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Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century
Chapter II: The Founders of Schenectady

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[This information is from pp. 17-37 of Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century by Austin A. Yates (New York: New York History Co., 1902). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 Yat, and copies are also available for borrowing.]

Van Curler's lot, which he never occupied, was on the northwest corner of Church and Union streets, embracing one-quarter of the block, being two hundred feet square. It covers the present site of the classical department premises of the Union school, the County Judge's and clerk's offices, etc. His bowerel farm, after his death called Juffrow's Landts, comprised one hundred and fourteen acres of flat land immediately southwest of the village which, subsequent to his decease, was sold in sections to divers individuals. Van Curler left no children. His widow continued to reside in Schenectady until she died January 15th, 1675.

Philip Hendrickse Brouwer was the second of the original proprietors. He was in Beaverwyck as early as 1655, where he owned a house, lot and brewery and became one of the proprietors of Schenectady. He died soon after, in 1664, having previously accidentally shot Class Cornelise Swits there, who was not a proprietor, but an early settler, and had married the daughter of Symon Symonse Groot, who had long been in the employ of the West India Company as boatswain of the ship Prince Maurice. His wife's name was Elsie Tjerk. Brouwer left no children.

His village lot, two hundred feet square, was on the northwest corner of Church and State streets. It is on a portion of this lot, that the present law office of Charles P. Sanders now stands. Shortly after his decease the lot was sold to Cornelius Van Ness, who had married the widow of Dirk Van Eps, and subsequently conveyed the lot to his step-son, John Dirksie Van Eps, who, in the massacre of 1690, was killed, with two of his children, and his son, John Baptist, taken prisoner. Afterwards, John's widow married Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakel, a wealthy citizen, whose son Alexander had been killed, and his son Stephen captured, on the same disastrous occasion.

Alexander Lindsay Glen was the third original proprietor named, called by the Dutch, Sander Leendertse Glen. He was a Scotchman of the Highlands, born in the vicinity of Inverness and a refugee to Holland, from whence he emigrated with the Dutch to New Netherlands at a very early day. It appears from the colonial records, that he was an agent of the West India Company, at Fort Nassau on the Delaware, in 1643; received a grant of land there, and prepared to build in 1651, but was prevented by the violence of the Swedes.

Alexander Lindsey Glen's village lot in Schenectady, on the division was 200 feet front on the west side of what is now Washington Avenue, running down with equal breadth to the strand on the main Bennekill. A part of these premises, being the exact location of the old Glen family city residence, belonged to, and was occupied by, one of his lineal descendants until it was destroyed by the great fire of 1819.

Mr. Glen's farm apportionment embraced the flats and adjacent islands, on the north side of the Mohawk river, as by him previously occupied by permission of the Indians.

Major John A. Glen built the present Sanders mansion at Scotia, in 1713 (now occupied by Charles P. Sanders, Esq.,) and occupied by himself for seventeen years, until his death. His whole estate, both real and personal, was spared when Schenectady was destroyed, by express order of the Governor of Canada for rescues made and kindnesses shown to sundry French prisoners captured with Van Curler, from whom he had received valuable lessons.

The circumstances attending one of those rescues are so interesting and ingenious that the temptation of incorporating here an extract from the draft of a letter written by Judge Sanders to a friend, in 1874, giving an account of the occurrences, is irresistible.

"The Mohawks of Scotia's early days were always devoted friends of the Dutch, but they were barbarous, after all, and the white population was too sparse, weak and timid, to interfere with the chivalric customs of those noble knights of the tomahawk, blunderbuss, bow and arrow.

"The writer's father has shown him a hillock, not far from the present Scotia house, where, after their return from warlike or plundering expeditions, they were wont to sacrifice their victims. Even so late as the time of his grandfather, Col. Jacob Glen, a Mohegan Indian was burned on the spot. This surely was revolting, but the monarchs of the valley, original owners of the soil, willed it so and nothing was left to civilization but to mitigate or ameliorate and this the Christian pioneers accomplished when possible; and many were the acts of kindness which, according to the accounts of the French themselves, were rendered by the Glens of Scotia to parties captured by the Mohawks.

"Under such circumstances, according to well established tradition it happened that sometime about five years before the burning of Schenectady in 1690, towards sundown of a beautiful summer afternoon, the original large stone house, according to the French accounts, stood on the bank of the Mohawk (its site now covered by water, though the writer has seen a portion of its foundation wall). The home and estate of John Sanders (Alexander) Glen, was occupied only by himself, his wife, four daughters and two sons. His eldest daughter, Catrina, was then only thirteen years of, age, and his then youngest son, Jacob Alexander, subsequently the ancestor of the Baltimore Glens, was in his cradle. He had a large family of negro slaves (for Mr. Glen was an extensive land cultivator and proprietor). On this occasion while they were quietly surrounded by the enchanting beauty of its lake, river, lowlands, adjacent island and a full view of Schenectady, and all was peace, a large party of Mohawks, just returned from the north, encamped below the Glen mansion, as in that day of aboriginal power they claimed clear right to do, as original sovereigns of the soil.

"The party was in a high state of elation and triumph, having captured a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, against whom they entertained extreme antipathy. The reason of their peculiar dislike to priests was this: The Mohawks were Protestants, after their own fashion, because the Dutch were, and this priest, with others, had proselyted among them and caused some, as a Catholic party, to remove to Canada.

"Now these rejoicing, victorious Christians soon announced to Mr. Glen and wife, that they intended a special roast of their captive on the following morning. So they brought the unfortunate priest along for Glen to lock up in his cellar until they should want him for their pious sacrifice.

"Mr. Glen and his wife (the last very much praised in the French accounts for her many acts of benevolence and humanity to captives) did not see it in that light. Now Major Coudre (Glen) possessed two keys to his locked cellar and, aware of the confidence the Mohawks placed in him, also of their credulity and superstition, raised this clear-sighted well-intended and formidable objection.

"That the Mohawks were his friends, and he felt pleasure at all proper times to oblige them; but, in this case, he would not take the responsibility. 'Priests' were 'wizzards,' and could go through any keyhole; suppose the priest was gone in the morning, what then? No, he should take no risk. But one thing he proposed 'with wise solemnity.' They might lock him up, and take the key themselves. This just proposition Mrs. Glen seconded. It was ratified, the poor priest placed in close quarters, and the key duly delivered his captors.

Mr. Glen had also suggested, at a proper time, in a quiet way, and to the proper ears, that early in the morning, before daylight, he should send his team to Albany for salt, so as to excite no suspicions about movements contemplated or an early stir.

"Well, the noble Mohawk, as was customary after a campaign, got their rum from Schenectady and feasted, drank, danced and sang, until the wee small hours of the morning, when their exhausted nature and even their dogs, settled into stupid repose.

"This lull, Major Glen, his wife Anna, and faithful slaves, having watched, placed the priest in a wagon, in a hogshead with the lower head out, and the bung hole to breath through, and with a good team, the priest and two negro men started for Albany after a load of salt. The priest was quietly and well received by the humanitarians of Albany and silently forwarded to Montreal. Publicity, after such a joke on Mohawk warriors, was impolitic; but this kind act bore abundant and blessed fruit afterwards to the Glen family in 1690, when Schenectady was burned. Nor was it ever heard that Major or Mrs. Glen, or their faithful slaves, ever felt any remorse about the pious fraud.

"The team, hogshead, priest and negroes were gone. The dawn of morning came, with it the Mohawks, having an important mission on hand, a roast; but Mr. Glen took the matter easy. The Mohawks found the cellar closed, 'but the priest had flown.' Sleep to Mr. Glen then became impossible; the shouts were awful, and the agonies of disappointed justice became simply diabolical. When Major Glen appeared, and said calmly to his Indian friends, 'I told you so; I told you so; priests are wizards.' And they reluctantly responded: 'Coudre,' (his Indian name) 'was right.' Nor was it ever known that any Mohawk of that generation discovered the deception. Major Glen was always a great favorite of the Mohawks; sayings and doings were ex-cathedra.

Simon Volkertse Veeder was the fourth named proprietor. He was born in Holland in 1624; bought a lot at New Amsterdam in 1652; sold the same and came to Beaverwyck in 1654, and from thence removed to Schenectady in 1662. He owned, on the division, a farm on the great flat, numbered 9, containing fifty-one acres, and a lot on the north side of State street, at its junction with Ferry street, 200 feet square, and also owned considerable possessions on the Norman's Kil.

Few settlers contributed more to the healthy and vigorous early settlement of Schenectady than this proprietor, who died January 8th, 1696, aged about 72 years. His descendants are numerous, all bearing the name and having his blood.

Swear (Ahasueras) Teunise Van Velsen (alias Van Westbrock), was the fifth named proprietor. In 1664 he married Maritie Mynderse, widow of Jan Barentse Wemp. About this time he removed from Lubberda's land (Troy,) to Schenectady, and built a grist mill on Mill Lane. This was carried away by the flood, and rebuilt by him in 1673. In consideration of his loss, the community generally allowed him to take one-eighth, instead of one-twentieth, as a toll, out of grain ground there.

Besides the one-half of the great Van Slyck island, purchased by him of Jan Barentse Wemp, (who had previously obtained the one-half interest therein of Martin Mauris Van Slyck, which he held conjointly with Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, the brother of Martin Mouris, who owned the other equal undivided one-half) he owned the land on the South side of State street from Church street, including Mill Lane, nearly to Cowhorn creek, and extending upon the lowlands so as to comprehend about twenty-five acres.

Swear Teunise (so always called) was a much respected and influential citizen of Schenectady. In 1676 he was a magistrate of the village, and one of the five patentees named in the great township grant, confirmed in 1684. He was slain in the massacre of 1690, with his wife and four negro slaves, leaving no descendants or heirs.

Cornelius Antonisen Van Slyck, called by the Mohawks "Broer Cornelis" (brother Cornelis), was the seventh named proprietor, and an early settler at Beaverwyck. Previous to 1640 he married a Mohawk chieftain's daughter, by whom he had several children, viz.: Jacques, Martin, Mouris, Hillitie and Leah. Martin Morris (Maurice) gave name to the island lying between the Mohawk river and the main Binnekill, west of Schenectady (now called Van Slyck's island). This son, Martin Mouris, a tradition hands down, died early in 1662.

Cornelius Antonisen was a proprietor, and received his portion on division, but the location of his farm and village lot the writer has been unable to determine, or even whether he was, at any time, a settled resident of Schenectady. His original home was Beaverwyck, but most of his time was passed among the Mohawks, at their upper or great castle at Canajoharie, either as an interpreter for the province, or as a trader, or because he had married among them, and been adopted by the tribe.

Such marriages were not deemed disreputable, for the Mohawks enjoyed high character among the tribes of North America, and were wonderfully generous in grants or outfits of land to their white friends, and especially to married connections of the tribe, which last uniformly adopted as members of their community.

Cornelius Antonisen died in 1676, at an advanced age, fourteen years after the decease of his son, Martin Mouris. He was reputed to be a man of excellent character and unbending integrity, possessing great influence among the Mohawks particularly, and the Five Nations generally. By reason of his eminent services on several occasions, in bringing about peace with the natives, he received a patent for a large tract of land at Catskill. He also owned land at Cohoes granted to him by the Mohawks, near their old castle at the mouth of the Mohawk river.

Accustomed, as Cornelius Antonisen was, to Indian customs and peculiarities, it certainly tells much for his sense of what was due to his civilization and early education, that, during his life, he had only one wife and one family. It was owing to his sterling character, aided by his extended landed interests, that, although his son, Martin Mouris, died young and unmarried, his son, Jacques, and his daughters, Hillitie and Leah, and their respective descendants, married among the most respectable, full-blood white families in the province. This fact might be illustrated by well-preserved genealogical tables, but it would exceed the proposed limit of this local history; so the writer contents himself with adding the son, Jacques Cornelise, who will be treated of hereafter as one of the early proprietors of Schenectady.

Gerrit Bancker was the eighth proprietor. He hailed from Amsterdam in Holland. He was at New Amsterdam before 1655, and, in 1667, was settled at Beaverwyck, where he continued to reside until his death in 1691. When Arent Van Curler began the settlement of Schenectady in 1661, he became one of the original proprietors. Farm lot number six, on the Bouwland, was apportioned to him, and his village lot comprised the northerly quarter of the block bounded by Washington, Union, Church and State streets. His son Evert held his property until 1702, when he sold it to Isaac Swits.

Gerrit Bancker left two children: Evert, born January 24th, 1665, who, on the 24th day of September, 1686, married Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Jans Abeel; also a daughter, Anna, who married Johannas DePeyster of New York, September 21st, 1688.

William Teller was the ninth proprietor named. He was born in Holland A. D., 1620, and was the first Teller who came to the New Netherlands, arriving at New Amsterdam in 1639, when he was sent to Fort Orange by Governor Kieft, and entered into the service of the West India Company. He was "Machtmeester" of the Fort, and for many years a trader at Beaverwyck, continuing his residence there from 1639 to 1692, when he removed to New York, accompanied by all of his sons, except his son John, who was settled in Schenectady.

William Teller married Margaret Dongan, a sister to Alexander Lindsay Glen's wife. He was not only an original proprietor, but one of the five patentees mentioned in the first patent of the town, granted by Governor Dongan in 1684. On the apportionment, in 1664, his allotments on the flats were numbered five, the foremost lot lying on the west side of, and separated by, the Tellers' Killitie from Elias Van Guysling's farm. This Van Guysling farm, situated on the Bouwland, in Rotterdam, remained in that family from that time to 1665, when Cornelius Van Guysling died without issue.

William Teller's village lot, two hundred feet square, was on the northeast corner of Union and Washington streets. He gave all his real estate in Schenectady to his son John, in 1700, who also remained, when the rest of the family removed to New York. William Teller was an individual of wealth and great influence in his day. He died in 1701 and left seven children. All the Tellers in this section of our country are descended from his son John. U. S. Senator Teller from Colorado, Secretary of the Interior, is a descendant of this William Teller.

Bastian DeWinter was the tenth proprietor named. He came from Middleburg in Holland, and was at Schenectady as early as 1662. On the apportionment his village lot, 200 feet square, was situated on the southeast corner of Church and Union streets, and his farm on the flats was subsequently known as Elias Van Guysling's plantation. Falling sick in 1670, he sold all his real estate to Elias Van Guysling and others, with the intention of returning to Holland. His death prevented his return. He left no heirs in this country, and in 1678 the Dutch Church at Albany (the church at Schenectady being not yet erected) claimed, and in some way obtained his property for the use of the poor.

Bastian DeWinter, as the attorney of Catalina, widow of Arent Andries Bradt (commonly called "the Noorman") became, as such attorney, the eleventh proprietor named. Mr. Bradt became one of the proprietors of Schenectady in 1662, but died soon after and before any apportionment was made, leaving his widow, Catalina, and six children surviving him. After his death the flats and village lot which fell to his share was confirmed to his widow, through DeWinter, for herself and Bradt's children. The farm was No. 1 on the Bouwland, and the village lot was the southwest quarter of the block bounded by Washington, Union, Church and State streets, and was 200 feet square, Amsterdam measure.

This Catalina Bradt was the daughter of Andreas DeVos, a magistrate and deputy-director of Rensselaerwyck. She was reputed to be lady of intelligence and good education for the limited opportunities of that day. She had great and sad experiences in the early history of Schenectady.

Pieter Danielse Van Olinda was the twelfth proprietor named. Judge Sanders was unable to locate his village lot, or his farm on the Bouwlandt. He married Hilitie, the daughter of Cornelius Antonisen Van Slyck, and a sister of Jacques Cornelise. She was a half-blood Mohawk and was a paid interpretress of the Provincial Government. The Mohawks gave her several tracts of land. She died February 10th, 1707. He died in 1716. They left three sons, Daniel, Jacob and Mathias.

Peter Jacobse Boorsboom was the thirteenth proprietor named. His house lot in the village, 200 feet square, was the northwest quarter of the block bounded by Front, Washington, Church and Union streets. He had also two farms allotted to him on the Bouwlandt. He died in 1688, and left surviving him one son, Cornelius, who died young and unmarried; also four daughters, viz.: Anna, who married John Pieterse Mabie; Maria, who married Hendrick Brower; Fytie, who married Martin Van Benthuysen; Catharine, who married John Oliver. The name has disappeared in this county.

Jan Barentse (Wemple) was the fourteenth proprietor named. He was an inhabitant of Beaverwyck as early as 1643. Having purchased the interest of Martin Maurice Van Slyck in 1662, he received, as joint owner with Martin Maurice's brother, Jacques Cornelise, a patent for the Great Island, lying immediately west of Schenectady, which interest was subsequently owned by Swear Teunise Van Velsen, who had married Wemp's widow. Wemp also had a house lot in the village, on the west side of Washington street, a little north on State street, with a front of 200 feet on Washington street, running down with equal width to the strand on the main Binnekill. He died in 1663, an ancestor of an extensive list of descendants.

Jacques Cornelius Van Slyck was the fifteenth and last proprietor named. He was born at the great Indian Castle, Canajoharie, in 1640. The Mohawks gave him and his brother, Martin Maurice, the large island in the Mohawk river, lying immediately west of the city and only separated from it by the main Binnekill; to each brother the equal undivided one-half. Jan Barentse Wemp subsequently purchased the interest of Martin Maurice, which, as has been shown, eventually vested in Swear Teunise Van Velsen.

The Mohawks also gave Jacques Cornelise a tract of land five miles above the city, on the south side of the Mohawk, a portion of which is still occupied by his lineal descendants. He also owned land on the flats, apportioned to him as a proprietor, on the division, unlocated, except that it was the first flat, and was, after his decease, divided among his heirs.

His village lot, granted on the only public square of the place, on which the first church was erected, was on that front extending between State and Water streets, and running westerly along both streets, to an alley still existing, dividing the Van Slyck lot from the premises now owned and occupied by the Young Women's Christian Association.

Dominie Petrus Thesschenmaecker was the first settled minister in Schenectady. Having officiated in 1676 in Kingston, to the acceptance of the people, they petitioned for his continuance. In 1679 he was ordained in New York, by a council comprising the ministers then settled in the province, as of the church at Newcastle on the Delaware, where he continued until about 1684 when he came to Schenectady. In the destruction of the village in 1690, the parsonage, the site of which is unknown, was burned and the Dominie was killed. He left no heirs.

This completes the list of the original proprietors. But others came before 1690. Herman Albertie Vedder, ancestor of all the Vedders in this county, and who married into the Indian blood of the Van Slycks; Symon Symonse Groot, whose five children were taken captives on the night of the massacre; Johannes Van Eps who came to this city and was slain on Church street with his two children, two sons and a daughter escaping.

Class Frederickse Van Patten came to Schenectady in 1664. In 1668 he bought, in company with Cornelius Cornelisse Viele, the farm of Martin Cornelisse Van Isselteyn (Esselstyn), lying next west of the farm of Ryer Schermerhorn, the elder, who was his brother-in-law, Van Patten having married Aeffie, the daughter of Arent Andreas Bradt and Catalyntje DeVos. His bouwery remained in the family for several generations. In 1690 Van Patten was appointed a justice of the peace by Leisler. He was born May 30th, 1641, and died October 3d, 1728, aged 87 years. He left surviving him three sons and three daughters.

Isaac Swits settled in Schenectady in 1664. He married Susanna, daughter of Simon Groot; his village lot was on the west side of Washington street opposite the west end of State street. On the destruction of the town in 1690, he was carried away captive, together with his oldest son, Cornelius, but they were ransomed and returned home the following July.

Johannes Putnam came to Schenectady in 1664. He married Cornelia, daughter of Arent Andreas Bradt and Catalyntje DeVos. His homestead lot was on the northwest corner of Union and Ferry streets, having 100 feet next west from Jan Roeloefse, the oldest son of the celebrated Anneke Jansen by her first marriage. He sold subject to the life estate of himself and wife. Roeloefse had no children. On the disastrous night of February 9th, 1690, both Putnam and his neighbor Roeloefse, with their wives, were slain by the French and Indians. Jan Putnam left three sons and two daughters.

John Apple came to Schenectady in 1668; he, too, was wounded in his limbs at the destruction in 1690. The Apples removed to New York in 1693. William had a son, Simon, and a daughter, Maria Magdalena, who married Johannes Vrooman, a nephew of the distinguished Adam.

Hanse Janse Eenkluys. This was truly a remarkable old Hollander who came to reside at Schenectady in 1670. Already as early as 1632, he was an officer of the Dutch West India Company, under the administration of Governor Van Twiller, and erected the standard (the arms of the States-General) at a spot called Kievit's Haack, (now Saybrook,) at the mouth of the Connecticut river. (See O'Callaghan's His. N. Y. Netherlands, Vol. I, p. 149.) In July, 1648, on the occasion of Governor Stuyvesant's visit to Rensselaerwyck, he was employed to clean the Patroon's cannons and fire the salute. When he came to Schenectady, being an old man, without any relations in this country, he made, by his will, the deacons of the Dutch Church of Schenectady his devisees and legatees, on condition that he should be supported by them in his old age and weakness, which they did to his satisfaction for thirteen years, and when he died, in 1683, at a very advanced age, they buried him with due respect and solemnity. The church inherited all his property, consisting mostly of forty acres of land, of what was formerly known as the Poor Pasture, being that portion of it lying west of or above Hansen Kil, (now College brook). That portion of the Poor Pasture lying east of or below the creek, called "The Baehr," was bought of Harmanus Van Slyck, in 1806 for $1,750. The memory of brave, honest Hans Janse Eenklwys should always be cherished by the descendants of Schenectady's pioneers. Monuments, in these latter days, are often erected to perpetuate the memory of those who possessed but a small share of his experience, honesty, gallantry and worth. He gave to the church of his affections his memories of Holland, and all he possessed.

Jan Peek was an early settler at New Amsterdam; he owned Landbat Peekskill, and Peekskill Creek was named after him. He owned also, in 1655, much property at Fort Orange. He married, February 20th, 1650, Marianne Dertruy, (Truax) niece of old Philip Truax. He never lived in Schenectady, but late in life, his widow Maria, did, with her son, Jacobus. Jan left two sons and two daughters.

John Roelafsen, the oldest son and youngest child of the celebrated Anneke Jansen by her first marriage to Rollof Jansen, having sold his interest in his mother's property in Albany to Derick Wersel Ten Broeck, removed from Albany to Schenectady in 1670. He had, in that year, at Albany, accidentally killed one Gerrit Verbeeck, for which accident he was pardoned by the Governor. His lot was on the north side of Union street, 100 feet west of Ferry street, being the same great lot now owned by the Messrs. Joseph and Giles Y. Van der Bogert. At the date of his mother's will in 1663 he was unmarried. He subsequently married, but having no children or the prospects of any, he sold his lot and buildings to John Putman, his neighbor, owning and occupying the lot lying adjoining on the east, reserving for himself and wife a life estate in the premises. But on the fatal night of February 9th, 1690, Roelafsen and his wife and Putman and his wife were slain by the French and Indians. Jan Roelafsen was born in 1636, and at the time of his death was fifty-four years of age.

Barent Janse Van Ditmars came to Schenectady in 1670, and married Catalyntje DeVos, widow of Arent Andriesse Bradt; he owned land on the south side of the Mohawk river, near the "Steen Kil." He had a son Cornelius, who married Catharina, daughter of John Alexander Glen, of Scotia. Van Ditmars and his son were both massacred at the slaughter of 1690. The widow of Cornelius in 1692, married Gerrit Lansing, Jr., of Albany.

Captain Martin Krigier, (Crigier) leaving New York, settled on his farm in Niskayuna in 1672, ending his days there in the early part of 1713, aged about ninety years. The farm, or some portions of it, is still possessed by some of his descendants. He was the first burgomaster of New Amsterdam (New York); was a fearless and skillful military leader and an exemplary magistrate. (O'Callaghan's Hist. N. Netherlands, Vol. 2, p. 554.)

Christian Christianse came to Schenectady in 1672. In that year he bought three acres of land of Paulus Janse. His village lot was on the north side of Union street, adjoining the Dutch Church lot, and included the Isaac Riggs and Aaron Barringer lots — it was 100 feet front, Amsterdam measure. He sold this lot in 1694 to Neetje, widow of Hendreck Gardenier. Christian married Maritje Elders. He left surviving him two sons and several daughters. His name survives.

Rynier Schaats, a physician and surgeon, eldest son of Dominie Schaats of Albany, came to Schenectady in 1675. He married Catrina Bensing. His village lot was on the north side of Union Street, 100 feet west of Church street, the same as now occupied by the clerks, surrogate's and other county offices, and partly by the late ex-Mayor Hunter. Rynier and one of his sons were killed at the slaughter of 1690, after which his only surviving children, Gideon and Agnietje conveyed the property to Symon Simonse Groot. Leisler appointed Rynier a justice of the peace in 1689.

Hendrick Meese Vrooman came to Schenectady in 1677. His house lot was on the north side of State street, extending from what is now Centre street, and including the location of the Central depot. His farm was a portion of Van Curler's land. The former freight house of the Mohawk and Hudson railroad stood nearly in the centre of his land. In the massacre of 1690, he was killed, with his son, Bartholomew, and two of his negro slaves. His son John was carried away into captivity. He left surviving him two sons, Adam and John.

Adam, his oldest son, born in Holland, 1649, was naturalized in the province of New York in 1717. He was a millright by occupation. In 1683, he built a mill on the Sand Kill, where the Brandywine mills lately stood. In 1690, when Schenectady was burned and sacked by the French and Indians, he saved his life by bravery in defending his house, which then stood on the west corner of Church and Front streets, where the residence of Mrs. Linn now stands. Of the French account we will make further mention hereafter. Monsieur DeMonseignat to Madame DeMaintenon (Paris Doc. IV. Doc. His. N. Y., Vol. I, p. 297, etc.)

"The sack of the town began a moment before the attack on the fort; few houses made any resistance. M. D. Montigny (Lieut. La Marque DeMontigny, a gallant young volunteer officer,) discovered some houses, one of which he attempted to carry sword in hand, having tried the musket in vain. He received two thrusts of a spear, one in the body, the other in the arm; but M. DeSainte Helene having come to his aid, effected an entrance, and put every one who defended that house to the sword."

Judge Sanders says:

"That gallant, I may well add, desperate defense was made by Adam Vrooman, assisted only by his wife, Angelica, daughter of Harman Janse Ryckman of Albany. On that dreadful night, his intrepid wife and her infant child were killed; His two sons, Barent and Wouter, were carried away captive. His father, Hendrick Meese, his brother Bartholomew, and two of his father's negroes, were killed, and he, of all his own family, alone was left a monument amid the surrounding desolation.

How and why was the indomitable Adam Vrooman spared? Tradition assigns several reasons. First. That M. DeSainte Helene, the commander of the expedition, in admiration of his heroism offered him safety on surrender. Second. That the hostile Mohawks knew him well and sought to save him. Third. As a favor to his brother-in-law, Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck. Fourth. On the intercession of his friend, John Alexander Glen. Fifth. That he escaped after capture, for he was not carried into captivity, although his two Sons were. Whatever may be the true reason, it is satisfactory to know that he lived forty years distinguished and useful. This is indeed wonderful after so much.

Mr. Jeremiah Fuller, on the 29th of March, 1792, purchased the corner lot of Church and Front streets with the identical building of Vrooman's defense upon it, of Cornelius Antoniesen Van Slyck, for 300 pounds it was taken down and reconstructed the same year, and its yellow pine timbers used (which are now in a perfect state of preservation, though of a very dark brown color through age, having been protected from the weather) in the construction of the present dwelling.

He became an extensive owner of some of the most fertile lands of the province. In 1688 the Mohawk sachems conveyed to him a valuable tract at Fort Hunter. In 1708 he obtained from the trustees of Schenectady, a grant for the Sand Kil and adjacent lands for milling purposes. In 1714 he obtained a patent for lands in Schoharie, where now stands the village of Middleburgh, which he settled in 1715, and it was then known as Vrooman's land. Some of the Palatines attempted to drive him off. He commenced a stone house, twenty-three feet square, with the help of his sons, and had proceeded as far as the second story floor beams, when, one night, his unruly neighbors, led by the notorious Conrad Weiser, entirely demolished it. He then retired to his property in Schenectady and petitioned the Governor for redress, who succeeded in stopping the opposition. (Doc. His., Vol. III, p. 412.) In 1726 he took out an additional patent in that vicinity of 1,400 acres for his son Peter. He made his will September 12th, 1729, and died on his farm at Schoharie, February 25th, 1730, aged 81 years. He possessed great wealth and left a reputation for fearless bravery, strict integrity and excellent Christian character. He was true to his affection for the home of his early days and the scene of his wonderful exploit of heroism. By his own express direction he was interred in his private burying ground, now No. 35 Front street, in the city of Schenectady, on the east portion of the lot occupied by the residence of the Hon. John A. DeRemer.

Adam Vrooman was married three times; first, in 1678 to Engeltie, daughter of Harman Janse Ryckman; second, in 1691, to Grietje Ryckman, his first wife's sister, and widow of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck; thirdly, January 13th, 1697, to Grietje Takelse Heemstreet, in Albany. His descendants are very numerous extending far and wide through the Union, but mostly settled in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys. He had nine sons and four daughters, most of whom survived him.

Barent, his oldest son, born in 1679, was carried away captive to Canada in 1690. He married June 18th, 1699, Catrina Heemstreet, of Albany. He had a brewery on the north side of Union street, near to or upon the present crossing of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. He lived on the north corner of Center and State streets. He died in 1746, leaving one son, Adam, and one daughter, Engeltie.

Wouter, the second son of Adam, born in 1680, was also carried captive to Canada in 1690.

Adam Vrooman and his younger brother, John, were men of large frame and great muscular power — their descendants, even at this day, give weight to the reputation. Adam Vrooman, especially, was, we are informed, a man of gigantic stature and immense bodily strength, and in confirmation of what that power probably was, Judge Sanders quotes as follows:

"There were among the early Schoharie settlers, some remarkable for great strength. Cornelius, Samuel, Peter and Isaac, sons of Peter Vrooman," (this last was a son of historic Adam), are said to have possessed the strength of giants. They erected the first sawmill in the county, which stood in Clayer, N. Y., on the little Schoharie Kil. Two of these brothers could easily carry a good sized log to the carriage.

Many anecdotes are related by the aged, showing the strength of the Vrooman family. At the hill mentioned as the Tongbergh, on the road to Albany, Cornelius, the strongest of the brothers, always made a practice, when going to Albany with wheat, to carry one or two bags, each containing two or three skipples (each three pecks) up this hill to favor his horses. Twenty-five skipples was the ordinary load to Albany, and usually brought fifty cents per skipple.

"Samuel Vrooman is said to have carried at one time, twelve skipples of wheat and a harrow with iron teeth, from his father's house across a small bridge back of it, and set them down in a field.

"At another time Cornelius carried ten skipples of peas, the same harrow, and a brother on the top of them, the same distance, in either case 800 or 900 pounds.

"The stout Vroomans had a remarkably strong sister. A quarrelsome man being at her father's, warm words passed between him and her brother Cornelius, when the sister, fearing the consequences if her kinsman laid hands upon the intruder in anger, seized him, although a pretty strong man, and pitched him neck and heels out of the house saying to the unhappy aborigine, 'the boy might hurt you.' The battered and bruised Mohawk undoubtedly thought that he could not have been worse off if the boy had hurt him."

Harman Myndertse Van Der Bogart, this is one of the oldest names identified with the earliest settlement of New Netherlands. Born in Holland in 1612, he came to New Amsterdam in 1661, as surgeon of the ship Eendracht, and continued in the West India Company's service until 1663, after which he resided at New Amsterdam as a physician until appointed commissioner at Fort Orange. He was a highly educated and respected man, though, from all accounts, he appears to have been of an irascible temper. An instance is mentioned (see O'Callaghan's History New Netherlands) of his having attempted, in the excitement of a high quarrel, when both appear to have been in a violent passion, to throw the director (Wouter Van Twiller) out of a boat, in which they were sailing on the river; and he was with difficulty prevented from accomplishing his object. His wife was Jilisje Class Swits of Ziereckzee, in Holland, aunt of Class and Isaac Cornelise Swits. His descendants are well known here.

Johannes Clute settled in Niskayuna in 1684, on lands he received by will from his rich uncle, Captain Johannes Clute of Albany. He married Baata, daughter of Gerrit Van Slichtenhorst, and grand-daughter of Brant Arantse Van Slichtenhorst, who was director (head man) of the Colony of Rensselaerwyck in 1646, and who I have had occasion to remark, proved to be a foeman worthy of Governor Stuyvesant's most bitter animosity. She was also the grand-daughter of the indomitable Colonel Philip Pieterse Schuyler. In 1692 her husband Johannes, being a prisoner in Canada, this remarkable woman, with great adroitness, managed all his business affairs.

Johannes Clute died November 26th, 1725, and was buried in Niskayuna. He left surviving him three sons and five daughters.

Gerrit Marselis, son of Janse Marselis of Albany, married Bregie Hause in 1687, and the same year came to Schenectady. He, with his wife and one child, was killed in the massacre of February 9th, 1690. One child named Myndert, was saved, and was living at Schenectady in 1709. He married Fitje Oothout of Albany, May 23, 1713. They had three sons and four daughters. Theirs is yet a well known name in Schenectady.

Class Andriese De Graff came to Schenectady in 1688. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Brouwer of Albany. Soon after his arrival he settled on what was then and is now called the Hoek farm situated in the present town of Glenville. This farm until lately belonged to the Reese family.

Jonathan Stevens from Connecticut, born in 1675, married July 24th, 1693, Lea Van Slyck, widow of Class Williams Van Coppernol. She was a half-breed Mohawk, and often acted as interpreter. Besides a house lot in Schenectady, Stevens owned a farm on the north side of the Mohawk river, about three miles northeast of the village which, until recently, was occupied by some of his descendants.

Carel Hansen Toll, a Swede, came from the island of Curacao, almost directly to Schenectady, certainly as early as 1685; for we learn from the Albany records that in that year Carel Hansen Toll of Schenectady, was married to Lisbet Rinckhout of Albany, and that his daughter Neetje, was born June 20th, 1686. He first settled on land near Hoffman's Ferry on the north side of the Mohawk river, which he had bought of Hendrick Cuyler and Gerardus Camberfort; and also occupied land opposite on the south side, purchased of Johannes Luykass, which last farm he conveyed to his brother-in-law, Tickston.

In 1712 he purchased a tract of land at Maaylwyck from Joseph Clement, to which he immediately removed, and some portion of which is still possessed by his descendants. About this same time he also owned the lot in Schenectady, on the southeast corner of Union and Church streets, extending eastwardly along Union street, and including the present court house lot. This court house lot, 100 feet front by 210 deep, he sold, September 5th, 1712, for the sum of 50 pounds to Isaac Van Valkenburgh, the son-in-law of the old proprietor, Jacque Van Slyck. Carel Hansen Toll died in the month of March, 1728.

The above were proprietors and residents previous to 1690. The hamlet was fast filling up with a peaceful, God-fearing, contented community, prosperous in trade and happy in their homes.

In the sixteen years of its young life, the little settlement had grown into a village. Sixty houses had been built, the original fifteen proprietors had increased to 800. Within the great hearths, roomy enough for all the old people who were wont to gather close and warm their blood by crackling logs, under swinging cranes, amid the incense of the punch brewing in the steaming kettle, in the dim light of the farther corners "where the good wife's shuttle merrily went flashing through the loom," and in low toned murmurs, broken often by happy laughter, the old, old story of young love was told in shadowy recesses of the great raftered room, its floors and ceilings fairly glowing with Holland cleanliness. The Dutchman's fireside was, on the eve of February 9th, 1690, radiant with the happiness of humble content. He heard, but heeded not, or laughed to scorn the warnings that came to him again and again, of the destruction that was sweeping down upon him. With grim sarcasm, snow sentinels had been posted at the north gate, and, as coldly insensate to danger as his icy statues, he calmly went to rest between his feather beds, contemptuous of fear as of the bitter cold of a wintry night of terrible severity.

And while thus he slept, his implacable enemy, chattering with the cold, no colder than his cruel heart, squatted in the snow, waiting the awful signals, that were to summon him to light and heat at the bonfire of the burgher's home. So came down the darkness of the midnight of February 9th, 1690, soon to blaze forth in the sky, with murderous glare, the terrible truth declared by the great Sherman, "War is Hell."

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