The History of Long Island,
from its earliest settlement to the present time.

Peter Ross.

NY Lewis Pub. Co. 1902

[transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

Standing at the junction of Fulton street and Flatbush avenue, and looking in the direction of the City Hall, the modern Brooklynite can cast his eye over the site of the first settlement out of which grew the present magnificent metropolian borough. Standing there, looking at the throngs of all classes of society passing and repassing on the streets, the crowded cars, the loaded teams, and the elevated railroad crashing overhead, one can hardly realize the little village of the middle of the seventeenth century with its few scattered houses nestling as closely together as possible so as to afford mutual protection from the bands of predatory or murderous Indians, with fields of growin grain giving a golden tinge to a landscape whose prevailing color was green, the color of luxuriant nature. Even in its early stages the red man round much in Breuckelen to incite his cupidity, and a twentieth century marauder, standing on the spot here indicated, might well exclaim, as Blucher is said to have exclaimed on visiting London, "What a place for loot!"

If we were asked to describe in a word the progress and end of Brooklyn, we would answer, Annexation. That has been its crowning feature all through. The place we now designate as the borough of Brooklyn was no less the result of annexation than was the city of Brooklyn prior to 1855, the date of its first most noted extension, when Williamsburgh and Bushwick joined their forces with it, Old Breuckelen really waxed in strength and dominated the other towns with which it started, and which started under more auspicious conditions than it, by absorption of outlying villages from time to time. The Wallabout, for instance, was one district, Gowanus another, the Ferry another, Bedford another, - all of which, one after the other, fell in with the group of houses which found the central village on the rich agricultural plateau. The first purchase within the old limits of Brooklyn City - the pre-1856 limit - was at Gowanus, where in 1636 William Adriaense Bennet, an Englishman by birth and a cooper by trade, and Jacques Bentyne, another Englishman - an important man in the colony, for in 1636 he was Schout Fiscal of New Amsterdam, and for several years a member of Governor Kieft's Council, - bought 936 acres from the Indian proprietors. Three years later Bentyne sold out his interest in the property to Bennet, who resided on it until his death, about 1644, when it passed to his widow. This purchase is regarded by Dr. Stiles as "the first step in the settlement of the city of Brooklyn;" but there are indications of earlier settlement.

In 1657 Joris Jansen (Rapalye) obtained a patent for some 334 acres of land at the Wallabout, and so began that historic settlement. About 1640 a ferry was established which plied between the present Fulton street and Peck Slip, and around the Fulton street and arose a small settlement to which the name of "the Ferry" was given.

By reference to the map on page 97 [transcriber's note: not such a useful map that it warrants including here], where the context gives an account of this ferry and vicinity, one will notice that at the time the map was drawn the name of the village was spelled Brookland, at least by some parties; that Rapaille was not one of the many ways in which that name was spelled, that being before the days of spelling-books and dictionaries, and even before the era when correct orthography was thought a very important matter; and that the road to Jamaica, running southeastwardly, was the main business streeet or thoroughfare of the village.

The prospects of greater things led the mind's eye of the resident to a vague and distant future, with scarcely any correct idea of what the place would be at the end of a hundred or two hundred years, and life was comparatively montonous. The initial improvements or any new country are necessaily very slow, as the first settlers are not wealthy and are obliged to work laboriously up from small beginnings, with many losses by experimentation, accident, etc. For the time being there does not seem to be any definite promise of great things soon to come. The capitalists arrive after a long time, the small capitalists first and gradually the larger ones afterward, and improvements are correspondingly more and more rapidly effected.

The essential features of those pioneer times have in many important respects been duplicated in all the Western States. Not until recently have capitalists felt like pushing railroads out into unsettled districts in order to develop their resources and invite settlement; and this movement has indeed been a great blessing to the public, notwithstanding the general dissatisfaction with railroad grants of lands. Of course, both in the enterprise of extending railroads into unsettled portions of the country and in the legistlative granst of lands in aid of railroad construction, there would be, in keeping with the characteristic weaknesses of human nature, many mistakes - in excessive grants by one party and excessive railroad building by the other.

Bit by bit, the shore front was occupied by farms right down to Red Hook, where in 1643 Wouter Van Twiller assumed proprietorship by virtue of a patent afterward forfeited. At Gowanus and Wallabout as well as at the Ferry small settlements quickly sprang up. Between Gowanus and the Wallabout lay a level stretch of territory which the aborigines, as it was exceedingly fertile and easy of cultivation, used for growing their maze. To this tract they gave the name of Mareckawieck. Through it lay the raod or trail that led from the Ferry to Flatlands, and it was on this trail, and on this fertile tract right between the present Court House and Flatbush avenue, that the village of Breuckelen had its beginning.

To the early settlers reference has alrady been made, and we may here take up the story by saying that the pioneer white dwellers on the trail located their homes in proximity to each other, quickly availed themselves of the policy outlined by the West India Company that the settlers should "establish themselves on some of the most suitable places, with a certain number of inhabitants, in the manner of towns, villages and hamlets," and held a meeting at which it was determined to form a town. Governor Kieft was at once notified that they had organized a municipality at their own expense, to which they had given the name of Breuckelen, after the village of that name on the Vecht, in the home province of Utrecht. The proceedings which led up to this seem to have been promptly indorsed by Kieft and publicly ratified in the folloiwn proclamation, issued in June, 1646:

We, William Kieft, Director General, and the Council residing in New Netherland, on behalf of the High and Mighty Lords States-General of the United Netherlands, His Highness of Orange, and the Honorable Directors of the General Imcorporated West India Company, To all those who shall see these presents or hear them read, Greeting:

Whereas, Jan Evertsen Bout and Huyck Aertsen from Rossum were on the 21st May last unanimously chosen by those interested of Breuckelen, situate on Long Island, as Schepens, to decide all questions which may arise, as they shall deem proper, according to the exemptions of New Netherland granted to particular Colonies, which election is subscribed by them, with express stipulation that if any one refuse to submit in the premises aforesaid to the above-mentioned Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen, he shall forfeit the right he claims to land in the allotment of Breuckelen, and in order that everything may be done with more authority, We, the Director and Council aforesaid, have therefore authorized and appointed, have therefore authorize the said Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen to be schepens of Breuckelen; and in case Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen do hereafter find the labor too onerous, they shall be at liberty to select two more from among the inhabitants of Breuckelen to adjoin them to themselves. We charge and command every inhabitant of Breuckelen to acknowledtge and respect the above-mentioned Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen as their schepens, and if any one shall be found to exhibit contumaciousness towards them, he shall forfeit his share of as above stated.

This done in Coucil in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.

It may not be inappropriate here to refer to the ancient town after which the new settlement was named, and to this end we quote from the able monograph on "Origin of Breuckelen," by Mr. Harrington Putnam:

Amersfoort, Breuckelen, and Utrecht have many historic associations. To the politician and reader of Motley, they are forever linked with the career and tragic end of Barneveld. In 1619, he fell a martyr to the cause of state rights and local self-government. Such an event, comparatively recent in 1646, and still appealing to the sense of individual liberty, may have been recalled by the settlers in America. While the liberties of Utrecht had been the cherished objects of Barneveld's solicitude, he proudly proclaimed his birth in Amersfoort. In moments of arduous public labor he looked hopefully forward to an honorable and calm retirement from the tumults of party strife to his beautiful estate at Gunterteijn in the village of Breuckelen. Breuckelen, however, was an ancient village three centuries before the settlement in New Netherlands. Located between Utrecht and Amsterdam, it was early noted for its healthfullness, which soon made it a desirable residence region. The surrounding fields and foliage are strikingly green and luxuriant, even for Holland. Castles grew up about it along the banks of the beautiful Vecht, which all the successive tides of war have not quite destroyed.

In the Dutch records, Breuckelen had various spellings, as Broklede, Broicklede, Brackola, Brocklandia, and Broeckland. Hence some say that the name came from its brooks and marshes - van de drassigne en broelactgive veenlanden - meaning a brook or marsh land. It is mentioned as an important place in the year 1317. There were two parishes on opposite sides of the Vecht. These are Brueckelen-Nijenrode, from teh castle of Nijenrode, and Breuckelen-St. Pieters. The small river Vecht dividing these towns may be considered an outlet of the Rhine, which parts in two channels at Utrecht. The Vecht turns to the north and empties into the Zuider Zee. It is navigable for small vessels, and at Breuckelen is a little over two hundred feet wide.

The old country-seats along the Vecht, once set in the prim, geometric gardens of the last century, are now represented by modern villas, half hidden by trees, which today form bits of unmatched rural scenery. Eminent landscape painters of the modern Dutch school have loved to make studies amid these gentle windings, and the celebrity of the Vecht in art bids fair to surpass the forgotten fame of the neighboring castles. Old drawbridges of wood cross the sluggish river. Trees come close to the tow-path, bordered by quaint gardens. Along the gardens edges, looking out upon the stream, are Koepels or tea houses and over all this abundant foliage rises a church spire.

Jan Evertsen Bout is generally regarded by local historians as the founder of Brooklyn, and as such deserves somewhat more than merely passing notice. According to the record in Bergen's "Early Settlers in King County," he was born in the Province of Gelderland in 1603 and entered the service of the West Indian Company. In 1634 he emigrated to New Netherland and we find him, four years later, settled as a farmer at Pavonia (Jersey City, N.J.). In 1643 he was chosen one of the eight men then selected to represent the people in the days of Gov. Kieft's extremity and became a member of the Council by Kieft's appointment in 1645. The same year he secured a patent for fifty-six acres of land on Gowanus Kill, and when the town of Breuckelen was organized he was chosen as the first of it Schepens. In 1660 he enrolled as a member of the Reformed Dutch Church in Breuckelen. He was twice married, first to Tryntje Symons de Wit, and secondly to Ametje Pieters. No children blessed with union, and after his death, in 1670, Annetje married Andries Janse Jurianse and appears to have brought him, as a dower, Jan's Brooklyn property.

The year 1636, in view of Kieft's proclamation, already given, may therefore be accepted as the beginning of Brooklyn's municipal history. The measure of local self-government then awarded to the community was as limited as was possible. The magistrates were in office and clothed with honor and authority, but they had no one to carry out their orders; so they at once petitioned Kieft, and the nature of their petition can easily be infereed from tht dignitary's answer, which was at follows:

Having seen the petition of the schepens of Breuckelen, that it is impossible for them to attend to all cases occurring there, especially criminal assaults, impounding of cattle, and other incidents which frequently attend agriculture; and in order to prevent all disorders, it would be necessary to appoint a schout there, for which office they propose the person of Jan Teunissen. Therefore we grant their request therein, and authorize as we do hereby authorize Jan Teunissen to act as schout, to imprison delinquents by advice of the schepens, to establish the pound, to impound cattle, to collect fines, and to perform all things that a trusty schout is bound to perform. Whereupon he hath taken his oath at the hands of us and the Fiscal, on whom he shall especially depend, as in Holland substitutes are bound to be dependent on the Upper Schout, Schouts on the Baliff or Marshal. We command and charge all who are inclined under the jurisdiction of Brueckelen to acknowledge him, Jan Teunissen, for schout. Thus done in our council in Fort Amsterdam, in New Netherland, the first December, Anno 1646.

With the appointment of this terror to evildoers, the municpal government of Brooklyn may be said to have been made complete as far as it could be under the circumstances. It does not seem likely that the Schout was more exercised over the degnerates from within the village, and that his income from Brueckelen was mainly derived from what might be called legal fees, such as drawing up writs, petitions, certificates and the like. During the remainder of the Dutch regime the story of the young town passed on so placidly that really there is little for the general historian to tell, and what little there is gathered around the fantastic figure of Peter Stuyvesant. Soon after that potentate "of uncertain reputation, impetuous, high tempered, energetic and persistent," as Henry Cabot Lodge has described him, suceeded Kieft in 1647, the whole of New Netherland felt the benefit of the change. But his paternal notions were at times carried too far, and in the protests against his assumptions of power the people of Breuckelen were ever active and were represented in all the conventions which so often aroused the wrath of the paternal "Silver Legs," as the Indians called Stuyvesant, on account of the silver bands which strengthened and adorned his wooden limb.

In 1660 a palisade was erected around the settlement of homes, and in that year also Henricus Selyns began preaching in Brooklyn, thus marking the beginning of the great factor in the city's subsequent fame. The palisade proved a source of comfort during the Indian outbreak of 1663. But in spite of the general success of the colony as a whole under Stuyvesant, the progress of Breuckelen, in the matter of population continued very slow, as may be understood from the fact that when the Director and Council decided that the village should contribute eight or twelve men to the common defense of the Dutch towns, a meeting of the inhabitants voted to the effect that such a proposition was outrageous, that it really called for more men than the place could or should provide. But then Breuckelen was constantly giving the Director trouble by not complying with his wishes and tamely submitting to his notions. On his arrival he ordered an election of nominees for membership in his Council, retaining the final selection from those elected in his own hands. New Amsterdam, Breuckelen, Amersfoort and Midwout were among the places thus honored by a taste of popular government. Out of the eighteen thus chosen by public vote the Governor selected nine as his advisers, and his choice from Breuckelen fell upon Jan Evertsen Bout. In 1653, at the unauthorized convention of representatives of New Netherland towns held in New Amsterdam, Breuckelen was represented by Frederick Lybbertsen, Paulen Van der Beeck and William Beeckman. Probably Bout did not attend because of his official position. The meeting apparently accomplished nothing. Stuyvesant was bitterly opposed to such things and he emphatically told the delegates to go home and not to assemble again on such business; but there is no doubt the convention indirectly led to an increase in municipal privileges all round. In Breuckelen the number of Schepens was increased from two to four and it got a Schout all to itself in the person of David Provost. The latter official was one of the early settlers in New Amsterdam, arriving there in 1639, and he afterward held several official positions. He received his appointment as Schout in 1654 and in 1656 was succeeded by Pieter Tonneman. It is difficult to understand why Provoost resigned so soon, for he appears to have been an inveterate office-seeker, and it was not until 1665 that we find him in another position, that of Clerk of the local courts. Probably the fees attached to the Breuckelen appointment were too small to suit his views or his ambition. Tonneman held on until 1660, when he was appointed Schout of New Amsterdam and then Adrian Hegeman became Breuckelen's Schout, with a fixed salary in addition to what seems to have been for the time quite generous fees.

Shortly after the unauthorized meeting of representatives of the people which Stuyvesant so ruthlessly put down, Bout again comes under our notice. In 1654 he declined to serve any longer as one of the Schepens, declaring he would rather return to Holland than venture on another term. However, says Harrington Putnam, "no excuses regarding his private business were accepted [by Stuyvesant]. Though the Schepen-elect had served for previous terms, and filled other colonial offices, he was not now allowed to retire. The Sheriff was formally ordered to notify him of these summary commands of Gov. Stuyvesant:

"If you will not accept to serve as Schepen with others, your fellow-residents, then you must prepare yourself to sail in the ship King Solomon for Holland, agreeably to your utternace."

This appeal to the civic conscience of one who had been prominent as a reformer, coupled with the grim threat of deportation, was irresistible. No further declinations in Breuckelen offices seem to have troubled the Council." Bout did not go to Holland, but continued in public life until at least 1665, for he was then one of the representatives at Breuckelen at the Hempstead convention; after that he passes from our view.

In spite of his paternal methods and domineering tractics, there is no doubt that under Stuyvesant's rule the Dutch towns steadily advanced in self-government. he was virtaully as one man standing like a barrier between two forces of progress, for the home authorities in New Amsterdam always showed themselves when appealed to, to be in favor of the fullest measure of local self-government and the liberty of the subject, while the Dutch pertinacity never permitted an aim to be lost sight of once it was believed to be a right. There were frequent quarrels between the Dutch towns and Stuyvesant, and these there is no doubt drove him to seek the support of the English settlers at Gravesend and elsewhere much more than possibly he cared to admit. But his arbitrary will kept alive a certain measure of discontent which even he had to reckon with, and it is a singular fact that it was under Stuyvesant that the acceptance of the theory that people were the source of power and the arbiters of law found its earliest acknowledgement in what is now the State of New York. The first principles of union were also insilled into the minds of people and ruler when, in 1664, the Director felt impelled to call a meeting of representatives chosen in each community to consider various matters of common interest and indirectly to repair the damage done by his own misgovernment. At that meeting Breuckelen was represented by William Bredenbent and Albert Cornelysen Wantanner, two of its Schepens. It is of little moment what that meeting did; its importance lies in the fact that it was called at all and that it had been called at the direct behest of such a ruler as Stuyvesant. It met in April in the fort at New Amsterdam, and five months later the English flag waved over the stronghold, an English Governor held sway and the indomitable Pieter troubled the lieges no more.

So far as Gov. Nicolls was concerned, the chief feature of his administration, the chief feature that is of interest in the history of Breuckelen, was the granting to it of a charter which has been reproduced in fac-simile, while of the events of the sic years' administration under his successor, Gov. Lovelace, only the beginning of the village of Bedford need be recorded. The second Dutch regime was barren of incident, so far as concerns the history of Breuckelen, and when, in 1674, the English Government was resumed the village seems to have accepted the charge again with placid equanimity. Governor Dongan in 1686 gave it a new patent, which served the purpose of helping his administration with a fee and fixing some disputed boundary questions.

But amid all these changes in rulers Breuckelen continued to make definite progress, and by 1676 it had assumed its place at the head of the five Dutch towns. Its taxable rate was adjusted on a valuation of 5,067, while that of Middlewout was 4,872, Boswyck 22,960, New Utrecht 3,024, and Amersfort 3,966. Gov. Dongan fixed the town's quit rent at twenty bushels of wheat. In 1698 the population of Brooklyn (it has then become Brookland) was given at 444, not including 65 slaves, while its nearest neighbor, Flatbush, rejoiced in 405 whites and 71 slaves.

Much of the early history of Bruckelen that has come down to us is in regard to boundary disputes, for it does not seem that in the political troubles of the commonwealth, such as the Leisler excitement, or even in the charges of the ruling powers, its people took any profound interest. The matter of their boundaries, however, seems to have been a vital question and was the cause of much trouble between them and the good folks of Flatbush and Bushwick, while the rights in connection with the ferry were also a source of standing and perpetual worry with New York. In these troubles and complications and claims, however, the Brooklyn people seemed to want no more than might be considered their right, and an instance of their conscientiuos regard for this may be found in the following excerpt, showing in the way in which they adjusted their own internal boundaries at a public meeting of the citizens:

At a Town meeting held the 25th day of February, 1692-3, att Breucklyn, in Kings County.

Then Resolved to divide their common land and woods into three parts, in manner following to wit:
"I. All the lans and wods after Bedford and Cripplebush over the hills to the path of New lotts shall belong to the inhabitants and freeholders of the Gowanis, beginning from Jacob Brewer and soe to the uttermost bounds of the limits of New-Utrecht.

2. And all the lands and woods that lyes betwixt the abovesaid path and the highway from the ferry toward Flattbush, shall belong to the freeholders and the inhabitants of Bedford and Cripplebush.

3. And all the lands that lyes in common after the Towanis, between the limits and bounds of Flatbush and New Utrecht shall belong to the freeholders and inhabitants of Brooklyn, fred. neck [Frederick Lubbertsen's Neck], the ferry and the Wllabout."

In 1702 Fulton Street was laid out and except near the water front provided a fairly good thoroughfare out to Bedford Corners, and in a measure to Flatbush. This road was so highly regarded that it received the name of the King's Highway, and jealous eyes were kept upon it to guard against encroachments upon its width and usefullness. However, at that time Brooklyn and its then suburbs - Gowanus, Wallabout, Bedford, Red Hook and Cripplebush and the Ferry - were tolerably well supplied with roads, at least with roads which made communication between them comparatively easy. Still the whole territory grew slowly in point of population, much more slowly than might be expected considering the opportunities for settlers and the wide extent of fruitful land that lay fallow awaiting the cultivator. Even in 1738 the population of Brooklyn and what we have called its suburbs did not exceed 725, yet even these limited figures place it far in advance of the other Dutch towns.

Of the internal history of the people little is known until almost the beginning of the century, for the records of the town prior to the close of the Revolutionary War have mainly been lost or destroyed. A few incidents might be chronciled, such as the meeting of the Colonial Legislature to the fear of smallpox, which then raged in New York; but as a rule such details as we have are heardly worthy of being incorporated in a general history, however useful some of them may be for assisting the historian to arrive at a conclusion on matters of purely local interest. In fact Brooklyn was a municipality in name but only a community in reality until after the nineteeth century had begun, and although by that time its population had increased to nearly 1, 700, it was almost unknown outside of Long Island and Manhattan. Tyler's Gazeteer, published at Edinburgh in 1781, in its account of Long Island did not think Brooklyn worthy of even being named, while Moore's American Gazeteer, issued in 1798 briefly describes it as having "some elegant houses, which lie chiefly on one street."

Whatever history the district had, centered at the Ferry. Some means of transit between Manhattan and Long Island was necessay from the time the first house was erected on the latter, and the ferry therefore may be regarded as the first of the local institutions. When it originated, however, we know not; but for two or three years the little traffic there was, was done by private boats owned on the Long Island side by the farmers, and on the Manhattan side by the usual boatmen who plied along the waterfront. The journey was a long and tedious one, for the currents were strong and were also treacherous enough to infuse a sense of danger into the ideas of whoever meditated the voyage.

Transit across the river was not long, however, to reamin a matter of chance, for in 1642 we find Cornelis Dircksen (Hoogland) acknowledged as ferry man. Probably there was no formal appointment. Cornelis kept a tavern in connection with his little farm at which afterward became Peck Slip, and he owned a piece of land and a house near the present site of Fulton ferry on Long Island. Very likely he set up a tavern there, too, and so the ferry came into being from the trade between two points. Certain it is that the first ferry was between the points above named. Ten years later, after it had passed from Cornelis' hands, the ferry trade had become so important that the New Amsterdam autorities considered it should be made to return them some revenue; but Gov. Stuyvesant refused to entertain the idea, although afterward he admitted the public character of the service by permitting it to be placed under certain regulations. These included a fairly regular service, some requirements for the comfort of passengers and a scale of charges, and in return for observing these rules, or rather for accepting them, the Ferryman enjoyed a monopoly of the traffic. The arrangement was certainly a very liberal one all round for the boatman, but then there seems, it is mortifying to say, some reason to believe that he had quietly to hand over a proportion of his earning to Stuyvesant. This new arrangement, in spite of the Governor's "rake-off," proved so profitable that competition for the privilege became excited, and in 1655 Egbert Van Borsum, who came here as skipper of the ship Prince William, leased the ferry from the Governor, agreeing to pay him 300 guilders per annum. He also got a patent for two lots on the Long Island waterfront, and there erected a structure which long served for both ferry house and tavern. Under him the place seems to have become quite a resort for the "roving blades" of the period. Egbert died about 1670, and for several years the tavern was run by his widow, while his son Hermanus attended to the ferry business. The house erected by the elder Van Boersum continued to serve its varied purposes until 1700, when a new building was erected of stone. This structure was destroyed by fire in 1748, and was succeeded by the historic ferry-house which was in existence during the British occupation in 1776. The ferry itself became a part of the municipal property of New York City under the Dongan charter of 1686. The legality of this charter was subsequently disputed, and led to interminable lawsuits, but the charter was confirmed by royal warrant in 1692. It was run, with varying success and on short leases (generally seven years) by private indivduals, farmers and tavern-keepers mostly, as a separate holding; but the rent paid advances steadily so that by 1710 it brought to the corporation of New York an annual rental of 180lb, - the largest single source of income over which the local treasury rejoiced. But the fact that it was a New York institution was rather galling to the Brooklyn settlers and a cause of complaint from a very early period. Their complaints evoked no change, however, and the New York corporation in 1694 actually bought sufficient ground at the Brooklyn end and built the ferry-house.

In 1707 Cornelius Sabring, the owner of a farm in what is now known as South Brooklyn and member of Assembly for Kings county from 1695 to 1726, and therefore a man naturally possessing much local influence, tried to get permission from Gov. Cornbury to establish a new ferry, and his request was backed up by quite a number of influential indorsers; but the New York corporation stubbornly contested what they regarded as a movement, both "unreasonable and unjust," and their oppoisiton prevailed. This claim at ownership of the Ferry was one that became the more bitterly contested by Brooklyn as time went on and more stubbornly upheld by New York as the income increased. Even in 1745 they denied the rights of residents of Brooklyn to cross the river in their own boats and so transporing friends, or produce, and when one of these boatmen, Hendrick Remsen, appealed to a jury to establish his claim to such an apparently inalienable privilege, the New York authorities contested the case bitterly. The jury before whom the action was tried found in Remsen's favor, and after a long interval the Supreme Court finally awarded him 118lb 14s 10 1/2 d. for damages and costs. The New York corporation appealed the case to the King and Council, and somehow the matter there rested, for a final decision had not been rendered when the Revolutionary War broke out. It was alleged, however, that Remsen was quietly pacified with a gift of a house and parcel of land near Coenties Slip, in New York City. It is a matter of little interest now to go into all the details of the struggle against what used to be called the usurpation, by New York, of rights to the Long Island shore; it has no more interest to the reader of history at the present day than the disputes as to boundaries waged by some of the five Dutch towns so fiercely against each other; indeed, in a sense it was in reality simply another form of boundary dispute and as such has had its meaning, virtue, and force removed forever by the inexorable march of modern progress and the soothing influence of consolidation. The income from the ferry steadily advanced, and while we read of one or two of the lesses losing money it proved a steady source of revenue to the New York corporation. In 1750 it brought 455lb, and in 1753 650lb.

"In May , 1766," writes Dr. Stiles ("History of Brooklyn" vol.III, page 527), "it passed into the hands of Samuel Waldron for five years at a yearly rent of 660lb, and in May 1771, was renewer to him for another three years, at 550lb per annum. At the expiration of his lease in 1774 it was determined by the corporation that three ferries, vix., one from Coenties Slip to the landing place of Messrs. Livingston & Remsen [foot of present Joralemon street; this ferry's buildings were burned during the Revolutionary War and it was then abandoned]; the second from Peck's Slip to land at Jacob Brewerton's wharf, or landing place, at Brooklyn ferry; and the third from the Fly Market (foot of Fulton street, New York) to the same landing place at the Brooklyn Ferry. Accordingly, on the 12th of April, 1774, three several leases were duly executed for the term of two years, viz., to Elisha De Grushe, for the first-named ferry, and to Samuel Balding for the second-named ferry, at an annual rent of 120lb, and to Adolph Waldron for the third at an annual rent of 430lb. * * *

In May, 1776, the whole ferry came under the control of Adolph Waldron, for two years, at 450lb per annum. Waldron, being a Whig, left New York with the American army in 1776 and did not return until the close of the war. During the British occupation of New York and Long Island the ferry was let by Mayor Matthew and Gov. Tryon to two of their Tory friends, Van Winkle and Buckett, probably for their joint benefit. Van Winkle is described as a very important-feeling man, who was accustomed to walk about in a silk morning gown. They raised the fare to 6d, not so high a charge when we remember that wheat was then selling in New York at the ordinary rate of one guinea per bushel. After the evacuation, Capt. Adolph Waldron, by a lease executed June 23, 1784, resumed the ferry for five years at the yearly rent to 500lb. During the severe winter of 1783-4 it is said that he and his sons made a considerable money by purchasing wood in Brooklyn and selling it in New York, where it was quite scarce."

In 1789 Waldron tried to have his lease renewed, but the corporation thought more money could be made by leasing the ferry building and licensing a number of boats to carry passengers and freight across the river. In 1795 a ferry was established by the corporation between Main street, Brooklyn, to Catharine street, New York (long known as the New Ferry), and leased by William Furman and Theodosius Hunt, and with the mention of that transaction we may fittingly close this chapter.

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