Charles Crommelin
CHRONOLOGY

RETURN

1676 - Born at Charenton (Paris), France to parents Daniel Crommelin and Anne Testart. . [Note: One of the provisions of the Edict of Nantes (1598) allowed Protestants to worship in two cities in every bailiwick of the kingdom, but not within five leagues of Paris. Later, King Henry IV transgressed his own Edict by allowing the Parisian Huguenots to build a great church at Charenton, nearer to the city than the statutory five leagues.]

1681 - Father, Daniel, left his family in Paris having been engaged by Nicolas Van Hoorn to participate in a slavery expedition to Spanish America. Instead, Daniel disembarked at Cadiz and subsequently left for England where he acquired farms over a period of 12 years.

1682 - Birth of brother, Isaac, in St. Quentin.

1685 - Repeal of the Edict of Nantes in France by King Louis XIV. This led to renewed persecution of the Huguenot population causing many to flee to neighbouring countries and overseas.

1693 - After working on his father's rented farmland at Greenway Court (Kent), England, Charles accompanied his father, Daniel, and two cousins, Delachambre and Robert Oursel Jr., leaving London for Jamaica on another failed business venture which saw the death of his cousins due to a highly contagious yellow fever outbreak on the island. He and his father fled shortly after arriving in Jamaica and headed for New York about 1695 where the family was eventually reunited.

1696 - Charles' mother, Anne Crommelin-Testart signed as a sponsor at the baptism of Gabriel, son of Daniel and Charlotte Streing on May 17, 1696 ( records of the French Church, N.Y. ).

1698 - Charles and his father, Daniel, were admitted Freemen of New York on June 10, 1698.

1702 - Year of the yellow fever epidemic which saw the deaths of mother, Anne Testart, and brother, Isaac, age 25 at New York. Isaac was not married.
- 5 September - Petition of some Inhabitants of New York to Governor Lord Cornbury against Mr. Attwood and Mr. Weaver. Daniel Crommelin (Charles' father) and Elias Boudinot were amongst the signers. Source

- 17 September - Epidemic: Proclamation stating, "Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God for our sins, immoralities and prophaness to visit the city...with great sickness & mortality....17 September 1702". New Jersey and Philadelphia were rife with epidemics for many years.

1703 - New York census which shows only "Mr. [Daniel] Crommelin and child [Charles]."

1705 - Dec. 18 - Simsbury town records revealed that a report had been made at a town meeting of "either a silver or copper mine or mineral found within the limits of the township." At a town meeting one month later it was voted to sequester all mines or minerals for the town's use, "reserving forever for the Town use and disposal all such mines or minerals."


Copper ore samples and slag collected by
Jay Robbins at Copper Hill mine site.

1706 - Nov. 7 - Married Anne Sinclair [Born 1690, New York, Died 1743]. Anne Sinclair was the daughter of Robert Sinclair (and a grandaughter of Lord Orkney) who was of Scottish origins and a descendant of James V, King of Scots. Her mother was Maryken/Maria Duyckinck, who belonged to one of the first Dutch families to settle in North America. [Anne Sinclair's portrait was destroyed in the 1911 fire at "de Lathmer" along with numerous other family portraits.]

1707 - Nov. 11 - Birth of son, Daniel. "A Son named Daniel was born the 11th day of November 1707, between 10-11 of the Clock at night; was presented to the Baptism in the Dutch Church the 19th of ye said Month, by Daniel Crommelin, his grandfather and by Mrs. Mary Sinclair, his Grandmother; and baptized by Mr. Du Bois, Minister of said Church." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1709 - Nov. 5 - Birth of daughter, Marie Crommelin. "A Daughter, named Mariana, born the 5th day of September, 1709, between Two and Three of the Clock in the afternoon, was presented to the Baptism in the Dutch Church the 11th of said month, by Mr. Garrett Duyckinck by Proxy for Mr. Peter Daille, Minister of the French Church in Boston and by Mrs. Mary Duyckinck, the wife of said Garrett Duyckinck. Baptized by Reverend Mr. Du Boy." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1710 - November - Death of daughter, Marie Crommelin

1711 - July 17 - (July 20, 1712 by another record.) Birth of second daughter named Marie who later married Gulian Verplanck. "A Daughter named Mary, born between 11-12 of the Clock at night; was presented to the Baptism the Sunday following at the Dutch Church by Mr. Garrett Duyckinck and Mrs. Ann Hoagland and Baptized by the Rev. Mr. Antonides, Minister at Flatbush." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1712 - October 13 - Andrew Faneuil, Charles Crommelin, Abraham Van Hoorn, and William Walton, of New York, merchants and owners of the sloop Swallow, Rene Hett, Master, petition Governor Hunter for leave to convoy French prisoners to the French West Indies, under a flag of truce.

1713 - April 24 - Rev. Timothy Woodbridge (owner of 1/3 interest in the Simsbury Mines while Jonathan Belcher owned 2/3 interest) sold 3/14 parts of his share to Elias Boudinot for the sum of 200 pounds. Rev. Timothy Woodbridge sold part of his share to other individuals and then entered into agreements with them.

1714 - March 9 - Boudinot sold 1/3 of his interest in the Mines to Charles Crommelin, merchant of New York, for the sum of 200 pounds.

- July 6 - Birth of daughter, Anne. "A Daughter named Anna, born 6th July, 1714, at 6 of ye Clock in the morning, was presented to the Baptism in the Dutch Church, 11 of said Month, by Mr. Daniel Crommelin, her grandfather, by Proxy for Mr. John Cottin of Kingston and by Wintre Byranck; and Baptized by Rev. Mr. Du Boy." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1715 - January 27 - Death of daughter, Anne


Jonathan Belcher, Massachusetts Governor
who controlled most of the mines.

- Feb. 3 - Sometime before this date, Jahleel Brenton of Rhode Island bought half of Timothy Woodbridge's shares. Besides Jonathan Belcher (the major stakeholder) the partnership shares consisted of Timothy Woodbridge, John Woodbridge, Jared Eliot, Hezekiah Wyllys, Elias Boudinot, Charles Crommelin, and Jahleel Brenton. For their use in carrying on the works, the partners bought the Estate of Nathional Griffin, near Copper Hill, paying 23 pounds for it.

- August 10 - Boudinot sold Charles Crommelin half of another 1/3 interest in the Mines for the sum of 100 pounds. By this sale, Crommelin acquired half interest in the share purchased by Boudinot from Woodbridge. Crommelin and Boudinot were now equal partners.

- November 5, birth of daughter Elizabeth. She later married Gabriel Ludlow. "A Daughter named Elizabeth, born 5th November, 1715, was presented in Baptism in French Church, the 20th of said Nov. by Mr. James Kenandet, by Proxy for Mr. James Smith of the Island of St. Thomas and by Mrs. Elizabeth Hoagland, and baptized by Rev. Lewis Kow, Minister of said Church." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1716- April - Charles and Elias Boudinot obtain a lease for the mineral rights of lands in what is now Berlin, Conn. from the owners in Farmington, Conn.

- May - They began operation early in 1716. Elias Boudinot traveled to Philadelphia where he obtained the services of John Caspar Hoofman, a refiner, for 40.96 pounds per month to come to Simsbury and refine the ore. [An extensive itemized expense account made by Elias Boudinot during the period 1716-1718 in developing their claims includes items such as "To cash paid Mr. Crommelin to go to Virginia - 22 pounds", and "By cash received from Mr. Crommelin - 127 pounds."]

It seems that Boudinot was the leading member of this Partnership. He managed the affair, furnished most of the capital, and kept an account of all the expenditures. The other partners reimbursed him from time-to-time for part of his expenditures. His record of accounts between May, 1716 to November, 1718 show that he spent during this time $4,570.90 which included his salary of $743.58 for seventeen months. It is evident from his list of expenditures that they were carrying the work forward as rapidly as possible. Some of the items were:


8 barrels of powder, two bellows, smithwork done for the copper house, coal at the roasting house, journey to Windsor for nails, 2 pair of cart wheels, part payment for the refining house, 2 dozen crucibles, Mr. Crommelin to go to Virginia, sun dial, timbering the shaft.

- Sept. 8 - Realizing the difficulty of operating the Mines with 7 partners, some of them sold their share to the others and withdrew. On Sept. 8, Timothy Woodbridge sold his share to Boudinot and Crommelin for 234 pounds. This amounted to 1/7 of Woodbridge's right to the mines and minerals in Simsbury according to an agreement dated Oct. 15, 1712. Woodbridge also sold them 2/7 of 100 acres of land bought from the executors of Nathaniel Griffin plus bellows, anvil and tools.

- Nov. 20 - In order to carry on his part in the Mines, Crommelin borrowed 600 pounds from Andrew Fresneau, a merchant in New York, and gave him a note for this amount on this date. It was made payable April 1, 1717. [A legal document dated June 27, 1722 mentions this loan of 600 pounds.]

1717 - Apr. 1 - Crommelin was unable to repay the loan from Fresneau. Even with all the serious efforts to carry on the mining operation, the partnership was making no profit. On this date the civic mining committee awarded the partners the rights to another 1/6 part of the mines and minerals in Simsbury to help defray their costs.


...for diverse valuable consideration and more especially for the great charge and trouble the said Charles Crommelin and Elias Boudinot have already expended in carrying on the said work, we the said committee have thought fit that the work may be encouraged and become a public benefit do give and grant unto the said Charles Crommelin, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators and assigns, and to Elias Boudinot...a further lease of a sixth part of all the said mines and minerals of what nature, kind, or quality whatsoever...a further grant of thirty years...not exceeding sixty years in the whole.

The committee which undertook the mining affairs on behalf of the township of Simsbury (Joseph Case, Joseph Phelps, Thomas Holcomb Sr., Samuel Humphrey) drafted a number of articles which specified the rent (30 pounds per annum, or 1/20 of the profits) levied upon Crommelin and Boudinot for their mining concession, and which absolved the township of any costs arising from the maintenance of foreigners [presumeably the prospective miners to come from Germany].

- Apr. 11 - Charles Crommelin and Elias Boudinot purchased from Thomas Holcomb of Simsbury 3/4 of a grist mill at Hopmeadow on Hopmeadow Brook with the priviledge of the stream and land necessary for setting up another gristmill.

- Dec. 3 - An indenture (legal agreement) made at Hartford, in the colony of Connecticut between William Pitkin, attorney for Jonathan Belcher of Boston on the one part, and Jahleel Brenton, Elias Boudinot and Charles Crommelin on the other part which articulated the exact layout and dimensions of their various mining properties. In this first division of the Mines, Boudinot, Brenton, and Crommelin were the only three partners included. They received 1/3 of the lots laid out.

1718 - Feb. 13 - Birth of son, Robert. He later married (1) Elizabeth Ellison, and (2) Elizabeth Willoughby of Norfolk, Va. "A Son, named Robert, born 13th of February 1717-18 at 6 of the Clock at Night, was presented to Baptism in the French Church the Sunday following by Mr. James Dupre and Mrs. Catharine Carron and Baptized by Rev. Lewis Kow." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

- March 21 - To satisfy Fresneau for the 600 pound loan which fell due April 1, 1717, Crommelin gave him a mortgage on this date on all of his rights and interest in the Mines. The condition was:


...that in case the said Charles Crommelin, his heirs, executors or administrators shall and do well and truly discharge and pay a certain obligation under the hand and seal of the said Charles Crommelin, bearing date November 20, 1716, and made payable to the said Andrew Fresneau...for the sum of 600 pounds current money of New York...then this present indenture of bargain and sale to become utterly void and of none effect, else to be and remain in full force and virtue.

He must have paid the obligation because Crommelin continued to hold a share in the Mines.

- Nov. 28 - On this date Jahleel Brenton, Charles Crommelin and Elias Boudinot agreed to settle the differences in their account at the Copper Mines by arbitration. However, they opted to choose their own arbitrators, namely Roger Wolcott and John Hamlin, rather than accept the Board appointed by the General Assembly. In dispute was the sharing of expenses from March 26, 1716 - Nov. 28, 1718 including fees paid to John Caspar Hoofman, a refiner. A comprehensive list of expenses [mentioned above] was therefore drafted by Elias Boudinot. A clause in the agreements signed between Brenton and the other two parties allowed for a penal sum of 1000 pounds for failing to honor the decision arrived at by the arbitrators any time on or before the eleventh day of December next.

- Dec. 11 - The award handed down by Wolcott/Hamlin was delivered after 8:00 P.M. on the evening of December 11, 1718. The decision was that Brenton must pay Boudinot 100 pounds and Crommelin 96 pounds in respect of his share of mining expenses incurred between 1716-1718. Payment was to be made at the home of Jonathan Arnold in Hartford on or before February 11, 1719.

- Dec. 22 - A memorandum on this date in which Elias Boudinot and Charles Crommelin agree to pay Jahleel Brenton the equivalent sum of 348 guilders in Dutch currency being their proportion of monies paid by Brenton to Frederick Pigou, agent for Jacob Crommelin of Rotterdam who had arranged the emigration of 3 German miners to work their claims at Simsbury, Connecticut. Payment would be made in copper, the first that would be produced after this date.

1719 - Feb. 11 - Jonathan Austin, attorney for Boudinot, appeared at the house of Arnold in Hartfod to receive the money awarded to Boudinot and Crommelin, but Brenton refused to abide by the decision and failed to appear or pay the award. Both Boudinot and Crommelin then brought suit a year later (Feb. 1720) to collect 1000 pounds plus costs, each, in the County Court.

- May - Jahleel Brenton presented the first petition to the General Assembly (the governing council of mines), asking for an impartial committee to partition the Mines between himself and Boudinot/Crommelin citing irreconcilable differences. He requested 7/12 of the property. Brenton stated that


...your petitioner [Brenton] by some years experience finds that the said copper works cannot be managed to so good satisfaction or advantage to your petitioner in company as he might order and manage for and by himself, but rather has in time past tended to great inconvenience, and is likely to prove much more prejudicial to him if the partnership be continued.


[This division did not proceed due to the protests of Crommelin and Boudinot because they considered the proportions unjust.]

- Oct. 3 - Death of Elias Boudinot, Charles' mining partner. In his will he appointed his wife, Louis Carre, Thomas Bayeaux, John Everett, and Peter Fauconnier as his executors to dispose of his share of the Mines and to


...pursue in law Jahleel Brenton, of Rhode Island, for 100 pounds obtained by me by arbitration, the Bond for which is in the hands of John Austin, Merchant in Hartford.

At the time of his death, Boudinot was in partnership with Charles Crommelin and Jaheel Brenton [who was in debt to Elias Boudinot at the time of his death for the 100 pounds arbitration settlement awarded by Wolcott/Hamlin which remained unpaid, and neither did he pay the penal sum of 1000 pounds bond which had been agreed upon prior to going to arbitration.]

Sometime before his death, Elias Boudinot had also borrowed a sum of money from Fresneau to meet his obligations in the Mines. Boudinot's executors Louis Carre, Thomas Bayeaux and Peter Fauconnier [a confidant of Elias Boudinot and an important New York surveyor], all merchants of New York City, were unable to repay the loan when it came due. On this date they gave Fresneau a mortgage on their share of the Mines and


...several buildings, consisting in houses, barns, stables, warehouses, working and melting houses, furnaces, tools, grist and stamping mills, and dams.

The above mortgage was to come due on March 27, 1721.

- Dec. 16 - Birth of second daughter named Anne. She later married John R. Myers. "A Daughter named Anna, born 16th December, 1719, at 11 of the Clock at Night, was presented to Baptism in the Dutch Church Christmas Day Evening by Mr. Gerardus Duyckinck and Mrs. Harrica Stootenburgh and Baptized by Rev. Mr. Du Boy." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1720 - Feb. 20 - Crommelin sued Brenton on the ground


...said Brenton not minding the covenant nor the penalties contained therein, but intending the wrong and injury of the plaintiff hath not fulfilled the award of the said arbitrators, nor paid one penny of the money awarded him by said arbitrators, to pay him said Crommelin, nor has he paid one farthing of the thousand pounds which he is bound and obliged to pay to him said Crommelin by his penal covenant aforesaid.

- July 16 - A writ was issued to the Hartford sheriff to arrest Jahleel Brenton and to seize goods to the value of 1000 pounds. Brenton was arrested and bond taken to ensure his appearance on the first Tuesday of November before Boudinot's executors [Louis Caree, Thomas Bayeaux and Peter Fauconnier, Mary Katherine Boudinot of New York, and John Everett of Queen's County] (the plaintiff) in respect of the 100 pounds Boudinot had been awarded by arbitration plus the penal sum of 1000 pounds that had been agreed to.

- November 1st Tuesday - John Pratt, constable, duly arrested Brenton and took his bond prior to a hearing at the Hartford County Court on this date. Brenton, the defendent, pleaded for an abatement of the writ in consideration of the fact that:
a) the plaintiff had not truly cited the conditions of the bond
b) the defendent was not obliged to perform the said award of 100 pounds unless it was made ready to be delivered to the executors on or before December 11 as the Bond required. This was not done and thus the writ ought to be abated.
Furthermore, in the event that Brenton's plea was overruled, he was prepared to appeal to the Supreme Court to be held at Hartford next March. Costs awarded to the plaintiff at this stage was 11 pounds.

- Nov. 27 - A similar writ was issued to the Hartford county sheriff to once again arrest Jahleel Brenton and to seize goods to the value of 1000 pounds on behalf of an action by Charles Crommelin in respect of failure to pay the 96 pounds awarded him earlier by Walcott/Hamlin plus the penal sum of 1000 pounds. Brenton was arrested and bond taken to ensure that he appeared before Crommelin on the second Tuesday of next February.

1721 - Feb. 2nd Tuesday - The defendant (Brenton) plead that the plaintiff (Crommelin) in his writ did not observe the form prescribed or allowed by law, nor was the defendant obligated to the plaintiff for any sum since the plaintiff had written only a pretended instrument in his writ without any declaration of his own regarding cause or action. The plea for abatement was overruled by the court which ordered the court action to proceed.

The verdict of the jury was as follows:


If 8 o'clock in the evening after sunset of the 11th day [of December] belongs to and is a part of said day by the law, then the jury find for the plaintiff the forfeiture of the bond and cost of court. But if it is a part of the 12th day, then the jury find for the defendent the cost of court.

The award of the arbitrators was delivered after 8:00 P.M. in the evening of December 11, 1718. Judgment was granted by the Superior Court, March 13, 1721.

- March 13 - The case was dismissed by the Superior Court on grounds that Boudinot's will had not been...


approved nor allowed in this Colony, nor administration granted to his executors for the goods in this Colony and therefore the executors are no persons in Law as to Estates, goods or chattels.

- March 27 - When Boudinot's executors were unable to pay the mortgage when it came due, they sold Andrew Fresneau all of their shares and privileges in consideration of their debt, plus his tools, carts, etc. and an additional sum of 380 pounds.

- May 16 - Crommelin and Maj. Abram Sydervelt, Fresneau's attorney, petitioned the General Assembly to appoint a commission to divide the mines so they could begin operations again. They complained that they were at a great disadvantage because Jahleel Brenton refused to carry on his part in the mines. They also complained that they were paying German miners who were idle. Their request was granted. An Act was passed enabling the mine commissioners of Simsbury to divide the copper mine amongst various leasees and to regulate the management of the mines.


Their petition was in the form of a comprehensive 'memorial' drafted by the 'Memorialists' [Crommelin, Fresneau and the attorney, Sydervelt]. It reads as follows:


To the Hon. Governor, Deputy Governor, Magistrates and Representatives of his Majesty's English Colony of Connecticut in New England in general court assembled at Hartford, May 16th, 1721.

The memorial of Andrew Fresneau of New York (by his attorney Abraham Sydervelt) and Charles Crommelin of New York for themselves and company humbly sheweth:

That whereas your Memorialists by themselves and granters having for seven years past or more carried on with vast expenses the copper mines in Simsbury in company with Jahleel Brenton who now refuses or neglects to proceed any further by himself or in company with us having declared his protest against us as partners, and once moved to this assembly to be separated from us, which we then would have consented to willingly but his proposals then were not just according to our proportions; and since your Memorialists being willing to divide and have often requested him, said Brenton, and of late by letters, to come to a full division of all the mines and worth thereunto belonging in such way and manners as might be thought most equal and just for the whole, yet still he neglects or refuses whereby your Memorialists are clogged in their affairs and exposed to the utmost damages which prove discouraging to the undertaking as also a disadvantage to the public good and your Memorialists can't have any reasonable remedy in the Common Law.

And what further moves your Memorialists to apply themselves to the honorable assembly at this present session is that we have now been at great charges in getting miners from Germany which are now arrived at Simsbury and have been by agreement made in Holland this seven months in pay so that our charges now cannot be computed less than seventy pounds per month and no work can go on and our said men must lay still till division is made of the mines and works, therefore we pray for present remedy.

And further we have a partner in England that can no ways be cited to be here to divide who wholly neglects or refuses to carry on his part, and if we should carry on his said part as the law directs, the benefits prescribed by said law is so trivial to the vast sums of money we may probably expend, that we are willing every one should carry on his own part and let profits and losses go together.

And if this honorable assembly think it necessary to give Esq. Brenton notice hereof so that he may have opportunity to object if he sees cause, we would be glad of a notification from the Secretary which we will transmit to him forthwith that he may have time to be here to answer (or empower an attorney in his behalf) before the assembly breaks up. We submit all to your great wisdom whose inclinations are guided from just principles to relieve the oppressed and take that stand in need, begging this great assembly would be pleased to appoint commissioners to issue this affair between us and to do all things needful for us for promoting the good of the undertaking and your Memorialists shall ever pray,

Abe Sydervelt
Charles Crommelin

After the division of the Mines, if any lessee failed to carry on his part, notice could be given to the Commissioners who were to set a time for the lessee to continue his work.

After the division, Jonathan Belcher and his partner in England were granted 2/3; Fresneau, Crommelin and their partner in England 1/6; and Brenton 1/6.

It is evident from the accounts kept by Boudinot, and the two petitions presented to the General Assembly, that these parties were spending large sums of money at the Mines. Despite the disputes which they had, they mined a great deal of ore. Some of it was refined in Simsbury and shipped to Europe, and some of it was shipped as crude ore. Fresneau and Crommelin also brought experienced miners from Germany to work in their share of the mines. A stamping mill and smelter for the refining of the copper ore were erected in Simsbury on Hop Brook, a few rods west of Tuller's mills. The place was named Hannover, after the place in Germany from which the workmen had emigrated.

Brenton then entered into an agreement with Belcher whereby Brenton had agreed to pay one-half of the expenses in making a drainage tunnel which would help keep the mines free from water. When he failed to meet his obligation, Belcher proposed settlement by arbitration, but Brenton refused.

[Jonathan Belcher, a Boston businessman and later the royal governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire (1730-41) carried on with great anticipation, at one time employing 20 miners. In a letter written in 1735, Belcher claimed to have spent 15,000 pounds sterling ($75,000) in his unsuccessful mining venture. By 1741 he was out of the mining business.]

- Oct. 11 - Soon after Fresneau secured an interest in the Mines, he appointed Abraham Sydervelt as his attorney to manage his affairs at the Mines. [Andrew Fresneau made Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, Mr. John Austin (merchant of Hartford) and Major Abraham Sydervelt his attorneys for his affairs.]

1722 - June 27 - Legal document which mentions the default of repayment of a 600 pound loan made by Andrew Fresneau to Charles Crommelin.

- Aug. 22 - Birth of son, Charles. He later married (1) Marie Rosevelt, and (2) Sarah Fish. "A Son named Charles, born 22nd August, 1722, between 11 and 12 of the Clock in the night, was presented to Baptism in the Dutch Church the 29th of the same month by Revd. Mr. Dwight Duyckinck and Mrs. Mary Duyckinck. Baptized by Rev. Mr. Duboy." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

- Sept. 8 - Abe Sydervelt on behalf of Fresneau conveys to T. Woodbridge 1/4 of a grist mill on Hop Brook with all the rights of associated streams, dams, iron and timber.

- Oct. 22 - Because Sydervelt's work was unsatisfactory, Fresneau appointed John Scott, merchant of New York, and John Jacob Luttroth of Connecticut as his attorneys. He recognized all of Sydervelt's past actions but annulled any that he might take in the future. Soon after this, Sydervelt was appointed attorney by the lessees in Holland and commenced hostile court action against Fresneau.

1723 - May 9 - Petition to the General Court assembled at Hartford by Abraham Sydervelt acting on behalf of himself and three lessees living in Amsterdam, Holland, and by John Jacob Luttroth, attorney to Andrew Fresneau, acknowledge that a commission had been formed on May 11, 1721 to regulate mining affairs. The arrangement worked well but had now expired. They requested that it be renewed. An Act was duly passed to revive the lapsed Commission for another seven years.
[Note that Luttroth, not Sydervelt, was Fresneau's new attorney. Sydervelt was now engaged by lessies in Holland having claims against Fresneau and Crommelin, proprietors of the mine.]

- September 9 - When Luttroth proved unfaithful, Fresneau dismissed him and appointed Scott as his sole attorney. He empowered Scott to call Luttroth to account for large sums of money which had been sent to him and, if necessary, to call in Sydervelt for counsel. Later, in February 1726, Luttroth became the attorney for Charles Crommelin.

1724 - Son, Daniel, emigrates to Holland at age 17. He later became a successful entrepreneur by setting up the trading company, Daniel Crommelin & Sons.

1725 - April 7 - In the early part of 1925, a dispute developed between Sydervelt, and Fresneau and his partners. The dispute involved the books of the Company and the wages of Sydervelt. (Sydervelt was employed by Andrew Fresneau, from March 13, 1720 to November 1724.) On April 7, 1725, Fresneau petitioned the commissioners, asking them to order Sydervelt to surrender the books of the Company. He had been dismissed by Fresneau but reappointed by the lessees in Holland as their attorney. Therefore he continued to keep the books of accounts of the Company. Fresneau had advanced more than his share of the expenses in promoting the undertaking, but the Lessees in Holland failed to repay him as they had agreed. Fresneau desired the books in order to reach some settlement with his partners and Sydervelt, but the commissioners failed to act upon his petition.

- April 15 - Death of father, Daniel, at New York. Buried at Trinity Churchyard. Early records show the family attending the Dutch Reformed Church but by 1725 the family must have been attending Trinity.

- April 25 - About four months after Fresneau bought his share in the Mines, July 28, 1721, he sold 3/4 of his share, with the rights and privileges thereof, to David Van Molin, Abraham Tuburck, and Dirk Kuylman, all merchants of Amsterdam, for the sum of 280 pounds. These merchants were to pay in due time 3/4 of all charges whatsoever and 3/4 on national taxes, etc. They failed to fulfil their obligation and in April 1725 Fresneau complained to the commissioners that he had advanced large sums of money for the men in Holland which they had not repaid.

- August 7 - On this day Andrew Fresneau died and willed all of his property, including the Mines in Simsbury, to his executors: Esther Fresneau, Peter Morin, Mary Morin, and Judith Jarmain. Immediately after his death they notified Luttroth in order that anyone having a claim against the estate might take proper actions.

- Nov. 5 - Joseph Phelps, Justice of the Peace, issued a writ to the Andrew Fresneau estate to answer charges regarding a debt of some 675 pounds to Abraham Sydervelt in respect of wages which had been often demanded but which Fresneau had neglected or refused to pay.

- Nov. 18 - The sheriff was directed to seize the assets of Fresneau's estate in consideration of a court action for debt raised by Sydervelt. The arrest warrant read as follows:


Connecticut Colony:
To the sheriff of Hartford County, or to either of the constables of the Town of Simsbury, greetings.

In his majesty's name, you are hereby required to attach [seize] the goods or estate of Mr. Andrew Fresneau, formerly merchant in New York, to the value of thirteen hundred and fifty pounds or, for want thereof, to take the body of said Andrew Fresneau, or in case of his decease, the bodies of Mrs. Esther Fresneau and Mr. Peter Morin of New York, aforesaid executors on said estate if they may be found in your precinct, and him, or they, safely to keep so that you may have them before the commissioners court, appointed by the General Assembly to determine controversies relating to the copper mines in Simsbury, to be holden in Windsor, in the county aforesaid on the 16th day of December next ensuing, at the dwelling house of Eliakim Marshall at one of the clock afternoon. Then and there to answer unto Abraham Sydervelt residing in said Simsbury in an action or plea of debt, debtor's wages for four and a half years' services done for said Andrew Fresneau in said copper mines and affairs begun the 13th of March 1720 and ended November 1724.

Samuel Buell, the sheriff, then seized the furniture, goods, dwelling house, smoke house, coal house, smelting works, tools, about 1700 pounds of black copper, 1200 pounds of iron from the executors, Mrs. Fresneau and Peter Morin. [See itemized list of confiscated goods below.]

- Dec. 29 - Meanwhile it seemed unlikely that Jahleel Brenton paid his share of his partnership with Belcher because on this date he sold his share of the mines for 900 pounds to a group of Boston merchants.

- December - Charles receives a Bible from Holland and inscribes into it all the pertinent dates of his family. "New York, in America, December 1725; this Bible presented to me, Charles Crommelin by my Aunt Madeline Esther Duyckinck in Rotterdam; in the above year, the which Bible cometh from my dearest grandfather Mr. John Crommelin." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1726- Feb. 7 - Charles Crommelin appointed J.J. Luttroth to be his attorney, to protect his rights in the Mining Company, and any other possessions of his in Simsbury.

- March 2 - A lengthy document by John Jacob Luttroth on behalf of the proprietors of the mines (Crommelin included) to the mining commissioners describing events which culminated in Sydervelt's vigorous action of seizing the mine's assets. The text is as follows:


To the worshipful Matthew Allan Nathan Stanley Esq., Commissioners William Whiting and Capt. Samuel Mather, to the regulating the copper mines, mills and work in Simsbury, Charles Crommelin of the city of New York causes and gives the said commissioners to understand and inform that:

The said mines, works, mills, dams, houses, tools and utensils thereunto appertaining; belonging to myself, Andrew Fresneau of New York, and Abraham Tuburck, Dirk Kuylman, and David van Molin of Holland, in company in the month of May last past was by the allowance and approbation of us, the said company, in the custody of John Jacob Luttroth who was then at Simsbury making improvement thereof to our use and that is to say in the month of May, 1725.

Major Abraham Sydervelt pretending to have lawful demands of sundry sums of money from us, the said company, for service done for us about the said works, did attach the said mines, houses, mills, works, tools, utensils, two negro servants, and two horses, and the copper and ore belonging to said company, to answer the action of the said Abraham Sydervelt and the County Court to be holden at Hartford in November last past which attachment was levied on said goods and the estate of the said companies by Samuel Buell, constable of Simsbury by means whereof the profits and improvement of said work was utterly frustrated, put by, and hindered from the month of May until November last past.

And then the said Abraham Sydervelt, neglecting to prosecute his suit, the said Luttroth obtained our order of said court to said Samuel Buell, constable, to release and deliver goods and estate to such with whom there were when he attached them, which order the said constable hath neglected to obey but hath kept the said goods still in his own hands, and the said Charles Crommelin further saith that we, the said company, had then in Simsbury besides the said goods and estate attached as aforesaid.

Sundry workmen and miners who were then, and have been ever since, under our pay and in our employment, namely John Christian Miller, Christopher Kyler, and Andrew Craftine, who notwithstanding said attachment lived in a house belonging to said works and had sundry goods and tools belonging to us, the said company, there. They having given bond to the said constable that they should be ready to answer the judgment the said Abraham Sydervelt should recover against us in said action, yet nevertheless, so it was. May it please this worshipful court of commissioners, on or about the 20th of December last past after the end of the day, Major Sydervelt without any warrant from authority did violently and unjustly break open our said house and took away and levied in his own hands from John Jacob Luttroth and our workmen there, our bedding, kettles, and other utensils there, and hath kept them ever since so our family there is broken up and our works made wholly to desist; our goods scattered we know not where; and our servants by said Buell put out to other men to our very grievous damage and wrong.

Thereupon the said Charles Crommelin humbly moves to the worshipful commissioners and prayeth that judgment against the said Samuel Buell that he shall deliver to us back again our goods and estate that he unjustly took from us, or the value thereon being one thousand pounds and fifty pounds damages, and that in order hereunto the said Samuel Buell may be summoned to appear before you at the session to beholden at the house of Eliakim Marshall in Windsor on the 15th day of March instant to answer to the above information.

Dated this Second Day of March in the Twelfth Year of his Majesty's reign, King George,
Anno Domini 1726

[The above petition resulted in a writ being issued against constable Samuel Buell which reads as follows:]


Johan Jacob Luttroth, attorney for Crommelin
To the sheriff of the County of Hartford or his deputy. Greetings.

In his majesty's name summons Samuel Buell of Simsbury in said county to appear before the Court of Commissioners to be holden at the dwelling house of Eliakim Marshall in Windsor on the 15th day of March instant to answer the above complaint of Charles Crommelin of the province and city of New York. Fail not and have you there this writ with the doings thereon dated March 3, 1726.
Bond being given for prosecution according to law dated in Windsor, March 3, 1726.
Samuel Mather, clerk

- March 15 - J.J. Luttroth, Attorney for Crommelin sued the Sheriff for having wrongfully seized the mine's assets. The Commissioners Court's verdict was that the Sheriff wrongfully seized the goods and he was ordered to surrender them and pay a fine of forty five pounds damage and the cost of the suit. [Buell apparently appealed the ruling to a court of the General Assembly to be held on May 19.]

- April 12 - Sydervelt then brought action of debt against Luttroth. Simon Chapman of Windsor served as bail bondsman for Luttroth for a hearing of the Supreme Court to be convened in September.

- May 19 - John Jacob Luttroth, attorney to Fresneau, petitioned the General Assembly to have certain assets returned to Fresneau which were seized by Sydervelt in a court action for debt. The text of the 'memorial' is as follows:


To the honorable, the General Assembly at Hartford the 19th of May, AD 1726, the memorial of Johan Jacob Lutteras of Simsbury, attorney to Andrew Fresneau of New York and company, proprietors of the copper mines, buildings and works at Simsbury humbly sheweth:

The said petitioner being attorney to proprietors and overseer and manager of said copper mines and works after [so many days] expense, yet without much profit and lately gotten the same into a hopeful way of advantage both to the owners and to the country, but one Abraham Sydervelt, in an action of debt against said proprietors has lately attached [seized] and taken into the custody of the officer not only the said mines, but the house, slaves, tools, and utensils and whatsoever appertained to the estate and interest of the said proprietors there, such that your Memorialist cannot proceed in the affair till final judgment which will be not till September next, come twelve months perhaps, wherefore your Memorialist prays fervently in the promise that the necessary tools, buildings, etc., which may not lawfully be attached [seized] may be returned into his possession that he may proceed in his work of so great consequence, or at least that the commission appointed to take cognizance of these affairs may instantly sit to consider and order what is proper and lawful. [To that end I appeal that the commission] will supply the place of Capt. Aaron Cook, who is dead by some time, with other commissioners.
John Jacob Luttroth

The only action taken by the General Assembly was to appoint Nathaniel Stanley to take the place left vacant by Aaron Cook.

- May 20 - The next day Buell was notified to appear before the Court. His plea was not guilty. The jury rendered its verdict regarding the seized goods as follows:


The Court accepted the verdict of the Jury. It is considered by this Court that the Defendent [constable Samuel Buell] shall make a surrender of the goods or estate by him attached, unto the Plaintiff and that the plaintiff shall recover of the Defendent forty five pounds money damage, and cost of suit, which is allowed to be four pounds, one shilling, and 1 pence.

The Defendent desired an appeal from the judgment of this Court to the Superior Court to be holden at Hartford in September next, which was granted the Defendent giving sufficient time to present his appeal to said Court.

Samuel Buell, Mr. Timothy Woodbridge and Abraham Sydervelt became bound jointly and severally in a recognizance of twelve hundred pounds money.
Extracted the records and compared by me, Samuel Mather, J.P. Clerk

Buell appealed the verdict to the Superior Court to be held in Hartford in September, 1726. The decision of this Court was not found, but it must have been in favor of Crommelin because the Mines were in operation again the next year.

- Sept. 6 - A list of articles confiscated from the Fresneau estate (the mining company) as recorded by Samuel Mather, Justice of the Peace:


Windsor, September 6, 1726

By virtue of the within written attachment: I have attached these goods and estate following presented by Abraham Sydervelt as the estate of Andrew Fresneau on the 18th day of November 1725:

21 rugs, 11 blankets, 8 sheets, 6 towels, 4 bedticks, 2 pillows, 7 tablecloths, 6 pieces of curtain stuff, 6 pieces of bed ticks, one dwelling house, ditto refining house, ditto smoke house, ditto coal house with the smelting works and tools, about 1700 pounds of black copper, about 1200 pounds of old iron, scales and weights, large, 1 pair of smiths bellows, 1 saw large, 4 trammils, 1 crow, 2 pair of smaller scales and weights, 3 small cups, 4 cups, 4 spoons, 1 small pocket compass, 1 pair of pliers, dual snuffers, 3 pairs of tongs, cart tackline for two horses, 1 pair of pincers, horse shoes, a chest of carpenter tools, 2 copper pipes, 1 pewter platter, a quantity of wire, 2 pairs of smith tongs, a trunk and cupboard, 1 iron mortar, 2 green brass kettles, 4 small ditto, 1 copper ditto, 7 pewter platters, 10 pewter plates, 2 pair of candlesticks and skimmer, 1 pair of smith bellows, small smiths anvil, 1 great sledge, 1 pair of hand bellows, 2 frying pans, 1 brass mortar, 1 colander, 1 great cup, 1 tankard, 1 trivitt, 1 half bushel, 1 peck, 9 stamping irons, 3 sole irons, 2 round chimney irons, 1 smiths anvil, 1 pair hand irons, 2 pair of tongs, a coal cart, 2 pair of wheels, 2 negro men.

- Sept. 12 - The invoice presented by Sheriff Samuel Buell in respect of performing the seizure of goods the previous year and for issuing a summons upon Esther Fresneau and Peter Morin:


Mr. Fresneau's interest in the mines, ore and shafts at the Copper Hills, all attached to answer the debt and charges of Abraham Sydervelt, payable to me, Samuel Buell, constable in Simsbury.

And this attachment served upon Mrs. Esther Fresneau and Mr. Peter Morin, executors to the estate of Mr. Andrew Fresneau, deceased of New York, by leaving an attested copy at their dwelling house at New Hannover in Simsbury this 18th day of November 1725 by me, Samuel Buell, constable in Simsbury.

Constable's fee one day attaching the above named things: 4 shillings
for the care of the two negroes 5 weeks: 10 shillings
for the care of two horses and the rest of the things: 10 shillings
for returning the writ: 3 shillings, 6 pence

A true copy compared by me, Samuel Mather, Justice of the Peace, clerk
Windsor, September 12 1726

1727 - Feb. 27 - In the early part of 1727 it became necessary for Luttroth to mortgage the property of the Company because of its debt. On February 27 he stated his reasons for this action as follows:


Whereas I, John Jacob Luttroth of Simsbury in the County of Hartford and Colony of Connecticut have been employed and intrusted by David van Molin, Abraham Turburck, Dirk Kuylman of Amsterdam in Holland, merchants, and Andrw Fresneau of New York, merchant (now deceased, but heretofore) all in Company, to manage and work a copper mine in said Simsbury for their use and behalf, and in order to the same I having been under necessity to take up several sums of money of some of the persons hereafter mentioned to balance their accounts and I having received a power of attorney from Esther Fresneau, Peter Morin, Mary Morin, and Judith Jermain, all of New York City, bearing date May 26, 1726, enabling me to make up all accounts relating to the premises and I having no other effects in my hands sufficient to answer the same.

In consideration of this he mortgaged all of the property to 7 merchants of New York, New Haven, and Simsbury to cover the debt of the Company to them. The merchants were to hold the property for 45 years.

1732 - Feb. 22 - Birth of George Washington who became the first president of the United States following the American Revolution which began in 1776.

- Between 1719 and 1732 - The heirs of the James Smith family in France assigned their rights to Charles CROMMELIN in New York (a family from Saint-Quentin whose members were godfathers and godmothers of the children of Le Serrurier (whose name was later changed to 'Smith', the English equivalent). Furthermore Charles CROMMELIN was a relative of the heirs in France because his maternal grandmother was Catherine Bossu, wife of Pierre TESTART. It is thus possible that he was their cousin.

- May 5, 1732 - Finally the Danish chancellery authorizes Charles CROMMELIN to receive "his [James Smith] inheritance" with regard to the succession at Saint-Thomas.

- May 27 - Charles wrote his will (apparently unaware of the Danish May 5th decision above) which reads as follows:
[Apparently by this date he was no longer in the mining business.]


Charles Crommelin of Province of New York in America, but now in London.

Having by various losses and misfortunes in trade been thrown into many and great debts which have driven me from home to seek for succour among my relations in Europe. To the end I might not be obliged to part with my patrimonial lands in order to satisfy for the said debts and having by the blessing of God obtained partly by gift from some relations in France, and partly by easy purchase from others in London in full right and title for myself and my heirs to three fourths of certain bond debts (particularly specified in certain documents and powers now in my hands for the recovery of the same) due from the estate of James Smith of the Island of St. Thomas in America, deceased, which bonds are in the hands of Mr. Jerome Joseph Le Jeune of the Island of Martinique in America and dwelling at the Salines in that Island and the said estate of the said James Smith, deceased, having partly by seizure on the part of the Danish Government in the said Island of St. Thomas under certain pretended colours and partly by embezzlement, I have caused application to be made to Denmark for the same, and am now sailing for Martinique to receive the said bonds, thence to St. Thomas and thence to New York to return to my family. My creditors to be satisfied with the principal of my debts.

My estate to be divided amongst my wife and children, 100 pounds to my son, Daniel, above his share. My debts to Mr. Samuel Baker, Mr. Fancis Gourdon, merchants, and Mr. Jeuvrein of City of London, making 260 pounds to be paid first.

Executors: Mr. Samuel Baker of London, Messrs. John and Joseph Read, merchants in New York, my son, Daniel, at present at Rotterdam.

Witnesses: George Schutz, Notary Public, 1732
Anth: Frost, James Flemin. Browne.

1732-1734 - Charles CROMMELIN and the heirs in France received a portion of their inheritance from the James Smith legacy.

1735 - February 14 - The king of Denmark makes the decision (against the opinion of the persons in charge, obviously) that Danish citizens can dispose of their goods by will, to the benefit of whomever they desire (even catholics), as soon as the taxes on the temples (churches) and schools are paid.

- May 13 - Abraham Sydervelt and Andrew Fresneau Jr., attorneys to the executors of the late Andrew Fresneau petitioned the General Court assembled at Hartford to revive the court of commissioners, now expired, so as to deal with controversies and grievances still outstanding. This is the last time the Act was renewed, and the last action of the Colony concerning the Mines until they were converted into a prison. An act was passed to continue the court of mining commissioners for an additional four years.

1736 - Oct. 30 - Son, Daniel, married Marie Le Plastrier in Amsterdam [born 11 Oct. 1711, died 30 March 1776].

- Dec. 10 - The will of Mary Sinclair (Charles' mother-in-law) was proved. In the will is a clause which reads "I leave to said Charles Crommelin, 869 pounds sterling which he is indebted to me by bond."

1737 - September 8 - Marriage of daughter, Marie, to Guilliaum Verplanck. "1737, September ye 8, Gulian Verplanck was Married with Mary Crommelin by Rev. Galterus Dubois." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1738 - 22 Aug 1738 Charles Crommelin's display for a judgment (rejected according to Royal Decree of 20 Sep 1764) re Danish West Indies Source

1739 - January 8 - Death of Charles, 60 years of age, at New York. Buried at Trinity Churchyard. His last days (or years) were spent as a merchant in the town of Rye, N.Y. This is on the coast opposite Long Island. Today it is considered an affluent NYC suburb close to the ritzy commuter town of Greenwich, and not far from New Rochelle. "Our Father, Charles Crommelin, departed this Life ye 8th of January, 1739, at two o'clock in the afternoon, aged 60 years." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1740 - April 22 - Charles' will (of 27 May, 1732) was proved.

1741 - Abt. November (or somewhat before) - Thomas Duncan and Joseph Read both merchants of NYC were appointed as Trustees for " Charles Crommelin, late of Rye, merchant, dec'd ". He inherited land in Orange County from Daniel in the Wawayanda Patent. This was known as " Gray Court Farm ". The property lots were numbered 3, 6. Often land transactions were not entered into the record until many years later and that is the case here. The above information was placed on record in 1765. [Source: DEEDS VOL C-D, Orange, New York - Copyright 2000 by Phoebe Cortessis - Page 3 of 7, 2nd down from the top]

1742 - 31 Aug 1742 Charles Crommelin & Directors case (Sjślland Missiver) re Danish West Indies Source

1743 - September 8 - Death of Charles' wife, Anne. Believed to be buried next to Charles at Trinity Churchyard, New York City. "Our Mother, Anne Crommelin, departed this Life ye 8th September, 1743, at 10 o'clock in the Morning, aged 52 years." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1751 - July 17 - Baptism of son Charles, Sarah Roosevelt (his wife), (their son Charles), Gulian Verplanck, Marie Crommelin at the New Amsterdam/New York Dutch Reformed Church. Source

1761 - "Samuel Verplanck, after living for some time in Amsterdam with his Uncle Daniel Crommelin, in the Month of April, 1761, married his uncle's eldest Daughter Judith. (This Memorandum made by him in Fishkill town, ye 23rd May, 1809.)" [ref.: Charles' family Bible]

1767 - Death of Charles' son, Charles.

1773 - The copper mine site became a British colonial prison from 1773-1775 and then an American military prison during the period of the American Revolution, 1775-1782.

1776 - July 4 - United States Declaration of Independence. The American Revolution begins.

1779 - February - After exploring the west coast of North America in search of a Northwest Passage to the Orient, Capt. James Cook's last stop was in February, 1779 at the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) where he was killed in a fight with islanders over the theft of a boat.

1788 - 18 Jan. - Death of son, Daniel in Amsterdam.

1792 - June 14-22 - Capt. George Vancouver explored Burrard Inlet (in the present city of Vancouver) in small boats, having left his ships "Discovery" and "Chatham" anchored at Birch Bay.

1820 - Jan. 27 - "Samuel Verplanck died Jany. 27th, 1820, at his farm Mount Gulian, in the Town of Fishkill, Dutchess County, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon; and was buried in the Burial Ground of Trinity Church, Fishkill, on the 29th June, 1820. (signed) D[aniel] C[rommelin] Verplanck." [ref.: Charles' family Bible]



View from Copper Mine Hill.
The black shadow is the Prison wall located
directly above Charles Crommelin's old mine shafts.

In the book, "NEWGATE: From Copper Mine to State Prison", a history compiled by William G. Domonell, he states on Page 3:

"All told, there appear to be at least seven uses to which the property was put since the discovery of copper there in 1705:
1. Copper mine, 1705-1773
2. Colonial prison, 1773-1775 [British]
3. Military prison, 1775-1782 [American Revolution]
4. State prison, 1776-1827 [Connecticut]
5. Renewed mining activity, 1830-1837 and 1855-1857
6. Tourist attraction under private ownership, 1857-1968
7. Historic museum and tourist attraction under state ownership, 1968-present"


Copper Mine Artifacts from Old Newgate Prison, East Granby, Conn.
- an exhibit prepared by Jay Robbins for a gem and
mineral show in Massachusetts