Olden Time - Chapter Four
Addenda to Chapter 3
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin. From the book entitled, "Ye Olden Time, as compiled from the Coxsackie News of 1889" written by Robert Henry Van Bergen, together with notations by Rev. Delber W. Clark, and edited by Francis A. Hallenbeck, 1935
The Addenda in Last Week’s "News" Causes an Explanation—An Interesting Letter.
As an addenda to an article published it THE NEWS two weeks ago, a statement is made and published last week "that the Hotaling grant was made to Hotaling alone, and did not include Rykert Van Den Berg as one of the Patentees." The parchment paper described as being in Mrs. Brandow’s hands is merely the surveyor’s map as made when the Patent was surveyed—a copy of which had been in the writers’ possession for many years, and adds nothing new to well known and authentic history.
The above being a flat contradiction of what had been before written and withal, being without qualification or explanation, is so positively discourteous that it seems to demand a reply.
In the first place, then, the animus of the parties who produced the statement and who forward it to THE NEWS for publication is well known to the writer, and nothing could please him more than to be obliged to ventilate that subject, but at present his judgement and discretion forbid. Its obvious and certain effect would be only to harrow up a field of old sores which have been healed long ago and are now in about entire oblivion, and further, if the party who dictated the statement in the addenda referred to, had any laudable desire to add something to the common stock of the history of our town, which might be interesting to all and perhaps useful to some, he has signally failed in his object, and instead of convicting the writer of an intentional and untruthful statement, has himself misled the readers by an entire suppression of the main facts. A full and complete statement of all the circumstances attending the application for a grant cannot fail to satisfy any reader. That the writer, in describing the Patent, was fully justified in naming it "The Hotaling and Van Den Berg Patent" although he is well aware, and it is patent to everybody here, that the record at Albany, in the State archives, describes a "Hotaling Patent", instead of a "Hotaling and Van Den Berg Patent."
The main facts referred to above are substantially, stated briefly as possible, as follows, fortified in part by very reliable tradition, but mostly by ancient documents and writings in the possession of the writer, and handed down to him from original sources through a long line of ancestry:
It seems that through the solicitation and advice of Martin G. Van Bergen, the first settler at Albany, Rykert Van Den Berg, his near relative, was persuaded to unite with Matthias Hotaling in an application to the Colonel Governor of the province of New York for a grant of land.
At this time Martin G. Van Bergen, in conjunction with others, had already covered about all of Greene county of today with Patents, and it was apparent to him that through the influence of the Patroon at Albany, who had begun to look upon him as a rival in the ownership of vast landed estates, and who furthermore had superior access and influence with the Governor, he might be defeated in any further application for additional grants, either for himself or his friends, who were nearly allied to him.
Here, then, appears the necessity for the introduction of a third party, and that third party was Matthias Hotaling. The object being all the while to smother any objection or counter influence which might be made by the Van Rensselaer family at Albany.
It was well understood at the time, that although it appeared on the record as a grant to Matthias Hotaling, it was really a grant to the Van Bergen’s.
It appears further, that Rykert Van Den Berg, being a man of some means, had hard cash, which he had brought with him from Holland, paid all that was ever paid for any purpose as expenses in the application, but he did not appear on the surface at all, pending the application, Hotaling only appeared, hence the "Hotaling Patent."
Now, in conclusion, let me ask, can any man, after reading the above, justly conclude that the land grant should be styled "Hotaling Patent." Rather than "Hotaling and Van Den Berg Patent?" I know not.