What surname should be entered for Penelope? I use Prince because she seems best known by that name. But any choice leads to debate. It is said she was born in Holland - is there no record there? I haven't been able to check those archives. The surnames Kent and Lent are also reported for her; but one of those two would be either her maiden name or her married name, and Prince would be the other. I accept the suggestion that her name was recorded as Van Prinzen / Princis etc only as a Dutch style of her English name, since all seem to agree she was English.
In any case, Penelope is said to have come to America in a boat that was shipwrecked, to have made it ashore (as did most of the others, it seems, but who knows?) with her husband, only to see him killed by Indians. Penelope survived and married Richard Stout. Here are some of the sources for her story.
- source: Samuel Smith, "History of New Jersey," Burlington, NJ 1775 pp65 - gave the first account of Penelope:
"Case of a stranger, remarkably saved among the Indians.
Note that the families at Middletown were English, not Dutch.
source: John E. Stillwell, M.D., "Historical and Genealogical Miscellany" vol IV p 295 -.
Cites the above plus the second account, by Morgan Edwards, and the oral traditions passed down to and through Mrs. Henry Seabrook.
source: Stout genealogy OK, shoot me; I have to get back to the library to see just which Stout genealogy this came from. If you happen to know, please email me, because I won't get there soon.
"The first record we have of Penelope is in the first volume of the Gravesend Town Book, in Sep 1648, after her release from the Indian village, her name appears as "Penelloppey Prince," at the home of Thos Applegate, who was one of the early refugees to arrive at New Amsterdam."
Note that there were 11 years of peace with the Indians from 1644/5 to 1655.
source: Earliest Volume of Staten Island Records - speaking of SI but also New Amsterdam, because relations with the Indians in SI were affected by the actions of the Dutch throughout their concentrated holdings. source: Lamb's "History of the City of NY" reports that the Indians were holding an English girl in Aug 1645, whom they were to deliver at Stamford. She is not
"While New York was in possession of the Dutch, about the time of the Indian war in New England, a Dutch ship coming from Amsterdam, was stranded on Sandy Hook, but the passengers got on shore; among them was a young Dutchman who had been sick most of the voyage; he was taken so bad after landing, that he could not travel; and the other passengers being afraid of the Indians, would not stay till he recovered, but made what haste they could to New Amsterdam; his wife however would not leave him, the rest promised to send as soon as they arrived: They had not been long gone, before a company of Indians coming down to the water side, discovered them on the beach, and hastening to the spot, soon killed the man, and cut and mangled the woman in such a manner that they left her for dead. She had strength enough to crawl up to some old logs not far distant, and getting into a hollow one, lived mostly in it for several days, subsisting in part by the excrescences that grew from it; the Indians had left some fire on the shore, which she kept together for warmth: having remained in this manner for some time, an old Indian and a young one coming down to the beach found her; they were soon in high words, which she afterwards understood was a dispute; the former being for keeping her alive, the other for dispatching: After they had debated the point a while, the first hastily took her up, and tossing her upon his shoulder, carried her to a place near where Middletown now stands, where he dressed her wounds and soon cured her: After some time the Dutch in New-Amsterdam hearing of a white woman among the Indians, concluded who it must be and some of them came to her relief; the old man her preserver, gave her the choice to go or stay; she chose the first: A while after marrying to one Stout, they lived together at Middletown among other Duthc inhabitants; the old Indian who saved her life, used frequently to visit her; at one of his visits she observed him to be more pensive than common, and sitting down he gave three heavy sighs; after the last she thought herself at liberty to ask him what was the matter? He told her he had something to tell her in friendship, tho' at the risk of his own life, which was, that the Indians were that night to kill all the whites, and advised her to go off for New-Amsterdam; she asked him how she could get off? he told her he had provided a canoe at a place which he named: Being gone from her, she sent for her husband out of the field, and discovered the matter to him, who not believing it, she told him the old man never deceived her, and that she with her children would go; accordingly going to the place appointed, they found the canoe and paddled off. When they were gone, the husband began to consider the thing, and sending for five or six of his neighbours, they set upon their guard: About midnight they heard the dismal war-whoop; presently came up a company of Indians; they first expostulated, and then told them, if they persisted in their bloody design, they would sell their lives very dear: Their arguments prevailed, the Indians desisted, and entered into a league of peace, which was kept without a violation. From this woman, thus remarkably saved, with her scars visible, through a long life, is descended a numerous posterity of the name of Stout, now inhabiting New Jersey: At that time there were supposed to be about fifty families of white people, and five hundred Indians inhabiting those whole parts.