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Faneuil. The mate being sworn, made in effect the
same statement. Whereupon
Whereupon the governor issued the
following proclamation:-

the 4th day of March 1707-8.

Present His Excellency Edward Viscount Cornbury

Rip Van Dam

Thomas Wenham


John Barberie
Adolph Phillipse


His Excellency and council having considered the Depositions of Maurice Newenhuysen and John Van Brugh concerning a Letter writ from hence to France, and taken in the sloop Constant Abigal, giving some account (as is said) of the condition of this place, do declare unanimously, That they do not think that there is any ground to suspect Capt. Faneuil of holding correspondence with France nor to prosecute him here on the aforesaid Depositions

By Order of His Excellency in Council


Another petition was laid before the governor, requesting that his secretary should provide the Huguenot congregation with a copy of the "minits and Entries" relative to the search and inquiry, along with the opinion of the governor and his council, and also a license for the printer to imprint the same; that their reputation might thereby be vindicated, which was granted.

The signers of the two petitions were Stephen D'Lancey, Elias Nezereau, Abraham Jouneau, Thomas Bayeux, Elias Neau, Paul Droilet, Auguste Jay, Jean Cayale, Benjamin Faneuil, David Cromelin, Jean Auboyneau, Francis Vincent, and Alexandre Allaire.1

Although many other names of the refugees are of sufficient interest to insert here, we have only selected from them such names as belonged to relatives of the family of Freneau.

1 Doc. Hist. N. Y., vol. iii.

The Huguenots, having sold their diminutive church in the year 1703, were authorized by an Act of the Legislature to purchase a building lot, and the site selected was that on the northeast corner of King1 and Nassau streets. In the following year they erected a stone edifice with a tower in the rear. Sir Henry Asshurst presented a bell to be hung in it. Over the portal of the church was a tablet bearing the inscription: "l'Eglise du St. Esprit Gall: Prot: Reform: fundat 1704: Peritus Reparat 1741.'

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This old church, for the first hundred years of its existence, was the place of worship for the Huguenot families of New York and environs. Those who had settled in New Rochelle also worshipped in it, although this act of piety obliged them to leave their homes before light, in order to reach it before services commenced.

Tradition points to an old building one and a half stories high, which stands near the Kingsbridge about a mile to the northward of Crosskeys tavern, or the place where it once stood, which bore for its sign a blue bell, from which it took its name. This it declares was the veritable place of rest where these men, of sterner stuff than now, were wont to halt over night on their weekly journeys from New Rochelle to New York for the sabbath services.

In the year 1724 some defection on the part of the minister gave great displeasure to the consistory and a part of the congregation, who consequently gave him his dismissal. He and the remaining portion of the congregation resisted; and the matter was laid before the governor, who decided in favor of the minister, and he was retained. This proved to be very prejudicial to the interests of the church, as most of the congregation left it for either the established

1 Pine St.

2 This old bell is now in New Rochelle.

church or that of the Dutch. It was consequently neglected and became sadly in need of repair.

In 1812, Bishop Hobart, of Trinity Church, offered to have the Huguenot church thoroughly repaired and set upon a firm footing, if the minister and congregation would enter the Episcopal communion and use its liturgy. The parties agreed to this proposal and the edifice was repaired, and a fair congregation seated. The old church was totally destroyed in the great fire of 1776, but had been rebuilt. It has since, changing its liturgy, removed to West Twenty-second Street, New York City.


Chapter Fourth

LMOST two centuries have rolled on their course since André Freneau, the founder of

the family in America bade farewell to the quaint old city of La Rochelle in France to face the shores which were thenceforward to be his home.

The pitiless hands of time and fire have obliterated nearly every trace of his existence. The family records, along with much that was valuable in the way of letters and manuscripts, perished in the flames that consumed the family residence of Philip Freneau at Mount Pleasant (now Freneau) in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in the year 1818.

One old relic, piously rescued from the relentless flames, remains, and mutely seems to say, "I alone have escaped to tell you.' This heirloom in the form of a Bible, published in Geneva in the year 1587, has been in the Freneau family, perhaps before, but certainly ever since the year 1590. The first record on its time-worn pages tells us that it was in that year it began its journey from father to son, as was the custom in the Huguenot families in France.

It alone remains to tell us of the hands it has passed through, until the present time, when, for want of male heirs, it has come into the possession of a great-granddaughter of Philip Freneau, the Poet of the Revolution.

Its record runneth thus:

Ce livre fut donné par Philip P. Fresneau à son unique fils Jacque. Janvier 3d 1590.

De Jacque Fresneau à son second fils Jacque Fresneau Janvier 1eme 1605.

De Jacque Fresneau à son second fils Thomas Fresneau Janvier 1re 1630.

De Thomas Fresneau à son frère Jean. Janvier 1653

De Jean Fresneau à son fils André Fresneau mon second Janvier 1re 1680

De And. Fresneau à son second fils André Fresneau Jan. 1re 1702

De André Fresneau à son second fils Pierre Fresneau Jan. Ire 1725

De Pierre Fresneau à son première fils Philip Fresneau Jan. 2d 1752 (O S)

Philip Morin Freneau reçoit ce livre de son père Pierre Freneau.

Philip Morin Freneau departed this life Dec. 18th 1830. aged 80 yrs. 11 mo. & 13 days.

It is a remarkable coincidence that its first and last possessors of the name of Freneau should have borne the name of Philip, and that of its nine owners they should be the only ones that bore that Christian name. This Bible, being a Protestant version, was expatriated along with its owners.

The family of de Fresneau belonged to La Rochelle, once famous in the history of the Huguenots - now so changed in their regard. This name, we are told, was of some note amongst the Rochellais, but how it happened that its members escaped the fate of so many of their compatriots, we are not told; the flames have guarded their secrets well.

That the family residence of André the refugee was named "Mont Plaisant" is the only fact of transatlantic days that has been transmitted to his descendants.

It must have been a dreary place, that La Rochelle, and like a city of the dead to those remaining there like the grapes left from the vintage! How all things around them must perforce have brought up sad memories of those who had once lived and loved amongst them, but were now wanderers on the face of the earth.

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