Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, November 30, 2007

1820 Advertisement for Sale of Nicholas Haight's Farm on Rodman's Neck


In 1820 Nicholas Haight published an advertisement offering his 130-acre farm located on Rodman's Neck. The text of that brief advertisement appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.

"FOR SALE,

A FARM belonging to the subscriber, situate at Pellham, in the county of West Chester, about fifteen miles from the city of New York, commonly called Rodman's Neck, containing one hundred and thirty acres of as good land as any in this state, and is in good cultivation and repair. There are upon this farm, several scites [sic] for dwelling houses, commanding as extended and beautiful prospects as any within the county of West Chester. The title is indisputable. -- A map of the premises is left at the office of PETER JAY MUNRO, esq. No. 5 Nassau-street, to whom I refer persons inclined to purchase

Feb 21 - 1st*

NICHOLAS HAIGHT."

Source: For Sale, The National Advocate, Vol. VIII, Issue No. 2209, Mar. 10, 1820, p. 4, col. 1.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

John Bartow Offers His Pelham Farm for Sale in Advertisement Published in 1807


In 1807 John Bartow offered his Pelham farm for sale. It adjoined the lands of Herman Le Roy and looked out over Long Island Sound essentially in the area where today's Bartow-Pell Mansion stands. The text of the advertisement is transcribed below, followed by a citation to its source.

"At Private Sale,

A Farm of excellent Land, at Pellham, pleasantly situated on the East river, and adjoining the seat of Herman Le Roy, eighteen miles from New York, containing one hundred acres (or more may be added if wanted) On said farm is a new commodious dwelling house, barn and other out buildings. This place has a sufficiency of wood and water, a never failing spring by the kitchen door. A great quantity of English hay may be cut annually -- there are plenty of peaches cherries and other fruits in their season. Fort further particulars enquire of Griffen and Glass at their auction room, or the subscriber, on the premises, who will give an indisputable title for the same.

JOHN BARTOW"

Source: At Private Sale, Morning Chronicle, No. 1352, Apr. 14, 1807, p. 3, col. 5.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

1786 Advertisement Offering for Sale the 300-Acre Farm of James Pell in the Manor of Pelham


Periodically I post to the Historic Pelham Blog 18th and 19th century real estate advertisements offering land in the Manor of Pelham for sale. Below is the text of one such advertisement published by James Pell in 1786. The advertisement is followed by a citation to its source.

"TO BE SOLD,

A Valuable FARM, situated on the manor of Pellham, containing upwards of three hundred acres of good and fertile land and meadow, of which are about 35 acres of good salt meadow; also 80 acres of full timbered land, and well watered by living springs; also two bearing orchards, containing 600 trees of the best grafted fruit, and other fruit trees of all kinds, too tedious to mention; also, a good dwelling-house, two good barns, cider-mill house and granery, and several other out-houses, too tedious to mention. -- Whoever inclines to purchase the said farm, may apply to JAMES PELL, now living on the premises, who will give an indisputable title for the above premises.

JAMES PELL.

N.B. Part of the farm adjoins several good landings on East-Chester-Creek.

67 13"

Source: To Be Sold, The New-York Packet, Feb. 20, 1786, No. 569, p. 1, col. 1.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thomas Pell Was Elected a Freeman of Connecticut on October 9, 1662, the Day the Crown's Connecticut Charter Was Read to the Public

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On October 9, 1662, Governor John Winthrop of the Colony of Connecticut presided over The General Assembly or Court of Election at Hartford during an elaborate ceremony in which the new charter of the Colony of Connecticut was read to the Freemen. Thereafter, the freemen each took an oath administered by the Generall Assembly "for ye due discharge of the trust committed to them" as reflected in the charter.

The charter had been issued by the Crown on April 23, 1662. According to some sources, it likely arrived in Connecticut in about September of that year. It was read to the freemen on October 9.

During the same session, the Court announced that Thomas Pell was admitted as a Freeman and further stated that "This Assembly doth order, that for ye future, such as desire to be admitted freemen of this Corporation shal p r sent themselues with a certificate under ye hands of ye major part [170] of the Townesmen where they liue, that they are p r sons of civill, peaceable and honest conversation, and that they attained the age of twenty one yeares and haue 20l. estate, besides their person in the List of estate; and that such persons, soe quallified to ye Courts approbation, shalbe p r sented at October Court yearly, or some adjourned Court, and admitted after ye Election at ye Assembly in May. And in case any freeman shal walke scandalously or commit any scandalous offence, and be legally convicted thereof, he shalbe disfranchized by any of o r civill Courts."

The reference to Pell's election as a Freeman is brief. It reads "Persons admitted to be Freemen, by this Court; -- Mr. Sam ll Talcot, Will m Pitkins, Nathan ll Goodwin, Mr. Tho: Pell, John Olmstead & John Clarke Jun r."

Source: Trumbull, J. Hammond, ed., The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, Prior to the Union With New Haven Colony, May, 1665; Transcribed and Published (In Accordance with a Resolution of the General Assembly,) Under the Supervision of the Secretary of State, with Occasional Notes, and an Appendix, pp. 384 & 389 (Hartford, CT: Brown & Parsons 1850).

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Box Score of a Baseball Game Played on Travers Island in Pelham Manor in July 1896


Last week I posted to the Historic Pelham Blog an item regarding a baseball game played on Travers Island during the Summer of 1897. See Wednesday, November 21, 2007: Baseball on Travers Island During the Summer of 1897. Today's posting provides a brief account of a baseball game played a year earlier, in July 1896, as well as a box score for the game.

"BASEBALL.

A GAME of baseball between the Athletes and a nine that can only be described as 'Has-Beens,' amused the visitors to Travers Island.

The abbreviated 'Young Mr. Bloss' pitched erratic curves for the Athletes.

McCrae, whose meagre knowledge of the game has been gained since his arrival from Australia, ignored a ball that went over the plate and was on the point of attacking the umpire with the bat because three strikes were called on him, when he declared he only struck at the ball twice.

Sheldon's home run and Halpin's errors were the features of the game. The scores: [Image of Box Score Below]


Source: Baseball, New York Athletic Club Journal, Vol. V, No. 5, p. 14 (Aug. 1896).

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Friday, November 23, 2007

The Festivities of the Huckleberry Indians of the New York Athletic Club Off the Shore of Pelham Manor on July 12, 1896


Huckleberry Island lies near Travers Island just off the shores of Pelham Manor and New Rochelle. In the late 19th Century, members of the New York Athletic Club created a social organization known as the "Huckelberry Indians" who socialized on Huckleberry Island. There is an interesting account of the opening of the island for the season on July 12, 1896 that appeared in the New York Athletic Club Journal of the period. Below are two photographs from the journal as well as a transcription of the Journal's account of the opening of the island that year.

"OPENING OF HUCKLEBERRY ISLAND.

THE pomp and ceremony for which the tribe of Huckleberry Indians are justly famous were brought into play on July 12, when the Island was formally opened for the season. A grand success must be chronicled; in fact, the greatest in the history of this great people. Early in the forenoon the exodus from Travers Island began. The eight, six, fours, doubles, pairs and singles were quickly manned and headed for the scene of revelry, until no craft remained but the flat-bottomed ferry boats, and even one of these was pressed into service by a belated Indian[.]

The cargo of supplies had been landed early, including the clam steamer presented by E. P. Reynolds to his clansmen. Frank Roe's naphtha launch also made frequent trips, carrying provisions which were found necessary to appease the appetites of the ravenous horde.

After the Indians had gorged themselves until they were ashamed to look a clam in the face, and disported themselves to their heart's content in the sad sea waves, Commander-in-Chief Bob Kammerer marshaled his frces and surrounded King Schaefer, who, in response to the cheers which greeted him, addressed his subjects in this manner:

'Fellow Indians and Lunatics -- This immense gathering marks a new era in the history of the Huckleberry Indians, and it is our duty to suitably recognize it. During our winter's exile from the happy hunting grounds of soft clams and sunburn, I have tried to fit myself for the leadership of this great tribe. In pursuit of knowledge I have, though no cannibal, devoured all authors of Indian literature from J. Fennimore Cooper to Richard Croker, but can find no trace of any Indian nation that owned a flag. Let the Huckleberries be the first to possess a standard. I take pleasure in [Page 7 / Page 8] presenting to the tribe a flag thoroughly emblematic of our origin and purpose. Defend it with your lives, and while it waves over you in your feasts do not consider your duty done until the last claim in the steamer has been dispatched and every keg stands on its head.'

After the cheering had subsided General Cable was summoned from the ranks. He accepted the flag in a few well chosen words, and the presentation ceremony then concluded with the execution of the German Fifth March.

Among the Indians present were: G. B. Hand, M. Bishop, C. H. Liebert, R. Stoll, T. L. Cooke, J. B. Cox, E. Winacht, N. E. Gouldy, W. A. Cable, H. E. Zittell, Dr. O'Dell, M. Kaesche, W. E. Dickey, Fred Wenk, F. A. Wattenberg, H. E. Toussaint, A. C. Fiske, F. H. Romaine, R. C. Kammerer, L. W. Seaman, O. C. Hicks, W. Sprague, R. D. Radcliffe, Jr., Jno. H. Murphy, Jas. R. Crawford, Wm. F. Mohr, H. C. Davidson, E. F. Schenck, Jas. Lowerre, Edw. H. Koch, Geo. Schwegler, B. Bogert, S. Stewart, E. P. Reynolds, C. B. Keyes, R. J. Schaefer, F. G. Fullgraff, R. B. Davison, W. J. Davison, R. E. Lee Mordecai, Dr. Wm. T. Todt, Hy Schwarz, Dr. E. Smith, A. J. Kerwin, W. D. Bourne, W. H. Harrison, A. Schroeder, E. Thorp, E. Crawford, E. C. Carter, G. E. Grant, E. N. Blancke, W. F. S. Hart."

Source: Opening of Huckleberry Island, New York Athletic Club Journal, Vol. V, No. 5, pp. 7-8 (Aug. 1896).


Source: Id., p. 1 (cover).


Source: Id., p. 8.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

August 1896 Description of Cycle Route to Travers Island in Pelham Manor


The August 1896 issue of the New York Athletic Club Journal contained an interesting description of the cycle route from the Club's Cycle House to Travers Island in Pelham Manor. The description is transcribed below, followed by a citation to its source.

"CYCLE ROUTE TO TRAVERS ISLAND.
BY WILSON R. YARD.

FROM the Cycle House we wheel up the Boulevard to 106th Street, then east to Central Park, emerge from the Park at 110th Street, and follow Seventh Avenue to 116th Street; we then turn to the left upon St. Nicholas Avenue, and make a long, gradual ascent over smooth macadam to 161st Street. Taking the west fork, we cross the cable-road into the Kingsbridge road, traverse Washington Heights, turn in at Christ's Hotel and cross Washington Bridge. Leaving the bridge, we turn to the left, pass the Ogden estate, swing to the right through Featherbed Lane, shaded with oaks and elms, then turn to the left on the Macomb's Dam road, where, at the top of the hill, we pass on the left the old stone mansion of the Morrises; then down the hill and by 'Fairlawn' and the Berkeley Oval. Now the way leads up a slight hill, through a bower of trees, and presently brings us to the Fordham Landing road, where we turn to the right, over the aqueduct, cross Jerome Avenue, and run down hill to Fordham. Crossing the sunken tracks of the Harlem Railroad we go out Pelham Avenue, passing, on the left, the extensive grounds of St. John's College. Now comes a gradual ascent, and then a race down the hill, across the Southern Boulevard and the bridge over the Bronx. To the left lies Bronx Park, with the Lorillard mansion and the old snuff mill close by. Proceeding over a slight rise, we find that the road forks. The branch to the left leads to the park; the right fork, which we follow, leads over the hill and through the small settlement of Bronxdale, were we cross the old Boston road and keep straight out, fllowing the trolley-line to Mt. Vernon as far as Morris Park, where the track bends sharply to the right, toward West Famrs. Leaving the rails, we keep straight on by the handsome race track, down the hill under the New Haven Railroad, and turn to the left into Westchester, following the street-car line on Westchester Avenue straight into the village, which has little to detain us except the beautiful shaded old graveyard around the handsome church.

Leaving Westchester Village we follow the main street on the bridge crossing Westchester Creek, then turn to the left where the road branches.

Beyond Westchester Creek our route (the Pelham road) makes a gradual ascent of a bluff, skirting the broad salt-meadows along the creek verge.

A short distance farther, where the road turns, there stands a wayside inn, built in 1753. We bear to the right beyond this relic of colonial good cheer, and up over the hill through a little settlement, and then enter Pelham Bay Park. From here on through the Park the road has been broadened and improved as 'Pelham Parkway;' beyond the Park the Pelham road resumes its name. The Parkway is now in fine condition, and offers good wheeling; it leads us rapidly across a stretch of shoreland, then up a slight hill, and down on the Pelham Bay bridge.

We wheel along a shady avenue through Bartow, where a road leads to the right to City Island and to pretty spots along the shore of Pelham Bay Park.

Beyond Bartow, which is ensconced in large woods, comes another bit of salt-meadow where, to the right we catch a distant view of Long Island Sound; and after that a rising stretch, where the riding is not more than passable among park improvements, until we reach the stone-pillared entrance to Hunter Island, now a part of the Park, but not long ago the homestead of an old family, who had here a finely cultivate estate.

The road now bends to the left down into a little dell, then around and up a slight hill to Pelham Priory, deep among the trees, opposite which is the entrance to Travers Island."

Source: Yard, Wilson R., Cycle Route to Travers Island, New York Athletic Club Journal, Vol. V, No. 5, p. 5 (Aug. 1896).

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Baseball on Travers Island During the Summer of 1897


Those who read the Historic Pelham Blog regularly know that periodically I have posted to the Historic Pelham Blog research regarding early organized baseball in Pelham. In fact, I have written extensively on the topic. Among the material I have prepared on the topic are the following:

Friday, July 20, 2007: Account of Early Baseball in Pelham: Pelham vs. the New York Athletic Club on Travers Island in 1897

Friday, November 10, 2006: The Location of Another Early Baseball Field in Pelham

Monday, October 9, 2006: Reminiscences of Val Miller Shed Light on Late 19th Century Baseball in Pelham and the Early Development of the Village of North Pelham

Thursday, March 23, 2006: Baseball Fields Opened on the Grounds of the Westchester Country Club in Pelham on April 4, 1884

Tuesday, January 31, 2006: Another Account of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 1880s Is Uncovered

Thursday, October 6, 2005: Does This Photograph Show Members of the "Pelham Manor Junior Base Ball Team"?

Thursday, September 15, 2005: Newspaper Item Published in 1942 Sheds Light on Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Thursday, February 10, 2005: New Discoveries Regarding Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Bell, Blake A., Baseball in Late 19th Century Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 17, Apr. 23, 2004, p. 8, col. 2.

Travers Island, summer home of the New York Athletic Club, had an active "base ball" program during the 1890s. The June 1897 issue of the New York Athletic Club Journal contained an extensive account of the plans for the Club's baseball team during the summer of 1897. That account is quoted immediately below.

"BASE BALL

GOVERNOR FRED HAUSLING, who is the leader of the baseball enthusiasts of the club, has been besieged by his fellow 'fans' anxious to know the arrangements made for playing the national game at Travers Island this season. Though no effort will be made to organize a team capable of taking the Giants into camp, still the grass will not be allowed to grow too long around the diamond, as various spirited contests are talked of between the 'Hasbeens' and their erstwhile opponents, the Athletes. From among the players in these friendly matches it is hoped that a nine will be selected to meet any teams which may come straying around the Island in seach of scalps.

A series of games has been arranged with the Crescent Athletic Club, of Brooklyn, to be played alternately at Travers Island and the home of the Crescent Athletic Club, at Bay Ridge. There is every likelihood of spirited games resulting, and whether the result of the series is favorable to the New York A. C. or not the contests will be sure to arouse interest among the members, as the nine will be made up of players who have long been favorites in club life. A large crowd will undoubtedly be on hand to root for the Mercury Foot nine, when such men as R. C. Fisher, George Schwegler, E. Deppeler, A. J. Kerwin, Fred Hausling and A. J. Moore are in the field.

The first game with the Crescents will be played at Travers Island on June 13. The other games will be June 19, at Bay Ridge; June 27, Travers Island, and July 3, at Bay ridge. Should each team win two games, a fifth encounter will be arranged to decide the question of supremacy.

A cordial invitation is extended by the Crescent A. C. to New York A. C. members who desire to witness the games at Bay Ridge, and the Crescent A. C. members are offered the privileges of Travers Island, when the contests take place there."

Source: Base Ball, New York Athletic Club Journal, Vol. VI, No. 3, p. 12 (June 1897).

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Photograph of Bolton Priory Gardens Published in 1902


In 1902, Alice Morse Earle published a book entitled "Sundials and Roses of Yesterday". In it she included a photograph of the gardens of Bolton Priory. At the time, Frederick Allen owned the Priory.

The photograph shows a sundial that formerly stood at The Mount in Astoria. It appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.



Source: Earle, Alice Morse, Sund Dials and roses of Yesterday - Garden Delights Which Are Here Displayed in Very Truth And Are Moreover Regarded as Emblems, pg. facing pg. 324 (NY, NY: The MacMillan Co., 1902).

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Monday, November 19, 2007

1901 Obituary of Charles Henry Roosevelt, Grandson of Elbert Roosevelt, One of the Early Settlers of Pelham Manor


What follows is an obituary that appeared in the Year Book of the Holland Society of New-York for Charles Henry Roosevelt of Pelham Manor. He lived in the Roosevelt family homestead on today's Shore Road and was a grandson of Elbert Roosevelt, one of the early settlers of the Manor of Pelham.

"CHARLES HENRY ROOSEVELT died early on Sunday morning, March 24, 1901, at his home, on Pelham Road, Pelham Manor. He was born in 1832. His father was the Rev. Washington Roosevelt, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a grandson of Elbert Roosevelt, who was one of the early settlers of the manor of Pelham-on-the-Sound.

Mr. Roosevelt was the manager of many large estates, and owned valuable real estate himself in Pelham Manor and in New Rochelle. He studied law in Poughkeepsie and after admission to the bar practised in New York City and Westchester County. He was a member of the State and County Bar Association, the Westchester Bar Association, the St. Nicholaas Society and Huguenot Lodge, F. & A. M., of New Rochelle. He was one of the oldest members of the Holland Society having been elected in 1885. He served as Vice-President for Westchester County in 1892."

Source: Banta, Theodore M., Year Book of The Holland Society of New York, p. 103 (NY, NY: The Holland Society of New York, 1901).

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Photograph and Biography of William E. Barnett, a Founding Member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club


According to the minutes of the Pelham Manor Protective Club, on December 3, 1881, "[a]n informal meeting of citizens at Pelham Manor was held at the residence of Mr. H. Reynolds . . . for the purpose of organizing a Protective Club." The citizens of Pelham Manor selected three men to create the articles of association of the new organization: William E. Barnett, H. Q. French and George H. Reynolds.

As I have written on the Historic Pelham Blog before, the population of Pelham grew quickly after the Civil War. With development came problems, particularly as “tramps” found the area enticing and hitched rides to Pelham on trains running on the New Haven Main Line and the Branch Line. Before the Village of Pelham Manor was incorporated in 1891, local residents founded the Pelham Manor Protective Club as a means of working together for the good of their community. The organization essentially served the purpose of a village government in the decade before incorporation of the Village of Pelham Manor.

Nearly the entire adult male population of the area – 52 local residents – subscribed as members. The purpose of the club was “to assist the public authorities in maintaining law and order within a radius of one mile from Pelham Manor Depot....” The club raised money to fund its work, which included guarding against tramps, petty thieves, stray livestock and other local problems. The records of the club, which was disbanded once the village of Pelham Manor was incorporated, provide documentation of the development of a local government in lower Westchester County in the 1880s.

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog provides a photograph and biographical data for one of the most active members of the Club: William E. Barnett. His photograph appears immediately below.



"William Edward Barnett, LL.B. (West Haven, Conn.), the son of William Noyes and Mary Sullivan (Pritchard) Barnett, was born at Charleston, S. C., February 20, 1845. In college he was a member of Linonia and Δ.Κ. In Sophomore Year he received a first prize in Declamation. The first year after graduation he passed at home at West Haven, the second, was Principal of Staples Academy, in Easton, Conn., and the third was studying in the Law School at Albany, N. Y., where he received the degree of LL.B. in May, 1867. After spending the summer in a New Haven office, he formed, in September, 1867, a partnership with Norton '64, at Bridgeport, Conn. In 1868 he was Clerk of the Common Council of Bridgeport. In 1869 the partnership with Norton was dissolved, and he became Secretary to the President of the New York, New Haven and Hartford R. R., and Attorney for that Company, and for the Portchester and Harlem R. R., of which he was also a director, with offices in the Grand Central Depot, New York. In this business he has remained until the present time, but about 1887 his duties were changed and he became Executive Secretary of the Railroad, and his office was moved to New Haven, where he removed his family in 1888. From 1870 to 1880 his residence had been in New Rochelle, and from 1880 to 1888 at Pelham Manor, N. Y.

He attended the Class Meetings in 1867, 1889 with his wife, and 1894 with two daughters.

He was married March 30, 1875, at Trinity Church, New Rochelle (of which he was vestryman and organist), to Miss Marie A. Lockwood. They have had six children: --

I. William Lockwood, born Sept. 26, 1876, at New Rochelle, Yale '98; [Page 59 / Page 60]

II. Paul, born Dec. 16, 1877, at New Rochelle;

III. Edith, born July 27, 1879, at New Rochelle;

IV. Lillie, born March 22, 1881, at Pelham Manor; died March 22, 1881;

V. Helen, born August 3, 1883, at Pelham Manor;

VI. Edward, born May 13, 1887, at Pelham Manor; died February 4, 1888.

His address is care N. Y., N. H. and H. R. R., New Haven, Conn."

Source: History of the Class of 1864, Yale College. 1860 - 1895, pp. 59-60 (Princeton, N.J., C. S. Robinson & Co., University Printers, 1895).

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

1819 New York Statute Authorizing David Pell and Benjamin Underhill To Build Mills on Eastchester Creek in Pelham Manor


In 1819, the New York State legislature passed a statute authorizing David Pell and Benjamin Underhill to erect a grist mill and a saw mill on Eastchester Creek in the Town of Pelham. The text of the statute appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.

"FORTY-SECOND SESSION.

CHAP. LVII.

AN ACT authorizing David I. Pell and Benjamin H. Underhill to erect Mills on the Creek between East-Chester and Pelham, in Westchester County.

Passed March 19, 1819.

Preamble.

WHEREAS by an act of the legislature, passed April ninth, eighteen hundred and five, there was granted to David I. Pell, Abijah Barker and Theodosius Hunt, the right to erect a grist mill and a saw mill, if they found it convenient, on the creek which divides the town of Pelham from the town of Eastchester, at or near a place called Fisher's landing, and near the turnpike bridge over the said creek: Provided, The same was erected within the term of six years after the passing of the said act: And whereas, The said grant has not been used for the purpose aforesaid; and the said David I. Pell, together with Benjamin H. Underhill, hath, by the petition of a number of the inhabitants of the towns of Pelham and Eastchester, prayed for a renewal of the grant, to be made to the said David I. Pell and Benjamin H. Underhill: Therefore,

Site of the dam.

1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That it shall and may be lawful for the said David I. Pell and Benjamin H. Underhill, and their heirs and assigns, to erect and build a dam and gristmill, and a saw mill, if they shall deem it expedient to build a saw mill, on the creek which divides the towns of Eastchester and Pelham, at some place near Fisher's landing, and near the turnpike bridge over the said creek; and that they shall procure, at their own expense, the necessary land for the said purpose, on each side thereof:

Proviso.

Provided always, and it is hereby enacted, That such mill dam shall not be higher than the surface of the salt meadows lying on the creek above the said dam; nor shall the said salt meadows be drowned or injured thereby: and that in all cases of such injury, the owners and possessors of such meadows shall respectively have their remedy at law therefor, against the said David I. Pell and Benjamin H. Underhill, and their respective heirs and assigns: Provided always, That it shall at all times hereafter be competent for the legislature to amend this act, so as more effectually to prevent any public or private injury which may result from the erection of the said dam.

Conditions to be complied with.

II. And be it further enacted, That in the erection of the before mentioned grist mill, (if placed near the said bridge or road) that then the water wheel shall be covered and hid from view: and when completed for grinding, the said David I. Pell and Benjamin H. Underhill, and their respective heirs and assigns, shall, and are hereby bound, to keep and maintain one good and sufficient run of stones, and a bolt, for the use and accommodation of the inhabitants of the towns of Eastchester and Pelham; and if two run of stones shall be erected in said mill, and the business of the country should require it, that then both run shall be employed for the use and accommodation of the inhabitants aforesaid, and to grind for them at the accustomed toll of the neighbouring [Page 63 / Page 64] mills:

Proviso.

Provided always, That if the said dam and mill shall not be completed within the term of three years, so that there be one good and sufficient run of stones and bolt ready for the use of the inhabitants of the said two towns, then the privileges hereby granted shall be null and void."

Source: Laws of the State of New-York, Passed at the Forty-Second, Forty-Third and Forty-Fourth Sessions of the Legislature From January 1819 to April 1821, Vol. V, pp. 63-64 (Albany, NY: William Gould & Co., 1821).

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

1890 Advertisement for Taft's School for Boys in Pelham Manor


One of the nation’s premier college preparatory schools, The Taft School (now located in Watertown, Connecticut), began in Pelham Manor in 1890. Horace Dutton Taft founded the institution. Taft was a brother of William Howard Taft who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and, in 1909, became the nation’s 27th President. After only three school years in Pelham Manor, Mr. Taft’s School moved to Watertown, Connecticut where it is located today. For those interested in reading more about the early history of The Taft School in the Village of Pelham Manor, see Bell, Blake A., The Taft School in Pelham Manor, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 23, Jun. 4, 2004, p. 12, col. 1.

Given the short time the Taft School for Boys was located in Pelham Manor, I have seen very few advertisements for the school. Below, however, is a the text of a very brief advertisement published in Autumn, 1890, followed by a citation to its source. Given its brevity I include it here only because it indicates the charges for tuition and for tuition and board during the first year the school was in operation.

"PELHAM MANOR, Westchester Co. -- Taft's School for Boys; tuition $200 a year; board and tuition $600. Horace D. Taft."

Source: The Forum Extra. A Periodical of Short Studies of Living Problems, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 53 (NY, NY: July, 1890) (Special Educational Number Containing A University at Washington, By Andrew D. White Formerly President of Cornell University, and Education in Boyhood by President Timothy Dwight of Yale University, and A Descriptive List of Colleges and Schools of High Character).

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Construction of the Highbrook Avenue Stone Arch



Though each day hundreds of Pelham residents pass beneath the Highbrook Avenue stone arch over which the New Haven Line tracks pass, few residents know of its engineering significance. Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog provides a photograph of the arch when it was under construction in the mid-1890s and a transcription of excerpts from an early 20th century engineering text describing its significance.


Source of Photograph: French, Arthur W. & Ives, Howard C., Stereotomy, Fig. 42 facing p. 78 (NY, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1902).

I previously have written about the Pelham Arch. That posting, published on May 24, 2007, also provided a diagram of the arch. See Thursday, May 24, 2007: The New Haven Line Stone Arch Above Highbrook Avenue.

The "Pelham Arch" as the Highbrook Avenue stone arch has been known, is an example of a "five-center stone arch" built by use of the "stereotomy" process to cut the stones used to build the arch. Stereotomy involves the cutting of stones from rough blocks so that when the cut stones are assembled together they will form a predetermined whole. According to one source, the process consists of three distinct parts: "first, the construction of the projections of the structure on as large a scale as convenient; second, the proper division of the structure into blocks and the obtaining of the directing instruments used to cut the blocks; third, the proper order of the application of the directing instruments to obtain the best results." Id., p. 22.

What follows are excerpts from the same text regarding the arch:

"103. Example. -- An excellent example of a five-center stone arch is one built at Pelham, N.Y. (formerly Pelhamville), on the N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R. An illustration of this arch is given in Fig. 42 and Art. 11, with a brief description taken from the Eng. News of Jan. 17, 1895, vol. xxxiii. p. 34."

Source: Id., p. 55.

"FIG. 42. -- THE PELHAM ARCH.*

142. This arch is located on the New York Division of the New York, New Haven & Hartford R. R., at Pelham, N.Y. (formerly Pelhamville). It is a five-center arch of 40 ft. span, with a rise of 10 ft. The intrados corresponds closely to an ellipse, the radii of the three arcs being respectively 5 ft. 7 1/4 in., 20 ft., and 40 ft. A joint was placed at each change of curvature. The geometry of the oval was given in a previous problem (§ 105.) The sheeting and ring stones were all cut in the quarry. The joints are 1/4 in. The surface of the ring stones is rock-faced, with no projections exceeding 1 1/2 in., with a 1 in. chisel draft along the edges. The intrados is bush-hammered. The stone is gneiss, with the exception of the keystones and coping, which are of Connecticut granite and bluestone.

By a careful inspection of the figure many points on construction may be gained.

* Eng. News, 1895, xxxiii. 34. Photograph from Mr. H. B. Seaman, M. Am. Soc. C. E."

Source: Id., p. 78.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

An Account of the Great Election of 1733 Held on the Village Green At St. Paul's Church in Eastchester


Recently I posted an item summarizing the early history of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester. In that posting I included links to a number of earlier postings regarding the history of the church which, in the 18th and early 19th centuries, was one of the two principal churches available to Pelham residents for worship. See Thursday, November 8, 2007: Brief History of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1886.

One of the most notable events ever to occur on the Village Green in front of St. Paul's Church was the "Great Election of 1733" where the people's candidate, Lewis Morris, was elected to the provincial Assembly. A newspaper account of the election published by John Peter Zenger led to a trial in which he was acquitted of printing and publishing seditious libels. The trial is considered one of the most important early victories for freedom of speech in America and an important precursor to inclusion of the First Amendment among those of the Bill of Rights accepted during the early years of the United States of America. Below is an account of the election. Last April 9 I provided a transcription of an October 29, 1733 newspaper article containing Zenger's account of the election. See Monday, April 9, 2007: An Account of the Election Victory of Lewis Morris in the So-Called "Great Election".

"Driven from office by his foes, [Lewis] Morris was now [in 1733] the favorite champion of the people. He had retired to his estate at Morrisania. But here he was not permitted to rest; perhaps he was incapable of it. He threw himself at once into the politics of the time, and, although old (for he was now over sixty), became a candidate for the assembly. The story of his election, despite all the efforts of De Lancey and the court party, is preserved for us in Zenger's journal, almost with the minuteness of a modern reporter. I shall abridge if for the reader, since it tells us much of the manners of our ancestors. When Lewis Morris, in the autumn of 1733, appeared as the candidate of the people for Westchester, a very remarkable election took place. Few modern politicians would care to undergo the fatigues and the dangers that awaited the patriotic voters in 1733. There was fear that the court party might practise some fraud; fifty electors kept watch all night at East Chester, where the polling was to take place, until the morning of the election day. The other electors of Morris's party began to move on Sunday afternoon so as to be at New Rochelle by midnight; on their way they were entertained at plentifully covered tables in each house as they passed; at midnight they met at the home of an active partizan whose house could not contain them all. A large fire was made in the street, and here they sat till daylight came, in the damp air of a Westchester morning. At daylight they were joined by seventy mounted voters from the lower part of the county, and then the whole body moved to the polling place at East Chester in the following order: first rode 'two trumpeters and two violins,' the representatives of a modern band; then came four freeholders, one of whom carried a banner, on one side of which was inscribed, in golden capitals, 'King George,' on the other, 'Liberty and Law.' Next came the candidate, Lewis Morris, Esq., late chief justice, then two colors, and at sunrise they entered the common of East Chester. Three hundred of the principal freeholders of the county followed Morris on horseback, the largest number ever known to be assembled since the settlement of the town. Three times they rode around the green, and then went to the houses of their friends. About eleven o'clock, perhaps with still more state and show, appeared the candidate of the opposing party. It was William Forster, Esq., once a schoolmaster sent over by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, but now clerk of the peace and justice of the Common Pleas by the appointment of Governor Cosby. It is suggested that he paid a hundred [Page 233 / Page 234] pistoles for his office. Next him in the procession were two ensigns borne by two freeholders, and then came James De Lancey, chief justice, and Frederick Philipse, second judge, baron, etc. They were followed by one hundred and seventy mounted freeholders, the magnates of Westchester County. They entered the green on the east side, rode around it, and as he passed it was notice that De Lancey bowed to Morris and that the civility was returned. But now one of the Morris party called out, 'No Pretender,' and "Forster said angrily, 'I will take notice of you.' It was reported that he was no friend to the Hanoverian family. An hour after came the high sheriff, finely mounted, with housings and trappings of scarlet richly laced with silver. The electors gathered on the green; the great majority was evidently for Morris, but the other side demaned a poll, and the voting began. It was rudely interrupted when the high sheriff refused to receive the vote of a Friend or Quaker of large estate who would not take the usual oath. A fierce wrangle began. Morris and his friends insisted that an affirmation was sufficient; the sheriff, a stranger in the county, one of Cosby's instruments, persisted in his refusal. De Lancey and his friends sustained him, and thirty-seven Quakers, who were ready to vote for Morris, were excluded by this unjust decision. Even in England they would have been allowed to vote. Fierce, no doubt, was the rage of the popular party. One of them called out that Forster was a Jacobite; Forster denied it. At last the 'late Chief Justice' was returned by a large majority. He rebuked Forster and the sheriff for their attempt upon the liberties of the people, and threatened them with deserved punishment; but when all his followers answered with loud cheers, he restrained them from violence. De Lancey and his faction, we may fancy, rode sullenly away. But soon after Morris entered New-York in triumph, amidst salutes from all the vessels in the harbor. He was met by a party of the chief merchants and gentlemen of the town. The people followed him with 'loud acclamations.' He was conducted to the Black Horse Tavern, where a fine entertainment had been prepared, and where, [Page 234 / Page 235] amidst the flow of fiery Madeira and steaming punch, it is not likely that the governor and his followers were spared in the usual speeches."

Source: Wilson, James Grant, ed., The Memorial History of the City of New-York From its First Settlement to the Year 1892, Vol. II, pp. 233-35 (NY, NY: New-York History Co., 1892).

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Text of the 1687 Grant That Formed the Lordship and Manor of Pelham


Below is the text of the 1687 grant by the Governor of the Province of New York, Thomas Dongan, to John Pell by which Pell's land holdings were elevated to the status of a "Manor" to be known as the "Manor of Pelham".

"MANOR GRANT OF PELHAM.

THOMAS DONGAN, Captain General and Governor-in-chief in and over the province of New Yorke, and the territories depending thereon in America, under his most sacred Majesty, James the Second, by the grace of God Kinge of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., -- to all to whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting : Whereas, Richard Nicolls, Esq., late governor of this province, by his certaine deed in writing, under his hand and seale, bearing date the sixth day of October, in the eighteenth year of the reigne of our late sovereigne lord, Charles the Second, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Kinge, defender of the faith, &c., and in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred sixty and six -- did give, grant, confirme and rattefye, by virtue of the commission and authoritye unto him given by his (then) royal highness, James, Duke of Yorke, &c., (his now Majesty,) upon whome, by lawful grant and pattent from his (then) Majesty, the propriety and government of that part of the maine land, as well of Long Island and all the islands adjacent. Amongst other things was settled unto Thomas Pell, of Onkway, alias Fairfield, in his Majesty's colony of Connecticut -- gentleman -- all that certaine tract of land upon the maine lying and being to the eastward of Westchester bounds, bounded to the Westward with a river called by the Indians Aquaconounck, commonly known to the English by the name of Hutchinson's River, which runneth into the bay lyeing betweene Throgmorton's Neck and Anne Hooke's Neck, commonly caled Hutchinson's Bay, bounded on the east by a brooke called Cedar Tree Brooke, or Gravelly Brooke; on the south by the Sound, which lyeth betweene Longe Island and the maine land, with all the islands in the Sound not before that time granted or disspossed of, lyeing before that tract of land so bounded as is before expresst; and northward to runne into the woods about eight English miles, the breadth to be the same as it is along by the Sound, together with all the lands, islands, soyles, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, lakes, waters, creeks, fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, and all other proffitts, commodityes and heridetaments to the said tract of land and islands belonging, with their and every of their appurtenances, and every part and parcel thereof; and that the said tract of land and premises should be forever thereafter held, deemed, reputed, taken and be an intire infranchised towneshipp, manner and place of itself, and should always, from time to time, and at all times thereafter, have, hold and enjoy like and equall priviledges and immunities with any towne infranchised, place or manner within this government, &c., shall in no manner of way be subordinate or belonging unto, have any dependance upon or in any wise, bounds or the rules under the direction of any riding, or towne or towneshipps, place or jurisdiction either upon the maine or upon Longe Island -- but should in all cases, things and matters be deemed, reputed, taken and held as an absolute, intire, infranchised towneshipp, manner and place of itselfe in this government, and should be ruled, ordered and directed in all matters as to government, accordingly, by the governour and Councell, and that General Court of Assizes -- only provided, always, that the inhabbitants in the said tract of land granted as aforesaid, should be oblidged to send fforwards to the next townes all publick pachquetts and letters, or hew and cryes coming to New Yorke or goeing from thence to any other of his Majestie's colonys; to have and to hold the said tract of land and islands, with all and singular the appurtenances and premises, togaither with the privilidges, imuneties, franchises, and advantages therein given and granted unto the said Thomas Pell, to the proper use and behoofe of the said Thomas Pell, his heirs and assigns for ever, ffully, ffreely and clearely, in as large and ample manner and forme, and with such full and absolute imunityes and priveledges as bfore is expresst, as if he had held the same immediately from his Majesty the Kinge of England, &c., and his suckcessors, as of the manner of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in free and common sockage and by fealtey, only yealdeing, rendering and payeing yearely and every yeare unto his then royall highness, the Duke of Yorke and his heires, or to such governour or governours as from time to time should be him be constituted and appoynted as an acknowledgement, one lambe on the [Page 156 / Page 157] first day of May, if the same shall be demanded as by the said deede in writeing, and the entrey thereof in the bookes of records in the secretarie's office for the province aforesaid, may more fully and at large appeare. And whereas, John Pell, gentleman, nephew of the said Thomas Pell, to whom the lands, islands and premises, with appurtenances, now by the last will and testament of him, the said Thomas Pell, given and bequeathed, now is in the actual, peaceable and quiett seazeing and possession of all and singular the premises, and hath made his humble request to mee, the said Thomas Dongan, that I would, in the behalf of his sacred Majesty, his heirs and suckcessors, given and grant unto him, the said John Pell, a more full and firme grant and confirmation of the above lands and premises, with the appurtenances, under the seale of this his Majestie's province: Now Know Ye, that I, the said Thomas Dongan, by virtue of the commission and authority unto me given by his said Majesty and power in me being and residing, in consideration of the quitt rent hereinafter reserved, and for divers other good and lawfull considerations me thereunto mouving, I have given, rattefied and confirme and by these presents do hereby grant, rattefie and confirme unto the said John Pell, his heirs and assigns for ever, all the before mentioned and rented lands, islands and premises, with the heridatements and appurtenances, priveledges, imuneties, ffranchises and advantages to the same belonging and appertaining, or in the said before mentioned deede in writing expresst, implyed or intended to be given and granted, and every part and parcell thereof, together with all that singular messuages, tenements, barnes, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, islands, meadows, inclosures, arable lands, pastures, feedeings, commons, woods, underwoods, soyles, quarreys, mines, minnerally, (royall mines only excepted,) waters, rivers, ponds, lakes, hunteing, haucking, ffishing, ffowleing, as alsoe all rents, services, wasts, strayes, royaltyes, liberties, priviledges, jurisdictions, rights, members and appurtenances, and all other imunityes, royaltyes, power of franchises, profitts, commodeties and heredatements whatsoever to the premises, or any part or parcell thereof belonging or appertaining: and further, by vertue of the power and authority in mee being and residing, I doe hereby grant, rattefie and confirme, and the tract of land, island and premises aforesaid are, by these presents, erected and constituted to be one lordship and manner -- and the same shall henceforth be called the lordshipp and manner of Pelham; and I doe hereby give and grant unto the said John Pell, his heirs and assigns ffull power and authority at all times hereafter, in the said lordshipp and manner of Pelham aforesaid, one court leete and one court barron, to hold and keepe at such time so often yearly as he and they shall see meete, and all sines, issues and amerciaments at the said court leete and court barron, to be holden and kept in the manner and lordship aforesaid, that are payable from time to time, shall happen to be due and payable by and from any the inhabitants of or within the said lordshipp and manner of Pelham abovesaid; and also all and every the powers and authorities herein before mentioned, for the holding and keepeing of the said court leete and court barron, ffrom time to time, and to award and issue forth the costomary writts to be issued out in the name of the said John Pell, his heirs and assignes, and the same court leete and court barron to be kept by the said John Pell, his heirs and assignes, or his or their steward, deputed or appoynted; and I doe further hereby give and grant unto the said John Pel, his heirs and assignes, full power to distraine for all rents and other sums of money payable by reason of the premises, and all other lawful remedys and meanes for the haveing, receiving, levying and enjoying the said premises and every part thereof, and all waifts, strayes, wrecks of the sease, deodands and goods of ffellons, happening and being within the said manner of Pelham, with the advowson and right of patronage of all and every of the church and churches in the said manner, erected and to be erected -- to have and to hold all and singular the said tract of land, islands and manner of Pelham, and all and singular the above granted or mentioned to be granted premises, with their rights, members, jurisdictions, privileidges, heredaments and appurtenances, to the said John Pell, his heirs and assignes, to the only proper use, benefitt and behoofe of the said John Pell, his heirs and assignes forever; to be holden of his most sacred Majestye, his heirs and successors, in free and common soccage, according to the tenure of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in his Majestye's kingdom of England, yielding, rendering and praying therefore yearly and every year forever, unto his said Majestye, his heirs and successors, or to such officer or officers as shall from time to time be appointed to receive the same -- twenty shillings, good and lawful money of this province at the citty of New Yorke, on the five and twentyth day of the month of March, in lieu and stead of all rents, services and demands whatsoever.

In testimony whereof, I have signed these presents with my handwriting, caused the seale of the province to be thereunto affixed, and have ordained that the same be entered upon record in the Secretary's office, the five and twentyeth day of October, in the third yeare of the King Majestye's reigne, and in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and seven.

THOMAS DONGAN."

Source: De Lancey, Edward Floyd, Origin and History of Manors in the Province of New York and in the County of Westchester, pp. 156-57 (NY, NY: Privately Printed, 1886).

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brief History of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1886


The history of St. Paul's Church of Eastchester, now a National Historic Site, is closely entertwined with that of the Town of Pelham. Consequently, I often have written about the history of the church here. For examples, see:

Friday, September 21, 2007: The Ringing of the Bell of St. Paul's Church of Eastchester on the 100th Anniversary of the First Service in the Stone Church

Thursday, September 6, 2007: Information About St. Paul's Church, the Battle of Pelham and Other Revolutionary War Events Near Pelham Contained in an Account Published in 1940

Wednesday, August 15, 2007: Plan of Pews in St. Paul's Church 1790

Monday, August 13, 2007: 1865 Comments of Rev. William Samuel Coffey of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Regarding the Tenure of Rev. Robert Bolton of Pelham

Wednesday, August 8, 2007: A Description of an Eyewitness Account of Interior of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester During the Revolutionary War

Friday, June 15, 2007: Photograph of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1914

Monday, February 12, 2007: Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Opens New Exhibition: "Overlooked Hero: John Glover and the American Revolution"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006: A Brief History of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1907

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes another brief history of the Church published in 1886. The material appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.

"ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, EAST CHESTER. *

No report having been received, the following particulars are gathered from Bolton's History, and the Convention Journals. This parish was organized under the statute of the State, March 12, 1787. It had been the field of mission labor since 1700. Among the missionaries were Rev. Thomas Standard, who died in 1760, Rev. John Milne, and Rev. Samuel Seabury, afterwards Bishop of Connecticut. He writes to the Secretary of the Venerable Society, December 3, 1767, in the second year of his pastorate, as follows: 'At East Chester, which is four miles distant, the congregation is generally larger than at Westchester. The old church in which they meet, as yet, is very cold. They have erected and just completed the roof of a large, well-built stone church, on [Page 224 / Page 225] which they have expended, they say, £700 currency; but their ability seems exhausted and I fear I shall never see it finished. I applied last winter to His Excellency, Sir Henry Moore, for a brief in their favor, but the petition was rejected.' The rectors have been, 1702, Rev. John Bartow; 1727, Rev. Thomas Standard; 1761, Rev. John Milner; 1766, Rev. Samuel Seabury; 1799, Rev. Isaac Wilkins; 1817, Rev. Ravaud Kearney; 1826, Rev. Lawson Carter; 1836, Rev. John Grigg; 1837, Rev. Robert Bolton; 1846, Rev. Edwin Harwood; 1847, Rev. Henry E. Duncan, and in 1852, Rev. William S. Coffey, present incumbent. In 1728, there were 30 communicants; in 1817, 48; in 1847, 35; in 1853, 46, and in 1885, 76. The present wardens are A.H. Dunscombe and Stephen P. Hunt.

The original church remains in use. It suffered desecration during the Revolution, was turned into a court-house, barracks, and hospital; was stripped and pillaged of every vestige of wood, but has been generously and thoughtfully restored and is among the most interesting edifices of the colonial period."

Source: Wilson, James Grant, ed., The Centennial History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New York 1785-1885, pp. 224-25 (NY, NY: D. Appleton and Company, 1886).

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Secondary Source to Follow Up On Regarding When John Pell, Nephew of Thomas Pell, Died


There long has been confusion regarding the date of the death of John Pell, the nephew of Thomas Pell of Fairfield, who inherited the Manor of Pelham following the death of his uncle in late September, 1669. Numerous secondary sources indicate that John Pell drowned in a boating accident during a fierce wind on Long Island Sound in 1702 or 1703. See, e.g., Pell, Robert T., Pelliana: Pell of Pelham, p. 25 (Privately Printed, 1934); Weigold, Marilyn E., The Long Island Sound: A History of Its People, Places, and Environment, p. 10 (NY, NY: New York University Press, 2004).

Periodically I have seen references to deeds that post-date the 1702-03 time period where John Pell was indicated as a witness. Although I made mental notes of such references, I have done a poor job of documenting them. Thus, when I recently ran across a secondary source that seems to contain such a reference with citations, I decided to document it here for further follow-up. The secondary source material is quoted below, followed by a citation to its source.

"JOHN NELSON, the ancestor of the Nelsons of Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, New York, was plaintiff in a suit against Thomas Sprey, of New Amsterdam, 17 January, 1670. (Court Minutes of New Amsterdam, vi. 278.) For a time, at least, he resided at Flatbush, but had removed to Mamaroneck, Westchester County, before 27 July, 1683, on which date he purchased lands from John Richbell and Ann his wife (Westchester Deeds, A. 20), and he was an administrator, with James Mott and Ann Richbell, of the estate of John Richbell, the first patentee of what later became the manor of Scarsdale. John Nelson's home-lot adjoined the land of Robert Penoyer, and is so described in a deed from himself and wife Hendrica to William Pierce, 2 April, 1694. (Ibid., B, 177, 178.) On 28 January, 1707, he conveyed to his 'eldest son,' Polycarpus, a house, lot of land, and orchard, in Mamaroneck, in consideration of which the son was to pay his 'nephew,' Richard Rogers, £10. (Ibid., D, 179, 180.) He served on the grand jury of Westchester County, 1 August 1688; as overseer of Mamaroneck in 1697, and as constable in 1699, and his name frequently appears in the records as a member of various town committees, and always with the prefix of 'Mr.,' a designation of some distinction at that period. He died after 28 March 1713, at which time he was a witness to a deed of John Pell, Sr., brother [sic] of Thomas Pell, second lord [sic] of the manor of Pelham. (Ibid., E, 50.) A low hill in the town of his adoption perpetuates his name. It was made historically memorable during the Revolution for the surprise and defeat, by Colonel Smallwood, of a large body of the British stationed thereon under Major Rogers."

Source: Roebling, Emily Warren, The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Yorktown, New York With Some of the Records of the Church and a List of His Marriages, 1784-1825, Together with Notes on the Nelson, Van Cortlandt, Warren, and Some Other Families Mentioned in the Journal, p. 410 (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1903).

Based on the foregoing, it would seem productive in this regard to review the deed reflected in Westchester Deeds, Vol. E, p. 50.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Is This Another Dead End in the Search for the Text of an Indian Deed to Lands That Included Today's Pelham Sold to the Dutch?


I warmly invite comment -- by email or by comment link below -- to this posting as it addresses an issue on which I have worked for a number of years.

Those who follow the Historic Pelham Blog, including a number of experts on early Dutch settlement of New Netherland and surrounding areas, know that I have worked for quite some time to locate the text of early deeds by which the Dutch purportedly acquired lands from local Native Americans including the area known today as Pelham. For example, see Tuesday, December 5, 2006: Where is Evidence of the 1640 Dutch Purchase from Native Americans of the Lands That Became Pelham?

In that December 5, 2006 posting, I outlined many of the references in secondary sources suggesting that on April 19, 1640 the Dutch acquired a large swath of land north of Manhattan Island that may have included today's Pelham. However, despite following up on the citations contained in the sources I studied, I found only dead ends -- never the text of any such "Indian Deed" as some sources described it.

I recently located the text of a 1649 deed by which Peter Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland, acquired lands north of the Island of Manhattan. The heading added to the translation of the deed published in 1881 reads: "INDIAN DEED FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY, EASTERN HALF." If that heading were accurate, then the area likely would include today's Town of Pelham.

It seems to me, however, that the heading added by the editor is inaccurate. Indeed, if I am correct, the land encompassed by the deed covers an area between today's New York / Connecticut border extending northward to Greenwich. I still have work to do to establish this. I invite comment as to whether those who review the text of the deed below agree. Assuming the accuracy of the two footnotes in the reference that identify the rivers listed in the deed by their Native American names, the deed would seem to encompass an area bordered: (1) on the south by "Byram's river"; (2) on the north by the "Maharnes river, Conn."; (3) on the west by a north/south line separating the mainland between the Hudson River and Long Island Sound into a westerly half and an easterly half; and (4) on the east by a north/south line extending southward from Greenwich.

If I am reading the text of the deed correctly, it does not encompass today's Pelham and does not even encompass the eastern half of Westchester as the heading indicates. This seems to depend, of course, on whether "Byram's river" was north or south of today's Pelham and Westchester County. My initial work tentatively indicates that Byram's river has marked the southern border of the Connecticut - New York boundary.

If my tentative conclusions are correct, this would seem to be yet another dead end that will require me to continue my search for the text of the April 19, 1640 deed. I hope those of you who read this can help by providing me with your comments! Am I reading the deed correctly?

The text of the deed appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.

"INDIAN DEED FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY, EASTERN HALF.

This day, date as below, appeared before the Hon ble Director-General and Council Megtegickhama, Oteyockque and Wegtakachkey, stretching in breadth through a wood to a kil called Seweyruc, * [Footnote * reads: "*Byrams river."] dividing it at the East river by a North and South line from Greenwich on a kil called Kechkawes. † [Footnote † reads: "†Maharnes river, Conn."] This land between the two kils runs to the middle of the woods between the North and East rivers, so that the westerly half remains to the abovesaid proprietors and the other easterly half is divided from it by a line drawn North and South through the centre of the wood. The aforesaid owners acknowledge in the presence of the chief Seyseychhimus and all their other friends and blood relations to have sold the said parcel of land to the Nobel Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General of New-Netherland, in consideration of a certain lot of merchandise, which they acknowledge to have received and accepted before the passing of this act, namely 6 fathoms of duffels, 6 strings of wampum, 6 kettles, 6 axes, 6 addices, 10 knives, some iron, corals, one gun, 9 staves of lead, 2 lbs of powder, 1 coat of duffels.

Therefore the aforesaid owners of the said land transfer, cede and convey it to the said Director-General and his successors as a true and lawful property, renouncing for themselves and their descendants now and forever all claims thereupon and resigning herewith all rights and jurisdiction, delivering it to the said Hon ble General and his successors, who may do with it as they please, without being molested by them, the sellers or any one of them. It is further agreed, that the Western half may be bought for the same amount as above, when the Director-General desires to pay for it, and they, the sellers, promise to sell the part still in their possession on the North river for that price and not to sell to anybody without informing the Director-General. They further promise to maintain and uphold this contract firmly and invioably and sign it in presence of their chief the 14th of July 1649 at New-Amsterdam in New-Netherland.

This is the mark [symbol] of MEGTEGICKHAMA
This is the mark [symbol] of POMIPAHAN.
This is the mark [symbol] of WEGTAKACHKEY
This is the mark [symbol] made by the chief SEGSEYCHKIMUS as witness."

Source: Fernow, Berthold, Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Vol. XIII, p. 24 (Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons and Company 1881).

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Monday, November 05, 2007

References to Philip Pell in the Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York


Periodically I have written about Philip Pell, an American officer during the Revolutionary War who lived in Pelham. For a few of the many examples of such postings, see:

Friday, March 30, 2007: Biographical Information for Philip Pell Published in 1895

Thursday, August 24, 2006: Philip Pell of the Manor of Pelham: An Early Victim of the "Spoils System" in New York at the Turn of the 19th Century

Monday, July 17, 2006: 1780 Letter to George Clinton from American Patriot Philip Pell of Pelham Manor, Commissary of Prisoners of the State of New York

Thursday, April 20, 2006: 1788 Campaign Broadside Urging Support for Candidate Opposing Philip Pell of Pelham Manor

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting provides excerpts that refer to Philip Pell contained in Volume II of the Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York. The State of New York published the volume in 1909.

"1780 July 28.

Met Albany 28th July 1780 --

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Samuel Stringer }

{ Hugh Mitchell . . .

A Letter was laid before the Board from Philip Pell Esq r. Commissary of State Prisoners dated 30th June 1780 respecting Henry Van Schaack, David Van Schaack, Lambert Burgert, Mathew Goes Jun r, John D. Goes, and Dirck Gardinier which Letter is in the following words (to wit) (see letter on file)

Ordered that the Subject of the above Letter be taken into Consideration --".

Source: Paltsite, Victor Hugo, ed., Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York Albany County Sessions, 1778-1781, Volume II: 1780-1781, p. 472 (Albany, NY: State of New York 1909).

"[181] Met Albany 5th August 1780

1780 Aug. 5.

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Mathew Visscher }
Samuel Stringer }

{ Isaac D. Fonda
{Jeremiah Van Rensselaer [Page 481 / Page 482]

1780 Aug. 5. . . .

Resolved that the said Zadock Wright enter into a Parole to proceed to Fishkill and on the 15th Instant Surrender himself a Prisoner at that place to Philip Pell Esq r. Commissary of State Prisoners which parole is in the following words (to wit) (see Parole on file) --"

Source: Id., pp. 481-82.

"1780 Aug. 1.

[175]

Met Albany 1st August 1780

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Jeremiah Van Rensselaer }

{ Samuel Stringer . . .

The Board taking into consideration the Letter received from Philip Pell Esq r Commissary of state Prisoners on the 28th Ultimo do in consequence thereof --"

Source: Id., p. 476.

"Met Albany 2nd August 1780 --

1780 Aug. 2

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Mathew Visscher }
{ Samuel Stringer
{Jeremiah Van Rensselaer

A Letter from Philip Pell Esq r Commissary of state Prisoners was laid before the Board dated Poughkeepsie 27th Ultimo wherein he request's us to cause Henry Van Schaack, David Van Schaack, Cornelius Van Schaack, Lambert Burghart, John D. Goes, Mathew Goes Junr, Dirck Gardineir, & Jacob Legrange, to be sent down to Fishkill under the care of an Officer of the levies which letter is in the following words (to wit) (see letter on file) --

Ordered in consequence of the said letter that the resolutions of this Board of Yesterday with respect to Henry Van Schaack, David Van Schaack, Lambert Burghart, John D. Goes, Mathew Goes Junr and Dirck Gardineir be rescinded and that they be severally ordered to appear before us on Saturday the fifth instant -- . . . [Page 477 / Page 478] . . .

[177] Resolved that an Order be sent to Major Zadock Wright (a Prisoner of war who was confined by this Board to Kings District) to appear before us on Saturday the 5th Instant in order that he may be removed to Fishkill to be there delivered over to Philip Pell Esq r Commissary of State Prisoners to be exchanged --".

Source: Id., pp. 477-78.

"Met Albany 28th August 1780

1780 Aug. 28.

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Mathew Visscher }

{ Samuel Stringer
{ Isaac D. Fonda . . . .

[Page 505 / Page 506]

William Bowen a prisoner of war on Parole having been cited to appear before the Board appeared this day according to order

Resolved that he entere into Parole to proceed to Fish- [206] Kill and by the fourth day of September next there deliver himself up as a prisoner of war to Philip Pell Esq r Commissary of state Prisoners which Parole is in the following words (to wit) (see Parole on file)".

Source: Id., pp. 505-06.

"Met Albany 8th January 1781

1781 Jan. 8.

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Samuel Stringer }

{ Mathew Visscher

1781 Jan. 8. . . . .

The Board being informed that there is at present in this City a certain Daniel McLoud who is possessed of a Pass signed by Philip Pell Esq r Commissary of Prisoners of this State under which Pass the said Daniel McLooed has during the whole of last Summer screened himself from Militia Duty resolved in Consequence of the said Information that Jacob [Page 613 / Page 614] Kidney be ordered to bring the said Daniel McLooed forthwith before the Board --

Jacob Kidney appearing with Daniel McLooed agreeable to order and the said Pass being produced and it appearing that the same was given upwards of a Year ago therefore resolved tat [sic] the [318] said Pass be taken from the said Daniel McLooed and delivered to the said Philip Pell Esq r and it appearing necessary to this Board from the Principles professed by the said Daniel McLooed that he should be restricted in his Conduct therefore ordered that he appear before this Board on the 12th Instant with a good sufficient surety for his future good Behaviour doing his duty and Appearance when called upon.

Adjourned."

Source: Id., pp. 613-14.

"1780 Aug. 9.

Met Albany 9th August 1780 --

Present

John M. Beeckman }
Samuel Stringer }
Isaac D. Fonda }

{ Mathew Visscher
{ Hugh Mitchell
{ Jeremiah Van Rensselaer

[184] Resolved that a Letter be wrote to Philip Pell Esq r Commissary of State Prisoners respecting Henry Van Schaack, David Van Schaack, and other prisoners of war which Letter is in the following words (to wit) (see letter on file)"

Source: Id., p. 484.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Information About William Newman, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654


This is the last in a series of four postings regarding four of the Englishmen who witnessed the signing of Thomas Pell's treaty on June 27, 1654. For yesterday's posting, see Thursday, November 1, 2007: Information About John Ffinch, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654. For the second posting in the series, see Wednesday, October 31, 2007: Information About Richard Crabb, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654. For the first posting in this series, which includes links to earlier postings dealing with the same topic, see Tuesday, October 30, 2007: Information About Henry Accorly, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654.

"NEWMAN, WILLIAM, hath assigned to him by the town, in Oct., 1642, two acres marsh and three acres woodland. In 1659 complaints having been made to the court in New Haven respecting the 'sizing of shoes,' the court hearing that William Newman had an instrument which he had brought from England which 'was thought to be right to determine this question, did order that the said instrument should be procured and sent to New Haven, to be made a 'Standard' which shall be the rule between buyer and seller, to which it is required that all sizes be conformed.' Mr. Newman was evidently a man of note in the young colony, and once represented the town in the General Court. Savage supposes he may have removed to Narra- [Page 38 / Page 39] gansett after 1669. In 1676 William Newman, planter of Stamford, sells to John Austin, 'taylor' of Stamford some land. His will, dated 7.9. 1673, makes his legatees, his wife Elizabeth, and his children, Thomas, Daniel, John, -----, Elizabeth, and Hannah. It also mentions his brother John."

Source: Huntington, E. B., History of Stamford, Connecticut, From its Settlement in 1641 to the Present Time Including Darien, Which Was One of its Parishes Until 1820, pp. 38-39 (Stamford, CT: Published by the Author, 1868).

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Information About John Ffinch, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654


This is the third in a series of four postings regarding four of the Englishmen who witnessed the signing of Thomas Pell's treaty on June 27, 1654. For yesterday's posting, see Wednesday, October 31, 2007: Information About Richard Crabb, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654. For the first posting in this series, which includes links to earlier postings dealing with the same topic, see Tuesday, October 30, 2007: Information About Henry Accorly, One of the Englishmen Who Signed Thomas Pell's Treaty on June 27, 1654.

"FINCH, JOHN, is assigned by the town [of Stamford] in October 1642, six acres, with marsh and upland as the other men. He died here in 1657. He sold his house and homelot in 1653 to Richard Ambler. The inventory of his estate, Book 1, page 66, bears date 9th of 12th mo., 1658."

Source: Huntington, E. B., History of Stamford, Connecticut, From its Settlement in 1641 to the Present Time Including Darien, Which Was One of its Parishes Until 1820, p. 32 (Stamford, CT: Published by the Author, 1868).

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