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

Peter Ross.

NY Lewis Pub. Co. 1902

[transcribed by Coralynn Brown]


Properly speaking, the history of Babylon township only commences with March 13, 1782, when she was constituted to the dignity of a separate community with the following as her boundary lines, according to the act of the Legislature:

"On the north by a line commencing at the bounday line between the towns of Huntington and Oyster Bay, one mile north of the line of the Long Island Railway, and running thence easterly until parallel with said Long Island Railway until it reaches a point on the boundary line between the towns of Huntington and Islip one mile north of the Long Island Railroad; on the east by the town of Islip; on the south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the town of Oyster Bay; the eastern and western boundaries being the lines now established and recognized as the town divisions of the said several towns respectively."

Up to the time the act took effect, on the date above given, the general history of Huntington applies to Babylon. It had its Revolutionary experiences and heroes, it had its little excitements in 1812, and it contributed its full proportionate share to the heroes who went to the front in the Civil War, yet these are part of the history of Huntington and only belong to Babylon in a sort of reflected light as the glory of Shakespeare and Milton belongs to the literature of America.

The part of Huntington now included in Babylon had a slow growth. Mr. James M. Cooper, the town's historian, says:
"Doubtless few if any dwellings or other building were erected in this portion of Huntington previous to the year 1700. The land first purchased on the south side was bought for the settlers on the north shore. They bought the marshy necks of land on the South Bay, which were then and now covered with an abundant growth of salt sedge and black grass. These lands at that period appear to have been more highly prized by the inhabitants of the town than the uplands. The farmers were in great need of hay with which to feed their domestic animals and English grasses were but little cultivated on Long Island until about 1800. The early yeomen spent the early portion of the fall months in cutting, curing and carting the hay from these marshes to the northside homes."

Mr. Cooper also remarks: "It is rather a singular fact, although more than two centuries have elapsed since the town has been settled by the white race, and its western limits are only about thirty miles from New York City, more than three-quarters of the land in the town remains in an uncultivated state, that portion which is cultivated being on the eastern and northwestern parts and along the southern or post road."

That was written in 1880, and although the population has wonderfully increased since then, and the railroad mileage more than doubled, and the land boomers have been zealously at work, the same sentence might be penned at the present writing (1901). The shore is now lined with pretty villas and mansions. Babylon and Lindenhurst and other places have become popular centers for the "summer boarder" business, vast hotels have sprung up, some of them among the most perfectly fitted up and most beautifully attractive of any near the metropolis, golf links have been laid out, sporting clubs of all sorts have been organized, and even the sandy wastes of Oak Island and Muncie Island have been adapted to the uses of man and been transformed into health or pleasure resorts; but still the track of all this excitement is bounded pretty much by the lines laid down in 1881. Then, too, it lasts only for about four months in each year, and for the rest of the time, except for its oystering and clamming industry, Babylon township, as a whole, resumes its old-time quietness and solitude.

"The oldest house in the town," writes Mr. Cooper, "perhaps in the county, is situated near the Huntington line. It was built by Captain Jacob Coklin, who was impressed on board of Captain Kidd's ship and served under him on one of his voyages. On Kidd's return from his last voyage, and while his vessel, the 'San Antonio,' lay in Cold Spring Harbor, Conklin and others, having been sent on shore for water, hid themselves and did not return to the ship. Doubtless they feared Kidd's arrest and trial, and dreaded lest they might be punished with him. They were for some time secreted among the Indians. Conklin purchased a large tract of land from the natives, of which the farm late the property of Colonel James F. Casey is part, and upon which the venerable mansion above alluded to is situated. The house was probably erected about 1710, and every part of it bears evidence of its antiquity. The high hill behind the dwelling commands a splended though distant view of the ocean and bay. Near by are several fine springs of water, one of which is said to be of medicinal character.

"Captain Jacob Conklin was born in Wiltshire, England, probably in 1675, and died at his residewnce in this town in 1754. His wife was Hannah Platt, of Huntington, by whom he had several children, among them Colonel Platt Conklin, who was an ardent patiot during the Revolution. The latter had only one child, Nathaniel, who was Sheriff of the county. He was the third owner of the premises above described. This property descended to the grandchildren of Sheriff Conklin, thus having been owned by four successive generations of the family. It has since been owned by Dr. Bartlett, formerly editor of the 'Albion,' Colonel James F. Casey, and Ulysses S. Grant Jr.

The village of Babylon has an existence of about a century, and seems to have originated in a saw mill and a flouring mill built in the closing years of the eighteenth century, although there is a local tradition that the first house was erected about 1760. In 1801 Nathaniel Conklin built a tannery and a cloth mill was begun by Timothy Carll about 1810. Conklin was the owner of large tracts of land in the vicinity of his mill, and it seems to be generally agreed that it was his mother who gave to the place its modern name.

The leading industry in Babylon in these modern times might be described as "hotel-keeping," and the business has been associated with it from almost the beginning of its history. In the beginning of the nineteenth century an inn was opened by Jesse Smith, and the business then established is still known as The American House. It has perhaps, from the historian's point of view, a more interesting record than any existing house of entertainment on Long Island. It was one of the stopping places in the days prior to 1841 of the coaches carrying the mails, and was then a popular place of "refreshment for man and beast." Among its many distinguished guests mention is made of Prince Joseph Bonaparte, ex-King of Spain, who in the course of a tour through Long Island in 1816 put up at the hostelry for several days - longer than he intended to, but he was overtaken by a sudden illness. This distinguished individual traveled around with a good deal of style, and his illness was doubtless a most fortunate source of increase to the week's financial returns. The Prince was in search of a piece of property on which he might settle, but apparently was unable to find what he wanted and continued the search elsewhere, finally locating at Bordertown, New Jersey. In 1840 a much greater man than this King who had retired from business, was a guest for a night at the American House - the immortal Daniel Webster, who rested at Babylon while on his way to arouse the Patchogue Whigs into a proper condition of enthusiasm. This he did, for on such an expedition failure with him was an impossibility.

The Presbyerian Church of Babylon claims an existence since 1798. That was the date when the Presbyterian Church government was effected by the election of a session and trustees, although the charge of the congregation was formally assumed by the Presbytery of Long Island April 11, 1797. It seems to have been an off-shoot from a congregation which in 1730 built a church in Islip township. The Methodist congregation dates from 1840, the Trinity Episcopal Church from 1862, but that parish was afterward merged into that of Christ Church, West Islip. the Baptists founded their church in 1872, and St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church dates from 1878.

Amityville, which was once known as West Neck, seems also to have had its origin in a grist and saw mill, and dates back to about 1780. It had an inn as early as the date of Washington's tour through Long Island, for we read in Onderdonk's "Annals" that the Father of his Country "dined at Zebulon Ketcham's Huntington South and begged the landlord to take no trouble about the fare, and on leaving gave a half Joe and a kiss to his daughter (Ketcham's)."

However, Amityville must be classed as a modern town. Its oyster business is large and prosperous, its hotels are modern and famous all over the country. It has all modern improvements in the way of splendid roads, electric lights and boating and fishing appliances for pleasure seekers and attracts a yearly increasing colony of summer residents of the highest social class.

Lindenhurst, formerly Breslau, only dates back to 1869, when it was founded as a German colony, with manufacturing as its feature, and that feature it still retains. It now has a population estimated at 1,808, an increase of only about 100 in a decade. It is, however, a thriving place, and well adapted as a manufacturing center.

South Oyster Bay, under its modern name of Massapequa, has within the past few years assumed considerable importance as a summer residential village, and its fine hotel and many beautiful and attractive villas. It has an estimated population of about 500.
Deer Park, with an estimated population of 275, West Deer Park with 200, North Babylon with 257, and Maywood with 60, are among the other settlements in the township.


Smithtown is another one-man township, and over all of its early history the sturdy personality of Richard [Bull} Smith appears, - the Smith from whom it takes its name. Up until 1656 he was a resident of Southampton, a man of much influence, one of the "Proprietors," but apparently of a most litigious disposition, one of those individuals who are never so happy as when they have a law-suit on hand. On September 15, 1656, he was ordered by the General Court at Southampton to leave that township within a week and not to return under a penalty of twenty shillings. His crime was "unreverend carriage toward the Magistrates," contempt of court, Pelletreau calls it, and probably some one of the judicial decisions aroused his ire beyond the limits of circumspection. He did not obey the order to its fullest extent, for he remained in the town for several weeks after the decree went forth, but it maked the end of his usefullness in Southampton, and he sold his home lot and other property and removed to Setauket.

"The great aspirations of his life," writes Mr. Pelletreau, "Records of Smithtown" (Introduction, p. 9), "seems to ahve been a desire to be an extensive landlord and to possess a domain of which he was to be the sole ruler, and free from the domination of other jurisdictions." In this he succeeded so far as the extent of his doman was concerned, but up to the close of his earthly career he was almost constantly engaged in litigation with "other jurisdictions" on matters of boundary rights. He was an honest, chivalrous man, a useful citizen, a typical pioneer, a firm friend and a zealous upholder of law and order, - but he evidently loved a law-suit and was never so happy as when he had one on hand.

Smithtown's historians generally date its settlement from 1650. There is extant an Indian deed of that year in which for the inevitable hatchets, kettles, coats, etc., the natives sold "a certain quantity of land, beginning at the river called and commonly known by the name of Nesaquake River, and from that river eastward to a river called Menanusack, lying on the north side of Long Island, and on the south side from Conecticott four necks westward." The buyers named in the deed were Edmond Wood, Jonas Wood, Jeremy Wood, Timothy Wood, Daniel Whitehead and Stephen Hudson.

These men wree simply speculators, and there is no evidence that any of them ever settled on the property they acquired. There is a 'rider' on the document signed in 1663 by Jonas Wood, stating that he in company with Jeremy Wood and Daniel Whitehead "went to view" the territory and found the Indians they met quite disposed to acquiesce in the sale of the lands. But even if the authentiticity of all this be admitted, it presents no evidence of settlement, and it seems certain that Jonas Wood and his associates were only land boomers and sold their "rights" as soon as they could. Jonas' 'rider,' if it be authentic, which is open to doubt, was simply added to perfect Smith's title. Certainly the deed to Jonas and the others was never completed, so far as they were concerned, according to law. The territory now included in the township was peopled only by the Indians when in 1659 most of it was conveyed to Lion Gardiner under the romantic and touching circumstances already related.
The following is a copy of the deed of transference, the original being now in the possession of the Long Island Historical Society:

East Hampton, July 14th, 1659
Be it known unto all men both English and Indians, especially the inhabitants of Long Island, that I, Wyandance, sachem of Paumanack, with my wife and son Wyandanbone, my only son and heir, having deliverately considered how this twenty-four years we have been not only acquainted with Lyon Gardiner, but from time to time and from much kindness of him by counscell and advice in our prosperity, but in our great extremity, when we were almost swallowed up of our enemies - then, we say, he appeared to us not only as a friend, but as a father in giving us money and goods, whereby we defended ourselves, and ransomed my daughter; and we say and know that by this means we had great comfort and relief from the most honorable of the English nation here about us; so that, seeing we yet live, and both of us being now old, and not that we at any time have given him anything to gratify his love and care and charge, we, having nothing left that is worth his acceptance but a small tract of land left us, we desire him to accept for himself, his heirs, executors and assigns forever. Now that it may be known how and where this land lyeth on Long Island, we say it lyeth between Huntington and Setauket, the western bound being Cow Harbor, easterly Acatamunk, and southerly crosses the island to the end of the great hollow or valley, or more than half way through the island southerly; and that this is our free gift and deed doth appear by our hand mark under written.
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
Richard Smythe.

Thomas Chatfield.

Thomas Talmadge.

Wyandance F. M. his mark.

Wyandanbone III, his mark.

The sachem;s wife S. M., her mark.

Richard Smith was a friend of Lion Gardiner of many years standing, and, as will be seen, was one of the witnesses to the above important transfer. Gardiner appears to have done nothing with the property thus presented to him except to hold it. But Smith, from his home at Setauket, saw the land and knew it to be good and concluded it to be the place by which his long cherished desire for a large estate might be gratified. What the consideration was is not clear, but in 1663 Gardiner conveyed to Smith his entire rights. Gardiner died that year, and it seems doubtful if the transfer was fully effected. However, on the 15th of October, 1664, David Gardiner, son and heir of Lion, acknowledging to have recevied "satisfaction," and so the transfer from the Gardiner family was complete. On April 6, 1664, Smith added to his holding by a fresh purchase from the Indians, which, it was thought, wiped out any claim which might linger among those connection with the Jonas Wood Syndicate:

This writing witnesseth, that when Nassesconset sould that part of land on the east siede of Nessequage River unto Jonas, Jerime, Timothy wood, and daniell whitehead, and others, that then my sayed unkle did Resarve half the sayed Neck, called and Knowne by the name of Nesequage neck, to himselve and Nesequage Indiens, to live and to plant on. I Nassekege, being soele haire to all Nassesconset's land on the Est siede of Nesequage River, doe by these pressents for me and my haires make over all our interest in the sayed halve neck unto Richard Smith, of Nessequag, senyer, the same to have and to hould, to him and his haires forever; and Nassekege doth further wittness of my knowledge that Nineponishare wsa formerly apoynted, Nesaconnopp and myselve was apoynted by young Nasseconsett my unckle, as Joynt haires to them both to mark the bounds of Nessequag land for Richard Smith, and we did doe it according to the saels which they had formerly made unto Raconkumake, a fresh pond aboute the midle of long Island, acording to the order that they both did give to us, beeing acompaned with John Catchem and Samuel Adams and Mawhew, to mark the trees - aperell 6th 1664.

I Nassakeag, doe owne that the above saied was wittnessed by Richard Odell, and Richard Harnett doth promis to own and above saied before the governor or any else, Nassekeag X mark having Reserved full satisfacktion for the premises to his content.

wittnes Massetuse X his mark.

the writeing above was owned by Nasekeage and Massetuse to be true in my presens.

Richard Woodhull.
Dorothy Woodhull.

So far as the Indians were concerned Smith had now a clear title to most of his land. But Indian deeds were not titles at law, being simply evidence of possession. The land, according to the British law, belonged to the Crown and could only pass from it by a direct patent, the Indian documents being generally accepted as indicating boudary lines and as evidence of conformity to the statute ordaining that the aborigines were to be satisfied in the first instance as a means of keeping these children of nature in good humor. So Smith applied for and obtained the following patent from Governor Nicholls:

A confirmation of a tract of land called Nesequauke granted unto Richard Smith of Long Island.

Richard Nicolls Esqr, Governor under his Royall highness James, Duke of Yorke &c of all his Territories in America,
To all to whome these presents shall come sendeth greeeting.

Whereas there is a certain parcel or tract of land situate, lying and being in the East Riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island, commonly called or known by the name of Nesaquauke Land, Bounded Eastward with the Lyne lately runne by the Inhabitants of Seatalcott as the bounds of their town, bearing Southward to a certaine ffresh Pon called Raconkamuck, from whence Southwestward to the Head of Nesaquauke River, and on the West side of the said River so ffarr as is at this present in ye possession of Richard Smith as his proper right and not any wayes claymed or in controversy betweene any other persons; which said parcell or tract of land (amongst others) was heretofore given and granted by the Sachems or Indyan proprietors to Lyon Gardiner of Gardiner's Island, deceased, and his heirs, whose interest and estate therin hath beene sold and conveyed unto Richard Smith and his Heires, by vertue of which hee claymes his propriety; and whereas the commissioners authorized by a Genall Court held at Hertford in his Maties Colony of Conecticot did heretofore - That is to say in ye month of June 1662 - make an agreement with the said Richard Smith. That upon the conditions therein exprest hee the said Richard Smith should place Twenty ffamilyes upon the said land; Now know yee that by vertue unto mee by his Royall Highness Duke of Yorke, I do ratify and confirme the said agreement, and do likewise hereby give, confirme and graunt unto the said Richard Smith, his heirs and assignes the said Parcell or Tract of land called or knowne by the name of Nesaquauke Lands, bounded as aforesaid, together with all the lands, woods, meadows, Pastures, Marshes, Waters, Lakes, ffishings, Hunting, and ffowling, and all other proffitts, commodityes and Emoluments to the said parcell or tract of Land and Premisses belonging, with their and every of their appurtenances and of every part and parcell thereof. To have and to hold the said Parcell or Tract of Land, with all and singular the appurtenances, unto the said Richard Smith, his Heirss and Assignes, to the proper use and behoofe of the said Richard Smith, his Heirs and assignes for ever, upon the conditions & Termes hereafter exprest. That is to say: That in Regard there hath arisen some dispute and controversy between the Inhabitants of the Towne of Huntington and Captaine Robert Ceely of the same place concerning that Parcell of land lying to ye westward of Nesaquauke River, which for the consideration vertue of the aforementioned Agreement was to enjoy. But now is molested and hindered in the quiet Possession thereof, The said Rich'd Smith shall bee oblieged to Settle only tenne ffamilyes on the lands before mentioned within the space of three years after the date hereof. But if it shall hereafter happen that the said Richard Smith shall cleere his Title and bee lawfully possest of the premises as aforesaid, that then hee the said Richard Smith shall settle the full number of Twenty familyes within Five yeares after such Clearing of his Title, and being lawfully Possest as aforesaid, and shall fulfill whatsoever in the said Agreem't is required. And for an encouragement to the said Richard Smith in his settling the ffamilyes aforementioned the Plantations upon the said Nassaquauke Lands shall, from the first settlement untill the expiration of the Terme or Termes of years, bee free from all Rates, or Taxes, and shall have no dependence upon any other place; but in all respects have like and equall privileges with any Town within this Governm't, Provided always That the said Richard Smith, his Heires and Assignes shall render and pay such other acknowledgements and dutyes as are or shall be Constituted and Ordained by his Royall Highness the Duke of Yorke and his Heires, or such Governor or Governors as shall from time to time be appointed and Sett over them.

Given under my hand and Seale at ffort James in New Yorke this 3d day of March in the Eighteenth yeare of the Rayne of our Sovraign Lord Charles the Second by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, ffrance and Ireland, Defender of the ffaith &c., And in the year of our Lord God 1665.

Richard Nicolls.

Still the Indians were not entirely satisfied and Smith had to give a dozen coats, a blanket, a gun, some powder and shot and various other commodities before he satisfied, in 1665, the last of the Indian cliamants to his extensive possessions. It will be seen that the Nicolls patent conferred upon the territory the dignity and privileges of a town, and soon after its receipt the patentee, "Mr. Richard Smith of Nessaque," as he is descibed, identified his own name with his eatate as "Smithfield," at least we find it so mentioned on March 8, 1666. The patent also shows he had a dispute on hand with the people of Huntington as to his boundary lines, and soon afterward he had similar trouble with Brookhaven and a long course of litigation followed, lasting until 1775. Into the details of that long controversy over the boundaries there is no occasion to enter here; the interest in the matter is purely antiquarian, and is of no practical or even historical importance. Smith fought every phase of the dispute with dogged pertinacity and on the whole was successful in his claims. A curious feature of his defensive operations was his defense against a claim set up for some of his lands by John Saffin, administrator of the estate of Captin Thomas Willett, to whom the Jonas Wood syndicate had disposed of an interest in their purchase of 1650. The claim was duly entered, but the claimants were silenced in some way by Smith, for it seems not to have been pushed. Several other claims were brought against this property under the same 1650 deed, but he seems to have settled them out of court. The last settlements of which there is record were dated on March 3, 1684, by the sons of Daniel Whitehead and Timothy Wood.

But long before that date Smith had still further fortified his position by obtaining a fresh patent from Governor Andros, in which the township honors were renewed, the boundaries again defined and the name of Smithtown, for the first time, given to the territory.

The patent read as follows:

Edmund Andros, Esquire, Seigneur of Sausmares, Lieutenant and Governor General under his Royall Highness James Duke of York and Albany, and of all territories in America,
To all to whom these presents shall come, sending greeting.

Whereas there is a certain parcell of land situate, lying and being in the East riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island, commonly called or known by the name of Nesaquauke lands, bounded eastward by a certain runn of water called Stony Brook, stretching north to the Sound, and soutward bearing to a certain fresh water pond called Raconkamuck, being Setalcott west bounds, from thence Southwestward to the head of Nesaquake River, and so along the said river as it runs into the Sound; Also another parcell or tract of land on the West side of the said river, extending to the westermost part of Joseph Whitman's Hollow, as also to the west side of Leading Hollow to the fresh pond Unshemamuck, and the west of that pond att high water mark, and so to the Sound, being Huntington east bounds; which said parcell or tract of land, on the East side of Nesaquake River, was heretofore granted by patent unto Richard Smith, the present possessor, by Coll. Richard Nicolls, and to his heyres and assigne forever; as also that on the west sude if said river, with some provisioes and restrictions; and which has since, by due course of law, att the General Court of Assizes held in the year of 1675, been recovered by the said Richard Smith from the town of Huntington.

Know ye that by vitue of his Ma'ties letters patent, and the commission and authority unto me given by his Royall Highness, have rattifyed, confirmed and granted, and by these presents do ratify, confirm and grant unto the said Richard Smith, his heyres and assigns, the aforesaid parcells or tracts of land on both sides of the Nesaquake River. Together with all the lands, soyles, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, lakes, waters, fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling and all other profits, commodities and emoluments to the said parcells of land and premises belonging with their and every of their appurtenances, and every part and parcell thereof. To have and to hold the sayd parcells or tracts of land and premises, with all and singular the appurtenances, unto the said Richard Smith, his heyres and assigns, to the proper use and behoof of him, the said Richard Smith, his heyres and assigns for ever. The tenure of the said land and premises to bee according to the custom of the manor of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in England, in free and common soccage and by fealty only. As also that the said place bee as a township, and bee called and known by the name of Smithfield or Smithtown, by which name to be distinguised in all bargains and sales, deeds, records and writings. The said Richard Smith, his heyres and assigns, making due improvement on the land afore mentioned, and continuing in obedience and conforming himself, according to the laws of this government, and yielding and paying therefor yearly and every year unto his Royal Highness's use, as an acknowledgement or quit-rent, one good fatt lamb unto such officer or officers as shall be impowered to receive the same.

Given under my hand and sealed with the seal of the province in New York, this 25th day of March in the twenty-ninth year of his Ma'ties reign.

Anno. Dom. 1677.

E. Andros.

Smith does not appear to have troubled himself about bringing settlers to his domain. He had nine children - Jonathan, Obadiah, Richard, Job, Daniel, Adam, Samuel, Elizabeth and Deborah. Obadiah was accidentally drowned Aug. 7, 1680, and was buried at Nissequogue, near his father's home, being the first whilte man interred in Smithtown.

Eliazabeth married, as his second wife, Col. William Lawrence, of Flushing, and her sister, Deborah, married a son of that gentleman by his first wife, so that the family relations became a little mixed. On her husband's death, in 1680, Elizabeth was left with seven children. A year later she married Philip Carteret, Governor of East Jersey, and gave her name to the town of Elizabeth. Carteret died in December 1682, and she afterward married Col. Richard Townley.

Richard Smith's six sons all settled in Smithtown and their descendants until the Revolution and long after made up the bulk of the population. In 1689 some land to the south of that covered by the Smith patents, "known by ye name of Winnecomac," was sold by the Secatogue Indians to John Scidmore and John Whitman and this tract was afterward sold and subdivided and the whole was incorporated in the township in 1788, and then defined its boundaries as follows:
"All that part of the county of Suffolk bounded southerly by Islip, northerly by the Sound, westerly by Huntington and easterly by the patent of Brookhaven, including Winne Comick shall be and herby is erected into a town by the name of Smithtown."

When the war of the Revolution broke out the population of Smithtown was 555 whites and 161 negroes. Town meetings had been held at least from 1715, when the existing records commence, but they had very little to discuss except surveys, ear-marks, highways, the "disposition of the claims in Stony Brook Harbour," and the like, until the time of the great crisis was at hand. Living to a great extgent by themselves, making their own little laws and apparently regardless of whether the continent was in the hans of the English, the Dutch or the Continentals, one would have thought that the interest of Smithtown in the Revolutionary movement would have been passive. But the opposite was the case and nowhere on Long Island was there to be found a greater proportion of patriots. In fact when the time came for men to declare themselves only 15 Loyalists were to be found in the town. At a town meeting in 1774 the position of the people was clearly stated and its representatives in the Provincial Congress, Thomas Treadwell, was one of the msot outspoken and determined patriots in that body. Smithtown contributed a company to Col. Jonash Smith's regiment of militia and it is supposed that it took part in the battle of Brooklyn, but as to that there is no certain knowledge.

The names of those who signed and of those who refused have been preserved and as the list has a genealogical value, apart from its historic interest, it is here presented:
Solomon Smith, Daniel Smith, Thomas Treadwell, Epenetus Smith, Philetus Smith, Jacob Mills, Edmund Smith jun., Willliam Phillips, Esq., Elemuel Smith, sen., William Phillips jun., Samuel Blidenburg, Isaac Smith jun., Samuel Buchanan, Benjamin Brewster, Nathaniel Smith, Samuel Smith, Paul Gillet, Ebenezer Smith, Jedediah Mills, Joshua Smith, Daniel Brush, Thomas Wheeler, David Smith, George Wheeler, Joseph Smith jun., Jonathan Mills, Samuel Hazzard, Job Smith, Joseph Blydenburgh, Jeffrey Smith, Obadiah Smith, Isaac Smith, Abner Smith, Jacob Longbottom, Selah Hubbs, Samuel Tillotson jun., Micah Wheeler, Elias Gerrard, Jacob Wheeler, William Nicoll, Jacob Conklin, James L'Homedieu, Ebenezer Phillips, Isaac Mills, Samuel Soaper, Daniel Tillotson, William Mills, John L'Homedieu, Nathaniel Taylor, Lemuel Smith jun., Jesse Arthur, Stephen Rogers, Floyd Smith, Benjamin Gerrard, Caleb Smith, Joseph Platt, Timothy Mills, Zephaniah Platt, Jonas Wheeler, John Stratton, Zebulon Phillips, Aaron Smith, Richard Smith, Henry Rosecron, Jacob Smith, Obadiah Smith, Jesse Smith, Samuel Phillips, Benjamin Blydenburgh, Benjamin Nicolls jun., Platt Wheeler, John Gerrard, Nicholas Tillotson Jacob Longbottom, Nathaniel Gerrard, John L'Homedieu, Zophar Mills, Nathaniel Platt, Floyd Smith, Timothy Wheeler sen., Jonas Mills, Timothy Wheeler jun., Stephen Nicoll, William Gerrard, Micah Smith, Israel Mills, Daniel Wheeler, Israel Mills, Jacobus Hubbs, James Paine, Zophar Wheeler, Platt Arthur, Benjamin Nicoll, Gamaliel Conklin, Thomas Wheeler, Jonas Mills, Jeremiah Wheeler, Epenetus Wood, Jonathan Sammis sen., Nathanael Smith.

The recusants were:
Isaac Newton, Caleb Newton, John Newton, James Smith, William Smith, Jonathan L'Homdieu, William Thompson, Alexander Munsel, Peter Smith, John Edwards, Stephen Smith, Gershom Smith, Joseph Gould jun., Silas Biggs, Zophar Scidmore.

During the occupation Smithtown was the scene of several encounters, chief of which was the fight at Fort Slongo, in which Col. Tallmadge figured so heroically. Many of the leading citizens, such as Richard Smith - the representative of the founder of the town - the third in direct descent - the Rev. Joshua Hart, the Presbyterian preacher, Zephaniah Platt, and others, were sent to prison in New York. Others fled over into Connecticut and all who remained were compelled to take the oath of allegiance. The coast line was a constant scene of turmoil and pillage and Whig and Tory alike proved equally welcome prey to the marauders, who uncer the guise of patriotism or loyalty really performed the crimes of shore pirates.

Smithtown recovered slowly, very slowly, from the effects of the occupation. Farming was resumed, a few mills were erected here and there, the oyster business was languidly prosecuted, and clamming formed quite an industry, but fishing seemed more of an amusement than a serious occupation. Until the advent of the railroad Smithtown was forgotten by the rest of New York and seemed to be quite content with that condition of things. Even to the present day it is felt that the resources of the township have never been fully developed, and its healthfullness, picturesque coast and rich natural scenery have never been fully made known, and that it has not become the fashion among the "summer people" as Islip or Southampton. But all things come to him who waits and it requires little of the gift of prophecy to say that the time is not far distant when Smithtown will fully share in the harvest reaped by her sister townships. Already it has two fashionable clubhouses - the Wyandanch and the Rassapaque - and of late years many attractive villas have been erected along the shore of the Sound. The "land boomers" have helped to retard the growth of the township, perhaps more than aught else in these modern days.

From a religious point of view the early history of Smithtown is pretty much a blank. It does not seem that the original Smith or his immediate descendants made any provision for the maintenance of a clergyman in their domain. Prime says that the first church was erected at Nissequague, but could not give any date for its erection. It seems that it was removed to Smithtown Branch in 1750, and that in 1751 it had seven members. Its ministers seldom stayed long and there were long intervals between the pastorates - 20 years on two occasions. In 1808 a Methodist church was erected at Hauppauge, and in 1845 a Roman Catholic congregation was formed there. In 1853 an Episcopalian church was built at St. James, the modern name for the village of Sherrawog.

Smithtown Branch, with an estimated population of 500, is the most thickly populated of all the villages in the township, with the exception of Kings Park or St. Johnland, which mainly through its institutions claims some 1,050. Smithtown Village ("Head of the River") only has 215, and St. James, in spite of several years successive "booming," 400. Hauppauge has 380, but the rest of the villages will fall below the 300 mark.

It is the custom to treat the homes of the Society of St. Johnland in a separate division from the other attractions of King's Park, that is, they are regarded as in that village but not of it. There is no more useful or more truly charitable work carried on anywhere than in these institutions, where aged men are enabled to await the close of life's generally disastrous and poverty-stricken journey in comfort and peace and where children are received, clothed, fed and educated in a manner calculated to develop them into strong, active and intelligent citizens whose labors in years to come will add to the general welfare of whatever section where their lots may be cast.

During the year ending December 1, 1901, the Society had maintained in these institutions 51 aged men, 83 boys and 60 girls, at a per capita cost of about $175, and had received legacies during the same period amounting to $27,761, which had been added to its general fund - the fund which insures the permanence of the work. Truly in this case the perpetual power of good is clearly illustrated. Dr. Muhlenburg, the founder of the institution, has long rested from his labors, leaving behind a sainted memory, yet his example and his work still bring forth good fruit and daily render grand service to the cause of humanity - the cause of Christianity. At the annual meeting of the Society of St. Johnland held in the closing week of 1901, the following officers were elected:
The Rev. Dr. Henry Mottet, President; William Alexander Smith, Vice-President; Dr. Frederick D. Hyde, Secretary; Francis M. Bacon, Treasurer. Trustees - W. Alexander Smith, Bishop Henry C. Potter, A. W. Hard, George Blagden, the Rev. Dr. Mottet, John A. McKim, Joseph Park, J. H. Hewson, James McLean, Joseph Park, F. M. Bacon, Theodore Thomas, Roswell Eldridge, Dr. F. E. Hyde, the Rev. Dr. W. M. Grosvenor, John H. Cole, George E. Chisholm, John Seely Ward Jr., the Rev. James E. Freeman, Avery D. Andrews, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, S. Nicholas Kane, William N. Wilmer, James K. Gracie, and William G. Davies.

Superintendant - Rev. N. C. Halsted


If Babylon Township is practically stripped of its ancient history, its neighbor, Islip, fully makes up for it in this regard, even although its career as a township only dates from 1710 and the township records from 1720. It has an area of about 72,000 acres, is about 16 miles in length, and in breadth measures about 8 miles, from the "backbone" of the island to the shores of the Great South Bay.

It never was, and it probably never will be, a fertile region, except in its southern portion, and it was a region of slow growth until it was discovered by the summer boarder.

In 1880 its population was 6,490, in 1890 11,073 and in 1900 12,545. In the latter decade it had not only been discovered by the summer boarder but had been taken up by society and been made fasionable.

In his survey of the history of this township, Mr. Prime commences with a plaint that is much better founded than most of his pessimistic utterances - and these are many. He said: "Here we have a striking illustration of the pernicious influence on the interests of population resulting from the accumulation of land in the hands of a few owners; especially where that accumulation is perpetuated by the old feudal law of entailment. Although a large portion of this town is naturally incapable of maintaining a large population, as it embraces extensive tracts of sterile plains and vast swamps, yet the necks and other tracts of land are good and capable of sustaining a much larger number of inhabitants than it now contains; and as the law of entailment is now abrogated, it may be expected that the evil will be gradually remedied, though time will be required to render the work effuctual."

This was written in 1845, and the trouble complained of has been most effectually remedied, but it is to be questioned whether Islip's real popularity and prosperity were retarded when for a year by the arrangement so denounced. The iron horse was the great clearer of feudal notions and Puritanic isolations of Long Island as elsewhere.

Its coast, on the Great South Bay, is an exceedingly beautiful one, while the waters of the bay itself afford aquatic sport of all kinds. Its shores are lined with pleasant cottages and huge hotels, summer boarding places of all descriptions, while here and there rise veritable palaces, and now and again we encounter enclosures of private property almost rivaling in size baronail manors and certainly exceeding most of such old-time relics in the elegance of their equipment and the extent of their resources. Even Fire Island, that part of the great sand bar which separates the Great South Bay from the Atlantic, has been brought into requisition for the summer boarder trade, although it must be confessed, without the same degree of financial success that has crowned the efforts of the upbuilders of such resorts on the mainland of the township.

The story of Islip, the story, that is, from the time when the white man generously took up its burden from the red man, introduces us in the first place to a single landgrabber rather, as in other townships, to an organization of men seeking to benefit wheir wordly prospects or to promote their religious freedom and fellowship, or to enjoy civil liberty according to their own ideas. Matthias Nicolls, the compiler, it is alleged, of "the Duke's laws," and secretary of the Province, and connected in one way or another with it in an official capacity almost until his death, in 1687, was so fond of Long Island that he secured quite a large estate at Great Neck in the present township of North Hempstead. His son, William, followed in his footsteps and became famous as a lawyer and local politician. In 1683 he purchased a large tract of land from the natives, of which more anon, and the same year he was appointed clerk of Queens County. In 1687 he was appointed Provincial Attorney General. After his father's death he settled in New York and became a leader in politics and at the bar. He opposed the little movement of Jacob Leister, and was held by that serio-comic potentate as a prisoner. When that crisis was over he got his reward in being made a member of Council, andin 1695 he was sent by the New York Assembly on a mission to the crown with the view of getting the other colonists to share in the cost of the defence of Britain's strip of coast against the inroads of the French, which fell almost wholly upon New York from its geographical position. In 1698, in the course of the kaleidoscopic change so frequent in the history of American politics, Nicolls was again among the outs. Gov. Bellomont summarily dismissed him from the Council. However, he soon showed the extent of his influence, for in 1701 he was elected a member of Assembly from Suffolk county, but was not permitted to take his seat on the ground that his election was illegal, he being a non-resident. He got over that by erecting a manion - Islip Granbe - on the Great South Bay, and in 1702 was again chosen to represent Suffolk and so continued for 21 years, and for 16 years was Speaker of the Assembly. He died at Islip Grange in 1723.

The land which in 1683 Nicolls bought the Indians was confirmed to him by patent issued in the following year by Gov. Dongan. In 1686 he still added to his holdings by further puchases from the Indians, and again Gov. Dongan issued a confirmatory patent, and he secured another addition in 1697 by deed from Gov. Fletcher. Thompson estimates the area of Nicolls' holdings at 60 square miles. In 1692 Nicolls had a neighbor in Andrew Gibb, Clerk of Queens county, who that year got a patent for a big tract at the east side, while in 1695 a tract on the west side of the Nicolls lands was given by Gov. Fletcher to Thomas and Richard Willets. Other patents were those in 1692 to Stephen Van Cortlandt, and in 1708 to John Mowbray, who is described as a tailor from Southampton. All the patentees seem to have settled more or less on their respective holdings, excepting Van Cortlandt, who was probably the most active of the local statesmen of his time, filling every office of importance in the Province except that of Governor. He was a solider, a merchant, Mayor of New York, member of Council, Judge of the Common Pleas in Kings County, and it is hard to tell all what.

Practically all of the present township of Islip was held by these men, excepting a small portion in the north which no one seemed to want. Mowbray seems to have gone into the business of selling portions of his extensive real estate as soon as all the legal requirements which invested him with proprietorship had been compiled with. The others, however, held on to theirs, probably, as in the case of Nicolls and his heirs, with the view of keeping intact a great estate, which would by its very extent confer distinction.

But under such cirumstances the territoty did not attract much additions to its population. William Nicolls did not spend much of his time for many years at Islip Grange, and there is a tradition that Andrew Gibb, in his anxiety to have a neighbor he could speak to, deeded a large share of his land to Amos Willets, a Quaker, on condition that the latter should live near him, and the bargain was carried out. There is also a tradition that William Nicolls tried to induce a settlement in or near the present village of Islip but was not very successful. It was probably not until all of the original patentees had been gathered to their fathers that the entrance gates were unbarred sufficiently to permit others to enter and "enjoy the land."

In 1720, when the records of the township, as such, commence, the freeholders were:
Benjamin Nicolls (Supervisor)
Thomas Willets {Assessor).
John Mowbray (Assessor).
Isaac Willets (Collector).
David Akerly.
Joseph Dow.
John Moger.
James Saxton (Constable).
William Gibb.
George Phillips Jr.
John Arthur.
Amos Powell.
John Smith.
Samuel Muncy.
William Green.
Richard Willets.
William Nicolls.
Anning Mowbray.
Joseph Saxton.
James Morris.
Israel Howell.
John Scudder.
Ananias Carll.
Stephen White.
Amos Willets.
Daniel Phillips.
Joseph Udall.
Samuel Tillotson.

The town meeting was a humble affair until long after the 19th century had dawned. It could not be otherwise in the presence of the large landed interests which were on every side of "the precinct of Islip." In 1737 Ananias Carll, John Arthur and John Scudder were elected Overseers of the Poor, which may be accepted as evidence of increasing population and advancing civilization, but the principal work of the town meetings even up to 1820 was to attempt to restrict the harvest of the sea, or as much of it as lay before them, to the actual residents. Fishing was for long the main industry of the people, and clamming and oystering in time reached large proportions, and continues to afford employment to several thousands of people in one way or another. For many years the forests of pine and oak, which seem to have in primitive times covered the township, afforded a revenue for the patentees and much employment to the people. But as the timber was cut down it was not replaced, and as the supply of nature gave out the employment ceased, the mills which had been built to cut the wood into staves, etc., fell into decay, and the ground on which the "monarchs of the forest" stood was given over to brushwood. Several mills were started from time to time, and no part of Long Island was better adapted for manufacturing purposes, but few had any pronounced success, few lasted over a decade in any one's hands. Stock-raising, although extensively engaged in for some years, gradually became unprofitable, and in 1876 was abandoned altogether as a recognized industry.

The population increased slowly:

in 1820 it was figured at 1,156, in 1830 as 1,653, in 1840 as 1,909, and in 1850 as 2,602. It was not until the land monopoly was abandoned and the railway crossed its territory that Islip began to assume its modern position and popularity.

The early church of Islip is an extremely scanty one, as might easily be imagined from the way in which its territoty was portioned off. Thompson gives the first church building as that of St. Joseph's Episcopal, "a grotesque-looking edifice of small dimensions and singular shape, standing upon the country road near the middle of Nicoll's patent. It was erected in the year 1766, principally, if not entirely, at the expense of the then opulent proprietor of that immense estate," Prime places the rection of the building three years later, saying: "In 1769 a small church edifice was erected by the patentee near the middle of the town on the south road, designed for the celebration of divine worship according to he forms of the Episcopal Church, and was occasionally used for that purpose, though it long remained unblessed by prelatical hands.

From 1814 the Rev. Charles Seabury, rector of Caroline Church, at Setauket, acted as missionary to this congregation and devoted a portion of his time to its service. In 1843 this church was repaired and enlarged and on the 6th of July duly consecrated by the Bishop." Prime also mentions an Indian congregation but seems to doubt if it had a regular house of worship.

The Methodist Church in Islip village dates from 1810, although the first church was not erected until 1828. It was a wooden structure measuring abour 22 feet by 32, and was erected so as to be as convenient as possible to the brethren in Penataquit as Bay Shore ws then called. It was not until 1850 that Methodism organized a separate society at Bay Shore, and about 1854 a small chapel was erected. The best of feeling during all the separation proceeding seems to have prevailed between the brethren at Islip and theose at Penataquit. Amos Doxsee, the leader of the first class at the latter place, was, like all of his family, a stanch supporter of Methodism, a believer in the most literal interpretation of the Scriptures and in their verbal interpretation. It is told of him that at a meeting of the clergy and laity to give expression of their views on dancing, which was beginning to creep into the early church, having held back and being appealed to by the pastor for his opinion, he stood up and, slowly raising his tall, gaunt figure on tiptoe said: "Now I'll tell you what I think about dancing. Let a man be filled with the Holy Ghost and if he wants to dance, let him dance."

One of his brothers, Leonard, was class leader for over 20 years, and another brother, Benjamin, was a trustee for some 40 years and was proud at being able, in spite of the weight of years, to work a little on the walls of the Tabernacle of 1892, the latest development of the home congregation which his family had been so prominent in founding. Many of the old members of the church even now recall the grand "seasons of refreshing" in 1877 and 1878, when the Rev. Stephen Rushmore led in a series of revivals which are said to have stirred Bay Shore to its depths.

A Methodist class ata Sayville was organized abouat 1838 by members of the church at Patchogue, but it was not until 1847 that a house of worship was erected, and it continued to be associated with Patchogue until 1866, when it became a separate charge. A class was formed at Great River in 1872 and at Bayport in 1874.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church at Islip was organized in 1847 under the Rev. William Everett. Its present building was erected in 1880 by William H. Vanderbilt. This church has mission stations at Central Islip since 1869, and at Brentwood since 1872. Emanuel Church at Great River was organized in 1862 by St. Mark's, but in 1878 it was erected into a separate parish. Christ Church, West Islip, dates from 1869, and St. Ann's at Sayville from 1866. The Presbyterian Church of Islip had its beginning in 1854, and the Dutch Reformed Church dates its entrance into the township from 1866, one year before its church at Sayville was erected.

Writing 20 years ago, one of Islip's historians said that "so thickly are summer residences scattered along the South Road through this town that it is almost a continuous village." For some years past that word "almost" could be eliminated and the sentence would hold good today. All along the line of the railroad and the South Road is a continuous succession of villages, hemlets, county seats and villas from Udall's Road to Bayport. Some of the villages have considerable population - Bay Shore, 3,135; Islip, 1,956; Sayville, 3,369; Youngsport, 571; Central Islip (including the Manhattan State Hospital), 1,600; Great River, 571 - but all are new - too new to have acquired much in the way of history, except such society data as might pass as such among a class, but data of that kind, doings of coaching and kennel clubs, the progress of horse shows and the ups and downs of the ancient and royal game of golf are haradly worthy of serious chronicle. Bay Shore, which was once called Mechanicsville, and then Penanquit (the Indian name of a small stream in the vicinity) is, next to Islip, the most ancient village in the township, but like Islip, its modernity is its chief characteristic. The main business of all the villages except, perhaps, Bohemia, is summer-boarding; and summer boarders, especially of the class which seems to have taken hold of Islip, want modern improvements; for Islip has become fashionable. Its splendid hotels and clubhouses, and the magnificent estates of W. K. Vanderbilt, F. G. Bourne, W. K. Aston, the Cutting family, as well as the hundreds of palatial villas which have been erected mainly by New Yorkers for their summer homes, have drawn to it people of the very highest class, people who by their means and tastes made even much of its sandy wastes bloom into veritable gardens. There is an air of exclusiveness outside the villages and hotels which seems to be especially pleasing to those who regard themselves as the fashionable world, while such enterprises as the group of Moorish houses, erected by H. O. Havermeyer at Bayberrry Point, near Islip, is an experiment in the way of co-operation among the very rich which will be watched with curious interest.

The Vanderbilt estate at Oakdale, with its new mansion costing, it is said, $1,600,000, and its thousand acres of farm garden and wood land, and its iron fence, beautiful entrances, lodges, farm buildings, game preserves, and it is hard to tell all what, is a veritable fairy-land and one of the wonders of Islip. It is a part of the old Nicolls patent, and when it first passed into the hands of the Vanderbilts was a mass of brush and shrub, half-starved fields, and broken-down steadings. Now its gardens, its groves of oak and maple, its well kept lawns and smiling fields seem to speak eloquently of how man can triumph over nature with the aid of determination, taste, ambition and money. During late years trees have been planted liberally all along the line of population, and Islip now boasts of her pine and other forests, while nature has also been at work replacing the damage done by the depletion of a generation that has now passed, and it is safe to say that the value of such forests is now too highly appreciated to permit again of their wanton destruction for purposes of firewood.

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