The footnote to the first entry says that in the train schedules, times from noon to midnight are shown in "dark-face type." In this plain-text edition that cannot be done, so the letters "p" and "a" have been appended to each time to indicate AM and PM hours.
Minor typographical errors have been corrected: employes to employees on p. 1, 129, and 130; nagivation to navigation on p. 48; conferation to confederation on p. 46. Inconsistent hyphenation in the original has been retained.
In this plain-ASCII edition, accented and special characters have been replaced as follows: The sterling currency symbol with L; e-acute with é; e-grave with è; o-umlaut with ö; i-umlaut with ï; e-circumflex with ê.
Owing to the method used to scan this work, in a few cases the first or last letters of a line were lost and had to be found from other sources or inferred from context. Where an inference is not certain, the presumed missing letters are in parentheses with a question mark, for example "p(art?)". In each of the numbers in the table on page 130 ("Passengers carried annually," etc.) the final digit cannot be determined and has been replaced with 0.
THE GREATEST HIGHWAY IN THE WORLD
Historical, Industrial and Descriptive Information of the Towns, Cities and Country passed through between New York and Chicago via The New York Central Lines
Based on the Encyclopaedia Britannica
In furtherance of giving the utmost service to the public, the New York Central Lines asked the editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica to prepare this booklet descriptive of and vivifying the historical development of what has been termed "The Greatest Highway in the World."
It is presented to you in the hope that it may prove a pleasant companion on a journey over our Lines. The information will afford a new appreciation of the historical significance and industrial importance of the cities, towns and country which the New York Central Lines serve.
The New York Central Lines enter twelve states and serve territory containing 51,530,784 inhabitants or 50.3 per cent of the nation's population. This rich and busy territory produces 64 per cent of the country's manufactured products and mines a similar proportion of its coal.
This system does approximately 10 per cent of the railroad transportation business of the United States, although its main-track mileage is only 6 per cent. In other words the business it handles exceeds that of the average railroad, mile for mile, by nearly 100 per cent. The New York Central carries 52 per cent of all through passengers between New York and Chicago, the remaining 48 per cent being divided among five other lines. The freight traffic of the New York Central Lines in 1920 was greater than that carried by all the railroads of France and England combined.
The scenes that stretch before the eyes of passengers on these Lines are rich with historic interest. Few persons know that the second settlement in the United States was at Albany and that it antedated Plymouth by several years. Probably fewer persons know that the first United States flag was carried in battle at Fort Stanwix, now the city of Rome, N.Y. We hope that the reader will discover in the following pages more than one historic shrine which he will wish to visit.
It has been said that the history of a country's civilization is the history of its highways. Certainly the development of a great system such as the New York Central is an important element in the progress and prosperity of the country which it serves. This railroad is, in fact, a public institution, and it will prosper to the extent that it gives service to the public.
The New York Central Lines have the initial advantage that they follow the great natural routes along which the first trails were blazed by the red men, and are almost free from grades, sharp curves and other hindrances to comfortable and efficient transportation. Thus the road owes its superiority primarily to the fact that it lends itself to a maximum degree of efficiency.
But service as it is conceived by the New York Central, involves many aspects. One is the careful provision for the comfort and convenience of passengers; another is adequate and efficient facilities for serving the interests of shippers. In other words, New York Central service means not only fast and luxurious passenger trains, but also the rapid handling of freight. To give such service requires the highest class of equipment—the best rails, the finest cars, the most powerful locomotives, etc.—but it also requires an operating force of loyal, highly trained employees. In both respects the New York Central Lines excel.
The inspiring record of the system's growth through public approval and patronage is fundamentally a tribute to the service rendered, constantly advanced and developed in pace with public requirements. The accompanying booklet is in one sense an expression of past achievement, but it is also an earnest of greater accomplishment to come.
NEW YORK TO ALBANY
NEW YORK, Pop. 5,261,151. Grand Central Terminal. (Train 51 leaves 8:31a; No. 3, 8:46a; No. 41, 1:01p; No. 25, 2:46p; No. 19, 5:31p. Eastbound: train 6 arrives 9:22a; No. 26, 9:40a; No. 16, 4:00p; No. 22, 5:25p.)
[1. Throughout this handbook the time is given at which trains are scheduled to leave or pass through the cities or towns mentioned. From New York to Chicago, Train No. 51 is the Empire State Express; No. 3, the Chicago Express; No. 41, The Number Forty-one; No. 25, the Twentieth Century, and No. 19, the Lake Shore Limited. In the reverse route, from Chicago to New York, No. 6 is the Fifth Avenue Special; No. 26 is the Twentieth Century; No. 16, the New York and New England Special, and No. 22, the Lake Shore Limited. The time given is Eastern Standard Time at all points east of Toledo, and Central Standard Time, which is one hour slower, at Toledo and all points west. (When Daylight Saving Time is adopted during the summer it is one hour faster than Standard time, but all time given in this booklet is Standard time.) The time between 12.01 o'clock midnight and 12.00 o'clock noon is indicated by light face type; between 12.01 o'clock noon and 12.00 o'clock midnight by dark face type. The use of an asterisk (*) indicates places recommended as especially worth visiting. Population figures are those of the 1920 U.S. Census.]
Fifty years ago when Commodore Vanderbilt began the first Grand Central Station—depot, they called it, in the language of the day—he made one error of judgment. His choice of a site proved to be magnificently right, though he selected a spot that was practically open country, then technically known as 42nd St. The story goes—it is a typically American story—that his friends laughed at him, remarking that a person might as well walk to Boston or Albany as go away up to 42nd St. to take a train for those cities. But the people did come, and they admired the commodore's new station, which is perhaps not surprising, since the commodore had set himself to build the greatest terminal in the world. Many Americans considered the new "depot" as only second to the capitol at Washington, and it served as an excellent show place when visitors came to town. Europe might have its cathedrals, but it had no Grand Central Station!
The commodore's one mistake lay in thinking that his fine new station would last a century. Within ten years an addition had to be built; in 1898 it had to be entirely remodeled and enlarged, and fifteen years later it was entirely demolished to make way for the present building which would be adequate for handling the city's ever-increasing millions.
There seems to be little doubt that the city of N.Y. and its environs has become within the last decade larger even than London. The population of greater London (including all the separate administrative entities within the Metropolitan Police District) is estimated at 7,435,379. Jersey City, Hoboken, and the other N.J. cities on the west, as well as Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, etc., on the north, although politically detached, are included in the "city" of N.Y. in the larger sense, their political detachment being in a certain sense accidental. Including these, the population of N.Y. area corresponding to the Metropolitan London area is 7,583,607. The population of N.Y. City proper is 5,261,151. The London area comparable with this, viz., the part of London governed by the London County Council has a population of 5,028,974. Comparing the areas of the two—N.Y.C. with 327 sq. miles and London with 692 sq. miles, it is hard to understand how the respective populations should approximate each other so nearly until it is remembered that New York grows perpendicularly instead of horizontally, that it usurps more air rather than more land. In some of the downtown business streets, such as Wall or Rector, the buildings tower so high above the narrow thoroughfare that they form a kind of deep canyon along which the wind is drawn as through a tunnel.
In the colonial period Philadelphia was the most important city, commercially, politically and socially, while just before the War of Independence, Boston, with a population of 20,000 was the most flourishing town in all the colonies. During the Revolutionary War, N.Y.C. had fallen to a population of 10,000 and in 1790 it had barely gained a position of leadership with 33,131, but by 1840 N.Y.C. had grown to be a city of 313,000 while Philadelphia had 95,000 and Boston 93,000.
[Illustration: Commodore Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) at the age of 16 bought a sailboat in which he carried farm produce and passengers between Staten Island, where he lived, and N.Y. He was soon doing so profitable a business that in 1817, realizing the superiority of steam over sailing vessels, he was able to sell his sloops and schooners, and became the captain of a steam ferry between N.Y. and New Brunswick. His projects grew enormously. He inaugurated steamship lines between N.Y. and San Francisco, N.Y. and Havre, and other places. In 1857-1862 he sold his steamships and turned his attention more and more to the development of railways, with the result that before his death he had built up and was a majority share owner in the N.Y. Central & Hudson River, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, the Harlem, and the Michigan Central & Canada Southern railways, and had holdings in many others. He died at N.Y. in 1877.]
Today one of the most remarkable features of New York is the Grand Central Terminal. The exterior finish is granite and Indiana lime-stone; the style somewhat Doric, modified by the French Renaissance. Over the entrance to the main building is a great arch surmounted by a statuary group wherein Mercury, symbolizing the glory of commerce, is supported by Minerva and Hercules who represent mental and moral force.
Within, the main concourse of the station proper is an immense room with a floor space of 37,625 sq. ft. where the New York City Hall might be set and yet leave room to spare. It is covered with a vaulted ceiling 125 ft. high, painted a soft cloudy blue and starred over with the constellations of heaven. Great dome-shaped windows, three each at the east and west ends, furnish light.
The entire site of the Grand Central Terminal comprises 30 blocks and 80 acres which above the surface are covered with a great variety of buildings, making almost a city in itself. Moreover, there is direct subway entrance to three large hotels, capable of housing as many as 10,000 persons, and to all these conveniences is added that of comfortable temperature throughout the terminal, no matter how cold the weather.
. C, Military Hospital [south of Pearl St.]. D, Secretary's Office [near Fort George]. E, [Not Shown]. F, Soldiers' Barracks [at extreme right]. G, Ship Yards [lower right hand corner]. H, City Hall [Broad and Wall streets, site of present Sub-Treasury building]. I, Exchange. J, K, Jail and Workhouse [both situated on the "intended square or common," now City Hall Square]. L, College [Church and Murray streets; this was King's College, now Columbia University]. M, Trinity Church [the present Trinity was built on 1839-46, though it stands on the site of the old church built in 1696]. N, St. George's Chapel. O, St. Paul's Chapel [built in 1756, the oldest edifice still standing in N.Y.C.]. P to Z, various churches.]
As distinctively "New York" as the sky-scrapers, are the hotels and apartment houses. Of the latter, there are more than in any other city in the world, and the number of persons who are giving up their houses and adopting this manner of life is steadily increasing. The first thing, in fact, that impresses a visitor on his arrival is the seemingly endless amount of buildings adopted for transients. A few of the largest hotels have space for several thousand persons at one time.
The old station in 1903-'12 was torn down, brick by brick, while at the same time the new building was being erected—and all without disturbing the traffic or hindering the 75,000 to 125,000 people that passed through the station each day. This was an extraordinary engineering feat, for not only were 3,000,000 yards of earth and rock taken out to provide for the underground development, but hundreds of tons of dynamite were used for blasting. Among the improvements introduced in the new station are ramps instead of stairways, the division of out-going from in-going traffic and the elimination of the cold trainshed. The substitution of electricity for steam as a motive power in the metropolitan area made possible the reclamation of Park Avenue and the cross streets from 45th St. to 46th St.—about 20 blocks in all—by depressing and covering the tracks.
At 56th St. the tracks begin to rise from the long tunnel and pass through the tenement district of the upper East Side. The side streets seem filled with nothing but children and vegetable carts, while along the pavements shrill women with shawls over their heads are bargaining for food with street-vendors. As the railroad tracks rise higher still, we run on the level with the upper-story windows out of which the tenants lean and gossip with one another.
4 M. HARLEM STATION (125th St.). (Train 51 passes 8:41a; No 3, 8:57a; No. 41, 1:12p; No. 25, 2:56p; No. 19, 5:41p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 9:11a; No. 26 9:29a; No. 16, 3:49p; No. 22, 5:25p.)
Old Harlem was "Nieuw Haerlem," a settlement established in 1658 by Gov. Peter Stuyvesant in the northeastern part of Manhattan Island. It existed for 200 years but is now lost under modern Harlem, which centers about 125th St. In this neighborhood to the west occurred the battle of Harlem Heights—a lively skirmish fought Sept. 16, 1776, opposite the west front of the present Columbia University, and resulting in a victory for the forces of Gen. Washington, who up to that time had suffered a number of reverses on Long Island and elsewhere. The battle was directed by Washington from the Jumel mansion*, 160th St. and Amsterdam Ave., the most famous house, historically, on the island of Manhattan. It is still standing.
The house was built in 1763 by Roger Morris for his bride, Mary Philipse of Yonkers, for whose hand, it is said, Washington had been an unsuccessful suitor. The house was subsequently owned by John Jacob Astor and then passed into the hands of Stephen Jumel, a French merchant, who, with his wife Eliza, added new fame to the old house. They entertained here Lafayette, Louis Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte and Jerome Bonaparte. Aaron Burr (1756-1836) in his old age, appeared at the mansion with a clergyman, and married Mme. Jumel, then a widow. She divorced him shortly afterward, and he died in poverty on Staten Island, 1836. Alexander Hamilton whom Burr killed in the famous duel at Weehawken, N.J. (July 11, 1804) owned a country place in the neighborhood, "Hamilton Grange," which now stands at 140th St. and Convent Ave.
Leaving Manhattan, that extraordinary island which Peter Minuit, director-general of New Netherlands, bought in 1626 from the Indians for sixty guilders' worth of goods (about $24), we cross the Harlem River to the Borough of the Bronx, named for Jonas Bronck, the first white settler, who made his home in 1639 near the Bronx Kills (where the Harlem River flows into Long Island Sound).
The original price paid for the Bronx—or a large share of it—was "2 gunns, 2 kettles, 2 coats, 2 shirts, 2 adzes, 1 barrel of cider, and 6 bitts of money." The assessed value of Manhattan today is $5,116,000,000 and that of the Bronx $732,000,000 (realty).
The Hudson River Division of the New York Central turns to the left and follows the course of the Harlem River, 7 M. long, which separates Manhattan Island from the mainland and connects the Hudson with the East River. On the south bank of the Harlem are Washington Heights, with the Speedway on the immediate bank, and Fort George (near 193d Street) named from a Revolutionary redoubt. The Speedway was built at a cost of $3,000,000 for the special use of drivers of fast horses. On the right, after passing the High Bridge, which carries the old Croton aqueduct, one of the feeders of the city water supply, and the Washington Bridge, are University Heights and (farther to the west) the township of Fordham, where the cottage in which Edgar Allen Poe lived from 1844 to 1849 and wrote Ulalume and Annabel Lee, is still preserved.
New York University, on University Heights, was founded in 1832; the principal buildings include Gould Hall, a dormitory; the library, designed by Stanford White, and the Hall of Fame, extending around the library in the form of an open colonnade, 500 ft long, in which are preserved the names of great Americans.
11 M. SPUYTEN DUYVIL. (Train 51 passes 8:51a; No. 3, 9:09a; No. 41, 1:23p; No. 25, 3:06p; No. 19, 5:53p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 8:57a; No. 26, 9:17a; No. 16, 3:37p; No. 22, 5:02p.)
Spuyten Duyvil is situated on Spuyten Duyvil Creek, celebrated by Washington Irving, which connects the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. In recent years the creek has been enlarged into a ship canal.
The town and stream receive their curious name from the following story, according to Irving. In 1664, when the Dutch were being threatened by the British, Anthony van Corlear, Dutch trumpeter to Gov. Stuyvesant, was despatched to sound the alarm. It was a stormy night and the creek was impassable. Anthony "swore most valourously that he would swim across it 'in spite of the devil' (en spuyt den duyvil) but unfortunately sank forever to the bottom." The "duyvil" had got him. "His ghost still haunts the neighborhood, and his trumpet has often been heard of a stormy night."
Across the Hudson, along which our route now lies for nearly 150 M., can be seen the Palisades, an extraordinary ridge of basaltic rock rising picturesquely to a height of between 300 and 500 ft. and extending along the west bank of the Hudson about 12 M. from a point north of Ft. Lee, N.J., to Palisades, N.Y.
The peculiar hexagonal jointing of the rock, which has given rise to the name Palisades, is an unusual geological formation; the only other important places where it is found are at Fingal's Cave in Scotland and the Giant's Causeway in Ireland. The beauty of the Palisades was threatened by quarrying and blasting operations until N.Y. and N.J. agreed to the establishment of the Palisades Interstate Park which comprises 36,000 acres (1,000 acres in New Jersey and 35,000 in New York State).
"The spacious and stately characteristics of the Hudson from the Palisades to the Catskills are as epical as the loveliness of the Rhine is lyrical. The Hudson implies a continent beyond. No European river is so lordly in its bearing, none flows in such state to the sea. Of all the rivers that I know, the Hudson, with this grandeur, has the most exquisite episodes."—George William Curtis.
To the right, just north of Spuyten Duyvil, is a high promontory, upon which stands a lofty monument to Henry Hudson, who had his first skirmish here with the Indians after entering N.Y. Bay in Sept. 1609. With an excellent harbour at its mouth, and navigable waters leading 150 M. into a fertile interior, the Hudson River began to attract explorers and settlers soon after the discovery of America. Verrazano, the Florentine navigator, sent out by the French king, Francis I, ventured a short distance up the Hudson in 1524, almost 100 years before the Pilgrim Fathers, and in 1609 Henry Hudson sailing in the "Half Moon" nearly up to the site of Albany demonstrated the extent and importance of the river that bears his name.
Stuyvesant was instructed to use every exertion to promote the sale of negroes. They were imported sometimes by way of the West Indies, often directly from Guinea, and were sold at auction to the highest bidder. The average price was less than $140." With the extension of English rule to N.Y. in 1664 the slave trade in this colony passed into the hands of the British. It is estimated that the total import of slaves into all the British colonies of America and the West Indies from 1680 to 1786 was 2,130,000. The traffic was then carried on principally from Liverpool, London and other English ports; the entire number of ships sailing from these ports then engaged in the slave traffic was 192, and in them space was provided for the transport of 47,146 negroes. The native chiefs on the African coasts took up the hunt for human beings and engaged in forays, sometimes even on their own subjects, for the purpose of procuring slaves to be exchanged for western commodities. They often set fire to a village by night and captured the inhabitants when trying to escape. Out of every lot of 100 shipped from Africa, about 17 died either during the passage or before the sale at Jamaica, while not more than 50 lived through the "seasoning" process and became effective plantation laborers. Slavery in N.Y. was continued till 1827. It was then abolished by terms of an act passed by the N.Y. Assembly ten years earlier.]
Henry Hudson, English navigator, made four important voyages to find a passage to China by the northeast or northwest route; it was on the third venture undertaken at the instance of the Dutch East India Co., that he found the Hudson, probably a greater discovery than the one he undertook to make. With a mixed crew of 18 or 20 men he started on his voyage in the "Half Moon," April 6, 1609, and soon was among the ice towards the northern part of Barents Sea. His men mutinied and he was forced to seek the passage farther south. Thus eventually he entered the fine bay of what is now N.Y. harbour, Sept. 3, 1609. John Fiske says: "In all that he attempted he failed, and yet he achieved great results that were not contemplated in his schemes. He started two immense industries, the Spitzbergen whale fisheries and the Hudson Bay fur trade; and he brought the Dutch to Manhattan Island. No realization of his dreams could have approached the astonishing reality which would have greeted him could he have looked through the coming centuries and caught a glimpse of what the voyager now beholds in sailing up the bay of New York." The Dutch called the Hudson the North River (a name which is still used) in contra-distinction to the Delaware which they called the South River.
The lower Hudson is really a fiord—a river valley into which ocean water has been admitted by the sinking of the land, transforming a large part of the valley into an inlet, and thus opening it to commerce as far as Troy (about 150 M.), up to which point the river is tidal and, therefore, partly salt. The Hudson extends above Troy for 150 M. farther, but navigation is interrupted by shallows and swift currents. Below Troy the fall is only five feet in a distance of 145 M. This lower, navigable portion of the Hudson was the only feasible route through the Atlantic highlands, and in consequence it has been one of the most significant factors in the development of the United States. New York City likewise owes its phenomenal development largely to this great highway of commerce.
The invention and successful operation of the steamboat, the first line of which was established on the Hudson by Fulton in 1807, gave early impetus to the importance of N.Y.C., and the building of the Hudson River R.R., one of the first successful railways, now a part of the New York Central Lines, and the opening of the Erie Canal (1825) connecting the Hudson with the Great Lakes and the far interior, were among other contributory factors in the city's growth.
15 M. YONKERS, Pop. 100,226. (Train 51 passes 8:56a; No. 3, 9:15a; No. 41, 1:29p; No. 25, 3:11p; No. 19, 5:59p. Eastbound No. 6 passes 8:52a; No. 26, 9:12a; No. 16, 3:31p, No. 22, 4:56p.)
When the Dutch founded New Netherlands, the present site of Yonkers was occupied by an Indian village, known as Nappeckamack, or "town of the rapid water," and a great rock near the mouth of the Nepperhan creek (to the north of the station) was long a place of Indian Worship.
In the early days, the Hudson River Valley from Manhattan to Albany was occupied by Algonquin tribes, while the central part of the state along the Mohawk Valley had been conquered by the famous Iroquois Confederation, of which the Mohawks were the most warlike. The Mohawks soon drove out the Mohicans, who claimed as their territory the east bank of the Hudson. On the whole, the Dutch lived peaceably with their Indian neighbors, but an attempt of Gov. Kieft to collect tribute from them led to an Indian war (1641), which resulted in the destruction of most of the outlying settlements. Later a treaty of alliance was made with the Iroquois Confederation, which protected the early settlements in N.Y. from those attacks which occurred so frequently elsewhere in this period. The treaty was renewed when the British took possession of New Netherlands, and lasted until the Revolutionary War.
The land where Yonkers now stands was part of an estate granted in 1646 by the Dutch government to Adrian Van Der Donck, the first lawyer and historian of New Netherlands. The settlement was called the "De Jonkheer's land" or "De Yonkeer's"—meaning the estate of the young lord—- and afterwards Yonkers. Subsequently the tract passed into the hands of Frederick Philipse, the "Dutch millionaire," as the English called him, some of whom alleged that he owed a large part of his fortune to piratical and contraband ventures. The suspicion was strong enough to force Philipse out of the governing council of the colony, and he returned to his manor where he died (1702) at the age of 76.
It was even charged that he was one of the backers of Capt. William Kidd (1645-1701), for whose buried treasure search has been made along the Hudson, as well as in countless places along the Atlantic Coast. Capt. Kidd began the career which made him notorious under a commission from the British Government to apprehend pirates. He sailed from Plymouth, England, in May 1696, filled up his crew in N.Y. in the following year, and then set out for Madagascar, the principal rendezvous of the buccaneers. Deserting his ship, he threw in his lot with theirs and captured several rich booties. Returning to N.Y., he was arrested, sent to London, found guilty and hanged. Of his "treasure" about L14,000 was recovered from his ship and from Gardner's Island, off the east end of Long Island. The stories of large hoards still undiscovered are probably mythical.
The Philipse manor house*, one of the best examples of Dutch colonial architecture in America, erected in 1682 and enlarged in 1745, was the second residence built by the Philipses (the other is at Tarrytown) and is now maintained as a museum for colonial and Revolutionary relics. It was confiscated by the legislature in 1779 in reprisal for the suspected "Toryism" of the third Frederick Philipse, the great grandson of the first lord of the manor and his second successor. Before being converted into a museum it served for many years as the City Hall of Yonkers.
Yonkers has some important manufactures with an annual production of $75,000,000 and 15,000 wage earners; its output includes passenger and freight elevators, foundry and machine shop products, refined sugar, carpets, rugs and hats. It has one of the largest carpet factories in the world.
The country round Yonkers is dotted with fine estates. Conspicuous to the right, 2 M. north of the station, is the battlemented tower of "Greystone," once the home of Samuel J. Tilden and now owned by Samuel Untermyer, the N.Y. lawyer.
Samuel J. Tilden (1814-1886), a lawyer and reformer, served one term as governor of N.Y., and was later candidate for the presidency against Rutherford B. Hayes. He had become famous for his attacks on the notorious Tweed ring of N.Y.C., and later for his exposure of the "Canal ring," a set of plunderers who had been engaged in exploiting the N.Y. canal system. He was given the Democratic nomination for president in recognition of his services as a reformer. The Republicans nominated Hayes, and the result was the disputed election of 1876, when two sets of returns were sent to Washington from the States of Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oregon. As the Federal Constitution contains no provision for settling a dispute of this kind, the two houses of Congress agreed to the appointment of an extra-Constitutional Body, the Electoral Commission, which decided all the contests in favor of the Republican candidates. Tilden's friends charged that they had been made a victim of a political "steam roller," but he advised them to make no protests. Tilden left more than $2,000,000 for a library in N.Y. (now consolidated with the N.Y. Public Library).
Across the Hudson River from Hastings (19 M.) can be seen Indian Head, the highest point on the Palisades, near which (about 1/2 M. farther north) is the boundary between N.J. and N.Y.; from this point northward both shores belong to N.Y.
20 M. DOBBS FERRY, Pop. 4,401. (Train 51 passes 8:58a; No. 3, 9:23a; No. 41, 1:37p; No. 25, 3:18p; No. 19, 6:07p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 8:45a; No. 26, 9:05a; No. 16, 3:23p; No. 22, 4:48p.)
About the time of the Revolutionary War, a Swede named Jeremiah Dobbs, established a ferry here connecting with the northern end of the Palisades (visible on the left across the river). Originally only a dugout or skiff, it was the first ferry north of Manhattan, and was kept up by the Dobbs family for a century. In times past the residents have often tried to change the name of the town to something more "distinguished," but the old name could not be displaced.
The story goes that 50 years ago a mass meeting was held in the village at which it was proposed to name the town after one of the captors of Maj. André—either Paulding or Van Wart. The meeting came to nothing when an old resident suggested Wart-on-Hudson.
The strategic position of Dobbs Ferry gave it importance during the War of Independence. It was the rendezvous of the British after the battle of White Plains in Nov. 1775 and a continental division under Gen. Lincoln was stationed here in Jan. 1777. The American army under Washington encamped near Dobbs Ferry on the 4th of July, 1781, and started in the following month for Yorktown, Va., where the final story of the war took place. Two years later (May 6, 1783) Washington and Sir Guy Carleton met at Dobbs Ferry to negotiate for the evacuation of all British troops, and to make terms for the final settlement recognizing American Independence. Their meeting place was the old Van Brugh Livingston house.
Peter Van Brugh Livingston (1710-1792), prominent merchant and Whig political leader in N.Y., was one of the founders of the College of N.J. (now Princeton), and was president of the first Provincial Congress of N.Y. (1775). His brother, William, was the first governor of N.J.
[Illustration: Reception of President Washington at New York, April 23rd, 1789
After the ratifying of the federal constitution, Washington, in 1788, was unanimously elected president. On April 23, 1789, he arrived from Virginia at New York, where he was received with a frenzy of gratitude and praise, and was inaugurated at the Senate hall which stood on the site of the present U.S. Sub-Treasury building. The stone whereon Washington stood when he came out of the house is preserved in the south wall of this building. He is described as wearing suit of homespun so finely woven that "it was universally mistaken for a foreign manufactured superfine cloth." This, of course, was a high tribute to domestic industry.]
22 M. IRVINGTON, Pop. 2,701. (Train 51 passes 9:06a; No. 3, 9:25a; No. 41, 1:39p; No. 25, 3:21p; No. 19, 6:11p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 8:43a; No. 26, 9:03a; No. 16, 3:21p; No. 22, 4:46p.)
"Sunnyside," a stone building "as full of angles and corners as a cocked hat"* and situated behind a screen of trees a little north of the station, was the home of Washington Irving, for whom the town was named. First erected by Wolfert Acker in 1656, it was considerably enlarged by Irving in 1835.
[Illustration: War and Merchant Ships of Revolutionary Days
These are authentic pictures, showing actual details, of the ships used by the Americans and British at the time of the Revolutionary War. They were originally engraved for the First Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768). In the centre is a first rate ship of war, "the noblest machine that ever was invented," to quote the First Edition; and the illustration below shows the interior construction of the hull. It will be noticed that there are three gun decks, below which is the poop, or storage deck. "A common first rate man of war," says the First Edition, "Has its gun deck from 159 to 178 ft. in length, and from 44 to 51 broad. It contains from 1313 to 2000 tons; has from 706 to 1000 men, and carries from 96 to 100 guns. The expense of building a common first rate, with guns, tackling and rigging is computed at 60,000 L sterling."]
The east end is covered with ivy said to be grown from a slip given to Irving when he visited Scott at Abbotsford. At Irvington we come to Tappan Zee (to be seen on the left), where the Hudson widens into a lake-like expanse, 10 M. long and 3 to 4 M. wide. It is a favorite cruising place for ghosts and goblins, according to popular legend.
There is, for example, Rambout van Dam, the roystering youth from Spuyten Duyvil, who was doomed to journey on the river till Judgment Day—all because he started to row home after midnight from a Saturday night quilting frolic at Kakiat. "Often in the still twilight the low sound of his oars is heard, though neither he nor his boat is ever seen." Another phantom that haunts the Tappan Zee is the "Storm Ship," a marvellous boat that fled past the astonished burghers at New Amsterdam without stopping—a flagrant violation of the customs regulation, which caused those worthy officials to fire several ineffectual shots at her.
Across the river from Irvington is Piermont, and 2 M. to the southwest of Piermont is the village of Tappan, where Maj. André was executed Oct. 2, 1780. Lyndehurst, with its lofty tower, the home of Helen Gould Sheppard, the philanthropist, a daughter of Jay Gould, is passed on the right just before reaching Tarrytown.
24-1/2 M. TARRYTOWN, Pop. 5,807. (Train 51 passes 9:08a; No. 3, 9:27a; No. 41, 1:41p; No. 25, 3:23p; No. 19, 6:13p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 8:40a; No. 26, 9:00a; No. 16, 3:18p; No. 22, 4:43p.)
Situated on a sloping hill that rises to a considerable height above the Tappan Zee, historic Tarrytown stands on the site of an Indian village, Alipoonk (place of elms), burned by the Dutch in 1644. Irving explains that the housewives of the countryside gave the town its name because their husbands were inclined to linger at the village tavern, but literal minded historians think it was more likely that the name came from Tarwen dorp or Tarwetown, "wheat town." There were perhaps a dozen Dutch families here in 1680 when Frederick Philipse acquired title to Philipse Manor, several thousand acres, in what is now Westchester county. Just above Tarrytown is the valley of the Pocantico creek, the mouth of which is marked by the projection of Kingsland Point.
[Illustration: Washington Irving
Washington Irving (1783-1859) was intended for a legal profession, but although called to the bar preferred to amuse himself with literary ventures. The first of these, with the exception of the satirical miscellany, "Salmagundi," was the delightful "Knickerbocker History of New York," wherein the pedantry of local antiquaries is laughed at, and the solid Dutch burgher established as a definite comedy type. When the commercial house established by his father and run by his brother began to go under in 1815, Irving went to England to look into the affairs of the Liverpool house, and as it was soon necessary to declare bankruptcy, his misfortune forced him to write for his living. Returning to America in 1832 after 17 years' absence, he found his name a household word. The only interruption to his literary career was the four years (1842-1846) he spent as ambassador to Spain. For the rest, he passed some little time travelling, but in the main kept retreat at "Sunnyside," where he died, Nov. 28, 1859.]
This is the "Sleepy Hollow" of Irving's legend, where Ichabod Crane, the long, thin school-master, whose conspicuous bones clattered at any mention of ghosts, encountered the Headless Horseman pounding by night through the little Dutch village. It was after a quilting bee at Farmer Van Tassel's, where his daughter Katrina and what would come with her in the shape of fat farm-lands and well-stocked barns, aroused Ichabod's affections to the boiling point. He had a rival, however, "Brom Bones," a young black-headed sprig, who watched Ichabod's advances uneasily. After the party Ichabod mounted his old horse, Gunpowder, as bony as he, but no sooner was he well under way than he heard hoof beats on the road behind him and saw, glimmering in the dark, a white headless figure on horseback, carrying in its arms a round object like a head.... Never before or since was there such a chase in Sleepy Hollow. Perhaps the hapless school-teacher might have escaped, had not the Huntsman, just as they reached the Sleepy Hollow bridge, hurled his head square at his victim. The next morning no Ichabod, only a pumpkin lying on the road by the bridge, where the hoofmarks ceased. He had completely disappeared. Some weeks later Brom Bones led Katrina to the altar.
Through this valley, we get a glimpse of the site where Philipse erected, partly of brick brought from Holland, a manor house,* a mill,* and a church,* all of which are still standing.
"There is probably no other locality in America, taking into account history, tradition, the old church, the manor house, and the mill, which so entirely conserves the form and spirit of Dutch civilization in the New World.... This group of buildings ranks in historic interest if not in historic importance with Faneuil Hall, Independence Hall, the ruined church tower at Jamestown, the old gateway at St. Augustine, and the Spanish cabildo on Jackson Square in New Orleans. And the time will come when pilgrimages will be made to this ancient beautiful home of some of those ideals and habits of life which have given form and structure to American civilization."—Hamilton Wright Mabie.
During the War of Independence, Tarrytown was the scene of numerous conflicts between the "cowboys" and "skinners," bands of unorganized partisans who carried on a kind of guerilla warfare, the former acting in the interest of the colonists, and the latter in that of the king. On the old post road on Sept. 24, 1780, Maj. André was captured by three Continentals, John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac van Wart. The spot where André was captured is now marked with a monument—a marble shaft surmounted by a statue of a Continental soldier.
Tarrytown lies principally along either side of a broad and winding highway, laid out in 1723, from N.Y.C. to Albany. It was called the King's Highway till the War of Independence, then called Albany Post Road, and the section of it in Tarrytown is known now as Broadway. The delights of traveling in the days when the road was first laid out are suggested in the following description: "The coach was without springs, and the seats were hard, and often backless. The horses were jaded and worn, the roads were rough with boulders and stumps of trees, or furrowed with ruts and quagmires. The journey was usually begun at 3 o'clock in the morning, and after 18 hours of jogging over the rough roads the weary traveler was put down at a country inn whose bed and board were such as to win little praise. Long before daybreak the next morning a blast from the driver's horn summoned him to the renewal of his journey. If the coach stuck fast in a mire, as it often did, the passengers must alight and help lift it out."
Many of the stirring incidents of Fenimore Cooper's novel, The Spy, occurred in this neighborhood, and the town is particularly described in The Sketch Book of Washington Irving who was for many years the warden of the old church and is buried in the old Sleepy Hollow burying ground.
With Cooper and Washington Irving (1783-1859) American literature first began to exist for the world outside our own boundaries. The Knickerbocker History of New York, in which the Dutch founders were satirized, was practically the first American book to win appreciation abroad. This and later books "created the legend of the Hudson, and Irving alone has linked his memory locally with his country so that it hangs over the landscape and blends with it forever."
Harvey Birch, the hero of The Spy, is a portrait from the life of a revolutionary patriot who appears in the book as a peddler with a keen eye to trade as well as to the movements of the enemy. One of the best known incidents in the book is that in which Harvey, by a clever stratagem, assists Capt. Wharton to escape. James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) was born at Burlington, N.J., but was reared in the wild country around Otsego Lake, in central N.Y., on the yet unsettled estates of his father. It was here he learned the backwoods lore, which in combination with his romantic genius, made him one of the most popular of authors.
Among the literary residents of Tarrytown have been Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth, well known to a previous generation for her romantic novels, John Kendrick Bangs, the humorist, and Hamilton Wright Mabie, editor and essayist. Carl Schurz (1829-1906) is buried here in the Sleepy Hollow churchyard. Tarrytown is the trading center of a prosperous agricultural region; it also has about 100 manufacturing establishments with a large output. Just north of Kingsland Point (seen at the left, on the east bank of the river), the seat of William Rockefeller comes into view on the right, and behind it, among the hills, is the estate of his brother, John D. Rockefeller.
John D. Rockefeller was born in 1839 at Richford, Tioga Co., N.Y., but his family moved to Cleveland while he was still a boy, and his career was begun there. In 1858 he went into the produce commission business, and 4 years later his company invested in an oil refinery. Mr. Rockefeller kept constantly adding to his influence and possessions in this field until by 1872 the Standard Oil Co. was organized with him as president, and a practical control of oil production in America was secured. This was the first great American "trust." Mr. Rockefeller himself retired from active business in 1895. While his wealth is enormous, his benefactions have been on an equal scale, comprising gifts to the Baptist Church, the founding of educational institutions and the supporting of those already existent. Scientific research in medical fields has been a particular object of his generosity.
Mr. Rockefeller's country estate is called "Kijkuit," meaning look-out—a name given by the early Dutch settlers to the beautiful hill on which it stands, and which, rising to a height of 500 ft., gives a lovely view up and down the Hudson, across to the distant mountain ridges of N.J., and inland over Westchester County. The house and gardens are famous not only for their splendour, but for the priceless works of art they contain. Among the treasures which have been worked in as details of the landscape gardening is a fountain which for years has been considered unrivalled by experts. The huge basin, 20 ft. 8 in. in diameter, was cut from a single block of granite weighing 50 tons and brought on the deck of a schooner from an island on the Maine coast to the dock at Tarrytown. The heroic figure at the top represents Neptune, and the figures below symbolize the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
In the "morning garden" at the rear of the house is a bronze Victory (a facsimile of the Pompeiian Victory at Naples), which stands on a marble column with a Byzantine capital brought from Greece. The 13th century relief set in the wall of the pergola at the left came from a church in Venice.
Descending a flight of steps to the westward, one comes upon the Aphrodite temple. The style of this is Graeco-Roman, with columns of marble supporting a dome decorated after the fashion of the portico niches in the Massimi palace in Rome, which was designed in the 16th century by Baldassare Peruzzi. Under a roof of copper and bronze, on a high pedestal, stands "Aphrodite," resembling the Venus de Medici, but so superior to her in line and proportion that many critics believe it to be a Praxitilean original from which the Venus de Medici was clumsily copied. This is the greatest art-treasure in the garden.
30 M. OSSINING, Pop. 10,739. (Train 51 passes 9:15a; No. 3, 9:34a; No. 41, 1:48p; No. 25, 3:30p; No. 19, 6:21p. Eastbound: No. 6, passes 8:34a; No. 26, 8:54a; No. 16, 3:11p; No. 22, 4:36p.)
Ossining was first settled in 1700, when it was part of Philipse Manor. It was originally called Sing Sing, taking its name from the Sin Sinck Indians, but in 1901 the name was changed to Ossining, on account of its association with the Sing Sing prison, which can be seen to the left near the water's edge. The prison is a low white-marble building, built in 1826. Ossining has a public library, several private schools, the Roman Catholic Foreign Missionary Seminary of America, and a soldiers' monument.
Passing the Croton aqueduct (on the right), which is carried over a stone arch with an 80-foot span, the train crosses the mouth of the Croton River and intersects Croton Point. It was at the extremity of this peninsula that the British sloop-of-war "Vulture" anchored when she brought André to visit Benedict Arnold at West Point. Six miles up the Croton River is the Croton Reservoir, which supplies a large share of N.Y. City's water. Across the river is Haverstraw Bay.
At the north end of Haverstraw Bay, on the west bank, is Stony Point Lighthouse, the site of a fort which was the scene of one of the most daring exploits of the Revolutionary War. Gen. Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) had been forced, through political necessity, to relinquish his regular command, and on the recommendation of Washington, he organized a new Light Infantry Corps, with which on the night of July 15, 1779, he stormed the fort and recaptured it from the British at the point of the bayonet. This well-planned enterprise aroused the greatest enthusiasm through the country, and won for him the popular name of "Mad Anthony." Later, in war with the Indians on the frontier, Gen. Wayne further distinguished himself.
At this point is the greatest width (4 M.) in the river's course. Shortly before reaching Peekskill we pass Verplanck's Point (on the left), near which the "Half Moon" dropped anchor, Sept. 14, 1609.
40-1/2 M. PEEKSKILL, Pop. 15,868. (Train 51 passes 9:36a; No. 3, 9:55a; No. 41, 2:09p; No. 25, 3:50p; No. 19, 6:43p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 8:13a; No. 26, 8:33a; No. 16, 2:47p; No. 22, 4:14p.)
Peekskill means Peek's creek, and was named from the Dutch mariner, Jans Peek, who established a trading post here in 1760. It will be noticed that the Hudson turns abruptly to the left at this point, while the creek branches off to the right. According to tradition, the adventurous Jans, who had been voyaging up the Hudson, became confused and turned to the right, following the creek with the idea that it was the main river, until his boat ran aground. As a result of this accident he chose the spot to set up a trading post. During the latter part of the Revolutionary War Peekskill was an important post of the Continental Army; and in Sept. 1777, the village was sacked and burned by the British. To the north of Peekskill are Manito Mts., where the N.Y. National Guard has its summer encampment on a high cliff overlooking the river. The summer home of Henry Ward Beecher was in Peekskill, and ex-Senator Chauncey M. Depew was born here.
Peekskill on the east side of the Hudson, and Dunderberg Mt. (865 ft.) on the west, stand at the lower gate of the Highlands, so named from the steeply rising hills which border both sides of the river for the next 16 M. At the foot of Dunderberg Mt. is Kidd's Point, one of the numerous places where the notorious pirate is supposed to have concealed treasure.
Our train passes too close to the hills on the east bank to give a perspective, but on the west, where the Highlands are visible across the Hudson, the outlook is very beautiful. This part of the Hudson, often compared to the Rhine, has always been a source of artistic and poetic inspiration.
Close to Dunderberg Mt. the river takes a sharp turn to the left, and just beyond the mountain can be seen Iona Island (near the west bank), now occupied by the U.S. Government as a naval arsenal and supply depot. Between the island and the eastern shore the river is so narrow that this stretch is spoken of by boatmen as "The Race." A short distance farther on the west bank is Bear Mt. Park, originally the gift of Mrs. E. H. Harriman, which has been set aside by the Interstate Palisade Park Commissioners as a vacation resort for the poor. Our train presently passes by tunnel under the mountain known as "Anthony's Nose" (900 ft.), so named, according to Diedrich Knickerbocker, from the "refulgent nose" of Anthony van Corlear, Peter Stuyvesant's trumpeter. Across the river is visible the mouth of Poplopen creek, on the north side, Ft. Clinton.
These two forts were involved in the important maneuvers of 1777, when the British, under Sir Henry Clinton, executed a brilliant enterprise northward up the Hudson; they broke through the chains which the Americans had stretched across the river in the hope of checking the advance of British warships, captured Ft. Clinton and Ft. Montgomery and destroyed the fleets which the Americans had been forming on the river.
Three M. farther (on the right) is Sugar Loaf Mt. (765 ft.), noteworthy as the place from which Benedict Arnold, whose headquarters were in the Beverley Robinson House, near the south base of the mountain, made his escape to the British man-of-war "Vulture" (1780) after receiving news of André's capture. On the west shore near Highland Falls stands the residence of the late J. Pierpont Morgan, standing somewhat back from the river and partly hidden by trees.
John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) was born in Hartford, Conn., a son of Junius S. Morgan, who was a partner of George Peabody and the founder of the house of J. S. Morgan & Co. in London. After his university training at Göttingen, he began his career in the financial world, and by 1895, as the head of J. P. Morgan & Co., was the greatest American financier. His banking house became one of the most powerful in the world, carrying through the formation of the U.S. Steel Corporation, harmonizing the coal and railway interests of Pennsylvania, purchasing the Leyland line of Atlantic steamships and other British lines in 1902, effecting an Atlantic shipping combine, reorganizing many large railways, and in 1895 supplying the U.S. government with $62,000,000 in gold to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus of $100,000,000. Mr. Pierpont Morgan was a prominent member of the Episcopal church, a keen yachtsman, a generous patron of charitable and educational institutions, and a notable art and book collector. As president of the Metropolitan Museum he gave or loaned to it many rare and beautiful pictures, statues, and art objects of all kinds. A memorial tablet was recently unveiled in his honour at the museum.
Buttermilk Falls (100 ft.) are visible on the west bank after a heavy rain; the buildings on the bluff above belong to Lady Cliff, a school for girls.
49 M. WEST POINT (Garrison). (Train 51 passes 9:46a; No. 3, 10:04a; No. 41, 2:19p; No. 25, 4:00p; No. 19, 6:55p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 8:01a; No. 26, 8:20a; No. 16, 2:34p; No. 22, 4:00p.)
Across the river from Garrison, the imposing buildings of West Point, the "Gibraltar of the Hudson," come into view. The name "West Point" properly belongs to the village located here, but in ordinary usage it refers to the U.S. Military Academy,* America's training school for officers, which at the present time has about 1,000 cadets.
[Illustration: West Point from an Aeroplane Photo Brown Bros.
The academy furnishes for those who wish to become army officers a splendid education of a standard equal to the best colleges and without cost to the student. Each cadet is paid $1,028.20 a year, an amount which, with proper economy, is sufficient for his support. West Point, therefore, offers an excellent opportunity for those who can meet the requirements and are capable of successfully undergoing the mental and physical discipline of the school. Each senator and congressman is entitled to nominate two candidates, who are appointed as cadets by the Secretary of War after passing the prescribed examination. There are also 82 appointments at large, and the law of 1916 authorized the president to appoint cadets to the academy from among the enlisted of the Regular Army and National Guard, though not more than 180 at any one time. This law was passed with the idea of introducing a greater degree of democracy into army life. Candidates for admission must be between 17 and 22 years, unmarried, free from physical infirmity and capable of passing a somewhat rigorous examination in high school or preparatory school subjects. The course of instruction, which requires three years, is largely mathematical and professional. From about the middle of June to the end of August the cadets live in camp, engaged only in military duties and receiving military instruction. In general the education and discipline are so excellent that the business world is always ready with its high pecuniary rewards to tempt men away from their military vocation. The result is that graduates frequently resign their commissions, and the army loses what is gained by the world of affairs.]
The academy occupies a commanding position on a plateau 150 ft. above the river. As we approach, the power house is in the foreground, with the riding school, a massive building just beyond, while the square tower of the Administration Building dominates the scene on the level of the parade ground above. West Point was first occupied as a military post during the Revolutionary War. In Jan. 1778, a huge chain, part of which is still preserved on the parade ground, was stretched across the river in the hope of blocking the progress of the British men-of-war, and a series of fortifications, planned by the great Polish soldier, Kosciusko, were erected on the site of the present academy.
Thaddeus Kosciusko (1746-1817) had a romantic and picturesque career.
An intended elopement with Ludwika, daughter of the Grand Hetman, Sosnowski of Sosnowica, was discovered by the Hetman's retainers. In the fight that followed, Kosciusko was badly wounded and flung from the house. Shortly afterwards he left for America, where, as he had been well grounded in military science, Washington soon promoted him to the rank of colonel of artillery and made him his adjutant. Kosciusko especially distinguished himself in the operations about N.Y.C. and at Yorktown, and Congress conferred upon him a number of substantial rewards. He returned to his native land to participate in the gallant but unsuccessful effort to free Poland (1794), and is now celebrated among the Poles as one of their greatest heroes.
At West Point were the fortifications that Benedict Arnold, their commander in 1780, agreed to betray into British hands.
Benedict Arnold (1741-1801) was, before his disgrace, perhaps the most brilliant officer and one of the most honored in the American army. It is true that shortly before he took command at West Point a court martial had directed Washington to reprimand him for two trivial offenses, but Washington couched the reprimand in words that were almost praise. The court martial had been ordered by Congress, against which Arnold had expressed his indignation for what he regarded as its mistaken policies in respect to the war. This conflict with Congress, together with certain vexatious circumstances, rising out of his command in Philadelphia—he had gone heavily into debt—led him into a secret correspondence with the British general, Sir Henry Clinton, and he asked for the assignment to West Point for the very purpose of betraying this strategic post into the hands of the British.
In order to perfect the details of the plot, Clinton's adjutant-general, Maj. John André, met him near Stony Point on the night of the 21st of Sept. In the meantime, the man-of-war, "Vulture," upon which André had arrived, was forced to move farther downstream to avoid an impromptu bombardment by American patriots. As a result André had to start back to N.Y. by land. He bore a pass issued by Arnold, but he made the fatal mistake of changing to civilian clothes. Technically, therefore, he was a spy. At Tarrytown he was challenged by three Continentals; he offered them a purse of gold, a valuable watch, or anything they might name if they would permit him to proceed to N.Y.C. His offers were rejected and the incriminating papers were found in his boots. He was carried before the commanding officer of the lines, who, not suspecting his superior could be involved, notified Arnold. The latter was at breakfast with Washington's aides; pretending he had an immediate call from across the river, he jumped from the table, told his wife enough to cause her the greatest consternation, mounted a horse and rode to a barge which took him to the "Vulture." In spite of the protest and entreaties of Sir Henry Clinton and the threats of Arnold the unfortunate André, against whose character no suspicion was ever uttered, was hanged at Tappan, Oct. 2, 1780.
Maj. André was 29 years old at the time, and his fate aroused universal sympathy. It is said that Washington himself, whom some historians censure because he did not save André, wept upon hearing the circumstances of his death, but under military law his execution was inevitable. Arnold, however, escaped the punishment he so richly merited. He was commissioned brigadier-general in the British army and received L6,315 for his property losses. He was employed in several operations during the remaining period of the war but later when he went to England he met with neglect and scorn that probably hastened his death. In 1821 André's remains were taken to England and interred there; at the same time a memorial was erected in Westminster Abbey.
The picture was drawn by André without the aid of a looking-glass on the morning of the day fixed for his execution. A respite of twenty-four hours was, however, given. To Maj. Tomlinson, then acting as officer of the guard, André presented the sketch.]
Some time later Washington recommended West Point to Congress as a site for a military school, but it was not until 1802 that the academy was established. There are many notable memorials of early days and distinguished soldiers here.
By far the greater number of America's distinguished generals and soldiers since the War of Independence have been graduates of West Point. These include U. S. Grant, Philip Henry Sheridan, William Sherman, George P. McClellan, Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson (Confederate), Robert E. Lee (Confederate) and Richard Henry Anderson (Confederate). Grant was appointed to West Point in 1839; he was a good horseman and good in mathematics, but graduated in 21t place in a class of 39. Sherman, on the other hand, stood near the head of his class when he graduated in 1839. Lee was commissioned in the engineering corps upon his graduation in 1829. The most notable commanding officers in the American army during the World War, including, of course, Gen. Pershing, were West Point graduates; the most conspicuous exception, perhaps, was Maj.-Gen. Leonard Wood, who began his career as a surgeon.
Above the cliff and towards the north and east of the plain is Fort Clinton; on its east front stands a monument erected in 1828 by the Corps of Cadets to Kosciusko, while "Flirtation Walk," on the river side of the academy, leads to Kosciusko Garden, so named because it was much frequented by the Polish hero. On the parade ground is Victory Monument (78 ft. high), erected in 1874 as a Civil War memorial. The library—one of the finest military libraries in existence—contains interesting memorials by Saint Gaudens to J. McNeil Whistler and Edgar Allan Poe, both of whom were cadets at the academy and both of whom were virtually expelled.
Poe's neurotic temperament had led him into a number of escapades, but he gave evidence of improvement after he enlisted in the American Army at Boston in 1827. He served two years, and was promoted sergeant-major. He was then 20 years old, and on the basis of his army record, his uncle, John Allan, obtained for him an appointment to West Point. As a student he showed considerable facility for mathematics, but he incurred the displeasure of his superiors by neglect of duty, and was expelled in 1830, one year after he had been admitted. His temperament was of course unsuited to West Point discipline. The military discipline of the academy was equally odious to Whistler, the painter (1834-1903), who was dismissed and transferred to the United States coast survey. In his third year Whistler failed in chemistry. Col. Larned, one of his instructors, gives the incident thus—"Whistler was called up for examination in the subject of chemistry, which also covered the studies of mineralogy and geology, and given silicon to discuss. He began: 'I am required to discuss the subject of silicon. Silicon is a gas,' 'That will do, Mr. Whistler,' and he retired quickly to private life. Whistler later said: 'Had silicon been a gas, I would have been a major-general.'"
High above the academy on Mount Independence (490 ft.) still stands the ruins of old Ft. Putnam, one of the original fortifications, from which a magnificent view can be obtained of the academy, the river, and the surrounding country.
Our route now lies across a peninsula called Constitution Island, which is the site of a preparatory school for West Point.
For many years the Island was the home of the Misses Anna and Susan Warner, authors of "The Wide, Wide World," and other stories popular with children. Through the generosity of Miss Susan Warner, who survived her sister, and Mrs. Russell Sage, the island was presented to the government a few years ago, and is now part of West Point.
We pass on the west bank Crow's Nest Mt. (1,396 ft.) associated with Joseph Rodman Drake's fanciful poem, The Culprit Fay. Two M. farther we leave the Highlands through the "Golden Gate," where Storm King Mt. rises to a height of 1,340 ft. on the west side of the Hudson, and Breakneck Mt. to a height of 1,365 ft. on the other. Near Storm King a tunnel of the great new Catskill aqueduct, carrying water to N.Y.C., passes under the Hudson at a depth of 1,100 ft.—a depth made necessary to reach solid rock at the bottom.
N.Y. City's Catskill Mt. water supply system is the greatest of waterworks, modern or ancient. Three-quarters of the project has been completed. The waters of the Esopus Creek in the Catskills are stored in the Ashokan reservoir, an artificial lake twelve miles long, situated about 14 miles west of the Hudson River at Kings Mt. From this reservoir the aqueduct extends 92 M. to the city's northern boundary, and supplies about 375,000,000 gallons daily. From the Croton watershed New York receives a supply almost as large—336,000,000 gallons daily. Construction on the Catskill supply system was begun in 1907, and the total cost will be about $177,000,000.
The river now widens and turns to the west; on the further bank is Cornwall, near which is the estate of E. P. Roe, the writer, and "Idlewild," the former home of N. P. Willis, likewise a writer of importance in his day. The home of Lyman Abbott, editor of the Outlook is also here. The proprietor of Bannerman's Island, which we now pass, is a dealer in obsolete war material; he has built on the island a number of castle-like store-houses of old paving stones taken from the streets of New York.
58 M. BEACON, Pop. 10,996 & NEWBURGH, Pop. 30,366. (Train 51 passes 9:56a; No. 3, 10:17a; No. 41, 2:29p; No. 25, 4:10p; No. 19, 7:06p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 7:50p; No. 26 8:09a; No. 16, 2:22p; No. 22, 3:48p.)
Beacon was incorporated in May, 1913, by merging the villages of Matteawan and Fishkill Landing, the latter of which lay closer to the west. The first settlement in the township was made in 1690. During the Revolutionary War it was an important military base for the Northern Continental Army. At Fishkill Landing on May 13, 1783, Gen. Knox organized the Society of the Cincinnati.
The Society of the Cincinnati was an organization of U.S. officers who had served in the Revolutionary War. Besides the general society of which Washington was president, another was organized for each state. (The name is in reference to Cincinnati, the Roman patriot who left the plough to serve his country.) Membership was limited to officers, native or foreign, of the Continental army who had either served with honour for three years or had been honorably discharged for disability, and to their descendants.
Because it included several European nobles, such as Lafayette and Steuben, and because it was founded on the principle of heredity the new society was denounced as the beginning of an aristocracy and therefore a menace, by such Revolutionary leaders as Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson, who were ineligible for membership because they had not been in the army. There was perhaps a real fear that it might become a military hierarchy which would appropriate the important offices of the new republic. At any rate, several states adopted resolutions against it and so great was the antagonism at the first general meeting in 1784 Washington persuaded the members to abolish the hereditary feature. In spite of this condition, the excitement did not die, and in 1789 the Tammany Society was founded in N.Y.C. in opposition to the Cincinnati, and as a wherein "true equality" should govern. This was the origin of Tammany Hall, which became conspicuous in N.Y. politics.
Alexander Hamilton succeeded Washington as president, but by 1824 most of the state branches of the Cincinnati and the general society itself were dead or dying. For a long time little was left but a traditional dinner held each year in N.Y.C. In 1893 the general society made an effort to revive the state organizations, with some little success. The hereditary feature has been restored and the living members number about 980. The motto is "Omnia relinquit servare rem publicam." (He abandons everything to serve the republic.)
Back of Matteawan are seen Beacon Mts., their name recalling Revolutionary days when beacon fires were lighted as signals on their summits. The summit of the highest of the group, Beacon Hill* (1,635 ft.) can now be reached by means of a cable railway, making possible a very pleasant excursion. The Matteawan State Hospital for the Insane is at Beacon on the north side of Fishkill Creek. Beacon's products include hats, silks, woolens, rubber goods, engines, brick and tile; the total annual value of manufactures is about $4,500,000. Four miles to the northwest on Fishkill Creek is the village of Fishkill, notable for two quaint old churches, both still standing, and interesting enough to repay a visit: the First Dutch Reformed (1731), in which the New York Provincial Congress met in Aug. and Sept., 1776, and Trinity (1769).
After Congress moved elsewhere, Trinity was used as a hospital, and the Dutch church, being constructed of stone, was converted into a prison. Its most famous prisoner was Enoch Crosby (who served as the original for Cooper's hero in The Spy), a patriot who twice escaped with the help of the Committee of Safety, the only persons who knew his true character.
Across the river Newburgh is visible rising above the Hudson. From the Spring of 1782 to Aug. 1783 Washington made his headquarters in the Jonathan Hasbrouck house* (to the south of the city), built between 1750 and 1770. The house, a one story stone building with a timber roof, has been purchased by the State of N.Y. and is open to visitors. It contains many interesting Revolutionary weapons, documents and other relics. Here in May, 1782, Washington wrote his famous letter of rebuke to Lewis Nicola, who had written in behalf of a coterie of officers suggesting that he assume the title of king.
Washington's reply was peremptory and indignant. They could not have found, he said, "a person to whom their schemes were more disagreeable," and charged them, "if you have any regard for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of like nature." Here also he made his reply to the so-called Newburgh addresses written by John Armstrong and calling for action on the part of the army to redress its grievances.
Newburgh was still his headquarters when Washington by the force of his influence secured the quiet disbandment of the Continental Army at the close of the war. Upon the occasion of the centennial celebration (1883) of this event, a monument called the Tower of Victory, 53 ft. high with a statue of Washington, was erected.
Newburgh is the center of a rich agricultural region, but it is a manufacturing center as well; its output comprises machine shop products, plaster, cotton, woolen and silk goods, felt hats, furniture, flour, lumber and cigars. Above Newburgh can be seen the lighthouse (on the west bank) called the Devil's Danskammer, or Devil's Dance Hall, recalling the time when Henry Hudson and his crew landed here to witness an Indian pow-wow. The Dutch, who were considerably startled by the affair, thought that it could be nothing less than a diabolical dance; hence the name.
will leave Paulus's Hook [Jersey City] on Friday, the 4th of September, at 6 in the morning and arrive at Albany on Saturday at 6 in the afternoon." The New York Central train now takes only a few minutes more than three hours to make the trip. The same paper on Oct. 5, 1807, announced that "Mr. Fulton's new steamboat left New York against a strong tide, very rough water, and a violent gale from the north. She made headway against the most sanguine expectations, and without being rocked by the waves."]
73 M. POUGHKEEPSIE, Pop. 35,000. (Train 51 passes 10:14a; No. 3, 10:38a; No. 41, 2:48p; No. 25, 4:27p; No. 19, 7:24p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 7:32a; No. 26, 7:51a; No. 16, 2:02p; No. 22, 3:29p.)
Poughkeepsie was the Apokeepsing of the Indians—"the pleasant and safe harbour" made by the rocky bluffs projecting into the river, where canoes were sheltered from wind and wave. The city is built partly on terraces rising 200 ft. above the river, and partly on the level plateau above. Poughkeepsie was settled by the Dutch in 1698. The most momentous event in Poughkeepsie's history and one of the most important in that of the whole Union, was the convention held here in 1788 at which the state of N.Y. decided to ratify the federal constitution. The decision was carried by three votes.
The credit for bringing N.Y. into the Union must go largely to Alexander Hamilton and his supporters, John Jay and Chancellor Robert R. Livingston. Of the three N.Y. delegates to the federal convention, Hamilton was the only one to sign its report, and when the state convention was called at Poughkeepsie, June 17, 1788, two-thirds of its members voted against the proposed U.S. constitution. The opposition was led by Gov. George Clinton and his party, known as the "Clintonians." Clinton, though he here fought bitterly the proposed new constitution and government, lived to be a Vice President of the U.S. (He should not be confused with the DeWitt Clinton who later built the Erie Canal.) The eloquence of Hamilton, Jay and Livingston, however, coupled with the news that New Hampshire and Virginia had ratified, finally carried the day, and the N.Y. Convention gave its approval of the new Constitution by a vote of 30 to 27.
Vassar College, the oldest women's college in America, and one of the most famous, occupies extensive grounds to the east of the city.
Vassar was founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar (1791-1868), an Englishman who had established in Poughkeepsie in 1801 a brewery from which he became rich. He got the idea of founding a woman's college from his niece, Lydia Booth, a school teacher. His total gifts to the institution amounted to about $800,000. His nephew, Matthew Vassar, Jr., became manager of the brewery after his uncle's death, and gave in all about $500,000 to the college. Vassar now has a campus and farm of about 800 acres, and possesses an endowment of $2,440,000. Its students number about 1,100.
The Hudson near Poughkeepsie furnishes the course for the intercollegiate races in which American college crews, with the exception of Harvard and Yale (which row on the Thames at New London) have rowed practically every year since 1895. The river is spanned at this point by one of the largest cantilever bridges in the world. It is 2,260 ft. long and 200 ft. above the water, and is the only bridge over the Hudson south of Albany.
It required 4 years to build the bridge, which was finished in 1889 at a cost of $3,500,000. It connects New England directly with the coal fields of Pennsylvania.
Poughkeepsie has more than 50 lines of manufacture, with products of a total annual value of $15,000,000, including mill supplies, clothing, cigars, candied fruit and preserves, cream separators, foundry products, knit goods, ivory buttons, and piano and organ players.
Two miles beyond Poughkeepsie the red brick buildings of the Hudson River State Hospital are passed on the right, and presently our route skirts Hyde Park (79 M.) near which, to the north, can be seen the estate of Frederick W. Vanderbilt. There are many beautiful country-places in the district. A little beyond Hyde Park on the west bank of the river is "Slabsides," the cabin home of John Burroughs, the poet, philosopher, and widely known writer on natural history.
John Burroughs was born in 1837 at Roxbury, N.Y., the fifth son of a farmer. His first books were bought with money he earned from tapping maple trees, boiling the sap and selling the sugar. One season, he tells us, he made twelve silver quarters, and has never been so proud since. Although he has lived much in the world and has travelled widely, the greater part of his time has been divided between Riverby, in the little town of West Park, N.Y., the famous "Slabsides," his cabin in the wooded hills back of the Hudson, and, since 1908, an old farm house which he has christened Woodchuck Lodge, 1/2 M. from the Burroughs homestead in Roxbury. In his retreat at "Slabsides" he wrote some of his most intimate and appealing studies of nature.
Esopus Island is now passed, on the high left bank of which, near the water, stands the home of Alton B. Parker, Democratic candidate for the presidency against Roosevelt in 1904. We now pass the estates of D. Ogden Mills and W.B. Dinsmore, former president of the Adams Express Company (on the right). Esopus Lighthouse is on the west bank where the river curves sharply to the left. On the high ground on the east bank is the country home of the late Levi P. Morton.
Levi P. Morton (1824-1920), American banker and politician, was born at Shoreham, Vt. After some years in business at Hanover, N.H., Boston and N.Y.C., he established in 1862 the banking house of L. P. Morton & Co. (dissolved in 1899), with a London branch. The American firm assisted in funding the national debt at the time of the resumption of specie payments, and the London house were fiscal agents of the U.S. government in 1873-1884, and as such received the $15,500,000 awarded by the Geneva Arbitration court in settlement of the "Alabama Claims" against Great Britain. In 1899 Morton became president of the Morton Trust Co. of N.Y.C. He was a Republican representative in Congress from 1879 to 1881, U.S. minister to France (1881-1885), vice-president of the U.S. during the administration of Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and governor of N.Y. state (1895-1896) signing in that capacity the "Greater New York" bill and the liquor-tax measure known as the "Raines law." In 1896 he was a candidate for the presidential nomination in the Republican national convention.
88 M. RHINECLIFF, Pop. 1,300. (Train 51 passes at 10:32a; No. 3, 10:56a; No. 41, 3:07p; No. 25, 4:46p; No. 19, 9:39p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 7:13a; No. 26, 7:31a; No. 16, 1:37p; No. 22, 3:09p.)
Across the river from Rhinecliff is Kingston (Pop. 26,688), most of which lies on a plateau 150 ft. above the river. Rondout, once a separate town, is now a part of the city of Kingston, the center of which lies 3 M. inland. To the northwest is the noble scenery of the Catskills, to the southwest are the Shawangunk Mts. and Lake Mohonk, and in the distance on our right (that is, on the Rhinecliff side) are the Berkshire Hills.
Kingston is one of the oldest towns in the state. In 1658 a stockade was built here by order of Gov. Peter Stuyvesant, and although the Dutch had built a fort here as early as 1614, it is from this event that the founding of the city is generally dated. The town suffered a number of murderous Indian attacks before it was taken over by the British in 1664.
The early history of Kingston reached a climax during the Revolution, when the British under Sir John Vaughan sacked the town and burned the buildings Oct. 17, 1777. The "Senate House"* erected in 1676, was the meeting-place of the first State Senate during the early months of 1777. At the time of the British occupation the interior was burnt but the walls were left standing. The building is now the property of the state and is used as a colonial museum. The present Court House, built in 1818, stands on the site of the old Court House, where New York's first governor, George Clinton, was inaugurated, and in which Chief Justice John Jay held the first term of the N.Y. Supreme Court in Sept. 1777.
John Jay (1745-1829), son of Peter Jay, a successful N.Y. merchant, had a notable career. He was Chairman of the Commission which drafted the N.Y. State Constitution in 1777. In the same year he was made Chief Justice of the State. In negotiating peace with Great Britain (1783) he acted with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Jefferson and Henry Laurens, and he is credited with having been influential in obtaining favorable terms for the former colonies. In 1789 Washington appointed him chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in which capacity he served for six years. In the meantime, 1794, he negotiated the famous Jay Treaty with Great Britain, which averted a dangerous crisis in the relations between the two countries, and settled such questions as the withdrawal of British troops from the northwestern frontier, compensation for the seizure of American vessels during the Franco-British war of 1793, and the refusal of the British up to that time to enter into a commercial treaty with the U.S. From 1795 to 1798 he served as Governor of N.Y. Daniel Webster said: "When the spotless ermine of the judicial robe fell on John Jay, it touched nothing less spotless than itself."
Less than a mile beyond Rhinecliff we pass "Ferncliff," the beautiful country-place of Vincent Astor, son of the late John Jacob Astor III, who lost his life in the "Titanic" disaster. The large white building on a hill nearby is the Astor squash court.
John Jacob Astor III (1864-1912) was the son of William B. Astor II. The latter was the son of William B. Astor (1792-1875), known as "the landlord of New York," because of his extensive real estate holdings in New York City. He was the son of the founder of the Astor fortune, John Jacob Astor (1763-1828). The latter was born near Heidelberg, Germany, worked for a time in London, came to N.Y.C. and took up fur trading, in which he amassed an enormous fortune, the largest up to that time made by any American.
Six miles above Rhinecliff we pass Anandale on the right, the former home of Gen. Richard Montgomery (b. 1736), who was killed Dec. 31, 1775, while conducting the American attack on Quebec.
It is not always remembered that the Americans undertook an expedition against Quebec during the first year of the Revolutionary War. Gen. Montgomery was joined near Quebec by Benedict Arnold, then a colonel, and they pushed on towards their objective with barely 800 men. The assault met a complete defeat; almost at the first discharge, Montgomery was killed, and many of his men were taken prisoners. In 1818 Mrs. Montgomery, then a gray-haired widow, sat alone on the porch of the house while the remains of Gen. Montgomery were brought down the Hudson on the steamer "Richmond" with great funeral pomp. A monument has been erected in St. Paul's Chapel, N.Y.C., where his remains were finally interred. General and Mrs. Montgomery, who was a daughter of Robert R. Livingston, had been married only two years when he went away on his expedition.
Just north of Tivoli (98 M.) is the site of the Manor House of the Livingston family, "Clermont," after which Robert Fulton named his first steamboat.
The Livingston Manor comprised the greater part of what are now Dutchess and Columbia Counties. The founder of the family was Robert Livingston (1654-1725) who was born at Ancrum, Scotland, emigrated to America about 1673 and received these manorial grants in 1686. He was a member of the N.Y. Assembly for several terms. The Livingston Manor was involved in anti-rent troubles which began in the Rensselaer Manor.
109 M. GREENDALE, Pop. 1,650. (Train 51 passes 10:54a; No. 3, 11:19a; No. 41, 3:32p; No. 25, 5:08p; No. 19, 8:10p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 6:49a; No. 26, 7:09a; No. 16, 1:07p; No. 22, 2:44p.)
From Greendale a very fine view is obtained of the noble scenery of the Catskill Mountains. The village of Catskill (Pop. 4,461) across the river, was at one time the only point of entrance for visitors to the mountains—now reached chiefly by railway from Kingston. Catskill Station, however, is still a point of departure for this favorite summer resort. In clear weather it is possible to get a glimpse of the deep gorge of the Kaaterskill Cove (about one mile west of Catskill village) where Rip Winkle strayed into the mountains, discovered Hendrick Hudson playing at skittles, and, bewitched by the wine supplied by the ghostly sportsmen, slept for 20 years. On the high crest back of the station (about 10 M. from the river) the Mountain House (Alt. 2,225 ft.) and Kaaterskill House, famous old hotels, can be seen in clear weather.
The Catskill Mts.,* a group possessing much charm and beauty, run parallel with the Hudson for about 15 miles, at a distance of from 5 to 9 miles from the shore line, on the west bank; they cover an area of about 500 Sq. M. On the side visible from the train they rise steeply to a height of 2,000 to 3,000 feet though on the other sides the slopes are gradual. The highest summits are those of Slide Mt. (4,205 ft.) and Hunter Mt. (4,025 ft.). The summits of several of these mountains are reached by inclined railways that afford splendid views. A number of deep ravines known as "cloves," a word derived from the Dutch, have been cut into the mountains by streams. The name Catskill, formerly Kaatskill, is a word of Dutch origin, referring, it is said, to the catamounts, or wild cats, formerly found here. The Indians called the mountains "Onti Ora" or Mts. of the Sky. Washington Irving in his introduction to the story of Rip Van Winkle says, "Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill Mts. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good housewives far and near as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory."
114 M. HUDSON, Pop. 11,745. (Train 51 passes 11:00a; No. 3, 11:26a; No. 41, 3:37p; No. 25, 5:14p; No. 19, 8:16p. Eastbound No. 6 passes 6:44a; No. 26, 7:04a; No. 16, 1:02p; No. 22, 2:39p.)
Hudson, picturesquely situated on the slope of a hill and commanding a fine view of the river and the Catskill Mts., was originally known as Claverack Landing, and for many years it was nothing more than a landing with two rude wharfs and two small storehouses, to which the farmers in the neighborhood brought their produce for shipment on the river. Late in 1783, the place was settled by an association of merchants and fishermen, mostly Quakers, from Rhode Island, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. These enterprising people had been engaged in whaling and other marine ventures, but when these industries were crippled by British cruisers during the War of Independence, they came to Hudson to find a more secluded haven. They were methodical and industrious; they even brought their houses, framed and ready for immediate erection, on their brig, the "Comet." The settlers opened clay pits, burned bricks and built a first class wharf. In 1785 the port was the second in the state in the extent of its shipping. Two shipyards were established and a large ship, the "Hudson" was launched. Toward the end of the 18th century it was the third city in the state, and had one of the three banks then existing in N.Y. State.
The War of 1812 caused a decline, but modern industry has revived the town, and its manufactures include Portland cement (one of the largest manufactories of that product in the United States is here), knit goods, foundry and machine shop products, ice machinery, brick and furniture.
Huge ice houses are seen along this part of the Hudson River, and the question sometimes arises why the river, being partly salt, can yield ice fit for domestic or commercial use. The explanation is that the water, in freezing, rejects four-fifths or more of its content of salt.
Four miles above Hudson we pass the estuary of Stockport, on the north bank of which, at Kinderhook, once lived Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the U.S.
The son of a farmer and tavern keeper, Van Buren (1782-1862) was born at Kinderhook, N.Y., of Dutch descent. He obtained a scanty education, and it is said that as late as 1829, when he became secretary of state, he wrote crudely and incorrectly. He was admitted to the bar in 1803 in N.Y., allied himself with the "Clintonians" in politics and later became a leading member of the powerful coterie of Democratic politicians known as the "Albany regency," which ruled N.Y. politics for more than a generation, and was largely responsible for the introduction of the "Spoils System" into state and national affairs. Van Buren's proficiency in this variety of politics earned him the nickname of "Little Magician." In 1821 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and in 1828 governor of N.Y., and in the following year was made secretary of state by President Jackson, who used his influence to obtain the nomination of Van Buren for president in 1836. William Henry Harrison, the Whig candidate, was his principal opponent, and the popular vote showed a plurality of less than 25,000 for Van Buren. Van Buren's administration was compelled to bear the weight of errors committed by Jackson, his predecessor, and though he showed unexpected ability and firmness in his administration, he was defeated for re-election by Harrison.
130 M. SCHODACK LANDING, Pop. 1,215. (Train 51 passes 11:17p; No. 3, 11:45p; No. 41, 3:55p; No. 25, 5:30p; No. 19, 8:37p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 6:24p; No. 26, 6:45p; No. 16, 12:41p; No. 22, 2:20p.)
Schodack was the Dutch rendering of the Indian word "Esquatack," meaning "the fireplace of the nation." The island opposite the station was the site of the first council fire of the Mohican Indians, who were grouped about their "fire place" in 40 villages. They inhabited the Hudson Valley and their domain extended into Mass.
In consequence of attacks by the Mohawks the Mohicans moved from their council fire to what is now Stockbridge, Mass., in 1664. Later many migrated to the Susquehanna Valley and became absorbed into the Delawares. The descendants of those who were left at Stockbridge are now assembled with some of the Munsees on a reservation at Green Bay, Wis. They are truly the "last of the Mohicans." Cooper's story of that name dealt with the earlier period of their dispersal.
In the early days Douw's Point on the right bank, a few miles below Albany, was the head of steamboat navigation. Passengers for Albany used to transfer at this point to the stage. It was here that the "Half Moon" reached its farthest point on its northward trip up the Hudson.
Theodore Roosevelt in his History of New York says: "During the "Half Moon's" inland voyage her course had lain through scenery singularly wild, grand and lonely. She had passed the long line of frowning battlemented rock walls that we know by the name of the Palisades; she had threaded her way round the bends where the curving river sweeps in and out among cold peaks—Storm King, Crow's Nest, and their brethren; she had sailed in front of the Catskill Mts., perhaps thus early in the season crowned with shining snow. From her decks the lookouts scanned with their watchful eyes dim shadowy wastes, stretching for countless leagues on every hand; for all the land was shrouded in one vast forest, where red hunters who had never seen a white face followed wild beasts, upon whose kind no white man had ever gazed."
In modern days the channel has been enlarged, deepened and protected by concrete dykes, which are seen at intervals along the upper river, so that the Hudson is now utilized for navigation as far as Troy. On the left bank just above Parr's Island is the estuary of the Normans Kill, which flows through the valley of Tawasentha, where, according to Indian tradition, once lived the "mighty Hiawatha."
Hiawatha (the word means "he makes rivers") was a legendary chief, about 1450, of the Onondaga Tribe of Indians. The formation of the League of Five Nations, known as the Iroquois, is attributed to him by Indian tradition. He was regarded as a sort of divinity—the incarnation of human progress and civilization. Longfellow's poem "Hiawatha" embodies the more poetical ideas of Indian nature-worship. In this version of the story, Hiawatha was the Son of Mudjekeewis (the West Wind) and Wenonah, the daughter of Nakomis, who fell from the moon.
142 M. RENSSELAER, Pop, 10,823. (Train 51 passes 11:30a; No. 3, 12:02p; No. 41, 4:12p; No. 25, 5:44p; No. 19, 8:53p. Eastbound: No. 6 passes 6:00a; No. 26, 6:32a; No. 16, 12:27p; No. 22, 2:07p.)
Rensselaer, originally called Greenbush, lies directly across from Albany. It was first settled in 1631 and the site formed part of a large tract of land bought from the Indians by agents of Killiaen Van Rensselaer. On the lower edge of the town Ft. Cralo,* built in 1642 for protection against the Indians, still stands; the fort has a special interest in being connected with the origin of Yankee Doodle.
Some writers claim that Cralo is the oldest fort still preserved in the U.S. Its white oak beams are said to be 18 inches square; its walls are 2 to 3 ft. thick, and some of the old portholes still remain. According to tradition there were once secret passages connecting the fort with the river. About 1770, during the French and Indian Wars, Maj. James Abercrombie had his headquarters here.
Yankee Doodle is said to have been composed at the fort by Dr. Schuckburgh, a British surgeon, as a satire on the provincial troops, who did not show to advantage among the smartly dressed British soldiers. The Yankees, however, adopted the words and the tune, and less than 20 years later the captured soldiers of Burgoyne marched behind the lines of the victorious Continentals to the same melody.