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she made him half as good a wife as she had been to her parents a dutiful and loving daughter, she would be worth to him more than all this world could give. Rebekah had been listening with intense interest, and when her mother related her filial affection and her consent for her to be united to him, until separated only by death, she could not refrain from weeping. Her love for her parents and their love for her presented to her mind vivid recollections. Their tender assiduities, the watchfulness over her in the helpless period of infancy, how they had guarded her heedless youth, and their increasing anxiety for her welfare in subsequent life, all tended to awaken emotions in her bosom which she could not suppress. Mr. Vannist remained calm and self-possessed, and the question which had so long lain next to his heart, had been decided, and now his mind was relieved, and soon all was tranquil in the room, when Mr. Vannist said it was time to retire, and bidding Rebekah and her parents good night, he went to his room, and seating himself by his window, his mind reverted to the events which had just transpired. He was only twenty-six years old, and what bright visions did the future unfold to him. He was soon to be united to one to whom he had given the warm gushings of his heart; her youth, her amiability, and her modest deportment, all tended to fill his soul with joy unutterable.
When it became generally known throughout the village that Dominie Vannist was engaged to Rebekah Schank, the excitement partially subsided, and the long expected event, when they were to be married, was looked for by the united congregations with interest.
Paul, who had the supervision of the parsonage, now began to look after the premises. It had not been occupied since it was vacated by the Rev. Benjamin Meynema, and the premises were in a dilapidated state. The villagers had trespassed on the grounds, and some of the outside fence was broken down; the window shutters were swinging, and the hinges of some were broken, caused by the fastenings not being secured. Paul had endeavored to protect the parsonage and he did all that lay in his power to keep trespassers off, but nights, boys and young men would go into the enclosure and commit depredations which he could not redress. He now employed a blacksmith at his own expense to make new hinges for the window shutters, and himself and Sanco repaired the outside fence, and Mrs. Schank set Fillis and Juda to work at the interior, cleaning the floors, scouring the huge timbers overhead, whitewashing the side walls, and cleaning the cellar and garret. Paul set out some apple trees in the lot that lay next to the Court house, and planted cherry trees, gooseberries, and currants in the garden, and when he went to New York to buy goods, he intended to purchase some nice furniture for his daughter, but the marriage had been postponed until Spring.
The winter of 1760 and 261 had been comparatively mild, and Mr. Vannist did not fail to go and preach at Fishkill every alternate Sabbath, for so little snow had fallen during the winter, that traveling was but little obstructed. Often times in severe winters the snow would block up the highways so that traveling would be impossible and Mr. Vannist could not fulfill his appointments regularly, but the present winter enabled
him to attend to the spiritual wants of his people, and his leisure hours were spent in his study room with Rebekah, where they would remain for hours. Occasionally, when the weather was pleasant, they would call on some of the villagers, but Mr. Vannist was always attentive to the sick, and nothing would prevent his visiting the afflicted and imparting spiritual consolation at the bedside of the dying.
The first spring month had now arrived, and the migratory birds began to appear, and every indication of the breaking up of winter was now apparent. The blue birds were warbling on the house tops, and flocks of wild geese and ducks had collected on the river and swamps, which afforded plenty of game for the hunter. Paul had commenced making preparations for the wedding, which was to take place on Wednesday, the 5th of June, at his house.
Paul was making great preparations for that important event. The congregation from Fishkill had sent up to his house a large supply of turkeys and fowls. Madam Brett had sent a whole side of beef and a leg of mutton. Paul had received from New Hackensack and Hopewell large quantities of provisions, and when the morning of the 5th of June dawned, there never was a lovelier one. The spits in Paul's large kitchen fireplace, at an early hour, were hanging full of turkeys, fowls, beef, mutton, etc., for the wedding was to take place at twelve o'clock. The huge oven was crowded to its utmost capacity with pies, puddings, cakes, and other good things, and there was also sausages, souse and head cheese. A dozen or more colored girls were employed in cooking and baking. It was customary
in those days, when weddings took place, to keep what then was called “open house,” that is, to extend a general invitation a certain distance to every house, as the population was so sparse, and Paul gave a general invitation in the village of Poughkeepsie and a mile in the country, for all to be present. At ten o'clock the then village of Poughkeepsie presented a novel scene. The two congregations commenced to assemble and large wagon loads came pouring in Main street to Paul's house, some seated on chairs taken from their houses, some sitting on clean straw on the bottom of the wagon box; young men and women on horseback, all flocking to Paul's house. Paul seeing that it was useless to have the ceremony performed in the house, as he wished all to have an opportunity to witness it, concluded to have the marriage take place out of doors. He at once set several negroes at work erecting a platform in his yard, fronting Main street, and in an hour it was completed. As the hour of twelve drew near, the excitement became intense, and what added more to the enthusiasm was the appearance of Madam Brett, in her coach, drawn by four horses, coming down Main street, with two negroes in the front seat and one negro on the rear of the coach, whose business was to open the carriage door. It was always customary for the patentees to ride in a carriage drawn by four horses. The Van Cortlandts, Phillips, Verplancks, Beekmans, and Livingstons, always rode out for pleasure in carriages drawn by four horses. The Phillips, who owned the great Highland Patent, kept up that custom the longest. As late as 1816 they rode out with their carriage with four horses. The old carriage is still in
existence. It was shown to the writer last summer by the foreman of the Phillips mansion at Garrison, in an: out-building, where it had not been taken out for years. The wheels are as heavy as an ordinary lumber wagon used by our farmers at the present day, only a great deal more dishing. The carriage body rested on what was then called thorough-braces, which were used before the invention of the elastic spring. These thorough-braces gave the body a swinging motion, which yielded to the unevenness of the road. The carriage was more spherical and heavier than those used at the present time. The English coat of arms is emblazoned on the doors, and the interior was once beautifully tasselled. The page's seat in the rear is so arranged that he could either stand or sit to suit his convenience. If he stood up there were handles for him to take hold of so that he could keep his equilibrium.
In the carriage with Madam Brett was the Rev. Gualterius DuBois, from New York, who was to perform the ceremony, and two of her grand children. Her · husband had been accidentally killed when comparatively young. Coming from New York on board of a sloop, the boom of the vessel struck him when entering the mouth of the Fishkill creek near Byrnesville, in 1721. It is said that his remains were interred in an old burying ground near there, where it is still to
Dominie DuBois had come from New York by land on horseback as far as Madam Brett's, and remained there over night, and leaving his horse at the Madam's mansion, he came to Poughkeepsie with her in her carriage. Paul was pleased to see Madam Brett, for he was fearful that she would not be able to attend