Rombout

 

"Francis Rombout came to New Amsterdam, as New York was then called, in 1664. He was of French extraction, and at that time was about twenty-five years of age. He had intended to return to his home, but through some seeming misfortune he was compelled to remain in this country, and as he grew up laid the foundation for business resulting in his becoming a rich fur trader and owner of enormous estates, which were situated along the Hudson river not far north of New York City. Francis Rombout, in a partnership with Stephanus Van Cortlandt and Jacobus Kip, who married the widow of Gulian Verplanck later on, obtained a patent from the Duke of York in 1665, covering the whole territory lying between the Fishkill and Wappinger creeks, and running eastward on lines parallel with these creeks "four hours going in the woods," to use the quaint but not definite language of their patent. This distance was estimated at sixteen miles, which was a rather liberal allowance. By partition of the property among the original owners, Francis Rombout took a large share. It comprised the lower or southern portion, and covered an area of more than ten thousand acres. On February 8, 1682, a license was given by Thomas Dongan, governor of the Province of New York, to Francis Rombout, to acquire a tract of land from the Wappinger tribe of Indians. With him in this transaction was associated Gulian Verplanck. In August of the following summer, all the right of the Indians in the large tract was bought by Rombout and Verplanck, and this land was afterwards known as the Rombout Patent.

Francis Rombout held a great many positions of dignity and responsibility, both during the Dutch and English colonial periods. He became a citizen of New Amsterdam in 1664 and the mayor of New York in 1679. One finds his name appearing frequently in the annals of the colony, especially after the conquest of New Amsterdam by the British, in the reign of Charles II., 1664, when the name was changed to New York. He filled with honor the offices of schepen, 1674; alderman, 1673-78 inclusive; mayor, 1686-87, and commissioner in admiralty. He was of French extraction, and it is said that he came to New Amsterdam as supercargo. He later married Helena Teller Van Ballen, a widow and the daughter of William Teller. In his mercantile life, he associated himself in the main with Gulian Verplanck, forming with him a partnership which continued for many years. He died in 1691, leaving one child, a daughter named Catharyna, born in 1684."