“Before we left we did not omit supplying ourselves with peaches, which grew in an orchard along the road. The whole ground was covered with them and with apples lying upon the new grain with which the orchard was planted. The peaches were the most delicious we had yet eaten. We proceeded on our way and when we were not far from the point of Spuyt den Duyvel, we could see on our left the rocky cliffs of the mainland, and on the other side of the North river these cliffs standing straight up and down, with the grain just as if they were antimony.
“We crossed over the Spuyt den Duyvel in a canoe, and paid nine stivers fare for us three, which was very dear. We followed the opposite side of the land and came to the house of one Valentyn. He had gone to the city; but his wife was so much rejoiced to see Hollanders that she hardly knew what to do for us. She set before us what she had. We left after breakfasting there. Her son showed us the way, and we came to a road entirely covered with peaches. We asked a boy why he let them lie there and why he did not let the hogs eat them. He answered ’We do not know what to do with them; there are so many. The hogs are satiated with them and will not eat any more.’
“We pursued our way now a small distance, through the woods and over the hills, then back again along the shore to a point where an English man lived, who was standing ready to cross over. He carried us over with him and refused to take any pay for our passage, offering us at the same time, some of his rum, a liquor which is everywhere. We were now again at Harlaem, and dined with the sheriff, at whose house we had slept the night before. It was now two o’clock. Leaving there, we crossed over the island, which takes about three-quarters of an hour to do, and came to the North river. We continued along the shore to the city, where we arrived in the evening, much fatigued, having walked this day about forty miles.”
The rather singular record for the next day, which was Sunday, was as follows:
“We went at noon to-day to hear the English minister, whose service took place after the Dutch service was out. There were not above twenty-five or thirty people in the church. The first thing that occurred was the reading of all their prayers and ceremonies out of the prayer-book, as is done in all Episcopal churches. A young man then went into the pulpit, and commenced preaching, who thought he was performing wonders. But he had a little book in his hand, out of which he read his sermon which was about quarter of an hour or half an hour long. With this the services were concluded; at which we could not be sufficiently astonished.”
Though New York had passed over to British rule, still for very many years the inhabitants remained Dutch in their manners, customs and modes of thought. There was a small stream, emptying into the East river nearly opposite Blackwell’s Island. This stream was crossed by a bridge which was called Kissing Bridge. It was a favorite drive, for an old Dutch custom entitled every gentleman to salute his lady with a kiss as he crossed.