TOWN OF CARMEL.
THIS town was taken from Frederickstown, at that time embracing the now towns of Kent and Patterson, in 1795;
and is centrally distant from New York City about 55 miles, 106 from Albany, 16 east of the Hudson, and 18 from
Peekskill. Its soil is a mixture of loam and gravel, with a rolling surface, indented with slopes and vales. It
is well adapted to grazing; and large quantities of beef, lambs, sheep, fowls, and other species of "marketing"
are produced here for the New York market.
The New York and Harlem Railroad, which is now being extended near its eastern boundary, will greatly facilitate
the transportation of its products to market, and enhance the value of the land. It is named after a mountain in
Palestine, on the southern frontier of Galilee, constituting a part of Lebanon, in the pachalic of Acca.
From its supposed resemblance to Mount Carmel, which consists of several rich, woody heights, separated by fertile
and habitable valleys," it was christened, at its organization, as above.
The first settlement that we have been able to ascertain, was made in this town by George Hughson, who located
himself on the ridge just north of Lake Mahopac, and west of the residence of Nathaniel Crane, Esq., about 1740.
A year afterwards William Hill, father of the present William, now living in this town at a very advanced age,
and his brother Uriah, came up to the Red Hills, when William, who was the younger of the two brothers, was only
12 years old. Their father was Anthony Hill, who came from Holland about the year 1725; and after remaining a short
time in New York City, removed to the Fox Meadows, where he made a purchase and settlement.
On the voyage, the whole family, except himself and two sisters, died. Anthony, at about the age of twenty, married
Mary Ward, who also came from Holland, by whom he had five sons and four daughters, Uriah, William, Anthony, Andrew,
Cornelius, Charity, Jane, Mary, and Merriam.
Anthony Hill died at the Fox Meadows, and his wife at the Red Mills, aged 93. He having bought a tract of land
of the Indians, near the Red Mills, he sent his two oldest sons, Uriah and William, to clear it up. Uriah, in some
way or other, became obnoxious to the Indians, and was compelled to go back to Westchester.
William remained, and one night going out to look for the cow, which the brothers had brought from their father's
farm at the Fox Meadows, he was attacked by some wolves. By climbing up a tree and remaining on it nearly all night,
he escaped from them by a circuit to the north side of Lake Mahopac, where early in the morning he came to the
log-house of George Hughson. This was the first he knew of a white man residing there. Hughson told him that he
had settled there about a year before. At 25 William Hill married a sister of Abraham Smith, the father of the
Hon. Abraham and Saxon Smith of Putnam Valley.
William, son of Anthony, and father of the William now living, had eight sons, viz.: Noah, Solomon, William, Cornelius,
Abraham, Andrew, two having died in infancy without a name; and four daughters, viz.: Phoebe, Mary, Chloe, and
Jane. Noah lived near the Red Mills, and died there in 1830. Solomon lived at the Nine Partners in Dutchess County.
At this time the first house erected in this town was about one mile south of the Red Mills, occupied by a man
named Philips, where Ezekiel Howell resides; the next, north, was William Hill's; and the iiext, George Iiughson's.
Soon afterwards, the Cranes, the Berrys, Hedyers, Austins, Roberdeaus, and others, settled down in the vicinity
of the Hills and Hughsons.
Jabez Berry settled where Elijah Crane now lives, about one mile north of Lake Mahopac. A family of the name of
Shaw soon settled at Carmel village, on the north and south shores of the lake which still bears their name.
A short time after the Hills and Hughsons settled, John Carpenter came from North Castle, now called New Castle
Corners, and settled where the Hon. Azor B. Cranes resides.
The Carpenter family were Quakers, of English origin, and came from England to Plymouth; but were driven, by persecution
at that early day against the Quakers, to Long Island, from there to North Castle, and from thence it came to this
John Carpenter's old house stood at the foot of the hill, just south of the residence of the Hon. Judge Crane,
on the east side of the road. The tories, royalists, and the friends of the King, called him the "damned old
rebel." He was a patriot of the staunchest kind; and if adherence to the cause of his country and her rights
constituted a rebel, he was one in every sense of the term and in the widest latitude of the expression.
He left his farm to John Crane, who married his daughter. John left it to his brother Joseph Crane, who devised
it to its present owner, Hon. A. B. Crane, Judge of the Putnam County Court.
A family by the name of Hamblin settled in this town about the same time with the Carpenters, in the vicinity of
In 1770, John Crane, father of Nathaniel Crane, Esq., now living, built the first frame house in this part of the
country. It is still standing, about half a mile north-east of Lake Mahopac, and owned by his son, the above-named
Gen. Scott, with his Staff, made it his headquarters during a part of the Revolution.
EXTRACT FROM THE TOWN RECORD.
"At the First Town meeting held in the Town of Cannel at the house of John Crane Esqr. on the 7th of April
1795 The following persons were chosen for officers for said town, viz.:
Robert Johnston Esqr., Moderator.
John Crane, Esqr., Town Clerk.
Timothy Carver, Supervisor.
Daniel Cole, Devowe Bailey, Assessors. Thacher Hopkins,
Elijah Douty, Junr., Collector & Constable.
David Travis, Constable.
Daniel Cole, Overseers of the Poor.
John Crane, Esqr.,
Thacher Hopkins, Commissioners of Highways.
Fence Viewers & Damage
John Crane, Esqr.,
Overseers of Highways:
Voted that a hundred pounds be raised for the support of the poor the ensuing year. Voted that the next annual
Town meeting be held at this place.
There were 37 road districts in this town in 1795. laid out by the Commissioners of Highways.
"Whereas Joseph Gregory of the town of Carmel in the county of Dutchess and State of New York hath proposed
to emancipate and Set free three female Negros the property of the said Joseph Gregory agreeable to a Law of this
State in that case made and provided.
"We Robert Johnston & John Crane Esqrs. two of the peoples Justices of the peace for said county and Elisha
Cole and Tracy Ballard Overseers of the poor of the town of Carmel do hereby Certify that we think that the said
female Negroes That is one named Anglesse aged about 26 years one other 6 years named Rose and another named Dinah
aged about 3 years are all sufficient to provide for themselves.
"Given under our hands this 3d day of January 1798.
"ROBERT JOHNSTON, Justices of
"John CRANE, the Peace.
"ELIJAH COLE, Overseer of the Poor.
"TRACY BULLARD, Overseer of the Poor.
"JOHN CRANE, Town Clark."
Carmel Village.- A quiet, rural, and small village, beautifully situated on Shaw's Lake. The Courthouse,
Jail, Clerk's Office, and Putnam County Bank, are located here. Through this village, in the olden time. ran one
of the roads leading from the city of New York to Albany, and places in its vicinity. Five terms of the County
Court, and General Sessions, and three terms of the Circuit, Oyer and Terminer Courts, are held here. The location
is dry, elevated, and healthy. It contains 3 churches and 4 or 5 stores. It is named after the town in which it
is located. It is 20 miles from Cold Spring, and 16 from Peekskjll. A few rods north of the village, James Raymond,
Esq., is erecting a family cemetery on a magnificent scale. When completed, with avenues and walks laid out, gravelled,
and ornamented with appropriate trees and flowering shrubs-with the tree of Heaven, the Babylonian willow, the
dark funereal yew, and the mourning cypress-it will form a lovely and interesting addition to the suburbs of the
village. The ancient taste for erecting rural cemeteries is reviving among us, and develops a chaste and holy feeling
of our nature. He who cherishes a sacred regard for the dead, will prove an ornament to the living. All nations,
Christian and Pagan, cherish a sacred regard for the last earthly home of those they love. The eastern nations
selected the groves and recesses of wooded heights and secluded vales, beyond the city's serried wall, as places
By the Laws of the Twelve Tables, in the year 454, B.C., it was prohibited to bury within the city of Rome; and
the Potters' Field was located without the walls of Jerusalem. The wealthy Israelites, we are told, built their
tombs in the mountains near Jerusalem; and in a garden near the base of Calvary, Joseph of Arirnathea had prepared
that memorable sepulchre, in which was laid the both- of the crucified Messiah. The Athenians permitted no burials
within their city. In the gorges of the wooded hills on the opposite bank of the Nile, were the catacombs of Thebes,
and beyond the lake of Acherusia were those of Memphis, from whence the Grecian mythologists derived their fabulous
accounts of the Elysian fields.
Those illustrious men who fell in the battles of their country were buried in the Ceramicus-an extensive and beautifully
ornamented public cemetery, where were the Academy and Gymnasium, with their superb gardens. Even the rudely built
tumuli of the American Indians, reveal the tenacity with which they cling to the memory of their dead. The experimental
garden and rural cemetery of Mount Auburn, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, may well vie with the celebrated Pere La
Chaise, at Paris. The Congressional Burying Ground, at Washington, is another interesting spot, where man may "seek
the living among the dead," and learn wisdom among those mute, silent, and melancholy memorials, that testify
of his mortality here. It was Gray's Elegy, written in a country church-yard- "Through which the ringing earth-worm
creeps," which, more than any other of his writings, has given him a name and a fame in the literary world,
that will survive and live, when brass and marble shall have crumbled to dust.
Since writing this article, we have been informed that this cemetery is to be called the "Raymond Hill Cemetery."
As this sheet is about passing from our hands to those of the compositor, we have only time to add, that a large
and beautiful building is now being built in this village, and is to be known, as we are informed, as "The
Carmel Collegiate Institute."
The Telegraph line from New York to Albany runs through the village, having a station here for the accommodation
of the villagers, and those residing in the vicinity.
Red Mills.- A small village situated on the Muscoot River, 8 miles south-west from Carmel. The mill and
nearly all other buildings here are painted red; and this fact has given the name to the place. The first carding
machine put up in this country permanently, was established here. It was brought to Peekskill by an Englishman
named Ellinworth, about the year 1800. He put it up at Peekskill, where it remained about two years, and then removed
it to this place, where it was looked upon with as much wonder and amazement, as the elephant, old Tip, was, when
first exhibited in this county by , of the town of South-east.
It was supposed that English Custom-house officers were bribed to let it pass. Ellinworth brought a man by the
name of Hague, who had worked it in England, to superintend its operations in this country. Hague returned to England,
but Ellinworth did not dare to. It was about half as large as those made at the present time; and the Yankees were
not slow in their improvements upon it.
Major Roger Morris, who married Mary Philipse, had a log mansion here. It stood about 40 rods northeast of the
Post Office. Mary, or "Madame Morris," as she was called by the tenants, was a remarkable woman, who
possessed not only the esteem, but the love of the tenants of her estate. The "Long Lot," which Major
Morris obtained with his wife, included the Red Mills. Major Morris and his lady lived a greater part of the year
at New York and Harlem, and at a certain season would come up and spend some time at this place to receive rents
and give directions to their tenants. The gentleness of manner and kindness of disposition manifested by Madam
Morris, soon secured the affections of the tenants; and not as yet having a house, in the estimation of the tenants,
sufficiently large for her reception while she stayed among them, they got together and erected a large log-house,
put up with more nicety, and finished in a style more suited to a lady of her rank and standing. She had ever been
the friend of the tenants, and this act, on their part, was a tribute of their esteem and admiration for her noble
and generous conduct to them. Isaac Lounsberry's house now encloses the log-house of Madam Morris. Major Morris
is supposed to have built the first store and grist mill at this place, but at what period, we are not informed.
Between where the log-house of Madam Morris stood and the Post Office is now kept, the mother of William Hill,
now living, then a widow, and familiarly called "Granny Hill," lived in a loghouse. This old lad had
secured the friendship of Madam Morris. Some years before the Revolution, a kind of anti-rent rebellion broke out
among the tenantry of the Morris estate. We are not advised of the true issue between the landlord and tenants,
but believe it was somewhat similar to the anti-rent trouble of the present time. An association paper was soon
drawn up and circulated among the tenants, making common cause with one another in the matter. Granny Hill asked
to see the paper, and being deceived and misled as to the objects its signers proposed to secure to thenselves,
The Major soon heard of it, and, calling on the old lady, required her to take her name off it. She, still believing
that the paper contemplated nothing but what had been represented to her, refused to do so, alleging, as the story
goes, that she "could seal it with her blood." She was told that she must then go out of her house; and
out she went. The matter soon reached the ears of Madam Morris, who was informed of the deception played off on
her aged tenant. She asked the Major what he had been doing with Granny Hill? He replied that she had signed "that
paper, and had refused to take her name off; and that he had turned the old rebel out of doors." Madam Morris
could not, for a moment, believe that the old woman would do anything wrong as her tenant, and somewhat resenting
the hasty conduct of her husband, told him that "there was an 100 acres up the road with a log-house on it,
and that Granny Hill should have a living on it for life;" gently reminding him that all the land was hers
in her own right, and cautioning him not to molest the old lady again. Granny Hill accordingly received a life
interest in the 100 acres; and after the estate was confiscated, in consequenèe of Major Morris taking the
British side of the question, under whose government he held a commission, an individual who had purchased it of
the State, demanded an absolute and full title; but it was found that the old lady had an interest in the land
that could not be terminated, without her consent, until her death. When Gen. Montcalm, the Commander of the French
Army, was shot in the battle on the Plains of Abraham, at Quebec, he was riding a large and beautiful white horse.
The horse was captured by the British, and made a present to Major Roger Morris, for the gallantry he evinced in
that battle, who brought him, after the war was finished, to the Red Mills. He was kept on the farm adjoining Nathaniel
Crane's, Esq., by George Hughson, the ancestor of the Hughson family, in Dutchess County, at that time an agent
of Major Morris. The stock of this horse was found here within the last fifty years.
Indian Hill.-This is a large eminence at the south end of Lake Mahopac, cultivated to the top on the south
side, and lately owned by Abel Smith. The Mahopac tribe of Indians occupied this region of the country; and hence
Watermelon Hill.-This hill is about one and a half miles south-east of Lake Mahopac. The north side is still
covered with timber; the south goes off with a gentle slope, and is cultivated. It is partly owned by Richard Dean,
Esq. About 130 years since, a great hunter from New Rochelle, Westchester Co., called Captain Simpkins, came up
here and found watermelons in great plenty on this hill; whereupon he named it as above. He was on friendly terms
with the Indians who lived there, and with whom he bartered. In the Revolution, the cow-boys and horsethieves built
pens on this hill, in which they put stolen horses, until they could safely convey them to New York for the use
of the British Army. About 20 years ago the remains of these pens were still to be seen.
Battle Hill.-This hill is in the southerly part of the town, on the lands of the _____ Ganongs, Esq.,
two and a half miles south of Carmel village. ft was formerly a great resort of rattle-snakes. Dropping the latter
name, the people in its vicinity named it as above. A young man was shot on this hill in Revolution, and although
found with a gang of horsethieves, he was innocent of any participation in their nefarious deeds. He lived in the
town of Pawlings, Dutchess County, had lately married, and was going to see his wife, who, at that time, was with
her friends in the town of Bedford, Westchester County. The gang, who had their head-quarters at Pawlings, persuaded
him to defer his journey for a day or two, by offering the use of one of their horses to ride, as they were going
in the same direction to one of the Arnerican posts on the Lines. He accepted their offer, not doubting their representations
about the horses being for the American army. They had proceeded as far as this Hill, where, encamping for the
night, they were overtaken and attacked by the owners of the horses and their neighbors. The gang escaped, but
the young man, as he rose up from the ground beneath a tree where he was sleeping, was shot through the back. He
died in 4S hours afterwards, but lived long enough to see his wife, who was sent for, and explain to her and those
around him, how he happened to be. found in such company. He was buried a few rods north of the hill.
Drew's Hill is a large eminence directly east of Rattle Hill, on the land of John Craft, Esq., and named after
the Prew family.
Pond Hill is about two miles south of Carmel village, at the north side of the Gilead Pond, at its foot.
Waits' Hill.-A small eminence just east of Pond Hill, on the farm of Judge Watts, after whom it is named.
Hazen Hill is about one and a half miles southwest of Carmel village; and named after the Hazen family, who were
among the earliest settlers from Cape Cod.
Berry Mountain.-This is a large eminence, named after Jabez Berry, to whom it formerly belonged, and is
now owned by Messrs. Wixon and Ballard. On its summit is a tree, from the top of which, when the woods are destitute
of foliage, seven fish ponds can be seen, five of which are visible at all times of the year.
Hitchcock Hill, now called Prospect Hill, is about two and a half miles north of the Red Mills. It has been in
the possession of the above-named family for a hundred years.
Round Mountain is about one and a half miles east of Hitchcock Hill, owned by Messrs. Hill, Pinckney, and Barrett.
The shape of this eminence is circular; hence the title.
Turkey Mountain is about one mile east of Round Mountain. Formerly it was covered with white-oak timber, and frequented
by wild turkies.
Corner's Mountain.-A small eminence about one and a half miles west of Carmel village, formerly owned by
a person of that name.
Austin Bill is about two and a half miles northwest of the Red Mills. Job Austin's father, who came from Germany
about 100 years ago, settled on it. It has always been in the possession of the family. Big Hill.-This is the largest
and highest ridge of land on the east of the Peekskill Hollow range of the Highlands, and situated. about two and
a half miles south-west of the R.ed Mills.
Lake Mahopac.-This well-nigh unrivalled, beautiful, and romantic lake, is located in the westerly part of
the town, thirteen miles from Peekskill, Westchester Co.; five from Croton Falls in the same county; and four miles
south-west of Carmel village. It is a delightful watering place, crowded to overflowing in the summer season with
visitors from New York City and all parts of the country. During the fashionable season "strangers arrive
here every day, and those who have been before, never go anywhere else for recreation and enjoyment, for they can
be had here perfectly unadulterated. This Lake is nine miles in circumference, and is situated about eighteen hundred
feet above the level of the sea. It is one of the principal sources of supply to the Croton; and its pure and placid
waters, its wide and picturesque scenery, the romantic resorts, its wild and wooded islands, the frequent and agreeable
pic-nic parties to the Dell, with its clear and crystal spring, its rugged and precipitous cliffs, and last, but
not least, the rowing and sailing among the islands and along the wild and rock-bound shore are delightful, and
superior to anything of the kind in any place it has ever been our good fortune to visit. Kirk ridge has an attraction
for the curious, in the position it occupies between two lakes, one of which is about 150 feet below the other,
both of which can be seen on this shore.
"This Lake affords fine sport to the angler. Pickerel, pike, and perch are caught in abundance, and its shores
abound in all the wild game of the season, particularly woodcock, affording excellent sport to those fond of gunning.
There is one peculiar feature about this lake, which we have never found in any other watering place on this continent,
and that is the complete absence of all desire for artificial amusements, such as bowling,, billiards, cards, games,
and all those things, which sojourners at such places usually resort to for the purpose of killing time. Nothing
of this kind is required here; the natural resources of the place are sufficient to keep the most attractive constantly
engaged, and it would take weeks and months to exhaust all the facilities the place possesses for amusement.
"In all watering places, much depends upon the society and the class of people there congregated. So far as
this important matter is concerned, Lake Mahopac is particularly favored. There is no exclusiveness, no coteries,
no codfish aristocracy, but all appear disposed to make time pass as agreeably to those around them as to themselves.
"Our watering places, generally, are the rendezvous of fashion, and there are usually more restrictions upon
dress, and more restraint upon personal movements than even in cities. The benefits derived from the cool air,
and the relief from care, a resort to the country usually gives, are not enjoyed, and everything is sacrificed
to fashionable dress and fashionable hours, more so, if possible, than in the most fashionable city. Sensible people
do not go to such places for such purposes; it would be more sensible to stay at home; but they go where they can
get all the comforts of the country, where they can enjoy themselves in their own way, or in other words, do just
as they please; for such purposes, they come to Lake Mahopac. It is a fine place for young children, on account
of the facilities for bathing, the pleasant drives and walks.
"It is a very desirable resort for all, as it is easy of access, being only five miles from the present termination
of the Harlem Railroad at Croton Falls, and only three hours' ride from the city. The ride to the Lake from the
railroad is beautiful, it being through such a wild and picturesque country, and is really refreshing after fifty-four
miles of railroad travel.
"There are more beautiful places for summer rendezvous in the vicinity of the city of New York, than in any
other in the Union, and as fast as our railroads become extended, new resorts are opened. It is only within a few
years that this place was known to any extent by the citizens of N. Y. City, and we predict that within a few years,
it will be more generally resorted to than many places which have been longer and hitherto more favorably known."
Kirk Pond.-This handsome body of water is one mile long, half a mile wide, bounded by the lands of Messrs.
Hill and Lounsberry. It takes its name from an old man by the name of Kirk, who lived near it; and abounds in excellent
Wixon Pond.-A large pond about half a mile north of Lake Mahopac, nearly circular, and containing excellent
fish. This and Seacord's pond are the only ones in the county that originally contained white perch. On the third
day of December, 1838, Nathaniel Crane, Esq.. with a scoop-net as large as a half bushel, scooped out of this pond
eleven bushels of white perch.
Long Pond is bounded by the lands of John Wixon, Allen Coles, Ebenezer Barret, and Aiza Hill, Esqs.
Cranberry Pond is south of Nathaniel Crane's, Esq.; bounded by the lands of Lewis Griffin, Reuben Baldwin, and
Coleman Rockwell, Esqs. It covers about thirty acres, and contains perch, pike, with the more common kinds of fish.
Cranberries are found in abundance on its borders.
Shaw's Lake.-This beautiful sheet of water is sometimes called Shaw's Pond, on the east and north banks
of which is located the quiet little village of Carmel. Its location is a basin, as it were, scooped out of the
surrounding hills. It is about one mile in length, three quarters in breadth, and 130 feet in depth, containing
all kinds of fish in great abundance. At its north end, on elevated ground, is the charming residence of James
Raymond, Esq., the main proprietor of the largest collection of wild animals ever exhibited in this country. At
the south end, on a still higher eminence, stands the former mansion of Samuel Gouverneur, deceased.
At the north end, a man by the name of Shaw resided before the Revolution, after whom this Pond or Lake was named.
We have been informed that the villagers of Carmel are about adopting a new name, by which this noble body of water
shall, in future, be called; but, as yet, they have not published pro forma.
Gilead Pond, formerly so called from its contiguity to the old Gilead Church, is now known as the Crosby Pond;
and is situated about one mile south of Carmel Village. It is nearly a mile in length, half a mile in breadth;
and, like Shaw's, abounds in all kinds of fish. It takes its later name from a son of the celebrated Enoch Crosby,
who owned a mill, which stood on its out-let.
Barrett's Pond is in the north part of the town, near the line between it and Kent, covering about ten acres of
ground. It bounds on the lands of different members of the Barret family, after which it is named.
Seacord's Pond, is half a mile wide, circular, and named after the Seacord family, who lived close to it.
Capt. John Crane.-This gentleman, the father of Nathaniel Crane, Esq., now living in this town, was born
the 20th of Nov., 1742, old style. He built the house, now occupied by his son Nathaniel, in 1772. His ancestors
were among the earliest settlers in this county, of English origin, and of great influence and intelligence, wherever
located. During the Revolution, the Cra.ne family figured largely in those trying times "that tried mens'
souls," both in the civil and military departments of the government.
Nearly all of the name, in this country, have descended from John Crane, who came from Suffolk county, in England,
about 1675, and settled in Massachusetts. He fought in the Indian war of 1720, at Deerfield, and was in the fort
when taken by the Indians. By making a passage under the logs, he succeeded in escaping with his family; and afterwards
settled at Wilton, in Connecticut. He had two sons, Jonathan and Jasper. Jasper settled at Elizabethtown, in New
Jersey, and was the grandfather of Col. John Crane, of the artillery, in the Revolution. Jonathan had one son,
Joseph, who was born 17th of May, 1696. Jonathan settled in Massachusetts: and his son Joseph, grandfather to John
Crane, came from Greenfield, in Connecticut, about 1755, and settled on the north side of Joe's Hill, about one
and a half miles east of Sodom Crane. He built the mill there, called in the old records, "Crane's Mill."
Another branch of this family, Orrin and Anson Crane, Esqs., now living in the town of South-east, are grandsons
of Joseph Crane.
The branches of this family, in this town and Southeast, have kept regular chronological histories of the family;
and intending to insert them, we pass over them to resume our remarks concerning that member of the family at the
head of our article. The whole family seems to have been distinguished for integrity, intelligence, and attachment
to the cause of their country.
In searching the continental, provincial, and Mili taryrecords of the Revolution, we have not found one of the
name, adhering to the cause of England; they were all whigs at that day, and thoroughly "dyed in the wool."
Joseph Crane, uncle to Jonathan, the father of Anson and Orrin, was a Colonel of the Militia in the Revolution,
and fought in the battle at Ridgefield, when partly destroyed by the British, after burning Danbury. John, the
subject of the present sketch, was a Captain, and in 1803, '4 and '5, was an assistant Judge of the Court of Common
Pleas, of Dutchess County. All of both branches of the family in New York, as well as in New Jersey, who were old
enough to bear arms, held commissions, either in the Continental army, the militia, or in minute-men companies.
John seems to have become ear]y the subject of hate and fear to the tories and friends of the King. Aftempts were
made to capture him in his own house when alone, and shoot him when out of it; but their efforts were foiled by
a Power that watched over the American cause and its advocates. In the fall of 1780, he retired to bed with his
wife, having carefully secured the doors and windows. About an hour afterwards he heard a rap on the side of the
house. He arose and looked out of the window, which was half boarded up, and told his wife that he saw two men,
armed, outside. It was moonlight, and the refraction of the moon's rays gave the appearance of two men, when in
reality there was but one. A reward of $200 had been offered for his apprehension, which he supposed had induced
a band of tories, who lived in the vicinity, to pay him a night visit. He supposed that there were others hard-by,
secreted behind trees and fences. He slipped out of the back door, cautioning his wife to fasten it, intending
to secrete himself in an adjoining wood. After his departure, his wife, on looking out of the window, saw but one
man. The man spoke to her, and begged the privilege to come in and get something to eat, and rest himself for the
night on the floor. She asked him if there were others with him, and he assured her, on the honor of a soldier,
that he was alone. She then asked him if he was armed? He said he was, and that "Washingington's soldiers
always went armed." She took off the fastenings and raised the window a little, and told him to hand in his
gun breech foremost, which he did; and having fastened it again, she cocked the gun, opened the door, and bid him
come in, standing a few feet back, ready to shoot him and close the door should another make his appearance. She
then bade him fasten it, and having placed the gun in a corner, got the soldier some supper. While he was eating,
Crane crept up to a back window, and seeing but one man in the room, and he quietly eating his supper, called to
his wife to let him in again. He came in and begged his wife to say nothing about his flight from one man, since
it had turned out so differently from what he expected; but she declared that it was too good to keep, and many
a day afterwards she rehearsed it before him to the no small amusement of his friends.
One night previous to this, while sitting by his fire reading, and his wife in the corner darning stockings, a
cow-boy and tory of the name of Samuel Akerly, of South-east, came to his window with gun in hand, intending to
shoot him. Akerly contemplated the scene within, remembered the former friendship and kindness he had received
from Crane, (long before the great issue was joined, that arrayed neighbor against neighbor,) and withdrew, afterwards
alleging that "Crane was so great a friend to his country, and so sincere in his actions, that he could not
do it." At another time Capt. Crane went to his field, a few rods west of Nathaniel Crane's house, now a mLadow,
to chain his horses for the night. Akerly was lying in wait to shoot him. Again he suspended his purpose,. alleging
that his "heart failed him."
About this time, Robert Hughson, a whig and neighbor of Capt. Crane's, went out one night on the ridge just
east of Crane's house, and was met by three horsemen, well armed, who enquired, whether one Capt. John Crane, did
not live in the house, to which they pointed? Hughson told them that he did. They then told him that he must go
with them and assist them to get $100 dollars in hard money, which they said Crane had concealed in a bin of grain
in the upper part of an old log-house, just back of his dwelling. Hughson told them that if he must be shot, he
would rather it should be on his own land, than on the doorsill of his neighbor, among a band of robbers; that
Capt. Crane had four men with him well armed, and that before they could get the money, some of them would have
to "bite the dust." Hughson so magnified the force and fighting disposition of Capt. Crane, and the danger
of their all being killed before they could get into the house, that they departed without making an attempt.
The family Coat of Arms is now in the possession of Nathaniel, his son, and a Record, reaching from the great ancestor
of this family, John Crane, of England, down to the children of the subject of this biography, and written by himself
when he only lacked six days to being 83 years of age. We extract it entire, considering it wrong to comply with
his request, so modestly expressed at its end. A majority of the old men of the present time, who have reached
his age, can hardly do more than write their name, while many of them can, at the most, only make their marks.
We doubt if there is one in a thousand, who can write four large quarto pages, with the penmanship anything like
as good, as that which now lays before us, in the handwriting of Capt. John Crane:
A RECORD OF THE CRANE FAMILY.
"Carmel 29th Nov'r 1825. the following is a Reckord of the Crane family as handed to me by my ancestors-my
Grand-father Joseph Crane was the son of Jonathan Crane of Windham in Conecticut and grandson to John Crane from
England and was born May 17th 1696.
"Died August 28th 1781.
"Zebulon his eldest child was born Jan. 25 1721 Died Jan 24th 1789
"Joseph his 2d child was born Sep 13th 1722 Died Oct 14th 1800.
"Mary his 3d child was born May 30th 1726 Died March 17th 1805.
"Thadeous his 4th child was born March 28th, 1728 Died Septr. 1803.
"Abijah 5th Child was born April 3d 1730 Died 3d 1806. Anna 6th child Born April 12th 1732 Died March 25th
1805. Stephen 7th Child Born May 13th 1734 Died May 10th 1814. Adah 8th and last Child born Oct 25th 1736 her deth
I dont remember, but she lived about 70 years. here ends the record of my grand-father's family.
"here begineth a record of my Father's family- I John Crane was born Nov 24th 1742 old stile-William was Born
1744. Zebulon was Born August 7th 1746 Died December 31st 1814. Elijah Born April 1st 1748. Sarah Born July 12th
1750. Mary Oct. 8 1752-Stile altered about this time-Belden Born Nov 31 1754. Samuel Born April 11th 1757. Abigah
Born May 26th 1759. Stephen born April 11th 1761. Anna born Augt. 3d 1763. Seth born march 1766. my mother was
Sarah Belden- Before mared Daughter of Wm. Belden of Wilton in Conecticut and was a resident of the town of Dearfield
in Snoserjoseraets at thc time it was Destroyed by the French and Indians in the winter of 1720 & 3-
"in the later part of the year 1769 my Father moved from Bedford in Westchester County to Judeah now in the
town of Washington in Litchfield county-Soon after they Got there a mortal sickness Came into the family, in which
my mother and five of her children died within 2 months, namely-Mary, Belden, Stephen, Seth, anne-My mother had
never lost a child before- "I John Crane was born Nov 24th old stile 1742. My wife Tamer, Daughter of John
and Hannah Carpenter, was born Dec'r 1st 1747, Died May 1st 1823. we were married on the 1st day of March 1764
By the Rev'd Eliphelet Ball the first settiar and Minister of Ballstoen in-the State of New York-our Eldest Chid
Joseph was Born June 3d 1766. 2d Child Adah was born June 6th 1768. 3d Child Stephen Nov 1st 1770, Died Sept 9th
1826. 4th Child John born June 6th 1773, Died June 1st 1825. 5th Child Zilah was born Oct 3d 1775. 6th Child Nathaniel
born Feb. 28th 1778. 7th Child Sarah born June 27th 1780. 8th Child Arrabellah born 25 Decem 1784. 9th and last
Child Clorinda was born Oct 2d. 1787.
"I hope it will be a satisfaction to some of my Descendants to be informed of the conduct of their ancestors
throu life-my Grand-father was Living at the commencement of the Revolutionary war that separated the then 13 Collynies
from the Government of Grate Brittan-at the Commencement of that war the People were devided into two Casses whig
& tory-the whig party ware those opposed to the black arts of the British Parliament-the tory party took sides
with the King-my grandfather was then about 80 years of age very strong and active for a man of that age, and a
warm whig and what is very remarkable, his 8 children were all living and heds of familyes, had many grandchildren
and great grandchildren and not an individual that had arrived to the years of understanding but what took an active
part of the American Cause-I was the oldest grandchild-I had an Ensign's Commission under the King George the 3d
in the year 1775- "I took a Capt's Commission under the Provential Congress
of the Provence of New York-the 4th of July following our independence was declared-George Clinton Became our Governor-then
I received a Commission from him and held it through the war-Such was the general conduct of the family which was
the cause of many of them receiving both civil and military commissions, not on account of our Extraordinary abilities,
but as an act of our engagedness in that blessed cause-I hope whoever reads the foregoing will Erase the incorrectness,
as I want but six days of being 83 years of age and ailmost blind.
John Crane was a remarkable man; and the record he penned, at the age of 83, is very far from diminishing the force
of our assertion. He was a kind neighbor and indulgent parent, a firm friend, and unflinching patriot. He died
Lieut. Jabez Berry.-This gentleman's ancestors were from Ireland, and emigrated early to Cape Cod in Massachusetts,
where the subject of this memoir was born. We have been able to gather but little concerning his early life, previous
to his arrival in this country. His ancestors, himself, and his descendants, were, and are still, distinguished
for their gigantic proportions, muscular frames, and great strength. Jabez Berry came from Cape Cod after he was
married, and some years before the Revolution, and settled on. the farm now occupied by Elijah Crane, about one
mile north of Lake Mahopac. He was five feet eleven inches high in his stocking feet; a large, powerful, robust
man, with a frame knit together more like iron than bone, and capable of the greatest endurance. For his size,
he was unmatched in strength by any man, at that time, in the country. Boxing was one of the amusements of the
young men at that day, very fashionable, and, as a science, is still cultivated. He soon attained great proficiency
in it, and before leaving Cape Cod stood number one, "solitary and alone," and without a rival. Some
years after settling in this town, a celebrated boxer came to Cape Cod and inquired for one Jabez Berry? On ascertaining
that he had removed to this town, he informed one of Berry's intimate friends there that he came to have a match
with him, and offered to bet that he could flog him. Berry's friend, well-knowing his ability, accepted the wager;
and another person having been chosen as the second of the boasting bully, the three immediately set out for Berry's
residence. On reaching it they found him and his wife at breakfast. The boxer without much ceremony entered the
house, and thus accosted Berry: "Are you the man they call Jabez Berry ?" "Yes sir-ee, and always
have been," was the reply. "Well, sir," continued the bully, "I have come all the way from
Cape Cod to flog you." "Ah, indeed! If you've come all that distance to pluck a single berry from the
bush, you are entitled to a few striking tokens of my regard as a reward for the pains you may suffer before you
get back," was the reply. Out they went into the door-yard, where he flogged his Cape Cod antagonist to his
heart's content; received half the bet, which he applied to curing his antagonist, who was unable to resume his
journey back for the space of a week. There was one remarkable trait about him that distinguished him from others
who possessed great powers and skill in pugilism; he never made use of it to domineer over the weak and those unable
to cope with him,, nor insult any man from a consciousness that his skill and strength was his protection from
punishment. He never was the assailing party; nor entered a boxing combat in an angry state of feeling. He enjoyed
it with about the same good feeling that he would relate an amusing anecdote or crack a harmless joke. He belonged
to the church; and if sickness or bad weather did not prevent him, never failed in his attendance for any other
cause. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the militia, and rendered great service in guarding this part of the
country from the midnight depredations of the cow-boys, skinners, and tories. He had four sons; John, who was commissioned
an ensign in Captain John Crane's militia company, Asahel, Jabez, junior, and Samuel, and two daughters, His sons
are all dead, but some of his grandchildren are found in this town. Samuel A. Berry, Esq., of Carmel, whose father
was Samuel, the youngest son of Jabez, is a grandson of this early settler. Samuel had four sons; Charles, John,
Frederick, Samuel A.; and seven daughters, Delilah, Hester, Elizabeth, two by the name of Clarissa, one having
died young, Julia and Mary.
Jabez Berry possessed a well-balanced mind, which kept him from being disconcerted in any emergency. Possessing
an amiable and cheerful disposition, he sepured the esteem and approbation of all who knew him, while his integrity
and uprightness of purpose secured him from the tongue of the slanderer. He advocated the cause of his country
with a stout heart and a strong arm, and enjoyed the proud satisfaction of seeing all of his sons follow his paterna'
and patriotic example.
We have not been informed of the date of his decease, but he lived many years to enjoy the fruit of the tree of
liberty which he had contributed so vigilantly to guard.
We had intended giving a brief sketch of the Churches in the county; but on inquiry found that they were principally
of recent organization, not more than three being organized at the commencement of the Revolution.
The first Church erected in this county, so far as we are informed, was built about 1735, in Southeast, in which,
about 1740, the Rev. Elisha Kent, the grandfather of the late Chancellor Kent, preached as the regular pastor.
St. Philips' Chapel, as it was then called, is the Episcopal Church near the Hon. John Garrison's, and was built
in 1770, by Col. Beverly Robinson.
During the Revolution, it was used as a kind of Jail to confine prisoners. One minister preached here every other
Sabbath, and also in a Church just south of Continental Village, across the Westchester County line, where Col.
Beverly Robinson gave the two Churches a farm of about 300 acres as a parsonage. A Church was built previous to
the Revolution in Patterson, but we have not obtained the necessary facts to give a sketch of its history.
We had abandoned the idea, therefore, of saying anything concerning the Churches, inasmuch as we were unable to
notice all, but could not forego the pleasure of inserting the following notice of the Gilead Church, which has
been politely furnished us by the Rev. Henry G. Livingston, its present Pastor.
THE GILEAD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
About the commencement of the Revolution, a Congregational Church was organized in the vicinity of Carmel Village,
and a log building erected on the
hill a few rods north of the present residence of Ira White, Esq., and within the limits of the town of Southeast.
The Society was familiarly known as
"Gregory's Parish," after the name of their first minister. No authentic records of the Church are found
until 1792, when a new organization was made, and a more commodious edifice built upon the ground now known as
the Gilead Burying-ground, a little over a mile south of Carmel Village.
The Constitution and Articles of Faith, then adopted, are as follows:
"Frederickstown, August 9th, 1792.
"We, the subscribers, members of different churches, and of the former church in this place, now dissolved,
living in the vicinity commonly known as Gregory's Parish, considering it the duty of Christians to join together
in covenant, and form churches for the glory of God and their mutual edification, wherever God in his providence
may cast their lot, and place them under circumstances convenient for that purpose; and finding ourselves under
such circumstances, and no church in this parish which we may join, and with which we can walk in the ordinances
of the Gospel according to our persuasion; and having, as we humbly trust, looked to the Father of lights for wisdom
and direction, and having also consulted with ministers and private Christians concerning our duty under present
circumstances, have, after mature deliberation, judged that we ought, with the consent of the churches to which
we belong, to unite together in covenant as a visible church, and Messrs. Ichabod Lewis, John Minor, Amzi Lewis,
and Silas Comfort, Ministers of the Gospel, having by our request convened in order to assist us to unite and enter
into covenant with each other with solemnity and propriety, we have therefore adopted and publicly received the
following articles and covenant as the foundation of our union
"Articles of Faith.
"1. There is one only living, true, and eternal God, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of the world;
infinite in all perfection and glory, and worthy to be loved, worshipped, and obeyed by all rational creatures.
"2. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and a sufficient and infallible rule
"3. Mankind are fallen from God, and. are naturally destitute of all holiness and inclined wholly to sin;
and therefore are under the curse of God's law, and deserve his eternal wrath.
"4. God purposed in himself before the foundation of the world, to save some of the human race by a dispensation
of grace through a Mediator.
"5. This grace has been revealed to fallen man by Jesus Christ, who, being really God, became man, and in
the flesh performed the work of mediation, and by his obedience and death, opened up a way in which sinners may
be freely justified by faith, and saved according to the divine purpose.
"6. The Mediator, Jesus Christ, is the appointed Governor of the world and the final judge of the quick and
"7. Those and those only who are chosen of God in Christ, and renewed by the effectual operation of the Holy
Ghost on their hearts, do actually repent and believe unto eternal life.
"8. God will continue his gracious operations on the hearts of his people until they are completely sanctified
and fitted for his Heavenly Kingdom and glory.
"9. God will overrule all things for his glory and the advancement of his Kingdom until the consummation,
when those who are united to Christ by faith will be raised and glorified, and the impenitent and unbelieving eternally
"We do this day solemnly take God for our God, Jesus Christ for our Saviour, the Holy Ghost for our Sanctifier,
and the Scriptures for our rule and directory; and sincerely, as far as we know ourselves, covenant and engage
by divine grace to devote ourselves to the service and glory of God, walking in all his ordinances, observing his
commandments, living solely, righteously, and godly in this present world, trusting in the merits of Jesus Christ
alone for acceptance with God, seeking his Glory and Kingdom, watching over our Christian brethren and sisters
in love, studying to promote their spiritual edification, and therefore good, endeavouring to keep the unity of
the spirit in the bond of peace, and waiting for the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Who were the officers appointed in 1792, does not appear from the minutes of the Church record.
It is believed there was then no settled minister, though the pulpit was occasionally supplied by the Rev. Mr.
Lewis. At a meeting held, December 9th, of the same year, it was resolved that the name of the Society be changed
from that of "Gregory's Parish," to that of" Gilead."
Since then, it has always been known as the "Gilead Church." The name was derived from Scripture with..
out any special reason, I apprehend, for so appropriatbng it. Fancy, doubtless, dictated the selection.
June 27th, 1795, Mr. John Amber was elected deacon of the Church, and the first who filled that office.
Soon after this period, the Church gradually lost strength; there being no settled pastor, and, in all probability,
no stated administration of the ordinances. It was, therefore, thought advisable, in the year 1803, to reorganize.
The same constitution and articles of faith and government, as before, were adopted, and were signed by
the following individuals:
Elisha Smith, Thirza Crosby, Dorius Crosby, William Jacks, Harvey Newell, David Travis, Gilbert Travis, Rachel
Newell, Elizabeth Travis, Jane Woodhull, Desire Stone, Deborah Travis, Denny Jacks, Hannah Rimclee.
Harvey Newell, at this time, was elected Clerk, and William Jacks, deacon. The Rev. Mr. Stephen Dodd had been previously
called to the charge of the church, and preached here half of the time, and the remainder at the Red Mills.
He remained here until the 15th of July, 1810. During his ministry, a large number were added to the church, and
its condition was prosperous. He was not, however, a settled pastor.
February 18th, 1804, Enoch Crosby, the supposed hero of Cooper's novel, entitled the spy, and so well known for
the aid he rendered his country in its time of trial, was elected deacon; and, in 1806, David Travis was set apart
to the same office.
After Mr. Dodd had resigned the care of the church, the pulpit was supplied by the Rev. Herman Dagget, who was
succeeded in 1812, by the Rev. Allen Blair. Afterwards, the Rev. Messrs. James N. Austin, Abner Brundige, Isaac
Allerton, and B. Y. Morse, officiated from 1815, until the year 1835. None of these, so far as my knowledge extends,
were settled as pastors.
The church, as it appears from the minutes, from the year 1824 to 1831, was in a state of fearful declension. The
ecclesiastical body to which it belonged, was gradually becoming extinct. Disorder and a relaxation of dicipline,
naturally resulted from this state of things. The preaching of the Word was feebly sustained, and but few were
added to the congregation of the Lord. From 1831 to 1835, there was stated preaching every Sabbath; but the church
had little more than a name to live, although there were set times when Zion was far advanced, and some few made
public profession of their faith. In March, 1834, the church made the following declaration:
"We, the members of the Second Presbyterian Congregational Church in the town of Carmel, and formerly having
been- a branch of the Westchester Presbytery, which is now extinct, do declare ourselves to be, as in fact we are,
an independent Congregational Church. Believing, however, that great benefits may result to the Church of Christ
from intimate union and fellowship with each other by their mutual aid and counsel, hold ourselves willing to unite
with Some ecclesiastical body whenever, in the providence of God, an opportunity shall present and the way made
The church, soon after this, assumed the Presbyterian form of government, and connected itself, June 3d, 1835,
with the Presbytery of Bedford. Joseph Crane, Gilbert H. Travis, and Morgan L. Raymond, were elected Elders. In
October, of the same year, a call was extended to the Rev. Gilbert Livingston Smith, to become pastor of the church.
The call was accepted, but before he had entered upon the active duties of his office, he was suddenly translated
to the Church of the redeemed above.
In the year 1837, the society erected their present house of worship, in the village of Carmel; a structure justly
admired for the neatness of its finish and the beauty of its location. The Rev. G. T. Todd was soon after installed
pastor, and the first who was ever settled as such; and remained until May, 1844. He was succeeded in August, 1845,
by the Rev. Henry G. Livingston, who was then ordained and installed. and continues to fulfil the duties of the
pastoral office at the present time.
The church has gradually increased since 1835, and has now upwards of 100 members. Though its growth is slow, it
is sure, and its friends, to 'whom its past history is familiar, have every reason "to thank God and take
The present officers of the church are, Rev. Henry G. Livingston, Pastor; Gilbert H. Travis, Morgan L. Raymond,
Daniel Travis, and Anson Fowler, ruling Elders. Its creed is the same as that of other orthodox Presbyterian churches;
and its ecclesiastical relations are with the Presbytery of Bedford, and the Synod of New York.