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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 356 pages of information about Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete.

Still my deference to the learned obliges me to notice the opinion of the worthy Dominie Heckwelder, which ascribes the name to a great drunken bout, held on the island by the Dutch discoverers, whereat they made certain of the natives most ecstatically drunk for the first time in their lives; who, being delighted with their jovial entertainment, gave the place the name of Mannahattanink—­that is to say, the Island of Jolly Topers—­a name which it continues to merit to the present day.[32]

FOOTNOTES: 

   [31] Vide Hazard’s Col.  Stat.  Pap.

   [32] MSS. of the Rev. John Heckwelder, in the archives of the New
        York Historical Society.

CHAPTER VII.

It having been solemnly resolved that the seat of empire should be removed from the green shores of Pavonia to the pleasant island of Manna-hata, everybody was anxious to embark under the standard of Oloffe the Dreamer, and to be among the first sharers of the promised land.  A day was appointed for the grand migration, and on that day little Communipaw as in a buzz and a bustle like a hive in swarming time.  Houses were turned inside out, and stripped of the venerable furniture which had come from Holland; all the community, great and small, black and white, man, woman, and child, was in commotion, forming lines from the houses to the water side, like lines of ants from an ant-hill; everybody laden with some article of household furniture; while busy housewifes plied backwards and forwards along the lines, helping everything forward by the nimbleness of their tongues.

By degrees a fleet of boats and canoes were piled up with all kinds of household articles; ponderous tables; chests of drawers, resplendent with brass ornaments, quaint corner cupboards; beds and bedsteads; with any quantity of pots, kettles, frying-pans, and Dutch ovens.  In each boat embarked a whole family, from the robustious burgher down to the cats and dogs and little negroes.  In this way they set off across the mouth of the Hudson, under the guidance of Oloffe the Dreamer, who hoisted his standard on the leading boat.

This memorable migration took place on the first of May, and was long cited in tradition as the grand moving.  The anniversary of it was piously observed among the “sons of the pilgrims of Communipaw,” by turning their houses topsy-turvy, and carrying all the furniture through the streets, in emblem of the swarming of the parent hive; and this is the real origin of the universal agitation and “moving” by which this most restless of cities is literally turned out of doors on every May-day.

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