Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

To Hon. Archibald C. Niven :

    From 1838 to 1866, (except during a brief interval,) I was an editor of a newspaper of Sullivan county. Whenever, from illness or absence, I was unable to discharge my editorial duties, your able and facile pen was wielded for me gratuitously. Therefore, as a slight token of my gratitude, I respectfully dedicate to you this volume.


P R E F A C E.

    In 1853, Lotan Smith, president of the Agricultural Society of Sullivan County, under the auspices of the State, wrote what he termed a History of Sullivan County. It was expected that it would be inserted in the Transactions of the State Agricultural Society; but the gentlemen who controlled the publication of that work rejected Mr. Smith's manuscript, and returned it to its author, with a chapter on the Geology and another on the Climate of the county, which had been prepared by Professor Antisell.
    Soon after this occurred, Billings Grant Childs, a young gentleman of fair literary qualifications, announced that he had assumed the task of writing a history of Sullivan. For a time, as he had opportunity, he collected material for the proposed volume; but after writing a chapter on the town of Liberty, which covered ten manuscript pages, became weary of the task. He then made an arrangement with Jay Gould, under which Mr. Gould and Mr. Childs were to be associated as authors and publishers. This, however, led to no result, and the project was abandoned by them.
    The author then commenced writing this volume, and persevered to the end, although a painful physical infirmity often compelled him to put aside his pen for weeks and months at a time, and he has seldom been able to complete more than three manuscript pages in a day.
    By purchase and otherwise, the memoranda, etc., of Messrs. Smith and Childs passed into our hands, and to the extent recorded in our foot-notes we have had the advantage of their labors. Much more are we indebted to Professor Antisell, whose valuable papers we have copied and adopted as the first and second chapters of our history.
    In addition to this, we have been favored with the oral and written statements of nearly one hundred well-known residents of the county.1 These statements we have compared with each other, and with official documents and records, as well as what we have found in files of old newspapers and gleaned from other sources of information. The result, gentle reader, is before you. You may detect errors of commission and omission; but we have guarded against both, through long years of patient research; and we hope that you will decide that our work is not wholly destitute of merit. Be this as it may, we present it to you as a rough, not a perfect ashlar, knowing that the peculiar circumstances under which it was fashioned rendered excellence of execution impossible. It has lightened the burthen of our life. May it enhance the enjoyment of yours!

1 - A list of those who have aided us in this enterprise was delivered to our publishers, who exercised unusual care in guarding against the loss of our MSS.; but despite their vigilance, the original Preface and Introduction, with the List of Contributors, were stolen from their safe by some person who had access to it. The preface and introduction may be re-written; but no accurate copy of the list can be supplied. No one deplores this more than we do; and no one should be censured for it, except the stealthy offender, who has stolen that which is entirely useless to himself.
    We are greatly indebted to C. G. A. Oudet for assistance in preparing our MSS. for the press. Mr. Oudet, although of foreign birth, has a better knowledge of the English language than many educated natives of our country.

I N T R O D U C T I O N.

    Sullivan county is situated between 41 25' and 42 north latitude, and 1 46' and 2 32' east longitude from the city of Washington. It is bounded north-westerly by the county of Delaware, north-easterly and south-easterly by the county of Ulster, south-easterly, southerly and easterly by the county of Orange, and south-westerly by the State of Pennsylvania. According to Burr's Atlas, its area is 919 square miles, and it contains 587,000 acres of land.1
    The mean altitude of the county above the level of the ocean is about 1,500 feet, and its surface is characterized by ranges of hills of moderate height, with intervening valleys. Detached mountainous elevations are found in towns bounded by Delaware and Ulster counties, and the Shawangunk mountain is parallel with the south-easterly boundary of the town of Mamakating.
    The Delaware river forms the dividing line between the county and Pennsylvania, while the Shawangunk river is its south-eastern limit. The Neversink rises in the county of Ulster, and after crossing the towns of Neversink, Fallsburgh, Thompson and Forestburgh, enters Orange county. The Rondout passes through the north-east corner of Neversink, and the Mongaup or Mingwing has its source near the center of the county, and running southerly joins the Delaware. The Williwemoc, Beaverkill, Callicoon, Ten Mile river, and many smaller streams are also affluents of the Delaware.
    Geologically (with some exceptions) the county is of the Catskill period, Devonian age and Paleozoic time. These exceptions are noted in the first chapter of this work by Professor Antisell, an expert in geology.
    The aborigines of the county were principally Esopus Indians, who were of the Wolf tribe of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware nation, whose history is given in our third chapter.
    Except some small tracts on the west bank of the Shawangunk river, the county is covered by the Minisink and Hardenbergh patents.
    In 1684, Governor Dongan bought of Manganaett, Tsema and Keghgekapowell alias Joghem, (who claimed to be the proprietors and principal owners,) with the consent of Pemeranaghin, chief sachem of the Esopus and other Indians named, a tract of land extending on the Hudson from the Paltz to lands of the Indians at Murderer's kill, and westward to the foot of the high hills called Pitkiskaha and Aiashawosting. For this territory ninety pounds were paid in duffels, wampum, stroud-water, cloth, blankets, cider, strong beer, etc. One year later Dongan bought of Maringoman, the sachem at Murderer's creek, the land from that stream to Stony Point.2
    On the 12th of September, 1694, under Governor Fletcher, a patent was granted to Captain John Evans, which covered the west bank of the Hudson from the Paltz to Stony Point, (eighteen miles,) and reaching westward thirty miles. A literal construction of the grant would have placed his westward line within the borders of Thompson, and given him laud now within the Minisink and Hardenbergh patents. He paid for his patent five hundred pounds.
    Captain Evans was captain of the Richmond man-of-war, and was sent to New York with his vessel in 1693, where he was on duty for six years, during which he erected on his estate the lordship and manor of Fletcherdon, and spent 12,000 pounds in improving it, expecting to retire thither " when there should be a happy and lasting peace." He was permitted to sow, but not to reap. Both Fletcher and Evans were ordered from New York, and the patent was annulled. During Queen Anne's reign, his grant was renewed; but while the honest sailor was fighting for his sovereign on the ocean, the land-pirates of the time induced the Queen to deprive him once more of his manor! Those who wrought his ruin, divided his manor among themselves. He continued to sue for justice until he was an old man, when reluctant and partial justice was awarded him, by giving him another and less valuable tract.
    On the 12th of March, 1703, the Wawayanda patent was bought by John Bridges and Company of twelve Indians, viz: Rapingonick, Wawastenaw, Moghopuck, Comelawaw, Nanawitt, Ariwimack, Rumbout, Clauss, Chouckhass, Chingapaw, Oshasquemous and Quilapaw. It is believed that in this purchase was included the Minisink patent, which was granted on the 28th of August, 1704, to Matthew Ling, Ebenezer Wilson, Philip French, Dirck Vandenbergh, Stephen Delancy, Philip Rokeby, John Corbet, Daniel Honan, Caleb Cooper, William Sharpus, Robert Milward, Thomas Wenham, Lancaster Symes, John Pierson, Benjamin Ashe, Peter Bayard, John Cholwell, Peter Fauconnier, Henry Swift, Hendrick Ten Eyck, Jarvis Marshal, Ann Bridges, widow of John Bridges, and George Clark, Secretary of the Province of New York. Eight of these persons were patentees of the Wawayanda and two of the Hardenbergh patent. The Minisink grant at first contained 250,000 acres; but its owners subsequently grasped and held 50,000 acres east of the true boundaries of their patent.
    For many years New Jersey claimed and held so much of the Minisink patent as is covered by the Seventh Division, and also so much of the Hardenbergh patent as would be cut off by running the north-east line of that division to Station Rock, in Cochecton. In 1769, a Commission was appointed to settle the boundary, which decided in favor of Now York, and established the present line between New York and New Jersey, from the Hudson to the Delaware.
    On the "15-22 day of March, and in the 6th year of Her Majesty's reign, Anno Dom. 1706-7," Major Johannes Hardenbergh, a merchant of Kingston, bought of Nanisinos, a sachem of the Esopus Indians, and "rightful lord owner and proprietor of Several parts of land in the county of Ulster," the immense tract now known as the Hardenbergh patent.3 For this he paid sixty pounds current money of New York-less than one-tenth of a mill per acre.4
    On the 20th of April, 1708, the Hardenbergh, or as it is sometimes called, the Major or Great Patent, was granted to Johannes Hardenbergh, Leonard Lewis, Philip Rokeby, William Nottingham, Benjamin Faneuil, Peter Fauconnier and Robert Lurting, in free and common socage, and subject to no rent or service beyond the payment of seven dollars and fifty cents, annually, on Lady day, to the Collector of the custom-house of New York! Two of the patentees were mere lay figures. Fourteen weeks before the grant was made, Robert Lurting released one-seventh of the patent to Thomas Wenham, and on the same day, Philip Rokeby conveyed his interest to May Bickley. In addition to this, there was a secret understanding that Augustus Graham, the surveyor-general of the province, should be entitled to one-eighth of the grant, and this understanding was acknowledged after his death in 1729, when the parties in interest declared that his heir (James Graham) was entitled to an equal share with the others.5
    Previous to 1749, several of the proprietors sold their interest, and others died. In that year, Robert Livingston owned five-sixteenths; Gulian Verplanck three-sixteenths, Johannes Hardenbergh, jr.,6 Charles Brodhead and Abraham Hardenbergh two-sixteenths, John Wenham two-sixteenths, the heirs and assigns of Lewis two-sixteenths, and the heirs of Faneuil two-sixteenths. The patent was then partitioned between the several proprietors, when Livingston drew Great Lots 8, 12, 22, 27 and 42; Livingston and Verplanck Lots 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15, 21, 23, 24, 30, 32, 33, 38, 39 and 40; the Hardenberghs and Brodhead Lots 3, 9, 16, 19, 29 and 37; John Wenham Lots 1, 18, 26, 34, and 35; the heirs and assigns of Lewis Lots 2, 17, 20, 28 and 36; and the heirs of Faneuil Lots 5, 11, 25, 31 and 41.
    In the same year, Livingston and Verplanck partitioned what they owned jointly, when the former became the sole proprietor of Lots 4, 15, 23, 30 and 40, and parts of 7, 14, 21, 33 and 39, and his partner of the balance.
    Although some attempts were made to found settlements in Sullivan county, it cannot be said that it was occupied by white residents previous to 1790, except in Mamakating, Lumberland, Cochecton and Neversink. An account of these settlements will be found in our history of the several towns. Soon after the latter year the Livingstons and other landholders induced men to come into this region, and buy or lease unoccupied lands, and from that time dates the birth and growth of many of our settlements.
    A considerable impetus was given to immigration by the construction of the Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike.7 This work speedily led to the organization of the county, which was erected by an act of the Legislature passed March 27, 1809.
    In selecting a name it was deemed proper to adopt that of some eminent Revolutionary patriot whose deeds were in some way connected with our territory. Of the Generals who had had anything to do on our soil previous to and during the straggle for Independence, General James Clinton was the one who should have been complimented; but his name had been already bestowed on another county. So the county was named Sullivan, in honor of General John Sullivan,8 a part of whose army crossed our borders when it marched to chastise the hostile Indians of western New York.
    In 1816, Otto William Van Tuyl, Jabez Wakeman, Daniel Clark, William W. Sackett, Richard R. Vooris, Jabez Wakeman, jun., Samuel F. Jones, John Knapp, George A. Wakeman, Alexander Ketchum, George Vaughn and others were made a body corporate and politic, under the name of "The President and Directors of the Neversink Navigation Company," for the purpose of opening that river for rafting business, from Lockwood's Mills, in the present town of Fallsburgh, to the Delaware. The tolls authorized were enormous, ranging for boards and plank from one to two dollars per thousand feet, and other articles in proportion. If the company had succeeded in making the river navigable, its revenue would have been princely; nevertheless the stock of the company, excepting a few shares, was not taken, and its treasury was empty until 1828, when Van Tuyl, its president and manager,9 obtained from the State a loan of ten thousand dollars, giving as security a mortgage on the river! About two thousand of this was expended legitimately, and the balance ($8,000) was consumed in paying the president's debts, buying a stock of goods, and in other ways, after which a raft was started from Lockwood's Mills, with Squires M. Hoyt and a man from Rockland, named Brown, on board. It ran as far as the "Dive Hole," where it was wrecked. Another was started from Mc'Kee's mill, in charge of Ira Mills, a Mr. Springer, and a son of Van Tuyl. This passed the "Dive Hole;" but soon after collided with a rock, and was broken up. Mills was drowned. Although the enterprise resulted in poverty and reproach to Van Tuyl, he never lost confidence in it, and continued to make futile attempts to improve the river, until the State foreclosed its mortgage.
    It cannot be said that Sullivan enjoyed a large measure of prosperity previous to the construction of the Delaware and Hudson canal. Three years after the completion of the work, John Eldridge laid the foundation of a large tannery on the outlet of Lord's pond, and Rufus Palen and his associates that of another at Fallsburgh. Austin Strong followed at Woodbourne, Bushnell & Van Horn at Tannersdale, and others at various points. These establishments brought wealth and muscle, and caused large additions to our population.
    The New York and Erie railroad was another source of prosperity, especially to the Delaware river towns.
    A reference to the census of Sullivan should not be omitted by us:


1 - According to the assessment-rolls of the several towns, the county contains 604,705 acres. Some tracts of laud which are covered by water are not returned for taxation.

2 - Mr. Ruttenber says, "these facts are from well-authenticated MS, written as early as 1730, now in our possession."

3 - In 1749, when the patent was partitioned among its owners, the Indians claimed that Nanisinos did not convey that part which is situated between the east and west branches of the Delaware, and refused to permit surveyors to go there. Notwithstanding this, a map was made of the disputed territory, on which the land in question was divided into eight parcels, and one of these allotted to each party in interest. On the 3d of June, 1751, Johannes Hardenbergh bought the real or assumed right of these Indiians for 1491. and 19s. The deed is signed by Sappan, John Palling and twenty other members of the Esopus tribe. At that time, no grant was legal unless the native title was extinguished before the grant was made.
    During the French and Indian war, the Delawares claimed that they had been defrauded of nearly the entire Hardenbergh patent.

4 - Nanisinos, in the deed given by him, described the tract as follows: "All that track of Land Lying and being in the county of Ulster aforesaid, running from certain Hills that lye on the south east side of the meadow or low land that lies on the fish Creek River or kill to the north west of Marbletown bounds, and are the north west part of the hills and mountains that range from the blue hills north west Ten miles, and streaches north easterly on the brows of sd hills as they range to the bound or the County of Albany, and south westerly on the brows of said hills as they range opposite the west corner of Marbletown bounds, and still further south westerly with the full breadth from the north west boundaries of Rochester, to where the said ten miles end, Running so far as to run with a due south east line to a certain fall in the rondout creek called by the Indians hoonchk, which is the north bound of the land called Nepenath, belonging to Jacob Rutzeu and Jan Jans Bleecker."

5 - Under the laws of that time, the surveyor-general could not legally be interested in a land grant.

6 - Previous to 1749, Major Johannes Hardenbergh, the patentee, sold his undivided right in the patent to Brodhead and Johannes Hardenbergh, jr. Abraham Hardenbergh subsequently bought a part of this right. No member of the Hardenbergh family holds land which has descended to him by inheritance from the patentee.

7 - The Newburgh and Cochecton Turnpike Company was chartered on the 20th of March, 1801. Robert Bowne, John De Wint, William Seymour, Levi Dodge, Johannes Miller, Hugh Walsh, George Clinton, jun., William W. Sackett and George Gardner were the incorporators.

8 - John Sullivan was of Irish descent, and was born in Berwick, Maine, on the 17th of February, 1740. His youth was spent chiefly in farm-labor. At maturity he studied law, and established himself in its practice in Durham, New Hampshire, where he soon rose to considerable distinction as an advocate and politician. He was chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774, and soon after his return from Philadelphia, he was engaged, with John Langdon and others, in seizing Fort William and Mary, at Portsmouth. When the following year the Continental army was organized, he was appointed one of the eight brigadiers first commissioned by Congress; and early in 1776, he was promoted to Major-general. Early in the spring of that year he superseded Arnold in command of the Continental troops in Canada; and later in the season he joined Washington at New York. General Greene commanded the chief forces at Brooklyn, designed to repel the invaders then on Staten Island; but was taken sick, and the leadership of his division was assigned to Sullivan. In the disastrous battle that soon followed, he was made prisoner, but was soon afterwards exchanged, and took command of Lee's division, in New Jersey, after that officer's capture later in the season. In the autumn of 1777, General Sullivan was in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown; and in the succeeding winter he was stationed in Rhode Island, preparatory to an attempted expulsion of the British therefrom. He besieged Newport in August 1778, but was unsuccessful, because the French Admiral d'Estaing would not co-operate with him, according to promise and agreement. General Sullivan's military career closed after his memorable campaign against the Indians, in western New York, early in the autumn of 1779. He resigned his commission because he felt aggrieved at some action of the Board of War, and was afterwards elected to a seat in Congress. From 1786 to 1789, he was president or governor of New Hampshire, when, under the provision of the new Federal Constitution, he was appointed District Judge. That office he held until his death, which occurred on the 23d of January, 1795, when he was in the fifty-fifth year of his age. --- Lossing's Eminent Americans.

9 - Squires M. Hoyt, who was then Van Tuyl's clerk, was secretary of the company.

10 - Mamakating only.

I N D E X .

Lenni Lenape60
Cochecton and Delaware182
Delaware and Hudson Canal655
New York and Erie Railway663
New York and Oswego Midland Railroad675

Copied Exactly as Printed by
Tim Stowell, September, 2015

If you have any suggestions, please e-mail
webmaster Tim.

Saturday, 26-May-2018 20:01:41 PDT

Thanks for Stopping By!

Home       Source data       Submitted Info       Military       Geographic data

Volunteer / Subm Page       Query front end       NYGenWeb page