The Huguenot Houses of New Paltz

”In 1677, leaders of seven prominent families from present-day France and Belgium, collectively known as the Patentees, purchased 40,000 acres of land from the Esopus Indians on the west side of the Hudson River. The contract for the sale — whose purchase price included domestic supplies, farming tools, clothing, blankets, wine, horses, tobacco, and gunpowder — was signed by five Esopus chiefs, and 21 Esopus braves approved the property deed. Governor Edmund Andros gave the settlers a patent grant for the land on September 29, 1677, about five years before William Penn negotiated his treaty with the Native Americans to found Pennsylvania.

In 1678, 12 members of the Bevier, Crispell, Deyo, DuBois, Freer, Hasbrouck, and LeFevre families — who collectively became known as the Duzine — settled the 40,000 acres. They named their settlement “die Pfalz” in honor of Pfalz-am-Rhein, the German state where they had temporarily found refuge on their way to the New World. Their village was set up like a commune: the Duzine owned some land in common, and shared their products and labor; the rest of the property was eventually divided among their descendants up until 1803. The Duzine held power over the community in various governmental forms until 1826.

Did you know?: According to the National Huguenot Society, the word Huguenot may be a combination of Flemish and German, and describes Protestants who met to study the Bible in secret; they were called Huis Genooten, meaning ‘house fellows’.” [source]

Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY

June 16th, 2020

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