Maspeth, Oldest Deed on Long Island.
In 1638 a small group of the original Plymouth settlers trying to get out
from under intolerant religous authrorities in Plymouth Massachusets, negotiated
a land deal in the Mespat Kil area, with William Kieft Director-General
of New Netherland. The settlers did not move down but remained in Massachusets.
During this time Hendrick Harmensen was one of the first, if not the first
European settler to farm the land around Mespat. He erected a cabin in 1638,
beside farming he had some cattle. It is said that he died during the the
1643 attack by the local tribes, (see below).
Reverend Francis Doughty, a disenting clergyman from Lincolnshire, England,
originally settled in Cohannet, (today named Taunton) Massachusets, where
he had differences with the local pastor Reverend Hooke. He then went to
Rhode Island with his family, where he organized a group of people to settle
in the Dutch areas near Niue Amsterdam.
Reverend Dooughty sought a land grant from Director-General Kieft, to escape
his religious problems in the New England area. Kieft granted them 13,332
acres, the deed to this grant is still on file in Albany, it is dated March
28, 1642, the oldest deed in Long Island.
The Reverend and his follower were not given much of a chance to settle
down in 1643, the settlement was attacked by some local indigenous groups.
According to some sources several settlers were killed and the rest escaped,
taking refuge in Niue Amsterdam. During the attack, the settlement and farms
were destroyed. After overtures were made to restablish the peace, some
of the remaining settlers return but the original Mespat settlement did
not recuperated from the losses suffer by the attack. In 1652 Joseph Van
Mater filed the first map of a plot of land in Maspet
During the Dutch and English war (1652-54) the settlers at Mespat again
left their settlement, to seek refuge in the English settlement in Stamford
Connectticut. After the war some came back to Mespat. In 1656 again fearing
another attack from their indigenous neighbors, moved to Mespat Island (since
then has been landfill and is part of Long Island).
In 1725 Judge Sackett built a house in Maspeth. When the judge died, his
house was sold to Walter Franklin a wealthy merchant from New York City.
During the Revolutionary War after the death of Franklin, General Warren
the local British commander set-up his headquarter in the house. The 1776
invasion and taking of New York (by boats from Long Island to Kips Bay),
were planed in this house.After the Revolution War the house became the
summer residence of the just married Mary Franklin the daughter and heir
of Walter Franklin and her husband De Witt Clinton, the future governor
of New York State.
The years following the Revolution and with the arrival of the industrial
revolution Maspeth, prospered. Some of the first manufacturing business
to move into Maspeth were: Peter Cooper's Glue Factory, Lawrence's Rope
Works, Cating Rope Works, Cord Meyer's Animal Carbon Plant, Alden Sampson
Oil Factory a sate of the art factory and also the largest of its kind in
the world, fisk Metal Casket Company, Beyer's Dairy and many others.
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