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 36 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 36 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

during the latter part of the war. The deficiency
in the district was 407, mostly in Columbia county.
The draft was concluded on the 20th, and one
hundred per cent, was added to the deficiency in
each sub-district, to make up for probable exemp-
tions for disability and other causes. The towns
in Duchess county which had not filled their quota,
and their deficiencies, were as follows : Rhinebeck,
56, Red Hook, 28, North East, 9, Pine Plains, 10,
Milan, 2.

After the completion of the draft, three men
were credited on the quota of North East, and one
on that of Red Hook. Permission was given to

fill up the quota with volunteers. The Eagle of
Oct. 7, 1864, says : " The last man on the quota
of this district under the late call was credited to
the town of Milan yesterday."

Duchess county paid a bounty of $300 to each
of 830 men under the call of July 18, 1864, — $249,-
000, and to recruiting officers and others for fur-
nishing them, $4,500 ; also for interest, commis-
sion, engraving, printing, and other incidental ex-
penses, $6,012.94, making a total of $259,512.94.
Its disbiirsements under the call for 200,000 men
were: — A bounty of $300 to each of 181 men, —
$54,300 ; $300 paid to the Government for each
of 136 drafted men, — $40,800 ; a premium of $25
paid to 19 drafted men who furnished substitutes,
— $475 ; paid recruiting officers and others for fur-
nishing men, $3,000; paid for interest, commis-
sion, engraving, printing and other incidental ex-
penses, $4,140.80 ; making a grand total under
both calls of $363,128.74.
^ The credits allowed by act of Congress on the
call of July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men, reduced the
number to be obtained from that call to 280,000 ;
while the operations of the enemy in certain
States rendered it impracticable to procure from
them their full quotas, thus reducing the available
number of men under that call to 250,000. To
make up this deficiency the President, on the 19th
of December, 1864, issued a call for an additional
300,000 men, to be drafted Feb., 15, 1865, unless
supplied by that time by volunteers.

Dec. 26th, 1864, the Supervisors authorized the
several towns to raise, on their own credit, money
to be used in procuring volunteers under this call,
in such manner as might be provided by the elect-
ors at a special town meeting, to be held pursuant
to section 22, chapter 28, session laws of 1864. In
accordance with this provision special town meet-
ings were held and excessively large bounties voted
in the frantic effort to escape the impending draft ;
but the local bounty system, under the stimulus of
these fears, the sharp competition, and the rapacity
of bounty brokers, had worked such gross injustice
and been, subject to such outrageous abuses, that
on the 24th of February, 1865, the Legislature
made provision for a State bounty of $300, $400
and $600, for one, two and three years' men re-
spectively, and prohibited the payment of all local
bounties. This was at least an approach to a
healthier system, but its injustice differed „only in
degree. Provision was also made for the payment
of $250 to each man thereafter drafted and mus-
tered into the service. Amounts in this ratio were



to be refunded to counties and towns having pre-
viously filled their quotas, and for all men raised
by them in excess of their quotas under the call of
December 19th, 1864. An appropriation of
$30,000,000 was made to carry this system of
equaUzation into effect, and the law was ratified at
a popular election by an overwhelming majority—
392,113/0^ and 48,655 against. The interposi-
tion of brokers and middle-men was dispensed
with, as the bounties could only be paid to the
volunteers in person.

The draft for the deficiency in this district under
the call of December 19th, 1864, took place at the
Provost Marshal's office, in Poughkeepsie, on
Monday, March 20th, 1865, and was witnessed by
a large number of prominent citizens. Among
those drafted were Dr. A. B. Harvey, Rev. De Loss
Lull, Recorder Robinson, District Attorney Allard
Anthony, Prof. E. J. Wilber, G. W. Davids, local
editor of the Poughkeepsie Eagle, and John W.
Straight, editor of the Fishkill Standard.

The deficiencies in the several towns in this
county at that time were as follows : Fishkill, 79 ;
North East, i; Pine Plains, 2; Poughkeepsie
(town), 2; Poughkeepsie City, i7S; Red Hook,
42; and Rhinebeck, 14. Total, 344.

On the 8th of April, 1865, the last man on the
quota of this district, under all c'alls, was mustered
in and credited to the town of Red Hook. This
was the last, the crowning sacrifice, the county was
called on to make. The Confederacy was then in
its death throes, was tottering to its inevitable
doom. The same day that Duchess county gave
its last man to the defense of Liberty and Justice,
Lee was negotiating for the surrender of his army,
which, on the following day, laid down their arms
before Grant's victorious army— an army of many
vicissitudes, but now crowned with an imperishable

The news of the culminating victories of the war
was received in Duchess county with the most
frantic demonstrations of joy. Bells were rung,
bonfires kindled, cannon fired, processions formed,
and general hilarity prevailed. April 8th, 1865, a
preliminary meeting was held at the City Hall m
Poughkeepsie to arrange for a suitable celebration
by the citizens of the county, and committees were
appointed, charged with arranging the details of
a plan for that purpose.

But the joyful news of victory was quickly fol-
lowed by the sad intelligence of an appaUing
calamity— the assassination of Lincoln on the
evening of the 14th of April, and when the

death of the President, the following morning was
flashed over the wires, the people of Duchess
shared in that terrible, inexpressible and over-
whelming grief which enshrouded the North. The
Rebellion was crushed; but the head of the
Nation — ^the beloved Lincoln — was stricken down
by the hand of a traitor.

It may not be unfitting, but rather as graceful
as deserved a recognition, to make some slight
acknowledgment of the heroism, devotion and
patriotism of the women of Duchess county during
the eventful period we have been considering, and
whose annals, locally considered, have been given
in the last three preceding chapters. If their
physical discomforts were less than were those of
the loved ones whom they sent forth to battle
manfully for the right — as sacrifices, if need be, on
the altar of their country — not so the mental
anguish endured; and who shall say that the
material services of the one outweighed the subtler
and not less powerful influences of the other.
Nay, was not the one the necessary complement
of the other, and both equally indispensable to the
attainment of the great object in view ?

Who knows better than the devoted wife, the
cherished mother, the loved sister, and the affec-
tionate daughter, the long, weary days and nights
of intense and unremitting anxiety, of agonizing
suspense, occasioned by the absence of these their
natural protectors, and the dangers to which,
through the trying, toilsome years, they were un-
ceasingly exposed; and who knows better than
those who braved those dangers how necessary
was the loving sympathy and appreciation of the
dear ones at home to their health, strength, and
a manly performance of the arduous duties inci-
dent to their new and strange relations ?

The faithful sqjdier did not more surely, nor
more keenly, feel the pangs of hunger, fatigue and
pain than did they— sympathetically-whom he thus
represented and who ministered, as best they might,
to his comfort. The anodyne which assuaged a
physical pang as truly reUeved a mental one ; the
agency which terminated the life of the one as
certainly blighted that of the other; the deed
which brought honor to the one was equaUy re-
flected in the career of the other; and the act
which disgraced or humiliated the one as inevit-
ably blanched the cheek of the other.

But the influence and offices of woman found
a material and essential as well as emotional and
aesthetic expression. It was her province to
minister to the physical necessities of the sick and



wounded who languished in distant hospitals, and
to the comfort of those engaged in the active duties
of the field, by supplying articles for which the
general government made no, or an inadequate
provision, and in the thousand and one ways which
only her thoughtful providence could suggest.

Simultaneously with the first expression of the
need of her services, at the very beginning of the
war, her sympathy and aid were extended to
alleviate suffering, both in the hospital and in the
field; and her energies relaxed only with the re-
moval of the causes which called them into action.
She inaugurated a system of relief which, as the
war progressed, developed such magnitude as to
demand the special services of a numerous. Sani-
tary Commission.

The Woman's Relief Association of Pough-
keepsie, organized in April, 1861, for the purpose
of supplying suitable clothing for the use of volun-
teers, and of which Mrs. John Thompson was
president, and Mrs. H. L. Young, secretary, early
undertook the task of supplying the demands on
those benevolently inclined.

The Stanford Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society, of
which Mrs. J. W. Holman was president, and S.

A. Tallmadge, secretary, was organized Aug. 16,

The Second Annual Report of the Woman's Re-
lief Association, dated April 30, 1863, says: —

" This Association has during the past year for-
warded supplies to various hospitals and societies
as follows : —

" Central Relief Association, 5 boxes j Rev. C.

B. Thomas, Alexandria, Va., 11 boxes; Mrs. A.
H. Gibbons, Point Lookout, Md., 12 boxes; Mrs.
Horace Abbott, Union Dock Hospital, Baltimore,
I box, and i barrel of apples; 'New York
Soldiers' Relief Society,' Washington, n boxes,
and 4 barrels of apples ; Miss McClellan, Elizabeth
St. Hospital, near Washington, 7 boxes; 128th
Regt. at Fortress Monroe and New Orleans, 4
boxes; ' Sisters of the Good Samaritan,' Quincy, 111.

I box. Total, 52 boxes, and 5 barrels of apples.'
" The Treasurer's report shows the cash account
to be as follows: —

"Amount received during the year $617 65

" Amount expended during the year S98 50

"Balance in treasury April 30th $ig le

"Contributions have been received from the
following auxiliaries : —

"Blue Stocking Society, Locust Grove Society
Ladies' Relief Assopiation of St. Paul's Church'
Wurtemburg, Ladies' Aid Society of Beekman'
Army Rehef Association of Salt Point, Ladies of
Harts Village, Lithgow, LaGrange, Crum Elbow
Hyde Park, Zion Church, Wappingers Falls, Relief

Association of New Paltz Landing, Aid Society
of Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Valley, Ladies'
Relief Association, Pleasant Plains, Army Aid
Society, Stanfordville.


" Mrs. Wm. Henry Crosby, Prest.
" Julia N. Crosby, Sec'y."

This shows the spirit in which the noble and
honored women of Duchess county met the de-
mands on their sympathies — their patriotism ; and
their unwearied exertions and generous responses
were continued until the demand for them ceased.
Thousands bear living testimony to the great
blessings which flowed from these labors of love,
while the sufferings of thousands of others who
languished and died in hospitals from sickness and
wounds were mitigated by them. It was no fault
of theirs if, as was sometimes the case, their aims
were diverted from their legitimate ends through
the greed and avarice of men.

History of the Town of Red Hook.

THE town of Red Hook lies on the extreme
north-west corner of Duchess County. It
is bounded on this north by Clermont (Columbia
county) ; on the east by Milan ; on the south by
Rhinebeck ; the Hudson River forming the west-
ern boundary.

The scenery about Red Hook is exceedingly
fine. Along its western border flows the matchless

" Broad and grand,
A river worthy of the land,"

with its romantic views, historic suggestions, and
ever-moving panorama of sloop and steamer ; while
in the interior the rolling upland is broken into
hills and vales of picturesque beauty, dotted here
and there with beautiful country residences.

The town is devoted chiefly to agriculture and
the cultivation of fruits, producing quite abundantly
such cereals as oats, rye and barley, and such fruits
as apples, pears, plums and the different varieties
of berries, strawberries being the most extensively

The valleys of the principal streams — the White
Clay-kill and Saw-kill — are broad and fertile, the
soil in their vicinity being a clayey loam. The soil
of the uplands is a sandy, gravelly, or slaty loam.
Long Pond, in the eastern part, is the largest body
of water in the town, and forms the source of the



The town of Red Hook was formed from Rhine-
beck, June 2, 18 1 2, and its earlier history is more
or less blended in that of the latter town. Its popu-
lation for a series of years has been as follows : —
1840, 2,833; 1850, 3,120; i860, 3,750; 1870,
4>3S°; 1875.4,221; 1880,4,471.

The first settlements were made in this town by
the Dutch, near Barrytown and Tivoli, about the
year 17 13. Among the early settlers we find the
names of Bermor, Haeners, Hagadorn, Near, Staats,
.Prosseus, Schufeldt, Trauve, Wiederwax, Waldorf,
Shaffer, and Zippertie.

On the second of June, 1688, Col. Peter Schuyler
obtained from Governor Thomas Dongan a patent
for the land lying over against Magdalene, now
Cruger's Island, which land he had purchased from
the Indians.

In the patent the boundaries* are thus de-
fined : —

"Situate, lying and .being on the east side of
Hudson's river in Duchess county, over against
Magdalenef Island, beginning at a certain creek
called Metambesem ; thence running easterly to
the south-most part of a certain meadow called
Tauquashqueick ; and from that meadow easterly
to a certain small lake or pond called Waraugh-
kameek ; from thence northerly so far till upon a
due east and west line it reaches over against the
Sawyer's Creek ; from thence due west to the
Hudson's river aforesaid; and thence southerly
along the said river to the said creek called Me-

This deed, according to the " Calendar of Land
Papers recorded in the Secretary of State's office
at Albany,'' was not recorded until the 25th of
June, 1787, nearly one hundred years after it had
been obtained. A confirmatory patent obtained
on the 7th of November, 1704, according to the
Calendar, was at once recorded in Vol. 3 of -Pat-
ents, page 184.

An old map, in the possession of Col. Henry B.
Armstrong, states that the creek called Metambe-
sem is now the Saw kill, entering the river between
Montgomery place and the Bard premises ; that
the meadow, called Tauquashqueick, was Schuy-
ler's, and is now generally known as Radcliff 's
Fly; and that Waraughkameek is now the "Fever
Cot/' which means the Pine Swamp, mainly on the
premises of the late Albert Snyder, three miles
east of the village of Upper Red Hook. Con-
ceding that the Saw kill was the creek named
Metambesem by the Indians, the patent erred in
making it the southern limit of Peter Schuyler's

* History of Rhineheck^ Edward M. Smith, p. 2z.
t This is spelled *' Magdalene," '*Magdalena," "Magdalen," thelat-
ter being preferable and more common.

lands ; they came down to the " Stein Valetie,"
• (Little Stone Falls,) somewhere on the premises of
Francis H. Delano.

In 1689, the year after he had obtained the
grant, Peter Schuyler sold one-half of what he es-
timated to be one-fourth of his patent to Harme
Ganesvoort,. a brewer, of Albany. The fourth of
the patent out of which this sale was made, lay
north of a line run due east from a point on
the river opposite the south of Slipsteen Island,
(the small island north of Cruger's.) On the ist
of May, 1704, Harme Gansevoort sold for one
hundred and fifty pounds sterling, his moiety of
this part of the patent to Lowrance,* Cornelius,
Evert, and Peter Knickerbacker, of Duchess
county ; Anthony Bogardus, of the city of Albany,
and Janetje, his wife ; Jan Vosburgh, of Duchess
county, and Cornelia, his wife ; sons and daughters
of Harme Jans Knickerbacker, late of Duchess
county, deceased.

In 1722, Peter Schuyler had this upper fourth of
his patent carefully surveyed, and divided into
thirteen lots. Of these he set seven over to the
above named Knickerbackers, retaining the six in
his own possession. What he ultimately did with
these we have not learned. The other three-
fourths of his patent he sold to Tierk DeWitt, of
Ulster county, Joachem Staats, of the manor of
Rensselaerswick, and Barent VanBenthuysen, of
Duchess county. A partition deed and map in
the possession of Col. Henry B. Armstrong shows
the disposition ultimately made of his patent by
Col. Peter Schuyler. The deed reads as follows : —

" Barent Staats, of the manor of Renselaers-
wick, of the County of Albany, in the province of
New York in America, of the first part ; Barent
Van Benthuysen, of Duchess County, in the said
county and province, yeoman, of the second part ;
and Henry Beekman, of the said Duchess County,
gentleman, of the third part, whereas, Coll. Peter
Schuyler, late of ye county of Albany, deceased,
Tierk DeWitt, late of Ulster County, deceased,
and Joachem Staats, late of the said manor of Ren-
selaerswick, deceased, were partners to the pur-
chase of that certain tract or parcell of land, situ-
ate, lying and being in the said Duchess County,
beginning at a certain creek called Metambesem,
over against Calkoewhock : thence running easter-
ly to the southmostpartof a certain meadow called
Tauquashqueak ; and from that meadow easterly
to a certain small lake or pond, called Warach-
kameek; and from thence northerly so far till upon
a due east and west line it reaches over against the
south end of the island in Hudson's river called
and known by the name of Slipsteen Island ; thence
southward along the east side of said river to the

•See burial ground at Tivoli Landing, page 179.



creek called Metambesem. * * * "phe said
tract of land * * * * was by letters patent from
Coll. Thomas Dongan, heretofore Lieutenant Gov-
ernor of said province, granted unto the said Peter
Schuyler, as by said patent bearing date the second
day of June, 1688, and since confirmed by an-
other patent, under the broad seal of the said
province, from Edward, Viscount Cornbury, some-
time governor of the said province, bearing date
the 7th day of November, 1704. And whereas
the said Tierk DeWitt, in his life time, by virtue
of a conveyance from the said Peter Schuyler of
one-third part of the above recited tract or parcell
of land, did make and convey that same third part
of the said tract or parcell of land unto his son.
Peek De Witt, who by another instrument under
his hand and seal hath conveyed the same unto the
said Henry Beekman, to have and to hold the said
third part of the said tract or parcell of land, to
him, the said Beekman, his heirs and assigns
forever, except any part in the meadow called
Magdalene Islands' Vly, that lyeth between the
main shore and the said Magdalene Islands ; which
said third part of the said tract or parcell of land
is afterwards confirmed and released unto them by
indentures with the said Peter Schuyler, bearing
date the eleventh day of February, 17 18-19. * * *
And whereas the said Peter Schuyler by other in-
dentures executed between him and the said Bar-
ent Staats, son and heir of Joachem Staats, bear-
ing date the eleventh day of February, 1718-19,
whereby the said Peter Schuyler granted, released
and confirmed unto the said Barent Staats for
himself and others, the children of the said Joa-
chem Staats, deceased, another third part of the said
above recited tract of land, and of the above
mentioned meadow, called Magdalene Islands'
Vly, under such quit rent as in the said indenture
IS specified. * « « * The other third part
of the said tract or parcell of land the said Peter
Schuyler hath sold and delivered to the said Barent
Van Benthuysen, his heirs and assigns forever.
Now this indenture witnesseth that the said parties
to these presents being now fully minded and
agreed that the aforesaid tract or parcell of land
shall be divided and laid out in lotts as equall and
conveniently as may be, in manner as the same
are laid out, delineated, proportioned and ascer-
tamed on the surveys, draft or chart thereof, refer-
ence whereunto being had may now plainly ap-
pear." -^ ^

Tauquashqueick meadow (Schuyler's Vly) was
divided into three parts, and disposed of by lots
Barent Staats drawing the south, Barent Van Ben-
thuysen the middle, and Henry Beekman the
north part.

The Saw kill was found to have three falls of
water, and " eight acres of land conveniently locat-
ed to each fall of water, being in all twenty-four
acres, which creek, falls, and twenty-four acres are
reserved, and undivided, and remain as yet in com-
pany between the said parties, each one-third part

thereof, for the use of such saw-mill and saw-mills,
grist-mill or grist-mills, as at any time hereafter by
the said parties, their heirs and assigns, shall be
thereon erected." For the building of these mills
the parties reserved to themselves the right to
enter on any of the parties' lands not " infenced
and improved, and cut down and have, and carry
away timber " for any of the mills mentioned.

In this final partition and disposition of the
Schuyler patent, Barent Staats acted for himself,
and for his brothers, Abraham, Richard and Isaac,
and his sister, Elizabeth. The deed was signed,
sealed and delivered in 1725, in presence of Har-
manis Schuyler, Peter Livingston and Robert
Livingston, Jr.

The reservation of the mill sites, and the right to
cut timber therefor on each others' lands, seem to
indicate that there were' no mills on the Saw kill
in 1725; and the reservation of the right to pass
over each other's lands with teams and wagons,
indicates that there were no highways constructed
at this date, excepting, perhaps, the post road."*

The Cruger's Island,! referred to in the patent of
Col. Peter Schuyler, is one of the most distinguished
of any in this section, and one of the best known
locaHties. The Crugers, for whom the island was
named, were equally noted as citizens, politicians,
and soldiers. As early as 1739 John Cruger was
Mayor of New York City, and his son subsequent-
ly, was also Mayor. Another son was a colleague
of the celebrated Edmund Burke, as representative
in Parliament for the city of Bristol, Englarid.

Col. John Harris Cruger was one of the most
distinguished Americans who supported the crown
during the Revolutionary war ; and besides gallant
services on other fields, rendered himself famous
by his successful defense of Fort Ninety-Six in
South Carolina, in May and June of 1781,^
against the American army under a General
second only to Washington— Nathaniel Greene
— who had with him as director of the siege
works, and chief engineer, a man whose celeb-
rity was as great in Europe as in America—
Thaddeus Kosciusko.

The present representative of the family, Stephen
Van Rensselaer Cruger, now Colonel of the Twelfth
Regiment, National Guards, S. N. Y., distinguished

* Smith's Hist. Rhineiecky p. 2J.

t The islands in the Hudson near Tivoli-Magdalene Island and Slip-
steen, or Slijpsteen Island -have been known by different names ; the lat-
ter bythe names of "John DeWitt's Island" and "Goat Island;"
while the former was once known as ' ' Marston " and " Wanton " Island,
Wanton, in Dutch meaning " mitten shaped."

tAlso in command of the British Centre at Eutaw Springs, the last
battle of the Revolution in the South, 8th Sept. 1781.



himself in the Union service during the war of the
Rebellion. His first battle was Gettysburg, and
in the Atlanta campaign at Resaca, as Adjutant
of the 150th Regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers,
he was desperately, and to all appearances mor-
tally wounded in two places.

At the southern end of Cruger's Island is a
mimic ruin, built in imitation of the remains dis-
covered in Chiapas and Yucatan by John Lloyd
Stephens, one of the first of the great American
explorers, who brought home carved stones which
• he presented to John C. Cruger, and which are in-

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 36 of 125)