Dutch-Colonies-L ArchivesArchiver > Dutch-Colonies > 2002-11 > 1037210241
Subject: [D-Col] Penelope Stout----a legend
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 12:57:21 EST
Maybe many of you have head this story, but for others, I have typed it up as
I found it in a file I inherited from a great aunt descended from the Stouts.
It is on a newspaper clipping from New Jersey written by Stewart Hoagland.
In the corner of the article is a heading in lower case "the way it was" with
a picture of a small potbellied stove and a coal bucket and shovel beside it.
Hope you will enjoy, Phyllis
Penelope Stout---a legend ---copied from old newspaper article called "the
way it was" by Stewart Hoagland
Penelope Stout is a legend in Monmouth County. She was introduced in
Monmouth as a survivor of the first recorded shipwreck on Sandy Hook beach in
1620. Her maiden name was Penelope Van Princis - although she was only 20
she was married but her husband’s name is unknown. Her husband had been ill
throughout the three-month voyage and while he survived the wreck he was weak
and unable to make it on his own after he reached land.
The vessel had been crowded with passengers from Holland and needed
supplies for getting started in the New World. The surviving passengers
wanted to stay near the wreck in the hope of salvaging what they could, but
the members of the crew who were left voted to make their way toward settlers
as best they could and the passengers followed them after they took off.
Penelope’s husband couldn’t keep up, however, and she stayed with him.
She wrapped her cloak around him, and put up a rough lean-to for protection.
But they had no food or fire, and were weaker every day. Then some Indians
came upon them, natives without pity. They tomahawked the sick man and his
wife, taking their scalps and racing along the trail of the other survivors,
massacring them, also. Her husband dead, Penelope clung to life. Her skull
was fractured, her left shoulder was hacked so she never regained the use of
her arm and her abdomen had been deeply sliced. But the Indians had built a
fire which she kept alive and somehow she managed.
Not long afterward a pair of Indians who had been chasing a deer found
her. The younger man started after her with his tomahawk, but the older man
held him off. For some unaccountable reason he threw Penelope over his
shoulder as he would a deer carcass and took her back to his village, near
the present site of Middletown, where he dressed her wounds and where her
fine health assisted in her recovery.
When order was restored the Dutch in New Amsterdam heard of the white
woman who was living with the Indians and sent a messenger with gifts to make
an exchange for her.
Penelope suffered no serious harm from her experience and soon after she
joined her countrymen in New Amsterdam, just after her 22nd birthday, she
married Richard Stout. He was an affluent English bachelor of 40 who had
come from a good family in Nottinghamshire.
This amazing woman is chiefly noted as the co-founder of a large and
important family of Stouts in New Jersey. She lived 88 years after her
marriage, thus was 110 years old when she died, and had 502 descendants.
After Penelope joined Stout she must have persuaded him that there were
many satisfactions to be found in what is now Monmouth County, for soon after
their marriage they settled in what is now Middletown. In 1648 they and six
other families were the only white people in that district.
Penelope remained friendly with the Indian who had saved her life and one
day he came to tell her that his tribe was planning to attack the whites.
Penelope and her children started off for New Amsterdam in a canoe but before
they had gone far she was called back as the settlers, led by Stout, had
convinced the Indians that they would sell their lives dearly if there was
any sort of fight.
In April, 1665, Governor Nicolls, as the representative of the Duke of
York, patented the whole on Monmouth and part of Middlesex counties to
Richard Stout and 11 associates. They agreed to "manure and plant the
aforesaid land and premises, and settle there 100 families at least."
This was the first local government authorized and put into operation of
which there is any authentic record in New Jersey.
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