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GAZETTEER

OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

By J. H. French

R. P. Smith, Publisher

Syracuse, New York

1860

 

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Page 242

 

     The first settlements were made in the n. part of the co., under the Dutch Government. The e. border was settled chiefly by squatters from New England.  Livingston Manor1 was patented July 22, 1686, and first settled by tenants about the beginning of the last century.  The most important settlement was made by German Palatinates, in 1710, upon a tract of 6000 acres--now constituting the principal part of Germantown--which had been sold back to the Government by Robert Livingston.  The territory of Mass., under its charter, extended westward to the Pacific Ocean, and grants were made by the conlony.2  Conflicting claims gave rise to bitter contentions and riotous outbreaks.  Arrests made under Mass. warrants led to riots and bloodshed.3  Combinations were formed to dispossess the proprietor of the Livingston Manor, which resulted in tumults and murders.4  These difficulties continued until after the Revolution.  During the Revolutionary War, and for several years after, this section of the country was much infested by robbers, and acts of violence were of frequent occurrence.5  The anti-rent movement of 1840-50 extended to the Livingston Manor, the John J. Van Rensselaer Tract, and other districts held by leasehold.  In Dec. 1844, the Governor ordered out 7 companies of militia to assist the sheriff of this co. in the discharge of his duties.   Most of the leases which had then been issued were for 1, 2, or 3 lives; but the anti-rent difficulties have led to the policy of conveying the title in fee as rapidly as circumstances will admit.6

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ANCRAM--was formed from Livingston, March 19, 1803,7 as "Gallatin."  Its name was changed March 25, 1814, and Gallatin was taken off in 1830.  It is the s. e. corner town of the co. [page 243] The surface is broken and hilly.  In the e. part the hills range in a n. and s. direction, but elsewhere they are irregular.  Roeliff Jansens Kil

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1 The patent of this manor conferred upon Robert Livingston, the patentee, feudal privileges, and imposed an annual quitrent of 28 shillings.  The manor contained 160,240 acres, and included nearly all the present towns of Clermont, Germantown, Livingston, Gallatin, Taghkanick, Ancram, and Copake.  It consisted of 2 purchases:  the Livingston purchase, obtained of the Mohegan Indians in July 1683, and the Taghkanick purchase, obtained Aug. 10, 1685.  They were confirmed by Gov. Dongan, the former, Nov. 4, 1684, and the latter, Aug. 12, 1865.  In 1701 there were but 4 or 5 houses on the manor.  From and after 1716 the manor was represented by a member in General Assembly.  Before his death--which took place in 1728--Robert Livingston bequeathed to his son Robert that part of the manor now included in the town of Clermont, and the residue to his eldest son, Philip.  The latter was succeeded by Robert Livingston, Jr.; and in 1792 the land e. of the post road was divided between Walter, Robert C., John, and Henry Livingston,  the devisees of Robert Livingston, Jr., according to the provisions of his will.--Sutherland's Deduction of the Title of the Manor of Livingston; Doc. Hist. III, Colonial Hist.

     In the patent and upon the maps of  the manor, several places are designated by their Indian names, viz.,--

    Ahashawaghkick, a hill in n. w. corner, on Mass. line. Acawanuk, a flat or rock in n. part of North East, (Dutchess Co.).  Kachwawyick, a place w. of a certain mountain.  Kickua, or Kickpa, one of 3 plains near Roeliff Jansens Creek.  Mananosick, hill in w. part, on or near Mass. line.  Mawanaguasick, stone heaps on n. line, "where Indians have laid several heaps of stones together, by an ancient custom amongst them."  Mahaskakook, a "cripple bush" on s. line of patent.  Mawichnak, a flat on both sides of a creek where it joins R. Jansens Creek.  Minmissichtanock, a piece of land n. of Roeliff Jansens Creek.  Nowanagquasick, on n. line of manor, (Sauthier's map.)  Nachankooke, one of e plains near Roeliff Jansens Creek.  Pottkook, patented to K. Van Rensselaer, s. of Kinderhook.  Quisichkook, a small creek n. of Roeliff Jansens Creek.  Saaskahampka, or Swaskahamaka, a place opposite Saugerties, Ulster co.  Sacahka, on n. line of the town of North East.  Sankhenak, Roeliff Jansens Kil.  Skaankook, a creek.  Towastawekak, or Twastawekak, a creek.  Wachanekaisek, a small stream opposite Catskill Creek.  Wahankasick, near Roeliff Jansens Creek, (Sauthier's map.)  Wawyachtonock, a place.  Whichquopuhbau, s. w. corner of Mass.

 

2 With the view of settling their claims upon the Hudson, the Boston Government, in March, 1672, sent John Paine to New York to solicit permission to pass and repass by water.  The application was received with cold civility, and the subject referred home for the decision of his Majesty.  Gov. Lovelace improved the occasion to remind the Mass. people of the distrust with which they had received the commissioners sent over in 1664, and intimated that their application under other circumstances might have been differently received.--General Entries, IV. 177, 178.  Sec. Office.

 

3 Doc. Hist. III., 754

 

4 In 1791 the sheriff of the co. was murdered by an armed mob while in the discharge of his official duty.

 

5 A part of rangers was organized to suppress these; and under the act of May 11, 1780, 1500 was raised to defray the expenses thus incurred.

 

6 Assem. Doc. 156; 1846, p. 2.

 

7 This town was included in the Livingston Manor.  The line bordering upon Taghkanick was altered March 25, 1814.  A narrow triangular tract of about 1000 acres, in the extreme e. part of the town, known as "Boston Corner," formerly belonged to the town of Mt. Washington, Berkshire co., Mass.  The Taghkanick Mts. extend along the e. border of the tract, and form an almost impassable barrier between this and the remaining parts of that town.  Thus entirely isolated form the seat of civil authority, it became the resort of fugitives from justice, prize fighters, and others of like character, who bade defiance to the laws and practiced their unlawful acts with impunity.  In Dec. 1848, the inhabitants petitioned to be annexed to N. Y.  The State of Mass. consented in May, 1853.  The cession was accepted by New York, July 21, of the same year, confirmed by Congress, Jan. 3, 1855, and the Corner was annexed to this town, April 13, 1857.--N. Y. Assem. Docs. 54 & 194, 1849.

 

 

 

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