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Documentation on Frederick Lubbertsen of New Amsterdam and Breukelen

S=Stokes; Isaac Newton Phelps, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 6 vols.

B=Broadhead, Colonial History of New York 15 vols.

C=Calendar of Dutch Historical Manuscripts, O’Callaghan

I=New Amsterdam and its People,by J.H.Innes, New York, Scribner’s, 1902

Z=A Sweet and Alien Land, the Story of Dutch New York, by H.and B.van der Zee,Viking Press,1978

 

Frederick Lubbertsen (1609-1680)

We do not know for sure the dates of Fredrick Lubbertsen, except that in 1664 he stated that he was 55 years old, which would put his birthdate at about 1609. His will was dated 1679, and in 1680 his daughter Rebecca protested unfair treatment in that will, (as he had left his Breukelen farms to his two daughters by his second wife), so his death must have occurred around 1680. He was already married to Styntje Jansen when he started working for the West India Company around 1633, and their daughter Rebecca had surely already been born, as she was old enough to marry Jacob Leendertsen van der Grift in 1648. (Holland documents give a baptism date for Rebecca as 1628.) His wife and daughter had joined him in New Amsterdam around 1640. The spelling of his name varies, it is sometimes Fredrick, sometimes Frederick, sometimes Ffredrik, and Lubbertsen appears also as Lubbers and Lubberts. (He signed his name often as “Frerick Lubbertsen”.) When Lubbertsen’s daughter Elsje married Jacob Hansen Bergen in 1677 she signed the register as Eelsjen Fredericks vander Kreest, so perhaps Lubbertsen’s family name was vander Kreest His wife’s name Styntje is a nickname for Christina. She presumably came from Naerden, as her brother was called Claes Jansen van Naerden. (The proper name for her brother is Claes Jansen de Ruyter, who came from Naarden. Naarden is about 15 miles east of Amsterdam.)

The House of Good Hope, and Hartford, Connecticut

In 1633 the Dutch in New Amsterdam received word that some English traders were encroaching on the Eastern boundary of New Netherland, the Fresh River, called by the indians “in their tongue Connettecuck”. The Dutch had discovered this river in 1614, and ten years later they sent two of their families and six other men to settle on its banks, to trade with the indians and to maintain Dutch claims on the area. In 1632 Edward Winslow, the governor of the New Plymouth colony of Pilgrims, made a trip up the Fresh River and discovered it “to be a fine place”. He picked out a spot for a trading post, and it was soon occupied by a handfull of English traders. In June 1633 Director van Twiller sent his Commissary, Jacob van Curler, to the Pequot indians who lived on the banks of this river, and van Curler purchased from the Pequot chief a tract of land called Sickajoock (now Hartford), “one league down along the river and one-third of a league in width to the high land.” (A league is about three miles.) This is in the present Dutch Point area of Hartford, Connecticut. Here van Curler constructed a trading house, which was optimistically christened the House of Good Hope, and fortified with two cannon. The Dutch sailor who served as a witness to the signing of this deed from Sassacus, sachem of the Pequots on 8 Jun 1633 was 24-year old Frederick Lubbertsen. The other men in van Curler’s group, who also witnessed the signing, were Gilles Pieters, Claes Jans Ruyter, Domingo Dios, Barent Jacobz Cool, and Pieter Louwensen. (Claes Jansen de Ruyter, also called Claes Jansen van Naerden, was the brother of Lubbertsen’s wife Styntje.) The Chief of the Sickenames was paid for the said land one piece of duffels, 27 ells long; six axes; six kettles; eighteen knives, one sword blade, one shears, and some toys.

In the Plymouth colony the news of the Dutch fortified house was received with concern. The Pilgrims did not feel themselves strong enough to tackle the Dutch singlehanded, and Bradford and Winslow appealed to their new neighbor, the Puritan settlement at Massachusetts Bay. Its governor, John Winthrop, had arrived with a party of 900 settlers only three years earlier, but he felt his people were not yet ready for expansion. So the Pilgrims of New Plymouth realized they must go it alone. They built a big bark, put the frame of a house on it, and in September 1633, under the command of Lieutenant William Holmes, they sailed defiantly upriver to the spot Winslow had selected, (now called Windsor). When they arrived at Good Hope, the Dutch stopped them and asked them where they were going. The English answered “Up the river to trade,” and van Curler burst out: “Strike and stay, or we will shoot you.” But the traders showed him their commission from the governor of New Plymouth, and sailed on. Hans Janse Eencluys, in charge of artillery, forbore to fire. (Bradford later remarked: “The Dutch threaten us hard, yet they shoot not.”) The small Dutch detachment at the House of Good Hope sent a letter to Director Wouter van Twiller in New Amsterdam: “We made a protest to William Holmes, Lieutenant and trader, against his settlement on the Fresh River. He refuses to leave.” (Signed, Jacob van Curler, Frederick Lubbertsen, and Carel Fransen 25 Oct. 1633.)

On 13 Nov 1636 Frederick Lubbertsen, freeman in New Netherland, requests [of the directors at Amsterdam] that his wife, Styntgen Jansen (Jan’s daughter), may join him at the first opportunity, according to the declaration of Wouter van Twiller, and as there is still due her husband by the Company, from over three years ago, six months’ wages at 20 guilders per month, which the Directors have always promised to give her when her husband should return, and he now remains there [in New Netherland], therefore she requests that she may receive the same. (S)

On 4 Apr 1639 Frederick Lubbertsen was appointed Chief Boatswain on Manhattan island. (S) On that same date he gave a Power of Attorney to Hendrick Cornelissen van Vorst, to collect money due him at Amsterdam. (O)

On 11 Aug 1639 there was a postponement of a charge by the fiscal (the city prosecutor) against Frederick Lubbertsen and Jan Schepmoes. (Probably disturbing the peace near the tavern.)

The Farmland at Gouwanus and the House in Smits Vly

Director-General Wouter van Twiller was evidently gratefull to Jacob van Curler and Frederick Lubbertsen for their service to the Province at the House of Good Hope. He gave van Curler a patent (a grant of land) in the Haarlem section of Manhattan in 1638, (where van Curler built a farm and a manor named Otterspoor) and he had probably recommended a similar patent for Lubbertsen. But van Twiller was replaced as Director in 1638, and it was the new Director, Willem Kieft, who issued the patent to Lubbertsen on 27 May 1640. He was given ownership of land on Long Island about Werpos, near Merechkawickingh (Red Hook, in the present 12th ward of Brooklyn), “from Gouwanes NW by N and from the strand on the East River SE by E 1700 paces of 3 feet each (about a mile) and in length from the head of the kil NE by E and SW by W to the Red Hook.” He was also later given by Kieft, on 4 Sep 1645, a farm in Breuckelen of 15 morgens (about 30 acres) on the East River near the Ferry, situated between the farms of Henry Bresen and Edward Fiscock. (B)

There is another description of Lubbertsen’s patent of 27 May 1640 in Stiles’ History of Brooklyn. His farm comprised the whole neck of land between the East River and Gouwanus Creek, northeast of the meadows which formerly separated Red Hook from Brooklyn. This neck, formerly known as the “neck of Brookland” or “Lubbertsen’s neck,” has now lost its original appearance by the filling in of the Atlantic docks, the grading of streets, and the various improvements of the modern city; and Lubbertsen’s farm can only be defined, in general terms, as bounded by a line drawn between Degraw and Harrison streets west of Court street, the East River, Hamilton avenue, Gouwanus Creek, and by Warren street east of Court. The patent was accompanied with the express condition that “whenever the Indians shall be willing to part with the maize-land lying next to the aforesaid land then Frederick Lubbertsen shall have the privelege of entering upon (i.e., occupying) the same, in the breadth of the aforesaid parcel of land, and extending from that, without his being hindered by anyone.” This Indian maize-land or cornfield was situated along the east side of Court street, somewhere between Atlantic and Baltic streets, and was probably in possession of the Indians two years later, in 1642, when it is called “Sassian’s maize-land”, and mentioned as one of the boundaries of Manje’s patent. Three years after this, in 1645, it is mentioned in both Hudde’s and Ruyter’s patents as Frederick Lubbertsen’s maize-land. It is quite possible that the natives became dispossessed of the property during the troubles consequent on the Indian war of 1643.

On 2 Jun 1640 Frederick Lubbertsen and Maryn Adriaensen made a declaration that they purchased cows from the late vroutje Ides, widow of Cornelis van Vorst.

In 1641 Frederick Lubbertsen was elected one of the Board of “Twelve Men”, as a representative of Breukelen. The Twelve Men represented Manhattan, Breuckelen, and Pavonia, and were elected to suggest means to punish the indians for a murder they had committed. This was the first glimmer of a representative form of government within the limits of the present states of New York and New Jersey. Those elected were David Pietersen de Vries (President); Jacques Bentyn, Jan Jansen Dam; Hendrick Jansen (banished in Nov 1642 for having spoken disrespectfully of Governor Kieft); Maryn Adriaensen; Abram Pietersen the Miller; Fredrick Lubbertsen; Jochim Pietersen Kuyter; Gerrit Dircksen; George Rapalje, Abram Planck, Jacob Stoffelsen, Jan Evertsen Bout and Jacob Walingen. (The three Breukelen delegates were George Rapalje of the Wallabout, Jacques Bentyn of Gouwanes, and Fredrick Lubbertsen of The Ferry.) The Board was abolished 18 Feb 1642, as Director Willem Kieft did not like some of the critical comments of the Board.

On the East River side of New Amsterdam, just north of the city wall (the present Wall Street), lay the two large farms of Jan Damen and Cornelis van Tienhoven. Separating the two farms was a path, or lane, called the Maagde Paetje, or Maiden Lane (the name of the present street), which ran from near the center of Manhattan island to the East River, where it met a road along the East River shore, now called Pearl Street. Some writers speculate that the lane was named for Maria, Christina, and Rachel, step-daughters of Jan Damen. At the northwestern angle of Maiden Lane and Pearl Street stood a house, erected probably in 1641 or 1642 by Captain Lourens Cornelissen vander Wel, who in documents executed by himself, bears the imposing designation of “Skipper under God of the ship the “Angel Gabriel” of about one hundred lasts burden.” The skipper owned about an acre of ground here, stretching back along Maiden Lane about 250 feet. This lowland along the river was called the Smits Vly, or smith’s valley (and there was some speculation that there had been earlier a blacksmith located nearby). The ground around here must have been rather wet, and the skipper had to establish a broad trench through his garden, and probably another on the east side of his plot. However, Skipper Lourens did not remain very long in the Smits Vly, for in the Spring of 1643, on 14 April, he sold his house, with about a half acre of the ground, for the sum of 1600 guilders, to Frederick Lubbertsen. (On 29 May 1643 Lubbertsen gave a receipt for the home aforesaid, on condition that Cornelissen deliver enough stone to build an oven capable of baking a skepel and a half of wheat.) In 1640 Lubbertsen had received a grant from the Dutch authorities of a large tract of land at Gouwanus (now part of Brooklyn) on Long Island. It seems probable that from his residence on Manhattan Island he devoted himself to the clearing and cultivation of this land, as one of the appurtenances of his house was an oven, which he stipulated should be capable of baking at one time the equivalent in flour of about a bushel and a half of grain, a fact indicating the presence of a considerable force of work-hands, perhaps slaves, who doubtless manned his farm boat daily for many years. (I)

His Long Island possessions were in plain view from his house at the foot of Maagde Paetje. Looking to his left across the East River, he could see, in the direction of the Wallabout, his timber land, a tract of about 30 acres of magnificent forest trees, some of which were still landmarks far into the next century. ( A great tulip or whitewood tree, which stood upon the bluff near the shore, was known far and wide and is shown on several maps of the eighteenth century.) His tract covered the high ground near the foot of the present Bridge Street and Jay Street in Brooklyn. About a mile to the right, down the East River, beyond the high sand bluffs forming what are now known as the Brooklyn Heights, lay the large tract acquired by Lubbertsen in 1640. This extended from about the foot of the present Atlantic Avenue, in Brooklyn, nearly a mile along the shore, and it ran back from the shore an almost equal distance. A large part of it was a region of salt meadows, interspersed with ponds and tidal creeks and with small wooded islands and sand banks, the last deposits of the retreating glaciers. (The tract is now in part occupied by the Atlantic Basin, so-called.) Beyond this low tract, however, the ground rose into swelling hills, long cleared and occupied by the indians as “maize land”, of which Lubbertsen’s grant contained a considerable share. (I)

From some of the other patents and grants issued by Kieft about this time we can get a sense of the immediate neighbors of Lubbertsen. On 12 Sep 1645 Kieft granted to Andries Hudde a lot of 27 morgens on Long Island almost opposite the fort, and touching the maize lands of Frederick Lubbertsen. On 30 Sep 1645 Director Kieft granted a patent for 21 morgens of land adjoining Frederick Lubbertsen to Claes Jansen van Naerden, the brother of Lubbertsen’s wife Styntje. On 11 Mar 1647 Kieft granted 19 morgens to Gerrit Wolphertsen van Couwenhoven, for land between Frederick Lubbertsen’s and Jacob Stoffelsen’s. On 2 Apr 1647 he granted 38 morgens to Jan Haes, along land of Frederick Lubbertsen. On 29 Aug 1651 Henry Breser sold the land he had acquired 4 Sep 1645 and 9 Jun 1646 to Sieur Cornelis de Potter, for land bounded by Frederick Lubbertsen. On 29 Jan 1652 Jan Haes sold his land bounded by Frederick Lubbertsen to Sr. Cornelis de Potter. (The de Potter property is located on the 1766 Map of Brooklyn by Ratzer at Martyn’s Hook at the northwest bend of the Wallabout Bay.)

Just to the west of the de Potter farm (originally Fiscock’s) on the strand of the East River was the 15 morgen farm granted to Frederick Lubbertsen by Director-General Willem Kieft on 4 Sep 1645. The farm was located between the farms of Harry Breser and Edward Fiscock, and had a waterfront of nine hundred and fifty-five feet six inches. It was described as northwest by west, 120 rods; its breadth behind, in the woods, east by north, 59 rods; back again to the beach, north and north by west, 134 rods, along the strand, west by south one half point southerly, 78 rods: amounting to in all to 15 morgens and 52 rods. This farm would be only a short block or so from the Ferry to New Amsterdam

In 1645 a fire burned the house of Jochem Pietersen and someone accused an Indian named Poukes of setting the fire. But Poukes came forward to deny any involvement. He testified in the presence of Jan Eversen Bout and Fredrick Lubbertsen, both of whom have some facility in the Indian tongue. Lubbertsen also testified that he believed Poukes’ testimony, because when an Indian does such a deed he is usually proud of it and brags about it to others.

Lubbertsen occasionally ran short of cash and had to borrow. On 20 Sep 1646 he gave a note to Jan Jansen of St. Obyn for 663 guilders. On 28 Nov 1646 he sold one of his slaves, a negro named Anthony, to Richard Lord, an English trader at Hartford, who traded frequently with the Dutch. On 23 Jul 1647 he gave a note to Cornelis van Tienhoven for 900 carolis guilders. On 17 Aug 1648 he gave a Power of Attorney to his brother-in-law, Claes Jensen, to collect a debt in Holland from Jan Hett.

On 19 Jul 1648 Lubbertsen’s daughter, Rebecca Frederickse, married Jacob Leendertsen van der Grift, who had worked as a sailor for the West India Company, and who had arrived in New Amsterdam around 1644. Jacob was the brother of Paulus Leendertsen van der Grift, who was to become one of the leading citizens of New Amsterdam. According to Innis, Frederick Lubbertsen gave the newlyweds a house on the east side of Broadway, directly opposite from the house of Paulus Leendertsen. (I)

On 7 Mar 1652, Jacob Leendertsen van der Grift, acting as attorney for his father in law Frederick Lubbertsen, sold the 15 morgen farm acquired by Lubbertsen on 4 Sep 1645 to Jan Hendricksen Stelman for the sum of 450 guilders.

On 3 Jun 1652 Frederick Lubbertsen transferred by deed to Albert Cornelissen a lot located in the Smits Vly, New Amsterdam.

In 1653 and again in 1654 Fredrick Lubbertsen served as a magistrate (schepen) in Breukelen. This appointment was continued in 1655.

In December 1653 a group of 20 leading citizens from New Amsterdam and the five Dutch towns of Long Island held a Convention to discuss various troubles and shortcomings of the provincial administration, including arbitrariness and high-handedness of Director General Stuyvesant and his Council. They wrote a detailed letter of these complaints,called a Remonstrance, which they sent to the West India Company in Amsterdam and also to the States General of the Netherlands. The members of the Convention included Martin Cregier, Willem Beeckman, George Baxter, Jan Stryker, Paulus Leendertsen van der Grift and Frederick Lubbertsen. Stuyvesant was most annoyed that this citizens’ body had the audacity to complain about his governing, and on 12 Dec 1653 Peter Stuyversant sent a Resolution directing the Convention to supply a copy of the Remonstrance to each member of his Council. On 13 Dec 1653 the Convention sent a petition to the Council for an answer to their Remonstrance. Lubbertsen was a signer of this petition.

On 16 Jun 1654 an English settler, Andrew Youngblood, made a declaration to the Council that a cow and calf, found in the woods behind Frederick Lubbertsen’s home, belonged to him. (This was reported on one index of colonial records as “Frederick Lubbertsen is accused of stealing a cow.”)

In Feb 1654 a petition was presented to the Council from eight settlers of the Long Island Dutch towns urging the establishment of a 40-man militia for common defence. Frederick Lubbertsen was a signer.

On 8 Apr 1655 it was announced that Frederick Lubbertsen would be continued as a magistrate for Breuckelen. On 29 Apr 1655 Frederick Lubbertsen served as a witness on a deed conveying a house and land in Breuckelen from Cornelis van Tienhoven to Jan Cornelissen Damen. On 28 Mar 1656 it was announced that Frederick had served his term as Schepen, and was now the outgoing Schepen for Breuckelen.

The House on the Heere Graght

On 5 Oct 1655 Frederick Lubbertsen signed a bill of sale for a house and lot on the west side of the Heere Graght, previously owned by Jan van Hardenburgh. The deed for this property is dated 30 Apr 1659; perhaps he lived there as a renter prior to the deed. He now had a town house in New Amsterdam, a place to return to when indians or the English settlers on Long Island made life there uncomfortable.

On 23 Dec 1655 Director Peter Stuyvesant gave a note to Frederick Lubbertsen for 450 guilder for the purchase of cattle.

Prior to 17 Aug 1657, Fredrick Lubbertsen had become a widower. His daughter Rebecca had also left him some eight or nine years before that time, marrying Jacob Leendertsen van der Grift and taking up her residence in a house on the east side of Broadway, conveyed to her by her father. On 17 Aug 1657 we find Lubbertsen marrying for his second wife, Tryntje Hendrickse, the widow of Cornelis Pietersen (Vroom), one of the earlier settlers. At the time of this marriage, Tryntje had, by her first husband, three sons: Cornelis Corssen (Vroom), aged twelve; Peter, aged six; and Hendrick, aged three. (Pieter Corsen (Vroom) was bapt. 5 Mar 1651; and Hendrick, son of Cors Pieterszen and Tryntje Hendricks was bapt. 30 Nov 1653.) By his second wife Lubbertsen had two daughters, Aeltje Frederickse (bapt. 25 Jul 1660) and Elsje (bapt. 7 Jul 1658). (Of the Corsens, Cornelis married, on 11 Mar 1666, Martje van der Grift, aged 17, the oldest child of Jacob Leendertsen and Rebecca Frederickse, Lubbertsen’s daughter by his first wife. Lubbertsen thereby became the step-father-in-law of his granddaughter. According to Stiles’ History of Brooklyn, Cornelis married in Breuckelen and later removed to Staten Island, where he became the ancestor of the Corsen family there. According to Davis’ History of Bucks County, the Corsens moved with the other Vandegrifts to Bensalem, Bucks County, and many Corsen descendants live still in Bucks County. Peter Corsen remained in Breuckelen, where he married. Hendrick married also in Breuckelen, and settled on the Raritan, where his descendants are numerous by the name of Vroom, one of whom was Governor Vroom of New Jersey.)

It was about this time (1657) that Lubbertsen, doubtless with the view of establishing himself upon his Long Island farm, sold his house in the Smits Vly , to Jan Peeck, an eccentric character in New Amsterdam. [Peeck was involved in trading with the indians, and he used to take his boatload of trading supplies up the North River (now called the Hudson), and anchor for several days in a kil (a cove in the river caused by a small creek) about 25 miles north of Manhattan. There is now a town there named Peekskill.] Soon after the sale of the Smits Vly property, Lubbertsen seems to have built a farmhouse near the East River shore upon his Long Island farm. This stood not far from the foot of the present Pacific Street in Brooklyn. Here Lubbertsen resided for many years, and here he died, in his early seventies, around 1680. His large plantation in Breukelen was divided between his two daughters by his second wife: Aeltje, who married Cornelis Sebring, and Elsje, wife of Jacob Hansen Bergen; their descendants are still to be found in Brooklyn, (I)

In January 1657 several settlers in Breuckelen petitioned the local magistrates against the imposition of a tax to support the salary of the minister, Rev. Domine J. Theodorus Polhemius, for the new church in Breukelen. His annual salary was to be 300 guilder, with Breukelen and The Ferry assessed fl.171, the Walebocht (Wallabout) fl 88, and Gouwanes fl 60. The wealthier citizens were assessed fl 10 each, the others fl 6. Joris Raphallie, who had a large farm near the Wallabout, was assessed fl 10, as was Fredrick Lubbertsen, and also Theunis Jansen, who was farming on some of Lubbertsen’s land. Times were not good, and such a tax would be a hardship. Frederick Lubbertsen stated that one of his bouweries was vacant. But the authorities rejected this petition and said (on 16 Jan) the petitioners must face up to their obligations. (Complete text in Corwin.) (Joris-Janes Rappelje was a Walloon and one of a group of Walloons who had early settled here; The Wallabout originally meant “the Walloons Bay”. His other claim to fame is that he was the father of Sarah, the first “Christian daughter” to be born in New Netherland.)

On 2 Jul 1658 Jacob Vis filed a writ of appeal in the case of Jacob Vis vs. Frederick Lubbertsen. On 9 Jul 1658 the Appeals Court reversed the decision of the New Amsterdam Court in the case of Jacob Vis vs. Frederick Lubbertsen. On 19 Aug 1658 the Court issued a Judgement against Jacob van Couwenhoven for the price of a horse purchased from Frederick Lubbertsen.

In 1659 the city of New Amsterdam decided to improve the street called the Heere Graght (the Grand Canal, or “The Ditch”). Some people were disposing refuse in it and it needed to be cleaned and dredged. The abutters were assessed for this improvement. On 21 Nov 1659 Fredrick Lubbertsen petitioned that he be permitted to pay his assessment in 4 installments.

In early 1657 the Council acted in response to a petition to curtail the “daily increase in the number of peddlers” in the city. They created a class of “Burghers”, and ordered that only burghers could engage in trading in the Province. “Small burgher right” was granted to all who had lived in the city for a year and six weeks. For others who wished to trade, small burgher right could be purchased for 20 guilders. So Frederick Lubbertsen became a Small Burgher. The Council further decided that only “Great Burghers” could hold office. They granted Great Burgher rights to all who had held high office (burgomaster or Schout or Council member.) In January 1658 the Director General informed the Council that there were 20 Great Burghers and 206 Small Burghers. Stuyvesant referred to “the small number of the Great Burghers and the consequent trifling change of persons fit for city magistrates.” Therefore, the Great Burgher right was conferred on “six old and suitable persons”, men like Isaac de Foreest and Frederick Lubbertsen, who came to be among the best citizens of their generation in the Province. In January 1658 Fredrick Lubbertsen was created a “Great burgher” of New Amsterdam.

In 1660 Rev. Henry Selyns, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Breukelen, compiled a list of his church members. Fredrick Lubbertsen and his wife Tryntje Hendricks are listed, as are Jacob Leendertsen van der Grift and Rebecca Fredericks his wife, both of Middelwout. A similar list, for 1677-1685, shows Frederick Lubbertsen (dead) and Tryntje his wife, and Jacob Hansz Bergen and Elsje Fredericks, his wife.

In Jun 1661 the council was petitioned by several Long Islanders for permission to use some land near Frederick Lubbertsen’s land for grazing. In February 1662 Fredrick Lubbertsen was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of Burgomaster of New Amsterdam. In July 1663 Fredrick Lubbertsen represented Breukelen in the convention called to secure the cooperation of the Dutch towns in a system of armed defence. The five English towns were invited to participate, but they did not even answer the invitation. On 11 May 1662 the Council received a petition from Frederick Lubbertsen and others, for permission to settle a hamlet on land hitherto occupied by Michel Tadeus. Granted.

John Scott, the President of Long Island

In the fall of 1663 Director-General Stuyvesant had to deal with another threat to the New Netherland claim to Long Island. The Dutch had originally claimed all of Long Island, but English settlers from the Plymouth and New Haven colonies had settled on the Eastern third of the island. Connecticut also claimed all of the island, but New Amsterdam managed to maintain generally peaceful trade with Hartford and New Haven, and in 1650 Stuyvesant had negotiated an agreement that both groups would observe a boundary extending from Stamford south through Oyster Bay and continuing south; with the Dutch recognizing English dominance to the east of this boundary and the English recognizing Dutch authority west of this line. (Stuyvesant’s suggestion to Governor John Winslow of Connecticut was that they should leave to their statesmen in London and Amsterdam the arguments and decisions about boundaries; while the two colonies should instead try to live in peace with each other and together face their common problems with the indian natives.) Still, it was an uneasy peace, and the sympathies of the five English towns thus included in New Netherland were generally not friendly to the Dutch. The new threat came from an English soldier of fortune named John Scott. Scott was born in England in 1632 and was deported to Massachusetts in 1643, where he served an apprenticeship until 1652. He then, at age twenty, left for Tortuga, where he joined the buccanneers. After having made a fortune in plunder he returned to Long Island and settled near Southampton at the eastern end. He married Deborah Rayon, a wealthy girl, and together they bought nearly one third of the island from the indians. He then returned to London and tried to persuade Charles II to grant him the proprietorship of all of Long Island. Charles was almost persuaded, but John Winslow of the Hartford Colony arrived in London also seeking a royal charter for Connecticut, and Connecticut also claimed all of Long Island. Scott returned to his manor at Southampton, but in October of 1663 managed to persuade the General Court at Hartford to give him a commission to try to extend English rule over the Dutch western third of Long Island. (He did not tell Winslow that the Duke of York wanted his brother Charles II to grant the entire area claimed by the Dutch -from the Delaware River to the Hudson, and including Long Island, Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket - to The Duke of York, who would in turn designate John Scott as President of Long Island if he could successfully expell the Dutch from the island.) The Dutch part of Long Island consisted of five towns predominantly Dutch (Breukelen, Amersfoort, Boswyck, Midwout, and New Utrecht; now called Brooklyn, Flatbush, Bushwick, Midwood, and New Utrecht), and five towns predominantly English, although under the Dutch flag: Newtown, Heemsteed, Flushing, Jamaica, and Gravesend).

At the end of December 1663 Scott arrived at Heemsteed with 170 troops, (many recruited from the English towns just named). He raised the English flag and claimed the towns for England, and proclaimed himself “President of Long Island.” His reception was friendly in the five English towns, (they even contributed to his troops), but cool in the five Dutch towns. He then marched on to Brooklyn, where his reception was icy. He dispatched a letter to Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam demanding that Stuyvesant come the next day to Midwout to discuss the future of Long Island. Stuyvesant was furious, but there was not much he could do, as he had sent almost all his soldiers up the Hudson to Fort Orange (Albany), to deal with some indian insurrections. Instead he sent a delegation of four distinguished citizens - his secretary Cornelis van Ruyven, John Laurence, (an English citizen of New Amsterdam), and former Burgomasters Oloff van Cortlandt and Martin Cregier - to Scott’s headquarters in Breukelen to demand that Scott come to New Amsterdam. An irritated “President” Scott refused to follow the four solemn Dutchmen to the capital. He insisted that Stuyvesant should come to him, threatening that if Stuyvesant brought troops with him he would “run a sword through his body.” Martin Cregier’s young son, who had accompanied the delegation, stood listening to this outburst with disbelief, and Scott, still fuming, ordered him to take off his cap to the English flag, which was waving over the village. The boy refused, and the Englishman gave him a ringing slap on his ear. One of the bystanders jeered that he ought to strike grown-ups and not children, a remark that almost cost him his life as four of Scott’s soldiers turned on him. The man fled between the houses, pursued by the shouting soldiers, who threatened to set the whole village on fire if he did not give himself up. Scott himself restored discipline by calling his soldiers back, and turning again to the Dutch emissaries, offered to wait at the Breukelen ferry head for the general. Scott then made the rounds of the other Dutch towns, where his reception was cool, and he finally withdrew from the Dutch towns, promising to return in March with his commission from the king. (Scott’s presidential rule was later side-tracked when the Connecticut governor, John Winthrop, sent a sheriff to Southampton to arrest Scott and bring him to Hartford. He was tried and convicted of insurrection against Connecticut, and was jailed. His detention was in a third floor room above the sheriff’s office. He managed to escape from jail after his pregnant wife smuggled in under her dress a long rope, and he returned to his manor at Southampton.. But his “presidency” of Long Island had come to an end.) (Scott later had other colorful exploits; he returned to England to try again -without sucess- to persuade the king to grant him Long Island; in the third Anglo-Dutch war he was a colonel on the Dutch side; he engaged in a long and losing feud with Samuel Pepys in 1679; and in 1682 was tried for the murder of a London coachman in a drunken argument. Again he escaped, this time to Norway; but he returned to England in 1696, where he died soon after. (According to another account he returned to the West Indies, and became involved in politics in Montserrat in the Leeward Islands, and died in Barbados in 1704. There is at least one full length recent biography of this President of Long Island, The Indomitable John Scott, by L. T. Mowrer, Farrar, Straus & Co, N.Y.,1960)

After the foray of John Scott into the Dutch towns the local magistrates took statements from several on-lookers, and composed a long letter to the States General in Holland recounting the events. The four members of the Dutch delegation sent to Breukelen from New Amsterdam said that they had asked John Scott to produce his commission, “which he said, shall be done. But he again began to speechify, little to the point. We, on the contrary, confined ourselves to our previous request. Whereupon he produced an unsigned writing, which he read, wherein his Majesty of England granted him the whole of Long Island. But he said afterwards that it was granted to the Duke of York, whose agent he now was and charged all his subjects to assist Captain Schott with as much money and men as he may require for the construction of a fort or forts. He also said that those of Hartford had requested him to assist his Majesty’s subjects on Long Island in their just cause and that the people had also invited him for the same purpose, so that he negotiated with us in the capacity of president of his Majesty’s subjects on Long Island. He promised to furnish us a copy of his qualifications, asking the bystanders at the same time if they did not acknowledge him for their president. To which they unanimously answered—Yes,Yes. After some observations, that he ought to exhibit his commission the same as we, he promised to do so, although it was never produced. We communicated to him the substance of the Memorandum that had been furnished us, briefly demonstrating to him the irrefragable right that the Dutch had to this place, as well by first discovery, by purchase from the natives, as by most ancient possession, exhibiting to him, to this end, the documents we had brought with us; which, on being seen by him and others, effected some change both on him and the rest. We requested them to produce their title, in like manner. Whereupon he read to us a collection from divers histories, which, he said, proved that this place had been long before discovered by the English, and that Hendrik Hudson had discovered the North River in the year 1603, when in the service of the English, &c. We requested copy, which he promised to furnish. After considerable talk,’twas finally agreed that he should leave the Dutch towns and lands unmolested; that the English should remain in the present state until 20th February, Old Style, when a meeting should be held by them at Hempstead or at Asfort [now Brookhaven], promising by that time to furnish us copies of all his papers, whether qualification, discovery, purchase and possession, and requesting us to do the like; when further steps would be taken towards a friendly and amicable agreement; but as regards Long Island, that must be left to his Majesty. Whereunto we answered, that we doubted not but the Principals, on both sides, would well agree about it. Terminating here, as it was already quite late, we went to the house of Andrew Messinger, as he had invited us to sup. Captain Schott came in there after supper. After some conversation, it being midnight and fine weather, we resolved to depart so as not to lose any time. On taking leave, Captain Schott said, among other things, to Secretary Van Ruyven and Mr. John Laurents, as they declare, that there was but one way to terminate this commenced work and that was, to come to an agreement with the Duke of York as speedily as possible, as he knew for certain that his Majesty had granted this Island to the said Duke, and that some persons had informed the Duke, that it might produce 3000 pounds sterling. The Duke had then resolved, if he could not get the Island peaceably, that he should look to obtaining it by force, and for that purpose would send two or more frigates hither, in order to reduce not only the aforesaid Island but the entire New Netherland, and that he, Captain Schott, would command said frigates, as Lieutenant-General. This he declared to us more than once to be true. To which we answered, that we doubted not but his Majesty and the Duke of York, when they would be truly informed of the real state of the case would come in a proper agreement with the States-General. Whereupon we took our departure. We reached the Ferry by daybreak and immediately reported our return. (Done, Fort Amsterdam, in New Netherland, 15th January 1664.)

The Dutch Towns on Long Island to the Director-General and Council of New Netherland. Although the Schout and Schepens of the respective villages of Amersfoort, Breukelin, Midwout, and Utrecht, situate on Long Island, in this Province, doubt not but your Honors will be very circumstantially and generally informed of what has occurred since the breaking out of the fire and tempest of change and sedition in divers villages situate on this island within the jurisdiction of this province and inhabited by the English. Also, how one John Koo, an Englishman and miller in the village of Middleburg, being your Honors’ subject, further forgetting himself, assuming to himself the title of captain, had dared to enter the village of Gravesend, inhabited, mostly, by people of his own nation and subjects of this Province, with an armed troop of horse and foot, and to cause them, through fear, to join his party or faction, when one John Remsey took occasion to come into the viullage of Midwout, preceded by a trumpeter and other Englishmen on horseback and a’foot, to say to Schout Hegeman: “Master Hegeman, I come as a friend to warn you that we have been to Gravesend and have appointed new Magistrates there, Sergeant Huyberts, Burgomaster and Captain, and Karel Meiges Constable. If you or any of your folks, or the Governor of the Manhattans molest them in any wise or imprison them, we shall drag you and the Magistrates back in the places two for one, by fire and sword; as appears by Declaration, Letter A.

The Schout and Schepens aforesaid, because of the urgent necessity of suppressing them, cannot remain silent in the discharge of their duty in respect to the proceeding and acts one John Schott lately committed in the villages situate on Long Island, subject to this Province, to the disparagement of the sovereignty of their High Mightynesses’ authority, the Honorable Company’s rule and Your Honor’s government, but find themselves forced hereby respectfully and particularly to remonstrate to your Honors against this treatment and demeanor of the aforesaid Schott and his followers towards the inhabitants of the aforesaid villages. Namely, he Schott, acting as Captain, did, on the 11th and 12th of the last month, January of this year 1664, followed by an armed troop of about 70 or 80 horsemen and 60 or 79 foot; the said troops consisting, with the exception of two or three, of English subjects of this Province, being inhabitants of the villages situate within your Honor’s sovereignty, whose subjects they publically declared and affirmed themselves to be, by the signatures of their Magistrates, as is confessed and evident by the Remonstrance dated the 1st December 1653, drawn up and dictated by themselves,and exhibited with other members of this Province to your Honors; with sounding trumpet, beaten drum, flying colors, great noise and uproar, presume to attack, set upon and invade the remonstrating villages abovenamed and hamlets thereunto depending, as is to be seen by Appendices B. C. D. And, without producing any title, commission, credential or other legal document, there (as a pretext for his extravagant, reckless and rash conduct) in the name of the Majesty of England did, with strange, unblushing shamelessness, in harangues in the English tongue, to the amazement of the Remonstrants and inhabitants, declare in substance the land of the beforenamed villages of the Remonstrants, to belong not to the Company, but to King Charles of England; yea, the whole of America from Virginia to Boston; as is to be seen by the declaration, Letter C; further asking some of the Remonstrants if they would not subject themselves to the King threatening, in case of refusal, that they had to expect the result and consequences. Who, being thus afforded an opportunity, modestly answered that, for the present, they recognized no other Lord than those whose subjects they were up to the present time, viz.: the High and Mighty Lords States-General, the Honorable Company, and you, Right Honorable, requesting to see his commission and power, and referring him to the government of this Province. He, furthermore, arrogantly defaming their High Mightinesses’ character in regard to the government of this Provence and its dependencies, charged the Remonstrants and the other inhabitants aforesaid: Henceforward you shall not name him Director-General any more; he is no more a General; neither give him anything nor be directed by him; and you shall make known to me what you have given, in order that I may oblige him to return it, whereunto I will constrain him by the sword. Moreover, telling the Remonstrants: you must not pay any more Tenths to the Company; I shall come back again in April, Old Style, when I shall publish my commission, and as soon as this place will be King’s land you shall have more freedom; as is visible by the Depositions C and D. And making other similar speeches to the Remonstrants, with which it is unnecessary here further to tax your Honors’ patience.

Not only hath the said Schott, not contenting himself with the aforesaid proclamations and frivolities, caused to be thrown from their carriages this government’s cannon standing in the block-house of the village of Utrecht, for defence against the Indians and savages there, and shortly thereafter had them replaced in the name of the King of England, but some of his followers have not hesitated to run among the houses there with naked swords, and would take by force a certain person thence, namely at the house of Rutger Joosten; as is to be seen by Letter C. In like manner, at the Ferry, they behaved so insolently towards the inhabitants as to endanger the shedding of blood.

The Remonstrants, then passing over Schott’s bravadoes at the same place, challenging the General and his hundred soldiers, with his (Scott’s) attending troop, if the latter would consent to cross over to the Manhattans and to make proclamation there, as had been done at their, the Remonstrant’s place; threatening to run through whomsoever should publically assert that said place was not the King’s land, and other excesses committed by him at the Ferry aforesaid. Among the rest divers bravadoes and hostile actions there put in practice by the English aforesaid towards the Dutch.

It happened that one Wynandt Pietersen, having learned that the son of Captain-Lieutenant Marten Kregier had been bastinadoed by the English, and especially by him, Schott, because he had not evinced respect by taking his hat off to him, according to his appetite and imagination, had said: Wherefore do they strike us here? Let them beat where they have a right to beat. This being heard by an Englishman, and this Wynant having been struck by him in consequence with a stick, or rattan, Wynant wished to revenge himself, and aiming a blow with the head of an axe at the aforesaid Englishman, holding the axe in his hand and hitting the horse on which the Englishman was seated, the matter was taken up by the aforesaid English troop in such a manner, that they took occasion not only to search for and pursue with especial fury, on horseback, the said Wynant, who, to save his life, was obliged to conceal himself in some bushes. Not finding him, they ran with drawn swords into the house of the widow Potter, and would have stabbed and killed one Frederick Lubbertse there, were it not that they had been prevented; John Yongh, styled Captain, threatening, if the aforesaid escaped person were not delivered up, they would burn the houses at the Ferry; as appears by the annexed Declaration, Letter E.

And, as experience has taught the Remonstrants that the abovementioned proceedings and attempts of the aforesaid English will, according to previous reports and notices, successively have their effect and continue without any hindrance or real opposition, the Remonstrants are justly apprehensive and afraid that these men may, in consequence, be provoked and excited to further and more pernicious progress, as Schott is openly threatening and giving out. The Remonstrants, being farmers on the flat land, and utterly defenceless, have to expect and anticipate either all at once to be driven, stripped and plundered of and from their lands, houses, and little means, possessed and gained with such unwearied, bloody labor, outlay of expenditure, and suffering of the aforesaid extremities of Indian wars and other troubles, and thereby to be exposed to inevitable ruin and utter destruction, or to be forced and obliged, contrary to their inclination and inward conscience, to have recourse to desperate resolutions.

(To the above Remonstrance were appended several extracts of testimony from various eye-witnesses of the events. These statements were written up and notarized by Pelgrim Klock (or Clocq) of the village of Midwout, a Notary Public. Only about half of the Dutch farmers could read or write, and the Notary helped them prepare documents.)

Before me, Pelgrim Klock, by the Right Honorable Director-General and Council, admitted a Notary, residing in the village of Midwout, on Long Island, in New Netherland, &c., appeared N.N. (New Netherlanders), who declare that on Saturday, being the twelth of this last month, John Schott, the English Captain of a troop of horse and foot, came to their, the attestants’ village aforesaid, with great noise, and, standing on the Block-house, spoke in the English language, saying: This land and the whole of America from Virginia to Boston belong to the King of England. Furthermore, that John Schott went into the Block-house and looked at the little cannon which was standing there, and that his men, by his order, threw the gun off its carriage so that it fell to the floor; and afterwards his men again, by his order, having replaced the gun, set it, in the King’s name in another port-hole of the Block-house, naming it the King’s port, whereupon his men discharged the gun.

And N.N. aforesaid alone declares that John Schott came to him and said, that he had understood that he, the attestant, was a magistrate of the village, and inquired if he will submit to the King’s authority in the present time, to which he, John Schott, expected an answer. Whereunto the attestant answered: The King is our friend already, for we are not at war with him; but I am still a subject to my Lord, to whom I have taken my oath. Whereupon John Schott again said, if you do not consent, then you may see what will be the result. (This done and executed in the village of New Utrecht, on Long Island, in New Netherland, the 23rd January,1664.)

(Another Extract) Appeared &c. Inhabitants of the village of Amesfoort, that it is true and certain that on the twelth of this last month of January, in their, the attestants’ village, uproariously came Captain John Schott, an Englishman, with a troop of Englishmen, horse and foot, and heard him, John Schott, say, that the Bay is a free place because it was bought; also that it was not Company’s property; likewise, that he also said, that he should return on the first of April, Old Style, and then open his commission, and that they must not pay any Tenths to the Company, as the place was the King’s. John Schott also said that this is a handsome place and has a fine church. Furthermore John Schott said to him as soon as this place is the King’s you shall have more liberty than the people now possess, and then it will be a place free to trade to other places. (Done and executed in Amesfoort on the 25th January 1664.)

(Another Extract) Appeared &c., N.N. all residing here at the Ferry, in the town of Breuckelen: That on the eleventh of January last came Captain John Schott here to the Ferry with a troop of Englishmen mounted on horseback, with great noise marching with sounding trumpets, so that the attestants knew not how they were to fare, and hoisted the English flag, and as soon as John Schott arrived, they uncovered their heads and he spoke in English, which they, the attestants did not well understand and cannot well explain. And N.N. declares that he, John Schott, spoke, at the time, with Secretary van Ruyven; that the Secretary asked, Will he cross over? [on the ferry to Manhattan] To which John Schott answered, No. Let Stuyvesant come over with a hundred soldiers, I shall wait for him here. Whereunto the abovenamed Secretary replied, What for? To which John Schott made answer and said, he would run him through the body. Whereupon the Secretary answered, that would not be a friendly act; and so they parted. Further, N.N. declares that seven or eight Englishmen of Schott’s Company came to his house, and on arriving drew out their swords and attacked him, crying out, This is the man; that he was protected by the attestant’s wife and by Captain John Schott, otherwise he would have lost his life.

Wynant Pietersz declares that the said Captain John Schott’s followers, with four or five horsemen, pursued him, the attestant, with naked hangers or daggers, and followed him into the woods, where he hid in the bushes; otherwise he would have been killed. He further declares that at the same time he happened to approach, without any thought of mischief, hearing that Captain Martin Kryger’s son had received a blow from the English, and said, What business have they here to beat us; let them beat those they have to beat. Whereupon an Englishman, sitting on horseback, hearing this, struck at him with a rattan or stick, and even touched him; he ,the attestant, having an axe in his hand, holding it by the handle, struck at him with the axe-head so that he hit the horse. N.N. declares, that he heard Captain John de Yongh, as he spoke in general, say: If you do not deliver the man who struck with the axe, up to us, we will burn the houses. N.N., N.N. also declare that Captain John Schott, when Captain Martin Kryger’s son had received a blow from the English, said to him: Martin, take your hat off, and insisted he should do so, he, John Schott, striking him, Martin, two or three times between the head and neck with the rattan, to oblige him to comply, so that Richard Panten also came afterwards, whom he saw striking Martin Kryger the younger with a rattan. (Thus done, &c., 26th January, 1664.)

(Another Extract) Before me, Pelgrim Clocq, &c., appeared Fredrick Lubberts, aged 55 years, Joris Jacobsen, aged 38 years, Barent Jansen, aged 56 years, Hendrick Volkersen, aged 30 years, Cornelis Dircksen, aged about 65 years, Dirck Jansen, aged 32 years, Wynant Pietersen, aged about 32 years, all resident inhabitants of The Ferry, known to me, the Notary, who hereby declare and testify in favor and to promote the ends of justice, on the requisition and at the request of Mr. Adriaen Hegemans, Sheriff, residing in the village of Midwout by and in the presence of Willem Bredenbent and Albert Cornelissen of Breuckelen, there: That it is true and truthfull that John Schot came, on the 11th of January last, with a troop of Englishmen mounted on horseback and marched to the Ferry, making a great noise with blowing of trumpets, and hoisted the English flag; whereupon John Schot spoke in English, but they could not well understand him. Fredrick Lubberts declares alone that John Schot spoke with Mr. Secretary van Ruyven, who asked him if John Schot will cross over? But he refusing, answered: Let Stuyvesant come over with a hundred men; I shall wait for him here, and run him through the body; the Secretary replying: that would not be a friendly act. In like manner it afterwards happened that eight Englishmen of John Schot’s party came to his, the deponent’s house with drawn swords in their hands and poked at the deponent, calling out Here’s the man; that were he not protected by his wife and by John Schot, he the deponent had been killed. Hendrick Volkertsen and Barent Jansen further declare that John Schot struck Martin Kregier’s son severely, who, after being beaten, was forced to take off his hat to the English; and afterwards he, Barent Jansen, saw Ritsart Panten also strike him, Martin, junior, with a rattan. (Done and executed at The Ferry on 20th February 1664, signed by Dirck Jansen, Fredrick Lubbertsen, Cornelis Dircksen and Hendrick Folkertsen, marked by the other 3 deponents; witnessed by Willem Bredenbent (Schepen) and Albert Cornelissen Wantenaar. “Concordat quod attestor” (signed) P. Clocq, Not. Pub.)

(After reading of the adventures of these unarmed and defenceless farmers with the rough and ready English vigelantes, it is a comfort to note that Weynant Pietterse was still farming in Breuckelen, with 2 horses and 3 cows on 5 morgens of land, on the assessment rolls of 1676 and again in 1683; and even the boy Martin Cregier still shows , on the New York Census of 1703, as Martines Criger, living in the Dock Ward with a wife and one child, and in the New York Militia of 1737 there is a Hendrick Cregeer and a Martinus Cregeer, Junr. (Presumably sons of the boy Martin.) Most of the others named above were also still around years later.)

A canal across Lubbertsen’s Neck

On 20 Mar 1664 Frederick Lubbertsen was again appointed a magistrate (Schepen) for Breuckelen. On 26 May 1664 several Breuckelen residents petitioned Director Stuyvesant and his Council for permission to erect a water mill near Hogs Island, and to dredge a canal through the land of Frederick Lubbertsen in order to supply water to run the mill. Lubbertsen appeared before the Council and stated that he had no objection to this, as long as his title to the meadow is not prejudiced. The petition was approved. On 29 May 1664 a petition was presented to the Council from several inhabitants of Gouwanis and Manhattans, for permission to clean out the kill at the end of Frederick Lubbertsen’s land, and near Red Hook (Brooklyn), so as to render it navigable to Gouwanis and the mill, and relieve them of the necessity of going around the Red Hook; granted.

The above item is also described in Stiles’ History of Brooklyn. On Ratzer’s 1766 map of Brooklyn may be seen, southerly from the Graver’s Kill, a canal, running from the East River to Gowanus Cove, and separating Red Hook from the mainland. This canal originated in the necessity which presented itself to the residents of the Gouwanus district, of avoiding the difficult and dangerous navigation around Red Hook by row-boats. In May 1664, Adam Brouwer, who had a mill on the Gowanus Creek, at the place more lately known as Denton’s Mill-pond, petitioned the Governor and Council, in the name and behalf of the inhabitants of Gouwanus, thus: “To the Right Hororable Director-General and Council of New Netherland: Respectfully sheweth Adam Brouwer, in the name of the inhabitants of Gouwanes and other persons at the Manhattans, that there is situate a kil at the end of Frederick Lubbertsen’s land, and between that and the Red Hook, which might be made fit to pass through it to the Gouwanes and the mill, without going west of the Red Hook, where the water is ordinarily shallow, inasmuch as the said kil, which now is blocked up by sand at the end, might be made, without much trouble of digging, fit and navigable for the passage of boats laden with a hundred skepels of grain, full of wood and other articles, which would greatly serve to the accommodation of the inhabitants here and at Gouwanes, and to all appearance, in time of storm, prevent accidents.” (To which was signed 10 signatures and seven others each by his mark.) Fredrick Lubbertsen, to whom the said marsh belonged, was also examined, and said he had no objection. So they were allowed to deepen the kil at their own expense; with reservation, however of Fredrick Lubbertsen’s right in the property. The petition was granted, and the settlers were thus relieved of the necessity of going around the Hook. In August 1751, Isaac Sebring, (a grandson of Lubbertsen), in consideration of 117 pounds sterling, conveyed to Nicholas Vechte, Jurry Brouwer, and others, all Gowanus residents, the fee of a strip of meadow, “beginning at the east side of a little island where John Van Dyke’s long mill-dam is bounded upon, running from thence northerly into the river,” and twelve feet and a half wide. He was also to make a ditch along this strip at least six feet deep, and to allow the grantees the use of a “foot path two foot and a half wide, to dragg or hall up their canoes or boats.” On 16 Mar 1774 the Colonial Assembly of the State passed an act empowering the people of Gouwanus to widen the canal, keep it in order, and tax those who use it. This canal was partially closed, some twenty-five years ago, by improvements at Atlantic Dock, but there are persons yet living who have frequently passed through it with their boats, in going to or returning from New York.

On 3 Nov 1663 Frederick Lubbertsen was a delegate from Breukelen to a Landes Vergaderung of 70 leading citizens, who were gathered by Governor Stuyvesant to discuss the state of the Dutch villages.

On 10 Feb 1664 Jacobus van Curler, Fredrick Lubbertsen, Barent Jacobsen Cool, Johannes Pietersen and Peter Laurens, the surviving witnesses to the 8 Jun 1633 purchase from the indians of land near Hartford, on the Connecticut River, have examined a copy of the deed and declare that it is a true copy of the original. (Van Curler and Lubbertsen are the only ones whose names are actually signed to the deed.) In Aug 1664 Stuyvesant wrote: “Of the eight [7] witnesses who were present at the purchase and transfer [of the above lands], five are yet alive, who can and are willing to attest on oath, that the purchase was made and possession taken before any Englishman had ever been on the Fresh River; that these were purchased by the natives, who then possessed those lands, who lived on the river and declared themselves the rightful owners of these lands.”

When in late August 1664 four English warships under Richard Nicolls appeared in the Harbor just south of New Amsterdam, Director General Stuyvesant sent a Commission of four citizens (including Burgomaster Paulus van der Grift) to the ships to ascertain their purpose. Nicholls informed them that he was there to enforce the claim of the Duke of York to the area, and that New Netherland must surrender to England. Nicholls gave Stuyvesant 48 hours to surrender peacefully. Stuyversant counted his military strength at hand (most of his regiment was at Fort Orange), and he also found that he had very little ammunition and not much grain or flour. Even if they defied the English they could only hold out a few days. Nevertheless, Peter Stuyvesant felt they should resist, and go down fighting.

In the 1640s New Amsterdam had been only a tiny pioneer village of about 300 houses and 1000 souls; now it was beginning to be a thriving city of nearly 10,000 population. The leading citizens met and discussed their predicament; none of them were eager for war. The next day they wrote up and presented to Peter Stuyvesant a petition urging surrender. It was signed by 93 leading citizens, including Burgomaster Paulus van der Grift. Even Stuyvesant’s son Balthaser Stuyvesant had signed. And, at the end, Stuyvesent agreed that resistance would be futile, and invited Richard Nicholls to send a team to Stuyvesant’s Bouwery to negotiate terms of an honorable surrender. Nicholls too preferred a peaceful surrender, and he was most generous in its terms. All citizens would keep title to their land and property, all office holders would continue in office; the only requirement would be that they take an oath of allegience to the English king. So Paulus van der Grift, the last Burgomaster of New Amsterdam became the first burgomaster of Nieuw Jorck, and Frederick Lubbertsen continued as a magistrate in Brookland. The new governor of New York spent the next few years reviewing the property and land holdings of the former Dutch colonists,and re-issuing title to property under the authority of New York.

On 29 Feb 1664/5 Governor Nicholls sent a letter to the Dutch and English towns to elect deputies for a meeting at Hempstead on 1 Mar 1665. Frederick Lubbertsen and John Evertsen Bout were the two delegates elected from Brookland.

In 1668 Lubbertsen’s right to the property on the Heere Graght was confirmed by Governor Nicholls.

In 1671 Frederick Lubbertsen signed an agreement on a piece of property with a Michael Heynelle.

On 22 Nov 1679 Lubbertsen and his wife Tryntje prepared a will. To his daughter Elsie, married to Jacob Hanson, he bequeathed a farm and a one-third interest in the residuary estate. To Rebecca (his daughter by his first wife) the sum of 600 guilders wampum. To daughter Aeltje a farm. To sons Peter and Hendrick Corson a farm. Testatrix bequeaths all gold and silver belonging to her body to her two daughters, share and share alike. Residuary estate divided among children. Executors not named. Witnesses: William Bogardus. Proved 10 Jul 1693.

In 1672 occured the Third Anglo-Dutch war. In 1673 a Dutch fleet sailed into New York harbor and forced the city to surrender. For 15 months New York became New Orange and all of the officials had to take an oath of allegience to the States General. But when the war ended in 1674 the Dutch were primarily interested in retaining their profitable possessions in the East Indies, and they agreed that New Netherland should revert to New York. But during the brief period of Dutch rule, the Council of War on 18 Aug 1673 again appointed Frederick Lubbertsen as one of four Schepens (magistrates) of Breukelen.

In 1680 Frederick Lubbertsen died at his home in Brooklyn. He left his property in Breukelen to his two daughters by his second wife, (Tryntje Hendrickse, widow of Cornelis Pietersen): Aeltje, who on 3 Sep 1682 married Cornelis Sebring (Seuberingh), and Elsje, who on 8 Jul 1677 married Jacob Hansen Bergen. He also left land to his three step-sons Cornelis, Pieter and Hendrik Corsen, sons of Trientje by her first husband. Both Jacob Hanssen Bergen and Cornelis Subrink took the oath of allegience to the king in September 1687 in Breucklijn (as did Pieter Corsen; and also Nicolase Vandergrifft and Jan Van kerck in New Uijtrecht.) In 1676 Cornelis Sebringh appears on the assessment rolls of Middelwout (Flatbush). On the 1683 Assessment Rolls of Breuckelen are listed farms of Teunis Jansen (on Fredrick Lubbertsen’s land), Jacob Jansen Bergen with 24 morgens of land, Cornelis Sibbings with 17 morgens, Tryntie Korssen (presumably Lubbertsen’s widow) with 2 morgens, Pieter Korssen with 10 morgens, and Hendrick Korssen with 6 morgens. In 1698 Cornelius Sebring bought of Peter Corson (one of the step-sons of Fredrick Lubbertsen), one hundred acres in the neck of Brooklyn commonly called Lubbertsen’s Neck, next to the lands of George Hansen Bergen and Jacob Hansen Bergen. Pieter Corson was County Clerk of Kings County in 1739, and later removed to New York City. The Sebrings also operated a mill on Lubbertsen’s land near the Red Hook, which shows on the Ratzer 1766 Map of Brooklyn. Lubbertsen’s daughter Aeltje Sebering is still listed on the 1737 census of Brookland (she would be about 77 years old), and there are several Bergens listed.

The Assessment rolls mentioned above exist because in 1654 the Council of New Amsterdam decided that some money had to be raised to provide for a militia for the protection of farmers and others living in outlying areas. Every morgen of land (a morgen is slightly more than two acres) would be taxed 20 stivers once a year. (20 stivers is a guilder, also called a florin.) Every head of horned cattle, if above 3 years old -goats and sheep excluded- taxed 20 stivers; and houses taxed the hundredth penny of the real value. Two tax appraisers were appointed.

Also, after about 1654, when the States General in Holland had elevated New Amsterdam to the level of a city, and some of the outlying villages and hamlets were recognized as towns, law and order was enforced by local Schepens, or Magistrates, who could adjudicate disputes and levy fines and penalties. Larger places also had a Schout, or Sheriff, who was sort of a police chief and prosecutor. In the Breukelen area Lubbertsen served several terms as Schepen, and Andriaen Hegeman was the Schout And New Amsterdam had two Burgomasters, who would meet once or twice a week to hear complaints, pass local ordinances, and confer with the Council. The Council was a small group of advisers who were appointed by the Director-General (sometimes also called the Governor). Before 1654 the Director simply picked 3 or 4 people he felt he could trust; after New Amsterdam became a city the system was slightly democratized so that each year the Council could propose to the Director a double number of possible candidates ( to take office on 2 Feb), and Director-General Stuyvesant then selected his preferences from the list. He still, however tended to feel that he was the ultimate local authority, responsible only to the West India Company and its 19 Directors in Amsterdam (the Heeren XIX), and of course, to the States-General, the ruling council of the seven provinces that made up the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

Around 1740 there was a complex court case concerning some of the Lubbertsen property that had passed to Jacob Hansen Bergen. Two or three old residents; Gerrit Dortland, who was 86, and Maritie Bevois, who was 84, testified about where the fences on Lubbertsen’s fields were when he was still alive. Both Cornelius Corsse, and Peter Corssen also testified. This is written up in Stiles’ History.

According to Stiles’ History of Brooklyn, some of the Sebring property passed to Whitehead Cornell of Queens, who married into the family. Most of the Sebrings, who were whigs (anti-British), left Long Island after the departure of the American troops in August 1776. The Sebring home and mill were burned by the British and the family found themselves much impoverished on their return after the war, and were obliged to dispose of their property.

 

Some Baptisms at the Reformed Dutch Church of Breukelen, 1662- 1697

Date Baptized Child’s Name Parents Witnesses

3 Dec 1662 Sara Jan Pieterszen, of GujanesFrederick Lubbertsen

Grietie Jans Annetien Jans

13 Aug 1681 CorneliaCornelis Corsen VroomHendrick Corsen Vroom

Merritje Jakobse VroomAnnetje Jakobs Vandergrist

9 Jul 1682 Anna Cornelis BarentsenCornelis Jansen Seubering

Antje Polhemius Marretje Willems

29 Oct 1682 Annitje Roelof Jansen VerkerckBarent Jansen Verkerck

Catharina Symons Jeertje Verkerck

7 May 1683 HendrickHendrick CorsenPieter van Nest, Jr.

Jesyna Pieters Jakemyntje Pieters

20 Jan 1684 Jakob Jakob Hansen Joris Hansen

Elsje FredericksCatalynea Bogaert

3 Oct 1684 Geertje Jan Vliet Hendrick Vliet

Geertje VerkerckBarentje Verkerck

25 Mar 1687 Dina Jan Fredericksen Jan Jansen

Aeltje JansElsje Fredericks

3 Feb 1689 Marya Jan Staats Pieter Staats

Catrina CorssensMaritje vander Grift

6 Apr 1690 KatrynaHendrick CorsenAeltje Freddericks

Jesina Pieters Pieter van Nest

18 Oct 1691 AbramLeendert VandergristJohannes Vandergrist

Tryntje Vandergrist Tryntje Vandergrist

13 Mar 1692 Cornelia Pieter Brouwer Cornelis Seebringh

Pieternella UldricksAeltje Fredericks

14 May 1693 Ysaack Cornelis Sebering Theodorus Polhemius

Aeltje FredericksAertje Teunis Bogaert

4 May 1695 Sybregh Roelof VerkerkBarent Jansen

Katryna Verkerk Annitje Jansen

20 Oct 1695 Kornelia Cornelis Seberingh Roelof Seberingh

Aeltje SeberinghKatryn Seberingh

5 Nov 1697 Jacop Cornelis Suebering Daniel Polhemius

Aeltie SueberingNeltie Polhemius

(“Sebring” has various spellings. Teunis “Bogaert” or “Boegart” is the step-father of Jakob Hansen Bergen. In the later years the wife seems to have adopted the husband’s last name.) (Leendert’s wife Tryntje is Christina Ellsworth. The witness Tryntje is probably Christina the sister of Leendert and Johannes. Their son Abram was known later as “Abraham Vandegrift by the river”.)

A Marriage at the Reformed Dutch Church of Brooklyn

8 Jul 1677 Jakob Hansen, a young man from the Walebocht, to Eelsjen Fredericks vander Kreest, a young daughter of the Manatas. Wit.: Teunis Ghysbertsen Boegart, bridegroom’s father, and Frederick Lubbertse, bride’s father.