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RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Methodists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Dutch Reformed and Roman Catholics. There are twenty-one churches and twenty-four clergymen.

History. Staten Island was purchased from the Indians, in 1630, by Wouter Van Twiller, as agent for Michael Paauw, one of the directors of the Dutch West India Company, together with a large tract of land in Bergen county, New Jersey. Paauw named his “Colonie” Pavonia,* probably from the abundance of wild turkeys, regarded by the first settlers as a species of peacock.

For some reason, Paauw seems soon to have relinquished his claim to the island, and it reverted to the company. In January, 1639, David Pieterszen De Vries, the pioneer in the settlements on the Delaware, commenced a colony on the island. Through the short sighted policy of Governor Kieft, in regard to the Indians, their revengeful disposition was roused, and in the absence of De Vries, his colony was cut off.

In 1641, Cornelis Melyn, an unprincipled adventurer, claimed the island under an alleged grant from the West India Company, and commenced a colony upon it, but the settlers were soon dispersed by the Indians. In 1651, the Indians sold it again to Augustin Herman, and in 1657, to the Baron Van Capellan, who founded a colony, which was broken up by the Indians.

In 1655, during Governor Stuyvesant's invasion of the Swedish settlements on the Delaware, the Indians made a descent upon Staten Island, and massacred sixty-seven persons, which must have embraced nearly the whole white population.

In 1658, Melyn obtained the exclusive title to the island, and claiming to be independent of New Amsterdam, gave Governor Stuyvesant and the colonists much trouble. In 1659 he conveyed his rights to the company.

In 1664, the county, together with the rest of the colony, fell into the hands of the English, and soon became the home of numerous emigrants. In 1667, the first court of justice was established here. In 1670, it was once more purchased of the Indians by Governor Lovelace. In 1683, it contained 200 families. It was then organized as a county. Soon after this time it received an accession of inhabitants from the Huguenots, who fled from their native land on account of persecution.

On the fourth of July, 1776, Sir William Howe seized the island, and issued from thence his proclamations to the inhabitants of Long Island; and on the 22d of August, landed his troops without opposition, on the Long Island shore, opposite Southfield. The island was held by the British, during the whole revolutionary struggle.

Pavonia signifies the land of peacocks.

On the 21st of August, 1777, Gen. Sullivan, with a force of about 1000 men, undertook an expedition against the English forces on Staten Island He captured about 150 prisoners, but, from the terror of the boatmen who conveyed his troops to the island, he was pressed by the British and thirteen of his men killed, and the rear guard of one division numbering 136 men, taken prisoners, before they could effect a passage to the main land.

In November, 1777, another surprise was attempted by General Dickinson, and in the winter of 1779-80, a third by General Stirling ; both were unsuccessful.

Preparatory to the war of 1812, Forts Tompkins, Richmond and Hudson, were erected at the Narrows, which completely command the entrance to the upper bay. On Signal hill, back of the forts, is a telegraph, communicating with New York city.

From the time that the English obtained possession of this island, up to the year 1833, a controversy had existed between New York and New Jersey, relative to the jurisdiction over it. This controversy was at length happily terminated in that year, by commissioners, who decided in favor of New York, but yielded to New Jersey the jurisdiction over a portion of the adjacent waters.

VILLAGES, &c. RICHMOND, the county seat, is a small village in the town of Westfield, near the centre of the county. Castleton, upon the Kills and New York bay, is the most hilly town in the county. The great beauty of the prospects, the salubrity of climate, and purity of water which its great elevation secures, and the convenience of access to New York city, has within the last few years much increased the value of its lands. It has three considerable villages, all finely situated; Tompkinsville, New Brighton and Factoryville.

Tompkinsville contains three hospitals connected with the Quarantine department, and the country seat of the late Vice President, D. D. Tompkins. New Brighton has a young ladies' seminary and a boarding school for boys. It is distinguished for its beautiful country seats. At Factoryville is an extensive dyeing and printing establishment.

In Northfield is located the "Sailors' Snug Harbour,” founded by Robert R. Randall, in 1801, who left for this purpose twentytwo acres of land, in the fifteenth ward of New York city. The principal edifice, with its wings, is 225 feet in length, and is usually the home of about 100 infirm and aged seamen. Connected with it is a farm of 160 acres. An elegant monument to the memory of the founder fronts the edifice.

Square miles, 470.

Population, 47,578. Organized, 1680.

Valuation, 1845, $10,036,317.

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TOWNS. 1. Bedford, 1798.

12. Poundridge, 1788. 2. Cortland, 1788.

13. Rye, 1788. 3. East Chester, 1788.

14. Scarsdale, 1788. 4. Greensburgh, 1788.

15. Somers, 1788. 5. Harrison, 1788.

16. Westchester, 1788. 6. Mamaroneck, 1789.

17. White Plains, 1788. 7. Mount Pleasant, 1788. 18. Yonkers, 1788. 8. New Rochelle, 1788.

19. Yorktown, 1788. 9. North Castle, 1788.

20. New Castle, 1791. 10. North Salem, 1788.

21. Lewisborough, 1788. 11. Pelham, 1788.

22. Ossinsing, 1845. Mountains. T. Southern termination of the Matteawan mountains. Rivers, &c. C. Hudson. B. East. S. Croton. a. Harlaem.

e. Bronx. d. Sawmill creek. Bays, &c. D. Long Island Sound. h. Tappan Bay. i. Haverstraw.

k. Peekskill. Ponds. f. Croton. Forts. Fort Schuyler. Battle-fields. Verplank's Neck. Stoney Point. White Plains. Villages. WHITE PLAINS. BELFORD. Singsing. Peekskill. Tar

rytown. Dobb's Ferry. BOUNDARIES. North by Putnam county; East by the state of Connecticut and Long Island Sound; South by East river and Harlaem river; West by the Hudson river.

Surface. The surface of Westchester county is hilly, being broken by numerous ridges, generally of no great elevation. The general course of these ridges is from south-west to northeast. The Matteawan mountains enter the north-western corner of the county, and from thence cross the Hudson.

A high ridge, forming the watershed of the county, passes from Mount Pleasant on the Hudson, eastward through New Castle, Bedford, Poundridge and Salem, into Connecticut. The south-eastern portion of this county, upon the Sound, becomes more level.

RIVERS, &c. The East river, and Long leland Sound wash the south-eastern shore of the county, and the Hudson the western. The other principal streams are the Croton river, which furnishes a supply of water to New York city, Bronx and Sawmill rivers, and Mamaroneck creek.

Bays. Tappan, Haverstraw and Peekskill bays are only expansions of the Hudson, upon the western boundary of the county.

Ponds. Croton Pond is a beautiful little lake, five miles in length, formed by the Croton dam, which was erected for the purpose of forming a reservoir, for the water conducted to New York by the Croton aqueduct.

RAILROAD. The Harlaem railroad extends through the county to its northern boundary.

CLIMATE. Its climate is mild and healthy.

GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. This county is wholly primitive in its formation. Gneies and primitive limestone are the prevailing rocks.

The latter furnishes in vast abundance, an excellent building material, which, under the name of Singsing marble, is extensively used in New York city, Brooklyn, Albany and Troy. It is liable, however, to become stained by the action of the sea air, owing in part to its containing minute grains of iron pyrites.

Magnetic iron ore, iron and copper pyrites, green malachite, sulphuret of zinc, galena and other lead ores, native silver in small quantities, serpentine, garnet, beryl, apatite, tremolite, white pyroxene, chlorite, black tourmaline, Sillimanite, monazite, Brucite, epidote and sphene, are the principal among the numerous minerals found within its borders. Peat is found abundantly, and of good quality, in Bedford.

SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. As the county is based upon primitive rock, its soil is naturally sterile, but by skillful husbandry it has been rendered productive. It is not adapted to wheat: summer crops succeed well, and by the use of plaster it yields good returns in grass. Much of the land is devoted to the raising of market vegetables.

The timber of the county is principally oak, chestnut, hickory, maple, &c.

PURSUITS. Agriculture, and particularly Horticulture, is the pursuit of a majority of the inhabitants. But little wheat is raised; corn is extensively cultivated, and carried in large quantities to New York city, in the ear.

Rye, oats, potatoes and turnips are also largely produced, as well as the garden vegetables adapted to the New York market. The rearing of calves, lambs, pigs and fruits for the same market, is also a source of great profit to the agriculturists. Butter and milk are also produced in considerable quantities.

Manufactures. The facilities for manufacturing in this county are very generally improved, but there is not as much variety in the manufactures as in some other counties of the state. Iron, woollen goods, flour, leather and paper are the principal articles.

Commerce. A considerable coasting trade is carried on between the ports on the Hudson and on the Sound, and New York city. Much of the produce of the county is also transported to New York by the Harlaem railroad, and by steamers on the Hudson.

Mines. Under this head we may enumerate the extensive marble quarries at Singsing, Kingsbridge, and a copper mine in Mount Pleasant, formerly extensively wrought, but now abandoned.

STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Corn, oats, rye, pork, calves, lambs, fowls, garden vegetables, butter and milk.

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