........ Conjecture, noun, the formation of judgments or opinions on the basis of incomplete or inconclusive information. Source: Encarta Dictionary

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Version of the Richard and Penelope Story

Thanks go to Jay R. Stout, who grew up in NJ and is a direct male descendant of R&P, for providing a copy of this article published in 1931 or ‘32 (exact date and page unknown) in the Keyport Weekly newspaper. This version of the Richard and Penelope story has a few details that I have never seen published. Jay states that this story is handed down over the generations by his ancestors. It is consistent with the 1765 and 1790 versions; furthermore, it has reasonable dates and no obvious errors and does not appear to be derived directly from either of the two original published versions.

Here is the two-paragraph R&P part, which is followed by the entire article.

                "Mr. Stout was a lineal descendant of Richard Stout, who married Penelope Van Princis, said to be the first white woman in the State of New Jersey. Penelope Van Princis and her husband, who was ill, (name unknown) were crossing the ocean on a Dutch ship bound for New Amsterdam, when the vessel was shipwrecked off Sandy Hook and came ashore near what is now the Highlands of New Jersey.  The passengers were able to get on shore, but being afraid of the Indians, would not stay until the sick man recovered. They set out to walk to New Amsterdam, but promised to send for them as soon as they arrived. The sick man’s wife, Penelope Van Princis, would not leave her husband. It was not long before two Indians discovered them and soon relieved the husband from all pain, mutilated the wife and left her for dead also, but Penelope was not dead. She found herself possessed with strength enough to creep into a hollow tree, and lived mostly in it for several days, when unexpectedly an old Indian discovered her hiding there and carried her to his little wigwam, near where Middletown now stands, and there nursed her with herbs, such as the Indians alone knew the value of, treated her kindly and she began to improve, gaining strength day by day, until she became entirely well. When the time came that Penelope wished to go to New Amsterdam to find her friends, he conveyed her in his canoe to that city. The old Indian remained faithful to her as long as she lived.

                "Among the people Penelope Van Princis met in New Amsterdam was one Richard Stout, an Englishman, aged about 42 years, having been born in 1602, while Penelope was about 22 years of age when they were married in 1644, and settled in Gravesend, L. I. Here, most, if not all of their ten children, seven sons and three daughters, were born. The date of Richard Stout’s arrival and permanent settlement on the Monmouth Tract (Old Middletown) was in 1664. Mr. Stout, one of the twelve Monmouth Patentees, was on the most respectable and respected men in his day in the Monmouth settlement. Richard Stout died in 1705 at the age of 103 years, while his wife, Penelope Stout, died in 1732, at the age of 110 years."

Begin the entire article:
Life-long Friends Nimrod Bedle and Thomas Bedle Stout

                Mr. Nimrod Bedle was born January 22, 1806, and Mr. Thomas Bedle Stout was born on December 17, 1807, Mr. Bedle being one year, ten months and twenty-five days older than Mr. Stout. Mr. Bedle’s parents’ farm was in what was called the “Newtown” section of the Bethany district, about two miles east of Keyport, while Mr. Stout was born on the old Stout farm at Centreville, near Bethany, in a locality then termed “Jericho.” The farms were not far apart. These boys, Nimrod and Thomas, went through life together; played together, both attended the old Bethany school; also attended the same Sunday school; both became members of Old Bethany Church, and were church workers there together. Both Mr. Bedle and Mr. Stout were class-leaders in three churches, viz: Bethany, old first Methodist Episcopal Church and Calvary M. E. Church, Keyport, and when Thomas Stout’s friend, Nimrod Bedle, decided to build a home in the wilderness, even though Mr. Stout thought it was a “crazy” idea for him to do so, he would be there to help.

                Mr. Thomas Bedle Stout was the son of John and Martha (daughter of Thomas and Amy Bedle) Stout. He was one of fourteen children, being the seventh child. There were nine sons and five daughters in this family.

                Mr. Stout was a lineal descendant of Richard Stout, who married Penelope Van Princis, said to be the first white woman in the State of New Jersey. Penelope Van Princis and her husband, who was ill, (name unknown) were crossing the ocean on a Dutch ship bound for New Amsterdam, when the vessel was shipwrecked off Sandy Hook and came ashore near what is now the Highlands of New Jersey.  The passengers were able to get on shore, but being afraid of the Indians, would not stay until the sick man recovered. They set out to walk to New Amsterdam, but promised to send for them as soon as they arrived. The sick man’s wife, Penelope Van Princis, would not leave her husband. It was not long before two Indians discovered them and soon relieved the husband from all pain, mutilated the wife and left her for dead also, but Penelope was not dead. She found herself possessed with strength enough to creep into a hollow tree, and lived mostly in it for several days, when unexpectedly an old Indian discovered her hiding there and carried her to his little wigwam, near where Middletown now stands, and there nursed her with herbs, such as the Indians alone knew the value of, treated her kindly and she began to improve, gaining strength day by day, until she became entirely well. When the time came that Penelope wished to go to New Amsterdam to find her friends, he conveyed her in his canoe to that city. The old Indian remained faithful to her as long as she lived.

                Among the people Penelope Van Princis met in New Amsterdam was one Richard Stout, an Englishman, aged about 42 years, having been born in 1602, while Penelope was about 22 years of age when they were married in 1644, and settled in Gravesend, L. I. Here, most, if not all of their ten children, seven sons and three daughters, were born. The date of Richard Stout’s arrival and permanent settlement on the Monmouth Tract (Old Middletown) was in 1664. Mr. Stout, one of the twelve Monmouth Patentees, was on the most respectable and respected men in his day in the Monmouth settlement. Richard Stout died in 1705 at the age of 103 years, while his wife, Penelope Stout, died in 1732, at the age of 110 years.

                Thomas Bedle Stout was the sixth generation, through the line of the eldest son of Richard and Penelope (van Princis) Stout, the first “Stout” settlers of Monmouth.

                Thomas Bedle Stout, when about twenty-three years of age, went into business as a blacksmith at Shrewsbury and carried it on successfully for a number of years. He was of inventive mind and patented quite a number of articles that were very salable.

                On September 25, 1832, Mr. Stout, then about twenty-five years of age, married Miss Amelia, daughter of Cornelius Walling and Elizabeth Murphy, his wife . The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Thomas G. Stewart, (this being Rev. Mr. Stewart’s first year as circuit preacher on the Freehold Circuit,) in the home of her parents, the old Walling homestead, then designated as being in “Bethany.” The “Walling” farm is now owned and occupied by Mr. John H. Curtis.

Mrs. Stout’s mother was the daughter of Mr. Timothy and Mary (Garrison) Murphy, who settled at “Bethany” about 1777, and from that date until they passed away, (over forty years) their home was a preaching place for all of the itinerant ministers on the Circuit, and “Friday” was their regular day for preaching services every two weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Stout moved to Keyport from Shrewsbury in 1838, and were residents here from that time until they passed away. Mr. Stout never engaged in business here but invested largely in real estate.

                In 1855, he was elected to the assembly from this district after an exciting campaign, his opponent being Eusebius M. Walling, his brother-in-law. In his younger days, Mr. Stout was noted for his great strength, and many are the feats told of his prowess.

                On March 31, 1840, Isaac K. Lippincott and Caroline W., his wife, conveyed to Thomas B. Stout, one hundred and ninety-five acres of land covering “Key Grove,” the Mansion House tract, which property was a part of Mr. Lippincott’s purchase at the Partition Sale of the Captain Edmund Kearney estate on November 3 and 4, 1829. The consideration was $8,500. The eastern boundary of part of the tract was “Main Street.” It was about 1838 that William Bedle Sr. purchased of Isaac Lippincott a plot of ground located on the northwest corner of what is now Main and Stout Streets, erected a dwelling, brought his wife and family to reside in the new settlement, and was a resident here from that time until his death.

                Thomas B. Stout selected from that one hundred and ninety-five acres of land, for his homestead, the property that is now the southwest corner of Main and Stout Streets. He cut a street through his farm on the north edge of his homestead tract, naming in “Stout” Street. The home property extended the width of a block, east and west, along Stout Street, giving tow street entrances to it. The timber for the “mansion House” was piled on the plot for a year to be seasoned before commencing to build. While waiting for the timber to season, and while building, Mr. Stout and family occupied the “Key Grove-Mansion House,” his recent purchase, until his new home was ready for occupancy.

                The home of Mr. and Mrs. Stout was like the home of Mrs. Stout’s parents, Mr. Cornelius and Elizabeth (Murphy) Walling, and the home of her grandparents, Mr. Timothy and Mary (garrison) Murphy. Since the settlement of Mr. Murphy at Bethany in 1777, these homes have been the Methodist headquarters for all the itinerant ministers on the Circuit, and also for the ministers and their wives until they passed away.

                (Note: The Thomas B. Stout homestead (1931) is owned and occupied by Horace S. Burrowes.)

                It was on March 2, 1846, that Thomas B. Stout and Amelia, his wife, conveyed to Joseph I. Beers, William Walling and William H. Crawford, ninety-five acres (covering the Mansion House tract) of the one hundred and ninety-five acres of land purchased in 1840, of Isaac Lippincott. Consideration $9,000. The deed was signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of Francis Murphy.

                (Note: The “Key Grove-Mansion House tract (1931) is owned and occupied by Peter Sondergaard.)

                In the spring of 1842, (ninety years ago) the New Jersey Methodist Conference appointed the Rev. James K. White and the Rev. James Rogers, the preachers on the Keyport Circuit. During their pastorate there was a great revival, about seventy people were converted and added to the church membership. This necessitated the forming of new classes and Brother Nimrod Bedle, William Bedle and Thomas Bedle Stout were appointed leaders, the first that had been appointed in Keyport proper. At this time the class meetings were held in the new church.

                The children of these early class leaders were brought up in the Sunday school; later in life they entered the class of their fathers and took an active part in church work until they passed away.

                The three Methodist class leaders first settled on Main Street, but after five years, Mr. William Bedle purchased a larger piece of property on the corner of Broadway and Front Street, settled and remained there many years, leaving his brother class leaders to pass their days together. These life-long friends lived nearly opposite each other the remainder of their lives. They were church workers together, they had one common interest, the church, the Methodist Episcopal Church.

                There came a day when these life-long Methodist friends were to part. Mr. and Mrs. Nimrod Bedle, after living together over fifty-three happy years together, were the first to be separated. Mrs. Bedle passed away on January 15, 1882, at the age of 77 years, 9 months and 24 days. Mr. Bedle followed shortly after, his death occurring on July 17, 1883, at the age of 77 years, 5 months and 25 days, having outlived his wife about a year and a half.

                Mr. Thomas Bedle Stout outlived his life-long friend, Mr. Bedle, five years, having passed away on September 1, 1888, at the age of 80 years, 8 months and 14 days, while Mrs. Stout outlived her husband early ten years, she having passed away on May 16, 1898, at the age of 82 years and 9 days.

                These active, pioneer settlers have gone to their reward.

                The “Methodist” seed sown by Nimrod Bedle, (the first settler in the town of Keyport) when he invited the Methodist Circuit preachers, the Rev. Thomas Stewart, to conduct a prayer meeting and preaching service in his home on Main Street, (in December, 1831) has grown and multiplied to about ten hundred and forty Methodist Church members and Sunday school scholars during the century, 1831-1931.

                (Note: The population of Keyport given in the 1930 census was about 4,900.)

 

1 comment:

  1. I noticed the surname Walling, which reminds of a previous blog about Therese Walling Seabrook (of Keyport) and her memory of stories about Penelope's scars. I'll try to find the link between Therese Walling and Thomas Bedle Stout.

    ReplyDelete