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When the Dutch first planted that part of the coun. try, they took possession, in like manner, of the westermost part of Long Island, where they began some petty plantations with some inhabitants of their own nation.
The remainder of the said island was possessed by the English, that removed into those parts for the sake of a more convenient and commodious situation, out of the other colonies of New England, having obtained the lib. erty so to do, by some kind of grant from the agent of my lord Sterling, to whose share or allotment, (either by grant from the earl of Carlisle, or in some other way,) that part of the country fell, upon the resignation of the grand patent betwixt the years 1630 and 1635, and also by a voluntary consent and agreement amongst them. selves and of the towns upon that part of Long Island, put themselves under the government of New Haven, and some under Connecticut colony ; under which jurisdictions they remained till the coming over of Col. Nichols, 1664, who assumed the whole island into his possession, as part of the patent granted his royal highness the duke of York, to which it hath been annexed ever since.
The towns planted thereon, all, or most of them are moulded, as to their ecclesiastical concernments, after the manner of the rest of the New English plantations, and are of their persuasion generally in matters of reli. gion; nor have they been abridged of their liberty therein, by any of the honourable gentlemen that have presided there, since it hath been reduced into the power of the English.
The towns there seated lie in this order, being about twelve in all.
In a bay, at the eastermost end of Long Island, is
that called Shelter Island, a very fruitful and pleasant X place, the seat of one Mr. Sylvester, a rich merchant,
that purchased it of a New Haven gentleman, and hath there settled his family, which he brought from Barbados.
The next place, on that called Long Island, is East Hampton, at the furthest end eastward; then South Hampton ; next, Southhold, where the inhabitants of late have fallen upon the killing of whales, that frequent
the south side of the island in the latter part of the winter, wherein they have a notable kind of dexterity; and the trade that ariseth therefrom hath been very bencficial to all that end of the island ; then Seatocket, Huntingdon, Oister, Jerusalem, Jericho, Hempsted, Flushing, New Town, Bedford, Gravescant. Some of these are Dutch towns, in the first planting or ordering of which there hath not much matter of moment been reported.
After Mons. Colve had possessed himself of the Dutch plantations at Manhattus, he made some attempts to have seized the towns of the English on Long Island, but the inhabitants stood resolutely upon their guard, and so prevented his further design upon them. As for any further discourse of the Dutch plantations next adjoin
g, or the description thereof, the reader may take the following relation, with little variation, in the words of D. D. some time an inhabitant there, and published in the year
1670. A brief relation of New York, with the places thereunto adjoin
ing, formerly called the New Netherlands, &c. That tract of land, formerly called the New Netherlands, doth contain all that land which lieth in the north parts of America, betwixt New England and Maryland, in Virginia, the length of which northward into the country, as it hath not been fully discovered, so it is not certainly known; the breadth of it is about two hundred miles. The principal rivers within this arc Hudson's river, Af. terkull, Raritan river, and Delaware Bay river; the chief islands, the Manahatan's Island, Long Island, and Staten Island.
And first, to begin with the Manahatan's Island, so called by the Indians. It licth within and betwixt the degrees of 41 and 42 of north latitude, and is about four. teen miles long and two wide. It is bounded with Long Island, on the south ; with Staten Island, on the west; on the north, with the main land; and with Connecticut colony on the east side of it; only a part of the main land, belonging to New York colony, where several towns and villages are settled, being about three miles in
breadth, doth intercept the Manhatan's Island and Con. necticut colony, before mentioned. It is rather an isth. mus than an island, being tacked to the main by a shal. low stream, fordable at low water.
The town, called New York, is settled upon the west end of the said island, having that small arm of the sea, which divides it from Long Island, on the south side of it, which bears away eastward to New England, and is navigable, though dangerous. For about ten miles from York is a place called Hell Gate, which being a narrow passage, there runneth a violent stream, both upon flood and ebb, and in the middle lieth some islands of rocks, which the current sets so violently upon, that it threatens present shipwreck; and upon the flood is a large whirl. pool which continually sends forth a hideous roaring, enough to affright any stranger from passing further, but to wait for some Charon to conduct him through; yet to those that are well acquainted, there is no danger; yet a place of great defence against any enemy coming in that way, which a small fortification would absolutely prevent, and necessitate them to come in at the west end of the island by Sandy Hook, where Nutten Island doth force them within command of the fort * * *, which is one of the best pieces of defence in the north part of A. merica.
New York is built most of brick and stone, and cov. ered with red and black tile, which being high, it gives at a distance a pleasing aspect to the spectators, inhabit
most of English and Dutch, and have a considerable trade with the Indians for beavers, otter, rackoon skins, with other furs; and also for bear, deer, and elk skins; and are supplied with venison and fowl in the winter, and fish in the summer, by the Indians, which they buy at an easy rate. And having the country round about them, they are continu. ally supplied with all such provisions as is needful for the life of man, not only by the English and Dutch within their own, but likewise by the adjacent colonies.
The commodities vented from thence are furs and skins before mentioned, as likewise tobacco, made with
in the colony, as good as is usually made in Maryland; also, horses, beef, pork, oil, peas, wheat, and the like.
Long Island, the west end of which lies southward of New York, runs eastward above one hundred miles, and is, in some places eight, in some twelve, in some fourteen miles broad. It is inhabited from one end to the other. On the west end are four or five Dutch towns, the rest being all English, to the number of twelve, be. sides villages and farm houses. The island is most of it of a very good soil, and very natural for all sorts of English grain, which they sow and have very good increase of; besides all other fruits and herbs, common in England, as also tobacco, hemp, flax, pumpkins, melons, &c.
The fruits, natural to the island, are mulberries, pos. simons, grapes, great and small, whortleberries, cramberries, plums of several sorts, raspberries, and strawberries ; of which last is such abundance in June, that the fields and woods are died red, in a manner, with them.
The greatest part of the island is very full of timber, as oaks, white and red walnut trees, chesnut trees, which yield store of mast for swine, and are often therewith sufficiently fatted without corn; as also maples, cedars, saxifrage, beach, birch, holly, hazel, with many sorts more.
The herbs, which the country naturally affords, are purslain, white orage, egrimony, violets, penny-royal, ellecampane, besides saxaparilla very common, besides many more. Yea, in May you shall see the woods and fields so curiously bedecked with roses, and an innumerable multitude of other delightful flowers, not only pleasing to the eye, but smell, that you may behold nature contending with art, and striving to equal, if not excel many gardens in England. Nay, did we know the virtue of all those plants and herbs growing there, (which time may more discover,) many are of opinion, and the natives do affirm, that there is no disease cominon to the country, but inay be cured without materi. als from other nations.
There are several navigable rivers and bays, which
put into the north side of Long Island; but upon the south side, which joins to the sea, it is so fortified with bars of sands and shoals, that it is a sufficient defence against any enemy. Yet the south side is not without brooks and rivulets, which empty themselves into the sea ; yea, you shall scarce travel a mile but you shall mect with one of them, whose chrystal streams run so swift that they purge themselves of such stinking mud and filth, which the standing or slow paced streams of most brooks and rivers, westward of this colony, leave ly. ing behind them upon their banks, and are by the sun's exhalation dissipated, the air corrupted, and many fevers and other distempers occasioned, not incident to this colony. Neither do the brooks and rivulets premised, give way to the frost in winter, or drought in summer, but keep their course throughout the year.
These rivers are very well furnished with fish, as bass, sheepsheads, plaice, pearch, trouts, cels, and divers others. There is also a black fish, of an excellent taste, not found elsewhere in New England. * * island is plentifully stored with all sorts of English cattle, horses, hogs, sheep,
of America better, which they can both raise and maintain, by reason of the large spacious meadows
producing excellent English grass, the seed of which was brought out of England, which they sometime mow twice a year.
For wild beasts there is deer, bear, wolves, foxes, rackoons, otter, musquashes, and skunks. Wild fowl there is a great store of, as turkeys, heathhens, quails, partridges, pigeons, cranes, geese of several sorts, brants, ducks, widgeon, teal, and divers others. There is also the red bird, with divers sorts of singing birds, whose chirping notes salute the ears of travellers with an har. monious discord ; and in every pond or brook, green silken frogs, who whistling forth their shrill notes, strive to bear a part in this musick, not much unlike the Lancashire bagpipe; while in the mean time the larger sort of them are bellowing out their sackbut diapason.
Towards the middle of Long Island lieth a plain, six