Highlights of the Dutch Settlement and Streets in Old New York Part II

 
 

At the little dock, or in the canal in Broad street, also seen are canoes of the Marechkawick Indians, living between Nieuw Amersfoordt and Breuckelen, bringing wild turkeys, and quail and white-headed wild geese, and coots, and whistlers and blue bills, and pelicans, and eel shovelers.

Jan Evertsen Bout is there from "GAMOENEPA;" Farmer Verplanck, is there from "de Smit's Valey," now Pearl street; and Hermanus Smeeman, from Bergen; and Jan Pietersen from Nieuw Haarlem; and George Holmes, the Englishman, from his tobacco plantation at "Deutle," now Turtle Bay; and Peter Hartgers, the trader, from the Heeregraft; and Daniel Denton, from Ileemstede. The favorite currency preferred by both the Dutch colonist and Indian as well as by the English settlers for trading was wampum, Sewan, or Sewant.

The first Fort was a mere block-house. The second Fort was commenced in 1633, and constructed of earth works. It was bounded by the present Bridge, Whitehall and State streets and the Bowling Green. It was originally called Fort Amsterdam, under the Dutch; subsequently Fort James, under the Duke of York; changed by Gov. Colve, on the Dutch restoration, to Fort Wilhelm Hendrick; changed by Gov. Andros, to Fort James; by Leisler, to Fort William; by Sloughter, to Fort William henry; and afterwards called Fort George. During the Indian war, brought about by the unwise and aggressive policy of Governor Kieft, in 1641, the inhabitants fled to the shelter of the Fort and established their huts as near as possible to the protecting ramparts. Those were perilous times in the "Manhadoes." All the farms and exposed habitations about the island were destroyed and the inhabitants driven into the Fort.

The plantations about Westchester and Staten Island, and the blooming "bouweries" on the East river, and on the line of the present Chatham street, and at Hoboken-Hacking, Pavonia, Navisink, and Tappaen, were laid waste, and almost every settlement on the west side of the Highlands was destroyed and the inhabitants slaughtered.

In the surrender of the Dutch to the English, the Dutch soldiers marched out of the old Fort, according to the terms of capitulation, with their arms fixed, drums beating, and colors flying, and matches lighted, down Beaver lane to the Waterside and embarked for Holland. The English flag was hoisted over the Fort, which then became Fort James and "Nieuw Amsterdam" "New York."

After its surrender to the English, the little town settled down, under its English rulers. For eight years it pursued an even course under a Mayor and Aldermen, instead of a Schout, Burgemeesteren, and Schepenen, until, on the war breaking out between the English and the Dutch in 1672, it was retaken by the latter.

New York thereupon was rechristened by the Dutch Governor Colve "New Orange." The name of New Netherland was restored, and the old fort was re-christened For "Wilhelm Hendrick," in honor of the Prince of Orange. On the subsequent peace, however, between England and Holland, in 1674, the region of new Netherland was finally ceded to the English.

In 1642. a church edifice was accordingly begun, and placed within the fort for greater security against the attacks of Indians.

Quitting the Fort and the Marckvelt, rest of the modern Whitehall street, a part of which was included in the Marckvelt.

A part of Whitehall, north of Stone, was also subsequently called "Beurs straat," or Exchange street.On this street stood the Governor's house, built of stone by Stuyvesant, and called under the English, the Whitehall, which gave the modern name to the street.

Crossing Whitehall is Stone street. This street, between Broad and Whitehall, was originally "Brouwer straut;" between Broad and Hanover square, and up Pearl to Wall, it was called "Hoogh straat," High street, also "the road to the ferry," it being the nearest direct route from the Fort to the Long island ferry. The roadway thus made to the ferry was the origin of this street. The ferry road was continued through Hanover square and Pearl street to about the present Peck Slip, where were the primitive boats of the ferry of those days.

"De Brugh Straat," or Bridge street ran through Broad street.

Winekel street lay parallel to Whitehall, between the present Pearl and Bridge streets. On this Winckel street, or Shop street, were five substantial stone store-houses, belonging to the Dutch West India Co. This street has now disappeared.

Pearl street formed the original bank of the East river__Water, Front and South streets having been all subsequently reclaimed and built. Here was the first settlement; and some thirty or forty little bark or wood houses, clustered along the bank of the river south-east of the Fort, were the nucleus of this great city.

Between Whitehall and Broad streets, Pearl street was called the Strand, "T Water," or at "the waterside." A portion of this street, between State and Whitehall, was also called "Paerel straat."

Between Broad street and Hanover square it was known as at the East river; also "De Waal," being so called from a wall or siding of boards to protect the street from the washing of the tide.

The old "Stadt-huys," or City Hall, formerly the City Tavern, stood on the present northwest corner of Pearl and Coenties Alley. It had a cupola and a b4ell, which was rung on great occasions, and for the sessions of the Burgomasters and schepens, and on publication of new laws.

This "Stadt-huys" was sold at auction in 1699, and the new City Hall erected about 1698, under the English rule, on Wall street at the head of Broad.

Near the junction of the modern Pearl street and Stone street, was what was then known as Burger Jorisen's path, or Burgher's path, in the vicinity of the present Old Slip, so called after the sturdy blacksmith who lived there.

Broad street was called "de Heere graft" and "Breede graft," also the Common Ditch.

Above Beaver street Broad street was "de prince graft," and ran into the "Schaaep waytie," or sheep pasture, before spoken of.

The ditch in Broad street was not filled until after the English occupation in 1676.

William street was formerly "Slyck Steegie" or "Dirty Lane," subsequently "Mill Street Lane;" there being a mill erected in the lane, which was originally a cul de sac, leading from Broad street to the mill.

At the foot of Wall street which is the Water poort or Water gate, closed at bell-ringing at nine in the evening, and opened at sunrise.

Beyond the "Water poort" and city palisades, Pearl street was continued along the shore, and bore the name, up to about Peck Slip, of the "Smit's Valley" vley, or valley.

At about the foot of Peck Slip was the ferry to Long island, where the passenger, if he desired to cross, blew the horn hanging there to summjon William jansen, the ferry man, who for about three stivers, or six cents, would take him over the stream.

Outside of the city palisades, beyond Wall street, Broadway was called the "Heere-Wegh." Beyond Wall street was the "Maagde Padtje," or the Maiden Path, which nomenclature was changed to Green Lane or Maiden Lane about 1690.

South of the Maiden Lane stretched the "Klaaver Waytie," or pasture field of clover, belonging to the jan jansen Damen farm. We pass Vandercliffe's orchard and Gouwenberg Hill, on part of the present Pearl, Cliff and John streets, then a favorite place of resort for the citizen on sultry summer afternoons.

We pass also Beslevaers Kreupel bos, or Kripple bush, since Beekman's Swamp, covering parts of Ferry, Gold, Frankfort and adjacent streets, and arrive at the Park, in those days called the "Vlacke," the Flat, or the Commons.

On one side of this passed the main highway leading out of the town to the Bouweries, afterwards known as the Post road to Boston.

Passing the corner of Chatham and Duane, we come to the fresh-water pond or lake, called the Kalck-hoeck, in subsequent days corrupted into the Colleck, or Collect.

North of the Kalck IIocck pond was land called the Werpoes, originally granted to Augustine Heermans, in 1651 about 50 acres and for a time a plantation for old negroes.

In 1644 the woods were partially cleared between this plantation and the great Bouwery, where was afterwards Governor Stuyvesant's house, between the present 2d and 3d avenues and 10th and 11th streets, about 125 feet west of St. Mark's Church.

There were five other Bouweries or farms that had belonged to the Company, between the Chatham Square and Stuyvesant's Bouwerie, that were sold to various individuals.

The above farms were devastated by the Indians in 1655, but subsequently houses were again built on them, and the Bouwery road was established, running at first through dense woods.

On the west side of Broadway, between Fulton and a line between Chambers and Warren Streets, and extending to the North River, was the West India Company's farm, subsequently confiscated by the English, afterwards known as the Duke's and King's Farm, and by the Crown ceded to Trinity Church.

North of it was the Domine's farm or Bouwerie. This is the domain of mrs. Anneke jans or jansen.North of the Domine's Bouwerie was an extensive swamp, and north of that the tract known to antiquarians as "Old Jan's land;" being the land of old Jan Celes, a settler from New England in 1635.

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Highlights of the Dutch Settlement and Streets in Old New York Part II
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

 The Old Streets of New York under the Dutch. A paper read before the New York Historical society, June 2, 1874. Author: James W. Gerard
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