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OF

WESTCHESTER COUNTY,

NEW YORK,

INCLUDING

MORRISANIA, KINGS BRIDGE, AND WEST FARMS,

WHICH HAVE BEEN Annexed TO NEW YORK CITY.

BY

J. THOMAS SCHARF, A. M., LL. D.

Author - History of Maryland," Chronicles of Baltimore," " History of Baltimore City and County," History of St. Louis City and
County," History of the City of Philadelphia, Pa.," etc., etc. Corresponding Member of the Historical Societies of New
York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Historie and Genea-

logical Society of New England, Philosphical Society of Ohio, etc., etc.

ASSISTED BY A STAFF OF CAREFULLY SELECTED EXPERTS IN EVERY DEPARTMENT.

IN TWO VOLUMES, ILLUSTRATED.

VOL. I.

Parti

PHILADELPHIA:

L. E. PRESTON & CO.

1886.

[blocks in formation]

3D. NO.

PRESS OF
JAS. B. RODGERS PRINTING COMPANY,

PIIILADELPHIA.

PREFACE.

In presenting this “HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY” to the public, the Editor believes, no apology is necessary. It is a new and trustworthy history of the county, founded upon the best authorities, and the most authentic documents and authoritative records. In no sense of the word is it built up out of, or repeated from, any previous one on the same subject, or any of its branches.

The plan of the work is to a large extent novel—the grouping of so many representative writers, to tell so interesting a story as that of th origin, career and significance of Westchester County, has no parallel in the history of any other county in the United States. To present the principal historical phases of the several towns, and the county's life and development, together with the traces of previous occupation and the natural history of the county, the various chapters were assigned to writers, most of them well known in their respective spheres, and some of them of national reputation, who, from study and association, were in a measure identified with their subjects. Their treatment of these topics is such that what they have written may be taken as the best comprehensive expression of existing knowledge, put together with that authority which comes from special study. In the diversity of authors there will, of course, be variety of opinions, and it has not been thought ill-judged, considering the different points of view assumed by the various writers, that the same events should be interpreted sometimes in varying, and perhaps opposite, ways. The chapters may thus make good the poet's description

“Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea," — and may not be the worse for each offering a reflection, according to its turn to the light, without marring the unity of the general expanse. The Editor has endeavored to prevent any unnecessary repetitions, and to provide against serious omissions of what might naturally be expected in a history of its kind. In more than one instance he has been constrained by his deference to local authority upon strictly local subjects, and by yielding to the testimony of experts in matters which they alone are supposed to know thoroughly, to hold back his own judgment in regard to certain subjects, and permit the local writer and the expert to tell the whole story their own way. The result has sometimes been clash, confusion and contradiction ; for there is nothing about which local authorities and experts differ so much among themselves as those particular events and things in regard to which they collectively consider it the height of presumption for "outsiders” to disagree with them. Where the subject happened to be one of moment and importance, the author has cut the Gordian knot and stated things to suit himself; but in indifferent or trivial concerns he has simply stood aside and let each writer give his own version.

Some space has been given to biographical sketches of leading and representative men, living and dead, who have borne an active part in the various enterprises of life, and who have become

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