John Lion Gardiner, the seventh proprietor of Gardiner's Island, was the anitquary of the family. He compiled a vocabulary of the language of the Mohawk Indians, which, brief as it is, really preserves all that is known now of that ancient tongue. He was a careful student of local history, and his "Observations on the town of East Hampton," written in 1798, is a valuable little monograph which should really be the basis of all the histories of the township. In accordance with that view it is here reproduced in full:
EAST HAMPTON, LONG ISLAND, NY, HISTORY
The History of Long Island,
from its earliest settlement to the present time.
NY Lewis Pub. Co. 1902
[transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
The Town of East Hampton is bounded South-Easterly by the Atlantic Ocean, on which side the shore is a sand beach free from rocks. The sea gains on the shore, and it has been said by aged people that, in some places, the sea now washes the shore where Indian Corn has been planted by their Fathers. The sand near the shore is blown into hills on which nothing grows but a grass called "Beach Grass," and a shrub bearing the Beach plum. By this grass & the Bushes, the sand is, in some measure, prevented being blown over the adajent pasture & mowing fields.
Easterly, the town terminates at Montauk's Point around which the Tide runs very rapidly. Gardiners Island, or the Isle of Wight, lies on the North East side of Gardiner's Bay, and contains about 3,000 acres of good land. Its greatest length is from N. W. to S. E. and is about 7 1/2 miles. There is, besides, an Island called Ron (or Rum) Island, which belongs to it, and lies on the South part. The shape of the Island is irregular. From its first settlement in 1639, it was a plantation by itself. As the Legislature in 1788 thought proper to annex it to the town of East Hampton, it will, in these Notes, be considered a part of that Township. This Island is distant from the town 10 miles; and from Long Island shore about 3. It is assessed for about one sixth of the value of the Township. The shore on the North side of East Hampton is rocky and indented with bays, coves, and creeks, which lead into Ponds abounding for small vessels.
Westerly, the town is bounded by South Hampton.
The line between these two towns was in contention from the first settlement till 1695, when it was, finally, fixed where it now is, by persons mutually chosen by the two Towns. It begins at the sea shore on the south side, and crosses the eastern branch of the island, to the North side & leaves but a small part of the houses, at Sag Harbor, on the East Hampton side. This line is about __ miles in length, & was fenced about the year 1664 in order to keep the Southampton horses &c. from crossing over the bounds. This line is now much farther to the Eastward than where it was fixed by the General Assembly of Connecticut about 1660 to whose decision it was then referred.
The settlement of Sag Harbor is mostly in Southampton Township, and is a thriving place. It is exceedingly well calculated for the Whale and Cod Fishery.
By the Records, it appears that East Hampton was at first called Maidstone. This name does not appear after the year 1664, when they came under the Duke of York, and soon after received a Patent from Col. Richard Nicolls. By this Patent the Town is called East Hampton, though the records of the Town prior to the year 1664, mention that as the name of the place. It was probably called East, on account of its situation to the East of Southampton.
Some of the First Settlers appear, by the Records, to have come from Stansted in the county of Kent in England. Probably some of them might have come from Maidstone in the same County. It is very evident from the Records, that some of the original 35 settlers and purchasers of the Town removed from Lynn, in Massachusetts; and tradition informs us that they came from several of the towns on the Sea coast to the Eastward of Boston. These were, probably, natives of England, as New England had not been settled so long as to produce Native Immigrants when E. Hampton was first settled. Those who were received by the Original Settler as "accepted Inhabitants," might have been born in America. None were received into the Town as Inhabitants but by a vote, and some were forbid settling on account of their principle and laziness.
There were, at first 35 purchasers. The names of 13 of these are now entirely extinct in the Town. The Christian & Surnames of many of the original settlers are now found to the 4th, 5th & 6th degree, counting the first as one. Lands that were at first allotted, have descended in the family, and are, after a space of 150 years, occupied by one of the same family and name.
When the town was first settled only a home-lot at the South end of the Town, containing from 11 to 13 acres was laid out. This was done on both sides of the Pond, called "Town Pond." This was probably on account of the convenience of getting water for themselves and cattle before they dug wells. It is probable a brook might have discharged itself into the Pond, which, since the land is cleared, has disappeared.
The next lands that was laid out to the Owners, were the Salt Marshes in the various parts of Town. The last of the Woodland was allotted to the owners about 60 years ago.
Excepting the Indian Deed for the Township, there is nothing of an earlier date on Record than the following:
"At a General Court holden at East Hampton, March 7th 1650 [o.s.] it is ordered that Ralph Dayton is to go to Kenecticut for to procure the Evidence of our Lands, and for an acquaintance for the payment of our lands, and for a boddie of laws.
It was alsoe ordered that any man have libertie to sett gunns for to kill wolves, but not within half a mile of the town &c &c.
No man shall sett any gun, but he shall look to it while the stars appear, and take the gunn up by the sunrising, and no man shall sell any dog or bitch, young or old, to any Indian upon the penaltie of paying of 30s.
Various town laws, similar to the above are on Record. They are styled "Orders." Many of them are relative to laying out vacant lands, making roads, destroying noxious animals & in short, laws that were necessary in a new settlement.
The Indian Deed for the land is on Record. It is from the four Indian Sachems, Paggattacut, of Manhansett; Wayandanch of Miantacutt; Momoweta of Corchaki; Nowedonah of Shinacock.
It is dated April 29th 1648, and conveys the land, to the "Eastward of Southampton bounds, to the Worshipful Theophilus Eaton Esquire, Governour of the Colony of New Haven and the Worshipful Edward Hopkins Governor of the Colony of Connecticut and their assocyates . . . for an in consideration of 20 coats, 24 knives, and one hundred Muckxs, already received by US, and reserve unto ourselves free Liberty to fish in all the cricks & ponds, and hunt up and down in the Woods without molestation, giving the English Inhabitants noe just cause of offense; likewise are to have the fynns & tails of all Whaltes cast up, and desire they may be friendly dealth with in the other part alsoe to fish for shells to make Wampum of, and if the Indyans, in hunting deer shall chase them into the water and the English shall kill them, the English shall have the bodie and the Sachem the skin."
The witnesses were, Richard Woodhull, Thomas Stanton, Robert Bond, Job Sayre and Chectanoo (by his mark) the Interpreter.
There is recorded a receipt from Edward Hopkins to "Robert Bond - inhabitant of East Hampton for 34.4.8 being the amount of monies paid for the purchase of the Lands," and a certificate of the delivering of said Bond the writings of the said purchase and all the Interest that was therby purchased dated 16th April 1651. On a blank leaf of one of the old Books of Records are seen these words "Robrt Bond delivered unto the Govr for the puchase of our Lansd, for the towns use the sum of 1. 3. 10. Robert Bond for his expenses, going to the Mayne land in the Town's service the sum of 1'b 3s 6 d." It appears that the puchase was made by these two Governors in trust & in behalf of the Original Settlers of the Town.
The English & Natives appear to have lived on good terms. The lands on the East end of Long Island as well as the neighbouring Islands - Shelter Island, Gardiners Island, Plum Island & Fishers Island - were purchased of the Natives. Some French writer, I think Raynal, speaks in praise of the Great William Penn for having sett an uncommon Example in purchasing the Soil of Pennsylvania of the Native Indians, and which if it had been followed by the Settlers of New England and Virginia would have prevented some wars that took place. This Frenchman, like may European writers who have never been in the country, did not understand himself sufficiently on the subject. The fact was that the Settlers of Virginia & New England purchased their lands of the Natives before Geo. Fox the Founder of the Quaker's Sect published their principles in England in Oliver Cromwell's time, and a long time before the celebrated William Penn settled in Pennsylvania. There is no doubt but the regular purchase & the warrantie deed from the four abovementioned Sachems, in 1648, prevented difficulties between the Natives & English. Some Indian writings on record in East Hampton speak of the friendship & amity of their neighbours the English about 1660.
Gov. Winthrop in his Journal , page __, and Gov. Hutchinson in his History of Massachusetts, p. 88, mentions that in 1640, a number of families removed from Lynn to the West end of Long Island, and bought land there of James Farret Agent to the Earl of Sterling; but getting into some quarrel with the Dutch, they removed to the East end, and settled at Southampton & chose one Pierson for their Minister. Probably Southampton was settled before East Hampton. Tradition informs us that before East Hampton people built their first grist mill (which went with cattle), they went to Southampton to mill, and carried their grain on the back of a bull that belonged to the Town for the use of their cows. If this is true, no doubt Southampton was settled first.
Govr Hutchinson says that in 1644 Southampton by an act of the Commissioners of the United Colonies was annext to the Jurisdiction of Connecticut. One might suppose that E. Hampton was settled from Southampton, but the method of pronunciation is quite different, although the Towns join. An East Hampton man as well as a native of Kent in England may be distinguised from a Yorkshire man. The original settlers of these Towns probably came from different parts of England. Besides the names that prevail in one town are not to be met with in the other. The names of Pierson, Halsey, Howell, Toppin, Sanford, Cooper, White, Post &c and common in Southampton & confined there, as are the names of Mulford, Osborn, Conkling, Baker, Parsons, Miller, Gardiner, Datyon &c to East Hampton. The names of Hedges & Hand, are met in the Eastern part of Southampton but origianlly [they were] from E. Hampton. Very little intercourse took place between the two towns before the Revolutionary war. Since that, visits and intermarriages are more frequent.
What time East Hampton was first settled is not certainly known. Probably soon after Southampton. Neither of the Towns was settled as early as Gardiners Island which was settled by Lion Gardner in March 1639. David, son of Lion Gardiner, in petition presented to Gov. Dongan about 1683, mentions his father as the first Englishman that had settled in the Colony of New York. Southampton put itself under the Jurisdiction of Connecticut in 1644, as Southold did under New Haven in 1648. According to President Stiles' History of the three Judges of Charles I, East Hampton was a Plantation or Commonwealth as it is styled, in the Record - that was, Independent of any other Government from the first settlement till about 1657. The magistrates frequently asked advice in difficult cases "of neighbour Towns of Soluthampton & Southold" and sometimes of "the Gentlemen at Hartford."
The three Towns on the East are styled the "Three Plantations." The government of the Town of E. Hampton was purelly Republican. Their laws were enacted by all the citizens assembled in town meeting; this was stiled "the General Court" and a fine inflicted on such as did not attend.
In Decr 1653 by a vote of the General Court, "the Capital laws, and the laws and Orders that are notic'd in the bodie of laws that came from Connecticut shall stand in force among us."
Their public officers were few; three magistrates who were called Townsmen, were chosen annually. Their oath of office points out their duty; it was as follows:
"You being chosen by the Court for the careful and comfortable carrying on of the affairs of this Town, do here swear by the name of the Great & Everlasting God, that you will faithfully, and without respect of persons, execute all such laws and orders, as are, or shall be made & established by this Court according to God, according to the trust committed to you during this year for which you are chosen & until new ones be chosen, if you remain among us, so help you God."
A Recorder and Constable were the only other public offices chosen; their oath points out their duty, and is mutatis mutandis, similar to the above. The Constable was always a reputable citizen and of great authority. He, by law, moderated the General Court. The Recorder, or Secretary, not only recorded all order of the General Court, but the decisions of the Magistrates, and by a vote passed in 1656, the depositions of witnesses in trials at Law, for which he was allowed a stated price, as were also the magistrates and constable. Their trials were sometimes, with a Jury, but mostly without. From 1650 to 1664, about the time they came under Gov. Nicoll, there are about 50 or 60 cases at law on record. They were mostly for small debts & for defamation. By law, no one could recover more than 5lb for defamation. In 165 _ Geo: Lee attorney to _____ prosecuted "Lieut. Lion Gardiner of the Isle of Wight in behalf of himself and the States of England for five hunderd pounds STg." before the Magistrates in E. Hampton. It appears from the very lengthy depositions "that a Southampton man had hired a Dutchman to bring a freight (cargo) to that place from Manhadoes, & that the vessel was taken from the Dutchman & brought to the Isle of Wight to the Lieftenant who retook her for the Dutch owner" and was prosecuted by the original captors.
This affair was referred to the General Court at Hartford by the East Hampton Magistrates & both parties were bound to appear there. Lee obliged himself, if he did not prosecute the case there, it should be dropped. This was likely the result. This is the most important case on record where property was concerned.
"The three men were to meet the first second day of every month for the tryall of any cause according to an Order and to consider of those things that may concern the publick good of the place & whosoever of those Three men do not attend the day at 8 o'clock in the morning shall be liable to pay 5s."
"John Mulford, Robert Bone & Thos Baker chosen by this Court for the execution of those Orders, complied with their trust for this year. Ralph Dayton, Constable and Benjn Price, Recorder."
Done at a General Court holden October 7, 1651.
The first General Court was in March 1650.
It was decreed October 1652 that "if any man be aggrieved with any thing that is done by the men that are in authoritie, that he shall have liberty to make his appeal to the next General Court, or when the freemen are assembled together for their publique occasions."
Their town Meetings were frequent and became burdensome on the people, but being their own law makers they made a multiplicity of laws for regulating the fences of fields pastured in common; for division of lands; making highways; building a mill or meeting house & this took up much of their time. The business of killing whales was regulated by law, and every one [was] obliged to take his turn to look out for them on the shore." Their houses were thatched and liable to take fire. Every man was obliged by law to provide himself with a ladder that should reach to the top of his house, and a man was appointed to see that the chimneys were well plaistered and swept. Severe laws were made against selling any Indians, guns, swords, powder, lead, flints, or any more than two drams of strong water at one time." Many of the laws appear curious, but in general they are mild, and the penalties not very severe. There are only three or four cases of corporal punishment and none of capital.
In the year 1653 the Indians were somewhat troublesome. Powder & shot were sent for to the north of the Connecticut River, and a watch by night or two, and a ward by day of one man was ordered to be kept by the Inhabitants in town. "April 26, 1653, It is ordered that no Indians shall come to the town unless it be upon special occasion & none come armed, because that the Dutch hath hired Indians against the English, & we not knowing Indians by faces cannot distinguish friends from enemies; & because, the Indians hath cast off their Sachem & orders were given to shoot any Indian on third call or if they ran away." "Every man was obliged to go armed to the meeting house every Lords day, under penalties of 12 pence," and four assistants were added to the three Townsmen. It does not appear by the Records that any battle was fought. Probably the Indians who were then numerous had not learned the use of Fire Arms. This was at the time Oliver Cromwell was at war with the Dutch Nation and an opinion prevailed through this country that the Dutch at Manhadoes supplied the Indians with arms, and urged them to destroy the English settlements. From the histories of those times, it is evident something was designed against the English by the Dutch & Indians. Oliver Cromwell about this time called on all Colonies to assist in an expedition against the Dutch at Manhadoes, particularly New Haven and Connecticut, who were nighest the Dutch. Major Sedgewick of Massachusetts was to have the command of the men that were to be sent from each Colony in a certain proportion. The following extract from the E. Hampton records probably refers to this: -
"June 29, 1654.
Having considered the letters that come from Connecticut wherein men are required to assist the power of England against the Dutch, we do think ourselves called to assist the said power."
The expedition did not take place, probably on account of Peace having been made soon after between the two Nations. Very little more is said about the Indians till the Great Indian War which threatened all this country in 1675, when the people were again on their guard. But it does not appear that any lives were lost.
This was the most formidable combination of Indians that ever happened. Gov Andross sent an armed Sloop to Gardiner's Island to protect it against the Indians. The English & the Indians were probably both on their guard against a surprise, but by 1675 the East end of Long Island had so many English settled that there was no great danger. The Five Nations joined this confederacy.
"Oct. 3, 1654
It is ordered that there shall be a copie of the Connecticut combination drawn forth as [soon as] is convenient for us and all men shall sett to their hands."
This combination was signed Oct. 24, 1654, by about 40 and is now on Record by each on the Book. All excepting 3 or 4 write a plain legible hand for those days. These sign by making their mark.
"This Combination is to maintain & preserve the libertie and puritie of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess as alsoe the Discipline of the church while according to the said Gospell is now practised among US. As alsoe in our civill affaires to be guided & governed according to such laws and orders as shall be made according to God and which by vote of the Major Part shall be of force among Us &c &c."
The Combination is similar to the one entered into in 163 _, by the 3 Towns of Hartford, Windsor & Wethersfield, and is a copy preamble of that as recorded in Hazards Coll: of State papers, p. __.
"March 19, 1657
It is ordered and by a Major vote of the Inhabitants of this Towne agreed upon, that Thomas Baker & John Hand is to go into Kenitcut for to bring us under their government according to the terms as Southampton is, and alsoe to carry Goodwife Garlick that she may be delivered up unto the authorities there for the triall of the cause of Witchcraft, which she is suspected for." It was afterwards agreed upon by the town "that Mr. Gardiner shall be intrusted with the same power with Ths Baker and John Hand for coming under Government."
In the Records the word is "interested." It doubless should be intrusted.
It is evident from the Record that soon after this they were under the jurisdiction of that Colony, or rather composed a part of it, altho' nothing is said of their men's returning. Probably the General Court at Hartford did not pay any attention to the latter part of the business on which Baker & Hand were sent. This poor woman had a trial in E. Hampton for Witchcraft, but nothing was done. It was referred to the Genl Court at Hartford.
At this day it appears surprising that not only those who settled in the American Wilderness should be so infatuated about Witches and Witchcraft but that King James I, Lord Justice Holt and some of the first characters in the English Nation should also be so carried away with notions of this kind. If the affair of witches has made more noises in this country than it has in some Countries of Europe, it is not owing to their having been more executed for that supposed crime here; for I have no doubt there has been, during the same time, as many executed in England only, as there have been in all New England & Virginia, for it was not confined to New England but prevailed also in other parts. In Europe, the execution of a few individuals would be effaced from the page of History by more important events that were continually taking place during the last century. But in this country it was a singular affair, & has been handed down by our own writers, and dewlt upon, with wonder, by European writers who have endeavoured to account for it from the enthusiastic ideas of the Inhabitant here, not considering that they acquired these ideas in Europe from books published by men of character & information. It is to be hoped this infatuation is done away among the Citizens of both sides of the Atlantic but it is not justice for one side to suppoe that this infatuation prevailed only on the other. If King James, Lord Holt and others of information, who believed in witchcraft, are excusable, certainly those persecuted exiles who fled to a savage wilderness are equally clear of blame. Perhaps the law of Moses why which in many cases the first settlers were governed, was a Mean of urging them on in the belief of Witchcraft and its evils.
"November 29, 1662.
It is jointly & fully agreed that Mr. T. Baker, Mr. Thos James & Mr. Leon Gardiner, Mr. Robert Bond, Mr. John Mulford, Thos Tomson and Thos Chatfield shall go to Southampton the next second day to compound a difference between Us & Capt. John Scott Esqr and Mr. John Ogden about Meantaquit, and do hereby engage to ratifie and confirm what our committee shall conclude upon : & also we do empower this our Committee to joyne with Southampton and Southold about a Patten grant."
To whom they proposed to apply for a Patent I don't know. New York was then in the hands of the Dutch. It was either to King Charles 2nd or to the Government of Connecticut.
"Novemb: 23 1663.
A committee was appointed to Join Southampton & Southold Committees and if they see cause to establish laws for settling government among us, And what our Committee or a Major part of them shall doe herein we engage ourselves to stand unto."
It was, doubtless, in comtemplation to have the three towns join in one government as other towns on this continent have done.
"February 23, 1663 [o.s.]
It was agreed that Muntauk should pay Fifty pounds of the 150 that is to purchase the pattent right."
At a Town Meeting, after long debate, it was agreed to that the Purchase of Pattent right should be borne by all the Inhabitants according to the land every Man Possesses.
April 26, 1664.
At a Town Meeting the Town doth desire those men, that doe goe to Hartford, to debate together with the Neighbouring Plantation for the things of Mutual Government between Hartford & Us for our future Settlement, but to conclude of nothing, as understanding that the Governor will come over, or a Committee from the General Court.
Dec. 21, 1664.
The inhabitants of this Town - understanding that we are off from Connecticut, and the magistrates not willing to act further on that account, that we may not be without laws & Government, it is agreed the former laws shall stand in force till we have further order from York. It is agreed that the Constable of the Town shall be secured by the Town for not gathering the Rates.
The 'rates' referred to in this Resolve probably refers to the adjudication that was made at New York Dec. 1, 1664 by Gov. Nicoll & others on one part, and Gov. Winthrop and others, on the other, that Long Island should not be under His Highness the Duke of York &c. There appears from this time to have been some alteration in their Government. In April 1664 the Constable & Town Overseers were chosen; no mention is made of Townsmen.
Copy of James Farrett's Grant to Lion Gardiner.
Know all whom this present Writing may concern, that I, James Farrett of Long Island, Gent. Deputy to the Right Hon'ble the Earll of Starling Secretary for the Kingdom of Scotland, doe by these presents, in the name and behalf of the said Earll of Starling and in my own name also, as his Deputy, as it doth or may concern myself, Give & Grant free leave and liberty to Lion Gardiner, his heirs, executors and assigns to enjoy that Island which he hath now in possession called by the Indians Manchonack, by the English the Isle of Wight; I say to enjoy both now & for ever, which Island hath been purchased, before my coming, from the ancient Inhabitants, the Indians; Nevertheless though the said Lion Gardiner had his possession first from the Indians before my coming, yet is he now contented to hold the tenor & title of the possession of the aforesaid Island from the Earll of Starling or his successors whomsoever, who hath a Grant from the King of England, under the Great Seal of aforesaid Kingdom. Bee it know, therefore, that I, the said James Farret doe give & hath given free liberty & power to the said Lion Gardiner, his Heirs, Exe'rs and Assigns and their Successors for ever to enjoy the possession of the aforesaid Island, to build & plant thereon as best liketh them, and to dispose thereof as they think fitt, and also to make, execute & put in practice such laws for Church and Civil Government as are according to God, the Kigns and the practise of the Country, without giving any account thereof to any whomsoever and the aforesaid Right & Title, both of land and Government to remayne with, and to them and their successors for ever, without any trouble or molestation from the said Earll or any of his successors, for now & forever. And as much as it hath pleased Our Royal King to give the Patten of Long Island to the aforesaid Earle of Starling in consideration whereof it is agreed upon that the trade with the Indians shall remayne with the said Earle and his successors, to dispose upon from time to time and at all times as beth liketh him. Nothwithstanding [allowing] the said Lion Gardiner to trade with the Indyans for Corne or any Kinde of victuals for the use of the Plantation and no farther; and if the said Lion Gardiner shall trade in Wampum from the Indyans hee shall pay for every fadome twenty shillings and also the said Lion Gardiner and his successors shall pay to the said Earle or his depuytes a yearly acknowledgment being the sum of Five Pounds, (being lawfully demanded) of lawfull money of England, or such commoditys as at that time shall pass for money in the country; and the first payment to begin on the last of Oct. 1643, the three former years being advanced for the use of the said James Farrett.
In witness wherefore of the party has put his hands and seal the tenth day of March 1639 [o.s.].
(Signed) James Farrett (seal)
Sealed and delivered in the presence of ffulk Davis, Benjn Price.
Much of East Hampton still remains as nature has made it, wild, desolate and barren - a plaything for the storms and for the wintry waves which seem to gather strength as they roll across the Atlantic and break with wild impetuosity on its shore, lifting up miles of sand bar as if they were driftwood, and even battering down the rocky bulwark that for ages has carried on a ceaseless warfare with the elements but has gradually got the worst of it. The cliff at the extreme point is slowly but surely being ground to powder by the remorseless action of the ocean, and while many of the boulders and pebbles and gravel we see all over the township are the results of glacial movement, still much of the debris is part of the volcanic rocks. The sea, in fact, is steadily encroaching upon the land and winning back to its depths that which had been raised high above its level in some primeval struggle. But the sea at one time at least returned a little of what it had won. There is no doubt that the district we call Montauk was once an island, perhaps two - one for Napeague Harbor to Fort Pond, and one from there to the lighthouse on that historic point.
"Against whose breast the everlasting surge
Long traveling on and ominous of wrath
From Amagansett to Montauk Point is a region of desolation and gloom. Sand everywhere, sand in all shapes which nature can twist it, dunes and hills and wide rolling expanse. It is said that this territory was once fairly well wooded in spots, but we find no signs of forests now and the spots appear to have vanished. [Transcriber's note: If the author is still using "Observations on the Town of East Hampton" written in 1798 by Lion Gardiner, the seventh proprieter of Gardiner's island, then what is being described here is around that time, not the time of the publication of this whole town history, which was 1902]. Sand, sand everywhere, and long stretches of solitude, the Montauk peninsula looks as if it were intended by nature to be left alone by man. Yet the railroad runs through it now almost to the point, and it does not need much of prophetic power to say that within a quarter of a century this will rank among the favorite resorts along the Atlantic coast [Transcriber's note: This sounds more like something written around 1902, not 1798, considering the railroad is mentioned. Oh well. I wonder at which point the author switched?]. and that it will be one gorgeous parterre - for three months in each year at least. The western division of the township presents different characteristics. Facing Gardiner's Bay, its coast line is rocky, but except on the coast there is no elevation of the land, and it descends by an easy gradiant to the Atlantic which fringes it with a sandy bulwark. In the west and north are quite extensive ranges of forests. The farming land, which extend to where the Montauk peninsula begins, are fairly productive, and though the holdings, as a general rule, are small, they support a thrifty and settled population.
The first section of the township to be actually settled by white men was Gardiner's Island, which, in 1639, as we have seen, became the property and the home of Lion Gardiner. The settlement of East Hampton, in 1648, seems to have been simply a part of the extension movement of Connecticut, and from the first the colony recognized itself as an imtegral part of that commonwealth. The general opinion of its early settlers is that expressed by Professor Johnston in his mongraph on "Connecticut," that it was a party of pioneers from Lynn for whom the land composing the township was originally secured, and in French's Gazeteer, a most valuable work which seems now forgotten, we read:
"Settlement in the western part of the town was commenced in 1648 by a company of English families from Lynn, Mass. The trustees named in the patent were John Mulford, Thomas Baker, Thomas Chatfield, Jeremiah Concklyn, Stephen Hedges, Thomas Osborne sen., and John Osborne."
But Mr. Pelletreau seems to incline to the opinion that it was really an overflow colony from Southampton. He says: "The first settlers of this town, the men for whom Governors Eaton and Hopkins purchased the territory, were John Hand, Thomas Talmadge, Daniel Howe, Thomas Thompson, John Stratton, Robert Bond, Robert Rose, Joshua Barnes and John Mulford. Of the above all were originally settlers in Southampton," and their names appear in the early records of that township. With the exception of Daniel How, not one had any previous residential connection with Lynn. The first name given to the settlement was Maidstone, and this has given rise to a tradition that many of the early settlers were from that Kentish village, but this tradition has not been verified, and in reality seems to have no foundation. Probably it was the name of a trading ship. At all events it was never formally adopted, although long used in local documents.
The truth of the early settlement of East Hampton appears to be that its foundation was a part of the colonizing policy of Connecticut, based, as Professor Johnston remarks, upon "a provident determination on the part of the people to give their commonwealth respectable limits and to turn to account every favoring circumstance in that direction." The reports from Southampton, probably made by its representatives in 1644, showed that there was room for another settlement on its eastern side, and a beginning was made to secure the territory and hold it for future development. Many of the New England colonies were founded with the view of giving vent to religious ideas or to afford an escape from religious views, or to put in practice ideas regarding church and state which could best be carried to a practical conclusion by the working out of a distinct community, but this was not the case, so far as we can judge, with either of the Hamptons.
It was simply an early development of the principle of territorial acquisition, which has been a prime factor in American history from the earliest time until the present day.
The utmost care was taken in securing the land from the red men to prevent any trouble as to title, and so the first step of the representatives of the Connecticut Governors was to secure the joint assent of the Indian chiefs interested to the deed of transfer, which deed reads as follows:
This present Witing testifieth an agreement between the Worshipful Theophilus Eaton, Esquire, Governor of the Colony of New Haven, And the Worshipful Edward Hopkins, Esquire, Governor of the Colony Connecticut, and their associates, on the one part, and Pogatacut, Sachem of Manhanset, Wyandanch, Sachem of Meantauket, Momowoton, Sachem of Corchauk, Nowedonah, Sachem of Shinecock, and their assotyates, the other Part. The said Sachems having sould unto the foresayed Mr. Easton and Mr. Hopkins with their assotyates all the land lying from the bounds of the Inhabitants of Southampton unto the East side of Napeak, next unto Meantucut highland, with the whole breadth from sea to sea, not intrenching upon any in length or breadth which the Inhabitants of Southampton have and do possess, as they by Lawful right shall make appear; for and in Consideration of twentie coats, twenty-four looking glasses, twenty-four hoes, twenty-four hatchets, twenty-four knives, one hundred muxes, already received by us the forenamed Sachems, for ourselves and assotiates and in consideration thereof wee doe give up unto the said Purchasers all our right and Interest in the said land to them and their heyres for ever.
Allsoe wee doe bind ourselves to secure their right from any claims of any others, whether Indians or other nations whatsoever, that doe or may hereafter challenge Interest therein. Allsoe wee the said Sachems have Covenanted to have Liberty to fish in any of all the creeks and ponds, and to hunt up and down in the woods without Molestation, they giving the English Inhabitants noe just offence or Injurie to their goods or cattle. Lykewise they are to have the fyns and tayles of all such whales as shall be cast up to their proper right, and desire they may be friendly dealt with in ye other part. Allsoe they reserve liberty to fish in all convenient places for shells to make wampum. Allsoe if the Indyans hunting of any deer they should chas them into ye water and the English should kill them, the English shall have the body and the Sachem the skin. And in Testimony of our well performance hereof we have sett to our hands the Day and yeare above written.
The mark of X Poggatacut, Manhanset Sachem.
The mark of X Wyandanch, Meantacut Sachem.
The mark of X Momoweta, Corchake Scahem.
The mark of X Nowedonah, Shinecock Sachem.
Witness to this: Robert Woodhull, Tho. Stanton, Robert Bond, Job Sayre, Chectanoe X his mark, their Interpreter.
Whereas, by direction from Theophilus Eaton, Esq., and Mr. Edward Hopkins, a purchase was made by Thomas Stanton and others of a part of the Eastern part of Long Island of the Indian Sachems, the true proprietors thereof, in the name of Theophilus Eaton, Esq., aforesaid and myself with our associates as by the said agreement dated the 29th of April 1648 may more fully appear, which said purchase was paid by me Edward Hopkins, and amounted to the sum of thirty pounds four shillings eight pence, as may appear by a note of particulars under the hand of Thomas Stanton, to whom the said sum was paid, now delivered to Robert Bond of East Hampton; this writing witnesseth that I have received the fore-mentioned sum of thirty pounds four shillings eight pence, of the Inhabitants of East Hampton, and have delivered unto them the writings of the said purchse, and all the interest that thereby was purchased.
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed, the 16th of April 1651. I say received 30;b 4s 8d per me.
This purchase only included the lands, roughly speaking, westward from Amagansett. From there to the Point was reserved by the Indians, and probably when the wide stretch of sand was seen by the first settlers it excited no desire in their hearts. But it was not for long. In 1660 a deed for the whole of the Montauk Peninsula was given by the Indians, somewhat provisional in its nature and evidently inspired by fear that their old enemies, the Narragansetts, would come over and claim the territory. In 1661 "Sunk Squaw, widow of Wyandanch," and her son, Wiankombone, and others, transferred to Thomas Baker, Robert Bond, Thomas James, Lion Gardiner, John Mulford, John Hand, Benjamin Price, "together with their assocaites, the inhabitants of East Hampton," the lands on the peninsula. In 1670 another slice - between Fort Point and Great Pond - was given up, and in 1687 a final deed transferred the remainder of the peninsula - and thereafter the red man's connection with the lands of the royal race was simply one of sufferance. Thus the power of expansion ceased, but it was not until the middle of the nineteenth century that East Hampton really began to extend much beyond the clearance effected during the first fifty years after her settlement as a township.
As usual, the town meeting managed everything excepting grave cases - and these were few, the queer case of Goody "Garlick" being the gravest as well as the most noted of any. [Transcriber's note: See Persecutions on the L.I. History menu]. The "court of three men" tried all other cases, and the edicts of the courts, of the town meeting and -after a while - of the commonwealth across the Sound, were carried into effect by the constable. That official was quite a personage in all the townships. "In the little town republics," writes Prof. Johnson, "the ancient and honorable office of constable was the connecting link between the commonwealth and town. The constable published the commonwealth laws of his town, kept the 'publike peace' of the town and commonwealth, levied the town's share of the commonwealth taxation and went 'from howse to howse' to notify the freemen of meetings of the General Court, and of the time and place of elections of deputies thereto. 'The parish,' says John Selden, 'make a constable, and when the constable is made he governs the parish.' But in the case of East Hampton the constable was not left entirely to his own devices. He was the actual representative and embodiment of the law, its executive, but he does not seem to have had the power to "govern the parish at any time, even between the dates of the town meeting. The local court was always in session, or ready to be called in session, and it, under the town meeting, was the real "ruler of the parish," rather than the constable, whose doings and dictums could be overruled by it on short notice, should occasiona arise. But it is fair to say that the recrods of East Hampton do not show that any such "clash of authority" ever developed in its early history.
On entering upon his office the constable took an oath to carry on his work "without respect of persons * * * according to God, according to the trust committed to you." In 1650 we read "there were chosen 4 men with the constable for ye orderings of ye affairs of ye town, and it is ordered that any two of them shall have power to grant a warrant for ye bringing of any delinquent before them in any case; also ye said 5 men shall have power to try any case under ye sum of 40 shillings; but in any case or action be to tryed that is above, then it is to be tryed by a jury of seven men." Thus the constable had not full power to make arrests, the warrant had to be signed by two, but it would seem that he could even sit in judgment in the "cases" which by his office he was the means of bringing to the bar of justice. But this court was not omnipotent, for we find an entry in 1652 that "if any man be aggrieved by anything that is done by the men in authority he shall have libertie to make his appeal to the next General Court, or when the men are assembled together on public occasions." But, although its powers were thus subject to review, the dignity of the court was carefully upheld. In 1655 one William Simons was fined 5s, "which is to be disposed of to make a paire of stocks," "for his provoking speeches to the three men in authoritie being a disturbance to them in their proceedings." Then the men in authoritie had ample means of making their court a "terror to evil doers." As early as 1650 a house was set aside as a lock-up, and, by way of emphasis, it was not long thereafter until the village stocks stood outside as a visible exponent of the terrors of the law and the righteousness and certainty of judment.
From the beginning of the settlement religious services were maintained, at first in the house of Thomas Baker, which seems to have been the village inn, and for which accomodation he received 18d each week. In 1652 a meeting house was erected, on the east side of the burying ground. It was a small structure, 36 feet long and 20 feet wide, and it was enlarged in 1673 and again in 1698. In 1717 it was abandoned and a second church erected on another site in 1717. This edifice continued in use until 1864, when the existing structure was erected.
The first pastor was the Rev. Thomas James. He was the son of a minister in Lincolnshire, England, and came to America in 1632, settling for a time at Charlestown and at New Haven. It is not clear whether he was one of the very earliest settlers at East Hampton, but his coming was not long delayed, for on April 22, 1651, an entry in the town records shows that he was then owner of a town lot. The lot, according to Mr. Pelletreau's map, was opposite the site assigned even then evidently for a church, and was in his possession since 1650, which was probably the date of his arrival. It seems likely, too, that he received a gift of the lot, so that he may be said to have virtually ministered to the people from the beginning. So he continued until the end of his long career< June 16, 1696 , when he was laid to rest in the little churchyard, and at his particular request, with his face to the east, as "he wished to arise in the morning of the Resurrection with his face to the people." He seems to have been a man of singular piety, and possessed of many characteristics which those associated with him deemed singularities, but he was a zealous, active and thorough-going minister, eminently fitted to be the spiritual leader and guide and comforter of the people among whom his lot was cast, and he aspired apparently to be nothing more. Whatever the nature of his eccentricities they were harmless, and they did not abate the respect his people evidently had for him, or weakened his reputation as a shrewd, sound business man. Of the respect of the people there is no doubt, for they voted him many privileges, such as giving his corn precedence at the mill, presenting him with another town lot and half of the dead whales that drifted on shore. He was keenly interested in the religious welfare of the Montauk Indians; studied their languages, compiled a catechism for their use in their own tongue, and was the first paid instructor of the Long Island Indians, receiving an allowance for that service for several years from the Society for Propagating the Gospel in New England. The good minister seems to have gathered considerable property and to have passed through life quitetly and peaceably, except in one memorable crisis which will be told later. He disposed of all his real estate in 1695 to Mr. John Gardiner, "Lord of the Isle of Wight," for 500lb, one-half in cash and one-half to be paid to his assigns within 30 days after his death, but during his lifetime Mr. James was not to be disturbed in the actual possession of the property thus disposed of. He was then feeling the appraoch of the end, and apparently, putting his house in order. It was not until June 5, 1696, however, eleven days before his death, that he completed his arrangements by signing his will, a document which Mr. Pelletreau prints as follows:
The last will and Testament of me Thomas James, Preacher of ye Gospel & minister of East Hampton, in ye County of Suffolk, upon ye Isle of Nassau alias Long Island, within ye Province of New York, as followesth:
To my eldest daghter, Sarah, wife of Peregrine Stanborough (having already given her more than any other of the rest of the children), * * * four score pounds in cash current of this Province, also an equal part with my other children of my personal good, * * * also ye small part I have in ye ship called ye "Speedwell" (being half a quarter), also ye feather bed I lye upon & ye green rug with it. To my second daughter, Mary, wife of John Stratton, an hundred pounds in case. * * * To my daughter Hannah, wife of James Diament, one hundred pounds. I, having very lately delivered to my son-in-law Thomas Harris in behalf of his wife, my 4th daghter, Ruth, one hundred pounds upon some conditions, doe confirm it absolutely to her; I also give her my feather bed in ye large chamber, which ye furniture to it. * * * I give to my grandchildren Mary Stanborough and Mary Stratton, 50lb a piece, and a feather bed and two pairs of sheets, * * * also to each of them a cow and six sheep, and an iron pot of ye bigger sort, * * * two pewter platters, a silver spoon. * * * To my daughter Anne Howell, now wife of Mr. Abraham Howell of Southampton, 20lb provided she bring in noe after reckoning on account of her first husband, my son Nathaniel, deceased. * * * To my eldest grandson, John Stanborough, 10lb. To my two daughters-in-law [step daugheter/] Mary, wife of Mr. John Mulford, and Elisebeth, wife of Joseph Osborn, 10lb. * * * I appoint Peregrine Stanborough, John Stratton, and James Diament executors. As for what debts is owing to me from this Towne of East Hampton, either former arrears or for last year, amounting to above four score pounds, I give to all my grandchildren excepting those mentioned in this will. Only this - that if ye Towne freely and readily will take ye best and speediest way they can for ye discharge of ye debts afore said, then I give to ye town 20lb towards ye maintaining of a good school-master in this towne; otherwise not. * * * I give to my son-in-law John Stratton what time I have in my man Charles Jones, my executors to make good his indenture and allow him 40s in pay more. * * * To my son-in-law James Diament my share in ye horse mill. * * *
Dated June 5, 1696. Thomas James.
Mr. James was succeeded by the Rev. Nathaniel Hunting, a graduate of Harvard, who was the progenitor of the numerous families of that name in Suffolk county. He ministered for half a century - until his death Sept. 21, 1753. His successor, the Rev. Samuel Buell, is locally celebrated as the founder of Clinton Academy. Under him the church formally united with the Suffolk Presbytery and he continued in his pastorate for nearly 52 years - dying in harness July 19, 1798. "The day he was 80 years old," writes Dr. Prime, "he rode 14 miles, preached, and returned home at evening." Although a zealous Christian, an eloquent preacher and a man of considerable education, Dr. Prime tells us that Dr. Buell had his weaknesses and as one of them quotes the fact that when in his seventieth year he married (for the third time) a girl of seventeen.
The Rev. Lyman Beecher, father of the famous Brooklyn preacher, succeeded Dr. Buell. He lavored among them until 1810, when he removed to Litchfield, Conn., making the change simply and frankly because his stipend, eked out as it was by his wife's earnings as a teacher, were not sufficient to supply his wants and keep him out of debt. With his dismisal came the first vacancy in the pastorate of the church, except by the death of the pastor. Four pastors covering 160 years is a rare record. Although it is commonly spoken of as a Christian community, and such it undoubtedly was, the need of special revival occasions, those "seasons of refreshment" as they were called, which forms such a prominent feature in the early religoius history of East Hampton, would seem to have been unnecessary, yet all agree as to their importance and to the amount of good they accomplished.
East Hampton has long been noted for its splendid educational facilities. The fame of Clinton Academy had, of course, much to do with this, but even when few in numbers and engaged in their first struggle with the soil, the pioneers were mindful of the needs of the childen and a school was established as soon as the church. Mr. Pelletreau writes on this point:
"A school was established within a year after the settlement, and the first schoolmaster was Charles Barnes, a son of William Barnes, one of the original founders. He received at first 30lb a year, and to insure a regular attendance a small part only of the amount was charged upon the scholars and the rest raised by tax. Jonas Holdsworth succeeded him in 1673, and after him the rod of correction was wielded by Peter Benson, whose pay was 50lb a year. In 1682 the school consisted of 29 scholars. About all required of a teacher in those days was that he should be a good penman, and have a fair knowledge of arithmetic. If 'Solomon's rule' was his guide and practice it was considered an additonal merit. Grammar, geography, and other branches now thought essential were not taught at all. It was not considered necessary for girls to know much except reading, and hence we find in old deeds a large proportion of women signing their names with a 'mark,' and to most of the boy pupils the 'rule of three' was the boundary of mathematical knowledge. Still the general desire for learning was much greater in this than in the neighboring town, a fact which we can hardly account for unless by supposing that the early ministers, who were all-powerful in their social influence, must have taken a deep interest in the cause. It was the zealous efforts of Rev. Samuel Buell that builded Clinton Academy.
The salary of the schoolmaster and minister in early times was partly paid in productions of sea and land, and to fix a uniform price for these things it was ordered in 1656, by 'the three men,' that for a payment of town rates wheat should be 4s 6d a bushel, and Indian corn 3s 6d, Ut was ordered at a subsequent meeting that dry merchantable hides should be 6d a pound, and whalebone three feet long 8d a pound. At the taime Jonas Holdsworth was schoolmaster, it was agreed that one-half his salary should 'bee payd in beef or oyle, and the other half in oyle, pork hides, or tallow, or whalebone.' Holdsworth had previous to this been teacher in Southamption and Huntington."
Much against their wishes the people of East Hampton had to acquiesce in the change introduced by the advent of Gov. Nicholls in 1664, and receive a patent from his hands. Gov. Dongan, who assumed control of things after Gov. Andros had wiped out the effects of the Dutch interregnum under Colve, forced another charter on the township in 1686. The movement which culminated in the latter charter brought not only East Hampton but is venerable ministger into open conflict with Dongan and his Council, and led to the pracher's arrest. The official papers tell the story, but the underlying cause of the trouble was the disinclination to be mulcted on the part of the people to the extent of the new charter, with its loopholes for litigation and its renewed surrender to a Provincial government with which they had no sympathy. The papers follow:
Complaint Against the Town of Easthampton.
Att a Council held att Ffort James in New York
July the 29th, 1686.
Present. The Governor &c.
Robert Cady, John Parsons, Jacob Dayton, John ffields, Samuell Sherry, Oliver Norris, William Hamilton, Daniell Kieff, Simon Hillyer, John Richardson
makieing their complaints that the town of Easthampton will lay them out no land, as they were ordered in Council to doe; & it appearing that the said Inhabitants have for more yn the space of fouer yeares payed all dutyes in the aforesaid towne, and are become Associates in the same, Ordered that Capt. Josiah Hobart high Sherriffe of the County of Suffolk see that a Surveyor lay out for each person of the aforementioned Inhabitants thirty acres of Arable land within the bounds of Easthampton, that is not yet fenced or entered and appropriated by an person, they paying the charges wch the sd Sherriffe & Surveyor shall be at in the performance of the same; & giveing security not to dispose or sell any of the said land untill it shall be improuved by them.
By order in Council &c.
J. Spragg, S.cr
the above written is Entred
Into Suffolk Records folio 224
pr Jno Howell Cla, [Endorsed Governors order for Laying out land.
Information Filed by the Attorney General.
To his Excellency Thomas Dongan Captaine General and Governor in Chiefe of New Yorke and Territoryes thereto Belonging and the Council.
ss. James Graham Esqr Attorney Generall of our sovereigne Lord the King James the Second by the grace of God of England Scotland ffrance and Ireland King defender of the faith &c. Gives you Excellencye and honors to understand and be informed that whereas by an order of Councill bearing date the 29th day of July 1686 directed to Joshua Hubbard High Sheriffe of the county of Suffolke within this province it was ordered and declared in these words ffolowing viz. Att a Council held at ffort James in New Yorke July the 29th 1686, Present, The Governour &c., Robert Cady: John Parsons, Jacob Dayton, John ffield, Samuell Sherry, Olipher Norris, William Hamilton, Daniell Kieff, Simon Hillyer, John Richardson, makeing their Complaints that the towne of Easthampton will lay them out no Land as they were ordered in Councill to doe and it appearing that the said Inhabitants have for more than the space of four yeares payed all dutyes in the aforesaid Towne and are become associates in the same: Ordered tht Captina Joshiah Hobart High Sheriffe of the county of Suffolke see that a Surveyor lay out for each person of the aforementioned Inhabitants thirty acres of arable Land within the bounds of Easthampton and that is not yet ffenced or Enclosed and appropriated by any person they paying the charges which the sayd Sherriffe and Surveyor shall bee at in the performance of the same giveing securitye not to dispose or sell any of the sayd Land untill it shall be improved by them. By Order in Coucill J: Spragg Secr. Which said Order the sayd Josiah Hubbard is in duty bound did follow and obey according to the tennor and effect therof Yett nothwithstanding Saml Mulford, Robert daiton, Samuell Parsons Benjamin Conkling, Thomas Osburne, John Osburne, and all at Easthampton within the county of Suffolke aforesayd did confederate together to bring his Maties authority into contempt and scorn and particular in comtempt of the sayd Ordr of Council and against the peace of our sayd Lord the King with fforce and arms did upon the sixth day of October in the yeare of our Lod 1686. att Easthampton in the county of Suffolk aforesays in the daytime Riotously Tumultously Contemptuously and unlawfully assemble themselves together with diverse other unknown By beating of the drum without any warrant or authority whatever from his says Majestye and there did publish and affix upon the wall of their meeting house a certaine Scandalous Libellous paper which follows in these words, vizt A PROTEST Whereas Robert Kedy John Parsons Jacob daiton Samuell Sherry Simon Hilliard John Richarson Oliver Morris and John ffield have procured certain Lands within the bounds of Easthampton on Long Island in the province of New Yorke Belonging to the proprietors of the said land vizt Thomas Baker Thomas Chalfield Jeremiah Conkling Stephen Rodgers and others with them to whom the sayd Land hath been granted and Ratifyed as by their pattent deeds of Conveyance and Law both of England and the province aforesays may ffully appeare to be measured marked and to be Entered in the book of Records to them the says Kedy, Parsons, daiton, Sherry, Hilliard, Richeson, Morris and ffield as by the sayd Engry appeareth And whereas wee Samuel Mulford, Robert daiton Saml Parsons Benjamin Conkling Thomas Osburne and John Osburne are appoynted by the proprieters of the Land in the bounds of says township of Easthampton to defend and preserve the Right of the sayd proprietors In upon and Unto the says Lands as by their oder to us In that behalfe given appeareth: Wee the said Saml Mulford Robt daiton Saml Parsons Benjamin Conkling Thomas Osburne and John Osburne in pursuance of our sayd Trust doe make and declare this public protest against the sayd Robert Kedy John Parsons Jacob daiton Saml Sherry Simon Hilliard John Richeson Oliver Morris and John ffield That is to say wee doe declare them and all men that soe much of the Lana lying in the sayd Bounds of Easthampton as was not formerly before their procuring it to be measured for them layd out to other persons. But it remained undivided betweene the proprietors aforesays as hath been by them the sayd Kedy &c or any of them been procured to be measured, marked and Bounded to them or any of them the says Kedy &c is the Lands of the sayd proprietors whose Comittee we the protestors are and doe protest herby against the says persons that have measured marked or recorded the Same to themselves or procured the same to bee done and against the says act of them and Every of them as a Trespasse against the property of the proprietors thereof and done against their Lawfull Interests therin and that their says Entry not being by Law is Refellable in and by the Law - And doe hereby forbid and warne the says Kedy &c and Each of them or any others from or under them or any of them from any occupation of any of the sayd Lands not granted and divided to them by the says proprietors declaring unto them and all men hereby that if they or any of them shall presume to occupy any of the sayd Lands that wee shall Use the Law against any such occupyer for the defence of the proprietors therin to the uttermost. And this protest wee have made to the intent those Concerned may not pretend ignorance of the proprietors Right and Claime in and to the sayd Lands and may bee lyable to such damages as shall accrus if they shall wilfully proceed to improve sayd Lands and that noe person may purchase or other ways Receive the same from them as good Estate in Law and for the Conservation of the proprietors Right and Claime in and unto the sayd Lands. This done and published the Sixth of October 1686 By Samuell Mullford by order of the Comittee. Which sayd Scandalous and libellous paper was so affixed by Saml Mulford Robert daiton Saml Parsons Benjamin Conkling Thomas Osburne and John Osburne On purpose to Bring his Maties Authority Into Contempt and Scorne and to the Evill Example of his Maties Liege people. - Wherefore his Maties sd Attorney Genl prayeth the Consideration of this honble board in the premises And that the sayd Saml Mulford Robt daiton Samuell Parsons Benjamin Conckling Thomas Osborne and John Osborne may answer the premisses and have due punishment. In Law for such their Contempte aforesayd.
[Here follows Gov. Dongan's Warrants for the arrest of all the above parties, and of Stephen Hedges, Willm. Perkins, Jeremy Concklin, Daniel and Nathaniel Bishop aiders and abetors in the above. Dated 19 Nov. 1686].
Complaint Against the Rev. Mr. James.
Joshiah Hubbart of Easthampton in the County of Suffolk Esqr being deposed upon his Corporll Oath Saith That upon the Seaventeenth day of October one thousand Six Hundred Eighty and Six in Easthampton Mr. Thomas James minister of Easthampton's aforesd preacht out of that Text in the Twenty-fourth Chapter of Job the Second verse the whole Subject of his Sermon was to Show the evil and pronounce the curses against those who removed their neighbours Land markes and in his applicacon he brought it to the present matter of this Towne as to the Land laid out here lately and continued the pronouncing the Curse against them that acted in it and shewed that there order for it was noe excuse though it were an Edict from the King himself as Supreame nay though it were establisht by a Law yet they could not be excused from the Curse and then he went on and blessed God that this was not our Condicon for the Providence of God had soe ordered it that our Honod Governor had made such Restrictions in the order that mens Properties could not be meddled withall.
Jurat decimo Octava die Novemb: Anno Dmni (1686) Sedente Cur.
Endorsed Mr. Hobarts Affidt: 1686.
Order of Council.
Att a Councill held the 18th day of Novemb 1686, prest his Exly the Governor Majr Brockholls Mr fflipsen Mr Cortland Mr Spragg Majr Baxter
Two depostions being this day read against Mr Thomas James minister of Easthampton for preaching a certeyne Seditious Sermon on the sevententh day of October last. Its ordered that a warrant has been made out to one of the messengers of this board to repayre forthwith to Easthampton & take into his custody the body of the sayd Jeames & him keepe So as to hve him answer the premisses before this board this day forthnight.
Its' likewise ordered that Mr. Josias Hubbart bee Subpenaed to attend the same day, and that the clerk of Easthampton bee then likewise here with the bookes of that Town public affayres.
A certeyne Lybell being this day called ye ptest of a comittee of Easthampton wherein they contemptuoulsy opose the orders of the Governor and Council for the layeing out land in that Town and it appeareing that in a most riotous mutinous & Seditious manner the Sayd pretended Comittee did publish their Sayd lybell by Beate of Drum & afterwards did affix the Same on the publick meeting house of the Sayd town. It's therefore ordered that Samuell Mullford Robt Dayton Saml Parsons Benja Concklin Thomas Osborne & John Osborne bee by vertue of a warrt taken into ye custody of a Messengr of this board to answr the premisses here this day fortnight.
Another Lybell of the same nature by Thomas Osborne Stephen Hedges & Mary Perkins being likewise read Ordered That Stephen Hedges & the husband of Mary Perkins bee lykewise taken into custody to answer the same the same day.
Ordered lykewise that Jeremy Concklyn Danl Bishop Nathaneel Bishop bee likewise taken into Custody of the messenger to answer lykewise this day fortnight.
Ordere lykewise that Mr Hubbard bring up along with him one or more prsons to whom hee layd out ye land by ordr of this board who are in feare from the threats of the aforementioned persons & theyr accomplices.
In the difference between Mr prudden minister of Jamaica an his parishioners It's ordered that they pay to the sayd Mr prudden what is due to him by agreement on record in the Town books - and that when that's don if the Sayd parishionrs have any thing to object against theyr said minister they shall bee heard.
Information of The Attorney General.
To his Excellencye Thomas Dongan Captaine Generall Govercur in Chiefe of New Yorke and territoryes Belonging And the Councill.
New York ss James Graham Esqr Attorney Generall of our Sovereigne Lord James the Second by the grace of God King of England Scotland and ffrance and Ireland King defender of the faith &c Gives your Excellencye and honors to understand and be informed That Mr. Thomas James Late Minister of Easthampton in the County of Suffolk within this province nowwayes Regardeing the duety and fealty he owes unto our Sovereigne Lord the King did upon the Seaventeenth day of October 1686 att Easthampton in the County of Suffolk aforesayd publish and declare in a Sermon by him then and there prached upon the text in the twenty fourth chapter of Job the Second verse many Seditious words which were these following viz Cursed is he that removes his neighbors landmark and in aplication to the present matter of this Towne meaneing the Town of Easthampton aforesaid [as to the land lately layd out here the Curse is against them that acted in it and their order for it (meaning the order of this honble board) is no excuse though it were an edict from the King himself as Supreme nay tho' it was establisht by a law yett they (meaning those that gave obedience to the dayd ord)cannot bee excused from the curse]. Which words were preached by him on purpose to Raise and Stirr up the minds of his Majestyes Leige people Into Sedition and his Majestyes Laws and authority into Contempt to Bring against the peace of Our Sayd Lord the King and to the Scandall and Reproach of the Clergy Wherefore his Majestyes Sayd attorney General prayeth the Consideratcon of his honble board in the premises and that the Sayd Mr. Thomas James may answer the Same.
Inform agst Mr. James 1686.
Warrant to Arrest the Revd Mr. James.
Thomas Dongan Captayne Generall and Govenr of the province of New York and the territoryes therto belonging To Henry ffilikin one of the messengers of the council greeting These are in his majestyes name to comand ye to take into custody the body of Thomas Jeames late minister at Easthampton wheresoever hee shall bee found and him Safely keepe so as you may have him answer before mee and the Councill on the first Thursday in December next ensuing unto a certeyne Informacon then and there to bee exhibited against him for that hee the Sayd Thomas Jeames on the Seventeenth day of October last past in the Sayd Town of Easthampton did preach a certeyn Seditious Sermon tendering to the Stirring up of Strife and publick disturbance of the peace and quiett of his majestyes Liege people and government here hereby lykewise comandeing and requireing all Sheriffs Constables and other officers as also all other persons of what degree or quality soever to bee sideing and assisteing unto the sayd Henry ffilkin in the execution of the premises as they will anwer the contrary att theyr perrills and have with you att the Same tyme this precept for yor doeing whereof this shall abe your Sufficient warrant Given under my hand and Seale att ffort James this nineteenth day of november in the Second yeare of his Majestyes Reigne Annoq Dmne 1686.
By vertue of this writt I have in my custody the body of the wtihin
named Thomas Jeames
1686 warr & apprehending of Jeames.
Petition of the Rev. Mr. James.
To the Right Honorable Thomas Dongan
Governour and Captaine Generall of all his
Majesties Territories belonging to the
Province of New Yorke, The Humble Petition
of mee Thomas James Miniswter of
Easthampton as followeth.
Whereas yor Excellencies Supplicant was Informed that you were offended with me, in Respect of some expressions of mine in a Sermon preached Octob. 17 -86. I thought my selfe bound in duety, & from the High Respects I have of your Excellency in New York & have waited yor pleasure to this Day in order to yor Excellencies satisfaction & have submitted my selfe to yor Excellencies Censure, and knowing yor Excellencies Clemency am emboldened hubly to Craus yor Pardon, of what through any Error in my Apprehension I have given occasion of offence to yor Excellency my Intentions being Right in whatever proceeded from me att that tyme; and that yor Excellenecy be graciously pleased to remit the Penalty imposed & what fees may be exacted upon me before the tyme of my being summoned to appeare before you & ye Honble Council, considering the great charge I have beene att for about 3 weeks time since my comeing from home this being the first tyme (for almost fourty years of my being a minister of the Gospel) that I have beene called to accompt by any Authority I have lived uner, or given any cause for the same, nor needed at this type had there been yt favorable construction of my words as they deserved. So hoping as God hath got you as a father over this Comonwealth, so you will exercise a fatherly compassion towards yor humble Petitioner, who hath & shall continue yor Excellencies hubmel Orator att the Throne of Grace, & stand ever obliged to your Excellency in all hearty affection, & duteifull * * * [Here a word or two illegible in the original copy].
As might be supposed of such citizens, discontented and expressive of their discontent even when the royal regime was so firmly established that even the possibility of change was undreamed of, from the first, although isolated from the centre of events, they eagerly watched every movement in the impending struggle, and when the crisis came the people were unanimous to favor a change, and even Dr. Buell at one time threw off his gown and shouldered a musket to do battle for the liberties of his country. The feeling in East Hampton is clearly shown by the fact that when the Provincial Congress, with the view of fully estimating the sentiments of the people, sent out what was called articles of association to the various communities, every adult male signed the copy received in East Hampton, the only instance of such unanimity on the Island.
The document is well worthy of a place in the annals of the township, not only for its value as indicating the patriotic sentiment of the people, but as furnikshing a list, practically, of its active male inhabitants at the time. It is, in effect, as follows:
Persuaded that the salvation of the rights and liberties of America depends, under God, on the firm foundation of its inhabitants in a vigorous prosecution of the measure necessary for its safety, and convinced of the necessity of preventing anarchy and confusion, which attend the dissolution of the powers of Government, we the freemen, freeholders and inhabitant of East Hampton * * * do associate, under all the ties of religion, honour, and love to our country, to adopt and endeavor to carry into execution whatever measures may be recommended by the Continental Congress or resolved upon by our Provincial Congress or resolved upon by our Provincial Convention, for the purpose of preserving our constitution and opposing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive acts of the British Parliament, until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America on constitutional princples (which we most ardently desire) can be obtained; and that we will in all things follow the advice of our general committee respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation of peace and good order and the safety of individuals and private property.
John Chatfield, Abraham Gardiner, Burnet Miller, David Mulford, Thomas Wickham, Stephen Hedges, John Gardiner, Samuel Buel, John Hudson, Nathaniel Hunting, Eleazer Miller, Jeremiah Dayton, Thomas Dibble, Noah Barnes, Lemuel Mulford, Jeremiah Gardiner, Aaron Isaacs, David Conkling, Elisha Davis, John Davis, Jacob Wickham, William Conkling, Nathan Conkling, John F. Chatelain, Thomas Hedges, John Parsons 3d, William Hunting, John Mulford, Jeremiah Bennet, Samuel Hunt, Selah Pike, Elias Conkling, Abraham Mulford, Jeremiah Conkling, John How, Samuel Parsons, Benjamin Stratton, David Osborne, Elisha Mulford, Daniel Hand, David Mulford, Matthew Mulford, John Miller, John Dayton, Joseph Osborne jr., Ebenezer Conkling, Henry Chatfield, John Miller jr., Abraham Barnes, Patrick Goold, David Talmadge, Seth Barnes, Jason Miller, Simon Dibble, William Mulford, Jeremiah Sherrill, Gudron Miller, Aaron Isaacs jr., Elisha Jones, Lewis Chatfield, Enos Talmadge, Thomas Jones, Huntting Miller, Samuel Stratton, Abraham Sherill, Recompense Sherill, John Stratton, Stephen Hand, John Dayton, Daniel Hedges, Jonathan Barnby, William Conkling jr., David Dayton, David Miller, Henry Hopping, Josiah Osborne, Joseph Hopping, John Strong, Nathaniel Talmadge, Jeremiah Miller jr., Abraham Dimon, Isaac Dimon, Cornelius Osborne, William Hedges, Elisha Talmadge, George Gladden, Abraham Hand, Stephen Stratton, Thomas Osborne, Jeremiah Osborne jr., Jonathan Mulford, Isaac M. Hunting, James Hand, Jeremiah Talmadge, Jeremiah Miller, George Strong, Lewis Osborne, Joseph Osborne, William Hedges jr., Recompense Sherill, David Edwards, Ezekiel Mulford, Cornelius Payne, David Fithian, Samuel Conkling, Thomas Baker, Isaac Van Scoy, Isaac Van Scoy jr., Nathaniel Hand, Mathew Barnes, Philetus Osborne, Merry Parsons, William Parsons, Henry Downing, John Parsons, Jonathan Osborne, Joseph Osborne, Jeremiah Conkling, Samuel Conkling, John Mulford, Jonathan Tuthill, Jesse Dayton, Jacob Dayton, Jeremiah Parsons, Mulford Conkling, Mathew Stratton, Joseph Miller, Abraham Edwards, Samuel Parsons, Samuel Sherill jr., Eleazer Hedges, Abraham Mulford jr., David Loper, Nathaniel Doming, Isaac Payne, Benjamin Parsons, Jacob Conkling, Jacob Conkling jr., Christ. Dibble, Samuel Gardiner, David Leek, Abraham Leek, Samuel Dayton, Uriah Miller, Nathan Miller, Abraham Schellenger, Jeremiah Conkling, Nathaniel Baker, Jeremiah Conkling, Zebulon Conkling, Isaac Conkling, Jonathan Edwards, Abraham Loper, Philip Hedges, George Miller, Thomas Edwards jr., Elias Mulford, Edward Conkling, Jedediah Conkling, Joseph Hicks, Zachariah Hicks, Jeremiah Dayton, Daniel Baker, Isaac Schellenger, Abraham Baker, Nathan Mulford, Jacob Hedges, Jeremiah Barnes, John Gardiner jr., Aaron Fithian, David Talmadge jr., Jeremiah Sherrill, Nathan Conkling 3d, Elnathan Parsons, Cornelius Basset, David Miller, Peleg Miller, Elisha Miller, Daniel King, Daniel Edwards, Nathan Miller, Stephen Burnett, James Field, Samuel Mulford, Benjamin Conkling, Gamaliel Bennett, Seth Parsons, Richard King, Mulford Conkling, William Bassett, Ezekiel Miller, John Huntting, Abraham Quaw, David Loper, John King, Ichabod Raynor, Smith Osborne, Abraham Miller, Jonathan Miller, Samuel Mulford, Ezekiel Jones, Ezekiel Jones jr., Nathan Conkling, Daniel Loper, Jeremiah Loper, David Edwards jr., Edward Bennett, Ludlam Parsons, John Parsons, Josiah Mulford, Elisha Mulford jr., Stephen Russell, Jeremiah Hedges, Thomas Talmadge, Jeremiah Osborne, John Hedges, Samuel Hutchinson, Jacob Miller, Henry Miller, Ezekiel Hand, Abraham Conkling, Elisha Conkling, Elisha Osborne, Matthew Osborne, Jedediah Osborne, Jacob Osborne, Benjamin Hopping, Jonathan Squier, Jeremiah Hand, John Talmadge, Abraham Osborne, Henry Hopping, Elias Hand, Henry Dayton, Zebedee Osborne, John Parsons, John Stratton, Jacob Sherrill, Samuel Baker, Micah Hart, Benjamin Leek, Abraham Hedges, Jacob Osborne, Jonathan Schellenger, Thomas Edwards, David Baker, Sineus Conkling, James Loper, Stephen Cooper jr., Benjamin Eyres, Benjamin Hedges, John Parsons 4th, Nathaniel Doming, Edward Wick, Jeremiah Terry, William Barnes, Ananias Miller, Thomas Filer, John Hoos.
These may certify that every male in the
town of East Hampton have signed the above
assocation that are capable of bearing arms.
By order of the committee.
John Chatfield, Chairman.
The war itself added little to the sum of local history. The vessels of the British fleet were seen from the heights of Montauk at various times, and the Continental authorities duly apprised, and to various military companies East Hampton contributed fully its share. During the occupation of the island British troops were stationed at Sag Harbor and repeatedly overrun East Hampton, leaving behind them the usual tales of spoliation, disorder and crime, even going so far as Montauk Point in search of deserters from their own forces or of "contumacious rebels." Many of the leading people sacrificed their property and went to Connecticut, including Colonel David Mulford, Nathaniel Gardiner, Abraham Hand, Jesse Dayton, John Mulford, Aaron Isaacs Jr., Elisha Osborn, Jeremiah Miller and Burnet Miller.
Those who remained were forced, in 1778, to take the oath of allegiance under the direct supervision of Governor Tryon, who declared himself satisfied with the thoroughness of his work, in East Hampton as well as elsewhere throughout the county.
From the termination of the war until a comparatively recent date [Transcriber's note: this was written in 1902] the story of East Hampton might be summarized in the words of Channing's "Neely Knife Griner" -
"Story? Lord bless you, sir,
I have none to tell you."
A change now and again of a pastor, the removal of an old family, the stranding of a whale, or the arrival or departure of a whaling ship might be regarded as the sum total outside of the doings of the farm or the gossip of the village. In 1854, through the instrumentality of John Wallace, a Scotchman, who, somehow, had wandered to East Hampton, a Church of England congreagation was founded in that village, out of which has developed St. Luke's church, consecrated in 1859 by the late Bishop Potter. In 1860 a new Presbyterian church was constituted at Amagansett, of which the Rev. J. B. Finch has been pastor since 1879. Long pastorates seem to have again become the rule in East Hampton, for we find the old church of the village - the church of James and Buell and Beecher, presided over by the Rev. John D. Stokes, who was installed into the pastorate in 1867. In the Civil War East Hampton bore its full share in the patriotic work of upholding the Government at Washington, and contracted in its efforts a war debt of nearly $35,000.
The old North District school house at the Hook, about seventy-five years old, ws sold in 1895 to the congregation of the M. E. church and has been raised slightly, remodeled and used for church services. It is sixty feet long. The first school house was built on the site 150 years ago. The original building was erected upon town land and the property was deeded by the town to the school trustees in 1875. About the same time the old-fashioned desks arranged around the four side of the room, at which the pupils sat in rows facing the wall, were changed for those of a newer pattern, at which the pupils were seated by twos. The belfry and school house bell were added fifteen years ago. Before that the children were summoned by a hand bell. Over half of the inhabitants of East Hampton received their education at the old Hook school. Thirty-five years ago, before the session house was built, the regular prayer meetings of the Presbyterian church were held in the old school house, as well as in the old town house, where Dr. DeWitt C. Talmage preached his first sermon.
In 1893 the railroad system was extended through the township to Fort Pond Bay, and with that event may be said to commence its rise as a summer resort, or township of summer resorts, for that seems to be its inevitable destiny, all hope of making an international port at Fort Pond having been seemingly abandoned at least until the new schemes introduced by the Long Island Railroad looking to close connection with the entire railroad system of the country approach fruition. The published reports of these schemes seem to indicate a trans-Atlantic port at Fort Pond or in its vicinity, but on that particular detail not much has been made public.
Yet in the way of commercial greatness East Hampton still has hopes, hopes inherited apparently from the old whaleboat days. It has many spendid habors, which only need the application of a slight expense to make them serviceable for even large fleets. As an instanace of this, as an evidence of the hope still entertained, the following record of a speech in Congress by the Hon. Townsend Scudder, the late representative of Suffolk and Nassau in the National legislature, will be interesting. It is taken from "The Congressional Record." In the debate on the River and Harbor bill, January 16, 1901, Mr. Scudder moved an amendment to the effect that a channel into Three-mile Harbor not less than ten feet in depth at mean low water and 200 feet in width. In supporting this amendment, Mr. Scudder said:
Three-mile Harbor is a land-locked bay on the north shore of the south fork of Long Island, situated some eighteen miles west of Montauk Point lighthouse and five miles est of Sag Harbor. East Hampton is the nearest village to the harbor, and is distant about two miles from its head. There is situated the nearest railroad station.
The harbor proper is about two miles long and one mile wide; of a genearl triangular shape, with the base toward Gardiner's Bay, from which the harbor is separated by a sand beach, with an entrance channel at the east of the same. According to chart, the habor has a maximum depth of thiretten feet, with a depth of six feet or more over an area of three-quarters of a square mile. At the present time the entrance channel is narrow and quite crooked. The depth of the channel inside the beach is about six feet, except where reduced by a couple of sand spits.
This harbor once accommodated quite a coasting trade, but for many years its entrance has been gradually filling with sand. The washing away in recent years of the north point of Gardiner's Island has allowed the ocean swell, as well as that from the east entrance of Long Island Sound across Gardiner's Bay, to wash up sand and choke up the mouth of the harbor, diminishing its usefullness.
The purpose of my amendment is to authorize a survey with a view to constructing a channel through the inlet from Gardiner's Bay into the harbor, not less than ten feet in depth at mean low water and 200 feet in width.
It is estimated that the present freightage interests of the loclity immediately surrounding this harbor aggreage 10,000 tons a year. There are large tracts of hard-wood lands and considerable timber which would be convenient for shipping from this harbor if the same were accessible. Its shores are capable of development.
By the improvement suggested by this amendment a large area of country now of comparatively little value would be opened up. The population which would derive benefits from the improvements is not less than 2,000 souls. The residents of the towns of East Hampton and Amagansett are unanimous, so far as I ahve been able to learn, in favor of this improvement. The shores of this harbor are generally highlands, bespeaking a healthful locatlity.
I have no desire to conceal any facts in connections with this proposed project. Were I so inclined, which I am not, the chairman of the River and Harbor Committee would supply them. I frankly state them. A survey of this harbor was made in 1899. The local engineers reported at that time adversely to the improvement of the harbor. The project, however, which I have in view differs from the project which was then turned down. Moreover, a careful reading of the engineer's report will satisfy any person familiar with the conditions existing in this section of the country that the work of the local engineers was hardly as thorough as we believe the importance of the question should have warranted; therefore do I renew the request that a survey again be made to the end that if error was committed the first time justice to the people of this section of my constituency may be done, and the first error righted.
Mr. Chairman, this work will not be expensive. The local engineers are employed continuously. They have to inspect all improvements now in course of construction or maintenance on Long Island. A day or two of careful work and investigation of Three-mile Harbor, when they are engaged near there, will entail little cost and will convince them, I feel confident that a mistake was made by the engineers who first looked the ground over. Of course, under our rules and the law, an appropriation can not be secured from Congress for such an improvement as I desire to have made here exceptiing the report of the local engineers be indorsed favorable by the Chief of Engineers and approved by the Secretary of War. Therefore it becomes necessary for me to try this case de novo and to endeavor to secure a favorable report at the bottom of the scale, namely, from the local board of engineers.
In closing my remarks I will make mention of certain advantages which will follow the improvement of this harbor.
First. The United States Government has constructed fortifications on Gull Island and on Plum Island in Long Island Sound. Three-mile Harbor would be a safe and convenient harbor for torpedo boats opering with these fortifications in the event of war.
Second. It would be a safe harbor of refuge to vessels engaged in the coasting trade, and in fishing, which pass through Long Island Sound and Gardiner's Bay.
Third. It would enable vessels to enter the bay for the purpose of taking aboard their cargoes of wood and merchandise which, at the present time, are obliged to load by means of scows, lighters, and small boats while lying off at some distance from the mainland.
Fourth. It would open up for development a large section of country, would foster commerce, and consequently give needed employment to a large population, besides affording an excellent harbor for steamboats and other vessels.
East Hampton to the present day retains many of its ancient characteristics. The old windmills with their wide extended arms look as if they belonged to another clime and carry the spectator's mind at once back to the "days of old," and the memorial tomb of Lion Gardiner, with its knightly figure in full armor, fits into its quaint surroundings - a mediaeval monument in a village, which until a few years ago hardly understood what modern progress meant. The relics of the past seem to be more carefull conserved than in most American towns; the ancient informal name has been revived in the Maidstone Club, whose splendid building was destroyed by fire in 1901 and is being rebuilt at a cost of $50,000; the old building of Clinton Academy still greets the visitor and he can render homage to genius at one of its veritable shrines - the home in which John Howard Payne, the author of "Home, Sweet Home," spent his earliest years, and the memories of which may have unconsciously framed the thoughts and inspired the words of waht has become one of the "world's songs." The grand old trees which line the main street were planted, some of them, a century ago, and succeeded others which marked out the line of the roadway in the early settlement. There is splendid bathing on the beach, but sea-bathing is not the main attraction of East Hampton at present. The ancient and royal game of golf claims the first honors, and nowhere in America are to be found better grounds for the practice of that magnificent sport than from Wainscott to Fort Pond.
Wainscott is a small village, some four miles from East Hampton, which was first settled about 1670, and is the home of a farming and fishing population. It is little known except to golfers and angelers, and its pond, famous for its pickerel, is one of the most beautiful bits of inland water on the island. In 1880 it had a population of 100; at present it claims 170, so that its modern progress in not very rapid. Neither is Amagansett progressing very rapildy, for in 1880 its figures were 548, and the latest computation added two to that total, while Gardiner's Island, which in 1880 had a population of 40, has now only 25. Northwest, which had once high commercial hopes and in 1880 a population of 78, now has only 60, although if it could only be again discovered it would show wonderful advanatages for the development of a summer resort. But the township in many places shows substantial increases. The Springs, which in 1880 had 339, now rejoice in 529, while East Hampton village in 1880 had 807, in 1890, 1,014 and now has 1,600. Then there are several new communities which have been started within the past few years, which promise to become places of importance within a decade, while Montauk Point, thanks mainly to the importance it acquired in the Spanish-American War, now claims a residential population of 200. Had the census been taken when Camp Wickoff occupied the Point it would have swelled the figure for the district and the township considerably. But the splendid advantages of the section for healthfulness and fun became the theme in the early days of national interest and discussion, and it would not be surprising ere many years pass to see the Montauk region inhabited by a population far surpassing in extent the numbers which made Camp Wickoff so busy for several memorable months.
Meanwhile the old Royal demesne is practically deserted and the following exceedinly beautiful description penned arly in the past century still accurately descibes it:
The place is almost one extended region of solitude. Over its elevated surface, the eye seldom rests upon other than natural objects. The large forest, which once covered its face, has fallen before the axe of the husbandman, and the winds of heaven; and the vision has no interruption, over the greater part of the land, to an illimitable expanse of ocean. The extensive swamps, where the warrior waited in ambush the passing of his foe, have most of them become dry, and free of wood. The grounds, where often the battle raged, in the strife for life and victory, are noted only be the many arrow-heads, which the tread of animals and the crumbling of the soil expose to view. The lofty and symmetrical stature of the red men no longer crowns the cliffs and headlands of the shore; but over the summits, the sea-bird and the eagle may still be seen hovering in the air, or soaring aloft, in beautiful gyrations. All the magnificent features of nature still present, to the visitor, the same sublime and majestic appearance which they presented to former successive generations; but the red man sleeps in his grave. The band of sparkling foam, produced by the waves of the ocean, rolling and dashing on the shore in endless succession, still embraces the land; but he, who whilom watched the pulsations of the mighty deep, is no longer there. On the bold headland of Wamponomon, where, in the clear dark night, the signal fire was kindled, to give notice to the friendly tribes, on the opposite shore, of the approach of some mutual foe, or of readiness to proceed upon some enterprise of danger or revenge, the Sentinel no longer holds his midnight vigil. The calm moon, whose bright and soft light was reflected from the undulating surface of the gently rising wave, where the canoe was launched upon its bosom for distant adventure, still sheds its monthly brightness upon the troubled sea, but it no longer guides the bark of the red man. The agitataions and tumults that gave activity and excitement to savage life, and filled the forest with the echoes of the war-hoop, are buried in the grave of the warrior; and the almost painful stillness of the region is disturbed only by the everlasting murmur of the ocean.
John Lion Gardiner, the seventh proprietor of Gardiner's Island, was the anitquary of the family. He compiled a vocabulary of the language of the Mohawk Indians, which, brief as it is, really preserves all that is known now of that ancient tongue. He was a careful student of local history, and his "Observations on the town of East Hampton," written in 1798, is a valuable little monograph which should really be the basis of all the histories of the township. In accordance with that view it is here reproduced in full: