In an earlier chapter the entire story of the settlement of Hempstead has been treated somewhat at length [transcriber's note: arrggh! I hate when that happens!], so it is only necessary to say here that the first patent was issued by Governor Kieft November 14. 1644, and this patent was confirmed by those issued March 6, 1666, and April 17, 1685, by Governors Nicolls and Dongan, respectively.
HEMPSTEAD, 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]
A history of Long Island: from its earliest settlement to the present time. New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1902
In 1784 the territory was divided into North Hempstead and South Hempstead townships. South Hempstead was recognized as a town by the Legislature on Marcy 7, 1788, and in 1796 it dropped its prefix and became simply Hempstead. Under its organization statute each township was to enjoy the right of oystering, clamming and fishing in the other, and both continued to cut grass on the south meadows until 1815. In 1797 a litigation commenced between the two townships with relation to the grass cutting right, which was only settled in December, 1828, with such victory as there was to Hempstead. It was at best a miserable dispute, and, like most of the boundary disputes, so frequent in the early history of the various Long Island townships, seems to us silly in these days. Empty land was about them all, yet they wrangled for years over a field or two. In 1830 Hempstead sisposed of all its public lands by auction, a consummation that added greatly to its future internal peace.
Hempstead township lies on the south side of the island, has a frontage on the ocean of some twenty miles, and a total area of nearly 100 square miles. Down to 1784 the history of the two townships must be considered as one, and after the division the story follows the fortunes of the southern section, the section which now monopolizes the plain title of Hempstead.
While much is doubtful as to the early history of Hempstead, two things seem certain. It was a theocratic colony, like Southold, and it was peopled by a congregation, or part of a congregation, from Stamford, Connecticut, most of them being natives of England.
One of the first things they set up was a building for public worship, as already told in this work. [transcriber's note: somewhere!]. But the town had a civil history as well. Among the early settlers who came after arrangements for their reception had been completed by the Rev. Robert Fordham, their clerical leader, and John Carman, were Richard Gildesleeve, Edward Raynor, the Rev. Richard Denton, Matthew Mitchell, John Underhill, Robert Coe, Andrew Ward, Jonas Wood, John Ogden and Robert Jackson.
Most of these people, if not all of them, were possessed of more or less means, and several had been prominent in public life in Connecticut, such as Richard Gildersleeve, Thurston Raynor, Robert Coe and others. The patent was obtained from Governor Kieft in 1644, which may be accepted as the date of this foundation of the township, although many antiquaries would place it a year earlier, when Fordham and Carman had bought the territoty from the Indians. With these helpless aborigines the settlers of Hempstead seemed to get along fairly well; there were several unpleasant details in the early relations, but it would seem to a less extent than was the case in most of the other settlements. In 1656 a sort of treaty of peace governing the relations of the two races was made and settled the boundaries of the white man's land, confirming a prior agreement made in 1647. As a result of this the following deed was drawn up:
July the 4th, 1657. Sitlo novo.
Know all men by these Presents, that W, the Indians of Marsapege, Mericock and Rockaway, whose Names be underwritten, for ourselves, and all the rest of the Indians thta doe Claime any Right or Interest in the Purchase that hempsteed bought in the year 1643. And within the bounds and limits of the Whole tract of Land, Concluded upon with the governor of Manhatana as it is in this paper Specified, Doe, by these 'resents, Ratifie and Confirme to them and their heires forever, freely, firmly, quietly and Peaceably, for them and their heirs and success'rs for Ever to enjoye without any Molestation or trouble from us, or any that shall pretend Any Clayme or title unto itt.
The Montooke Sachem being present att this conformacon.
In Witness whereof Wee, whose names bee here under written, have hereunto subscribed.
The Marke of Takaposha.
The Sachem of Marsapeague.
The Marke of Wantagh.
The Marke of Chegone.
The Marke of Romege.
The Marke of Wangwang.
The Mark of Rumasackromen.
The Marke of ------.
The Marke of Woronmcacking.
In the presence of us,
Vera copia concordans cum originalis scripsit, per me,
John James, Cler.
When the payments had all been completed the following document was drawn up and signed:
Wee, the Indians above written, doe hereby acknowledge to have received from the Magistrates and Inhabitants of Hempsteed, all our pay in full satisfaction for the tract of land sould unto them, according to the above and within written agreement, and according to the pattent and purchase. The General bounds is as followeth:
Beginning att a place called Mattagaretts Bay and soe running upon a direct line, north and south and from north and south, from Sea to Sea, the boundes running from Hempstead Harbour due east to a pointe of Treese adjoining the lands of Robert Williams, where wee left marked trees, the same line running from Sea to Sea. The other line beginning att a marked tree Standing att east end of the greate plains, from that tree and running a due south line and att the South Sea, by a Marked tree, made in a Neck called Maskutchoung and from thence upon the same line, to the South Sea. And we whose names are herunto subscribed, do further Ingage ourselves and our successors, to uphold and maintain this our present act, and all our former agreements to bee just and lawfull; that the aforesaid Inhabitants of Hempsteed Shall Enjoye the Said Lands according to the Equity-marked bounds with all privileges thereunto Any way belonging or Appertaining, for them, their heirs and successrs for Ever. And we doe binde ourselves to save and defend them harmlesse from any manner of Claime or pretence that shall bee made to disturbe them in their right or any prte thereof, hereby binding us and our successrs to cause them to Enjoye the same Peaceably without Any Molestacon or Interrupcon for them their heires and successrs for Ever.
Whereunto we have subscribed, this eleventh day of May, anno 1658. Stilo novo.
Waautauch, Che Know, Sayasstock, Tackapousha, Martom, Pees Komach.
Subscribed by Wasombound, Montauk Sachem, after the death of his father, this 14th February 1660, being a generall town meeting of Hempsteed.
A true coppy, Compared with the Originall and both of them being written by me.
John James, Clerk.
In 1647 there were fifty-seven freeholders in the township, and a formal division of the land was made among them. They were as follows:
John Carman, Jeremy Wood, Richard Gildersleeve, William Raynor, Benjamin Coe, John Ogden, Samuel Strickland, John Toppin, Jonas Wood, John Fordham, William Lawrence, Henry Hudson, Thomas Ireland, Richard Valentine, William Thiekstone, Nicholas Tanner, William Smith, Edmond Wood, John Smith jr., Thomas Armitage, Simon Sering, Terry Wood, Thomas Willet, Henry Pierson, Joseph Scott, Henry Whitson, Richard Lewis, Thomas Stephenson, John Coe, William Scott, John Storge, William Williams, James Smith, William Rogers, Richard Ogden, Robert Jackson, John Foucks, John Lawrence, Thomas Sherman, Francis Yates, John Ellison, Abraham Smith, William Shadding, Thomas Ffoster, Roger Lines, John Lewis, Christopher Ffoster, Samuel Clark, John Hudd, Thomas Pope, Daniel Whitehead, Robert Williams, Edward Raynor, John Sewall, John Smith sr., Samuel Baccus, John Strickland.
In 1673 the list had passed the hundred mark, as may be seen from the following enumeration preserved in Vanderkemp's Translation of Dutch Records, XXII:
John _____, John Smith Blew, Richard Geldersly, sen., Vrolphert Jacobs, Jan Craman, John Symans jun., Robert Jackson, Symon Tory, John Smith, Peter janes Schol, Richard Gildersly, Robbert Beedill, George Hallet, Samuel Allen, Richard Valentyn, Kaleb Carman, John Williams, Thomas Richmore, John Ellesson, Edward Spry, William Osborne, Edward Remsen, John Fossaker, Jhn Sorram, James Payne, William Fixton, Samuel Denton, Robberd Hobbs, Thomas Stodderd, John Smith jr., Joseph Williams, Ralph Haal, Daniel Beedell, John Jackson, Jonathan Smith, John Champion, John Hobbs, John Langd, Jonathan Semmes, John Bordes, Robberd Marissen, Mos Hemmery, John Beets carpenter, Samuel Embry, Matthew Beedel, Comes, Thomas Ellison, Phillip Davis, _____ Hopkins, Adam View, Edward Titus, Richard Ellison, John Seavin, Thomas Teasay, Thomas Ireland, Thomas Ellison, Joseph Gem, Thomas Champion, Joseph Pettet, Richard Fotter, John Bedell, Thomas Southward, John Beates, Calvet Goullet, Christoffel Yeomans, John Woully, Edward Banbury, Thomas Gowes, John Mavein, Wm. Thorne, Joshua Watske, Benjamin Symerson, Jan Roelossen, Elbert Hubssen, Lewis Niot, John Ellison jr., Thomas Seabrook, Samuel Jackson, John Pine, Peter Jansen, William Ware, Solomon Semmar, Teunis Smith, Richard Valentin jr., Joseph Wood, Herman Flouwer, William Dose, Symon Foster, Henry Mott, Wm. Fourmer, Joseph Smali, Watler pine, Josia Carman, John Peacock Napper, Richard Osborn, George Robbert, Charles Abram, Thomas Appelbe, Samuel Smith, _____Persell, Adam Mott jr., Samuel Jackson, Joseph Truax, Joseph Hoyt & Nine others whose names are lost.
The original contion on which the first patent was granted was that the people should pay a tax to the Council at New Amsterdam of a tenth part of their farm produce ten years after the first general peace with the Indians. It would seem that it was not until 1658 that the people declared their readiness to contribute to Stuyvesant's treasury. In that year they informed the Governor that they had "voted and put upon denomination our former Magistrate, Mr. Gildersleeve, and with him William Shodden, Robert Forman and Henry Pearsall," all of them known "men of honest life and of good integrity," as their Magistrats, and Stuyvesant, invariably gracious to the English settlements, at once confirmed the election. The same year Magistrate Gildersleeve was authorized to go to New Amsterdam and arrange about the payment of the taxes, provided the Governor was reasonable in his views of the matter, as he seems to have been.
The early govenment of Hempstead was by town meeting, over which the influence of the Presbyterian Church was predominant until the beginning of the eighteenth century, and lon after its influence in the affairs of the township continued to be important. The town meeting did everything even to the extent of naming the value of various products of the farm and fixing the price of labor. A day's work was adjudged to be worth 2s 6d, but then a night's lodging was only valued at 2d and two days' wages paid for a week's board. At that rate the laborer of 1658 was at least as well paid as his brother of the present day.
Attendance at church was early voted a prime necessity, and it was ordered that any man or woman who did not occupy a place in the church at Sabbath services should be fined five shilling - the value of a weeks' board - for the first offense, and ten shilling for the second, and twnety shillings for the third. Those who still absented themselves after being so muleted were deemed incorrigible under lenient measures and were to be dealt with by means of corporal punishment, and after tha, if the remedy failed, were to be banished from the town. Drunkenness seems to have been one of the common faults of the brethren, if we may judge by the severe measure taken. These fines and punishments were not, however, determined as to their appliacation by the town meeting, but after trial in the regular local court. Some of the records of that tribunal are interesting for the light they throw on the domestic history of that early time, and we quote the following from Onderdonk's "Annals of Hempstead:"
In 1658, July 25 - Richard Valentine having reported that Thomas Southard went up and down with a club, the latter, meeting him one morning as he was going about his avocations, struck him in the face. As Southard still menaced and threatened to further beat him, he took oath that he stood in danger and fear of his life, and required the peace and that Southard might put in security for his good behavior. It is therefore ordered by Mr. Richard Gildersleeve, for that Thomas Southard did contemptuously resist authority in refusing to obey the marshal with his warrant, and did fly the same and betook himself to his own house for his refuge, in consideration of these outrages and misdemeanors he is required to put in security for his appearance at court. And said Southared doth bind himself and all his lands, good and chattels, to appear at court, and meantime to keep the peace and good behavior.
At a court held December 28, on the submisssion of Southard, and paying all costs, the penalty and fault are remitted in hopes of his reformation. Valentine is also reconciled, and doth remit the abuse done unto him.
1659, January 2 - Thomas Ireland complains of Richard Brudenell, keeper of an ordinary, for using deceitful dealings, and produces in court the following witnesses:
Mary, a wife of Richard Willis, sent her child for a pint of sack and he afterwards demanded pay for a quart.
William Jacocks bought four cans of beer, one day last spring, and was booked seven. He paid it.
Thomas Langdon was charged for four bushels of oats and had but two, and a few oats in a piggin and a tray - being half a bushel.
Richard Lattin, four or five years ago, agreed with Brudenell for diet of himself and son for twelve shillings the week, and had it a week and four days, which did come to twenty shillings. Lattin said it was ten days, but Brudenell made it eleven, and said he would not pay for eleven he would show him such a trick as he never had seen; that is, he would set upon his book a guilder a meal and eight pence for his bed, and then he should pay whether he would or not.
The court find, January 14, that Brudenell's books are false and not fit to pass in law, and he is to pay twelve guilders for calling a court, else execution to follow.
1659, January 14 - Robert Lloyd, having spoken unseemly words to the dishonor of God and the eveil example of others, is fined ten guilders. But having, February 11, made an acknowledgement of his fault, the court hath remitted the fine, on his reformation.
1659, January 16 - Daniel Whitehead, when he lived at Hempstead, lost linen and other goods, and upon search he found at Richard Brudenell's a brass candlestick and one small striped linen carpet and one table napkin which he doth judge to be his own. Whereas Brudenell would not enter into recognizance and utterly refused the favor of the court, he is condemned to restore fourfold - that is twenty-eight shillings sterling - else execution to follow in fourteen days. He appeals to the governor, and the answer in Dutch may be seen in the Hempstead court minutes.
1659, May 1 - Robert Jackson contra Richard Lattin - action of the case, defamation to the value of 100lb sterling damages. Jackson in his declarations says that, having occasions of account with Lattin, upon some debate he gave him very bad language tending to his defamation and scandal, and amongst other evil words called him a rascal. The court, June 5, sentences him to forty guilders fine, or corporal punishment, unless he submissively acknowledges, in presence of the court, that he hath wronged Mr. Jackson and is sorry for it.
1659, May 1 - Robert Williams sent to the mill of Hempstead six bushels of good Indian corn and delivered it into the keeping of William, son of Peter Cornelissen, to be ground. He received two bushels, but the rest of the meal lay on the mill-bed and had been spoiled by the rain beating upon it, and was grown sour and not fit for man's food. When Williams demanded satisfaction Cornelissen refused, and said he had carried corn himself to Manhattan's mill and it took damage and he could get no recompense. He then desired Cornelissen to put out the meal and give him the sack, but he told him he would not meddle with it. The court adjudged Cornelissen to make good the damage done unto the sack and meal by giving him good meal, and in case they cannot agree, then to stand at the judgment of two indifferent men; and Cornelissen is to pay court charges and give satisfaction within fourteen days, or before he depart the town, else execution to follow.
1659, June 11 - It is ordered that all wills proved in this court at Hempstead shall pay six guilders unto the use of the court, and the clerk and marshal's fee.
1658, September 2 - Among other items in the last will of Nicholas Tanner is that "a beast shall be sold to buy some linen to bury me in, and also a sheet and other things that shall be needed, and the white-faced cow killed at my burial and given to the neighbors."
1659, November - Richard Lamson put out a cow to Joseph Schott to winter. He removed that winter from Hepstead, and the cow was to be returned next spring to Samuel Clark, his agent, but Schott refused, though Clark tendered security. Schott says the cow proved unsound in her bag, and the spring following, being farrow, he put her down to the common pasture to feed, and in the fall sold her to D. Whitehead. Her calf he maintained till it came to be a cow, and she had one calf, and another which was destroyed by wolves. The cow, being well so far forth as he knew, was found dead one morning, leaving a calf. The court order Schott to pay for the cow 6lb.10, and 20s, for one summer's milk, with one guilder on the pound interest upon in interest for eight years, and costs, and 10s for the plaintiff's charges, for this journey. Schott (ultimo,Januray, 1659) makes a tender of goods to the valuation of the aforesaid sum, to be publicly sold at outcry by the marshal, and engages to save him harmless. Primo February Schott's barn and appurtenance, with his home-lot (three acres), is sold to George Hewlet for 5-4 in present passable pay. I, Thomas Skidmore (May 6, 1659), have received 15.9.6 in full satisfaction of the above sentence, in behalf of Edward Highbie of Huntington.
1660. January 21 - John Smith Jr., sues Thomas Ellison in an action for trespass, for that he did rise his mare double, contrary to his knowledge, and his mare was lamed to his damage 40s. Ellison answers that he was at John Carman's door, and at his wife Hannah's request did ride before her to Oyster Bay, on Saturday, and on the Lord's day kept the mare there and on Monday rode her back and delivered her to John Carman. The court doth condemn the plaintiff in all the court charges, to be paid within fourteen days, else execution to follow.
The change brought about by the downfall of the Durch Government and the institution of English authority seems to have been accepted with equanimity by the Hepstead settlers. Governor Nichols introduced among them a new "industry," that of horse-racing, for which purpose the great Hempstead plain was so well adapted, and his lead in that regard was still further developed by his successor, Governor Lovelace, and Salisbyry Plain, near the present village of Hyde Park, became celebrated for its sporting events on both sides of the Atlantic. The sport still continues a favorite one in Hempstead, although it has there lost much of its vulgar and debasing features, and, as at Mineola, is an exhibition of racing pure and simple.
The Duke's laws were felt in Hempstead, as elsewhere, to be oppressive and unjust, and it can not be said that when the Dutch regime in 1673 was once more established in New Amsterdam, the Hempstead people mourned over the change. As soon as Governor Colve took hold of the reins of power he sent a letter of instructions to Hempstead and other Long Island towns, in which he really granted as full a measure of local self-government as was conceivable in those days. Some of his instructions were:
3. All cases relating to the Police, Security and Peace of the Inhabitants; also to Justice between man and man, shall be finally determined by the magistrates of each of the aforesaid Villages, to the amount of sixty florins, Beaver, and thereunder without appeal: In case the sum be larger the aggrieved party may appeal to the meeting of the Sheriff and Councillors delegated from the Village subjects to his jurisdiction, for which purpose one person shall be annually appointed from each Village who shall assemble in the most convenient place to be selected by them, and who shall have power to pronounce final judgment to the amount of fl.240 Beavers and thereunder. But in all cases exceeding that sum each one shall be entitled to an appeal to the Governour General and Council here.
4. In case of inequality of votes, the minority shall submit to the majority; but those who are of a contrary opnion may have it recorded in the minutes but not divulge it without the meeting on pain of arbitrary correction.
5. Whenever any cases occur in the meeting in which any of the Magistrates are interested, such Magistrate shall, in that instance, rise and absent himself, as in hereinbefore stated.
6. All Inhabitants of the abovenamed Villages shall be citable before the Sheriff and Schepens or their delegated Councillors who shall hold their meetings and courts as often as they shall consider requisite.
7. All criminal offences shall be referred to the Governour General and Council, on condition that the Sheriff be obliged to apprehend the offenders, to seize and detain them & to convey them as prisoners under proper safeguard to Chief Magistrate with good and correct information for or against the offenders.
8. Smaller effences, such as quarrels, abusive words, threats, fisticuffs and such like, are left to the jurisdiction of the Magistrates of each particular Village.
9. The Sheriff and Schepens shall have power to conclude on some ordinances for the welfare and paece of the Inhabitants of their district such as laying highways, setting off lands and gardens and in like manner what appertains to agriculture, obserance of the Sabbath, erecting churches, school houses or similar public works. Item, against fighting & wrestling and such petty offences - provided such ordainances are not contrary but as far as is possible, conformable to the Laws of our Fatherland and the Statues of this Province; and therefore, all orders of any importance shall, before publication, be presented to the Chief Magistrate for his approval thereof requested.
With the return of the British power and advent of Governor Andrus upon the scene the "Duke's laws" were again enforced, even more rigidly than before. Under Governor Dongan, the great charter monger, in 1685, the town, much against the will of a majority of its people, was compelled to take out a new charter. It seems to have taken three years of negotiations to perfect an instrument which was thoroughly satisfactory to Hempstead, and probably the gift which the people gave to Dongan of a plantation of 650 acres had something to do with directing his mind in the right direction on many mooted points of bounday and in the township's annual tax being placed at twenty bushes of good winter wheat or four pounds of good current money - a reasonable enough impost.
From that time until the outbreak of the Revolutionary struggle there is little to tell of the civil history of Hempstead. In 1702 the Colonial Assembly proposed to erect a public school in its bounds. About that same year the Episcopalians organized a congregation in Hempstead - represented by the present St. George's Church - and, as was then customary, took possession of the meeting-house and manse of the Presbyterians.
In 1775, when the crisis with the mother country became acute, Hempstead was pronouncedly against any change in the relations between the crown and the colonies, and a public meeting held on April 4th pledged renewed allegiance to King George III and declined to send deputies to any provincial congress or assembly. It seems, however, to have changed its views so far as to elect Thomas Hicks and Richard Thorne to represent it in the provincial congress, but Hicks refused to attend, saying that Hempstead wanted to remain peaceable and quiet. Under the circumstances we can understand its becoming a favorite hunting ground for Tories in the days immediately preceding the landing of the British forces in 1776. Colonel Heard and the other Continental raiders captured many stacks of arms and stores of ammunition in Hempstead and sent many of the local Tories into exile. That, however, did not win the inhabitants over to the side of the patriots, and although under oders from the Whig leaders, it contributed several companies to the Queens county militia under the redoubtable Colonel John Sands, the heroes composing the regiment were found to be of little avail when the real hour of trial came and stern service was demanded.
But when that time came, when the British were in possession of the island and Hempstead was overrun with redcoats, the people found small comfort in their Toryism. The soldiers rode roughshod over Whig and Tory alike, helped themselves to produce and provinder without stint and paid prices of their own choosing, burned up fences and barns for firewood, robbed orchards and farm building without fear, turned the Presbyterian meeting-house into a barracks, and even desecrated the interior of St. George's Church (built in 1733), although the recor, the Rev. Leonard Cutting, was pronounced in his Toryism, so much so that when the war was over he was forced to abandon his charge summarily and secretly.
At the time of the Revolution Hempstead village consisted probably of a dozen dwellings and the English and Presbyterian meeting-houses, and its progress was slow, the progress of a hamlet without any interests to attract the outside world. When Mr. Cutting summarily left the parish with the departure of the British, his place was filled by the Rev. Thomas Lambert Moore, a native of England, who seems to have developed into a most loyal American soon after his arrival in this country. He was one of those who took part in the church proceedings necessary when the civil government had thrown off the English yoke to make th Episcopalian body equally independent of the authorities in London. In the old Prayer Book which had been sent to St. George's as a gift along with a communion set, presumabley from Queen Anne, he pasted in new prayers for the President and United States authorities in place of those commending the British King and royal family and Parliament. In this church, in 1785, the first ordination in the American Episcopal Church took place, when John Lowe was admitted to holy orders. Lowe was a native of Scotland, a man of many fine qualities, and, having received a university training, was for a time employed as tutor in the family of a wealthy proprietor in Galloway, not far from the English border. He fell in love with one of the young ladies of the family, and it is said she reciprocated his affection, but somehow the hoped-for marriage never took place. While the billing and cooing was going on one of the sisters of the young lady dreamed that she saw her sweetheart, a ship surgeon, and that the wraith had told her that the ship with all on board had gone down, and urged her not to weep for him, as she would soon join him in the other world. After many months it was learned that the lover had actually been drowned at sea. On hearing the dream related Lowe went to his room and wrote the following beautiful lines:
The moon had climbed the higest hill
Which rises o'er the source of Dee.
And from the eatern summit shed
Her silver light o'er tower and tree;
When Mary laid her down to sleep,
Her thoughts on Sandy far at sea;
When, soft and low, a voice was heard,
Saying, "Mary, weep no more for me!"
She from her pillow gently raised
Her head, to ask who there might be;
And saw young Sandy shivering stand,
With visage pale and hollow e'e;
"O Mary, dear! cold is my clay -
It lies beneath a stormy sea;
Far, far from thee, I shall sleep in death -
So, Mary, weep no more for me!
Three stormy nights and stormy days
We tossed upon the ragin main,
And long we strove our bark to save,
But all our striving was in vain.
Even then, when horror chillded my blood,
My heart was filled with love for thee:
The storm is past, and I at rest,
So, Mary, weep no more for me!
"Oh, maiden dear, thyself prepare,
We soon shall meet upon that shore,
Where love is free from doubt and care,
And thou and I shall part no more."
Loud crowed the cock, the shadow fled,
No more of Sandy could she see;
But soft the passing spirit said,
"Sweet Mary, weep no more for me!"
This song, the only piece of poetry Lowe wrote that is worth reading, has won for him an honored place among the minor poets of his native land. When his love passage ended Lowe came to this country and studied for holy oders, which resulted in his ordination in St. George's Church. He afterward went to Virginia, made an unfortunate marriage, fell into dissipated habits, and died at Fredericksburg in 1798. Mr. Moore was a most successful pastor, and uner his care the congregation became the most flourishing of any in the township. Under him a new rectory was built in 1793, a large, commodious dwelling, and many important improvements were effected in the church building itself. In 1799 Mr. Moore passed away, and was succeeded by the Re. J. H. Hobart, who afterward became Bishop of New York, and the ministry has since been held by a succession of talented divines, several of whom have been prominent in the affairs of the church at large.
The Methodist congregation was organized about 1812, the people meeting in each other's houses until 1816, when a house was rented and fitted up for service. In 1820 they build their first church, a small structure on the site which is now occupied by the building now in use.
With the beginning of the past century Hempstead village commenced slowly to grow, for it became noted as a place of summer residence and many people from New York began spending a season there, and as a result quite a number of attractive homes were added to it year after year. Communication with Brooklyn was maintained by means of stages, and until the advent of the railroad Hempstead had a regular service of three stages in each week. The streets are lined with trees and are well and cleanly kept, and up to the present day, when it is credited with a population of nearly 4,000, it still retains many of the rural features which made it so attractive in the past and which half a century ago enabled it to start on its modern era of prosperity. It is a residential town, its manufactures amounting to little in a business way, and it depends to a great extent on the trade which comes to it from the needs of the villa residents and its summer population. It has all modern improvements in the way of gas, electricity, macadamized roads and social features of the highest class. Near it the Meadow Brook and Farm Kennel Clubs have their headquarters, and attract to it year after year many hundreds of people representative of what are called the foremost classes in New York City's aristocratic circles.
On the outbreak of the late war with Spain Hempstead came prominently before the people of the State, for about to the north of it was locted Camp Black, where for many months several thousand volunteers were housed and drilled in readiness to be sent to the front or into active service according to the requirements of the War Department. Had the war lasted any length of time there is no doubt that Camp Black would have been retained as a military depot, but the rapid victories of the American forces on land and sea brought hostilities to a more speedy conclusion than had been anticipated, and the camp was abandoned and has since been "a waste of furze and brush."
In point of historic antiquity the settlement in the township which dates closest to that of Hempstead village us that of Jerusalem, now a hamlet which has lost all its former prestige and pre-eminence and has apparently been forgotten. It is on the border line of Oyster Bay township, the creek known as Jerusalem River separating it from that territory. When the exodus from Stamford which peopled Hempstead took place, in 1644, one of the immigrants, Captain John Seaman, and Robert Jackson, purchased on their own account 1,500 acres of land from the Indians and settled upon it with their families. Their houses, as usual, were placed almost side by side, and after a time the dwellings of their children (Captain Seaman had eight sons and eight daughters, it is said, while Jackson had two sons and two daughters) made up quite a village a few hundred feet east of the Jerusalem River. Additions to the real estate buildings were made from time to time until the village territoty included some 6,000 acres, - some of it the most fertile land on Long Island. Descendants of these pioneers are to be found all over Long Island, and many have held high positions on the bench, in the learned professions, in Congress, and in the military services of the United States.
The Seamans and Jacksons and their collateral branches devoted themselves to agriculture, and the settlement would have passed on without attracting much attention but for the fact that it became one of the gathering places of the Long Island Quakers. The Seaman family, or many of them, early adopted the tenets held by thse "peculiar people," as they were then described by those who described them most tenderly; and for nearly a century, from 1697 until 1793, regular meetings for worship were held in one or ohter of the Seaman homes at more or less regular intervals. A regular meeting-house was built in 1827, and there Ardon Seaman preached and labored until his death in 1875. By that time, however, the Society of Friends had lost its hold in the vicinity, many of the old settlers moved away, the land through a long series of years of mismanagement had lost its fertility, and the new settlers who came in belonged to other communions. So the meeting place was abandoned, and with its passing Jerusalem began to fade.
Early in the ninteenth century, when it was seen that the land was losing its original fertility, an effort was made to introduce manufactures, a grist mill and a paper mill were built, and long afterward a tannery and wood mill were introduced, but none of them made much headway. It seems a pity that a place so full of treasured memories should pass into oblivion, but such seems to be the fate in store for Jerusalem unless a change speedily sets in, and of that there is yet no sign.
The crowning glory of Hempstead is Garden City, which was founded in 1869 by Alexander Turney Stewart, long the most noted of New York's merchant princes. A shrewd, farseeing and wonderfully successful man in his business, Stewart, when wealth came to him, engaged in schemes which he deemed philanthropic and which at the same time were likely to return to him the money actually expended on them. He gave several large donations in charity, but as a general rule he had no conception of giving away money in the fasion of more modern millionaires. He was ready to help a public enterprise with his means, willing to inaugurate an undertaking which was to benefit the people, but he wanted some return for the money expended. For instance, one of his schemes was the erection of a hotel soley for women in New York, by which he thought he could benefit the hundreds of professional women in the great city and the hundreds of women who visited it from day to day, and at the same time gain five o six per cent on the money he should invest in it. The hotel was built, but its restrictions were such that no one was satisfied, and it was soon abandoned.
So, too, he conceived the idea of erecting a town which would in its way be a model community, a little republic, a revival in nineteenth century days of the old theocratic settlements. It would be far enough away from New York to keep away excursion parties, its land should be common property, should not be sold outright, and even the houses would be built by the corporation and only leased to the settlers. It would be a complete community within itself, make and enact its own laws, have a large hotel capable of accomodating the most refined travelers, wide streets, superb schools, and all manner of modern improvements and equipments. Everything would be hedged about with restrictions, the place would be exclusive and refined, and the entire community should so commend itself that it would be regarded as a garden spot - a veritable Eden. With these notions of town building, Mr. Stewart looked about for a site, and in 1869 selected a plot of 7,170 acres on the historic Hempstead plain, not far from the old village, for which he paid to the township $394.350. By an act of Legislature this money was to be invested and the proceeds devoted to educational purposes in the town he proposed to establish and for the support of its poor, should it have any poor.
So the place received the name of Garden City, was surveyed, cut up into streets and avenues, the hotel was built, houses were erected, but the people did not flock in. Americans do not like to be hampered by restrictions, and the class of people he aimed at securing preferred to own their country homes outright, and it seemed as though Garden City would end up in being regarded as a merchant's folly. For two or three years its main purpose ws to advance the price of Hempstead real estate and to afford the land boomers a chance to throw into the market other tracts of the great plain. Stewart died in 1876, before he had time to fully mature his plans for the success of the new town, but it is difficult to understand how the policy he had outlined, and which he would have clung to with all the dogged pertinacity of his nature, would have ended in anything but failure.
But with his death a change came over Garden City. Many of his foolish restrictions were quietly thrown aside and the town was permitted to grow on the regular lines of supply and demand. But the demand would have been slow had not his widow designed to make the town a memorial of her husband. She determined to build in it a grand cathedral, rivalling in size and beauty some of the great European religious shrines and to associate with it a school whose educational advantages should be unsurpassed. Some have averred that the cathedral and school were but a part of A. T. Stewart's original scheme, but that is merely surmise. The millionaire left the bulk of his vast estate to his wife untrammeled by obligations and the cathedral, the school and the bishop's palace were her free offering, and all she asked in return was that the group of buildings should become the seat of the Bishop of Long Island and that the crypt of the cathedral should be the lst resting place of her own body and that of her husband, whose memory she thus desired to honor. Mrs. Stewart's purposes were heartily approved by Bishop Littlejohn and his clergy, architects were set to work and plans prepared, and on June 28, 1877, the corner-stone of the cathedral was laid by the Bishop with imposing ceremonies. The following description is from the pen of the Rev. Dr. T. S. Downe:
The plan of the edifice is cruciform, with tower and spire, baptistry, organ apse, crypt and mausoleum. The style employed is decorated gothic of the thirteenth century, but the architect has given freshness and independence to the treatment by adopting the foliage and flowers of this country, and following nature rather than the old and stiff conventional forms. Unusual beauty and grace are attained in this manner in all the carved work of the triforium, capitals, bosses and corbels, which furnish everywhere varied and pleasing subjects for study. The exterior is constructed of Bellville (New Jersey) stone, and the interiorof Berlin (Ohio) stone, with the use of native and foreign marbles in the pavement, chancel steps, baptistery, and mausoleum. The proportions of the building are admirable, the extreme length measuring 190 feet, width of the transept including the porches 109 feet, of the nave and aisles, 52 feet. The choir and chancel are 60 feet deep, separated by marble steps, with the bishop's throne on the north side and the dean's on the south. The tower, which is monumental in character, with bold buttresses, ornate gablets and pinnacles, is 124 feet high; and the delicately tapering spire, crocketed and surmounted by a large illuminated cross of colored gems, in 97 feet, making the whole height 221 feet. In the upper stage of the tower is hung the chime of bells, thirteen in number, exhibited at the Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia, from the noted McShane foundry in Baltimore. The spiret of the baptistry is beautiful in design and workmanship, with its flying buttresses and pierced belfry; and from the aisle walls also spring flying buttresses to the nave, giving lightness and elegance to the general effect of the exterior, while the cornices are enriched with gargoyles and pinnacles. The roof is slated, and finihsed at the apex with a bronze crest, bearing a crown at the junction of the nave and transcepts, and a cross over the chancel.
In the Interior the work is equally elaborate and carefully finihsed. The baptistry is connected with the choir and transept by large arches, filled with elegant stone tracery, and is finished with columns of variegated foreign marbles, with capitals of statuary marble exquisitely carved, supporting the gothic groining of the dome above. Around the walls runs a wainscoting of statuary marble with panels of vert antique. In the center of the inlaid marble pavement stands the white marble font, adorned with appropriate symbols and figures, and covered by a rich canopy. The seats of the bishop and dean as well as the stalls of the clergy in the ante-chancel are of mahogany, with eleaborately carved canopies; and in the sanctuary the stalls and canopies are of carvd stone, as well as the piscina and credence. On a platform of raised steps stands the altar, constructed of the purest statuary marble, with panels presenting in bold relief the chief events of our Lord's incarnate life, with their prophetical types in the old dispensation. The pavement of this portion of the edifice is a rich mosiac of colored marbles. In the choir and transepts are large niches for appropriate figures, executed in marble.
The crypt is connected with the choir and nave by staircases, and contains a large chapel, with a spaciuos hall and vestibules of carved oak filled with panels of stained glass. At the west and under the choir is another smaller chapel, and adjoining it the mansoleum, which is polygonal in form, having 14 bays, wrought in the most elegant manner in statuary marble, with clustered columns of the costliest European marbles at each angle of the walls, supporting the vaulting and its pendant crown. The symmetry and variety of the columnar treatment, the exquisite finish of the floriated capitals, corbels and mullions, all of which are separate studies, the stained glass presenting the story of our Lord's passion, death and resurrection, the graceful statuary and the massive sarcophagus all combine to render this mortuary temple a triumh of architectual genius.
The architect is Henry G. Harrison of No. 67 William street, New York, and the contractor James H. L'Hommedieu, of Great Neck, Long Island. The stained glass of the crypt is from the manufactory of Colgate, New York; and that of the masusoleum and the cathedral itself from the celebrated London firms of Heaton, Butler & Bayne, and Clayton & Bell. When completed the edifice will have cost $1,00,000.
The organ, built by H. L. Roosevelt, of New York, ranks among the largest, and in several respects is one of the most remarkable in the world. It has four manual keyboards, and one pedal keyboard, and comprises one hundred and twenty speaking stops and about eight thousand pipes. Though placed in different parts of the cathedral, it is all played from one key box, situated in the choir, the remote portions being connected by cables of electric wire, over twenty miles of which are used for his purpose. The main body of the instrument is in an octagonal chamber built on the north side of the choir for this purpose. The next largest portion is at the other end of the building, in the stage of the tower immediately below the chimes and separated from the church by a stained glass window, which is opened and shut from one of the swell pedals in the choir by means of electricity. A third part is in the chapel under the nave, and can be played there from its own keyboard for chapel services. A fourth, above the celing, is called the Echo organ, and is played also from the choir. Two other portions are on either side of the choir. The chimes are also played from the solo manual by electricity, or from a separate keyboard in the tower. The combination pedals are so arranged that the organist can change any combination to suit himself, small knobs being placed above the drawstops for this purpose. Three steam engines, located in different parts of the building, are employed to work the bellows. The cost of the instrument, which was not completed at the time of this writing, was over $60,000, and the ornately carved mahogany cases cost about $30,000 additional.
Relative to the site of the cathedral a writer in the Sanitarian remarks:
"The setting of this gem of the pure gothic order of architecture, instead of being in arid metropolitan streets, is in a locality which will yet have a world-wide reputation for all that is most attractive to the eye and grateful to refined taste in landscape and architectural beauty, and all the luxury that wealth can accumulate in its surroundings. Approached by any of the various lines of railway, or by the substantial and well kept carriage roads, worthy of the appellation sometimes given them of 'Roman roads,' the cathedral seems firmly planted upon an elevated plateau, with gently rolling surface, here and there broken by valleys sweeping in graceful curves, robed in green, and enlivened by flowers and crystal fountains, shaded with trees luxuriant in growth and of every variety known to the climate, fanned by delcious bleezes, invigorating and exhilarating to both body and brain, and elevating the soul."
We may appropriately close our sketch of this noble edifice with the following eloquent passage from the address of the Rev. Dr. Snively at the laying of the corner stone;
"From this home of reverent worship and this center of earnest work there shall go constantly the messengers of peace on earth and good will to men, and in the Master's name and work shall kindle upon unseen altars the flame that shall illuminate the world. And this cathedral, which at once enshrines the memory of the departed and gives untold efficiency to the missionary capabilities of the church, shall be both the instrumentality and the prototype of that sublime spiritual temple erected of human souls and cemented by a living faith - a temple which gathers its stones from many quarries, and hews its timbers from the forests of many lands, and which, without the noise of axe or hammer or saw, is rising through the centuries to its glorius consummation in Jesus Christ, its chief Head and Corner-stone.
The cathedral idea is an element in the organic life of the visible church. It has been well said that its embryo was in the upper room in Jerusalem, where solemn conferences were held while awaiting the coming of the Comforter. From then until now the necessity of a central rendervous and rallying point for the church, a common altar and common conference ground in devotion and debate, has been profoundly felt, and this necessity has been relieved by the cathedral. We rejoice, then, not so much over the architectural cathedral, whose walls rise and beautify this broad-bosomed plain; nor again over the memorial cathedral, which shall in silent eloquence move the present and coming ages with the story of human love sublimed in Christ, honoring and soul-helping; but chiefly we rejoice over the great spiritual edifice, whose corner stone we have laid in the Master's name, whose walls shall be salvation, and whose gates praise through a far-reaching gospel future.
The cathedral, in its whole idea, its theory and method, is designed to fuse into a body harmony the whole evangelical work and devotional life of the diocese. To build a cathedral, equip it, and endow it, and then give it to God for the worship of his people, is something without precedent in the annals of Christian charity. And then how beautiful the blending of the wifely affection and the Christy devotion, making a masusoleum for the loved and lost of earth, and vaulting it over with a temple for the worship of the King of heaven."
The Cathedral School of St. Paul occupies a slightly position about a quarter of a mile northwest of the cathedral. It is in style an adaptation of English gothic, and is massively constructed of brick, made of the brick works of the estate, with brown stone and Dorchester yellow stone for windows, doorways, porches and other ornamental features.
The edifice consists of an imposing facade, which with the port-cochere is 290 feet long, and three wings 170 feet deep, forming a ground plan something like the letter E; and is four stories in height, with additional stories in the center and at the angles, which have high mansard roofs. Besides these projections the exterior is diversified with ornate porches of carved stone, a clock and a bell tower, and a broach spire in copper for the ventilation of the laboratory. Over the main entrance is inscribed: "In Memoriam Alex. Turney Stewart," with the name of the school beneath, and over the east and west doorways, "Historia et Scientia," and "Arts et Philosophia."
The interior arrangements have been carefully planned, and appear to successfully conbine the best features of modern collegiate edifices, whether in this country or abroad. The whole building is fire-proof, admirably ventilated, and supplied with gas and hot and cold water in every room, with abundant bathing facilities and steam heating apparatus after the Holly system. The different stories are connected by two elevators, and several commodious stairways, constructed of iron and stone. The first floor comprises the main hall, 270 feet long and 10 wide, and lateral corridors 170 feet long, wainscoted with tiles and marble, and paved with Mimton tiles of beautiful designs; entrance connecting with a library and parlor, each 21 by 50 feet, the head master's and the matron's apartments , dormitories in the east wing; the dining hall in the central wing, 43 by 62 feet. with serving rooms; and the two assembly rooms in the west wing for the higher and lower school, about 50 feet square, with several recitation and lecutre rooms, each 20 by 24 feet. The second story is devoted to teachers' and pupils' rooms, varying in size from 9 by 20 feet; and in the center, occupying two stories, is the chapel, 42 by 65 feet, which is arranged with longitudinal sittings for some four or five hundred pupils, and has at the north end a chancel, organ and sacristy. On the third floor are situated in front the music rooms, the art gallery, 25 by 62 feet; the infirmary, 25 by 40 feet, with apartments for nurses, and in the corridors a large number of dormitories. The fourth story contains, besides dormitories, the laboratory, 20 by 44 feet, studios for art pupils, and the gynmasium, 37 by 62 feet, with dressing rooms, in the central mansard. In the basement are play rooms in the school wing, the armory, the laundry and drying rooms, the steward's room and the servant's hall, the store rooms, butcher's shop, refrigerators, dairy, engine room, ovens, kitchen, scullery, etc.; and in the east wing the servant's dormitories. Throughout the building the wood work is of ash, black walnut, oak and mahogany, finished in the most elegant and substantial manner, with solid and appropriate furniture specially manufactured for the school after the most approved designs.
The Right Rev. A. N. Littlejohn, D.D., the first Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Long Island, took up his headquarters at Garden City as soon as a home was prepared for him and from there managed the affairs of the diocese until his death August 3, 1901. The sad event took place at Williamstown, Massachusetts, where the venerable prelate was spending a brief vacation from his many and exacting duties. His sudden death created a profound sentiment of regret, not alone on Long Island but throughout the Church of which he was so long recognized as a leader.
Dr. Littlejohn was born December 13, 1824, at Florida, Montgomery county, New York. Entering Union College, Schenectady, when seventeen years old, he was graduated with honors in 1845, and, after a course of three years in theological studies, he was ordained a Deacon by Bishop William H. De Lancey in 1848. His first church position was that of assistant in St. Anne's, Amsterdam, New York, whence he went not long afterward to accept a corresponding place in St. Andrew's, Meriden, Connecticut.
In 1850 he was called to Springfield, Massachusetts, as rector of Christ Church, but he remained there only a year, leaving to take charge of the important parish of St. Paul's, in New Haven, Connecticut. It was while in this church that he began to be well known throughout the country and Europe, his writings on ecclesiastical and literary subjects attracting favorable attention generally.
After ten years at New Haven, Dr. Littlejohn, who in the meantime had been honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of Pennsylvania, came to Brooklyn to be rector of the Holy Trinity Church, at Clinton and Montague streets. Before this he had been offered the Presidency of Geneva College, now called Hobart College, but had declined the position. He had also been a lecturer on pastoral theology in the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Connecticut, for seven years. He was the second recor of Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, succeeding the Rev. Dr. William H. Lewis.
During the nine years Dr. Littlejohn stayed there the debts of the church were paid off, and the steeple, which had been rebuilt for lack of funds, was reared to its full height.
Dr. Littlejohn's career was distinguished by an occurrence that is said to be unique in the records of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this country. When the Diocese of Central New York and Long Island were formed he was elected Bishop for both of them, almost simultaneously. His acceptance of the latter territory was made on the ground that he was more familiar with the needs of the diocese where he had been working than with those of the one up the State. He was consecrated on January 27, 1869, Bishop Henry C. Potter officiating, with the assistance of eight other Bishops.
In 1874 Bishop Littlejohn was appointed to take charge of churches established in Europe by the Protestant Episcopalians of America, and he consecrated the Church of St. Paul's-Within-the-Walls, in Rome, and opened the American Church in Paris. Later, however, he was forced to transfer his foreign affairs in Long Island demanding his entire attention.
The University of Cambridge, England, made Bishop Littlejohn a Doctor of Laws in 1880, and he received the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of the South, at Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1897. From the time of his residence in New Haven he continued to write regularly. Among his published works are "The Philosophy of Religion," "The Metaphysics of Cousin," "The Life and Writings of Coleridge," "The Poetry of George Herbert," "The Bible and Common Sense," "The Outwardness of Popular Religion," "Human Progress," "The Alt-Catholic Movement," "Conciones ad Clerum," "Stephen's Lectures on the History of France," "Roger's Eclipse of Faith," and "The Christian Minstry at the Close of the Nineteenth Century."
In February, 1899, services commemorative of the Bishop's thirty years of service were held in the Cathedral of the Incarnate. The last public service of unusual importance that Bishop Littlejohn attended was that which celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the Church Charity Foundation, in which he had always been interested. It was noticeable at this service that he was very freeble, and since then there has been frequent talk of his having a coadjutor. He persistenently refused this offer, even taking occasion to say at a meeting of the clergymen and laymen of the diocese that he was well able to take care of the affairs of the diocese.
Dr. Littlejohn was a strick Churchman, and was heard to express himself emphatically more than once about certain innovations in the worship of his church that he regarded as altogether wrong. Although his reputation as a writer and scholar was the greater, he achieved no small note as an orator, and there were those who ranked him among the best pulpit preachers.
Even with all its advantages, the population of Garden City has crept up but slowly. In 1891 it had something like 600, in 1896 it had increased to 700, in 1900 it had added about fifty more, and there it remains. But time is on its side and it will undoubtedly grow in importance and influence as time speeds on. It is now recognized as a splendid center of church and education work; and the beauty of its streets and of its situation is yearly becoming more widely knownl its hotel has even now become a resort and in many repsects it is the pride of Nassau county. Mrs. Stewart has been lying at rest in the crypt for several years; it is presumed that the body of her husband is there too, although nothing on that point is known. The Stewart millions have been dissipated, some of them in a fashion that would have roused his indignation. But the haste which his widow showed in erecting this great architectural pile and in so lavishly providing endowments have been amply justified by the story of the disposal of these millions, and prove that her native shrewdness had almost forecasted the end of it all. So Garden City's cathedral has become the merchant's enduring momument, and still keeps it healthful agencies part at least of his own great fortune engaged in useful and beneficent work.
There has been talk, more or less vague, for some time of a municipal union between Hempstead village and Garden City, and while the time for it seems hardly ripe, there appears no reason to doubt its taking place ultimately unless the Greater New York takes another leap and adds Nassau county to its domain. Even that has been talked about, and certainly as unlikely things have happened in the history of the big city.
Rockville Center, which now claims a population of some 2,500 was settled mainly in 1854, but its Methodist church has an existence dating back to 1790, when a small hamlet sprang up around it. The first church was torn down in 1817 and a new edifice was built on its site, which served until 1874, when the present structure was erected. As usual, the first church was erected as a meeting-house for the use of any body of worshippers, and its surrounding cemetery was for the reception of the fathers of the hamlet as one by one they fell into that sleep which knows no waking. But after a while it appears that there were no residents of the vicinity who belonged to other than the Methodist body, and so they seem to hve entered into full possession. In 1870 the Methodist Episcopal Church of St. Mark erected a temporary church, which in the following year gave way to the now existing building. Rockville Center remains a residential village, its high school is a most attractive building, and as a spot for home building it posseesses many peculiar attractions.
As much may be said of Pearsalls, which also dates practically from the middle of last century, but without any old church to bind it to the remote past. From a religious point of view Pearsalls may be regarded as the sister of Rockville Center, for the religious work and influence of the one is always shared by the other. In 1841 the old Methodist church at Rockvile helped to found a church at Pearsalls, and St. James' Church at the last named was the result of a division of the work at St. Mark's. A school-house was one of the few buildings erected at Pearsalls after it was laid out, and the construction of the water-works for Brooklyn made it a busy place in 1857. After tha commotion passed it assumed its proper place as a residential point, which it has since retained. Its present population is estimated at 1,400.
Freeport, one of the centers of the oyster industry; New Bridge, the happy hunting grounds of the Merrick Indians and possessing some weird local traditions of Revolutionary events; Seaford, Bellmore, Vally Stream, Ridgewood, Baldwin's, Norwood, are all pleasant villages devoted to summer visitors, or oystering, or both. Some of them are beautifully located, and in all of them the village church is generally the most noticeable feature of the landscape.
One of the most lovely of these smaller villages is Merrick, or Meric, Moroke, or Merihoke, as the name has been variously spelled, and which thus keeps alive the name of the Indian tribe which formerly owned its land. The history of the town has recently been written by Mr. Charles N. Kent, and from his monograph we gather many details of much interest not only regarding the village itself, but of this section of Long Island.
The Carman family early sent represntatives to Merrick from the settlement of Hempstead Plains. To John Carman was born, January 9, 1645, the first white child in the settlement. He was christened Caleb. the Carmans and Smiths intermarried, and appear to have held in common land westward from the eastern line of what is now the property of Mr. H. H. Cammann, on Merrick avenue. There is also evidence that these two families pre-empted the entire territory "from Merrick river east to Cove Spring Landing, Merrick Cove, and from the bay north to Hempstead Plains."
John Rock Smith settled west of the present lakes on either side of Merrick road - his house on the north side and barn on the south side. Jonathan Smith Black laid out his farm east of Merrick path, which afterward became the Hempstead turnpike; and Jonathan Smith Rock settled to the west, there being between them a wedge of land known as Hewlett farm. It is reported that this village was contributed equally by the two Smiths to induce the Hewletts to settle thereon.
Richard Valentine had land, undescribed, in Merrick as early as 1657. He was a town marshal and a man of some parts.
One of the first houses was built by Jonathan Rock Smith. It is still in existence, and stands back from the present residence of Mrs. Elijah Smith. The house of Mr. William E. Hewlett was erected at about the same time.
From carefully preserved records now in the possession of Mr. George T. Hewlett and Mr. George M. Hewlett is appears that the first of that family to reach America was one of the judges who passed sentence of death upon King Charles (1648). The name in the King's death warrant is differently spelled, and it is supposed to have been purposely changed afterward to avoid pursuit and detection. The first Hewlett settlement (about 1649) was on Riker's Island, near Hell Gate; the house was destroyed by Indians, although the family being warned, escpaped, and we next hear of them in Hempstead, whether they probably migrted. There were then three brothers, George, John and Lewis, and one sister. George and John both died unmarried, the former at Hempstead, the latter at Cow Neck. Of the others there is no record. The first George Hewlett to come to Merrick settled "between Whale Neck and New Bridge road," including what is now known as Cedar Swamp. There is also record of an early Hewlett settlement upon the farm of Mr. George M. Hewlett, which has always remained in the family. The original house has been incorporated in the more modern residence occupied at the present time. An old clothes press brought from England is still in its garret, as well as portraits of Colonel Hewlett and his wife. The people were largely Tories in the early period of our struggle for independence. Washington wrote to the Committee of Safety (1776): "The inhabitants of L.I. have discovered an apparent inclination to lend a helping hand to subjugate their fellow citizens.," and Jonathan Sturges writes to Governor Trumbull: "Long Island has the greatest porportion of Tories of any part of this colony." The women, too, assumed a royal attitude, and went even to greater lengths to signify their devotion to the crown. We may be pardoned, perhaps, for copying the following statement from an old record: "A young woman in our town [Hempstead] formed an intimacy with a Highlander in the British army. When the British were about to evacuate the island she was missing. The distressed father expressed his apprehensions to the commanding officer that his daughter had eloped, and was now in the company of her lover. Forthwith the men were drawn up and the father walked along the ranks, wherein he discovered his daughter in Highaldn uniform, and in the guise of a soldier, by the whiteness of the skin where the garter is usually tied."
The Hewletts were among the leaders of the Royalist party, and at times were in imminent danger, but finally a declaration of submission to the Constitutional Congress was drawn up, and among its signers were John Carman, John Smith Rock, William Smith Black, Benjamin Hewlett, Benjamin Hewlett 2d, Joseph Hewlett, George Hewlett and John Hewlett. The Hewlett coat of arms represents two owls upon a shield, with the mottoes; "To stake one's life for the truth," and "By courage, not by craft." The name was sometimes spelt Hulit, and also "Owlett," the latter probably derived from the Yorkshire dialect and the representative owls. In the last generation of our first George Hewlett's descendants, there were twelve brothers and sisters. Of these Mr. George T. Hewlett and Mrs. Mary Willets are now (1900) the sole survivors.
As an illustration of the deserved prosperity and enterprise which have ever characterized the Hewletts the following, copied from an old newspaper dated February 28, 1800, will serve as an example:
"The curious are invited to a sight of one of the most astonishing productions in nature, a large ox, raised by Mr. George Hewlett. He is to be seen at Mrs. Delouf's Flymarket. Admittance, one shilling. To give an idea of this ox, it need only be mentioned that he is nineteen hands high and a half feet in length, and nine feet in girth, forming a tremendous mass of animation. Not to view him as he now stands argues that want of curiosity which tends to enlarge the mind." And again, in 1831, we read: "George Hewlett, of Merrick, has a cornstalk on which grew thirteen perfect ears."
The old Merrick Path, beginning near the present Hempstead turnpike and passing east of the house of Mr. Benjamin Seaman, in a norterly direction to the plain, probably first did duty as a road in this part of the new township. It is said that one with sharp eyes can still discern its outlines. It was simply "brushed out," and indicated more distinctly by "blazed trees." This path later on was known as the "Hempstead Road," and then as the turnpike.
The Merrick Road, or as sometimes designated, the great south road, came next in order. It was built in sections, not continuously; and not until about 1850 was it completed between Merrick and Freeport. Before that time its local terminus in Merrick was west of Merrick river, where a connection was made with the southerly Freeport road, southwest to the old mills and again in a northerly direction into Freeport vilage.
At about this time (1850) a company was organized for the constuction of the South Oyster Bay Turnpike, including the Merrick Road from Babylon to the old Hempstead Turnpike in Merrick, and thence south to Hempstead Plains. The work seems to have been accomplished with but little delay and resulted in pretty general satisfaction to all but stockholders. The original road in Merrick ran within twenty feet of the front door of Mr. John J. Hewlett's house, now occupied by his son, Mr. William E. Hewlett. When the Commissioners reached that point in laying out the new turnpike, to obviate an unnatural curve the course was laid further south, as the road now runs. To this the senior Hewlett strenuously objected, uring as a sufficient reason therefor that it would "cut him off" and leave his house too far away from the travelled thoroughfare. A still more potential argument on is part was a refusal to take additional stock in the company if the change was insisted upon. This might have brought the company to terms had there not been - unfortunately for Mr. Hewlett - another householder further west who insisted with equal pertinacity that the southerly course should be confirmed, in order that he might thus secure a "larger door yard," and agreeing in consideration therefor to take and pay for more stock than would otherwise be purchased by Mr. Hewlett. Such diplomacy was irresistible and the road was changed accordingly.
There were regular lines of stages on the new turnpike from Babylon to Hempstead - thence to Jamaica and Brooklyn. South Oyster Bay had a postoffice, and one was soon after established for Merrick in the old hotel and store combined on the Hempstead Turnpike north of the present railroad crossing. The building was destroyed by fire in 1896. The Merrick postoffice was a genearl point for distribution and the nearest station for people residing in Freeport.
To the west of Mr. Cammann's present residence, and extending from the road in a northerly direction, was a high board fence erected to screen from view objectionable farm buildings further on. In course of time, however, the southerly boards of this fence were cut off at a reasonable height so that stages might more easily be seen from the house as they passed to and fro upon the Merrick Road.
The Plank Road to Jamaica was built about 1854. It commenced at the junction of Hempstead Turnpike with Merrick Road and extended over the latter in a westerly course, bridging Freeport swamps, and furnishing a direct thoroughfare between that village and Merrick. The new road was not a profitable investment, and was soon acquired by the town.
Merrick avenue, extending from the Bay north to the railroad and thence to and beyond the camp grounds, is perhaps as fine a road with its surroundings as can be found on Long Island. It is, the greater part, beautifully shaded, and has a macadam foundation. Previous to 1850, however, it was but a cow path, more particularly designated as "Whale Neck Road," from the stranding of a whale at Whale Neck Point, which whale was later subdivided and transferred in carts over the cow path to settlements further north. A pair of bars then closed Merrick avenue to the public at its junction with the Merrick Road. the necessity for making the path a highway soon became apparent, and it was accordingly set apart for that purpose and reconstructed. Freight from the Merrick dock, at the foot of this avenue, before the days of the railroad, was then received from vessels and conveyed in wagons to all parts of the surrounding country. Indeed, at this period, nearly all freight to and from Hempstead and New York was so transferred. The only ship "Native of America," commanded by Captain Thomas Raynor, made regular trips between the two ports.
To go back to an earlier date, we find what might now be called private roads, but laid out by Commissioners, and entered in the town records. The following is a copy of one of these entries:
"Articles of agreement made by the owners of a certain tract of Meadow Lands Lying in the Township of Hempstead on Little Merrick is as follows: Whereas we the subscribers whose names are herunto Written, Do agree for Ourselves, our heirs and assigns forever that we will take a Road that the Commissioners Shall Lay out. One Rod Wide in Leu of all other Rights or Priviledge that we Heretofore have had, to Pass to and From Our Meadow, For the Use of Carting the Hay Cut on our Respective Meadows, Said Road to Begin at Duryea's Bars, Running as the Path Now Runs to the Bars Near jacob Smith's and Timothy Titus' House, and from thence To the Island as the Cross Way Now Is. One Rod Wide Easterwardly from the Ditch on the West Side of Said Crossway. The Priviledges above written are no Other than the Priviledges we had In the Old Road which we have given for the New One. In witness Whereof We set our Hands, Nov. 9, 1809."
Agriculture naturally occupied the early attention of our colonists and has remained a principal occupation. Records show enormous crops gathererd from productive soil, good prices in return for the same, and a gradual increase in the comforts and surroundings of the farmer. Nevertheless, we find him complaining of exhorbitant taxes, illegal assessments, and protesting to the Colonial Governor his inability to pay them. It is on record that this contention came to naught, but once resulted in an edict from Governor Lovelace to "lay such taxes upon them in future as may not give them liverty to entertain any other thoughts, but how they shall discharge them." This was in 1668.
The Merrick River was then a stream of some importance and for years a source of great value within the hamlet. Upon its banks were no less than four paper mills. The first, about a quarter of a mile north of the present railroad track, was owned by Gilson Willis; Joseph Smart had another, still further north; the next belonged to Isaac Willis, and the last to F. S. Milineaux, but is now transformed into a grist mill. They all did a thriving business for years, and furnished a good market for all straw farmers could bring to them. Rags came from New York and were returned in the form of white paper, by a regular line of packets; leaving a dock below the present residence of Mr. Gilbert Smith. There was every evidence of a long continued prosperity in this branch of manufacture, when that which has proved so destructive to the Eastern End of Long Island - the "Brooklyn Water Works Company" - by authority from the legislature reached out into the township, like the octopus sucking through its tentacles, water from streams and springs to its reservoirs and conduits, until the streams ran dry, the mills were closed, and so the industry came to an end. The several fulling mills which had long done a thriving business were also obliged to close for the same reason.
"Flotsam" and "Jetsam" were terms well known and understood. A copy of one recorded document bearing upon goods of this nature appears of sufficient interest to warrant its repeitition:
"In March, 1814, the Privateer Mars ware Drove on Shore near the New Inlet, by the British Cruisers, and set on fire by them. We, the Subscribers, saved Sum property from her. Jacob S. Jackson and Thomas Treadwell made an agreement with the ajent and part owner, Peter H. Schenck of Save the property from her to the Halves and Deliver said property when saved to New York to said Schenck and to have the one halff of the neate proceeds for saving the same. And the above said property or part of it Whare Delivered to Mr. Schenck at New York by James Bedell, which said Schenck refused to make a settlement for. Now we the subscribers do agree that the sum of money that ware lodged in the hands of Patrick Mott should go towards bringing a sute against Mr. Schenck, and if not a sufficient sum to carry on the sute, we the Subscribers agree to pay all charges that may Crew in carrying on said Sute.
February the 14th, 1816."
As a means for promoting industries, building churches, establishing schools and divers other public works, the lottery was frequently resorted to and was pretty generally in vogue. In 1763 the Reverend Samuel Seabury recorded in his dairy [diary?]: "The ticket No. 5866 in the Light House, drew in my favor, by the blessing of God, 500 for which I now record to my posterity my thanks, and praise to Almighty God, the Giver of all good gifts, Amen."
"There is abundant evidence," says Prime, "that the first settlers of all these towns, from East to West, considered the establishment of schools as second in importance to nothing but the institutions of the gospel, and many of them were as careful to bring their school masters as their ministers with them."
Flint records that schools must have been opened immediately after the colonists settled in Hempstead. As early as 1671 we find an order, signed by Governor Lovelace, to the overseers of Hempsteaad comanding them to "cause speedy payment to be made to Richard Charlton, who kept a school; otherwise he will have good remedy against you at Law."
In 1871 there was a school on Cow Neck, taught by George Sheresby.
The first school house in Merrick was built early in the last century. It was of rough boards and timbers hewn from logs - from its size evidently not intended for a large number of pupils. The remnants of this building may still be seen in rear of Mr. William H. Hewlett's residence, where until fall into decay they did duty for many years as a chicken house. The old boards and logs bear indications that the boys then, as well as now, had jack knives and knew how to use them; they record, cut deep in the wood, initials of many a girl and boy, long since passed away, and of whom there is probably no other memorial extant.
The second school house, on the Merrick Road, east of Mr. Hewlett's, was erected in 1844, and used until the modern building further east was completed in 1892. In this second edifice many of the present residents of Merrick received their education; and for years this school produced the best scholars and gave the most thorough instruction of any on Long Island. The early teacher lived on the premises, sleeping over the school room, and cooking his frugal meals upon the rough apology of a box stove. It is said of one that his chief nutriment was derived from buckwheat cakes in their season, and other kinds of cakes during the rest of the year. An "old boy" remembers that this teacher was famous for his skill in cooking, "and when the process was about to commence the scholars gathered around to watch him flop the cakes on top of the hot iron."
"In Merrick," writes Thompson, "the Methodists have a meeting house, erectred in 1830, and another east in 1840." This first meeting house referred to has been identified as one which stood near Hempstead Turnpike in Freeport, about one mile north of the Merrick Road; it was formerly known as the Sand Hill Church. The grave yard, with is head stones, is yet to be seen in the still kept inclosure where the building formerly stood. The edifice east, to which Thomspon refers, was probably the Merrick school house, where services were occasionally held and a regular Sunday-school maintained.
The first builing erected within Merrick precincts for religious services was undoubtedly the Union Chapel, commenced in the fall of 1875, completed in the summer of 1876, and dedicated Sunday, August 27, of that year, by Methodist Elder Graves.
The famous Merrick camp meeting attracts hundreds of Methodists in August every year. It was established about a quarter of a century ago, and is nowheld on a tract of ninety acres of land, off Merrick avenue, about a mile from the railroad station. An auditorium, capable of seating 1,500 persons, stands in the center of the grounds and around it are grouped some sixty cottages.
Probably the best known portion of Hempstead, the portion which attracts the most visitors every year and has done so for nearly half a century, is the great sand bar which practically stretches along the entire south front of Long Island, forming a succession of inland seas - Hempstead Bay, Jamaica Bay, South Bay - and which is known by many names. The part included in Hempstead township, Long Beach, virtually a continuation of Rockaway Beach, became famous in 1880 for the mammoth summer hotel which was opened for guests. It was a huge structure, capable of entertaining 5,000 guests at one time. Far Rockaway, now incorporated in the Greater New York, was purchased from the Indian proprietors in 1676 by a pioneer named Cornwell, and remained for many years in possession of his descendants. Its Marine Pavillion was long a popular resting place by the sea, and later came more elaborate structures. For the past twenty years Far Rockaway has had a settled community and many really beautiful villas adorn its streets. It does not now attract such throngs of visitors as it formerly did, but it cannot be said that those who have built their summer homes there much regret its loss of popularity in that respect.
From an interesting and valuable monograph on the "History of the Rockaways," by Mr. William Soper Pettit, we quote the following interesting details concerning Rockaway and its environs:
Over half a century ago, this part of Long Island was a fashionable resort, as is shown by the following extracts from the New York Mirror of 1833: "For a number of years the Rockaway beach has attracted numbers of our townsmen with their families to that healthful and agreeable part of Long Island. The atmosphere there is fresh, cool and delightful; invalids soon find themselves invigorated by the constant sea breeze; and the tired denizen of the town, whose scorching pavements have long blistered his feet, and whose heterogeneous and fanciful odors from gutters, sewers, piles of filth, dust and smoke, have regaled his olfactory organ, finds a plunge or two in the Atlantic a truly delicious luxury. They have a real pleasure in perspective, who have never ridden down to that broad, white, endless, magnificent beach, where the heavy swell of the ocean rolls so superbly to the snowy and silvery sand. One after another forever the waves come heaving, swelling, breaking, tumbling, flashing, foaming and roaring in. Hither the stranger delights to resort when the fervor of the long summer day begins to abate. For miles and miles around the eye wanders over the dead level. Fearless of interruption, he loves to feel the grateful, wet, velvet sand crushed beneath his feet as he wanders into the foaming tide, for the next billow. Soon it comes; he takes his place so as to stand exactly within its green transparent curve, when it lifts its head just in the act of breaking. The emerald wall rises suddenly before him, and, with a skillful spring, he plunges headlong into the liquid mass, which bursts above him with stately and measured sweep, while, with a few well time strokes, or, with an attitude braced with more than ordinary care, he stems the swift current of the returning flood, rejoicing in this exercise of his amphibious abilities, till some crab, perhaps as large as his thumb nail, seizes him by the foot, as if the ocean were not big enough for them both, and warns him that he is but a timid instruder in the empire of Neptune."
In 1841, Howe in his history says: "Far Rockaway, about 29 miles from New York (by the old road) has grown into importance as a fashionable watering place. The Marine Pavillion, a splended hotel, was erected here in 1834, near the beach, 76 rods from the ocean."
From the foregoing extracts it will be seen that the Rockaways have long been known and appreciated by the citizens of New York.
Mention has been made of the "Marine Pavillion." This was a hostelry of note in its day; it stood near the Cheever mansion in Wave Crest. In speaking of this hotel Thompson says: "It is a large and splendid edifice standing upon the margin of the Atlantic, and has hitherto been kept in a style not excelled by any hotel in the Union. The main building is two hundred and thirty feet front, with wings, one of which is seventy-five and the other forty-five feet long. The peristyles are of the Ionic order; the piazza being two hundred and thirty-five feet in length by twenty in width. The dining room is eighty feet long, and the drawing room fifty."
The sleeping apartments numbered one hundred sixty. It was erected by an association of gentlemen of the city of New York, and the building cost forty-three thousand dollars.
This grand hotel was destroyed by fire on June 25th, 1864; not a vestige of it remains. "It was made memorable by its old-time hospitality and the distinguised persons who patronized it, among whom were conspicuous, Longfellow, N.P. Willis, Washington Irving, Trumbull the artist, and Genearl George P. Morris," and Herbert, who it is believed indited from its porch the well known lines:
On Long Island's sea-girt shore
Many an hour I've whiled away,
Listening to the breakers' road
That washed the beach at Rockaway.
Transfixed I've stood while Nature's lyre,
In one harmonious concert broke,
And catching its Promethean fire
My inmost soul to rapture woke.
Oh, how delightful 'tis to stroll
Where murmuring winds and waters meet,
Marking the billows as they roll
And break resistless at your feet!
To watch young Iris as she dips
Her mantle in the sparkling dew,
And, chased by Sol, away she trips
O'er the horizons's quivering blue. -
To hear the startling night winds sigh,
As dreamy twilight lulls to sleep,
While the pale moon reflects from high
Her image in the mighty deep:
Majestic scene where Nature dwells,
Profound in everlasting love,
While her unmeasured music swells
The vaunted firmament above.
These verses were put to music, and were popular for many years; "they are supposed to have been inspired by the measured rhythm of the waves breaking against the magnificent jutting headland which is Rockaway's pride."
Other well known personages have had their summer homes in this section: there were the Franklins, of Philadelphia; the Belnnerhassets of Blennerhasset, on the Mississippi; the Livingstons of Livingston Manor; the Van Rensselaers, descendants of the famous patroon; Admiral Wilkes; the Bleekers, the Hoffmans, the Aspinwalls, and the famous Mme. Jumel, widow of Aaron Burr.
At this early period no railroad extended to Rockaway; it was not until 1832 that the Long Island Railroad Company was chartered to run from Brooklyn to Jamaica. All our visitors came in carriages and stage coaches, driven by way of Hempstead. Before the bar was formed opposite Far Rockaway, the beach at low tide stretched out many rods and ws known as The Strand. During the height of the season it was customary to see the white sand dotted with portable tents, under whose shelter were groups of gay young folk from the city and adjoining towns. Bathing was then carried on in a peculiar fashion. The bath houses were on wheels and driven directly into the surf. The bath chair was also in vogue. The scene resembled that of Brighton in England.
Within the last half of the nineteenth century the towns known as Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Arverne, and Edgemere have sprung into existence and have received their names from various sources. Lawrence was named in honor of its founder, Mr. John Lawrence, brother of Messrs. Newbol,d and Alfred Lawrence. This place was recently incorporated and now includes territory formerly within the bounds of Cedarhurst. With its peaceful inhabitants, its scenic landscape, and its clean, shaded and well sprinkled streets, Lawrence is indeed a model village. The ideal name Cedarhurst was given to that sectin fronting the Hempstead Bay, where primeval pine and cedar abound. Here ulta-fashionable colonists have erected handsome summer residences. Cedarhurst is also the home of the Rockaway Hunt Club, an organization that has done much to popularize polo with society people.
Arverne was founded in 1880 by Remington Vernon, who coined the name Arverne, from R. Vernon. Within five years the sand hills of this section were converted into a pretty village.
West of Wave Crest is Edgemere, a fashionable summer resort that has recently come into prominence through the construction of the magnificent hotel of that name, which is directly on the ocean, at the had of the Inlet, with its rear to the bay. "The Edgemere," in its unique position, is one of the most artistocratic hotels on the Atlantic Coast. It enjoys today the reputation the "Marine Pavillion" had a half century ago.
Mr. Lancaster's original idea was to have a "New Venice" at this place, but the uncontrollable deep convinced him that this plan was not feasible.
Until a recent period the development of this part of the beach was very slow, but now it gives promise of becoming the most picturesque section of all "The Rockaways." The arrangement of the streets and the dispostion of the houses are worthy of favorable comment.
Far Rockaway, called "Far" in contradistinction to "Near" Rockaway, measuring from the town seat, Hempstead, is said to be the brightest gem in the diadem of Imperial Manhattan. It is the City by the Sea, which has not been deprived of its rural features. Its railroad facilities and other modern advantages may, without hestiation, be compared with those of any section of our greater city.
The streets in and about Far Rockaway recommend themselves; they are well graded and are either brick or macadamized; all are shaded with maple or other trees. The drives through the adjacent country are unsurpassed. Beautiful scenery and interesting sights abound. The educational facilities of Far Rockaway are exceptionally good. The high school and grammar school, with their efficient corps of teachers, stand second to none in educational advantages. The attractive, convenient and imposing high school building was erected in 1894. Since that time the school has grown to a surprising extent. In 1896 it was necessary to add two wings on the north and south ends, thus nearly doubling the size of the original building. In 1900 a well equipped gymnasium was added, together with a new library of several hundred volumes. During the early part of the last year the Board of Education set up a physical laboratory and business department, which is a new and admirable feature of public school education.
West of Far Rockaway lies beautiful Jamaica Bay, on the shores of which nestle many unique and handsome cottages.
The Bayswater Yacht Club, incorporated in 1892, at the foot of Bayswater avenue, lies situated soem four hundred feet from the shore, surrounded by water. This is the meeting place for those who are fond of yachting and social pleasures. On its roll of membership are to be found the names of Judge Edmund J. Healy, John M. Frucks, S. B. Althause, Thos. Henderson, Watkin W. Jones, Edgar Mott, Richard Mott, F. L. Richmond, Daniel Whitford, John Renehan, John Dohse, David N. Carvalho, Chas. E. Pretz, Rev. Henry Mesier, E. A. Brinkerhoff Sr., Fredk. Hawley, Hubert Cillis, John Guilfoyle, John W. F. Nichols, P. F. Griffin, Frank M. Cronise, Franklin B. Lord, Louis J. Bossert, John F. Schumann, Edward Roche, Andrew McTigue, E. N. Dickerson, Hermann Miller, Malcolm R. Lawrence, Harold Werner, John N. Moser, John W. Masury, H. G. Heyson, F. J. Heney, S. N. Decker, C. R. Betts, A. C. Haynes, J. A. North, D. L. Starks, Wm. J. Buckley, R. W. Buckley, Otto L. Roche, Andrew L. Sullivan, Frank Jenkins, Philip R. Simmonds, Houghton Wheeler, James Lynch, Henry Frielman, and others.
The property designated as Wave Crest (so named by Mr. John H. Cheever) on the west boundary of Far Rockaway, includes the land formerly owned by the Marine Pavillion Association, and what was known as the Clark estate. Until a recent date the grounds were enclosed as a private park, with lodges at the entrances.
Today the gates of Wave Crest are open to the public and it is the delight of all to drive through this picturesque park, with its meandering roads and beautiful lake. Among the residents are: Messrs. A. W. Nicholson, E. A. Brinkerhoff, John Cowdin, Murray, Benjamin F. Einstein, I. A. Bach, M. Foster, Louis Auerbach, Lowenstein and A. J. Bach, Mrs. E. N. Dickson and Mrs. J. Cheever.
Perhaps before closing this sketch it would be appropriate to tell what finally became of the Rockaway tribe of Indians. Alas! They met the same sad fate as the Mohicans.
To the whites these aborigines were just, generous, and hospitable, and less warlike than many other tribes of North America. Their admirable qualities were esteemed by our Quaker forefathers, and from the time of the treaty of 1657 there never was an actual breach of friendship between the English and the Rockaway Indians.
After the natives sold their property at Far Rockaway, for a few cents an acre, they moved eastward to Cedarhurt and, in that vicinity, lived for nearly a century. In the woods near the old turnpike road, at Cedarhurst, lived and died the last of the Rockaway sachems, Cullulco Telawana, who, there is every reason to believe, was a lineal descendant of Tack-pou-sha. Mr. Abraham Hewlett, who in his boyhood, was personally acquainted with this chief, erected a monument to his memory at Cedarhurst, L.I., opposite the Hewlett homestead. About 1819 the tribe left Cedarhurst in a body and joined their brethren on Barnum's Island at Near Rockaway, (now East Rockaway) and there, with the aid of the White Man's fire-water, one by one, went to the happy hunting grounds.
For them - the children of Tack-pou-sha - the beautiful waters laugh no more, for the pale-faces are masters of the earth, and the time of the red men has not yet come again.
In an earlier chapter the entire story of the settlement of Hempstead has been treated somewhat at length [transcriber's note: arrggh! I hate when that happens!], so it is only necessary to say here that the first patent was issued by Governor Kieft November 14. 1644, and this patent was confirmed by those issued March 6, 1666, and April 17, 1685, by Governors Nicolls and Dongan, respectively.