Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/824

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802
STATE RIGHTS

and Tottenville (or Bentley Manor) on the south-west coast. Richmond, the county-seat since 1727, is a small village near the centre of the island. South Beach, below the Narrows, is a popular seaside resort. At West New Brighton is a large dyeing establishment, there are also ship-building yards, oyster fisheries, and truck farms, and among the maufactures are linoleum, paper, white lead, linseed oil, brick, and fire-clay products.

When discovered by Europeans Staten Island was occupied by the Aquehonga Indians, a branch of the Raritans, and several Indian burying-grounds, places where wampum was manufactured, and many Indian relics, including a stone head with human features, have been found here. In 1630 the Dutch West India Company granted the island to Michael Pauw as a part of his patroonship of Pavonia, and it was bought at this time from the Indians for " some duffels, kettles, axes, hoes, wampum, drilling awls, Jew's harps, and divers other small wares "; but before Pauw had established a settlement upon it he sold his title back to the company. A portion of it was regranted to David Pietersen de Vries in 1636 and in 1642 the remainder was erected into a patroonship and granted to Cornelis Melyn. In 1641 de Vries established a settlement at Oude Dorp (Old Town), near Arrochar Park, near South Beach. It was destroyed by the Indians in the same year, was immediately rebuilt, was again destroyed in 1642 and was again rebuilt, but was abandoned after its destruction for the third time in 1655. A company of Waldenses founded a second settlement in 1658, at Stony Brook, about 2 m. west of the ruins of Oude Dorp; this was the principal village for many years and from 1683, when the island was erected into a county, until 1727 it was the county-seat. Melyn surrendered his rights as a patroon in 1661 and during the remainder of the Dutch regime many small grants of land were made to French, Dutch, and English settlers. In 1664 the duke of York became pro- prietor of the newly erected province of New York and by his grant in the same year to Berkeley and Carteret of all that portion which lay west of the Hudson river, Staten Island became properly a part of New Jersey, but in 1668 the duke decided that all islands within New York Bay which could be circumnavigated in twenty-four hours should be adjudged to New York. Captain Christopher Billopp made the trip within the time limit and was rewarded with a grant of n 63 acres at the south end of the island. He erected this into the Manor of Bentley and the manor house, built about this time, still stands in the village of Tottenville. It was in this house that Lord Howe on the nth of September 1776 held a peace conference with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge representing the Continental Congress. The British army under Sir William Howe landed at the Narrows on the 3rd of July 1777 and until the close of the war Staten Island was held by the British and Loyalists. From it the British made frequent predatory raids into New Jersey and the Americans made several retaliatory raids into the island. Under the direction of General Hugh Mercer some American troops reached Rich- mond on the morning of the 16th of October 1776, and in an engagement which immediately followed they were victorious; but, as they were retreating with their prisoners, British rein- forcements arrived and in a second engagement at Fresh Kill (now Green Ridge) they were routed with considerable loss. A second raid was made against Richmond early in August 1777; and on the 22 nd of the same month American troops under General John Sullivan fought the British at several places, inflicted a loss of about 200 killed, wounded and prisoners and destroyed considerable quantities of stores. In the War of 181 2 Fort Richmond was built at the Narrows and Fort Tompkins in the rear of it. The Federal government bought the site in 1847 and after destroying the old forts began the erection of the present works. In 1808 Staten Island became the borough of Richmond in Greater New York.

See I. K. Morris, Memorial History of Staten Island (2 vols., New York, 1808-1900); R. M. Bayles, History of Richmond County (New York, 1887); and J. J. Clute, Annals of Staten Island (New York, 1877).


STATE RIGHTS, a term used generally in political science to denote those governmental rights which belong to the indi- vidual states of a federal union, there being a certain sphere of authority in which these individual states may act without interference from the central government. Thus in the United States there were certain rights reserved to themselves by the states when forming the union under the constitution of 1787. These rights the central government is by fundamental law bound to respect, and they can be reduced only by amendment to the constitution. For a thousand years the various German states were so jealous of any curtailment of their individual rights as to prevent the formation of an efficient federal government; in Austria-Hungary the larger states still jealously guard their liberties. In federal unions, such as Mexico and Brazil where a central authority existed first and created the states, the belief in state rights is much weaker than it is in unions composed of originally independent states. The rights of a state are said to be delegated when, as in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, the constitution is created by a central national authority which also makes the states; state rights are residuary when independent states unite to delegate by a constitution certain powers to a central government, as in the case of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, the United States, Switzerland, and until 1905, Sweden-Norway. History shows that states forming unions of the second class are certain in after time to deny or assert that the sovereignty of the state is one of the rights reserved, according as the state belongs to a stronger or weaker section or faction; state sovereignty being the defence of the weaker state or faction, and being denied by the stronger group of states which controls the government and which asserts that a new sovereign state was created by a union of the former independent ones. This dispute is usually ended by civil war and the destruction of state sovereignty. The evolu- tion of state rights as shown in the history of the United States is typical. Thirteen independent states formed a union in 1787 under a constitution reserving certain rights to the states. The sphere of the state authority embraced most of the powers of government, except, for instance, those relating to foreign affairs, army and navy, inter-state commerce, coinage and the tariff; the powers of the central government were specified in the fundamental law. Most of the states claimed at one time or another that sovereignty was one of the reserved rights of the states and on this theory the Southern states acted in the secession in 1861. The war that resulted destroyed all claims of state sovereignty. The other rights of the states consisted of those not delegated to the central government or forbidden to the states by the constitution. In case of doubt the presump- tion was in favour of the state. Since the beginning, however, the central government has gained strength at the expense of the states, seldom by direct usurpation (except during the Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-76), but indirectly through use and custom, as the country and people developed and new conditions of government arose. The field of state rights had not increased, while centralization has slowly but surely taken place. This centralization is shown not only by the increased power and activity of the Federal government as compared with the state governments, but in the change in popular opinion indicated by the use of the terms National, Union, &c, where formerly Confederate, Federal, &c, were used, and in the use of singular verbs after the words Congress and the United States, where formerly they were followed by plural verbs.

The central authority in the United States, formerly almost unheard of by the average citizen, now touches him in many of the activities of life and sometimes intrudes even into the domain of local self-government. The history of the decay of state rights makes it seem doubtful if the federal form of government is a permanent one, or is only a transient form between independent state governments or loose confederacies and a centralized national government.

See J. W. Burgess, Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law (New York, 1895) ; Woodrow Wilson, The State (new ed;,