History of Suffolk County, New York

To one whose own neighborhood has been the theater of events that have entered into the nation's annals, the history of those events is the most interesting of all history. To the intrinsic fascination of stirring incidents is added the charm of their having occurred on familiar ground. The bay is more than harbor or fishing ground to one who knows how it has affected the course of events for centuries determining the location first of the Indian camp and then of the white man's village; welcoming the Puritan immigrant to a home of freedom, and anon floating the hostile man-of-war or plowed by the whaleboats of the Revolutionary marauders. The road that has been traveled unthinkingly for years is invested with a new interest if found to have followed an Indian trail. The people will look with heightened and more intelligent interest upon ancient buildings in their midst already venerated by them, they hardly know why when they read the authentic record of events with which these monuments of the past are associated. The annals of a region so noted as that of which the follow- ing pages treat give it a new and powerful element of interest for its inhabitants, and strengthen that miniature but admirable patriotism which consists in the love of one's own locality.

It has heretofore been possible for the scholar, with leisure and a comprehensive library, to trace out the written history of his county by patient research among voluminous documents and many volumes, sometimes old and scarce; but these sources of information and the time to study them are not. at the command of most of those who are intelligently interested in local history, and there are many unpublished facts to be rescued from the failing memories of the oldest residents, who would soon have carried their information with them to the grave; and others to be obtained from the citizens best informed in regard to the various interests and institutions of the county which should be treated of in giving its history.

This service of reseach and compilation, which very few could have undertaken for themselves, the publishers of this work have caused to be performed; enlisting in the effort gentlemen whose standing in the community, whose familiarity with local events, and whose personal interest in having their several localities fitly represented, afford the best guaranty for the trustworthiness of their work. The names of these gentlemen appear in connection with the sections of the history contributed by them (except that the name of Richard M. Bayles was inadvertently omitted from page 49). They have therein acknowledged the aid derived from the authorities most serviceable to them. In addition to such acknowledgments the author of the history of Huntington furnishes the following:

"In the preparation of the statements concerning Huntington's first settlers I have freely consulted the works of Savage on New England Genealogies, Hotten's lists of emigrants from England, Charles B. Moore's Southold Indexes and numerous other publications. I am also indebted to Henry Lloyd and Horace Rusco for special aid in exploring this branch of the subject, and. in some instances to the descendants of the settlers named in the list. No attempt is made at tracing down the relationship between these early settlers and those- now living in Huntington of the same name, as space would not permit. In most instances however the genealogy and relationship can be traced. Acknowledgments are due to Hon. George H. Fletcher for aid in procuring documents from the office of the secretary of state at Albany."

So much time is necessarily consumed in preparing and printing a work of the magnitude of this that the parts first done may not in all cases embody the latest facts, as, for example, in giving a list of the pastors of a church or the incumbents of office. The list of county officers and representatives on pages 66 and 67 was printed before the present county treasurer, J. Henry Perkins, and the present member of Assembly, George M. Fletcher, entered upon their duties; and the list of school commissioners on page 69 for the same reason lacks the names of the present incumbents - George H; Cleaves in the first district and Douglass Conklin in the second; and some matter was received too late for publication in its proper place, for example the following names of citizens of the town of Babylon who have held county offices: James B. Cooper, county clerk; Stephen J. Wilson, sheriff; John R. Reid, county judge; Elbert Carll, county treasurer. Such an omission might unavoidably occur at whatever time the volume was issued.

While some unimportant errors may perhaps be found amid the multitude of details entering into the composition of a work of this character, the publishers confidently present this result of many months' labor as a true and orderly narrative of all the events in the history of the county which were of sufficient interest to merit such record.

 

Table of Contents

OUTLINE HISTORY OF NEW YORK.

CHAPTER I.
Discovery of New York The Indians of the Five Nations 7,8

CHAPTER II.
New York under the Dutch English Governors to 1675 8-10

CHAPTER III.
War with France and the Commencement of the Revolution 10,11

CHAPTER IV.
Revolutionary Events in New York The State Government Established 11,12

CHAPTER V.
The War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain 12,13

CHAPTER VI.
Internal Improvements Constitutional Amendments Schools Statistics 13-15

GENERAL HISTORY OF LONG ISLAND.

CHAPTER I.
A Sketch of the Topography, Geology and Natural History of Long Island 16-18

CHAPTER II.
The Indians of Long Island Territory, Characteristics, and Relations with the Whites 18-22

CHAPTER III.
Discovery and Settlement of Long Island History of Colonial Times 22-26

CHAPTER IV.
Customs, Characteristics and Institutions of the Early Long Islanders 27-30

CHAPTER V.
The Participation of Long Island in the War with France 30,31

CHAPTER VI.
Beginning of the Revolution Prevalence of Toryism Independent Spirit in Suffolk 31-34

CHAPTER VII.
The British Invasion - Battle of Brooklyn - Washington's Retreat 34-36

CHAPTER VIII.
Long Island in British Hands Raids from the Mainland Smuggling The Prison Ships Nathaniel Woodhull 37-41

CHAPTER IX.
The War of 1812 Privateering The Fortification of Long Island 41-43

CHAPTER X.
The Construction of Wagon Roads and Railroads on Long Island 43,44

CHAPTER XI.
The Agricultural Capabilities and Development of Long Island 44-46

CHAPTER XII.
Formation and Growth of the Long Island Historical Society 46-48

HISTORY OF SUFFOLK COUNTY.

CHAPTER I.
Indian Tribes of Suffolk County The Advent of the White Man 49-52

CHAPTER II.
A Sketch of Pioneer Experience 52-66

CHAPTER III.
The Colonial Period - Growth of Civil and Religious Institutions 56-62

CHAPTER IV.
Suffolk County in the Revolution Washington's Tour The War of 1812 62-65

CHAPTER V.
Civil History of the County Statistics of Population 65-67

CHAPTER VI.
Religious, Temperance and Educational Efforts A Group of County Societies 87-70

CHAPTER VII.
The Record of Suffolk County's Volunteers in the Civil War 70-79

CHAPTER VIII.
Physical Features Climate Industries - Means of Communication 79-82

TOWN AND VILLAGE HISTORIES.
following page 82 and arranged in alphabetical order, as follows:

BABYLON,
BROOKHAVEN,
EAST HAMPTON,
HUNTINGTON,
ISLIP,
RIVERHEAD,
SHELTER ISLAND,
SMITHTOWN,
SOUTHAMPTON,
SOUTHOLD.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
PORTRAITS
ILLUSTRATIONS

 

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In 1524 John de Verazzano, a Florentine navigator in the service of Francis the First of France, made a voyage to the North American coast, and, as is believed from the account which he gave, entered the harbor of New York. No colonies were planted, and no results followed; and the voyage was almost forgotten. Though discoveries were made by the French north from this point, and colonies planted by the English farther to the south, it is not known that New York was again visited by Europeans till 1609, when the Dutch East India Company sent Hendrick Hudson, an Englishman by birth, on a voyage of discovery in a vessel called the "Half Moon." He reached the coast of Maine, sailed thence to Cape Cod, then southwesterly to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, then, coasting northward, he entered Delaware Bay on the 28th of August. From thence he proceeded northward, and op the 3d of September, 1609, anchored in New York Bay. On the 12th he entered the river that bears his name, and proceeded slowly up to a point just above the present site of the city of Hud- son; thence he sent a boat's crew to explore farther up, and they passed above Albany. September 23d he set sail down the river, and immediately returned to Europe. In 1607 Samuel Champlain, a French navigator, sailed up the St. Lawrence, explored its tributaries, and on the 4th of July in that year discovered the lake which bears his name.