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.

   [28] A promontory in the Highlands.

   [29] Properly spelt Hoeck (i.e. a point of land).

   [30] This is a narrow strait in the Sound, at the distance of six
        miles above New York.  It is dangerous to shipping, unless under
        the care of skillful pilots, by reason of numerous rocks,
        shelves, and whirlpools.  These have received sundry appellations,
        such as the Gridiron, Frying-pan, Hog’s Back, Pot, etc., and are
        very violent and turbulent at certain times of tide.  Certain
        mealy-mouthed men, of squeamish consciences, who are loth to give
        the devil his due, have softened the above characteristic name
        into Hell-gate, forsooth!  Let those take care how they venture
        into the Gate, or they may be hurled into the Pot before they are
        aware of it.  The name of this strait, as given by our author, is
        supported by the map of Vander Donck’s history, published in
        1656—­by Ogilvie’s History of America, 1671—­as also by a journal
        still extant, written in the sixteenth century, and to be found
        in Hazard’s State Papers.  And an old MS, written in French,
        speaking of various alterations, in names about this city,
        observes, “De Hellegat, trou d’Enfer, ils ont fait Hell-gate,
        porte d’Enfer.”


The darkness of night had closed upon this disastrous day, and a doleful night was it to the shipwrecked Pavonians, whose ears were incessantly assailed with the raging of the elements, and the howling of the hobgoblins that infested this perfidious strait.  But when the morning dawned the horrors of the preceding evening had passed away, rapids, breakers and whirlpools had disappeared, the stream again ran smooth and dimpling, and having changed its tide, rolled gently back towards the quarter where lay their much regretted home.

The woebegone heroes of Communipaw eyed each other with rueful countenances; their squadrons had been totally dispersed by the late disaster.  Some were cast upon the western shore, where, headed by one Ruleff Hopper, they took possession of all the country lying about the six-mile-stone, which is held by the Hoppers at this present writing.

The Waldrons were driven by stress of weather to a distant coast, where, having with them a jug of genuine Hollands, they were enabled to conciliate the savages, setting up a kind of tavern; whence, it is said, did spring the fair town of Haerlem, in which their descendants have ever since continued to be reputable publicans.  As to the Suydams, they were thrown upon the Long Island coast, and may still be found in those parts.  But the most singular luck attended the great Ten Broeck, who, falling overboard, was miraculously preserved from sinking by the multitude of his nether garments.  Thus buoyed up, he floated on the waves like a merman, or like an angler’s dobber, until he landed safely on a rock, where he was found the next morning busily drying his many breeches in the sunshine.

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