Friday, April 4, 2008

A Little Taste Of History (1)

Topic: Happenings During the 1600s In NYC #1

In 1660 Rev. Henricus Selwyn was installed in Brooklyn, New York at a salary of 600 guilders a year, one-half of which was paid by Brooklyn and the other half by the Fatherland or Holland. (1)

The first religious services on Manhattan island, which in 1628 resulted in the organization of a church, were held in the upper room of the mill which ground the colonists' grain. It was not a wind mill and the machinery on the lower floor was propelled by horse power. On the upper floor the mill of God ground slowly, and on but one day in the week, while the wheels on the lower floor turned six days out of seven. The mill was prophetic and new York became not the city of churches, but the city of Commerce. The church in New York remains on the second floor of the mill. In Brooklyn the situation was different and the prophecy for the church was better. (2)

It was in 1672 that that immortal zealot George Fox, came to Flushing, sent by Penn, who saw among the Long islanders, many of them, for conscience sake self-exiled from England, a promising field for the simple faith of the Friends. John Bowne, a well to do tradesman, was his first convert. Fox made Bowne's house his home during his stay in Flushing, and in one corner of it is still shown the lounge on which he rested after his impassioned outpourings in the open air. Later Bowne's indiscreet hospitality led to his banishment to Holland, but he turned his punishment to good effect by pleading the cause of the Quakers and returning with an order for the tolerance of the persecuted people. (1)

In 1676 the first street paving was done. The heeren Gracht, or Broad street, was filled up and levelled. There were no asphalt companies then. With an eye to protection of home industries, the Governor, in consequence of a representation that wheat was lower in New York than in the neighboring colonies, fixed its price at 5 shillings a bushel for winter yield and 4s 6d. for summer.

The far eastern portion of the present Borough of the Bronx skirting Long island sound and including Pelham Neck was settled by Anne Hutchinson and her husband, William, English stock, who came from Boston in 1634. Eight years later Throggs neck was settled by John Throckmorton and thirty-five families who came from new England to escape the cruelty of the Puritans. The north of what is now Westchester County was purchased directly from the Indians by Stephanus van Cortlandt, who thus became one of the first patroons of New Amsterdam. These were the chief pioneers of Westchester and their sturdy stock still hold sway in the territory acquired from the Indians. (2)

Sources Utilized to Document A Little Taste Of History


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