The Many Stories of Penelope
Smith, Samuel. The History of the Colony of Nova Caesaria, or New Jersey. Burlington, New Jersey, 1765. pp 65-67. Reprinted Trenton, NJ: 1877. Transcribed at http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofcolonyo00smituoft/historyofcolonyo00smituoft_djvu.txt
While New-York was in possession of the Dutch, about the time of the Indian war in New-England, a Dutch ship coming from Amsterdam, was stranded on Sandy Hook--Other accounts say in Delaware, nigh Christeen, but this is likely to be true--but the passengers got on shore; among them was a young Dutchman who had been sick most of the voyage; he was taken so bad after landing, that he could not travel; and the other passengers being afraid of the Indians, would not stay till he recovered, but made what haste they could to New-Amsterdam; his wife however would not leave him, the rest promised to send as soon as they arrived.
They had not been long gone, before a company of Indians coming down to the water side, discovered them on the beach, and hastening to the spot, soon killed the man, and cut and mangled the woman in such a manner that they left her for dead. She had strength enough to crawl up to some old logs not far distant, and getting into a hollow one, lived mostly in it for several days, subsisting in part by eating the excrescences that grew from it; the Indians had left some fire on the shore, which she kept together for warmth. Having remained in this manner for some time, an old Indian and a young one coming down to the beach found her; they were soon in high words, which she afterwards understood was a dispute; the former being for keeping her alive, the other for dispatching.
After they had debated the point a while, the first hastily took her up, and tossing her upon his shoulder, carried her to a place near where Middletown now stands, where he dressed her wounds and soon cured her.
After some time the Dutch at New-Amsterdam hearing of a white woman among the Indians, concluded who it must be, and some of them came to her relief; the old man her preserver, gave her the choice either to go or stay; she chose the first.
A while after, marrying to one Stout, they lived together at Middletown among other Dutch inhabitants; the old Indian who saved her life, used frequently to visit her; at one of his visits she observed him to be more pensive than common, and setting down he gave three heavy sighs; after the last she thought herself at liberty to ask him what was the matter. He told her he had something to tell her in friendship, tho' at the risk of his own life, which was, that the Indians were that night to kill all the whites, and advised her to go off for New-Amsterdam; she asked him how she could get off. He told her he had provided a canoe at a place which he named.
Being gone from her, she sent for her husband out of the field, and discovered the matter to him, who not believing it, she told him the old man never deceived her, and that she with her children would go; accordingly going to the place appointed, they found the canoe and paddled off. When they were gone, the husband began to consider the thing, and sending for five or six of his neighbours, they set upon their guard.
About midnight they heard the dismal war-hoop; presently came up a company of Indians; they first expostulated, and then told them, if they persisted in their bloody design, they would sell their lives very dear.
Their arguments prevailed, the Indians desisted, and entered into a league of peace, which was kept without violation. From this woman, thus remarkably saved, with her scars visible, through a long life, is descended a numerous posterity of the name of Stout, now inhabiting New-Jersey.
At that time there were supposed to be about fifty families of white people, and five hundred Indians inhabiting those parts.
Edwards, Morgan. Materials Towards a History of the Baptists. 1792. The Raum version of the story in 1871 claims to cite the 1792 version of the story verbatim. The Raum version is available via Google Books.
"In this situation she continued
for seven days, taking shelter in a hollow tree, living on what she could pick
off from the tree. On the seventh day she saw a deer pass with arrows sticking
in it, and soon after appeared two Indians whom she was glad to see, hoping
that they would put her out of her misery. Accordingly, one made towards her, to
knock her in the head; but the other (who was an elderly man), prevented him,
and throwing his watchcoat about her, took her to his
wigwam and cured her of her wounds. Afterwards he took her to New York and
presented her to her countrymen, expecting a present in return, no doubt. It
was in New York that Richard Stout married her, in her twenty-second year. He
was from England, of a good family, and in his fortieth year. They had several
children, and Mrs. Stout lived to the age of one hundred and ten years, and saw
her offspring multiplied to five hundred and two in about eighty-eight
"In this situation she continued for seven days, taking shelter in a hollow tree, living on what she could pick off from the tree. On the seventh day she saw a deer pass with arrows sticking in it, and soon after appeared two Indians whom she was glad to see, hoping that they would put her out of her misery. Accordingly, one made towards her, to knock her in the head; but the other (who was an elderly man), prevented him, and throwing his watchcoat about her, took her to his wigwam and cured her of her wounds. Afterwards he took her to New York and presented her to her countrymen, expecting a present in return, no doubt. It was in New York that Richard Stout married her, in her twenty-second year. He was from England, of a good family, and in his fortieth year. They had several children, and Mrs. Stout lived to the age of one hundred and ten years, and saw her offspring multiplied to five hundred and two in about eighty-eight years."
Benedict, David. A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America, and Other Parts of the World. London: Lincoln & Edmands, 1813. Transcribed at www.reformedreader.org/history/benedict/baptistdenomination/newjersey.htmNathan Stout, The History of the Stout Family,1823. Second printing by H.G. McCarter, "Herald" Office, Hopewell, N.J., 1878 with additions by Mrs. Sarah Weart. Third printing in 1906 by Joab B. Stout, with additions and corrections. Fourth printing in 1929 by George A. Chandler, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The text for the 1906 edition was provided by Hopewell Museum, Hopewell, New Jersey, and was entered by Carmen Trammell and Jim Stout. Posted athttp://woodlin.net/lindley/408.htm
Raum, John O. History of the City of Trenton. Trenton, NJ: W T Nicholson & Co, 1871. Available via Google Books.
In a small pamphlet published in 1790, a very interesting account is given of this family.
The parents of Jonathan Stout were Richard and Penelope Stout. "Mrs. Stout was born in Amsterdam, about the year 1602. Her father's name was Vanprinces. She and her first husband (whose name is not known) sailed for New York (then New Amsterdam) about the year 1620. The vessel was stranded at Sandy Hook. The crew got ashore, and went toward New York, but the husband of Penelope being hurt in the wreck, could not travel with them, and they both tarried in the woods. "They had not been long left before the Indians came upon them and killed them as they thought, and stripped them of their garments. However, Penelope revived, although her skull was fractured and her left shoulder so injured that she was never able to use it like the other, besides she was so cut across the body that her bowels protruded, and she was obliged to keep her hand upon the wound.
"In this situation she continued for seven days, taking shelter in a hollow tree, living on what she could pick off from the tree. On the seventh day she saw a deer pass with arrows sticking in it, and soon after appeared two Indians whom she was glad to see, hoping that they would put her out of her misery. Accordingly, one made towards her, to knock her in the head; but the other (who was an elderly man), prevented him, and throwing his watchcoat about her, took her to his wigwam and cured her of her wounds. Afterwards he took her to New York and presented her to her countrymen, expecting a present in return, no doubt. It was in New York that Richard Stout married her, in her twenty-second year. He was from England, of a good family, and in his fortieth year. They had several children, and Mrs. Stout lived to the age of one hundred and ten years, and saw her offspring multiplied to five hundred and two in about eighty-eight years."*
Mr. Jonathan Stout belonged to the Baptist denomination, and was the founder of the Baptist Church in the northern part of the township of Hopewell. The church was organized the 23d of April, 1715, and the members met in private dwellings until the year 1747, when their house for public worship was built.
Power, John Carroll. Early Settlers of Sangamon County [IL] – 1876. Springfield, IL: Edwin Wilson & Co., 1876, pp 690-2. Full text at http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofearlyse00powe/historyofearlyse00powe_djvu.txt
Some time during the seventeenth century, probably about 1680 or '90, a
young couple just married in Holland, embarked on a vessel bound for America.
The voyage was prosperous until they were nearing the port of New Amsterdam,
now the city of New York. The vessel was wrecked off what is now the coast of
New Jersey, and nearly all on board drowned. The young
couple of Hollanders, escaped drowning and with a
small number of the passengers and crew succeeded in reaching the shore. Upon
landing they were attacked by Indians, who lay in ambush awaiting their
arrival. The whole party were tomahawked, scalped and otherwise mutilated, and
left for dead. All were dead except the wife, from Holland. She alone survived,
and although her scalp was removed and she was otherwise horribly mangled, she
had sufficient remaining strength to crawl away from the scene of the
slaughter, and secreted herself in a hollow log which was concealed by
underbrush. She lay there a day or two, during which time her mental and bodily
suffering may be imagined but cannot be described. She finally made up her mind
that there was no possibility of her escaping with life; that if she remained
quiet she would certainly die of hunger and thirst, and if she attempted to
seek sustenance, that would expose her to the Indians, who would be sure to
kill her. At this juncture, a deer, with an arrow sticking in its body, ran
past where she was. This led her to believe that Indians were near, and she
reasoned that it would be a much easier death to let them kill her, than to
endure the pangs of starvation by remaining where she was. She then summoned
all her remaining strength and dragged her body out to an open space that the
Indians might see her should they pursue the deer. In a short time three of the
savages appeared on its trail. Two of them rushed upon her with uplifted
tomahawks, but the third one, a chief, restrained them and saved her life. It
was not humanity, but gain that prompted him to this act of mercy. He took his
prisoner to New Amsterdam and there received a ransom for her. That placed her
in the hands of friends who gave her the proper surgical treatment and nursing
as she recovered. The name of her husband is not known, neither is her own family name, nothing but her first or
given name, Penelope; a name that has stood for more than twenty-five
centuries, in tradition and literature, as the highest ideal of a true and
loyal wife. It will readily be understood that I allude to one of the creations
of Homer, the father of Greek poetry. A brief statement of the case, gleaned
from his works will not be out of place here. When the Greeks declared war against Troy, in consequence of the abduction of Helen, the wife
of Menelaus, a Greek chieftain, it was found that one of their number, Ulysses,
although a soldier by profession, and a farmer in time of peace, manifested
great reluctance to leaving his young and beautiful wife, Penelope, and their
infant son, Telemachus, for the purpose of engaging
in the war. He feigned insanity, by sowing salt instead of wheat. As a test of
his sanity, Nestor, whom all respected for his wisdom
and probity, proposed that the infant son of Ulysses should be laid in the
furrow in front of the oxen with which he was plowing. The device was
successful, and caused him to throw off the disguise by saving his child. It
was expected that the war would be brief, but it was extended to a long series
of years, and of those who finally returned, Ulysses was the last, after twenty
years' absence. Meanwhile, he was supposed to be dead, and many suitors for the
hand of Penelope, pressed their claims, and a simple "No" from her
was not taken for an answer. The very thought of marrying again, especially
while the fate of her husband was in doubt, was peculiarly revolting to her and
she announced her intention of choosing a husband among the suitors, when she
had completed the weaving of a shroud for her father-in-law. Her ardent suitors
waited with all the patience they could command until it was discovered that
she undid at night what she had woven through the day. She was then obliged to
proceed with her work when the long absent Ulysses returned just in time to
save her from what seemed a horrible fate. After her recovery,
she became acquainted with and married an Englishman by the name of Richard
Stout. They then went over into New Jersey, made themselves a home and raised a
family of twelve sons. One of them, Jonathan Stout, and his family, were the
founders of the Hope well settlement, in Hunterdon county,
New Jersey, where Hopewell Baptist Church was afterwards constituted. Of the
first fifteen members, nine were Stouts. The church was organized at the house
of a Stout, and for forty years their meetings were
held chiefly at the houses of the Stouts; after which they erected their first
house of worship. In 1790, two of the deacons and four of the elders were
Stouts. Jonathan Stout lived until his descendants were multiplied to one
hundred and seventeen.
Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey. Philadelphia, R T Peck & Co, 1885. pp 67-68. Posted at http://woodlin.net/lindley/408.htm
Ellis repeats the Smith version and the Benedict version, then says:
Some time during the seventeenth century, probably about 1680 or '90, a young couple just married in Holland, embarked on a vessel bound for America. The voyage was prosperous until they were nearing the port of New Amsterdam, now the city of New York. The vessel was wrecked off what is now the coast of New Jersey, and nearly all on board drowned. The young couple of Hollanders, escaped drowning and with a small number of the passengers and crew succeeded in reaching the shore. Upon landing they were attacked by Indians, who lay in ambush awaiting their arrival. The whole party were tomahawked, scalped and otherwise mutilated, and left for dead. All were dead except the wife, from Holland. She alone survived, and although her scalp was removed and she was otherwise horribly mangled, she had sufficient remaining strength to crawl away from the scene of the slaughter, and secreted herself in a hollow log which was concealed by underbrush. She lay there a day or two, during which time her mental and bodily suffering may be imagined but cannot be described. She finally made up her mind that there was no possibility of her escaping with life; that if she remained quiet she would certainly die of hunger and thirst, and if she attempted to seek sustenance, that would expose her to the Indians, who would be sure to kill her. At this juncture, a deer, with an arrow sticking in its body, ran past where she was. This led her to believe that Indians were near, and she reasoned that it would be a much easier death to let them kill her, than to endure the pangs of starvation by remaining where she was. She then summoned all her remaining strength and dragged her body out to an open space that the Indians might see her should they pursue the deer. In a short time three of the savages appeared on its trail. Two of them rushed upon her with uplifted tomahawks, but the third one, a chief, restrained them and saved her life. It was not humanity, but gain that prompted him to this act of mercy. He took his prisoner to New Amsterdam and there received a ransom for her. That placed her in the hands of friends who gave her the proper surgical treatment and nursing as she recovered.
The name of her husband is not known, neither is her own family name, nothing but her first or given name, Penelope; a name that has stood for more than twenty-five centuries, in tradition and literature, as the highest ideal of a true and loyal wife. It will readily be understood that I allude to one of the creations of Homer, the father of Greek poetry. A brief statement of the case, gleaned from his works will not be out of place here.
When the Greeks declared war against Troy, in consequence of the abduction of Helen, the wife of Menelaus, a Greek chieftain, it was found that one of their number, Ulysses, although a soldier by profession, and a farmer in time of peace, manifested great reluctance to leaving his young and beautiful wife, Penelope, and their infant son, Telemachus, for the purpose of engaging in the war. He feigned insanity, by sowing salt instead of wheat. As a test of his sanity, Nestor, whom all respected for his wisdom and probity, proposed that the infant son of Ulysses should be laid in the furrow in front of the oxen with which he was plowing. The device was successful, and caused him to throw off the disguise by saving his child. It was expected that the war would be brief, but it was extended to a long series of years, and of those who finally returned, Ulysses was the last, after twenty years' absence. Meanwhile, he was supposed to be dead, and many suitors for the hand of Penelope, pressed their claims, and a simple "No" from her was not taken for an answer. The very thought of marrying again, especially while the fate of her husband was in doubt, was peculiarly revolting to her and she announced her intention of choosing a husband among the suitors, when she had completed the weaving of a shroud for her father-in-law. Her ardent suitors waited with all the patience they could command until it was discovered that she undid at night what she had woven through the day. She was then obliged to proceed with her work when the long absent Ulysses returned just in time to save her from what seemed a horrible fate.
After her recovery, she became acquainted with and married an Englishman by the name of Richard Stout. They then went over into New Jersey, made themselves a home and raised a family of twelve sons. One of them, Jonathan Stout, and his family, were the founders of the Hope well settlement, in Hunterdon county, New Jersey, where Hopewell Baptist Church was afterwards constituted. Of the first fifteen members, nine were Stouts. The church was organized at the house of a Stout, and for forty years their meetings were held chiefly at the houses of the Stouts; after which they erected their first house of worship. In 1790, two of the deacons and four of the elders were Stouts. Jonathan Stout lived until his descendants were multiplied to one hundred and seventeen.
Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey. Philadelphia, R T Peck & Co, 1885. pp 67-68. Posted at http://woodlin.net/lindley/408.htm Ellis repeats the Smith version and the Benedict version, then says:
Salter, Edwin. A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Embracing a Genealogical Record of Earliest Settlers, in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and Their Descendants. Bayonne, NJ, 1890. Page number uncertain. Text available via Google Books
STOUT—Richard Stout was one of the twelve men named in the Monmouth Patent. Under Grants and Concessions, his name heads the list of claimants as recorded in Surveyor General's office at Perth Amboy. In the allotment of Town lots at Middletown, recorded Dec. 30th, 1667, Richard Stout was given town lot number six and also out-lots, and his son John town lot number nineteen and also out-lots. At this time Richard Stout was appointed to assist in laying out the lots. In 1669, he was one of the so-called overseers for Middletown. Richard Stout was prominent in public affairs in the new settlement and his name frequently mentioned in Freehold records. In 1690, Richard Stout and w. Penelope conveyed to Benjamin Stout all the tract and plantation whereon they then lived at Hop River, after decease of himself and w. Penelope. The will of Richard Stout, first of the family, is filed in Secretary of State's office at Trenton. It is dated June 9th, 1703, and was proved Oct. 1705. Jan. 25th, 1664, Richard Stout, John Bowne, John Tilton, Jr., James Hubbard, William Goulding and Samuel Spicer, all of Gravesend, made the first purchase of land in what is now Monmouth, of the Indians. The land was bought of Popomora, the Indian Sachem, who was called "Chief of the Indians." John Stout, son of Richard and Penelope was in. Jan. 12th, 1671. The above gives the legal year which began March 25th. By our calendar year the marriage took place January 12th, 1672. The tradition among the Stouts of Ocean County, states that John's son Richard the Squan? Richard had a son Benjamin, who m. Mary Johnson, and they in turn had a son Benjamin, who was the well remembered Capt. Benjamin Stout, who lived on the old Thomas Potter place at Goodluck. Capt. Benjamin Stout d. Feb. 13, 1850, aged over 69 years, and his w Sarah d. April 23, 1866, aged over 82 years. They had children Joseph, Benjamin, Daniel, James, John, and daus. Garret Stout, the well known hotel keeper of Cedar Creek, b. 1802, was a son of Abraham and grandson of another Abraham Stout. Mr. West says that Jonathan, son of the second Richard, had a son Richard and several other children, and Jonathan's son Tombrook was an officer in the Revolution and saw much service. The Stout families of Ocean county are descended from John Stout, a gentleman of Nottinghamshire, England, whose son Richard came to New York where he m. about the year 1622, a Dutch widow whose maiden name was Penelope Vanprinces. They had seven sons and three daus. The most prominent of the founders of the settlements in Monmouth was Richard Stout. At the present day there are many thousand people in New Jersey and in other States, who can claim him as an ancestor. It is known to but few of these that his will is still preserved and in good condition in the office of the Secretary of State, at Trenton; so it is one of the most interesting unpublished papers relating to the history of the family. Daniel Stout was the well remembered Esquire Daniel, of Goodluck. He and w. Anna had ten children, one son and nine daus. A noted descendant of Richard Stout was Elihu Stout, who, about 1804, was induced by Gen. William Henry Harrison, afterwards President, to settle at Vincennes, Indiana. He founded the "Western Sun" newspaper, July 4,1804, the pioneer newspaper within the territory now embraced by the State of Indiana. He continued its publication under difficulties until Nov., 1845, for many years after its first publication transporting his materials on pack horses from Lexington, Ky. He d. at Vincennes in April, 1860, and was laid to rest in the public cemetery, "leaving behind no evidence of any necessity for taking an inventory of his estate."
Mayes, Edward. Genealogy of the Family of Longstreet with its Related Families. Printed by the author, Jackson, MS, circa 1890. Page D128Stockton, Frank R. Stories of New Jersey, 1896. (Reprinted by Rutgers University Press, 10th ed. July 1961. ISBN 978-0813503691 Pages 57-69. Listed sources as 1. S. Smith. History of New Jersey, 2. J. C. Raum. History of New Jersey, 3. Barber and Howe. Historical Collections, 4. A. C. Mellick. Stories of an Old Farm.transcribed at http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/11219/
Although the passengers and crew of this vessel had reached the shore, they did not by any means consider themselves in safety; for they were very much afraid of the Indians, and desired above everything to make what haste they could toward New Amsterdam. They therefore started away as soon as possible. But Penelope's husband was too sick to go any farther at that time, and his wife was too good a woman to leave her husband in that lonely spot; and so these two were left behind, while the rest of the company started for New Amsterdam, promising, however, that they would send help to the unfortunate couple.
The fears of these immigrants in regard to the Indians were not without foundation; for the main party had not long departed, when a band of red men, probably having heard in some way of the wreck of the ship, appeared upon the scene, and discovered poor Penelope and her sick husband. It is unfortunately the disposition of most savages to show little pity for weakness and suffering, and the fact that the poor young man could not do them any possible harm had no effect upon them, and they set upon him and killed him; very much as a boy would kill a little harmless snake, for no reason whatever, except that he was able to do it.
Then they determined to kill Penelope also, and, attacking her with their tomahawks, they so cut and wounded her that she fell down bleeding and insensible. Having built a fire, these brave warriors cooked themselves a comfortable meal, and then departed. But Penelope was not killed, and, coming to her senses, her instincts told her that the first thing to do was to hide herself from these bloodthirsty red men: so, slowly and painfully, she crawled away to the edge of a wood, and found there a great hollow tree, into which she crept.
This made but narrow and doleful quarters for a wounded woman, but it was preferable at that time to the blue sky and fresh air. She did not leave the tree until nightfall, and then she made her way to the place where the fire was still glimmering; and by great care, and with what must have been painful labor, she kept this fire from going out, and so managed to get a little warmth.
In this way, living in the tree the greater part of the time, and depending for food chiefly upon the fungous excrescences and gum which grew on the outside of it,--for she was not able to go in search of berries and other food,--poor Penelope lived for a few days, with her dead husband on the beach, and her almost dead self in that cavern-like tree. The hours must have passed mournfully indeed to this young woman who had set out for the New World with such bright hopes.
That she survived her terrible hardships was due entirely to the existence of the danger she most feared; that is, the reappearance of the Indians. On the second morning, nearly famished and very weak, Penelope was making her way slowly over the ground, endeavoring to find something she could eat, or a little dew in the hollow of a leaf, that she might drink, when suddenly there came out of the woods two tall Indians, who, naturally enough, were much surprised to find a wounded white woman there alone upon the seashore.
Penelope gave herself up as lost. There was nothing now for her to do but to submit to her fate. It was a pity, she thought, that she had not been slain with her husband.
But the Indians did not immediately rush at her with their tomahawks: they stood and talked together, evidently about her, with their fierce eyes continually fixed upon her. Then their conversation became more animated, and it was soon plain that they were disputing. Of course, she did not then know the cause of their difference of opinion; but she found out afterwards that one of them was in favor of killing her upon the spot, and the other, an older man than his companion, was more mercifully inclined, and wished to carry her off as a prisoner to their camp.
At last the older man got the better of the other one; and he, being determined that the poor wounded woman should be taken care of, took her up and put her on his shoulder, and marched away with her. That an Indian should be able to perform a feat like this is not at all surprising; for when one of them shoots a deer in the forest, though many of those animals are heavier than Penelope was, he will put it on his back and carry it through the forests, perhaps for miles, until he reaches his camp. And so Penelope, as if she had been a deer wounded by some other hunters, which these men had found, was carried to the Indian camp.
There she was taken care of. Food and drink were given her. Her wounds were dressed and treated after the Indian fashion. In due course of time she recovered her health and strength, and there--living in a wigwam, among the women and children of the village, pounding corn, cooking food, carrying burdens as did the Indian women--she remained for some time, not daring even to try to escape; for in that wild country there was no place of safety to which it was possible for her to flee.
Although there was a good deal of bad feeling between the Indians and the whites at that time, they still traded and communicated with each other; and when, in the course of time, it became known in New Amsterdam that there was a white woman held as a prisoner in this Indian camp, there was every reason to suppose that this woman was the young wife who had been left on the seacoast by the survivors of the wreck. Consequently some of the men who had been her fellow-passengers came over to the Indian camp, which was not far from where Middletown now stands. Here, as they had expected, they found Penelope, and demanded that the Indians should give her up.
After some discussion, it was agreed that the matter should be left with Penelope herself; and the old Indian who had saved her life went to her,--for of course, being an inferior, she was not present at the conference,--and put the question before her. Here she was, with a comfortable wigwam, plenty to eat and drink, good Indian clothes to wear, as well treated as any Indian woman, and, so far as he could see, with everything to make her comfortable and happy; and here she might stay if she chose. On the other hand, if she wished to go to New Amsterdam, she would find there no one with whom she was acquainted, except the people who had rowed away and left her on that desolate coast, and who might have come in search of her a long time before if they really had cared anything about her. If she wanted to live here among friends who had been kind to her, and be taken care of, she could do so; if she wanted to go away and live among people who had deserted her, and who appeared to have forgotten her, she could do that.
Very much to the surprise of this good Indian, Penelope declared that she should prefer to go and live among people of her own race and country; and so, much to the regret of her Indian friends, she departed for New Amsterdam with the men who had come for her.
A year or two after Penelope had gone back to New Amsterdam, being then about twenty-two, she married an Englishman named Richard Stout, who afterwards became an important personage. He, with other settlers, went over to New Jersey and founded a little village, which was called Middletown, not far from the Indian camp where Penelope had once been a prisoner. The Indians still remained in this camp, but now they appeared to be quite friendly to the whites; and the new settlers did not consider that there was anything dangerous in having these red neighbors. The good Indian who had been Penelope's protector, now quite an old man, was very friendly and sociable, and often used to visit Mrs. Stout. This friendship for the woman whom he had saved from death seemed to have been strong and sincere.
One day this old Indian came to the house of Mrs. Stout, and, seating himself in the room where she was, remained for a long time pensive and silent. This rather unusual conduct made Penelope fear that something had happened to him; and she questioned him, asking him why he was so silent, and why he sighed so often. Then the old man spoke out and told her that he had come on a very important errand, in which he had risked his own life at the hands of his tribe; but, having saved her life once, he had determined to do it again, no matter what might happen to himself.
Then he told her that the good will of the Indians toward their white neighbors had come to an end, and that it had been determined in council that an attack should be made that night upon this little village, when every person in it--men, women, and children--should be put to death, the houses burned, and the cattle driven away. His brethren no longer wanted white people living near them.
Of course, this news was a great shock to Penelope. She had now two little children, and she could not get far away with them and hide, as she herself had once hidden from Indian foes. But the old man told her that she need not be afraid: he could not save all the people in the village, but he was her friend, and he had arranged to save her and her family. At a certain place, which he described so she could not fail to find it, he had concealed a canoe; and in that she and her husband, with the children, could go over to New Amsterdam, and there would be plenty of time for them to get away before the Indians would attack the place. Having said this, and having urged her to lose no time in getting away, the old Indian left.
As soon as he had gone, Penelope sent for her husband, who was working in the fields, and told him what she had heard, urging him to make preparations instantly to escape with her. But Mr. Stout was not easily frightened by news such as this. He pooh-poohed the whole story, and told his wife that the natives over there in their camp were as well disposed and friendly as if they had been a company of white settlers, and that, as these red men and the whites had lived together so long, trading with each other, and visiting each other with perfect freedom, there was no reason whatever to suppose that the Indians would suddenly determine to rise up and massacre a whole settlement of peaceable neighbors, who had never done them any harm, and who were a great benefit to them in the way of trading. It would be all nonsense, he said, to leave their homes, and run away from Indians so extremely friendly and good-natured as those in the neighboring camp.
But Penelope had entirely different ideas upon the subject. She thoroughly believed in the old Indian, and was sure that he would not have come and told her that story unless it had been true. If her husband chose to stay and risk his life, she could not help it; but she would not subject herself and her children to the terrible danger which threatened them. She had begged her husband to go with her; but as he had refused, and had returned to his work, she and her children would escape alone.
Consequently she set out with the little ones, and with all haste possible she reached the place where the canoe was moored among some tall reeds, and, getting in with the children, she paddled away to New Amsterdam, hoping she might reach there in time to send assistance to Middletown before the Indians should attack it.
When Farmer Stout found that his wife had really gone off, and had taken the children with her, he began to consider the matter seriously, and concluded that perhaps there might be something in the news which the old Indian had brought. He consequently called together a number of the men of the village, and they held a consultation, in which it was determined that it would be a wise thing to prepare themselves against the threatened attack; and, arming themselves with all the guns and pistols they could get, they met together in one of the houses, which was well adapted for that purpose, and prepared to watch all night.
They did not watch in vain, for about midnight they heard from the woods that dreadful war whoop which the white settlers now well understood. They knew it meant the same thing as the roar of the lion, who, after silently creeping towards his intended victim, suddenly makes the rocks echo with the sound of his terrible voice, and then gives his fatal spring.
But although these men might have been stricken with terror, had they heard such a war cry at a time when they were not expecting it, and from Indians to whom they were strangers, they were not so terrified at the coming of these red men with whom, perhaps only the day before, they had been trading buttons for venison and beans. They could not believe that these apparently mild and easy-going fellows could really be the terrible savages they tried to make themselves appear.
So Richard Stout and his companions went boldly out, guns in hand, to meet the oncoming savages, and, calling a parley, they declared that they had no intention of resting quietly, and allowing themselves and families to be slaughtered and their houses burned. If the Indians, who had so long been their good neighbors, were now determined to become bloody enemies, they would find that they would have to do a good deal of hard fighting before they could destroy the village of Middletown; and, if they persisted in carrying on the bloody job they had undertaken, a good many of them would be killed before that job was finished.
Now, it had been very seldom that Indians who had started out to massacre whites had met with people who acted like this; and these red men in war paint thought it wise to consider what had been said to them. A few of them may have had guns, but the majority were armed only with bows and tomahawks; and these white men had guns and pistols, with plenty of powder and ball. It would clearly be unsafe to fight them.
So, after discussing the matter among themselves and afterwards talking it over with the whites, the Indians made up their minds, that, instead of endeavoring to destroy the inhabitants of Middletown, they would shake hands with them and make a treaty of peace. They then retired; and on the following day a general conference was held, in which the whites agreed to buy the lands on which they had built their town, and an alliance was made for mutual protection and assistance. This compact was faithfully observed as long as there were any Indians in the neighborhood, and Middletown grew and flourished.
Among the citizens of the place there were none who grew and flourished in a greater degree than the Stout family. Although Penelope bore upon her body the scars of her wounds until the day of her death, it is stated, upon good authority, that she lived to be one hundred and ten years old; so that it is plain that her constitution was not injured by the sufferings and hardships of the beginning of her life in New Jersey.
Not only did the Stouts flourish in Middletown, but some of them went a little southward, and helped to found the town of Hopewell; and here they increased to such a degree that one of the early historians relates that the Baptist Church there was founded by the Stouts, and that for forty-one years the religious meetings were held in the houses of different members of the Stout family, while, at the time he wrote, half of the congregation of the church were still Stouts, and that, all in all, there had been at least two hundred members of that name. So the Baptist Church in Hopewell, as well as all the churches in Middletown, owed a great deal to the good Indian who carried poor Penelope to his village, and cured her of her wounds.
Streets, Thomas Hale. The Story of Penelope Stout: As Verified By The Events Of History And Official Records. Philidelphia, 1897. Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC, Sep 2010 ISBN 978-1167151224
THE STORY OF PENELOPE STOUT.
The story of Penelope Stout is one of those thrilling tales of capture and rescue from the Indians—so often associated with the history of the early settlements of our country—which reads more like fiction than reality, and which has been preserved in the memory of her numerous offspring, wherever found, for more than two hundred and fifty years. It hasr besides, served as a starting point in the history of East Jersey, and no account of the early settlement of that section of the state would be complete that left it out of consideration. Probably, the earliest writer to refer to it is Samuel Smith, in his "History of the Colony of Nova Csesaria, or New Jersey," published in 1765. Another version, said to have been written in 1790, is given in Benedict's "History of the Baptists." There is a third version, in manuscript form, written in 1820, by one of the Stout family, of Hopewell, New Jersey. The last I have not seen; but, as the Rev. A. A. Marcellus, in the " Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society," for 1846, has published an account, which, he states, was compiled from the three sources named, it is probable that he has incorporated in it all the essential points contained in the manuscript. Of the more modern writers, Ellis, in his " History of Monmouth County," and later, Salter, in his "History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties," give the story more or less prominence. The former characterizes it as romance.
I am not aware that any effort has been made to prove the truth of the event by comparing it with the facts of history and official records.
Smith begins the narrative in the following manner:—"While New York was in possession of the Dutch, about the time of the Indian war in New England, a Dutch ship coming from Amsterdam, was stranded on Sandy Hook." Benedict's account says, that Penelope Stout " was born at Amsterdam, about the year 1602; her father's name was Vanprincis; she and her first husband (whose name is not known) sailed for New York (then New Amsterdam) about 1620; the vessel was stranded at Sandy Hook." The only Indian war which occurred in New England, while the Dutch were in possession of New York, was the Pequod war, which began in 1636, and ended in 1637, in the almost complete destruction of that tribe. So severe was the lesson taught the savages at that time, that peace continued between them and the white settlers for nearly forty years, or until King Philip's war in 1671. The Dutch surrendered New York to the English in 1664. I shall have occasion later to show that the dates given in Benedict's work are erroneous, and that the probable time of the stranding of the vessel was about 1640, or about twenty years later than the date mentioned therein.
The story goes on to relate that all the shipwrecked people were safely landed from the stranded ship. But Penelope's husband, who had been sick for most of the voyage, was taken so ill after getting on shore that he could not travel with the rest. Benedict says that he was hurt in the wreck, and for that reason could not march. The others were so afraid of the Indians that they would not remain until he recovered, but hastened away to New Amsterdam, promising to send relief as soon as they arrived. The "wife, alone, remained behind with her husband." They were left on the beach (Benedict says, they "tarried in the woods"), and the others "had not been long gone, before a company of Indians coming down to the water side, discovered them, . . . and hastening to the spot, soon killed the man, and cut and mangled the woman in such a manner that they left her for dead." They departed after having stripped them of all their clothing. The wife's "skull was fractured, and her left shoulder so hacked, that she could never use that arm like the other; she was also cut across the abdomen, so that the bowels protruded; these she kept in with her hands." After the Indians were gone, the wife revived, and crawled to a hollow tree, or log, where she remained for shelter several days (one account says seven), subsisting on what she could find to eat. The Indians had left some fire on the beach, and this she kept burning for warmth. At length, two Indians, an old man and a young one, coming to the shore, saw her. Benedict's story reads, that "she saw a deer passing by with some arrows sticking in it, and soon after two Indians appeared, whom she was glad to see, in hope they would put her out of her misery." The Indians, as she afterward learned, disputed what should be done with her; the elderly man was for keeping her alive, while the younger was for killing her. The former had his way, and, taking her on his shoulders, carried her to a place near where Middletown now stands, and dressed her wounds, and soon healed them. After this, Benedict says, he carried her to New Amsterdam and made a present of her to her countrymen. But the other account, which is more in keeping with the Indian character, says that the Dutch at New Amsterdam hearing of a white woman being among the Indians, concluded who it must be, and some of them came to her relief. Her Indian preserver gave her the option of going or staying; of course she went.
As confirmatory evidence of the time when this event happened, I will quote from Whitehead's "East Jersey under the Proprietors." He says: "In East Jersey the greatest harmony seems to have prevailed [between the Dutch and the Indians] until, by misconduct of the colonists, the anger of the natives was aroused. In 1640 an expedition fitted out against those on the Raritan caused the maltreatment of some of the leading chiefs and led the following year to retaliatory measures upon the settlers of Staten Island, who were killed, and their plantation broken up." Peace was not restored until 1644. It seems there must have been trouble between the Dutch and Indians at that time to account for the sudden and murderous attack upon the shipwrecked people.
In New Amsterdam Penelope Van Princis became acquainted with one Richard Stout, and married him. "She was now in her twenty-second year and he in his fortieth." Her subsequent career has to do with the settlement of Monmouth County. Smith says, a while after marrying they lived together at Middletown, among other Dutch families. If the date of her birth, as given in Benedict, is correct, her marriage took place in 1624. As Richard Stout was then in his fortieth year, the date of his birth must have been about 1584; but as his will, which is recorded at Trenton, is dated June 9th, 1703, and was proved October 23d, 1705, this date of birth would also seem to be an error. If it be assumed, however, as in the case of the stranding of the vessel, that there is here, likewise, a mistake of twenty years, the time of the marriage would be about 1644. We shall have later a corroboration of this date in the time when the two oldest children arrived of age. The Stout Manuscript says (on the authority of the Rev. A. A. Marcellus), that "immediately after her marriage with Stout, they settled in Middletown, and that 'there were at that time, but six white families in the settlement, including their own; which was in the year 1648.'" This date has given rise to some confusion as to when Middletown was first settled.
Richard Stout's name is found among the patentees to whom Governor Kieft issued, December 19th, 1645, the patent for the settlement at Gravesend,
Long Island ("New York Genealogical and Historical Record," 1885, Vol. 16, p. 102). Thompson, in his "History of Long Island," gives a list of the inhabitants and "probable freeholders" of Gravesend in 1656, and among them is the name of Richard Stout. Salter says that "in 1657 Richard Stout seems to have been one of the largest land owners in Gravesend" (p. 356). On the 25th of January, 1664, the year of the surrender to the English, Richard Stout and others purchased land at Navesink, of the Indian sachem Popomora, and in April, 1666, Col. Nicolls, the "Governor under his royal highness, the Duke of York, of all the territories in America," confirmed this purchase, and granted a patent of the whole of Monmouth and a great part of Middlesex Counties unto Richard Stout and associates, who were " some of the Inhabitants of Gravesend upon Long Island." ("New Jersey Archives," Vol. 1, p. 44). It is said that the first local government to be established in East Jersey was organized under this patent (Joel Parker, "Proc. New Jersey Historical Society," 2 series, Vol. 3, p. 19). Smith expresses a doubt whether there were English and Dutch settlers there at an earlier date than 1669.
In regard to an earlier settlement of Monmouth County than that which took place under the patent granted by Governor Nicolls, it is claimed that Penelope Stout induced her husband to sail across the bay to visit her preserver and other Indian friends, and it is presumed that on such occasions they were accompanied by others of their country people, and that about 1648, himself and four or five other heads of families settled where Middletown now is; but they remained there only four or five years at the most, as they were compelled to leave on account of hostilities breaking out between the Dutch and Indians. "This corresponds very nearly to the time of the fearful Indian uprising in New York in 1655" (Salter's "History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties"). As to the alleged abandonment of the settlement, Smith \ says the settlers were not compelled to leave, but that their stay was permanent. He says: "The old Indian [Penelope's preserver] used frequently to visit her; at one of his visits she observed him to be more pensive than common, and sitting down he gave three heavy sighs; after the last she thought herself at liberty to ask him what was the matter? He told her he had something to tell her in friendship, tho' at the risk of his own life, which was, that the Indians were that night to kill all the whites, and advised her to go off to New Amsterdam; she asked him how she could get off? He told her he had provided a canoe at a place which he named. Being gone from her, she sent for her husband out of the field, and discovered the matter to him, who not believing it, she told him the old man never deceived her, and that she with the children would go; accordingly going to the place appointed, they found the canoe and paddled off. When they were gone, the husband began to consider the thing, and sending for five or six of his neighbors, they set upon their guard. About midnight they heard the dismal war-hoop; presently came up a company of Indians; they first expostulated, and then told them, if they persisted in their bloody design, they would sell their lives very dear. Arguments prevailed, the Indians desisted, and entered into a league of peace, which was kept without violation."
In the office of the Surveyor-General, at Perth Amboy, are recorded the warrants for the land obtained under the Monmouth Patent. The date of record is 1675. Richard Stout's name heads the list of claimants. It reads as follows:
"Here begins the Rights of Land due according to Concessions:
"Richard Stout, of Middletown, brings for his rights for himself, his wife, and his two sons, John and Richard, 120 acres each, 480 acres. Item. For his sons and daughters that are to come of age since the year 1667, viz.: James, Peter, Mary, Alice, and Sarah, each 60 acres, 300 acres. Total, 780 acres."
In the allotment of town lots at Middletown, recorded, December 30th, 1667, John Stout was among those who received them. He was probably of age when the patent was issued, as his name is included in the list of first settlers, and he is put down as coming from Long Island. If the age of 23 years be assigned to him in 1667, it would make the date of the marriage of his parents about the year 1644. John Stout was married January 13th, 1671-2 (Salter).
It will be seen from what has been stated that the sequence of events here narrated corresponds, with sufficient accuracy, with the events of contemporaneous history and the evidence of official records to make the dates which I have given seem probable. To recapitulate: The ship was stranded in 1640, or near the close of the Pequod war in New England, at which time the Indians were hostile in the Dutch colony; they were married at New Amsterdam about 1644; went to live at Gravesend, Long Island, about 1645,[Footnote: *It is probable that he was living here at an earlier period than this. On "October 13th, 1643, Richard Aestin, Ambrose Love, and Richard Stout made declaration that the crew of the Seven Stars and of the privateer landed at the farm of Anthony Jansen, of Salee, in the Bay, and took off 200 pumpkins, and would have carried away a lot of hogs from Coney Island had they not learned that they belonged to Lady Moody." (Calendar of N. Y. Hist. MSS.)] where Richard Stout was a prominent land owner as late as 1657; in 1667, they moved across the Lower Bay into Monmouth County, at which time two of their children were of age, and three were yet unborn, viz.: Jonathan, David and Benjamin.
William Francis Cregar, in "Ancestry of the children of James William White, M.D.," states (he gives as his authority a partial copy of the Stout MS. in the possession of Dr. J. E. Stillwell, of New York City), that " David, of Freehold," was born in "1669." (There was one, probably two children, born after David.) He fixes the date of the mother's death in "1712," reckoned, probably, from the date given of her birth (1602). She would have been truly a remarkable woman to have borne children for a period of nearly fifty years, or until she was seventy years old! We are informed that she had ten children—seven sons and three daughters—and that she lived to be 110 years old, and before she died, "saw her offspring multiplied into 502 in 88 years." According to the dates I have given the time of her death was in the year 1732.
Richard Stout was the son of John Stout, of Nottinghamshire, England, and, it is said, left his home because of paternal interference in an affair of love between him and a young woman who was considered beneath him in social rank. After leaving home he enlisted on board a man-of-war, where he served seven years. He received his discharge at New Amsterdam, where the ship happened to be at the expiration of his term of enlistment. As further proof that he was not a man 83 years old when he settled at Middletown, it may be said, on the authority of Salter (than whom, it has been claimed, no man was better informed of the local events of Monmouth County), that Richard Stout was the most prominent of the founders of the new colony. In the winter of 1667, he was appointed to assist in laying out the lots; in 1669, he was one of the so-called overseers; he took an active part in the public affairs of the new settlement, and his name is frequently mentioned in Freehold records.
What was the cause of the emigration of the English settlers from Long Island to Monmouth County? It is claimed that they sought there religious freedom. Their patent reads:—" They shall have free liberty of conscience without any molestation or disturbance whatsover in their way of worship." The Dutch had received the persecuted from New England and had granted them patents to settlements on Long Island; but Dutch toleration did not extend to "that abominable sect called Quakers." These people were fined and imprisoned, and were even threatened with forced transportation across the ocean. Those entertaining and visiting them were treated in a similar manner. The fact that so many of the patentees and their associates were Quakers makes it seems probable that they were the originators of the movement to East Jersey. An attempt had been made in 1663 to obtain land from the Indians at Navesink, but the Dutch, through their influence with the chiefs, had prevented the purchase, claiming that the land was theirs by right of prior purchase. (O'Callaghan's "History of New Netherland.")
It may, therefore, be justly conceded that this purely Quaker movement—of providing an asylum for the persecuted of all sects, and of dealing honestly with the Indians (of satisfying their claims to the land before getting a patent for it from the proprietors)—was inaugurated in East Jersey seventeen years before "William Penn made similar purchases and declarations" in Pennsylvania. Richard Stout seems to have been the principal agent in securing the good-will of-the Indians, as well as in managing the affairs of the new settlement. It is thought that the influence which his wife had acquired over the Indians during her captivity among them may have been the reason for the prominent part which he played.
Note.—I became interested in the above study while trying to trace the connection between the Stouts of Delaware and the East Jersey family. Since the above was written I have learned that Benjamin, probably the youngest son of Richard and Penelope Stout, emigrated to Delaware and became the progenitor of the Stouts of that State.
Streets 1915 TopStreets, Thomas Hale. The Stout family of Delaware: with the story of Penelope Stout. 1915. Reprinted by Nabu Press, Sept 2011. ISBN 978-1245058032 Paperback 118 pages. Can be viewed via Google Books. Looks like an expanded version of his 1897 phamphlet
Stillwell 1916 Top Stillwell, John E. Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Early Settlers of New Jersey and their Descendants. Vol. IV. New York, 1916. p. 295 et seq. Full text at http://www.archive.org/stream/historicalgeneal04stil/historicalgeneal04stil_djvu.txt
1 RICHARD STOUT, an early settler in this country and the founder of the large family bearing his name, was reputed the son of John Stout, of Nottinghamshire, England. Tradition has it that he left England because of friction with his father, who interfered with his love affairs, which drove him to engage on a man-of-war for seven years, at the end of which time he received his discharge at New Amsterdam. The tradition may be truthful, but if the printed statement is correct that he was forty years of age when he married Penelope Van Princis, after allowing seven years for ship service and three additional years between his discharge and marriage, he would still have been about thirty years old when this rupture occurred, an age when parental intrusion and discipline in love affairs is hardly likely, but if so, might have been resented in the manner accredited to him. The assertion that Richard Stout was of "good family," which implies social caste, and that the cause of the disturbance between father and son was a threatened misalliance also may be true, but we have no proof of the social position of John Stout, and as an argument against it there is the fact that Richard Stout, his son, was not an educated man, when education was common. The answer to this is the presumption that Richard Stout was probably a headstrong character, not likely to be coerced into scholarly attainments. These statements, and more, are set forth in certain published articles concerning the Stout family, in which Penelope, the wife of Richard, is a conspicuous figure. The first of these to appear was the account printed in Samuel Smith's History of New Jersey, published at Burlington, N. J., in 1765. A second version appeared in print in Morgan Edwards' Materials Towards A History Of The Baptists in Jersey, published in 1792. These two versions have much in common, but are still so dissimilar that it is evident that their sources of origin were totally different. Edwards projected A History of the American Baptists, in a series of twelve state Baptist church histories. The first of these was published in 1770, on Pennsylvania. Then came a long gap, doubtless largely occasioned by the War, and then appeared, in 1792, the volume on New Jersey. None followed, as it was a losing venture to the author, though the price was put at one-fourth of one dollar each and the issue limited to five hundred copies. His complaint about neglect was well founded, when the modest charge and the labor were considered, but he had entered a field, then as now, unappreciated except by the few historical and genealogical students. While his second volume was published in 1792, the preface shows that the work was finished by the writer May 1, 1790, and no doubt its compilation took some years. Exactly how long can only be surmised, but as the article on the Stouts, (under the church at Hopewell), was contributed by the Rev. Oliver Hart to Mr. Edwards, and as his incumbency as pastor of the Hopewell church dates from Dec. 16, 1780, it could not have antedated this year 1780, but probably was written between 1785 and 1789. It is from these two sources that later historians, writers and genealogists largely derive their information. Benedict, in his History of the Baptists, edition of 1813, (Vol. I, pp. 573-574), draws entirely from Morgan Edwards, as does Barber's Historical Collections of New Jersey, edition of 1868, pp. 259-260. Raum too, in his History of Trenton, N. J., 1871, pp. 58-59, follows the Edwards text, but misleads in stating that he gives the narrative verbatim. This he does not do, for a superficial comparison shows an embellished text, which, with the erroneous statement that the book was published in 1790, when it was really printed in 1792, leads one to seek another publication when one does not really exist.
The Smith and Edwards publications are reproduced here verbatim, being necessary for a proper appreciation of the dates involved. That the tradition concerning Penelope Stout's experience with the Indians is true is, to my mind, as certain as that man now exists. Her hardiness to have outlived, for eighty-four years, her mutilation at the hands of the Indians, her extraordinary longevity reaching one hundred and ten years, and her enormous progeny, would tend to make her a much-talked-of individual, and Smith, who wrote concerning her, less than thirty-three years after her death, must have met many who knew her in life, and Edwards was not far behind him in chronicling the same tale from other sources. Then, we have the remarkable verification of her scars by her descendants, as given by Mrs. Seabrook. Surely there is no room for doubt, and though some seemingly fanciful accretions may have accumulated around the story in time, they are more likely to be facts with misplaced dates, such as the episode of the Indian aiding her escape in the threatened uprising, rather than actual errors.
Case of a Stranger, Remarkably Saved among the Indians
While New York was in possession of the Dutch, about the time of the Indian war in New-England, a Dutch ship coming from Amsterdam, was stranded on Sandy Hook, [Other accounts say in Delaware, nigh Christeen, but this is most likely to be true.] but the passengers got on shore; among them was a young Dutchman who had been sick most of the voyage; he was taken so bad after landing, that he could not travel; and the other passengers being afraid of the Indians, would not stay till he recovered, but made what haste they could to New Amsterdam; his wife however would not leave him, the rest promised to send as soon as they arrived: They had not been long gone, before a company of Indians coming down to the water side, discovered them on the beach, and hastening to the spot, soon killed the man, and cut and mangled the woman in such a manner that they left her for dead. She had strength enough to crawl up to some old logs not far distant, and getting into a hollow one, lived mostly in it for several days, subsisting in part by the excrescences that grew from it; the Indians had left some fire on the shore, which she kept together for warmth: having remained in this manner for some time, an old Indian and a young one coming down to the beach found her; they were soon in high words, which she afterwards understood was a dispute; the former being for keeping her alive, the other for dispatching: After they had debated the point a while, the first hastily took her up, and tossing her upon his shoulder, carried her to a place near where Middletown now stands, where he dressed her wounds and soon cured her: After some time the Dutch in New-Amsterdam hearing of a white woman among the Indians, concluded who it must be and some of them came to her relief; the old man her preserver, gave her the choice either to go or stay; she chose the first: A while after marrying to one Stout, they lived together at Middletown among other Dutch inhabitants; the old Indian who saved her life, used frequently to visit her; at one of his visits she observed him to be more pensive than common, and fitting down he gave three heavy sighs; after the last she thought herself at liberty to ask him what was the matter? He told her he had something to tell her in friendship, tho' at the risk of his own life, which was, that the Indians were that night to kill all the whites, and advised her to go on for New-Amsterdam; she asked him how she could get off? he told her he had provided a canoe at a place which he named: Being gone from her, she sent for her husband out of the field, and discovered the matter to him, who not believing it, she told him the old man never deceived her, and that she with her children would go; accordingly going to the place appointed, they found the canoe and paddled off. When they were gone, the husband began to consider the thing, and fending for five or six of his neighbours, they fell upon their guard: About midnight they heard the dismal war-hoop; presently came up a company of Indians; they first expostulated, and then told them, if they persisted in their bloody design, they would sell their lives very dear: Their arguments prevailed, the Indians desisted, and entered into a league of peace, which was kept without violation. From this woman, thus remarkably saved, with her fears visible, through a long life, is descended a numerous posterity of the name of Stout, now inhabiting New-Jersey: At that time there were supposed to be about fifty families of white people, and five hundred Indians inhabiting those parts. The family of the Stouts are so remarkable for their number, origin and character in both church and state that I cannot forbear bestowing a post-script upon them; and no place can be so proper as that of Hopewell, where the bulk of the family resides. We have already seen that Jonathan Stout and family were the seed of Hopewell church, and the beginning of Hopewell settlement; and that of the 1 5 which constituted the church, nine were Stouts: the church was constituted at the house of a Stout; and the meetings were held chiefly at the dwellings of the Stouts for 41 years, viz. from the beginning of the settlement to the building of the meeting-house, before described. Mr. Hart is of the opinion "That from first to last, half the members have been and are of that name; for, in looking over the church book, (saith he), I find that near two hundred of the name have been added; besides about as many more of the blood of the Stouts, who had lost the name by marriages: the present two deacons and four elders, are Stouts: the late Zebulon and David Stout were two of its main pillars: the last lived to see his offspring multiplied into a hundred and 17 souls." The origin of this Baptist family is no less remarkable; for they all sprang from one woman, and she as good as dead: her history is in the mouths of her posterity, and is told as follows: "She was born at Amsterdam, about the year 1602: her father's name was Vanprincis: she and her first husband, (whose name is not known), sailed for New- York, (then New Amsterdam), about the year 1620: the vessel was stranded at Sandy Hook: the crew got ashore, and marched towards said New York: but Penelope's (for that was her name) husband being hurt in the wreck, could not march with them; therefore, he and the wife tarried in the woods: they had not been long in the place before the Indians killed them both, (as they tho't), and stripped them to the skin: however, Penelope came to, tho' her skull was fractured, and her left shoulder so hacked that she could never use that arm like the other: she was also cut across the abdomen so that her bowels appeared; these she kept in with her hand : she continued in this situation for seven days taking shelter in a hollow tree, and eating the excrescence of it: the seventh day she saw a deer passing by with arrows sticking in it; and soon after two Indians appeared, whom she was glad to see, in hope they would put her out of her misery; accordingly, one made towards her to knock her on the head; but the other (who was an elderly man) prevented him; and throwing his match-coat about her, carried her to his wigwam, and cured her of her wounds and bruises; after that he took her to New York, and made a present of her to her countrymen, viz. an Indian present, expecting ten times the value in return It was in New York that one Richard Stout married her: he was a native of Old England, and of a good family: she was now in her 22d year; and he in his 40th: she bore him seven sons and three daughters, viz. Jonathan, (founder of Hopewell), John, Richard, James, Peter, David, Benjamin, Mary, Sarah, and Alice: the daughters married into the families of the Bounds, Pikes, Throgmortons and Skeltons, and so lost the name of Stout: the sons married into the families of Bullen, Crawford, Ashton, Truax; these had many children; but I could not come at the names of the families into which the other brothers married. The mother lived to the age of no, and saw her offspring multiplied into 502 in about 88 years." Morgan Edwards' Materials Towards A History Of The Baptists in Jersey.
We may pass Bergen, (Early Settlers of King's County, pp. 286-287), who quotes Raum and cavils at the accuracy of the tradition, and Franklin Ellis, (History of Monmouth County, N. J., pp. 66-68), who follows Smith and Edwards, and, while properly taking exception to palpable errors in dates, is in error himself when he criticises the Indian attitude, which, at times, was intensely hostile. With Sailer and Stockton following Smith and Edwards, we may now close the list. These printed histories are reinforced by manuscript histories and oral traditions. Of these, a manuscript history of the Stouts was made, in 1823, by Nathan Stout. It was from a copy of this work, made by Mr. Joseph D. Huff, of Middletown, N. J., in 1885, that I made a copy in 1892, which so far as the genealogy goes, is incorporated, as far as possible, in corrected shape, in the following contributions to the Stout family history. The narrative concerning Penelope Stout, which was the introduction to this manuscript family history, is produced in its original language further on, and is practically the same as those that have appeared in print.
Of the oral traditions, those derived from the late Mrs. Henry Seabrook, of Keyport, nee Therese Walling, are, doubtless, the most accurate, original and entertaining. Mrs. Seabrook was an intellectually gifted woman, steeped in local genealogical lore, derived from her great ancestors. Upon their laps she sat when young, or with the assembled elders at the nearby hearthside, to be entertained by their constant repetitions of tales of exposure, hardship, love and war. The old are garrulous, live in the past, delight in the young, and with contracted lives and thought they become the local historians of the past to young but willing ears, upon whose excited imagination the stories remain indelibly impressed. Thus it was that Mrs. Seabrook passed onward the tales of her childhood. Perhaps the most important of these was the following:
"My grandmother, Helena Huff, told me how her grandfather, John Stout, had felt the wounds of Penelope Stout, and that he blushed like a school boy. She wished the knowledge of the Indian assault transmitted to her posterity and it has been done, for there are but two hands between Penelope and me." "Richard Stout having passed seven years on a man of war schooner, which he had entered when he forsook his father's house, after the failure of his first love speculation, married Penelope Van Prince. After a time the little Dutch woman prevailed in inducing her husband to consent to come to the future site of Middletown to settle. They were accompanied by four families, tradition states, by the name of Bowne, Lawrence, Grover and Whitlock about the year 1648. The Stouts were in Middletown and Pleasant Valley; the Bownes from Chigarora Creek west and north, owning what is now Union, East and West Keyport, Brown's Point, CliSwood, etc. The Lawrence family settled at Colt's Neck, and extended north probably to Holmdel, but generally going further south, where they swarmed. The Whitlocks settled at the Bay Shore near the site of the present Port Monmouth, and later between Middletown and Holmdel."
"There was the best of understanding between Penelope Stout and her Indian 'father' as she called him, although all was not rose color between the settlers and Indians. A great-great-grand-daughter of hers used to relate to us grandchildren of her own, the following incident. Once the Indian father refused to eat with the family which he was always in the habit of doing when coming to see them, and Mrs. Stout followed him when he left the house and learned from him that his people had made arrangements to surprise and murder all the whites on the following night. She lost no time in gathering the white people together, and they made their way to the Bay Shore, and entering their canoes, lay all night in them off shore, it being too dark to go to any place across the water. The next day peace was made with them. Later in their history, the whites of Middletown and vicinity were several weeks in a Block house which stood on the ground now occupied by the Baptist Church of that village. In the Block house or fort, were born twin great grand-daughters of Penelope, one of whom was immediately named Hope Still, after a treaty of peace with the besiegers, the other was called Deliverance, the first name is still in the family, the last, we think was not repeated, owing perhaps to her dying unmarried, as our ancestors were sure to name the first children for their parents. There has never failed a Richard among the Hartshornes, a Richard and John among the Stouts — a Thomas, Joe or John among Wallings, — a Hendrick in the Hendrickson and Longstreet families — or a Wilhemus in Covenhoven."
Mrs. T. W. Seabrook.
"Richard Stout, the first of the name in America, was born in Nottinghamshire, England; and his father's name was John. The said Richard when quite a young man paid his addresses to a young woman that his father thought was below his rank, upon which account some unpleasant conversation happened between the father and son, upon account of which the said Richard left his father's house and in a few days engaged on board a ship of war, where he served about seven years, at which time he got his discharge at New Amsterdam, now called New York. About the same time a ship from Amsterdam in Holland, on her way to the said New Amsterdam was drove on the shore that is now called Middletown in Monmouth County in the state of New Jersey, which ship was loaded with passengers who, with much difficulty got on shore. But the Indians not long after fell upon them and butchered and killed the whole crew as they thought, but soon after the Indians were gone a certain Penelope Van Prince, whose husband the Indians had killed, she found herself possessed with strength enough to creep in a hollow tree, where she remained some days with a number of severe wounds in her head and back. An Indian happening to come that way whose dog barking at the tree occasioned him to examine the inside of the tree, where he found the said Penelope in this forlorn and distressing condition which moved his compassion. He took her out of the tree and carried her to his residence, where he treated her kindly and healed her wounds, and in a short time conveyed her in his canoe to New Amsterdam where he sold her to the Dutch who then owned that city. The man and the woman from whom the whole race of Stouts have descended are now in the city of New Amsterdam where they became acquainted with each other and were married and notwthstanding it may be thought by some they conducted [themselves] with more fortitude than prudence, they immediately crossed the bay and settled in the aforesaid Middletown where Penelope had lost her first husband by the Indians and had been so severely wounded herself. There was at this time but six white families in the settlement, including their own which was in the year 1648. Here they continued until they became rich in property and rich in children." — From the manuscript written, in 1825, by Capt. Nathan Stout, and corrected by Joseph D. Hoff, of Middletown, N. J., in August, 1885. This manuscript contained many errors. [Footnote: *The original is now owned by Mr. J. Hervey Stout, of Stoutsburg, whose father had it printed in a small edition, by the Hopewell Herald, to save it from destruction. Copies of the book are now scarce. ]
Setting aside, temporarily, his traditional history, we now come to Richard Stout's known history. This starts about 1643, when, in June of that year. Lady Deborah Moody, accompanied by her son. Sir Henry Moody, and a number of English families of good condition, arrived at the fort, at New Amsterdam, fresh from religious persecutions in New England, to seek and found an asylum under the Dutch. They were hospitably received and permitted to select such lands as they wished. At the date of their arrival, Richard Stout was probably among the English settlers, who, prior to that time, had located among the Dutch upon Manhattan Island, attracted thither from the religious intolerance of New England, or for purposes of trade, or in the spirit of adventure. These English speaking bodies soon joined to found the new settlement of Gravesend, upon Long Island, whither they probably at once commenced to remove. By 1645, with some intervening vicissitudes, they were well organized and the Director-General, Kieft, issued them a patent dated Dec. 19th, of that year. Among the thirty-nine patentees enumerated was Richard Stout. An entry in the Town Book of the new settlement throws some light upon the life and times of Richard Stout. Unfortunately it is incomplete:
May 7, 1647. "Richard Stoute being sworn deposeth yt in the his being a soldiere at the ffort with Penneare and other his fellow soldieres," etc.
Twice, in 1643, the English were employed as soldiers by the Dutch. The unparalleled stupidity and barbarity of the Dutch Director-General, Kieft, and certain of his followers, jeopardized the very existence of the Dutch settlements, by embroiling them with the Indians.
About the first of February, 164J, the warlike Mohawks descended upon the tribes inhabiting the shores of the lower Hudson, to enforce the tribute of dried clams and wampum which had been withheld at the instigation of some of the Long Island Indians. Fleeing like sheep before wolves, consumed with cold, hunger and fright, some four or five hundred fugitives sought the protection of the whites upon Manhattan Island, where, under the walls of the fort, these pitiable objects were fed and sheltered by the hospitable settlers for a fortnight.
Recovering confidence, they broke up into two parties, one of which ventured across the river to Pavonia, on the way to their friends, the Hackensacks, while the other removed to the vicinity of Corlear's Hook, where a number of Rockaway Indians had lately set up their wig-wams.
At this juncture, the Director, when heated with wine, yielded to the appeals of his Secretary to revenge a murder committed, some time previously, at Hackensack, and the failure of the Westchester Indians to surrender the murderer of one of the settlers, Claes Schmidt, like-wise an affair many months old. Volunteers and soldiers thereupon were led to the two Indian encampments, where, under cover of darkness, they fell upon the trusting savages and foully murdered eighty in one place and forty in the other, sparing neither infants, women nor the decrepid. Never was there fouler butchery. When they realized that it was not the Indians of Fort Orange, but the Dutch who had attacked them at Pavonia and Corlear's Hook, they joined the Long Island tribes, who had recently been plundered of their corn by Dutch farmers, made bold by recent events, and who had killed two of the savages while defending their property. These two factions now made an alliance with the River Indians, and eleven tribes, numbering two thousand warriors, burning to avenge the massacre of their people, rose in open war and every white man upon whom they could lay hands was killed. They laid waste the whole country from the Raritan River to the banks of the Connecticut. The fort became the sole refuge of the panic stricken inhabitants, who, huddled together, bewailed their utter ruin through the folly and criminality of Kieft, and they now threatened to abandon the colony in a body. In this emergency, the Director-General saw no resource to prevent a depopulation of New Amsterdam, but to take all the settlers into the service of the Company, for two months, until peace could be reestablished, "as he had not sufficient soldiers for public defense."
Life and Times of Nicholas Stillwell, p. 86.
This uprising was of short duration, for the savages, who had glutted their revenge, felt the need of planting their maize, and made overtures of peace, which were eagerly accepted by Kieft, and a treaty was concluded, first, with the Long Island Indians, on Mch. 25, 1643, and with the River Indians on Apr. 22, 1643.
The second uprising, in 1643, occurred some months later, and again was the result of Kieft's maladministration. Notwithstanding the fearful experience he had just passed through, his cupidity and dishonesty were such that he embezzled the gifts that were to ratify the late treaty with the River Indians, which occasioned such dissatisfaction and discontent that the outraged Indians seized several boats laden with peltries in retaliation and as an offset. In doing this, ten white men were killed. Then followed war in its most terrible shape. The settlements of Anne Hutchinson, John Throckmorton and the Rev. Francis Doughty were all destroyed, some of their settlers killed or taken into captivity, while the balance, amounting to over an hundred families, quickly made their way to the Fort at New Amsterdam. Lady Moody's settlement, at Gravesend, alone was able to withstand their assault. Here, the townsmen, many of whom had served during the two months in the Indian outbreak in the "Spring, under Lieut. Nicholas Stillwell, Ensign George Baxter and Sergeant James Hubbard, well organized into a trained band, gave them so brisk and severe a reception that they were soon in full retreat. So great was the need of protection at the Fort that Kieft again found it necessary to take "into the public service all the able bodied English inhabitants of the neighboring villages, the Commonalty of New Amsterdam having agreed to provide for one-third of their pay ; and a company of fifty was immediately enrolled from their number, armed and drilled."
About March, 1644, the Indians were vanquished, and on Apr. 6, and Apr. 16, 1644, Sachems from various tribes concluded a new peace at Fort Amsterdam. It was in one of these two enlistments that Richard Stout served with Robert Pennoyer and other fellow soldiers, and I am inclined to think it was in the first one.
At that time Lady Moody and her party had not arrived and he was naturally free, but during the second enlistment, Gravesend having been settled and he, doubtless, one of its inhabitants, it was naturally incumbent upon him to remain with its defensive company.
The supposition that Richard Stout was employed at the Fort in the Spring uprising of 1643, rather than in the Fall and Winter of 1643 and 1644, and that he left New Amsterdam, with Lady Moody, in the Summer of 1643, to found Gravesend, is confirmed by the following record from the Calendar of New York Historical Manuscripts, which establishes a date for his residence at Gravesend:
"Octoberr 13th, 1643, Richard Aestin, Ambrose Love [?] and Richard Stout made declaration that the crew of the Seven Stars and of the privateer landed at the farm of Anthony Jansen, of Salee, in the Bay, and took off 200 pumpkins, and would have carried away a lot of hogs from Coney Island had they no^ learned that they belonged to Lady Moody."
Thus far we have ascertained that Richard Stout was a resident of New Amsterdam in the Spring of 1643, when he was employed by Governor Kieft as a soldier in the February uprising of that year; that he accompanied Lady Moody, with other settlers, to found Gravesend, between her arrival in June, and October of this same year. How much earlier than February, 1643, Richard Stout may have been in New Amsterdam, it is idle to speculate upon.
In the first allotments of house lots and farms in Gravesend, Feb. 20, 1646, he received Plantation lot No. 16, upon which he evidently grew tobacco, for Oct. 26, 1649, John Thomas bought, for two hundred and ten guilders, Richard Stout's crop of tobacco. Gravesend Town Records.
In 1657, of his twenty acre farm he had seventeen acres under cultivation.
1661, Apr. 5. He bought an adjoining farm of Edward Griffin.
1663, Oct. 8. Richard Stout was plaintiff in a slander suit in Gravesend, and won his case. Even with his double farm of forty acres, Richard Stout realized its insufficiency to maintain and settle a rapidly growing family, so that he, with other neighbors, similarly situated, turned to the adjacent and easily reached country, whose wooded hills could be seen towards the South, which was the spot where his wife had had her bitter experience among the Indians, and of whose attractions she had doubtless spoken, prompting him to scout its woods in search of game, and finally in search of land for a new home for himself and family. That this settlement occurred before 1664, 1 doubt, though the Stout manuscript, and Mrs. Seabrook, probably from the same source, say explicitly, that it was in the year 1648, and that Stout was associated with five additional settlers, among whom Mrs. Seabrook named Bowne, Lawrence, Grover and Whitlock. To this earlier settlement, Edwards makes no allusion, nor can it be said that Smith does, but to the contrary, he fixes the date of Stout's settlement practically about the time of 1665, or a little later, for he mentions the event, as does Edwards, of an uprising when Penelope's old time Indian friend saved her by a timely warning, which Smith says occurred, when there "were supposed to be about fifty families of white people, and five hundred Indians inhabiting these parts." Surely this must relate to a later date than 1648, for so many white families could only have been assembled in this district after the Monmouth Patent had been issued by Governor Nicolls; further, a study of the movements of the Stouts, Bovnies, Lawrences, Grovers and Whitlocks does not encourage the belief that they were permanently settled on the Monmouth Tract much before 1665. At times members of these families may have been temporarily camped out in this district for hunting or prospecting, and it may have been on one of these occasions that Penelope Stout received the warning from her Indian friend of the threatened uprising, and the need of her immediate removal, and, indeed, this event, given by Smith, Edwards and the Stout manuscript, could only have occurred during such a temporary occupation, for, in 1665, or later, Penelope's Indian saviour would have been more than twenty-two years older than he was in 1643, the date of Penelope's supposed arrival, when he was already an old man. Add these years to this old man's age and he would have been pretty patriarchal. Again, Smith's account says Penelope took her children with her, which would probably refer to a late, rather than to an early event, as in 1665, her family was largely grown, yet some were young, being born after 1654. Another statement in Smith's account contradicts the idea of a 1648 settlement, for he states that, "A while after marrying to one Stout, they lived together at Middletown among other Dutch inhabitants." As a matter of fact, the accredited associates of Stout, in his 1648 settlement, were English from Gravesend, and there is no knowledge of any Dutch in this locality till long after the Monmouth Patent was granted.
When the conclusion was reached that it was vital to abandon the crowded settlement of Gravesend, a number of the settlers from that village, and a few from adjacent towns, to the number of twenty, sailed in a sloop, in the early part of December, 1663, up the Raritan River, and began negotiations with the Sachems for the purchase of lands. These proceedings were interrupted by a company of Dutchmen, who, cruising about in one of the company's sloops, heard of the presence of the English, and suspecting their purpose, notified the Sachems, of the Raritans and the Navesinks, not to bargain with them, whereupon the English went to the shores at the mouth of the Navesink, where, again, for a second time, a sharp passage at words occurred between them. The Dutch, for some time, had realized the desire of the English to throw over their allegiance, and were alert to impress them with the need of fealty, so that no progress was apparently made by the English settlers in their negotiations for lands, at this time. It was, probably, however, in anticipation of the expected overthrow of the Dutch, that this expedition was undertaken, and the consummation of this event, in the year following, 1664, with the proclamation of Governor Stuyvesant's successor, Richard Nicolls, of certain concessions, promptly brought about organized effort to locate in the territory which they had so recently prospected. Among those who moved to avail themselves of this golden opportunity, was Richard Stout, who, with others, patentees and associates, bought the Sachems' rights to the land embraced in the future Monmouth Patent, Apr. 8, 1665, which was confirmed to twelve of them, of whom he was one.
When ready to remove to this new tract, Richard Stout disposed of his Gravesend property to Mr. Thomas Delaval, a prosperous merchant of New York, who seems to have meditated making his residence at Gravesend, and perhaps actually did so, as he is named as a Patentee in at least one of the patents of the town.
After the death of Thomas Delaval, this property became vested in his son, John Delaval, whose widow, Hannah, sold it to John Lake, and thence on it became part of the Lake estate.
The date of Richard Stout's arrival, and permanent settlement on the Monmouth Tract, was 1664, as established by his claims for lands under the Grants and Concessions. These set forth the rights of the settlers:
GRANTS AND CONCESSIONS.
Before January, 1665, i.e., between 1664 and 1665, To every freeman (he or she) and for his able bodied man servants, if equipped, going from the port with the Governor, properly equipped, each 150 acres; and for weaker servants or slaves, exceeding fourteen years, each 75 acres, and the Christian servant, at the expiration of his service, 75 acres.
To any master or mistress going before January, 1665, 120 acres, and to every able bodied servant taken with them, 120 acres; and for weaker servants, i.e. over fourteen years, each 60 acres; and to Christian servants, upon the expiration of their time, each 60 acres.
Between January, 1665, and January, 1666, To every free man or woman, 90 acres; and for every able bodied servant, 90 acres, and 45 acres for the weaker servants; and 45 acres to every Christian servant, upon the expiration of his time.
From January, 1666, to January, 1667, To every free man or woman, 60 acres, and to able bodied servants, 60 acres; to weaker servants, 30 acres, and to Christian servants, upon the expiration of their time, 30 acres.
Leaming and Spicer.
1675. Here begins the Rights of Lands due, according to Concessions.
Richard Stout brings for his rights, for the year 1665, for his wife, two sons, John and Richard, 120 acres each; total 480 acres.
Items for his sons and daughters yt are come voyge [of age?] since the year 1667, namely, James, Peter, Mary, Alice and Sarah, each 60 acres; total 300 acres.
John Stout, of Middletown, for himself and wife, 240 acres.
Richard Stout, Jr., of Shrewsbury, for himself and wife, 120 acres.
James Stout for his owne right 60 acres.
Peter Stout for his owne right 60 acres.
Sarah Stout for her owne right 60 acres.
James Bowne, in right of his wife, Mary Stout, 240 acres.
John Throckmorton, in right of his wife, Alice Stout, 240 acres.
Lib. 3, East Jersey Deeds, A. side, p. i.
As already stated a careful study of Richard Stout's claim proves that he and his wife, with their two sons, John and Richard, came to the new country- in 1664, while the remainder of their children probably dwelt in Gravesend till about 1667, when they too came to the Monmouth Tract to join their parents in their newly made home. This is a reasonable deduction, as some roof had to be erected to receive this large family, whose presence, in the absence of such an one, would be a hindrance rather than a help to their parents, especially as some of the children were still young. It is easy to conceive that the Gravesend house was presided over by one of the daughters and one of the sons, aided by frequent visits from the parents, till their removal took place in 1667.
Richard Stout's application for land was recorded in 1675, in which he lays claim, in right of himself, wife and children for 780 acres, i. e., 120 acres, each, for himself, wife, son John and son Richard, who were master, mistress and able-bodied servants, [not necessarily twenty-one years of age however], settling on the land before January, 1665, and 60 acres, each, for his children, James, Peter, Mary, Alice and Sarah, who voyaged thither, about 1667, and who were classified as free men and women, arriving between January, 1666 and 1667. If they had settled on the Monmouth Tract with their father, prior to 1665, they too would have received this same amount of land, 60 acres, each, as weaker servants being over fourteen years of age, but the record expressly states from i66y, and the matter of their birth is not involved if the word voyage is read as travel, rather than age, as has been done heretofore. The younger, known but unmentioned, children were evidently under the age of fourteen in 1675, as they had not reached the period of being classified as "weaker servants," which had they been, would have entitled their father, Richard Stout, to additional lands at thirty acres per head, and for proof of which he put in no claim.
The influx of settlers was rapid and large, for in the astonishingly short time of about five years, from 1664 to July, 1669, further settlement was restricted especially of transients, "considering the towne to be now wholly compleated beeing full acording to their number."
Upon the settlement of the Monmouth Tract, the settlers grouped themselves in three bodies, one settling at Portland Point, now the Navesink Highlands, one at Shrewsbury, on Narumsunk Neck, and one at Middletown, on Newasink Neck, so named because of lying between the first two settlements. Before and after town organization was complete the Patentees met, with Deputies elected from their associates, in an Assembly, at various times in these towns, and made laws for the government of the towns, by the erection of a Constable's Court, the distribution of town lands, the election of officers, laying out of roads, etc.; and in this Assembly Richard Stout frequently sat, as one of the Patentees, during 1669, 1670 and 1671.
Shortly after this, the local Assembly was abolished and the direction of the town's affairs were left largely to themselves, while matters of large import were directed by General Assemblies and the Proprietary Governor which had been the order of things for some years.
The settlers, as we have seen, had assigned to them, by the village commonalty, under the direction of the Local Assembly, town lots and farms adjacent to the village, and it was only after some years, when the whole tract became better peopled, that they applied for and received large grants from the Proprietors, in conformity with their rights under the Grants and Concessions.
At the first division of the town lots, Dec. 30, 1667, Richard Stout drew lot No. 6, which would correspond closely to the present site of Squire Henry Taylor's house, on the South side of the Middletown highway, and beyond him, at the Eastern end of the town, probably on the North side, his son, John Stout, drew lot No. 19. The next day, Dec. 31, 1667, he was chosen, with James Ashton, to assist James Grover in laying out, in lots, the Poplar and the Mountainy fields. No. 12 falling to bim, and No. 5 falling to his son, John Stout.
1668, Jan. 4. He recorded his cattle-mark, which passed, Aug. 25, 1710, to his son, Benjamin Stout, and, in 172 1, to John Burrows, as Benjamin Stout and his family had moved away.
Richard Stout enjoyed the confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen and was frequently elected to fill responsible positions in the conduct of the town's public business. He was one of the six who were to give answer to the Governor's men in the town's behalf, in their resistance to Proprietary aggression; he was commonly Overseer, and thus a member of the Constables Court.
In 1669, "the equality of the division of the meadows is putt to the Judgement of Richard Stoutte" and two others.
In 1678, he was chosen one of the Overseers of the Highways, and this is seemingly his last public office, for age had overtaken him, and his children had come to the fore, especially his son, John Stout.
Richard Stout received various grants of lands from the Proprietors, upon which he was compelled to pay taxes. These Middletown lands are variously alluded to in warrants, surveys and tax fists, and while, perhaps, they are in some instances here duplicated, were apparently as follows:
1675, Nov. 2. Richard Stout had seven hundred and eighty acres, at Middletown.
1676, Feb. 24. Richard Stout had four hundred acres, he having purchased the same from ye Indians in the Lord Proprietor's name.
1676, May 31. Richard Stout had five hundred acres, and meadow, as being one of the first purchasers.
1676, June 23. Richard Stout had four hundred and sixty acres.
1676, June 28. Richard Stout had four hundred and sixty acres.
1676, June 30. Richard Stout had one hundred and eighty-four acres, in Middletown, which he sold later to William Leeds, Sr., of Burlington.
1677, May 7. Richard Stout had two hundred and eighty-five acres.
1686, July 20. Richard Stout had four hundred and sixty acres.
1686, Oct. 15. Quit Rents of Middletown.
Richard Stout 460 acres at 19 s. 2 d. pr. An 9:11 :8
Cr. By Pardons order payd to 1:15:0
By 20 bushells of wheat at 4 s. pr. bushel 4:00:0
By 26 bushells of Indian Com at 2 s 2 :i2 :o8 1 g
By abatement the man is very old i :o4:oo / ^'
In the Quit Rent Roll, for the year 1686, he received an abatement of his tax, as "the man is very old." This brings us to a discussion of the probable year of Richard Stout's birth and death. The Rev. Mr. Hart, of Hopewell, drawing his information from the descendants of Jonathan Stout, and supplying it to Morgan Edwards, gave a series of dates which are wrong upon their face and extremely confusing. He stated that Penelope, the wife of Richard Stout, was born in 1602, and sailed for New York about 1620, and was wrecked. That she met and married, in New York, Richard Stout, when she was in her twenty-second year, and he in his fortieth, and that she lived to the age of one hundred and ten years, and saw her offspring multiplied into five hundred and two in about eighty-eight years. Allowing one year for her widowhood, Penelope Stout would have married Richard Stout, according to these dates, in 1621, in her twenty-second year, which would make her born about 1600; and he, at this date, in his fortieth year, would have been born about 1582; she, living to one hundred and ten years of age, would have died about 1710.
If Penelope Stout was born in 1602, she was sixty-three years old when the settlement of Middletown occurred, and as only two of her children, John and Richard, had arrived at age, and were presumably about twenty and eighteen years, respectively, she must have been aged forty-three years when she bore her first child, and as we know that she had ten children that grew to adult life, and perhaps others who died young, it would have prolonged her child-bearing period till she was near, if not over, the age of sixty, when, as a matter of fact, it should have encompassed thirty years, between the ages of sixteen years and forty-six years, or thereabouts. Evidently there is a mistake in Mr. Hart's dates, and I think it lies in the fact that he erroneously gave the date of birth, 1602, to Penelope Stout instead of to Richard Stout, her husband. If we accept this as likely, and fit her marriage to the date of 1644, which we have proved was the probable date of her arrival, then we can intelligently apply the other figures, given by Mr. Hart, and the results would be :
Richard Stout was born 1602; married 1644; died 1705.
Penelope Stout was born 1622-23; married 1644; died 1732-3.
The correctness of the dates assigned Richard Stout is sustained by the fact that he was very old in 1686, and that he became inactive, in town affairs, about i6'/0.
We have little knowledge of him in his later days.
1679-80, Feb. 26. Richard and Penelope Stout sold to Thomas Snowsell, Sr., sixteen acres of land, with dwelling house, barn and orchard, and nine acres of upland, in the Poplar Field, and other small parcels, for £66-5-3. This land later passed to John Crafford and then to Peter Tilton.
In 1690, he conveyed to his son, Peter Stout, land on Hop River, and six and two-thirds acres of meadow, at Conesconck, joining David Stout.
In 1690, he conveyed to his son, James Stout, land on Hop River, on whose boundaries was Jonathan Stout, and another piece of land, at Conescunk, adjoining David Stout.
1703, June 9**". Will of Richard Stout, of Middletowne, County of Monmouth; proved, by attestation of Richard Hartshorne, one of the witnesses, and also to the signatures of witnesses, John Weekham, [Meekham?], and Peter Vandevandetere, before Edward, Vifcoimt Corn- bury, Governor, Perth Amboy, ye 23*^, 8^", 1705, mentioned:
"unto my louing wife deuring her naturall life All my orchard and that part or rome of the houfe fhee now lives in with the cellar and all the land I now Improue unto my louing wife all my horfe kind except- ing one mare and coult my Sonn Beniamin is to haue for wintering my cattell laft yeare."
"to my Sonns, John, Richard, James, Johnathan, Dauid, Beniamin, one fhilling each of them." "to my Daughters, Mary, Alee and Sarah, each of them, one fhilling." "to my daughter in law, Marey Stoute, and to her fonn, John, one fhilling each of them." "unto my kinswoman, Mary Stoute, the daughter formerly of peter ftouts, one Cow to be paid within fix days After my wifes death."
Residue "of personall eftate unto my louing wife, and I mak my fonn John and my fonn
Johnathan my Exseceters to fee this my will performed."
Witnesses: Richard Hartshorne, John Weekham [Meekham?]* and Peter Vandevandeter. He signed with his mark.
1705, 8''", 23*''. Oath of executors, John and Jonathan Stout, before Edward, Vif count Combury, Perth Amboy.
Richard Stout, as has been deduced, probably married in 1643 or 1644, and had by his wife, Penelope, issue, most, if not all of whom, were born in Gravesend, Long Island. If no account is taken of any deceased children, or the exact order of succession, the dates of birth of the known children would be about as follows:
2 John Stout, born about 1644-5.
3 Richard Stout, born about 1646.
4 Mary Stout, born about 1648.
5 James Stout, born about 1650.
6 Alice Stout, born about 1652.
7 Peter Stout, born about 1654; died between 1702 and 1703.
8 Sarah Stout, born about 1656.
9 Jonathan Stout, born about 16 — ; 1646, says James Harvey Stout.
10 Benjamin Stout, born about 1669?
11 David Stout, born about 1667 or 1669.
That these children are given with some semblance of proper succession is likely, as their arrangement here conforms to their order in the Grants and Concessions, as well as in Richard Stout's will.
Phillps, Paula E. As Good as Dead: The Penelope Stout Story. PublishAmerica: Jan 2006. ISBN 978-1424109036 143 pages. Paperback. Novel. ©2004 First chapter available at Amazon
King, John P. Wicked Tales from the Highlands (NJ). The History Press, Nov 2011. ISBN 978-1609494421 Pages 13-14. Listed source as Stockton. ©2011
McFarlane, Jim. Penelope: A Novel of New Amsterdam. Greer, SC: Twisted Cedar Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0985112202 370 pages. Novel with note to see www.jim-mcfarlane.com for history. ©2012 First chapter available at www.jim-mcfarlane.com/Chapter_One_Penelope.html