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a stockade erected for protection for traders and their goods, and was not at first peopled to any extent whatever by white settlers. Beyond question, it was first populated by Dutch families who came across the river from Manhattan, as New York was then called. It was but a short distance from the west bank of the Hudson to the hills back from modern Jersey City, where this stockade was erected, and it was much easier and certainly safer for the trader to leave his family, if he had one, on Manhattan Island, under the protection of the fort and its Dutch garrison, than to expose them to the dangers and privations of a frontier life. But, in process of time, a change gradually came; the stockade remained, perhaps, but the settler's cabin was erected and a new life was introduced, a vigorous business sprung up and a town of bustling, energetic men gradually gathered its dwellings together and finally became important and successful. At first the space occupied by the traders was so small, that it seemed unnecessary to purchase any land from the Indians, for the houses were built so close together that their roofs touched each other, but as settlers crowded in and there was need of more space, it was found important that some arrangement should be made with the savages for purchasing a large portion of the country surrounding that occupied by the settlers, to provide for their increasing wants, and this purchase was made in January, 1658-9, during the time that the redoubtable "Pieter" Stuyvesant was Governor. It was made by the Dutch government then established over the New Netherlands, and the deed was given to the irascible, woodenlegged Stuyvesant, by the name of the Honorable Director General, Petrus Stuyvesant, and the gentlemen of the Council of New Netherlands. The property conveyed was thus described: "A tract lying on the west.side of the north river in New Netherlands, beginning by the great rock above Wiekhacken and from thence cross through the land till above the island Siskaes, and from thence along the Channel side till Constables Hook and from Constables Hook again till the aforesaid mentioned rock above Wiekhacken; with all the lands, islands, channels, valleys therein comprehended in such manner as the aforesaid parcel of lands are surrounded and encompassed by the North River, the Kill Van Kull and the aforesaid direct line from the rock above Weehawken till above Siskaes where it is divided by the channel."
This description contains a large extent of country, the whole of the modern county of Hudson lying east of the Hackensack River and a large part of what is now Bergen county. It included all of Hoboken, Jersey City, Bayonne, Bergen Point, Harsimus, Communipaw, Pavonia and other localities adjoining these places. The deed made by the Indians was executed by nine Sachems, with their marks, some of which are quite picturesque and striking. There are some peculiarities connected with this description which should be explained. The word "till" meant "to," in the language then used; "Wiekhacken" is Weehawken; the "great rock," a translation of the Dutch word "clip," referred to the palisades; "Constable's Hook" is now Bergen Point, the most southern part of Hudson county; "Siskaes" is the present Secaucus, a portion of upland lying north and east of Snake Hill and running to the northern roots of that elevation and called an island because it is surrounded by salt meadow, which at certain seasons of the year, when this description was prepared, was covered with water. No explanation can, however, be given of the description which is entirely satisfactory.
Some suppose that the name Bergen, applied to the trading post and town, was given in honor of the Norwegian city of the same name which for nearly four centuries had been a prominent member of the Hanseatic League and had attained to great importance, not only from its connection with that famous mercantile union, but also, from its own inherent strength. But there is some good reason for believing that those localities were named for Bergen-op-Zoom, in Holland, a small town, it is true, but historically famous and prominent for its position as 'a fortress and a protection to the surrounding country in the many wars in which Holland had been engaged. The Dutch were proud of their country, of its ancient history and of the localities which had adorned its annals by the prowess of their inhabitants and their loyal adherence to the fatherland in times of peril.
The country thus bought from the Indians, or a portion of it, at least, had been conveyed some time before this, and under quite peculiar circumstances. The investment of the Dutch merchants in the New Netherlands had not been profitable; no permanent settlements had been made outside of New Amsterdam and Fort Orange, and their expectations had not been realized even in those localities; indeed, they had been a constant source of expense. Agriculture received no attention, not enough ground being cultivated to raise the corn necessary for the support of the colonists. The immigrants came simply for the purpose of gain; they made their way into the country to visit the Indians, to barter with them for their peltry; they built no houses
and no factories; cultivated no farms; they were traders merely, not settlers. What were needed were actual permanent settlers, who would bring their families with them and become attached to the soil, who were artisans, manufacturers and farmers. But the mechanics and workmen, the manufacturers and peasantry of Holland were either too poor, or too much engrossed in their several callings, in their native land, to transport themselves with their families and their belongings to the new country, however desirable it might be for them. So, peculiar privileges were offered to capitalists; confined carefully, however, to the members of the West India Company, who would, within a certain time, form permanent colonies of fifty or more, any where within the main colony, but outside of Manhattan Island. This plan finally eventuated in granting large estates of land to several individuals, who thus became in a measure feudal lords and were called "Patroons." Large manors were granted, one of which, at least, remained in the family of the original grantee, until the early part of this century. That grantee was Kilian Van Rensselaer, whose land thus granted included three counties, Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia and was greater than some German principalities. His manor was a speci men of the grants made in pursuance of the policy thus inaugurated. It was proposed to extend this system into New Jersey, where the same difficulties relative to the settlement of the colony existed as in New Netherlands, and several large grants of land were made to individuals, but always to members of the West India Company. One of these grants was made to Michael Paauw, on the 12th of July, 1630. He was a director in the company, a burgomaster of Amsterdam, in Holland, so he must have been a man of consequence, not only in the new colony, but in his native land. The grant made to him undoubtedly covered a large portion of the land which twenty years and more afterwards was conveyed to Stuyvesant and others by the aborigines and which included what was afterwards known as Bergen. This land conveyed to Paauw was thus described in the Indian deed: "the land called Hobocan Hacking extending on the south side to Ahasimus, eastward along the river Mauritius and on the west side by lowlands." This is the first time the name Hobocan appears in the history of New Jersey in any form; it is found afterwards spelled in many different ways, but is now known as Hoboken. The place called Ahasimus is now Harsimus, and is south of the stockade at Bergen, west of Jersey City and near the southern extremity of Hudson county. Hudson
r River had been named Mauritius by the Dutch, in honor of Prince Maurice, stadtholder of Holland and son of William the Silent.
On November 22, 1630, Paauw received still another grant for the following described land: "the aforesaid tract, Ahasimus and Ares seek [the Indian name for Jersey City], called by us the Whore Hook, stretching along the river Mauritius and the Island of Manhattas on the east side, Hobokan Hacking on the north, surrounded by swamps which serve as distinct boundary lines." This last purchase of Paauw was an exceedingly unpopular measure. The bank of the Hudson between Communipaw and Weehawken was important both to the savage and the European. The Indians brought thither their furs to carry them across the river to the fort and the traders came there to meet them. So that it became a place of resort for both Europeans and natives. The Company, itself, became restive and many of its directors questioned not only the propriety of the grant, but also, its validity. Their real reason undoubtedly was a jealousy of Paauw fearing that he was monopolizing the land and that, possibly, there might be none left for them. All this led to unfortunate quarrels and checked the growth and prosperity of the colonies. The quarrels grew so bitter that, at last, in 1633, it was resolved to call the patroons, including Paauw, of course, against whom the proceedings were more particularly directed, to an account. On the 13th of May, 1634, a summons was directed to Paauw to appear before "some lords of our Assembly," on the 22d of May then instant, at the Hague, to answer the complaint. The summons did not specify to what the patroons would be required to answer. Paauw believed his position to be impregnable, as indeed it was, and at first sturdily refused to abate a particle of what he deemed to be his just rights, but the other patroons compromised. Paauw had proceeded to occupy the granted land as well as he could; he even gave a name to his colony, latinizing his own and calling the settlement "Pavonia," which name is retained to this day, not for the whole grant, but for a locality within its bounds.1
There was much talk before "some lords of our Assembly" and the hearing was adjourned; negotiations were entered into between the litigants and finally Paauw, although not disposed to surrender, was not averse from peace, nor from making a few dollars; he sold his claim to the West India Company for twenty-six thousand florins, a sum equal to ten thousand four hundred dollars, an enormous amount of money in those days. This ended the controversy, quiet was restored, and the colony was able to resume its work of securing immigration.
1 Paauw means Peacock; and Pavonia is taken from the Latin Pavo, the name of that bird.
On the 4th of August, 1661, the colony had assumed such proportions that it was deemed necessary to provide it with a municipal government, and on that day a request was forwarded to the Dutch authorities at New Amsterdam for the appointment of a Schout for the town of Bergen. This office is equivalent to that of county sheriff, in England, but had combined with it the performance of other duties, partaking of those of judge and prosecuting attorney. On the 5th of September, 1661, a commission was issued to Tielman Van Vleek, as Schout. He was a notary public and seemed to be a prominent man in the colony. This commission bore the name of Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General. On the same day a court and village government for Bergen were organized.
It is claimed that the first house ever erected in Hudson county was one of two, which Wouter Von Twiller, who succeeded Minuit as director-general in 1632, directed to be built at Pavonia. In that year, Engelbert Steenhuysen was secured as schoolmaster, and the first school was established at Bergen.
In 1664, as has already been stated, New Netherlands and its colonies passed into the possession of the English by the conquest made by Col. Richard Nicholls. This event did not affect the prosperity, or future, of Bergen. It simply worked a change cf rulers; no disturbance was created; no lives were lost; no property was destroyed. The inhabitants and their municipal officers were obliged to swear allegiance to the king of Great Britain and acknowledge his authority. This was done and then the affairs of the colony went on as usual. On the 30th of August, 1665, Philip Carteret, the governor of New Jersey, under Berkeley and Carteret, recognized the court and town government at Bergen and appointed citizens of the village to the necessary offices. In 1668 the people of Bergen elected Gasper Steenmetts and Balthasar Bayard deputies, or representatives, to the Legislature of New Jersey which met on the 26th of May, of that year.
On the 22d of September, of the same year, Philip Carteret, as governor of New Jersey, granted a charter to Bergen, which is a most remarkable document. The land which was to be subject to the government of the municipality was particularly described, was said to