[Footnote 129: Flatbush.]
[Footnote 130: This may mean Surinam (Dutch Guiana). Later, in 1683, a Labadist colony went out to Surinam, but failed; Danckaerts went out to join them, but returned.]
3d, Tuesday. This whole day it did nothing except rain, with an E. and E.N.E. wind, so that we were compelled to sit in their house, as in a prison all the time; and it was so much the worse because the house was constantly filled with a multitude of godless people; for this father or father-in-law of Jan Theunissen, being the principal person in the place, was their captain, and having many children of his own besides, there was a continual concourse at his house. We had to remain, although it grieved us a great deal. But as we had heard that there was an Englishman residing at Gravesend, named Bouman, who went every year about this time with horses and sheep to the South River, and would probably go there again in about three weeks time, we resolved, when the rain was partly over, to go and talk to him, which we did, arriving there towards evening. We found him at home, and inquired of him as to the situation. He said, he intended to leave in fourteen days or at the longest in three weeks, with horses, and would be happy to have our company on the road. He told us several things touching the situation of the South River, where he had a large tract of land which he intended soon to put under cultivation. It being evening, and nearer Jaques's house than the bay, we determined to go there as we had previously intended. Mr. Bouman had the kindness to conduct us a portion of the way so that we could not go astray. We arrived at Jaques's house, where we were welcome. The land around Gravesant is also flat, but not so flat or so barren as in the bay, and yields good crops.
[Footnote 131: Elbert Elbertsen.]
4th, Wednesday. We slept for the night in our old place. In the morning the horses were harnessed to the wagon for the purpose of carrying us to the city, and bringing back some medicines which had arrived for him (Jaques) from Holland in our ship. We breakfasted to our full, and rode first to the bay, where we had left our travelling bag. Seeing there was nothing to be accomplished with our Jan Theunissen, all his great promises having vanished without the least result, though they had cost us dearly enough, we let that rest quiet, and taking our leave, rode on to the Vlacke Bos, a village situated about an hour and a half's distance from there, upon the same plain, which is very large. This village seems to have better farms than the bay, and yields full as much revenue. Riding through it, we came to the woods and the hills, which are very stony and uncomfortable to ride over. We rode over them, and passed through the village of Breukelen to the ferry, and leaving the wagon there, we crossed over the river and arrived at home at noon, where we were able to rest a little, and where our old people were glad to see us. We sent back to Jaques half of our tincture Calaminaris, and half of our balsam Sulpherus and some other things. He had been of service to us in several respects, as he promised to be, and that with perfect willingness.
[Footnote 132: Tincture of calamus; sulphur balsam, a mixture of olive oil and sublimed sulphur.]
5th, Thursday. We remained at home this morning, my comrade having been a little indisposed the preceding day and night, and betook ourselves to writing. At noon we visited Mons. de La Grange, who was busily employed in his little shop, packing and marking a parcel of ribbons which he was going to send to Barbados, because, as he said, he could not dispose of them here to advantage, that is, with sufficient profit. We let him first finish his work, and after that he took us to his counting room, where his wife was. We did not fail to converse kindly with him and his wife in relation to those matters in which we believed they were sinning, notwithstanding all the little reasons which pious people of that description are accustomed to advance in extenuation of their sin and avarice. As there were plenty of books around, my comrade inquired of him what book he liked or esteemed the most. Upon this he brought forward two of the elder Brakel, one of which was, De Trappen des Geestelycken Levens. He also took down another written by a Scotchman, of whom my comrade had some knowledge, and translated by Domine Koelman. On my return home, the son of our old people asked me if I would not go to their usual catechizing, which they held once a week at the house of Abraham Lanoy, schoolmaster, and brother of the clerk in the custom house. I accompanied him there and found a company of about twenty-five persons, male and female, but mostly young people. It looked like a school, as indeed it was, more than an assembly of persons who were seeking after true godliness; where the schoolmaster, who instructed them, handled the subject more like a schoolmaster in the midst of his scholars than a person who knew and loved God, and sought to make him known and loved. They sang some verses from the Psalms, made a prayer, and questioned from the catechism, at the conclusion of which they prayed and sang some verses from the Psalms again. It was all performed without respect or reverence, very literally, and mixed up with much obscurity and error. He played, however, the part of a learned and pious man, enfin le suffisant et le petit precheur. After their departure, I had an opportunity of speaking to him and telling him what I thought was good for him. He acknowledged that I convinced him of several things; and thus leaving him I returned home.
[Footnote 133: "The Gradations of the Spiritual Life," by Theodorus a Brakel (1608-1699), an orthodox clergyman of note in the Reformed Church of Holland. Jacobus Koelman was originally a minister of the same church, in Zeeland, but became a schismatic and a Labadist and was forbidden to preach. In 1682 the people on the South River made much effort with the Classis of Amsterdam to have him sent over to be their minister, but in vain, and shortly after he left the Labadists, and in 1683 published a book against them. The book here spoken of was probably one of the works of Rev. John Brown of Wamphray in Scotland, written during his exile in Holland, 1663-1679.]
[Footnote 134: Abraham de la Noy seems to have taught in New York from 1668 to his death in 1702, conducting at this time a private school, but from 1686 serving as master of the Dutch parochial school.]
6th, Friday. We remained in the house during the forenoon, but after having dined we went out about two o'clock to explore the island of Manathans. This island runs east and west, or somewhat more northerly. On the north side of it is the North River, by which it is separated from the main land on the north; on the east end it is separated from the main land by a creek, or rather a branch of the North River, emptying itself into the East River. They can go over this creek at dead low water, upon rocks and reefs, at the place called Spyt den Duyvel. This creek coming into the East River forms with it the two Barents Islands. At the west end of these two running waters, that is, where they come together to the east of these islands, they make, with the rocks and reefs, such a frightful eddy and whirlpool that it is exceedingly dangerous to pass through them, especially with small boats, of which there are some lost every now and then, and the persons in them drowned; but experience has taught men the way of passing through them with less danger. Large vessels have always less danger because they are not capable of being carried along so quickly. There are two places where such whirling of the stream occurs, which are on account of the danger and frightfulness called the Great and Little Helle Gadt. After these two streams are united, the island of Manathans is separated on the south from Long Island by the East River, which, beginning at the bay before New York, runs eastwardly, after forming several islands, again into the sea. This island is about seven hours' distance in length, but it is not a full hour broad. The sides are indented with bays, coves and creeks. It is almost entirely taken up, that is, the land is held by private owners, but not half of it is cultivated. Much of it is good wood land. The west end on which the city lies, is entirely cleared for more than an hour's distance, though that is the poorest ground; the best being on the east and north side. There are many brooks of fresh water running through it, pleasant and proper for man and beast to drink, as well as agreeable to behold, affording cool and pleasant resting places, but especially suitable places for the construction of mills, for although there is no overflow of water, yet it can be shut off and so used. A little eastward of Nieu Haerlem there are two ridges of very high rocks, with a considerable space between them, displaying themselves very majestically, and inviting all men to acknowledge in them the majesty, grandeur, power and glory of their creator, who has impressed such marks upon them. Between them runs the road to Spyt den Duyvel. The one to the north is most apparent; the south ridge is covered with earth on its north side, but it can be seen from the water or from the main land beyond to the south. The soil between these ridges is very good, though a little hilly and stony, and would be very suitable in my opinion for planting vineyards, in consequence of its being shut off on both sides from the winds which would most injure them, and is very warm. We found blue grapes along the road which were very good and sweet, and as good as any I have tasted in the Fatherland.
[Footnote 135: Named from Barent Blom, a settler. Later called Great and Little Barn Islands, now Ward's and Randall's Islands.]
[Footnote 136: Of Manhattan.]
[Footnote 137: The road was finished in 1673. Traced along the modern streets, it ran up Broadway, Park Row, the Bowery, Fourth Avenue (to Union Square), Broadway (to Madison Square), and then irregularly to the Harlem River at Third Avenue and 130th Street. The heights spoken of east (northeast) of the village of New Harlem were the present Mount Morris and Mott Haven.]
We went from the city, following the Broadway, over the valley, or the fresh water. Upon both sides of this way were many habitations of negroes, mulattoes and whites. These negroes were formerly the proper slaves of the (West India) company, but, in consequence of the frequent changes and conquests of the country, they have obtained their freedom and settled themselves down where they have thought proper, and thus on this road, where they have ground enough to live on with their families. We left the village, called the Bowery, lying on the right hand, and went through the woods to New Harlem, a tolerably large village situated on the south side of the island, directly opposite the place where the northeast creek and the East River come together, situated about three hours' journey from New Amsterdam, as old Harlem, in Europe, is situated about three hours' distance from old Amsterdam. As our guide, Gerrit, had some business here, and found many acquaintances, we remained over night at the house of one Geresolveert, schout (sheriff or constable), of the place, who had formerly lived in Brazil, and whose heart was still full of it. This house was constantly filled with people, all the time drinking, for the most part, that execrable rum. He had also the best cider we have tasted. Among the crowd we found a person of quality, an Englishman, named Captain Catrix, whose father is in great favor with the king, and he himself had assisted in several exploits in the king's service. He was administrator, or captain general, of the English forces which went, in 1666, to retake St. Christoffel, which the French had entirely conquered, and were repulsed. He had also filled some high office, during the war, in the ship of the Duke of York, with two hundred infantry under his command. The king has given to his father, Sir [George] Catrix, the entire government of the lands west of the North River, in New Netherland, with power to appoint as governor whom he pleases; and at this present time there is a governor over it, by his appointment, another Carteret, his nephew, I believe, who resides at Lysbethstaun [Elizabethtown], in N. Jarnisee [New Jersey]. From this Catrix, in England, the Quakers have purchased the privilege of a government of their own, over a large tract of territory which they have bought and settled within his dominion; and it is but little different from their having bought the entire right of government of the whole of his land. This son is a very profligate person. He married a merchant's daughter here, and has so lived with his wife that her father has been compelled to take her home again. He runs about among the farmers, and stays where he can find most to drink, and sleeps in barns on the straw. If he conducted himself properly, he could be not only governor here, but hold higher positions, for he has studied the moralities, and seems to have been of a good understanding; but that is all now drowned. His father, who will not acknowledge him as his son, as before, allows him yearly as much only as is necessary for him to live.
[Footnote 138: So called because its main street ran through the farm or bouwery of Peter Stuyvesant.]
[Footnote 139: Or east.]
[Footnote 140: Resolved Waldron (1610-1690), elected constable in October, 1678. He was the chief man of the place, had been deputy fiscael of New Netherland in the time of Governor Stuyvesant, and held many provincial and local offices. In 1659 he and Augustine Herrman went to Maryland on an embassy for Stuyvesant; see its journal in Narratives of Early Maryland, in this series, pp. 309-333. Thus it may have been he who told Danckaerts and Sluyter of Herrman and of Bohemia Manor. It is almost certain that he never was in Brazil; but Hendrick Vander Vin, clerk and voorleser of Harlem, whom our travellers may have met at Waldron's house, had had an important official position there.]
[Footnote 141: Catrix for Carteret. Captain James Carteret, son of Sir George Carteret, the proprietary of New Jersey, had commanded a ship at the reduction of St. Christopher in 1667, had come to New Jersey in 1671, and had allowed himself to be made leader of the malcontents in an uprising in that province in 1672. In 1673 he married the daughter of the mayor of New York, and set out for Carolina, where he was a "landgrave," but returned to New York, and ultimately (1680) to Europe.]
[Footnote 142: The diarist is perhaps confusing the two Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.]
[Footnote 143: Philip Carteret, a distant cousin, not a nephew, of Sir George, is the person here meant. He was appointed governor of New Jersey under the joint proprietorship of Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, in 1664, and of East Jersey in 1674, under the sole grant to Sir George. He resigned in 1682, and died in December of that year, in this country. "This Carteret in England" means of course Sir George. The half of New Jersey called West New Jersey, first granted to Fenwick and Byllynge, came as a trust into the hands of Penn, Lawrie, and Lucas (see Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey, and Delaware, in this series, pp. 177-195), who used it for Quaker colonization.]
7th, Saturday. This morning, about half-past six, we set out from the village, in order to go to the end of the island; but before we left we did not omit supplying ourselves with peaches which grew in an orchard along the road. The whole ground was covered with them and with apples, lying upon the new grain with which the orchard was planted. The peaches were the most delicious we had yet eaten. We proceeded on our way, and when we were not far from the point of Spyt den Duyvel, we could see on our left hand the rocky cliffs of the main land on the other side of the North River, these cliffs standing straight up and down, with the grain, just as if they were antimony. We came then to the end of the island, which was alluvial ground, and crossed over the Spyt den Duyvel in a canoe, and paid nine stivers fare for us three, which was very dear. We followed the opposite side of the land, and came to the house of one Valentyn, a great acquaintance of our Gerrit. He had gone to the city, but his wife, though she did not know Gerrit or us, was so much rejoiced to see Hollanders, that she hardly knew what to do for us. She set before us what she had. We left after breakfasting there. Her son showed us the way, and we came to a road which was entirely covered with peaches. We asked the boy why they left them lying there, and did not let the hogs eat them. He answered, We do not know what to do with them, there are so many; the hogs are satiated with them and will not eat any more. From this we may judge of the quantity of them. We pursued our way now a small distance through the woods and over the hills, then back again along the shore to a point, where one Webblingh, an Englishman, lived, who was standing ready to cross over. He carried us over with him, and refused to take any pay for our passage, offering us at the same time some of his rum, a liquor which is everywhere. We were now again at New Harlem, and dined with Geresolveert, at whose house we slept the night before, and who made us welcome. It was now two o'clock; and leaving there, we crossed over the island, which takes about three-quarters of an hour to do, and came to the North River, which we followed a little within the woods, to Sappokanikke. Gerrit having a sister and friends there we rested ourselves, and drank some good beer, which refreshed us. We continued along the shore to the city, where we arrived in an hour in the evening, very much fatigued, having walked this day about forty miles. I must add, that in passing through this island we sometimes encountered such a sweet smell in the air that we stood still, because we did not know what it was we were meeting.
[Footnote 144: The Palisades.]
[Footnote 145: Valentine Claessen, whose sons took the surname of Valentine. He was a Saxon from Transylvania; his wife, Marritie Jacobs, was a Dutch woman, of Beest in Gelderland.]
[Footnote 146: Walter Webley, nephew of Colonel Lewis Morris.]
[Footnote 147: Greenwich.]
8th, Sunday. We staid at home this morning for the purpose of writing and resting ourselves. Gerrit requested me to shave him, as did also an old countryman of Nevesinck who lodged at our house, which was the first time in my life that I had ever shaved any one. It afforded us an opportunity of speaking to this countryman about various matters touching the country. We intended in the afternoon to attend the English service, but, on going to the fort, the sentinel told us there was no English preaching in the afternoon, and we returned home.
9th, Monday. We remained at home to-day, except that I went out to ascertain whether there was any way of going over to Staten Island. Meanwhile we began to dispose of some of our large merchandise. Gerrit went out to Sapokan, to do some carpenter's work. We tasted to-day some very fine grapes.
10th, Tuesday. Finding no opportunity of going to Staten Island, we asked our old friend Symon, who had come over from Gouanes, what was the best way for us to get there, when he offered us his services to take us over in his skiff, which we accepted; and at dusk accompanied him in his boat to Gouanes, where we arrived about eight o'clock, and where he welcomed us and entertained us well.
11th, Wednesday. We embarked early this morning in his boat and rowed over to Staten Island, where we arrived about eight o'clock. He left us there, and we went on our way. This island is about thirty-two miles long and four broad. Its sides are very irregular, with projecting points and indented bays, and creeks running deep into the country. It lies for the most part east and west, and is somewhat triangular. The most prominent point is to the west. On the east side is the narrow passage which they call the channel, by which it is separated from the high point of Long Island. On the south is the great bay which is inclosed by Nayaq, Conijnen Island, Rentselaer's Hook, Nevesinck, etc. On the west is the Raritans. On the north or northwest is New Garnisee [Jersey], from which it is separated by a large creek or arm of the river, called Kil van Kol. The eastern part is high and steep, and has few inhabitants. It is the usual place where ships, ready for sea, stop to take in water, while the captain and passengers are engaged in making their own arrangements and writing letters previous to their departure. The whole south side is a large plain, with much salt meadow or marsh, and several creeks. The west point is flat, and on or around it is a large creek with much marsh; but to the north of this creek it is high and hilly, and beyond that it begins to be more level, but not so low as on the other side, and is well populated. On the northwest it is well provided with creeks and marshes, and the land is generally better than on the south side, although there is a good parcel of land in the middle of the latter. As regards the middle or most hilly part of the island, it is uninhabited, although the soil is better than the land around it; but, in consequence of its being away from the water, and lying so high, no one will live there, the creeks and rivers being so serviceable to them in enabling them to go to the city, and for fishing and catching oysters, and for being near the salt meadows. The woods are used for pasturing horses and cattle, for being an island, none of them can get off. Each person has marks upon his own by which he can find them when he wants them. When the population of the country shall increase, these places will be taken up. Game of all kinds is plenty, and twenty-five and thirty deer are sometimes seen in a herd. A boy who came into a house where we were, told us he had shot ten the last winter himself, and more than forty in his life, and in the same manner other game. We tasted here the best grapes. There are now about a hundred families on the island, of which the English constitute the least portion, and the Dutch and French divide between them about equally the greater portion. They have neither church nor minister, and live rather far from each other, and inconveniently to meet together. The English are less disposed to religion, and inquire little after it, but in case there were a minister, would contribute to his support. The French and Dutch are very desirous and eager for one, for they spoke of it wherever we went, and said, in the event of not obtaining Domine Tessemaker, they would send, or had sent, to France for another. The French are good Reformed churchmen, and some of them are Walloons. The Dutch are also from different quarters.
[Footnote 148: In fact, about fourteen.]
[Footnote 149: French-speaking persons from those provinces of the Low Countries then remaining under the rule of Spain, but now constituting the kingdom of Belgium.]
We reached the island, as I have said, about nine o'clock, directly opposite Gouanes, not far from the watering place. We proceeded southwardly along the shore of the high land on the east end, where it was sometimes stony and rocky, and sometimes sandy, supplied with fine constantly-flowing springs with which at times we quenched our thirst. We had now come nearly to the furthest point on the southeast, behind which I had observed several houses when we came in with the ship. We had also made inquiry as to the villages through which we would have to pass, and they had told us the Oude Dorp would be the first one we should come to; but my comrade finding the point very rocky and difficult, and believing the village was inland, and as we discovered no path to follow, we determined to clamber to the top of this steep bluff, through the bushes and thickets, which we accomplished with great difficulty and in a perspiration. We found as little of a road above as below, and nothing but woods, through which one could not see. There appeared to be a little foot-path along the edge which I followed a short distance to the side of the point, but my comrade calling me and saying that he certainly thought we had passed by the road to the Oude Dorp, and observing myself that the little path led down to the point, I returned again, and we followed it the other way, which led us back to the place from where we started. We supposed we ought to go from the shore in order to find the road to the Oude Dorp, and seeing here these slight tracks into the woods, we followed them as far as we could, till at last they ran to nothing else than dry leaves. Having wandered an hour or more in the woods, now in a hollow and then over a hill, at one time through a swamp, at another across a brook, without finding any road or path, we entirely lost the way. We could see nothing except a little of the sky through the thick branches of the trees above our heads, and we thought it best to break out of the woods entirely and regain the shore. I had taken an observation of the shore and point, having been able to look at the sun, which shone extraordinarily hot in the thick woods, without the least breath of air stirring. We made our way at last as well as we could out of the woods, and struck the shore a quarter of an hour's distance from where we began to climb up. We were rejoiced, as there was a house not far from the place where we came out. We went to it to see if we could find any one who would show us the way a little. There was no master in it, but an Englishwoman with negroes and servants. We first asked her as to the road, and then for something to drink, and also for some one to show us the road; but she refused the last, although we were willing to pay for it. She was a cross woman. She said she had never been in the village, and her folks must work, and we would certainly have to go away as wise as we came. She said, however, we must follow the shore, as we did. We went now over the rocky point, which we were no sooner over than we saw a pretty little sand bay, and a small creek, and not far from there, cattle and houses. We also saw the point to which the little path led from the hill above, where I was when my comrade called me. We should not have had more than three hundred steps to go to have been where we now were. It was very hot, and we perspired a great deal. We went on to the little creek to sit down and rest ourselves there, and to cool our feet, and then proceeded to the houses which constituted the Oude Dorp. It was now about two o'clock. There were seven houses, but only three in which any body lived. The others were abandoned, and their owners had gone to live on better places on the island, because the ground around this village was worn out and barren, and also too limited for their use. We went into the first house which was inhabited by English, and there rested ourselves and ate, and inquired further after the road. The woman was cross, and her husband not much better. We had to pay here for what we ate, which we had not done before. We paid three guilders in zeewan, although we only drank water. We proceeded by a tolerably good road to the Nieuwe Dorp, but as the road ran continually in the woods, we got astray again in them. It was dark, and we were compelled to break our way out through the woods and thickets, and we went a great distance before we succeeded, when it was almost entirely dark. We saw a house at a distance to which we directed ourselves across the bushes. It was the first house of the Nieuwe Dorp. We found there an Englishman who could speak Dutch, and who received us very cordially into his house, where we had as good as he and his wife had. She was a Dutch woman from the Manhatans, who was glad to have us in her house.
[Footnote 150: The Oude Dorp (Old Town or Old Village) stood near the present South Beach on the east side of the island. The steep bluff spoken of was at what is now called Fort Wadsworth.]
[Footnote 151: Still called New Dorp; a village some two miles east of Richmond.]
12th, Thursday. Although we had not slept well, we had to resume our journey with the day. The man where we slept set us on the road. We had now no more villages to go to, but went from one plantation to another, for the most part belonging to French, who showed us every kindness because we conversed with them in French, and spoke of the ways of the Lord according to their condition. About one-third part of the distance from the south side to the west end is still all woods, and is very little visited. We had to go along the shore, finding sometimes fine creeks well provided with wild turkeys, geese, snipes and wood hens. Lying rotting upon the shore were thousands of fish called marsbancken, which are about the size of a common carp. These fish swim close together in large schools, and are pursued so by other fish that they are forced upon the shore in order to avoid the mouths of their enemies, and when the water falls they are left there to die, food for the eagles and other birds of prey. Proceeding thus along we came to the west point where an Englishman lived alone some distance from the road. We ate something here, and he gave us the consolation that we should have a very bad road for two or three hours ahead, which indeed we experienced, for there was neither path nor road. He showed us as well as he could. There was a large creek to cross which ran very far into the land, and when we should get on the other side of it, we must, he said, go outward again along (the shore). After we had gone a piece of the way through the woods, we came to a valley with a brook running through it, which we took to be the creek or the end of it. We turned round it as short as we could, in order to go back again to the shore, which we reached after wandering a long time over hill and dale, when we saw the creek, which we supposed we had crossed, now just before us. We followed the side of it deep into the woods, and when we arrived at the end of it saw no path along the other side to get outwards again, but the road ran into the woods in order to cut off a point of the hills and land. We pursued this road for some time, but saw no mode of getting out, and that it led further and further from the creek. We, therefore, left the road and went across through the bushes, so as to reach the shore by the nearest route according to our calculation. After continuing this course about an hour, we saw at a distance a miserably constructed tabernacle of pieces of wood covered with brush, all open in front, and where we thought there were Indians; but on coming up to it we found in it an Englishman sick, and his wife and child lying upon some bushes by a little fire. We asked him if he were sick. "Do you ask me whether I am sick? I have been sick here over two months," he replied. It made my heart sore indeed, for I had never in all my life seen such poverty, and that, too, in the middle of a wood and a wilderness. After we obtained some information as to the way, we went on, and had not gone far before we came to another house, and thus from one farm to another, French, Dutch, and a few English, so that we had not wandered very far out of the way. We inquired at each house the way to the next one. Shortly before evening we arrived at the plantation of a Frenchman, whom they called Le Chaudronnier (the coppersmith), who was formerly a soldier under the Prince of Orange, and had served in Brazil. He was so delighted, and held on to us so hard, that we remained and spent the night with him.
[Footnote 152: Menhaden.]
[Footnote 153: Perhaps Christopher Billop of Bentley. The creeks next spoken of are Richmond Creek and Main Creek, which make well into the island from its west side.]
13th, Friday. We pursued our journey this morning from plantation to plantation, the same as yesterday, until we came to that of Pierre le Gardinier, who had been a gardener of the Prince of Orange, and had known him well. He had a large family of children and grandchildren. He was about seventy years of age, and was still as fresh and active as a young person. He was so glad to see strangers who conversed with him and his in the French language about the good, that he leaped for joy. After we had breakfasted here they told us that we had another large creek to pass called the Fresh Kil, and there we could perhaps be set across the Kil van Kol to the point of Mill Creek, where we might wait for a boat to convey us to the Manhatans. The road was long and difficult, and we asked for a guide, but he had no one, in consequence of several of his children being sick. At last he determined to go himself, and accordingly carried us in his canoe over to the point of Mill Creek in New Jersey behind the Kol. We learned immediately that there was a boat up this creek loading with brick, and would leave that night for the city. After we had thanked and parted with Pierre le Gardinier, we determined to walk to Elizabethtown, a good half hour's distance inland, where the boat was. From the point to this village there is a fine wagon road, but nowhere in the country had we been so pestered with mosquitos as we were on this road. The land about here is very poor, and is not well peopled. We found the boat, and spoke to the captain who left about two hours afterwards; but as the wind was against going out of the creek, he lay by and waited for the tide. We returned by evening to the point where we were to stay until morning. There was a tavern on it, kept by French papists, who at once took us to be priests, and so conducted themselves towards us in every respect accordingly, although we told them and protested otherwise. As there was nothing to be said further we remained so in their imaginations to the last, as shown both in their words and actions, the more certainly because we spoke French, and they were French people. We slept there this night, and at three o'clock in the morning we set sail.
[Footnote 154: Pierre Cresson, a Picard, who after many years in Holland came out to New Netherland in 1657, and lived at Harlem till 1677, when he obtained this grant on Staten Island. His son Jacques embraced the Labadist views.]
[Footnote 155: I.e., behind the Kill van Kull. Mill Creek is probably the stream now known as Elizabethtown Creek.]
14th, Saturday. Being under sail, as I have said, it was so entirely calm that we could only float with the stream until we came to the Schutters Island, where we obtained the tide again. It was now about four o'clock. In order to protect ourselves from the air which was very cold and piercing, we crept under the sail which was very old and full of holes. The tide having run out by daylight, we came under sail again, with a good wind which brought us to the city at about eight o'clock, for which we were glad, and returning thanks to God, betook ourselves to rest.
[Footnote 156: Now Shooter's Island, opposite Mariner's Harbor.]
15th, Sunday. We went at noon to-day to hear the English minister, whose services took place after the Dutch church was out. There were not above twenty-five or thirty people in the church. The first thing that occurred was the reading of all their prayers and ceremonies out of the prayer book, as is done in all Episcopal churches. A young man then went into the pulpit and commenced preaching, who thought he was performing wonders; but he had a little book in his hand out of which he read his sermon which was about a quarter of an hour or half an hour long. With this the services were concluded, at which we could not be sufficiently astonished. This was all that happened with us to-day.
[Footnote 157: This was the Rev. Charles Wolley, the only English minister then in the province. A graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he came out with Governor Andros in 1678 as chaplain to the garrison, and remained in New York till 1680. He published in 1701 (London, two editions) a pleasant though fragmentary little book entitled A Two Years Journal in New York, well worth reading in comparison with Danckaerts's account of the province. Two reprints of it have been issued (New York, 1860; Cleveland, 1902), the former edited by Dr. E.B. O'Callaghan, the latter by Professor Edward G. Bourne.]
16th, Monday. I was occupied to-day in copying my journal. In the morning there came an Indian to our house, a man about eighty years of age, whom our people called Jasper, who lived at Ahakinsack or at Ackinon. Concerning this Indian our old people related that when they lived on Long Island, it was once a very dear time; no provisions could be obtained, and they suffered great want, so that they were reduced to the last extremity; that God the Lord then raised up this Indian, who went out fishing daily in order to bring fish to them every day when he caught a good mess, which he always did. If, when he came to the house, he found it alone, and they were out working in the fields, he did not fail, but opened the door, laid the fish on the floor, and proceeded on his way. For this reason these people possess great affection for him and have given him the name of Jasper, and also my nitap, that is, my great friend. He never comes to the Manhatans without visiting them and eating with them, as he now did, as among his old friends. We asked him why he had done so much kindness to these people. "I have always been inclined," he answered, "from my youth up to do good, especially to good people known to me. I took the fish to them because Maneto said to me, you must take fish to these people, whispering ever in my ear 'You must take fish to them.' I had to do it, or Maneto would have killed me." Our old woman telling us he sometimes got drunk, we said to him he should not do so any more, that the Great Sakemacker who is above, was offended at such conduct and would kill him. "No," said he, laughing as if that were a mistake of ours, "it is Maneto who kills those who do evil, and leaves those who do good at peace." "That is only," we replied, "because Maneto is the slave and executioner of the Great Sakemacker above;" and we then asked him if he believed there was such a great and good sakemacker there? "Undoubtedly," he said, "but he remains above, and does not trouble himself with the earth or earthly things, because he does nothing except what is good; but Maneto, who also is a sakemacker, is here below, and governs all, and punishes and torments those men who do evil and drink themselves drunk." Hereupon we inquired of him why he did so then. "Yes," he said, "I had rather not, but my heart is so inclined that it causes me to do it, although I know it is wrong. The Christians taught it to us, and give us or sell us the drink, and drink themselves drunk." We said to him: "Listen! if we came to live near you, you would never see us drunk, nor would we give or sell you or your people any rum." "That," he replied, "would be good." We told him he must not make such a difference between himself and a Christian, because one was white and the other red, and one wore clothes and the other went almost naked, or one was called a Christian and the other an Indian, that this great and good Sakemacker was the father of us all, and had made us all, and that all who did not do good would be killed by Maneto whether they were called Christians or Indians; but that all who should do good would go to this good sakemacker above. "Yes," said he, "we do not know or speak to this sakemacker, but Maneto we know and speak to, but you people, who can read and write, know and converse with this sakemacker."
[Footnote 158: Hackensack.]
[Footnote 159: The word, in the form neetup, has survived in local speech in some parts of New England. "What cheer, neetup?" was the Indian's salutation to Roger Williams on his arrival at Seekonk.]
[Footnote 160: The chief (evil) spirit.]
[Footnote 161: Sachem, lord.]
We asked him, where he believed he came from? He answered from his father. "And where did your father come from?" we said, "and your grandfather and great-grandfather, and so on to the first of the race?" He was silent for a little while, either as if unable to climb up at once so high with his thoughts, or to express them without help, and then took a piece of coal out of the fire where he sat, and began to write upon the floor. He first drew a circle, a little oval, to which he made four paws or feet, a head and a tail. "This," said he, "is a tortoise, lying in the water around it," and he moved his hand round the figure, continuing, "This was or is all water, and so at first was the world or the earth, when the tortoise gradually raised its round back up high, and the water ran off of it, and thus the earth became dry." He then took a little straw and placed it on end in the middle of the figure, and proceeded, "The earth was now dry, and there grew a tree in the middle of the earth, and the root of this tree sent forth a sprout beside it and there grew upon it a man, who was the first male. This man was then alone, and would have remained alone; but the tree bent over until its top touched the earth, and there shot therein another root, from which came forth another sprout, and there grew upon it the woman, and from these two are all men produced." We gave him four fish-hooks with which he was much pleased, and immediately calculated how much in money he had obtained. "I have got twenty-four stivers' worth," he said. He then inquired our names, which we gave him, and wished to know why he asked for them? "Well," he replied, "because you are good people and are true nitaps; and in case you should come into the woods and fall into the hands of the Indians, and they should wish to kill or harm you, if I know or hear of it I might help you, for they will do you no injury when they know me." For he was the brother of a sakemaker. We told him that we did not give them to him on that account, but only from regard because he was a good person, although the good will or thankfulness which he wished to show thereby was good. "Well," he said, "that is good, that is good," with which, after eating something, he departed.
But at noon he returned with a young Indian, both of them so drunk they could not speak, and having a calabash of liquor with them. We chided him, but to no purpose, for he could neither use his reason nor speak so as to be understood. The young Indian with him was a sackemaker's son, and was bold. He wanted to have a piece of meat that was on the table, and on which we all had to make our dinner, when we told him it was not for him. "Yes," said he, "I see it is so;" nevertheless, and although we offered him something else to eat, he was evilly disposed and dissatisfied, and would take nothing except the piece of meat alone; but that was not given to him. Whereupon Jasper told him he must be quiet, that the old people and we were all his nitaps, and by degrees quieted him, they sitting together by the fire and drinking their rum. They left afterwards for Long Island.
17th, Tuesday. Nothing transpired to-day.
18th, Wednesday. In the afternoon Jasper, the Indian, came back again, and proceeded confidently to our room in the rear of the house, but sober and in his senses. He told us how he had been with his nephew, the sackemaker's son, to Long Island, among the other Indians; and that he had given away, not only his fish-hooks, but also his shoes and stockings. We found fault with him at first for having become so drunk, contrary to his promise, and when he well knew it was wrong. To which he said he had to buy some nails for an Englishman who lived near him, from another Englishman here, who had sold and given him the rum.
I must here remark, in passing, that the people in this city, who are almost all traders in small articles, whenever they see an Indian enter the house, who they know has any money, they immediately set about getting hold of him, giving him rum to drink, whereby he is soon caught and becomes half a fool. If he should then buy any thing, he is doubly cheated, in the wares, and in the price. He is then urged to buy more drink, which they now make half water, and if he cannot drink it, they drink it themselves. They do not rest until they have cajoled him out of all his money, or most of it; and if that cannot be done in one day, they keep him, and let him lodge and sleep there, but in some out of the way place, down on the ground, guarding their merchandise and other property in the meantime, and always managing it so that the poor creature does not go away before he has given them all they want. And these miserable Christians are so much the more eager in this respect, because no money circulates among themselves, and they pay each other in wares, in which they are constantly cheating and defrauding each other. Although it is forbidden to sell the drink to the Indians, yet every one does it, and so much the more earnestly, and with so much greater and burning avarice, that it is done in secret. To this extent and further, reaches the damnable and insatiable covetousness of most of those who here call themselves Christians. Truly, our hearts grieved when we heard of these things, which call so grievously upon the Supreme Judge for vengeance. He will not always let His name be so profaned and exposed to reproach and execration.
We asked Jasper why he had given away his hooks and stockings. He said, it was a custom among them, for the lesser to give to the greater. We replied the sackemaker was richer than he, and he should, therefore, have kept them. "No," he said, "I did it as a mark of respect and obedience." We gave him four more fish-hooks, and told him he must take care of them for himself. "I will bring you fish as soon as I catch any," he said as he went away, promising also that he would get drunk no more.
From this time until the 22d of October, nothing special took place, except that we spoke to one Ephraim, a young trader, who was just married here, and who intended to go with his wife to the South River, where he usually dwelt, for which purpose he was only waiting for horses and men from there. He tendered us his services and his horses, if we would accompany him, and offered to carry us in his own boat everywhere on that river, from the falls [of the Delaware], to which we should have to travel by land, and where the boat would be waiting for him to take him down the river; since he himself would have to touch at many places on the river, in going down. As Bouman, who was going there with horses, did not make his appearance, we accepted the offer with thankfulness, waiting only for the time.
[Footnote 162: Ephraim Herrman, eldest son of Augustine Herrman of Bohemia Manor, had on September 3, 1679, six weeks before this date, married Elizabeth Rodenburg, daughter of Lucas Rodenburg, formerly vice-director of Curacao. South River is the Delaware.]
24th, Tuesday. Margaret's ship in which we arrived here, being ready to leave, but she not going in it, as it was said, we set about writing letters, which we might give to our Robyn, and finished them to-day, and also the copying of my journal.
25th, Wednesday. Having closed up our letters, we had Robyn at our house, and gave them to him in his own hands, as we had heard from the supercargo himself that he would run into Falmouth again for the purpose of paying the duties; we gave Robyn money to post our letters over London, together with something for his trouble, and with this, wishing him the blessing of the Lord, we took leave of him; but recollecting afterwards that we had forgotten to put a date to the letters, which was very necessary, I had to go in search of Robyn again, whom I found at last, and took back from him the letters. When we had resealed them, I went after him again, but he had gone on board the ship. I waited for an opportunity and went on board myself, and handed them to him again. He was glad to see me on board; and while there I went looking around to see how the ship was laden, and found her so full that the poor sailors had scarcely room to eat or sleep. The boatswain, who had now become mate, because the Dutch mate, Evert, had become captain of a ketch, treated me with much kindness; but as the boat and sailors were continually ashore, it was dark before I could reach the land.
26th, Thursday. We inquired whether our journey to the south would soon take place, and were informed it would not be this week. We resolved not to remain idle, and to embrace the opportunity to cross to-morrow over the North River opposite the fort to a place called Gamoenepaen, as soon as we could find the means of passage.
[Footnote 163: Communipaw, in New Jersey, founded in 1658. It is uncertain whether the name is of Indian origin (Gamoenipaen), or is a Dutch name made up from that of Pauw. The former is more likely.]
27th, Friday. We went after breakfast to see if we could be taken over the river. We found a boat going soon, but we must wait a little. In the meanwhile we made the acquaintance of a person from Zeeland, or who had lived there a long time, for he himself was a Hollander. He had been an apprentice to Jaques Fierens, printer, at the Globe in the Gi street, and, although I had been often enough in that house, and he knew my face, he did not know me particularly. He came to this country with Cornelis Everts of Zeeland, and had assisted in taking it from the English in 1674. He had remained here since and married. He sometimes bound old books, and was the only bookbinder in the country.
[Footnote 164: Jacques Fierens was from 1642 to 1669 a noteworthy printer, bookseller, and publisher at Middelburg in Zeeland, where Danckaerts (see the introductory note B to this volume) then lived. Fierens's shop, as we know from other sources, was at the sign of the Globe in Gistraat or Giststraat (i.e., Heilige Geest Straat, Holy Ghost Street).]
[Footnote 165: In 1673, after the Duke of York and the English had held New York nine years, two Dutch commodores, Cornelis Evertsen and Jacob Binckes, retook it for the States General. The Dutch, however, held it only a year.]
It was about noon when we crossed over. Our old woman at the house had told us of another good woman who lived at this place, named Fitie, from Cologne, and recommended us to visit her, which we did as soon as we landed. We found her a little pious after the manner of the country, and you could discover that there was something of the Lord in her, but very much covered up and defiled. We dined there and spoke to her of what we deemed necessary for her condition. She has many grandchildren, all of whom are not unjust. We continued our journey along a fine broad wagon road to the other village, called Bergen, a good half hour or three-quarters inland from there, where the villagers, who are almost all Dutch, received us well, and were rejoiced to see us. They inquired and spoke to us about various things. We also found there the cook of the vessel in which we came over. He was sick of the ship, and was stopping ashore with his relations here in order to recruit himself. He entertained us according to his ability, and gave us some hespaen to eat, a wild animal somewhat larger than a cat. It was very fat, and of a good flavor, almost like a pig. The skins of these animals are good peltry, and are sent in great quantities to Europe. We had also some good cider. Our cook took a short walk with us over the country, and showed us the situation of the plantations around there, as he had lived there a long time, and consequently was acquainted with all these farms. The soil was very good, and indeed of the best that we had seen anywhere. This good ground was for the most part on the declivities of the hills, and so on below. Snake Hill, of which I had heard much, and which I had imagined to myself was a large projecting hill, lies close by and is only a small round hill; and is so named on account of the numerous snakes which infest it. It stands quite alone, and is almost entirely encircled by the North Kil. It is nothing but rocks and stones, with a little earth up above where a plantation could be formed. We returned to the village by evening, and lodged with one Claes Fransen, who had brought us over the river. He had a good old mother, and also a brother living there. His other brothers were married, and lived in the same village. We conversed with these people about spiritual things, and had great enjoyment therein. We were entirely welcome. We slept upon some straw on the floor, and it was lucky for us that he sold blankets, some of which he used to cover us. We have nowhere, to my knowledge, seen or eaten finer apples. One kind was very large, fair, and of good taste, fifty-six of which only could be put in a heaped up bushel, that is, half a bag. Another variety, somewhat smaller, but not less fair in appearance, and of a better flavor, my comrade was acquainted with, and said they were called the Double Paradise. He acknowledged they were very delicate.
[Footnote 166: Fytje Hartman, widow of Michael Jansen Hartman. She had seven children.]
[Footnote 167: Bergen was founded in 1661. Both it and Communipaw are now in Jersey City.]
[Footnote 168: Raccoon.]
[Footnote 169: Hackensack River.]
[Footnote 170: Immetie Dirx, widow of Frans Claesen.]
28th, Saturday. Early this morning Claes prepared to cross over to the Manhatans, to carry to market some fine fat mutton from a sheep which he had killed the night before. He sold it for two blanken a pound, reckoned in Holland money and Amsterdam weight. It was rainy the whole morning, and it had stormed so hard in the night that we could not find a dry place in the house to lie in. We were apprehensive of hearing of some misfortune to the ships, especially two lying under Staten Island, one of which was Margaret's, and was bound for Holland. Claes was alarmed for his boat, in which we had to cross over; but going to the shore about eleven o'clock, he found it there, but half full of rain water. The mast which he had left standing was overboard, and to be looked for, but was afterwards found, and the mast bench and socket were out of their places, and in pieces. He had, therefore, some repairs to make. It cleared up gradually, and he resolved to cross over, which he was the more anxious to do, because he was going to bring back Domine Tessemaker, who had promised to come the next day and preach for them before his departure; for although there is a considerable congregation in this vicinity, and they are abundantly able to support a minister, they have none; for it is not easy to obtain one, and there is no probability of their doing so as long as the country belongs to the English, though they intend to build a church next spring. For the present they have nobody except a voorleser, who performs his service for them on Sundays, in the school house, where they assemble. They have, however, agreed with the minister of the city to administer there the Lord's Supper three times a year, for which he receives thirty bushels or fifteen bags of wheat. This service he performs on week-days, because he cannot be absent from the city on Sundays, where he is the only minister. This Gmoenepaeu is an arm of the main land on the west side of the North River, beginning at Constable's Hook, directly opposite Staten Island, from which it is separated by the Kil van Kol. On the east is the North River; on the north the mainland Pavoni or Haverstroo, or indeed Hackingsack; and on the west, the North Kil, which separates it from New Jersey and Elizabethtown. It is almost an hour broad, but has large salt meadows or marshes on the kill. It has many bays and inlets, and lies very commodiously for the inhabitants, because it is everywhere accessible by water from the city. The village of Bergen lies about in the middle of the tract, and has been reasonably strong in time of the war with the Indians. It has very fine farms which yield well.
[Footnote 171: Say three cents.]
[Footnote 172: Parish clerk, precentor, and (usually) schoolmaster. The church records of Bergen go back to 1664, and the first church edifice was built in the next year, 1680.]
[Footnote 173: Now Constable's Point. Pavonia was the domain of Michael Pauw. Haverstraw lay well to the northward, Hackensack to the northwestward, of the Bergen peninsula.]
[Footnote 174: "The Town is compact and hath been fortified against the Indians." Captain Nicolls, in George Scot, The Model of the Government of East New Jersey, p. 142.]
As we were about to cross, an Indian came up, who also desired to be carried over. He asked the skipper whether he might go over with him, who replied he had too much freight. "Well," said he, "I will pay you for that. How much freight do the people give you?" The skipper answered six stivers in seewan. "Well then," said the Indian, "I will give you seven." This made us all laugh, because he valued himself less and bound himself to pay more than the others. We, therefore, took him with us. The river here is full four miles wide, and when it blows, especially from the north or northwest, there is sometimes a rolling sea, making it dangerous to cross over, particularly in small boats. While we were in the village of Bergen, a person came to us who was willing to take us up through the Northwest Kil, where we were inclined to go, because Jaques of Long Island and his associates had bought for a trifle, a piece of land there of twelve thousand morgen, and he had related wonders to us about it; and that above his land, and above the falls which are more than an hour's distance from it, there was another tract still better, which was corroborated by almost every one, especially in Bergen, whose inhabitants were very well acquainted there, and some of whom had bought a large piece of land close by. The before mentioned tract was considered by them the best in all New Netherland. We, therefore, did not reject the offer of this person, but only postponed it until a later opportunity, perhaps after our return from the South River. They said this piece of land was very large, and could be increased to twenty-five or thirty thousand morgen, which the Indians were disposed to sell, and we could buy for a small price. When we reached home we showed our old people the apples which we had brought with us, and they confessed that as long as they had lived in the country, they had never seen any finer or larger.
[Footnote 175: Jacques Cortelyou and his associates had a large grant of land at Aquackanonck (Passaic). Northwest Kill is the Passaic River.]
[Footnote 176: A morgen was about two acres.]
[Footnote 177: Deed of March 28, 1679, from the Indian sachem Captahem to a group of Bergen men.]
29th, Sunday. We had been last Sunday to hear the Quakers, but the greater portion of them were on Long Island, so that nothing was done. My comrade had a mind to go again to-day, but I remained at home. After waiting two hours, he went to hear the Episcopalians and then returned to the Quakers, who had remained all this time sitting silent and gazing. He then took a walk out for a considerable time, and went back again and found them still in the same position. Being tired out, he would wait no longer, and came home. We went in the afternoon to see Ephraim for the purpose of inquiring of him how soon our journey to the South River would commence, and whether we would have time first to take a trip to Aquakenon with the man from Bergen, of whom we have spoken above; but we did not find Ephraim at home.
[Footnote 178: There were few Friends yet in New York, but on Long Island there were already quarterly and half-yearly meetings.]
[Footnote 179: Passaic.]
30th, Monday. We went again this morning to speak to him. He said we should have time to go there, and allowing the utmost it might take us, he would still wait a day or two We went immediately to Sapokanikke, where [Gerrit] was engaged in building, whom we wished to accompany us, because he knew several of those Indians and spoke their language, and because he had said all along that he wished to see the land of his brother-in-law, since Jaques had promised him as much of it as he would cultivate; but we found him indisposed with a sore leg, and unable to go. Nevertheless, we crossed over the river in the evening, at the same time the two ministers were returning, namely, Tessemaker who preached there on Sunday as we have stated, and Niewenhuisen who had administered the Lord's Supper there to-day. We went over with Claes, and it was dark when we arrived at Gmoenepaen. We followed Claes, who took us to his house, where we were made welcome by his old mother. My comrade went with Claes, yet this evening, to see the man who was to take us up the kill, so that in case he had any thing to make ready it might be done this evening. He said it would be noon before the tide would serve to-morrow and that he had nothing else to do in the morning. We learned he was a most godless rogue, which caused us to be cautious in what we had to do with him. We conversed this evening with the old woman in whose house we slept, and this poor woman seemed to have great enjoyment and fruition, as did also her sons and others with whom we occasionally conversed. It appeared, indeed, as if the Lord might have there the seed of the elect, which He will bring forth in His own time, if it please Him. Truly these are the best people whom we have found in these parts.
31st, Tuesday. We went this morning to look about the country a little, which pleased us very much, and thus occupied ourselves until noon, when we proceeded to look after our guide and arrange matters with him. As soon as he came in the house, we inquired of him what he wanted for his trouble for the journey. He demanded a cloth innocent or coat, and that not of the poorest. His wife, who was the worst woman, I think, I have ever beheld in my life, did the best also to cheat us. We asked him what he thought such a coat would cost. "Well," said he, "call it a hundred guilders." We told him we did not intend to give so much. He replied, "I cannot take less for so long a time." "And how long do you expect to be gone," we asked. "You must not," he said, "think of being back before Monday." We then asked him how much he demanded a day, and he said eight guilders. We made an agreement with him for seven guilders a day, that is, twenty-eight stivers, Holland money. We then started to get some provisions, which the old woman, where we slept, had cheerfully given us; but we took nothing, except two half loaves of rye bread, and some apples in our travelling bag, but this Dirck provided himself better for making the journey. When we were ready, we went over the salt meadow or marsh to the kill, which was full half an hour's distance; but when we came to the canoe, the ebb tide was still running strong, and we required the flood. The canoe lay in a bend of a small creek, and it was impossible to get it out of this bight and over the mire, except at high water, which would not take place until evening. We were, therefore, brought to a stand, whether to proceed in the evening, to which we were not much inclined, or await until the next morning, which was too much of a delay in view of our journey to the south. We had, besides, felt some misgivings in our hearts on account of the godlessness of the person who was to conduct us. We saw that the Lord plainly shewed what we had to do, and we, therefore, abandoned the trip, and told him we had not so much time to lose, and should embrace another opportunity. He cursed and swore at those who had told him the tide would serve at noon. In truth he had not been careful and had nobody to blame but himself. We were glad we were rid of him. We gave our apples and bread back to the old woman, who, as well as all the villagers, who heard we were not going up, were rejoiced, and declared we should not have been satisfied. Afterwards, several others offered their services to accompany us by land, either on foot or horseback, or otherwise, and go with us themselves, which we did not reject, but only postponed until we should see what the Lord would do in His time.
We went immediately to the strand to see whether we could still cross over to the other side; but Claes had left for the city, and did not return until evening, and there was no other boat. We were, therefore, compelled to remain; but, in the meantime, we visited the before mentioned Fytie, where we met several Indians, who lived upon and owned the very land we had intended to visit. They had heard we had gone up to look at their land, and wondered at seeing us back there. They manifested pleasure at our wishing to visit them, and examine their land; shook hands with us, and said we were great and good nitaps. They were in hopes we would come and live on their lands, where we would always be good nitaps. Meanwhile Claes having arrived, we went back with him to Bergen, and passed the night again at his house.
NOVEMBER 1st, Wednesday. As soon as Claes had taken his freight on board, we crossed over with him to the city. Our old people where we lodged were glad we had not gone with that person, for they also knew him well. About noon Claes came to the house, wishing to buy something of us, which he did. We presented him and the good people of this place with Christelyke Grondregelen, in Low Dutch, because we hoped, after what we had seen, it would serve for their instruction and edification, and the glory of God, who will bring forth the fruits thereof in His own time if it please Him.
[Footnote 180: The Dutch translation of Jean de Labadie's Points Fondamentaux de la Vie vrayement Chrestienne (Amsterdam, 1670).]
2d, Thursday. This day, and for the rest of the week, nothing transpired worthy of note, except we informed Ephraim that our trip was not to take place, and therefore he need not wait on our account. I have wished several times that I could sketch in order to employ the art sometimes when it might be serviceable, especially upon this voyage. I, therefore, have practised it some, because it was convenient, and I thought I succeeded in it reasonably well, but I have done it, without any regularity or assiduity, and only to amuse myself occasionally.
[Footnote 181: Several very interesting pen-and-ink drawings accompany the manuscript of this journal. See the introduction to the volume.]
5th, Sunday. My comrade, who was exercising himself in the English language, went again to hear the English minister preach.
6th, Monday. We went again to ascertain whether our journey to the South River would soon be undertaken; for although this opportunity would suit us very well and we should not miss it, nevertheless the best time was passing by, and the winter was close at hand. There was a horse offered us elsewhere, which had to be taken to the South River; and a yacht also was ready to sail there. The time, therefore, was to be looked to; and we went again to Ephraim, who assured us that he would not delay it longer than the ensuing Thursday. But we heard that Domine Tessemaker was going with him, by which we were entrapped, for it was one of the reasons why we did not leave with de La Grange, who had now been gone fourteen days, that he always told us Domine Tessemaker and some other persons would accompany him. However, as the Lord had thus ordered it, we were glad to submit to His will, who always knows why He does thus and so.
Nothing worth mention happened between this and Thursday. Meanwhile, however, Domine Tessemaker had abandoned the journey with Ephraim, and resolved to proceed by sea in the yacht or boat, in which he sailed the next day. Whether he had some special reasons for going by water we do not know, although we guessed so. Ephraim had ordered a shallop or yacht, which was to land us at the Rarytans, and was to be ready, he said, Thursday evening or Friday morning without fail, but of that he would give us timely notice. We, therefore, remained at home until Friday morning, the
10th, when, as we did not see him, we went to ascertain the cause and why the journey was not begun. He said it was not his fault, but that his wife could not leave her mother so soon, and he had given her time until next Monday, and had, therefore, let the sloop make a trip. This did not please us very much, for our time was fast running away, and we were able to accomplish nothing. We bethought ourselves, therefore, whether we could not make some progress, and as our Jacques [Cortelyou], had promised to show us the laws of the country, we determined to go and see whether we could not finish what we had to do therein before our departure. We both left about noon to go over to Long Island, and passed through Breukelen and the Vlacke Bos, over Nieu Uytrecht on large, fine wagon roads to Najack, where we arrived about three o'clock. It had been very warm during the day, and we were all in a perspiration and fatigued. Jaques's wife bade us welcome, but he himself was in the fields. After we had rested ourselves and eaten something, we went outside upon the banks of this beautiful bay, to breathe a little air, and look at various vessels, going and coming. In the meantime he came with his son to meet us. They had been to the fish fuyck, which they had lying there upon the shore and out of which they had taken at noon some fine fish, but at present the water was too high. Another of his sons had been out shooting, but had not shot anything; though the day before he had shot a woodcock and a partridge before the door of the house, which we must taste this evening with still some other things. Also because we were there the fuyck must be lifted again, from which they took out two fine bass, of a kind we had not yet seen. They are quite large, and of a good shape. They have seven black stripes on the body, extending from the head to the tail. We ate of them also in the evening, and found them very fine, and had not yet tasted any better in the country. They were fat and hard, with a little of the flavor of the salmon. The other suited us very well.
[Footnote 182: Brooklyn, Flatbush, New Utrecht.]
[Footnote 183: Large stationary net.]
We had much conversation together, and informed ourselves in relation to various matters. He gave us some medicinal roots, which we have mentioned heretofore. He also let us look at the laws, which were written in a folio volume, but in very bad Dutch, for they had been translated from English into Dutch. As it was a large book, and we saw we could not copy it there, we requested him to let us take it home with us for that purpose. He consented upon condition that if we left for the south, we would then deliver it to his brother-in-law, Gerrit, who intended to come over shortly, and would hand it to him. We lodged this night at his place, but somewhat better than we had done in the barn, for we slept in his dwelling, still so that we could well feel where we had slept.
[Footnote 184: The reference is to Governor Nicolls's code, commonly called the Duke's Laws, first promulgated in 1665, for Long Island and the Delaware River region, and reissued by Governor Lovelace in 1674. Copies were sent to each Long Island township, and thus to New Utrecht. The code was printed in 1809 in the first volume of the Collections of the New York Historical Society, and may also be found in a Pennsylvania issue, Charter to William Penn, etc. (Harrisburg, 1879).]
11th, Saturday. As soon as we awoke we determined to return home and finish up our matters in the little time remaining. We left, therefore, about eight o'clock, after taking some breakfast. He conducted us to New Utrecht. We lent him Les Pensees de Pascal which we judged would be useful to him. We returned by the same roads as we came, and reached home about eleven o'clock. We had observed that although the previous day had been pretty warm, this night had not only been frosty but ice had formed as thick as the back of a knife. We commenced at noon copying the most necessary [laws], and afterwards the rest of them.
[Footnote 185: The Pensees of Blaise Pascal had been published, posthumously, in 1670.]
12th, Sunday. We continued making extracts, and finished about the middle of the day all that we deemed it necessary to make, omitting minor matters pertaining to the duties of particular officers. Still, what shall we say, they were laws and nothing else.
13th, Monday. We took care that Jaques should receive the papers back again, and then went to see whether our journey with Ephraim would be made. We found the boat lying at the dock, laden with firewood, and that the day would necessarily be occupied in discharging, so that at the best, it could not be undertaken before the next day. The time was finally fixed for the journey for the next day, and every thing was this day arranged.
JOURNEY TO THE SOUTHWARD BEGINS.
[Footnote 186: These words appear as a marginal note in the original manuscript.]
14th, Tuesday. Having taken leave of all our acquaintances, we set off at ten o'clock, this morning, in company with Ephraim, his wife, his wife's mother, two of her sisters, and a young brother, who were to accompany her as far as Pescatteway. We stepped into the boat, where we found three horses, two Quakers, and another Englishman. We were not long in starting. The wind was from the west, which is a head wind for sailing to Achter Kol. The sky began to be heavily overcast, and the wind to freshen up more, so that we had to tack. Ephraim being afraid the wind might shift to the northwest, and blow hard, as it usually does when it is from that quarter, wished to return, and would have done so, if the skipper had not tried to go ahead more than he did. The tide running out, and the boat advancing but little, and being fearful of the flood tide, which would delay us, if it did not drive us back, and as there was room to work with the rudder, I went and took hold of the tiller myself, and brought the boat, with the flood tide, just within the point of Staten Island, where we found a ketch bound for Achter Kol, and further up to Snake Hill. Having now the tide with us, we tacked about, and quickly passed by Schutters Island, lying in the mouth of a kill, on the north side of the Kil achter Kol. This island is so called, because the Dutch, when they first settled on the North River, were in the practice of coming here to shoot wild geese, and other wild fowl, which resorted there in great numbers. This kill, when the water is high, is like a large river, but at low water it is dry in some places. Up above it divides itself into two branches, one of which runs about north to Snake Hill and Ackingsak; and the other, called the Northwest Kill, because it extends in that direction, runs to Aquakenom, of which we will speak hereafter. We sailed inside of Schutters Island, although the passage is very small, and thus obtained the in-running current; because the flood tide which came from Achter Kol, and that from the North River, strike each other here, and thus shoot together in this kill. With much effort we reached the point of Elizabeth's Kill, where we were compelled to come to anchor, at four o'clock. We all went ashore, and lodged for the night in the house of the French people, of whom we have spoken before, and who were not yet rid of the suspicion they had conceived, notwithstanding the declarations we had made to the contrary. We all slept on the floor, and supped upon what we had brought with us. We were no sooner in the house, than it began to rain and blow hard from the northwest, and to be very cold. We saw herein the good providence of the Lord again, whom we had so many times, during our journeying, so visibly perceived, watching and protecting so faithfully those who cared for nothing, except for Him and to do His will.
[Footnote 187: Piscataway, N.J., founded in 1666, some seven or eight miles up the Raritan River from its mouth at Perth Amboy. Achter Kol, below, was the Dutch name for what is now corruptly called Arthur Kill, and, by extension, for Newark Bay and the portion of New Jersey immediately west of Staten Island, Arthur Kill, and the Kill van Kull.]
[Footnote 188: Hackensack and Passaic Rivers.]
15th, Wednesday. It still blew stiff out of the northwest, so that our skipper had little disposition to weigh anchor and get under sail, especially with the horses on board, although we would have willingly proceeded. It was, therefore, determined that the horses should go by land with the servant and brother of Ephraim, and the Quakers resolved to do the same. The rest of the company went on board the boat, and after taking in a large reef, we got under sail, with a head wind, but ebb tide. It blew hard and squally, and we had to look out well, with sheets in hand. We made good progress, and came to Smokers Hoeck, which is about half way of Kil achter Kol. We came to anchor here, because the next reach was directly against the wind, and it blew too hard to tack. We all stepped ashore here, and went on foot to an English village called Wout Brigg, where we should find the horses. Smoker's Hoeck is the easterly point of the kill, which runs up to Wout Brigg, and we would have sailed up this creek, but it was ebb tide. We passed over reasonably fair and good land, and observed particularly fine salt meadows on the creek, on which there was built a good grist mill, and over which we had to cross. We arrived about noon or one o'clock, at this English village. Ephraim, not wishing to go with his family to the ordinary tavern, went to another house or tavern, where he had been many times before, and where the people were under some obligations to him. But he could not lodge there now; and we were, therefore, compelled to go to the common tavern, which was full of persons, sitting drinking, and where nothing was to be obtained except that vile rum. Nevertheless, we had to pass the day there, waiting for the boat and the baggage; but these did not come up to-day, in consequence of the hard wind. We had, therefore, to lie down here upon the ground all together, on a little hay, as we had done last night.
[Footnote 189: Woodbridge, N.J., founded in 1665.]
[Footnote 190: The mill of Jonathan Dunham, whose house was standing till 1871.]
16th, Thursday. The weather moderated and it cleared up, but we had to wait till about noon, before the goods arrived from the boat, which the skipper had to bring up in a canoe, because the boat could not come. We obtained here another horse, making five horses we had, and another servant of Ephraim. We then dined, and politely took our leave of Madam van B., the mother of Ephraim's wife, and of her two sisters, who had come to conduct her as far as here, and from here were to return home again in the same boat, but the little brother went with us to the south, to live with Ephraim. It was then about three o'clock, when we mounted the horses, namely, Ephraim and his wife upon the best one, my comrade and myself each upon the one we had obtained at Woodbridge, his brother and servant on one, and the other servant upon another. Our horses, like the riders, were very poor. We proceeded on, however, and about four o'clock arrived at Pescatteway, the last English village in New Jersey, for thus the government of the Governor my Lord Catrix [Carteret] is called; which begins on the west side of the North River, and extends about half way to the South River, though this division did not seem to me to be well made. We rode about two English miles through Pescatteway, to the house of one Mr. Greenland, who kept a tavern there. We had to pass the night here, because it was the place of crossing the Milstoons [Millstone] River, which they called the falls. Close by there, also, was the dwelling of some Indians, who were of service to this Mr. Greenland, in many things. We were better lodged and entertained here, for we slept upon a good bed, and strengthened ourselves against the future.
[Footnote 191: Madame van Brugh, nee Katrina Roelofs, later Madame van Rodenburg, now the wife of Johannes Pieterszen van Brugh.]
[Footnote 192: Dr. Henry Greenland, formerly a resident of Newbury, Mass., and of Kittery, Maine. The route which travellers at this time took through New Jersey crossed the Raritan at the present site of New Brunswick, and then proceeded to what is now Trenton. The crossing of the Raritan is not mentioned in the journal.]
17th, Friday. As the water was high in the kill or Millstone River, Ephraim would not ride over the fall, on account of the current of water, which made it dangerous. He, therefore, determined after breakfast we should be set across in a canoe, and the horses should swim across, as they did. We reached the other side about nine o'clock, and proceeded on horseback. The road from here to the falls of the South River, runs for the most part W.S.W., and then W. It is nothing but a foot-path for men and horses, between the trees and through the small shrubs, although we came to places where there were large plains, beset with a few trees, and grown over with long grass, which was not the worst. When you have ridden a piece of the way, you can see over the lands of the Nevesink, far off on the left hand, into the ocean, affording a fine view. The land we rode over was neither the best, nor the worst. The woods consist of reasonably straight oak and hickory, with some chestnut, but they are not very close. They would, therefore, afford tolerably good tillable land; but we observed the best pieces lay here and there, along the creeks. We saw many deer running before us, out of the road, sometimes five or six together, starting off at the sound of the horses. When about half way, you come to a high, but very rocky hill, which is very difficult for man or beast to walk upon. After crossing it, you come to a large valley, the descent to which, from this hill, is very steep, by a very shrubby road; and you must dismount, in order to lead your horses down carefully, as well as to descend carefully yourselves. We were in the middle of this valley, when a company met us on horseback, from the South River. They were acquaintances of Ephraim, and some of them were his relations. They wished each other welcome, and mutually inquired after various matters, after which we separated, exchanging one of our horses, which Ephraim's brother rode, and was to be sent back to the Manathans, for one of theirs, which must return to the South River. We rode on a little further, and came to Millstone River again, which runs so crookedly, that you cross it at three different places. After we crossed it now, we took the bridles from the horses, in order that they might eat something, while we sat down and dined together, upon what we had in our travelling bags. We remounted in about an hour, and rode on, continuing our way and course as before. About three o'clock we came again to Millstone River, which we again waded over, but it had gradually become smaller. Resuming our route, we arrived at the falls of the South River about sundown, passing a creek where a new grist-mill was erected by the Quakers, who live hereabouts in great numbers, and daily increase. But it seemed to us as if this mill could not stand long, especially if the flow of water were heavy, because the work was not well arranged. We rode over here, and went directly to the house of the person who had constructed it, who was a Quaker, where we dismounted, and willingly dismissed our horses. The house was very small, and from the incivility of the inmates and the unfitness of the place, we expected poor lodgings. As it was still daylight, and we had heard so much of the falls of the South River, or, at least, we ourselves had imagined it, we went back to the river, in order to look at them; but we discovered we had deceived ourselves in our ideas. We had supposed it was a place, where the water came tumbling down in great quantity and force from a great height above, over a rock into an abyss, as the word falls would seem to imply, and as we had heard and read of the falls of the North River, and other rivers. But these falls of the South River are nothing more than a place of about two English miles in length, or not so much, where the river is full of stones, almost across it, which are not very large, but in consequence of the shallowness, the water runs rapidly and breaks against them, causing some noise, but not very much, which place, if it were necessary, could be made navigable on one side. As no Europeans live above the falls, they may so remain. This miller's house is the highest up the river, hitherto inhabited. Here we had to lodge; and although we were too tired to eat, we had to remain sitting upright the whole night, not being able to find room enough to lie upon the ground. We had a fire, however, but the dwellings are so wretchedly constructed, that if you are not so close to the fire as almost to burn yourself, you cannot keep warm, for the wind blows through them everywhere. Most of the English, and many others, have their houses made of nothing but clapboards, as they call them there, in this manner: they first make a wooden frame, the same as they do in Westphalia, and at Altena, but not so strong; they then split the boards of clapwood, so that they are like cooper's pipe staves, except they are not bent. These are made very thin, with a large knife, so that the thickest end is about as thick as a little finger, and the other is made sharp, like the edge of a knife. They are about five or six feet long, and are nailed on the outside of the frame, with the ends lapped over each other. They are not usually laid so close together, as to prevent you from sticking a finger between them, in consequence either of their not being well joined, or the boards being crooked. When it is cold and windy the best people plaster them with clay. Such are almost all the English houses in the country, except those they have which were built by people of other nations. Now this house was new and airy; and as the night was very windy from the north, and extremely cold with clear moonshine, I shall not readily forget it. Ephraim and his wife obtained a bed; but we passed through the night without sleeping much.