Barclay - Matlack Family Homestead:Information about Nicasius De Sille
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Nicasius De Sille (b. Sep 23, 1610, d. date unknown)Nicasius De Sille (son of Laurens De Sille and Wilburga Everwijn) was born Sep 23, 1610, and died date unknown.He married Cornelia Meulmans, daughter of Peter Meulmans and Anna Marschalk.
Notes for Nicasius De Sille:
Arms of Nicasius de Sille, of Arnheim, Netherlands, who came to New Netherlands in 1653 to serve as First Councillor to Peter Stuyvesant.
Nicasuis was born september 23, 1610, in Arnheim. He studied at Leyden and the Univerity of Orleans where he graduated "with the cap," a Doctor of Law, as his father had done before him.
ARMS- Sable a saltire argent; in the center chief a mullet of six points Or; in the flanks and base a curry-comb argent.
CREST- upon a wreath of the colors (sable and argent) two arms in armour embowed, each grasping in the gauntleted hand a broad sword hilted and pommeled or, tilted outwardly, all proper.
He married 1st, Cornelia Meulmans, daughter of Peter Meulmans and Anna Marschalk, and came to New Netherlands a widower with five children.
Nicasius was one of the original Proprietors of New Utrecht, and in 1657 he built there the first stone house in the town, which "also had a tile roof," and was standing until 1850, when it was destroyed.
Children of Nicasius de Sille and Cornelia Meulmans:
Walburga, b. at Maestricht 30 Nov., 1639; md. 1st, in New Netherlands, Francois Cregier, with whom she had one daughter, Elizabeth. She afterwards md. Wilhelm Bogardus.
Anna, b. at Maesricht 6 Nov., 1640; md. 1st, in New Netherlands Hendrick Kip; md. 2nd de Bruynne.
Gerardina, b. at Amsterdam 10 Feb., 1642; md. Johannes van Couvenhoven.
Laurens, b. at Wyt, near Maestricht 2 Oct., 1643; his second wife d. at Waalwyt 27 aug., 1704.
Petrus, b. at Maestricht 6 Jan., A. 16--; d. unmarried, 8 Dec., 1663, at Nieuwer Amstel in the Zuyd (South) River of New Netherlands.
Early life and emigration
Nicasius De Sille was born 23 Sept 1610 in Arnheim, Netherlands to Laurens De Sille and Walburga Everwijn. (1)Laurens served as burgomaster and schepen in Arnheim Netherlands for about ten years. De Sille’s grandfather, Dr. Nicasius De Sille had a distinguished career as a statesman in the Netherlands. He served as Pensionary of Amsterdam, and was an Ambassador who visited England, France and Denmark. (2) AccordingGenealogies of Long Island families (3) , he also served as first advocate in the Provincial Council at Namur, secretary to the Privy Council, and a delegate in the States General.
Nicasius De Sille, before emigrating to New Netherlands served as a captain and as an advocate before the Court of Holland. In 1654 he was commissioned by the Dutch West Indian company to serve as first councilor to director Peter Stuyvesant. Nicasius emigrated as a widower (his wife Cornelia Meulmans had passed away). Nicasius brought his five children: Walburga, Anna, Gerdientje, Lawrens, and Petrus. (4)
First Councilor of New Netherlands
Nicasius served as first councilor to Peter Stuyvesant, a position which should have put him in the number two position in the province. Unfortunately Stuyvesant preferred Cornelius Van Tienhoven, the fiscal. Council decisions tended to be controlled by Stuyvesant and Van Tienhoven since they held three council votes, while De Sille and La Montagne, the other councilor, held only two votes. (5)
When Stuyvesant went away on extended visits to Fort Orange and even Curacao, he did not swear in De Sille, but instead Van Tienhoven. In 1655 the infamous "peach massacre" which costs the lives of about 40 Dutch settlers occurred while Stuyvesant was away and Tienhoven was in charge. Many of the settlers blamed Van Tienhoven for the massacre, and went so far as to send petitions to Amsterdam. (See Bob Fulkerson’s article onTienhoven's escapades). This coupled with letters send by De Sille resulted in the dismissal of Van Tienhoven and the appointment of De Sille in his place as schout-fiscal in 1656.
De Sille, in the role of provincial councilor, participated in law making; in his service as schout fiscal acted as sheriff and prosecuting attorney; and held the positions of church warden, fire warden, and even for a time, captain-lieutenant.
Marriage to Catherine Kreiger
De Sille married Catherine Kreiger, the daughter of his friend Captain Martin Kreiger, in 1655. In the meantime, Lawrens DeSille married Catherine’s sister, and Walburga married Catherine’s brother Francis. Unfortunately the marriage of Nicasius and Catherine did not work out. De Sille, in 1659 petitioned the magistrates for a divorce on the grounds that his wife "led an unbecoming and careless life, both by her wasting of property without his knowledge as by her public habitual drunkenness."(6)De Sille later dropped proceedings, possibly out of regard for the harmony his children’s marriages. At any rate, Nicasius and Catherine tried to keep out of each other’s way, he in New Utrecht and she in New Amsterdam.
First Citizen of Nieuw Utrecht
De Sille became one of the first twenty patentees of New Utrecht in 1657. His house, built by Jacob Hellekeers Swart was the first stone house built in New Utrecht, was surrounded by a stout palisade and featured a red tiled roof. A sketch of the house can be found in An Album of New Amsterdam (7). The house stood until 1850.
Poet of New Utrecht
De Sille enjoyed his time spent in New Utrecht and many of his poems reflect this. His poems were included in his Description of the Founding or Beginning of Nieuw Utrecht (8) , which he wrote in the capacity of town secretary.
Look at some excepts fromDe Sille's poetry
In 1663, De Sille was put in command of the provincial forces in the western portion of Long Island. Raelsy (9) attributes him with protecting the five Dutch towns from British hostilities. After the English takeover of New Amsterdam, De Sille settled town to a quieter life in New Utrecht.
De Sille and his estranged wife battled over their New Amsterdam house in 1669 when De Sille tried to sell it. The quarrel must have gotten so heated that Governor Lovelace heard about and asked Mayor Steenwyck to form a committee of arbitration. According to Raesly (10),the committee was not able to resolve the dispute.
De Sille’s reputation must not have suffered due to his domestic squabbles, however, for Lovelace appointed him notary public of Mydwout around the same time. (11)
De Sille’s date of death and his place of burial are uncertain, but by most accounts he passed away before 1674.
Some Excerpts from Nicasius De Sille's Poetry
The following excerpts were taken from Raesly's Portrait of New Netherland. The poems were originally translated by H.C. Murphy in Anthology of New Netherland. Unfortunately at this time I do not possess copies of any of the poems in their entirety.
An excerpt from a poem about Nieuw Utrecht's first born child, who was also it's first mortality:
Here lies the first of Courtelyou from life withdrawn,-
The first child in the village of our Utrecht born;
Brought forth in innocence, snatched hence without a stain,
God gave it being here, a better life to gain.
Excerpt from "The Earth Speaks to its Cultivators":
How long, my worth, did creatures of all kinds eschew,-
The ant, the slimy snake, and th' uncouth savage crew.
Shut out from heaven's light by the umbrageous wood,
Did naught that I produced, e'er savor of the good.
Mother of all I was; but little did they care
If what I might bring forth did ever breathe the air.
I now am satisfied by th' honor of my name,
By grain and orchard fruit, by horses and by kine,
By plants and by a race of men, - all growth of mine.
Thanks be from me to you who thus my worth display;
Upon your bended knees God's blessing humbly pray.
You never harm shall know, if from the heart it spring;
For God will not let die, who faithful voices bring.
Excerpt from "Song in the Manner of the 116th Psalm":
His power with strength shall always us endow,
Our wants to meet, our cattle to increase,
Ourselves from savages and foes release;
For which to Him devoutly let us bow.
He comforts who in pain and sorrow are;
His pow'r is inexpressible and grand.
O God! stretch out to us Thy helping hand,
And keep Thy children in Thy tender care.
Nicasius de Sille
SILLE, Nicasius de, lawyer, born in Holland about 1600. He was commissioned by the Dutch West India company in 1633 as first councillor in their provincial government of New Amsterdam, and arrived in that town on 24 July. He was a thorough statesman and an experienced lawyer, and, having built a large house on the corner of Broad street and Exchange place, entertained his friends in the same elegant manner as that to which he had been accustomed in the Hague. De Sille brought to this country more silver plate than any one before him, and took special pride in its exhibition. He built the first stone house in New Utrecht, resided there for many years, and left a brief history of the settlement of that town.
NICASIUS DE SILLE HOUSE...
WHERE THE GENERAL WOODHULL DIED OF WOUNDS
General Nathaniel WOODHULL, for nearly a year president
of the Provincial Congress of New York, gave his life to the
Patriots' cause in the battle of Brooklyn. He was captured
on the 28th of August, I776, by a party of Tories commanded
by Captain De LANCEY, after which he was brutally treated
and given the innumerable sabre thrusts that caused his death.
Mortally wounded, he was taken and lodged with other prisoners
for the night in the Presbyterian church at Jamaica, near which
he was captured. The following morning he was carried to a
hay-boat which went down Jamaica Bay to New York Bay, and, in a
dying condition, was taken on shore at New Utrecht, and laid in
the church there, which stood where the burying-ground now. is.
Shortly before the arrival of his wife, he was removed to the
stone house near by built by Nicasius DE SILLE, where he died,
swearing his love for his country.
This famous old stone house, with its roof of red tiles imported
from Holland, torn down by Baret WYCKOFF, its last occupant, in 1850,
stood east of the church on what is now 84th Street, New Utrecht.
It was one of the first houses erected in the town. On May 20, 1916,
The General Nathaniel WOODHULL Chapter, Daughters of the American
Revolution, dedicated a tablet marking as nearly as possible the site
of the DE SILLE House.
Nicasius DE SILLE came to the town shortly after the patent of land
in New Utrecht had been granted early in 1657 and laid out into
twenty lots of fifty acres each by Jacques CORTELYOU, surveyor. He was
an important person, having been appointed fiscal or attorney-general
by Petrus Stuyvesant; and his zeal for the well-being of the
town of his adoption and the burdens of his official position
brought incessant woes on his illustrious head.. Nineteen
other individuals, whom the records show as havipg unmistakably
Dutch names, occupied the lots laid out for them. Fiscal DE SILLE
built in the town the first house covered with red tiles. He erected
a palisade about his house and trim garden. Wonderingly the
neighbors whispered that the fiscal feared attacks from the Indians.
As a matter of fact, the good Nicasius was protecting his domain
against the depredations of droves of swine that evinced an unyielding
propensity to eat up his garden. Shortly after this precautionary
palisade was erected, Surveyor CORTELYOU complained about the pigs
of Anthony Jansen Sale, a Moor and a rover, who respected neither
Dutch tradition nor Dutch cleanliness, and who had spent several
years--contrary to the law-in dickering with the Indians, from
whom he purchased land, which the redmen readily parted with for a
rusty knife or a looking-glass. From them this Moorish gentleman
obtained a salt meadow, where he proceeded to keep snugly his hogs.
Among the nineteen proprietors in New Utrecht dissensions
arose, and they disputed constantly concerning land, houses,
plantations, and rights. In the midst of the troubles,
Nicasius DE SILLE faithfully kept the first town records of
New Utrecht, and interspersed them with poems of his own. His
later years as fiscal brought him woes innumerable, for his
neighbors fought, their swine were destroyed, fences were broken,
and thieves were abroad by day and by night. Added to all these
things, John Schott, accompanied by a hundred Puritan guerillas,
rode into New Utrecht with an immense brandishing of knives and
blare of trumpets. They terrified. the inhabitants and tormented
the peace-loving fiscal in an unknown tongue, which they reinforced
with threatening gestures and flashes of steel. DE SILLE had hard
work to get rid of Schott and his horde. Not least of his troubles
in office was the charge made against him by the States-General,
asserting that he forbade the soldiers in the fort of Amsterdam to
fire on the English troops into whose hands the colony fell.
Children of Nicasius De Sille and Cornelia Meulmans are:
- +Anna De Sille, b. Abt. 1640, Amsterdam, Netherlands, d. date unknown.