History of New Paltz, NY
FROM: Gazetteer and Business Directory
Of Ulster County, N. Y. For 1872-2.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child, Syracuse, NY 1871
NEW PALTZ was granted by patent, September 29, 1677. It bounds were enlarged April 1, 1775, and a part of Hurley was annexed February 2, 1809. A part of Esopus was taken off in 1842, a part of Rosendale in 1844, Lloyd in 1845, and a part of Gardiner in 1853. It is an interior town, lying south-east of the center of the County. The surface generally is a hilly upland. The Shawangunk Mountains extend along the west border. Paltz Point, the highest point, is 700 feet above tied. The Wallkill flows north-east, through near the center; it is bordered by broad, fertile flats. The soil general is a fine quality of sandy loam. Hay and fruit are exported.
New Paltz (p.v.) is situated upon the Walkill and is a station on the Wallkill Valley R.R. It contains three churches, viz., Reformed, Methodist and Colored Methodist; the New Paltz Academy, two printing offices, at which are printed the New Paltz Times and the New Paltz Independent, two banks, two hotels, eight stores of various kinds, three wagon shops, three blacksmith shops, three paint shops, an apple distillery, a meat market, two harness shops, three boot and shoe shops, two livery stables, two restaurants, several other shopes, a district school and about 500 inhabitants. The Village Hall is a fine brick structure, 40 by 80 feet, with a basement. It was built by the New Paltz Literary Association in 1863, and will seat about 500 persons. A daily stage connects this place with Lloyd Landing and Poughkeepsie.
The New Paltz Rural Cemetery is located about a mile south of the village; it is neatly laid out and contains twenty acres. Among the monuments is one of Quincy Granite, erected to the memory of the soldiers from this town who lost their lives in the Rebellion. It is four feet square at the base, 18 feet high, and cost $900. It contains the names of those to whose memory it was erected.
Ohioville (p.v.) is about two miles east of New Paltz, and contains two wagon shops, a blacksmith shop, a school house and seventeen houses.
Put Corners is a hamlet, about a mile east of New Paltz village.
Cold Spring Corners is in the north-east corner of the town, on Black Creek, and contains a Methodist church, a store, a blacksmith shop, a school house and a half dozen dwellings.
Butlerville, about two miles west of New Paltz, is a thickly settled farming community, has a Friends' meeting house and a school house.
Springtown, about three miles north of New Paltz, on the west side of the Wallkill, is a station on the W.V.R.R.
Paltz Point and Lake Mohunk are about five miles from New Paltz. The lake, near the top of the mountain, is clear as crystal, from 40 to 80 feet deep. A fine hotel has been built upon the shore, and the place is quite a resort for summer tourists. The view from the Sky Top is one of the finest in this region.
The town was first settled by French Huguenots, who had previously resided for a short time at Kingston, or Esopus, as it was then called. The circumstances that attended the discovery of the fertile Wallkill Valley are so beautifully described by Edmund Eltinge, Esq., in a paper published by the Ulster Historical Society, that we quote largely from that document. After speaking of the Indian massacre at Kingston, he says:
“Catharine Balnshan, wife of Lewis DuBois, and three other females were captured, and carried away by a detachment of these cruel warriers, far into the wilderness as a great prize, where they would be least likely to be pursued, traversing on their way the fine hunting grounds up the Wallkill, where in those primitive days, the bear, deer and other favorite game abounded. This massacre occurred on June 6, 1663. This act aroused the remaining people of the settlement, and measures were at once taken to punish the savages for this outrage, and if possible to recover the loved ones snatched away from them. They succeeded in taking captive an Indian, who was of some standing in the tribe and acquainted with the circumstances attending the capture of the women, and where they were taken. The whites now determined that he should aid them in their recovery, and negotiated with him to secure his life, if his advise led to their rescue, or to sacrifice him if they were deceived by his direction. This case of course absorbed the whole mind of the people. Business, labor and agricultural toils were laid aside until the wives of the bereaved ones should be restored, or their death known. The directions of this captive Indian were then taken and carefully noted, word for work; though unwritten, yet the eager memories of these determined men fixed indelibly in their minds the various landmarks of the described route. They were directed to go up the first Big Water, the Rondout, to where another Big Water, the Wallkill, emptied into it; then follow up that until they came to a third Big Water, the Shawangunk, and follow up said stream to a certain landmark, a short distance from which they would find the captive women. The captive Indian was held as a hostage and a party was sent out, consisting of the husbands of the captured females and others, on the route designated. They first bent their way to the Rondout and then up the rugged steeps of the Wallkill between its mouth and Dashville Falls, where as yet nature presides in her almost primitive majesty and grandeur, but where ere long the busy hum of manufactories will be heard above the noise of water-falls and rapids, and wealth will issue forth as if springing from the foaming cataract. A little further on, their way was moreeasy and less obstructed. The interval lands in the Wallkill Valley received their passing notice and attention, but the object of their search absorbed their minds and energies. They pushed forward with all intensity and ardor in the pursuit, not much attention being given to extraneous matters. Soon they passed the rich flats near New Paltz village; proceeding rapidly on, ere the sun had set, they came to the mouth of the Shawangunk, which was the third Big Water. They moved onward with hasty steps. The route pointed out by the captive Indian had been found to agree with his direction, and now they felt confident that their dear wives were not far distant. The dogs that accompanied them seemed more eager as they went forward and led the party on their way. A few glens and thickets, a few more bends of the Shawangunk's winding way had been passed when the barking of the dogs aroused their already wakeful minds. On they pressed, Lewis DuBois, whose ardor in the pursuit could not be excelled, moved on at the head of the party, more agile and strong that the others thus rendering him the most noticeable of their number. An Indian secreted behind a tree, just at the moment he was discovered by DuBois, let go his arrow upon him. Luckily however it missed its mark, and DuBois with the power of a lion immediately sprang upon him and with his sword killed him on the spot. The affair with this single Indian did not long detain them. Content with a single glance at his lifeless body they pressed onward. A short distance further they came in sight of the captured females following the Indians to their camping grounds. When the whites and their dogs came in sight, they exclaimed 'Swanakers and Deers, Swanakers and Deers,' which tradition interprets, 'the white man's dogs, the white man's dogs.' It was at the 'Wildebargh' that they cam in sight of an Indian and Squaw, who ran to the camp to make known that the whites were in pursuit. As soon as the news was received by them they took flight; their number at that time being small, as most of the warriors had gone off on a hunting expedition. The females at first moved off in the direction of their unnatural and unfriendly protectors, not knowing the true cause of the alarm. Soon however the stentorian voice of their husbands fell upon their ears, and turning suddenly they ran with quickened steps to their embrace.
“Again tears of joy were mingled, and hearts beat in unison to each other. On the very spot where faggots had been piled to execute these women, they could now repose in the arms of husband and friend in safety. It is said that these devoted women had resorted to singing psalms and hymns to buoy up their own spirits and breathe out their trust upon the All-wise Governor of the Universe, and singular as it may appear, it was the means of prolonging the time of their intended final death by the savages. The Indians were charmed by their music, and having previously discovered this, these prisoners sung their Holy Song --- the 137th Psalm in the Reformed Dutch Church Collection --- in sight of the place of torture to which they were consigned. But deliverance was near. The God whom they trusted was about to make bare his arm for their rescue. As the whites approached, the Indians disappeared. The charms of music were suddenly dispelled and exchanged for the dismay occasioned by the approach of their white enemies, and affrighted they fled to the hunting grounds of their companions, now upon the mountains, leaving their captives behind. What emotions shot through every muscle of the heart and fibre of the frame of loving ones as they were clasped in each others arms. Grim death had opened his jaws and was about devouring his prey and closing upon them forever. Life and Salvation spread their shield over them, and again a few more years --- a few more days of promise were in store for them. Now the plaintive song was exchanged for shouts of joy, and notes of happiness and rejoicing beamed forth upon the twilight air. They now composed themselves for the night, their couch being the dried leaves of last autumn's providing, it drapery the overhanging branches of trees and vines. The night was a sleepless one. These females had to recount to their husbands their tales of thrilling interest. The incidents of their capture and the experiences of their captivity required a long recital. The pile of faggots was lighted, not for cruelty, torture and death, but for its warmth and comfort during the chilly hours of the night. At the rising of next morning's sun no doubt an offering of prayer and thanksgiving ascended on hight and then the journey homeward entered upon. On their return home the glad welcome came forth from every cottage. The first Indian skirmish had been passed, the female prisoners were restored, the captive Indian again joined his companions in the forest. As soon as the excitement of this rescue had passed away, the minds of these brave men again reverted to the discovered land of promise in the beautiful valley of the Wallkill, and particularly to the rich flats of New Paltz.”
An exploring party was soon sent out, and the result was a treaty with the Indians and the purchase of about 144 square miles of land, in May 1666. It was bounded on the east by the Hudson River and on the west by Shawangunk, “Mohunk” forming the south-west corner; “Tower-a-tauch,” the north-western; “Rapoos,” on the Hudson, the north-east, and “Yeofvrous Hook,” the south-eastern corner. The price paid consisted of 40 kettles, 10 large and 30 small; 40 axes, 40 adzes, 40 shirts, 400 strings of white beads, 300 strings of black beads, 50 pair of stockings, 100 bars of lead, one keg of powder, 100 knives, 4 quarter casks of wine, 40 jars, 60 cleaving knives, 60 blankets, 100 needles, 100 awls and one clean pipe.
On the 29th of September, 1677, letters patent of this territory were granted by Gov. Andross, of which the following is a copy:
“Edmond Andross, Esquire, Lord of Saumares, Lieutenant Governor-General under his Royal Highness James Duke of York, of Albany and of all his territories in America.”
“Whereas, there is a certain piece of land at Esopus, which by my approbation and consent has been acquired from the Indian proprietors, by Louis Dubois and his associates the said land being situated on the south side of the redoubt called Creek or Kill, being from [i.e. beginning at] the high mountain called Maggonck, thence extending from the south-west side, near the Great River, to a certain point or hook, called the Jauffronchook, situated along the tract called by the Indians Magaatramis, and from the north side ascending along the river to a certain island which makes an elbow at the beginning of the tract, called by the Indians Raphoos; from the west side the high mountains to the place called Waratakac and Tauarataque, and continues along the high mountains from [on?] the south-west side to Maggonck, formerly so called; all of which things have been certified by me by the magistrates of the said Esopus, to have been openly bought and paid for, in the presence as appears by the return;”
“Be it known to all whom it may concern, that by virtue of letters patent of his Majesty, and by the commission and authority which is given to me by his Royal highness, I have given, ratified and granted to the said Louis Dubois and his partners, that is Christian Deyau, Abraham Hasbroucq, Andre LeFebre, Jean Hasbroucq, Pierre Douau, Louis Bevierre, Anthoine Crespel, Abraham Dubois, Hugue Frere, Isaac Ducois and Simon LeFebre, their heirs and others having right from the said above named persons, the said pieces of land, as well arable as [also] the forests, mountains, valleys, prairies, pasturages, marshes, or ponds of water, rivers, rights of fishing, fowling, hawking and hunting, and all other profits, commodities, and emoluments, whatsoever, of the said piece of land and appertaining acquisitions, with their and each of their appurtenances and all parts and parcels thereof. To have and to hold the said piece of land and acquisition, with all and singular the appurtenances and dependences, to the said Louis Dubois and his associates, their heirs and others having right of property according to usage.”
“In consequence of the foregoing, the said Louis Dubois and his associates, their heirs and others having rights in perpetuity [here the connection is at fault perhaps from an omission] and the plantations which shall be established on the said parcels of land shall together be considered to be a village, and the inhabitants thereof shall have liberty to make a highway between them and redoubt Creek or Kill for their convenience; and the said Louis Dubois and his associates, their heirs and others having right, shall render a faithful account of the survey, and make a legitimate use thereof according to law; rendering and paying each and every year, to his Royal Highness, the rightful acknowledgement or rent of five bushels of wheat, payable at the redoubt at Esopus, to such officers as shall have power to receive it.”
“Given under my hand, and sealed with the seal of the province of New York, the 29th day of September, in the 29th year of the reign of his Majesty and of our Lord, 1677.”
Examined by me, Mathias Nicolls, Secretary