Scharf, Thomas J., History of Delaware, 1609-1888. 
Volume Two- pp. 854-880.



A period of nearly fifty years elapsed from the time Hendrick Hudson discovered the Delaware Bay and River, in 1609, before a town was regularly built. At various times prior to 1655 small military posts were established on the banks of the Delaware, around which clustered a few habitations. The settlement at Fort Christina began to assume a regular form, when it was almost destroyed at the time of its capture, September 25, 1655. The Dutch soon after rebuilt it more systematically. Under the Swedes this settlement was called Christinaham, but under the Dutch settlement to April 25, 1657, it became known as Fort Altena, and was known by this title until its abandonment, which was soon after the territory passed into the hands of the English, in 1664.

Early explorers were quick to recognize the advantages of this locality as the site for a town, and took measures to obtain possession of the same. On July 19, 1651, Governor Petrus Stuyvesant purchased from the Indians, in the name of the West India Company, all the land lying between the Minquas Creek (now Christiana Creek) and Bomties Hoeck (now Bombay Hook), or to the mouth of Duck Creek. About one Dutch mile, or four English miles, below the mouth of Minquas Creek was a promontory of fast land, jutting out into the Delaware. This point, known as Sand Hoeck, and commanding an extensive view up and down the Delaware, was used by Governor Stuyvesant as a site for Fort Casimir, all traces of which have since been washed away. The fort is believed to have been between Harmony and Chestnut Streets, below Front, in the present town of New Castle.

The erection of this fort so near the Swedish settlement created dissatisfaction, which culminated in the conquest of the Swedes, September 16, 1655, when all this territory passed into the possession of the Dutch. When the fort capitulated, thirty Swedes took the oath of allegiance, together with a number who had settled near the fort.

On November 29, 1655, Jean Paul Jacquett,* who had been in the service of the West India Company, was appointed Vice-Director on the Delaware Bay and River, with full civil and military powers, and became the founder and first ruler of New Castle.

Vice-Director Jacquett took the oath of office December 8, 1655, and soon appointed a Council, consisting of Andreas Hudde,** Elmerhuysen Cleyn and two sergeants, Gysbert Bracy and Hans Hopman, who, in addition to their military duties, governed the town.

Among the instructions given to the Vice-Director, concerning the settlements, were the following:
     "In distributing land he must, above all, take care that villiages be formed of at least 18 or 20 families together, and in order to prevent the immoderate desire for land, he shall, in place of tithes, exact from each morgen of land, provisionally, twelve stivers *** annually.
     "He shall not grant building or farm lots of the edge of the valley of Fort Cassimir, to wit: between the Kill and the aforesaid Fort, nor behind, but he shall reserve the land for reinforcements and outworks of the Fort; likewise, in order to favor more the concentrated settlements on the south side of the Fort, he shall upon occasion clear a good street behind the houses already built, and lay out the same in convenient order and lots of about forty to fifty feet in width, and one hundred feet in length, the street to be at least four or five rods wide."

On December 28, 1655, the Council gave a hearing to several Indian sachems in the presence of the Honorable Vice-Director, Andries Hudde, Gysbert Bracy, Elmerhuysen Cleyn, Sanders Boyer and several others. The Indians presented the following propositions:
     "First. That same promises had been made to them by the former Commander, Dirck Smith, in regard to the trade, that the prices should be raised.
     "Second. They demanded, with great circumstantiality and ample volubility, changes in the trade, asking a piece of cloth for 2 deer and so forth of other merchandise in proportion.
     "Third. They requested that whereas it had rather been customary to make some presents to the Chief, it would be proper now in confirmation of the treaty."

To these propositions the Council replied with pledges of friendship; giving the purchasers of Indian game the right to buy where they chose, and promising the presents in a few days. The following day the residents of Fort Casimir "assented willingly to the propositions" of the Indians and signed the appended subscription "with the exception of Isaac Israel and Isaac Cordosa, who refused to give their consent and prepared to leave the river and give up their trade rather than assist, with other good inhabitants, in maintaining the peace of the highway."

The subsidy was as follows:


£ fl

"By the Honorable Comp


Mr. Jacquet


Andries Hudde


Martin Jacob


Elmerhuysen Cleyn


Thomas Bruyn


William Mauritz


Jan Eckhoft


Cornelius Mauritz


San ders Boeyer


Harmon Jansen


Jan Flammen


Oloff Steurs


Laurens Bors


Mons Andries


On February 9, 1656, a plantation was granted to Jacobus Crabbe, on and near Steenbacker’s Hoeck, (Brickmaker’s Hook); below and adjacent to Fort Casimir. On February 12, 1656, the Council ordered "That by the middle of March every one shall have enclosed his plantation and lot under a penalty of six guilders, for all those who shall be found having acted against this order."

On February 23, 1656, Constantinas Eronenborch was granted possession of the "lot of Class Jans, the carpenter, next to the lot of Reynier Dominicus, on the north side, before the first row," and Elias Guldengreis, was granted a piece of land under the fort where he could erect a house and gain a living.

On November 8, 1656, the whole community was called together at the fort, and informed that it was necessary to appoint two inspectors of tobacco. The meeting elected Moens Andriessen and William Mauritz. At the same time the people were informed that a bridge was necessary over the kill, running by the fort, and the following Monday was set apart to build it. It was decided that each inhabitant should fence his fields, and Herman Jansen (4*) and Jno. Eckhoft were elected overseers and surveyors of fences.

On January 10, 1657, the community was assembled at Fort Casimir, and informed by the Council that "some people do not hesitate to ruin the trade with the Indians, by running up the price of deer-skins by more than one-third their value of the great and excessive disadvantage of the poor community here."

The community fixed upon a scale of prices, and also decided that for the first violation of them, the person was to be deprived of trading for one year; for the second offense, punished according to orders; and for the third to be expelled altogether from the river, which the Council agreed to have promptly executed. The prices established were, "For a merchantable beaver two strings of wampum; for a good bear skin, worth a beaver, two strings of wampum; for an elk skin, worth a beaver, two strings of wampum; otters accordingly. For a deer skin, one hundred and twenty wampum, foxes, catamounts, raccoons and others to be valued in proportion. The scale and agreement was signed by Jan Paul Jacquett, Andries Hudde, Isaac Allerton, Zenen William Mauritsen, Alexander Boyer, Thomas Broen, Gabriel De Haes, Jacob Crabbe, Herman Jansen, Cornelius Mauritz, Heyndrich Egbert, Jan Harmon, Constantinus Gronenborch, Isaack Mesa, Abraham Quyn, Jan Tibout, Herman Hendrycks, Lawrens Peters, Leandert Clasen, Jan Eckhoft, Lyman Stiddens, William Classen, Jan Schaggen, Luycas Pieters, Moens Andries, Ole Toersen, Matterson Laers Boers, Hendryck Vryman, Jurian Jaesen, Cornelius Teunissen, Elmerhuysen Cleyn.

The patents granted to settlers at Fort Casimir during the administration of Vice-Director Jacquett were as follows:

Thomas Broen (Bruyn), April 12, 1656, a plantation containing two thousand and forty-six rods, east of Cornelius Teunissen’s land.

Jacob de Hinse, August 25, 1656, one lot on the first row No. 18, sixty-two by three hundred feet; and one on the second row, No. 67, fifty-six by three hundred feet.

John Picolet, September 1, 1656, a tract of land containing three morgens and eighty-five rods. A parcel of land south of Fort Casimir, near the Brickmaker’s Point, along the strand between the plantations of Philip Jansen and Jacob Crabbe, and bounded on the northwest by the public road.

Philip Jansen Ringo, September 12, 1656, a lot for a house and garden above the Brickmaker’s Point, south of Cornelius Mauritson, two hundred and eighty-six feet along the strand and on the public road.

Constantinus Groenenborch, September 13, 1656, No. 20, bounded south by lot of Cornelius Mauritsen and north by lot of Reynier Dominicus, sixty-three by three hundred and eight feet.

Hans Albertson, September 13, 1656, lot for house and garden in second row behind Claes de Smith and west and north by the lot of Roeloff de Haes fifty-six by three hundred feet.

Jan Hendricksen Von Struckhausen, September 22, 1656, lot No. 35 in second row, fifty-six by three hundred feet, bounded north by lot of Garret Jansen and south by lot of Sander (Stet) Boyer.

Widow of Roeloff de Haes,(5*) October 28, 1656, plantation near Fort Casimir, on north side of public road, behind the lot of Jan Gerrittsen, seven rods by thirty-one rods; also, a lot in the first row north of the public road, sixty-two by three hundred feet, bounded south by Claes Petersen.

Andreas Hudde, secretary of the Council, November 30, 1656, lot No. 15, bounded north by lot of Jan Andersen, south by Sander Fenix,
sixty-three by three hundred feet.

Alexander Boyer, Nevember 30, 1656, plantation containing twenty-four morgens north of Fort Casimir, on the hook between the first and second valley at south end of Frans Smith’s land.

Lucas Dircksen, February 10, 1657, lot in first row contiguous to lots of Reyer Mol and Claes Petersen Smith.

Ryer Lammersen Mol, February 20, 1657, lot sixty-four by three hundred feet, between lots of Jon Eckhoff and Pieter Laurensen.

Claes Petersen, April 11, 1657, lot on the strand between lots of Roeloff de Haes and John Schutt, sixty-two by three hundred feet.

Barent Jansen Van Swal, February 20, 1657, lot behind the first row of lots between lots of Elias Enmens and Martin Rosemont, fifty-four by three hundred feet.

Pieter Hermens, February 24, 1657, plantation containing two thousand and twenty rods below Fort Casimir, east of Pieter Laurensen and west of Rosier Schot; also a lot sixty-two by three hundred feet between lots of Harmen Jansen and Reynier Dominicus.

Cornelius Steenwyck, February 30, 1657, lot sixty-two by three hundred feet, between lots of Arien Jacobs and Harmen Petersen, in partnership, and Ryer Mol.

Jan Gerritsen, February 30, 1657, lot in second row, sixty-two by three hundred feet, on the highway and behind the lot of Roeloff de Haes.

Pieter Laurensen, February 28, 1657, plantation containing two thousand and thirty rods, adjoining land of Cornelius Teunissen on north and Pieter Harmen’s on the west.

Reynier Dominicus,(6*) February 30, 1657, lot sixty-four by three hundred feet, between lots of Claes Jansen and Pieter Harmens.

Pieter Ebel, February 30, 1657, plantation containing four morgens between the lot of Jan Eckhoft on the south and the fort on the north.

Jacob Crabbe, February 30, 1657, a plantation below Fort Casimir, between the first valley and the land of Jan Picolet, along the strand to the last hook, called the Brickmaker’s Hook, thence to the hook of the valleys, extending northwest and southeast by south, containing four morgens, one hundred and thirty rods of valley land adjoining and southerly. Plantation adjoining land of Retrect Schot and Picolet, twelve morgens and one hundred and twenty rods of firm lands.

Sander Leendertsen, March 1, 1657, lot fifty-six by three hundred feet, between lots of William De Het and Jan Andriesen.

William Tailler, March 1, 1657, lot in first row, fifty-six by three hundred feet, between lots of Thomas Broen and Sander Leendertsen.

Jan Eckhoft, June 17, 1657, lot No. 38 in the second row, fifty-six by three hundred feet, behind the lot of Jan Andriessen.

Jan Andriessen, June 17, 1657, lot No. 15 in first row, sixty-two by three hundred feet, between lots of Andries Hudde and Symon Laen.

Jan Schaggen, June 20, 1657, parcel of land above Fort Casimir, on the first hook, containing about forty morgens.

Peter Laurensen, September 3, 1657, lot northeast of the public road, being lot No. 4 from the fort, sixty-two by three hundred feet.

On December 19, 1656, the directors of the West India Company transferred by deed to the burgomaster of the city of Amsterdam all the land from Christina Creek to Bompties Hook (Bombay Hook). The account of this transaction was sent to Peter Stuyvesant, who wrote to the authorities of Fort Casimir, by letter dated April 12, 1657, that the new colony was to be called "New Amstel," and Jacob Alrichs was appointed the representative of the city. By this change, Christinaham became the fort of the West India Company, its name being changed to Fort Altena, and William Beekman was appointed commissary October 8, 1658.

On March 20, 1657, Jan Schaggen, one of the settlers at the fort, made a complaint to Director-General Stuyvesant against the Vice-Director Jacquett, charging him with driving him off from land where he lived with consent of Stuyvesant and of Nicholas Stille, Fiscal Schout, of New Amsterdam, thereby causing the loss of one thousand pounds of tobacco. A similar complaint was also made by others, and on April 20, 1657, Jacquett was removed from the office of Vice-Director by Stuyvesant and ordered to transfer and deliver the property of the company to Andreas Hudde, Jan Juriansen and Sergeant Paulus Jansen, who were to remain in command until relieved. Jacquett was placed under arrest and ordered to prepare his accounts for examination and his case for trial. After his deposition he continued to reside at New Amstel several years.

Under the directorship of Jacquett, the little village at Fort Casimir had grown to considerable importance as the shipping point for South or Delaware River. Wharves and store-houses had been built, streets laid out and many houses erected. Tobacco was the staple product, its manufacture the most extensive industry of the settlers, and it was largely used as currency. Drying and packing-houses were erected in the village, and there were inspectors to examine all tobacco and see that it was properly cured, packed and weighed.

The prosperity of the community attracted the attention of persons interested in emigration, and various schemes for its settlement were devised and encouraged by governmental support. Among others, a company of one hundred and sixty-seven Hollanders, under the auspices of the city of Amsterdam, organized a colony to settle in Delaware under the direction of Jacob Alrichs. An agreement was made between the burgomaster of Amsterdam and the colonists, whereby they were to be transported with their families and furniture to Delaware, where a fortified city or town was to be laid out on the river, with streets, lots and a market-place. A schoolmaster was also to be provided. The city was to make provision for one year’s clothing, food and garden seeds and build a large store-house. Three burgomasters were to be chosen from the people and five or seven schepens, whom the Director was to select. When the town had two hundred families or more, they were to choose a Common Council, consisting of twenty-one persons, who were to act with the burgomasters and schepens in the government of the town. A schout or high sheriff was also to be appointed. The city agreed to divide the lands about the town into fields for plowing, meadow and pasture, every farmer to have as many morgens of land as he could improve and use for grazing. A failure to accomplish this was to result in the forfeiture of the land. Ships from Holland were to bring over corn, merchandise, etc.

The colonists were to have the privilege of chartering private ships, but their cargoes were to be consigned to the city of Amsterdam, which was to provide storehouses, sell the goods and return the proceeds, deducting therefrom two per cent. The colonists were also allowed to cut from the forests, not granted to settlers, any wood they might require for building purposes and to hunt and fish freely in the woods and waters. After the directors of the West India Company had sold to the city of Amsterdam the land below the mouth of Christiana Creek, they wrote on the 19th of December, 1656, to Petrus Stuyvesant, concerning the "Prins Maurits" and the other vessels of the colony, that were intending to sail, "That you not only assist herein the Director of said Colony, but also help him in everything, with advice and deed. As we have heard that there lives on the Bowery of the late Mr. Markham a certain party (7*) as being well versed in engineering and surveying, who consequently might be of service to the New Colony as well as laying out the lots chosen for the dwelling-houses of the Colonists as in other ways, Therefore your Honors will upon request, persuade the engineer thereto and let him make a good beginning and location there."

About the 1st of March, 1657, the colony embarked for New Amsterdam as follows: In the ship "Prins Maurits," about one hundred and twelve persons, including sixteen officers and sailors. On the ship "De Beer," thirty-three persons, on the "Bever," eleven persons, and some on the "Geldrose Blow." The "Prins Maurits," with Vice-Director Alrichs, on board, was stranded off Long Island and delayed for some time, but subsequently reached New Amstel, and Jacob Alrichs as
Vice-Director assumed command about the 1st of May, the same year. On August 10, 1657, he appointed Andreas Hudde secretary and surveyor. On May 8, 1657, Alrichs reports to Stuyvesant the condition of the colony and says they are very much in need of oxen and horses. "As to cows there are but two which give milk and little at that." Pigs were few in number and wild.

Soon after the colonists had located, the ship "De Waegh" and the galliot "New Amstel" began making trips from Amsterdam to New Amstel, with merchandise and returning with tobacco. Alrich, in a letter to Stuyvesant, dated September 16, 1657, says: "As to sending the galliot to Fort Orange (now Albany, N.Y.), it would be very useful and necessary, for we need bricks here very much at least for the chimneys, and otherwise, and some boards to make the houses tight, and I have no objection that she were loaded with bricks and boards, to wit, as many thousand bricks as she can conveniently take in with three or four hundred boards." The "New Amstel" went to Fort Orange and returned to the colony of New Amstel on the 7th of November, the same year, laden with bricks in addition to two hundred and fifty boards. About eight thousand of the bricks were given to the commandant of Fort Altena to use in building the fort. On October 4, 1657, Vice-Director Alrichs wrote that he has purchased thirty cows; and November 14th, says: "For the present I need 8 or 10 barrels of bacon, 4000 lbs. of flour, 30 schepels of gray peas, 20 sch. of barley, also 100 schepels of good oats for the horses, as I am scantily supplied with forage for the animals during the winter and have received about 70 head of cattle from Virginia." At this time he was negotiating for a "Horse Mill," as they were "unable to grind corn and other grains."

The winter of 1657 and 1658 was passed in building a store-house, dwelling for the Commissary Gerrit Von Sweeringen (who was supercargo of the "Prins Maurits" at the time she was stranded, and later sheriff of the territory), and adding another story to the house where he lived, in the fort, and in building a new guard-house.

On March 30, 1658, Vice-Director Alrichs wrote that the farm lots were given by lottery in charge of Hudde and Fabryh Spelen, and June 26, 1658, says: "In regard to the distribution of lots, first at the time of my arrival, about eight days or more passed before I could make progress in it, because there was scarcely one lot which could be disposed of, as one or the other or more laid claim to it, and henceforth they were distributed by drawing lots. Andreas Hudde, in June last, surveyed for all and every one, colonists, soldiers and officers, as much as each has asked and signed for. And now the men who wanted one hundred morgens, they were granted without the least objection."

On September 5, 1658, Vice-Director Alrichs called for another order of Fort Orange brick and says: "I have given them out mostly to the inhabitants to make chimneys, also between seven and eight thousand for the building or the masonry in Fort Altena."

October 7, 1658, he says: "Jan Jouriens, the Commissary, at Fort Altena, had again, de novo, demanded eight thousand bricks for necessary buildings there, which I have partly delivered to him."

The ship "De Meulin" was then at the wharf discharging freight, a part of which was brick. But the following spring Cornelis Herperts De Jager established a brick kiln near New Amstel, in which four men were employed.

On May 14, 1659, Vice-Director Alrichs explained to the Governor that the cause of the backwardness of the settlement was failure of the harvest, scarcity of food and great mortality. He said, "I have found that of all the free Netherlanders who were settled here upon our arrival, have as yet, in our time, not gathered one schepel of grain. Those who came with and after us have not done much more, nor could they contribute anything, as the time in the first year was consumed with the erection of their houses and making gardens, as well as with the building and hauling together the materials, that the summer passed without bringing much seed into the ground."

He appealed to the Directors at Amsterdam for assistance, and in the course of time vessels arrived with the necessaries for which they suffered.

On September 4, 1659, Director Stuyvesant wrote to the Directors at Amsterdam, in Holland: "The city’s affairs on the South River are in a very deplorable and low state. It is to be feared that if no other and better order is introduced it will be ruined altogether. It is certainly true that the people begin to run away in numbers, as, for instance, while I write this there arrived from there an English Ketch which went there with some provisions from Boston three weeks ago; the skipper of it, a well-known and trustworthy man, says, that during his stay of fourteen days at the South River, about fifty persons, among them whole families, ran away from there to Virginia and Maryland." This "running away" on the part of the people was caused by the "too great preciseness of Mr. Alrichs, who refuses passports to these places to the people, who offer to pay their passage."

An earlier letter of Vice-Director Alrich to Governor Stuyvesant represented matters in the colony as being in a still more serious way, and spoke of a panic, to which Stuyvesant did not even allude. He said: "We have heard here that Mr. Fendal, who is now in behalf of Lord Balthus Moor (residing in Old England), Governor of Maryland, has strict orders to make a close inquiry and investigation concerning the limits and jurisdiction in his district in these latitudes, and in case they are in some body’s possession, to notify the same of it, summon to surrender it and do his further duties according to his power, and the circumstances of the case. This now having become public has caused such fright and disturbance among most of the inhabitants, that thereby all work has been stopped and every one endeavors to fly, to remove and look out, for getting away in safety." He mentions three or four persons, carpenters, who ask for passports to Manhattan, pretending that they wish to purchase provisions, but who return to the "Fatherland," and requests that they be sent back, in the galliot, "to prevent damage and detriment which, through bad seasons, death and continuous sickness and pining, have pressed us here hard enough."

The Directors in Holland wrote to Stuyvesant in reply and urged him to endeavor to modify his "too great preciseness." The effort caused Vice-Director Alrichs to write to the Directors a long and detailed letter, reciting the affairs of the colony, which seemed to be satisfactory to the Directors, but not so to Stuyvesant, who continued to write against Alrichs. A long correspondence ensued between Stuyvesant and the Directors in Holland, on one part, and Alrich on the other, in which each attempted to evade the responsibility attaching to this state of affairs, but which failed to reconcile the matter before the death of Vice-Director Alrichs, December 30, 1659, put an end to the controversy.

Vice-Director Alrichs was succeeded by Lieutenant Alex. De Hinijossa, who summoned a new Council, John Crato becoming counsellor and Gerritt Von Sweeringen secretary, with others to act in extraordinary cases.

Under the directorship of Alex. Hinijossa, differences arose between him and the people, and also with William Beekman, the commissary of the West India Company at Fort Altena. Complaints against him were made to the proper authorities. A horse mill for grinding grain had been brought here by Director Alrichs, and the testimony in the trial on the complaints held June 8, 1662, at Fort Altena, by Commissary Beekman, brought out the fact that the ship "De Purmerlander Kerck," which arrived a few months previous, brought from the city of Amsterdam to the colony mill-stones, a brass kettle, etc., and that Hinijossa had sold these and other property of the company to some Englishmen from Maryland for one thousand pounds of tobacco. The witnesses in this case were all residents of New Amstel, and were in business there;— Francis Creger, Cornelis Martensen, factors; William Cornelisen Ryckvryer, merchant; Hendrick Kyp, brewer; and Fopp Jansen ‘ Outhout, tavern keeper. The complaints against Vice-Director Hinijossa continued, and he was recalled to Amsterdam, April 11, 1663, but returned and remained Vice-Director until the surrender to the English the next year.

In 1662, Jean Willems, Peter Peterson, Harder and Joos de La Grange were members of the Council of New Amstel, and Jacob de Commer was surgeon of the colony.

On September 27, 1662, Commissary Beekman, of Fort Altena, writes that some Englishmen went to Horekill for one Turck, who was then in the service of Peter Alrichs— at that time commissary at Horekill— who had run away, or was captured by the savages and bought of them by Peter Alrichs. The Englishmen carried him to New Amstel, and on the way Turck attacked them and wounded two of them. He was placed in prison at New Amstel, and Vice-Director Hinijossa refused to deliver him to the Englishmen, on the ground that he had committed a crime in the colony, and ordered that he be hung, his head cut off and placed upon a post or stake in the Horekill. But it does not appear that his sentence was carried out. During the administration of De Hinijossa, several new industries were established which extended the business of New Amstel. Prior to 1662 he erected a brewery in the fort, and a ware-house and store-house were also built, which induced vessels to unload their goods at this point.

On July 28, 1663, "Skipper Peter Luckassen touched here, and landed about sixty farm laborers and girls, with a quantity of ammunition and other commodities."

In the early part of 1663 De Hinijossa sold his house, where the schoolmaster, Arent Everson, lived, to Jan Webber; and other important transfers of property were made.

After the capitulation of the Dutch, in 1664, New Amstel became the seat of government of the English. Sir Robert Carr was placed in command for a short time, and was succeeded, October 24, 1664, by Col. Richard Nichols. Sir Robert Carr, in his instructions, dated September 3, 1664, was commanded: "That for six months next ensuing, the same magistrates shall continue in their office, provided they take the oath of allegiance to his majesty."

Col. Richard Nichols, April 10, 1666, in a letter to the Secretary of State, England, asked, in consideration of the services of Sir Robert Carr, Capt. John Carr and Ensign Arthur Stock, that the "Houses and lands of the principal Dutch officers" be conferred upon them as follows: "Gov. Hinijossa’s Island to Sir Robert Carr; High Sheriff Garret Von Sweeringen’s Houses and Lands, to Capt. John Carr; and the land of Dutch Ensign Peter Alrichs to Ensign Arthur Stock," which was granted. Under English rule the courts were organized according to the instructions given for the settlement of the government on the Delaware River, dated April 21, 1668, which designated as magistrates Hans Block, Israel Helme, Peter Rambo, Peter Cocke and Peter Alrichs, who, with the schout,(8*) or high sheriff, were empowered to hear and determine all cases.

On October 5, 1670, Capt. John Carr, the commandant of the fort at New Castle, the names of both Fort Altena and New Amstel having been changed by the English, made a proposal to the Council regarding fortifications, markets, etc., in response to which it was

"Resolved, That the market-place where the bell hangs was the most convenient site on which to erect a block-house."

In June, 1671, the government, the town and country around New Castle received the attention of the Council at Fort James, N.Y., and several propositions were submitted by Capt. Carr. The Council was asked to protect the trade on the river; to regulate the distillation of liquor and supervise the "Victuallers or Tappers of Strong Drink;" to empower the authorities to appoint a "Corne Meter, who may not only ye corne duly measure, but prevent sending it thereof abroad foul, by ordering it to be well cleaned; and, also, that ye officer have an inspection, to View the Beef and Pork, that it be well packed and merchantable." These propositions were granted.

On June 14, 1671, it was ordered that "No vessel shall be permitted to go up ye river above New Castle to Traffic," which prohibition was continued nearly two years, being removed January 27, 1673. Distillers were to give their names to the officers of New Castle, and to pay one guilder per can for all strong liquor, to be applied to the building of a new block-house. A highway was to be cleared between New Castle and Augustus Herman’s plantation, Bohemia Manor, "provided Maryland would do her part."

The only road from New Castle, prior to this time, of which any mention has been made, was the one leading up to Tinicum. The first determined movement under English rule toward establishing highways, building bridges and creating ferries began at a special court, held by Governor Andross, at New Castle, May 13–14, 1675. The minutes of that session show that "Capt. Carr’s meadow at the north end of the Towne being represented to the Court to be a general nuisance to the place and the country as it now is, there being neither bridge nor fitting way to passe by or through it, and that the Towne is in great straight for want of it, as they might improve it, it is ordered that the said meadow ground shall be apprized by indifferent persons and the Town to have the refusal; but whoever shall enjoy it shall be obliged to maintain sufficient bridges and ways through the limits thereof with a cartway; the apprizers to be two persons appointed by the magistrates of the place and two more by the Court of Upland and the apprizement to be returned in to the next court held in this Towne."

At the name court it was ordered "That these orders about highways and bridges be put in execution by the Magistrates within the space of three months after ye date hereof, or else the Sheriff shall have power to have it done and the Country to pay double the charge."

A ferry was also needed and it was ordered that "a Ferry Boate be maintayned at the Falls on ye west side. A horse and man to pay 29 guilders, a man without a horse 10 stivers."

The town dike of New Castle was authorized to be built by the magistrates of the town June 4, 1675. But prior to this the small "Mistress Block’s Dike" had been dug, but does not seem to have been kept in good repair. The order for the construction of the poure, or town dike, along the marshy lands was as follows:
     "WHEREAS, Govr Edm’d Andross, Lieutenant-General of all the Duke’s of York dominions in America, has ordered that the marsh land on the north side of New Castle, on the Delaware River, belonging to Capt. John Carr, should be appraised by four impartial men to be appointed by the Magistrates, therefore they have unanimously chosen Sr Peter Alrichs, Sr Johannes De Haes, Sr Peter Cocke and Sr Lars Andriessen, who after inspection judged the marsh land to be of no value. Thereupon the aforesaid Magistrates have assembled to-day and considered that the Governor’s order regarding the construction of a highway could not be carried out unless an outside dike, with sluices, was first made along the water and they commanded, therefore, herewith that all and every male inhabitant of the district of New Castle shall go to work next Monday and assist in making said dike and continue with his work until the aforesaid outside Dyke has been completed; and the men who do more than their share of the work shall be paid for their overwork by those who do not work themselves and hire no laborers; the inhabitants of New Castle shall do an much work pro rata, counting every head, as the country people work or pay for.
     "It is further ordered that Martin Gerretsen, Pieter De Wit and Hendrick Sybratsen shall by turns be officers and have charge of this work and construct the aforesaid dike ten feet wide at the bottom, five feet high and three feet wide on top, providing it with well made and strong floodgates, and the country people shall thereafter not be obliged to do any work on this outside dike or floodgates without being paid for it; while, on the other side, the inhabitants of New Castle shall be held to make necessary repairs on this dike and the floodgates from time to time under condition that they shall also derive the profits from the aforesaid marsh land and have it as their own.
     "The Magistrates have also considered it highly necessary for everybody that the outer dike, running along Mr. Hans Block’s Marsh should be repaired and strengthened; they order, therefore, that this dike, like the other, should for this time be repaired and strengthened by all and every male inhabitant of the district of New Castle, but that hereafter the said dike and flood gates shall be repaired from time to time and taken care of by the aforesaid Hans Block or his heirs.
     "The working people shall be divided into three parties by the aforesaid three officers, and each party shall be under command of its officer, and work for two days at the dike, and whoever shall refuse to come to work in his turn, or to send a laborer in his place shall be held to pay to the said officer for each day which he loses the sum of ten guilders in wampum.
     "The aforesaid work must be done and completed within the time of six weeks under penalty of threefold payment, in default whereof they are to remain under bail bonds for its payment.
     "This done and published in New Castle the 4th June, 1675.


Against this order the country people protested to Gov. Andross accepting the construction of the town dike,—
     "But not any way willing to repair the dike which belongs to the flye of Hans Block without the privilege thereof, it being the said Hans his owne, and, therefore, belonging to him to make good the dike the whole Company of ye inhabitants or ye most part making the parties named, John Ogle and Dominie Fabricius their speakers, that they were willing to repair the Kings Highway through the flye as also to make and secure the Dike for a foot passage over the river side with sufficient sluices to draine the water out of the flye, but not to be slaves to Hans Block’s particular interest, for which cause not only one but all in whose behalf these whose names are underwritten complayne. The flye being by yor Honr apprizers accounted of no value, yett according to yor Honors orders in New Castle, we humbly accept yor honors pleasure therein, and are willing to maintain both ways, so yt we may have the privilege of ye Commonage.


"For the whole company of Crane Hooke.

"Both for the whole company of Cristina Creek."

The inhabitants of New Castle also remonstrated and declared their unwillingness to improve private property. The order caused much bad feeling in the community and acts of violence were attempted. The condition of affairs is set forth by Willam Tom, clerk of the court, in a letter to Governor Andross, June 8, 1675. After speaking of the necessity for the dikes and the causes which led to the order, he says "That all the inhabitants as above should meet in the Towne, the fourth of June, there to hear read or determination wch was accordingly done in the Church, but after the reading and being opposed (wee returning from the Church) by some of this Towne and a number of the inhabitants wthout in such a mutinous and tumultuous manner, being led on by Fabricus, the priester, Jacob Vande Vere, John Ogle, Bernard Egge, Thomas Jacobson, Juryan Bratesman, Matthew Smyth, Evert Hendricksen and several others, some having swords, some pistols others clubbs wth them wth such despiteful language, saying they wont make neither the one nor the other, that they could not longer be forborne in so much that Capt. Cantwell, High Sheriff, by our consent, calling for the Constable, layd hold of the priester and Ogle, and sent them on board of the Sloope, wth intention for New Yorke, to yor Honor, but the tumult thereupon arising, upon their going on board, cursing and some crying "fatt them on fatt them on"(9*) being most drunk and wee not knowing wt height it might come, they being in such a humor, still crying and all wee were inforced to send for them from on board and discharge them, wch said mutinous way of proceedings, we hope yor honor will not allow it and impossible for us to get justice according to the best of or knowledge, when all of or accouns shall be disputed by a plebeian faction wch will not only force us to leave the bench, but will expose the country to great charges when upon every occasion their frenzical braynes pleases."

He further stated that Mr. De Haes would wait upon his honor in a few days and would transmit his answer and order in the matter, and suggested the propriety of sending two files of soldiers to the river to "keep the people in awe and us in security."

The magistrates gave to the Governor the following reasons for their orders about the dykes:
     "First, To obey the Honble General’s order concerning roads to be made from one village to the other. No wagon or cart roads could be made unless the aforesaid dikes and flood-gates had been constructed to keep out the water.
     "Second. There are only a few here, who have a knowledge of such work, especially among the people of New Castle, and they have been compelled to pay their workmen from 30 to 40 guilders a day for such work, so that the people who wanted to labor have earned much and nobody would have lost more than five or six hours work on the public dike and three or four hours on Hans Block’s dike.
     "Third. All inhabitants, country people and strangers, would have been compelled to go five or six English miles through the woods to reach Sweenewyck, which is not more than one English mile from here. Now that Mr. Hans Block’s dike has been made, although he could make his hay without repairing his dike, as it can be made on other marshes without dikes, he has nevertheless made sixteen parts of his dike at his own expense, besides one-fourth of the dike which had already been made, and has also paid the expenses of making a flood-gate and everything needed thereto; so that the mutineers had not the least reason or cause to make reflections about it or to vent their foul language.
     "Fourth. In case of a war with the savages or other enemies, especially during winter, when the river is closed, it would be very dangerous for us and for our nearest neighbors to go 5 or 6 English miles through the woods in order to assist each other, we need each other in diverse emergencies every day. We request the Honble General to consider the foregoing reply while we rely on your Honor’s sound judgment to decide whether we have given the least lawful reason to the community to resist our order and to mutiny.


The Council at New York June 23, 1675, ordered "That some person be sent thither about it. The Governor will think of some fitting person. That with ye person to be sent to Delaware two fyles of soldiers or some other force will be sent likewise."

On the following day the Council ordered that warrants be sent to Delaware for "Jacobus Fabricius and John Ogle as Ringleaders to make their appearance here to answer ye misdemeanor objected agst. them, touching ye late disturbance." The warrants were dated June 26th and forwarded; and on September 26, 1675, it was ordered "That ye said Magister Fabricus, in regard of his being guilty of what is layd to his charge and his former irregular life and conversation be suspended from exercising his functions as a Minister or preaching any more within this government, either in publique or private."

The magistrates of New Castle, not in the least intimidated by the rebellion against their order, directed the people to obey it and, in case of refusal, the high sheriff was to execute the work at the double amount of their expenses. It was delayed, however, for some time, and the order of the magistrates was confirmed by the Governor and the Council, September 15, 1675.

The dikes were built soon after and in November of the same year Walter Wharton was appointed to survey the same. He made report December 5, 1676, "of the length of the Town Dike and Mistress Block’s Dike, it being the new worke" as follows: "Martin Garretson’s pat, three hundred and six feet; Hendrick Johnson’s pat, three hundred and eighteen feet; Peter De Witt’s part, five hundred and nineteen feet."

"The whole length of Town Dike, allowing twelve feet for the sluice, is eleven hundred and forty-three feet; Mistress Block’s Dike eight hundred and fifty-two feet."

Ten years later the dikes were repaired at the expense of those having a proprietary interest in the commonage, as the former meadow of Captain Carr was then called, and the commonage was subsequently divided by lot, with the understanding that the dikes were to be kept in repair by those holding an interest in it.

In 1676 all vessels going up and down the river were required to load and discharge their cargoes at New Castle.

In the fall of 1681, James Pierson, brickmaker and bricklayer, was given a double lot for a brick-yard.

On November 9, 1682, the establishment of a weekly public market (10*) was ordered by the court. The old market-place at the fort was adopted as the site and each Saturday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. as the hours.

In 1726 leave was granted to Wessel Alrichs by Governor William Keith to establish a ferry from New Castle to Salem, in New Jersey, which increased the trade of the town to a considerable extent.

In 1729 another market (11*) was established, with Philip Van Leuvenigh as clerk, and Wednesday and Saturday were appointed market days. Every baker was required to mark, letter name or brand every loaf of bread he baked, each one to be of certain weight, or liable to seizure. The clerk was authorized to erect stalls, or booths, and to rent the same to those wishing them.

On April 5, 1748, the justices of the court at New Castle directed a letter to Richard Peters, one of the Council of the proprietors, stating that French and Spanish privateers were cruising about in Delaware Bay, and as New Castle was exposed to their attacks, and the records were in danger, they asked that John Mackey, prothonotary recorder, etc., be permitted and instructed to remove all the papers and books of the county to some safe and commodious house in Christiana Bridge. To this Richard Peters replied, April 14th, that if, in their judgment, it was best, to let it be done.

NEW CASTLE INCORPORATED.— The authorities at Fort James gave New Castle its original independent local government on May 17, 1672, in the following order:
     "That for ye better government of ye Towne of New Castle, for the future, the said Towne shall be erected into a Corporacon by the name of a Balywick. That is to say, it shall be governed by a Bayley and six assistants, to be at first nominated by the Governor, and at ye expiration of a year foure of the six to go out and four others to be chosen in their places, the Bayley to continue for a year, and then two to be named to succeed, out of whom the Governor will elect one. Hee is to preside in all of ye corts of the Towne, and have a double vote. A Constable is likewise to be chosen by ye Bench. The Towne Court shall have power to try all causes of debt or damage, to the value of ten pounds, without appeal. That ye English Lawes, according to the desire of the inhabitants, bee established, both in ye Towne and all Plantations upon Delaware River."

Captain John Carr was chosen bailiff and high-sheriff; William Tom was one of the assistants. Nothing of importance occurred until the Dutch again came into possession, from the middle of 1673 to the middle of 1674; then those who were in office when the Dutch were in power resumed authority until the recapture the following year, when the late English officials were restored. Subsequently the courts again controlled its affairs until June 3, 1797, when an act was passed establishing the boundaries of the town of New Castle, and its local history became more distinct. Five commissioners were appointed to carry out the provisions of the act. They were Dr. Archibald Alexander, John Crow, John Bird, Nicholas Van Dyke and George Read, the younger, who held their first meeting July 14, 1799, and apppointed Daniel Blaney surveyor. A map was made and the plat ordered placed in the recorder’s office at New Castle.

The citizens living within the limits fixed by these commissioners were assessed, June 12, 1798, the entire levy being $800.09 on a valuation of $107,105.

The following citizens owned more than four hundred dollars’ worth of property each:

Alexander, Dr. Archibald.

Janvier, Thos.

Avell, Capt. John.

Jaquet, John Paul.

Avell, Wm.

King, Michael.

Adams, John (printer).

Kelly, Mathias, Esq.

Bird, John (merchant).

Lanchister, Moses.

Booth, Jas., Esq.

Lelony, Nave.

Bellville, John (carpenter).

Liblam, Jres.

Baker, Jacob (est.).

MeCalmont, Jas., Esq.

Boldin, Joseph (est.).

McCullough, Jas.

Betson, John.

Mundall, John.

Butcher, Joe. (wheelwright).

Monroe, Jas.

Bowman, Jere. (carpenter).

McWilliam Richard (est.).

Barr, Adam.

McWilliam, Rebecca.

Bush, Dr. David.

Megens, Thos.

Bond, Thos. (merchant).

Moore, Thos.

Clay, Rev. Robt.

Miller, Ann.

Coleberry, Dr. Henry.

Penton, Revier (est.).

Crow, John.

Passmore, Wm.

Carson, John.

Pearce, George.

Caldwell, Jas. (est.).

Read, Geo. Sr., Esq.

Clark, Thos. N.

Read, Geo., Jr., Esq.

Clark, Wm.

Riddles, Jas.

Carson, John (carpenter).

Robinson, Wm. (est.).

Clark, Hugh (carpenter).

Rowen, Samuel.

Curlet, Lewis.

Rowen, Henry.

Darragh, John.

Ruth, Jas. (shoemaker).

Duncan, Alex.

Rowen, Robt. (chairmaker).

Darby, Jas.

Stockton, John (est,).

Darnley, Samuel.

Sawyer, Robt.

Dunlap, Francis.

Tatlow, Joseph, Esq.

Davis, Samuel (negro).

Thompson, Mary (est.).

Ewing, John (est.).

Toland, Jas.

Furnver, Robt. (est.).

Van Dyke, Nicholas, Esq.

Foster, Samuel.

Vanleuvenigh, Wm.

Glassford, Abel, Esq.

Vanleuvenigh, Geo.

Golden, Philip.

Willy, John, Esq.

Howell, Benj.

Walraven, Lucas.

Harvey, Alex.

Walraven, Conrad.

Hawghey, Wm.

Webb, Jacob (est.).

Johns, Kinsey, Esq.

Williams, Hardin.

Janvier, Francis.

Wharton, Sarah (est.).

Janvier, John.

Zimmerman, John.

New Castle was incorporated as a city under an act of the General Assembly, February 25, 1875, and the first election was held on the second Tuesday in April, 1875, when Edward Challenger, Mark M. Cleaver and William H. Jefferson were commissioners. T. Giffin was elected mayor; Samuel Eckles, president of the Council; and Geo. A. Maxwell, clerk. Thomas Giffin continued as mayor until 1880, and William Herbert was president of the Council from 1877 until 1886. Since that time George W. Dickerson has filled that office. William F. Lane has been treasurer since 1878. L.E. Eliason, H.R. Borie, Frank E. Herbert and James L. Rice have served as clerks. From 1880 to 1886, Samuel H. Black was mayor, and was succeeded by the present incumbent, Julian D. Janvier. The municipal office is in the old Court-House, and the new form of government has resulted in many public improvements. The streets have been gradually improved, and the police regulations have elevated the order and moral tone of the community.

THE UNION FIRE COMPANY was organized in March, 1796, as a volunteer association with twenty-nine members. A fund of four hundred and sixty-eight dollars was subscribed, twenty leather buckets were bought, and Archibald Alexander and John Bird were appointed a committee to purchase an engine, which they secured for four hundred dollars. Among the early officers were: President, James Booth; Secretary, David Morrison; Treasurer, Thomas Bond; Engineers, George Pierce and Thomas Turner. In 1806 the membership included Nicholas Vandyke, M. King, T. Walraven, J. McCalmont, W.C. Frazer, J. Bowman, M. Kennedy, John Bird, James Riddle, Evan Thomas, C.P. Bennett, Kensey Johns, Henry Colesberry, Thomas Bond, Wm. Armstrong, Charles Thomas, John Janvier, Thomas Magens, John Crow, Hugh W. Ritchie, Jacob Bellville, John Panton, Christopher Weaver and Alexander Duncan.

On January 23, 1804, the company became an incorporated body. At different times the Levy Court appropriated money, and in 1823 contributed toward the erection of an engine-house. The Union Fire Company disbanded about 1840. Subsequently to 1820 an opposition company, called the Penn, was formed, and a spirited rivalry existed for several years between the two organizations.

On April 25, 1824, New Castle was visited by the most disastrous fire in its history, resulting in a loss of one hundred thousand dollars. The conflagration originated in the house of James Riddle, and before it was controlled, the residences and stores of James Riddle, J. Bowman, Thomas Janvier, H.W. Ritchie, J. &. E. McCullough, Dr. McCalmont, George Read, A. Barneby, Joseph Raynow, Richard Sexton and John Janvier were totally destroyed. This disaster aroused general sympathy, and among the subscriptions received to repair the loss was one from Boston, where an appeal was made to the Council of that city by the Hon. Nicholas Van Dyke, member of Congress and a native of New Castle, and it was urged that the opportunity was now offered to reciprocate the friendship of New Castle for Boston, as practically demonstrated in 1774.(12*) Boston responded liberally to the appeal, and with the funds received from other sources, aided by the native energy of the people, the majority of the burned buildings were soon restored.

Later the "Good Will" engine was purchased and was in its day a powerful "machine." Thirty men were required to man it, and it had a capacity for throwing a stream fifteen feet higher than the tallast spire in the village. This engine was used until the modern steamers were procured.

The first steam fire-engine was the "Humane," purchased by the trustees of the Common in 1885. At the same time they bought a good
hook-and-ladder outfit from the Moyamensing Company of Philadelphia. A portion of this apparatus is still in use.

On May 1, 1887, the New Castle authorities were authorized by act of General Assembly to borrow five thousand dollars, and issue bonds for the payment of the same. With the fund thus realized a fine Silsby No. 4 steam-engine was bought for three thousand four hundred dollars, and placed in charge of Chief Engineer Jacob Sanders, with a volunteer company to assist him. The department now has all necessary apparatus for efficient services, and is well housed in the hall of the Red Men, in the western section of the city.

THE NEW CASTLE GAS COMPANY was chartered February 19, 1857, and organized September 10, 1857, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars in shares of ten dollars. The incorporators were Thomas T. Tasker, Sr., Howard J. Terry, James Couper, John Janvier, James Crippen and Peter B. Vandever. Mr. Tasker was elected president, an office still held by him. Mr. Vandever was made secretary.

In 1887 the officers were T.T. Tasker, President; Wm. H. Clark, Secretary and Treasurer; William Herbert, James G. Shaw, Elmer W. Clark and Samuel M. Couper, directors. Under the supervision of Mr. Tasker works were built, mains laid and gas introduced in 1857. The plant of the company has a capacity of forty-five thousand feet per day. There are five miles of mains and forty-one street-lamps, some of which have been in use since 1857.

THE NEW CASTLE WATER WORKS COMPANY was incorporated April 1, 1869, by Thomas T. Tasker, Sr., William Herbert, Joseph H. Rogers, John Janvier, Allen V. Lesley, James G. Shaw, Peter B. Vandever, Andrew C. Gray and William C. Spruance. The capital stock was fixed at fifty thousand dollars, with privilege of increase to one hundred thousand dollars. James G. Shaw was chosen president, and is still the executive of the company; Wm. H. Clark, secretary and treasurer; Thomas T. Tasker, Stephen P.M. Tasker, William Herbert, Dr. John J. Black, A.M. Hizar, Ed. Challenger and E.W. Clark are the other directors. Water was introduced by the company in the spring of 1873, the supply being brought from None Such Creek, three miles from New Castle. The water is pumped into a reservoir of one million two hundred and fifty thousand gallons capacity, situated one and a half miles from the city, at an elevation of eighty-seven feet. Five miles of mains have been laid in the streets of New Castle, and forty-five water-plugs erected. Thirty-seven are designed for the use of the Fire Department.

MANUFACTURING INTERESTS.— In the minutes of the Council of New Amstel, under Vice-Director Jean Paul Jacquet, August 14, 1656, it is noted that "regarding the mill, it is left to the choice of deputy sheriff and commissioners to put it up."

On October 29, 1657, Vice-Director Alrichs writes to Director Stuyvesantfrom New Castle: "I further learn that a horse-mill is ready there, which it was decided to bring here, if the owner of it had not died; and whereas we are without sufficient breadstuffs, also unable to grind corn and other grains, beside doing many more things which necessarily must be done, I therefore would wish that your Honor be pleased and take the trouble to ascertain at once the lowest price, and if it is any way reasonable to inform me of it."

On October 5, 1658, he writes again: "The arrival of the skipper Jacob, with the galiot, is earnestly desired, since the horse-mill not having been finished, on account of Christian Barent’s death, we are very much embarrassed here for breadstuff or flour."

Concerning the mill of the widow Barents, Alrichs wrote later: "I only advised or proposed to her that it would be for her best interests to remain in possession; she would be assisted in completing the mills, with the income of which, through the grist, she would be able to diminish the expenses and live decently and abundantly with her children on the surplus; but she would not listen to advice."

A horse-mill was soon obtained and on December 3, 1659, William Beekman, then in New Amstel, in a letter to Director Stuyvesant, said, "As to my horse-mill, I have no more the disposal of it, as I sold the same to Mr. Hinijossa last August." The latter was at the time lieutentant at New Amstel. Mr. Beekman also writes, May 12, 1662, of the "Company’s Horse Mill" at New Amstel.

In November, 1681, Arnoldus De Lagrange petitioned and had granted to him a vacant piece of land "Lying towards ye north end of the Towne of New Castle," also a small piece of marsh land adjoining, on condition that he, "according to his owne proffer, shall build on ye said land a good wind-mill for ye common good of ye inhabitants, and to have for toal of grinding noe more than one Tenth part; and that hee draynes ye marsh and all this to bee done within 12 months after date hereof, otherways and in deffect thereof he to forfeit what is now granted."

Of modern mills, the one erected a number of years ago by Thomas T. Tasker and, since 1872, owned by William Lea and Sons Company, is the most prominent. In 1887 the plant consisted of a three-story brick building, forty by fifty feet, with a two-story wing, thirty-two by forty-two feet; a one-story warehouse, thirty-five by seventy feet; a brick engine-house, twenty-five by thirty-five feet; and an elevator, thirty-five by eighty feet, with a fifty-five feet tower, having a capacity for fifty thousand bushels of grain. In 1879 the mill was improved and, since 1882, has been a full roller-mill. There are fourteen sets of rolls and two runs of stones, the motive-power being furnished by a one-hundred horse-power engine. The mill now has a capacity for three hundred and fifty barrels per day and gives employment to twenty-five men. It is operated in connection with the Brandywine Mills, of Wilmington, also owned by William Lea and Sons Company— S.A. Stewart, superintendent.

THE TRITON SPINNING-MILLS, owned and operated by James G. Shaw, were erected by him in 1860–61, and sold under contract to a manufacturing firm in Boston. This firm contracted for the most improved machines to be made in Biddeford, Maine, to fit out the mills. The Civil War began, however, before the machinery was completed, and the Boston firm then gave up its project of engaging in the manufacturing business at New Castle.

James G. Shaw, who then owned the mills, in 1863, secured the machinery contracted for by the Boston firm, and placed it in the Triton Mills. He associated with him James G. Knowles, and engaged in the manufacture of cotton-yarn. In 1871 the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Shaw has since been the sole proprietor. The main building, as originally erected, was 50 by 500 feet. It has been enlarged 70 by 500 feet. These mills have been twice refitted and are supplied with the best machinery of American manufacture. The mills contain fourteen thousand spindles, and consume three thousand bales of cotton a year. The number of employees ranges from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty.

James G. Shaw, the proprietor of the Triton Mills, was born in Chester, county of Delaware, Pennsylvania, October 21, 1828. He is a son of the late Samuel Shaw and Mary Ann Eyre, and comes of the old Sharpless stock that came over with William Penn, and settled in Delaware County. After being educated in his native town he engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1857 he removed to New Castle, where he purchased the Chancellor Johns farm of one hundred and seventy-four acres and laid it out as an addition to the town. This led to the building of his mills, which he has since operated successfully. About 1864 he sold the land he had purchased to Thomas T Tasker, and has since devoted himself to his manufacturing interests. He has been an enterprising citizen and an active promoter and advocate of all public improvements in the town. He was married, April 28, 1869, to Miss Virginia, daughter of Major Joseph Carr, of Brandywine Hundred, and they have two children, a son and a daughter.

The New Castle Manufacturing Company was incorporated January 25, 1833, for the manufacture of cotton, woolen and metal goods, by Thomas Janvier, James Couper, Jr., James Rogers, James Smith and Charles I. du Pont.

In 1834 a foundry was built and shops erected to make locomotives. The shops were a long time in charge of Wm. H. Dobbs, and locomotives for use on the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad were built there. Andrew C. Gray was one of the most active of the company. Subsequently the Hicks Engine Company occupied these shops, which was afterwards used by the Morris-Tasker Iron Works.

The Morris-Tasker Iron Works were established at Philadelphia, in 1821, by Henry G. Morris and Thomas T. Tasker, the principal business being the operation of a pipe-mill. In 1872 the firm was composed of Thomas T. Tasker, Jr., and Stephen P.M. Tasker, who transferred the works to New Castle, where the old buildings of the New Castle Manufacturing Company were occupied until the present quarters were erected. In 1876 the firm was incorporated as the Delaware Iron Company, with S.P.M. Tasker, president; Charles Wheeler, vice-president; and G. Wister Brown, secretary and treasurer. In 1886 a stock company succeeded them under the same name and charter. The capital stock was fixed at five hundred thousand dollars, and the company organized with M.C. McIlvain, president; Jonathan Rowland, secretary; T. Wister Brown, treasurer; Lewis W. Shallcross, general manager. The principal office was established in Philadelphia, but the works at New Castle were continued, with Hiram R. Borie superintendent, who succeeded Joseph R. Tasker in 1883.

The plant embraces thirty-five acres of land on the Delaware River, within the limits of the city. The works consist of a rolling-mill capable of making one hundred tons of pipe-iron per day; a bending-mill, one hundred and six by two hundred and ninety-five feet, operated by a two hundred horse-power engine; a welding-mill, one hundred and forty-one by two hundred and eight-one feet, having a two hundred and fifty horse-power engine; and a finishing-room, three hundred by two hundred and fifty-two feet, with an engine of one hundred and fifty horse-power. All these buildings are of brick, and the engines are of the Corliss pattern.

The machinery has been especially designed for these works, and is adapted for making iron and steel tubes, from one and a quarter to eight inches in diameter, the full product being about eight hundred tons per week. About eight hundred men are employed. Near the works are sixty-two brick dwellings, erected by Richard J. Dobbins, and comprising a settlement known as "Dobbinsville."

James G. Knowles’ large woolen-mill has been in operation since 1873 and has been carried on by him as sole proprietor since that date. Just prior to the year 1863 a mill was built by James G. Shaw, and that gentleman then associating with himself Mr. Knowles, under the firm-name of Shaw & Knowles, the spinning of cotton-yarn was begun. The mill was supplied with both cotton and woolen machinery, and both were operated by the firm until 1871. At that time the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Knowles, taking the woolen machinery, leased part of the building from Mr. Shaw and carried on business for himself. In 1873 he built mills containing four sets of woolen machinery. These were destroyed by fire October 23, 1878, but immediately rebuilt. In 1884 they were again burned, but undaunted even by this second calamity Mr. Knowles promptly went to work and soon had a better factory than the one destroyed. In 1886 he built a large addition, put in four more sets of machinery and increased the number of looms to two hundred, thus more than doubling the capacity of the establishment, which is now one of the largest and probably the best arranged and most thoroughly equipped in the State. An idea of its size may be gained from the following figures. The main building is three hundred by forty-eight feet and two stories in height, while another, also of two floors, is eighty by thirty feet in dimensions, and a one-story building, the dyeing and finishing room, is one hundred and twenty by thirty-four feet. A fourth building, known as the "picker" department, is
eighty-three by thirty-four feet, and besides these there are offices, etc., etc. The intricate, delicate and ever busy machinery is driven by two engines, with an aggregate of one hundred and sixty horse-power, and two hundred persons are afforded constant employment. Every improved device known to this branch of manufacture is supplied and every safeguard of life and property that can be thought of has a place in this model mill. It is lighted by electricity and has an automatic fire apparatus, which is unexcelled anywhere in the region. The product of the establishment consists of what are known as "cotton worsteds" of medium grade, manufactured on woolen machinery and designed for the clothing trade— for men’s wear. Of these more than seven thousand yards are manufactured per day, or over forty thousand yards per week, all of which is disposed of directly by the proprietor, who has an office in New York, from which the greater portion of the output of his mill is distributed to all parts of the United States.

The proprietor and builder-up of these works is very popular in New Castle, and there is much in his character and career which young men might emulate with profit to themselves and benefit to the community. He has accomplished much in spite of many misfortunes, and yet is only at the meridian of life, having been born August 3, 1837. The parents of James Gray Knowles were George G. and Martha C. (the former of whom is now living, and is eighty-five years of age), and their home was near Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The first move that Mr. Knowles made away from home was in 1856, when he went to Chester to learn the manufacture of cotton from Abram Blakeley. Three years later he began in the same town the business of cotton-yarn spinning. After carrying on this business for about four years, or until 1863, he removed to New Castle, and formed a partnership with Mr. Shaw, as already related. Since that time, as the people of New Castle, and, for that matter, of Wilmington, well know he has exhibited remarkable energy, pluck and business management. In spite of repeated disaster by fire, he has built up a great establishment, and maintained as prosperous a manufacture as any to be found in this generally thriving region of country. He has the reputation of treating his employees with a kindness and liberality which have won their warm regard, and "labor troubles" have been very rare at his mills.

While keeping a watchful eye on all departments of the factory and upon his business generally, his energies are not confined to it, and he has interests in other industries in Wilmington (which city he has recently made his home) and elsewhere. But Mr. Knowles does not allow business to monopolize his time or talents, believing that there are other objects in life than mere money-getting and money-hoarding. He is a man who finds great pleasure to be derived from books, - in mental culture generally,— in the beautiful things in nature and in art, in happy social environment and, above all, in the domestic circle, being devoted to the welfare of his family.

He was married in 1864 to Miss Ella M., daughter of Rev. William Urie, a prominent minister of the Methodist Church, and they have two children— Martha and George.

GENERAL BUSINESS INTERESTS:— In the early history of New Castle, all vessels passing up the river were required for several years to land at the town. Later on, the commercial ascendency of Philadelphia and other cities higher up the Delaware and the railroad interests ruined the shipping interests of the town. The harbor has been much improved by the government, which erected a number of very substantial ice breakers; yet few vessels touch at this place, and Wilmington has been made the port of entry. Prior to the change New Castle had its collector, health officer and other port officials. Jehu Curtis was collector in 1744, and William Till, who died in office in 1764, was also a collector.

In 1784 an act was passed by the Assembly authorizing John Stockton, William Lea, James Riddle, Kensey John, Isaac Grantham, Archibald Alexander and George Read, to raise twelve thousand dollars, to improve the harbor, at New Castle, by erecting piers, etc. This work was undertaken, although only about four thousand dollars were realized, and was completed some time about 1802. In 1803 Dr. James McCalmont was oppointed health officer of the port, by the Governor of Delaware, to succeed Dr. Colesberry. In later years New Castle had a naval inspector, and among those who filled the office were: Captains Montgomery, Geddes, Sawyer and De Laney. Similar duties were performed afterwards by Thomas Stockton, James Rogers and George Platt. The office is now in charge of Samuel H. Black, as deputy collector.

On April 12, 1775, Joseph Tatlow and Thomas Henderson announced that they had "established a stage line for the term of seven years to carry on business between Philadelphia and Baltimore, via New Castle and Frenchtown." Tatlow had packet boats from Philadelphia to New Castle, and Henderson ran a similar line from Frenchtown to Baltimore."

The stages were run between New Castle and Frenchtown. The New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad succeeded the stages in 1831. The first attempt to run a train by steam was not successful, the engine built by Colonel Long failing to work satisfactorily. An English locomotive, the "Delaware," was brought over and put together at New Castle, and, in 1833, the work of building engines at New Castle was resumed, the mechanics adopting the best features of the imported engine.

In 1822, John and Thomas Janvier began to run a four-horse coach, leaving the "Union Line Hotel" every morning at nine o’clock. The steamboat line to Philadelphia was started April 20, 1828, and the "Union Line" of the Janviers, in connection with their stages, and later the railroad, was a famous enterprise a half-century ago. The southwestern part of the line was operated by the Hendersons. The Janviers had a steamboat built for this line, which they called the "Delaware," Captain Wilmer Whildin, commander. The Janviers were very successful in the transportation business.

Prior to 1837 New Castle was on the main line of travel between Philadelphia and Baltimore, and many celebrities of national repute passed through the town. General Lafayette stopped in New Castle, October 6, 1826, en route to Baltimore, via Frenchtown. President Jackson arrived at New Castle Saturday, June 8, 1833, on the steamboat "Ohio," of the "People’s Line," and was met by Governor Bennett, of Delaware, and "a vast concourse of people." When the boat anchored, a salute was fired by the revenue cutter lying in the harbor, and there were other demonstrations of welcome. A public arch bore the inscription, "The Union, it must be preserved," After spending a short time on shore the party returned to the boat and proceeded to Philadelphia. General Jackson again passed through New Castle, on his return from Boston, July 3, 1833. On June 10, 1833, Black Hawk, the celebrated Indian chief, was taken through New Castle, in custody of Major Garland.

In 1845 Samuel L. Hall was granted the use of a wharf for

Among those actively in trade in more recent years were Thomas Hyatt, on the site of the present Ferris drug-store. Samuel Couper was one of his business contemporaries. Joseph Sawyer traded in the Nowland stand. Captain James McCullough was in the building now occupied by David Boulden. Henry and Thomas Frazier occupied a stand which William B. Janvier used successfully. Platt & Elkinton were at the George W. Turner store. James Riddle and John Bird were enterprising merchants on the corner, where Elihu Jefferson afterwards conducted an extensive business as merchant and grain dealer. Jeremiah Bowman was a lumber dealer on the wharf, and later Charles Lambson had a yard at the gas works. In 1887 J.T. & L.E. Eliason were extensively engaged in the coal, lumber and machinery trade, and other merchants fully represented every branch of business. Hugh W. Ritchie opened the first drug store after 1820, and Robert G. Algeo was in this business in 1845. In 1849 John G. Challenger established a pharmacy, which has been carried on by Edward Challenger since 1858. Charles Ferris subsequently opened a drug store, and it has been continued by his son, William J. Ferris.

A branch of the Delaware Farmers’ Bank has long been in operation at New Castle, first in an old building on Water Street, and since 1851 in the present banking-house. Kensey Johns was the first president, and his successors were James R. Black, James Booth, Thomas Janvier, Andrew C. Gray and John J. Black. The cashiers of the branch at New Castle have been Francis L. Couch, James Couper, Howell J. Terry, Charles Kimmey and Richard G. Cooper. W.F. Lane is the present teller.

The following is a statement of the bank as made in January, 1888, followed by a list of the directors of the branch bank at New Castle.


Real estate


Bills and notes discounted and other investments


Current expenses and taxes paid


Cash and cash items

8,233 47

Due from banks and bankers






Capital stock


Undivided profits


Individual deposits


Due to banks and bankers




Directors of the Branch Bank at New Castle.

Mordecai McKinney

June 9 1807

George Read

June 9, 1807–36

Allen McLane

June 9, 1807

Joseph Israel

June 9, 1807

John Janvier

June 9, 1807

Samuel Barr

June 9, 1807–10

Kensey Johns


John Bird


James McCalmont


Thomas Janvier


John Janvier


James Rodgers


James R. Black


Thomas Janvier


Thomas Riddle


James Booth


Nicholas Van Dyke


Samuel McCalmont


John Crow


Thomas Janvier


John Moody


Samuel Meteer


Benjamin Watson




Kensey Johns

July 7, 1807

James R. Black


James Booth


Thomas Janvier


Andrew C. Gray

Jan., 1849

Dr. John J. Black

Jan., 1886

John Janvier


James Booth


Cornelius D. Blaney


Andrew C. Gray


Andrew C. Gray


Elihu Jefferson


William T. Read


Samuel Guthrie


George B. Rodney


Edward Williams


Dana G. Nivin


Allen V. Lesley


Thomas Holcomb


John Janvier


Richard G. Cooper


John H. Rodney



B. Rodney


C.A. Rodney


John H. Rodney


John J. Black


A.B. Cooper


George W. Turner


Francis N. Buck




Francis L. Cooch

Jan. 9, 1807

James Couper

Jan. 9, 1807

Howell J. Terry

Jan., 1861

Charles Kimmey

Jan., 1871

Richard G. Cooper

Jan., 1881

State Directors appointed for New Castle Branch .

1807, Kensey Johns, John Bird, David Nevin.

January 12, 1824. Samuel Meteer, Levi Boulden, John Crow.

January 25, 1825. Samuel Meteer, James Rogers, Levi Boulden.

January 31, 1826. Levi Boulden, Samuel Meteer, John Moody.

January 31, 1827. Samuel Meteer, Levi Boulden, Augustine H. Pennington.

January 9, 1829. John Moody, Samuel Meteer, Thomas Stockton.

January 8, 1830. Thomas Stockton, Samuel Meteer, Benjamin Watson.

January 5, 1831. John Moody, Thomas Stockton, Samuel Meteer.

January 4, 1832. Thomas Stockton, John Janvier, George Platt.

January 23, 1833. Thomas Stockton, George B. Rodney, George Platt.

January 12, 1835. Same.

January 11, 1841. Same.

January 19, 1843. Thomas Stockton, George Platt, Nathaniel Young.

February 8, 1845. Nathaniel Young, Charles H. Black, Thomas Stockton.

January 15, 1847. Nathaniel Young, Charles H. Black, Philip Reybold.

January 29, 1851. Elihu Jefferson, Nathaniel Young, William D. Ocheltree.

March 2, 1853. Same.

January 23, 1855. Nathaniel Young, William Couper, Elihu Jefferson.

January 28, 1857. Elihu Jefferson, William T. Reed, James Crippen.

February 3, 1859. Elihu Jefferson, Daniel R. Wolfe, James Crippen.

February 7, 1861. Nathaniel Young, James Truss, Charles Gooding.

February 12, 1863. James Truss, Dr. John Merritt, A.C. Nowland.

February 13, 1867. James Truss, Allen V. Lesley, Samuel Townsend.

February 17, 1869. James Truss, Allen V. Lesley, John Merritt.

January, 10, 1871. Allen V. Lesley, John Merritt, Bankson T. Holcomb.

February 3, 1873. John J. Black, John Johns, Bankson T. Holcomb.

February 2, 1875. Same.

February 21, 1877. Same.

March 25, 1879. John J. Black, Thomas Giffin, James T. Eliason.

April 6, 1881. James T. Eliason, David Boulden, A.H. Silver.

February 21, 1883. Same.

January 28, 1885. James T. Eliason, David Boulden, Eugene Rogers.

March 8, 1887. Same.

PROFESSIONAL MEN.— As early as the fall of 1677 there was a Doctor Tyman Stidden at New Castle, and James Crawford is mentioned as a physician in 1678. In March, 1678, there was also a Doctor Daniel Wells, who presented an "account of Phisik" in court against Henry Stonebrake, deceased. Dr. John Finney was a practitioner in 1754 and later. Dr. Henry Colesberry was a prominent practitioner, continuing until about 1830, when Dr. C.B. Ferguson succeeded him. Dr. J.H. Handy located for practice three years later. Subsequent practitioners of note were Doctors James McCalmont, W.H. Hamilton, Charles H. Black, David Stewart, James Couper, Jr., John H. Black and David Stewart, the last two at present in practice.

The attorneys living at New Castle since 1800 have been Judge James Booth, Kensey Johns, Kensey Johns, Jr., James Booth, Jr., Thomas Clayton, John M. Clayton, James Rogers, Simon Guthrie, Judge J.R. Black, W.H. Rogers, George B. Rodney, Andrew C. Gray, George Gray, John H. Rodney, A.B. Cooper and James R. Booth. Some of the latter still practice at Wilmington and New Castle.

In 1803 the post-office at New Castle was "kept" by a Mr. Haughey. Hugh W. Ritchie was the postmaster prior to the great fire of 1824, and R. Ritchie succeeded him after his death, in 1832. The postmasters since have been John Riddle, John Challenger, Edward Challenger, Reuben Janvier and John Manlove, the present incumbent. The office is in the old court-house.

INNS AND HOTELS:— In the early history of New Castle the inns, ordinaries or public-houses were prominent factors in the social and business life of the community. It was at such places that important public gatherings, including even religious meetings, were held, and the best citizens of the town met there for social conversation and to hear and discuss the news received from travelers. The keeper was frequently a man of marked characteristics, prominent in the affairs of the place, and one whose opinions were usually courted. Occasionally, however, an inn-keeper would be found who did not meet the requirements of the age, and his hostelry soon declined.

Fopp Jansen Outhout, who was a magistrate from 1676–83, was an inn-keeper in New Amstel in 1662, as is mentioned in a trial of that date in which he is mentioned as one of the witnesses.

Ralph Hutchinson was an ordinary keeper at New Castle as early as 1677, and was probably one of the first in that vocation. His place was afterwards kept by his brother, Robberd, who, unfortunately, was charged with dishonest practices, and, as he was also a constable, his case became an object of public consideration. On June 3, 1679, a letter containing the following facts was sent to the Governor asking his advice:
     "One Adam Wolles, a mariner, come to this place from Maryland with his chest, and stopped at the house of Robberd Hutchinson. After he had been there a day or two he found that the chest had been opened, things taken out, and again locked. He made the theft known and gave a list of articles he had in the chest. Suspicion was attached to Hutchinson, who, when closely examined, owned up, and the most of the articles were found. After other witnesses were examined he again disclosed more, and threw himself upon the court. He was put in prison."

The Governor in reply commented at length upon the enormity of the offense, but left the punishment to the court. Hutchinson was dismissed from the "constablewick," and the court "doe order and sentence that hee, the sd Robberd Hutchinson, for example to others, bee brought to the forte gate and there publicquely whipt thirty and nine strokes or lashes; that hee pay unto Adam Wolles the remainder of ye goods stolen out of ye chest not yet found, together wth all the charges and fees of this action, and doe futher forever bannish ye sd Robberd Hutchinson out of this River of Delaware and partes adjacent, hee to depart wtthin three days now next ensuing, wth leave to chose and appoint any person as his attorney to receive and pay his debts. God save the King." This above sd sentence was put in execution and Robberd Hutchinson publicquely whipt ye same day in New Castle, etc."

Hutchinson was succeeded June 4, 1679, by John Darby. The property was described as "bounded on the east by the strand, or river; south, by the house of John Hendrickson, drover; west, by the moat; and north, by the house and lot of Isaac Tayne." Darby’s license was granted with the proviso that "hee performs what he now promises wch is viz.: That hee will keep a good and orderly house; that hee will now begin wth six beds and wthin twelve months procure six beds more; to have only privilege to sell drink by retayle. In case none other be admitted more by the Court."

Prior to 1709 John Brewster was an "Innholder" at New Castle, and on February 28, 1709, he and Elizabeth, his wife, sold to "Richard Halliwell, of New Castle, merchant, the lot fifty by two hundred and fifty feet, bounded southwesterly with Thomas Janvier’s lot; northeasterly with burying-ground; northwesterly with Presbyterian meeting-house and southeasterly with ye street. He also gave to Richard Halliwell one silver quart tankard and seven silver spoons."

In the latter part of the eighteenth century Robert Furness was the keeper of an ordinary at New Castle, and it was at his house that the first Methodist meetings in New Castle were held. He was a man of determined purpose and great force of character.

In 1802 Captain Caleb P. Bennett was an inn-keeper, and at his place the county elections were held. In 1803 he bought "the late residence of George Read, Esq., corner Front and Delaware Streets, and then used it as a tavern, calling it the ‘Delaware Hotel.’" In 1824 the hotels on Water Street were burned down, and one of them, after being re-built and carried as the "Stockton House," was again burned in 1870. For many years it was the office of stage lines passing out of New Castle. In the rear of this building there was a steamboat landing which has long since been abandoned. In 1828 Henry Steele was the keeper of the "Spread Eagle Hotel," and James Steele was a landlord later. This place is still kept as a hostelry under another name. John Crow was for many years a keeper of the "Delaware House." The present "Jefferson House" was originally the store and residence of Elihu Jefferson, and was re-modeled for hotel purposes. It is the property of William Herbert.

The Gilpin House, located opposite the old court-house, is now the oldest hotel in continuous use in the town. It took its present name from the late Chief Justice Gilpin, and for years was the stopping-place of the judges and attorneys of the court.

OLD BUILDINGS.— Few very old buildings remain in New Castle. It is believed that the back building of the present Gilpin House is as ancient as any structure in the place, and that it was the meeting-place of the first courts. It was also one of the first places of public entertainment. Near by is a brick building, erected in 1681, where William Penn was entertained by his host Lagrange, when he visited the town in 1682. It had originally a hip-roof, but, in 1858, was remodeled by the present owner, George W. Turner. The famous old tile house was built in 1687, but by whom, or for what purpose, is not known. It was three stories high and its roof was very steep and covered with tile brought from Holland. The rafters were made like the knees of a vessel, all cut out of crooked timber. The brick in its walls were of small size and made of "whitish earth." The building was used for a number of purposes, and became very dilapidated before it was demolished in 1884.

The John Bird house was also built before 1700 and is still standing. It was long the property of Major John Moody. The house of George Read, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was on Water Street, and was removed many years ago. For a short time it was used as a bank building. George Read, the second, built the house now occupied by the family of Samuel Couper. The building, occupied in part by M.C. Rogers as a tobacco shop, antedates the struggle for independence many years. In the time of the Revolution it was occupied by a Dr. Finney.

A part of the old Court-House, used as a State building in William Penn’s time, was erected prior to 1680. Two years later Penn met the court in this building. The building has been enlarged and the interior changed. Some very large timbers have been used in its construction, the main girder consisting of a single piece of timber resting on two pillars opposite the doors. On these pillars it was customary in olden times to place the hands of criminals who had committed manslaughter, while they were branded with the letters M.S.A. The red-hot iron was applied until the room was filled with fumes from the burning flesh. The last person so branded was a colored man by the name of Jacob Battle, apprehended for the killing of one Clark.

MARKET SQUARE— NEW CASTLE COMMONS:— This market-house was built by the trustees of New Castle Common, has not been much used for market purposes in recent years. The lot on which it stands is part of a tract of land reserved for public uses as early as the seventeenth century. It has been controlled by various authorities, generally by trustees for the people of New Castle. This office, in the course of years, was neglected, and with a view of placing the property in the care of a perpetual board of trustees, the Assembly on June 13, 1772, appointed a board of Market Square trustees, consisting of David Finney, John Thompson, George Read, Thomas McKean and George Munro. The surviving trustee was empowered to name his successors. This was first done by Thomas McKean in August, 1809, when he appointed James R. Black, Kensey Johns, James Rogers, James Riddle, William C. Frazier, George Read and George Munro. On March 13, 1851, James Rogers, the surviving trustee, named Wm. T. Read, John Janvier, Wm. Couper, Charles H. Black and James Mansfield. On April 30, 1877, John Janvier, survivor, by deed appointed George Gray, John H. Rodney, Richard G. Cooper, Joseph H. Rogers and Julian D. Janvier.

On February 20, 1883, the Assembly enlarged the powers of the trustees and authorized them to hold the property for the city of New Castle, the rights of the county to the buildings, if it should want to use them for the purposes originally intended, being reserved. Under this act the square and its improvements have since been controlled.

The citizens of New Castle have also been much benefited by the income arising from the common lands, which, in the last forty years especially, has aided materially in supporting the schools and in improving the city. Ever since the settlement of New Castle the lands lying north of the town have been regarded as the common property of the citizens, and for nearly a century and a half have been held in trust for their common good. Under Swedish and Dutch rule individual rights to the wood and pasture on these lands were exercised, and it has only been within a comparatively recent period that a systematic effort was made to improve the lands with a view to making them more productive. The limits of these common lands were not defined prior to the eighteenth century, but on October 31, 1701, William Penn, as proprietor, "directed Edward Penington, Surveyor-General of the Province of Pennsylvania and Territories, by a warrant, to survey one thousand acres of land for a common for the use of the inhabitants of the town of New Castle. On April 10, 1704, George Deakyne, surveyor, made a return of the survey, which included one thousand and sixty-eight acres north of New Castle."

The acreage of the common lands having been fixed and the location established, "nothing further of importance seems to have been done in the matter until November 17, 1764, when Thomas and Richard Penn, sons of William Penn, and ‘true and absolute proprietaries and governors in chief of the counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex, in Delaware, and Province of Pennsylvania,’ recorded a charter incorporating, ‘in pursuance of a warrant from our late father, William Penn, Esquire,’ the trustees of the common. The inhabitants of New Castle had complained that persons having property contiguous to the common were encroaching upon the town’s tract, wasting the timber, etc., and they urged Thomas and Richard Penn to ‘incorporate a certain number of them, the said inhabitants of New Castle, and give them perpetual succession, and to confirm to them the said tract of land in common for the use and behoof of all the inhabitants of the said town.’

"The request was favored, and John Finney, Richard McWilliams, David Finney, Thomas McKean, George Read and George Munro, Esquires, and John Van Gezell, Zachariah Van Leuvenigh, Slator Clay, John Yeates, Nathaniel Silsbee, Daniel McLonen, Robert Morrison, gentlemen, were named as trustees, and they and their successors, forever after, were to be ‘one body corporate and politic, in deed, by the name of the Trustees of New Castle Common.’ The tract was deeded to the trustees for ‘the use of the inhabitants of the town of New Castle.’ The deed, made by the two Penns, declared that the property was ‘to be holden of us, our heirs and successsors, proprietaries of the said counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex, in Delaware, as of our manor of Rockland, in free and common socage, by fealty only in lieu of all other services. Yielding and paying, therefor, yearly and every year, unto us, our heirs and successors, at the town of New Castle, aforesaid, the rent of one ear of Indian corn, if demanded.’

"The trustees were endowed with all the powers of corporation— to sue and be sued, and to establish such by-laws, ordinances, etc., deemed just and necessary, provided they were not ‘repugnant to the laws of England or to the government of the counties aforesaid.’ When a trustee died, removed from New Castle, or was removed from office for misbehavior, an election was to be held, within ten days, for a successor, by such persons as had a freehold interest of forty shillings in New Castle, or who paid a yearly rental of that amount. The trustees were not to hold, as a body politic, by their letters patent, any other lands or tenements except the Common, and they had no power to sell any part of the Common, which were for no other use whatever except for the inhabitants of New Castle. If the trustees failed to obey the provisions, the property was to revert to Thomas and Richard Penn, their heirs and assigns.

"On July 8, 1791 (upon solicitation of the Trustees of the Common, who claimed that the restrictive terms of the grant of Thomas and Richard Penn prevented the inhabitants of the town of New Castle from deriving all those benefits and advantages which would result from a free and absolute grant thereof), ‘John Penn of Stoke Pogis, in the county of Bucks, Esquire, and John Penn, late of Wimpole Street, in the parish of Saint Marylebone, but now of Dover Street, in the county of Mlddlesex, Esquire (late Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, in America), formally deeded the Common to Isaac Grantham, Esquire, the Rev. Robert Clay, clerk, and William Lees, merchant, all of the hundred and county of New Castle, then successors and heirs, in trust nevertheless, to and for the use, benefit and behoof of the inhabitants of the town of New Castle,’ to be transferred or conveyed, by legal means, to the trustees of the Commons. The deed was executed in London and the seal of that city and of the Lord Mayor were affixed.

"In 1792 the General Assembly of Delaware passed an act to enlarge the corporate powers of the Trustees of the Common. It made the trustees a corporate body in deed and in law, with perpetual succession, vacancies to be provided for as in the former charter of incorporation; it gave them power to rent or lease, but not for a longer term than thirty years from the commencement of a lease or contract, and it provided that seven trustees were to make a quorum for the transaction of business, and that they must elect a president once a year.

"On July 13, 1792, Isaac Grantham, Robert Clay and William Lees formally deeded the Common to the trustees as per the deed to them by the two John Penns. The witnesses to the deed were John Bird, Jno. Willv, Sen., and Mary Grantham." From this time the title of New Castle in the lands was absolute.

In 1850 Dr. Charles H. Black and his co-trustees had the commons divided into farms, and by 1864, the annual revenue had increased to $7000, and the accumulation enabled the trustees to pay an old debt of $20,000 due the Farmers’ Bank for money borrowed to build the town hall and market-house, and for paving streets. During this period the schools had been supported, the town taxes were very light and Common farms free from debt. Since that time extensive improvements have caused a small indebtedness. In 1887 the Common consisted of nine farms and two lots, north of the city of New Castle, producing a revenue of more than eight thousand dollars, which was disbursed by the trustees for the benefit of the city of New Castle. Among the annual appropriations is one item of three thousand dollars, guarantee interest at six per cent., to the New Castle Water Works Company; and liberal appropriations are also made to the Fire Department.

In 1887 the Common trustees were the following:

John Janvier

Elected June 31, 1847

Ferdinand Leckler

Elected May 26, 1855

William Herbert, treasurer

Elected May 14, 1859

John White

Elected June 23, 1866

John Mahoney

Elected April 3, 1869

James G. Shaw

Elected May 8, 1889

John J. Black, M.D., president

Elected December 30, 1871

John H. Rodney

Elected January 9, 1875

William F. Lane, secretary

Elected December 3, 1878

Elmer W. Clark

Elected January 10, 1882

William J. Ferris

Elected May 29, 1883

George A. Maxwell

Elected January 24, 1885

Edward Challenger

Elected June 20, 1885

PROMINENT FAMILIES.— Among the old and honored families which resided at New Castle that of George Read, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of the most prominent. He was attorney-general under the British crown. His son, George, was also an attorney as were also his grandsons, George and William T., all deceased. Two granddaughters, Mrs. Anna Reeves and Miss Emily Read, reside at New Castle. Nicholas Van Dyke was another official and local celebrity, who died here. John Stockton held office under English rule and his son, Major Thomas Stockton, was an officer in the army. The latter had sons named Thomas, William and James. Several daughters reside at New Castle. Judge James Booth lived here and reared a large family. A daughter married Attorney-General James Rogers. His son, James Booth, was also an attorney and chief justice; and William Booth was an adjacent farmer. The former was the father of James R. Booth, attorney, and Thomas Booth, civil engineer. James Rogers was a son of Governor Daniel Rogers, of Milford, and was the father of William H. Rogers, attorney, and other sons, James, Eugene, Joseph H., Julian, Robert C. and Daniel, nearly all of whom were professional men. A daughter married J. Nicholas Barney, of the United States navy. Chancellor Kensey Johns was an honored citizen and father of Kensey Johns, Jr., who was also a chancellor. His brothers were Bishop John Johns and Henry Johns. John Johns, son of Kensey, Jr., resides in New Castle Hundred. An older brother, James, was an attorney. John Bird, merchant, was prominent at the same period. Of his sons, R.M., was a physician, journalist, novelist and dramatist; John, Jr., became a banker; and Henry was a civil engineer. John M. and Thomas Clayton lived a short time at New Castle. Geo. Read Riddle was a native of this place, but removed to Wilmington. Another native of the town was James Booth Roberts, son of Joseph Roberts, who was a celebrated
play-writer and author. Judge James R. Black lived in the residence now occupied by Dr. David Stewart, where he died, leaving daughters who married Dr. James Couper, John C. Groome and William Young. A later prominent citizen of the same name, but not of the same family, was Dr. Charles H. Black, father of Dr. John J. and Samuel H. Black. Dr. James Couper came here from Christiana Bridge, and for many years was the cashier of the Farmers’ Bank. He was the father of Dr. James M., William, Samuel and John Couper, all deceased. Another prominent citizen of New Castle, whose residence was of more recent date, was George B. Rodney, attorney, and father of John H. Rodney, also an attorney, and Major George Rodney, of the United States army. John and Thomas Janvier, brothers, were very active in the affairs of New Castle. The former was the grandfather of the present mayor, Julian D. Janvier. Wm. Janvier, a cousin of John and Thomas, was a prominent merchant at the old Frazier stand; and this family is one of the few whose residence here has been continued for more than a century.

SECRET ORDERS:— The first organization of a secret character in New Castle, of which any account has been preserved, was a Masonic Lodge, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, under authority of the Grand Lodge of Great Britain, April 3, 1781. The meetings were alternately held at New Castle and Christiana Bridge, and the principal officers were: Joseph Israel, Master; Joseph Kilkead, Senior Warden; and John Clark, Junior Warden.

St. John’s, No. 2, A.F. and A.M., was chartered June 27, 1848. It has over eighty members. The following are Past-Masters: Hiram R. Borie, Edward Dalby, George W. Ellicott, Gardner L. Jemison, W. Wood Lesley, P.G.T., John B. Lefevre, Robert S. Martin, George A. Maxwell, P.D.G.M., Thomas M. Ogle, P.G.T.

For many years the meetings were held in the old City Hall, but, since the fall of 1880, a handsome lodge-room has been occupied in the Masonic and Odd Fellows’ Block. This building was erected under the direction of a joint committee, consisting of William Herbert, M.N. Wier and Ira Lunt, Masons, and Jacob Herman, B.B. Groves and George F. Deakyne, Odd-Fellows. The corner-stone was laid in 1879, and the dedicatory ceremonies were held September 13, 1880. The building is an imposing three-story edifice, fifty by one hundred feet; the lower floors are business-rooms; the second story contains the grand opera-house, and the third story two lodge-rooms for the Masons and the Odd-Fellows respectively, having separate entrances and ante-rooms. The total cost was $30,731.10. In 1887 the trustees of the Masons were, William Herbert, John W. Coffman and John Walls.

Washington Lodge, No. 5, I.O.O.F., was instituted at New Castle, October 16, 1833, the charter having been granted to Lucien M. Chase, William D. Chestnut, David L. Moody, William H. Stayton and John McIntire. The meetings were held in a small brick house on Harmony Street until 1846, when a room was secured in the City Hall until September, 1880, when the lodge occupied its present quarters in the Masonic and Odd Fellows’ Building.

In the first fifty years there were admitted four hundred and ten members, and sixty-three died. The relief of sick and disabled members cost $1491.50. In 1887 it had a membership of ninety, and the trustees were Louis R. Hushebeck, B.F. Lancaster and George W. Eckles. Since 1856 the secretary of the lodge has been William Herbert, and his only predecessor was Lucien M. Chase, whose services extended from 1833. Many of the members have held important offices in the higher councils of the order.

Seminole Tribe, No. 7, Improved Order of Red Men, was instituted February 25, 1869, with the following charter members: Robert H. Palmer, Squire Isherwood, Alonzo R. Wright, John B. Vining, Travis Taylor, James Darling, Richard Bond, Joshua Greaves, Edward Lever, William H. McAllister, Robert Conway, William L. Point, John Haywood, William T. Sutton, and the officers elected were: Prophet, Robert H. Palmer; Sachem, Richard Bond; Sr. Sag. Travis Taylor; Jr. Sag., John B. Vining, Jr.; C. of R., W.H. McAllister; K. of W., James Darling. The tribe met originally in the old court-house and afterwards in the lodge-room occupied by the Masons and Odd Fellows, when, finding the room too small for their membership, they, in May, 1881, built a wigwam corner of Union and South Streets, on a lot of land forty by one hundred and twenty-five feet, which was donated to them by William Herbert. Gardner L. Jemison was the builder, and Graham & Son, Wilmington, were the architects. The building committee were George E. Temple, James H. Whitelock, Samuel T. Lancaster, Edward S. Monkton, David M. Castlow, William H. Perry and James B. Lancaster. The wigwam cost $8400, and was dedicated May 1, 1882, by the Grand Council of Delaware.

The first story of the building is occupied by the city as an engine-house, the second story is a public hall and the third is the lodge-room, occupied also by other societies as tenants of Seminole Tribe. In 1885 the tribe was incorporated by act of Assembly. The trustees are George W. Cline, W.G. Wright and George E. Temple. Thomas T. Tasker is the Prophet of the tribe, which has a membership of one hundred and twenty-three.

Harmony Castle, No. 6, K. of G.E., was instituted in May, 1883, with forty members, and has now about seventy-five members. The meetings are held in the old Odd Fellows’ Hall, and the board of trustees is composed of Frank Patton, George Williams and Frank H. Pinkerton. The Past Chief is Delaney Williams.

Adelphi Lodge, No. 8, K. of P., instituted October 15, 1868, has about sixty members. Its meetings are held in a hall corner of Delaware and Union Streets, in a three-story building erected by the lodge, at a cost of $12,000, and dedicated May 1, 1885. This block was subsequently sold, a lease of the lodge-room only being retained. In this building also meet Division No. 3, Ancient Order of Hibernians, which has a growing membership, and Riverview Assembly, No. 6146, Knights of Labor, which was instituted in March, 1886, and newly chartered in August, of the same year. The latter body has several hundred members.

Captain Evan S. Watson Post, No. 5, G.A.R. was chartered December 20, 1881, with twenty-five members, James A. Price, Commander, and Joseph E. Robertson, Adjutant. Until July, 1887, seventy-three members had been mustered, and at that date the post had thirty-five members, with William M. Walls, Commander, and Edward McDonough, Adjutant. The post meets in City Hall. The trustees are Robert S. Martin, George M. Riley and Edward McDonough.

General David B. Birney Post, No. 12, G.A.R. was mustered in September, 1883, with twenty-eight members, John J. Gormley, Commander; Joseph E. Vantine, Adjutant. Since that time eight new members have been received, and thirteen have died or resigned. In July, 1887, there were twenty-three members, with Joseph E. Vantine, Commander. The post meets in Herman’s Hall.

RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL.— The majority of the early Swedish settlers were imbued with a respect for Divine worship, and this piety led them to establish places of worship, soon after their own homes were erected, in which accredited ministers expounded the Gospel. Among the first to serve in this connection was Rev. John Campanius, who came over with Governor Printz, in 1642. He preached in the settlements along Christiana Creek and the Delaware River. The tenure of the Swedes being so uncertain, but few churches were built under their occupancy. Under the Dutch more places of worship were established. Coming in colonies, it was invariably arranged that one of their number should be a man of piety, in full communion with the Reformed Dutch Church, to teach school and assist in public worship, often discharging the duties which pertain to the minister’s office when there was no regular minister. About 1657 a regular Dutch Church was organized at New Amstel by Rev. John Polhemus, who stopped here on hie way from Brazil to New Amsterdam, where he settled and died. This interest was placed in the care of Schoolmaster Evert Peterson; but the following year Rev. Evardus Welius came from Amsterdam as the first ordained settled minister of the town. He died in 1659. Again schoolmaster Peterson, who was also distinguished for his piety, assumed the ministerial functions. In 1662, Rev. Warnerus Hadson was sent from Holland to take his place, but died on the voyage. In 1678, Rev. Petrus Tasschemakers settled here and was pastor for several years, being probably the successor of the unruly Dominie Fabricius, who was deposed from the ministry. The meetings were held in a small wooden church, which stood between the market square and the river, and near the site of the old fort. By some it is supposed that the present Presbyterian Church occupies a part of the site of the old Dutch Church, and which appears to have been abandoned before 1700. Notwithstanding a number of Huguenots had settled at New Amstel, and a French clergyman died here in 1684, who may have been the minister, the church was not prospering and in the year last named the Classis of Amsterdam sent a pastoral letter in which the dissensions which had arisen are deplored and the congregation was exhorted to promote the Gospel and to secure a minister. The people were then under English rule, and although it had been expressly stipulated "that the people be left free as to the liberty of conscience in church as formerly," after having taken the oath of allegiance to the British crown in civil matters, there was such a lack of harmony that the church appears to have lost all its influence. The people continued to worship in the old church as an independent congregation, but with diminished numbers, and there was a laxity of public morals, consequently, inconsistent with former practices. Through the influence of the Quaker element there was a demand upon the public authorities for the better observance of those laws which pertained to the sanctity of the Sabbath. In the court records of September 6, 1680, appears this minute:
     "Whereas the frequent shooting of Partridges wth in this Towne of New Castle, on ye Sabbath or Lord’s day, doth mutch tend to ye Prophaning of ye sd Lord’s day. Itt is therefore this day, by the Court, ordered that for ye future noe person Inhabiting wth in this towne of New Castle shall presume on ye Lord’s day to goe on hunting or shooting after any Partridges as well wth out as wth in this Towne; or any other game upon a penalty of fyne of 10 Gilders for ye first time, 20 gilders for ye second and ye loss of ye Gun for ye 3d offens, of which all persons to take notice."

Soon after the proprietorship of William Penn, steps were taken to establish a Friends’ Meeting. This purpose was fully carried out, in 1684, by the Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia, under whose direction the meeting at New Castle became permanent. The Friends constituting it were few in numbers, and for a number of years they assembled at the houses of the various members, the first church being built in 1705. Fifteen years later a board of trustees is mentioned, and in October, 1720, they obtained title to a lot of ground, one hundred and twenty by three hundred feet, on Beaver and Otter Streets, the conveyance being from George Hogg, Sr., cordwainer, to John Richardson, Mahala Meers, George Hogg, Jr., and Edward Gibbs. In 1752, John Richardson deeded the property to another board of trustees, consisting of Benjamin Scott, John Leuden, Joseph Leuden, Eliakim Garrettson and Joseph Rotheram. In 1758 the Meeting was "raised" finally and the members thereafter attended at Wilmington, the property ultimately passing into the possession of that Meeting, which sold it. What was known in later years as the Quaker meeting-house stood on the corner of Pine and Railroad Streets, and the ground extending to Union Street was set aside for burial purposes. This small plain brick building, antedating the Revolution, was demolished in 1885. Many years previously it stood unused, after having been occupied first by a white congregation and later by colored people.

About the time the Friends, Meeting was established it became apparent that the Dutch Church could only maintain its existence by adapting its services to the new class of settlers in New Castle. The English language was accordingly substituted, in most of the services, and continued to be used until the church ceased to be known as a Reformed Dutch body. Many of the new arrivals were from Scotland and the North of Ireland, where they had been nurtured in the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, and the transition from one to the other was very easy.

The Presbyterian Church of New Castle is probably the successor of the old Dutch Church. Rev. John Wilson, a Presbyterian, preached here prior to 1703, as in the year named he is spoken of as having been gone half a year. He preached in the court-house, and after his departure there was a desire for his return, and an expectation that a congregation could be permanently organized. He did return and commenced to make preparations for erecting a house of worship on lots purchased from John Brewster and Thomas Janvier. These deeds bear date August 15, 1707, and were executed "to Roeloffe De Haes, Sylvester Garland and Thomas Janvier, merchants and undertakers, or agents for erecting and building a Presbyterian Church or house of worship in the town of New Castle." The house built proved too small to accommodate the growing congregation, and in 1712 eighteen feet of ground adjoining was bought of John Brewster in order to enlarge it. Soon after the minister, Mr. Wilson, died, leaving a wife who received the generous support of the church during her life. His field of labor extended to White Clay Creek and to Appoquinimink. A short time before his death White Clay Creek sent a petition to the Presbytery to have the ordinances of the Gospel administered with more convenience and nearness to the place of their abode, promising withal due encouragement to the minister that shall be appointed to supply them. To this proposition New Castle objected, alleging that it would prevent a number of persons from attending the meetings in their town to worship, and would thus weaken their congregation. The statement made such an impression on the minds of the Presbytery that it decided not to grant the petition for separation; but immediately after Mr. Wilson’s death the field was divided into three, and Rev. James Anderson became the pastor of the New Castle Church. One of the most important events of Mr. Anderson’s ministry was the division, September 19, 1716, of the Philadelphia Presbytery into three separate Presbyteries, of which one was the Presbytery of New Castle. This embraced the churches of New Castle, Christiana Creek, Welsh Tract, Appoquinimink, Petuxen and Patapsco. The first session was held in the church at New Castle March 13, 1717, and the home church was represented by Elder David Miller, who served with the Huguenot, Thomas Janvier, in that office, the latter being the first elder. The same year the pastoral relation of Mr. Anderson was terminated by his removal to New York.

The third pastor of the congregation was Rev. Robert Cross, a native of Ireland, who was ordained and installed September 19, 1719. This was the first service of the kind in the church, and the first of the New Castle Presbytery. Thomas Janvier was the representative elder.

The ministry of Mr. Cross continued until the fall of 1722, when he became the pastor of the Jamaica (L.I.) Church, and later of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia.

In 1727 some of the members of the congregation residing in the country, below New Castle, sent commissioners to the Presbytery to request its concurrence in the building of a meeting-house in the centre of their neighborhood. This privilege was granted them, on their promise to continue members of the New Castle congregation, and a house was erected on Pigeon Run, near Red Lion. For many years "it was used as it was designed to be, a chapel of ease to the church at New Castle."

The congregation at New Castle was served many years in connection with White Clay Creek, but, after 1756, a union was formed with Christiana Bridge, which was long continued, and, in 1769, Rev. Joseph Montgomery became the pastor. A distinguishing feature of his ministry was a plan for educating pious young men for the ministry, whereby a fund was to be raised by the joint efforts of pastors and members. The first student educated by this means was James Wilson, who was taken under the care of the Presbytery, in 1773. The labors of Mr. Montgomery were much disturbed by the breaking out of the war, and, in October, 1777, he resigned to become a chaplain in the American army. From this time until the settlement of Rev. Samuel Barr, in 1791, the pulpit was vacant, although occupied, occasionally by supplies sent by the Presbytery.

In August, 1800, Rev. John E. Latta was installed as pastor and remained for twenty-four years. On February 3, 1808, the church through his efforts, became an incorporated body.

In 1842, Rev. John B. Spotswood (14*) became the pastor and continued until 1883. His ministry was one of the most important in the history of the congregation, as it embraced the building of the present fine church edifice, which was begun in 1851, but was not dedicated until 1854. The material is brown sand-stone, arranged in Gothic architecture, and cost about twenty thousand dollars. It was erected under the direction of Charles M. Black, Andrew C. Gray and Dr. James Couper, who comprised the building committee. In the fall of 1884 Samuel M. Couper presented the old Black homestead to the congregation for a church manse, and two years later the cemetery and church property were improved at an outlay of five thousand dollars. The entire church property is valued at fifty thousand dollars, and the trustees are J.I. Taggart, J.D. Janvier, W.J. Ferris, G.W. Turner, J.J. Black, M.D., William McCoy and Henry Holschumaker.

The congregation had an active membership of over one hundred and the Sabbath-school one hundred and seventy-five members.

Since its organization the pastors and supplies of the church have been the following:

Rev. John Wilson


Rev. James Anderson


Rev. Robert Cross


Rev. Gilbert Tennent, S.S.


Rev. Hugh Stevenson


Presbyterial supplies


Rev. John Dick


Rev. Daniel Thane


Rev. Mr. Magaw, S.S.


Rev. Joseph Montgomery


Presbyterial supplies


Rev. Samuel Barr


Rev. John E. Latta


Rev. Joshua N. Danforth


Rev. Wm. P. Alrichs, S.S.


Rev. John M. Dickey


Rev. James Knox


Rev. John Decker


Rev. John B. Spotswood


Rev. Wm. P. Patterson


The ruling elders, as far as can be ascertained, have been:

Thomas Janvier


David Miller


Sylvester Garland


Thomas Moore


William Scott


Robert Bryan


Samuel Barr


William Aiken


Samuel Ruth


Alexander Duncan


William Ruth


James Couper— C. Bridge


Richard Hambly— C. Bridge


James Caldwell— C. Bridge


Dr. R.L. Smith— C. Bridge


George Pratt— C. Bridge


Robert Barr


Charles Thomas


Jacob Belville


Hugh Gemmill


Dr. James Couper


Kensey Johns, Jr.


John Belville


Nicholas, Van Dyke


Matthew Kean


James McCullough


James Smith


Elijah Start


John Gordon


William F. Lane


David Stewart, Jr., M.D.


Wm. D. Greer


Although the history of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New Castle properly begins with the year 1703, when the movement was successfully inaugurated which afterward resulted in the founding of the Emanuel congregation, it appears that a quarter-century earlier a congregation of the Church of England existed in New Castle for a few years. With regard to this particular religious element the records are not full, and as there was not any mention of it at the organization of Emanuel Church, the presumption is that it was disbanded some years prior to the beginning of the eighteenth century, and that it used the old New Castle Church as a place of worship. On April 4, 1677, the court "further conciedering that the Late and Church Warden, Marten Rosemond, being deceased, some fitt pesons ought to be appointed to supply and administer the said place of sd Church Warden in this Town of New Castle. Have therefore thought fitt to appoint Mr. Hendrick Williams and Mr. John Harmens to bee sd Church Wardens In the Roome of the deceased for and during the space of one yeare now next ensuing this date."

On March 7, 1678, the court records state that
     "Mr. John Yeo, minister, being lately come out of Maryland this day, appearing in Court, did exhibit & produce his Letters of orders and License to Read divine service, administer the Holy Sacraments A preach ye word of God according to ye Lawes & Constitution of the Church of England. The Cot have accepted of ye sd John Yeo, upon ye approbation of his Honor, the Governor, hee to bee mayntayned by the Gifts of ye free willing Givers, wherewth the sd John Yeo declared to be contented."

Also, on June 4, 1678,
     "The Court referred the Setting and Regulating of ye Church Affaires of this place unto Mr. John Moll & Mr. Peter Alrichs, They to make up ye acct wth ye Reader and Wardens, and to make such further orders & Regulations as shall bee found most necessary."

That the Rev. Yeo did not devote his entire attention to the New Castle charge is shown by the fact that a petition was adopted July 17,
     "To devise and humbly Request his honor, the Governor, to grant us Leave and permission to obtayne and have an Orthodox minister, to bee mayntayned by the gifts of ye free willing Givers."

On November 5, 1678, the court
     "Resolved (In regard the Church doth mutch need Reparation), that Mr. John Moll & Mr. Peter Alrichs take care and order about the same The charge & costs to bee found and Raysed by a Tax, if no money bee more due upon the former list of ye Reader."

On December 3, 1678,
     "Itt was this day by the Court Resolved and ordered that 500 to 600 acres of Land bee Layed out for Glebb Land for a Minister wthin this Court’s jurisdiction, wth a fitt proportion of Marrish, To bee In the most Convenient place, where Land not taken up can be found, as also that a Lott of 120 foot broad & 300 foot long bee Layed out in Towne for to build a house for ye Minister to live on, and that another lot of 60 foot broad bee Layed out for a scoole as also a place appointed for the building of Church and a new Church-yard in the most fittest place as shall bee thought convenient and best."

The same day
     "A nomination for Elders and Wardens being this day delivered in Court this day made the following








In court, on January 7, 1679,
     "Mr. Thomas Harwod declared to have given as a free gift towards the Repayring of the old, or the building of a new, church within this Towne of New Castle."

On March 4, 1679, John Yeo preferred a petition to the court showing that he came to New Castle December, 1677, "and was received as Minister to bee paid by voluntary subscription of ye Inhabitants and that he continued until denied by Capt. Billop, then Commander, without any proof of any crime deserving such suspension." The petitioner desired of the court "an order for a quantum Mereuit proportionable to the Tyme of his Preaching to the People of this place, being one-third part of the subscription; and also for other perquisites due to him, Baptising of children, Marriages, Burrialls, &c."

To this petition the court answered "that since the Petititioner, Mr. Yeo, after he had been some time here, did then in open congregation in ye church voluntarily out of his own accord throw up ye Paper of ye People’s subscription, he saying and openly then declaring freely to discharge them, The Court can therefore not charge them again since the Petitionr himselfe so publickly discharged them and if Capt. Billop (as wthout any order hee did) has given ye Petitionr that subscription bake, the Court are of opinion that therefore the Petitionr may have Remedy against him the sd Capt. Billop, &c., but as for the perquisites of Marriadges, Baptisms & Burrialls, the Petitionr ought to bee for ye same what is just and equitable."

The Rev. John Yeo purchased an interest in eight hundred acres of land of John Edmunds, November 30, 1677, which lay on White Clay Creek, near Christiana Creek. This he sold April 30, 1678, and he probably returned soon after to Maryland, as his name is not found in records later.

The Emanuel Protestant Episcopal Church of New Castle was founded early in the eighteenth century. On August 11, 1703, some of the inhabitants of New Castle petitioned the Bishop of London "to take compassion on their deplorable condition and to supply preaching by a person in holy orders." Having received a favorable answer, measures were taken to build a house of worship. This purpose led to the establishment of the church in 1704, about twenty families being friendly to the movement. Through the assistance of citizens of Philadelphia and the Presbyterians of New Castle, the church was opened in 1706, with solemn services, Rev. Charles Rudman, Swedish minister at Oxford, Pa., preaching the sermon. At this time the church was described by the Rev. Evan Evans, of Philadelphia, as "a large and fair structure."

In 1705, Rev. George Ross came as the first minister, being sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Three years later the congregation was much diminished by deaths resulting from an epidemic, which discouraged Mr. Ross, and led to his removal to Chester, in 1709. For this action he was recalled by the society, and ordered to return to England. While on his way to that country he was captured by a French cruiser February 9, 1711, carried to Brest, stripped of his clothes and treated in an inhuman manner. On being released he returned to Chester and again resumed his missionary labors at New Castle. During his absence Revs. Robert Sinclair and Jacob Henderson occasionally preached. Mr. Ross remained with the congregation until his death, in 1754. The next three years Rev. Aaron Cleveland, a friend of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, was the minister, and died at his house August 11, 1757. Rev. AEneas Ross, a son of the first minister, now assumed the duties of a rector, serving the parish from 1757 to 1782.

After a short interval Rev. Charles Henry Wharton began a ministry which extended from 1784 to 1788. His successor was the Rev. Robert Clay, who became the rector in 1788, and continued until 1833. The successive rectors were Rev. Stephen Wilson Prestman, 1833; Rev. George W. Freeman, 1843; Rev. Benjamin Franklin, 1856; Rev. Richard Wittingham, 1864; Rev. Charles Sidney Spencer, 1867; Rev. P.B. Lightner, 1886.

On the 4th of December, 1716, Richard Halliwell, one of the members of the church, devised by will a glebe of sixty-seven acres, which has ever since been used for the benefit of the church. A later benefactor was John Janvier, who bequeathed the income of $5850.10 for the good of the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches and Sabbath-schools. The instrument bears date March 23, 1846, and the fund he left was placed in charge of trustees.

In 1724 a gallery was built in the church to accommodate the growing congregation. Four years later the pew-holders were Richard Halliwell’s family, Joseph Wood, John Strand, Samuel Kirk, Thomas Dakeyne, John Land, Peter Jaquett, Cornelius Kettle, Richard Grafton, William Read, Samuel Lowman, Yeates & Custis, Zophar Eaton, John Wallace, Thos. Gassel, Richard Reynolds, Peter Hance, James Sykes, John Cann.

In 1802 money was subscribed to repair the church, but it was not until 1818 that extensive repairs were actually begun, and completed in 1822. The citizens united in purchasing a town clock, which was placed in the tower, in charge of the Common’s trustees. They retained control and kept it in order until June, 1887, when it was transferred to the trustees of Emanuel Church.

About this time the congregation notably increased in numbers. On October 28, 1822, the pew-holders of the church were the following:

Jesse Moore.

James Booth, Jr.

George Pierce.

George Read, Jr.

John Gordon.

James R. Black.

John Stockton.

George Read.

John Wiley.

James Booth.

James Frazier.

Kensey Johns.

John Springer.

Kensey J. Van Dyke.

William Guthrie.

Charles Thomas.

David Paynter.

Thomas W. Rogers.

Samuel Carpenter.

John D. Eves.

Cornelius D. Blaney.

John Riddle.

Isaac Grantham.

Isaac G. Israel.

Capt. Lemuel Hawley.

James McCalmont.

Kensey Johns, Jr.

John Duncan.

John Wiley, Sr.

John Copeur.

Nicholas Van Dyke.

John Duncan.

Thomas Janvier.

James McCullough.

John Janvier.

Wm. T. Israel.

Rev. Robert Clay.

Hugh W. Ritchie.

Evan Thomas.

Richard E. Smith.

Joseph Roberts.

Morcia G. Ross.

Jeremiah Bowman.

John Ocheltree.

Dr. Henry Colesberry.

James Thompson.

Richard Lexton.

James Le Fevre.

James Rogers.

Jacob Welsh.

Wm. T. Read.

John Bellville.

In the spring of 1848 a fine cross, six feet high and covered with copper, was raised on the spire of the church, and two years later the chancel was beautified. In the summer of 1860 the church was enlarged and improved, and other repairs were again made in 1880.

In 1869 a frame chapel was built in the northern part of New Castle, at a cost of $2166.85. In the spring of 1887 a very five rectory was completed, at a cost of six thousand dollars. In 1887 the vestry was composed of Alfred C. Nowland and John McFarlin, wardens; John H. Rodney, Thomas Holcomb, Eugene Rogers, Benj. R. Ustick, Michael King, J.E.V. Platt and Lewis E. Eliason, vestrymen.

The following is a list of wardens of the church and the years of their election:

Richard Halliwell and James




John Land, Edward Jennings and John Earl


James Sykes


William Read


James Merriwether


Richard Grafton


James Sykes and James Merriwether


Jehu Curtis


William Read and Richard Grafton


Henry Gonnill


Nicholas Jaquett


John Vangezell


Jehu Curtis and John Stoop


Richard McWilliams and Jacob Grantham


William Till


Joseph Enos


William Stubey


Alexander Harvey


John Stockton


Joseph Tatlow


Thomas Aiken and John Wetherel


William Clay


Thomas Bond


Michael King


Kensey Johns


Michael King


Thomas Bond


Henry Colesberry


William T. Read


James Booth


Evan H. Thomas


William T. Read


Geo. B. Rodney


James R. Booth


Alfred C. Nowland


John McFarlin


Nazareth M.E. Church .— As early as 1769, Captain Thomas Webb, a pensioned officer of the British army, came to New Castle and preached as a Methodist minister. His teachings were received with so little favor that the doors of the Court-House were closed against him, though open to various forms of frivolity. Under these circumstances, Robert Furness, a tavern-keeper, opened his house for preaching, notwithstanding he was fully aware that he would lose much of his custom. Later he joined the Methodists, and preaching continued to be held at his place. In 1780, while Benjamin Abbott was the minister, and was preaching in the public-room of the house, "a pack of ruffians attempted to take possession, and one stood with a bottle in his hand, swearing that he would throw it at the minister’s head. But Furness placed himself at the door and prevented such an act, while Mr. Abbott continued to proclaim the truths of the Gospel."

About this time a Methodist Society was formed in New Castle, but did not last long. A second was also disbanded after an experience of a few years, and after having promised to be more permanent than like societies organized in neighboring towns. They declined because New Castle had, at that period, no increase of population, and most of the old inhabitants had their church preferences well fixed in their minds. Neither were the meetings held with any great regularity on account of the scarcity of ministers. Those occasionally preaching were Revs. John King, Robert Williams, Richard Boardman, Joseph Pennor, Richard Wright and Francis Asbury, whose itinerancy extended over a large area of country.

The present society was formed in 1820, and was composed of twenty-one members, with Thomas Challenger as leader of the class. The same year a small church was built in the grave-yard now used by the society, at New Castle, and was dedicated in the spring of 1821. Thomas Challenger, Noah Morris, Samuel Wood and John Hays were the first trustees. In 1863 a new house of worship was erected upon the same lot, which was enlarged in 1876 by the addition of the chapel in the rear, used for class-rooms and a church parlor. The church is valued at seventeen thousand dollars. In 1883 a parsonage worth three thousand five hundred dollars was built on the opposite side of the street, and in 1887 both were controlled by a board of trustees, composed of S. Atwood Steward, John B. Manlove, Henry W. Frazier, James E. Biggs, Robert C. Gordon, George Williams, Elwood L. Wilson, Isaac Sutton and George W. Vandegrift·

After being successfully established, the church entered upon a career of prosperity. The membership is about two hundred and seventy, in addition to a Sabbath-school of four hundred and fifty members.

In 1820 the church was supplied, in connection with Newport, by Revs. Joseph Rusling, Ezekiel Cooper and James Smith. In 1822 the service was with Asbury Church, Wilmington, and the ministers were Revs. Lawrence Lawrenson and John Henry; 1823, with Newport, Rev. Henry G. King 1825, with Cecil Circuit, Revs. John Goforth and Edward Page.

In 1837 the church became a station. The ministers have been:

Rev. Pennell Coombe


Rev. James H. McFarland


Rev. John D. Long


Rev. J.L. Taft


Rev. Nicholas Ridgely


Rev. Samuel G. Hare


Rev. Arthur W. Milby


Rev. Thomas Miller


Rev. Peter Halliwell


Rev. Andrew Manship


Rev. J.H. Wythes


Rev. Wm. B. Walton


Rev. J.N. King


Rev. J.S. Lane


Rev. Wm. J. Paxton


Rev. John O’Neil


Rev. John W. Pierson


Rev. Thomas Montgomery


Rev. M.H. Sisty


Rev. S.N. Chew


Rev. Daniel George


Rev. Leonidas Dobson


Rev. Wm. B. Wharton


Rev. H.H. Colclazer


Rev. J.B. Mann


Rev. Geo. R. Bristor


Rev. David C. Ridgeway


Rev. Madison A. Richards


Rev. Geo. R. Bristor


Rev. Nicholas M. Brown


Rev. Thomas E. Terry


Rev. Edward L. Hubbard


The New Castle Baptist Church was organized at a meeting held in the court-house September 30, 1876, when fourteen persons united in church fellowship as follows: Mrs. Margaret Davis, Sallie M. George, Susan Harrington, Caroline La Boub, Edward Dalby, J.C. La Boub, Joseph Pyle, J.N. Taylor, Joseph H. Whitsell, Sallie G. McMullin, Anna Whitsell, Mattie V. Pedrick, Alice Pyle and Ellen Pyle.

The meetings, which resulted in this organization, were held by Revs. W.H. Young and B. MacMackin, students of Crozer Theological Seminary at Chester, and the latter afterward served as the first regular pastor. He remained until May, 1885, when Rev. J. Miller was called and preached until October. Rev. W.W. Ferris next served from the early part of 1886 until March, 1887. At this time there were forty-six members, and Edward Dalby and William Sutton were deacons; W.H. Volk, clerk. Other clerks have been Theo. White, C.F. Lancaster, John P. Garber and J.H. George.

In June, 1877, a board of trustees was elected, consisting of Edward Dalby, Nehemiah Davis, J.C. La, Boub and S. Pederick, and measures were taken to build a chapel, which was completed December 19, 1879. It is a very neat brick structure, valued at six thousand dollars.

St. Peter’s Church Roman Catholic .— Catholic services were held at New Castle as early as 1804, by visiting priests from Wilmington; and the church founded soon after stood in the relation of a preaching-station to that city for many years. In 1807 an effort was made to erect a small brick church, but several years elapsed before it was completed, when, through the efforts of B. Murphy and others, it was finished. To assist in this work, an act was passed by the Legislature, February 3, 1808, to enable John Bird, John Janvier, Samuel Barr, James McCalmont and Evan Thomas, as managers, to raise a sum of money not exceeding two thousand dollars by lottery; but it does not appear that this means was successfully employed. The old church was used more than sixty years, and until 1828 Father P. Kenney was the principal priest. Fathers George A. Correll and P. Reilly were later ministers.

In 1854 Father Cobbin came to New Castle as the resident priest, and served a parish which embraced all the other Catholic Churches on the Peninsula. In 1868 the church ceased to belong to the diocese of Philadelphia, and became a part of the new diocese of Wilmington, with parish bounds much restricted. Still later all other churches were separated from it excepting Delaware City, which is still connected as a mission.

Father Cobbin was pastor until 1864, when he was succeeded by Father Cajetan Sorrentina, who continued until 1866. The same year Father B.A. Baumeister was pastor for four months, and was succeeeded by Father George Borneman, whose ministry extended over a period of eighteen months. Father E.A. Connelly was the pastor for nearly a year. In the new diocese Father John Daily was the first priest, remaining until his death, September 5, 1874, and his remains were buried under the church. It was he who began the present edifice in 1870, and who labored unceasingly to complete it. The church was consecrated May 27, 1876, when the present cardinal of Baltimore officiated. The following year the fine pastoral residence adjoining was erected. Both buildings are of brick. The property is worth thirty-five thousand dollars.

The successor of Father Daily was Father Benjamin J. Keiley, who remained until 1880, when Father Francis J. Rebman was pastor until September, 1884. Since the latter period the priest of the parish has been Father Edward L. Brady. The church has one hundred and fifty families in communion. Of the several societies connected with the church, St. Peter’s Beneficial Society is one of the most important. It was organized in 1867.

The Union American Church is a plain brick building, having a seating capacity for several hundred persons, and was erected in 1863. The society occupying it is an offshoot of Mt. Salem African M.E. Church and was organized in 1836. The same year eighteen persons withdrew from the membership and established worship of their own, meeting for a time in the old Quaker meeting-house. In 1839 they built a small frame church which was used until the present building took its place. It is worth several thousand dollars and the trustees are William Butler, Joshua Ayers and Edward Handy. The membership of the church was fifty-six in June, 1887, and Asbury Smith was the pastor in charge.

Mt. Salem M.E. Church (Colored) is a brick edifice costing $2000, and was erected in 1878. The society first worshipped in various parts of the town and after 1857 in a small frame building of its own. Isaac Young, a local preacher, was pastor. In 1857 it had a membership of fifty persons with the following officers: Trustees, Parker Balon, Nelson Murray, Benj. H. Harrison, Alexander Terry, Jesse H. Guy, Noah Townsend and Douglas Black. In the new church the regular ministers were Revs. I.H. White, Thomas M. Hubbard, James H, Scott, Wm. Taylor, James K. Adams and James H. Scott.

The New Castle Y.M C.A . was organized in 1883 and at one time had forty members. D.C. Spafford and Dr. David Stewart were presidents. A reading-room was opened and much benevolent work was undertaken, but a declining interest and removals caused the organization to disband.

An auxiliary branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was organized at New Castle in 1880 by Frances Willard and others. Twelve ladies became active members and ten sustained an honorary relation. Mrs. Mary P. Challenger was the first president, but since 1882 Mrs. A.E. Davidson has filled that position. The society has disseminated a great deal of temperance literature and accomplished mach missionary work. Since 1884 it has been active in religious, prison and charitable work.

SCHOOLS.— Evert Petersen is spoken of as "the schoolmaster" as early as 1658, and a lot was to be set aside for a school-house. Later Abelius Zetscooren was the schoolmaster. In November, 1663, the people at Upland desired his services; but the New Amstel authorities would not give him up. On June 13, 1772, an act was passed "setting aside a part of the State-house lot of land in the northwest corner of the grave-yard of Emanuel Church, on which to erect a school-house, the inhabitants at that time intending to build thereon. David Finney, John Thompson, George Read, Thomas McKean and George Monro were appointed trustees for erecting the school-house— to be for that use forever." On this lot a house was built in 1800, which was incorporated January 30, 1801, as follows: "Whereas inhabitants of New Castle and vicinity have, by voluntary contribution, erected an academy in the town upon a lot of ground in the public square, which lot was vested in trustees for school purposes, as above." This act of January 30, 1801, provides as "Trustees of the New Castle Academy," Kensey Johns, James Booth, George Read, Archibald Alexander, James Riddle, James Caldwell, Nicholas Van Dyke, James McCalmont and John Bird. The former trustees were empowered to convey the lot to the trustees here mentioned; and on the 6th of June, 1808, Thomas McKean, the surviving trustee, made such a conveyance "for one cent, lawful money." The schools taught in this building were generally under individual control, the trustees having charge of the house only. Samuel Jacquett was thus a teacher many years, as were also Samuel Hood, James Riddle and others. Later the school was known as the New Castle Institute, and A.B. Wiggins was the principal. William F. Lane held the same position subsequently, also being the head of the public schools after the Free School System was adopted. He was a thorough instructor, and prepared young men for college.

The old academy is still used. The other schoolhouse in the same locality was erected as a United States arsenal, but, after 1831, was a garrison for the troops stationed at Fort Delaware, pending improvements. It has been occupied for school purposes many years.

In 1887 there were nine schools in New Castle, which had an enrolment of four hundred and ninety-five pupils, and J.E. George as principal. The board of directors at the same time were,— William Herbert, president; E.L. Wilson, secretary; J.D. Janvier, L.E. Eliason, George W. Eckles, William J. Ferris, James Rice, W. Worthington and S.A. Stewart.

William Herbert, president of the School Board of New Castle and State treasurer of Delaware, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., July 9, 1829. He is a son of John and Eliza Herbert and removed with them to New Castle in early childhood. There his father, who was by trade a cooper, engaged in fishing and was drowned while plying his occupation on the Delaware, June 1, 1840. The widow was left with two daughters and two sons, William being the youngest and less than eleven years of age. Although so young, the little fellow manfully resolved to help his mother, borrowed twenty-five cents and began his career as a newspaper boy, being the first that ever sold a newspaper on the streets of New Castle as the agent of the Philadelphia Ledger. He also engaged in other enterprises and left no stone unturned to earn an honest penny. Soon after his father’s death he even accomplished the feat of driving a drove of cattle to Philadelphia, being compelled, on account of the sickness of his assistant, to make the latter part of the drive alone.

The attention of the late John M. Clayton was called to the boy and the eminent lawyer proposed to educate him for the law. Although ambitious, the lad proudly declined the offer and determined to stand by his mother, and educate his sister. At the age of fourteen he apprenticed himself to the New Castle Manufacturing Company, of which the late Andrew C. Gray was president, to learn the trade of a machinist. Then he borrowed money and bought his mother a home, which he had paid for at the expiration of his apprenticeship. Mean while he studied hard and became an expert mechanic. It was he who put the engine in the first hoop boat built for the California trade. So pleased was the captain of the steamer that he offered young Herbert the position of engineer of the vessel. Some months of his apprenticeship were still due, and Mr. Gray declining to release him, the proposition could not be accepted.

Soon after attaining his majority he engaged in the grocery business, and entered upon a prosperous business career, which he continued until 1866, when he was elected the first Democratic sheriff that New Castle County had had for ten years, defeating Samuel Allen, a very popular Republican candidate. As sheriff he made himself popular with all good citizens and was vigilant and fearless in the discharge of all his duties. Among the many notable instances of his nerve and energy was his prevention of the famous Collyer-Kelly prize-fight on Delaware soil in 1867. A ring had already been pitched about a mile from Newark, and everything was ready for the fray, when the plucky little sheriff stepped into the ring and, despite the threats of the sluggers and ruffians that had thronged to see the mill, compelled them to pull up their stakes and leave. That the fight shortly afterwards took place over the line in Pennsylvania was no fault of his, for it was beyond his jurisdiction. Of the three hundred and sixty-seven prisoners entrusted to his care during his term not a single one escaped, though the New Castle jail has been a very leaky institution at various periods. So valuable were his services that he was induced to remain as deputy under his successor, Jacob Richardson.

From his early boyhood Mr. Herbert has taken an active interest in political affairs and has participated in every campaign, wielding probably a greater influence than any man in his section. His first official position was that of collector of taxes for New Castle Hundred. For thirty years he has been a member of City Council and many years its president. At present he is president of the Board of Education, of which he has been many years a member. On May 14, 1859, he was elected a trustee of the New Castle Commons, and has been treasurer twenty years. In 1875 he was elected county treasurer by the Levy Court, and served by successive reelection until after his election as State treasurer, by the State Legislature, January 20, 1887. In these capacities he has been a regular "watch-dog" of the treasury.

For at least thirty-five years he has attended every Democratic County and State Convention and also attended the National Democratic Convention of 1880, at Cincinnati and 1884, at Chicago, in the interest of Thomas F. Bayard for the Presidential nomination. Mr. Herbert was prominently pushed forward by his friends as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1886, and received seventy votes against one hundred for Benjamin T. Biggs, his successful competitor in the State Convention.

In civil life he has been just as active, and no man in New Castle has done more to promote the interests of the city than he. Every public improvement has found in him an active promoter. To his efforts, in great measure, are due the building of the Grand Opera-House, of which he is president of the board of trustees; the establishment of the New Castle water works, of which he is a director; and the formation of the New Castle Fire Company, of which he is a member. Mr. Herbert donated the ground for the erection of the Red Men’s Hall, saved the colored M.E. Church of New Castle from the hands of the sheriff, and has done much to assist worthy men in their business relations. He is secretary and treasurer of the Tasker Loan Association and is treasurer of the New Castle Loan Association. For about thirty-five years he has been a member of Washington Lodge, No. 5, I.O.O.F., and its secretary for thirty-one of the fifty-four years of its existence, during which it has had but two permanent secretaries. He has been a representative to the Grand Lodge of Delaware, and has attended the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States. He has been a member of St. John’s Lodge, No. 2, A.F.A.M., of which he is the treasurer.

Mr. Herbert was married to Miss Annie E. Crow, of New Castle, June 4, 1852, the ceremony being performed in the Town Hall, in the presence of a large concourse of people. Of this union there have been born eleven children, as follows: William Black Herbert, marshal at the Consular Court of the United States at Kanagawa, Japan; Frank Edwin Herbert, notary public, conveyancer and accountant at New Castle, and assistant to the State treasurer; Edwin Mandeville Herbert, a farmer of New Castle Hundred; Allen Lee Herbert, who died in infancy, about twenty years ago; Evan Bayard Herbert, who died October 6, 1885, in his nineteenth year; Harry Warne Herbert, an apprentice clerk in the United States Fish Commission; Annie Virginia, wife of Edward F. Kemp, of Syracuse, N.Y.; Kate May, Agnes Johnson, Carrie Vandever and Bessie Lechler, all single and living at home.

THE NEW CASTLE FEMALE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY was incorporated January 28, 1817, with Ann Johns, Anna McCalmont, Sally McCalmont and Mary Riddle as trustees, for the purpose of establishing a charity-school. The project was not successful. A number of private schools have been opened, but few were continued more than a few years.

PUBLIC LIBRARY.— An effort was made soon after 1800 to establish a library at New Castle, and in January, 1812, the New Castle Library Company was chartered by James Rogers, James R. Black, James Couper, Jr., George Strawbridge, Thomas Stockton, Alexander Reynolds and George Read, Jr. There was additional legislation January 24, 1832, whereby the company was empowered to hold books, papers, etc., not to exceed eight thousand dollars in value. The original president was James Couper, and Wm. B. Janvier was secretary, November 30, 1819, when a catalogue was issued embracing nineteen classes of standard books, carefully selected. The library was placed in the academy building, where it has since remained. An effort was made to build a library hall. An act was passed by the Legislature, in 1812, "for raising by lottery a sum not exceeding eight thousand dollars, for the purpose of erecting a building for the accommodation of St. John’s Masonic Lodge and the New Castle Library Company." James Rogers, Thomas Stockton, George Read, James Couper, Jr., and Evan Thomas were named as managers. The first floor of the building, when completed, was to be used by the library company and the second floor by the Masons for the meetings of St. John’s Lodge, No. 2. Nothing ever resulted from this movement. The organization of the company has been kept up continuously, and the yearly subscriptions Lave not only been sufficient to secure the current standard books for a library of this nature, but have contributed to a building fund, which will make the erection of a library hall possible in the near future.

In 1887 the library contained five thousand volumes, which were accessible to the public twice per week. Since 1877 W.J. Ferris has been librarian. Alexander Cooper held the same position many years. The officers and trustees of the company at the same time were Samuel Guthrie, president; R.G. Cooper, secretary and treasurer; John H. Rodney, George F. Tybout, John T. Black and Samuel M. Couper, directors. The library has been one of the most valuable educational institutions of the town.



* A letter from the Directors of the West India Company, dated Stockholm, Nov. 25, 1664, to Petrus Stuyvesant, Director at New Amsterdam-now New York-says: "On the ship ‘De grote Christoffel’ goes over as a free man, Jan Paule Jacquet, with his family, and as he is unacquainted in that country and intends to devote himself there to farming, we have not been able to refuse him the desired recommendation, the more so because he has served the company in Brazil for many years; therefore we recommend your Honor to assist him as much as possible, without disadvantage to the Company, and after having indicated some suitable place, to allot, under the customary conditions as much land to him as he may be able to cultivate." Jacquette served the company in various capacities on the Delaware. After the capture by the English, in 1664, he became a subject of Great Britain, was appointed a justice of the peace, and served until the delivery of the territory to Wm. Penn, in October, 1682. He took up a tract of land containing two hundred and ninety acres on the south side of Christiana Creek, the warrant for which was granted "22nd of 12th mo., 1684," and lived here many years. The tract was known as Long Hook, lay south from Wilmington and was owned, until about the middle of the present century, by his descendants, of whom Major Peter Jacquett and Capt. Peter Jacquett were well known in the Revolution.

** Andreas Hudde, was chosen secretary of the Council and surveyor. He owned land on the South River, where he was appointed commissary October 12, 1645, and in 1649 resided at Fort Nassau, about a mile below the present city of Gloucester, New Jersey. He served the company many years and died at Appoquinimink, April 9, 1663.

*** A stiver is twenty-four cents.

(4*) The Herman Jansen mentioned here was one of the witnesses of an Indian deed, dated April 9, 1649, which conveyed to the Dutch all the land between Rancocas Kill and what is now Burlington, N.J. Alexander Boyer and Cornelius Mauritsen were parties to the deed, and Thomas Broen (Bruyn), Jan Andriessen, Antony Petersen were witnesses, and were all later identified with the settlement of New Castle.

(5*) The widow was "authorized to enter legally into matrimony" with Jacob Crabbe, of Brickmaker’s Point August 5, 1656. She had three children,— Joannes de Haes, 10 years; Marrietze, 9 years; and Annetze, 3 years. Joannes de Haes became, in later years, a leading man in the county.

(6*) Dominicus came to the Delaware River as a carpenter November 15, 1649.

(7*) Jacques Cortelyou, who was apposnied Surveyor-General about that time. He later established the village of New Utrecht in Long Island.

(8*) The office of schout was changed to high sheriff by a council held at Fort James, N.Y.

(9*) Take hold of them.

(10*) This market was at a place known as "Market Plaine," and occupied part of the square which has ever since been used by the public of New Castle. At the upper end, about where the Immanuel Church now stands, was the fort and improvements pertaining thereto. In 1689, the proprietor, through William Markham, ordered the bounds of the square to be established, and five years later titles to the lot on which the fort stood were given to Robert French and later to Colonel Wm. Markham, who subsequently transferred it to Jasper Yeates, from whom title has descended.

(11*) The old market had evidently been abandoned.

(12*) During the enforcement of the odious Port Bill, in 1774, Nicholas Van Dyke, father of Nicholas Van Dyke, the Congressman, and George Read, collected nine hundred dollars and forwarded it to Boston for the relief of the victims of the Port Bill.

(13*) NOTE.— The records of the bank from 1837 to 1861 are lost.

(14*) Dr. John Boswell Spottswood, from whose excellent discourse on the history of this church much of the matter in this sketch has been obtained, was born February 8, 1808, in Dinwiddie County, Va. He was a lineal descendant of Sir Alexander Spottswood, Colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1710 to 1723, and John Spottswood, Lord Chancellor of Scotland. After graduating from Amherst College, in 1828, and Princeton, in 1832, he entered upon the active work of the ministry, being licensed as an evangelist October 21, 1832. Three years later he was installed as pastor of the Sussex Church, in Virginia, and November 9, 1842, he became the pastor of the New Castle Church, and continued for forty-one years. His failing health compelled his resignation, in 1883, and he died on February 17, 1885. His remains were interred at New Castle, where his family still resides. He was also active in promoting various educational projects, serving as trustee of Lincoln University and Lafayette College, of Easton, Pa.