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driven from the Spanish Netherlands, which considerably enriched this electorate. A historian of the last century describes the people of the Palatinate as " the most civilized and polite of any in Germany; extremely open and hospitable to strangers, and generally well informed."
Although some of the characteristics of these people may have been modified by their intercourse with their southern and more civilized neighbors, commencing nearly fifty years before Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, it is not supposed that this intercourse was so marked or extensive as to change materially the habits, manners and customs of the inhabitants of the Palatinate from those of their German countrymen, or that they lost any of the primitive High-Dutch tongue.
It is not remarkable that a people so strongly attached to the nomadic life as the early Germans were, and being divided into tribes or septs, should vary in their dialects in the different provinces, all however emanating from the same original language.
This brief outline of the origin and persecutions of a people whose exodus from Europe to' America it is designed to notice, will doubtless be excused, if not approved of, in a work so entirely local as the one in hand. A more extended recapitulation of European history in respect to the events to which the writer has aimed to give prominence, seems not to be required or desirable. He has brought forward historical evidence of the facts he presents to the reader's consideration; concurrent historical evidence, and that is the best testimony he can produce after the lapse of more than three hundred years since some of those events happened, and one hundred and fifty years since the latest of those events transpired. The reader who desires to see more on this head, is referred to Kohlrausch's History of Germany.
There is an historical legend connected with German history to this effect, but which is variously related by German historians. Drusus, the Roman general, had made three campaigns into Germany, and while progressing on the fourth, in the 9th year before the Christian era, he was standing alone on the banks of the Elbe, ruminating no doubt on the events and fortunes of war, when a supernatural figure in the form of a gigantic woman of stern and threatening appearance stood before him and addressed him in the following language: "How much further wilt thou advance, insatiable Drusus 1 It is not appointed for thee to behold all these countries. Depart hence! the term of thy deeds and thy life is at hand."
Drusus retired from his position on the Elbe, whether from fright and dismay at hearing words which in that age might be deemed prophetic, is not certain, and in a few weeks fell from his horse and died in consequence. In a superstitious age an ardent imagination might have conjured up spectres quite as appalling as this, but it is probable this was a device of some of the prophetic women of the country.
Note—Approved authors assert that the early German tribes navigated from central Asia into Europe.
The Immigration of the Palatines — Joshua Kockerthal and his Company — Arrive at New York in 1708-9 — Naturalized in England — Settle in Ulster County — Second Arrival In 1710 — Sickness and Deaths on the Passage — Governor Hunter — Board of Trade and Plantations — Lands on the Mohaks River and Skohare to be Surveyed — Hunter buys Lands of Livingston — Complaints of the People — Their Children taken from them and Bound Out — John Peter Zenger the Printer — They Volunteer to go to Canada under Col. Nicholson in 1711 — Refuse to Stay Longer on the Manor and Insist on going to Scohary — Party Migrate to Schoharie Creek in 171213 — Reason why placed on Frontiers — Character of Robert Livingston by a Minister of the Crown — Gov. Burnet's arrival — His Instructions — John Conrad Weiser — Third Arrival of Palatines, 1722 — Burnet to Board of Trade — Indian Deed to Palatines — Their Desire to Remove — Object of the Home Government — Results not foreseen.
The origin or cause of the first immigrations from the Lower Palatinate of the Rhine to America, as we have seen, was religious persecution, and the devastations of the country consequent upon the religious wars of Europe, of which Germany was the battlefield nearly one hundred years. The affinity existing between the sovereigns of England and the Palatinate, and the deep sympathy felt by Protestant Englishmen for their suffering brethren in Germany, produced the application to Queen Anne, in 1708, to send the Palatines to her then colony of New York.
Immigration of the Palatines.
In the first quarter of the eighteenth century, three bodies of these people arrived in New York, having been sent over at the expense of the British government. By an order in council made at Whitehall, England, May 10,1708, it appears that Joshua Kockerthal, evangelical minister, and several poor Lutherans, had come to England from the Lower Palatinate in Germany, being forty-one persons, ten men, ten women and twenty-one children. They are described as having been reduced to want by the ravages of the French in their country, and are represented as being of good character. This paper states they would have been sent to Jamaica or Antigua, but it was feared the hot climate of those islands would prove injurious to their constitutions. It was finally concluded to send them to the colony of New York, where they could be employed in obtaining naval stores after being seated on the frontiers as a barrier against the French and their Indians; and on the 10th of August following, the provincial governor was directed to provide subsistence for Joshua Kockerthal and fifty-two German Protestants, and "to grant him 500 acres of land for a glebe with liberty to sell a suitable portion thereof for his better maintenance till he shall be able to live by the produce of the remainder."
An order was made in the provincial council at New York, May 26, 1709, to continue the relief promised by the queen until the expiration of twelve months from the date of their arrival, and this relief was to include clothes, mechanical tools and materials to work with. This was the vanguard which was to be planted in advance of the population then in the province as a barrier against the common enemy. This company probably arrived at New York about the close of the year 1708, and did not leave England before the month of August of that year. They were naturalized by the crown before they started. In the year 1714, we find a Lutheran minister, Joshua Kockerthal, settled in Ulster county, and hence it will be inferred that most if not all of the first company which came over, followed their spiritual teacher and remained with him.
The second and more numerous company of Palatines arrived at New York, some of them in the ship Lyon, a short time before June 13, 1710, and in consequence of sickness during the voyage they were directed to remain at quarantine at Nutten island, now called Governor's island, where huts were erected for them and provisions furnished at the public expense. More than three thousand emigrants came over about this time. It was asserted by Governor Hunter that over four hundred and seventy died on the passage, and ten vessels were employed in bringing them to their future and long wished for homes.
It should be noticed here for reasons that will be sufficiently obvious by and by, that this company came over in special charge of Hunter, who had particular directions where to settle them, for in the report of the board of trade and plantations, dated December 5th, 1709, approved January 7th, 1710, on the settlement of an additional number of Palatines in New York, the commissioners assert that these settlements would be a protection against the French of Canada and the Indians scattered over the continent. In pointing out the place most suitable for seating the Palatines, the commissioners designate " a tract of land lying on the Mohaques river, containing about fifty miles in length, and four miles in breadth, and a tract of land lying upon a creek [evidently the Schoharie] which runs into said river, containing between twenty-four and thirty miles in length. This last mentioned land is claimed by the Mohaques, but that claim may be satisfied on very easy terms." They notice the obstruction to water navigation on the river by the Cohoes falls, but think this should be no hindrance, as there would be only a short land-carriage. In the spring of 1710, Hunter directed the survey of lands on the "Mohaks" river, and particularly in the " Skohare to which the Indians had no pretence." But these lands, although very good, he thought unfit for the design in hand, as they lay remote and there were no pines, and after admitting that pine lands were unfit for farming purposes, he says, " I am in terms with some who have lands on the Hudson's river