The First Mystics of New York
One of the more fascinating bits of Dutchess County and Hudson Valley history involved the various religious sects that came to inhabit this region. Due to the efforts of William Penn, many of the small European groups were offered passage to the New World, even before William Penn and his followers made their way to Pennsylvania.
Each of these sects had their own take on their religious beliefs and practices, and their own unique ways of incorporating the popular natural philosophy beliefs of the time then drawning the attention of scientists and religious leaders alike. The multiculturalism of the Hudson Valley is in large part responsible for the ability of this region to draw more of the unique healing faiths for centuries to come. The following sects are the beginning of this important part of Hudson valley-Dutchess County history.
Jakob Bohme (Boehme)
According to Jakob Bohme, Mother Nature bore messages for us. Jakob felt his personal purpose in life was to teach his listeners how to interpret these messages in Nature, and how to make the best use of them to guide us in making our daily decisions. This transformation in Bohme’ s personal philosophy and innermost thoughts took place during the midst of his life as a cobbler, and once it was completed led his most devoted followers to give him a new name, referring to his as the new Teutonicus.
Exactly who was Teutonicus? Originally Notker, a Benedictine monk of Gall, he lived from c. 950 – 28 June 1022 until he was taken down by the plague. He later received the name Notker Labeo meaning “thick-lipped Notker” due to his tendency to make the best use of words and language in every way shape or form. Of course this partially referred to his tendency to be overly loquacious at times, but it came to be more related to his work in the German language as he tried to translate important writings back and forth between this native language and the language of the church–Latin. With time, the tremendous amount of work he did in this process resulting in a new name, Notker Teutonicus, which referred to him as Notker the German.
The influences Teutonicus had on the people was two fold. First, he made materials previously available to readers in just Latin now in a form that everyone could read and understand. The five remaining books that he translated into German are Boethius’s “De consolatione philosophiae”, Marcianus Capella’s “De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii”, Aristotle’s “De categoriis”; and “De interpretatione”, and “Psalter.” He was considered highly brilliant with a poetic way of communicating what he meant to say, often being very precise in his language form and and very systematic in the way he composed his messages to his avid listeners. Jakob Bohme had much the same influence on his listeners. Of German blood, he was Teutonic in nature, but this time catering to a series of listeners who spoke more than just German. He took words of rhetoric, and made sense of them to those of need to know.
The popular cult which Bohme helped to form is an example of a theologically-derived natural philosophy tradition that became very popular in the Netherlands. Natural philosophy is the practice of relating everything that exists and takes palce around you to the Almighty, to G-d Himself as some might say. These metaphysicists thrived on the meaning of things in both a natural and a traditional Christian sense, enabling them to construct a philosophy that would later be reassembled, polished up, and redefined by Bohme, using his own unique metaphysical interpretation of things. Bohme’s German-rooted natural philosophical interpretation of all of these life experiences made him the great mystic in the eyes of his most devoted followers, some of whom brought their Bohmist tradition to the colonies in the years that followed.
The North River (Hudson River) Valley of New Netherlands provided safe haven for numerous Protestants evicted from the United Netherlands, in particular those who were mystics and who devoted themselves to Jakob Bohme’s teachings. Dedicated to the blending of religion and mysticism, the large following developed in United Netherlands during the 1570s and dedicated most of their teachings and success to other mystics, especially Jacob Bohme.
Jakob Bohme’s teachings were fit for the time. Bohme was a German writer, whose prose merged the different philosophies explorers and now regular citizens had come to know about India and China. These countries rich in alchemical and other forms of natural theologic teachings were now beginning to take hold of European-born citizens interested in learning more of the basic regarding the Alchemical beliefs of the Microcosm, or in Bohme’s words–the Universe borne within each of us.
It was this cross-cultural way of life of the North or Hudson River Valley which enabled the results of these interacting philsophies to continue to take place between Native Americans, French, Germans, Dutch, Italians, Swedish, English, Scottish Highlanders, and various Missionaries throughout the first century of European settlement of the New World. The socially and culturally driven mores and taboos were what helped lay the foundation needed for the birth of numerous spiritualistic alternative healing beliefs to be born in this region. In the words of local historian Bolton, this addition of the notion of spirits to everyday belief is what to do to the behavior of a nearby Whip-Poor-Will:
“Whatever among either of these people, is strange and not comprehended, is usually attributed to supernatural agency…Night, to minds of this complexion, brings with it kindred horrors, it apparitions, strange sounds, and awful sights; and this solitary, and inoffensive bird, being a frequent wanderer in these hours of ghosts and hobgoblins, is considered by the Indians as being, by habit and repute, little better than one of them.” (vol 1, p. 464)
Bohmism: a Dutch Religious Cult
Jacob Bohme was born in 1575 in Old Seidenburg Germany, about two miles from Gerlick in Upper Lusitia. His parents Jacob and Ursula were “Countrey people.” Jacob worked as a common farmer tending livestock and poultry; Ursula was a common housewife.
As a young child, Jacob, Jr. “kept Cattel.” During his pre-teenage years, he attended a small local school “where he learned to Read and Write, together with the fear of God.” At the age of fourteen, he went into the Handicraft Trade and took on an apprenticeship to become a shoemaker. Jacob completed his Master Apprenticeship in 1594 at the age of nineteen, and soonafter married a Maid by the name of Catherine Kunstanan, the daughter of a Butcher. Over the next thirty years they bore many children, including four sons.
Soon after completing his apprenticeship, Jacob was “touched by Divine Light.” Attending a church session, he was moved by a preacher quote of Luke 11.13. It is said that as Jacob underwent confession, by exposing all of his past, he learned of “Divine Zeal” in return for the cleansing of his soul. Some time after this experience, Jacob retreated from society to reflect upon what had happened to him, during which time he developed an understanding of “Love and Vertue.”
A few years later, Jacob once again experienced this Light. It was now 1600, the sixth Seculum or spiritual revival period in Europe. A biographer of Jacob Bohme about 1650 wrote “he maintained himself with the labour of his hands in the sweat of his Brows, till the beginning of the sixth Seculum of Age, viz. 1600. When he was a second time touched by Divine Light, and by a sudden Glimps of a pewter Vessel, he was introduced into the Inward Ground or Center of the Hidden Nature.”
Jacob experienced this Divine Light by gazing into a common drinking vessel, where the images before him revealed the knowledge of the formation and Divine Plan of this universe. The purpose of mankind in God’s plan. Not satisfied with this vision, Jacob Bohme “went into the open fields and there he perceived the wonderful or Wonder works of the Creator in the Signatures, Shapes, Figures and Qualities of Properties of all created things, very clearly, and plainly laid open.” Filled with Joy, this led Jacob to write his first book on mysticism.
Just how much these events taught Jacob Bohme is uncertain, for it took Jacob about ten years to “manageth his works in secret” and compose what he had learned from these messages. Accordingly, by 1610, “by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, he was a third time stirred up and renewed by God,” which led him to complete this book and have it printed, it’s title was Aurora, the Morning Redness, or Rising of the Sun. Soon after, Bohme’s books were seized by the Magistrate of Gerlitz, who laid them open for inspection and public ridicule in the Council House. The Council then instructed him to cease his writing. They claimed “being an Ideot or Layick…from thence-forth, [we] forbear such writing of Books.” In accordance with the Magistrate’s order, Bohme abstained from writing any more books, at least for seven years.
In 1619, “stirred up again by the Holy Spirit,” Bohme wrote and had published his next writing: The Three Principles. This book included an Appendix concerning the Three-fold Life of Man. In 1620, five more books were written by Bohme and subsequently published, followed by four more in 1621, and then three in each of the years 1622 and 1623. By the end of his writing career, thirteen more books were published, which by 1645 were some of the most popular readings in Europe, especially during the spiritual revival periods.
What made Bohme’s writings so popular were his lessons about mysticism. In the worship tents that were raised in public settings, Bohme and his follwers taught listeners how to become mystics. If you were not able to attend one of these spiritual gatherings, Bohme’s writings taught its readers pretty much the same. Bohme envisioned the Eye as the Globe of the World, and preached that by looking into one’s own self, through one’s own eye, that each person who participated in this inner awareness exercise could exit the present or primary universe they resided in, and enter the Microcosm defined earlier by the famous alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus. Bohme also claimed that once one entered this Microcosm of the universe within one’s self , that the explanation for one’s own “Will” will then be received. Only once this start is reached does one develop a true understanding of Eternity and the meaning and purpose of one’s individual life.
The majority of Bohme’s writings bear these fairly strong religious sounding intention. But in the least, they were often interpreted by the church as well beyond the church’s normal teachings. According to religious leaders and other Bohme scoffers, these words often catered to believers in alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy, individual often not that well respected by the religious leaders. But this produced minimal problems compared to the fact that church leaders were also noticing the attracticeness of Bohme’s writings to the traditional religious masses, those who remained strongly devoted to both the church and Bohme’s philosophical writings. These followers were borne and bred not just by one faith or cult, but rather belonged to many of the religious faiths now common to the United Netherlands region. The United Netherlands was called “united” because it allowed many individual from other countries and religious groups to move to its community and practice whatever it was that they practiced. Bohme’s work was most strongly supported in the United Netherlands because it was able to find the supporters, practitioners, and preachers attached to the various religious domains that also believed themselves to be mystics like Jacob.
In the Netherlands, the chief religious domain was Protestant, in which a Reform was now taking taking place as Bohme’s writings once again became popular. Although Bohme’s writings were first published in German, due to their popularity elsewhere, they were re-composed in High-Dutch. By the time the revival in the United Netherlands was over, this success of Bohme’s writings and life provided him with a new identity. By 1660, Jacob Bohme was known as Teutonicus Phylosophicus, referring to a famous religious leader, philosopher, and mystical seer of the Middle Ages.
Bohme’s philosophical intent and reasoning best appears in Signatura Rerum: or, the Signature of all Things: Shewing The Sign and Signification of the Severall Forms and Shapes of the Creation: And what the Beginning, Ruin, and Cure of very thing is; it proceeds out of Eternity into Time, and again out of Time into Eternity, and compriseth All Mysteries. In the preface of this book, this book is described as “a true Misticall Mirror of the Highest Wisdom.” Just how this metaphysical accomplishment came about however is in itself a unique and at times mind puzzling story. The book which recaptures this moment in Bohme’s life and comprehension of his purpose is “Man is the great Mystery of God, the Microcosm, or the compleat Abridgement of the whole Universe: he is the Mirandum dei opus, Gods master-peece, a living Emblem, and Hieroglyphick of Eternity and Time...”
In Chapter One of Bohme’s book on “Man”, Bohme addresses “How that all Whatsoever is spoken of God without the knowledg (sic) of the Signature, is dumb, and without understanding, and that in the mind of man the Signature lieth very exactly composed according to the * Essence of all Essences.” In the margin alongside this lengthy Chapter heading is written “* Being of all Beings.” Throughout his first chapter, Bohme addresses much of his metaphysical philosophy with Trinity overtones, he makes avid use of trines whenever expressing the more important statements. Bohme felt that man has three parts residing in him which composes the being as “the Complex Image of God, or of the Being of all Beings.” He notes “three Work-masters in him which prepare his Form of Signature,” and “three-fold Fiat, according to the three Worlds.” Bohme defines the “Vital Signature” for man, “the form of life…figurized in the time of the Fiat at the Conception.” With this understanding of how our images are formed, Bohme then uses this to explain why our traits can be predicted through the practice of physiognomy, during which facial and body features may be read and interpreted as the signature of each person’s “Quality.”
Similarly, Bohme notes that all of the physical features of the Macrocosm or universe about us bear physiognomic traits: “man in his speech, will and behavior…must use to that Signature, his inward form is noted in the form of his face, and thus also in a beast, an herb, and the trees; everything as it is inwardly (in its innate vertue and quality) so it outwardly signed…” Bohme uses this argument to support the Doctrine of Signature philosophy, then in very common use by such freshly published herbalists as John Gerard and, a few years later, John Parkinson.
Bohme next answers the mystical questions: Just how do herbs talk to us? How can we read their intent? And how is it that God gives us these messages? In his first chapter of various philosophical rules to follow, Bohme wrote:
“13. Thus it is likewise with the Herbs of the Earth, if an herb be transplanted out of a bad soil into a good, then it getteth soon a stronger body, and a more pleasant smell and power, and sheweth the inward Essence externally, and there is nothing that is created or born in Nature…As we know it in the power and form of this World, how the only one Essence hath manifested it self with the External Birth in the desire in a Similitude, how it hath manifested itself in so many forms and shapes, which we see and know in the Stars and Elements, likewise in the living Creatures, and also in the Trees and Herbs.”
“14. Therefore, the greatest Understanding liveth in the Signature, where in man (viz. the Image of the Greatest Vertue) may not only learn to know himself, but therein also he may learn to know the Essence of all Essences ,for by the external form of all Creatures, by their instiagation, inclination, and desire, also by their sound, voice, and speech which they utter the hidden Spirit is known…”
These Essences of the herb Bohme relates to, he concludes are expressions the Will of the human body as relate to us by “the Language of Nature” in the form of vision, sounds, smell, and emotions. Thus, Nature may express to us either a sympathy or antipathy, which in turn teaches us how each problem can be either corrupted or cured. Underlying these two opposing powers, are trines born as the Three-fold Principle, and the Three-fold Essence or Spirit. In this way, Bohme brings important elements from Paracelsian alchemical tradition (ca. 16th century) into modern use and application as related to the new physical (scientific) and metaphysical (religious and philosophical) discoveries being made. Bohme extracts directly from Paracelsian alchemy certain notions which are by then evolving further, due to the work of local Alchemist Van Helmont.
The public fascination with alchemy intensified during the 1600s due to the concept of Entia or Ens. The Ens was a power that many felt existed within the human body to help produce its holism, its ability to outweigh the simple sum of its parts through the addition fo an unknown entity or power following its complete production. This is part related to Bohme’s concept of “Vital Signature” which he posed as one part of the initial trine making up the human body as “the Complex Image of God” or “Being of all Beings.” Bohme might have defined the Ens as “God’s Love.” It comprised the Essence or Life Force of the Human Body, and was closely related to the Paracelsian alchemical trine which Bohme often related to during his queries into the nature of life and the human being.
Bohme’s philosophy takes an interesting turn during his argument of the three Paracelsian components or elements of a perfect alchemical blend. Paracelsus believed in the need for earth, sulphur and mercury to produce a complete healing formula or physical-metaphysical entity. Paracelsus had also discovered the fifth element or quintessence of a plant, referred to by Bohme as its Essence, and by later physical chemists as essential oil. Bohme redefined the three elements into four components, by dividing one of the three Paracelsian elements into two parts, symbolic of Bohme’s teachings of sympathy and antipathy. Although Bohme divides the other Paracelsian elements into two parts as well, he doesn’t assign them different places in the hierarchy he has developed for understanding medicine.
Bohme’s interpretation of Sal Nitre (crystalline Nitric Acid, representing earth), Sulphur and Mercury.
The Sulphur, the middle portion of this trine, Bohme divided into Sul and Phur, an obvious philosophical notion which required little know-how to invent, and which became quite popular due to its immediate understanding and acceptance by the commoners Bohme was preaching to. Bohme defined Sul as “the Curer of the desire of Anxiousness,” and “the Original of the Joyfull Life.” Sul he considered to be the “Oyl of Nature, wherein the life burneth, and everything groweth.” The Phur in Bohme’s “Sul-Phur” was defined as that which divides the Sul into two components such as Joy and Sorrow, or Light and Dark. Phur makes for us two worlds out of one, and thus relates to us the means for the production of a medicine, which has to be either the antipathy or the sympathy of whatever is taking place.
Philosophically, to Bohme the Phur stood for the “Original” form or “Essence” of Life. As for the Natural Philosopher, Bohme was teaching any of these readers that Sul was represented God, Phur represented Nature, and that together they comprised Sul-Phur or sulphur, the Brimstone of being and existence. To the metaphysicist, Sul stood for Light, and Phur for Fire, which together comprise the chief powers of Nature.
With his followers now complacent about his first philosophical proposal, Bohme next built upon his three-element framework by defining the generation and exudation of Mercury from Sul-Phur. This Mercury resided in the Orb of all Natural forms, and arises as an Essence “which is opposite, odious, and poysonfull.” The Emotional attributes of Mercury Bohme defined as Trembling, Anguish, and Expulsion. Thus to cure onself of these types of emotional problems, one need only to stir up the body and cause these poor emotions to be removed, extracted, or extricated.
Whereas Bohme’s first element, Sul-Phur, was very spiritual, non-physical, and representative of God and Nature, the second element, Mercury, which was exuded from Sul-Phur, was more resonant with the various physical aspects of Nature. Bohme related this Mercury to another natural sense, hearing. Thus Sul-Phur dealt with the sense of smell (Essence), vision (Light), and perhaps touch (Heat and Fire), whereas Mercury dealt with hearing sound, which Bohme explains as the Voices of Spirits which behave very much like “Strings” on a musical instrument, or the vibrations of a woodwind instrument.
Together the Sul-Phur and Mercury come together to produce the Sal or Earth, the physical existence of things we witness every day. Bohme stated “Sul desireth Phur, and Phur desireth Mercury, and both of these desireth Sal.”
Bohme’s writings satisfied the religious-bound naturalists of the Netherlands. Bohme had told them how they connect with nature, and the purpose of nature in human life, which differed greatly from the Biblical teachings of the Wilderness and Garden of Eden. The elements of the Wilderness previously labelled “God’s wrath” could now be reinterpreted as “God is speaking to us.” Thus there was less of a difference to make note of when viewing or contemplating wilderness, while searching for Eden.
Evidence for this stems from Bohme’s descriptions of Thunder and Lightning, which Bohme refers to as “Similitudes,” the similes, messages, the parables of God, the mimicry God provides us with to better understand God’s complete spiritual message. Bohme described thunder and lightning as Nature’s way of displaying God’s anguish, “by stirring up the hot Fires to form Salts” such as Sal Niter, the salt of earth and Gunpowder which Bohme judged to be “the Great Flagrant in Mercury.” From this part of Nature’s Thunder (Sound, heat) and Lightning (heat, light) came “the Flash or Compunction” of these elements. The coolness of the air during a thunderstorm and its smell following its bolt of lightning reminded Bohme of the coldness and darkness within oneself produced by nitre, or in his own words “the cold sharpness of the sal spirit.” In sum, Bohme has given his listeners an explanation for what were once considered the unknown. Thunder and Lightning were classsified as the “Ethereal Blaze” of God and Nature, which God followed with “the Flagrat” of the coldness, the “Astringent Chamber,” and as His final message, “a cool wind foloweth.”
Thus Bohmites now judged Nature to be an expression of God’s message to you, spoken as spirits and wind. Bohme’s descriptions told his listeners about “The Mysteries of Nature,” “The Eternal Wisdom of the Diety,” “The Similitude, Likeness, or Signature of Nature,” and the matching Trinity symbolism borne by each of these interpretations of Nature, God, and the Divine Essence.
What caused Bohme’s writings to be immediately popular amongst the Dutch was the selection of terms in the High Dutch translation of this work. Bohme repeatedly referred to the Lubet principle of his medicine, a term coined by a translator of his work which stood for Lust, Longing, Desire, Delectation and Joy, and stemmed from the Latin term Lubitum, inferring “Divine beneplacitum” or “good pleasure.” The implication being made with its use is the ability of Bohme’s Lubet to pull the goodness out in order to replace any evil manifestations taking place, for example, by converting the sense of anger to love.
Bohme also made use of the term Schra’ck, a German term “which signifies properly a Fright, Sudden Astonishment or Dismayment.” The Dutch translator of Bohme’s work termed it Flagrat, and wrote “you may perceive a resemblance of this Flagrat in Thunder and Lightning.” The Flagrat consisted of something similar to the sulphurous Sal Nitre mixed into and then ejected from Gunpowder after it has been lit. This was the “True Fire” or “Magical Fire-Breath” of Nature, “bursting forth with her Ardent Desire” as it is removed from the “Astringent” dark chamber of Death.
Bohme’s philosophy attracted many followers from different countries, religious groups and communes. In large part his beliefs were applicable to non-traditional theologians, autonomous craftsmen like the astrologers and alchemists detached from society, and ultimately, the small groups and people removed from Europe during the early settlement years of the New World. To a number of these new World settlers, Bohme turned the potentially horrific interpretations of the New World, especially along the Hudson Valley where winds and thunderstorms often became violent and frequent, into a safe haven for the early wilderness and nature worshippers. To Bohmites, the thunder and howling winds served as musical renderings of the voice of God through Mother Nature, and these and other Weather elements, as well as falling meteors and comets, as symbols of the Earth, Orb and Stars (Heaven).
Emplanted within all of this Great Mystery was the herb, with its Doctrine of Signature and symbolism of Human needs and expression. Similarly, the animals bore these symbols, including the Walrus tusks and teeth, and Narwhale horns, classified as Unicorn horns, and the Cornus Cervi and Harts Horn (antlers of deer and elk). The presence of these Old World symbols in teh New World was interpreted by Bohmite settlers as symbols of their newly selected Garden of Eden, or as Bohme put it: “…a good herb cannot sufficiently shew its real genuine vertue in a bad soil, for in the good man the hidden evil Instrument is awakened, and in the herb a contrary Essence is received from the earth, so that oft-times the Good is changed into the Evil, and the Evil onto the Good.”
These are the reasons why the Hudson Valley became what it is, beginning with the first European settlers like Catherine and Margaret Filipse (Philipse) and Adrian vander Donck, and one of the earliest Great North river travelers and writers for the Dutch, Moravian Labadite Jasper Danckaerts.
A Following of Bohmites
The most common feature of Dutch history which for centuries continued to influence both the United Netherlands and the Dutch settlements of New World was the existence and recognition of martyrs, people of Dutch or Rhinelands origin who were publically persecuted, tortured, and killed due to their personal religious beliefs. During the sixteenth century, this led the birth of Calvinism, the belief that what happens to you is only decided by God and that it was God’s will which determined your future chances for salvation as a Christian. This differed greatly with the beliefs being taught by astrologers, who used the stars to predict your future life, or the earliest forms of chiromancy (palm reading) and facial wart reading. This belief in the prophet-turned-martyr was also the cause for the orignation of Labadites, a French-borne religious sect picked up by a group French culture descendents referred to as Huguenots.
As these and other methods of predicting the future and explaining away illness became increasingly popular, the Dutch were strengthening their Reformed Church, which, by 1600, the Dutch established two followings for. A group later known as the Voetians was loyal to Gysbert Voet (in Latin, Gysbertus Voetius) (1589-1676), a pietist, mystic, and professor of theology who taught at Utrecht, and was rigidly attached to the orthodox beliefs of Calvinism. Voetius was a member of the Synod of Dort, whose Aristotelian reasoning, logic and philosophy were the rules he adhered to whenever making his theological points. As he felt we were all prescribed to by Moses, Voetius adhered firmly to the Sabbath, and in many ways lived according to Jewish law.
The second of their mystical leaders was Johannes Kok, a name latinized to Cocceius (1603-1669). Cocceians, were devoted to Cocceius’s teachings as a professor at Leyden University and one of the chief initiators of a movement called “federal” theology, or the theology of convenants. Cocceius felt that the future of mankind and earth was already told to us or predicted by the Old Testament. Most importantly, Cocceius denounced the adherence to Jewish certain practices being promoted by Voetius, making the Sabbath day no different from any other day in the week.
This difference in opinion very quickly led to the development of a well-defined schism in Holland’s Reformed Church history. The opposing townships or religious districts developed vastly differing religious practices. While the Cocceians were confined to a quiet life on the days of Sabbath, the nearby Voetians experienced what had become known as “a day of feasting.” This well-defined difference between the two lifestyles, based primarily on their religious domain and church support, ultimately made these townships foes of each other. Interestingly, just decades before, this same sort of difference between the political-religious indoctrination of two groups, Gomarists and Armenians, had led to withdrawal of some of the Roman powers from Armenian Dutch religion, replacing it with Gomarism (the predecessor to Voetianism and Cocceinaism).
As these two religious groups or cults developed further, they produced a sizeable following and supporting practitioners who preached the same faith. It wasn’t long before other followings began to emerge from this sect. Simultaneously preaching their faiths, these several off-shoots were established quite early, some preaching their faiths in accordance with the beliefs of Cocceius and others formly devoted to Voetius. One such preacher and practitioner was a self-determined, self-defined mystic, Antoinette Bourignon (1603-1669), who established a convnet of followers in Lille, France.
Antoinette Bourignon was no regular religious leader. She was a devoted and highly enthusiastic mystic and a supporter of the beliefs and cause of the Labadians, another small cult-like religious following which included members of the Dutch community in and around several major towns and cities. Madame Bourignon’s followers underwent frequent criticisms and threats throughout their lives in Europe. Whereas at first Bourignon was most active in France, she soon was forced to remove to Amsterdam, Schleswig, Holstein, Hamburg, East Friesland, and finally Friesland. It was during her stay in Hamburg that she became acquainted with the Labadists, who then resided close to Altona. With Bourginon and the Labadists residing next to each other, considerable conflicts arose between these two communes, which in turn led to a strengthening of each of their causes and increased and intensified each group’s following. By 1670, as both of these groups reached their peak in popularity and acceptance, one of their followers, Bardowitz (Bardewisch) detached himself from his devotion especially to Bourignon, and so started a separatist cult. Being very versed in French, Bardowitz’s greatest following were of French origin, and again, often Huguenot.
As Calvanism grew in popularity, one of its devoted followers, Jean de Labadie, became so convinced in this faith that he began to proclaim himself as “Jean de Jesus Christ.” By the 1660s he claimed to possess the powers of a prophet and dressed accordingly, donning a white headpiece which resembling the headpiece worn by Carmelites. Labadie’s prophecy was that in the year 1666, “the reign of the kingdom of grace” would take place. This would become one of the greatest predictions to help build a large following for this faith. According to its believers, it was during this year that Jesus Christ would stroll on down through the clouds in the sky, making his way to his most devoted followers for his second coming.
Almost immediately, Labadies prophesizing led to his political and religious denunciation, his expulsion from nearby churches, and his rapid escape to the nearby Montauban in France where Calvinism had one of its strongest followings. Felt to be led there by God, he continued preaching his beliefs and became accepted by one of the Roman churches in Montauban. As he continued his prophesizing about the future of Christianity, he came to serve two important Protestant communities in Geneva and Orange.
During one of his tours through Geneva, Labadie met John Godschalk van Schurman, a Walloon Minister. By 1662, van Schurman had made repeated contacts with Labadie and finally convinced him to serve at a Walloon Church at Middleburgh, Zeeland. In Zeeland, he immediately developed a group of devoted followers, including even the demonstrative support of Voetius. This led other mystics to follow Labadie’s path, one of whom, Anna Marie van Schurman, a Dutch lady, was a prose and verse writer trained in numerous languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, German, Italian and French.
Labadie’s growing following left him with many future mystics and future followers to carry his faith with them to North America. Of these devoted followers, the first were the Walloons of Middleburgh and their relatives. The first emigrants to New Netherland/New York included members of these families. As Voetians, but Cocceians as well, these emigrants became the first mystics to settle the New World. As New Netherlands was developing its first cities and assigning roles to its burgomasters, the emigrants of these early cities began to make their way in to the borderlands of their early cities, to settle on either newly claimed or bartered lands and to spread their faith to the nearby settlers, most of whom were Native American.
Labadie died in 1674, and although a highly supported prophet, never saw the Second Coming of Christ he was in search for. His followers moved several times in Europe during the early 1670s, and with each migration gave birth to still other avid followers and mystics who were devoted to his preachings. His most devoted follower was Anna Maria van Schurman who he met earlier in Utrecht during his travels about the Zeeland region. While at The Hague, he met up with “three ladies of gentle birth,” all serving as sisters, who associated with William Penn during one of Penn’s tours through this region. This three sisters, William Penn, and Labadie would play an important role spiritually in the development of the first Labadist settlement in the New World by 1670.
These three sisters were the daughters of “the richest man in Holland,” Cornelis van Aarsens, Lord of Sommelsdyk. Their mother, Lucia van Walta, was the owner by inheritance of the Thetinga-State Castle or Walta House of Wielwerd, which the Three Sisters came to use as the place to harbor their first Labadite settlement. What defined this castle as the perfect place for a new religious practice to be born was its structural and geographic separation from the rest of nearby communities. The Thetinga-State castle was immersed in a grove of trees, soon to be called Labadist’s Woods, which totally detached them from bth regular urban and rural life. The Labadites thus became “the people of the woods,” a belief and practice which remained with them throughout the remaining life of this faith’s existence.
Like many religious communes, the Labadites cared for the nearby sick and poor who remained at their place at no cost. They provided for their own needs as overseers, farmers, domestic attendants, clothiers, missionaries, and teachers. But with limited income, they were often judged to be a burden to the local governorship. By 1667, with their focus on the “Second Coming” passing, they looked into migrating to Surinam. That same year, the Treaty of Breda was signed, with which New Netherlands was surrendered to the British in exchange for allowing the Dutch to possess the Surinam colony, which was also being disputed.
New Netherlands was now in possession of the English, and its West India Spice Company. One third of this land remained the possession of the Spice Company; another third of it was granted to the city of Amsterdam, and the final third to Cornelis Van Aarsens van Sommelsdyk, the brother of the Three Sisters, for his service as governor in this new region. Governor van Sommelsdyk obtained that part of the original land patent of New Netherlands near what is now the Delaware-Maryland border. This possession by a relative of the Ladabites of the Walta House in Wiewerd enabled the first migration of these “founders of the great work of God in America” to the New World to raise their commune in “the New Jerusalem”.
The initial attempts made by Labadites to settle a commune involved the Surinam Purchase, where it was hoped they could develop the town of Providence. To the Dutch, Surinam was economically important as a source for starch-bearing root-stocks and as a site for sugar cane industry. To the Labadians and other religious groups, Surinam was judged to be their new Garden of Eden. As they readied themselves to settle in Surinam, some of them made their way over with important materials for the settlement, which was seized by Pirates, leading the Labadites to arrive without their provisions.
The Labadites on board this ship arrived to a community taken under by numerous unexpected contagion. Many of its inhabitants came to suffer from fevers of various kinds. They noted numerous vermin, including rats and snakes, to be residing in the same household as the settlers already settled there. Furthermore, it was determined that the freshly cleared land of this tropical paradise was so fast-growing that in just a few years their settlement in Eden would be overcome by the return of this same forest. Altogether, this meant to Surinam Labadians that it was time to re-settle in a more inhabitable wilderness region, which they chose to be the tract of land owned by their Dutch Governor in former New Netherland. As these first Labadites removed to the Delaware River part of former New Netherland, Jasper Danckaerts and his comrade Peter Sluyter were preparing a second company for removal to Surinam.
Augustus Hermann, Bohemian Labadite
The first Labadist settlement of North America was laid in Maryland, along its northeastern section, in a town later called Bohemia Manor. In 1659, Surveyor and Bohemian Augustine Hermann (1608-1686) departed his plantation on Manhattan Island due to a dispute he had with Peter Stuyvesant. Hermann next obtained the rights to settle the Maryland-Delaware Provincial area by its Lord Baltimore, whose allowed a proprietor to grant to Hermann a large tract of land near the head of Chesapeake Bay, along what is now called the Bohemia River. Twenty thousand acres were granted to Hermann, which he named Bohemia. Hermann next purchased nearby land and called this site Little Bohemia. In 1670, Augustine Hermann produced a map of this region which he had engraved by Faithorne; entitled Virginia and Maryland, As it is Planted and Inhabited this Present Year 1670 Surveyed and Exactly Drawne by the Only Labour and Endeavour of Augustine Hermann Bohemiensis, Hermann dedicated this map to the King, who in return offered to him another to twenty-four thousand acres of land to reside on as part of Bohemia. The next year, Hermann established the Manor of St. Augustine just east of Bohemian Manor, followed soonafter by the settlement of “Misfortune” or “Three Bohemian Sisters.”
By 1671, Bohemia was rapidly growing, with the government assisting Hermann part way through these endeavours. By the time Danckaerts and Sluyter had arrived to this example of one of the first early religiously-devoted utopian-based communities in the New World, Hermann was in bed and nearing his death, after being taken sick and made “very miserable, both in soul and body.” During Augustine Hermann’s dying days, Margaret Philipse from New Amsterdam/New York was called to his side to serve as his mystic, by not only treating him spiritually but also by preparing him for his death and martyrdom. By 1680, Margaret Philipse became part of the pioneering emigration business which promised to remove people from their European communities to a highly respected community residing in what some have likened to the Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem.
The Religious signatures of New Netherlands were already shared with those in the Netherlands by the earliest descriptions of the communities residing in these communities as told to them in the letters dating 1640-5. A miniature revival in this belief took place soon after the 168(3) letter was sent to Amsterdam by a Jesuit Fray, in which he noted the miracle cures bred by this region, put their by God for their later discovery and recognition.
As all of this was taking place in New Netherlands/New York, adjacent to these Dutch Communities were the Quakers, who led to this region by William Penn. Due to the policy of tolerance of religious practices carried out within this part of New Britain, the Labadites were quickly accepted as early residents of the Mid-Atlantic Provincial region, defined by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. residing within this region were isolated communities of Calvinists, regular Dutch Reformed residents, Labadites, Bohemians, Voetians, Cocceians, and Bourignonians, and even the Philipsians who believed in Margaret’s mystical powers. Her descendents would still later carry out much of these same family philosophical. spiritual, and religious practices, thus giving birth to many legends in the Hudson Valley region which they settled. All of this became possible due to their need for a humble colonial reserve.
New World Mysticism
Mysticism was borne during the late seventeenth century in the New World by Dutch female commoners. This blending of religion with the occult began with the news and descriptions of Gurus and Sages making their way back to Europe from India soon after its British domination. Thus came the re-emergence and acceptance of fortune telling, alchemy, and astrology by the Dutch Mystics, whose religious healing practices resembled those of the Middle Ages. With this resurgence in European popular health culture taking place during the 1600s in the Lowlands, the meaning of things to the Dutch Protestant religion became clear.
Throughout the fifteen and sixteenth centuries, mystics were shunned by the religious leaders of Europe. In England, as word of the Dutch, German and French beliefs trickled through the borders, by text or preacher, English Religion suffered intense public scrutiny and criticism. The alternative to English religion, the increasingly popular Dutch followings, had by now developed a schism in Europe and soon after within its own religious and cultural boundaries, resulting in the formation of numerous cults and sects throughout post-Renaissance history. It was these followers who came to the New World following their extrication from Western Europe between 1640 and 1670. With the establishment of New Amsterdam came mystics, alchemists, and astrologers in search of a new life and a safe haven.
Frederick’s first wife, Margaret, was a Bohmite Mystic, a follower of the German cobbler and sage, Jacob Bohme. His second wife, Catherina, the daughter of Oloff Stevense Van Cortlandt, secured an importance alliance between two families of this region. Catherina’s success as a mystic gave birth to the story of her ghost, which rode through the swamps on horseback during the 1700s.
As news of the Philipse family religious beliefs percolated through the Hudson River Valley, old myths of the New World wilderness were extinguished, to be replaced by the more flowery accounts of mysticism. In short time, this encouraged new settlers to make their way into the New World from Amsterdam, strengthening the Dutch claim to this region, and giving way to the birth of alternative thinking for generations to come.
The first mystic to reach North America is Margaret Philipse, the wife of Frederick Philipse, who in 1674 was noted to as the richest man to own land in New York Province. They resided together in Philipse Manor, the site where such mystical happenings as the ride of the headless horseman took place. Fredericke Philipse served his region as a member of the Governor’s Council. His wife, Margaret, bore the occupation of a businesswoman, and to many was classed “an enterprising merchant.” Margaret Philipse was not only a businesswoman, but also a mystic. This we learn from a series of early encounters with her noted by Jasper Danckaerts in his diary detailing his travels to North America.
During the 1670s, Fredericke and Margaret Philipse owned a set of ships used for the earliest migrations of outcasts from Europe to North America. By now, it was well established that the New World served as safe haven for many European cultures and counter-cultures. Between 1640 and 1660, settlers had made their way into Westchester County. Within another twenty years, they would make their way northward to the borders of what is now Dutchess County. The 1643 purchase of New Albany helped minimally to propagate Christian societies southward along this Hudson River, and in many ways was less extensive than the northern migrations made from New Amsterdam or the Atlantic by Walloons, Dutch, Germans, Huguenots, and English.
The most personal information on Margaret Philipse’s spiritual life we learn about from Jasper Danckaerts. As Danckaerts and his comrade Sluyter prepared for departure in mid-June of 1670, they met up with Margaret Philipse, who, along with her husband, was the owner and proprietor of the ship they were about to take from Texel, Holland to North America. Margaret also had a friend which they met while still in port. Concerned about the quarters which were assigned, Danckaerts and Sluyter sought out someone to discuss this concern of theirs with, when they came upon Jan, an acquaintance of Margaret. When asked about her location, after making a comment about the weather, Jan replied: “We know very well where she is. She is in Friesland…if this wind blows over our heads, I will write her a letter which will make her ears tingle.” By stating this, Jan was no doubt talking about his ability to sending her Danckaerts and Sluyter’s message, either seriously or in jest, but in either case, telepathically, and guided by the wind.
Immediately following this discussion with Jan, Danckaerts and Sluyter quickly detached from him. Danckaerts would later write about this encounter in his diary: “[He] used many other rude expressions. He was one of the greatest grumblers, and even against her. He revealed himself more freely in a conversation with my companion, from which we could clearly discover that he was of the feelings of Boheem, though he denied he had ever read his books.” Jan’s devotion was that of Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), a popular mystic-writer who was raised as a German shoemaker. No doubt Jan and Margaret shared some of Boehme’s writings, which influenced her and her feelings of mysticism as much as they did her clairvoyant friend Jan. As Jan began to latch onto Danckaerts, Danckaerts and his Sluyter were barely able to lose or avoid him at times. Ultimately, upon their departure from Texel, they were probably thinking that finally Jan’s beliefs were once again his own.
Still, Danckaerts and Sluyter weren’t themselves immune to the effects the various spiritual philosophers were having on the common person during this period of history. Sluyter was, after all, a self-proclaimed healer and physician, who along with the Philipses, and now Danckaerts, was on his way to the New World to practice his beliefs. Just like many other emigrants to North America, Sluyter was certain of his skills as a physician and surgeon. By the time he and Danckaerts arrived to the New World, Sluyter began to call himself Dr. Voorman.
Like other Dutch mystics, Sluyter attended classes at the University of Leyden in 1666. Born in Wesel, Germany, he migrated to Holland where he became a student of theology in Leyden at 21 years of age. In a note published in 1670, Sluyter is noted to be “a physician, but unsuccessful in practice.” Soon after, apparently ungraduated, Sluyter initiated his medical and religious training and practice on his own. On one occasion in the New World, for example, Sluyter attempted to heal a young child by performing surgery on her swollen tongue, which had disastrous results in the end. On another occasion he was asked to treat a child with a cut on the head.
Jasper Danckaerts was a former craftsman for the Dutch West India Spice Company, who planned his tour of New England, formerly New Netherlands, with his companion Peter Sluyter, a theosophically-trained preacher who sometimes like to entitle himself a doctor of medicine instead of religion. As the two of them made their way to the Labadian settlement in North America, Sluyter’s sincerity as a healer, matched only by Danckaert’s support, enabled to two of them to make their way into the Labadist establishment of New Bohemia as sincere loyalists devoted to their Labadist faith. In the end, since Sluyter’s work as a physician was supported by Danckaerts throughout their journeys together in the New World, this enabled Sluyter to continue practicing his medicine, by which time the Dutch of North America were at the peak of a mysticism revival.
Fredericke Filipse performing business transactions
Rising Spirits in the Hudson Valley
In 1680, Honorable Lord Frederick Phillipse purchased the land which would later be known as the County of Westchester. It extended from the Spyten Devil’s Kill which ran north along the River, to the Kill of Kitchawong, which defined the land that would later be called Philipsburgh. At the time of this land purchase, the Salem Witchcrafts trials were still more than fifteen years away, and the first Christians to settle these borderland parts of the New York Province had the goal of converting local Natives to Christianity.
This new land was thatched by pristine streams bearing mountain waters. These streams had already left their favorable impressions on those who resided in the highlands. Down by the Hudson River, these crystal springs next became the first healthy medicinal waters to be marketed by local landowners.
Jacob Leisler for example, a French Protestant and close relative of the Rhinelanders from Rhine, France. Another Family from Germany had obtained lands at the neck of Hempstead Bay, which included Newberry and Davenport. (Vol. 1, p. 440) Near the neck of this stream on its east end was a spring, where Leisler established his first mill and later began marketing his medicinal waters, claiming: “Many persons who drank freely of it, have found great relief. It is chiefly used in cutaneous diseases.” It was perhaps no coincidence that Leister could effectively market these waters to first of the local settlers, for many travellers to the new world suffered from one of the most debilitating and deadly diseases then known to be on board ships. The cutaneous signs of scurvy produced reddish lesions of the skin, often followed by death, which most likely some felt could be healed only by Leisler’s waters.
The counterparts to these healing waters were the marshes and swamp gas-ridden regions nearby. Their non-pallative and often malicious nature, according to some, was brought about by the bad spirits and apparations they had been charged with. The birth to these malevolent spirits was no less the result of malevolent spirits of those buried there by local Hudson River Tribes following their defeat by nearby rivals. Such a site was near the Swamplands and Meadowlands adjacent to Kitchawan, next to an old “Indian Castle” or fortress constructed in the Highlands. This was where the Wappingi Indians once resided. Nearby, at its south border, was a place later known as Haunted Hollow where one of the tribe’s burial grounds could be found.
Haunted Hollow is where local tribal history and legends first gave birth to the notion past spirits running about at Teller’s Point. Once covered and protected by burial mounds or barrows, these gravesites were overlain by the homestead of Sarah and William Teller, whose presence gave rise to “the ancient warriors still haunting the surrounding glens and woods” and whom produced the many apparations noted in the form of “Walking Sachems.” (Vol. 2, pp. 114-5.) A similar, more famous, spirit borne in this region was that of a Hessian trooper, portrayed by Washington Irving as one “whose head had been carried away by a cannonball in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war, and who is ever and anon seen bythe country folks, hurrying along in the gloom of nights, as if on the wings of the wing.” (Vol. 1, p. 346-7) As Irving’s famous Legends of Sleepy Hollow became popular, so too did past religious beliefs and tales based on spiritualism, and mysticism remain alive and active throughout Hudson Valley history. According to historian Robert Bolton, Jr. this place became “a favorite haunt of troubled spirits.” Its topography, weather, and Sleepy Hollow legend became the site where a church was raised in 1697, and according to some historians, thereby became just the environment needed for past spirits, ghouls, and goblins to be re-born. (Vol. 1, p. 332-3)
In 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes beginning a new wave of persecution on the Huguenots of France. Their churches and books were to be burned. Their leaders were banished, and their children were to become wards of the state. These poor, persecuted believers in Christ fled to nearby Holland and other parts of Europe while many more migrated to America. Seeking religious freedom, a young Huguenot named Jean deJarnet arrived in Gloucester County, Virginia in 1699. At some point and time one of the female descendants of deJarnet married a descendant of Thomas Prewitt who had settled in Virginia in 1636. Source: http://nvbceagle.com/index.cfm?i=11535&mid=25&m=12&y=2009&blogid=3492
Nearby were several Huguenots families, almost 50,000 of which escaped their persecution as French Protestants in 1681 and settled in New Rochelle where their Trinity church was erected. (Vol. 1, p. 382-3) Perhaps some of the first more-spiritually driven religious healers to arrive in Hudson’s Valley were these Huguenetos, who owed their history to their Princess of Valors, Margaret, who transmitted Bishop of Meaux’s message to King Louis XIV at the height of the Reformation Period in Paris. In this illuminated text, they spoke of the Bible and St. Paul and “a power to restore all sickness,” which in turn led to the whipping and branding of their first martyr, John Le Clerq, a pastor at Church of Meaux. Some time later, after he was recaptured following his flight from his region, his right hand was amputated, followed by a second branding with hot irons and finally his death by burning over a slow fire.
This was indeed enough to remove many Huguenot families, including Bartholomew Le Roux from La Rochelle, France. Still others like the Parmentiers removed to parts of Germany, Holland and England, and later finally migrated to North America. In 1681, letters of denizations were written to assist them in their later departure. In 1690, their migrations paid for by Jacob Leisler, and the following year, these Huguenots made their way to New York; the ladies carried their Bibles out with them by concealing them in their high-dressed hair pieces.
From 1695 to 1696, Col. Caleb Heathcote administered oaths of loyalty to them, in return granting them permission to head northward along the Hudson River. In 1697, a Dutch Church was erected in Sleepy Hollow. It was about this same time during the peak inward migration of settlers that their supporter, Jacob Leisler, left for New Rochelle. Departing on November 16, 1700, he arrived in New Rochelle and then purchased land from Freeman Bartholomew Le Roux.
Like Le Roux, Jacob Leisler was French Protestant. He was also a member of the Rhinelander’s Family, a family of early settlers who would later establish the German settlement called New Rhinelands situated along the parts of the western Hudson Valley, with groups extending into Pennsylvania. Leisler had obtained the lands situated at the neck of Hempstead Bay, which included Newberry and Davenport. (Vol. 1, p. 440) The neck on the east end of his spring, where he established his first mill, he later advertised as bearing medicinal waters, claiming: “Many persons who drank freely of it, have found great relief. It is chiefly used in cutaneous diseases.” It was perhaps no coincidence that Leister could market his waters to the local settlers, for many travellers to the new world then suffered from one of the most debilitating and deadly diseases to bear cutaneous signs–scurvy–which produced reddish lesions of the skin followed by death during many of the seventeenth and eighteenth century migrations.
The church nearby which bore the Headless Horseman, was in actuality the birthplace of Catherina spirit, an ill-omen truly believed in by locals as the legend of Catherina, “the lady in white, whose shrill shrieks are said to be often heard, the long and weary winter nights, as if presaging a storm.” In contrast with “the lady in white” was Raven Rock nearby, where an “ill-omened bird” once resided and where “a thousand strange stories and superstitons about which rests a dark glen.” (Vol. 1, p. 349)
On August 8, 1699, the neighboring North Salem region of the Westchester County was purchased from Sachima Wicker, Sachem of Kightawonck by Stephanus Van Cortlandt. Bordered by two creeks, this land bore Thunderhill or what the germans had once called Dunderburgh, located just south of the Highlands (vol. 2, pp. 37-39).
As early as 1705, some of the local natives were enslaved in the New York Province. Elizabeth Legget, for example, noted in her Will two negro children, “born of the body of Hannah, my negro woman” as well as “Robin, my Indian slave.” (Vol. 1, p. 332-3) The county records for Westcheseter also noted several bills of sale for “Indian squaws” who were furnished by Jacob Decay, a dealer located in New York city.
"Spirits" above a Huguenot Cemetery
Catherine [van Cortlandt] Philipse
Catherine van Cortlandt lived nearby in the Tarrytown township , where, according to church records, she married Frederych Flypse about 7 January 1730. This family had settled in one of the most rural parts of Hudson Valley then resided in by both Dutch and English families.
Yellow Fever had already made its way into this region several times, not only by emigrants from the West Indies and Spice Islands, but also from the African slaves who had been arriving. The Philipse family, like many early settlers, took on the services of local Native children as slaves. Two of them, Matty and Sarah, served as the Philipse family’s “muster slaves” until they were set free years later by a statement in Catherine’s Will noting them to be “manumitted and sent full freedom.”
One of the first Spiritual Revivals in the United States was by then taking place in New England and New York. It had become a year during which many of the first settlers were totally devoted to religion. Catherina and Frederych Philipse owned “two silver bekers,” each of which bore numerological symbols of their devotion to one another as well as to Trinity, as noted in Bolton’s description of them:
“…the first [was] richly engraved with floriated tracery, bears the name of Frederych Flypse, and stands about seven inches high. The second is also richly engraved with antique figures, representing angels, birds, fruits, and flowers, beside, three ovals containing emblematic figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity, near the top is engraved the name of Catherina van Cortlandt, this cup stands nearly six inches and a half high.” (Vol. 1, p. 332-3)
Robert Bolton, Jr. History of the County of Westchester from its First Settlement to the Present Time. (2 vols). New York: Alexander S. Gould, 1848.
Signatura Rerum: or, the Signature of all Things: Shewing The Sign and Signification of the Severall Forms and Shapes of the Creation: And what the Beginning, Ruin, and Cure of very thing is; it proceeds out of Eternity into Time, and again out of Time into Eternity, and compriseth All Mysteries. Written in High Dutch, 1622, by Jacob Behem, alias Teutonicus Phylosophicus. [Englished in] London: John Macock, for Gyles Calvert…1651. Microfilm 171.1. (Pages are not enumerated.)
He wrote: of “man in his speech, will and behavior, also with the form of the members which he hath, and must use to that Signature, his inward form is noted in the form of his face, and thus also in a beast, an herb, and the trees; everything as it is inwardly [in its innate vertue and quality] so it outwardly signed; and albeit it fall out, that oft-times a thing is changed from evil into good, and from good into evil, yet it hath its external character, that the good or evil (that is the change) may be known.”
Ibid. p. 4.
Ibid. p. 39.
drawn from the Latin term flagro, referring to similar .
Ibid. p. 3.
p. 114 fn.
p. 168. fn.
Robert Bolton, Jr. History of the County of Westchester from its First Settlement to the Present Time. (2 vols). New York: Alexander S. Gould, 1848.