Hon. TIMOTHY L. WOODRUFF, Lieutenant-Governor of the State of New York, Senate Chamber, Albany, N. Y.
Sir: Herewith I have the honor to submit to the Legislature the copy of two volumes of records relating to the ecclesiastical history of the State of New York, which by legislative enactment have been prepared under the supervision of the State Historian. The active prosecution of this work has been conducted, however, by the Rev. Edward T. Corwin, D. D., whose long residence in Holland and thorough knowledge of the Dutch language, well qualify him for the important task he has undertaken. Since 1841, when the State of New York dispatched John Romeyn Brodhaead to Europe to collect documents affecting the history of this State, an impression has prevailed that Dutch correspondence of a priceless value bearing upon out colonial times, had been carelessly destroyed a hundred years ago. Dr. Corwin's researches, which were prosecuted through the generosity of the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church, have fortunately exploded this fallacy by the results which he produces in the two accompanying volumes.
The general plan of the work contemplated an ecclesiastical history of New York, embracing every denomination, each secular narrative told by a representative member of the denomination, from the earliest Dutch times. To that end copious extracts from colonial and documentary records have been taken and utilized, and in order to forge missing links to the chain, quotations from standard religious publications have been made.