Samuel W Durant.

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

. (page 158 of 192)
Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 158 of 192)
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" We rowed up the creek about three miles, and then landed on the
side between the Fish and Wood Creeks. Here we met first with a
broad girdle of fertile flat land, nearly east by west ; then a long tract
of pine chiefly, then beech, maple, and oak. The lower parts at this side
are often overflown. The land at the west side is much higher than
that to the cast. I ordered the boy to proceed higher up, and took a
similar course landward in, and examined the soil from time to time,
which I found generally fertile, although of a less favorable aspect
towards the lake and richer again in proportion that I took a north-
western course. My opinion was as much formed from the variety of
timber as from the soil, which through a partial and incorrect exam-
ination might have led me astray. I reached my canoe near the
mouth of the Wood Creek, entered it, and found, after an absence of
three hours, the peas-porridge ready. We remained that evening two
miles at this side of the Oak Orchard, where we breakfasted, and met
about one mile fiom it Messrs. Boon and LiuL'klacn, who, assifc-ted by
Mr. Morris, a land surveyor, proceeded on a similar excursion. It was
2 o'clock before we arrived at the AYidow Armstrong's cottage. In
an instant the kettle was hung on the fire to boil our fresh salmon.
We made ourselves an ample compensation for our frugal repast at
breakfast. The salmon was delicious enoug', although not so fat,
which, no doubt, was occasioned that it was speared; but certainly
this one, though considered large, was much smaller than usually those
on the river the Meuse.

"Amos Fuller, who resided now with his family at the widow's till
he should be successful, as he said, in purchasing a farm in this

neighborhood, informed us that two past three Massachusetts

men, amongst whom one of his brothers, had taken an accurate view
of the tract from this point between the Canada Creek, then westward
between the Wood and Fish Creeks, and considered it upon the whole
so valuable that they had offered to purchase a whole township, to pay
a £1000 by the deed of the land, and the residue within a year,
obliging themselves further to settle it before April, 1794, with thirty-
five families.

" We heard this identical tract described by others, — ardently, per-
haps, designing to take it in their grasp, — described as an indiff'ercnt
tract of land, remarkable chiefly for its hemlock, pine, and swamps,
which, perhaps, might fall short in defraying the expenses of its sur-
vey. This difference of opinion can only be accounted for in one way,
not that judgment was biased, but that secret motives induced the one

and the other to overrate or underrate lands to facilitate its sale or
purchase. Come and see, then, and examine for yourself and your
friends. Fuller tacked his old horse to our canoe, and dragged it to
Fort Bull. Here I strode on poor Uosinante, step by step, towards
Fort Stanwix, where the baron alter a little while arrived, having left our.
canoe and baggage one mile from the carrying-place by want of water.
The cinoe arrived next morning. We dined in part on the new pota-
toes of Des Wattines,— the welcome-cup flowed over, — and 1 sincerely
thanked the baron for his hospitable reception, for his manifold ser-
vices and entertaining society during a journey which required such a
good companion to smooth its roughness. His lady was by her atten-
tion entitled to the same civilities. We took a cordial farewell; I
stept on my horse, which was neat and plump, rode to Whitesborough,
visited Mr. Piatt (once to be compared to Noordkerk, of Amsterdam),
and then made a call to the good-hearted Hugh White, asked for their
commands, and slept that night at Old Fort Schuyler, by Mr. Hansje
Post. I was again on horseback early in the morning on Friday, and
crossed the river. My oiled-silk surtout coat defended me from the
rain, which continued without interruption from five to till eight. I
had missed the road near the German Flatts, but met good people,
who,'with kindness, convinced me that I was on a bye- path. They
had observed my inattentive mien, and asked me where I went to. I
crossed again the Mohawk, took breakfast at Mr. Aldritz's, visited the
Rev. Rosekrantz, and arrived at Captain Ballinger's, where I ob-
tained for my dinner good chicken-broth. I stept at four on my
horse, and associated to another traveler passed Canajohari, baited
our horses by Hudson, crossed the Mohawk for the last time, tarried
about an hour at the Widow Schuyler's, and slept that night nine
miles farther, at Bankert's Inn, much fatigued and thoroughly wet by
a copious perspiration.

" The sight of several fields, from which they were reaping the rye,
of others where the sheaves stood in array, made me double my speed.
Looking steadily forward, and little caring of what I left behind, I
discovered first at Simon Veder's, at Caughnawaga, that I had left my
spurs ; it was fortunate that I was not in want of these for my good
horsp. I breakfasted at Putnam's on Trip's hill, staid over noon at
Mabee's, six miles from Schenectadi, without tasting a morsel, pro-
viding quietly for my beaSt, as the landlady declined the trouble to pre-
pare a roasted chicken for my dinner. I might have got some pork. I
enjoyed the satisfaction to find the Rev. Romeyn with his lady and
family in a perfect health. A good dish of tea, with the delightful
society of that respectable clergyman, revived ray spirils so that I
passed two agreeable hours with them, I rode the same evening yet
five miles farther, and was before eight next morning under the hos-
pitable roof of my worthy friend, Dr. Mancius.

" The Rev. De Ronde, a clergyman of fourscore years, who, expatri-
ated from one of the Land Provinces and settled in this State many
years past, was to ofiiciatc in the Dutch church. I was tempted to be
one of his hearers. His subject was rich enough : ' Who shall shew us
what is good? Lot the light of your countenance arise upon us,
Lord !' A Bonnet, a Ilulshofl', a Chevalier would have delivered a
master-piece. The good old father, I believe, did as well as he could.
But accustomed as I was to dainties, it was a hard fare to digest a
coarser meal. In this respect, my dear sir, the time for our adopted
country is yet to come, and I doubt not it will, but thus far we are yet
behind. I must acknowledge, however, I did not hear your New
York clergy. If I had done so I might have been prompted by jus-
tice to a recantation.

"I retreated after dinner in silence from the city, with the fear of
the constable, ignorant that I did attend divine worship in the wor-
ship continually before my eyes; slept at Cosochie,* and rode early on
Monday morning through an incessant rain to Mr. Sax, in the Ivih'xjt.
Let not your warm imagination make you suppose that your learned
Sax, of Utrecht, whose talents I so often admired, and who deserved so
well the applause which he earned by his Omnmsticon, had transplanted
himself in the neighborhood of the beautiful Hudson ; then you could not
have been long in suspense while I made such a speed towards his house.
No, sir! It was the honest and industrious Hans Sax, pei-haps de-
scending from the same lineage. My breakfast was soon in readiness,
and I could not deny him the satisfaction to give him the outlines of my
excursion. From here I continued my route to Captain Hendrick
Schoonmaker, where I took a dish of tea till a heavy thunder-shower

* Coxsackie.



shall have passed. My patience was exhausted at length, as the day
was far gone, and submitted to ride nine miles farther, through a
violent rain, before I could reach my dwelling. But not one single
drop made any itnpression, except on my hat, face, and hands, thanks
to my silk oiled coat.

" Joy was legible in every countenance ; my heart was glad
and thankful when I did see me so cordially received, when I felt
myself embraced with so much tenderness by all who were so dear
to rae.

" My dear John alone suffered under an intermittent fever, but that
unwelcome visitor left us ere long, so that everything is again in its
old train ; the children at school, father in the field, mother unwearied,
attentive to her many domestic concerns; all is bustle j ten loads of
hay, eleven of rye, and fourteen of wheat are secured ; the remainder
mowed and reaped in the field, so that I must take hold of a few
moments early in the morning and late nt evening.

" My companion, more sanguine in his projects and more ardent in
their pursuit, had a much higher conception of this tract than your
friend; to him it was superior, far exceeding all that he had seen, in
situation, in luxuriant fertility, in natural riches. No doubt it was
gifted with it; it might, by an active industry, be triinsformed in an
Eden ! It may be so; it may be that his views are nearer the truth ;
he had been on that spot before me, but it did not appear to me under
such high glowing cnlora. I did see some very indifTcrent parts; I
meant to have discovered several barren spots; but in what tract
of land extended to 6 or 100,000 acres shall similar spots not be dis-
covered? Perhaps these may even exist to a much larger amount
than I do suspect where we did not penetrate. The soil, in my
opinion, is even less rich than that in Whitestown and at the Oris-
kany Creek, but its cultivation shall be easier; it shall not bake, it
shall not be hardened in the same manner in a dry season.

" I visited and examined this tract with the view to fix there my
permanent residence, and obtain a valuable possession for my children
and your family. My dear friend had always an equal share in these
my contemplations and pursuits. I did not shrink at meeting in face
some hardships, but visited it, and endeavored to examine it from
creek to creek, not only near the water-side, but often several miles
in the interior, to obtain a sufficiently correct knowledge of its situa-
tion, of its real and relative value ; andin this mind I do not hesitate
to make you this frank and hono?t confession, that I have not yet
encountered in this State an equal extensive tract of land on which
I should prefer to end my course, if joined by a few respectable
families, in the vicinity of a tolerable settlement, of which, if my
wealth was equal to its acquisition, I should, in preference to all
which I have yet seen, desire to secure its possession.

"All the informations which I have been able to collect are in
unison with my views, so that hereabout shall be the happy limit of
our wanderings, under God's blessing. Several families have en-
gaged to move thither, if I can procure them lands at a moderate
price. Give now once more a proof oF that undaunted courage, so often
tried and found adequate to the task you manly engaged in. Here
the execution is chiefly in our hands ; who could hesitate who crossed
the Atlantic, not for the sake of lucre, but to secure for himself and
his family an asylum against civil and religious oppression ? You
do not yet regret this step, and then I advised you to follow my
example, and so you did. Here I may speak with greater confidence.
I have been on the spot without interest, unprejudiced, as our actual
residence is certainly desirable in several points of view. There all
its improvements are of my own creation, not without great expense,
not without unrelenting personal exertions; there I am first begin-
ning to gather the fruits of my labor, and have the well-grounded
prospect of increa^in* advantages; there I am surrounded by kind
neighbors, and at no great distmce by respectable families, who treat
us rather as near relatives than strangers, whose good-will and kind-
ness we have earned, and, as we flatter ourselves, secured. But you,
my dear sir, know too well that I have not yet learned to go by
halves, that reluctantly I submit to disappointments, and venture
rather a fresh struggle, whatever may be the risk, than to give up a
well-digested plan. You know that the yet required expensive in-
tended improvements are made impossible, though not thro' my own
fault, neglect, or carelessness, but, happy for me, through them in
whom I placed an unbounded confidence. Inform me of your plan
and sentiments without disguise. My determination may be molli-
fied; it cannot be shaken.

" Adio. Yours sincerely."


An organization was effected here by this denomination as
early as about 1836-40, and a small frame church was built
on the hill near the present site of the railway station.
About 18G0 it was removed to its present location, and
some $3000 expended for repairs upon it. The present
value is about $4000. The membership is quite large,
and the pastor is Rev. Mr. Miller, of Floyd.


*' From the first settlement of the town, the families of
Judge Van der Kemp and Colonel Mappa were constantly
in the habit of meeting together for religious services.
After some time a school-house was erected, in which the
fii-st settlers used to meet for public worship. The Rev.
Mr. Fish, a Presbyterian clergyman and a native of New
Jersey, was the first preacher who visited the town. . . .
It must have been within three or four years after the set-
tlement commenced, for he is found named as the first
pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Holland Patent, which
was formed in 1797. The Presbyterian Church at Trenton
village was organized at an early period.* Previous to
1822 the Rev. Dr. Harrower preached alternately at the
village and Holland Patent."f The former records of the
church at Holland Patent are lost, so that little is known
of its early history. "In 1812 a Congregational Church
was formed at the Patent by the Rev. Elijah Norton, to
which he preached as ' stated supply' a short time, and was
succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Harrower, who preached for
both Presbyterians and Congregationalists, who met to-
gether for worship at that place and at Trenton village.
On the 2d of January, 1821, near the close of the labors
of Dr. Harrower in this place, the two churches united,
and assumed the name of ' The Church of Christ in Hol-
land Patent.' In 1822 the Rev. William Goodell was
regularly installed its pastor."J Revs. Stephen W. Bur-
rill and James W. Phillips were successors to Rev. Good-
ell. The present pastor is Rev. James McK. Brayton.
The society has a good membership, and supports a flour-
ishing Sabbath -school.

A Unitarian Church at one time had an existence at
Holland Patent, services being held in connection with
Trenton village. It has no pastor at present.


This church was constituted March 26, 1812, with six-
teen members. Its first pastor was Elder Joel Butler. In
1813 a small house of worship was erected. After Elder
Butler, some of the early pastors were Elders Norman
Guiteau, Simon Jacobs, J. Stevens, Griffith Jones, Dyer
D. Ransom, Robert Z. Williams, Nathaniel Wattles, and
Thomas Roberts. In 1840 the present stone church edi-
fice was built, at a cost of S3000. The present pastor is
Elder J. S. Webber. Membership in February, 1878, 163 ;
Sabbath-school with over 100 members, of which J. N. Jacobs

^- Old building abandoned and no society now in village,
t Jones. X 1^^^-



is Superintendent. The value of tlie church and parsonage
is about 112,000.

ST. Paul's episcopal church, Holland patent.

"On the 25th of April, 1821, the Rev. Henry Moore
Shaw, James VVetmove, and others took the preliminary
steps to incorporate this church at Holland Patent, and the
records show that it was fully organized on the 21st of
June of the same year. Rev. Henry Moore Shaw was
chosen Rector ; James Wetmore and Abraham Diefendorf,
Wardens ; and Aaron Savage, Seth Wells, Robert McArthur,
Samuel Candeo, Bryant Youngs, John P. Warner, Samuel
White, and Aaron White, Vestrymen. The society has
now a good church edifice and parsonage."* The commu-
nicants number about 40 ; J. H. Wetmore is Superintendent
of the Sabbath-school, and Rev. W. H. Dean is the Rector.

There are also at Holland Patent a Welsh Methodist and
a Welsh Congregational Church. Neither has a large mem-
bership nor a regular pastor. The pulpit of the former is
supplied by Rev. Thomas T. Evans.


Previous to the organization of this church, the " United
Protestant Religious Society" was formed, in 1803, and
incorporated in 1804, — dissolved in 1811. The Christian
Church was organized in March, 1806, and Rev. John
Sherman was appointed first pastor. He preached until
March, 1810, when he resigned. Rev. Isaac B. Peirce
became the second pastor, in 1815, and resigned in 1842.
His successors have been Revs. Edgar Buckingham, Thomas
W. Brown, John B. Wight, Charles Ritter, B. S. Fanton,
Mr. Ritter a second time, Jefferson M. Fox, and William
Silsbee; the latter coming in July, 1867, and being duly
installed as pastor June 1, 1868, since which time he has
remained in charge. The number of members of this
church is at present about 20. A Sabbath-school is sus-
tained, with Rev. Mr. Silsbee as Superintendent. The
original frame church edifice is still in use. Oct. 10, 1874,
a memorial tablet of brass, mounted on black walnut, was
erected in the church, with the following inscription: "To
the dear memory of Sophia Apolina Mappa (obt. Jan. 7,
1861) and Cuneira Engelbertha Van der Kemp (obt. Jan.
3, 1868), to whom this church owes a large measure of its
prosperity and purity, this tablet is erected, a.d. 1874,
by the congregation with whom they worshiped, aided by
generous friends who loved and revered their example."
The tablet was manufactured by the Messrs. Lamb, of New
York City, and was the fulfillment of a design long cher-
ished by the friends of these excellent women. The num-
ber of contributors to the memorial was about 30.


have a neat frame church at Trenton village, in which ser-
vices are occasionally held. The society has no regular
pastor, the one from Holland Patent preaching here part
of the time. The membership is small.



The organization of this society dates back forty years
or more. The first meetings were held in an old store
which was built by John Billings, on the site now occupied
by the church. The present edifice was built about 1847,
and is a tasty frame structure. A cabinet-organ of the
Wood pattern has recently been placed in the church. The
present membership of the society is about 70. The pastor
is Rev. Charles E. Babcock. Rev. Mr. Thomas, a Presby-
terian minister residing in the village, is Superintendent
of the Sabbath-school, which possesses a small library.


In 1841 a union society was organized at this place, and
a church built, and dedicated in January, 1842. The
property was afterwards deeded to the Methodists by the
agent of the Holland Land Company, Charles A. Mann,
of Utica, from whom all the property in the village was
procured. The church is still used by difi"erent societies,
the Methodists and Free-Will Baptists being the principal
ones. The membership of the Methodist Society is about
40, and the pastor. Rev. J. L. Short, of Remsen. A union
Sabbath-school is sustained, with a large membership. Its
Superintendent is E. E. Whittemore, the teacher of the
village school.


was organized March 28, 1857. Its membership is at
present about 40. The union church is occupied by it a
portion of the time. Its pastor is Elder J. M. Lang-
worthy, of Utica.
A society of


was organized here about 1820, with Elder John Farley,
the first Baptist minister who located in the village, as its
pastor. This society has become merged in the Free-Will
Baptist Society. Previous to the organization of the Close-
Communion Society, a cemetery association was formed,
known as the " Baptist Society of Prospect," and the
cemetery was donated to it by the Holland Land Company.
The first burial in this lot was that of the remains of Cyrus
Farley, a son of Elder John Farley, about 1820-21. Be-
fore the present union church was built the meetings were
held in the school-house.


formerly had a local organization at Prospect, but its mem-
bers have since associated themselves with the one at


was organized about 1857. Present frame church built
about 1860. Present membership about 30. Services are
held every Sunday. John T. Jones is Superintendent of
the Sabbath-school.


Meetings were held by members of this denomination as
early as 1853, but it was not until 1863 that the society
was incorporated and a church built. The first preacher



stationed here was Rev. Hugh Williams, of Plainfield, who
ministered to this congregation two years. Rev. Robert
Evans was afterwards located here in charge. The church
is now supplied by different ministers, having no regular
pastor. Its membership is about 30. David Griffith is
Superintendent of the Sunday-school. The church is a
neat frame building.


was formed about 1833, with 39 members, and the present
frame church erected in 1838. Among the pastors of this
church have been Elders A. F. Rockwell, John Stevens,
Jesse Jones, R. Z. Williams, Van Rensselaer Waters, James
Mallory, Salmon, Philander Persons, and others.


is located south of South Trenton, and occupied by an
English Methodist Episcopal Society, whose pastor is Rev.
Mr. Wright, of Trenton village.


in the same locality, has been abandoned and the society
broken up.


at South Trenton, is now occupied by the Baptists and
Presbyterians. The Baptists have no regular pastor ; the
Presbyterian minister is Rev. J. McK. Brayton, of Hol-
land Patent.

The original name of this village, as mentioned in Mr.
Seymour's address, was Olden Barneveld, and under that
name the place was incorporated by an act of the Legisla-
ture passed April 9, 1819, the territory included being
described as follows, viz. :

"Beginning at the corners of great lots numbers one hundred and
two, one hundred and three, one hundred and eight, and one hundred
and nine, in Servis' Patent; and runs from thence south seventy-livo
degrees thirty minutes east, along the south line of great lots num-
bers one hundred and three and one hundred and four, till it inter-
sects the Steuben Creek ; from thence north eight degrees east, till it
intersects the Cincinnati Creek j from thence north seventy-five de-
grees thirty minutes west, along a line running parallel to the north
line of great lots numbers ninety-one and ninety-two, until it inter-
sects the west line of lot number ninety-two ; from thence south four-
teen degrees thirty minutes west, along the west line of lots numbers
ninety-two, ninety-five, one hundred, and one hundred and three, to
the place of beginning."

The village of Trenton was incorporated by an act passed
April 26, 1833, with slightly different boundaries from the
above. Its charter was amended April 30, 1864, taking
up the tract to the Utiea and Black River Railway, and a
second time amended, April 25, 1870, changing the bound-
aries to their present location. The records of the village
of Olden Barneveld are not to be found, consequently a
list can only be given of the trustees of the village of
Trenton from 1834. They are as follows, viz. :

1834. — Benjamin Brayton, John Mappa, Luther Gui-
teau, James Birdsell, Daniel Warren, Jr.

1835.— James Douglas, David R. Case, Thomas Tanner,
Jr., Ezra M. Birdseye, Thaddeus Ball.

1836.— John Mappa, Thomas T. Worden, Daniel Warren,
Jr., John Billings, John W. Tanner.

1837.— John Mappa, Thomas T. Worden, Thomas J.
Douglas, Ananias Horton, Benjamin Tanner.

1838.— David Storrs, Thomas Powell, John Billings,
Peter A. A. T. Van der Kemp, Benjamin Brayton.

1839. — Luther Guiteau, Daniel Warren, Jr., Isaac Utley,
John Clark, James Birdsell.

1840.— John Mappa, George W. Doty, Philetus New-
comb, Thomas T. Worden, Luther Guiteau, Jr.

1841. — James W. Watkins, James Birdsell, James Doug-
las, David Storrs, P. A. A. T. Van der Kemp.

1842. — L. Guiteau, Jr., Jonah Howe, James Cole, Daniel

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 158 of 192)