Friday, March 2, 2012

Collections on the History of Albany, Vol. 3, by Joel Munsell

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Highlighted below in yellow is Vol 1, page v, missing from the University of Michigan copy at HathiTrust, as well as the missing table of contents.

Collections on the history of Albany: from its discovery to the present time ; with notices of its public institutions, and biographical sketches of citizens deceased, Vol 1, 1865 (
Full view v. 1 (original from New York Public Library)
Collections on the History of Albany: From Its Discovery to the Vol. 1, 1865 (Google e-Book)

Collections on the history of Albany, from Its Discovery to the Present Time, with Notices of its Public Institutions, and Biographical Sketches of Citizens Deceased. Vol. 2, ALBANY, N. Y.: J. Munsell, 82 State Street. 1867
Full view v. 2 (original from New York Public Library)

Collections on the History of Albany, from Its Discovery to the Present Time, with Notices of its Public Institutions, and Biographical Sketches of Citizens Deceased. Vol. 3, ALBANY, N. Y.: J. Munsell, 82 State Street. 1870

Introduction to Albany County Records, vii
Albany County Records, 1654-78, 1
Notes from the Newspapers, 1865-67, 225
The Cruise of the Katy-Did, 390
Notes of Travelers, 393
Origin of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Albany, 411
Albany County in the year 1813 425
Albany City in the year 1813, 428
The Stafford Family, 440
Anneke Janse, 459
Colonel Lewis Benedict, 465
Index, 469

ILLUSTRATIONS. Peter Stuyvesant, (Frontispiece)
Broadway M. E. Sunday School, 245
Congress Hall, 246
Eliphalet Nott, 282
Dr. Howard Townsend, 344
Clark B. Cochrane, 350
Delavan House, 354
Original plan of Union College, , 401
Spencer Stafford, 445
Court Street, 1796, 446
Stafford's Store, 447
Stafford's Dwelling house, 448
Diagram of South Pearl Street, 458
Medallion portrait of Lewis Benedict, 465
Tomb of Col. Benedict, 467

Page iii PREFACE

Since the second volume of these Collections was issued, a portion of the Dutch records in the county clerk's office has been translated by Prof. Pearson of Union College, and published. The edition was quite small, and being now out of print, the contents of the volume have been incorporated in this work, and are about equally divided between this and the succeeding volume. The value and importance of these records as a portion of the history of Albany, must have an increased appreciation with the lapse of time. They are the oldest public records that have come down to us, and make us acquainted with the names, abodes, and acts of the people that occupied these streets in the earliest times. The amount of labor bestowed upon their translation and annotation can hardly be estimated by the reader. When we consider the uninviting nature of the subject; the illegible condition of the records themselves, and their extent; the necessity of acquiring language that has become obsolete among us; the necessary knowledge of individuals whose names are concealed under peculiar pseudonyms, and also of their personal history, requiring many years of patient research and familiarity to identify them; we cannot too highly admire the courage and perseverance that led to the accomplishment of the work; a work which might never again have found one so competent to its performance. It is no small claim upon the gratitude of the descendants of those ancient citizens, that it enables them to identify their ancestors, to know whence they came, and when and where they lived. These particulars will be further elucidated in the next volume by diagrams of the streets, with the dimensions of the lots and the names of their occupants, more than two centuries ago, and their successors down to the present century; forming a very curious directory, which is also the work of Prof. Pearson.

The remainder of the volume is made up as usual, of a variety of matters relating to Albany and its immediate vicinity. The Notes from the Newspapers form an interesting chrouulogy of recent events, embracing the years 1865, 1866, and 1867. An unusual number of notable citizens finished their respective missions during those years, of whom sketches are given, and portraits also, when they could be procured. In a few instances the paternity of these articles has been lost, although it has been the intention of the publisher, as they are wholly obtained from the city papers, faithfully to acknowledge the sources from whence they are derived. It is proposed to add another volume to this series, in order to complete the records of the county herein partially given, and to bring down the annals of the city to the end of the year 1870. In no case is it designed to repeat anything in these volumes, unless by more recent investigations and discoveries much new material has been found, rendering it important to restate the subject. In answer to the question sometimes put, whether this series of Historical Collections is a reprint of the Annals of Albany, it is now distinctly stated that none of these papers have heretofore been printed in either of these works.


Among the registers kept in the office of the clerk of the county of Albany, seven volumes of the earliest records, viz: three labelled Deeds, two Notarial Papers, one Mortgages, and one Wills, are wholly or in part written in the Dutch language, and contain a variety of papers — deeds, bonds, mortgages, contracts, wills, vendue sales, inventories of personal estates, marriage contracts, proposals and sales of the slaughter, and of the wine and beer excise, leases, affidavits, indentures of apprenticeship, powers of attorney, correspondence with the governor and council, proceedings of Indian councils, in a word, records of all such formal transactions as were usually drawn up by and acknowledged before the chief officer of Fort Orange, or the secretary of the village of Beverwyk. All these are original papers bearing the autograph signatures of the parties concerned, such being the custom of the Dutch, whose statutes were based on the civil or Roman law. This custom continued many years after the Dutch West India Company ceased to bear rule over the province of New Netherland. The earliest registers were simply quires stitched together, which at a later date were gathered up by some one ignorant of the language, and bound and labelled regardless of dates or subjects.

The records contained in this and the succeeding volume are a translation of all the papers bound in the two volumes labelled Deeds A and B. These documents are of a miscellaneous character, ranging in date from 1654 to 1678, and are in the handwriting of the following officers:

Johannes Dyckman appointed commies,* (*Commies may usually be translated clerk, but here it signifies the chief officer of Fort Orange.) in 1651, held the office till July, 1655, when he was incapacitated by insanity. His earliest records extant begin August 19, 1654, and end July 7, 1655. They comprise nearly one hundred and fifty pages of volume B, and are a severe trial to the patience of any one who tries to decypher them, some portions being quite illegible. 

Johan De Deckere was appointed to succeed officer Dyckman, the 21st of June, 1655; his first official act is recorded on July 7th, following, and the last on the fifth of July, 1656. He was evidently an officer of good capacity and spirit. His correspondence with Governor Stuyvesant, shows clearly that his office was anything but a sinecure. 

Johannes De La Montagne received his appointment as vice director and commies the 28th of September, 1656 ; his first official act was recorded 12th of October, following, the last on the 24th of October, 1664. He was accompanied by Johannes Provoost in the capacity of clerk, in whose beautiful handwriting the register was mostly kept during his administration. A portion of his record, from 17th of December, 1657, to 16th of July, 1659, are unfortunately missing. 

Johannes Provoost served as secretary of Albany, Colonie of Rensselaerswyk and Schenectady, from the 12th of November, 1664, to the 8th of August, 1665, when he was succeeded by 

Dirk Van Schelluyne, who came to Beverwyk, in 1660, in the capacity of notary public. His first official act as secretary is dated September 10, 1665, and his last the 9th of August, 1668. 

Ludovicus Cobes followed him in the same office on the 5th of September, 1668, and continued until the 24th of October, 1673, when

Johannes Provoost was reinstated and held the office until the 11th of August, 1675. 

Robert Livingston became secretary of Albany, September, 1675, and held the office till 1721, when he resigned in favor of his son Philip. In addition to the above officers 

His first official act as secretary is dated September 10, 1665, and his last the 9th of August, 1668. 

In addition to the above officers Adrian Van Ilpendam acted as notary public in Albany from the 16th of August, 1669, to the 12th of November, 1685, his official acts being recorded in the volumes entitled Notarial Papers.

These papers now first translated contain the oldest public records extant relating to the city and county of Albany. Hitherto they have been sealed books. Until the year 1865 they were not even included in the indexes of the office; and only now and then a curious antiquarian had patience to bring to light their hidden contents. If they have no other value to the legal profession, the informal methods of conveying and pledging real and personal property, afford an interesting view of the simplicity of those times. The local historian will find the facts here recorded in many cases new. The many curious customs long since disused, and the habits and manners of a rude, border community, are clearly portrayed ; and inasmuch as the earliest church registers before 16a3 are lost, these records furnish in many cases the only authentic facts respecting the first settlers of Albany and the upper Hudson. 

There is scarcely a Dutch family in this region, the names of whose original ancestors from Fatherland may not be found here written (if the record be rightly interpreted), often hundreds of times and in various and interesting business relations. The right interpretation of these names, however, is a matter of considerable difficulty, only to be acquired after great familiarity with the writings in which they occur. This difficulty arises mainly from the constant disuse of surnames, a custom brought from Fatherland and practiced here more or less, a hundred years after the settlement of the country. Thus the original ancestors of the family of Schuyler were Philip and David Pieterse, brothers; of Douw, Volkert Janse; of Wendell, Evert Janse; of Vander Poel. Wynant Gerritse; of Hun, Harmen Tomase; of Van Buren, Cornells Maasen ; of Visscher, Harmen Bastiaense; of Van Benthuysen, Paulus Marteuse; of Vosburgh, Pieter Jacobse; of Van Schaick, Goosen Gerritse; of Groesbeeck, William Claase, etc. 

In the following pages the surnames have been supplied in brackets [ ] as often as it was thought necessary, and to such persons chiefly whose names are still perpetuated in the ancient county of Albany. It should be remembered, however, that many of the persons named in this volume never obtained a permanent foothold here. The little hamlet of Beverwyk for fifty years or more, was mainly a trading station; the resort of adventurers from New Amsterdam and Fatherland, particularly at the business season (June, July, and August). For convenience and to obtain the burger's rights in trade they purchased houses and lots. This trading community was changeable, some departing, and others arriving to take their places. After the conquest by the English, in 1664, many of this transient population retired, and immigration from Holland soon ceased. 

It will be noticed that the following conveyances are for lots in Beverwyk, or for lands beyond the limits of Rensselaerswyk; in Schenectady, Kinderhook, Claverack, Coxsackie. Catskill, etc. The reason for this limitation is found, of course, in the fact that the manor lands were under a different jurisdiction, leases and conveyances being made by and before the patroon and his court. The identification of the village lots, here described, is rendered nearly impossible by the brevity and vagueness of the descriptions, the streets and lanes being without names. A few lots have been located, others may be, perhaps, by a long and patient examination and comparison. 

The first settlement at Albany was clustered around Fort Orange, near the foot of Lydius street; for two reasons this was soon changed to higher ground farther north, along the present Broadway,* (*A great part of Fort Orange, was washed away in 1656, by high water, and application was made to Governor Stuyvesant, for assistance in rebuilding it. Deeds, II, 126.) first to avoid high water, and secondly to give space around the fort for free range of the guns.* (*All grants for lands within 600 paces of the fort were annulled in 1652, by the governor and council.— Dutch Manuscripts, v, 6, 25.) The old church near the fort was used till 1656, when another was erected in the street at the junction of State street and Broadway, which made it necessary to lay out these streets of unusual width. Broadway, however, as it approached the north gate and main guard at Steuben street, was reduced to a mere cart path, and hence called the Fuyck,* (*Albany "was formerly named the Fuyck, on account of two rows of houses standing there opposite to each other; which being wide enough apart in the beginning finally ran quite together like a Fuyck," i. e., hoopnet.— Dankers and Sluyter's Journal, p. 31H. It is believed that no street in Beverwyk, would answer to this description except Broadway, between State and Steuben streets, afterwards called Handelaer street.) a name very commonly applied to the village instead of Beverwyk. It will be seen therefore, that Fort Orange and Beverwyk, though often confounded, were two distinct localities. 

Some years after the surrender of the province to the English, another fort called Fort Albany, was built at the head of State street opposite the present Lodge street, and the old fort was abandoned.* (*In 1680, when Dankers and Sluyter revisited the village the old fort was still standing; it had not then been long enough abandoned for the palisades to fall away by decay. — Dankers and Sluyter's Journal, p. 320.) The lands in the vicinity of Fort Orange, as the conveyances of a later date show, were mainly divided up into gardens, whilst the house lots, for safety, were mostly located within the palisades, which then ran from the river up Hudson and Steuben streets, curving north and south so as to join the new fort at the head of State street. Lots fronting on any street west of Broadway, the highest being Berg, now Chapel street, were said to be "on the hill." The contracted space within which the village was crowded led to a very minute division of land in the best streets, and lots only fifteen to twenty feet wide, and of corresponding depth were quite common. 

At the period of these records most of the dwellings were built on four streets, viz : Broadway from Hudson to Steuben ; State from Broadway to Chapel ; North Pearl to Steuben, and Chapel from State to the palisades which crossed this street about half way between Maiden lane and Steuben street ; Beaver, Norton, State between Broadway and the river called Staats's alley, Exchange and Steuben which extended only from Broadway to North Pearl street contained but few dwellings ; Hudson from Broadway to Green being simply the rondivegh, and James street a mere alley had no dwellings. 

A word may be allowed, perhaps, in relation to this translation; it is not claimed to be elegant English, indeed, the original could hardly admit of such, unless a mere paraphrase, instead of a tolerably literal rendering, were made of it. The translator was forced to contend with a handwriting in many places almost illegible, with much bad spelling, bad grammar and obsolete phrases and law terms. A proper consideration, therefore, it is hoped, will be made of all these difficulties in judging of this performance. 

Whenever additions have been made they will in general be found enclosed in brackets [ ], except the notes which have been made brief either for want of information, or because they were thought sufficient for the elucidation of the text. In annotating this volume the translator desires specially to acknowledge his indebtedness to the historical writings of Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan and to the Annals of Albany compiled and published by Mr. Munsell. 

Full text of "Collections on the history of Albany, Vol. 4 Pt. 1 (
Full view v. 4 (original from New York Public Library)

The annals of Albany / by Joel Munsell.
Full view V.10 (original from University of Virginia)
Full view V.2 (original from University of Virginia)
Full view V.3 (original from University of Virginia)
Full view V.5 (original from University of Virginia)
Full view V.6 (original from University of Virginia)
Full view V.7 (original from University of Virginia)

Men and things in Albany two centuries ago.
By: Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published: (1876)

Outline of the history of printing, and sketches of the early printers /
By: Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published: (1839)

A chronology of paper and paper-making.
By: Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published: (1857)

A chronology of paper and paper-making /
By: Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published: (1870)

Chronology of the origin and progress of paper and paper-making,
By: Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880. [from old catalog]
Published: (1876)

The every day book of history and chronology: embracing the anniversaries of memorable persons and events in every period and state of the world, from the creation to the...
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1858
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Outline of the history of printing, and sketches of the early printers / by Joel Munsell.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1839
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The annals of Albany / by Joel Munsell.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1850
Catalog Record
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A chronology of paper and paper-making. By J. Munsell.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1857
Catalog Record
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Men and things in Albany two centuries ago. By Joel Munsell.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1876
Catalog Record
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A chronology of paper and paper-making / by Joel Munsell.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1870
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Reminiscences of men and things in Northfield as I knew them from 1812 to 1825.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1876
Catalog Record
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Bibliotheca Munselliana; a catalogue of the books and pamphlets issued from the press of Joel Munsell from the year 1828 to 1870.
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Published 1969
Catalog Record
Limited (search-only)

Chronology of the origin and progress of paper and paper-making,
by Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880. [from old catalog]
Published 1876
Catalog Record
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