Major Daniel I Denton

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Major Daniel I Denton

Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: England, UK
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Denton, lll, Reverend and Helen Windebank
Husband of Hannah Denton
Ex-husband of Abigail (Stevenson) (Denton) Whitehead
Father of Daniel Denton, jr; Abigail Stebbins; mercy denton and Samuel Denton
Brother of Richard Denton, IV; Sarah Denton Thorne; Timothy Denton; Nathaniel Denton, II; Admiral Samuel Denton and 2 others

Managed by: Scott Eilers
Last Updated:

About Major Daniel I Denton

Daniel was the author of "A Brief Description of New-York: Formerly Called New-Netherlands . . ." (London: Printed for John Hancock and William Bradley 1670; New York: Gowans, 1845) This promotional tract was written to encourage English settlement of territories lately seized from the Dutch and gives an account of the geographical features and general economy of the country surrounding New York, relates some customs of the native inhabitants and offers incentives and advice to prospective settlers. "A brief Description of New-York" is a twenty-five page pamphlet describing the topography, climate, soil, fauna and flora, settlements, crops, products, trades and occupations of the area between the Hudson and Delaware rivers and includes Manhattan Island, Staten Island and Long Island. He also included in this pamphlet some anecdotal relations of Indian customs and society. Quite understandably, he did not describe the Indians as a threatening presence, noting that: "It hath been generally observed, that where the English come to settle, a Divine Hand makes way for them; by removing or cutting off the Indians, either by Wars one with the other, or by some raging mortal Disease." (Note: "A Brief History of NY" by Daniel Denton was reprinted in the New York Times in 1900. The New York Times article said: "A second, perfect copy of this book previously unknown to bibliographers came to light at the sale of Lord Ashburton's library in November 1900. Mr. Brayton Ives paid $525 for this copy. When Ives collection was sold in March, this same copy resold for $615. A copy of this book is in the possession of Columbia University library.)

In 1650 Daniel was made town clerk of Hempstead, NY, where his father was pastor, and in 1656 he held the same position in the town of Jamaica, NY. When his father left to return to England, Denton remained on Long Island and in 1664 he became one of the grantees of a patent at Elizabethtown, NJ. In 1665 and 1666 he served as justice of the peace in New York, appointed by Governor Nichols. He married Abigail Stephenson who bore three children and from whom he was divorced in 1672. The two elder children remained with their father, while the infant, Mercy, accompanied her mother, who subsequently remarried. Denton left New York for England in1670 (which may have occasioned his divorce), and there he evidently participated in settlement enterprises and possible in the newly acquired (by the English) fur trade.


The oldest known written document relating to the town is a deed from the 

Indians, of which the following is a copy:

"Bee it known vnto all men by these presents that wee whose names are under written have sold & set over from our selves, our heires, executors, Administrators or Asigns vnto Mr. Richard Odell, Nicholas Tanner, Richard Ogden & Nathaniell Denton, their Associates, heirs, executors, administrators Assignes A Certain tract off land beginning at a great swamp lying on ye west side off Rockeway Neck Aand so running westward to a river lying on ye east side off a neck off land which Mr. Coe hath hired off ye indeans, wch river is called by ye indeans Waubheag; ye North line running Near vntoorabout ye path yt goes ifrom Hemstead (to?) Midlburroug, wt all ye uplands & meadowing within ye afforesd bounds, with all privileges & appurtenances thereunto belonging. In consideration whereoff the aforesd Mr. Richard Odell, Nicolas Tanner, Richard Ogden, Nathaniel Denton & their Associates shall give unto theese whose names are under written two guns, a coat And a certain quantity off powder & lead. In witness whereoff wee have subscribe our hands this 13th of September Ano Domini 1655."

This deed is signed by Daniel Denton, and by Roger Linas, Casperonn, Adam or Achitterenose, Ruckquakek, Runnasuk, Aumerhas, Caumeuk, Manguaope and Waumetompack by their "marks."

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Major Daniel I Denton's Timeline

Age 35
Jamaica, Queens, New York, United States
Age 37
Jamaica, Long Island, Province of New York
September 29, 1679
Age 53
Age 77