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´╗┐Title: A History of Deerpark in Orange County, N. Y.
Author: Gumaer, Peter E.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of Deerpark in Orange County, N. Y." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

{Transcriber's Note: Comments surrounded by braces "{}" are by the
transcriber. Those surrounded by brackets "[]" or parentheses "()" are
by the original, anonymous editor except that the transcriber has
changed footnote symbols to the notation "[FN]" and moved all footnotes
so they immediately follow the paragraphs referencing them.}

{Frontispiece: Peter E. Gumaer}

                                A HISTORY

                           By PETER E. GUMAER

[Illustration: Seal of Minisink Valley Historical Society]


                                 * * * * *

                             PUBLISHED BY THE

                                * * * * *

                        PORT JERVIS UNION PRINT {?}


Having been solicited by certain individuals of the first settlers in
the neighborhood of my residence, in the town of Deerpark, for a
written information in relation to their respective ancestry, both of
those who now reside in this town and of those residing in other
parts of our country, and feeling desirous to gratify their wishes
and save from oblivion the knowledge I possess relative to their
forefathers, I have thought proper to make out a small work of the
same and get it printed, so that all who shall be desirous of such
information can obtain the same, which undoubtedly must be a great
satisfaction to many who have not had the opportunity of becoming
informed in relation thereto, especially the descendants of those
whose parents at an early day of the settlement of our western
country emigrated into it. The general topics of conversation have
changed much in this vicinity within my time of life. At the
termination of the Revolutionary war this change commenced. The
attention of the young people was generally directed towards the
passing scenes of their time, and they remained ignorant of what had
transpired during the lives of their forefathers. In the early part
of my life some of the old people, whenever they came together,
generally introduced the occurrences of former times, in relation to
the ancient inhabitants of this valley, who inhabited it for a
distance of eighty miles. From these discourses and my own
observations and researches, I have become enabled to write this
history. Capt. Cuddeback, Esq., Depuy and my own mother were the
greatest historians. Of what had materially transpired throughout
this valley from the first and last of these I have had my greatest
source of information.


The most interesting subjects in relation to the town of Deerpark are
contained in Eager's "History of Orange County." These are not
embraced in this work, excepting a few articles for making a
connection of certain matters therein contained, with additional
materials herein introduced.

All mankind generally are desirous to possess a knowledge of their
ancestry their characters, occupations, manner and circumstances of
life, the lineal descent of the most anterior of them, the different
scenes through which the successive generations have passed, &c. All
of which is embraced in this small work, as far as my information and
knowledge in relation thereto extends; and, being an old man, and
having in early life had great opportunities to become informed in
respect to the early settlement of this town and of the people, who,
from time to time settled in it, and their descendants from
generation to generation, down to the parentage of the fourth of
those who first settled in Peenpack, and of the third who settled in
the lower neighborhood. I, myself, have also been a spectator of the
transpiring occurrences from the commencement of the Revolutionary
war until the present time.

Very different have been the scenes of life through which the
successive generations have passed, and, considering myself to
possess the greatest fund of knowledge relating to the same, I have
viewed it as incumbent on me to write this history and save from
oblivion the matter therein contained, in such manner as the
incompetency of my abilities will admit, which, even if not in the
best manner, still comprehend the substance I deemed necessary to be
embodied in it, with much diffidence, however, in respect to some
parts of the same, in which I have been too lavish in introducing
unnecessary matter. But as this work is only intended for the present
and future descendants of the first pioneers in the district of the
present town of Deerpark, I have thought proper to enter some minute
matters to inform the readers how their forefathers have progressed
through life. They came here poor and ventured their lives among the
Indians to enjoy the lands they took in possession and afterwards

The materials furnished in this work are the following: My views
relative to an alteration supposed to have, in very remote times,
occurred in this valley and created the formation of it, so as our
forefathers found it; also the time they settled here and the
inhabitants who then occupied it; their manner of life and means of
supporting themselves, and other different matters and conjectures in
relation to them; also the wild animals, fowls and fishes which were
in this part of the country; the names of the first seven settlers,
and the time they procured a patent for the land they intended to
occupy; also the names of those who first settled in the lower
neighborhood, and, as near as can be ascertained, the time they
settled there and the places where all of both neighborhoods
severally located; also the names of their respective descendants to
the third generation of the Peenpack neighborhood, their marriages
and manner of living, and the ages to which they respectively
arrived, as near as I could ascertain the same. Also certain matters
in relation to a late emigration into this town of inhabitants who
have built up the village of Port Jervis, which commenced about the
year 1827; the great diminution of birds, snakes, frogs and toads,
within the last thirty years; also the commencement and continuance
from time to time of religious worship, and the first introduction of
Justices of the Peace, &c.; the anterior prices of farmers'
productions, and of wages, together with some speculative and
interesting matters in relation to the same.

Note.--There were some members of families in both neighborhoods
whose names I did not know, and have left blanks for the same, so
that the purchaser of a book can write the names of his respective
relatives, omitted in the blanks left for that purpose.

[The committee on publication have supplied these names, so far as
they have been able, and have included them in brackets in their
proper places.]

The "History of Deerpark" was written by Mr. Gumaer between the years
of 1858 and 1862 from materials collected by him during many years of
close observation and after much diligence and painstaking in the
collection of facts derived from frequent intercourse with others. It
is safe to say that no other person in the town of Deerpark, within
the last fifteen years, has been so well qualified by the possession
of historical facts and other considerations to write its history as
was Mr. Gumaer. Samuel W. Eager, in his history of Orange county,
published in 1846 and 1847, says that he is more indebted to Mr.
Gumaer than to any one person in the county for his "good will and
assistance" in preparing his history. This work, prepared with so
much care, has been very generously donated by his son, Peter L.
Gumaer, to the Minisink Valley Historical Society, who have deemed it
of sufficient value to publish, and appointed a committee to
superintend its publication. This committee have found it necessary
to make a few changes in the correction of dates, which have been
found to be erroneous, as also in a few instances in the names of
persons and of places occupied by them. Where blanks have been left
by the author in the names of families, to which he alludes in his
introduction, the committee have endeavored to fill them, so far as
they have been able, from church records and other sources. Where any
blanks remain unfilled, or where there may be any errors in the
filling up, or in the original, the committee will esteem it a favor
to be informed of the same. The changes that have been thus made are
indicated either by the names being enclosed in brackets or by
explanatory notes at the bottom of the page. As the history was
written about thirty years ago, Mr. Gumaer designates particular
places by their then owners and occupants. As these have, in many
instances, undergone changes by death and removal, the committee have
added notes indicating the present owners and occupants. With these
exceptions and an occasional word or two, the history is published as
originally written.

The committee close this statement with a brief sketch of the author:

Peter E. Gumaer was born in the town of Deerpark, at or near Fort
Gumaer, May 28, 1771, and died December 18, 1869, at the age of 98
years, 6 months and 20 days. His parents were Ezekiel Gumaer and
Naomi Low. He was a descendant of the French Huguenots, who fled from
France at the time of their persecution. His father, being a farmer,
he inherited the business and also learned the art of surveying,
which he followed for more than fifty years. He surveyed most of the
lands in the town of Deerpark, and also of adjoining towns. He was
plain and unassuming in manner and deportment, much attached to his
home and family, and, during his whole lifetime, lived in the town of
Deerpark, having never visited the city of New York. In his
principles he was regarded as a man of great integrity, always
manifesting a conscientious regard for right, and nothing but strict
and exact justice would satisfy him. His habits of living were
extremely temperate, using but little animal food and no stimulants,
except tea. He was a man of great industry, never idle and never
seeking pleasure or enjoyment outside of business or study. He was of
a literary turn of mind, and devoted as much of his time to reading
and study as his pursuits would allow. He took great delight in the
study of astronomy and philosophy. He was especially interested in
Sir Isaac Newton's theory of the motions of the heavenly bodies, and
said if it was correct, perpetual motion was possible and sought for
a long time to demonstrate it practically. In 1851 he published a
small volume upon astronomy. During his life he held many positions
of public trust, which were filled with credit to himself and to the
satisfaction of his constituents. It is said that among the many
instruments of writing drawn by him not one was ever broken in a
court of law, nor were any of his surveys of land found to be

He held in high esteem his ancestry, whose remains are buried in the
Gumaer Cemetery, and a few years previous to his death, as a token of
regard for them, he erected monuments to their memory with appropriate

In his early life it was customary for the ministers in the Reformed
Dutch Church, which he attended, to preach in the Holland (Dutch) and
English languages on alternate Sabbaths, and so familiar was he with
the former that upon returning home he was at a loss to say, when
asked, in which language the services had been held. A bit of romance
has been related concerning his marriage. It is said that when he was
a young man he visited the house of his future mother-in-law, and
that she had a little child in the cradle which she was rocking, and
that she said to him: "Peter, I want you to rock the cradle, and when
this child growls up to be a young woman you may have her for a
wife." It so proved that he married this same child that he had thus
rocked in the cradle.

The names and ages of Mr. Gumaer's children are as follows:

 Morgan, born January 27th, 1815, and died July 5th, 1855.
 Ezekiel P., born May 10th, 1817, and died June 25th, 1877.
 Jacob C. E., born October 18th, 1820, living at Ovid, Mich.
 Peter L., born January 29th, 1827, living at Guymard, N. Y.
 Naomi, born January 20th, 1830, and died May 2d, 1862.
 Andrew J., born November 4th, 1833, living at Guymard, N. Y.
 Esther Harriet, born August 30th, 1835, living at Brooklyn, N. Y.,
   widow of Isaac Mulock.

                      HISTORY OF DEERPARK.

                            * * * * *


Before entering into a detail relative to the settlement of this town
by Europeans, the causes of their emigration from the fatherland,
their manner of life in this then wilderness part of our country,
&c., &c., I will give my views of what I consider to have been
anteriorly the geographical face of this district of territory, its
productions and its native inhabitants.

The present form of the surface of the earth teaches us that there
has been a time when it was in many places very different from what
it is at this day. This appears to be the case wherever there are
rivers and streams of water; and we have reason to think that many
lakes and ponds have been drained by the action of streams of water
issuing therefrom. It must be the case that there was a time when the
surface of the ground in the valley along the Neversink and Delaware
rivers in this town, together with that part of it which extends
southwest to the gap of the mountain, where the Delaware passes
through it, and northeast to the North river, &c., laid below the
bottom of a lake of water. This opinion has been formed previous to
my contemplations respecting it. Eager gives some account of this in
his "History of Orange County," pages 407 and 408, and sufficiently
establishes the fact from Indian tradition, &c.

Not only does the gap of the mountain, where the river passes through
it, exhibit strong reasons of a passage being worn through it by the
action of the water of a lake in this valley, but the knolls and low
hills in this valley show that they have undergone much washing of
water; and, what appears somewhat mysterious, hills thirty and forty
feet higher than the surface of the river flats are all composed of
ground, gravel, sand and such smooth stones as are in the bottoms of
rivers, from which it appears that not only the surface of those
hills, but that all the materials of which they are composed, have
for some length of time been water-washed. We find in them some
places of clear sand, not mixed with the other materials mentioned,
such as is in river sand banks; from which we have reason to
conjecture that after the water received a passage through the
mountain it created a current in the lake towards it, and as that
passage enlarged and wore down, the water in the lake drew off and
the current of its stream increased and washed the highest parts of
its bottom down into the hollows, where the water was deep, and
thereby run down gradually large bodies of water-washed stones,
gravel, sand and ground from the highest elevations of the bottom
surface into its lowest parts, many of which have remained where they
have been carried by the waters, and the adjoining ground, which
first was highest, has run down the stream and continued to be moved
down until a gradual descent of the rivers was formed, on a bottom of
smooth water-washed stones, gravel and sand, which now lie at
different depths below the surface of the river flats, viz.: from
about four to seven and eight feet below that of the lands along the
Neversink river, and at greater depths along the surface of the
Delaware river flats.

After a river bottom was formed where the flats now are, the stream
creating meandering channels through those river bottom flats would
contain the water of the rivers when low, but in freshets, overflow
the flat bottoms, whereby in every freshet a part of the ground which
the water carried down in such times, lodged on the surface of those
flats, which, continuing to accumulate in this way for a great length
of time, raised the surface so high that the freshets did not
overflow it, unless partially in uncommon high water; and as the
waters became more and more confined in stationary channels, the
bottoms of these wore down by the action and weight of the water. In
this manner undoubtedly was formed the soil of our river lands. In
the vicinity of the gap of the Shawangunk mountain, through which the
New York & Erie Railroad passes, are indications in some places on
the east side of the mountain of the surface of the ground having in
a very remote period of time been under water, when I contemplate it
ran through this gap into the valley west of the mountain into a lake
which has been mentioned.

All rivers and streams have formed the grade of their bottoms from
their summits toward the ocean according to their magnitude, and the
original formation of the respective districts of country through
which they pass.

The river flats, amounting to about three or four thousand acres, was
nearly all the land in this town which the first pioneers considered
to be of any value for agricultural purposes, the residue being
generally mountainous, rough, stony land, was by them considered to
be of no value for farming purposes.


This district of territory which the small town of Deerpark now
embraces, when the Indians were its sole proprietors, was a very
plentiful place for Indian life when first discovered by Europeans.
The fiats, covered with a tall grass from four to six feet high, and
the same and surrounding woods, often burned over, abounded with
numerous deer, bears, raccoons, and many smaller animals suitable for
the sustenance of men, also with turkeys, ducks, partridges and other
birds suitable for man's diet. Generally in the spring of the year
vast numbers of pigeons passed over here to the northeast, vast
flocks of which generally lighted on the trees and ground to get
food, which gave opportunities of killing some of them. The rivers
and brooks teemed with different kinds of fishes, such as trout,
pike, chubs, suckers, sunfish, catfish and eels, and numerous shad in
the spring season in both the Delaware and the Neversink rivers, in
the latter of which they ran up about five miles, which distance then
generally was deep water and extended to where David Swartwout now
lives; [FN] these fish were caught by bush seines, and in the Delaware
river were also many rockfish, which were taken in the fall of the
year by means of eel-weirs and bush seines, some of which were the
largest fish in this part of that river. Also, there were, and still
are, different kinds of nuts, such as white walnuts, hickory nuts,
chestnuts, butternuts, hazelnuts; also various kinds of fruit and
berries, to wit: large and small grapes, plums, black and red wild
cherries, huckleberries, strawberries, black and red raspberries,
blackberries of two or more kinds, and wintergreen berries. Such was
this district of country and its productions when our forefathers
came here, so that they could obtain a plentiful supply of the best
of wild meats of animals, fowls and fishes, and, by the cultivation
of small portions of their lands, they could obtain a supply of
grain, roots and other vegetables. They could not do much at farming
before the children of these first families became able to assist in
that business. At this early period of their settlement they pounded
their grain for such bread, cakes and soups as they made in those
times, for doing which they procured pounding stones from the
Indians, who manufactured them, and made or obtained from the Indians
pounding blocks from one and a half to two and a half feet long, and
about ten inches in diameter, in one end of which a suitable round
cavity was burned in which to pound their grain, coarse salt, &c. The
Indians manufactured both the stones and blocks in good style.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Now (1889) the residence of Peter D. Swartwout.

Jacob Cuddeback built a small mill on a spring brook near his
residence. How it answered the purpose of grinding is not known. One
of the stones in my possession (now broken) was about two feet in
diameter and about two inches thick. It was found in a cellar of an
old house which stood near Cuddeback's first residence.

The animals, fowls and fishes probably did not diminish whilst the
Indians were the only inhabitants of this part of the country. The
increase of these people was slow. A married couple generally did not
have more than two or three children, in consequence of which they
did not become more thickly populated than to consume only a small
proportion of the abundance of wild meat this part of the country
continued to produce, and they, not having the means we have to kill
and get the wild animals, fowls and fishes, often suffered in
consequence of not being enabled to kill as many as they wanted for
their support. The most dexterous of them could generally get a
plentiful supply, but those who were inactive had sometimes to be
assisted by the others, especially in the cold season of the year.


When we take a view of the difference between the acquirements of the
Indian race of people and those of our own nation, and the European
and other enlightened nations of the world, we behold an endless
acquisition which the industry and perseverance of the latter have
brought into their possession, whilst the former have scarcely made
a remove from a state of infancy in respect to improvements. This we
cannot so much ascribe to their mental abilities as to their indolence
and distaste of the pursuits of our people, preferring their own mode
of life to that of ours. They were in a state of great destitution
before their intercourse with Europeans for want of such materials as
they were enabled to procure after Europeans settled among them, from
whom they could obtain such materials as were necessary for their
livelihood, guns, traps, hatchets, knives, blankets, and other articles
of which they stood in need, whereby their condition of life was much
improved; and these advantages which they derived and which their
descendants still continue to obtain as mentioned, were, and continue
to be of greater benefit to these people than the territories which they
abandoned; for they now have the means of obtaining a more comfortable
living than what they had before Europeans came into this country. Yet
we must admit that it was a disagreeable and melancholy trial for them
to leave their native places; but for these sacrifices they have
received and continue to receive a good reward, of which they would have
remained destitute if they had remained alone in this country. It is
the lot of mankind to undergo such changes. Thousands of foreigners and
our own citizens are continually migrating from place to place to
advance their interest and better their condition in life. Before
Europeans came into this country, stone, wood and clay were the only
materials of which they manufactured any implements for their use; and
stone axes, bows and arrows were the most valuable articles they
manufactured. The stone axe was made of a solid stone, about six inches
long and two thick, one end round and the other flattened with a
rounding towards its edge, which was made as sharp as the nature of
the stone would bear for its intended use. With these they would get
bark from trees to cover their wigwams, and made other shelters under
which to evade the inclemency of storms of snow and rain, night air,
&c.; also to get bark for canoes, and girdle trees to kill them, so
that the bark and limbs would fall for fuel. And with these axes in a
slow operation they could cut and split small saplings for bows, and
with these and other sharp stones and bones could scrape them off to
a required thickness. Arrow heads (generally called harpoons in this
section) were made of different kinds of flint stones, from three to
about four inches long, one inch wide at the large end, and tapering
from that to the small end. They were flat and rounding towards each
side for sharpening the edges; a notch was worked into each side of
the big end to fasten it into the arrow. These appear to have been
made by knocking off small scales, whereby their surfaces, were left

It was said that they had manufactured pots of clay for cooking, and
that a few remains of these had been found, in a broken condition,
and that they made eel-pots of with and caught therein eels and fish
by setting them in the mouths of eel-weirs, which consisted of wings
of stones thrown up in rivers and streams of water. The stone axes,
bows and arrows were of great value to the naked-handed Indians. With
the latter it was said that they could even kill a deer by making the
bow very stiff and laying down with it in the tall grass which grew
on the flats near to a deer-path, would, when a deer approached to
pass, place both feet against the bow and with both hands draw the
string or cord of the bow and shoot the deer as it passed, so as to
kill it. It was said they made use of a sharp flint stone to skin it.

Now, although the improvements the natives of this country had made
during their existence in it was very trifling, yet they had attained
to about all that was in their reach in the circumstances under which
they labored, and had come to the borders of a gigantic step which
was necessary to be made for entering into a field of improvements
similar to that of the enlightened nations of the world.


This step is the manufacturing of iron from the ore, and iron and
steel utensils. The most ingenious of our own race of people would be
puzzled to get into operation any works to answer that purpose,
naked-handed as those people were, and in their state of ignorance
when alone in this country. This discovery of manufacturing iron and
steel utensils is the most useful to mankind of any ever made.
Without the manufacture of iron, or some other metal which would have
answered the same purpose, mankind must all have remained in that
low, naked-handed and unimproved state in which the Indians were
found in this country. The production of this metal by the original
cause of all things, and its manufacture, are indispensable for the
whole business of mankind. The blacksmith and manufacturer of iron
and steel stand at the head of all other mechanics. If the
productions of the former were to pass out of existence, that of the
latter would inevitably become extinct and the farmer would have to
abandon the cultivation of the earth, and the wheels of all the
hydraulic works and manufacturing machineries whatever would cease to
move. The oceans, seas, lakes and rivers would become unburdened of
the ships and vessels passing thereon; the rattling of cars on the
railroads would stop their music, and the still voice of the
telegraph would cease to whisper its news. The consequence of all of
which would be starvation and a miserable life of such as should
survive to witness such a terrible catastrophe.

From all of which we are taught the great blessing we have derived in
being suitably formed for its manufacture, and the construction of
innumerable articles for our use and advantage, new inventions of
which are continually exhibited.

Dr. Franklin, a lover of science and friend of man, in the latter
part of his life said, that after a century from the time of his
decease he would like to revisit the earth to see what improvements
would be made in that time. If he now, after a shorter period, should
be reinstated on earth in his former capacity, he undoubtedly would
be astonished at the vast mechanical improvements made in our country
since his time, and his philanthropy would receive the very pleasing
satisfaction of having himself made a discovery from which has
originated one of the most wonderful discoveries ever made, viz.: to
convey intelligence instantaneously over any distance on our globe.

Now, although the Indians still remain disposed to pursue their own
habits of life, yet it appears obvious that the time will come when
it will be necessary for their descendants to become an improved and
educated people and to get a livelihood by agriculture, manufacture
and literature; for they, as well as ourselves, are susceptible of
such improvements. Their habits of life, continued from generation to
generation for a very great length of time, seem to have become so
seated in their minds that all the entreaties which the white people
have from time to time made to abandon their present mode of life and
pursue that of ours, has had but little effect on the great body of
Indians to lead them out of the long accustomed habits of their

As they were scattered over all parts of this country before
Europeans came into it, and, as their increase has been slow, it is
evident that their origin in it must have been in a very remote
period of time. They generally were most numerous where the animals,
fowls and fishes on which they lived were most plentiful, which was
in the vicinity of rivers and streams of water, lakes and ponds; and,
in consequence of living chiefly on those natural productions and
their destitution of the means to get a sufficient supply of these,
made it necessary for them to scatter thinly over this part of our
country for procuring a competency for their subsistence. It was said
they raised corn and beans in very small quantities.

We have accounts of the South American Indians manufacturing vessels
and trinkets of gold before Europeans came into it, in such parts of
that country and its islands where that metal was plenty. This would
have been easily done with the use of stones, as the same is very

                           FIRST SETTLERS.

In the year 1690, as near as can be determined, Jacob Cuddeback,
Thomas Swartwout, Anthony Swartwout, Bernardus Swartwout, Peter
Gumaer, John Tyse and David Jamison, [FN-1] settled in the present
town of Deerpark, in the County of Orange and State of New York, on
and near a handsome knoll or hill contiguous to a spring brook and a
spring of living water, in the central part of the Peenpack flats.
[FN-2] This spring still remains near its first location, but not as
flush as formerly. The upper surface of this hill is flat, and its
elevation about 20 feet higher than the lowland surrounding it. The
Indian name, "Peenpack," was, by certain of the ancient people, said
to be significant of this hill and spring.

                             * * * * *

 [FN-1] Tyse and Jamison, it appears from other sources of
 information, did not become permanent settlers here. Jamison was
 from Scotland, and, from 1697 to 1714, served either as Vestryman or
 Warden in Trinity Church, New York, where he was Recorder of the city
 in 1712, and Attorney-General of the Province of New York in 1720.
 Tyse (Tyson) lived at Kingston.

 [FN-2] About three-fourths of a mile south of the old stone house,
 which stands near A. E. Godeffroy's dwelling, all of which was
 formerly owned by Peter E. Gumaer and family. Fort Gumaer was located
 on the south end of this knoll, on which spot now stands the frame
 dwelling owned by A. J. Gumaer, of Guymard, and occupied by a tenant.

Peter Gumaer located himself at the southwest end of the hill, John
Tyse between that and the spring brook, Bernardus Swartwout on the
easterly brow of the hill, a few rods westerly of the spring, where
the cellar now remains; Thomas Swartwout on the central part of the
hill, opposite the spring, where the cavity of his cellar remains;
Jacob Cuddeback a few rods northeast of the northeast end of the
hill, on the low ground, where has been a cavity of his cellar, now
leveled; Anthony Swartwout, where the house formerly of Cornelius Van
Inwegen stood, a few rods northeast of Cuddeback's place of
residence, and David Jamison, somewhere near this last location. Here
these few families had advantageously located themselves for material
assistance to repel Indian attacks, in case they should happen, and
also for all of them to get water out of the spring for their drink
in hot weather. The most distant of those residences was not over
thirty rods from it.

[Illustration: Gumaer's Old Stone House.]

Eager, in making researches for a history of Orange County, found
this settlement to be the earliest of any in it. [FN-1] The liberty
of settling here was probably obtained from the Indians by purchase;
for it appears that these settlers were and remained at peace with
them and on friendly terms until the commencement of the French war.
As the neighborhood in time extended about four miles in length, it
continued to bear that name, although there were several localities
within that distance which had other Indian names; one at my present
residence; one at the Neversink river, near the aqueduct of the
canal; one at the present residence of Col. Peter P. Swartwout,
[FN-2] and two between that and the first Peenpack locality. In these
several places resided small collections of Indians near living
springs and streams of water.

                              * * * * *

 [FN-1] Since then it has been ascertained that there was an earlier
 settlement in the county near New Windsor, at what is known as Plum
 Point. In 1684, Patrick McGregorie, his brother-in-law David Toshuck,
 who subscribed his name "Laird of Minivard," and twenty-five others
 principally Scotch Presbyterians, purchased a tract of 4,000 acres,
 embracing lands on both sides of Murderer's creek. Here, on
 Couwanham's Hill, so-called from its aboriginal owner, but now known
 as Plum Point, McGregorie built his cabin, and in the same vicinity
 were those of his associates, William Chambers, William Sutherland
 and one Collum, while on the north side of the creek David Toshuck
 and his servant Daniel Maskrig established a trading post. (See
 Ruttenber's History of Orange County, p. 21, 22)

 [FN-2] Now (1889) owned and occupied by Benjamin Swartwout.

When this place was first settled, it was about 25 or 30 miles
distant from the nearest settlement of white people, which latter was
on the road from here to Kingston. Two of the first pioneers,
Cuddeback and Gumaer, were from France and of families who were in
comfortable circumstances of life, which appears evident from what
has been said by them in relation thereto, and from the fact that
they had been brought up without doing any manual labor. It was said
that their hands were so soft and tender when they first came into
America that they blistered and bled when they first labored for a
living in this country. The family of Cuddeback were in a trading
business, in which Cuddeback had served as clerk. It was said the
family of Gumaer were rich and in possession of large bills of
exchange, for which they could not get money before he had to flee to
escape persecution or death. From a certificate of his, in the French
language, in relation to his church membership and character, dated
the 20th of April, 1686, it appears that he then was in France and
about 20 years of age. In 1685, the edict of Nantes was revoked by
Louis XIV., King of France, whereby the Huguenots became unprotected
by the laws of that country and exposed to the vengeance of the
Catholics, who were the most numerous and powerful class of people in
that country, and, after they became unrestrained, exercised their
power to torture and murder the former, and to plunder and destroy
their property, which caused a flight of thousands of them from
France into other countries, in which the two individuals mentioned
made their escape from it.

The name Cuddeback, as now written and Codeback as written in the
patent, must both differ from the original orthography. Cuddeback has
said that his name was that of a certain city in France. On examining
an ancient gazetteer I find the orthography of one city in that
country to be "Caudebec," which, in the French tongue, has the same
oral sound as that of Codeback in the English tongue.

The Rev. Henry Morris, of Cuddebackville, has furnished me with some
historical accounts from Malte Brun's Universal Geography, Vol. 6,
being the following notice of Caudebec:

"Caudebec was formerly the capitol of Caux, a small country in which
agriculture has attained to a high degree of perfection, where every
house, surrounded by trees of different sorts, contributes to adorn
the different sites; indeed, the country, watered by the Seine from
Havre to Rouen, may vie with the vaunted banks of the Seine. Caudebec
was a flourishing town before the revocation of the edict of Nantes;
it was almost ruined in consequence of that impolitic measure, and,
although it possesses a convenient harbor, the population does not
exceed three thousand souls. It is situated in the district of
Yvetot, a small town of which the lords before the reign of Louis XI.
were styled kings by their vassals."

Morris further states that "Caudebec is situated in the department of
the Lower Seine, in which are the following towns: Lillebonne, Rouen,
Elbeuf, Gournay and Aumale," and judges that it lies on the river
Seine between Paris and the English Channel, and belongs to that part
of France that anciently was called Normandy.

I feel very thankful for this information. It reminds me of certain
occurrences which attended Cuddeback and Gumaer at the time of their
flight from France, and all in connection gives me reason to think
that both of them resided in the capital mentioned.

Caudebec said that the vessel in which he escaped from his country
had many wheat bread passengers on it, who, after a few days'
sailing, began to complain of their fare on the vessel, and that they
could not live on the diet furnished, when the same consisted of
plenty of bread, meat, beans, and other vegetables, and such eatables
as were generally had on ships, but were inferior to such as they had
been habituated to. As for himself, he said he thought he could do
well enough on such victuals, but, he said, before they arrived at
their place of destination, provisions became scarce and they began
to have good reason to complain. From which, it appears, that their
voyage must have been retarded by contrary winds, or a circuitous
route, to avoid being taken by their enemies. I have also understood
that Gumaer lived in a city, and, when his enemies sought for him, he
was reading in a garden, where he was informed of his enemies
searching for him and he fled to the top of one of the houses, where
he hid. Now, as it appears that this city was a flourishing place
before it became reduced by the persecutions mentioned and suffered
much in consequence of the same, and, as one of those two individuals
bore the name of the town, it appears very probable that the
passengers in the vessel mentioned were all from this capital.

I have been informed that Caudebec sometimes related the manner in
which the Protestants, or Huguenots, were tortured and murdered, one
of which I still remember, but consider it too shocking to our
feelings to embrace it in this work, being worse, in my view, than
the vile Nero's project of employing dogs to kill Christians. These
innocent people in the early days of Christianity suffered great
persecutions from those who were inimical to their professions and
doctrines. It seems strange that after their doctrine became popular,
the greatest proportion of those who embraced it in France became as
cruel as the monster Nero, who had the power to exhibit to the world
his thirst for imposing on mankind the numerous cruelties he caused
to be inflicted. He became so destitute of the feelings of humanity
that he caused even his own mother to be put to death to satisfy an
unnatural curiosity. Also the great moralist, Seneca, who had been
his tutor, did not escape his jealous disposition, but was put to
death according to his orders. All his impositions for self present
gratification will remain an everlasting stain on his character of
the blackest dye, and the sufferings he caused to be endured must
have affected thousands of his subjects.

Now, all these acts are only as a drop of water in a bucket to like
acts unnecessarily imposed from time to time on the Roman people and
other nations, by ruling characters of Roman dominions.

What shall we think of mankind, who, for self-exaltation, have so
overcome all those tender feelings implanted in their natures as to
kill, murder and plunder each other without any just cause, but
merely to satisfy the cravings of men who were a curse to the world?
I do not know of any species of creatures on the globe who have acted
as cruel as human beings have done in this respect. And by taking a
view of the sins of the ancient nations, who have been destroyed, it
appears that good reason existed for their destruction, and that all
the animal tribes have yielded more to the government and laws of
their Creator than mankind.

The name Gumaer, as now written, was on the certificate written
"Guimar." In another writing, which gave Gumaer the right of
citizenship in the English territories, it was written "Guymard."
This writing was also found among the papers formerly of Peter
Gumaer, Jr., now (1858) in possession of his son-in-law, Solomon Van
Etten, Esq. It is probable that the names Gomar, Guymard and Guimar,
in France, originated from one of those names, the last of which is
the name of a certain town within the French territories. I have
never seen the handwriting of Cuddeback or Gumaer. The children of
the first families were not educated, in consequence of which, when
it became necessary to write their names in their business
transactions, &c., the same was done in the Dutch tongue, without any
other guide than that of the oral sound, which of the latter name had
become somewhat broader among the Dutch than what it was originally;
and the French sound of "mar" was altered in the Dutch sound of
"maer," which is the same as that of "maur" in the English tongue.

A hasty flight of these two individuals prevented them from being
furnished with sufficient funds for a livelihood, in consequence of
which it was concluded that two sisters of Cuddeback, who were to
leave France afterwards and meet them at their place of destination
(which, the writer has understood, was to be England, but it may have
been in Holland), were to bring money for setting up a business of
trade. It is probable that there was an intended marriage of Gumaer
with one of those sisters. They did not arrive at the appointed time,
and, after all hope of their coming was given up, these two young men
embarked for America and landed in the State of Maryland, which
passage exhausted all their money, and here they began to experience
the want of it. After a short stay, they came into the State of New
York, where both entered into a state of matrimony, Cuddeback with a
daughter of Benjamin Provost, who was in a trading business either in
the city of New York or somewhere in the vicinity of the Hudson
river, whereby he became related to some Swartwout families, which
probably led to an association of Cuddeback, the three Swartwouts and
other companions to move into this part of the country. Peter, son of
the first Gumaer, has said that his son Elias took after the Deyo
family, which leads us to infer that Gumaer's wife was of a Deyo

The name of the father of the three Swartwouts is not known, but we
have reason to believe it was Gerardus, as this is a name which has
been given to at least one member of each Swartwout generation from
the first in this neighborhood to the present; and also in the family
of Harmanus Van Inwegen, whose wife was a Swartwout, and the name of
their only son was Gerardus, which name has also continued in his
family descendants to the present time. The name Jacobus (James) and
the name Samuel, are Swartwout names, and have continued in those
families to the present time. In the early part of the settlement
here, there were two Swartwouts who sometimes came over here from the
east side of the Hudson river (probably from Dutchess or Westchester
counties) to see their relatives here. The name of one of them was
Jacobus (James), and he was generally called Dickke Jacobus (Thick
James), in consequence of his bodily thickness. It was said he was
uncommonly broad and thick around his shoulders and breast, and
unusually strong. It is probable that the Swartwouts in this place
either came from the city of New York or from one of the counties on
the east side of the Hudson river, and that their ancestry emigrated
from Holland into this country at an early period of its settlement
for advancing their interests.

Cuddeback, Gumaer and one of the Swartwouts were the only three of
the first settlers who remained in the present town of Deerpark, and
they became the owners of the land granted by the patent; and having
become too weak to defend their possessions against Jersey claimants,
they let Harmanus Van Inwegen have some of their lands to come and
reside here and help defend their possessions. He was a bold, strong
and resolute man, on whom much reliance was placed. He was originally
from Holland, and in the early part of his life had been a seafaring
man. At a certain time he was at the house of Cuddeback, and on
hearing him read that part of history which relates to Hindoo women
suffering themselves to be burned, after the death of their husbands,
in case of being the survivors, said that his own eyes had seen what
he (Cuddeback) was reading, and mentioned the place of the occurrence
and manner in which it was transacted. Van Inwegen had married a
sister of the three Swartwouts.

It is somewhat uncertain which of the three Swartwouts remained in
this neighborhood, but as the seats of Bernardus and Thomas became
vacated, and Anthony's continued to be occupied by Van Inwegen after
Samuel and James Swartwout removed more distantly from the
neighborhood first settled, I will make use of his name as the
father of the two latter. Another reason is that the seats of
Bernardus and Thomas became possessed by the second Peter Gumaer. He
bought the rights of two Swartwouts.

It is not known what became of the families of Tyse and Jamison, nor
where the two Swartwouts went, who removed from here. There are
Swartwouts down the Delaware river, in the State of Pennsylvania, or
New Jersey, among whom the name of Bernardus has been kept up. These
probably are descendants of Bernardus who settled here. There also
are Swartwouts on the Susquehanna. These may be descendants of Thomas

After the seven first settlers had resided here a few years, they
sent Jacob Cuddeback to the Governor of the New York Colony to obtain
a patent to cover as much land as they intended to occupy, which was
granted the 14th of October, 1697, for 1,200 acres land to Jacob
Cuddeback, Thomas Swartwout, Anthony Swartwout, Bernardus Swartwout,
Jan Tyse, Peter Germar and David Jamison, who, as near as can be
determined, continued to be the only settlers of white people in this
part of the country for a term of more than 20 years. The strongest
evidence of this is that the children of the first settlers between
this place and the Delaware river were contemporary with the
grandchildren of the first settlers, and that some of the children of
the first pioneers were among the first settlers of both the lands
between this place and the Delaware river, and a few miles down the
same in the north part of New Jersey. One daughter of Jacob
Cuddeback, one of Van Inwegen, one of Swartwout, and a sister of the
second Peter Gumaer's wife, were among the first settlers between
this place and the Delaware; and one son and four daughters of
Cuddeback were among the first in the north of New Jersey.

There were two neighborhoods in this town, one of which, formerly
known by the name of Peenpack neighborhood, extended southwest to the
old county line, formerly between Orange and Ulster counties, and the
other extended from that line southwest to the Delaware river, and
was in the first instance designated "over the river neighborhood,"
in consequence of its population then being principally on the east
side of the river, but after the increase of inhabitants on the west
side of the river the whole district was generally termed "the lower

                               ANCIENT FAMILIES

                                    OF THE

                             PEENPACK NEIGHBORHOOD.

   Cuddeback lived to be about 100 years old.)

First son, Benjamin Cuddeback, never married. He, in the first
instance, lived with his brother William, and afterwards with his
nephew, Benjamin Cuddeback. (Lived to be about 80 years old.)

Second son, William Cuddeback, married Jemima Elting, daughter of
____ Elting of the Old Paltz. He became owner of his father's farm,
and resided on the premises afterwards occupied by his son, Captain
Cuddeback. (Lived to be about 74 years old.)

Third son, James Cuddeback, married Neelje Decker, daughter of
Christopher Decker, of Shipikunk, in the north part of New Jersey
where Cuddeback became a resident. (Died about 30 years of age.)

Fourth son, Abraham Cuddeback, married Esther Swartwout, daughter of
Major James Swartwout, of Peenpack. They resided near the present
dwelling house of Peter L. Gumaer until they became old and were
removed by their sons to Skaneateles Lake, in this State, where two
of his sons lived. He owned a farm where he first resided, (Abraham
Cuddeback died at Skaneateles Aug. 18th, 1796, aged 83 years. His
wife died April 11th, 1798, aged 65.)

One daughter, Dinah Cuddeback, married Abraham Louw, a son of Tyse
Louw, [FN] of Rochester, in Ulster county. He was a blacksmith and
settled in Shipikunk, in the north part of New Jersey, and became
owner of a good farm, of which Wilhemus Fredenburgh, Peter and Joseph
Van Noy and James and Evart Van Auken afterwards became owners.
(Dinah lived to be about 74 years old.)

                             * * * * *

 [FN] Tyse Louw and wife commenced life poor. The writer knows nothing
 respecting their ancestors. He was an indolent, non-providing and
 intemperate man. She was the reverse of him in those respects; and
 the whole business of the family devolved on her, in which he
 exercised no manner of control, but left the whole business of the
 family to be managed according to her direction. He was naturally
 good-natured, and very indulgent to her. She furnished him daily with
 such small portions of liquor as would not intoxicate him. She
 entered into the business of manufacturing linen, both for the
 wearing apparel of the family, and to defray the other expenses, and
 did yearly manufacture more than a supply for the same, the surplus
 of which she took to New York at the end of every year, and for it
 procured such articles of trade as her spinsters and neighbors
 generally wanted to purchase, and in this way she made a yearly
 addition to her stock of goods and thus obtained wealth and credit,
 so that she became enabled to keep a good assortment of such goods as
 were salable in her time and commanded quite an extensive trade. She
 also carried on the blacksmith business, for which she employed a
 workman and put her own son, Abraham Louw, with him in the shop to
 learn the trade. Not long before her decease she had told a
 confidential friend that she had 1,200 pounds in money. Besides this
 she had her store of goods and other property. The 1,200 pounds was
 equal to $3,000, which in her time was worth about three times as
 much as at the present time.

Another daughter, Eleanor Cuddeback, married Evart Hornbeck, son of
____ Hornbeck, of Rochester, in Ulster county. They first settled on
the farm now in possession of Joseph Cuddeback in this town, and
afterwards moved into the neighborhood of Shipikunk, in New Jersey,
and became residents on or near the premises lately occupied by his
grandson, Capt. Benjamin Hornbeck, where they became owners of a good
farm. He was a blacksmith, which was a good trade in his time.
(Eleanor lived to be about 70 years.)

Another daughter, Else Cuddeback, married Harmanus Van Gorden, son of
____ ____. He was or became owner of the farm, which, after his
death, was owned by his two sons, Daniel and Benjamin Van Gorden, in
the neighborhood of Shipikunk. This name (Shipikunk) originated from
the Indians, and probably had reference to the smooth rocks against
the side of the mountain near the neighborhood, as the name "unk" is
significant of rocks. (She lived to be about 80.)

Another daughter, Maria Cuddeback, married Geo. Westfall, son of
____ Westfall, of the neighborhood of Minnissing, in New Jersey. This
was the ancient Indian name of the neighborhood in which the ancient
Minisink church was located. Her husband died and she afterwards
married ____ Cole. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] This woman lived to a great age. It was said of her that in
 early life she became very fleshy and was taken with a severe
 sickness, which reduced her very low and she became lean, and having
 found the inconvenience of being fat and fleshy and fearing to become
 so again, she thereafter stinted herself in eating less than her
 appetite craved, and lived to the age of about 100 years. She had the
 reputation of a fine woman, possessed of excellent qualities of mind.

Youngest daughter, Naomi Cuddeback, married Lodiwyke Hornbeck, a
widower, and son of Judge Jacob Hornbeck, of Rochester, in Ulster
county, where they continued to reside till after the decease of her
husband, whom she survived, and underwent different scenes in life
afterwards. She had the reputation of a sensible woman. They had one
son named Henry and one daughter Maria. The former had children, but
the latter had none. The writer knows nothing in relation to the
children of Henry.

[There appears to have been another son of Jacob Cuddeback and
Margaret Provost named Jacob, who was baptized in the Dutch church in
New York, July 7th, 1706. His name is mentioned likewise in an old
deed of his father. He married Jannetye Westbrook.]

                            * * * * *

                        SECOND GENERATION.

                       (Married April 8th, 1732.)

First son, James Cuddeback, a very active young man, became deranged.
(Lived to be about 80 years old.)

Second son, Abraham Cuddeback, married Esther Gumaer, daughter of the
second Peter Gumaer. He remained in the homestead of his father and
became owner of half of his real estate. He was Captain of a company
of militia before and during the Revolutionary War. They had four
sons, Col. William A. Cuddeback, Peter G. Cuddeback, Esq., Jacob
Cuddeback and Cornelius Cuddeback, and two daughters--Esther, wife
of Evart Hornbeck, and Jemima, wife of David Westfall. (Captain
Abraham Cuddeback lived to be about 82 years old.)

Second son, Benjamin Cuddeback (lived to be about 45), married
Catharine Van Fliet, daughter of John Van Fliet, of the lower
neighborhood, in this town. He became owner of the other half of
his father's estate. They had four sons, William, Henry, Levi and
Benjamin Cuddeback, Esq., and three daughters--Syntche, wife of
Simon Westfall; Jemima, wife of Anthony Van Etten. The other
daughter died young, and Levi, after he became a young man, died
suddenly of colic.

Fourth son, Roulif Cuddeback (lived to be about 50 years old), never
married. He fought the Indian, as mentioned in Eager's History. [FN]

                             * * * * *

 [FN] This was a hand-to-hand encounter with the Indian, near where
 Sol Van Fleet now lives, in which neither were victors, and they
 parted, each glad to get away from the other.

Only daughter, Sarah Cuddeback, married Daniel Van Fliet, son of
John Van Fliet, of the lower neighborhood. They owned the farm
heretofore sold by Samuel Cuddeback and William Donoldson to Ezekiel
P. Gumaer and brothers (nearly one-half mile south of Port Clinton.)
They had a son, Solomon, and a daughter, Sarah. (Mahakamack church
records give the baptism of four more children--Mardochai, Willem,
Thomas, Jacomyntje--1739, 1759.)

                              * * * * *


An only son, James Cuddeback, married Neyltje Westbrook, daughter of
____ Westbrook, who resided on the east side of Shawangunk mountain,
in the northeast part of New Jersey. He, a poor man, by persevering
industry became owner of a valuable farm. He had three sons--John, James
and Richard, and three daughters. Eleanor married Samuel Shelley, of
Peppercotting (Papakating) valley, south of Deckertown, N. J.; Mary
married Samuel Adams, of Deckertown; another daughter married James
Wilson, of New Jersey. These sons all moved to Niagara county,
N. Y., where their descendants are quite numerous. They spell their
name Cudeback, using but one d.

                              * * * * *


First son, James Cuddeback, married Seynta Van Fliet, daughter of
John Van Fliet, of the lower neighborhood.

Second son, Peter Cuddeback, married Margaret De Witt, daughter of
Jacob R. De Witt, of this neighborhood.

Third son, Abraham Cuddeback, married Jane De Witt, also a daughter
of J. R. De Witt. All the descendants of these sons are in Western
New York, near Skaneateles.

Fourth son, Philip Cuddeback, never married. He died, when a young
man, by over heating himself in seeking to stop a fire in the woods.
(Mahackamack church records show the baptism of two daughters
besides of Abraham Cuddeback--Annatje and Esther.)

                          * * * * *

                    (Married May 31st, 1738.)

First daughter, Jane Louw, married Jacob Van Etten, son of John Van
Etten, who resided near the Delaware, in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
They became owners of the Louw farm, in New Jersey. They had three
daughters--Dinah, Margaret and Sarah, who became motherless soon
after the birth of the last.

Second daughter, Naomi Louw, married Ezekiel Gumaer. (For their
history refer to his name in advance.)

Third daughter, Margaret Louw, married Martin Westbrook, son of
____ Westbrook. He became owner of a farm in New Jersey, on which
his daughter-in-law, Nancy Westbrook, now resides. They had one son,
Abraham, and one daughter, Mary.

Fourth daughter, Sarah Louw married Moses Depuy, son of Benjamin
Depuy, Esq., of the Peenpack neighborhood. They had three
sons--Benjamin, Abraham and Martin Depuy. The father was drowned in
the Neversink river by falling from a raft at the close of the war.

By a second marriage with Jonathan Stanton, they had two
sons--William and Moses Stanton. They owned a farm and resided on
it, at the late residence of Harmanus Cuddeback, for some years, and
exchanged it for a farm at Wurtsboro, of which the two sons became
owners. (Mahackamack church records give the baptism of a son
Jacobus; baptized April 23, 1744.)

                              * * * * *


First son, James Hornbeck, married Margaret Ennes, daughter of
William Ennes. He became owner of a part of his father's farm. They
had ____ sons, namely, Evart, ____ and ____ daughters, namely
(Elizabeth Ennes, baptized April 29, 1772, and Lena, born Dec. 23,

Second son, Joseph Hornbeck, married Lydia Westbrook, daughter of
Jacob Westbrook, of Shipikunk neighborhood. He became owner of a
part of his father's farm. They had three sons and one daughter,
Jacob, Benjamin and Saffrine (Severyne) and Lydia.

Third son, Benjamin Hornbeck, married Rebecca Wells, daughter of
____ Wells. He died in early life. They had (two) sons, namely,
(Joseph, baptized Oct. 29, 1780, and Jacobus, born Feb. 23, 1780),
and ____ daughters, namely, ____, Sara, bap. Nov. 25, 1776.

Fourth son, Evart Hornbeck, married Esther Cuddeback, daughter of
Capt. Abraham Cuddeback. They occupied the farm now owned by Joseph
Cuddeback. They had five sons--Joseph (bap. Feb. 16, 1785), Jacob,
Abraham (bap. June 22, 1783), Benjamin and Cornelius, and two
daughters--Eleanor and Jemima.

Daughter Maria Hornbeck married James Rosecrantz. They became
owners of a good farm in Westfall township, in Pennsylvania. They
had five daughters, namely, Betsy, wife of Manual Brink; Lena, wife
of Martyne Cole; Catherine, whose first husband was Daniel Decker,
and her second Crissie Bull; Roanna, wife of Saunder (Alexander)
Ennis; Diana, wife of John B. Quick.

Daughter Margaret Hornbeck married Isaac Van Auken. They resided in
the house afterwards occupied by their son, James Van Auken, and
owned a farm of which his sons James and Evert Van Auken became
possessed. They had three sons--Joseph (bap. Feb. 12, 1758), James
(bap. April 8, 1764), and Evart, and three daughters, namely--(Seletie,
bap. Oct. 17, 1773; Seletta, bap. Nov. 25, 1776; Grietje, bap. June 23,

Daughter Lydia Hornbeck married John Westbrook, son of ____
Westbrook, of Minnissing, in New Jersey. They owned a good farm and
had three daughters, one of whom died young. The names of the two
surviving were Catharine, born July 15, 1767, and other records give
the names of Jane, who married Levi Van Etten; Maria, who married
Cornelius Westbrook; John I., who was blind; Solomon, grandfather of
John I. Westbrook, of present (1889) firm of Westbrook & Stoll;
Saffrein (Severyn), who married Blandina Westbrook.

Daughter Eleanor Hornbeck married Daniel Ennes, a blacksmith, and
son of William Ennes. They had two sons--James and Alexander, and
some daughters, namely, ____.

He commenced with small means, and, by persevering industry,
acquired a valuable property, viz: one farm, where his son Alexander
resided, in New Jersey, and a farm in the vicinity of Owasco lake,
in New York.

                             * * * * *

                          (Married June 11th, 1727.)

First son, Daniel Van Gorden, married Hannah Westbrook, daughter of
Tjeick V. Westbrook, of a place now known by the name of Westbrookville.
They had three or more sons--Levi, Abraham, Martin (born Nov. 5, 1786),
____ ____, and three or more daughters--Mary (bap, Oct. 17, 1773),
Else (bap. June 14, 1775), Eleanor and Lena (bap. June 1, 1777.) He
became owner of a part of his father's farm, on which they resided.

Second son, Benjamin Van Gorden, married ____. He became owner of the
other part of his father's farm. They had ____ sons, namely, ____,
____, ____, and daughters, namely, ____, ____. One daughter, ____ Van
Gorden, married Wilhelmus Fredenburgh, of Shipikunk, where he became
owner of a farm. They had five sons--Aaron, Benjamin, Daniel, Joshua
and Hezekiah, and ____ daughters, namely, ____.

Aaron became the greatest historian of his time of the ancients in
this valley within his vicinity.

                              * * * * *


One son, Samuel Swartwout, married Esther Gumaer, daughter of Peter
Gumaer. He owned the premises on which the writer now resides, and
his house stood where the road from my house comes to the spring
brook, which brook, in his time, was about 8 or 10 rods from the foot
of the hill, and on the flat between the hill and brook some Indians
continued to reside until the Revolutionary War commenced.

Another son, James (Jacobus) Swartwout, married Anne Gumaer, also a
daughter of Peter Gumaer. He resided where Col. Peter P. Swartwout
now resides, and became major of a regiment of militia, which
extended over a wide district of territory in the present county of

One daughter, Jane Swartwout, married John (Jan) Van Fliet, who owned
the farm now occupied by Michael and Solomon Van Fliet. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Now (1889) occupied by Solomon Van Fleet, a nephew of Michael
 and Solomon.

                              * * * * *


The only daughter, Elizabeth Swartwout, married Benjamin Depuy, a son
of Moses Depuy, of Rochester, in Ulster county. Depuy, after marriage,
became a resident with his father-in-law and afterwards the owner of
all his estate. He, after marriage, built, and, after the Revolutionary
War ended, rebuilt the house of my present residence. He was for many
years a Justice of the Peace; and, near the end of his life, removed
to Owasco, where all his children, excepting one or two, had previously
settled. They had five sons--Moses, Samuel, John, Benjamin and James,
and three daughters--Margaret, Esther and Eleanor. His descendants
are now all in western countries.

                             * * * * *


First son, Gerardus Swartwout, was killed by the Indians in the time
of the French war in company with two soldiers, who also were killed
at Westbrookville about five miles from Gumaer's fort.

Second son, Philip Swartwout, married Antje Wynkoop, a daughter of
____ Wynkoop, of Rochester or its vicinity. He became owner of his
father's estate, and resided at the present residence of Col.
Swartwout. He was a Justice of the Peace before and in the beginning
of the Revolutionary War, and one of the Committee of Safety. He was
killed by the Indians when they invaded this neighborhood, and his
two eldest sons were killed at the same time and another son was
badly wounded. An Indian pursued his son James a half-mile across
lots and fences, but could not overtake him. Swartwout and first wife
had four sons--Gerardus (bap. Aug. 26, 1759), Philip, James (bap.
Sept. 18,1750), and Cornelius (bap. June 24, 1752.) (The Mahackamack
church records give the baptism also of another son, Cornelius
Wynkoop, bap. March 20, 1763), and one daughter, Anna (bap. June 17,
1754.) By a second marriage with Deborah Schoonover, he had one son,
Peter Swartwout.

One daughter, Esther Swartwout, married Abraham Cuddeback, as has
been mentioned. (For their history refer back to their names.)

Another daughter, Jane Swartwout, married ____ ____, of Rochester,
Ulster Co.

Another daughter, ____ Swartwout, married ____ Durland, of the town
of Warwick, in Orange county. There are many of their descendants in
this county. They had ____ sons, namely, ____, ____, and ____
daughters, namely, ____, ____.

                              * * * * *


One son, James (Jacobus) Van Fliet, married Margaret Palmatier. He
became owner of his father's farm, now occupied by his sons, Michael
and Solomon. They had four sons--John, Thomas, Michael (bap. Jan. 22,
1783), and Solomon, and ____ daughters, namely (Esyntje, baptized Oct.
29th, 1780; Elizabeth, born March, 1785; Clara.)

Another son, Daniel Van Fliet, married Sarah Cuddeback, of Peenpack.
For their history refer back to their names.

Another son (Samuel, married Tjaetje Cole, married by J. C. Fryenmoet,
Nov. 26th, 1752.) (See Mahackamack church records.)

One daughter, Deborah Van Fliet, married John Decker, who resided
where Simon Westfall now lives, and owned the old Decker farm at that
place and a farm east of Shawangunk mountain, which his sons, Levi
and Isaiah, occupied after their father's decease. They had three
sons--Levi (bap. Feb. 12, 1758), Isaiah and Isaac, and daughters--Margery
(born Aug. 31, 1768), Seletta (bap. Jan. 8, 1772.)

J. D.'s first wife, Elizabeth De Witt, was a daughter of Jacob De
Witt, of Rochester.

Another daughter, Catharine Van Fliet, married Benjamin Cuddeback,
son of William Cuddeback. For their history refer back to their names.

(The Mahackamack church records show the baptism of Marie, Oct, 23d,
1743, and another daughter, Marya, May 10th, 1747.)

                             * * * * *


A copy of his certificate of church membership in the French
language, viz:

Nous, sonssequez ancien du consistoire, de Moire, on l'absence de
Monsieur Morin, nostre Ministre, certifions que Pierre Guimar, de ous
on enui von fail, ei a tousjours fair profession de nostre religion,
en laquelle il osesen sans commethe aveum scandalle qui soit venu a
nostre connoissance qui empesche, quil re puisse estre admisula
participation de nos Sacrements. En foy dequoy nons luy avons signele
preveur certificon a Moire, ningtiesme 8 avril, 1686.

      S. Avillaguer.
            Losary Cillfand.
    F. Guymard.


We, the Elders of the ancient Church of Moire, in the absence of our
minister, Mr. Morin, do certify that Peter Guimar, aged about 20
years, has made a profession of our religion, and that he has never
(so far as we know) committed any act which should prevent him from
the participation of our sacraments. In witness, whereof we have
signed the foregoing certificate, at Moire, the 20th day of April,

      L. Avillaguer.
             Losary Cillfand.
    F. Guymard.

[The above translation was made by Hulda Morris, daughter of Rev.
Henry Morris.]

                              * * * * *


Among the papers formerly in possession of Ezekiel Gumaer, was found
a paper in the handwriting of Thomas Kyte, who formerly was a
schoolmaster in the Peenpack neighborhood, which contain the dates of
the births of the children of Peter Gumaer, in the Dutch tongue, of
which the following is an abstracted copy, viz:

 Dochter Anna was geboren de 30st Mart, 1693.
   "     Esther was geboren de 5d von May, in het yaer, 1697.
 Dochter Eagel is geboren de 8st von February, in het yaer 1700.
 Dochter Maria de 8st von December, in het yaer 1702.
   "     Elisabeth de 22st von Mart, in het yaer 1705.
 Soon Peter de 15 de von November, in het yaer 1708.

This is in a different hand-writing.

 In het yaer 1710 is geboren Taitie De Witt, huys vrow von Peter
 Gumar, is geoverleden de 12d November, 1756.


 Daughter Anna was born the 30th March, in the year 1693.
 Daughter Esther was born the 5th of May, in the year 1697.
 Daughter Rachel was born the 8th of February, in the year 1700.
 Daughter Mary the 8th of December, in the year 1702.
    "     Elizabeth the 22d of March, in the year 1705.
 Son Peter the 15th of November, in the year 1708.
 In the year 1710 was born Charity De Witt, wife of Peter Gumaer. She
  died the 12th November, 1756.

                              * * * * *


One daughter, Esther Guimar, married Samuel Swartwout, son of Anthony
Swartwout. (For their history and of their descendants, refer back to
their names.)

Another daughter, Anne Guimar, married James (Jacobus) Swartwout.
(For their and descendants' history, refer back to their names.)

Another daughter, ____ Guimar, married Dubois, of Rochester, in
Ulster county. He became a wealthy farmer. They had two daughters,
namely, ____ and ____.

Another daughter, ____ Guimar, married Lodewyke, son of Judge Jacob
Hornbeck, of Rochester. They had three sons--Isaac, Philip and Henry.
After her death he married Naomi Cuddeback, as mentioned.

Another daughter (Mary) Guimar, married (Jan) Elting, of Old
Shawangunk, where he occupied a farm. They had one son, Peter.

One only son, Peter Guimar, married Charity De Witt, daughter of
Jacob De Witt, of Rochester. He became owner of all his father's real
estate, excepting what was granted to Samuel and James Swartwout.
It was said the father gave a good portion to each of his daughters
for that time. About two or three years before the French war
commenced, Peter Guimar built a stone house (see page 29), 40 x 45 feet
on the ground, a cellar under the whole, and a high, roomy chamber
above the upper floor. Along two sides, below the eaves of the roof,
were made port-holes through which to shoot, either when the house
was built or the war commenced. This was a lucky transaction for
himself and neighbors. It was the largest house in this part of the
country, and best location in this neighborhood for a fort; and when
the French war commenced, a picket fort was erected on its front and
rear sides, and all the families of the neighborhood moved into it,
excepting those women and children who were sent to their relatives
in Rochester, Old Paltz and other places. A barn, which the father
had built, was 50 by 60 feet on the ground, its floor 30 by 60 feet,
a stable on each side 60 feet long. This was an additional advantage.

                              * * * * *

                           SECOND GENERATION.


In his time the family name began to be written "Gumaer," and has
continued to be so written by his descendants, and that orthography
now used will from hence be continued.

The following is an abridged copy of the last part of the Dutch
record heretofore mentioned, to wit:

 Dochter Esther geboren de 2d January, 1729-30.
 Soon Peter geboren de 19 February, 1731.
 Dochter Maregretj geboren de 12de van May, 1736.
 Soon Jacob De Witt geboren de 12de van December, 1739.
 Soon Ezekiel geboren de 29st van December, 1742.
 Dochter Maria geboren de 16de van July, 1745.
 Soon Elias geboren de 22st van January, 1748.
 Dochter Elizabeth geboren de 5de van November, 1750. Sye was
  overladen de 2de van July, 1752.


 Daughter Esther born the 2d January, 1729-30.
 Son Peter born the 19th February, 1731.
 Daughter Margaret born the 12th of May, 1736.
 Son Jacob De Witt born the 12th of December, 1739.
 Son Ezekiel born the 29th of December, 1742.
 Daughter Mary born the 16th of July, 1745.
 Son Elias born the 22d of January, 1748.
 Daughter Elizabeth born the 5th of November, 1750. She died the 2d
  of July, 1752.

Oldest daughter, Esther Gumaer, married Abraham Cuddeback. For their
and descendants' history, refer back to their names.

Oldest son, Peter Gumaer, married Hannah Van Inwegen, daughter of
Gerardus Van Inwegen. He became owner of a part of his father's
estate, on which he lived during his life. They had three sons--Jacob,
Gerardus and Peter, and one daughter Elizabeth.

Daughter Margaret Gumaer married John Decker, son of Thomas Decker.
He became owner of the farm now occupied by George Cuddeback [FN]
and resided on it during his life. They had one or more children, and
she and they died. He afterwards married Sarah Hornbeck.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Now (1889) occupied by Henry Cuddeback.

Son Jacob De Witt Gumaer married Hulda Decker, daughter of Thomas
Decker, of the lower neighborhood. He became owner of a part of his
father's estate and resided on it at the present residence of Solomon
Van Etten, Esq. [FN] They had two sons--Peter and Jacob D. Gumaer,
and six daughters--Jane, Hannah, Elizabeth, Esther, Mary and Charity.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Now (1889) occupied by Cornelius Caskey.

Son Ezekiel Gumaer married Naomi Louw, daughter of Abraham Louw, of
Shipikunk, in New Jersey. He remained in the homestead of his father
and owned a part of his farm. They had two sons--Peter E. and
Abraham. The latter died when a small boy.

Daughter Mary Gumaer married James Devens. They became owners of the
old Devens' farm in Mamakating, on which they continued to reside
during their lives. They had five sons--Elias, Jacob, Peter, James
and Abraham, and one daughter Charity.

Youngest son, Elias Gumaer, married Margaret Depuy, daughter of
Benjamin Depuy, Esq., of this neighborhood. He first had a farm of
his father, on which he resided for some years. This he exchanged for
the farm on which he last resided and sold to Abraham Cuddeback, Esq.
He and his wife, in their old age, removed to the western part of
New York, where their children had previously settled. They had four
sons--Benjamin, Elias, Samuel and Peter E. Gumaer, and two
daughters--Charity and Elizabeth.

                                  * * * * *

                              FIRST GENERATION.


His son, Gerardus Van Inwegen, married Jane De Witt, daughter of
Jacob De Witt, of Rochester, in Ulster county. He became owner of his
father's farm and resided where his son Cornelius lived previous to
his removal from this neighborhood.

His daughter, Hannah Van Inwegen, married Thos. Decker. He was or
became owner of the present farm of George Cuddeback, and resided at
his present residence. (Now, 1889, occupied by Henry Cuddeback.)

                                  * * * * *

                               SECOND GENERATION.


First son, Harmanus Van Inwegen, married Margaret Cole, daughter of
David Cole. He became owner of the farm now of Col. Peter Cuddeback,
and resided near his present dwelling house. He was a Justice of the
Peace for some years in and after the Revolutionary War, and also one
of the Committee of Safety in that war. They had eight sons--Gerardus,
David, Cornelius, Jacob, Samuel, Jacob and Josias, and two
daughters--Charlotte and Hannah. Gerardus was killed or taken prisoner
at Fort Montgomery, when it was taken, and the first Jacob died when
about 12 or 14 years old of a short illness.

Second son, Jacob Van Inwegen, never married. He owned a part of his
father's estate, which, after his death, became the property of his
two brothers. He resided with his brother Harmanus until the end of
his life.

Third son, Cornelius Van Inwegen, married Eleanor Westbrook,
daughter of Terrick V. Westbrook, of now Westbrookville, in Ulster
county (now Sullivan county, 1889.) He continued to reside on the
homestead of his father, and became owner of that part of his
father's farm. They removed, in their old age, into the western part
of this State, where nearly all their children had previously
settled. They had nine sons--Abraham, Gerardus, Daniel, John, Jacob,
Levi, Cornelius, Henry and Martin, and one daughter Mary. Cornelius,
the seventh son, died when a child, and Martin was killed by
lightning in driving a wagon from a hay-stack towards home in time
of haying. Both horses driven by him were also killed.

One daughter, Margaret Van Inwegen, married John Wallace. They
resided in this town until a few years after the Revolutionary War,
when they removed to Onondagua, in this State. They had one son
Cornelius and one daughter Jane.

Another daughter, Hannah Van Inwegen, married Peter Gumaer, as
mentioned. (For their history refer back to their names.)

The descendants of this last family have all moved into Pennsylvania,
New Jersey and the western part of New York.

(Kingston church records show the baptism of another daughter Jenneke,
Feb. 2d, 1735, and Mahackamack church records those of Tjaade, May
30th, 1739, and Elizabeth, March 15th, 1747.)

                              * * * * *

                           SECOND GENERATION.


First son, Daniel Decker, married ____ ____. They settled in New
Jersey, some distance down the Delaware river, where he owned a
farm. They had ____sons, ____, ____, ____, ____, and ____daughters,
____, ____.

Second son, John Decker, first married Margaret Gumaer; for their
history refer back to their names, and afterwards Sarah Hornbeck,
daughter of Benjamin Hornbeck, of Rochester, They had two
sons--Benjamin and Daniel, and four daughters--Margaret, Jane,
Hannah and Mary. At the commencement of the Revolutionary War, he
became Major of a Regiment of Militia of Orange county, and, when the
Indians invaded the lower neighborhood, he was wounded by the enemy
on his return from a funeral, and narrowly escaped from being taken.

Third son, Peter Decker, married (Catrina) Cole. They resided in the
north part of New Jersey, and had two sons Thomas and John, and
____ daughters--Sarah (bap. July 24, 1763), Jane.

First daughter, Hannah Decker, married Anthony Van Etten, son of
Jacob [FN] {tn} Van Etten, of Rochester, or its vicinity. He obtained
a piece of land of his father-in-law and built the house afterwards
occupied by his son, Henry Van Etten, on which he also erected a
blacksmith shop, and with the help of an apprentice pursued the
blacksmith business, of which he obtained a great run and became
owner of one of the best farms in the present town of Deerpark. He
served some years as a Justice of the Peace. They had ____ sons--Levi
(bap. Feb. 12, 1758), Henry, Thomas (bap. Sept. 8, 1751), Anthony.
(The Mahackamack church records gives the baptism of other children,
namely: Antje, bap. Jan. 14, 1753; Jenneke, bap. Ap. 28, 1754;
Margrieta, bap. Feb. 13, 1756; Alida, bap. Aug. 19, 1759; Blandina,
bap. Sept. 4, 1763; Maria, bap. Nov. 2, 1765; Tomas, bap. October 16,
1768; Jacob, Oct. 29, 1770), and ____ daughters.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] See page 133, note
 {transcriber's note: Both the name Jacob and the footnote are hand

Second daughter, Huldi Decker, married Jacob De Witt Gumaer. (For
their history refer back to their names.)

The descendants of those four ancient families are dispersed into
different parts of our country, and have become settled in different
parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan,
Wisconsin, California, and probably in some other States and
territories; and some, in connection with those among whom they have
intermarried, have remained on the premises of their forefathers and
now possess nearly all the valuable land for agricultural purposes in
the present town of Deerpark.

The reader will learn from this history that generally the
descendants of the first pioneers became farmers, and continued in
those occupations to the end of the third generation; and the
greatest proportion of the fourth and fifth generation of the present
time (1858) are farmers. Our ancestors were not in opulent
circumstances, but generally had a plenty of the necessaries of life
and were a thriving people, and, so far as the writer's knowledge
extends in relation to those who have settled in other parts of our
country, they have generally acquired farms.

Jacob Cuddeback has been known to say that by leaving France he had
been deprived of many enjoyments he might have had in that country,
but for these sacrifices he had the satisfaction of leaving his
posterity in a country of good land and easily to be acquired.

It appears that the first emigrants craved title for no more land
than what they wanted to occupy, thinking that the mountainous land
bordering on it would remain unsold, and that they and their
descendants could always get wood from it without paying for the
land. This continued so for about sixty or seventy years, when they
had to buy it at a higher price than they felt willing to pay for it,
for a supply of fuel, fencing, timber, &c. The patentees now saw
their mistake, and Jacob Cuddeback at a certain time was censured by
his son William for not having included land enough in the patent to
cover an additional tract of wood land. The old man, not relishing
this, replied, "We all can see the mistake now, when it is too late.
You have the same chance I had to provide for your family. See if you
will do better."

The descendants of the four pioneers have generally acquired as much
territory as was necessary to obtain by the sweat of the brow
comfortable livings for their respective families; and not only have
they obtained a competency for their livelihood, but a large surplus,
which, as the avails of it, have reached all branches of mechanical
and other business whatever in our country; and many of their
productions, together with the masses of other producers, have been
conveyed to European countries. In consequence of which they have
been valuable citizens, and have rendered extensive benefits to
mankind, from whom, in return, they have received an equal amount of
necessary articles and luxuries. The whole annual surplus amount now
produced by the fourth and fifth generations of the ancient little
neighborhood of Peenpack, must amount in value to many thousands of

                                  * * * * *


They removed from Neponaugh (Napanock), in Ulster county, into the
neighborhood of Peenpack about the year 1760. He was a son of Egbert
De Witt, of the former place, and she was a daughter of Moses Depuy,
of Rochester. He built the old stone and frame house at the Neversink
river, and a grist mill near the present aqueduct across the river,
and owned the farm he formerly occupied, together with those premises.
In the commencement of the Revolutionary War a fort was built contiguous
to his house, which has been termed Fort De Witt, [FN] and he was
commissioned Captain of a Company of Rangers for guarding this frontier.
According to Eager's History, it is satisfactorily ascertained that
De Witt Clinton was born in this house. The writer has also been
informed by a near neighbor, formerly of the Clinton family, that he
was born at that place.

                                  * * * * *

 [FN] Fort De Witt was located near the Suspension Bridge which
 crosses the Neversink river, on the road leading from Port Jervis to
 Cuddebackville, about one mile south of Cuddebackville. The small
 house standing (1889) near the present dwelling of Jesse Tillson,
 is on the foundation of this fort.

The family of Jacob R. De Witt and wife consisted of three
sons--Moses (bap. Dec. 12, 1766), Egbert and Jacob, and seven
daughters--Mary, Rachel, ____, Margaret, Jane, Hannah and Esther.

Moses had a suitable genius for obtaining scientific knowledge, and
an uncommon relish for the same; he also was naturally a very
persevering student and of an amiable disposition. His opportunities
for obtaining education were small; but he acquired much in view of
the disadvantages under which he labored, and far beyond that of any
of his contemporaries in this part of our country who had the same
opportunities with himself. He became employed as one of the
under-surveyors to run the line between the State of New York and
Pennsylvania, and afterwards one of the Surveyors to survey the
military lands in the State of New York. He died about the age of 27
years, possessed of a very valuable property of unsettled lands in
the district of military lands in this State. He and his brother
Egbert both died unmarried.

Youngest son, Jacob, removed from this neighborhood before he arrived
to manhood.

Daughter Mary De Witt married William Rose, from Little Britain or
its vicinity. In the time of the Revolutionary War he was commissioned
a Captain to enlist a company of soldiers to serve in that war, and,
after it ended, he became Captain of a company of militia. He, in the
latter part of his life, owned the farm, mill, &c., of his
father-in-law, then deceased.

Daughter Rachel De Witt married Robert Burnet, of Little Britain,
where he owned and occupied a farm. He has served in different county
and State offices.

One daughter married ____ ____; daughters Margaret and Jane married
Cuddeback, as has been mentioned. (For their history refer back to
their names.)

Daughter Hannah De Witt married James Ennes, son of Daniel Ennes, of
New Jersey. They became owners of a farm near the outlet of
Skaneateles lake.

Daughter Esther De Witt married James Depuy, son of Benjamin Depuy,
Esq., of the Peenpack neighborhood. They settled at Onondaga, where
they owned and occupied a farm. He served in civil and military

Abraham Westfall and wife, Blandina Van Etten, became residents in
the southwest end of the Peenpack neighborhood, in the latter part of
the Revolutionary War, and he became owner of a small, ancient
Westfall farm, now included in the farm occupied by Capt. Henry
Swartwout. A few rods east of his dwelling house stood the old stone
house of Westfall. This was the house where the fort was in the time
of the French war, and which the Indians attacked and killed part of
a company of soldiers who were traveling from New Jersey to Esopus,
and, just before the attack, had stopped in to rest and take
refreshments. The particulars of this are stated in Eager's History
of Orange County.

Abraham Westfall was a son of ____ Westfall, and his wife was a
daughter of Anthony Van Etten, Esq., of the lower neighborhood. In
the latter part of the Revolutionary War, Westfall was commissioned a
Captain of the soldiers, who, from time to time, were stationed on
this frontier. Near the end of the war he built a small fort at his
house, and, with a few soldiers and one or two families, occupied the
same. Sometime after the war ended, he removed with his family to one
of the Southern States. [FN-1] {tn}

(Children, Joseph, baptized Aug. 18th, 1782; Annatje, baptized April
20th, 1784. Mahackamack church records.) [FN-2] {tn}

                                  * * * * *

 [FN-1] Ohio
 [FN-2] Catherine Married Jacob Patrick in New Philadelphia, O., 1801.
 {Transcriber's note: Both footnotes are hand-written.}


They removed from the lower neighborhood into the Peenpack neighborhood
soon after the Revolutionary War ended. She was originally from
Rochester or its vicinity. They had three sons--Solomon, James and
Daniel, and ____ daughters--Leah, Elizabeth, Anna, ____ and Polly. They
all removed into the western part of this State, excepting some of the


He was originally from Ireland and by trade a millwright. His wife
was a daughter of James Davis, father of the preceding family. They
were married a few years after the Revolutionary War ended. He built
and occupied a grist-mill on a farm he purchased. The mill seat and
farm is now owned by John Van Etten, Esq. They had one son, William,
and a daughter.

There were a few other families in the vicinity of the Peenpack

                              * * * * *

                           ANCIENT FAMILIES
                        OF THE LOWER NEIGHBORHOOD.

The following were ancient families who resided in the lower
neighborhood of this town, who, as near as can be ascertained, must
have commenced to settle in the same more than 20 years after the
first settlement was made at Peenpack:


She probably was a sister of Thomas Decker. He must have been from
Rochester. They resided where Aaron Whitlock now lives, and became
owners of his present farm.

One son, Daniel Cortright (bap. May 3, 1743), married ____ ____. They
first resided on the east side of Shawangunk mountain, in the town of
Minisink, and from thence removed into the western part of York
State. They had ____ sons, ____ ____, and ____ daughters.

Another son, Moses Cortright (bap. March 24,1745), married ____ Van
Etten, daughter of Anthony Van Etten, Esq. They continued to reside
in the house of his father, and he became owner of his homestead
farm. A few years after the Revolutionary War ended, he with his
family removed into the western part of this State. They had ____
sons, namely, ____, ____, and ____ daughters.

                              * * * * *


They resided between the present residences of David Swartwout and
Joseph Cuddeback, where he owned a farm. They had three sons--Cornelius,
Josias and Abraham. They, or two of them, moved into the western part
of this State soon after it began to be settled. They had ____
daughters, namely ____, ____.

                              * * * * *


He owned the farms now of Abraham J. and Isaac Cuddeback, and resided
where the old house of the former now stands, in a stone house. He
for some years kept a small store for Indian trade and a tavern. He
was Captain of a company of militia. He had (six) sons,
namely--(Anthonie, bap. Oct. 31, 1738; Johannes, bap. Sept. 19, 1740;
Johannes, bap. Nov. 16, 1746; Samuel, bap. March 12, 1749; Joel, bap.
April 11, 1756; Gideon, bap. Nov. 21, 1759), and (four) daughters,
namely--(Antje, bap. Dec. 23, 1744; Alida, bap. June 21, 1747;
Elizabeth, bap. March 24, 1751; Sara, bap. June 17, 1753.) Nearly all
his descendants have removed from this place.

                              * * * * *


And another individual were early settlers on the farm heretofore
occupied by Benjamin Cuddeback, Esq., now by his sons, Elting and
Dr. Thomas Cuddeback. Van Auken resided at the former residence of
Jacob Shimer, Decker where Elting now resides, and the other near the
mouth of the brook. The two latter had grist-mills. None of their
descendants have remained in this town. The wife of Jacob Shimer was
a daughter or granddaughter of Van Auken. They had one son, Richard,
who married a daughter of Daniel Ennes, and two daughters, one of
whom married Hezekiah Fredenburgh, and the other ____ ____. They,
all of this family, removed into the western part of this State.

                              * * * * *


Settled at the present residence of James D. Swartwout, Esq., and
owned his farm. He was the first Justice of the Peace in the present
town of Deerpark which office he probably derived from the government,
of the State of New Jersey. He was a brother of Van Auken mentioned.

His son, Daniel Van Auken, married Leah Kettle, daughter of ____
____. He became owner of his father's farm, and occupant of his
house, at which a fort was built in the time of the Revolutionary
War; and when the Indians invaded this neighborhood, they attacked
the fort and two Indians were shot. They shot old James Van Auken as
he looked through a window on the chamber. They had ____ sons--Elijah,
Nathaniel, Nathan, Absolum, Joshua, Daniel, Jeremiah, ____, and ____
daughters, namely, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, whole number
fifteen. One of his sons, a school teacher, was killed by the Indians
when they invaded the lower neighborhood. These descendants became
dispersed into different parts of our country.

                              * * * * *


Resided at the present residence of the widow Elting and her family,
and owned their present farm. He was a Justice of the Peace in the
time of the Revolutionary War and after it ended. James Van Fliet,
Jr., became owner of his real estate. From which I infer that the
former had no children living at the time of his decease. Van Fliet
had two sons--Solomon, who married a daughter of Benjamin Carpenter,
and the other, Daniel, married a daughter of Jacob Westbrook.

Van Fliet, after some years' occupation of the premises, sold and
removed with his family west into Pennsylvania or York State.

                              * * * * *


They resided in the old stone house now or lately occupied by James
Bennet, Esq. He owned a gristmill there and some land. They had
(eight) sons--Simeon (bap. Feb. 12, 1749); Wilhelmus (bap. July 8,
1753); John De Witt (bap. May 19, 1751); Jury (bap. April 23, 1744);
Jury (bap. Jan. 24, 1748); Solomon (bap. Jan. 27, 1759); Daniel (bap.
June 5, 1763); and Reuben (bap. April 8, 1764.) Also (three)
daughters, namely--Aeltje (bap. Oct. 6, 1745); Aeltje (bap. Feb.
1756); and Blandina (bap. Nov. 9, 1760.) Wilhelmus settled east of
the Shawangunk mountain, near Deckertown, in the State of New Jersey.

His son, Simeon Westfall, married Sarah Cole, daughter of David Cole.
They became residents in the old stone house at Port Jervis, in
Pennsylvania, where he had a good farm, now possessed by different
occupants, Samuel Fowler, Simeon Westfall, Dimmick and others.
Westfall and wife had three sons, Simon (bap. Feb. 9, 1766), David
and George, and two daughters, Jane and ____.

Son John D. Westfall married Mary Davis, daughter of Samuel Davis.
They resided in the stone house now occupied by (David) Westfall, in
the Clove, in the north part of New Jersey, where he became owner of
a good farm. They had sons, Samuel De Witt Westfall (bap. Oct. 29,
780), ____, ____.

They all removed into the western part of York State.

Son Reuben Westfall married (Tjaetje) Kuykendall, daughter of Jacob
Kuykendall. They remained in the old homestead and he remained in
possession of the farm and mill of his father. They had ____
daughters ____, ____.

One daughter (Blandina) Westfall, married John Brink. They and family
have moved into western countries. (The Mahackamack church records
contain the baptism of two children--Femmetje, Oct. 29,1780; Reuben
Westfall, April 22, 1784.)

                          * * * * *


They settled near the present dwelling house of Eli Van Inwegen,
Esq., and owned a farm there.

His son, Wilhelmus Cole, married Leah Westbrook, daughter of
Cornelius Westbrook, of Jersey State. He occupied the house of his
father until he built a new one after the war ended at the same
place; and owned his father's farm. They had two sons-Josias (bap.
Nov. 21, 1764), and Cornelius Westbrook Cole (bap. Feb. 7, 1767), and
two daughters--Maria, (bap. Oct. 16, 1772), ____.

Solomon Decker, from Old Shawangunk, and wife, Eleanor Quick,
daughter of ____ Quick, an early resident of the present township of
Westfall, in Pennsylvania, settled with their family in the lower
neighborhood in the time of the Revolutionary War, near the present
residence of David Swartwout. [FN] They had seven sons--Solomon
(bap. Feb. 9, 1746), Jacob (bap. Sept. 13, 1761), Thomas (bap. Aug.
19, 1759), James (bap. Feb. 2, 1752), Joseph (bap. July 4, 1756),
Peter (bap. June 21, 1767), and Isaac M. Decker, and three
daughters--Margaret (bap. April 14,1754), Lydia (bap. Oct. 11, 1747),
and Mary (bap. March 4, 1750.) None of this family have remained in
the present town of Deerpark. Youngest son, Isaac M. Decker, is yet
living and now in 1859 is 92 years old.

                              * * * * *

 [FN] Now (1889) the residence of Peter D. Swartwout.

                              * * * * *


They resided in now Port Jervis, where Elias Kuykendall formerly
lived, and he was owner of a farm there; all, or nearly all, of which
is now covered by the Village of Port Jervis. (The Kingston church
book records the baptism of a son, Martinas, June 18, 1734, and the
Mahackamack records that of Jacob, Aug. 23, 1737, and a second Jacob,
Oct. 30, 1739.)

Son Peter Kuykendall married (Catharina) Kettel. He continued to live
with his father and became owner of his farm. They had four
sons--Wilhelmus, Martin (bap. April 8, 1764), Solomon (bap. Oct. 21,
1753), and Elias, and (three) daughters, namely--Elizabeth (bap. June
19, 1757), Christyntje, (bap. Aug. 28, 1759), and Lea (bap. Dec. 8,
1765.) Their descendants are dispersed into different parts of our

                              * * * * *

                   FAMILY OF JOHN DECKER AND WIFE.

He owned an extensive farm or tract of land along the Delaware river,
the southeast part of which bounded on the land of Kuykendall, near
which he probably first settled. [FN]

                              * * * * *

 [FN] It is now a few years over a century since the fall of the
 deepest snow ever known in this part of our country; and before it
 fell Peter Kuykendall and wife went to Esopus and left their children
 home, where John Decker and his wife were to go daily and see to them
 and render such assistance as would be necessary. Two or three days
 after they started this snow fell, and the morning after its falling
 John Decker commenced to shovel and make a footpath through the snow
 to Kuykendall's house. He worked all that day and the greatest part
 of the next day before he got to it, and found the door shut so that
 the children could not get out of the house. The door opened to the
 outside, and the snow laid so deep against it that it could not be
 opened from the inside before the snow was removed. It is probable
 that they first settled as near to each other as their situations of
 ground, water, &c., would admit. No victuals had been prepared for
 the children on the previous day to serve them for the next. They
 contrived to get meal, mix it up with water, bake it some on the
 hearth before the fire, and lived on it till they were otherwise
 provided for.

One son, Martin Decker, married ____ ____. They lived in the old
stone house of Stephen St. John, and he became owner of a part of his
father's farm. They had two sons-John and Richard, and ____ daughter,

                             * * * * *


They resided near the present grist-mill of Thomas Van Etten, Esq.,
and he owned a grist-mill at that place. They had sons--James, Daniel,
Joel, ____, and ____ daughters--Beletje, ____. (The following is the
baptismal record of the children of Solomon Davis and Leah Decker:
Kingston records--Lea, March 26, 1735; Jacobus, May 18, 1736.
Mahackamack records--Beletje, May 31, 1738; Daniel, June 18, 1740;
Joel, April 23, 1744; Jonas, June 16, 1745; Catharina, June 21, 1747;
Elizabeth, Jan. 20, 1748; Petrus, April 15, 1750; Salomon, April 5,

Oldest son, James Davis, married Elizabeth Kater. For their history
refer back to their names.

Second son, Daniel Davis, was the strongest man of his time in the
present town of Deerpark.

                          * * * * *


were the first settlers on the present farms of Levi and Thomas Van
Etten, Esq.

George Davis and wife, Deborah Schoonover, had one son, Samuel, who
became owner of the ancient grist-mill at T. Van Etten's mill seat.

Very little is now known respecting these four last mentioned ancient

Some of the families in the lower neighborhood, who, by marriages had
become connected with certain families in the Peenpack neighborhood,
are included in the history of the latter and here omitted.

It will be seen by this history of the ancient citizens of the lower
neighborhood that they, as well as the others mentioned, were
farmers, and they have also obtained their livings by the cultivation
of the earth (a laborer's business), and not only provided a competency
for their respective families, but also a surplus for the markets of
our country to support those in other pursuits of life; but there now
are of the present generations of the descendants of both neighborhoods
some in nearly all the different occupations of life in our country.

From the length of time which intervened between the first settlement
nearest at Peenpack and that made in the lower neighborhood, it
appears probable that the latter was prevented by the Indian chief
who resided on the land now of Levi or Thomas Van Etten, Esq.


The ages to which the first and second generations arrived, cannot
all be correctly ascertained for want of records of the times of
their several births and deaths. The only record of which the writer
is in possession, is that of the families of the first and second
Peter Gumaer, relative to the births of their respective children.
These two records are a guide to get into the neighborhood of the
times of the births of the members of the other families, and from
what I have obtained from inscriptions on tombstones and the
information I have had relative to the times to which some of them
lived, I can correctly determine the ages of some of them and within
a few years of others.

It was said of Jacob Cuddeback, by his grandson, Capt. Cuddeback,
that he lived to the age of 100 years and retained his faculties good
to the end of his life. In 1686, when Peter Gumaer was 20 years old,
and he and Cuddeback had to leave France, the latter cannot have been
less than 20 or 25 years of age. It appears he lived until after the
inhabitants of this neighborhood had to buy some land out of Expense
lot number two, in the Minisink patent, for a supply of fuel, rail
timber, &c., which must have been about the year 1766. From all of
which it appears that the age of Cuddeback cannot have been less than
100 years, and that the answer he made to his son William, heretofore
mentioned, near the end of his life, shows that his intellect was yet
good at that time.

                          * * * * *

                    AGES OF FIRST GENERATION.

                    FAMILY OF JACOB CUDDEBACK.

 Himself                     100
 His sons   Benjamin        about 80
            William          "    74
            James            "    30
            Abraham          "    80
 His wife,  Esther Swartwout "    80
 Daughters  Maria            "   100
            Dinah            "    74
            Eleanor          "    70
            Else             "    70
            Naomi            "    80


                    FAMILY OF WILLIAM CUDDEBACK.

 Sons.      1st. James             about 80
            2d.  Abraham            "    82
            3d.  Benjamin           "    45
            4th. Roolif (premature) "    50
 Only daughter Sarah                "    70

These are all the descendants of the ancient Cuddeback family who
remained in the present town of Deerpark.

                          * * * * *

                        FIRST GENERATION.


 His sons Samuel Swartwout            about 70
          James Swartwout (premature)   "   63
 One daughter, wife of John Van Fliet  Unknown.

                        SECOND GENERATION.

                   FAMILY OF SAMUEL SWARTWOUT.

 One only daughter, Elizabeth        about 60
 Her husband, Benjamin Depuy          "    80

                    FAMILY OF JAMES SWARTWOUT.

 Anne Gumaer, his first wife         about 50
 His second wife, Anna Westbrook      "    90
 Son Philip Swartwout (premature)     "    51
 His wife, Deborah                    "    60
 His son, James Swartwout             "    90
 And wife, Jane Hornbeck              "    90

These two last individuals were contemporary with the second
generation, though James was of the next descent.

                          * * * * *

                       FIRST GENERATION.

                    FAMILY OF PETER GUMAER.

It is not known to what ages his five daughters arrived, but none of
them became old. They all lived till after married and had children.
Two of them had each one child, one had two, another three and the
other four. All their husbands became widowers and two or more of
them had second wives. It is probable that they all died between the
ages of 30 and 60 years. It was said that in the days of their youth
they labored very hard, both on the farm and to manufacture their
cloth and do their housework, and yet had a delicate appearance and
very fair skin. It was said of one of them that she would plough a
whole week and become very dirty, and on Sunday wash and clean
herself and put on clean clothes and appear in their reading meetings
with skin as fair and white as that of any lady who was kept housed
out of the sun's influence. Peter Gumaer, their brother, is the only
one of the family I have seen. He also was a fair complexioned man.
It was said that the ancient Cuddebacks were also fair complexioned,
and that Major Swartwout and his sons Esqs. Swartwout, were not only
fair complexioned but large and very fine, portly men when young in
prime of life, and that the appearance of the Major on military
parades was dignified and noble.

 Age of Peter Gumaer                71

                         SECOND GENERATION.


 1st daughter, Esther Gumaer    about 70
 Son Peter                       "    85
 Daughter Margaret               "    30
 Son Jacob D.                         92
 His wife, Huldah Decker         "    75
 Son Ezekiel                          80
 His wife, Naomi Louw                 84
 Daughter Mary                   "    80
 Her husband, James Devens       "    70
 Son Elias                       "    70
 His wife, Margaret Depuy        "    70

                          * * * * *

                     FIRST GENERATION.



 His son, Gerardus              about 90
 Daughter Hannah                 "    80
 Ages of the wife and husband   Unknown.

                       SECOND GENERATION.


 First son, Harmanus          about 80
 His wife, Margaret Cole       "    85
 Son Jacob                     "    70
 Son Cornelius                 "    80
 His wife, Eleanor West brook Unknown.
 Daughter Hannah              about 50
 Daughter Margaret             "    80
 Her husband, John Wallace     "    80

                         HEADS OF FAMILIES.

The ages of the following heads of families of this neighborhood,
contemporary with the second generation, were as follows, to wit:

 Jacob E. De Witt             about 60
 His wife, Jane Depuy          "    80
 James Davis                   "    80
 His wife, Elizabeth Kater     "    70
 William Geegge                "    80
 His wife, Leah Davis          "    80


The ages of the following slaves who were in this neighborhood,
contemporary with the second generation, were as follows, to wit:

 Capt. De Witt's slaves:
  Cuffee                       about 100
  Frances                       "     70
  Woman                         "     60

 Esq. Depuy's:
  Man Peter                    about  80
  Woman Dinah                   "     75

Capt. Cuddeback's:
  Woman Susanna                 "     80

 Ezekiel Gumaer's:
  Man Jack                      "     80

 Esq. Van Inwegen's:
  Woman Susanna                 "     70

 James Swartwout's:
  Man Anthony                   "     70
  Woman Jude                    "     70

The first two generations of the four ancient families had the
small-pox naturally, without vaccination or dieting and without the
attendance of a physician, and generally had it light. A few
individuals, it was said, had only light symptoms of the disease and
few pox; yet certain individuals of two families had them hard. A few
of the oldest of Depuy's family were considerably pock-marked, and a
few of the oldest of Van Inwegen's family. The Cuddebacks and Gumaers
were not pock-marked, and the Swartwouts very trifling.

There was in this neighborhood a contagious fever between the years
1750 and 1760, which was here termed "the long fever." It commenced
in one of the summers near the end of harvest time, and was more
mortal to the black people than the whites. Depuy lost several
slaves, who died of this fever. He said the cause had been attributed
to eating too many pigeons.

The second generation of the four ancient families, with few
exceptions, remained healthy. Rheumatism sometimes afflicted the
members of the second Gumaer family, but still were able to perform
much labor and were strong, though not equal in strength to the
Swartwout or Cuddeback families. All were men of six feet stature,
excepting two of the Gumaer and one of the Van Inwegen family, and
averaging near 200 lbs. weight.

                          * * * * *

                       LOWER NEIGHBORHOOD.

The following are the ages of the first generation of descendants of
this neighborhood who were contemporary with the second of the other,

 Wilhelmus Cole died 1829, aged                       88
 His wife, Leah, died 1820, aged                      77
 Peter Kuykendal                                about 80
 Martinus (Martin) Decker died in 1802, aged          69
 Simon Westfall died in 1805, aged                    87
 His wife                                             85
 (Sally), wife of his son Simon, died 1837, aged      95
 Solomon Kuykendall, Esq.                        Unknown
 His wife, Sarah Cole                              "
 Daniel Van Auken               aged             about 80
 His wife, Leah                  "                "    80
 James Van Fliet                 "                "    80
 His wife, Margaret Schoonover   "                "    80
 Anthony Van Etten, Esq.         "                "  ____
 His wife, Hannah Decker         "                "    85
 Major John Decker               "                "    70
 His wife, Sarah Hornbeck        "                "    80
 Johannis (John) Decker          "                "    65
 His wife, Deborah Van Fliet     "                "    50
 Capt. Johannis (John) Westbrook "                "    80
 His wife, Magdalena             "                "    75

                          * * * * *


                          YEARS THEREAFTER.

The second generation came on the stage of action and were married
and had their farms granted to them in the intervening time between
the French and Revolutionary wars, and commenced their business
transactions when this part of our country was in a more thriving
condition than it ever had been, in consequence of the circulation of
a paper currency, which had become plentiful, and farmers made money
faster than at any previous time; but when the scale turned by its
depreciation, its previous value was lost, which, together with the
destruction the enemy made in the war, greatly reduced the property
of the inhabitants.

In 1777, three forts were built in this neighborhood: one at the
house of Esq. Depuy was vacated the 13th October, 1778, on which day
the enemy invaded this neighborhood and burned this house, fort and
other buildings of Depuy, in consequence of which all the inhabitants
of this neighborhood were collected in the fort at Gumaer's and in
Fort De Witt, to wit:

At Gumaer's the following families:

                                                           _Whole No._
 Philip Swartwout's, Esquire, which, after the death of
  himself and two oldest sons by the enemy, consisting of
  his step-mother, his widow, three sons, a son's wife and
  daughter, two slaves and an insane man                        10
 Capt. Abraham Cuddeback's, which consisted of himself and
  wife, four sons, two daughters, a nephew and brother, and
  three slaves                                                  13
 Harmanus Van Inwegen's, Esq., consisted of himself and wife,
  seven sons, two daughters, a brother and five slaves          17
 Benjamin Cuddeback's were himself and wife, four sons, two
  daughters, a brother and two slaves                           11
 Jacob D. Gumaer's was himself and wife, two sons, five
  daughters and two slaves                                      11
 Peter Gumaer's, himself and wife, two sons and one slave        5
 Ezekiel Gumaer's, his father, himself and wife, a son and
  one other boy and one slave                                    6
 Thomas White and wife                                           2
 Mathew Terwilliger's, himself, wife, six sons and three
  daughters                                                     11
 John Wallace's, himself, wife, one son and one daughter         4
 Average number of soldiers during nine months in each
  year, about                                                    8
 Amount                                                         98

 Benjamin Depuy, Esq.'s, family were in this fort about one
  year. It consisted of himself, wife, three sons, three
  daughters and seven slaves                                    15

 Whole number that year                                        113

At Fort De Witt were the following families:
 Capt. Jacob E. De Witt's, which were himself, wife, three
  sons, six daughters and four slaves                           15
 Moses Depuy's, himself, wife, two sons and two slaves           6
 Whole number                                                   21

 Samuel Depuy's, himself, wife, two sons and one slave           5
 Elias Gumaer's, himself, wife, four sons, two daughters
  and two slaves                                                10
 Abraham Cuddeback's, himself, wife, four sons and one slave     7
 Average number of nine month's soldiers about                  12
 Jonathan Pierce's family and a few other individuals may
  have been in this fort 10 in number                           10
 Amount                                                         65

 Esq. Depuy's family were in this fort during a part of the
  year, 15 in number                                            15

 Whole number                                                   80

There were some children born in both forts, which are not included.

                          * * * * *

                       LOWER NEIGHBORHOOD.


Previous to the invasion of this neighborhood by the Indians, three
forts had been built in it in 1777 or '78; one at the house of Major
Decker, where George Cuddeback now lives, [FN-1] one at the house of
Daniel Van Auken, near the present brick house of James D. Swartwout,
Esq., [FN-2] and the other at the house of Peter Decker, in the
present village of Port Jervis. The fort at Major Decker's was
convenient for the families of Esq. Anthony Van Etten, Sylvester
Cortright, Capt. Westbrook, Moses Cortright, Abraham Van Auken, and
Schoonover; and the fort at Van Auken's was convenient for the
families of James Van Fliet, Solomon Kuykendall, Esq., Simon
Westfall, John Decker, and one or two other families; and the fort at
Decker's [FN-3] was convenient for the families of Wilhelmus Cole,
Martinus (Martin) Decker, Samuel Caskey, James Davis and Utley

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Now (1889) occupied by Henry G. Cuddeback.
 [FN-2] Now (1889) owned by Ludwig Laux.
 [FN-3] Located upon the present site of the old stone house in
  Germantown, formerly occupied by Stephen St. John, deceased, and his

On the 20th of July, 1779, Brant, with a corps of Indians and Tories,
invaded this neighborhood. The occurrences of which and of the battle
of Minisink, one or two days afterwards, are contained in Eager's
History of Orange County, page 388, &c., relative to the invasion and
in relation to the battle see page 490, &c. There were about 18
families in this neighborhood who suffered in a greater or less
degree the effects of the war, and a great proportion of them lost
much property by the plunder and destruction which the enemy made by
taking some of the best horses, plundering houses of goods and
wearing apparel, burning of houses, barns and other buildings. In
addition to which a few prisoners were taken, two of whom were slaves
and two or more were killed. This invasion caused many of the best
citizens of Goshen and vicinity to volunteer and pursue the enemy.
The result of this was a more grievous calamity than the former, the
results of which can be obtained as mentioned.

The number of children and domestics of each family in the lower
neighborhood I cannot correctly determine, but contemplate the number
of children to have been nearly as follows, to wit:

 Anthony Van Etten                  15
 Daniel Van Auken                   15
 Major John Decker                   6
 Moses Cortright               about 7
 Jacob Schoonover             about 3
 Abraham Van Auken              "    4
 Capt. John Westbrook           "    7
 John Decker, Sr.               "    6
 Sylvester Cortright            "    4
 ____ Decker                    "    4
 James Van Fliet                "    8
 Solomon Kuykendall                None.
 Simon Westfall                 "    6
 Wilhelmus Cole                 "    4
 Peter Kuykendall               "    5
 Samuel Caskey                  "    6
 Martinus (Martin) Decker            3
 Utley Westbrook                     2
 Whole number                      105

The number of children of those 18 families, according to my
recollections, cannot have been less than 100, and may have been as
many as 110. How many of them grew up to years of maturity, or how
many died previous thereto I do not know. Major Decker had two or
three children by his first wife, who died young; and John Decker,
Sr., had one or more by his first wife, who also died young before
the war commenced, but all of them after the decease of their
respective mothers. The loss of a mother will affect the feelings of
some children much, and no doubt many a child dies in consequence of
the melancholy state of mind produced by such a bereavement. There
were two or more premature deaths of boys or young men, and there may
have been a few natural deaths in this neighborhood of which I have
no recollection.

                          * * * * *

                     PEENPACK NEIGHBORHOOD.

The following were the number of children of each family in it during
the war, and of two contemporary families who came into it after the
war ended, to wit:

 Children of Esq. Swartwout                         4
    "        Capt. Cuddeback                        6
    "        Esq. Van Inwegen                      10
    "        B. Cuddeback                           6
    "        J. D. Gumaer                           7
    "        P. Gumaer                              4
    "        Ez. Gumaer                             2
    "        J. Wallace                             2
    "        M. Terwilliger                         9
    "        Esq. Depuy                             6
    "        Capt. De Witt                          9
    "        M. Depuy                               3
    "        S. Depuy                               3
    "        Eb. Gumaer                             6
    "        Ab. Cuddeback                          4
    "        Widow Cuddeback                        3
 Residents after the war ended.
              J. Davis                               7
              W. Geegge                              2

Of these 93 children a son of Ezekiel Gumaer died at the age of
nearly five years, a daughter of Benjamin Cuddeback at the age of
about six years, and a son of Esq. Van Etten, aged about 12 years. A
son of Benjamin Cuddeback (Levi), died prematurely after he became a
man, of a colic, caused by eating too many wintergreen berries, and a
son of Abraham Cuddeback, Sr. (Philip), also died prematurely after
he had arrived at manhood, of consumption, caused by overheating
himself to put out a fire in the woods. Both these occurred a few
years after the war ended. All the others lived until after they were
married and had families of their own; but the greatest part of them
did not become as old as their respective parents. The first wife of
James Swartwout died in the fort at Gumaer's, of consumption, within
about one year after she came into it, aged about 25 years; and Peter
Gumaer died of palsy in this fort, near the end of the war, aged 71
years. There also were five premature deaths caused by the enemy--that
of the three Swartwouts in this neighborhood, as has been
mentioned--Gerardus Van Inwegen at Fort Montgomery, and Mathew
Terwilliger, in the Minisink battle.

The following exhibits a certain number of the children mentioned who
became as old, and older, than their respective fathers and of those
who did not attain to such an age. In this I have excluded those
families I could not ascertain, in consequence of having removed into
other parts of our country, and of those untimely deaths not ended by
nature's process, which leaves for calculation the following families.
The left hand column of figures shows the number of those who became
as old, and older, than their respective fathers, and the right hand
column the number of those who did not arrive to that age, to wit:

                                                _Oldest_  _Youngest_
        _Parents._                            _Children._ _Children._
 Capt. Cuddeback                                   2         4
 Esq. Van Inwegen                                  2         8
 Benj. Cuddeback                                   4         2
 J. D. Gumaer                                      0         7
 Peter Gumaer                                      0         4
 Ez. Gumaer                                        1         2
 Esq. Depuy                                        4         4
 S. Depuy                                                    3
 Eb. Gumaer                                        0         6
 J. Davis                                          1         6
 Wm. Geegge                                                  2
 J. R. De Witt                                     4         5
                                                 ____      ____
                                                  18        52

This calculation, being as near as I can ascertain the same, in
respect of correctness, shows that only about one-quarter of the
children of those families became as old as their respective fathers.

This great degeneracy will naturally lead to an inquiry respecting
the cause of the same. To answer which, or to throw some light on the
subject in relation thereto, I consider it necessary to state the
manner and circumstances of life of each generation, as near as I am
able to do it, to wit:

                          * * * * *

                   THE FIRST GENERATION

Being the children of the first pioneers, who settled in Peenpack at
a time when there was was no other production in this part of the
country for them to live on than the meat they could obtain of the
wild animals, fowls and fishes before they raised grain or other
productions for their diet, and we have reason to infer that after
raising grain they only pounded it fine to answer for meat soups and
such bread or cakes as they could make of it, to eat with those
meats, and that these were their chief or only eatables for some
years before they became enabled to have any other diet. They may,
in the first instance, have obtained some meal from Rochester or
vicinity, but after raising enough for their use it is probable they
would rather use it pounded than to take it to the nearest mill, at
that time, to get it ground, in which latter case the bran remained
in the meal and as they could obtain good pounding stones and blocks
from the Indians to pound their grain, and as the bran in grinding as
well as pounding would remain in the meal, and as the nearest mill
must have been about 25 or 30 miles from their neighborhood, we have
reason to believe that they pounded their grain for soups and bread
before mills were erected in this town; and that the greatest
difference between the diet of those families and that of the
Indians, was that the former ate a greater proportion of vegetable
productions than the latter. The men of this generation of
descendants were generally stronger than those who succeeded them,
from which it appears their eatables were healthful and that their
drink, which was the best of spring water, also promoted health, and
that all other circumstances which attended them were also of a
healthful character, to wit: a pure air of the atmosphere, not
impregnated with the exhalations from bad, stagnant waters; brooks
and small streams of clear water running down the mountains into the
Neversink, creating a river of clear water passing through this
valley; such log houses as would let the fresh air of the atmosphere
pass freely into them towards the large fire they kept up in cold
weather, and their continual exercises in their boyhood with the
Indian children in hunting, fishing, &c., and in all their sportive
exercises of running, wrestling, &c., all had a tendency to promote
health and strength and fit them for the labor they had to perform as
they advanced in growth and after arriving to manhood, in respect to
which however some parents were more indulgent than others, and those
of the most persevering business character compelled their children
to labor harder than those parents who were less persevering.

                          * * * * *

                       SECOND GENERATION.

My own recollection reaches no farther back than the time in which
all of them had families and when most of their children were small,
but I have understood that their bread was made of unbolted wheat
meal sifted through hand sieves to take out the coarse bran, until
after they had grown up to years of maturity, and that after bolting
meal was first introduced some persons said it was too extravagant to
use only the fine flour to eat and to use all the rest for feed.
During this time, and until all had families, many deers, bears,
raccoons, wild fowls and fishes continued to exist, and the
inhabitants were furnished with many meats, in consequence of which
they did not make use of as much pork and beef as they did after
those wild creatures and fishes became scarce.

As far back as I remember, being from about the year 1774, in my
father's family mush made of Indian meal and milk (generally
buttermilk), bread and milk, buttermilk pop of two kinds and bread
and butter was a very general diet, not only of his family but of all
those in the forts during the war and for some years thereafter
throughout this neighborhood. It was also very common to have a
dinner pot of pork and beef, or either of these boiled together with
peeled potatoes, turnips or other sauce. The bread used during this
time was rye bread, not as white as we generally now have it. It was
very common to have a pot of sweet milk thickened with wheat flour
lumps boiled every Sunday morning for breakfast and for a part of the
dinner. These were the most general diet during the warm season of
the year. In winter, a greater proportion of meat, potatoes, turnips
and other vegetables, dried apples, pumpkins, beans, &c. were eaten,
and less milk diet; yet the supper generally consisted both summer
and winter of mush and milk or buttermilk pop, except in families
during a time where cows happened to be all dry. The supper was had
without any addition except in the long summer days when bread and
butter was added. Some buckwheat pancake was generally eaten in
winter. Now, in addition to those common diets, they sometimes had as
a rarity, wheat flour shortcakes, doughnuts boiled in hog's lard,
pancakes baked thin in a frying pan, puddings and dumplings boiled in
water and eaten with a palatable gravy, chicken pot-pie, chicken
soup, eggs boiled or fried and sometimes used in other different
ways; many apple pies and huckleberry pies were made when these
fruits and berries were plenty. They also had for winter rarity
sausages of hog's meat, &c.

In respect to the other attendants of air, water and exercise which
have heretofore been mentioned, this generation enjoyed all these in
the same manner as the first, but, these had superior dwellings which
were comfortable stone houses which every farmer, with very few
exceptions, in this town possessed before the Revolutionary War
commenced. These were closer than the first dwellings erected here,
but still not very tight houses. Each room generally had an outside
door, and all the rooms generally were on the lower floor; the
chamber above these was used for granaries, flour barrels, and to
store many different articles. The cellars were used for their milk
and dairy articles, meat casks, cider barrels, winter apples,
potatoes, turnips, and other vegetables. These cellar articles were
not salable in former times, but were generally used by the families
who produced them.

The table furniture generally consisted of ordinary table knives and
forks, pewter plates, pewter basins and platters of different sizes,
pewter spoons, and a pewter mug which would contain about two quarts
of cider, on which was a cover to open and close by means of a hinge,
which last article was generally brought on the table for drink when
the meal consisted of meat and hearty victuals but was not used with
their milk diets.

In the time of the war many of those articles were destroyed, and
wooden plates, wooden bowls and dishes of different sizes were
manufactured with a turning lathe and used for table furniture.

Now, although our parents lived in this plain and simple style, yet
our mothers were as neat and clean housekeepers as their
circumstances and business concerns would admit. They generally
cleaned house every spring and fall, in which they scrubbed and
washed with soap-suds the under part of the upper floor and beams,
and whitewashed the walls, and every Saturday scrubbed and wiped the
floors of their sitting rooms and kitchens. Floor carpets were not
used in their time. The linen shirts, trowsers and frocks of the men
and boys, and the linen clothes of the women worn during one week,
were in the next boiled in a pot or kettle of lye, and, after a
proper time, the pot was carried out to a pounding block, where,
while hot, the clothes were taken out by pieces and battled on the
block with a battle, and then put in a tub of soapsuds, made of soft
home-made soap, in which the same was washed and thereafter rinsed in
clean water and dried. Our fathers, their sons and slaves, labored
hard in the hot season of the year and often wet their shirts and
trowsers with the sweat of their bodies, and this manner of boiling,
battling and washing those linen clothes was very effectual to clean
the same.

All the travel before the war, in time of the war and for some years
thereafter, was performed on foot, on horseback, and in lumber wagons
and lumber sleds. In this manner people visited each other, and
attended to all their religious and other meetings, and to all their
traveling business concerns. Many of the women had become habituated
to ride on horseback, and had their side-saddles for the same. When a
dance was had, the young men fetched the girls on horseback, and the
young man's horse became the carrier of him and his lady, who mounted
on it behind him. In those times no paints adorned the houses of our
fathers, nor articles of fancy their rooms. No fanciful tables or
table furniture; no great variety of eatables and drinks were
furnished for one meal; no clothing of superfine cloth or silk was
worn in those times, nor even a pair of boots and rarely a fur hat.
Pleasure wagons and pleasure sleighs did not ease and make
comfortable the travels of our parents; no umbrellas covered their
heads from the rays of the sun and the storms through which they had
to pass. All of which articles are now furnished in great abundance,
and generally all can enjoy more or less of them.

The buildings of those times, especially before the war, for storing
grain, hay, horses and cattle, consisted of a barn and one or two
barracks for each farmer, all covered with straw roofs. The barns
were built nearly square on the ground, with a floor through its
middle and a stable along one side for horses and one along the
other side for cattle. When the barn would not contain all the grain
raised on the farm, one or two barracks were erected by setting four
or five long posts in the ground, hewed eight square, tapered towards
the top end. Holes to contain iron bolts about an inch and a half
thick were bored through each post at about one foot and a half
apart, from the bottom to the top. These holes contained the bolts on
which the frame of the roof laid, which was raised to the top of the
poles by means of a windlass, and, after being filled with grain,
whenever any of it was taken out, the roof was let down therewith to
prevent rain and snow from blowing on it.

This generation generally ended their days after the commencement of
a great change in our country; and by contrasting their manner of
life with that of the present time (now 1858), we behold the great
change made in a term of about half a century in the habits of life
in this town.

                          * * * * *

                       THIRD GENERATION.

Between the years 1780 and 1800 this generation of the Peenpack
neighborhood, of which I am a member, and the second generation of
the lower neighborhood, came on the stage of action and commenced
their own business transactions, in which we generally followed in
the habits of our parents in respect to labor and diet, which
continued for some time after the war ended. A change from the moral
behavior of our parents was generated among the young people in the
time of the war, and rude, vulgar and uncivilized habits had been
acquired. After the war ended West India and York rum was introduced
into this part of our country after stores became established in it,
and farmers generally began to use these liquors in time of harvest
and haying, during which time, in the first instance, a dram was
taken early in the morning and work commenced and continued until
about 8 o'clock, when breakfast was taken and then a bottle which
held near a quart was filled with liquor and taken to the field for
about six laborers, to last that day. This had been a practice before
the war commenced and was considered to be an antidote against people
injuring themselves by drinking cold water when the body was much
heated by labor; and as those liquors enlivened people and made them
more vigorous to perform work during their operation, it was thought
to be profitable in that respect. These, and the use of cider, were
the first changes in this town, from the habits of the people in the
time of the war.

                          * * * * *


Liquor was used at funerals. The practice was to give each person a
dram before entering the house in which the corpse was. This was done
by two men who were placed with liquor at each door of the house or
each side of one door, and was thought in those times to be an
antidote against contagion, and for that purpose a dram was given to
each bearer before he performed his official duty. Rum and cider were
also used to treat people for their services in assisting in raising
buildings after the war had ended. Rum was also used at weddings to
treat the friends who attended it. In those anterior times and even
within my own recollection, it was customary to invite to a wedding
all the young people in this present town and some down the Delaware
in New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and people, after the war ended, had
not the means to furnish a variety of good victuals for their friends
and neighbors who, yet treated them with those liquors, which had a
superior estimation in those times to that of the present. They
cheered and made lively and sociable the friends and neighbors who
collected together, with trifling, if any, evil consequences, for
people in those days guarded themselves against drinking so much as
to become intoxicated and I have never known of any farmer of the
second generation becoming drunk, yet there may have been such
instances, and in progress of years it became a custom to make many
afternoon frolics with liquor to get different jobs of work done.
This led to intemperance and their multiplicity was unprofitable in a
neighborhood. The young people sometimes had rude dancing frolics,
where their only beverage was rum which was used in different ways,
clear, sweetened with sugar, or made into sling, milk punch, eggnog,
&c. The quantity of liquor drinked at these frolics, and the rudeness
of the times caused many a fist fight, and this fighting became
common at other gatherings of people where liquor was drank.

The use of those liquors increased and others were introduced, such
as gin, brandy and different sorts of wines, &c. All these, generally
of foreign manufacture, in progress of time, were kept for sale in
stores by the large measure, and in taverns by small measure, where
travelers and others who entered the taverns could not only have a
choice of the variety of liquors, but also have their palatable taste
improved by the infusion of sugar and other articles, whereby slings,
milk punch, eggnog, hot toddy and other palatable compositions were
made and much drinked in taverns. And in process of time distilleries
were numerously erected in this part of our country, and cider and
rye whisky, peach brandy, &c. were distilled in great quantities and
other liquors were sometimes formed out of these. All of this flooded
our country with a great amount of liquors of different kinds, the
use of which became so fashionable that the greater part of families
generally kept some in their houses to treat therewith the friends
and neighbors who should visit them, and occasionally to use it in
the family.

After some years' continuance of this extravagant use of spirituous
liquors, its pernicious effects became apparent, and the writings of
those who exclaimed against it, the warnings from the pulpit, and at
last the formation of temperance societies had the effect of making
the practice of keeping and using liquor in families unfashionable,
and it became generally abandoned and many refrained from its use.
This was a fortunate change, for all classes of people had become
sufferers from the bad effects of those habits which had principally
originated from the introduction of the fashion of treating each
other with those liquors prepared in the most palatable manner, both
at home and in taverns; and I have no doubt that more than one-half
of the liquor drank in those days was merely to follow the fashion of
the times. Men generally dislike to be different from others. This is
a powerful inducement to sway men to conform in a greater or less
degree to the customs and fashions of their time, and, when these
happen to be pernicious, thousands sometimes become the sufferers
from their evil consequences.

                          * * * * *

                      TREATING VISITORS.

About the year 1800, the practice of keeping spirituous liquors and
other appendages in families to treat visitors commenced. In 1813,
when I commenced housekeeping, I thought it necessary to keep liquor,
sugar, &c., in the house to treat visitors, and from that time until
temperance societies were formed, I thought I could not agreeably
entertain a visitor without having those articles, and if I happened
to have none in the house at such time I generally sent out for them.

Cider had been a very plentiful and common drink in this neighborhood
for many years. Cuddeback and Gumaer had been in the habit of
drinking wine in their country, and after settling here, it appears,
made early provision to have cider for their drink; for there were
apple trees in their orchards and in Van Inwegen's orchard between
two and three feet in diameter in the time of the Revolution; and
when Gumaer (my grandfather) built his house, before the French war
commenced, he had an opening left in the back wall of his cider
cellar for a gutter to pass through it from his cider press back of
the house into the cellar, and this gutter and others led the cider
into the different cider barrels in it. From which it appears that
the making of cider had become quite a business at that time, and, as
it was no salable article, it was generally all drank by the family
and visitors and by the Indians. It was a common drink from the time
it was made in the fall until spring, when Gumaer made beer to drink
in warm weather, for which he had a large brass kettle set on mason
work, a long building and other fixtures to make and dry his malt.
The use of cider by the white people never made them drunk, but some
Indians, if they could get enough to drink, would sometimes get both
drunk and abusive, in consequence of which it was generally withheld
from them after they had drank enough. In respect to which I will
here relate an occurrence. A large, stout Indian at a certain time,
came to Gumaer's and asked for a drink of cider. The pewter mug,
which held two quarts, was filled and given to him. He drank and set
it down by him, which, after drinking a few times, he emptied and
asked for more. Gumaer told him he had drank enough, and that he
would not let him have more. The Indian, after asking a few times and
seeing he would not get more, took the mug and went off with it.
Gumaer went to the barn, where his black man, Jack (who feared no
Indian), was threshing with other hands, and told him that the Indian
had gone off with the mug and that he must go and get it from him.
Jack went, overtook the Indian, got hold of the mug, and, after a
hard scuffle, got it from him and returned to his work. The Indian
also returned and followed Jack to the barn and challenged him to
fight. Jack, having felt his strength, did not like to undertake it;
but, after some provocation of the Indian, a severe, long and hard
fight was had, in which Jack became the conqueror. He had had many a
fist fight with the Indians, but said this was the hardest he ever
had. The Indians, when they became somewhat intoxicated, would often
fight each other, in which they would make great exertions to get
hold of each other's heads and try to twist each other's necks. From
all of which, it appears, they could drink more cider than the white
people and enough to make them drunk, against which the latter had to
guard to evade the trouble of their intoxication. They would never
revenge injuries which emanated therefrom, but imputed the same to
the liquor as the sole cause.

After rum was kept in taverns in our neighborhoods a company of
Indians from other places sometimes came here to have a drinking
frolic, for which they procured rum and selected a place for that
purpose at a distance from the dwellings of the white inhabitants, so
as not to disturb them, where they appointed two of their number to
keep sober to watch and prevent them from hurting each other. To
these two men they gave up all their guns, hatchets and knives, who
hid them out of the way so that they should not have weapons
wherewith to hurt each other; and when all their arrangements were
made they began to drink and soon got into a very noisy, turbulent
and rude frolic, in which they would whoop, halloo, take hold of each
other, scuffle, wrestle and sometimes fight. This they continued till
their thirst for rum became satisfied, and after becoming sober, they
were dull, stupid and deprived of the liveliness and activity they
possessed before they commenced drinking, which had to be restored by

                          * * * * *

                   NO DRUNKARDS AMONG THEM.

The first and second generations of the first four families who
remained in this neighborhood had the free use of cider for a term of
about one hundred years, including the time of the war, in which they
could not have it, and during the greatest part of all that time had
the means to procure as much other liquor as they craved, and yet not
a single individual of them became a drunkard. When they came into
company where rum or other spirituous liquors were drank, they would
become lively, cheerful and humorous, by partaking of the same, but
not as the saying is "under foot." Such instances of sobriety, under
such attending circumstances, for such a length of time, seldom occur.

We of the third generation, as well as our forefathers, have also
been in a like habit of drinking cider during the greater part of our
lives, and for many years in the habit of drinking all sorts of
spirituous liquors without a single individual of us becoming what is
termed a drunkard, but two or three of our class did sometimes become
intoxicated and made a considerable approach towards being entirely
overcome by the effect of liquor. Such also was the advancement of
Gumaer toward those allurements as has been mentioned and there have
been rare instances of some of us of sober lives becoming
intoxicated. It is now (in 1858) 168 years since this neighborhood
was first settled. Take 28 years from this time for the growth of an
orchard to make cider, and 140 years remain for the use of its
production which must have become plentiful within a less time than
28 years, for the first orchards of Cuddeback and Gumaer and one of
Swartwout, which became Van Inwegen's, were on the very best of
their river flats and must have had a very quick growth; the trees
became large and were between two and three feet in diameter about
the year 1780 when they appeared to have their full growth and some
limbs began to die. From all of which we have reason to infer that
the manufacturing of cider commenced here before the year 1720 and
that much of it had been drank here from that time until the year
1840, previous to which its use began to abate and within that time
many other spirituous liquors have been used with a mere trifle of
intoxication for so long a time.

Now, although we and our forefathers received a mere trifle of the
bad effects of liquors in this respect, yet the constitution of some
of us must have been injured by their use. I, myself, have
experienced the bad effects therefrom in respect to my own
constitution, which at one time became so weak against its effects
that if I drank so as to feel the least alteration from its influence
it hurt me. This, however, was not the case with many others; some
hard drinking men who came here among us remained healthy and lived
to be old. Whether such would or would not have arrived to an older
age without the use of liquor is uncertain.

Our diets continued to be the same as has been mentioned for some
years after the Revolutionary War ended; but the diets of mush, &c.,
which were eaten with milk, began to be abandoned after different
kinds of teas and coffee began to be used, and, after becoming
generally used, the milk diets were in a manner wholly abandoned. In
these drinks a little milk and sugar was put; molasses also was very
plentifully used, and with this, sugar and other articles, many
palatable, different kinds of sweet cakes, pies, &c., were made;
also, different kinds of spices became fashionable for adding
agreeable flavors to some diets. Now, all these are eatables and
drinks which we did not have in our early days. In addition to all
these we now have different kinds of preserves made with sugar,
molasses, and different sorts of fruit, berries, &c., and some other
diets we did not have.

After tea and coffee had been used for some time, they were preferred
by the young people to the milk diet; but some of the older class,
who had been habituated to eating buttermilk pop, mush and milk, and
other diets, often chose to have these in preference to tea or
coffee. Such are the effects of habit.

As to our industry and labors for the support of our families and to
make advancement, they continued during our lives to be about the
same on an average as those of our parents, in which some were more
persevering and others less than their respective parents.

The inhabitants of the lower neighborhood who were contemporary with
our parents, and those who were the same with ourselves, have also
continued and progressed in about the same manner as we and our
parents have done in the habits of life mentioned.

After our manner of living changed, we were from time to time
afflicted with ailments and diseases which all have continued to
suffer at times, more or less, until the present time; but of late
years have not had such mortal distempers in this vicinity as some we
had at certain previous periods.

                          * * * * *


The first generation of the sons of the four families were reputed to
have been strong men. It was said that the three eldest sons of Jacob
Cuddeback, Benjamin, William and James, could carry 12 skipple wheat
(9 bushels), by putting it into four three-skipple sacks, and,
placing one under each arm and taking hold with each hand of the top
of the others, could, on a barn floor, in this manner carry it from
one end of the barn to the other; and that Anthony Swartwout's two
sons, Samuel and James, could do the same, and that Harmanus Van
Inwegen's son Gerardus, who was a smaller man, could carry it a few
steps. Abraham Cuddeback, youngest son of his father, could not do
it, nor Peter Gumaer's son Peter, so that only two out of eight were
unable to carry it. From which the difference of their bodily
strength, and that of those now on the stage of action becomes

The degeneracy of the inhabitants of this neighborhood has not been
confined to them alone, but has extended from here down the Neversink
and Delaware rivers throughout the Holland Dutch settlements; also
from this neighborhood to Kingston. In the lower neighborhood in this
town formerly were men as stout as those mentioned. It was said that
one man in it could add one more bag of wheat and hold it with his
teeth, and carry 15 skipple wheat (11-1/4 bushels).

Among the first generation along the Delaware river in the States of
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, were men of equal strength with those
mentioned, but not generally as strong. Such was also the case in
respect to the inhabitants from here to Kingston.

The second generation of the four families did not arrive to as great
bodily strength as the first, but still were strong men. All of them,
excepting three, were men whose stature averaged about six feet, and
their average weight was near 200 lbs. when in prime of life. Two of
the three, who were of shorter stature, averaged about the same
weight. I have seen the smallest, lightest and weakest man of their
whole number with only the use of one hand, take a short three
skipple sack, filled with rye, from the ground and put it on his
shoulder. There were twelve of these men, and nine of them had
families. These had 36 sons, who were all inferior in bodily strength
to their respective fathers, and were all smaller and lighter men,
excepting a few of the sons of Cornelius Van Inwegen, who were taller
and may have been heavier than their fathers, and nearly or quite as
strong. All the others were inferior to their fathers, and some much
weaker in strength. Such a change in the bodily characteristics of
these sons from that of their fathers must have proceeded from their
different habits during the time of their respective growths, in
which there was some difference, both in respect to diet and other
attendants. The first (being the second generation) during their
growth had for their eatables bread of unbolted wheat meal and meat
soups, thickened with such meal, and they had a great proportion of
wild meat of animals, fowls and fishes, which were yet plentiful here
at that time. These diets their children did not have during the time
of their growth, excepting a meal of fresh wild meat sometimes. They
had rye bread and pork and beef, preserved with salt. This meat was
generally used for dinner, together with some potatoes, turnips, and
other kinds of roots and vegetables. Bread and butter, mush and milk,
and other milk diets potatoes, turnips, and other roots and
vegetables, were plentiful here during the growth of the first as
well as the second of those two classes of people. Now, in addition
to the change mentioned, there was another of a different nature,
which must have affected in a small degree the growth of the first,
and in a great degree that of the latter. This was the effect of the
French and Revolutionary wars, in each of which a fort was built at
the house of Gumaer, and his neighbors all collected in it, which had
the effect of creating more impure air in it than when occupied by
one family. This, in the first war, could not hurt the constitutions
of the children as much as in the next, because its duration was
shorter, and most of them were sent from here to relatives in other
places, and there were not as many in the fort as in the last war
when the number in it of all classes was about 100 from the time the
fort was built in 1777 until the war ended. The walls of the house,
both in the rooms below and on the chamber, were all lined with beds,
and although the inmates of the house remained healthy, yet the
collection of so many people in it, and their beds and bedding, must
have created much impure air, especially in the night when the doors
were shut and all were in it, whereby the constitutions of the
children must have become weakened and their growth retarded, so as
to have remained both weaker and smaller than what they would have
been if the war had not occurred. This stagnation of growth, which
caused the third generation to remain inferior in strength to their
respective fathers, did not continue to debilitate in the same ratio,
the fourth class, but these arrived to about or nearly the same
strength of body as that of their fathers. In relation to health,
however, there has been a gradual decline, and people have now
become more subject to disease in this town than in former times.

The Holland Dutch, who settled throughout this valley, must have had
sound and strong constitutions, which their children inherited
unimpaired, and the manner in which they were brought up and lived
during the time of their growth in this valley must have been very
conducive to sustain health and promote strength.

                          * * * * *


There are certain predominating characteristics in families which, in
some cases, will remain in their descendants from generation to
generation for a great length of time, and some of those of the first
pioneers have thus continued in some degree in their line of descent
up to the present time; and where intermarriages have occurred, of
such different characters, they have generally become united in the
children and, in some cases, this union resulted in better characters
than that of either of the originals, and in others, worse.

In respect to the characteristics of five sons of the first families
who remained in the Peenpack neighborhood, I will here give a short
narration, to wit:

Major James Swartwout was a large, heavy, strong, portly and likely
man, of a noble and dignified appearance, very suitable for a
military officer, and was possessed of a spirit as noble as his
appearance. He was very witty, jocose and humorous in conversation
(these were Swartwout family traits), and he was too liberal and easy
in his business affairs to accumulate property, in consequence of
which he became much involved. He was generally consulted in matters
of difficulty, in respect to which I will relate one instance, to

At a certain time after the fall of a light snow, the members of a
certain family who were neighbors to him, discovered apparently the
tracks of a person on the roof of the house where no person could
walk, which extended from one end of the roof to the other end. This
alarmed the family, who thought it ominous of some calamity which
would happen to them, and after some conversation respecting it,
concluded it was best to send for Major Swartwout, to see what he
would think of it. They accordingly got him there, who, on viewing
it, concluded in his mind that it had been done by some person, and
mistrusted a slave of the family, who kept near them to hear what
would be said respecting it. He stepped up to the black man and
accused him of doing it, which was denied. The Major told him he had
done it and that if he did not own it he would give him a flogging,
and still denying, the Major took a gad and gave him two or three
whippings before he would own it, and after owning it the Major told
him if he would tell how he did it he would let him go. He said he
took a long pole and fastened a shoe to the end and therewith made
the tracks. This eased the family of their fearful apprehensions.

William Cuddeback was a man of somewhat over six feet stature,
coarse-boned, muscular and lean. He was strong and very nimble, and
could outrun many young men after he was fifty years old. In the
French war, after his hair had begun to turn gray, he outran a
soldier who thought himself swift. He was very talkative and witty,
and I think from what information I have had in relation to him, that
he never had his equal in this town for humorous discourse and a
display of wit properly and suitably applied. He was characterised as
a wise man in his time. Argument was his hobby, and, as there was
much of it in his time in relation to the Scriptures, he, although
uneducated, became so versed therein that when among strangers he was
often thought to be a well read man. He was a disbeliever in the
superstitious notions which many people in his time had in relation
to witchcraft, &c., and would often tell very laughable occurrences
in respect thereto. He was somewhat slack in his business concerns
and careless in paying attention to the same, but he always had help
enough to manage the business of his farm.

Peter Gumaer was a man of about five feet ten inches stature. During
the time of my acquaintance with him he was fleshy and fat, and in
his younger days was a very persevering business man. He never was a
hard working nor an idle man himself, but all his children and slaves
performed a great amount of labor. His family produced a greater
amount of farmer's productions than any other farmer within 20 or 30
miles distance from his residence, and he had all the necessary
fixtures for his different branches of business in the best manner
of his time. He would not suffer idleness in his family, and was
inimical to it in others. He was a man of good judgment and of an
honest and independent principle.

Gerardus Van Inwegen [FN] {tn} was a man of about five feet eight or
nine inches stature. He was lean, bony, muscular and strong, and had
much of the Swartwout jocose and humorous disposition. He was the only
son of his father, and was brought up without work, and in his
neighborhood became fond of hunting, and did much of it in company
with the white and Indian boys of the neighborhood, and in early life
became a very skillful hunter and took great delight in it. He
continued to follow it through life, and killed more deer, bears and
other wild animals and wild fowls than any other man of his time in
this vicinity, whereby he not only obtained a very plentiful supply
of those meats for his own family, but contributed liberally to those
of Cuddeback and Gumaer, his neighbors, and enjoyed a very happy
life. He was much addicted to playing tricks on people, and, when any
of them happened to be offensive, he could generally end the matter
in good humor. (It appears those ancients generally were well
calculated to extinguish those offensive occurrences and restore
friendship, by means of which they maintained friendly relations with
each other and with the Indians.)

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Brother of Hannah, wife of Anthony Van Etten, page 59.
 {Transcribers note: the footnote is hand written}

At a certain time he put a mean, dirty trick on a company of squaws
and their children, which they discovered in going to a certain
place, and immediately laid it to Gerardus, and, on their return,
stopped at his house and accused him of it. He asked what made them
think he had done it. They told him no other man in the neighborhood
would do such a nasty trick; that he was worse than a hog and they
would have satisfaction for that trick. After some altercation
respecting it, he got a pail of cider and gave them as much as they
would drink, which cheered them all up and they went off in good
humor, laughing at those who fared the worse.

Samuel Swartwout was reputed to have been a very strong man, and
naturally easy and very good natured, not easily provoked to anger
nor easily scared. He, by hunting and trapping, obtained a supply of
meat and some other necessaries for his family. He had a valuable
farm, but had no help to work it. Laborers could not be hired. After
Depuy married his daughter he brought some slaves from his father's,
and, with these, Depuy worked the farm and produced much wheat and
other grain. Swartwout was on very friendly terms with the Indians,
and when he removed from the residence of his father, he settled, as
has been mentioned, among a collection of Indians.

In order to give some idea of Swartwout's boldness and of having been
so characterized, I will relate a certain transaction, to wit: A
certain Indian in his time had made a false face of a very frightful
appearance, which was obtained from him by two or three of the young
men. It was said that when it was put before a man's face and a bear
skin wrapped around his body, the appearance in the night was very
terrifying. They gave the man so dressed the name of Santa Claus. On
a certain winter evening this Santa Claus went round among the
families and frightened the members of four of them by this imprudent
exhibition. After this they concluded to try if they could not scare
the fearless Swartwout. Santa Claus went and entered his house.
Swartwout sat before the fire, and, on seeing him, rose from his
chair, took hold of it, and put himself in a position to strike.
Santa Claus, fearing the blow, said, "Uncle Samuel, don't strike."
Swartwout told him to go out of the house, or he would split his
brains, and added, "If you are the devil, or from the devil, go to
where you belong."

These five men and their fathers had to encounter many difficulties
to retain the possession of nearly half the land they claimed under
the patent against Jersey claimants, and it appears they were well
qualified in all respects to counteract them. An account of this is
contained in Eager's history.

                          * * * * *


Capt. Abraham Cuddeback was a man of six feet stature and over 200
lbs. weight. He was strong and athletic, and could with ease jump a
five-railed post or rail fence. He was very handsomely built, and in
all respects a very good looking man. He possessed a great mechanical
genius, dexterity and good judgment. When quite young, seeing how
shoemakers and weavers performed their work, he commenced and did the
shoe-making and weaving for his father's family, and became the best
shoemaker and the best and quickest weaver before he was a man grown
of any in this vicinity. In the time of the French war his father
sent him to Old Paltz, where, and in Rochester, he followed weaving
and had no equal in those places. After that war ended the people
here generally were destitute of fanning mills, and cleaned their
grain with hand fans. He had seen one at Gumaer's and may have seen a
few at the Old Paltz. He undertook and made one for his father or
himself, and afterwards made several; one for my father, which was
done in a good and handsome workmanlike manner, with which was
cleaned all the grain of those in the fort at my father's during the
Revolutionary War, and thereafter all his own grain during his life.
Before the commencement of that war a Mr. John Williams had given him
some instruction for laying out the frame work of a house and barn,
from which he considered himself enabled to do the carpenter work of
such buildings, and did the carpenter work of a house and one or two
barns before the war commenced, and after it ended a house and barn
for himself and two or three other barns. After the war ended, he
made a turning bench, repaired the old spinning-wheels in the
neighborhood, turned spools, clevises, &c., for rigging the same.
Before the war commenced, the wagons here had all been obtained from
Rochester, in Ulster county, some of which were nearly worn out at
its end, and a few years thereafter he undertook to contrive how to
make a wagon. He said the greatest puzzle he had in mechanical work
was to study out rules to make the wheels (of which he was entirely
ignorant), but, after thinking over it, he discovered by what means
he could make the same. After this he made wagons in a good and
workmanlike manner, and in as good style as those which had been
obtained from Rochester. He afterwards made pleasure sleighs
according to the Kingston fashion of his time, of which there were
only one or two old ones in this neighborhood as good and handsome as
those which in his time, had been made at Kingston, except painting,
which he did not do. He made the best ploughs, and all kinds of
farming utensils, of any which were made in his time in this part of
our country. He was the greatest marksman at shooting with a rifle
and one of the best hunters. And, notwithstanding all these
acquisitions and the attention he paid to his farm, he was one of the
greatest idlers in the neighborhood, and did often for the sake of
conversation visit his neighbors, and when in company of the best
informed, would generally introduce subjects to create argument,
either in accordance with his own views or contrary thereto, so as to
produce argumentation in which he delighted and was the best means of
discovering the natural and acquired abilities of his opponent. He
said he knew the mental abilities and natural characteristics of
nearly all the men who were contemporary with him for a distance of
20 miles down the Neversink and Delaware rivers, and 40 miles toward
Kingston. In his time Marbletown was the general market place for the
inhabitants in this valley throughout the distance mentioned, and
their travel to and from market made a great intercourse of those
people, whereby they acquired a general acquaintance with each other.
In respect to which I will relate an occurrence. In the commencement
of the Revolutionary War, John Westbrook, who lived about 20 miles
distant from Cuddeback's residence, was elected captain of a company
of militia, and, in saluting him, he was blinded by the discharge of
one of the guns, and remained blind. About 15 years thereafter, Jacob
Cuddeback, son of Capt. Cuddeback, went to Mr. Westbrook's, and,
after speaking to him, asked Mr. Westbrook if he knew him. He said he
did not, but the voice was that of Capt. Cuddeback, which he still
remembered, and judged from the resemblance of the voice of the son
to that of the father, though they had not been together during that

In addition to what has been said respecting his mechanical
acquirements, he became a workman in the business of tailoring. In
the commencement of the war there were no men tailors in this town,
and he first cut for himself; in sewing his daughter assisted him,
and thereafter sometimes cut for others; and in the winters, when all
were collected in the fort, he and his daughter did so much at it,
especially in cutting and making up of deerskin leather, that he
became a good workman and had not his equal here before a Mr. Mather,
a tailor by trade, came into the fort.

It was said that at a certain time he and his wife took each a pound
of frolic flax to spin, which she refused to do for him. He said he
would do it himself and beat her. She was one of the quickest
spinsters in the neighborhood and thought that impossible, and one
morning both commenced on a strife, and he did beat her. At the
frolic they exhibited their yarn, and his was adjudged as good as
hers. While spinning she lost a little time to suckle a child. If he
had ever spun any it must have been when he was a boy. He had not his
equal in this town cradling grain. It was said that a few others in
their ordinary way of cutting might have been equal to him, but
whenever he undertook to race with a man, he made a reserve that his
competitor should cut as large a swath as himself and as good, which
no one could do, and cut as fast as he could.

At a certain time in going with my compass and chain to take the
distance across the Neversink river, to determine how long a bridge
it would require to reach across it, at a place where it was
contemplated to build it, I met Cuddeback, who asked me where I was
going to survey. I told him to take the distance across the river, to
ascertain how long a bridge it would require to reach across it. He
asked me if that could be done. I told him I could do it. This
appeared to be new to him and somewhat mysterious. A few days
afterwards I saw him again, when he told me that he had discovered
how the distance could be taken across the river, and informed me of
the manner in which it could be done. He differed some from one of
the theories by which it was sometimes done, but embraced the same
principle and was as correct to ascertain the distance as that theory
generally practiced where the land is level.

Having been commissioned captain of a company Of militia at or before
the commencement of the Revolutionary War, he had many duties to
perform during the same in that official capacity; for which, as well
as a mechanic, he had very suitable abilities. He was bold, sagacious,
prudent, and tenacious of his honor; he also was humane to those in his
power. The following were some of his military services, to wit:

He was first stationed at Fort Montgomery to command the men of his
company, who from time to time had to take turns to serve as militia
soldiers in that fort; and, previous to the attack of the fort, on
the day it was made, he was sent with a company across the river to
prevent the enemy from loosening the chain which had been put across
it. This chain ran through the centre of three successive logs,
fastened round it to prevent it from sinking, and was put there to
prevent the English ships from running up the river. On those logs
the company crossed the river and watched at the end of the chain
until sometime in the night after the fort had been taken, when, from
some unknown cause, the men became frightened and ran. He followed
them a short distance, but could not find any of them. He staid there
till morning, and was alone to defend the premises. After daylight he
took a distant view of the English shipping; had an invitation to
come on board, with a promise of good usage. He went home.

At Cochecton, 40 miles distant through the woods from this
neighborhood, some families continued to live, and for their own
safety kept in friendship with the Indians as long as they dared. In
the first instance when danger began to be apprehended of attacks
from the enemy, the Committee of Safety sometimes sent Captain
Cuddeback with a few men to Cochecton to procure what information he
could relative to the Indians, to discover whether there was any
danger here of being attacked by them. In these scouts he had to be
cautious to evade as much as possible the sight of the Indians, and
entered that place secretly in the night, where at one or two houses
he made secret inquiry respecting the Indians, and in the same night
left the place and returned back, and, in going and returning, tried
to discover signs of Indians. After two or three such scouts the
Indians made an attack, in 1777, on the family of a Mr. Sprague, and
next year on the family of a Mr. Brooks, some of whom they killed and
others were taken prisoners. These attacks made the Committee act
with vigilance. Persons suspected of being inimical to their country's
cause were apprehended and tried. One or more of those at Cochecton
were complained of, whom the Captain, with a few men, fetched from that
place. In one instance he had trouble to save his prisoner from the
revengeful abuse of a Mr. Brooks, one of the family who had suffered
from the enemy as mentioned. The prisoner, to reward the Captain for
interfering in his favor, presented him with a very handsome powder-horn
and bullet pouch. These were used by the Captain during the war and
thereafter, together with one of the best of rifles.

When the enemy in 1778 invaded the Peenpack neighborhood, the Captain
resided at the Gumaer fort and had the command of the men in it. In
the first instance he ordered all the pitchforks in the barn to be
brought into the fort to prevent its being scaled, and directed the
women to put on the spare coats and hats in the house, and each of
them to take a pitchfork or other stick and put it on her shoulder.
After being so equipped to appear like soldiers, he paraded all the
men and the women back of the house and fort in single file, and,
after the enemy came in sight, he ordered the drum to be beaten and
marched them to the front side of the fort, where they all passed
into it in view of the enemy, after which he ordered all the women
and children to go into the cellar. Anna Swartwout, a large, robust
woman, widow of Major Swartwout, asked permission to stay with the
men in the fort to assist them, which was granted. She took one of
the pitchforks to help defend the scaling of the fort, in case it
should be undertaken. The enemy passed round the east side in open
file at a distance out of gunshot; a few guns, however, were fired,
but ammunition was scarce and reserved for actual engagement; balls
were run the same day. As the enemy passed to where the barn
intervened between them and the fort, the Captain and Jacob D. Gumaer
went into it to prevent its being set on fire by them. Some of the
enemy in passing along the river came to a woman, who had fled, and
told her to go and tell the women in the fort that hundreds of
Indians would be there before night, and if they wanted to save
themselves they must leave the fort. This being done made a great
scare among them, and some made ready to go out of it. The Captain
ordered them all to stay in it, to which they quietly submitted.
After the enemy had passed towards Fort De Witt, a little smoke was
seen to rise on the roof of Cornelius Van Inwegen's house, which was
about 60 or 70 rods distant from the fort. The Captain and Thomas
White went and extinguished the fire, which had just begun to burn.
It was said by certain Tories, who returned after the war ended, that
the enemy had such a good feast of victuals and cider at this house
that they concluded not to burn it. The fire must have originated
from the act of a single individual, or the burning of the barn. At
Fort De Witt the enemy took a station on a hill, in woods, within
gunshot of the fort, and fired several volleys against the wall of
the house and picket fort. After a few volleys were fired, Benjamin
Cuddeback, a brother of the Captain, challenged the enemy to show
themselves, and, although they were out of sight, he, with a long
Esopus gun, heavily loaded, returned some shots whereby they became
about as much exposed to his firing as the inmates of the fort were
to their firing. In returning they passed on the west of the other
fort where they tried to catch some of my father's horses, which his
black man Jack happened to see, who stepped out of the fort and shot,
which started both horses and the enemy so as to let the horses go. A
fire was returned at Jack, and the Captain pulled him back into the
fort. The enemy left, took some of the best horses, plundered and
burnt houses and other buildings, and that day went out of the

In July, 1779, after the lower neighborhood had been invaded by the
enemy, and a corps of militia from Goshen and its vicinity who had
volunteered to pursue the enemy arrived in that neighborhood, Capt.
Cuddeback and some others out of this town joined in the pursuit, in
which the officers, after having proceeded to a distance from the
neighborhood into the woods, began to have their consultations in
respect to continuing or returning, also in respect to the best place
to attack the enemy, in case of undertaking it. The opinions of
Captain Tyler and Captain Cuddeback, who were acquainted with the
path and woods, were had. Tyler proposed to make the attack where the
enemy had to cross the Delaware river, and Cuddeback to make it in
the night, where the enemy should lodge for their night's rest; there
to fall on them unawares, drive them from their prisoners and
plunder, recover these and return homeward with them in the night.

Very reasonable objections were made to both these plans by the
superior officers; but, in case of attack Tyler's plan was preferred
by the officers generally, and was urged, as is well known, by very
improper means.

In the battle, Cuddeback, with a dress of the color of the leaves,
one of the best rifles and other equipments, and a very great
marksman, was one of the most important fighting men of the corps,
and remained on the fighting ground until after the retreat had
commenced, and until he saw he had to run to save his life, when he
ran a short distance to one side of the course (the mass of men ran)
where he squat down, cocked his rifle and kept ready to shoot any
Indian who should happen to look at him, where he remained
undiscovered by those who passed him until a large Indian, came
slowly walking and looking round, at last turned his face towards him
when he shot and again ran, and in coming to steep rocks he slid down
the same on his back; and when he came to a good place to hide he
again hid and laid down. Here he remained until dark, and from thence
in the night started for home.

The militia soldiers, like the Indians, fought from behind trees,
stumps, rocks, etc. John Wallace, one of Cuddeback's militia company,
kept near his Captain at the different stations to which he was from
time to time removed by his superior officers. At one of which
Wallace received a slight wound, and in the flight made his escape
but became separated from Cuddeback, and in returning home hunted
through the woods and killed three deer. After Cuddeback had been
home three days, Wallace unexpectedly arrived with three deer skins
on his back, to the great joy of his wife and two children.

Cuddeback commended Col. Tusten very highly, and said he felt sorry
for him when he was wounded; that when the retreat commenced he was
called to where the Col. and other wounded officers and men were
collected in the safest place, and was solicited to try and stop the
retreat, but that was impossible; it had become too general. He had
to leave them to their fate, or become a sufferer together with them,
and made his escape as mentioned. The retreat was caused by a hideous
shouting, yelling and firing of guns, which had been undertaken by the
Indians as a last resort to put their opponents to flight; and it
happened to have the desired effect. Until this occurrence, the men
who suffered much in different ways from heat, warm clothing, want of
water and wounds, wonderfully sustained themselves for militia soldiers
against an enemy who had very great advantages in all respects.

Cuddeback, in his domestic concerns, had a great share of indulgence
towards his family and domestics, but was uncommonly severe in
reproof if any of his children happened to do an act of which he much
disapproved, although these never were of a criminal nature. He had
an uncommon gift to stigmatize and reprove a bad action.

Benjamin De Puy, Esquire, was a man of about six feet stature, not as
bony, muscular, and strong as the descendants of the first settlers.
He was a persevering business man, but after he had been a few years
in this neighborhood he became too fleshy and fat to perform any
labor on his farm himself, but still paid a very strict attention to
his farming business, the labor of which he managed to have done by
his slaves, and sons after they became able to work. He became a
Justice of the Peace here of the former county of Ulster, and served
many years in that office before, in, and after the war. He also
served many years as a Supervisor of the old town of Mamakating. In
the commencement of the war he was one of the Committee of Safety. He
was the greatest supporter of religious worship in the Mahackamack
congregation. He was tender and humane to his wife, children and
slaves, and provided a very plentiful living for all of them, in
respect to diet and the necessities of life, even to excess. He had a
strong memory and retained much of what had transpired throughout
this valley from here to Kingston.

De Puy was a heavy load on a horse and had about as good luck as
Alexander the Great had in obtaining a suitable riding horse for him.
This great conqueror had one to carry him safely in his great battles
and extensive conquests, and De Puy had one which carried him safely
for many years and on many bad roads until age rendered him unable to
continue his services. The former built a city and named it
Bucephala, after the name of his great war horse "Bucephalus," and
the latter continued to feed and nourish his horse as long as it
lived, and even sometimes with bread. I happened to come to his house
at one time just after he had given his horse some bread. He then
told me that this horse had never fallen with him in all his travels.
He related to me that at a certain time he and some other gentlemen
went on a very rough, stony road along Basha's Kill in great haste to
arrive in time at a certain meeting; that some of the horses did
often stumble, and in one or two instances fell, and that his horse
traveled over it without making a single blunder. All his travels on
this horse must have amounted to some thousands of miles distance.
About one half of his farm was between one and two miles distant from
his house, and whenever his laborers worked on those lands he
generally went to them on this horse once or twice a day. He had to
go every year twice or oftener to Esopus, 50 miles distant, to
perform his official duties and to many other places where his civil
and church offices called him. The horse was strongly built for
carrying, had a slow, easy pace, and was very kind. The continual
exercise De Puy had on his horse and sometimes in the wagon and
sleigh for doing his business at the mill, stores, blacksmith's, &c.,
had a tendency to keep him healthy, yet he had a few short, hard
sicknesses, but continued to live to a good old age, and in the last
part of his life sold the part of his farm which he had retained and
was removed by his sons to the town of Owasco, where, and in that
part of New York, all his sons and daughters, excepting two, had
previously settled and there his mortal life was ended.

Philip Swartwout was a large, strong man, upwards of six feet in
stature, portly and likely. Captain Cuddeback, who had seen General
Washington at Fort Montgomery, said he had never seen a man who
resembled Washington as much as Esquire Swartwout; the features of
his face, his eyes, forehead, size and form of his body, all he said,
had a great resemblance to those of Washington.

Swartwout in his business transactions was very persevering and
honest. In his public acts he was also honest and persevering to
obtain the objects of justice between individuals, and also to
promote the welfare of the public. He was a Justice of the Peace of
the former county of Ulster before the Revolutionary War commenced,
and in its commencement became one of the Committee of Safety. After
the decease of his father, August 21st, 1756, he became heir to his
estate, which consisted of a good farm, but was so much encumbered by
the debts of his father, that he concluded to let the creditors take
it. These were relatives of his, who resided at Rochester, in Ulster
county. They advised Swartwout to take the farm and they would give
him his own time to pay the debts, in consequence of which he obligated
himself to pay the debts and took the farm. His oldest boys must have
been about 10 or 12 years old at this time. He had one man slave and
an insane man lived with him, who remained in the family during life.
With this help he commenced to work the farm, and, after his son James
became old enough to learn the blacksmith trade, he built a shop, got
a blacksmith who, together with James, pursued that business, and the
father, with his other sons and slave, worked the farm and made money
last, so that he paid all his debts, and had money standing out at
interest when the war commenced.

Swartwout, as well as De Puy, was a great supporter of religious
worship, and paid a strict attention to the preaching of the gospel.

Anthony Van Etten, Esquire, was from Rochester or its vicinity, where
he had received a good education for his time. His visage and bodily
form and size were said to have resembled his youngest son Anthony
Van Etten, who was a man of about 5 feet 10 inches stature, and about
160 lbs. weight. He was a blacksmith by trade and became married to
Hannah Decker, daughter of Thomas Decker, in 1750, and obtained from
him a piece of land, on which he built a house and shop, and entered
into the business of his trade, and got an apprentice to assist him.
He soon received a great amount of work from the farmers and made
money fast. He built the stone house in which his son, Captain Henry
Van Etten, formerly lived, and as he became enabled, bought land and
obtained the old Van Etten farm, which consisted of some of the best
land in this town. He and Esq. Swartwout, who were contemporary, both
commenced business with small means, and became the most thriving
business men in this town. Van Etten became a Justice of the Peace of
the old county of Orange at an early period of his residence in this
town, in which he officiated to the end of his life in 1778. His
widow survived him many years. She was a short, strong woman of a
good constitution, an affectionate mother and agreeable neighbor,
sociable and much addicted to humorous conversation, and often told
funny occurrences of former times. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Anthony Van Etten, was a son of Jacob Van Etten, and Antie
 Westbrook, who were married at Kingston, Ulster county, New York,
 April 22d, 1719, they both being residents of that county at the
 time. They had a large family and came with them to the Delaware
 valley about 1730, taking up a residence at Namenoch, opposite the
 island in the Delaware now so called, on the New Jersey side. Their
 oldest daughter Magdelena, married Rev. Johan. Casp. Fryenmuth. From
 their sons are descended the various Van Etten families of Orange
 county, N. Y., Pike county, Pa., and Sussex county, N. J.

 Anthony was born about 1726 at Napenoch, Ulster county, and baptized
 at Kingston Ref. D. Church, June 12, 1726, At the time of his
 marriage, August 3d, 1750, he resided at Namenoch, but thereafter
 with his wife located in what is now the town of Deerpark.

 The baptismal records of the Maghachemech Church furnish the names
 of most of their large family of children as follows:

 Thomas, bap. Sept. 8, 1751; Antie, bap. Jan. 14, 1753; Janneke, bap.
 April 28, 1754; Margarieta, bap. Feb. 13, 1756; Levi, bap. Feb. 12,
 1758; Alida, bap. Aug. 19, 1759; Hendricus, bap. June 14, 1761;
 Blandina, bap. Sept. 4, 1763; Maria, bap. Nov. 11, 1765; Thomas,
 bap. Oct. 16, 1768; Jacob, 1774; Anthony, bap. Oct. 29, 1780.

 Of their sons, Levi married Grannetje Westbrook, and from them are
 descended most of the families now in Deerpark. Anthony, Jr.,
 married Jemmia Cuddeback, and located in central New York. A. V. E.,

Cornelius Van Inwegen was a man of about 5 feet 8 inches stature, and
about 170 or 180 pounds weight. In his boyhood, after he was able to
handle a gun, he became very fond of hunting, and he and Capt.
Cuddeback, when boys, generally hunted together, and both became well
skilled therein; which the latter partially quit when he arrived to
manhood, but Van Inwegen continued to follow it through life and
killed more deer, bears, and other wild animals and wild fowls, than
any other individual of this town ever did since he became a hunter.
No family in the neighborhood enjoyed as plentiful a supply of the
best of wild meats as his family, and, being liberal therewith, he
often contributed some to my father's family and to Capt. Cuddeback's,
who were his nearest neighbors. The numerous skins of deers which he
acquired were valuable for himself and family, and for all his
neighbors. In his time the men and boys all wore short leather breeches
of deerskin, and some of the men had leather coats to put on in dry
weather to perform rough and dirty work, and in the latter part of his
life some individuals wore leather frocks in which to perform such work.
Moccasins of deerskin leather were also much worn in winter. Deerskin
leather was valuable for the inhabitants of this town in the time of
the war, in consequence of the inconvenience of manufacturing cloth
during that time. In those cheap times, when rye and corn were only
four shillings a bushel, a good buckskin was allowed to be worth from
twenty shillings to three dollars before dressed.

Now, these characters, which differed very widely, were all necessary
for the general welfare of the community. The other inhabitants of
the second generation, and their contemporaries in the lower
neighborhood as well as those mentioned, were useful members of
society, and each did more or less contribute towards the welfare of
others. They were generally an industrious, honest, prudent and
economizing people, who obtained their living by the sweat of their
brow, and had to manage their business suitable to their circumstances
and means of procuring a livelihood.

Men in a state of nature, like the wild animals, generally live on
the spontaneous productions of the earth, and each has to procure its
own food after the parent's help becomes unnecessary. The first
settlers here were nearly in the same self-procuring situation, and
only had a few manufactured implements in advance of the naked-handed

By the introduction of scientific knowledge men have become dependent
on each other, and thereby enabled advantageously to cultivate the
earth and provide for a very numerous population, and also create
enjoyments far beyond what the unimproved races of mankind can
realize. The numerous branches of mechanical and scientific works and
occupations employ millions of people, who obtain a living thereby.
Each of these produce materials and literary works whereby others
become interested, all of which create an extensive social intercourse
which reaches all the civilized and manufacturing nations of the earth;
and, even in a small degree, some of the unimproved races of mankind.

All this beautiful order among men, for which they are formed,
suitable in body and mind, if the same could be sustained without
imposition and unerring conduct in all respects, might render man
very happy, but destruction has been the fate of the ancient
civilized nations who had, in a greater or less degree, become an
improved and scientific people, and good reasons must have existed
for producing this extinguishment.

In the year 1792, I was constable and collector of the old town of
Mamakating, in Ulster county, which then extended from the old county
line near the present dwelling house of Philip Swartwout, Esquire,
and son, about 20 miles northeasterly, and from Shawangunk Kill
northwesterly about forty-five miles to or beyond Cochecton, and
included part of the present towns of Deerpark, Mount Hope,
Mamakating, Forestburgh, Lumberland and Cochecton. The town was
divided into two collector's districts, of which mine was the largest,
and the amount of tax I had to collect was 15 L. O s. 6 d., ($37.56).

The highest taxpayer on the list was Esquire De Puy, whose tax was
seven shillings, ten pence, one farthing, and the whole number of
persons taxed in my district, 45 miles long and part of it about 12
miles wide, was 182. From this neighborhood to Cochecton, (40 miles
distant) there was only a foot path through the woods on which I
traveled on foot and carried a knapsack, in consequence of the
scarcity of horse feed and provisions along it. Rafting masts, spars,
logs, and a few boards had previously commenced. The timber at that
time was principally got from the sides of the mountains and hills
bordering on the river, under great disadvantages, for want of teams
and a road, until one was made with the State funds from the
residence or grist mill of Captain William Rose to Cochecton, about
the year 1803. After this the lumber business increased rapidly and
became very great, whereby the inhabitants of this town became
greatly benefited, both by the market it made for their produce and
the money some individuals made by that business. At the close of the
war Orange County was very thinly settled, and most of the land

Low as the taxes were in 1792, I found several unable to pay a few
pence, and thereby lost about the amount of my fees.

                          * * * * *

                    IMPROVEMENTS OF EVERY KIND.

We of the third generation of the first four families and our
contemporaries in the lower neighborhood, have passed through a period
of time in which greater improvements have been made in our country
than ever has been made within such a space of time in any country. Its
equal, probably, will never again occur; yet we know not to what state
of improvement men will arrive.

The arts and sciences have been stretched far beyond their former
bounds, and gigantic and minor productions have been brought to view
by the labor and ingenuity our countrymen have displayed, and great are
the benefits mankind have derived from their labors.

Some rulers of nations and great generals of ancient times have been
highly honored for acts of murder and plunder to aggrandize themselves,
who, instead of rendering benefits, were a nuisance in the world. Not
so with our scientific men. They crave not the loud applause of the
multitude, but their general welfare and their labors have created
benefits far beyond what we can calculate, and all are more or less
benefited from the results of their labors.

We have been spectators of the great changes mentioned and have seen
the time when the red men were yet among us, and were often refreshed
and cheered by their white neighbors with something to eat and a drink
of cider; and the time, when they disappeared and a great revolution
commenced, and the effects of the war it created, the restoration of
peace and the times when the constitutions of the several States, and
of the United States, were, from time to time, formed and become
established, and the effects of the laws which have from time to time
been passed under those constitutions, and the great benefits which
have resulted therefrom; also the career of our first and greatest
statesmen, who exerted their powers for the good of their country.

And here let us not forget that in the days of our boyhood we have
seen the time in which the military forces of our country, under great
sufferings and privations, nobly sustained their country's cause to
obtain an independent government, and have been spectators of its
achievement and the great results which have emanated therefrom; in
respect to which I will here give a very faint view of what has
transpired in relation to the improvements our countrymen have made
during the time of our life's journey, to wit:

We have seen the time of the commencement of the printing of newspapers
in this part of our country after the war ended, and the rapid increase
and vast extent to which that important business has arrived, whereby
every citizen with small means can now have information of the acts of
our legislatures and more than he can read of what continually
transpires both in our own and other countries.

We have seen the time when schools were in their infancy in this part
of our country, their progress and the vast extent to which they became
multiplied, even so that almost every citizen of this State, and
generally of the other states, has the opportunity of having his
children educated according to and even beyond his pecuniary means. We
have seen the time when there was not a minister of the gospel, lawyer
or physician, within 20 miles distance from our present town, and have
seen the continual increase of those professional men until every town
in our county had more or less of them, and the increase of education,
so that it reached nearly all the citizens, few of whom do not acquire
enough to read and write, and a very great proportion have reached the
higher branches of learning, and become fitted for all the different
business transactions of our country.

We have been spectators of the time when all transportation on the
Hudson river was done in vessels, whose speed depended on the winds
which impelled them, and of the time when the ingenuity of Fulton, with
the help of Chancellor Livingston, produced a steamboat wherewith the
Hudson river was navigated, and, when thereafter others from time to
time were built, until all the navigable waters with such boats in our
country were therewith navigated, and even the Atlantic Ocean crossed to
and from England and other places, and the time when other machineries
began to be impelled by steam power and their increase until thousands
got into operation.

We have been travelers on the early rough and stony roads in Orange
County and have seen the first construction of turnpikes in our county,
and the great improvement of our highways, and at last have beheld the
gigantic works of canals and railroads, on which the value of millions
of property is annually transported to and from all parts of our
country, and thousands of people are continually enjoying the easy and
speedy travel thereby furnished.

We have been co-operators with our respective parents in producing all
the articles of food and raiment for our own subsistence, and when we
wanted a few articles we could not make, such as salt, iron, &c., we
had to travel to the store of Nathaniel Owen, 22 miles distant or to
the store of Cornelius Wynkoop, 40 miles distant, to procure the same.
After this the ingenuity of some of our citizens produced machinery
for manufacturing all the cloth we wanted for our use with much less
cost and labor than what we could formerly manufacture the same; and
these are now so abundantly transported into all parts of our country,
that our little town of Deerpark now has more stores in it than the
whole county of Orange had at the close of the Revolutionary War, and
probably as many as there were in both the counties of Orange and
Ulster. These goods, by an exchange of commodities for the same, can
now be procured so much easier than formerly that our former apparatus
for manufacturing flax, wool and cotton into cloth has become useless.
And these stores now contain such a variety of articles, that as a
certain man once said "Many necessaries unnecessary."

We have taken wheat, rye and corn to New Windsor and Newburgh when
these were very small places and when Goshen was a very small village,
and have passed through the time in which all the other villages in
Orange County had their origin and growth and in which the whole
country west of the valley in which we reside, has become numerously
populated throughout its present settled parts, in which many handsome
and magnificent villages and cities have been built and now adorn those
parts which, in our early days, were a vast wilderness.

We have seen the time when news traveled from the printing presses to
us on horseback, and when the same became conveyed in light one and
two horse wagons, and in progressing, stage wagons and steam boats
became the swiftest carrier of news, and after the meridian of our
lives the swiftest traveler ever before known came into operation, in
which news, passengers and different commodities were conveyed to and
from distant parts of our country, and in the last part of our life's
journey originated the wonderful discovery of giving instantaneous
information of any matter or occurrence for any distance to which
telegraph wires can be extended.

We have been farmers and inured to all the different kinds of labor
thereunto appertaining. We have in early life ploughed with wooden
ploughs, to which a wrought share and coulter were fastened, sowed all
our grain by hand, harrowed the ground with square iron teeth harrows,
cut all our grain with scythe and cradle, threshed all our grain with
hand flails, mowed all our grass with scythes, and raked our hay
together with hand rakes, and commenced tillage when the soil of our
river lands was reduced to its lowest state of nutrition since the time
their cultivation was first commenced. In progressing from the
beginning of our business transactions, we became ploughers with patent
ploughs, constructed of wood and iron castings, on which many
improvements were, from time to time, made and have passed through the
time of the introduction of different kinds of cultivators to
cultivate ploughed ground, and of sowing machines, reaping machines,
threshing machines of different kinds, and different kinds of horse
power to impel the same, mowing machines to cut grass, and different
kinds of horse rakes to gather hay, and different kinds of corn
shellers, cutting benches, churning machines, &c., &c. We have
observed a slow improvement of the lands in this town, which commenced
about the year 1810, and progressed very slow at first, but increased
in rapidity until the present time, 1858, and lands in this town now
produce about double what they did in their lowest state of
cultivation. We have seen the time when society here was in the lowest
and most degraded state in which it has ever been in this valley, and
have seen its rise and progress from that state to its present good
and moral behavior.

Now all these works, which are of inestimable benefit, are only a small
part of the discoveries and improvements made by our countrymen in our
time of life. We do not claim to have stood alone as observers, not
that other countries have been idlers in respect to inventions and
improvements, but that all our contemporaries, both in our own and
other countries, have passed through a period of time which has produced
greater and more wonderful discoveries than that of any other like
term of years.

Our travel on this great highway of research is yet rapidly advancing,
and to what extent men will arrive is best known to the Great
Architect who fills the universe with his works.

In consequence of the improvements mentioned and the great prosperity
of our country, we also became spectators of their results in our
manner of living, and although we have comparatively with others
remained in humble walks of life, yet we have made great strides from
our early habits, which, in the days of our youth, were governed by
destitution and want of means to expand and gratify our desires. The
greatest complaint, however, in those anterior times, was the burden
of labor which all had to endure with greater or less perseverance,
much of which has now been done away with by means of machinery.

Some years after the war ended the inhabitants of this town began to
make money, and were enabled to live in a different style from that of
their former habits, and articles of fancy were introduced. The
acquisition of these progressed slow at first but increased as people
advanced in property and became enabled to procure the objects of their
desires, and the different luxuries thus introduced among us have
continued to become more numerous until the present time.

By contrasting the manner of living of our parents with that of the
present time, we behold the vast change made in a term of about half
a century. When our manner of living became changed diseases began to
afflict us, and these, as well as our habits of life, have continued to
increase, which, together with the great addition of our population,
now generates diseases which give employment to the physicians who
reside among us.

                          * * * * *


The services of men of their profession rarely reached this valley in
former times. At Goshen was one or more regular physicians in the time
of the war, and in the State of New Jersey, about 20 miles distant from
this neighborhood, was another. The latter sometimes attended Peter
Gumaer, my grandfather, who was stricken with palsy near the time the
war commenced, and he and Doctor Sweezy, from Goshen, attended to heal
the wounds which Cornelius Swartwout received when the Indians invaded
this neighborhood.

In the latter part of the war, and for some years after it ended, there
lived an old man by the name of Bennet, on the east side of Shawangunk
mountain in the present town of Mount Hope, who in his youth had
studied medicine, but abandoned it before he became qualified to
practice. He, however, was sometimes called on to attend the sick. He
was poor and kept no drugs or medicines, but when called on would go
and see what the ailment of the sick person was, and then go out and
collect such roots and herbs as he judged best to cure the disease,
which he used according to the dictates of his judgment. After people
in our neighborhood began to be afflicted with diseases, and when it
was considered necessary to have the attendance of a physician, this
Doctor Bennet was employed; and he generally was quite successful in
his practice. He several times cured a young man of colic, to which he
was subject. This he performed by giving him an emetic, and after it
had operated he gave him a physic.

It appears that the constitutions of people become adapted to the
climate in which they reside, and to such habits of life as they from
generation to generation continue to pursue, and a change of these will
affect persons more or less. This is evident from what is known in
relation to the different races of mankind, some of whom live very
different from others, and the exchange of some, whose food differs
very widely, would be mortal to many of one or both of those races who
should make the exchange.

Eight of us, all descendants of the four families, now all residents
of the lower neighborhood, excepting myself, remain yet travelers on
the last part of life's journey towards that change which all flesh has
to undergo to answer the purposes of the Creator.

                          * * * * *


Among all the changes mentioned, some of us have been spectators of
nearly an extinction of birds in our valley and its vicinity, many
different kinds of which formerly visited us in the spring of the year
and continued with us during the summer and a part of the fall months.
Their active flights from place to place and from tree to tree, and
their musical voices of different sounds enlivened and cheered our
lonely valley. These all had to be active to gratify their cravings of
what was necessary to sustain life. Some wandered along streams of
water to procure their food; some hovered high in the air of the
atmosphere, from which they surveyed the lands and waters below them
to discover the objects they craved for food, from which elevation the
hawk would sometimes dart swiftly downward among a flock of birds and
catch and make a prey of one of them, as well as of his objects on the
ground. The fish-hawk hovered over the waters, the chicken-hawk over
the landscapes to entrap their prey. The owl made his excursions in the
night to seek his food, and each of the different tribes of birds
possessed its own means of obtaining a living. Many of the worms and
insects on the ground, and of those small insects which impregnated the
air of the atmosphere, became a prey of birds.

Among the different tribes of birds which visited us were the following,
to wit: Blackbirds of different kinds, crows, robins, swallows of
different kinds, nightingales, snipe of different kinds, killdeers,
cranes of different kinds, hawks of different kinds, owls of different
kinds, turtle doves, whippoorwills, wrens of different kinds, bluebirds,
partridges, quails, wood-peckers, eagles, snow birds, and a few other

The pleasing enjoyments of all species of birds are evidences of the
goodness of their Creator; and the adaptation of all kinds of living
creatures whatever to their respective modes of life, are evidences of
a preexisting plan for the formation of each, and the manner in which
each shall be furnished and receive whatever is necessary for its
preservation during life.

Snakes have also become nearly extinguished in this valley within the
last half century, previous to which there were yet some rattlesnakes,
pilots, blacksnakes, sissing adders, gartersnakes, greensnakes, and
milk-snakes, and toads and frogs are not as numerous now as in former

Now, although some of these reptiles may appear to us as unnecessary
nuisances, yet they undoubtedly have answered certain good purposes in
their sphere of being. A few persons of this neighborhood have suffered
from the bites of poisonous snakes, but remedies were here known in
former times which saved the lives of those who were bitten. Their
number within my knowledge was six.

There was a singular occurrence in Rochester, in Ulster county, in
former times, to wit: At an early period of the settlement of that
place, a certain man in time of harvest in going with a wagon, with
shelvings on it, to fetch a load of grain, and, passing near a
rattlesnake in the grain field, stopped his team, and, with a fork
which had a very long handle, wherewith as he stood in the wagon he
reached the snake and began to tease it and soon saw that it began to
swell, and being anxious to see to what size it would expand itself, he
continued to tease it until its body became swollen to a very large
size, when it made a spring and passed over wagon and shelvings without
touching any of it and came down on the ground on the other side of the
wagon, and, in passing over it, the man very narrowly escaped being
bitten in his face by the snake as he stood in the wagon. Such an
occurrence was a good warning against trying such experiments.

Another occurrence of anterior times will show the effect of hunger,
in the last stage of life, of a certain hawk.

At a certain time when Gerardus Van Inwegen and Abraham Cuddeback were
catching pigeons with a net, a hawk came and lit on a fence near them,
and continued there watching the pigeons until they had made some
hauls; and all the ado they made to spring the net, run to it, kill and
carry the pigeons, &c., did not scare the hawk so as to drive him from
his place, but from his action appeared to want a pigeon. This caused
Van Inwegen to try the following experiment to catch him. He took a
pigeon in his hand and held it at arm's length before him towards the
hawk, and walked slowly towards him, and when the pigeon got within
his reach he took hold of it to eat it, when Van Inwegen caught the
hawk and found him to be old and starved, and had become unable to
procure his food.

Different opinions have existed in relation to the government of the
actions of animals, birds and other creatures. In respect to which, it
is difficult in many cases to determine whether certain of their
actions are governed by the dictates of mind, to answer certain
purposes, or by an impression on their natures to cause their actions
without design. The cravings of food and other bodily desires emanate
from the nature created in their bodies. The way and manner of each
species to procure its food are dictates of the mind, in which some,
if not all, display as much tact and correctness to obtain their
objects as the mind of man could direct in their respective bodily
capacities. The fear of an enemy, or of danger from any cause, is a
dictate of the mind and affects the body, and both will unite their
efforts to defend or escape the danger the means of which the mind
directs, and the body performs accordingly thereto.

The fox, the ground-hog and some other creatures dig holes in the
ground, sometimes under and between rocks, in which to hide and escape
from being caught by an enemy, and for a safe place to rest and sleep.
The squirrels will seek places in hollow trees for their safety. The
bears, which were here in former times, when cold weather commenced in
November or December retired from the open woods into those which were
thickly timbered with hemlock, and there sought and made places under
rocks and roots of trees in which to lay up all winter, and continued
in their respective places without eating all winter and remained fat.
Hunters from this neighborhood sometimes went there in former times, in
February or March when warm weather commenced, and found them with
their dogs, and killed them in their holes, in which some were confined
by the frost of the ground and were fat.

The beaver performs the greatest work of the animal species, which
comprehends a more extensive source of enjoyments than what any other
creatures have achieved, all of which appears to be a preconcerted plan
of their own to obtain the results of their labors, but still may be,
as some have thought, an instinct of their natures to do it without
design. A company of beavers will unite, select the best place to build
a dam across a stream of water where they can overflow the greatest
extent of ground by damming the stream, and the company will all engage
in the work cutting down brush and saplings with their teeth and
bringing the same to the place selected for a dam, and there place them
in the stream so as to form a dam, for which they make use of mud, clay
and ground, to intermix with the brush, so as to confine in the dam
both brush, ground, &c., and also to make it tight. After this work
is all completed, a male and female will unite and dig a hole in the
side of a bank, which the water will not overflow in times of freshets,
and commence to dig it under water and raise gradually until they get
into dry ground above the surface level of the water in times of
freshets, where they make a place in which to lay, repose and sleep in
safety, where wolves, dogs and enemies of every kind cannot find them.
The pond also becomes a safe place for them, in which they can have
their sportive exercises and furnish them with food. There was in
ancient times a beaver-dam in this town near the bridge across Basha's
Kill, on the land of Abraham Cuddeback, Esq., which dammed the water so
as to overflow a large tract of bog meadow land above the bridge. There
also was a beaver-dam across the Old Dam Brook, on the land of Abraham
J. Cuddeback, Esq., which also overflowed a tract of swamp and bog
meadow land. There undoubtedly have been others in ancient times in
this town. These were the two best places in this part of the town for
Beaver dams, and were on streams not subject to freeze much.

It appears evident that the genius and natural activity of some animals
and birds is greater than that of others, and that all possess thought,
memory, discernment, and many of the passions and affections like those
of human beings; and have a degree of speech in which, by articulate
sounds, they can inform each other of danger from an enemy, of the
finding of food, calling each other to come and partake of it, or
forbidding it; and no doubt a great part of the different species of
animals and birds, especially the latter, have more of an extensive
language, to communicate to and with each of their respective tribes,
than what man can discover. When a man happens to come unawares near to
a partridge with young ones, she will give immediate warning to her
brood to run and hide, and if the man pursues them, or comes near to
them, she will approach to him and flutter as though she was unable to
get out of his way, to entice the man to follow her, but will keep at
such a distance from him that he cannot catch her; and in this manner
she will lead the man away from her young in pursuit of herself, until
he leaves them and her fear ceases, when she will return to the brood,
call them to her, and attend to them in her usual way. Other birds also
have their ways and means of causing their young ones to run and hide
for fear of an enemy, and to entice him away from the place where the
young chickens are hid. All animals will save and defend their young
offspring to the utmost of their power, in which they generally make
use of the best means they possess.

                          * * * * *

                       FOURTH GENERATION.

The fourth and a part of the fifth generations, descendants from four
of the first settlers in the Peenpack neighborhood, are now on the
stage of action, and those who have remained in Deerpark now own nearly
all the valuable land for agricultural purposes in it; and, like their
grandfathers, have generally stuck to the soil for their living. Yet a
part of these two generations are now in other pursuits of life,
embracing a great part of all the occupations which are followed in
this part of our country. The former generally became transactors of
business between the years 1810 and 1830. These, and their
contemporaries in our country, are within reach of nearly all the
acquisitions which have been mentioned, and can procure such portions
thereof as their means and abilities will admit, and which furnishes
them with a vast amount of enjoyment of which their ancestry were
destitute, and also are a source of many evils which they escaped by
not having the means of their production. Now, in consequence of those
changes, it requires more circumspection now than in former times to
travel life's journey, from the existence of many by-roads, the worst
of which are sometimes most enticing; and these have obscured our way
through life, and created difficulties in selecting the best course for
the enjoyment of our additional acquisitions, without burdening
ourselves with the evils which emanate from an erroneous choice.

When men become enabled to have a great variety of food and drink it
becomes necessary to know which are of a healthy character and which
are pernicious thereto, so as to enable them to make a choice for its
preservation in cases where that becomes the object, in preference to
risking future evil consequences. So also when men are enabled to have
all the desirable enjoyments of ease and comfortable dwellings, it is
necessary for them to know how to occupy these without injuring their
health, and also to have a knowledge of whatever has a tendency to
promote or impair it. Much information relative thereto can be acquired
from the writings of those who have studied and practiced the art of
healing and preserving health.

Doctor Fowler of the city of New York has for some years published a
monthly water cure journal, in which he has treated extensively of the
effects of water in curing diseases and preserving health, by using it
in a proper manner to answer its different purposes. He has also
treated on the bad effects of some of the habits of the people of our
country and the consequences thereof. He also from time to time
published a variety of articles relative to the causes of diseases and
means of avoiding the same, &c. Doctor Nichols and wife, Mary S. Gove
Nichols, formerly of the city of New York and afterwards residents of
Cincinnati, also published a similar monthly journal for a few years.
From such works much interesting matter for the benefit of mankind can
be acquired, and more than people generally are willing to practice.

The physicians, by much study and practice, have become very skillful
in overcoming and curing disease, and more dependence is now had on
their services for prolonging life than on any other means for that

Important as the preservation of health is to mankind, few appear to be
willing to use means for preserving it, some of which are irksome and
others counteract the cravings of nature. These latter differ widely
in persons, and consequently are easier overcome by some than others.
Many men of strong constitutions, in healthy employments, have little
need of being strictly temperate, or to use extraordinary means to
preserve health.

The three first verses of the XXIII chapter of the Proverbs of Solomon
are very applicable in respect to making choice of a great variety of
food and drink such as Rulers of his time furnished.

Now as man is composed of both body and a comprehensive and intelligent
mind, which latter is subject to pleasure and pain, happiness and
misery, it is necessary to use our best means for the welfare of both;
and as a large field is opened by the acquisitions mentioned, for the
enjoyment of the mind as well as of the body, and also a large field
for speculative objects, many of which are of a pernicious character,
it becomes necessary to select such as will promote happiness and to
shun those which are attended with dangerous consequences, both in
respect to suffering corporeal punishment and the torments of a guilty

The most perfect course of life creates the easiest journey, but a
perfect guidance in all respects is beyond the comprehension of man,
and would not be fully pursued even if understood. Our country is
filled with preachers to expound the laws of God and dictate the walks
of life, yet men err to such a degree from a perfect life as to make it
necessary to have many codes of civil law, and a great number of civil
officers versed therein to prevent imposition and sustain the rights of

A perfect life of the mass of men in all respects would create the
greatest happiness. It has been prophesied that a time will arrive when
men will become blessed with a happy state of existence, when wars will
cease and peace prevail. In respect of which, if we take a view of what
has transpired in the world, it appears that mankind have made a great
advance since the commencement of our historical revelations from a
rude and barbarous state towards that of civilization, and from the
numerous, cruel and terrible warfares of ancient times to a greater
prevalence of peace and much less cruelty in warfare. Yet the world of
mankind still remains at a vast distance from such a happy state as
might exist if all men were disposed to act for the welfare of all, and
had discernment to use the best means for obtaining it. But we still
remain fallible in both those respects, and if ever we are to have the
enjoyment of such a happy state it must be yet far in advance, and it
probably is best to progress slowly and become fitted by degrees for
such a change.

                          * * * * *

                       RELIGIOUS WORSHIP.

I have understood that there were religious reading meetings in the
Peenpack neighborhood before the Rev. Fryenmoet commenced his
ministerial services.

When measures were first taken by the inhabitants along the Neversink
and Delaware rivers, for a distance of about 45 or 50 miles down the
same, to procure a preacher for the people throughout that distance,
there was not a man in its vicinity qualified to preach the Gospel,
and, in consequence of this district then being sparsely inhabited, the
people united and formed four congregations, to procure the services
of one preacher, and agreed with John Casparus Fryenmoet, a young man
from Switzerland who had previously studied for the ministry, to furnish
him with money to go to Amsterdam in Holland, finish his education and
become ordained, after which he was to serve them as their preacher.
The sum they gave him for that purpose was 125 L. 12 s. 6 d., equal to
$314.06. He went, obtained his education and became authorized to preach
the gospel, returned and commenced to preach for the four congregations
in June 1741; but no agreement had yet been made in relation to his
salary and other matters which were necessary to be agreed on, and
before any agreement was made Fryenmoet received a call from Rochester.
It appears, however, that he declined that call, and an agreement was
entered into between him and the church officers of Minisink and
Mahackemeck congregations, the 7th of January, 1742, whereby it was
stipulated that each of those congregations should pay Fryenmoet 20 L.,
equal to $50. A like sum paid by each of the other congregations made
the amount of his salary $200; besides this he was to have 100 skipple
of oats for horse feed, of which each congregation was to furnish 25
skipple. In February, 1745, the four congregations agreed to pay each
17 L. 10 s. for the purpose of building a house for Fryenmoet.

It appears from the church records that John Casparus Fryenmoet, born
in Switzerland, with Eleanor Van Etten, born in Nytsfield, were married
with a license from Governor Morris, in New Jersey, by Justice Abraham
Van Camp, the 23d of July, 1742. The church records contain the rules
and regulations of the church made at different times, which, in some
respects, were different from those of the present time, among which
were the two following, to wit: Church Wardens before officiating had
to bind themselves in writing to remain subject to the Classis of
Amsterdam. Persons intending to be married had to make out a certificate
of their intended marriage and deliver it to the minister, who for
three successive Sundays, at the close of service, read the certificate
and at the same time gave notice that if any legal objections to the
marriage existed, they should be made in due time and place.

This last continued to be practiced during Van Benschoten's services.

These records are in the Holland Dutch tongue. It appears that
Fryenmoet's services ended in 1755 when his services became
impracticable in consequence of the French war, whereby this frontier
settlement became much exposed to Indian warfare, and he removed to
Kinderhook, N. Y., where he preached for 21 years and where he died in
1778. He was represented as a man of short stature, handsome and

One hundred and ten communicant members were received into the church
whilst Fryenmoet officiated, within the congregations of Minisink and
Mahackemeck, about 36 of whom resided in the present town of Deerpark.
Of the latter the following from time to time alternately served as
members of the Mahackemeck consistory:

  Jacobus Swartwout,         Anthony Van Etten,
  Thomas Decker,             Johannis Westbrook,
  Johannis Decker,           Solomon Koykendall,
  Gerardus Van Inwegen,      Josias Cole,
  Peter Gumaer,              Benjamin Depuy,
  William Cole,              Philip Swartwout,
  Peter Kuykendall.

In the year 1760 the Rev. Thomas Romeyn commenced his ministerial
services for the congregations mentioned, and continued until the year
1772, during which time a general attendance was given to his preaching,
and reading meetings were had and attended also on those Sundays when
there was no preaching in this congregation. This practice continued
during the time of the successive ministers, until preaching was had
every Sunday in our church. (Mr. Romeyn on leaving here settled in
Canghnawaga, Montgomery County, N. Y., where after 21 years of
ministerial labor he died in 1794.)

Within the time of Romeyn's services a schism occurred in the Dutch
church, in consequence of the subordinate state of the church to the
Classis of Amsterdam, in Holland, in respect to ordaining ministers
there, &c., which having become burdensome to many who had to go there
to become authorized to preach the gospel, measures were taken to have
a Classis established in this country for that purpose. This created
two parties, one of which, termed Conferentie, was in favor of
continuing according to former practice, and the other, termed Coetus,
were advocates of a Classis formed in this country to examine and
ordain men to preach the gospel. Of the former, Romeyn was a moderate
adherent, probably in consequence of his ordination in Holland, yet
the people of his congregations generally attended to his preaching and
were not as violent partisans as many people were in some other parts
of our country; and it is probable his services would have continued,
if a few of the most influential ruling members of his church, who were
of the Coetus party, had not projected means to end his services in the
year mentioned.

From this time, a term of thirteen years elapsed in which these
congregations had no regular preacher, but probably had a few supplies
before the Revolutionary War commenced, during its continuance, and
after it ended.

In the year 1785 the Rev. Elias Van Benschoten entered on his
ministerial services for the three congregations of Mahackemeck,
Minisink and Walpack, in each of which he preached every third Sunday,
in both the Dutch and English languages and generally performed half
in each tongue; and required of the young people as their duty, to
commit to memory in the English tongue the Heidelberg catechism, in
such portions as he directed to be answered at each time of his
preaching in the congregation, either on the same Sunday or on one of
the days of the same week, at which time he gave explanations of that
portion of the catechism. He retired in 1795, [FN] and removed to a
farm or tract of land he had purchased, situated east of the Shawangunk
mountain, in the northerly part of New Jersey, on which he made great
improvements and granted it to Mr. Cooper, a nephew of his by marriage,
subject to payment by installments, and his money he bestowed for
educating youths for the ministry, &c. ($17,000 given to the General
Synod of Reformed Dutch Church for this purpose in 1814.)

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Mr. V. B. moved to his farm in the Clove near Deckertown, N. J.,
 in 1792, where he preached to the church organized under his ministry.
 He likewise preached occasionally to the churches in this valley until
 1799. He died at the Clove in 1815.

Van Benschoten was a man well calculated for the rudeness of the time
in which he officiated in those congregations.

After Van Benschoten's services were ended, a term of about four years
elapsed before another regular preacher served this congregation. In,
or about the winter of 1803 and 1804, the Rev. John Demarest commenced
his services for the congregations mentioned and performed one-half of
his preaching in the Dutch tongue, and the other half in English. He
continued until about the year 1806. [FN] After this a term of about
ten or eleven years elapsed in which no regular preacher officiated in
this congregation, but supplies were sometimes had.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Mr. Demarest died in New York city in 1837.

On the 25th of January, 1817, the Rev. Cornelius C. Elting was
installed pastor of the two congregations, Mahackemeck and Minisink,
and performed his services in the English language. He died the 24th
of October, 1843. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Mr. Elting is the only minister of this Church who has died during
 the pastorate of the Church.

All religious services have since been performed in the English tongue
in our congregation. Within the term of his services a new church was
built in Port Jervis, after which the name of "Mahackemeck Church" was
altered by an act of the Legislature, in 1838, to that of "The Reformed
Dutch Church of Deerpark." The materials of the old church were removed
after the new one was finished, and the spot where the first and second
churches had stood during a term of about one century, from the time
the first was erected until the last was taken down, became vacant, and
the ancient and latter occupants who formerly repaired to it for the
worship of their Creator now generally sleep in their graves.

On the 29th of February, 1844, the Rev. George P. Van Wyck was ordained
and installed pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Deerpark,
unconnected with the congregation of Minisink, and his services were
generally had every Sunday in this church, which he continued until in
May, 1852. [FN-1] On February 22d, 1853, the Rev. Hiram Slauson was
installed pastor, and continued his services until in October
1857. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Mr. Van Wyck is now (1889) living at Washington, D. C.
 [FN-2] Mr. Slauson is still (1889) living at Whitehall, N. Y.

In the year 1853 the church edifice at Cuddebackville was built at a
cost of $2,500, principally borne by the inhabitants of that place and
its vicinity. A church was organized March 12th, 1854, (by a committee
of the Classis of Orange) consisting of thirteen members, twelve of whom
were received from the Reformed Dutch Church of Deerpark, and one from
the Episcopal Church of Middletown. The Rev. Henry Morris was installed
as the first pastor of this church the third Tuesday of September,
1855. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Mr. Morris remained pastor of this Church until 1861 when he
 removed to Port Jervis, and subsequently, in 1867, to Binghamton,
 N. Y., where he died, in 1881, at 78 years of age.

On the first Sabbath in February, 1858, the Rev. Samuel W. Mills
commenced his pastoral services for the Dutch Reformed Church at Port
Jervis. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Mr. Mills continued pastor until Nov. 1871.

As we now generally have preaching every Sabbath, our reading meetings
have been discontinued. The exercises of those meetings were prayer by
one of the communicant members, and singing before and after reading a
sermon from a book of sermons.

The greatest supporters of those meetings were Benjamin Depuy, Esq.,
within his time of action, and afterwards Joel Whitlock. In the early
part of Depuy's life he, and sometimes Jacob K. Dewitt, performed the
reading in Dutch, but in the latter part of his life and afterwards it
was done in the English language and continued to be done in that

Since the construction of the Delaware and Hudson canal and the New
York and Erie railroad this town has received an additional population,
who have built up the large and flourishing village of Port Jervis.
These are from different parts of our country and from different
countries in Europe and are of different religious denominations.

The greatest proportion of these are of English origin, and some of
them are the most opulent in it. This village, commenced about the year
1828, now contains six churches, all of which are generally occupied
every Sunday for religious worship, to wit: A Dutch Reformed as
mentioned, and a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and a
Roman Catholic, (and now in 1890 a German Lutheran). The different
opinions of men in religion and politics have always had a tendency to
create enmity; but as men have become enlightened, those causes have
gradually ceased to have such violent effects as in former times,
especially in religion. The members' of the different denominations in
our town now harmonize in their business transactions, and their
different opinions in religion do not effect their social intercourse
in other respects. But in politics we must always expect to have times
of great contention, if we continue to have the liberty of speaking our
respective sentiments, for people will always disagree, both honestly
and dishonestly in respect to certain matters which will, from time to
time be introduced for legislative action and determination; and our
inability to judge correctly in relation to all the numerous matters
which will continually occur for such decision, together with many
selfish views, will always cause strife in our political affairs, and
these will continue to have a great effect in opening the eyes of the
people in relation to our political matters.

In religion it is probable that the different denominations will
generally continue to become freed from that enmity which formerly
existed in consequence of their religious opinions, the folly of which
is now apparent to the best informed part of mankind. The use of force
and arms in former times to compel men to unite or keep united with
certain religious sects, had a tendency to produce hypocrisy, for self
preservation, but not to alter men's opinions. Convincing proofs are
the only means to alter erroneous opinions, but the great evil of
ancient times consisted in organizing men to answer selfish purposes
by religious and political subjugation; the most numerous and powerful
of each of these becoming united, created a power to tyrannize over
their opposers.

The acts of men which have emanated from the influence of serving God
have been directed in many different ways, some of which have been very
erroneous and contrary to the spirit of Christianity, although
transacted by its professors. Such have been all the instigators of
wars for selfish purposes, without a just cause, and all unjust
impositions for whatever objects.

Within the present century much has been done to enlighten mankind and
improve their condition, and we are under great obligations of gratitude
to all the scientific men of our country for the vast improvement and
discoveries they have made within my own time of life, most of which has
been done by descendants of English origin, whose ancestors generally
came into this country poor, to enjoy liberty in the wilds of the
Eastern states, where they had to suffer the hardships of procuring a
livelihood in a wilderness country, among the hazards of being
exterminated by the numerous Indians who inhabited it. Now,
notwithstanding their privations and all the hazards which attended
their situations, they persevered, improved the country wherever they
settled, defended themselves against Indian hostilities, and, as soon
as practicable, introduced religious worship, literature and the study
of the arts, and sciences, and became the most enlightened people in
our country.

Many of their descendants have emigrated into the different States of
the Union, and, wherever they have located, they have generally
introduced religion, literature, and the study of the arts and
sciences. They occupy the greatest part of the most important stations
of life in our country, and we are indebted to them for a vast amount
of improvements, and for many manufacturing establishments in different
parts of our country. In religion they do not all unite. Their spirit
of liberty generally dictates the individuals to join such Christian
denomination as they respectively prefer, in consequence of which they
have become divided generally among the different Christian
denominations in our country. These different opinions in religious
sentiments generally create no enmity between the most enlightened
professors, who so differ in opinion where no apprehensions of evil
consequences exist, but indications of these have not become wholly
extinguished, and may or may not prove an injury to the welfare of our

                          * * * * *


For about 60 or 70 years the inhabitants of that part of the present
town of Deerpark, which formerly was in the town of Mamakating in Ulster
County, had no nearer Justice of the Peace than in Rochester, in the
same County, which was about 35 or 40 miles distant from the Peenpack
neighborhood; and the services of that officer were unnecessary for the
inhabitants of that neighborhood during that time, in which they had the
honesty and prudence to adjust all matters relating to their mutual
dealings. And the inhabitants of the lower neighborhood, who were in the
County of Orange, and had settled there about 20 years after the
settlement was made at Peenpack, must have resided there about 40 or 50
years before any Justice officiated in that neighborhood.

I presume that Jacobus (James) Van Auken was the first Justice of the
Peace in the present town of Deerpark, and that he received his office
from the authorities of the State of New Jersey before the line between
the States became settled. He resided in the lower neighborhood. It was
said that he was entirely illiterate, and that the wife of his son
Daniel Van Auken, Leah Kittle, had been educated and could read and
write, and did the same for her father-in-law when it became necessary
for transacting his official business, in consequence of which she
received the name of Justice in his time of life.

Benjamin Depuy and Philip Swartwout, Esquires, officiated as Justices
of the Peace for the County of Ulster before the Revolutionary War
commenced, and Anthony Van Etten and Solomon Kuykendall, Esquires,
officiated as Justices of the Peace for the County of Orange, also
before the commencement of the war, how long previous thereto I cannot
determine, but think they must have come into office after the French
war ended and before the year 1770. After the decease of Swartwout,
Van Auken and Van Etten, which occurred, as has been mentioned, in the
time of the war, Harmanus Van Inwegen became a Justice of the Peace of
the County of Ulster and Levi Van Etten of Orange County. The former was
a resident of the old town of Mamakating, and the latter of the former
town of Minisink. Afterwards Peter G. Cuddeback became a Justice of the
Peace of Ulster County, and officiated until he removed to Cayuga

After this time several individuals held the office in succession for
the County of Orange, which became so altered, together with an
alteration of the towns, as to include the present town of Deerpark in
which Cuddeback resided. When the first and second churches of
Mahackemeck congregation were built, a bench with a roof over it was
made in each of those churches for a seat of such magistrates in time
of divine service. [FN] When those civil officers were first introduced
into this part of our country they were more highly esteemed than at
present, though it did not require as good abilities and as much law
knowledge to discharge their duties honorably in former times as at
present, in consequence of the great increase of their business and a
more general diffusion of law knowledge, also by having become
familiarized among the people in a much greater degree than formerly.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This was very common in the Dutch Churches in this country at that

The descendants of the first settlers in the two neighborhoods mentioned
have generally settled all their mutual dealings without the process of
law, which has so continued to the present time; and before the
Revolution the Justices must have had only a mere trifle of business.
After the war ended law prosecutions and trials began, and their
increase a few years thereafter made a great addition of business for
the resident Justices in the towns mentioned, which rapidly augmented
until the County of Sullivan was formed and became established out of
a part of the old County of Ulster, and a part of the latter added to
the old County of Orange, which transferred a great amount of law
business from the present County of Ulster into the County of Sullivan.

After the Revolutionary War, the large forests of wild lands then in
Ulster County contained a great amount of valuable pine, oak and hemlock
timber, both near the Delaware river and for some miles distant from it.
This valuable property became an object of enterprise for people to get
and convey to market, first generally in the form of logs. Few owners
of the land were in this part of the country, which gave people the
opportunity to get it where they saw fit, but as the business extended
owners were found and many people became engaged in manufacturing the
timber into boards, scantling, &c., and into hewed timber, staves and
shingles for market. Among these quite a great proportion of the
residents in the former and present towns of Deerpark engaged, in which
some did a small business, others on a medium scale, and some to a very
great extent. This, with few exceptions, was done on a credit system,
by running in debt to merchants and farmers for the necessary supplies
the individuals wanted for their business, which generally was made
payable every ensuing spring and fall, at which time the lumber was run
down the river to market. In progressing in this manner many
disappointments occurred which caused failures in making payments
according to agreements, in consequence of disasters on the river,
unsteady prices of lumber and of the produce necessary for that
business, wages, &c., and many other causes of failures contributed to
make business for justices, and constables of the old County of Ulster,
who resided in the former town of Mamakating. As early as 1792 when I
was constable and a resident of that town, I had to travel several times
a distance of between 15 and 40 miles to serve processes for recovery of
debts from persons who resided along the river between Pond Eddy and
Cochecton, and who were in poor circumstances to pay debts. These
lumbered under great disadvantages in getting round timber from the
mountains bordering on the river, which business they had commenced
after the war ended.

After the war terminated, boards and other sawed timber were much wanted
for building purposes within the present town of Deerpark, where the
enemy had burned the buildings of the inhabitants, and these materials
were not manufactured in this vicinity at that time. It became necessary
to build saw mills to furnish those articles, and three men, Capt.
Abraham Cuddeback, Benjamin Cuddeback and Capt. Abraham Westfall, built
a saw mill on a brook at that time termed Bush-kill, at or near the
present tanning establishment of Mr. O. B. Wheeler, near the bridge
across the Neversink river on the Mount Hope and Lumberland turnpike;
and three other men, Benjamin Depuy, Esq., Elias Gumaer and Samuel
Depuy, built a saw mill on the present premises of Abraham Cuddeback,
Esq., on the same brook on which his present saw mill stands.

Near the Bush-kill saw mill at that time was much pine timber, and that
mill continued to do considerable business for several years, and the
same, and a few other mills west of it, manufactured the greatest part
of the boards formerly used for the buildings in Orange County, and the
shingles for roofing the same were generally made in the vicinity of
those mills. All of which, during a certain period of time, made a great
business, and some addition to that of our Justice's courts originated
from it.

A great trading intercourse generally creates many causes of contention
and fills our courts with a great amount of business, all of which has
its bad and good effects, and while some bear the burdens of contention
others receive the benefit of transacting the necessary business for
adjusting matters of dispute. All the consequences resulting from such
an intercourse of mankind, have a tendency to enlighten them, and,
according to the old saying "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any

                        WAGES, &C.

For many years the prices of those productions, wages, &c., were about
stationary. At what time or times these were established is uncertain,
but I presume it must have been as early as 1740, when the same became
regulated according to the discretion of the people throughout this
valley or by the Esopus merchant, and continued until about the year
1790. The farmers generally paid mechanics and laborers with the produce
of their farms, and the latter paid what they bought of the former in
labor, and very little money was in circulation among them.

                          * * * * *

                    CURRENCY AND MEASURES.

Previous to the Revolutionary War, and for a few years after it ended,
the currency in circulation here was that of the Colony of New York,
afterwards termed State of New York, which was calculated in pounds,
shillings, pence and farthings.

 1 pound was 20 shillings             $2.50
 1 shilling was 12 pence                .12 1/2
 1 penny was 4 farthings                .01 1/25

The grain measure was a skipple, and held 3 pecks. The cloth measure was
an ell, 3/4 of a yard long.

For brevity, the prices annexed to the following articles, wages, &c.,
is in our present currency, and the measures are those now in use.

                    LIVE STOCK.

 Horses, from about                    $20.00 to $50.00
 Cows,    "     "                        7.50 to  12.50
 Sheep,   "     "                        1.00 to   1.50


 Wheat, per bushel                                 $0.75
 Rye, per bushel                                     .50
 Corn, per bushel                                    .50
 Buckwheat, per bushel                               .31


 Beef, per cwt.                                   $2.50
 Pork, per cwt                                     4.00


 For man's every day wear linen, unbleached, per yard     $0.44
 For man's every day wear linen, bleached, per yard         .50
 Finer qualities for Sunday wear at higher prices,
   linsey-woolsey, fulled and colored                      1.00
 Unfulled plain colored linsey-woolsey for woman's wear     .75

These cloths were all woven five-quarters of a yard wide.


 Unhatcheled, per lb                              $0.09
 Tow, per lb.                                       .06


 For labor on a farm, per year, from             $50.00 to $75.00
 For labor on a farm, per month, from.             5.00 to   7.50
 For labor on a farm, per day, except in
 harvest and haying, from                           .25 to    .37 1/2
 Per day for cradling grain                                 $0.62 1/2
 Per day for mowing grass                                     .50
 Baking and binding after a cradler                           .62 1/2
 Baking only after a cradler                                  .25
 Binding after a cradler                                      .37 1/2
 Cutting timber and splitting it into rails, per hundred      .37 1/2
 Splitting rails, per hundred                                 .18 3/4
 Crackling or breaking flax per hundred hands full            .12 1/2
 Swingling flax per lb. about                                 .03
 Spinning it for common wear per lb. (women's work)           .12 1/2
 Weaving linen for every day wear per yard about              .04
 Linsey-Woolsey per yard about                                .07

                   CARPENTER'S WORK.

 Per day from                                       $0.50 to $0.72
 For making the woodwork of a wagon                         $25.00
 Of a lumber sleigh                                           1.50
 Of a plow                                                    1.00
 Of a fanning mill                                           12.50

                       MASON'S WORK.
 Per day from                                        $0.50 to $0.75

The sums paid for the mason and carpenter's work of the dwelling house
of Peter Gumaer, done about the year 1753, will show how cheap those
mechanics worked at that time.

The house was 45 by 40 feet on the ground, with a cellar under the same,
divided into four cellar rooms and four dwelling rooms. The walls were
of stone, masoned with clay mortar and were about two feet thick,
pointed outside of the house and inside of the cellar rooms with lime
and sand mortar, and plastered inside of the rooms and chamber with
mortar of lime, &c. The mason work of this house was done by three
masons, by the job, for 30 L., equal to $75; and the carpenter's work
was also done by the job, by a Mr. Wells, for the like sum of 30 L.,
equal to $75.

To show how cheap these mechanics worked, I have thought proper to give
a further description of this house, being as follows, to wit: The two
side walls were about 20 feet high from the bottom of the cellar to the
plates, and the two end walls were about 28 feet high. The two walls,
which divided the cellar and dwelling house each into four apartments,
were about 16 feet high from the bottom of the cellar to the chamber
floor. The two chimneys, with the supporting walls in the cellar and
forming the fire-places, were about 40 feet high from the bottom of the
cellar to their tops, and were each about 10 x 6 feet square above the
upper floor, from which they were tapering towards the top of the roof,
and above it were about 4 or 5 feet square.

The carpenter's work consisted of hewing, fitting and laying the cellar
beams, which were about one foot square, and reached from the outside to
the inside walls, also hewing, planing and laying the beams of the upper
floor, which were of pitch pine timber and about 14 X 10 inches square,
also hewing and planing the plates on which the roof rested, also hewing
the rafters, which were about 8 x 6 inches square at the lower ends and
about 5 inches square at the top end and those on the sides were about
32 feet long, and those on the two other sides, or ends, were about 26
feet long, and each pair of the long rafters contained a girth of about
25 feet long and about 8 x 6 inches square. The lath on which the
shingles were nailed were of split timber, hewed 1 1/4 inch thick and
about 5 inches wide, the shingles were of white pine timber 3 feet long
and 1 inch thick at the butt end, shaved to near an edge at the other
end; the lower and upper floors were of pitch pine boards, 1 1/2 inch
thick planed on the side within the rooms.

The house contained 7 inside panel doors, four outside framed doors, and
four cellar batten doors, five windows, which contained each 24 panes of
glass, and panel window shutters to each window, four small windows
above the outside doors and eight small chamber and cellar windows, and
a large closet each side of one of the fire places. These two jobs were
paid in money, which was of much more value at that time than at

Few country dwelling houses contain as great a weight of materials as
were put into this building. It lasted until the year 1823, and, with a
little repairing and a new roof, might have stood and been a good house
until the present time. It contained all its first materials except a
small repair of the floors before each fire place, and rebuilding the
east wall, from which the pointing had been washed by northeast storms
of rain and caused it to fall. The lower and upper floors, and the two
end roofs, were yet water tight when the house was taken down. The roofs
on the north and south sides had become leaky, and more on the north
than south side. The two end roofs were very steep, and those on the
sides were somewhat steeper than roofs of the present time.

                          * * * * *


As there has been a great change in the business transactions of people
in this part of the country generally within the last half century, I
have thought proper to give a more particular statement in relation to
that of the inhabitants formerly of our present town, than what has been
mentioned in the preceding part of this work.

Commencing with the ending and beginning of the year, I will in the
first instance narrate the manner in which Christmas and New Year's days
were kept.

                          * * * * *

                     CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S.

The day preceding Christmas, preparations were made to enjoy some good
diets on that and the next succeeding day, by baking cakes, boiling
doughnuts, &c., on which to feast, especially the second Christmas day,
when neighbors visited each other and partook of the good victuals
previously and this day provided. Formerly two days were kept as
Christmas, and two days as New Year's throughout our valley. The first
Christmas day was kept holy and reverential as Sunday, and the second
as mentioned, on the evening of which the young people generally had a
dance. The day previous to New Year's, the same preparations were made
for both New Year's days, and early in the morning of the first day, at
or before break of day, a few individuals would be out in one part of
the neighborhood and salute a near neighbor with the firing of guns by
his door, which awakening the inmates they speedily arose out of their
beds, and, on meeting their visitors, they mutually greeted each other
with the wish of a Happy New Year, after which a treat of cider was
given and sometimes other liquor after it became used, and some cakes,
doughnuts and apples were distributed among them. Here they were joined
by one or a few of this family and proceeded to the next neighbor, where
the same routine was gone through and generally one or a few individuals
were added at each house, and by this means quite a company was formed
by passing through the neighborhood. In my time these proceedings began
to be disapproved, and gradually ceased until they became abandoned. In
all other respects, the first and second New Year's days were kept in
the same manner as the second Christmas day.

After these festivities were past, the people resumed their business,
which was very urgent at this time of the year, in which, before my
time, it was said there generally was good sleighing and they had to do
a great amount of teaming in the winter season while sleighing
continued, to get their wheat to market, their fire wood, post and rail
timber drawn, and much other work which teams had to perform. Wheat, in
the first instance, had to be taken between 50 and 60 miles distance
from our present town to market, afterwards between 40 and 50 miles.

As the days are short in winter, the people before my time occupied a
part of the night after dark in the evening and in the morning before
daylight, for threshing and cleaning wheat, and also for taking it to
market. The great amount of fire wood, post and rail timber, which had
to be provided in the winter season, also made much winter work. After
sleighing ended, post and rail timber had to be split, the posts holed
and rails sharpened, and, as soon as the frost was out of the ground,
new fences were made of these and the old fences were repaired. In 1770
and afterwards, a great amount of fuel and fencing timber was used in
consequence of the large fires farmers kept up in their sitting rooms
and kitchens, the smallness and scattered situation to which farms had
become reduced at that time, and the necessity of dividing them into
small lots for pasturing purposes.

In March and April, the flax which had not been previously dressed, was
in these months all crackled and swingled, rope yarn spun, and ropes
made for halters, traces, lines and other uses. Each farmer in these
months prepared his hides for tanning, procured white oak bark, and laid
down the hides, together with the bark and water, in troughs, to be
tanned during the warm season. The linen for summer wear was principally
woven in these months by the men, the manure drawn from the barnyards
and stables, and flax seed and oats sowed.

In May, the corn-ground was ploughed and planted, and ploughing for
buckwheat was done for the first time.

In June, the corn was hoed twice, for which it was prepared by ploughing
each time between the rows one way, so that much had to be done with the
hoe, and the ploughing for summer fallow was also commenced, and at an
early day of the settlement sometimes finished in this month.

In July the harvesting and gathering of winter grain and oats, and the
pulling of flax was all done.

In August, after meadows were made, the grass was cut and gathered for
fodder, flax taken up and brought into barns, and a second ploughing for
wheat was principally done in this month. (It was customary with the
ancient people to plough three times for wheat and twice for rye).

In September the plowing for seed and sowing winter grain was commenced,
and was continued during the month of October and beginning of November.
Cider was from time to time made during these three months. The topping
of corn, by cutting off the stalks above the ears for fodder, was done
in September until the time of the Revolutionary War, after which this
practice was abandoned and the cutting up of corn near the ground and
setting it up in small shocks became a general practice, in which,
improvements in performing the work, and time and manner of doing the
same, have from time to time been made. Until the time of the
Revolutionary War, and during that war, the ears of corn on the stalks,
standing out in the field after becoming dry, were pulled from the
stalks and thrown into small heaps between the rows, from which they
were taken with a wagon into the barn where they were husked, sometimes
by means of one or more husking frolics, but more generally by the
family only. In these months and beginning of December, flax was rotted,
and some of it dressed for winter spinning, and rope yarn was spun, and
ropes made for cow-ropes, halters, traces, lines and other purposes for
winter use.

In November, winter apples, and the few potatoes, turnips and other
roots raised in those times, were brought into the cellar; and the
killing and putting up of pork and beef was done in the latter part of
this month and beginning of December. The manufacturing of leather,
which each farmer had tanned during the season, was done at this time
and made into shoes, (generally by a member of the family), also the
weaving of linsey-woolsey and woolen check for winter wear, and the
dressing of some flax for winter spinning. In November, each farmer
generally took a load of wheat and flax seed to market, for procuring
salt, pepper, iron and other articles.

The women, as well as the men, had also to perform a great amount of
labor. Besides their ordinary housework, they had to spin the yarn for
all their clothing, hatcheled their flax, and card their wool, bleach
all their linen for shirts and some other uses, make all the wearing
apparel of both men and women, and did all the knitting of stockings
and mittens, which amounted to more than double the knitting now done
for a family, which had become necessary in consequence of the fashion
of men in former times wearing short breeches, which also made it
necessary for them to wear over stockings.

All those necessary occupations made a great amount of business for our
ancestors, and furnished them with a very plentiful supply of the
necessaries of life. They had very little help besides that of a few
slaves, which generally did not amount to more than a man and a woman
slave to a family, exclusive of children and old people not able to do
much. The inhabitants were generally farmers, and few laborers could be
obtained by them.

                          * * * * *


The characteristics of each individual by a marriage union becoming
changed in their children, form characters differing, in some degree,
from those of each parent, which, being continued from generation to
generation, gradually extinguish those of the original parents; but to
what extent of time or how many generations would have to succeed each
other before these would all become extinguished the writer cannot
determine. By bringing into calculation the first pioneers as the first
generation, the sixth, and a part of the fifth and seventh, are now, in
1861, on the stage of action. In many individuals of the fifth and sixth
generations are yet remains of the characteristics of their respective,
most anterior parentage. These are more prominent in some of the
descendants than in others, and also have been inherited in a greater
degree in some families than in others, and certain predominating
characteristics of an anterior ancestor have been the most prevalent in
the line of their descent.

                          * * * * *


Very little is now known respecting the seven first pioneers. I imagine
that they had all been in comfortable circumstances of life, and had
become reduced so that they were in want of means for a livelihood, and
became associated to obtain possession of some good land which they were
not able to purchase in the settled part of the country, and had to
venture to emigrate into its wilds which remained unsettled by white
people but was inhabited by Indians, who at that time were thought to
be a more savage and cruel people than what they in reality were.

The three Swartwouts, we have reason to presume, were best calculated
for this enterprise, and that their companions must have had much
reliance on them for protection. Not only were they possessed of
superior capacities in respect of body and spirit for adventurous
undertakings, but also were a very social, jocose, humorous and witty
people, well calculated to become easily familiarized with strangers
and court friendship, which first qualities were necessary to intimidate
the Indians, and the latter to court and maintain friendship with them.
They were an easy people and made no great exertions to acquire property
by means of hard labor, but provided for a good living. Some of these
characteristics have become much changed in the descendants of those
who remained in this vicinity, and some of them have been inherited to
the present time. The Swartwout character became much changed by the
union of Major Swartwout with the daughter of the first Peter Gumaer,
whose only surviving son, Philip Swartwout, became the greatest business
man of his time in this neighborhood. He also was more sedate and
economical than his ancestors; in other respects he had inherited the
Swartwout character. A great degree of these existed in the two
succeeding generations, and have not become extinguished in the sixth.

Caudebec and Guimar, reduced from a state of affluence to that of
indigence, differed widely to meet such a change and undertake the task
of manual labor for a living which became necessary after they landed
in this country, and was undertaken by them, but, as they were not able
to perform as much as men habituated to it, they received only low
wages. Caudebec, being dissatisfied, told Guimar that he would not work
for such low wages; Guimar replied that they had to do something for a
living, and, as they could not do much, they could not expect much, and
that while they labored they had their living, if no more. At the
instigation of Caudebec, they went from the State in which they first
landed into the State of New York, and he, having been habituated to
a trading business, became introduced into the family of Benjamin
Provost, who also were in such business, and was married to one of his
daughters. Guimar, in the meantime, undertook the business of cleaning
flax by the pound, for which he received wages according to what he did,
and also became married to a daughter (as has been supposed) of a Deyo.

After these two individuals became settled in our present town, the same
difference continued to exist in relation to their business
transactions. Guimar, with the help of his daughters, two slaves he
bought or had of his father-in-law, and one son, (his youngest child),
became the greatest farmer in this town. He was very persevering in his
business transactions, and severe to compel his slaves, also his
daughters and son, to do all the labor they could perform. The
daughters, five in number, although of delicate constitutions, did all
the housework and manufacturing of all their clothing, also a part of
the work on the farm and taking wheat to market. He, himself, dressed
all his flax, to which business he had become habituated before he
settled on his farm, which was about all the farmer's work he could do.
He also was severe to enforce the moral and religious duties of his
children. His descendants have, from generation to generation, very
generally inherited his persevering business character to the present
time; in other respects many of his characteristics have become

Caudebec was the reverse of Guimar in respect to his business
transactions, and more tender towards his children. He had much of a
speculative disposition, and aimed at getting a living by easier means
than that of steady manual labor, and this probably was the view of the
seven first settlers and cause of their emigration to get possession of
land where wild animals, fowls and fishes abounded, which, together with
the cultivation of small portions of such land, would furnish means for
an easy life and a better living, in respect of eatables, than what we
can now enjoy.

After those individuals became located in our present town, it was
necessary for them to procure a title for the land they wanted to
occupy, and it appears that they selected Caudebec, as the most proper
person, to send to the Governor and procure a patent for as many acres
of land as would cover what they wanted to occupy.

After one of the Swartwouts, Caudebec and Guimar became owners of the
patent right, they had to contend for the possession of a great part of
the land they claimed and had in their possession, and it was necessary
for them to devise means to counteract those who wanted to dispossess
them. Caudebec, who was of a contemplative mind, must have been well
calculated to assist in forming plans for that purpose, and I have
understood that he, and certain individuals of his own family,
officiated in some of those which were very important.

After his daughters became married, he devised means for their
livelihood, by inducing the husbands of three of them, Abraham Louw,
Evert Hornbeck and Harmanus Van Gordon, to locate on the east side of
the Delaware river, in the State of New Jersey, opposite Shipikunk
Island; and also his son James and two of his brothers-in-law to do the
same, and each of them take possession of as much land on the island as
was necessary for a livelihood for his respective family. This island
was a body of very good river land, and the first possessor of any part
of it had a right to hold what he had in possession without paying for
it. It was termed King's land, and to remain unsold by his Majesty or
Government. Other islands in that river were in the same situation, and
the husband of another of his daughters, Westfall, located himself on
the same side of the river, opposite Minisink Island, and took
possession of a part of that island.

From all of which we must infer that he was a man well calculated to
overcome difficulties, and had a penetrating mind. He was characterized
as a sensible man. He had been educated, but to what extent is not
known. He had told his family that he had been a great reader before he
left his country, and that he regretted that his children did not have
the opportunity to become educated. He instructed them in moral and
religious duties, and was very tenacious of their characters. At a
certain time two of his daughters told him that certain persons had made
a scandalous report respecting them. He asked if it was true what they
had said. They replied no, it was all lies. "Well," said he, "maintain
good characters and let them talk; they will get ashamed of their lies."

His character, in relation to what has been mentioned respecting his
mental ability, has been inherited from generation to generation by some
of his descendants (who remained in this town) to the present time. The
bodily capacities of his sons, in respect of size, strength and agility,
I consider to have been inherited from his wife, which, although much
reduced from that of those ancients, is still superior in some of the
descendants of the present time to that of the generality of men. Some
of those ancients, in our neighborhood, were a very talkative people and
uncommonly fond of conversation, in which they embraced a great variety
of topics in relation to what had transpired in this valley for a
distance of sixty or seventy miles, and included a great many remarks
in relation to the conduct of the people of those times and much
argumentation on different subjects. I have sat many a long winter
evening, and many an hour in the daytime, to hear the conversations and
arguments of a few of the individuals of the second generation. These
propensities, which were inherent in this family, have become much
changed in their descendants of the present time. Many of these
communications, remarks and arguments were entertaining and instructive,
and had a tendency to induce good morality, of which they possessed more
in principle than in language. I will here introduce one good remark,
which one of them made in the presence of myself and a few others, which
was that, "The first of anything from which trouble accrued was the
cause of all the evil consequences which originated from the same."

In bodily size, strength and agility, there was a great similarity
between the Swartwouts and Cuddebacks, but those I have known differed
in visage. It was said that some of the ancients were superior in
personal beauty and natural mental abilities to their descendants. This
information I have had from different sources. The first time I saw
Nathaniel Owen, who kept a store and tavern many years ago, about two
miles east of the Wallkill, on the road to New Windsor and Newburgh, he
told me that he had been acquainted with the old people in our two
neighborhoods, and that he had never been in a place where there was so
great a proportion of portly, handsome men as were in those
neighborhoods, which he considered as remarkable for such a by-place as
this was at that time. He named Major Swartwout, the second Peter
Gumaer, William Cuddeback, Johannis (John) Westbrook and the first Peter
Kuykendall as the most superior in those respects, and that their
children generally were inferior to them, not only in bodily capacity,
but also in natural mental ability. The ancient Swartwouts, Cuddebacks
and Gumaers had black, curly hair and generally blue eyes and fair skin.
The first Van Inwegen had red hair, his son Gerardus had black, curly
hair and his children had black hair.

Harmanus Van Inwegen's character has been represented in this work as a
bold and fearless man, which is about all that is now known respecting
him. This was well known by Anthony Swartwout, Jacob Cuddeback and the
first Peter Gumaer, before they procured him to locate in their little
neighborhood for their assistance in defending the premises they
claimed. His co-operation with them was important for all these four
individuals, for he, as well as the others had become interested therein
by having a portion of the land granted to him by the others, and as the
saying is "He became a great spoke in the wheel" to maintain their
possessions. He was always honored by his companions for his bravery and
help in their struggles. He and they continued to live near neighbors
in friendship and harmony until death ended their lives.

Van Inwegen had only one son (Gerardus) and one daughter (Jane).
Gerardus lived a very near neighbor to my father, and I was familiarly
acquainted with him in his old age for several years previous to his
death. I did also sometimes see his sister; they were both small and
very lean in flesh during the time I knew them, and their skin was much
wrinkled, (which latter denoted they had been more fleshy in earlier
life) they appeared to be more healthy and were smart for their ages.
Gerardus retained his health until old age ended his life, and after his
death it was said of him that he died a natural death, of old age,
without sickness.

The characteristics of the father and son of this family have not been
generally inherited by the children and grand-children. It has been said
that Cornelius Van Inwegen, Jr., father of Moses Van Inwegen, resembled
and took more after his great-grandfather, Harmanus Van Inwegen, than
any other individual of all his descendants. Moses, his son, has some
resemblance to his father, but I consider him to take more after the
ancient DeWitt family than that of any other. There were certain traits
of character which some of the children and grand-children of Gerardus
inherited from him, but generally they took more after other families
from whom they were also descendants.

Many of the ancient characteristics of both the Swartwouts and
Cuddebacks still remain in their descendants, but I consider James D.
Swartwout as possessing those of the ancient Swartwout family in a
superior degree; Col. Peter Cuddeback as having the greatest resemblance
to the ancient Cuddeback family; Abraham Cuddeback, son of Col. William
A. Cuddeback, when in prime of life, appeared to have more of the
character of his grandfather, Capt. Cuddeback, than any other of the
descendants of the latter; James Devens, Esq., grandson of the second
Peter Gumaer, had some resemblance of his grandfather. But all these
differed in some respects from the originals. Benjamin Hornbeck, a
grandson of Capt. Cuddeback, had much of the penetrating mind of his

                          * * * * *

                   EMIGRATION FROM THIS TOWN.

Enumeration of families who were in this town during the time of the
Revolutionary War, and of those who removed out of it after the war
ended, and of those who now, in 1861, remain in it of those descendants
of those ancients including marriage connections.

First of those of the upper or Peenpack neighborhood, two of whom,
DeWitt and Terwilliger, were no descendants of the first four families.

The names of the heads of those families were the following, to wit:

 Capt. Jacob R. DeWitt,         Capt. Abraham Cuddeback,
 Benjamin Depuy, Esq.,          Benjamin Cuddeback,
 Abraham Cuddeback,             Jacob D. Gumaer,
 Elias Gumaer,                  Harmanus Van Inwegen, Esq.,
 Cornelius Van Inwegen,         Philip Swartwout, Esq.,
 John Wallace,                  Peter Gumaer,
 Matthew Terwilliger,           Ezekiel Gumaer,
               Capt. Abraham Westfall.

Of these, their children, grand-children, and great-grand-children who
had formed marriage connections, and together with these had become
families, the following number have, from time to time, removed from
this neighborhood, to wit:

                                                   No. of family
             Name.                              Of     Of      Of
                                             parents' grand-   great-
                                             children parents' grand-
                                                     children  parents'
 Jacob R. De Witt                               8       4         0
 Benjamin Depuy                                 7       2         0
 Abraham Cuddeback                              3       1         0
 Elias Gumaer                                   7       0         0
 Cornelius Van Inwegen                          6       3         2
 John Wallace                                   3       0         0
 Matthew Terwilliger                            4       0         0
 Capt. Cuddeback                                4       8         5
 Benjamin Cuddeback                             4      14         0
 Jacob D. Gumaer                                6       1         2
 Harmanus Van Inwegen                           3      15         0
 Philip Swartwout                               3       3         0
 Peter Gumaer                                   3       1         0
 Ezekial Gumaer                                 0       1         0
 Abraham Westfall                               1       0         0
                                               62      53         9
  62 + 53 + 9 = 124.

This emigration amounts to 124 families and now, in 1861, there remain
30 within the former limits of the neighborhood; gives the amount of 154
families of descendants of the men named and have formed families by
connected marriages. These had their living during the time they
remained in this place from the productions of the small patent of 1200
acres of land, and although it had become reduced to a low state of
cultivation, more of its productions have been transferred to other
people than would have supported another such a number of families.
Emigration commenced about the year 1790 and has continued to the
present time. The families first mentioned of, DeWitt, Depuy, Cuddeback,
Gumaer, Van Inwegen and Wallace, settled on the military lands in the
state of New York at Onondaga and at the Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes at
an early period of the settlement of those lands, and some were among
the first pioneers of the same where they all procured lands and became
farmers in very comfortable circumstances, and many of their
descendants, like their forefathers, have also sold their farms and
removed into the western states to advance their interest for the
benefit of their children. The other families have removed in all
directions from this neighborhood at greater and less distances from it,
but generally into the western part of this state and into Pennsylvania
and different other states.

Of the four first families, who remained permanent residents in this
neighborhood, twelve children became married to non-residents of the
same and founded twelve families, two of which settled in the lower
neighborhood and were among the first settlers in it, five in the State
of New Jersey, four in Rochester and its vicinity in Ulster County, and
one in Orange County, east of Shawangunk mountain. The other children of
those ancients were seven in number, and formed only six families. These
remained in the neighborhood until about the year 1790. From this it
appears that only half as many families of the first descendants
remained in it as what moved out of it, or settled in other places.

Now, if the 12 families mentioned had become settled and remained in
the neighborhood, together with the other six, and increased and
emigrated, in the same proportion of the latter, the amount, after
deducting those of DeWitt and Terwilliger numbering 16, would now be
324 emigrated, and 90 of present residents, and the whole amount 411

                          * * * * *

                  INCREASE OF POPULATION.

As no accurate calculation can be made of the whole number of families
descended from the first four permanent residents in this neighborhood,
I have adopted a rule for obtaining the number of those now in existence
as near as the same can probably be arrived at without actual
enumeration, by getting a ratio of increase of the first, second, and
as much of the third, generation as I can ascertain; also the whole
number of these from the time of the commencement of the first to the
present time, in manner following, to wit:

The first four families had an increase of 18, and these had an increase
of 66 families, and 27 of the latter had an increase of 129. This
enumeration is made from a knowledge I have in relation to those
ancients. Of these, however, there were two families of the second
generation whom I could not determine, but have estimated them at the
same average rate of increase as that of the others, and the remaining
39 are estimated to have produced an equal proportion of population,
according to their number, as that of the 27, which latter giving an
amount of 129, the remaining 39 will give an amount of 186, and both
these amount to 315 families of the third generation. The average
increase of each of these per family is as follows:

 First   4 give a ratio of           4 1/2
 Second 18   "   "  "                3 3/4
 Third  66   "   "  "                4 3/4

These being compounded give an average ratio of about 4 1/2 families to
one. Now a greater proportion of the fourth and fifth generations have
died younger than of the three first, in consequence of which I have
reduced the increase of the two former to that of a ratio of three per
family, being about one-third lower than those enumerated. This is a
great change for the term in which the alteration has occurred; still,
the latter is about the same rate of increase as that of the United
States since the year 1790 to the present time. In respect of foreign
access of population the proportion which the former has acquired by
intermarriages cannot differ much from that which the latter has
acquired by immigration from Europe and by the importation of Africans
to enslave them.

The year 1700 I contemplate to be about the medium point of time between
the births of the oldest and the youngest children of the first four
families, from which to the present time is 161 years and reaches on
an average about the beginning of the sixth generation and leaves two
unascertained whose increase on a ratio of 3 is as follows, to wit:
315 X 3--945 X 3 = 2835 families of the present fifth generation; and
exclusive of these there must now be a great proportion of the fourth
generation in existence, and that the whole of the present families of
descendants mentioned cannot be less than 3200 now on the stage of
action. The greatest part of these are now widely dispersed into
different parts of our country.

The five generations have had their growth within a term of 161 years,
which gives an average of 32 years for each.

                          * * * * *

                      LOWER NEIGHBORHOOD.

Enumeration of families in the time of the Revolutionary War, embracing
the head of each family, to wit:

 ____ Decker.
 Jacob Schoonover,         Jacobus Van Fliet,
 Moses Cortright,          Daniel Van Auken,
 Abraham Van Auken,        Solomon Kuykendall,
 Johannis Westbrook,       Simeon Westfall,
 Johannis Decker,          Wilhelmus Cole,
 Major John Decker,        Peter Kuykendall,
 Sylvester Cortright,      Martinus Decker,
 Anthony Van Etten, Esq.,  Samuel Caskey,
 Levi Van Etten,           Jacobus Davis.

Of these families, their children and grand-children, the following
number of families have removed out of this town:

          Names.                    No. of Parents   No. of grand-
                                     and children     children
 ____ Decker                               2
 Jacob Schoonover                          1
 Moses Cortright                           1
 Abraham Van Auken                         3
 John Westbrook                            2
 John Decker                               3
 Maj. John Decker                          3                6
 Sylvester Cortright                       2
 Anthony Van Etten, Esq.                   6                3
 Levi Van Etten                            1                4
 James Van Fliet                           1                4
 Daniel Van Auken                         11                5
 Solomon Kuykendall's heir or devisee,
   James Van Fliet, Jr.                    3
 Simon Westfall                            4
 Wilhelmus Cole                                             3
 Peter Kuykendall                          4                4
 Martin Decker                             2
 Samuel Caskey                             1
 James Davis                               6                1
                                         ____             ____
                                          56               30

There may have been a few other families who have removed out of the
town whom I have not known.

Of the descendants of those ancients, there now remain, as near as I
can ascertain, about 5 families in this neighborhood.

These numbers, 56 + 30 + 5 = 91 families.

There now are about 20 families in this neighborhood who are of the
anterior emigration from the upper neighborhood and are included in its

The following is a calculation of the number of families of each
generation of the lower neighborhood, to wit:

 1st generation, which was contemporary with the
     second of this upper neighborhood                       20
 2d,                                                         91
 3rd, at an increase of three families to one               273
 4th, at the same rate of increase                          819

The two last 273 + 819 = 1,092 families. To this last number add the
3,000 of the upper neighborhood and the amount is 4,092.

There are two of these prior generations who, by deaths, may fall short
of these numbers mentioned, but I contemplate that as great an addition
of families exists of the succeeding generation of each neighborhood
as will amount to such loss, and that there now are at least 4,000
families in existence of descendants in some degree of the ancients

                          * * * * *

                         THOMAS WHITE.

This man's services have been of greater benefit and advantage to the
third generation of descendants of our neighborhood than those of any
other individual, in consequence of which he ought to be held in
remembrance by our descendants, and he, together with ourselves, become
incorporated in our history as the first important originator of
education in it. In justice to the merits of Mr. White in respect of
myself, I will here state that by means of his services I have become
enabled to write this history and exhibit to its readers the information
it contains; and in addition thereto the enjoyment of other sources of
knowledge for which and all other blessings we have reason to be
thankful, not only to the individual from whom we derived the same but
also to that Being who is the originator of all our enjoyments.

The benefits we (who were of the generation mentioned) have derived from
him, consisted in the literature he taught us in our childhood and youth
at short different periods of time in the schools he kept in our
neighborhood, whereby we generally received such a portion of education
as enabled each of us to transact his own ordinary business in relation
to his dealings with others, which, in our time, had become more
necessary than what it was in the days of our forefathers, most of whom
kept no written memoranda of their dealings with each other, which in
their time (during about ninety years) was unnecessary for the greatest
part of them. In addition to these benefits we became more enlightened
and enabled to acquire additional knowledge and information by reading,
&c. Mr. White and his wife Elizabeth, came to this neighborhood in the
autumn of 1776 (as near as I can ascertain) to serve its inhabitants as
a schoolmaster and they became residents in my father's house together
with his own family, and taught school in one of its rooms during the
ensuing winter, and probably until some of their neighbors moved into it
and the construction of a fort commenced, and notwithstanding the danger
to which the inhabitants of our town became exposed by the invasion of
the Indians, he continued to live in the house during a great part of
the war, and was in it at the time when the fort was attacked.

When the enemy came in sight, he told Capt. Cuddeback that he was a
King's man, but would stand by him to help defend the fort against those
savages to the utmost of his power. (He was a warm friend of his native
country and its laws). Mr. White was in the fort during the hard winter
in the time of the war, and kept a diary from which he ascertained that
no water had dropped from the roof of the house during a term of forty
days in that winter.

I will here, before proceeding further with the history of Mr. White,
narrate how the inmates of the fort managed to sustain themselves during
the winter. When the Indians burnt the houses of the neighbors, many of
the pots were damaged by these fires. These were used for keeping small
fires in them in different parts of the fort house. Two large fires were
generally kept up in the two front rooms, and a fire in a stove in
another, and in the other room a pot with hot coals, supplied from the
fire places, was kept up to warm the room for a dwelling of some of the
oldest women. On the chamber, against the sides of the chimneys, pots
with fire were kept, supplied with hot coals from the fire places, and
also with chips and small pieces of wood.

In the northwest corner of the chamber, a small room was partitioned
off for a dwelling of Mr. White and his wife, so that in winter time
they were out of the great bustle of those who were in the house. A pot
with fire in it was also kept in his room, and sometimes a small fire
was kept in one of the foremost cellar rooms for a few soldiers. After
the snow became too deep to get wood from where it was previously got,
the men first broke a road to a large hickory tree, which stood in a
field, under cultivation, of Benjamin Cuddeback, at about one-quarter
of a mile distant from the fort. This was cut up and brought to it. The
butt log, about three feet thick in diameter, was cut through and served
for a log in each fire place. The next log contained all the knots of
its large limbs, and could not be cut through nor split with powder, and
remained there until it became rotten, long after the war ended. Next a
road was broke through the snow about the same distance of the first
road, to the Neversink river, which (in ordinary winters generally
remained open from the mouth of Basha's kill to the Delaware river,
about ten miles distant) was all frozen over with strong ice, so that
teams could pass on it.

Along the east bank of the river, trees were cut, so as to fall on the
ice, and thereby the men were enabled to get a plentiful supply of wood.
In passing to and from the river, a spring brook had to be crossed,
which in other winters generally remains open at the place where it was
crossed that winter on strong ice. Much snow blew into the brook and
coalesced with the water, and all froze together and formed thick,
strong ice, so that teams passed over it during the coldest weather in
that winter.

I will here resume my history in relation to Mr. White. A few years
before he came into the neighborhood, a school house had been built in
its central part, about twenty-five rods southwest of Capt. Cuddeback's
residence. Mr. Thomas Kyte had been employed to teach school in this
house, but, in consequence of much other business, the school was much
neglected and very little education was acquired by those he taught,
and after he quit, the neighborhood luckily obtained a good teacher by
employing Mr. White. He had emigrated into this country from England
where he had received his education, and also acquired the trade of
manufacturing ropes. He said that every youth in England (when he was
there) had to learn a trade, even the King's son, who was expected to
become heir to the Crown, had to learn a trade, and that the King, who
reigned when he was there, had been taught the trade of weaving silk.

Mr. White was a small, light-built man, very active and quick to perform
the business he transacted. The action of his mind was also quick, and
more suitable for acquiring a great amount of superficial knowledge than
to penetrate and make deep researches into sciences which are difficult
to be understood, for which a bright mind of slow action is more
suitable. He was also a man of uncommon perseverance to transact the
business of his trade, the teaching of his schools, &c., and, whenever
he was not employed in either of these, he was generally engaged in
reading or writing which he would pursue to a very late hour in the
night; and early in the morning, at or before break of day, would be up
out of bed, assist his wife to get breakfast, and resume his business.
He was very fond of association and delighted to give and receive
information, which induced him to write a great many letters to his
distant friends and acquaintances, in which he was very expert and never
at a loss for matter to make out a long letter, whenever he felt
inclined to do it.

I conclude that Mr. White had been taught in one of the best of common
schools in England, and in a very perfect manner as far as he had
progressed. He was a very eloquent reader, and could perform the same
with an air suitable to the nature of the subject on which the reading
treated. I have always considered him to have been equal to the best of
readers I have ever heard. He was also very perfect in orthography;
arithmetic he did not understand as well as some other teachers we have
had since his time. He said he had passed through the greatest part of
Dillworth's arithmetic at school, but had forgotten some of the rules
in the latter part of his assistant, which contained more arithmetic
matter than the books now generally used in our common schools. He had
some knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages, and as much of the
French tongue as enabled him to interpret the French words which were
interspersed in different parts of a book I read in school the last year
he taught in our neighborhood, and, by much reading, he had acquired an
extensive knowledge of the English tongue. He said that when at home in
his country (which he always called his home) he had free access to a
library of books, and that he had read many of them on different
subjects, whereby he had received the greatest part of his historical
and other information of different kinds.

After his last year's service in our neighborhood he retired to the
east side of Shawangunk mountain, into a neighborhood of his former
residence, where he continued a few years. During this time, and one or
two years previous to it, Moses DeWitt, a son of Capt. Jacob Rutsen
DeWitt, a resident of this neighborhood who had, in his youth, become
the best scholar in Mr. White's school, and afterwards received a small
addition thereto, became well qualified for a surveyor, and was employed
as an under-surveyor, when he was about twenty-one years of age, to run
the line between the States of New York and Pennsylvania, and afterwards
to survey some Government lands at, and in the vicinity of, Tioga Point,
and thereafter he and Maj. Hardenbergh obtained the whole business of
surveying the military lands in this State. While DeWitt was occupied
in that business he concluded to locate in the County of Tioga, and
induced Mr. White to move into it. The latter, after becoming a resident
in it, became its County Clerk. Mr. DeWitt's mind became changed in
respect to locating himself, and he settled in the County of Onondaga.
After Mr. White's term of service as County Clerk ended, he removed to
the residence of Mr. DeWitt, whose health had become impaired by
exposure in the pursuit of his business of surveying, and his
constitution continued to debilitate until he was taken with a severe
sickness, which, after a short duration, ended his days at the age of
about twenty-seven years, at which time he had acquired an estate, in
wild lands, worth about ten thousand pounds, New York currency. During
the time he was confined to his bed, Mr. White was his affectionate and
faithful attendant, but his services did not avail to prolong life, and
all hopes of enjoying the remainder of his life, together with his
friend, were ended.

After a short stay he removed from the place, which had become a
melancholy situation to him, into the County of Orange and bought a
small farm in the westerly part of the town of Wallkill, in the
neighborhood where his former friends and acquaintances, Elijah and
Elisha Reeve, Esqs., Erastus Mapes, Hezekiah Woodward, Alsop Vail and
others, lived, where he not only became so situated as to enjoy the
happiness of associating with them, but also had access, whenever
desirable, to his friends and acquaintances in his former neighborhood
on the west side of Shawangunk mountain. Mr. White had no children nor
any relatives in this country to attract his affections; these,
consequently, became more strongly directed towards those individuals
who were the most agreeable to him. He remained in the neighborhood of
his residence until death ended his mortal life, and, after his decease,
was buried in the graveyard at the Presbyterian church near Otisville.
In and by his last will he made several small bequests to his friends,
as memorials of his friendship towards them. He also directed the sum
of six hundred and twenty dollars, of the avails of his estate, to be
kept at interest, payable annually, for the purpose of paying for
preaching one sermon in each one of four different Congregations,
annually, forever, one of which was the Dutch Reformed Congregation now
in Deerpark, (formerly Mahackemeck Congregation), which appears in and
by the will to have been intended for the inhabitants of Peenpack, to
whom he had become much attached during the different periods of time
he resided in it, and consequently also for the benefit of their
descendants. [FN] He also bequeathed a few other small legacies to his
best friends in the neighborhood of his last residence.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The other three Churches were the Congregational Church at
 Middletown, and the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches in Goshen.

The characteristics of Mr. White exhibited indications of his having
been descended from a respectable family in his native country. He
possessed very honorable and honest principles, also those of morality
and piety, which were apparent in his transactions and walks of life,
and also in the doctrines he generally advanced when those
qualifications became a subject of discourse.

                            THE END.


 Statement by Committee on Publication with sketch of the Author. [FN]
 Geographical Formation of Valley.
 Game, Fowl, Fish, Fruit, &c.
 Manufacture of Implements of Iron and Steel.
 First Settlers--Who they were and whence they came.
 Ancient Families of Peenpack.
 Ancient Families of Lower Neighborhood.
 Longevity of First and Second Generations.
 Lower Neighborhood.
 Population of Peenpack, Manner of Living, &c., during Revolutionary
   War and later.
 Forts in Peenpack and Occupants.
 Forts in Lower Neighborhood, with some of the Occurrences during
   the War.
 Habits and Manner of Living.
 Use of Cider and Spirits.
 Use of Spirits at Funerals and Weddings.
 Treating Visitors.
 No Drunkards among Them for One Hundred Years.
 Physical Strength of First Generation.
 Some Prominent Characters--Major James Swartwout, William Cuddeback,
   Peter Gumaer, Gerardus Van Inwegen, Samuel Swartwout, Capt. Abraham
   Cuddeback, Benjamin Depuy, Philip Swartwout, Anthony Van Etten,
   Cornelius Van Inwegen.
 Minisink Battle.
 Great Changes in Agriculture, Manufacture, Travel and Improvements of
   Every Kind.
 Scarcity of Physicians in Former Times
 Birds, Reptiles and Animals.
 Health, Food, &c.
 Religious Worship--Organization of Reformed Dutch Church and its
 Administration of Justice--First Justice of Peace.
 Prices of Stock, Grain, &c.
 Currency and Measures.
 Cost of Building a House.
 Business Transactions and Employments of Ancestors.
 Christmas and New Year's--Two days devoted to each.
 Characteristics of some of First Settlers and their descendants.
 Emigration from Town of Deerpark.
 Increase of Population.
 Thomas White.

                          * * * * *

  [FN] The statement by the Committee on Publication which appears {at
  this point} should have preceded both the Preface and Introduction.
  By an oversight not discovered until too late for correction it became
  displaced and appears out of its proper order.

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