564 RICHMOND COUNTY.
1848 and enlarged in 1857. It is a 2 story brick building, and contains the supervisor’s room,
office for the surrogate and district attorney, and accommodations for the sheriff. The poorhouse
is located upon a farm of 105 acres in Northfield.1 Several of the public schools of Castleton
and Southfield have been organized as union schools under a special act, and are in charge of a
board of education. The schools of the co. generally are in a flourishing condition.2 Richmond
co. is within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Commissioners; but no men have
hitherto been detailed for ordinary service within its limits.
Two newspapers are published in the co.2
Staten Island was visited by Henry Hudson in his celebrated voyage of discovery in 1609. It
was purchased from the Indians, Aug. 10, 1630, by Michael Pauw, one of the 4 Patroons of New
Netherlands, and formed a part of the tract known as “ Pavonia” in the early Dutch records.1
It soon reverted, however, to the West India Co.; and in 1636 a part of the island was granted
' to D. P. De Yries, by whom a colony was planted upon it in Jan. 1639. The remaining part
of the island was granted by the Directors of the West India Co. to Cornelius Melyn in July,
1640. The following year, Melyn with his family settled upon this grant, and in June, 1642, he
obtained letters patent. In Sept. 1641, the settlement of De Yries was attacked by the Indians,5
and hostilities between them and the whites ensued. A peace was concluded in 1642; but in
Feb. 1643, under a frivolous pretext, the Indians were attacked opposite Manhattan and at Cor-
laers Hook and great numbers of them slain. This barbarous measure invoked retaliation, and
the white settlements within reach were laid waste. The island was again purchased of the
natives, Dec. 6, 1651, by Augustine Herman, and finally quitclaimed to Gov. Lovelace, April 13,
1670.3 Possession was given on the 1st of May following, and at this time the island was
finally abandoned by its primitive inhabitants.
A considerable number of French Huguenots, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in
1685, found their way into the English colonies,, and a part of them settled upon Staten Island.
The family names of these immigrants are still common in this co.7 The earliest grants upon
the island under the English were made to the officers of the ship Elias, immediately after the
conquest.8 Two manors were subsequently granted,—one on the n. shore, styled “ Cassiltown
Manor,” to Gov. Dongan,3 and the other in the s. part, known as “ Billop Manor” This island
was first occupied by British troops in the Revolution, July 4, 1776, and it was held by them
until their final removal from the State late in 1783. On the 21st of Aug. 1777, the British
posts upon the island were attacked by an American force under Gen. Sullivan. The expedition
was well planned, but it failed to accomplish its main object.10 During the severe winter of
1779-80, while the Americans were encamped near Morristown, (N. J.,) a second expedition was
sent out, under Gen. Lord Stirling, to surprise the enemy in the interior of the island. The
party, consisting of 2500 men, crossed the sound on the ice from Deharts Point, on the Jersey
shore, on the morning of the 15th of Jan.; but the movement was observed in time to prepare
for defense. Contrary to expectation, the passage to New York was found to be free from ice,
and during the day the British were reinforced from the city. Two or three were killed on each
side, and a few prisoners were taken by the Americans. While the party remained, some persons
from the mainland passed over and plundered several of the inhabitants; but a strict search
was made and the stolen property was recovered and restored to its owners.4 On the 11th of
Tlie RichinondCo. Gazette, established Feb. 12,1859;
Geo. II. Root, editor; W. C. Anderson, M.D., proprietor.
4 Coll. IV. .7. Hist. Soc., 1.17; Dunlap’s Hist. JST. Y, I., 48.
6 N. Y. Hist. Coll., I. 263.
6 N. Y. Com. Council Manual, 1857, p. 544.
7 Among these are Guion, Mersereau, Dissosway, Ryerss,
Michean, Fontaine, Rezeau, Seguine, Crocheron, La Tourrette, &c.
8 Oct. 4-10, 1684, to Capt. Wm. Hill, 500acres; Lt. Humphrey
Fox, 300; Jas. Coleman, 250; and 7 others, each 200 —Patents,
I. 6-9, Sec. Office; Jacques Bandoven and Jacques Guion each
received 200 acres at the same time.
9 The greater part of the lands to which existing titles are
traced were granted under Dongan’s administration. The
descendants of Gov. Dongan were living upon the original estate
until the close of the last century. Between 30 and 40 grants
of land from the colonial governors are upon record in the co.
i° About 150 British prisoners were taken. The Americans
lost 13 killed and 136 in prisoners, and the whole party ran a
narrow risk of capture. Gen. Sullivan’s conduct was subjected
to a court of inquiry by order of Congress; but he was acquitted.
A particular account of this affair is given in Marshall’s Life of
Washington, III. 135. See also Sparks’s Life and Writings of
Washington, V. 47, and Peabody’s Life of Sullivan, 65.
11 Coll. N. J. Hist. Soc., II. 206; Sparks’s Life and Writings of
Washington, VI. 441-448.
The county house consists of 2 stone buildings, each 2 sto¬
ries high. The Senate Com., in their report of 1857, say that
it is “ without ventilation and without any provisions for bath¬
ing; and a general survey of the house, with its fixtures, as you
approach it, is entirely in harmony with its name.” The average
number of inmates is 80, who are supported at a weekly cost of
$1 each. The form yields an annual revenue of $3000.
The Richmond Republican was established at Tompkinsville
ton by August Fries, but has since been discon¬