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soon spread over the whole country, far and near, and it attracted the attention of learned men.
A number came from Poughkeepsie, New York, Philadelphia, and the New England States. These men tried to solve the problem. They placed her in different positions, sometimes sitting her on a timber, held by two persons, several feet from the earth; the knockings then sounded from the timber. Not only were the knockings continually sounding wherever the girl went, but the knives and forks would fly from her hands when she partook of her food, and furniture, such as chairs, would overturn when she had occasion to take hold of them, and tables would move from her. If a person sat close beside her, on a chair, the chair would shove from her. In one instance the grandfather of the writer of this article, who then lived in the neighborhood, whose weight was two hundred pounds, took a seat close to her, and his chair immediately shoved away. Curiosity became excited, and editors of leading journals, few in number in those days, published accounts of this remarkable case in their newspapers, which created intense excitement. The New York Mercury of that day, noted at some length this mysterious affair, from which we had intended to take à few extracts, but at the present writing we are unable to lay our hands on the paper, but all came to the conclusion that it was either witchcraft or some mystery which they could not explain. The Doctor was obliged to seek relief from his numerous visitors, and the writer's grandfather kindly volunteered to take the girl into his own house, and he distinctly recollects hearing his father, who was then a boy some twelve
years of age, say that he had sat for hours beside the cot on which the girl rested, with his hand on her forehead, in order that she might sleep. The moment he placed his hand on her forehead, the knockings would cease, but the moment his hand was removed, the raps would be resumed on the headboard, and what added singularity to the case, he was the only person who could exercise the influence. Finally she went to live with a relative, the knockings followed, but eventually they became less frequent, and not so loud, and at last they ceased entirely. Some years after this event, the girl paid a visit to Dr. Thorne's, and was received kindly at his house. When she left, the Doctor lost a
Soon after she visited him again, and when she left he lost another cow. She then paid him a third visit. The doctor's son owned a fine colt, which he thought a great deal of, and when the girl left, his colt was taken sick and died. The doctor's son was enraged, and said she must not enter there again ; if she paid them another visit he would show her the door. His father tried to convince him that such losses would occur, and probably they would have lost their cows and colt if the girl had never paid them a visit, but his son would not believe him, and he was determined to keep his resolution; but the girl never came there afterward.
These facts have been collected by research, and they may help fill up a vacuum in the history of our county. I would say in my closing, that I am proud of being a descendant of one of the families who first settled the original town of Fishkill; the first settlement in the county began in that town. Their names
will be remembered long after the history of our county shall have been published, and their last resting places overlooked and forgotten. Our county has had her superstitions, and I would ask what country is exempt? Then let us draw a vail of filial affection over the delusions of our forefathers, for they have all passed
and a brighter day has dawned on the whole civilized world.
The scenery of the Highlands is very rich and sublimely beautiful. The mountains, mantled with evergreens, the rivulets dashing playfully down in cascades, entice, with resistless temptation, the attention, and excite the admiration of the beholder. The noble Hudson, winding its way through the mountains, whose projecting peaks peer thousands of feet above it; here and there waves the hemlock, in solitary, yet princely splendor ; the huge pine, whose limbs have nodded to the winds of an hundred winters, proud of age, in the grandeur of its own sombre hue, changeless and eternal; the deep valleys, almost encircled by high and continuous ranges of hills, covered with the deep colored and exuberant foliage of the forest.
Just north of the Highlands, more than forty years ago, not far from the banks of the noble Hudson, stood a handsome country seat. Its situation was on an eminence commanding a beautiful view on every side. To the south the eye could rest with delight on the blue tops of the Fishkill Mountains, peering one above another in emulous strife, and to the north for many miles the beautiful river could be seen winding its way through the country, covered with vessels, which floated like motes in the sunbeam. In the east could
be seen the sloping and still extended valley and Matteawan creek, washing the mountain at its base, to the beautiful village of Fishkill, then the largest in the town. Art had not been wanting in garnishing the exterior with every decoration which could render it handsome. The observer would at once conclude that its inhabitants were of no small importance in the community, nor wanting in this world's wealth. It was the mansion of Mrs. S., a widow of forty. Her husband had falleri a victim to that most fearful scourge, the yellow fever, in 1822, while in the city of New York on business, leaving his wife and only daughter to the care of a kind Providence, and the inheritance of his vast wealth. This sudden bereavement afflicted her heart severely, and for months she abandoned herself to sorrow and grief. As these wore off, her affections intuitively fastened themselves upon her child with greater tenacity, and she devoted all her care and attention to the idol of her soul. Under the auspices of her kind parent, Cordelia grew up a lovely and accomplished girl, and was admired by all who knew her.
As Mrs. S. wished to spare no pains to educate her daughter, she accompanied her to the city of New York to complete her education, and procured board in State street, which was then one of the most fashionable streets in the city, the wealth and fashion of New York then being below the Park. Broadway, Greenwich and State streets were among the leading in the city, and the Battery formed the principal place of resort. Mrs. S.'s boarding house was so situated as to have a commanding view of the Battery and Bay, and