West Camp

misc_ship.gif (73 bytes) Text from William Wade

East and West Camp are German settlements, on the opposite banks of the Hudson, one hundred and seven miles from New York.

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West Camp and East Camp were settled by Palatinate refugees sent by Queen Anne around 1710-11. Edgar Mayhew Bacon speaks of the settlement of West Camp in his The Hudson River From Ocean to Source.

"Poor they certainly were, the victims of persecution that seemed to follow them even from their own land in the lower Palatinate, on the Rhine, across the seas, at first to England and afterwards to America. The statesmen of Queen Anne's time anticipated that the labour of the Palatines would at least repay the outlay necessary for their transport and maintenance. The plan was to employ them in getting out timbers for the royal navy, particularly masts and spars; and the production of pitch, turpentine, resin, etc., or what are known as naval stores.

The first years of the settlement were years of hardship and suffering and great discontent. The people believed that the establishment of the camps upon the Hudson was a breach of faith, they having understood that they were to have lands elsewhere. Forty thousand dollars had been expended in the experiment by the British government, and a hundred and thirty thousand more from Governor hunter's private pocket; but at length the whole scheme of colonisation was acknowledged to be a failure, and the colonists were permitted to move where they pleased or buy the lands upon which they were settled."