Maspeth, Oldest Deed on Long Island.

In 1638 a small group of the original Plymouth settlers trying to get out from under intolerant religous authrorities in Plymouth Massachusets, negotiated a land deal in the Mespat Kil area, with William Kieft Director-General of New Netherland. The settlers did not move down but remained in Massachusets.

During this time Hendrick Harmensen was one of the first, if not the first European settler to farm the land around Mespat. He erected a cabin in 1638, beside farming he had some cattle. It is said that he died during the the 1643 attack by the local tribes, (see below).

Reverend Francis Doughty, a disenting clergyman from Lincolnshire, England, originally settled in Cohannet, (today named Taunton) Massachusets, where he had differences with the local pastor Reverend Hooke. He then went to Rhode Island with his family, where he organized a group of people to settle in the Dutch areas near Niue Amsterdam.

Reverend Dooughty sought a land grant from Director-General Kieft, to escape his religious problems in the New England area. Kieft granted them 13,332 acres, the deed to this grant is still on file in Albany, it is dated March 28, 1642, the oldest deed in Long Island.

The Reverend and his follower were not given much of a chance to settle down in 1643, the settlement was attacked by some local indigenous groups. According to some sources several settlers were killed and the rest escaped, taking refuge in Niue Amsterdam. During the attack, the settlement and farms were destroyed. After overtures were made to restablish the peace, some of the remaining settlers return but the original Mespat settlement did not recuperated from the losses suffer by the attack. In 1652 Joseph Van Mater filed the first map of a plot of land in Maspet

During the Dutch and English war (1652-54) the settlers at Mespat again left their settlement, to seek refuge in the English settlement in Stamford Connectticut. After the war some came back to Mespat. In 1656 again fearing another attack from their indigenous neighbors, moved to Mespat Island (since then has been landfill and is part of Long Island).
In 1725 Judge Sackett built a house in Maspeth. When the judge died, his house was sold to Walter Franklin a wealthy merchant from New York City. During the Revolutionary War after the death of Franklin, General Warren the local British commander set-up his headquarter in the house. The 1776 invasion and taking of New York (by boats from Long Island to Kips Bay), were planed in this house.After the Revolution War the house became the summer residence of the just married Mary Franklin the daughter and heir of Walter Franklin and her husband De Witt Clinton, the future governor of New York State.

The years following the Revolution and with the arrival of the industrial revolution Maspeth, prospered. Some of the first manufacturing business to move into Maspeth were: Peter Cooper's Glue Factory, Lawrence's Rope Works, Cating Rope Works, Cord Meyer's Animal Carbon Plant, Alden Sampson Oil Factory a sate of the art factory and also the largest of its kind in the world, fisk Metal Casket Company, Beyer's Dairy and many others.

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