[Transcriber's Note: Each page of this book contained, as a footer, a stanza of poetry, or a prose quotation, which, although pertinent to the text, were not part of it.
I have retained these, moving them to a suitable location between paragraphs, and enclosing them in short markers: * * * ....* * *. Any poetry not enclosed within short * * * markers is an integral part of the text.
The list of typos and corrections is at the end of the book.]
* * * * *
Three Centuries of History, Romance and Invention
BY WALLACE BRUCE
Published by BRYANT UNION COMPANY NEW YORK
COPYRIGHT 1907 BY WALLACE BRUCE
CENTENNIAL GREETING. PAGE
HISTORY, ROMANCE AND INVENTION 9-39 An Open Book 10 The Hudson and the Rhine 11 The Half Moon 12 Its Discovery 15 First Description 16 Names of the Hudson 18 Hills and Mountains 19 Sources of the Hudson 19 First Settlement 20 The West India Company 21 Original Manors and Patents 23 The Dutch and the English 24 New Amsterdam 25 New York 26 Sons of Liberty 28 Greater New York 30 Hudson River Steamboats 31 Day Line Steamers 34 The Old Reaches 38 Five Divisions of the Hudson 39
NEW YORK TO ALBANY.
DESBROSSES STREET PIER TO FORTY-SECOND STREET 41-43 Historic River Front 41 A Great Panorama 41 Statue of Liberty—Stevens Castle 42
FORTY-SECOND TO ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINTH 43-48 Weehawken, Hamilton and Burr 43 Riverside Drive and Park 45 Columbia University 46 General Grant's Tomb 46
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINTH ST. TO YONKERS 49-50 Washington Heights 49 The Palisades 52 Island of Manhattan 56 Spuyten Duyvel Creek 57 Yonkers 58
YONKERS TO WEST POINT 59-96 Hastings and Dobbs Ferry 60 Tappan Zee and Piermont 61 Irvington and "Sunnyside" 62 Washington Irving 63 The Headless Horseman 66 Tarrytown and Tappan 67 Sleepy Hollow 70 Nyack 72 Ossining 73 Croton River and Reservoir 74 Haverstraw 75 Stony Point 77 Peekskill 79 Story of Captain Kidd 80 The Highlands 81 Dunderberg 82 Anthony's Nose 83 Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery 84 Beverley House 87 Arnold's Flight 88 Buttermilk Falls 91 West Point Military Academy 92 Plateau Buildings and Memorials 93-94 Fort Putnam 95
WEST POINT TO NEWBURGH 97-103 Northern Gate of Highlands 98 "Undercliff" 99 Storm King 100 Cornwall and "Idlewild" 102
NEWBURGH TO POUGHKEEPSIE 104-128 Washington's Headquarters 104 Refusing the Crown 105 Suffering of Soldiers 106 Cessation of Hostilities 107 Marquis de Lafayette 109 Centennial Celebration 110 Fishkill 113 Duyvel's Dans Kammer 118 "Locust Grove" 119 The Storm Ship 120 Poughkeepsie 121
POUGHKEEPSIE TO KINGSTON 129-146 Hyde Park 130 Mount Hymettus 130 Rhinecliff 135 City of Kingston 136 The Senate House 138 The Southern Catskills 142
KINGSTON TO CATSKILL 147-168 Montgomery Place 147 Story of Steam Navigation 149 Robert Fulton 151 The "Clermont" 152 Tivoli 154 Saugerties 156 The Livingston Country 157 The "Shad Industry" 158 Germantown 160 Man in the Mountain 161 New York City Water Supply 162 The Clover Reach 163 Catskill 164 Otis Elevating Railway 165
CATSKILL TO HUDSON 169-172 Hudson 169 Columbia Springs 170 Claverack and Hillsdale 171
HUDSON TO ALBANY 173-185 Athens 173 The Ice Industry 173 Anthony Van Corlear 176 The Mahican Tribe 177 The Mahicans, Delawares and Iroquois 178 The Old Van Rensselaer House 180 Albany 181
THE UPPER HUDSON.
ALBANY TO SARATOGA 186-191 Saratoga 187 Historic Saratoga 189 Mount McGregor 190
SARATOGA TO THE ADIRONDACKS 191-201 Saratoga to Lake George 192
LAKE GEORGE TO THE ADIRONDACKS 197-201 Ticonderoga 198 Bluff Point 199 Plattsburgh and the Saranacs 201
SOURCE OF THE HUDSON 202-210 The Tahawas Club 202 The Upper Ausable 203 Haystack and Camp Colden 204 The Deserted Village 205 Indian Pass 206 Tahawas 210
GEOLOGY, TIDES AND CONDENSED POINTS 211-224 Geological Formation 211-215 The Hudson Tide 215 Condensed Points—New York to Albany 216-224
Hendrick Hudson and Robert Fulton are closely associated in the history of our river, and more particularly at this time, as the dates of their achievements unite the centennial of the first successful steamer in 1807, with the tri-centennial of the discovery of the river in 1609. In fact, these three centuries of navigation, with rapidly increasing development in later years, might be graphically condensed—
"Half Moon," 1609; "Clermont," 1807;
"Hendrick Hudson," 1906.
Singularly enough the discovery of Hendrick Hudson, and the invention of Robert Fulton are also similar in having many adverse claimants who forget the difference between attempt and accomplishment.
Everyone knows that Verrazano entered the Narrows and harbor of our river in 1524, and sailed far enough to see the outline of the Palisades; that Gomez visited its mouth in 1525; Cabot still earlier in 1498; and various Norsemen, named and nameless, for several centuries before them, coasted along the shore and indenture of the "River of the Manhattoes," but failed to acquire or transmit any knowledge of the river's real course or character, and it was left for Hendrick Hudson to be its first voyager and thereby to have and to hold against all comers the glory of discovery.
* * *
A century vast of Hudson-fame Which Irving's fancy seals; Whose ripples murmur Morse's name And flash to Fulton's wheels.
* * *
So Robert Fulton had several predecessors in the idea of applying steam to navigation—John Fitch in 1785, William Symington in 1788 and many others who likewise coasted along the shore and indenture of a great idea, marked by continual failure and final abandonment. It was reserved for Fulton to complete and stamp upon his labor the seal of service and success, and to stand, therefore, its accepted inventor.
In addition to the invention of Fulton who has contributed so much to the business and brotherhood of mankind, the telegraph of Morse occupies a prominent page of our Hudson history, and it is said that Morse left unfinished a novel, the incidents of which were associated with the Highlands, in order to work out his idea which gave the Hudson a grander chapter.
Fulton's and Morse's inventions are also happily associated in this, that the steamboat was necessary before the Atlantic cable, born of Morse's invention, could be laid, and, singularly enough, the laying of the cable, largely promoted by Hudson River genius and capital, by Field, Cooper, Morse and others on August 5, 1857, marks the very middle of the centennial which we are now observing.
* * *
A cycle grand with wonders fraught That triumph over time and space; In woven steel its dreams are wrought, The nations whisper face to face.
* * *
Among all the rivers of the world the Hudson is acknowledged queen, decked with romance, jewelled with poetry, clad with history, and crowned with beauty. More than this, the Hudson is a noble threshold to a great continent and New York Bay a fitting portal. The traveler who enters the Narrows for the first time is impressed with wonder, and the charm abides even with those who pass daily to and fro amid her beauties. No other river approaches the Hudson in varied grandeur and sublimity, and no other city has so grand and commodious a harbor as New York. It has been the privilege of the writer of this handbook to see again and again most of the streams of the old world "renowned in song and story," to behold sunrise on the Bay of Naples and sunset at the Golden Gate of San Francisco, but the spell of the Hudson remains unbroken, and the bright bay at her mouth reflects the noontide without a rival. To pass a day in her company, rich with the story and glory of three hundred years, is worth a trip across a continent, and it is no wonder that the European traveler says again and again: "to see the Hudson alone, is worth a voyage across the Atlantic."
* * *
A very good land to fall in with and a pleasant land to see!
* * *
How like a great volume of history romance and poetry seem her bright illumined pages with the broad river lying as a crystal book-mark between her open leaves! And how real this idea becomes to the Day Line tourist, with the record of Washington and Hamilton for its opening sentence, as he leaves the Up-Town landing, and catches messages from Fort Washington and Fort Lee. What Indian legends cluster about the brow of Indian Head blending with the love story of Mary Phillipse at the Manor House of Yonkers. How Irving's vision of Katrina and Sleepy Hollow become woven with the courage of Paulding and the capture of Andre at Tarrytown. How the Southern Portal of the Highlands stands sentineled by Stony Point, a humble crag converted by the courage of Anthony Wayne into a mountain peak of Liberty.
How North and South Beacon again summon the Hudson yeomen from harvest fields to the defense of country, while Fort Putnam, still eloquent in her ruins, looks down upon the best drilled boys in the world at West Point. Further on Newburgh, Poughkeepsie and Kingston shake fraternal hands in the abiding trinity of Washington, Hamilton and Clinton, while northward rise the Ontioras where Rip Van Winkle slept, and woke to wonder at the happenings of twenty years.
What stories of silent valleys told by murmuring streams from the Berkshire Hills and far away fields where Stark and Ethan Allen triumphed. What tales of Cooper, where the Mohawk entwines her fingers with those of the Susquehanna, and poems of Longfellow, Bryant and Holmes, of Dwight, of Halleck and of Drake; ay, and of Yankee Doodle too, written at the Old Van Rensselaer House almost within a pebble-throw of the steamer as it approaches Albany. What a wonderful book of history and beauty, all to be read in one day's journey!
* * *
Roll on! Roll on! Thou river of the North! Tell thou to all The isles, tell thou to all the Continents The grandeur of my land.
* * *
The Hudson has often been styled "The Rhine of America." There is, however, little of similarity and much of contrast. The Rhine from Dusseldorf to Manheim is only twelve hundred to fifteen hundred feet in breadth. The Hudson from New York to Albany averages more than five thousand feet from bank to bank. At Tappan Zee the Hudson is ten times as wide as the Rhine at any point above Cologne. At Bonn the Rhine is barely one-third of a mile, whereas the Hudson at Haverstraw Bay is over four miles in width. The average breadth of the Hudson from New York to Poughkeepsie is almost eight thousand feet.
The mountains of the Rhine also lack the imposing character of the Highlands. The far-famed Drachenfels, the Landskron, and the Stenzleburg are only seven hundred and fifty feet above the river; the Alteberg eight hundred, the Rosenau nine hundred, and the great Oelberg thirteen hundred and sixty-two. According to the latest United States Geological Survey the entire group of mountains at the northern gate of the Highlands is from fourteen hundred to sixteen hundred and twenty-five feet in height, not to speak of the Catskills from three thousand to almost four thousand feet in altitude.
It is not the fault of the Rhine with its nine hundred miles of rapid flow that it looks tame compared with the Hudson. Even the Mississippi, draining a valley three thousand miles in extent, looks insignificant at St. Louis or New Orleans contrasted with the Hudson at Tarrytown. The Hudson is in fact a vast estuary of the sea; the tide rises two feet at Albany and six inches at Troy. A professor of the Berlin University says: "You lack our castles but the Hudson is infinitely grander." Thackeray, in "The Virginians," gives the Hudson the verdict of beauty; and George William Curtis, comparing the Hudson with the rivers of the Old World, has gracefully said: "The Danube has in part glimpses of such grandeur, the Elbe has sometimes such delicately penciled effects, but no European river is so lordly in its bearing, none flows in such state to the sea."
* * *
I have been up and down the Hudson by water. The entire river is pretty, but the glory of the Hudson is at West Point.
* * *
Baedeker, a high and just authority, in his recent Guide to the United States says: "The Hudson has sometimes been called the American Rhine, but that title perhaps does injustice to both rivers. The Hudson, through a great part of its extent, is three or four times as wide as the Rhine, and its scenery is grander and more inspiring; while, though it lacks the ruined castles and ancient towns of the German river, it is by no means devoid of historical associations of a more recent character. The vine-clad slopes of the Rhine have, too, no ineffective substitute in the brilliant autumn coloring of the timbered hillsides of the Hudson."
* * *
A stately stream around which as around The German Rhine hover mystic shapes
* * *
What must have been the sensation of those early voyagers, coasting a new continent, as they halted at the noble gateway of the river and gazed northward along the green fringed Palisades; or of Hendrick Hudson, who first traversed its waters from Manhattan to the Mohawk, as he looked up from the chubby bow of his "Half Moon" at the massive columnar formation of the Palisades or at the great mountains of the Highlands; what dreams of success, apparently within reach, were his, when night came down in those deep forest solitudes under the shadowy base of Old Cro' Nest and Klinkerberg Mountain, where his little craft seemed a lone cradle of civilization; and then, when at last, with immediate purpose foiled, he turned his boat southward, having discovered, but without knowing it, something infinitely more valuable to future history than his long-sought "Northwestern Passage to China," how he must have gazed with blended wonder and awe at the distant Catskills as their sharp lines came out, as we have seen them many a September morning, bold and clear along the horizon, and learned in gentle reveries the poetic meaning of the blue Ontioras or "Mountains of the Sky." How fondly he must have gazed on the picturesque hills above Apokeepsing and listened to the murmuring music of Winnikee Creek, when the air was clear as crystal and the banks seemed to be brought nearer, perfectly reflected in the glassy surface, while here and there his eye wandered over grassy uplands, and rested on hills of maize in shock, looking for all the world like mimic encampments of Indian wigwams! Then as October came with tints which no European eye had ever seen, and sprinkled the hill-tops with gold and russet, he must indeed have felt that he was living an enchanted life, or journeying in a fairy land!
How graphically the poet Willis has put the picture in musical prose: "Fancy the bold Englishman, as the Dutch called Hendrick Hudson, steering his little yacht the 'Haalve Maan,' for the first time through the Highlands. Imagine his anxiety for the channel forgotten, as he gazed up at the towering rocks, and round the green shores, and onward past point and opening bend, miles away into the heart of the country; yet with no lessening of the glorious stream before him and no decrease of promise in the bold and luxuriant shores. Picture him lying at anchor below Newburgh with the dark pass of the Wey-Gat frowning behind him, the lofty and blue Catskills beyond, and the hillsides around covered with lords of the soil exhibiting only less wonder than friendliness."
If Willis forgot the season of the year and left out the landscape glow which the voyager saw, Talmage completed the picture in a rainbow paragraph of color: "Along our river and up and down the sides of the great hills there was an indescribable mingling of gold, and orange and crimson and saffron, now sobering into drab and maroon, now flaring up into solferino and scarlet. Here and there the trees looked as if their tips had blossomed into fire. In the morning light the forests seemed as if they had been transfigured and in the evening hours they looked as if the sunset had burst and dropped upon the leaves. It seemed as if the sea of divine glory had dashed its surf to the top of the crags and it had come dripping down to the lowest leaf and deepest cavern."
* * *
So fair yon haven clasped its isles, in such a sunset gleam, When Hendrick and his sea-worn tars first sounded up the stream.
Robert C. Sands.
* * *
On such a day in 1883 it was the privilege of the writer to stand before 150,000 people at Newburgh on the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of the Disbanding of the Army under Washington, and, in his poem entitled "The Long Drama," to portray the great mountain background bounding the southern horizon with autumnal splendor:
October lifts with colors bright Her mountain canvas to the sky, The crimson trees aglow with light Unto our banners wave reply.
Like Horeb's bush the leaves repeat From lips of flame with glory crowned:— "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, The place they trod is holy ground."
Such was the vision Hendrick Hudson must have had in those far-off September and October days, and such the picture which visitors still compass long distances to behold.
"It is a far cry to Loch Awe" says an old Scottish proverb, and it is a long step from the sleepy rail of the "Half Moon" to the roomy-decked floating palaces—the "Hendrick Hudson," the "New York" and the "Albany." Before beginning our journey let us, therefore, bridge the distance with a few intermediate facts, from 1609, relating to the discovery of the river, its early settlement, its old reaches and other points essential to the fullest enjoyment of our trip, which in sailor-parlance might be styled "a gang-plank of history," reaching as it does from the old-time yacht to the modern steamer, and spanning three hundred years.
* * *
The prow of the "Half-Moon" has left a broadening wake whose ripples have written an indelible history, not only along the Hudson's shores, but have left their imprint on kingdoms over the sea.
* * *
Its Discovery.—In the year 1524, thirty-two years after the discovery of America, the navigator Verrazano, a French officer, anchored off the island of Manhattan and proceeded a short distance up the river. The following year, Gomez, a Portuguese in the employ of Spain, coasted along the continent and entered the Narrows. Several sea-rovers also visited our noble bay about 1598, but it was reserved for Hendrick Hudson, with a mixed crew of eighteen or twenty men in the "Half Moon," to explore the river from Sandy Hook to Albany, and carry back to Europe a description of its beauty. He had previously made two fruitless voyages for the Muscovy Company—an English corporation—in quest of a passage to China, via the North Pole and Nova Zembla.
In the autumn of 1608 he was called to Amsterdam, and sailed from Texel, April 5, 1609, in the service of the Dutch East India Company. Reaching Greenland he coasted southward, arriving at Cape Cod August 6th, Chesapeake Bay August 28th, and then sailed north to Sandy Hook. He entered the Bay of New York September the 3d, passed through the Narrows, and anchored in what is now called Newark Bay; on the 12th resumed his voyage, and, drifting with the tide, remained over night on the 13th about three miles above the northern end of Manhattan Island; on the 14th sailed through what is now known as Tappan Zee and Haverstraw Bay, entered the Highlands and anchored for the night near the present dock of West Point. On the morning of the 15th beheld Newburgh Bay, reached Catskill on the 16th, Athens on the 17th, Castleton and Albany on the 18th, and sent out an exploring boat as far as Waterford. He became thoroughly satisfied that this route did not lead to China—a conclusion in harmony with that of Champlain, who, the same summer, had been making his way south, through Lake Champlain and Lake George, in quest of the South Sea.
* * *
O mighty river of the North! Thy lips meet ocean here, and in deep joy he lifts his great white brow, and gives his stormy voice a milder tone.
* * *
There is something humorous in the idea of these old mariners attempting to sail through a continent 3,000 miles wide, seamed with mountain chains from 2,000 to 15,000 feet in height. Hudson's return voyage began September 23d. He anchored again in Newburgh Bay the 25th, arrived at Stony Point October 1st, reached Sandy Hook the 4th, and returned to Europe.
First Description of the Hudson.—The official record of the voyage was kept by Robert Juet, mate of the "Half Moon," and his journal abounds with graphic and pleasing incidents as to the people and their customs. At the Narrows the Indians visited the vessel, "clothed in mantles of feathers and robes of fur, the women clothed in hemp; red copper tobacco pipes, and other things of copper, they did wear about their necks." At Yonkers they came on board in great numbers. Two were detained and dressed in red coats, but they sprang overboard and swam away. At Catskill they found "a very loving people, and very old men. They brought to the ship Indian corn, pumpkins and tobaccos." Near Schodack the "Master's mate went on land with an old savage, governor of the country, who carried him to his house and made him good cheere." "I sailed to the shore," he writes, "in one of their canoes, with an old man, who was chief of a tribe, consisting of forty men and seventeen women. These I saw there in a house well constructed of oak bark, and circular in shape, so that it has the appearance of being built with an arched roof. It contained a large quantity of corn and beans of last year's growth, and there lay near the house, for the purpose of drying, enough to load three ships, besides what was growing in the fields. On our coming to the house two mats were spread out to sit upon, and some food was immediately served in well-made wooden bowls."
"Two men were also dispatched at once, with bows and arrows in quest of game, who soon brought in a pair of pigeons, which they had shot. They likewise killed a fat dog, (probably a black bear), and skinned it in great haste, with shells which they had got out of the water."
* * *
Down whose waterways the wings of poetry and romance like magic sails bear the awakened souls of men.
* * *
The well-known hospitality of the Hudson River valley has, therefore, "high antiquity" in this record of the garrulous writer. At Albany the Indians flocked to the vessel, and Hudson determined to try the chiefs to see "whether they had any treachery in them." "So they took them down into the cabin, and gave them so much wine and aqua vitae that they were all merry. In the end one of them was drunk, and they could not tell how to take it." The old chief, who took the aqua vitae, was so grateful when he awoke the next day, that he showed them all the country, and gave them venison.
Passing down through the Highlands the "Half Moon" was becalmed near Stony Point and the "people of the Mountains" came on board and marvelled at the ship and its equipment. One canoe kept hanging under the stern and an Indian pilfered a pillow and two shirts from the cabin windows. The mate shot him in the breast and killed him. A boat was lowered to recover the articles "when one of them in the water seized hold of it to overthrow it, but the cook seized a sword and cut off one of his hands and he was drowned." At the head of Manhattan Island the vessel was again attacked. Arrows were shot and two more Indians were killed, then the attack was renewed and two more were slain.
It might also be stated that soon after the arrival of Hendrick Hudson at the mouth of the river one of the English soldiers, John Coleman, was killed by an arrow shot in the throat. "He was buried," according to Ruttenber, "upon the adjacent beach, the first European victim of an Indian weapon on the Mahicanituk. Coleman's point is the monument to this occurrence."
The "Half Moon" never returned and it will be remembered that Hudson never again saw the river that he discovered. He was to leave his name however as a monument to further adventure and hardihood in Hudson's Bay, where he was cruelly set adrift by a mutinous crew in a little boat to perish in the midsummer of 1611.
* * *
The sea just peering the headlands through Where the sky is lost in deeper blue.
Charles Fenno Hoffman.
* * *
Names of the Hudson.—The Iroquois called the river the "Cohatatea." The Mahicans and Lenapes the "Mahicanituk," or "the ever-flowing waters." Verrazano in 1524 styled it Rio de Montaigne. Gomez in 1525 Rio San Antonio. Hudson styled it the "Manhattes" from the tribe at its mouth. The Dutch named it the "Mauritius," in 1611, in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau, and afterwards "the Great River." It has also been referred to as the "Shatemuck" in verse. It was called "Hudson's River" not by the Dutch, as generally stated, but by the English, as Hudson was an Englishman, although he sailed from a Dutch port, with a Dutch crew, and a Dutch vessel. It was also called the "North River," to distinguish it from the Delaware, the South River. It is still frequently so styled, and the East River almost "boxes the compass" as applied to Long Island Sound.
Height of Hills and Mountains.—It is interesting to hear the opinions of different people journeying up and down the Hudson as to the height of mountains along the river. The Palisades are almost always under-estimated, probably on account of their distance from the steamer. It is only when we consider the size of a house at their base, or the mast of a sloop anchored near the shore, that we can fairly judge of their magnitude. Various guides, put together in a day or a month, by writers who have made a single journey, or by persons who have never consulted an authority, have gone on multiplying blunder upon blunder, but the United States Geological Survey furnishes reliable information. According to their maps the Palisades are from 300 to 500 feet in height, the Highlands from 785 to 1625, and the Catskills from 3000 to 3885 feet.
* * *
Beneath the cliffs the river steals In darksome eddies to the shore, But midway every sail reveals Reflected on its crystal floor.
Henry T. Tuckerman.
* * *
At Fort Lee 300 feet. Opposite Mt. St. Vincent 400 " Opposite Hastings 500 "
Sugar Loaf 785 feet. Dunderberg 865 " Anthony's Nose 900 " Storm King 1368 " Old Cro' Nest 1405 " Bull Hill 1425 " South Beacon 1625 "
North Mountain 3000 feet. Plaaterkill 3135 " Outlook 3150 " Stoppel Point 3426 " Round Top 3470 " High Peak 3660 " Sugar Loaf 3782 " Plateau 3855 "
Sources of the Hudson.—The Hudson rises in the Adirondacks, and is formed by two short branches. The northern branch (17 miles in length), has its source in Indian Pass, at the base of Mount McIntyre; the eastern branch, in a little lake poetically called the "Tear of the Clouds," 4,321 feet above the sea under the summit of Tahawus, the noblest mountain of the Adirondacks, 5,344 feet in height. About thirty miles below the junction it takes the waters of Boreas River, and in the southern part of Warren County, nine miles east of Lake George, the tribute of the Schroon. About fifteen miles north of Saratoga it receives the waters of the Sacandaga, then the streams of the Battenkill and the Walloomsac; and a short distance above Troy its largest tributary, the Mohawk. The tide rises six inches at Troy and two feet at Albany, and from Troy to New York, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, the river is navigable by large steamboats.
* * *
Of grottoes in the far dim woods, Of pools moss-rimmed and deep, From whose embrace the little rills In daring venture creep.
* * *
The principal streams which flow into the Hudson between Albany and New York are the Norman's Kill, on west bank, two miles south of Albany; the Mourdener's Kill, at Castleton, eight miles below Albany, on the east bank; Coxsackie Creek, on west bank, seventeen miles below Albany; Kinderhook Creek, six miles north of Hudson; Catskill Creek, six miles south of Hudson; Roeliffe Jansen's Creek, on east bank, seven miles south of Hudson; the Esopus Creek, which empties at Saugerties; the Rondout Creek, at Rondout; the Wappingers, at New Hamburgh; the Fishkill, at Matteawan, opposite Newburgh; the Peekskill Creek, and Croton River. The course of the river is nearly north and south, and drains a comparatively narrow valley.
It is emphatically the "River of the Mountains," as it rises in the Adirondacks, flows seaward east of the Helderbergs, the Catskills, the Shawangunks, through twenty miles of the Highlands and along the base of the Palisades. More than any other river it preserves the character of its origin, and the following apostrophe from the writer's poem, "The Hudson," condenses its continuous "mountain-and-lake-like" quality:
O Hudson, mountain-born and free, Thy youth a deep impression takes, For, mountain-guarded to the sea, Thy course is but a chain of lakes.
The First Settlement of the Hudson.—In 1610 a Dutch ship visited Manhattan to trade with the Indians and was soon followed by others on like enterprise. In 1613 Adrian Block came with a few comrades and remained the winter. In 1614 the merchants of North Holland organized a company and obtained from the States General a charter to trade in the New Netherlands, and soon after a colony built a few houses and a fort near the Battery. The entire island was purchased from the Indians in 1624 for the sum of sixty guilders or about twenty-four dollars. A fort was built at Albany in 1623 and known as Fort Aurania or Fort Orange. From Wassenaer's "Historie van Europa," 1621-1632, as translated in the 3d volume of the Documentary History of New York, a castle—Fort Nassau—was built in 1624, on an island on the north side of the River Montagne, now called Mauritius. "But as the natives there were somewhat discontented, and not easily managed, the projectors abandoned it, intending now to plant a colony among the Maikans (Mahicans), a nation lying twenty-five miles (American measure seventy-five miles) on both sides of the river, upwards." In another document we learn that "The West India Company being chartered, a vessel of 130 lasts, called the 'New Netherland' (whereof Cornelius Jacobs, of Hoorn, was skipper), with thirty families, mostly Walloons, was equipped in the spring of 1623."
* * *
Where Manhattan reigned of old Long before the age of gold In the fair encircled isle Formed for beauty's warmest smile.
* * *
In the beginning of May they entered the Hudson, found a "Frenchman" lying in the mouth of the river, who would erect the arms of the King of France there, but the Hollanders would not permit him, opposing it by commission from the Lord's States General and the Directors of the West India Company, and "in order not to be frustrated therein, they convoyed the Frenchman out of the rivers." This having been done, they sailed up the Maikans, 140 miles, near which they built and completed a fort, named "Orange," with four bastions, on an island, by them called "Castle Island." This was probably the island below Castleton, now known as Baern Island, where the first white child was born on the Hudson.
In another volume we read that "a colony was planted in 1625 on the Manhetes Island, where a fort was staked out by Master Kryn Fredericke, an engineer. The counting-house is kept in a stone building thatched with reed; the other houses are of the bark of trees. There are thirty ordinary houses on the east side of the river, which runs nearly north and south." This is the description of New York City when Charles the First was King.
* * *
Behold the natural advantages of our State; the situation of our principal seaport; the facility that the Sound affords for an intercourse with the East, and the noble Hudson which bears upon its bosom the wealth of the remotest part of the State.
Robert R. Livingston.
* * *
Moreover, we should not forget that Communipaw outranks New York in antiquity, and, according to Knickerbocker, whose quiet humor is always read and re-read with pleasure, might justly be considered the Mother Colony. For lo! the sage Oloffe Van Kortlandt dreamed a dream, and the good St. Nicholas came riding over the tops of the trees, and descended upon the island of Manhattan and sat himself down and smoked, "and the smoke ascended in the sky, and formed a cloud overhead; and Oloffe bethought him, and he hastened and climbed up to the top of one of the tallest trees, and saw that the smoke spread over a great extent of country; and, as he considered it more attentively, he fancied that the great volume assumed a variety of marvelous forms, where, in dim obscurity, he saw shadowed out palaces and domes and lofty spires, all of which lasted but a moment, and then passed away." So New York, like Alba Longa and Rome, and other cities of antiquity, was under the immediate care of its tutelar saint. Its destiny was foreshadowed, for now the palaces and domes and lofty spires are real and genuine, and something more than dreams are made of.
* * *
Below the cliffs Manhattan's spires Glint back the sunset's latest beam; The bay is flecked with twinkling fires; Or is it but "Van Kortlandt's dream?"
* * *
The Original Manors and Patents.—According to a map of the Province of New York, published in 1779, the Phillipsburg Patent embraced a large part of Westchester County. North of this was the Manor of Cortland, reaching from Tarrytown to Anthony's Nose. Above this was the Phillipse Patent, reaching to the mouth of Fishkill Creek, embracing Putnam County. Between Fishkill Creek and the Wappingers Creek was the Rombout Patent. The Schuyler Patent embraced a few square miles in the vicinity of Poughkeepsie. Above this was the purchase of Falconer & Company, and east of this tract what was known as the Great Nine Partners. Above the Falconer Purchase was the Henry Beekman Patent, reaching to Esopus Island, and east of this the Little Nine Partners. Above the Beekman Patent was the Schuyler Patent. Then the Manor of Livingston, reaching from Rhinebeck to Catskill Station, opposite Catskill. Above this Rensselaerwick, reaching north to a point opposite Coeymans. The Manor of Rensselaer extended on both sides of the river to a line running nearly east and west, just above Troy. North and west of this Manor was the County of Albany, since divided into Rensselaer, Saratoga, Washington, Schoharie, Greene and Albany. The Rensselaer Manor was the only one that reached across the river. The west bank of the Hudson, below the Rensselaer Manor, is simply indicated on this map of 1779 as Ulster and Orange Counties.
New Amsterdam.—For about fifty years after the Dutch Settlement the island of Manhattan was known as New Amsterdam. Washington Irving, in his Knickerbocker History, has surrounded it with a loving halo and thereby given to the early records of New York the most picturesque background of any State in the Union.
* * *
The city bright below, and far away Sparkling in golden light his own romantic Bay.
* * *
Among other playful allusions to the Indian names he takes the word Manna-hatta of Robert Juet to mean "the island of manna," or in other words a land flowing with milk and honey. He refers humorously to the Yankees as "an ingenious people who out-bargain them in the market, out-speculate them on the exchange, out-top them in fortune, and run up mushroom palaces so high that the tallest Dutch family mansion has not wind enough left for its weather-cock."
What would the old burgomaster think now of the mounting palaces of trade, stately apartments, and the piled up stories of commercial buildings? In fact the highest structure Washington Irving ever saw in New York was a nine-story sugar refinery. With elevators running two hundred feet a minute, there seems no limit to these modern mammoths.
The Dutch and the English.—From the very beginning there was a quiet jealousy between the Dutch Settlement on the Hudson and the English Settlers in Massachusetts. To quote from an old English history, "it was the original purpose of the Pilgrims to locate near Nova Scotia, but, upon better consideration, they decided to seat themselves more to the southward on the bank of Hudson's River which falls into the sea at New York."
To this end "they contracted with some merchants who were willing to be adventurers with them in their intended settlement and were proprietors of the country, but the contract bore too heavy upon them, and made them the more easy in their disappointment. Their agents in England hired the Mayflower, and, after a stormy voyage, 'fell in with Cape Cod on the 9th of November. Here they refreshed themselves about half a day and then tacked about to the southward for Hudson's River.'
"Encountering a storm they became entangled in dangerous shoals and breakers and were driven back again to the Cape." Thus Plymouth became the first English settlement of New England. Another historian says that it was their purpose "to settle on the Connecticut Coast near Fairfield County, lying between the Connecticut and Hudson's River."
* * *
Before his sight Flowed the fair river free and bright, The rising mist and Isles of Bay, Before him in their glory lay.
Robert C. Sands.
* * *
From the very first the Dutch occupation was considered by the English as illegal. It was undoubtedly part of the country the coasts of which were first viewed by Sebastian Cabot, who sailed with five English ships from Bristol in May, 1498, and as such was afterwards included in the original province of Virginia. It was also within the limits of the country granted by King James to the Western Company, but, before it could be settled, the Dutch occupancy took place, and, in the interest of peace, a license was granted by King James.
The Dutch thus made their settlement before the Puritans were planted in New England, and from their first coming, "being seated in Islands and at the mouth of a good river their plantations were in a thriving condition, and they begun, in Holland, to promise themselves vast things from their new colony."
Sir Samuel Argal in 1617 or 1618, on his way from Virginia to New Scotland, insulted the Dutch and destroyed their plantations. "To guard against further molestations they secured a License from King James to build Cottages and to plant for traffic as well as subsistence, pretending it was only for the conveniency of their ships touching there for fresh water and fresh provisions in their voyage to Brazil; but they little by little extended their limits every way, built Towns, fortified them and became a flourishing colony."
"In an island called Manhattan, at the mouth of Hudson's River, they built a City which they called New Amsterdam, and the river was called by them the Great River. The bay to the east of it had the name of Nassau given to it. About one hundred and fifty miles up the River they built a Fort which they called Orange Fort and from thence drove a profitable trade with the Indians who came overland as far as from Quebec to deal with them."
The Dutch Colonies were therefore in a very thriving condition when they were attacked by the English. The justice of this war has been freely criticised even by English writers, "because troops were sent to attack New Amsterdam before the Colony had any notice of the war."
* * *
On his view Ocean, and earth, and heaven burst before him, Clouds slumbering at his feet and the clear blue Of summer's sky in beauty bending o'er him.
* * *
The "Encyclopaedia Britannica" thus briefly puts the history of those far-off days when New York was a town of about 1500 inhabitants: "The English Government was hostile to any other occupation of the New World than its own. In 1621 James I. claimed sovereignty over New Netherland by right of 'occupancy.' In 1632 Charles I. reasserted the English title of 'first discovery, occupation and possession.' In 1654 Cromwell ordered an expedition for its conquest and the New England Colonies had engaged their support. The treaty with Holland arrested their operations and recognized the title of the Dutch. In 1664 Charles the Second resolved upon a conquest of New Netherland. The immediate excuse was the loss to the revenue of the English Colonies by the smuggling practices of their Dutch neighbors. A patent was granted to the Duke of York giving to him all the lands and rivers from the west side of the Connecticut River to the east side of Delaware Bay."
"On the 29th of August an English Squadron under the direction of Col. Richard Nicolls, the Duke's Deputy Governor, appeared off the Narrows, and on Sept. 8th New Amsterdam, defenseless against the force, was formally surrendered by Stuyvesant. In 1673 (August 7th) war being declared between England and Holland a Dutch squadron surprised New York, captured the City and restored the Dutch authority, and the names of New Netherland and New Amsterdam. But in July, 1674, a treaty of peace restored New York to English rule. A new patent was issued to the Duke of York, and Major Edmund Andros was appointed Governor."
New York.—On the 10th of November, 1674, the Province of New Netherland was surrendered to Governor Major Edmund Andros on behalf of his Britannic Majesty. The letter sent by Governor Andros to the Dutch Governor is interesting in this connection: "Being arrived to this place with orders to receive from you in the behalf of his Majesty of Great Britain, pursuant to the late articles of peace with the States Generals of the United Netherlands, the New Netherlands and Dependencies, now under your command, I have herewith, by Capt. Philip Carterett and Ens. Caesar Knafton, sent you the respective orders from the said States General, the States of Zealand and Admirality of Amsterdam to that effect, and desire you'll please to appoint some short time for it. Our soldiers having been long aboard, I pray you answer by these gentlemen, and I shall be ready to serve you in what may lay in my power. Being from aboard his Majesty's ship, 'The Diamond,' at anchor near. Your very humble servant. Staten Island this 22d Oct., 1674." After nineteen days' deliberation, which greatly annoyed Governor Andros, New Amsterdam was transferred from Dutch to English authority.
* * *
All white with sails thy keel-thronged waters flee Through one rich lapse of plenty to the sea.
* * *
"In 1683 Thomas Dongan succeeded Andros. A general Assembly, the first under the English rule, met in October, 1683, and adopted a Charter of Liberties, which was confirmed by the Duke. In August, 1684, a new covenant was made with the Iroquois, who formally acknowledged the jurisdiction of Great Britain, but not subjection. By the accession of the Duke of York to the English throne the Duchy of New York became a royal province. The Charters of the New England Colonies were revoked, and together with New York and New Jersey they were consolidated into the dominion of New England. Dongan was recalled and Sir Edmund Andros was commissioned Governor General. He assumed his vice regal authority August 11, 1688. The Assembly which James had abolished in 1686 was reestablished, and in May declared the rights and privileges of the people, reaffirming the principles of the repealed Charter of Liberties of October 30, 1683."
* * *
"Queen of all lovely rivers, lustrous queen Of flowing waters in our sweet new lands, Rippling through sunlight to the ocean sands."
* * *
From this time on to the Revolution of 1776 there is one continual struggle between the Royal Governors and the General Assembly. The Governor General had the power of dissolving the Assembly, but the Assembly had the power of granting money. British troops were quartered in New York which increased the irritation. The conquest of Canada left a heavy burden upon Great Britain, a part of which their Parliament attempted to shift to the shoulders of the Colonies.
A general Congress of the Colonies, held in New York in 1765, protested against the Stamp Act and other oppressive ordinances and they were in part repealed.
A Page of Patriotism.—During the long political agitation New York, the most English of the Colonies in her manners and feelings, was in close harmony with the Whig leaders of England. She firmly adhered to the principle of the sovereignty of the people which she had inscribed on her ancient "Charter of Liberties." Although largely dependent upon commerce she was the first to recommend a non-importation of English merchandise as a measure of retaliation against Britain, and she was the first also to invite a general congress of all the Colonies. On the breaking out of hostilities New York immediately joined the patriot cause. The English authority was overthrown and the government passed to a provincial congress.
* * *
The union of lakes—the union of lands— The union of States none can sever— The union of hearts—the union of hands— And the Flag of our Union forever.
George P. Morris.
* * *
New York Sons of Liberty.—In 1767, in the eighth year of the reign of George III. there was issued a document in straightforward Saxon, and Sir Henry Moore, Governor-in-Chief over the Province of New York, offered fifty pounds to discover the author or authors. The paper read as follows: "Whereas, a glorious stand for Liberty did appear in the Resentment shown to a Set of Miscreants under the Name of Stamp Masters, in the year 1765, and it is now feared that a set of Gentry called Commissioners (I do not mean those lately arrived at Boston), whose odious Business is of a similar nature, may soon make their appearance amongst us in order to execute their detestable office: It is therefore hoped that every votary of that celestial Goddess Liberty, will hold themselves in readiness to give them a proper welcome. Rouse, my Countrymen, Rouse! (Signed) Pro Patria."
In December, 1769, a stirring address "To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and County of New York," signed by a Son of Liberty, was also published, asking the people to do their duty in matters pending between them and Britain. "Imitate," the writer said, "the noble examples of the friends of Liberty in England; who, rather than be enslaved, contend for their rights with king, lords and commons; and will you suffer your liberties to be torn from you by your Representatives? tell it not in Boston; publish it not in the streets of Charles-town. You have means yet left to preserve a unanimity with the brave Bostonians and Carolinians; and to prevent the accomplishment of the designs of tyrants."
Another proclamation, offering a reward of fifty pounds, was published by the "Honorable Cadwalader Colden, Esquire, His Majesty's Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of New York and the territories depending thereon in America," with another "God Save the King" at the end of it. But the people who commenced to write Liberty with a capital letter and the word "king" in lower case type were not daunted. Captain Alexander McDougal was arrested as the supposed author. He was imprisoned eighty-one days. He was subsequently a member of the Provincial Convention, in 1775 was appointed Colonel of the first New York Regiment, and in 1777 rose to the rank of Major-General in the U. S. Army. New York City could well afford a monument to the Sons of Liberty. She has a right to emphasize this period of her history, for her citizens passed the first resolution to import nothing from the mother country, burned ten boxes of stamps sent from England before any other colony or city had made even a show of resistance, and when the Declaration was read, pulled down the leaden statue of George III. from its pedestal in Bowling Green, and moulded it into Republican bullets.
* * *
And not a verdant glade or mountain hoary, But treasures up within the glorious story.
Charles Fenno Hoffman.
* * *
In 1699 the population of New York was about 6,000. In 1800, it reached 60,000; and the growth since that date is almost incredible. It is amusing to hear elderly people speak of the "outskirts of the city" lying close to the City Hall, and of the drives in the country above Canal Street. In the Documentary History of New York, a map of a section of New York appears as it was in 1793, when the Gail, Work House, and Bridewell occupied the site of the City Hall, with two ponds to the north—East Collect Pond and Little Collect Pond,—sixty feet deep and about a quarter of a mile in diameter, the outlet of which crossed Broadway at Canal Street and found its way to the Hudson.
Greater New York.—In 1830, the population of Manhattan was 202,000; in 1850, 515,000; in 1860, 805,000; in 1870, 942,000; in 1880, 1,250,000; in 1892, 1,801,739; and is now rapidly approaching three million. Brooklyn, which in 1800 had a population of only 2,000, now contributes, as the "Borough of Brooklyn," almost two million. So that Greater New York is the centre of about six million of people within a radius of fifteen miles including her New Jersey suburbs with almost five millions under one municipality.
Brooklyn.—In June, 1636, was bought the first land on Long Island; and in 1667 the Ferry Town, opposite New York, was known by the name "Breuckelen," signifying "broken land," but the name was not generally accepted until after the Revolution. Columbia Heights, Prospect Park, Clinton Avenue, St. Mark's Place and Stuyvesant Heights are among the favored spots for residence.
* * *
Behind us lies the teeming town With lust of gold grown frantic; Before us glitters o'er the bay The peaceable Atlantic.
* * *
Jersey City occupies the ground once known as Paulus Hook, the farm of William Kieft, Director General of the Dutch West India Company. Its water front, from opposite Bartholdi Statue to Hoboken, is conspicuously marked by Railroad Terminal Piers, Factories, Elevators, etc. Bergen is the oldest settlement in New Jersey. It was founded in 1616 by Dutch Colonists to the New Netherlands, and received its name from Bergen in Norway. Jersey City is practically a part of Greater New York, but state lines make municipal union impossible.
Hudson River Steamboats.—An accurate history of the growth and development of steam navigation on the Hudson, from the building of the "Clermont" by Robert Fulton to the building of the superb steamers of the Hudson River Day Line would form a very interesting book. The first six years produced six steamers:
Clermont, built in 1807 160 tons Car of Neptune, built in 1809 295 " Hope, built in 1811 280 " Perseverance, built in 1811 280 " Paragon, built in 1811 331 " Richmond, built in 1813 370 "
It makes one smile to read the newspaper notices of those days. The time was rather long, and the fare rather high—thirty-six hours to Albany, fare seven dollars.
From the Albany Gazette, September, 1807.
"The North River Steamboat will leave Paulus Hook Ferry on Friday the 4th of September, at 9 in the morning, and arrive at Albany at 9 in the afternoon on Saturday. Provisions, good berths, and accommodation are provided. The charge to each passenger is as follows:
To Newburg Dols. 3, Time 14 hours. Poughkeepsie " 4, " 17 " Esopus " 5, " 20 " Hudson " 51/2, " 30 " Albany " 7, " 36 "
For places apply to Wm. Vandervoort, No. 48 Courtland street, on the corner of Greenwich street, September 2d, 1807."
* * *
The wind blew over the land and the waves With its salt sea-breath, and a spicy balm, And it seemed to cool my throbbing brain, And lend my spirit its gusty calm.
Richard Henry Stoddard.
* * *
Extract from the New York Evening Post, October 2, 1807.
Mr. Fulton's new-invented steamboat, which is fitted up in a neat style for passengers, and is intended to run from New York to Albany as a packet, left here this morning with ninety passengers, against a strong head wind. Notwithstanding which, it is judged that she moved through the waters at the rate of six miles an hour.
Extract from the Albany Gazette, October 5th, 1807.
Friday, October 2d, 1807, the steamboat (Clermont) left New York at ten o'clock a.m., against a stormy tide, very rough water, and a violent gale from the north. She made a headway beyond the most sanguine expectations, and without being rocked by the waves.
Arrived at Albany, October 4th, at 10 o'clock p.m., being detained by being obliged to come to anchor, owing to a gale and having one of her paddle wheels torn away by running foul of a sloop.
* * *
But see! the broadening river deeper flows, Its tribute floods intent to reach the sea.
* * *
The following was recently recopied in the Poughkeepsie Eagle, as an old time reminiscence:
To Poughkeepsie from New York in Seventeen Hours.
—The first steamboat on the Hudson River passed Poughkeepsie August 17th, 1807, and in June, 1808, the owners of the boat caused the following advertisement to be published in prominent papers along the river:
FOR THE INFORMATION OF THE PUBLIC.
The Steamboat will leave New York for Albany every Saturday afternoon exactly at 6 o'clock, and will pass:
West Point, about 4 o'clock Sunday morning. Newburgh, 7 o'clock Sunday morning. Poughkeepsie, 11 o'clock Sunday morning. Esopus, 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Red Hook, 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Catskill, 7 o'clock in the afternoon. Hudson, 8 o'clock in the evening.
She will leave Albany for New York every Wednesday morning exactly at 8 o'clock, and pass:
Hudson, about 3 in the afternoon. Esopus, 8 in the evening. Poughkeepsie, 12 at night. Newburgh, 4 Thursday morning. West Point, 7 Thursday morning.
As the time at which the boat may arrive at the different places above mentioned may vary an hour, more or less, according to the advantage or disadvantage of wind and tide, those who wish to come on board will see the necessity of being on the spot an hour before the time. Persons wishing to come on board from any other landing than these here specified can calculate the time the boat will pass and be ready on her arrival. Innkeepers or boatmen who bring passengers on board or take them ashore from any part of the river will be allowed one shilling for each person.
PRICES OF PASSAGE—FROM NEW YORK.
To West Point $2 30 To Newburgh 3 00 To Poughkeepsie 3 50 To Esopus 4 00 To Red Hook 4 50 To Hudson 5 00 To Albany 7 00
To Hudson $2 00 To Red Hook 3 00 To Esopus 3 50 To Poughkeepsie 4 00 To Newburgh and West Point 4 50 To New York 7 00
All other passengers are to pay at the rate of one dollar for every twenty miles, and a half dollar for every meal they may eat.
Children from 1 to 5 years of age to pay one-third price and to sleep with persons under whose care they are.
Young persons from 5 to 15 years of age to pay half price, provided they sleep two in a berth, and the whole price for each one who requests to occupy a whole berth.
Servants who pay two-thirds price are entitled to a berth; they pay half price if they do not have a berth.
Every person paying full price is allowed sixty pounds of baggage; if less than full price forty pounds. They are to pay at the rate of three cents per pound for surplus baggage. Storekeepers who wish to carry light and valuable merchandise can be accommodated on paying three cents a pound.
* * *
By palace, village, cot, a sweet surprise At every turn the vision looks upon; Till to our wondering and uplifted eyes The Highland rocks and hills in solemn grandeur rise.
Henry T. Tuckerman.
* * *
Day Line Steamers.—As the cradle of successful steam navigation was rocked on the Hudson, it is fitting that the Day Line Steamers should excel all others in beauty, grace and speed. There is no comparison between these river palaces and the steamboats on the Rhine or any river in Europe, as to equipment, comfort and rapidity. To make another reference to the great tourist route of Europe, the distance from Cologne to Coblenz is 60 miles, the same as from New York to Newburgh. It takes the Rhine steamers from seven to eight hours (as will be seen in Baedeker's Guide to that river) going up the stream, and from four and a half to five hours returning with the current. The Hudson by Daylight steamers en route to Albany make the run from New York to Newburgh in three hours; to Poughkeepsie in four hours, making stops at Yonkers, West Point and Newburgh. Probably no train on the best equipped railroad in our country reaches its stations with greater regularity than these steamers make their various landing. It astonishes a Mississippi or Missouri traveler to see the captain standing like a train-conductor, with watch in hand, to let off the gang-plank and pull the bell, at the very moment of the advertised schedule.
* * *
Southward the river gleams—a snowy sail Now gliding o'er the mirror—now a track Tossing with foam displaying on its course The graceful steamer with its flag of smoke.
Alfred B. Street.
* * *
One of the most humorous incidents of the writer's journeying up and down the Hudson, was the "John-Gilpin-experience" of a western man who got off at West Point a few years ago. It was at that time the first landing of the steamer after leaving New York.
As he was accustomed to the Mississippi style of waiting at the various towns he thought he would go up and take a look at the "hill." The boat was off and "so was he"; with wife and children shaking their hands and handkerchiefs in an excited manner from the gang-plank. Some one at the stern of the steamer shouted to him to cross the river and take the train to Poughkeepsie.
Every one was on the lookout for him at the Poughkeepsie landing, and, just as the steamer was leaving the dock, he came dashing down Main street from the railroad station, but too late. Then not only wife and children but the entire boat saluted him and the crowded deck blossomed with handkerchiefs. Some one shouted "catch us at Rhinebeck." After leaving Rhinebeck the train appeared, and on passing the steamer, a lone handkerchief waved from the rear of the platform. At Hudson an excited but slightly disorganized gentleman appeared to the great delight of his family, and every one else, for the passengers had all taken a lively interest in the chase. "Well," he says, "I declare, the way this boat lands, and gets off again, beats anything I ever see, and I have lived on the Mississippi nigh on to a quarter of a century."
* * *
While drinking in the scene, my mind goes back upon the tide of years, and lo, a vision! On its upward path the "Half-Moon" glides.
Alfred B. Street.
* * *
The "Hendrick Hudson." In these centennial days of discovery and invention, a description of the steamers will be of interest, furnished by the Hudson River Day Line. The "Hendrick Hudson" was built at Newburgh by the Marvel Company, under contract with the W. & A. Fletcher Company of New York, who built her engines, and under designs from Frank E. Kirby. Her principal dimensions are: length, 400 feet; breadth over all, 82 feet; depth of hold, 14 feet 5 inches, and a draft of 7 feet 6 inches. Her propelling machinery is what is known as the 3-cylinder compound direct acting engine, and her power (6,500-horse) is applied through side wheels with feathering buckets, and steam is supplied from eight boilers.
Steel has been used in her construction to such an extent that her hull, her bulk-heads (7 in all), her engine and boiler enclosures, her kitchen and ventilators, her stanchions, girders, and deck beams, and in fact the whole essential frame work of the boat is like a great steel building. Where wood is used it is hard wood, and in finish probably has no equal in marine work.
Her scheme of decoration, ventilation and sanitation is as artistic and scientific as modern methods can produce, and at the same time her general lay out for practical and comfortable operation is the evolution of the long number of years in which the Day Line has been conducting the passenger business.
A detailed account of this steamer would be a long story, but some of the salient features are as follows: She carries the largest passenger license ever issued, namely: for 5,000 people; on her trial trip she made the fastest record through the water of any inland passenger ship in this country, namely: 23.1 miles per hour. Her shafts are under the main deck. Her mural paintings represent prominent features of the Hudson, which may not be well seen from the steamer. Her equipment far exceeds the requirements of the Government Inspection Laws.
* * *
We hear the murmur of the sea,— A monotone of sadness, But not a whisper of the crowd, Or echo of its madness.
* * *
The "New York." The hull of the "New York" was built at Wilmington, Del., by the Harlan & Hollingsworth Co., in 1887, and is, with the exception of the deck-frame, made of iron throughout. During the winter of 1897 she was lengthened 30 feet, and now measures 341 feet in length, breadth over all 74 feet, with a tonnage of 1975 gross tons. The engine was built by the W. & A. Fletcher Co. of New York. It is a standard American beam engine, with a cylinder 75 inches in diameter and 12 feet stroke of piston, and develops 3,850 horse power. Steam steering gear is used. One of the most admirable features of this queen of river steamers is her "feathering" wheels, the use of which not only adds materially to her speed but does away with the jar or tremor common to boats having the ordinary paddle-wheels. The exterior of the "New York" is, as usual, of pine, painted white and relieved with tints and gold. The interior is finished in hard-wood cabinet work, ash being used forward of the shaft on the main deck, and mahogany aft and in the dining-room. Ash is also used in the grand saloons on the promenade deck. One feature of these saloons especially worthy of note, is the number and size of the windows, which are so numerous as to almost form one continuous window. Seated in one of these elegant saloons as in a floating palace of glass, the tourist who prefers to remain inside enjoys equally with those outside the unrivalled scenery through which the steamer is passing. The private parlors on the "New York" are provided with bay windows and are very luxuriantly furnished. In the saloons are paintings by Albert Bierstadt, J. F. Cropsey, Walter Satterlee and David Johnson. The dining-room on the "New York" is located on the main deck, aft; a feature that will commend itself to tourists, since while enjoying their meals they will not be deprived from viewing the noble scenery through which the steamer is passing. While the carrying capacity of the "New York" is 4,500 passengers, license for 2,500 only is applied for, thus guaranteeing ample room for all and the absence from crowding which is so essential to comfort.
* * *
Thy fate and mine are not repose, And ere another evening close Thou to thy tides shall turn again And I to seek the crowd of men.
William Cullen Byrant.
* * *
The "Albany" was built by the Harlan & Hollingsworth Co., of Wilmington, Del., in 1880. During the winter of 1892, she was lengthened thirty feet and furnished with modern feathering wheels in place of the old style radial ones. Her hull is of iron, 325 feet long, breadth of beam over all 75 feet, and her tonnage is 1,415 gross tons. Her engine was built by the W. & A. Fletcher Co., of New York, and develops 3,200 horse power. The stroke is 12 feet, and the diameter of the cylinder is 73 inches. On her trial trip she ran from New York to Poughkeepsie, a distance of 75 miles, in three hours and seven minutes. Steam steering gear is used on the "Albany," thus insuring ease and precision in handling her. The wood-work on the main deck and in the upper saloons is all hard wood; mahogany, ash and maple tastefully carved. Wide, easy staircases lead to the main saloon and upper decks. Rich Axminster carpets cover the floors, and mahogany tables and furniture of antique design and elegant finish make up the appointments of a handsomely furnished drawing room.
* * *
Lose not a memory of the glorious scenes, Mountains and palisades, and leaning rocks.
* * *
The Old Reaches.—Early navigators divided the Hudson into fourteen "reaches" or distances from point to point as seen by one sailing up or down the river. In the slow days of uncertain sailing vessels these divisions meant more than in our time of "propelling steam," but they are still of practical and historic interest.
The Great Chip Rock Reach extends from above Weehawken about eighteen miles to the boundary line of New York and New Jersey—(near Piermont). The Palisades were known by the old Dutch settlers as the "Great Chip," and so styled in the Bergen Deed of Purchase, viz, the great chip above Weehawken. The Tappan Reach (on the east side of which dwelt the Manhattans, and on the west side the Saulrickans and the Tappans), extends about seven miles to Teller's Point. The third reach to a narrow point called Haverstroo; then comes the Seylmaker's Reach, then Crescent Reach; next Hoge's Reach, and then Vorsen Reach, which extends to Klinkersberg, or Storm King, the northern portal of the Highlands. This is succeeded by Fisher's Reach where, on the east side once dwelt a race of savages called Pachami. "This reach," in the language of De Laet, "extends to another narrow pass, where, on the west, is a point of land which juts out, covered with sand, opposite a bend in the river, on which another nation of savages—the Waoranecks—have their abode at a place called Esopus. Next, another reach, called Claverack; then Backerack; next Playsier Reach, and Vaste Reach, as far as Hinnenhock; then Hunter's Reach, as far as Kinderhook; and Fisher's Hook, near Shad Island, over which, on the east side, dwell the Mahicans." If these reaches seem valueless at present there are
Five Divisions of the Hudson—which possess interest for all, as they present an analysis easy to be remembered—divisions marked by something more substantial than sentiment or fancy, expressing five distinct characteristics:—
1. THE PALISADES, an unbroken wall of rock for fifteen miles—GRANDEUR.
2. THE TAPPAN ZEE, surrounded by the sloping hills of Nyack, Tarrytown, and Sleepy Hollow—REPOSE.
3. THE HIGHLANDS, where the Hudson for twenty miles plays "hide and seek" with "hills rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun"—SUBLIMITY.
4. THE HILLSIDES for miles above and below Poughkeepsie—THE PICTURESQUE.
5. THE CATSKILLS, on the west, throned in queenly dignity—BEAUTY.
* * *
On the deck Stands the bold Hudson, gazing at the sights Opening successive—point and rock and hill, Majestic mountain-top, and nestling vale.
Alfred B. Street.
* * *
From the Hurricane Deck of the Hudson River Day Line Steamers can be seen, on leaving or approaching the Metropolis, one of the most interesting panoramas in the world—the river life of Manhattan, the massive structures of Broadway, the great Transatlantic docks, Recreation Piers, and an ever-changing kaleidoscope of interest. The view is especially grand on the down trip between the hours of five and six in the afternoon, as the western sun brings the city in strong relief against the sky. If tourists wish to fully enjoy this beautiful view they should remain on the Hurricane Deck until the boat is well into her Desbrosses Street slip.
The Brooklyn Annex.—The Brooklyn tourist is especially happy in this delightful preface and addenda to the Hudson River trip. The effect of morning and evening light in bringing out or in subduing the sky-line of Manhattan is nowhere seen to greater advantage. In the morning the buildings from the East River side stand out bold and clear, when lo! almost instantaneously, on turning the Battery, they are lessened and subdued. On the return trip in the evening, the effect is reversed—a study worth the while of the traveler as he passes to and fro on the commodious "Annex" between Desbrosses Street Pier and Brooklyn. Surely no other city in the world rises so beautiful from harbor line or water front as "Greater New York," with lofty outlines of the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn reminding one of Scott's tribute to Edinburgh:
"Piled deep and massy, close and high, Mine own romantic town!"
* * *
Down at the end of the long, dark street, Years, years ago, I sat with my sweetheart on the pier, Watching the river flow.
Richard Henry Stoddard.
* * *
NEW YORK TO ALBANY.
Desbrosses Street Pier to Forty-Second Street.
Our historic journey fittingly begins at Desbrosses Street, for here, near the old River-front, extending from Desbrosses along Greenwich, stood the Revolutionary line of breastworks reaching south to the Grenadier Battery at Franklin Street. Below this were "Jersey," "McDougall" and "Oyster" batteries and intervening earthworks to Port George, on the Battery, which stood on the site of old Fort Amsterdam, carrying us back to Knickerbocker memories of Peter Stuyvesant and Wowter Van Twiller. The view from the after-deck, before the steamer leaves the pier, gives scope for the imagination to re-picture the far-away primitive and heroic days of early New York.
Desbrosses Street Pier.—On leaving the lower landing a charming view is obtained of New York Harbor, the Narrows, Staten Island, the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty, and, in clear weather, far away to the South, the Highlands of Nevisink, the first land to greet the eye of the ocean voyager. As the steamer swings out into the stream the tourist is at once face to face with a rapidly changing panorama. Steamers arriving, with happy faces on their decks, from southern ports or distant lands; others with waving handkerchiefs bidding good-bye to friends on crowded docks; swift-shuttled ferry-boats, with hurrying passengers, supplying their homespun woof to the great warp of foreign or coastwise commerce; noisy tug-boats, sombre as dray horses, drawing long lines of canal boats, or proud in the convoy of some Atlantic greyhound that has not yet slipped its leash; dignified "Men of War" at anchor, flying the flags of many nations, happy excursion boats en route to sea-side resorts, scows, picturesque in their very clumsiness and uncouthness—all unite in a living kaleidescope of beauty.
* * *
Rise, stately symbol! Holding forth Thy light and hope to all who sit In chains and darkness! Belt the earth With watch-fires from thy torch uplit!
John Greenleaf Whittier.
* * *
Across the river on the Jersey Shore are seen extensive docks of great railways, with elevators and stations that seem like "knotted ends" of vast railway lines, lest they might forsooth, untwist and become irrecoverably tangled in approaching the Metropolis. Prominent among these are the Pennsylvania Railroad for the South and West; the Erie Railway, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and to the North above Hoboken the West Shore, serving also as starting point for the New York, Ontario and Western. Again the eye returns to the crowded wharves and warehouses of New York, reaching from Castle Garden beyond 30th Street, with forest-like masts and funnels of ocean steamships, and then to prominent buildings mounting higher and higher year by year along the city horizon, marking the course of Broadway from the Battery, literally fulfilling the humor of Knickerbocker in not leaving space for a breath of air for the top of old Trinity Church spire.
Stevens' Castle.—About midway between Desbrosses Street and 42d Street Pier will be seen on the Jersey Shore a wooded point with sightly building, known as Stevens' Castle, home of the late Commodore Stevens, founder of the Stevens Institute of Technology. Above this are the Elysian Fields, near the river bank, known in early days as a quiet resort but now greatly changed in the character of its visitors. On the left will also be seen the dome and tower of St. Michael's Monastery, and above this Union Hill.
The Trap Rock Ridge, which begins to show itself above the Elysian Fields, increases gradually in height to the brow of the Palisades. West of Bergen Heights and Union Hill flows the Hackensack River parallel to the Hudson, and at this point only about two miles distant.
* * *
How still with all her towers and domes The city sleeps on yonder shore,— How many thousand happy homes Yon starless sky is bending o'er.
* * *
Forty-Second Street to One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth.
The 42d Street Pier is now at hand, convenient of access to travelers, as the 42d Street car line crosses Manhattan intersecting every "up and down" surface, subway or elevated road in the City, as does also the Grand, Vestry and Desbrosses Street at the lower landing. While passengers are coming aboard we take pleasure in quoting the following from Baedeker's Guide to the United States: "The Photo-Panorama of the Hudson, published by the Bryant Union Publishing Co., New York City (price 50 cents), shows both sides of the river from New York to Albany, accurately represented from 800 consecutive photographs. This new and complete object-guide will be of service to the tourist, and can be had at the steamers' news stands, head of grand stairway, or it will be sent by publishers, postpaid, on receipt of price."
Weehawken with its sad story of the duel between Hamilton and Burr is soon seen upon the west bank. A monument once marked the spot, erected by the St. Andrews Society of New York City on the ledge of rock where Hamilton fell early in the morning of the eleventh of July, 1804. The quarrel between this great statesman and his malignant rival was, perhaps, more personal than political. It is said that Hamilton, in accordance with the old-time code of honor, accepted the challenge, but fired into the air, while Burr with fiendish cruelty took deliberate revenge. Burr was never forgiven by the citizens of New York and from that hour walked its streets shunned and despised. Among the many poetic tributes penned at the time to the memory of Hamilton, perhaps the best was by a poet whose name is now scarcely remembered, Mr. Robert C. Sands. A fine picture of Hamilton will be found in the New York Chamber of Commerce where the writer was recently shown the following concise paragraph from Talleyrand: "The three greatest men of my time, in my opinion, were Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles James Fox and Alexander Hamilton and the greatest of the three was Hamilton."
* * *
Where round yon capes the banks ascend Long shall the pilgrim's footsteps bend, There, mirthful heart shall pause to sigh, There tears shall dim the patriot's eye.
Robert C. Sands.
* * *
The plain marble slab which stood in the face of the monument is still preserved by a member of the King family. It is thirty-six inches long by twenty-six and a half inches wide and bears the following inscription: "As an expression of their affectionate regard to his Memory and their deep regret for his loss, the St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York have erected this Monument."
Quite a history attaches to this stone (graphically condensed by an old gardener of the King estate): "It stood in the face of the monument for sixteen years, and was read by thousands, but by 1820 the pillar had become an eyesore to the enlightened public sentiment of the age, and an agitation was begun in the public prints for its removal. It was not, however, organized effort, but the order of one man, that at length demolished the pillar. This man was Captain Deas, a peace-loving gentleman, strongly opposed to duelling and brawls, and on seeing a party approaching the grounds often interposed and sometimes succeeded in effecting a reconciliation. He became tired of seeing the pillar in his daily walks, and, in 1820, ordered his men to remove it and deposit the slab containing the inscription in one of the outbuildings of the estate. This was done. But a few months afterward the slab was stolen, and nothing more was heard of it until thirteen years later, when Mr. Hugh Maxwell, president of the St. Andrew's Society, discovered it in a junk shop in New York. He at once purchased it and presented it to Mr. James G. King, who about this time came into possession of the Deas property, where it has since been carefully preserved."
This mansion of Captain Deas afterward known as the "King House on the Cliff" was a stately residence where Washington Irving used to come and dream of his fair Manhattan across the river. It was also the head-quarters of Lafayette, after the battle of Brandywine.
* * *
I was an admirer of General Hamilton, and I sicken when I think of our political broils, slanders and enmities.
* * *
The gardener also said: "the river road beneath us is cut directly through the spot. Originally it was simply a narrow and grassy shelf close up under the cliffs, six feet wide and eleven paces long. A great cedar tree stood at one end, and this sandbowlder, which we have also preserved, was at the other. It was about twenty feet above the river and was reached by a steep rocky path leading up from the Hudson, and, as there was then no road or path even along the base of the cliffs, it could be reached only by boats." The first duel at Weehawken of which there is any record was in 1799, between Aaron Burr and John B. Church (Hamilton's brother-in-law). The parties met and exchanged shots; neither was wounded. The seconds then induced Church to offer an apology and the affair terminated. The last duel was fought there September 28, 1845, and ended in a farce, the pistols being loaded with cork—a fitting termination to a relic of barbarism.
Riverside Drive and Park. Riverside Drive, on the east bank starting at 72d Street, is pronounced the finest residential avenue in the world. Distinguished among many noble residences is the home of Charles M. Schwab at 73d Street, which cost two million dollars; built on the New York Orphan Asylum plot for which he paid $860,000.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, 89th Street, a memorial to the citizens of New York, who took part in the Civil War, a beautiful work of art, circular in form, with Corinthian columns, erected by the city at a cost of a quarter of million of dollars was dedicated May 30, 1902. The corner-stone was laid in 1900 by President Roosevelt, at that time Governor. The location was well selected, and it presents one of the most attractive features of the river front.
* * *
We celebrate our hundredth year With thankful hearts and words of praise, And learn a lasting lesson here Of trust and hope for coming days.
* * *
Columbia University, on Morningside Heights, has a fine outlook, crowning a noble site worthy of the old college, whose sons have been to the fore since the days of the Revolution in promoting the glory of the state and the nation. President Low has happily styled "Morningside," which extends from 116th to 120th Streets, "The Acropolis of the new world." The Library Building which he erected to his father's memory, is of Greek architecture and cost $1,500,000. It contains 300,000 volumes and is open night and day to the public. It also marks the battle ground and American victory of Harlem Heights in 1776.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Protestant Episcopal), now in process of erection, occupies three blocks from 110th Street to 113th between Morningside Park and Amsterdam Avenue. The corner stone was laid in 1892 to be completed about 1940 at a cost of $6,000,000. The crypt quarried out of the solid rock has been completed and services are held in it every Sunday. Near at hand will be seen the beautiful dome of St. Luke's Hospital.
Grant's Tomb, Riverside Drive and 123d Street, has the most commanding site of the Hudson River front of New York. The bluff rises 130 feet and still retains the name of Claremont. The apex of the memorial is 280 feet above the river. Ninety thousand people contributed to the "Grant Monument Association fund" which, with interest, aggregated $600,000. The corner stone was laid by President Harrison in 1892 and dedicated April 27, 1897, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of Grant's birth, with a great military, naval and civil parade. The occasion was marked by an address of President McKinley and an oration of Gen. Horace Porter, president of the Grant Monument Association.
An attempt to remove Grant's body to Washington was made in Congress but overwhelmingly defeated. The speech by Congressman Amos Cummings in the House of Representatives, was a happy condensation of the facts. He fittingly said: "New York was General Grant's chosen home. He tried many other places but finally settled there. A house was given to him here in Washington, but he abandoned it in the most marked manner to buy one for himself in New York. He was a familiar form upon her streets. He presided at her public meetings and at all times took an active interest in her local affairs. He was perfectly at home there and was charmed with its associations. It was the spot on earth chosen by himself as the most agreeable to him; he meant to live and die there. It was his home when he died. He closed his career without ever once expressing a wish to leave it, but always to remain in it.
"Men are usually buried at their homes. Washington was buried there; Lincoln was buried there; Garibaldi was buried there; Gambetta was buried there, and Ericsson was buried, not at the Capital of Sweden, but at his own home. Those who say that New York is backward in giving for any commendable thing either do not know her or they belie her. Wherever in the civilized world there has been disaster by fire or flood, or from earthquake or pestilence, she has been among the foremost in the field of givers and has remained there when others have departed. It is a shame to speak of her as parsimonious or as failing in any benevolent duty. Those who charge her with being dilatory should remember that haste is not always speed. It took more than a quarter of a century to erect Bunker Hill Monument; the ladies of Boston completed it. It took nearly half a century to erect a monument to George Washington in the City founded by him, named for him, and by his act made the Capital of the Nation; the Government completed it. New York has already shown that she will do far better than this."
* * *
His glory as the centuries wide, His honor bright as sunlit seas, His lullaby the Hudson tide, His requiem the whispering breeze.
* * *
The Thirteen Elm Trees, about ten or fifteen minutes' walk from General Grant's Tomb, were planted by Alexander Hamilton in his door-yard, a century ago, to commemorate the thirteen original States. This property was purchased by the late Hon. Orlando Potter, of New York, with the following touch of patriotic sentiment: "These famous trees are located in the northeast corner of One Hundred and Forty-third street and Convent Avenue; or, on lots fourteen and fifteen," said the auctioneer to the crowd that gathered at the sale. "In order that the old property with the trees may be kept unbroken, should the purchaser desire, we will sell lots 8 to 21 inclusive in one batch! How much am I offered?" "One hundred thousand dollars," quietly responded Mr. Potter. A ripple of excitement ran through the crowd, and the bid was quickly run up to $120,000 by speculators. "One hundred and twenty-five thousand," said Mr. Potter. Then there were several thousand dollar bids, and the auctioneer said: "Do I hear one hundred and thirty?" Mr. Potter nodded. He nodded again at the "thirty-five" and "forty" and then some one raised him $250. "Five hundred," remarked Mr. Potter, and the bidding was done. "Sold for $140,500!" cried the auctioneer. Mr. Potter smiled and drew his check for the amount. "I can't say what I will do with the property," said Mr. Potter. "You can rest assured, however, that the trees will not be cut down."
* * *
Rest in peace by stately rivers martyred soldiers of the free, Rest brave captain, at our threshold, where the Hudson meets the sea.
* * *
Edgewater, opposite Grant's Tomb on the west bank, lies between Undercliff on the north and Shadyside on the south. The latter place was made historic by Anthony Wayne's capture of supplies for the American army in the summer of 1780 which formed the basis of a satirical poem by Major Andre, entitled "The Cow Chase."
The steamer is now approaching 129th street, and we turn again with pride to the beautiful tomb of General Grant which fittingly marks one point of a great triangle of fame—the heroic struggle of the American soldiers in 1776, the home of Alexander Hamilton, and the burial place of the greatest soldier of the Civil War.
* * *
Woodman, spare that tree! Touch not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me, And I will protect it now.
George P. Morris.
* * *
One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Street to Yonkers.
This upper landing of the Hudson River Day Line has a beautiful location and is a great convenience to the dwellers of northern Manhattan. On leaving the pier the steel-arched structure of Riverside Drive is seen on the right. The valley here spanned, in the neighborhood of 127th Street, was once known as "Marritje Davids' Fly," and the local name for this part of New York above Claremont Heights is still known as "Manhattanville." The Convent of the Sacred Heart is visible among the trees, and
Trinity Cemetery's Monuments soon gleam along the wooded bank. Among her distinguished dead is the grave of General John A. Dix whose words rang across the land sixty days before the attack on Fort Sumter: "If any man attempts to pull down the American flag shoot him on the spot." The John A. Dix Post of New York comes hither each Decoration Day and garlands with imposing ceremonies his grave and the graves of their comrades.
Near Carmansville was the home of Audubon, the ornithologist, and the residences above the cemetery are grouped together as Audubon Park. Near at hand is the New York Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, and pleasantly located near the shore the River House once known as West-End Hotel.
Washington Heights rise in a bold bluff above Jeffrey's Hook. After the withdrawal of the American army from Long Island, it became apparent to General Washington and Hamilton that New York would have to be abandoned. General Greene and Congress believed in maintaining the fort, but future developments showed that Washington was right. The American troops, so far as clothing or equipment was concerned, were in a pitiable condition, and the result of the struggle makes one of the darkest pages of the war. On the 12th of November Washington started from Stony Point for Fort Lee and arrived the 13th, finding to his disappointment that General Greene, instead of having made arrangements for evacuating, was, on the contrary, reinforcing Fort Washington. The entire defense numbered only about 2000 men, mostly militia, with hardly a coat, to quote an English writer, "that was not out at the elbows." "On the night of the 14th thirty flat-bottomed boats stole quietly up the Hudson, passed the American forts undiscovered, and made their way through Spuyten Duyvil Creek into Harlem River. The means were thus provided for crossing that river, and landing before unprotected parts of the American works."
* * *
Faith's pioneers and Freedom's martyrs sleep Beneath their shade: and under their old boughs The wise and brave of generations past Walked every Sabbath to the house of God.
Henry T. Tuckerman.
* * *
According to Irving, "On the 15th General Howe sent a summons to surrender, with a threat of extremities should he have to carry the place by assault." Magaw, in his reply, intimated a doubt that General Howe would execute a threat "so unworthy of himself and the British nation; but give me leave," added he, "to assure his Excellency, that, actuated by the most glorious cause that mankind ever fought in, I am determined to defend this post to the very last extremity."
"Apprised by the colonel of his peril, General Greene sent over reinforcements, with an exhortation to him to persist in his defense; and dispatched an express to General Washington, who was at Hackensack, where the troops from Peekskill were encamped. It was nightfall when Washington arrived at Fort Lee. Greene and Putnam were over at the besieged fortress. He threw himself into a boat, and had partly crossed the river, when he met those Generals returning. They informed him of the garrison having been reinforced, and assured him that it was in high spirits, and capable of making a good defense. It was with difficulty, however, they could prevail on him to return with them to the Jersey shore, for he was excessively excited."
* * *
Hark! Freedom's arms ring far and wide; Again these forts with beacons gleam; Loud cannon roar on every side— I start, I wake; I did but dream.
* * *
"Early the next morning, Magaw made his dispositions for the expected attack. His forces, with the recent addition, amounted to nearly three thousand men. As the fort could not contain above a third of its defenders, most of them were stationed about the outworks."
About noon, a heavy cannonade thundered along the rocky hills, and sharp volleys of musketry, proclaimed that the action was commenced.
"Washington, surrounded by several of his officers, had been an anxious spectator of the battle from the opposite side of the Hudson. Much of it was hidden from him by intervening hills and forest; but the roar of cannonry from the valley of the Harlem River, the sharp and incessant reports of rifles, and the smoke rising above the tree-tops, told him of the spirit with which the assault was received at various points, and gave him for a time hope that the defense might be successful. The action about the lines to the south lay open to him, and could be distinctly seen through a telescope; and nothing encouraged him more than the gallant style in which Cadwalader with inferior force maintained his position. When he saw him however, assailed in flank, the line broken, and his troops, overpowered by numbers, retreating to the fort, he gave up the game as lost. The worst sight of all, was to behold his men cut down and bayoneted by the Hessians while begging quarter. It is said so completely to have overcome him, that he wept with the tenderness of a child."
"Seeing the flag go into the fort from Knyphausen's division, and surmising it to be a summons to surrender, he wrote a note to Magaw, telling him if he could hold out until evening and the place could not be maintained, he would endeavor to bring off the garrison in the night. Capt. Gooch, of Boston, a brave and daring man, offered to be the bearer of the note. He ran down to the river, jumped into a small boat, pushed over the river, landed under the bank, ran up to the fort and delivered the message, came out, ran and jumped over the broken ground, dodging the Hessians, some of whom struck at him with their pieces and others attempted to thrust him with their bayonets; escaping through them, he got to his boat and returned to Fort Lee."
* * *
Up and down the valley of the Hudson the contending armies surged like the ebbing and flowing of the tides.
* * *
Washington's message arrived too late. "The fort was so crowded by the garrison and the troops which had retreated into it, that it was difficult to move about. The enemy, too, were in possession of the little redoubts around, and could have poured in showers of shells and ricochet balls that would have made dreadful slaughter." It was no longer possible for Magaw to get his troops to man the lines; he was compelled, therefore, to yield himself and his garrison prisoners of war. The only terms granted them were, that the men should retain their baggage and the officers their swords.
Fort Lee, directly across the river, had a commanding position, but was entirely useless to the Revolutionary army after the fall of Fort Washington. It was therefore immediately abandoned to the British, as was also Fort Constitution, another redoubt near at hand.
It will be remembered that the American army after long continued disaster in and about New York, retreated southward from Fort Lee and Hackensack to the Delaware, where Washington with a strategic stroke brought dismay on his enemies and restored confidence to his friends and the Patriots' Cause.
The Palisades, or Great Chip Rock, as they were known by the old Dutch settlers, present the same bold front to the river that the Giant's Causeway does to the ocean. Their height at Fort Lee, where the bold cliffs first assert themselves, is three hundred feet, and they extend about seventeen or eighteen miles to the hills of Rockland County. A stroll along the summit reveals the fact that they are almost as broken and fantastic in form as the great rocks along the Elbe in Saxon-Switzerland.
* * *
The Palisades in sterner pride Tower as the gloom steals o'er the tide, For the great stream a bulwark meet That laves its rock-encumbered feet.
Robert C. Sands.
* * *
As the basaltic trap-rock is one of the oldest geological formations, we might still appropriately style the Palisades "a chip of the old block." They separate the valley of the Hudson from the valley of the Hackensack. The Hackensack rises in Rockland Lake opposite Sing Sing, within two or three hundred yards of the Hudson, and the rivers flow thirty miles side by side. Some geologists think that originally they were one river, but they are now separated from each other by a wall more substantial than even the 2,000 mile structure of the "Heathen Chinee."
It might also be interesting to note Prof. Newberry's idea that in pre-glacial times this part of the continent was several hundred feet higher than at present, and that the Hudson was a very rapid stream and much larger than now, draining as it did the Great Lakes: that the St. Lawrence found its way through the Hudson Channel following pretty nearly the line of the present Mohawk, and the great river emptied into the Atlantic some 80 miles south of Staten Island. This idea is confirmed by the soundings of the coast survey which discover the ancient page of the Hudson as here indicated on the floor of the sea far out where the ocean is 500 feet in depth. A speculation of what a voyager a few million years ago would have then seen might, however, as Hamlet observes, be "to consider somewhat too curiously" for ordinary up-to-date tourists. But even, granting all this to be true, the Palisades were already old, thrown up long ages before, between a rift in the earth's surface, where it cooled in columnar form. The rocky mould which held it, being of softer material, finally disintegrated and crumbled away, leaving the cliff with its peculiar perpendicular formation.
A recent writer has said: "The Palisades are among the wonders of the world. Only three other places equal them in importance, but each of the four is different from the others, and the Palisades are unique. The Giant's Causeway on the north coast of Ireland, and the cliffs at Kawaddy in India, are thought by many to have been the result of the same upheaval of nature as the Palisades; but the Hudson rocks seem to have preserved their entirety—to have come up in a body, as it were—while the Giant's Causeway owes its celebrity to the ruined state in which the Titanic forces of nature have left it. The third wonder is at Staffa, in Scotland, where the rocks have been thrown into such a position as to justify the name of Fingal's Cave, which they bear, and which was bestowed on them in the olden times before Scottish history began to be written. It is singular how many of the names which dignify, or designate, favorite spots of the Giant's Causeway have been duplicated in the Palisades. Among the Hudson rocks are several 'Lady's Chairs,' 'Lover's Leaps,' 'Devil's Toothpicks,' 'Devil's Pulpits,' and, in many spots on the water's edge, especially those most openly exposed to the weather, we see exactly the same conformations which excite admiration and wonder in the Irish rocks."
* * *
Where the mighty cliffs look upward in their glory and their glow I see a wondrous river in its beauty southward flow.
Thomas C. Harbaugh.
* * *
Under the base of these cliffs William Cullen Bryant one Sabbath morning wrote his beautiful lines:
"Cool shades and dews are round my way, And silence of the early day; Mid the dark rocks that watch his bed, Glitters the mighty Hudson spread, Unrippled, save by drops that fall From shrubs that fringe his mountain wall; And o'er the clear, still water swells The music of the Sabbath bells.
All, save this little nook of land, Circled with trees, on which I stand; All, save that line of hills which lie Suspended in the mimic sky— Seems a blue void, above, below, Through which the white clouds come and go; And from the green world's farthest steep I gaze into the airy deep."
* * *
A mellow sunset was settling upon the hills and waters and a thousand flashes played over the distant city as its spires and prominent objects caught its glow.