Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 422 pages of information about Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete.

His remains were deposited in the family vault, under a chapel which he had piously erected on his estate, and dedicated to St. Nicholas, and which stood on the identical spot at present occupied by St. Mark’s church, where his tombstone is still to be seen.  His estate, or bowery, as it was called, has ever continued in the possession of his descendants, who, by the uniform integrity of their conduct, and their strict adherence to the customs and manners that prevailed in the “good old times,” have proved themselves worthy of their illustrious ancestor.  Many a time and oft has the farm been haunted at night by enterprising money-diggers, in quest of pots of gold, said to have been buried by the old governor, though I cannot learn that any of them have ever been enriched by their researches; and who is there, among my native-born fellow-citizens, that does not remember when, in the mischievous days of his boyhood, he conceived it a great exploit to rob “Stuyvesant’s orchard” on a holiday afternoon?

At this stronghold of the family may still be seen certain memorials of the immortal Peter.  His full-length portrait frowns in martial terrors from the parlor wall, his cocked hat and sword still hang up in the best bed-room; his brimstone-colored breeches were for a long while suspended in the hall, until some years since they occasioned a dispute between a new-married couple; and his silver-mounted wooden leg is still treasured up in the store-room as an invaluable relique.


Among the numerous events, which are each in their turn the most direful and melancholy of all possible occurrences, in your interesting and authentic history, there is none that occasions such deep and heart-rending grief as the decline and fall of your renowned and mighty empires.  Where is the reader who can contemplate without emotion the disastrous events by which the great dynasties of the world have been extinguished?  While wandering, in imagination, among the gigantic ruins of states and empires, and marking the tremendous convulsions that wrought their overthrow, the bosom of the melancholy inquirer swells with sympathy commensurate to the surrounding desolation.  Kingdoms, principalities, and powers, have each had their rise, their progress, and their downfall; each in its turn has swayed a potent sceptre; each has returned to its primeval nothingness.  And thus did it fare with the empire of their High Mightinesses, at the Manhattoes, under the peaceful reign of Walter the Doubter, the fretful reign of William the Testy, and the chivalric reign of Peter the Headstrong.

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Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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