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Old Bergen

Chapter VII.

Daniel Van Winkle

Published 1902

Web version, edited by GET NJ
Copyright 2002

SETTLEMENT OF OLD BERGEN.
AMONG those who secured allotments under these privileges was Michael Pauw, Burgomaster of Amsterdam, and Lord of Achtienhoven, near Utrecht. By patent dated November 22, 1630, he obtained, with other lands, the plots

Aharsimus and Arresick, extending along the River Mauritius (one of the early names of the Hudson, author's note), and Island Manhatta on the east side, and the Island Hoboken Hacking on the north, and surrounded by marshes serving sufficiently for distinct boundaries.
Pauw thus became invested with the title to the greater part of the territory now known as Hudson County, which was called Pavonia after him. Pauw never complied with the conditions of his grant, yet he assumed ownership, and held on to the property with grim determination. He must have energetically and successfully developed his holdings, for but two years later, in 1632, when Minuit was recalled, we find in the Reports, "that the Boueries and Plantations on the west side of the River, were in a prosperous condition."

Jan Evertsen Bout, who arrived June 17, 1634, became superintendent for Pauw, and settled at Communipau. He continued as his representative, bartering and trafficking with the Indians, etc., until he was succeeded by Cornelis Van Vorst, in 1636, who took up his residence at Aharsimus. He became of considerable importance during the early history of the colony. In 1641 he was one of the twelve selected to consult and advise with the Governor and Council, to effect a settlement of the Indian difficulties; and he was one of the "Eight men" In 1643, and one of the "Nine men" in 1647 and 1650.

It is related that on one occasion Dominie Bogardus, Governor Van Twiller and Captain De Vries came to Pavonia, and were entertained by Van Vorst with old-fashiorned Dutch hospitality. After indulging freely in the good things offered by their host, they took leave of him, full of enthusiasm by reason of their generous entertainment. As they embarked, Van Vorst, wishing to show his appreciation of their kindly feeling, ordered a parting salute to be fired. The wadding of the gun, falling on the thatched roof of his house, set it on fire, and notwithstanding his vigorous efforts, it was burned to the ground.

Complaints against Pauw, as one of the original officers of the Company who had taken advantage of his position, to secure the most valuable of the Company's holdings, continued to be brought forward. He was charged with having usurped the rights of others, and claiming ownership of his property without a shadow of right, for he had never complied with the requirements of the Company's grant. Pauw, however, positively refused to surrender his holdings. He seems to have been proof against all criticism and attack, and held on to his claim with Dutch tenacity. Finally, the feeling against him became so intense that on December 17, the Assembly of the Nine (the governing power) called him to account, and after much bargaining purchased his colony for 26,000 florins, or about $10,000.

Van Vorst's Bouwerie

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