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.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

More on the Little Mothers Aid Association and its Use of Hunter's Mansion on Hunter's Island


In late 1890 or early 1891, a woman named Alma Calvin Johnson founded a charity based in New York City called The Little Mothers Aid Association.  The charity recognized that there were many young girls in the tenements of New York City who were forced to serve as the principal caregivers for their siblings while their parents toiled away at jobs to make ends meet.  Alma Calvin Johnson founded the charity to allow such tiny caregivers to visit the countryside outside New York City and enjoy a time to play and to celebrate the joys of youth. 

By the mid-1890s, the New York City Park Commissioner granted the charity the right to use the old Hunter Mansion in Pelham Bay Park on Hunter's Island and the surrounding estate for the benefit of the "Little Mothers."  The organization named the mansion "Holiday House" and transported girls from New York City on the New Haven Branch Line to Bartow Station from which they were taken by carriage to Hunter's Island.

I have written before about the use of the Hunter's Mansion on Hunter's Island by the Little Mothers Aid Association.  See, e.g. Fri., Apr. 15, 2016:  The Little Mothers Aid Association and its Use of Hunter's Mansion on Hunters Island in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries.





Exterior of Front of John Hunter's Mansion on Hunters Island, 1882. Embedded
Image Not Copied to the Historic Pelham Blog so If the Image is Removed by its
Owner or the Link to it is Changed, It Will No Longer Display Here. Source: 
Digital Version of Albumen Print in Collections of the Museum of the City of
New York, No. X2010.11.10134.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog article transcribes the text of a fascinating article published in 1903.  The reporter who wrote it visited Hunter's Island on a number of occasions one week and even traveled with the young girls selected to enjoy the island and Hunter's Mansion under the auspices of the Little Mothers Aid Association.  The article provides a fascinating glimpse of what it was like for the youngsters who enjoyed the island and its amenities in the first years of the Twentieth Century.

*          *          *          *          *

"OUTINGS OF LITTLE MOTHERS.
-----
EXCURSIONS FROM THE EAST SIDE TO HUNTER'S ISLAND.
-----
Country Pleasures for Little Girls With Younger Brothers and Sisters to Care For -- A Deserted Baby -- A Little Mother Who Believes in Race Suicide.

A place of joy is Hunter's Island, in the Sound, for there the little mothers forget their burdens.

It is a great deal more fun, especially if one is under 12 and frail, to gather golden rod and pick blackberries, to go in bathing and to eat two plates of ice cream for dinner than it is to carry a baby up and down tenement stairs and take care of it all day long in close rooms or the street.  That is why little mothers are so anxious to go to Hunter's Island that they will resort to little subterfuges to get there and to stay as long as possible.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays parties of them, marshalled by the chaperons of the Little Mother's Aid Society, seek the Hunter's Island woods and shore, and it was last Tuesday that one little mother went in spite of obstacles.  She had obtained an outing badge at the society's office in Second avenue, but the trouble was that there was no one save herself to take care of her brother, eight months old, while her mother was away cleaning windows in an office building.  On this account Jennie didn't dare to ask if she might go.

At 7 o'clock on Tuesday morning her mother went to work.  Before 9 Jennie had the baby dressed and fed and lulled to sleep and was herself arrayed in her very best.  She had to hurry in the writing of the little note telling where she had gone, but she reached the starting place in time.

Apparently no one enjoyed more than she did the ride in the cars, and in the stage through Pelham Bay Park and woods on Hunter's Island up to the big house overlooking the Sound.  She went in bathing, ate plenty of dinner and in the afternoon filled her apron with apples to take back to the city.

It was not until Jennie was on the Third avenue elevated train in the early evening and near home that she began to cry.  Then the story of her running away came out.  She was afraid to face her mother.

'Now don't you cry any more,' exclaimed the young woman who had lent a sympathetic ear to Jennie's recital of her troubles.  'I'll go home with you myself, and it will be all right.  You see if it isn't.'

And it was.

'I heard the little tyke a-hollerin' away,' Mrs. Cassidy, who lives on the same floor, remarked in the course of the explanations, 'and I brought him in here, and after I got him quiet I give him a crust, and he ain't hardly been any trouble all day.'

Jennie's mother was appeased by the tactful words of the teacher, and by the apples, which her small daughter had held in her apron as a peace offering.

'Sure, and we'll get four or five messes of apple sauce out of this, anyhow,' was an observation with which she consoled herself for the danger to the baby.

Keen as the little mothers are about getting to Hunter's Island, they are even more anxious to remain when they have felt its charms.  The poorest and most delicate, who are allowed to stay a week, are greatly envied by those who must return to the East Side after a single day of roaming in the woods and along the shore and on the grassy slopes around the fine stone house that is the society's country home.

'Teacher, teacher, Annie ain't here!' called out a shrill-voiced little girl in the train one afternoon when the children were returning from a day's outing on the island.

A hasty and agitated count by the chaperons proved that this was true.  It is difficult to keep track of each one of fifty youngsters on a trip involving changes.  Annie might easily have stayed away unnoticed, and visions of accidents destroyed the peace of mind of those who were responsible for the children.

But they learned that night that Annie was all right.  She was still on Hunter's Island.  When the time had come for her to go home with the others, she had hidden away, but had put in an appearance when the horn blew for supper.

When the stage was about to start for the station on Tuesday a little mother, surrounded by a group of sympathizers, approached the superintendent with tears rolling down her cheeks.

'I -- I came to stay for -- for a week,' she sobbed, 'but I got a mark, and the -- the teacher says I must go home.'

'Well, well,' said the superintendent soothingly, 'that's too bad.  Will you promise me that you'll be such a good girl that you won't get any more marks?'

'Yes'm,' answered this repentant little mother, eagerly brushing away the tears.

'Well, then, you just take off your hat again, and go with the rest out to the swing.  But, remember, I shall expect you to be one of the very best of my girls all week.'

'It is a rule that if a girl gets a bad mark she has to go home,' explained the superintendent; 'but I don't send a girl home once in a month.  They are very easy little things to manage if you take the trouble to put yourself in a sympathetic relationship with them.'

'I like this place just -- just fierce,' remarked Lizzie, settling back in her rocking chair on the porch, with a little sigh of contentment over the fact that she was staying, as she watched a crowd of the others climb into the stage.  Lizzie, who is 12, is busy knitting a woollen jacket for a small sister at home.

'But it seems awful funny at night till you get used to it,' she went on.  'It's so dark all around outside, and the bugs and things in the grass sing so dreary that you feel scary and kind o' wish you was home.  But in the daytime you forget all that.'

Within a few minutes after the children arrive at the house on Hunter's Island in the morning they go running down the grassy hill where small waves lap the sand between the rocks.  As quickly as possible they don the bathing suits furnished by the society, and then the fun begins.

There are duckings and splashings and screams of laughter; a few who live in neighborhoods where there are free baths can swim.  The majority have never been bathing before, and they approach the water gingerly until they gain courage from the example of others.

'Teacher, are you allowed to get your suit wet?' asked one of the first little girls out of the bathhouse the other day.

A little while after the bath is over the horn toots for dinner.  The little mothers, who have heard that there is to be ice-cream, crowd eagerly into the wide hallway, form in a line impatiently, and, to the music of a lively air on the piano, march in to their places in front of long rows of plates with meat and potatoes and stewed corn on them, and glasses of milk with big pieces of bread and butter on top.

After dinner the little mothers go for blackberries in the woods, and gather big bunches of goldenrod and clover and black eyed susans in the meadow, and load their aprons with apples to take home for apple sauce.

'Do you see that round-faced little girl over there swinging?' said a chaperon.  'She looks quite happy, doesn't she?'  She didn't look that way when we first found her, about two weeks ago.  Her mother was in the hospital and her father had disappeared.

'She had been living all alone in the tenement for a day or two when the landlord came along and put the few pieces of furniture on the street and turned her over to a neighbor.  The latter couldn't keep her, and when we picked her up she was sitting crying on the curb, with her little bundle in her arms.'

'Have you any little brothers and sisters, Mamie,' asked the chaperon of a serious-faced child who was sitting near.

'Yes'm.  I have one that high,' answered Mamie, holding her hand on a level with her neck, 'and one that high,' lowering her hand to her waist, 'and the baby.'

'Who takes care of them all?'

'I do, and I do the housework, too.'

'I don't believe in children,' volunteered an ex-little mother who had graduated, as many of them do, from housekeeping in a tenement to work in a department store, and was spending her vacation at Hunter's Island.  'Why not?  That's easy.  Because they cost too much, and you can't tend to them right if you have to work yourself.'"

Source:  OUTINGS OF LITTLE MOTHERS -- EXCURSIONS FROM THE EAST SIDE TO HUNTER'S ISLAND -- Country Pleasures for Little Girls With Younger Brothers and Sisters to Care For -- A Deserted Baby -- A Little Mother Who Believes in Race Suicide, The Sun [NY, NY], Aug. 23, 1903, p. 6, cols. 3-4.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

An Imbroglio at Belden Point Embroiled Local Justices of the Peace in a Judicial Battle of the Wills in 1892


During the early 1890s, William Belden of City Island in the Town of Pelham oversaw a summer resort and amusement park on his Belden Point property located at the southern tip of City Island. I have written about William Belden and his Pelham amusement park before.  See, e.g.:

Fri., Sep. 09, 2016:  An Illuminating Excursion to Belden Point in Pelham in 1892.

Mon., Sep. 12, 2016:  More on Pelham's Summer Resort and Amusement Park Known as Belden Point.

William Belden was a financier and real estate developer who clearly was a rather shady character.  Belden may be best known as one of three principal financiers (the others being Jay Gould and Jim Fisk) involved in a scheme in the late 1860s to inflate the price of gold.  When the scheme (and the price of gold) collapsed, the stock market panic of September 24, 1869 followed, wiping out the fortunes of many and leading to an ugly Congressional investigation. Belden was in and out of court for the next two decades and found himself involved in a host of financial and personal difficulties. 

In 1885 Belden scraped together the funds necessary and purchased "The Mansion" on the southern tip of City Island.  See Fri., Jul. 10, 2015:  The Mansion Built by Stephen Decatur Horton and His Wife on Belden Point, City Island, Town of Pelham.  "The Mansion" had been built in the mid-1870s by Stephen Decatur Horton and his wife, Caroline Lucilia (Skidmore) Horton. 

By the late 1880s, Belden's many misdeeds caught up with him. He was forced into bankruptcy. As he struggled to regain his financial footing, he converted The Mansion and its surrounding property into a "summer resort."  As period advertisements indicate, the main home (i.e., The Mansion) became a French restaurant.  Given the spectacular location of Belden Point, Belden soon was able to expand his restaurant and resort in significant ways. He built a six-lane bowling alley. He built a billiard table hall with a host of tables. He expanded into family entertainment with the construction of "Eugene Block's merry-go-round," Dr. Hanway's "exhilarating toboggan slide" (which was a fascinating early version of a roller coaster), and much more.

Early in the spring of 1892, William Belden struck a concessions deal with a young man named Daniel J. Whyman.  The terms of the deal, it seems, were somewhat vague.  According to news reports at the time, Whyman agreed to pay Belden $1,000 for the privilege of selling concessions including popcorn, confections, and soda water during the 1892 season.  Whyman made an initial payment to Belden of $300 and agreed to pay the remainder from proceeds of concession sales.  It seems that the schedule for paying the remaining $700 to Belden was left somewhat vague.

Whyman created and placed signs within the amusement park.  He built concession stands from which to sell popcorn, candy, and soda water.  He hired a number of "saleswomen" who worked in the stands.

The 1892 summer season reportedly began slowly at the Belden Point amusement park.  This likely was due to the increasing popularity of the much larger (and more amusement-rich) Starin's Glen Island amusement park located only a mile or so away just off the shores of New Rochelle.  Nevertheless, business was not as brisk as desired that summer.

For whatever reason, William Belden expected a $100 installment payment on the amount Whyman owed him by July 1, 1892.  Whyman not only did not make the payment, but also told Belden he did not have money for such a payment because business had been so slow.

On Sunday, July 10, Belden appeared at the concession stands to demand a $100 payment.  When Whyman failed to produce the money, "Belden commenced an attack on his stand and wares."  Belden tore down Whyman's signs and attacked his concession stands.  When Whyman confronted him, Belden approached a Town of Pelham Constable, William Munson, who had been detailed to patrol at the amusement park.  Belden demanded that Whyman be removed from the park.  The Constable obliged.  Indeed, according to one account:  "Poor Weyman, pop corn and all, was landed sound and dry on the outside of the roadway, frenzied with pain and grief over the loss of his wares."

Daniel Whyman promptly appeared before local City Island Justice of the Peace John P. Hawkins who was known as a "Friend of the Working Man."  Whyman pressed charges against Constable Munson and the Justice issued a warrant for Munson's arrest.  When William Belden learned of the move, he appeared before Justice Hawkins to press charges against Daniel Whyman and demanded that Justice Hawkins also issue a warrant for Whyman's arrest.  Justice Hawkins refused, infuriating Belden.

The trial of Constable William Munson was held the evening of Monday, July 11 at the local courthouse.  The proceedings were described as follows:

"Mr. Munson was defended by Counselor Dudley Horton, while Mr. Weyman [sic] was under the judge's protection.  The judge listened patiently to the eminent counselor on behalf of his client, but somehow he could not explain satisfactorily why Mr. Belden caused this young man to be dispossessed from his possessions without legal notice.  We must say that Judge Hawkins' action and the stand he took to uphold the rights of this poor man will always remain fresh in the minds of our law-abiding citizens.  Decision reserved."

Had the matter ended there, the dispute likely would have had little impact on Pelhamites.  Soon, however, the dispute evolved into a full-scale battle between local Justices of the Peace.  

William Belden dispatched Constable William Munson to New Rochelle where Munson approached New Rochelle Justice of the Peace DeVeau.  Munson pressed charges against Whyman and had Justice DeVeau issue a warrant for Whyman's arrest.  Justice DeVeau tapped New Rochelle Constable J. B. Prout to serve the warrant, arrest Whyman, and bring Whyman to New Rochelle to appear before DeVeau.

Prout found Whyman, served the warrant, and arrested the popcorn man.  As the pair departed for New Rochelle, Whyman slyly convinced the New Rochelle Constable to stop at the home of City Island Justice of the Peace John P. Hawkins to let him know that Whyman had been arrested.  When the captor and his captive arrived and explained the situation, Justice Hawkins demanded to see the arrest warrant, then refused to return it to the New Rochelle Constable.  He then directed the Constable to go find Constable William Munson and summon him to Justice Hawkins's home.  As soon as the New Rochelle Constable departed, Justice Hawkins released the prisoner.

When New Rochelle Justice of the Peace DeVeau learned what had happened, he was furious.  He had New Rochelle Constable J. B. Prout swear out charges against Pelham Justice of the Peace Hawkins, charging him with interference with the duty of an executive officer.  Justice DeVeau then issued a warrant for Hawkins's arrest.

Justice Hawkins was arrested and brought before a different New Rochelle Justice of the Peace, Justice Shannon.  Justice Shannon released the Pelham Justice on his own recognizance to appear for trial.  Meanwhile "another warrant for Whyman's arrest was placed in the hands of the constable."

Trial of Justice Hawkins was held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 1892.  The New Rochelle Courtroom was packed.  A local newspaper detailed what happened next:

"John J. Crennan appeared for the prosecution and Mr. Heath, of Pelham Manor, acted for the defendant.  

After preliminary motions by defendant's counsel to dismiss, which were denied, the examination began.  James H. Prout, a constable and special deputy sheriff, was first called.  He narrated the facts as to the securing of the warrant, the arrest of the prisoner, one D. J. Whyman, and the conversation at the house of Justice Hawkins', when the Justice took the warrant and said, 'I'll keep this,' and took possession of the prisoner.  He stated that Hawkins had said, I'll take care of you and Belden Point, too.'  The justice who issued the warrant, Mr. DeVeau, was next sworn, and he swore to the issuing of same, and giving it to Prout, and that it had not been returned to him nor had the prisoner been brought before him.

The People then rested their case and Daniel J. Whyman was sworn for the defense.  Whyman is the man who was under arrest, and it was the warrant for his arrest that Mr. Hawkins is charged with having taken.  During the examination of this witness there were several altercations between the opposite counsel, which gave Clerk Sexton some hard work.  Whyman's testimony was somewhat similar to Prout's in the main points.

John P. Hawkins, the defendant, was next put on the stand in his own behalf.  He stated among other things:  'I was given to understand that Prout had a warrant for Whyman's arrest.  I asked to see it.  I said, 'Prout, go and get Mr. Munson, and I'll hold Mr. Whyman here.'  Prout went, and did not come back for hours.'  He stated that he still held the warrant and that he knew he had not issued it.  He further testified that he had not offered to return the warrant, nor to deliver the prisoner.  He said in the course of cross-examination:  'I knew the warrant commanded Whyman to be brought before Justice DeVeau, or in case of his absence, before the nearest and most accessible magistrate in the county,' but he supposed Justice DeVeau was sick or unable to act.  Mrs. Hawkins was not sworn as having seen and heard what had taken place and the examination then closed.

After summing up by both counsel the Justice reserved decision until Tuesday morning, and on that day the defendant was held in $300 bail to await the action of the Grand Jury.  The bail was furnished and the defendant released."

After weeks of continuous news coverage of the dispute, suddenly all went silent.  No record has yet been found of the resolution of the dispute.  In addition to electronic search, review of several weeks' worth of newspapers reveals nothing further about the arrests or any final decisions by the Justices.  The matter seems to have quietly disappeared. . . . . . 



A Sketch of Belden Point in 1892.  Source:  BREATHED NEW LIFE,
The Evening World [NY, NY], Jul. 23, 1892, Evening Edition Extra, p. 1,
cols. 1-3 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).
NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.


The Mansion at Belden Point in an Undated Photograph.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *          *

"City Island.
-----

Bass and weak fish are caught in large numbers.

Mr. Wm. Percy who was injured by being thrown from his horse is getting along nicely.

William Price has resigned from the police force appointed by our town board to act at Belden Point.  

Mr. Carl Wiegand, of Harlem, who was injured on the roadway by being thrown out of his wagon is entirely recovered.

Have you ever visited the Homestead on the south end of the Island and enjoyed the famous clam bake.  If not, why not do so?

We wish that City Island was possessed of a few more citizens like Justice of Peace John A. Hawkins, who is fearless and bold in the discharge of his duties.  Mr. Hawkins is a pride to our town and a terror to law breakers.

On Wednesday, July 20th, The Jolly Four Association, composed of young men of the annexed district, will enjoy a Rhode Island clam bake at the East Shore pavillion.

Mr. Mitchell Miller, formerly of the Manhanset House, at Shelter Island, is sojourning on the Island.  It is Mr. Miller's intention if he can acquire the desired property to build a first-class hotel here.

Edward Gallagher, better known as 'Swipes,' the newspaper boy, is the hero of the hour.  He is the recipient of a beautiful gold medal from the Humane Society of New York, as a reward for his bravery for rescuing several persons from drowning at Belden's Point on Saturday, July 1st.

We have a host of old relic hunters who watch our workmen take apart the spans on City Island bridge.  They are after the Tie-keys which were used to fasten the heavy oak timbers together by the old receiving ship North Carolina, condemned some thirty years ago.  The North Carolina was used by our government one hundred years ago as a School Ship.

Cornelius Douglass, keeper of Stepping Stone Light House, picked up the body of Frederick Bauer, age 22 years, of 114th street and Second avenue, on Sunday afternoon last.  The body was floating in the mid channel of the Sound between the Light House and City Island and he took it into the foot of Pilot Street.  The clothing consisted of light outing shirt, dark pantaloons and button gaiters.  Coroner Drews viewed the body and gave permission to his friends to remove the same to his late residence.  Inquest pending.  He was the young man whom the reward of $100 was offered for his recovery and was drowned on Sunday, July 2d, from a small yacht off Throggs Neck.

At a meeting of our Excise Board held on Monday, July 11th, at the City Court House, loud protests were made by the school trustees against granting license to George Meyers of Pelhamville, who is within 200 feet of the the public school.  Mr. Meyers is a new comer, and went to considerable expense in fixing up his place as a first class hotel, and to his sorrow he finds he cannot secure the necessary license.  We would advise Mr. Meyers to start a first-class grocery store, something that is needed in Pelhamville.

Belden Point was a scene of great trouble on Sunday afternoon, July 10th, which almost equalled, on a small scale, the riot now going on at Homestead, Penn.  It was a genuine case of Capital against Labor.  It appears that Mr. Weyman had secured the privilege early in the spring to erect stands for the sale of pop corn, soda water, confectionery, etc., for the consideration of $1,000, of which he paid down the sum of $300, with the understanding that he would pay the balance at his own convenience.  Business has not been what it ought to have been at Belden Point this season, and it kind of worked on Mr. B.'s financial nerve.  Last Sunday morning the day broke bright and fair with every prospect of a good day's business, and crowds were coming, when Mr. Belden, of the South End, stepped up to this poor pop corn man and demanded forthwith the sum of $100, which he claimed was due him since the 1st instant.  Mr. Weyman, of course, could not meet his demand.  Then Mr. Belden commenced an attack on his stand and wares.  He tore down his signs and ordered the pop corn man and his lady saleswomen off the grounds at once; but Pop Corn would not move an inch, demanded his rights, and gave, as Mr. Belden says, impudence to him.  Belden immediately summoned one of his Hawkshaws [i.e., private detectives] to remove Mr. Weyman, which he did in no gentle manner.  Poor Weyman, pop corn and all, was landed sound and dry on the outside of the roadway, frenzied with pain and grief over the loss of his wares.  Mr. Weyman sought out Justice John P. Hawkins (the friend of the workingman) and explained his case.  Justice Hawkins issued a warrant for the arrest of Belden's Hawkshaw, William Munson, and placed him under bonds to appear later on for trial.  The trial took place on Monday evening at the Court House.  Mr. Munson was defended by Counselor Dudley Horton, while Mr. Weyman was under the judge's protection.  The judge listened patiently to the eminent counselor on behalf of his client, but somehow he could not explain satisfactorily why Mr. Belden caused this young man to be dispossessed from his possessions without legal notice.  We must say that Judge Hawkins' action and the stand he took to uphold the rights of this poor man will always remain fresh in the minds of our law-abiding citizens.  Decision reserved."

Source:  City Island, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jul. 14, 1892, Vol. 1, No. 89, p. 3, col. 2.  

"Notes from Westchester County. . . .

Constable Munson was appointed by the Town Board of Pelham as a special officer to do duty at Belden Point, City Island.  Monday night Mr. Weyant, who had charge of one of the departments at the Point, became, Mr. Belden alleges, 'abusive and disorderly,' and he ordered the man from the place.  Weyant refused to go.  Munson ejected Weyant, and the latter went to Justice Hawkins and alleged that the 'officer used violence' and got a warrant for Munson's arrest.  Mr. Belden went to Justice Hawkins and asked for a warrant for Weyant, charging him with 'disorderly conduct,' but the justice refused to give a warrant.  Munson was tried on Tuesday night, and Justice Hawkins reserved his decision in the matter.  Munson yesterday went to New Rochelle and procured a warrant for the arrest of Weyant.  Weyant asked Officer Pell to take him to Justice Hawkins, as he wanted the latter to go bail for him.  He did so.  Justice Hawkins demanded bail, which was furnished, and the Justice, after a few words of caution, discharged the prisoner.  For this act Justice Shannon of New Rochelle gave Munson a warrant for Justice Hawkins's arrest.  He was taken to New Rochelle this morning and paroled until to-morrow night for trial."

Source:  Notes from Westchester County, The Evening Post [NY, NY], Jul. 14, 1892, p. 6, cols. 1-2.

"POLICE COURT NEWS.
-----

Some time ago a child of E. J. Hynes, while playing on the sidewalk near Mrs. Luikert's store, threw a ball which accidentally struck one of the large panes of glass. Mrs. Luikert claims that Mr. Hynes is responsible for her damage, and has brought suit for damages against him.  Mr. Hynes denies liability as he claims the accident was not caused through any negligence on his part.  The case will be tried this morning at 10 o'clock, before Justice Shannon and a jury.

They are having quite a lively time on City Island at present.  On Sunday last Daniel W. Whyman, who runs a small stand on Belden Point, became abusive and engaged in a quarrel with Special Constable Wm. Munson at Belden Point, and at Mr. Belden's order, Whyman was put off the place.  Constable Munson came to New Rochelle and procured a warrant for his arrest for disorderly conduct.  The warrant was issued by Justice DeVeau and Constable J. B. Prout was sent to City Island to get Whyman.  He took Whyman into custody and started for New Rochelle.  Whyman asked permission to see Justice Hawkins, of City Island, before coming up, and he was taken to Justice Hawkins's house on City Island.  Hawkins asked to look at the warrant, and upon its being shown to him he said, 'I'll keep this,' and refused to give it back to the constable.  Mr. Prout then came to New Rochelle and swore out a warrant for the arrest of Justice Hawkins for interfering with an executive officer in the discharge of his duty.  Justice Hawkins was arrested and brought before Justice Shannon at New Rochelle, who allowed him to go on his own recognizance to appear for trial.  Meanwhile another warrant for Whyman's arrest was placed in the hands of the constable."

Source:  POLICE COURT NEWS, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jul. 16, 1892, Vol. XXXIII, No. 15, p. 3, col. 5.  

"POLICE COURT NEWS.
-----

On Monday night last Justice Shannon's Court was packed with people when the case of the People against John P. Hawkins was called for examination.  In our last issue we described the circumstances and the offense with which Justice Hawkins was charged -- that of rescuing a prisoner in the custody of an officer.  Mr. Hawkins is one of the Justices of the Peace in the town of Pelham, and for this reason a very great interest has been shown in the result of this proceeding, not only in City Island, but in New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon and Westchester as well.  The case had been adjourned until Monday evening last at 7.30 o'clock, and at that hour all parties were ready for the examination.  John J. Crennan appeared for the prosecution and Mr. Heath, of Pelham Manor, acted for the defendant.  

After preliminary motions by defendant's counsel to dismiss, which were denied, the examination began.  James H. Prout, a constable and special deputy sheriff, was first called.  He narrated the facts as to the securing of the warrant, the arrest of the prisoner, one D. J. Whyman, and the conversation at the house of Justice Hawkins', when the Justice took the warrant and said, 'I'll keep this,' and took possession of the prisoner.  He stated that Hawkins had said, I'll take care of you and Belden Point, too.'  The justice who issued the warrant, Mr. DeVeau, was next sworn, and he swore to the issuing of same, and giving it to Prout, and that it had not been returned to him nor had the prisoner been brought before him.

The People then rested their case and Daniel J. Whyman was sworn for the defense.  Whyman is the man who was under arrest, and it was the warrant for his arrest that Mr. Hawkins is charged with having taken.  During the examination of this witness there were several altercations between the opposite counsel, which gave Clerk Sexton some hard work.  Whyman's testimony was somewhat similar to Prout's in the main points.

John P. Hawkins, the defendant, was next put on the stand in his own behalf.  He stated among other things:  'I was given to understand that Prout had a warrant for Whyman's arrest.  I asked to see it.  I said, 'Prout, go and get Mr. Munson, and I'll hold Mr. Whyman here.'  Prout went, and did not come back for hours.'  He stated that he still held the warrant and that he knew he had not issued it.  He further testified that he had not offered to return the warrant, nor to deliver the prisoner.  He said in the course of cross-examination:  'I knew the warrant commanded Whyman to be brought before Justice DeVeau, or in case of his absence, before the nearest and most accessible magistrate in the county,' but he supposed Justice DeVeau was sick or unable to act.  Mrs. Hawkins was not sworn as having seen and heard what had taken place and the examination then closed.

After summing up by both counsel the Justice reserved decision until Tuesday morning, and on that day the defendant was held in $300 bail to await the action of the Grand Jury.  The bail was furnished and the defendant released."

Source:  POLICE COURT NEWS, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jul. 23, 1892, Vol. XXXIII, No. 16,  p. 3, col. 5.

"POLICE NEWS.
-----

They are having more trouble on City Island.  On Tuesday last Officer Prout and Mr. Belden came before Justice Shannon with two prisoners from City Island and Mr. Belden made a charge against them accusing them of having engaged in and been the leaders of an attempt to cause a riot on City Island, near Mr. Belden's place.  The prisoners were James Wren and Edward Daniels who were employed there.  They were locked up to await a hearing but in the meantime Mr. Belden declined to press the charge, and both prisoners were released and left town."

Source:  POLICE NEWS, New Rochelle Pioneer, Aug. 6, 1892, Vol. XXXIII, No. 18, p. 3, col. 3.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Connecticut Authorized Thomas Pell to Make Another Purchase of Native American Lands in 1663


It was déjà vu.  Apparently Pelham founder Thomas Pell believed that if it worked once, it likely would work again.

During early 1654, as the First Anglo-Dutch War raged, Thomas Pell used the confusion of the times to acquire from local Native Americans lands that the Dutch claimed they already had acquired -- the very lands that became the Manor of Pelham.  Indeed, in 1653 and early 1654, only months before Pell’s purchase, the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands were at war.  Although they fought the “First Anglo-Dutch War” entirely at sea, English and Dutch settlers feared fighting would spread to the North American colonies at any time.  Only days before Pell’s purchase, Dutch and English colonists were unaware that the Treaty of Westminster had been signed in Europe on April 5, 1654, ending the war. Amidst all this, Pell negotiated his acquisition of Native American lands claimed by the Dutch – a dangerously provocative act clearly designed to support the English cause and to defy the Dutch.  For more about how Pell used the unsettled political circumstances of the First Anglo-Dutch War to further his personal gain and the political objectives of the English settlers by acquiring Pelham, see Bell, Blake A., The New Englanders Who Signed Thomas Pell's 1654 Agreement Acquiring Much of Today's Bronx and Lower Westchester Counties From Native Americans, The Bronx County Historical Society Journal, Vol. XLVI, Nos. 1 & 2, pp. 25-49 (Spring / Fall, 2009).

Nearly a decade later, Thomas Pell saw another such opportunity as the winds of war swirled yet again.  The English and Dutch were on the brink of war again as the Second Anglo-Dutch War loomed.  Moreover, Thomas Pell was still smarting from the Dutch wresting control of the settlement he planted on his new Pelham lands known as "West Chester."  See Tues., Apr. 24, 2018:  Important New Scholarship on the Men to Whom Thomas Pell Sold Part of the Manor of Pelham in 1654; Wed., Apr. 25, 2018:  More on the Settlement of Westchester Planted by Thomas Pell in 1654.

As the drums of war sounded, in March of 1663, more than a year before Petrus Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to a small English fleet on September 8, 1664, Thomas Pell obtained a license from the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut to acquire lands to expand his Pelham purchase.  

At a session of the General Assembly held at Hartford on March 10, 1663, Governor John Winthrop Jr. and the members of his Assembly entered the following into the records of the Assembly:

"AT A SESSION OF THE GEN ll ASSEMBLY AT HARTFORD, MARCH 10th 1663.

John Winthrop Esq r, Gou r.

Assis ts.

Mr. Allyn,          Mr. Woolcot,
Mr. Willys,        Mr. Clark,
Mr. Treat,          Mr. Allyn, et Sec'y.

Deputies:

Mr. Wadsworth,       Tho:  Judd,               John Nott,
Mr. Fitch,                 Mr. Jehu Burre         Wm. Cheny,
Capt. Newbery,        John Bnkes,             Tho: Tracy,
Ln t Fyler,                Nath:  White,            Tho:  Leppingwell,
Anth:  Hawkins,       Sam ll Boreman,       Mr. Rob:  Chapman. . . .

This Court doth grant liberty to Mr. Thomas Pell to buy all that land of the Indian proprietors between West Chester and Hudsons Riuer, (that makes Manhatoes an Island,) and lay it to West Chester, prouided that it be not purchased by any before, nor in their possession. . . ."

Source:  The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony, May, 1655; 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:  By J. Hammond Trumbull, Vol. I, pp. 417418 (Hartford, CT:  Brown & Parsons, 1850).

Though there are no further records of efforts by Pell to secure the lands to the southwest of his Pelham purchase all the way to the Hudson River, had he done so, today's Pelham likely would be a very different place.  For reasons now lost to history, however, Thomas Pell never succeeded (and, perhaps, never attempted) to acquire such additional lands adjacent to those he purchased on June 27, 1654 that subsequently became the Manor of Pelham.



John Winthrop, Known as "John Winthrop Junior" or "The Younger,"
Was the Eldest Son of John Winthrop, the First Governor of the Massachusetts
Bay Colony, and Mary Forth.  He Was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
and Head of the General Assembly at the Time a License Was Issued to Thomas
Pell on March 10, 1663 to Purchase Additional Lands from Native Americans
Adjacent to the Lands that Became the Manor of Pelham.  NOTE:  Click on
Image to Enlarge.

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Below is a brief excerpt of material from a wonderful article by L. H. Roper entitled in a recent issue of The New England Quarterly entitled "The Fall of New Netherland and Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Imperial Formation, 1654-1676."  It provides an excellent background of the tumultuous events leading up to the Second Anglo-Dutch War and the surrender of New Amsterdam to the English on September 8, 1663. 

"The Connecticut leadership did not await the conclusion of London's laborious process.  News that it had received its charter, which was proclaimed in the colony on 9 October 1662, was taken as a license to intensify its pressure to detach Long Island and 'West Chester' from Dutch authority and to extend its 'protection' to the New Haven towns of Southold (on Long Island) and Guilford.  By 8 January 1663, Stuyvesant learned that Connecticut was aserting that its patent included all of Long Island.  Accordingly, the colony had issued a 'peremptory order' to the inhabitants of Oostdorp (Westchester) informing them that henceforth they were subject to Connecticut's control; in addition, over the course of 1663, Connecticut operatives incited riots against Dutch authority at Rustdorp (Jamaica), Middleburgh (Elmhurst), Vlissengen (Flushing), Hempstead, and Gravesend.  In December, Stuyvesant was compelled to arms to prevent an English group from acquiring the lands of the Neversink Indians between the Barnegat and Raritan Rivers in modern New Jersey.  By the spring of 1664, Dutch authority in these places hung in the balance as Hartford, acting expressly in accordance with its new powers, directed Winthrop and three other leading colonists -- Wyllys, Matthew Allyn, and John Young -- 'to go over to Long Island, and to settle the English plantations on the Island under this Government,' while Thomas Pell received 'liberty' to buy the Indian lands between 'West Chester' and the Hudson River.  Five days later, Stuyvesant received a report that 'the English of Westchester' had been intriguing with the Esopus and Wappinger Indians, who between June and December 1663 had fought a nasty war with the Dutch in the Hudson River Valley, 'to kill all the Dutch and drive them away' after the English had seized Long Island and Manhattan.  A presumed English spy arrived at Wiltwijck (Kingston) the following month proclaiming that the English would take over New Netherland 'within 6 or 8 weeks.' 33

[Footnote 33:  "33  Report made by P. W. van Couwenhoven of Information Respecting Intrigues of the English with the Wappins and Esopus Indians, [March 1664], and Letter from Ensign Nyssen to Director-General Stuyvesant, Reporting the Visit of an Englishman at Wildwyck, 21 April 1664 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 13:363-64, 368.  For English activity in the Neversink country, see Instructions Given to Martin Cregier and Covert Loockermans for the Purchase of the Nevesing Country, from Barnegatt to the Raritan, 6 December 1663 (n.s.), Journal of a Voyage to the Newesinghs by Captain Cregier, and Agreement Made by the Newesingh Indians to sell to the Dutch their Lands, not already sold, 6-11 December 1663 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 13:311-12, 314-16, 316-17; Edward Rous and and Others to John Scott, 2 December 1663, MHS Collections, 5th ser., 1:397-99.  For Connecticut's activities, see Connecticut Records, 1:384-87, 392-98 at 398; Letters Relating to the Annexation of Long Island to Connecticut, DRCHNY, 14:516-18; Meeting of the General Assembly, 10 March 1664, Connecticut Records, 1:416-24 at 418.  For the attachment of 'West Chester' and Long Island to Connecticut, see Extract from a Letter of Stuyvesant to the Directors, 8 January 1663 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 14:520; Meeting of the Council, 10 July 1663, Meeting of the General Assembly, 8 October 1663, At a Generall Assembly Held at Hartford, 12 May 1664, and At a General Session of the Generall Assembly at Hartford, 8 [October] 1663, Connecticut Records, 1:406-7, 425-31 at 426-27, 409-16 at 411-12; extract from a Letter of Stuyvesant to the Directors [Westchester], 14 May 1663 (n.s.), To his Honor, Secretary Cornelis van Ruyven, at Fort Amsterdam, 15 November 1663, and Letters from Director Stuyvesant to the Governor and Council of Connecticut about the Claims of the Latter, 5 November 1663 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 14:526-27, 531-40."]

Stuyvesant's protests to Connecticut and to his superiors in the West India Company brought him no satisfaction on either front.  34  

[Footnote 34:  "34  Extract from a Letter of Stuyvesant to the Directors, 26 April 1664 (n.s.), and Extract from a Letter of Stuyvesant to the Directors, 4 August 1664 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 14:546-48 at 547-48, 551-55."]

When Winthrop returned to America, Stuyvesant  asked him for a 'categorical answer'; meanwhile, a delegation to Hartford in October 1663 requested that the neighbors honor their 1650 treaty until further directions were received from Europe.  Connecticut officials insisted on the colony's right to all of the disputed territory and, further, its duty to perfect the king's grant.  Continuing to dissemble, Winthrop, supposed friend of the Dutch colony, advised the visitors that the Connecticut patent did not include New Netherland; nonetheless, he mostly absented himself from the negotiations on the grounds of illness and declined to put his opinion in writing since, as he insisted, the language of the patent was clear on its face.  His councilors, though, when presented with this view, observed that 'the Governor is but one man.'  The confused and irritated emissaries returned to New Amsterdam empty handed.  35

[Footnote 35:  "35  Journal kept by Cornelis van Ruyven, Burgomaster Cortlandt and John Laurence, Delegates from New Netherland to the General Assembly at Hartford, in New England, in the month of October, 1663 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 2:385-93; Peter Stuyvesant to John Winthrop Jr., 20 July 1663 (n.s.), and Thomas Willett to John Winthrop Jr., 23 July 1663 (n.s.), MHS Collections, 5th ser., 1:395-96, 396-97."]

By August, Stuyvesant, now fully disabused of Winthrop's motives, had prepared as best he could for an English attack.  He informed the West India Company of Connecticut's predations on Long Island, which reflected his neighbor's contempt for the boundary negotiated in 1650.  He also heaped skepticism on the report relayed by his superiors.  The assembling commissioners and military expedition, the report had concluded, were intended for New England with the brief to 'install' bishops there and to unite those colonies 'under one form of government in political, as well as ecclesiastical matters.'  Dismissing the report's hopeful inference that the initiative would provoke resistance and manifest New English affinity for the Dutch colony, Stuyvesant insisted that New Netherland was the real target, and his intelligence was supported by news that Rhode Island had received a charter, which included a grant of liberty of conscience, and that York had been granted his patent.  36

[Footnote 36:  "36  Extract from a Letter of Stuyvesant to the Directors, [4 August 1664 (n.s.)]; [responding to] Chamber of Amsterdam to the Director and Council of New Netherland, 21 April 1664 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 14:551-55 at 552-54, 2:235-37 at 235-36."]

Four frigates bearing Nicolls, Maverick, Carr, Cartwright, and between three and four hundred soldiers reached Nantasket toward the end of July.  The commissioners sought the assistance of the Massachusetts government, which agreed to recruit and pay for two hundred volunteers and to send Clarke and Pynchon (Wylly's son-in-law and close friend of Winthrop, the physician of his wife, Amy) as the colony's representatives to the mission.  Notifying Winthrop of their arrival, the other commissioners planned to rendezvous with him at Gravesend, at the western end of Long Island.  37

[Footnote 37:  "37  John Pynchon and Thomas Clarke to Secretary Edward Rawson, [15 August 1664], Pynchon Papers, 1:32; Colonial Records:  General Entries, vol. 1, 1664-65, University of the State of New York, State Library Bulletin, History, no. 2 (May 1899):  55; Massachusetts Records, vol. 4, pt. 2, pp. 120-24.  For Pynchon's relationships with Winthrop (with whose family Amy Wyllys Pynchon lived in 1654-55, while he treated her) and Wyllys, see, e.g., letters between Pynchon and Winthrop of 22 May, 20 June, 26 July, [30 November], and [17 December] 1654.  Pynchon Papers, 1:5-13, 131.  The social connections between these New England imperialists also appear from Amy Pynchon's requests for treatment on her knee from Thomas Pell (John Pynchon to John Winthrop Jr., 1 and 7 May 1660, Pynchon Papers, 1:32-34)."]

At the end of August, the fleet arrived at New Amsterdam and ordered the town to surrender or be sacked; meanwhile, Nicolls proceeded to recruit additional colonial troops to swell the occupying force.  38  

[Footnote 38:  "38  License to Recruit Soldiers on Long Island against the Dutch, 24 August 1664, and Letter from Col. Nicolls to Capt. Young about such Long Island People as have taken up arms against the Dutch, 29 August 1664, DRCHNY, 14:555-56."]

Stuyvesant's attempts to delay the inevitable came to nothing; with a shortage of powder and his defenses in disarray, he was compelled to accept terms.  Yet, despite the Crown's involvement, Connecticut's hand remained firmly on the tiller.  According to the Reverend Samuel Drisius, 'about 600' New Englanders had joined the expedition.  Stuyvesant, in his report to the States General, noted that defeat came at the hands of 'the Hartford Colony, our too powerful enemies,' who had been 'reinforced by four Royal ships.'  We may wonder what went through the director-general's mind when Winthrop personally delivered the articles of capitulation to him.  39"

[Footnote 39:  "39  The West India Company and its operatives on the South River had reports of 300 soldiers; see West India Company to the Burgomasters of Amsterdam, [July 1664], and Commissioners of the Colonie on the Delaware River to the Burgomasters of Amserdam, [June 1664], DRCHNY, 2:243, 244.  The New Amsterdam government later reported that one of the frigates carried almost 450 soldiers 'and the others in proportion,' but this seems an exaggeration given the other accounts and the size of the ships; see Translation of a letter from the Schout, Burgomasters, and Schepens of the City of New Amsterdam, to the West India Company, 16 September 1664, in John Romeyn Brodhead, Commemoration of the Conquest of New Netherland on the Two Hundredth Anniversary, by the New York Historical Society (New York:  By the Society, 1864), pp. 70-71; Letter from Rev. Samuel Drisius to the Classis of Amsterdam, 15 September 1664 (n.s.), DRCHNY, 13:393-94 at 393.  E. B. O'Callaghan, the nineteenth-century translator and editor of DRCHNY, translated 'gesecondeert' as 'reinforced' in Stuyvesant's Report of the Surrender of New Netherland, 1665 (DRCHNY, 2:365-70 at 366), but 'seconded' or 'supported' seems aa superior translation of the original Report of the Honorable Peter Stuyvesant, late Director-General of New Netherland, on the causes which led to the surrender of that country to the English (Archive States General, 1.01.07 in.nr.12546.57, Nationaal Archief, The Hague).  My thanks to Jaap Jacobs for the original reference and for his wisdom on this and many other points.  For Winthrop's delivery of the terms, see Answer of Ex-Director Stuyvesant, 1666, DRCHNY, 2:429-47 at 444."]

Source:  Roper, L. H., The Fall of New Netherland and Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Imperial Formation, 1654-1676, The New England Quarterly, Vol. 87, No. 4, pp. 686-89 (Dec. 2014).


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bootlegger Captured in North Pelham in 1922


Given its proximity to New York City, it comes as no surprise that the tiny little Town of Pelham played a colorful role during Prohibition as a cross-roads for illegal distillers, liquor-serving roadhouses, and bootleggers during the 1920s and early 1930s.  Today's Historic Pelham Blog article tells yet another story of illicit bootlegging in North Pelham -- this time in 1922!

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North Pelham Police Captain Michael J. Fitzpatrick was a stickler for detail.  He took pride in his work and pride in his appearance.  On a lazy Pelham afternoon in late spring, 1922, Captain Fitzpatrick strolled into the little tailor's shop on Fifth Avenue to have his coat pressed.  As he waited, he glanced out the shop window and watched the hustle and bustle of Pelham outside.  

As he watched, he noticed an interesting character whom he did not recognize struggling with a large suitcase.  The man was "glancing around furtively" as he carried a very heavy case along the sidewalk outside.

Chief Fitzpatrick called North Pelham police headquarters and dispatched Police Officer James Whalen to intercept the stranger on the sidewalk and bring him to headquarters.  Chief Fitzpatrick then hustled to headquarters where he met Officer Whalen with the stranger who identified himself as "Henry Bersohn."  Bersohn, it turned out, had just arrived in North Pelham on a New York, Westchester & Boston Railway train.  

Chief Fitzpatrick and Officer Whalen had the stranger open his heavy suitcase.  Inside were twelve quarts of "colorless fluid . . . labeled 'Gordon's Gin.'"  Doing his duty, Chief Fitzpatrick took a swig.  According to the Chief, it "tasted like Hell."  (The local newspaper reported that Chief Fitzpatrick "was forced by law to taste it.")  

Busted, the stranger wove an odd tale.  He told a strange story of a strange man on the New York, Westchester & Boston Railway train who asked him to hold the suitcase, then wandered off and failed to return.  For a time, Chief Fitzpatrick could not shake the man from his "fishy story."  Then the Chief had an idea.

He mentioned casually that if the liquor were for the man's own consumption and he had a permit to transport it, the situation "might be different."  Henry Bersohn took the bait.

Bersohn changed his tune and "admitted" to the Chief that the gin was his own and intended for his own consumption.  The Chief confronted Bersohn with the change in his story and the fact that one way or the other he had lied.  At that point, "Bersohn then broke down and confessed that he was bootlegging and that the liquor was intended for Pelham Manor consumption."

Chief Fitzpatrick arrested Henry Bersohn.  He was brought before Judge I. Balch Louis on Saturday, June 10, 1922.  After his formal arraignment he was released on a $250 bond furnished by his father.  The case scheduled before a Federal Grand Jury.

North Pelham police had apprehended yet another bootlegger due to good old-fashioned police work.  Pelham Manor, consequently, would be just a little bit drier for just a little while. . . . . . 




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"Bootlegger Arrested In North Pelham
-----
Captain Fitzpatrick and Officer Whalen Arrest Henry Bersohn on Fifth Avenue
-----
Twelve Quarts of Gordon Gin Found In Suitcase That He Was Carrying -- Released On $250 Bond
-----

Twelve quarts of Gordon gin which were en route from the Boston and Westchester station to Pelham Manor, snugly ensconced in a suitcase carried by Henry Bersohn, now repose on the desk of Captain Michael Fitzpatrick of North Pelham, while Bersohn is out on $250 bail awaiting a Federal jury trial.

Captain Fitzpatrick was having his coat pressed in the tailor shop on Fifth Avenue when he noticed Bersohn traveling along Fifth Avenue.  Bersohn's furtive glancing around and the fact that the suitcase seemed particularly heavy aroused the captain's suspicions, so he dispatched Officer James Whalen to bring Bersohn into headquarters.

On the suitcase being opened, twelve quarts of colorless fluid which is labeled 'Gordon Gin' but which the captain says tasted like h__l (captain is forced by law to taste it) were found.

Bersohn was quizzed at headquarters as to where he got the liquor.  He told a strange story of a strange man on the train asking him to hold the suitcase for a while, and the strange man failing to come again for his grip.  His story was fishy, so Fitzpatrick mentioned the fact that if the liquor was for his own consumption and he had a permit to transport it, the case might be different.

Bersohn then changed his story, according to the police, and told that the liquor was his own and intended for his personal use.  Fitzpatrick immediately pointed out that the statement contradicted his story of the man on the train, and Bersohn then broke down and confessed that he was bootlegging and that the liquor was intended for Pelham Manor consumption.  He was arrested and brought before Judge I. Balch Louis on Saturday.  After a formal arraignment he was released on a $250 bond furnished by his father, the case to be taken before the Federal Grand Jury."

Source:  Bootlegger Arrested In North Pelham -- Captain Fitzpatrick and Officer Whalen Arrest Henry Bersohn on Fifth Avenue -- Twelve Quarts of Gordon Gin Found In Suitcase That He Was Carrying -- Released On $250 Bond, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 16, 1922, Vol. 13, No. 16, p. 1, col. 7.  

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I have written extensively about Pelham's struggles with Prohibition and the enforcement of the unpopular laws that it spawned as well as illegal stills, bootleggers, and speakeasies in Pelham. See: 

Tue., Mar. 13, 2018:  House Fire in Chester Park Revealed Bootleg Still in 1935, Nearly Two Years After the End of Prohibition.

Tue., Feb. 27, 2018:  Police Raided a Storefront Still and Bootlegging Operation in a Fifth Avenue Store in 1926.

Wed., Feb. 21, 2018:  Massive Prohibition Raid in 1927 Netted Four Bootleggers and 225 Kegs of Beer.

Tue., Jan. 30, 2018:  Visit to the Wrong House Uncovered Massive Pelham Manor Bootlegging During Prohibition.

Wed., Jan. 03, 2018:  The Massive Illegal Still Discovered at 137 Corlies Avenue During Prohibition in 1932.

Wed., Jun. 21, 2017:  The Infamous Ash Tree Inn of Pelham Manor and its Prohibition Violations During the 1920s.

Thu., Feb. 02, 2017:  Bootleggers Began to Feel the Heat in Pelham in 1922.

Mon., Dec. 26, 2016:  Pelham Stood Alone in Westchester When It Voted to Go Dry in 1896

Mon., Aug. 22, 2016:  Pelham, It Seems, Became a Hotbed of Bootlegging and Illegal Stills During Prohibition.

Mon., Jul. 06, 2015:  Police Raided a Massive 300-Gallon Illegal Liquor Still on Corlies Avenue in 1932.  

Fri., Jun. 19, 2015:  More Liquor Raids in Pelham During Prohibition in the 1920s.

Wed., Jun. 17, 2015:   Prohibition Rum-Runners Delivering A Boatload of Booze Were Foiled in Pelham in 1925.

Fri., Apr. 24, 2015:  The North Pelham "Speakeasy Section" Created Quite a Stir During Prohibition.

Tue., Nov. 18, 2014:  More Bootleggers and Speakeasies Raided in Pelham in 1929 During Prohibition.

Fri., May 23, 2014:  How Dry I Am -- Early Prohibition Efforts Succeed in Pelham in 1896.

Thu., Apr. 03, 2014:  The Prohibition Era in Pelham:  Another Speakeasy Raided.

Tue., Feb. 18, 2014:  Pelham Speakeasies and Moonshiners - Prohibition in Pelham: The Feds Raid the Moreau.

Thu., Feb. 07, 2008:  Village Elections in Pelham in 1900 - New York Athletic Club Members Campaign Against the Prohibition Ticket in Pelham Manor.

Thu., Jan. 12, 2006:  The Beer Battle of 1933.

Thu., Aug. 11, 2005:  How Dry I Am: Pelham Goes Dry in the 1890s and Travers Island Is At the Center of a Storm

Bell, Blake A., The Prohibition Era in Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 25, June 18, 2004, p. 12, col. 2.


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