Richard Woodhull, Early Pioneer

Footnotes to Long Island History

Richard Woodhull, Early Pioneer


Thomas R. Bayles

    The Richard Woodhull homestead at Setauket, which was destroyed by fire in 1928 belonged to one of the foremost men among the early settlers of Brookhaven town. According to Miss Kate Strong of Setauket The house was always owned and occupied by members of the Woodhull family.

     Although the smaller end of the house was built by the first Richard Woodhull who died in 1690 the rest of the structure was constructed at unknown date.

     Among the honored names that grace the first pages of American history the one of Richard Woodhull stands for honor and justice, unselfishness, far-seeing and devotion to public service.

       Born in Northamphtonshire, England, Richard Woodhull came to this country at the age of 24. He first established himself in Southampton  in 1644 and was active in the public service of the town. His name appears in the records of Brookhaven town in 1657 when on July 20th of that year he purchased two necks of meadow at Mastic from the Indians for the town.

     Appointed a magistrate for the town by the court at Hartford on May 16, 1661, Richard Woodhull became one of the patentees of the town in 1666 and again in 1686.

      His name appears in a great many of the early documents of the town and he was appointed to numerous offices and acted on many important commissions. One of his outstanding accomplishments was masterly stroke of diplomacy by which the title of the town to the whole northern part was forever freed from complication of Indian claims.

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