That gold and silver ore was actually procured from these mountains in days of yore we have historical evidence to prove; and the recorded word of Adrian Van der Donk
, a man of weight, who was an eye-witness.If gold and silver were once to be found there, they must be there at present.It remains to be seen, in these gold-hunting days, whether the quest will be renewed ; and some daring adventurer, with a true Californian spirit, will penetrate the mysteries of these mountains, and open a golden region on the borders of the Hudson.
The facts which follow were collected by the author from various historical sources.Adrian Van der Donk, spoken of above, was a free citizen of Breda, in Holland; graduated at the University of Leyden; became a learned lawyer, and received the Degree of Doctor both of Civil and of Canon Law; was an Advocate in the Supreme Court of Holland; and was the first lawyer who practised in New York.He
came to America in 1641, as Sheriff of the Colony of Rensselaerwyck
, in the region of Albany.In 1643 he
made an attempt to purchase lands at Catskill, but was defeated by the Patroon
, Van Rensselaer, who coveted that region for himself.He
afterwards removed to the Manhattans, now New York, and obtained a grant of land where Yonkers now is, which was made a Manor, and he
was its Patroon
.Having returned to Holland, he
came to America again in 1653, his
family having removed here the previous year.He
published a "History of New Netherlands" in 1650, and a second edition in 1653, which has been translated by Hon. Mr. Johnson, of Brooklyn.He
was permitted to give advice to clients, but not to plead in the courts, as the good Dutch fathers thought that the pleas of lawyers in court consumed useful time without being of much account.
Dr. Johannes La Montagne, a learned Huguenot, of whom Irving speaks, was born in 1592, and came to this country in 1637.He
commanded expeditions against the Indians near the city, and in 1643 saved Governor Kieft from assassination.His
farm, called Vredendal, or Valley of Peace, was cast of the Eighth Avenue, and extend ed from Ninety-third street north to Harlem River.