A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey

 

1666 – 1913

 

Volume 1

 

FRANK J. URQUHART

 

 

 

 

 

A History of the City of Newark 1, F. J. Urquhart

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9

Deutschland

 

ISBN: 9783849649906

 

www.jazzybee-verlag.de

admin@jazzybee-verlag.de

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS:

 

CHAPTER I. Prehistoric Newark. 1

CHAPTER II. The Indians and the Dutch. 5

CHAPTER III. Puritan Unrest —  The English and New Jersey. 16

CHAPTER IV. Preparations for the Settlement. 27

CHAPTER V. The Founders. 44

CHAPTER VI. On the Ground —  Allotment of the Land. 54

CHAPTER VII. The Home Builders —  Early Town Organization. 74

CHAPTER VIII. The Lords Proprietors  Versus the People. 1668-1702. 91

CHAPTER IX. The Common Lands —  Early Laws and Penalties —  Quarries and Mines — Currency. 103

CHAPTER X. Newark, Mother of Towns— A Century— Long Church Controversy — Princeton College in Newark. 115

CHAPTER XI. The Great Newark Riots — French and Indian Wars — Colonel Peter Schuyler — New Roads — First Stage Lines. 139

CHAPTER XII. The Gathering of the Storm. 160

CHAPTER XIII. The New Jersey Continental Line — Minute-Men The Militia Organization —  State Troops. 176

CHAPTER XIV. The War for Independence — Newark and Essex in the Struggle. 1776-1777. 188

CHAPTER XV. War-Worn Newark, 1778-1780. 211

CHAPTER XVI. Sufferings of Newark Loyalists — A Few of Newark's Patriots. 229

CHAPTER XVII. The First Bridge —  Newark as Travelers Saw It, 1679-1800— Era of the Stage Coach. 241

CHAPTER XVIII. Civic Pride, 1787-1800 — The Fire Menace and How It Was Met — The Night Watch. 261

CHAPTER XIX. The Village Taverns and Their Influence — Eminent Men in Newark — Washington Irving and "Cockloft Hall.". 276

CHAPTER XX. Evolution of Political Parties in Newark — The Whiskey Insurrection — The Militia, 1793-1798. 294

CHAPTER XXI. Independence Day in Newark, 1788-1836 Distinguished visitors of that Period. 308

CHAPTER XXII. The Rise of Newark's  Industries — The Founders. 334

CHAPTER XXIII. Newark, Mother of Towns —  The Court House Election Scandal —  Law and Order. 360

CHAPTER XXIV. The Building of the Streets — Water Traffic Railroads. 375

CHAPTER I. Prehistoric Newark.

IT required millions of years to prepare the territory we now call Newark for the habitation of modern man, and while this fact is quite as true of most other portions of the earth, the processes by which this region was made ready have striking characteristics of their own. The name "Newark group," for instance, is a term given by science upward of half a century ago to a certain kind of rock formation found in some other sections of the country, but nowhere more clearly and typically defined than here.

This rock was made in the third grand division of time since the very beginning of things, the Mesozoic, in the later Triassic and earlier Jurassic periods of that division. It was also the age of reptiles. This Newark stone is of three principal kinds: Trap rock, which in Mesozoic time was vomited forth through fissures from beneath the slowly stiffening crust of the earth as lava, and to be seen in the remarkable formations on the Orange Mountains and elsewhere; shale, which was at the same period mud; and sandstone, which was originally sand. The "Newark group," as State Geologist Henry B. Kummel has described it for this publication, consists of a great thickness of alternating red shale and sandstone with intercolated sheets of trap rock, which latter represent flows of lava from fissures during the deposition of muds and sands which now constitute the shales and sandstones. These rocks extend from the Hudson river, near Haverstraw, southward through New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland into Virginia. Other detached areas lie in Nova Scotia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina.

"Ripple marks, mud cracks, raindrop impressions and footprints of reptiles at various horizons indicate that these beds of shale and sandstone were deposited by shallow waters, perhaps by broad shallow streams flowing across a wide plain bordering a lofty mountain range. Lakes of little depth or brackish water lagoons communicating with the ocean probably occurred here and there upon the plain."

It was upon this foundation then, fashioned during aeons of time, that the surface was to be built up through more ages, largely during the wonderful glacial epoch and by means of the many changes in level of the surface and the variations in temperatures from Arctic to tropical.

The glaciers, as is well known, brought down vast quantities of stone, earth, gravel and sand, the latter being ground from the rocks as they were forced against each other by the tremendous pressure of the ice around them. Much of this material was carried from points two and even three hundred miles to the northward. The whole glacial mass in New Jersey was from one-eighth to one fifth of a mile deep.

The ice field, mighty sculptor that it was, wrought marvelous changes in its passage. It hewed and hacked, ploughed and gashed, tore and twisted, broke down and built up, until the whole surface of the earth was made over. It was rough treatment, but to it we owe the natural beauties of upper New Jersey today.

 

LAYING THE STATE'S FOUNDATIONS.

 

The rude work of this ice giant was ended when the glacier's edge reached Belvidere on the western boundary of the State, and Perth Amboy on the eastern border. Milder temperature forced it to release its grip; it began to melt. The invading ice field had almost reached the sea, for at that time more than one-third of New Jersey was under water. If you draw a line from Long Branch to Salem on the map, you will come close to describing the coast line as it was then.

As the gentle winds from the south softened the chilly breath of the ice field, great floods of water surged seaward. The chips and dust which this titanic sculptor of the land had made in passing and which it had long held tight, now dropped down. These counties were gradually freed from the ice: Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Hudson, Union and the upper halves of Warren and Somerset. All this district was given a new covering many feet deep of the soil and rock the ice field left, while great masses were washed down upon the rest of the State that was above the sea, and which we can describe as follows: The lower halves of Warren and Somerset counties; very nearly all of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer and Monmouth; the upper thirds of Burlington and Camden, and small sections of two counties which were still beneath the sea, Gloucester and Salem. Ocean, Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May counties were as yet a waste of waters. Presently, however, other gigantic forces within the earth came to the aid of those at work on the surface, and the submerged area appeared, the rivers and floods helping the uprising by bringing down great quantities of glacial drift and spreading it in every direction. The depth of the drift left in the vicinity of Newark varies exceedingly. "In the southern and eastern parts of the city," says Mr. Kummel, "in the meadows or in regions which were meadows before they were reclaimed, borings go 100 to 200 and 250 feet before reaching bed rock. In the western part of the city, however, where the land is higher, the rock is much nearer the surface. Common depths of the drift are 10, 15 and 20 feet." In every section of the city where cellars or trenches are being dug or other excavations made, one may see this glacial drift, beneath such soil as has been deposited over it by the natural process of erosion, gathered during the ages that have elapsed since the glaciers spent themselves.

 

THE PASSAIC AND WEEQUAHIC.

 

The Passaic river, as well as the Delaware, had flowed seaward for centuries before the glacial epoch and the ice fields played quite as marvelous pranks with the waterways as with the land. The story of the ancient Passaic, as science has laid it before us, is briefly as follows: When the ice first came it stopped up the river above Paterson, near Little Falls, and for ages there was no river from that point down the present and former course. For a long time before the ice period this river had had two outlets to the sea, the one we now know, and the other through a gap in the Second Mountain, at Short Hills. After the ice, in its slow march southward, closed up the outlet at Little Falls, it dammed the gap at Short Hills. Then the upper Passaic Valley was drained only through an opening in the hills at Moggy Hollow, which is about eight miles north of Somerville. When the ice stopped the flow toward Paterson Falls, the drainage of the section of the upper valley still free from ice, accumulated in a lake, immediately in front of the advancing glacial mass. Thus the prehistoric Lake Passaic was formed. The lake was, so to speak, pushed ahead of the ice, and when the glacier had covered the whole valley, the lake was temporarily obliterated. When the ice began to melt, or as the scientists say, recede, the lake appeared again. It was at its maximum area just before the ice disappeared from the channel near Little Falls, for the Short Hills outlet was now permanently filled with the glacial drift and that at Moggy Hollow was too inconsiderable to carry off the waters to any appreciable degree. At this time the lake was about twenty miles long, from Little Falls to Moggy Hollow, and approximately nine miles wide, from Summit to the Morristown region.

Geologists have learned enough to know that the Passaic river which flowed through the Short Hills as described above, was a large and powerful stream. That it flowed through a comparatively wide and deep valley would also seem to have been proved. Did it flow through Newark? Its upper bank was certainly very close to the southern boundary of the present city. It reached the sea somewhere between Elizabeth and Newark, possibly at Waverly. It may be that little Weequahic creek, from which the present park derives its name, and which is largely responsible for the present lake there, is the venerable and mightily-reduced relic of the ancient river.

It was but an accident of Nature that the glacial drift did not permanently close the channel at Little Falls and not that at Short Hills. Had it happened this way, the Passaic would now be flowing along Newark's southern instead of its eastern border. What more striking and instructive manifestation of the changes worked out in those dim days of the earth's making-over could be found?

Thus, by majestic stages, through spaces of time of so great duration that the mind cannot comprehend their extent, was the Newark ground made ready for the final touches that were to render it habitable for the Indians, the immediate predecessors of the men who founded the city.

We know there was animal life on the site of Newark before and during portions of the glacial era. But prehistoric man, the primeval human, was he here? The Eskimo, some authorities believe, followed the glacial movement southward and retired when the great ice fields began to succumb to a warmer climate.

 

THEORIES AS TO PREHISTORIC MAN.

 

Traces of prehistoric man in divers sections of the earth are often found below the glacial deposit or drift, in rude implements which were not accidents of nature but must have been fashioned by human hands. Fragments of bone believed to be those of the mammoth, the musk-ox and the reindeer, have been found in the Delaware Valley, below the so-called Trenton gravels. Science still hesitates to admit that these relics prove the existence of prehistoric man along the Delaware; in fact there have been animated controversies on this point during the last two decades or so. It may remain for the proof to be brought out in this section of the State, possibly somewhere in the Passaic Valley.

In recent years, we may say since the opening of the Twentieth century, a more general interest in the science of anthropology, archaeology and kindred branches has arisen. In our own State more determined and intelligent efforts than ever before are on foot to pry into the secrets of the State's very early past. The legislature of 1912 set aside a small sum to be devoted to archaeological research under the direction of the State Geological Survey, with a view of locating the Indian villages of former times and to gather together all the relics of the savages that are to be found. If this search is continued it is possible that traces of prehistoric man may also be found. They may lie along the ancient pathways of the Passaic (on any one or all three of them), as well as along the Delaware, and in other sections of Essex county.


 

CHAPTER II. The Indians and the Dutch

A HISTORY of Newark would be sadly incomplete without some account of the red man who, for unnumbered centuries before Columbus found the continent, abode on this soil and knew it for his own. He was the ancient owner, the first, unless prehistoric man had his brute-like existence hereabouts. The men who founded Newark received the territory direct from the Indian, causing him to retire gradually to more and more distant points with constantly reducing numbers until the savage was lost in oblivion. The story of his going hence is much the same as everywhere in the early settlement of the country, with this striking and altogether pleasing difference; while elsewhere the ground was often wrested from him by force and by trickery, here, in Newark, as throughout all New Jersey, the Indian was paid the price he asked for every foot of the land.

There was no Indian village of any considerable size on Newark soil, at least not for several generations before the settlement. It was part of the domain of the Awkinges-awky, Ackinken-hackys or Hackensacks, a sub-tribe of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians. The Hackensacks' headquarters were near the site of the present city of Hackensack, and the tribal boundaries were, roughly, Weequahic creek (the original boundary line afterwards fixed by the settlers between Newark and Elizabethtown) on the south; the Ramapo mountains on the north and west, with the Hudson and a part of Staten Island completing the confines. Below the Hackensacks were the Raritans and above them the Tappans. The whole State was dotted with tribal centers, like that near Hackensack, from which small groups composed of a few families moved hither and thither over the region set aside to their tribe, hunting, fishing, raising occasional crops of maize, corn, etc.

 

OLD INDIAN HIGHWAYS.

 

When the Dutch trappers and traders, the first white men to really explore the region, fared out from New Amsterdam, and from the little settlement at Bergen, a decade or so after Hudson discovered the great river that bears his name, they found the country we now call New Jersey peopled with perhaps fifteen hundred Indians, living peacefully, each division and sub-division in its own section under a loose government which served well for all purposes of the aborigines. They welcomed the Dutchmen, piloted them up and down the streams, bartered their furs, showed them the way through the wilderness along the myriad paths which the feet of many generations of their people had worn deep, along the waterways through clefts in the hills, around all natural barriers, over meadows and beside marshes and in and out of forests that to the stranger seemed at first quite impenetrable. They taught them many things in woodcraft, and they showed them the mysteries of their crude methods of farming.

The greatest Indian pathway in all New Jersey was undoubtedly the Minisink path, leading from the sea to the headquarters of the Minsis, on Minisink Island high up in the Delaware. This path ran from the Shrewsbury river, northwest, crossing the Raritan a little west of Perth Amboy; proceeding north to and through the Short Hills and then to the Passaic, which it crossed where the oldest portion of Chatham, Morris county, now is, at a ford where Day's Bridge was built, in 1747. From this ford the old path ran a distance of about twelve miles to Little Falls, being seldom more than six or eight miles west of the Watchung (First) Mountain, from the Short Hills to Little Falls. There was another crossing there, from whence the path ran along the eastern side of the, valley to Pompton; thence following the Pequannock towards the Delaware river.

"The Newark mountain region," writes Wickes in his history of the Oranges, "was constantly crossed and recrossed by the Indians, going to and from the Hudson, by paths, all of which intersected the great Minisink highway. Their nearest or most direct route from the Hudson to Minisink Island was through the Great Notch of the First Mountain, four miles above Montclair, meeting the main path near Little Falls. The other intersecting paths were: At Montclair where the highway (Bloomfield avenue) crossed the mountain; the notch at Eagle Rock; the notches of the Mt. Pleasant and the Northfield highways, and the mountain-crossing at South Orange (South Orange avenue, where it enters the South Mountain reservation). All these routes led to the Minisink path. They all crossed this great thoroughfare and were the highways of Indian travel from the Hudson through the Musconetcong Valley to the Delaware."

The Dutch traders found to their surprise that the Hackensacks as well as all other savages had a name for every path, stream, creek and mountain range, as well as for every other object in nature which could serve as a guide or landmark to the traveler. If he took these names in the regular sequence as the red man gave them to him, remembering the meaning of each as the savage had imparted it, the trader could make his way for long distances, recognizing each point as he came to it by the Indian place names. It was thus for many generations that the natives taught each other how to thread their way up and down and across New Jersey. These place names answered every purpose of the time quite as perfectly as guide books, auto-tour books, road maps, etc., do the present-day denizens of the country. The Dutch officials employed the Indian runners to carry dispatches between their settlements on the Hudson and the Delaware. The trip one way was made in something less than five days.


 

THE RED MAN ON THE COAST.

 

The red man had his "season" on the Jersey coast. For at least a thousand years before the watering places that now dot its beaches were thought of, each tribe had its seashore territories. The hill tribes came down from the uplands, sometimes by waterway entirely and sometimes by the paths. The earliest navigators speak in their log books of the swarms of savages noticed on the Jersey coast.

The making of wampum was carried extensively during those summer sojourns, as vast heaps of fragments of clam and oyster shells and of other shellfish, to be found a few feet below the surface near the coast, testify. The shellfish were dried, salted or smoked, spread on sheets of bark and packed away in bales or strung on strings to be carried back to the uplands in the fall for use during the winter. The larger fish were treated in much the same fashion. While the women were busy curing the fish, the men worked at wampum making among the shells. They removed the mollusks from the shells with clever little tools made out of jasper, the aboriginal oyster knives.

With implements of stone, deftly fashioned, they chipped the shells into little discs, varying in diameter according to the character of the wampum, often working them down to the size of a bead. They perforated each disc or bead by means of a sharp, pencil-like stone which they skillfully rotated between the hands, using sand and water occasionally to increase the friction. They polished the edges of the discs and the surfaces of the beads by rubbing upon stone sprinkled with sand, until they acquired a fine polish. They tested each bead for smoothness by contact with the nose. The white wampum was reckoned as the least valuable. The black wampum, so-called, which was made from blueish or purplish and all other dark colored shells, was the most desired.

It is well-nigh certain that the Indians did not use wampum as money until the arrival of the white man. There is no record of its having been considered as currency by the Lenni Lenape, at least. Everything they had they held in common. When they had food, all were filled. They literally had no need for money. It was a sort of primitive socialism. Wampum was used for bodily ornament, for the conveying of messages of war, of peace, condolence; for the binding of agreements of every sort; as an aid to memory and in numberless other ways which are now lost to us. Manifold meanings were worked into wampum by the peculiar arrangement of colors and by means of various well recognized designs and patterns. In every tribe and sub-tribe, there was always someone skilled in the minute reading of wampum, and the general significance of a belt or string or collections of strings was known to all adults.

The Dutch traders found the Hackensacks highly skillful at wampum making, and the former were not slow to commercialize it, giving it in barter for furs, foodstuffs, herbs, etc. Later the white folk took to making wampum which they sold to traders. This was done in Bergen county within the last century, as late as 1845.

The Lenni Lenape were among the most facile in the fashioning of stone implements. They tooled with infinite care their arrow and spearheads, their chisels, hunting knives, flesh scrapers, fishline sinkers, fish spears, mortars for the grinding of corn, and a multitude of other articles whose uses baffle scientists to determine. Skill in manufacturing industries has therefore been common to the Newark neighborhood for many centuries.

 

INDIAN TRADITIONS AND TRIBAL DIVISIONS.

 

The old Dutch pioneers learned many other things about the Indians of New Jersey from their intercourse with them. To this knowledge was added more gleaned in much the same way by the English when they took possession in 1664. A few missionaries contributed their quota, as did the reports and other records of the early governors and their subordinates. Out of this material we gather all there is to be known now of the original possessors of the territory. It is by no means as complete as one might desire. There are many gaps that can never be closed, and there is here and there a lack of accuracy made manifest by the contradictory statements found in the various sources.

The Lenni Lenape were a branch of the great Algonquin nation. Long before the coming of the white man they had been beaten in battle by the fierce Iroquois to the north, and from that time bore the name of "women" among the Iroquois and other warlike peoples. In compensation for that epithet, given in derision, they came to be known as wise and safe in counsel, and were often appealed to by other nations to settle disputes. They showed their wisdom in keeping out of wars, and although they had been conquered by the Iroquois, they considered themselves superior to their conquerors because they felt they possessed higher intelligence.

The Lenni Lenape held sway, at one time or another, over a large part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and a portion of New York. They were divided into three branches, the Minsis or Mountaineers, or wolves; the Unamis, or tortoises; the Unalachtigoes, or turkeys. The Hackensacks seem to have been a sub-tribe of the Unamis, with the Minsis above and the Unlachtigoes below them. To the traders and trappers the Lenni Lenape gave various interpretations of their family name: "our men," "Indian men," "the original or pure Indian." To be a Lenni Lenape was to have sprung from a very ancient race of red men, whose blood was unpolluted by that of other nations. To be of the tribe of Unamis was to have been borne of the most ancient of all the Lenni Lenape; for, as the old Hackensack chieftains explained, it was the tortoise who bore the earth on his back and who created all things upon the earth that were good for man; and the totem of the Unamis was the tortoise. Thus the child of the forest babbled of his history, a tale in which myth and fact are inextricably intermingled. If we are to believe him, the Indians who once called the soil of Newark their own were sprung from the oldest of the three great divisions of the Lenni Lenape, and the Lenni Lenape were descended from the very earliest of Indians.

The Lenni Lenape were powerfully built, usually of about the average height of the white men, with dark eyes, glistening white teeth, coarse black hair. Few were crippled, deformed, cross-eyed or blind. "They preserved their skins," wrote Charles Wolley in 1701, "by anointing them with the oil of fishes, the fat of eagles and the grease of raccoons, which they hold in the summer to be the best antidote to keep their skins from blistering by the scorching sun, and their best armour against the musketto's * * * * and stopper of the pores of their bodies against the winter's cold."

So we learn that the mosquito has been in the land for ages before our time and in fighting the pest we are simply continuing an ancient warfare. They seldom used what is known as wigwams. It is believed, however, that there were a few large structures called community houses, in which a considerable number of natives might assemble. It is quite probable that there was a community house in the old Indian village of Hackensack. But in the main, their houses were mere huts. This is the way William Penn described the habitations of the Lenni Lenape, in 1683:

"They bent down the boughs of saplings and interlaced them, covering this framework with bark quite thick enough to provide a warm shelter. Sometimes they made wattled huts, circular or cylindrical in form, thatched and with an inner wall of mats woven from long reed grass or from sweet flag stalks. Their bedding was the skins of wild animals, usually the garments they wore when abroad."

 

JERSEY INDIANS' CHARACTERISTICS— THE LENNI LENAPE RELIGION.

 

They were gentle, and received strangers with the most gracious hospitality. Samuel Smith, New Jersey's first historian, wrote of them in 1765: "None could excel them in liberality with the little they had, for nothing was too good for a friend."

But they kept strict watch over their tribal boundaries, as a rule. A Hackensack, for instance, could fish and hunt in Newark territory and none other. Other tribes of the Lenni Lenape and those of other peaceful nations had full right to traverse the Indian highways and to enjoy temporarily the privileges of the region, but they could not tarry long nor take the fish nor the game nor the fruits of the fields and the wildwood. It is pretty certain also, that no one family remained for any great length of time at any one spot, so Newark cannot be said to have belonged to any one man or small group of red men, since it was "possessed" only by the tribe; and as we shall see later, was disposed of to the settlers by the tribe, a few acting as the tribal representatives and who probably were the last natives to have residence here.

The Lenni Lenape had a sincere belief in a Supreme Being, differing but little in its elements from that of the other savages throughout this section of the country. They had no comprehension of a life to come such as the Christian religion teaches. The missionaries found it most difficult to get them to grasp the tenets of the faith they sought to teach them.

They were not at all inclined to admit that the whites were superior to them. They said they could tell from simply looking at the strangers from across the ocean that they were not an "original people" like themselves, who had come down from the beginning of time without contamination by an intermingling with races other than their own. The white men, said the Lenni Lenape, were clearly the result of the commingling of various bloods, which meant that they were bound to be troublesome. The Great Spirit had found it necessary to give the whites a Big Book (Bible) and to teach them to read it, so that they might know how to do as he wanted them to do, and how to leave undone the things he did not want them to do. As for the Lenni Lenape, they did not need such a book from the Great Spirit, since they knew his wishes out of their hearts.

"As they care nothing for the spiritual," wrote a Dutch observer, speaking of the period of 1621-1632, "they direct their study principally to the physical, closely studying the seasons. The women there are the most experienced star gazers; there is scarcely one of them but names all the stars [planets?]; their rising and setting. But Him who dwells above they know not."

They had ceremonies galore, by means of which they sought to placate the Evil One, and they had solemn festivals at various seasons of the year. There was the feast of the first fruits of the harvest, the feast after a period of good hunting, celebrations at weddings and at funerals. It is believed that many of these were held in the groves along the Yantakah, Yantacaw, or Third River, as we know it. They are said to have used a kind of incense, made by pouring water upon burning tobacco.

There are two interpretations of the name Yantakah or Yantacaw. By some authorities the word is understood to have signified to the Lenni Lenape, "extending to the tidal river," which faithfully describes the stream as it flows into the Passaic. Others are inclined to believe that Yantakah is a crude combination of the native words for the ceremonial dances, the Kante Kaey, which they celebrated on the banks of the stream.

Few of the Indian place names for the Newark region have been preserved to us, most unfortunately. Students of the Lenni Lenape tongue do not explain the meaning of Passaic, to the satisfaction of modern minds. "Where it divides" is a strict translation. This may describe the split or chasm at Paterson Falls. Weequahic, the little creek which for ages has served as a boundary line, first separating the domains of the Hackensacks and the Raritans, and afterwards as the place of division between Newark and Elizabethtown, and which now gives its name to a county park, means simply "the end or head of a creek or run."

 

MARRIAGE — TRAINING OF THE BOYS — MEDICINE MEN.

 

Marriage, while it was always gone through with much ceremony, was apparently not binding, upon the men. They left the women for others when it suited them to do so, the wife taking the children. The only formidable thing about marriage among the Lenni Lenape was the name they gave it, "witach-pungewiwuladt-poagan." They were very careful, however, not to permit the marriage of members of the same tribe. The men paid but little attention to their girl-children; they were kept about the mother and learned her simple but severe tasks of planting and hoeing the corn and beans; preparing the food and bearing heavy burdens when the family was on the move. But the boys were trained in the craft of the father with considerable care. They were early taught the use of the bow and arrow, how to attach the fish hook to the line, then how to fish; next they learned to spear fish and afterward were shown how to trap game and to catch fish in the streams by means of brush or bush nets. The use of the canoe came when the boy was well grown, and the handling of the stone hatchet in all its forms seems to have been reckoned as one of the more difficult accomplishments.

The Lenni Lenape had many good medicine men among them, who did much more than strive to exorcise evil spirits from the ill by weird dances and fantastic ceremonial. Sickness could not always be driven out by horse play and shouting, and one of the cure-alls was to give the patient a steam bath and then plunge him in the river. Twelve stones were heated to very high temperature, whereupon these were rolled into a small hut, usually constructed of bark and often lined with clay or mud. The patient squatted inside the hut near the stones, when water was poured upon the latter, the pouring being continued until the spluttering and sissing ceased. Then followed the cold plunge, which no doubt was the death of nearly as many as were cured, since this treatment was applied for about every ill the red man was heir to.

 

THE INDIANS AND "FIRE WATER" — INHUMANITY OF THE DUTCH.

 

The settlers need have had no serious trouble with the Lenni Lenape. Indeed, the English had no wars with them in this State. But I here were bloody struggles between the Dutch and the red men, including our own Hackensacks, which could easily have been avoided had the whites given the savages considerate treatment. A Scotch settler at Perth Amboy, the homeland of the Raritans, who were next door neighboors of the Hackensacks, writing near the close of the seventeenth century says: "And for the Indian natives, they are not troublesome to any of us, if we do them no harm, but are a very kind and loving people; the men do nothing but hunt, and the women they plant corn and work at home."

There would have been much less bloodshed during the dominion of the Dutch, had it not been for the white man's "firewater," the same depressing story written through and through the records of the early colonization of this country. The Lenni Lenape had no word in their language for drunkenness. When they were thirsty they drank water, or the broth from their boiled meat.

From the first appearance of the Dutch traders on Manhattan, the chiefs of the Hackensacks, the Navesinks on Staten Island, the Mohegans, the Raritans, the Tappans and other neighboring tribes on the western side of the Hudson, besought the newcomers not to sell their people rum. They quickly saw its baleful effects, and Oraton or Oratamy, the grand old sachem of the Hackensacks, was especially urgent and active in this first temperance crusade in New Jersey. From the all too scant record we have of his doings there is enough to stamp him as a remarkable character, straightforward and just in his dealings; possessed of a spirit of kindliness far beyond that of many of the white men with whom he had dealing. In "lire-water" he clearly saw the undoing of his people. On several occasions he visited the log houses of the Dutch on Manhattan and pleaded to have the selling or giving of liquor to the Hackensacks stopped.

Serious trouble did not come in East Jersey until 1640, when the Dutch colonists angered the Raritans. The natives were accused, although it is now believed without just foundation, of many thieveries, and the white men sent a punitive expedition to the Raritan region. A year later the Indians retaliated by descending upon the scattered homes upon Staten Island, and destroyed the settlers with the fury and cruelty characteristic of the aborigines when the battle rage was on.

The Indians had now begun to lose confidence in the Dutch. The breach had been widened by the foolish policy of exacting tribute of maize, wampum and furs. This the red men resented; they saw no reason why they should play the part of slaves. The Dutch farmers were continually letting their cattle stray away and the Indians, now sulky, occasionally killed the cattle and horses. Neither understood the other, and the Dutch were exceedingly slow in getting to know the peculiarities of the native character.

The Dutch, or their rulers in Manhattan, resolved on war. At this time, the Hackensacks and neighboring tribes of the Lenni Lenape were in terror because of the incursions of the Iroquois, Mohawks and others of their copper-skinned enemies from the north. The Lenni Lenape in desperation appealed to the "Swannekins," as they called the Dutch, and gathered for protection where the Pavonia section of Jersey City now is. It was while they were encamped there to the number of several hundred, relying upon the Dutch promise of protection, that William Kieft, director-general of New Netherland, resolved to mete out swift punishment upon them.

 

THE PAVONIA MASSACRE.

 

Eighty soldiers were sent across the river from Manhattan in the darkness of a February night in 1643. They fell upon the unsuspecting natives as they slept. Their barbarities are well nigh indescribable. They murdered men, women and children alike. They tore the babies from the breasts of their mothers and threw them into the water, and when parents rushed in to save their offspring, forced them to drown together. They butchered infants as they lay pinioned to the boards used as rude cradles; and their wanton lust for killing was not satisfied until there was none of the savages living of those who had been unable to flee under cover of darkness. The dead numbered over eighty.

The war raged up and down the west bank of the Hudson. All the Lenni Lenape in what is now upper New Jersey put on their war paint, upwards of eleven tribes taking the field. They laid waste every settler's home, until the region was rid of the white folk as completely as before their first appearance. Peace was declared in the spring of 1643, but it did not last long as the natives now mistrusted every move of the white man. It is not at all probable that the fighting extended as far inland as the district on which Newark now stands, and the vague tales of a battle around a huge rock in what is now the Eagle Rock reservation, are scarcely to be credited. The Dutch were careful to keep near their base of supplies, Manhattan — once they came to realize what a terrible foe the red man could be when aroused. The war was not even carried as far as the Indian village at Hackensack, although the braves of the whole tribe took active part in it. In the fighting after the flimsy treaty of peace of 1643, fully seven of the tribes, chiefly of the Lenni Lenape, were enrolled.

The Indians had become more crafty by this time; they exposed themselves very little, stealing up on the farmhouses and "bouweries" and firing the thatched roofs with flaming arrows or by hurling brands. Unlike the Dutch, they usually spared the women and children, taking them into captivity. Time and again they showed themselves more humane than their misguided antagonists. We know this from accounts of the sanguinary proceedings left by Dutchmen who were not in sympathy with the high-handed methods pursued by Kieft. Actual peace was at last declared, and one of the signers of the treaty was Oritaney, or Oraton, chief of the Hackensacks.

 

THE LAST STAND OF THE LENNI LENAPE.

 

The second and last war in which the Hackensacks had any part broke out twelve years later, in 1655, and was the more terrible of the two. There were petty encounters during the long interval, which served to keep the Hackensacks and their neighbors more or less restive, and which really prepared the way for the last desperate struggle.

Hostilities came when a Dutchman who had an orchard on the hillside in what is now Hoboken, from which the Indians had pilfered considerable fruit, resolved to put a stop to the annoyance. He lay in wait for the offenders one dark night. When he saw someone approaching the orchard he fired, and killed an Indian girl. The savages at once lit their beacon fires and swarmed to the west side of the Hudson. They filled sixty-four canoes and went in pursuit of the unlucky Dutch fruit grower, who had fled to New Amsterdam. They searched that village until they found him, killing the Dutchman who had taken him in, and wounding the cause of the trouble in the breast with one of their arrows.

By this time the men of New Amsterdam had begun to assemble, and the red men ran to their canoes and put back to Hoboken. Soon the whole series of little settlements, from Weehawken to Staten Island, were in flames. Every house was burned. One hundred whites were killed, one hundred and fifty taken captives, and over three hundred more made homeless. In this war the Hackensacks and their allies seem to have been less humane than in the first. They fought with demoniac fury, as if they knew this was to be their last stand in this region against the white men. Peace was not made secure for several months, when the Indians demanded a ransom for the captives, which the Dutch paid. In one case the price was seventy-eight pounds of gunpowder and forty staves of lead, for a group of twenty-eight captives.

 

THE PASSING OF THE JERSEY INDIANS.

 

War, rum, and disease, much of the latter caused by excesses springing from indulgence in rum, had greatly reduced the number of the natives. It is believed also that many of them had before the last war made their flight westward to get away from the white man. In 1758 a counsel was called by Governor Bernard, of New Jersey, which resulted in the extinguishment by the Colonial government of all claims of the Lenni Lenape to lands in New Jersey, with the exception of the right to hunt and fish in all unenclosed lands. The Indians were, furthermore, provided with a reservation — the first in the whole United States — in Burlington county, on the Delaware. Three thousand acres were set aside for. their exclusive use, largely through the exertions of the Rev. John Brainerd, whose brother David, had previously worked as a missionary, chiefly among the Susquehannas, and who had virtually given up his life for them, dying of consumption resulting from hardship and exposure. They called the place Brotherton.

The last of the Lenni Lenape in New Jersey remained quietly in their reservation until 1802, taking no part as a race in the stirring events of the War for Independence, although a few of their young men, who had become at least partly civilized, fought in Washington's army. The remnant of the original owners of the Jersey soil removed to a reservation near Oneida Lake, New York, in 1802, joining forces with another Indian race with whom their fathers had been friendly for generations. A few years later they were all transported to Fox River, Wisconsin, naming their new village Statesburg. In 1832 but forty of them were left, and about that time they sent one of their own men, a graduate of Princeton, to ask the Legislature to buy their ancient hunting and fishing rights which had not been cancelled. This was promptly done, the price paid being about $3,000.

This ended all formal connection between the State of New Jersey and the Indians. It is possible that if diligent search were made throughout the Indian reservations of the country a very few might be found who can lay fair claim to having Lenni Lenape blood in their veins.

The last one of the race in this State, of whom there is anything like an authentic record, was an old woman, called "Indian Ann," who died in Burlington county about 1890. She claimed to be the daughter of a man, who, at the time of the removal of the Lenni Lenape to New York State, refused to go. There was but a small handful of the race in this section of New Jersey when Newark was founded, probably not more than five hundred. None of the Lenni Lenape had serious trouble with the English, from the time of their arrival, in 1664. Certain it is that the Hackensacks lived in amity with the settlers of Newark until the last little band of them went trailing sorrowfully away across the State to the reservation in Brotherton. 

The last surviving remnants of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians are now (1913) in Canada and in Oklahoma. A wealth of interesting material upon the New Jersey Indians is contained in "A Preliminary Report of the Archaeological Survey of the State of New Jersey, made by the Department of Anthropology in the American Museum of Natural History," issued by the State Geological Survey, in May, 1913. The Archaeological Survey was created in 1912 by an act of the Legislature, and the report just referred to covers the first year's work of this new bureau. Nearly a thousand sites, camps, burial grounds and rock shelters have already been located. The Survey has not as yet (1913) made any investigations in Essex county.

CHAPTER III. Puritan Unrest — The English and New Jersey.

THE first white men to look upon the country we now call Newark are believed to have been a small boat's crew sent out by Henry Hudson at the time of his discovery of the river that bears his name, in September, 1609. John Coleman, in charge of the boat, left the Half Moon with orders to explore the region back of the Great River. He found his way into what is now Newark Bay, proceeded far enough to make sure that the Passaic did not lead to the Northwest Passage his chief was fruitlessly seeking, and started back. This first glimpse of the region was costly, for the white men became embroiled with the Indians who attacked them in canoes, and Coleman was shot dead by an arrow, which pierced his throat. The crew reported it had observed an "open sea," Newark Bay, after penetrating two leagues; and the following, taken from the Half Moon's log, is believed to refer to the country round about it as "pleasent with Grasse and Flowers and goodly Trees as any they had seene, and very sweet smells came from them." Somewhere in the sands of Jersey the bones of Coleman have crumbled away. If only the spot could have been found and its location preserved!

More than half a hundred years were to march by before settlement was to be made in the Newark region. The Dutch, partly because of their troubles with the Indians, did not attempt to make homes here. A few sturdy souls are thought to have set up their homes here and there along the upper Passaic and Hackensack rivers. They called this whole neighborhood Achter Col, or Kol, meaning "back of the Bay," thus describing its location with reference to the upper harbor of New Amsterdam. They were slow and unprogressive, contenting themselves with drawing on the region for its fur-bearing animals and such wild products as could be gathered without much labor.

The English settlers on Long Island and in lower New England had their eyes on the Newark region for a quarter of a century before the actual settlement. As early as 1643 negotiations with a view to the establishment of a town thereabouts were entered into with the Dutch at New Amsterdam by a small group, believed to have been Long Island English, who were chafing under the heavy conditions the Dutch imposed upon them there. Nothing came of this proposition. These people had no doubt explored the "Achter Col" country on their own account and had grasped its great possibilities as a permanent abiding place. As their towns on Long Island were offshoots of New England they no doubt told their Puritan brethren on the Connecticut mainland of the attractiveness of the land west of the Hudson and on the shores of a large inner bay where none abode but savages.


 

PURITANS LOOK TOWARD NEWARK REGION.

 

The Puritan pioneers on Long Island were for the most part bands of the most uncompromising and conservative Puritans, less liberal than the Pilgrim Fathers of the Plymouth Colony and more closely allied with the Puritans of the New Haven colony, where a determined effort was being made to build up a theocratic form of government. In many instances they would permit no one to have any voice in public affairs unless he was a member of one of the Congregational churches. When the New Haven Colony — from whence the founders of Newark came — was established, in 1638, a "Fundamental Agreement" was drawn up and signed by all the settlers, binding themselves to three principles: 1. "That the Word of God shall be the only Rule attended unto in ordering the affairs of Government." 2. That they should "cast themselves into that mold and form of commonwealth which appeareth best, in reference to the securing of the pure and peaceable enjoyment of all Christ, His ordinances in the Church according to God." 3. "That the free burgesses shall be chosen from Church members, and they only shall choose magistrates and officers among themselves to have the power of transacting all public civil affairs of the plantation."

 

THE NEW HAVEN THEOCRACY.

 

From the above it will be seen that with these Puritans, Church and State were to be so closely bound together as to discourage all of different religious faith coming among them. They not only signed the "Fundamental Agreement" themselves, but they pledged themselves to compel all who might afterward enter the colony to stay, to subscribe to, or abide by it. You might, if you were not a Puritan, make your home in the New Haven Colony, but you must sign away all right to participate in government. They went further than the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth, who admitted others than Puritans to suffrage, for only upon such foundation could they conceive of a commonwealth that would satisfy their intense yearning for the purest form of government possible upon earth. All must be of one mind and heart, they said to each other continually, or there can be no peaceful and clean life of the kind that a good man's conscience urges.