-
sessed from nature were seriously counterbalanced
by the vicious system under which it was colonized,
and the institutions under which it was governed,
which would convert settlers into serfs, and by con-
stant petty intermeddling, hamper their exertions
and paralyze their energies. In no department

* jmrnal of the Second Esopus War, Doc. Hist. IV., 49-9S.
History of New Netherlaitd, II., 477-4831-

were these tjaleful influences more palpable than in
the settlement of the country."*

On the, 12th of March, 1664, Charles II. of
England, conveyed by patent to his brother James,
Duke of York, all the country from the River St.
Croix to the Kenebec, in Maine, also Nantucket,
Martha's Vineyard, and Long Island, together with
all the land from the west side of the Connecticut
River to the east side of Delaware Bay. The
Duke sent an English squadron, under Admiral
Richard NicoUs, to secure the gift, and on the 8th
of September following. Governor Stuyvesant ca-
pitulated, and the territory till then held by the
Dutch, passed into the hands of the English, who
changed the name . of New Amsterdam to New
York. The victory was an easy one, for restricted
in their rights and liberties, and desirous of enjoy-
ing the privileges accorded to the neighboring
English colonists, the Dutch settlers refused to
contest the supremacy, and Stuyvesant unsupport-
ed was obliged, though reluctantly, to yield. The
country thus surreptitiously acquired remained
in possession of the English till the Revolution,
except that, for a short period, it was again in pos-
session of the Dutch, who, being at war with Eng-
land, sent a small squadron which arrived at Staten
Island, July 30, 1673, and to this. Captain Man-
ning, who in the absence of Governor Lovelace
had command at New York, surrendered most in-
gloriously with but little effort at resistance. By
the treaty of peace concluded between the Dutch
and English in 1674, New Netherland was restored
to the English.


Titles to the Soil — Extinguishment of the In-
dian Title — ^Land Patents — How Acquired
AND Rights Conferred-Duchess County Land
Patents — Rombout Patent — Early and Dis-
paraging Estimate of the Value of its Lands
— Copy OF Indian Deed Therefor— Schuyler's
Patent — Great jor Lower Nine Partners'
Patent — Poughkeepsie Patent — Rhinebeck
Patent — Beekman Patent — I^ittle or Upper
Nine Partners' Tract — Oblong Patent —
Disputed Boundary Line Between New York
AND Connecticut — The Oblong Granted to
English and American Patentees — Defective
Titles -Anti- Rent Difficulties.

THE Indian title to lands within Duchess
County was extinguished at different times
by various individuals to whom they were patented,

* History of New Neikerland, II., 539.



or by whom they were subsequently acquired, and
it is a congratulatory fact that in this acquisition
no injustice was inflicted on the natives, who
received satisfactory remuneration for their fair
possessions. In this respect it presents a contrast
as marked as gratifying with the adjoining county
of Putnam, which formerly belonged to Duchess,
in which Philipsburgh, which was patented to Fred-
erick Philipse, April i, 1680, was the subject of a
long and bitter controversy, but out of which jus-
tice to the red man was never evolved.

During the Dutch regime, lands were sometimes
granted in the colony without the formalities of
Indian purchase. Not until 1650, we believe, were
any measures taken to regulate the purchase of
Indian lands. It had then become necessary,
owing to the disposition manifested by several in-
dividuals to acquire large tracts of wilderness, not
with a view to improvement, but for speculative
purposes. May 24, 1650, all persons were forbid-
den to buy land from the natives without the con-
sent of the Director and Council, on pain of for-
feiture. The titles derived from the Dutch Gov-
ernment were confirmed by the English when they
succeeded to the possession of the country in 1664.
The third article of the terms of capitulation stipu-
lated that "All people shall continue free denizens,
and shall enjoy their lands, houses, goods, where-
soever they are within this country, and dispose of
them as they please." The English Government
also adopted similar provisions with respect to the
acquisition of Indian lands. In January, 1665, a
law was passed, requiring the approval and signa-
ture of the Governor to all deeds of lands purchased
from the Indians, in order to render the titles
valid. This was necessary, as the Indians fre-
quently sold the same tract of land to different in-

" Purchases from the Indian natives, as of their
aboriginal right, have never been held to be a legal
title in this province," says Governor Tryon, in his
report to the Captain General and Governor-in-
Chief of the Province of New York, in 1774, "the
maxim obtaining here, as in England, that the
King is the fountain of all real property, and from
this source all titles are to be derived."

Patents for lands were generally issued by the
Colonial Government under the great seal of the
Province, pursuant to the powers conferred on the
Governors. "It was customary," says French, "to
apply to the Governor and Council for leave to
purchase. If granted, a treaty was held and an
Indian deed obtained, a warrant was issued to the

Surveyor General for a survey, and the map and
field notes were reported. The Attorney General
was then directed to prepare a draft of a patent,
which was submitted to the Governor and Council,
and, if approved, was engrossed upon parchment,
recorded, sealed and issued. The fees incident to
procuring a patent were important sources of rev-
enue to the officers concerned. Only one thous-
and acres could be granted to one person ; but this
rule was evaded by associating great numbers of
merely nominal parties ; and the officers through
whose hands the papers passed were often largely
interested in the grants. The Colonial Govern-
nient in this respect became exceedingly corrupt,
and stood greatly in need of a reform like that
wrought by the Revolution. * * * The grants
were 'in fee and common socage ' * * * and
included with the land all 'hoifees, messuages, ten-
ements, erections, and buildings, mills, mill-dams,
fences, inclosures, gardens, orchards, fields, pas-
tures, common of pastures, meadows, marshes,
swamps, plains, woods, underwoods, timber, trees,
rivers, rivulets, runs, streams, water, lakes, ponds,
pools, pits, brachen, quarries, mines, minerals, (gold
and silver [wholly or in part] excepted,) creeks,
harbors, highways, easements, fishing, hunting and
fowling, and all other franchises, profits, commodi-
ties, and appurtenances whatsoever.' This enumer-
ation of rights, more or less varied, was embraced
in all land patents. Colonial grants were usually
conditioned to the annual payment of a quitrent,
at a stated time and place named in the patent.
This payment was sometimes due in money, and
often in wheat or other commodity. Others were
conditioned to the payment of the skins of animals
or a merely nominal article, as simply an acknowl-
edgment of the superior rights of the grantors.
The quitrents formed an important source of rev-
enue, and, after the Revolution, became due to the
State. In 1786, it was provided that the lands
subject to these rents might be released upon pay-
ment of arrears, and fourteen shiUings to every
shilling of the annual dues. Large amounts of
land upon which arrears of quitrents had accumu-
lated were sold from time to time ; and laws con-
tinued to be passed at frequent intervals for the
regulation of these rents until 1824, when an act
was passed for the final sale of all lands which had
not been released by commutation or remitted by
law. Such lands as then remained unredeemed
were allowed to be released by payment of $2.50
to each shilling sterling due. The last sale took
place in March, 1826. The arrears for quitrents,



then amounting to $53,380, were in 1819 taken
from the general fund and given in equal portions
to the Literature and School Funds." *

Under these provisions all the lands in Duchess
County were taken up in large tracts, less than a
dozen in number, by individuals who undertook
" to settle, build up, and cultivate the new coun-
try," and let them, wholly or in part, for a term of
years, at a nominal rent, or merely for the payment
ol the taxes.

The first tract of land granted within the present
limits of Duchess County was the Rombout Patent,
which embraces the present towns of Fishkill, East
Fishkill. and Wappinger, the westerly part of La
Grange, and nine thousand acres within the south-
ern limits of the town of Poughkeepsie. For this
immense tract, covering eighty-five thousand acres,
the patentees were required to pay to the Gover-
nor, "six bushels of good and merchantable winter
wheat every year ; but; if tradition speaks truly,
even that might then have been regarded as ample
compensation ; for it is said that some of the
Dutch burghers from Ulster came over to see the
country, but returned and reported that the land
was not worth crossing the river for.f

February 8, 1682, Governor Thomas Dongan
gave Francis Rombout and Gulian Ver Planck a
Ucense to purchase the above named tract of the
Wappinger Indians. The purchase was consum-
mated and the native title extinguished August 8,
1683, and a patent issued therefor October 17,
1685 ; but prior to the latter date Ver Planck died ;
hence Stephanus VanCourtlandt became associated
with Rombout, and Jacobus Kipp became the rep-
resentative of Ver Planck's children. The follow-
ing copy of the Indian deed for this tract, which
Ruttenber says is the only "perfect transfer title on
record," of the possessions of the Wappingers, is
recorded on page 72, vol. 5, Book of Patents. It
is an interesting document, and no apology is
needed for its introduction here. We cheerfully
acknowledge our indebtedness for it to the Histor-
ical Sketch of the Town of Fishkill, by Mr. T. Van
Wyck Brinkerhotr, of East Fishkill, published in
the Directory of that town for 1866 : —

Present Writeing shall Come, Sackoraghkigh
for hiraselfe, and in the name of Megriesken,
Sachem of theWappinger Indians, Queghsjehapaein,
Niessjawejahos, Queghout, Asotews, Wappegereck,
Nathindaeniw, Wappappee, Ketaghkainis, Meak-
haghoghkan, Mierham, Peapightapeieuw, Queghi-

* Gazetteer of New York, 46, note. See also New A merican Cyclo-
pedia, I., 668, under head o{ ArUi-Xent,
t Poughkeepsie Weekly Eagle, July 8, 1876.

taeuw, Minesawogh, Katariogh, Kightapiuhogh,
Rearowogh, Meggrek, Sejay, Wienangeck, Maene-
manew, and Ginghstyerem, true and Lawful Own-
ers and Indian proprietors of the Land herein
menchoned, send Greeting, KNOW YEE — that for
and in Consideracon of a Certain Sume or Quantity
of Money, Wampum, and diverse other Goods in
a Schedull hereunto Annexed Perticularly Men-
coned and Expered to them the said Indians, in
Hand Payed by Mr. ffrancis Rumbouts and Gulyne
Ver Planke, both of the Citty of New York, Mer-
chants, the Receipt whereof they, the said Indians,
Doe hereby Acknowledge, and therewith ownes
themselves to be fully payed, Contented and Sat-
tisfied, and thereof of every Parte and Parcell, Doe
hereby Acquitt, Exonerate and Discharge them, the
said ffrancis Rumbouts and Gulyne V. Planke,
their Heires and Assignes, have Given, Granted,
Bargained, Sold, Aliened, Enfoeffed, and Con-
firmed, and by these Presents Doe fully Cleerly
and Absolutely Give, Grant, Baigaine, Sell and
Alien, Enfeoffe, and Confirme unto the said Fran-
cis Rumbout and Gulyne Ver Planke, All that
Tract or Parcell of Land Scituate, Lyeing and be-
ing on the East side of Hudson's River, at the
north side of the High Lands, Beginning from the
South side of A Creek Called the fresh Kill, and
by the Indians Matteawan, and from thence North-
ward along said Hudson's River five hund"* Rodd
bejond the Great Wappins Kill, called by the In-
dians Mawenawasigh, being the Northerly Bounds,
and from thence into the Woods fouer Houers goe-
ing,* alwayes Keeping five hund^ Rodd Distant
from North side of said Wapinges Creeke, however
it Runns, as alsoe from the said fresh Kill or Creeke
called Matteawan, along the said fresh Creeke into
the Woods att the foot of the said High Hills, in-
cluding all the Reed or Low Lands at the South
side of said Creeke, with an Easterly Line, fouer
Houers going into the Woods, and from thence
Northerly to the end of the fouer Houers Goeing or
Line.Drawne att the North Side of the five hund^
Rodd Bejoyond the Create Wappinger Creek or
Kill called Mawenawasigh, together with all the
Lands, Soyles, Meadows, both fresh and Salt, Pas-
tures, Commons, Wood Land, Marshes, Rivers,
Rivoletts, Streames, Creekes, Waters, Lakes, and
whatsoever else to the said Tract or Parcell of
Land within the Bounds and Limitts aforesaid is
Belonging, or any wise Appurteining, without any
Reservacon of Herbage, Trees or any other thing
Growing or Being thereupon, To have and to hold
said Tract or Parcell of Land, Meadow, Ground,
and Primisses, with their and every of their Appur-
tennces, and all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest,
Clayme and Demand of them the said Indian Pro-
prietors and each and every of them, of, in, and to,
the same, and Every Parte thereof, unto them the

* In a tripartite indenture between Catharyna Brett, '^of Fishkill,"
"daughter and sole heir of Francis Rombout, late of the city of New
York, deceased," of the first part, George Clarke, Sec'y of the Province
of New York, of the second part, and Cornelius Van Wyck, of Hemp-
stead, Queens county, yeoman, of the third part, dated April 10, 1735,
and recorded in the Clerk's office in Duchess county, these distances are
said to he equivalent to sixteen English miles.



said ffrancis Rumbout and Gulyne Ver Planke,
their Heires and Assignes, to the Sole and only
Proper use, Benefitt and Behoofe of them, the said
ffrancis Rumbout and Gulyne Ver Planke, their
Heires and Assignes for Ever, And they the said
Indians Doe for themselves and their Heires and
every of them Covenant, Promise and Engage that
the said ffrancis Rumbout and Gulyne Ver Planke,
their Heires and Assignes, shall and may from
henceforth for ever Lawfully, Peaceably, and
Quettly have, hold, Possesse, and Enjoye the said
Tract or Parcell of Land, and all and Singuler
other the Primisses, with their Appertences without
any Lett, Hindrance, or Interrupcon whatsoever of
or by them, the said Indians^ Proprieters or their
Heires, or of any other Person or Persons whatso-
ever clayming or that hereafter shall or may Clayme
by, from, or under them, or Either of them. And
that they shall and will, upon reasonable Re-
quest and Demand made by the said Francis
Rumbouts and Gulyne Ver Planke, Give and De-
liver Peaceably and Quiettly Possession of the said
Tract or Parcell of Land and Primisses, or of some
Parte thereof, for and in the Name of the whole,
unto such Person or Persons as by the said ffrancis
Rumbout and Gulyne Ver Planke, shall be Appoint-
ed to Receive the same. In witness whereof, the said
Sackoraghkigh, for himselfe and in the Name of
Megriskar, Sachem of Wappinger Indians, Quegh-
sjehapeieuw, Niessjawejhos, Queghout, Asotewes,
Wappegereck, Nathindaew, Wappape, Ketagh-
kanns, Meakaghoghkan, Mierhara, Peapithapaeuw
Queghhitaeuw, Memesawogh, Katariogh, Kighta-
pinkog, Rearawogh, Meggiech, Sejay, Wienangeck.
Maenemaeuw, Guighstierm, the Indian Owners
and Proprietors afores'^, have hereunto sett their
Hands and Seales in N. Yorke, the Eighth Day of
August, in the 3Sth Yeare of his Mat'^ Reigne,
Anno DoTO, 1683.

"Themarkeof \ SAKORAGHUCK, [l.s.J
"The marke of X QUEGHSJEHAPAEIN, [l. s.]

" Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the psen of us

"Antho. BrockhoUs,

" P. V. Courtlandt,

" John West.
"The marke of CLAES the Indian X Inter.


"The marke of a MERHAM, [l. s.]
" The marke of & PEAPIGHTAPAEW, [l. s 1
"The marke of 7 QUEGHHITAEMW, [l. sf
" The marke of 8 MEINESAWOGH, [l. s ]
" The marke of O KOTARIOGH, [l. s.]
" The marke of 3 KIGHTAPINKOJH, [l. s 1
" The marke of-< REAROWOGH, [l. s.]
" The marke of 9 MEGGENKSEJAY, [l s 1
"The marke ofu WIENARGECK, [l. s.]
" The marke of O M AENEMANEW, [l s 1
"Themarkeof 2 GUIGHSTJEREM, [l. si
"The marke of (- KETAGHKANNES, Vl s.I
" The marke of V MEAKHAJH, [l. s 1
'i,The marke of O OGHKAN, [l. s.]
" The marke of X NIESSJAWETAHOS, Tl s 1
"The marke of X QUEJHOUT, [l. s.]

The marke of X SJOTEWES, [l. s.]
The marke of X WAPPEGERECK, [l. s.J
The marke of X NATHINDAEUW, [l. s.]
"The marke of X WAPPAPE, [l. s.]

" A ScheduU or Perticuler of Money, Wampum
and other goods Paid by ffrancis Rumbout and
Gulyne Ver Planke for the purchase of the Land
in the Deed hereunto annexed.

" One hund"! Royalls, One hund'^ Pound Pow-
der, Two hund"^ fathom of White Wampum, one
hundd Barrs of Lead, One hundred fathom of
black Wampum, thirty tobacco boxes ten hoU a
dges, thirty Gunns, twenty Blankets, forty fathom
of DuffiUs, twenty fathom of stroudwater Cloth,
thirty Kittles, forty Hatchets, forty Homes, forty
Shirts, forty p stockins, twelve coates of R. B. & b.
C, ten Drawing Knives, forty earthen Juggs, forty
Bottles, forty Knives, fouer ankers rum, ten halfe,
fatts Beere, two hunda tobacco Pipes, &c., Eighty
Pound Tobacco.

" New York? August the 8th, 1683.
" The above Perticulers were Delvered to the
Indians in the Bill of Sale Menconed in the psence
of us

"Antho: Brockhalls,
" P. V. Courtlandt,
"John West.
"I do hereby certify the aforegoing to be a true
copy of the Original Record, compared therewith
by me.

" Lewis A. Scott, Secretary."

Schuyler's Patent, granted by Governor Thomas
Dongan to Col. Peter Schuyler, June 2, i688,
consisted of two tracts; "one near Maghdalen's
Island," embraced in the present town of Red
Hook ; the other, apparently, corresponding with
that portion of the Rombout Patent lying north of
Wappinger's Creek, in the present town of Pough-
keepsie,* and thus described on page 278, Bool^A
of Deeds in the clerk's office in Poughkeepsie : —

" Scituate, Lying and being on ye East side of
Hudson's River in Dutches county at A Certaine
Place Caled ye Long Reach Slenting Over Against
Juffrow's Hook f At a Place Called the Rust Plaest.t
Runs from Thence East Ward into the wood to A
Creek Caled by The Indians Pietawickquasick
Knowne by the Christians for Jan Casperses Creek

* See Sauthier's Map, 1779.

t "Jeffrows " or "Jeflroos Hook " is on the west bank of the Hudson,
opposite the south part of the city of Poughkeepsie.

t ' ' Rust Plates Kill " empties into the Hudson on the east side, nearly
opposite Jeffrows Hook. April 3, 1741, Johannis Van Kleeck, aged te
years, and Myndert Van Den Bogart, aged about 60, both of Poughkeep-
sie Precinct, being duly sworn declared "that the Rust place (which
Bounds Mr. Henry Van Den Burgh & Compy. on the north, and Myn-
dert Harmse & Company on the south, according To a Deed Given them
by Coll. Peter Schuyler, which lays and is on ye East Side of Hudson's
River Slanting over against Juffrows Hook and Lays in Poghkeepsie
Precinct,) • * • is the only rust place and which was m^ant in said
Schuyler's Deed and that there is no other in said pattent." Both Van
Kleeck and Van Den Bogart said they had known the " Rust place " to
be called by that name for fifty years before.— Book A, Deeds, Clerk's
Office, Poughkeepsie.


Northwarde to a Water fall where the Saw Mill
belonging to Myndert Harmense * * * Stands
Upon and so Southwarde Alongst Hudsons River
Aforesaid to said Rust Plaest."

The latter tract was conveyed by Schuyler to
Robert Saunders and Myndert Harmense August
30, 1699; but both tracts were for many years in
possession of Henry Beekman, probably as a lease-
holder, as appears from the following document : —

"Received of Henry Beekman fifty Two Bush-
ells of wheat which added to the former payments
makes the amount of three hundred and seventy
Bushells of wheat being the arrears of thirty two
years Due to his Majastie to the year one thousand
seven hundred Twenty five for Quit rent of a
Patent Granted 1688 June ye 2d to Coll. Peter
Schuyler Laying in Dutchess County Consisting of

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 10 of 125)