Part of Queens County became Nassau County in 1899. The following is the history of that section of Queens County.

    Queens County, an original county, was organized in 1683, and now contains all that part of Long Island which is bounded easterly by Suffolk county, southerly by the Atlantic ocean, northerly by Long Island sound, and westerly by Kings county, including Lloyds Neck or Queens Village, the islands called North and South Brother, Riker's Island, and some other islands lying in the sound opposite the said bounds and southerly of the main channel. The courts of the county were originally holden for the most part at Hempstead, at which place the governor on various occasions ordered meetings of the delegates from the different towns. By the act of the Assembly in 1683, by which the counties and towns upon Long Island were organized and established, the county courts were required thereafter to be held at the village of Jamaica. They were held there for about seven years in the old stone church which stood in the middle of the present Fulton street, opposite Union Hall street.   In the year 1690, a courthouse and jail were erected upon the site now occupied by the female academy, and continued to be used for the.purpose of holding the courts of the county until the present courthouse was built upon the north side of Hempstead plains, in the town of North Hempstead, in the year 1788.  The county is divided into six towns. Pop. 30,324.
    Hempstead, incorporated in 1784, was originally the south part of the ancient town of Hempstead. It has a level surface and a soil of sandy loam, much of which is rendered quite productive by a judicious cultivation. Pop. 7,619. The first permanent settlement in the town is supposed to have been commenced on the site of the present village of Hempstead, in 1643, by a few emigrants from New England, who obtained a patent from the Dutch governor Kieft. These emigrants came originally from a place commonly called Hemel-Hempstead, 23 miles from London.   The annexed engraving shows the appearance of Hempstead village as it is entered from the north by the branch railroad, two miles in length, which connects the village with the Long Island railroad.   It is pleasantly situated on the southern margin of the great " Hempstead plains," 21 miles from New York, and three from the courthouse in North Hempstead.   These plains consist of about 17,000 acres of unenclosed lands, which the inhabitants of the town own in common:   The village has within a square mile 200 dwellings, and about 1,400 inhabitants; there are three churches, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopal, and 1 Methodist, and the Hempstead Seminary, a fine specimen of modern architecture. There is a newspaper printing office in the village. The village of Jerusalem, upon the eastern border of the town, contains about 150 inhabitants.   The village of Near Rockaway is about 5 miles SW. of Hempstead village, at the head of Rockaway bay, which can be approached by vessels of 60 or 80 tons.   It is a place of some business: here are several stores, a lumber and ship yard, &c. Far Rockaway, about 29 miles from New York, has grown into importance as a fashionable watering place.   The "Marine Pavilion," a splendid hotel, was erected here in 1834, near the beach, 70 rods from the ocean.   Raynortown is a small village 5 miles SE. from Hempstead village.
    The annexed engraving is a representation of the monument erected to commemorate the terrible loss of life by the wreck of the Bristol and Mexico,, on the south shore of this town in 1836-7. The grave is about 3 feet high, 9 wide, and 100 feet long, and contains the bodies of nearly 100 individuals. It is situated adjoining the Methodist burial ground at Near Rockaway, in this town, 4 miles southeast of Hempstead village.   This monument is 18 feet in height from the bottom of the mound, and is constructed of white marble from the quarries of Westchester county.

The following are the inscriptions
South side.  To the memory of 77 persons, chiefly emigrants from England and Ireland, being the only remains of 100 souls, comprising the passengers and crew of the American ship Bristol, Captain McKown, wrecked on Far Rockaway beach, November 21, 1836. 

West side.  All the bodies of the Bristol and 11lexico, recovered from the ocean, and decently interred near this spot, were followed to the grave by a large concourse of citizens and strangers, and an address delivered suited to the occasion. 

Forth side.-To the memory of sixtytwo persons, chiefly emigrants from Eng land and Ireland ; being the only remains of 115 souls, forming the passengers and crew of the American barque Mexico, Capt. Winslow, wrecked on Hempstead beach, Jan. 2d, 1837. 

East side.-To commemorate the melancholy fate of the unfortunate sufferers belonging to the Bristol and Mexico, this monument was erected ; partly by the money found upon their persons, and partly by the contributions of the benevolent and humane in the county of Queens. 

    "The ship Bristol sailed from Liverpool Oct. 15, having on board a crew of sixteen men, including officers, and about one hundred passengers, chiefly emigrants. She had a fair passage across the Atlantic, and was off Sandy Hook at 9 o'clock on Saturday night, Nov. 20, with her lanterns out as a signal for a pilot; at which time the gale had just commenced.   No pilots, however, were out, and the ship was obliged to stand off.   About four o'clock on Sunday morning, she struck on Far Rockaway, and at daylight, though within half a mile of the shore, owing to the heavy sea, no relief could be afforded to the distressed passengers and crew, who were clinging to the shrouds and other parts of the rigging; in this situation they remained through the day.   About 11 o'clock at night, the sea somewhat abating, some boats went to her relief, and succeeded in taking off the captain, a portion of the crew, and some of the passengers.   All were rescued who remained on the wreck when the boats reached it, but during the day the ship went to pieces, and the next morning her stern-post was all that remained.
    "Among the passengers lost was Mr. Donnelly, of New York, who died a victim to his own philanthropy; and Mrs. Hogan and two daughters. Mrs. Donnelly, her nurse and children were saved, and, with other women and children, landed by the first boat. Twice the boats returned to the wreck, and twice Mr. Donnelly yielded his place to others.  In the third attempt to go off; the boats were swamped, and the crew became discouraged, and would not go back.  In the mean time the storm increased, and Mr. Donnelly, with the two Mr. Carletons, took to the foremast, where the crew and many steerage passengers had sought temporary safety.   Unhappily, this mast soon went by the board, and of about twenty persons on it., the only one saved was Mr. Briscoe, a cabin passenger, which was effected by his catching at the bowsprit rigging, whence he was taken by the boats. The captain, and a number of the cabin and steerage passengers, were on the mizenmast ; and when that fell, they lashed themselves to the taffrail, where for four hours the sea broke over them.
    "Some twenty of the steerage passengers, principally women and children, perished almost immediately after the ship struck.   Even before they could leave their berths the ship bilged, filled, and all below were drowned.   Not a groan was heard to denote the catastrophe - so awfully sudden was it.
    "And to those whom the waves and the mercy of God had spared, what was the conduct of their brother man?   Their persons, their trunks, were searched and robbed by the fiends that gathered around the wreck.   One hapless being, thrown senseless but yet alive on the shore, and having about him his all - ten sovereigns - was plundered of them!"
    Distressing as was the fate of the Bristol, the wreck of the Mexico was still more terrible. This occurred in the dead of winter, and the sufferings of the unhappy crew and passengers from the cold were intense.   The annexed affecting description of the appearance after death of the unfortunate individuals who perished in her, is given by an eye-witness:
    "On reaching Hempstead, I concluded to go somewhat off' the road, to look at the place where the ship Mexico was cast away. In half an hour, we came to Lott's tavern, some four or five miles this side of the beach, where the ship lay; and there, in his barn, had been deposited the bodies of the ill-fated passengers, which had been thrown upon the shore.  I went out to the barn.  The doors were open, and such a scene as presented itself to my view, I certainly never could have contemplated.  It was a dreadful, a frightful scene of horror.
    "Forty or fifty bodies, of all ages and sexes, were lying promiscuously before me over the floor, all frozen and as solid as marble-and all, except a few, in the very dresses in which they perished. Some with their hands clenched., as if for warmth, and almost every one with an arm crooked and bent, as it would be in clinging to the rigging.
   "There were scattered about among the number, four or five beautiful little girls, from six to sixteen years of age, their cheeks and lips as red as roses, with their calm blue eyes open, looking you in the face, as if they would speak.  I could hardly realize that they were dead.  I touched their checks, and they were frozen as hard and as solid as a rock, and not the least indentation could be made by any pressure of the hand.  I could perceive a resemblance to each other, and supposed them to be. the. daughters of a passenger named Pepper, who perished, together with his wife and all the family.
    "On the arms of some, were seen the impressions of the rope which they had clung to, the mark of the twist deeply sunk into the flesh. I saw one poor negro sailor, a tall man, with his head thrown back, his lips parted, and his now sightless eye-balls turned upwards, and his arms crossed over his breast, as if imploring heaven for aid.   This poor fellow evidently had frozen while in the act of fervent prayer.
    "One female had a rope tied to her leg, which had bound her to the rigging; and another little fellow had been crying, and was thus frozen, with the muscles of the face just as we see children when crying.   There were a brother and a sister dashed upon the beach, locked in each other's arms ; but they had been separated in the barn.   All the men had their lips firmly compressed together, and with the most agonizing expression on their countenances I ever beheld.
    "One little girl had raised herself on tiptoe, and thus was frozen, just in that position.   It was an awful sight; and such a picture of horror was before me, that I became unconsciously fixed to the spot, and found myself trying to suppress my ordinary breathing, lest I should disturb the repose of those around me.   I was aroused from the revery by the entrance of a man - a coroner.
    "As I was about to leave, my attention became directed to a girl, who, I afterward learned, had come that morning from the city to search for her sister. She had sent for her to come over from England, and had received intelligence that she was in this ship.
    She came into the barn, and the second body she cast her eyes upon, was hers.  She gave way to such a burst of impassioned grief and anguish, that I could not behold her without sharing in her feelings.   She threw herself upon the cold and icy face and neck of the lifeless body, and thus, with her arms around her, remained wailing, mourning, and sob. bing, till I came away; and when some distance off, I could hear her calling her by name in the most frantic manner.
    "So little time, it appears, had they to prepare for their fate, that I perceived a bunch of keys, and a half eaten cake, fall from the bosom of a girl whom the coroner was removing. The cake appeared as if part of it had just been bitten, and hastily thrust into her bosom, and round her neck was a riband, with a pair of scissors.
    "And to observe the stout, rugged sailors, too, whose iron frames could endure so much hardship-here they lay masses of ice. Such scenes show us, indeed, how powerless and feeble are all human efforts, when contending against the storms and tempests, which sweep with resistless violence over the face of the deep.   And yet the vessel was so near the shore, that the shrieks and moans of the poor creatures were heard through that bitter, dreadful night, till towards morning, when the last groan died away, and all was bushed in death, and die murmur of the raging billows was all the sound that then met the ear."

    NORTH HEMPSTEAD, the county town, was formed from Hempstead in 1784. This town has produced several eminent men, among whom was the late Samuel L. Mitchell, Professor of Natural History, &c., in Columbia college. He was born August 20,1764, and died September 7, 1831. Manhasset is the name lately substituted for Cow Neck, and designates a rich and fertile tract in this town. Situated on this tract, on the North Hempstead turnpike, is a small cluster of buildings, consisting of three houses of public worship, a tavern, academy, and a few private dwellings.   At the most northerly part of Manhasset is the Sands' point lighthouse in the vicinity of which formerly was the celebrated Kidd's Rock, near which it is generally believed that notorious freebooter made valuable deposits.   Durnig the revolution bands of marauders were accustomed to land upon these shores in the night, and rob and cruelly treat the inhabitants. In one instance a Mr. Jarvis, aided by an old lady living in the same house, succeeded in beating off one of these gangs, killing and wounding several of the assailants.   Three miles easterly of the Manhasset churches, beautifully located at the head of the bay, is the village of Hempstead Harbor, containing about 40 dwellings.   North Hempstead and Lakeville are small settlements ; at the former are the county buildings.   The first paper-mill erected in the state was established here about a century since by Andrew Onderdonk, ancestor of Bishop Onderdonk of the Episcopal church.   Pop. 3,891.
    OYSTER BAY embraces a larger extent of territory than any other town in the county, and includes Lloyds Neck or Queens village, and Hog Island.   Pop. 5,864.   In 1640, an attempt was made by some persons from Lynn, Mass., to form a settlement upon the present site of the village of Oyster Bay; but meeting with opposition from the Dutch, the settlement was abandoned.   The first permanent settlement was made in 1653, by the English, on the site of this village. Oyster Bay village, on the south side of the harbor, is 28 miles N from New York and contains about 350 inhabitants.   On the high ground, near the Baptist church, are the remains of a fortification erected during the revolution, to prevent any hostile American force from entering the bay.
    In the year 1660, Mary Wright, a very poor and ignorant woman of Oyster Bay was suspected of having a secret correspondence with the author of evil. She was arrested, but as there existed no tribunal here which the people considered competent to try her case, she was sent to Massachusetts, to stand her trial for witchcraft.   She was acquitted of this crime, but nevertheless was convicted of being a Quaker, and sentenced to be banished out of the jurisdiction.
    The first Baptist church in this village was erected in 1724, and still remains a curious relic of that age. It is about 20 feet square, with a quadrangular pointed roof, and no longer used "for lodging folk disposed to sleep;" having lately been converted into a stable.   The present church was built in 1801.   Glen Cove is a considerable village on the east side of Hempstead harbor.   The Dutch church at Wolver Hollow was built in 1732, and having stood just 100 years, was followed by the present church in 1832.   The village of Jericho contains about 250 inhabitants.   The Friends meeting-house was first erected at this place in 1689, at which time several families of Friends took up their residence here, and soon after on the neighboring lands about Westbury.   This place was for a considerable period the residence of Elias Hicks, the founder of the sect of Hicksite Quakers, so called in distinction from the orthodox Friends; he settled here in 1771, and died in 1830.   He was born in the town of North Hempstead, on the 19th of March, 1748.   His education was extremely limited.   At the age of 17, he was apprenticed to a carpenter.   He began his public labors in the society of Friends in 1795, and travelled at different periods over a great portion of the United States, from Maine to Ohio, and in the province of Canada.   It is supposed that during his public ministry he travelled over 10,000 miles, and that he pronounced at least 1,000 public discourses.   He likewise found time to write and publish much upon religious subjects, upon war and the practice of negro slavery.   "He was a person of rough exterior, but of vigorous intellect; and making no pretensions to elegance of style, he reasoned with much force, and addressed himself to the everyday common sense, rather than the imagination of his auditors."
    Norwich is a small village, 3 miles S. of Oyster Bay. Hicksville, 2 miles S. of Jericho, is located upon the eastern part of the great plains at the present termination of the Long Island railroad. In the vicinity of Bethpage is Fort Neck, so called on account of two old Indian forts, the remains of which are still very conspicuous.   The village of Cold Spring is situated at the head and upon both sides of Cold Spring harbor, and partly in the town of Huntington. It contains about 500 inhabitants and several large manufacturing establishments, and is possessed likewise of considerable shipping.
    In May, 1779, Maj. Gen. Silliman, superintendent of the coast of Fairfield, in Connecticut, was taken prisoner in the night, by a party of refugees who crossed over the sound from Lloyds Neck in a whale boat. The boat returned here with their prisoner, and he was soon after conveyed to New York.   At that time there was no prisoner in possession of the Americans whom the British would accept for the general.   After some consideration it was determined to procure one.   The person selected was Hon. Thomas Jones, of Fort Neck, Long bland, at that time a justice of the supreme court of the province of New York.   On the evening of the 4th of November, he was captured by a party of volunteers under Capt. Hawley, who had crossed over the sound for the purpose.   The judge was conveyed to Connecticut, and became an inmate in the family of Mrs. Silliman ; and during the several days that he remained in her house, she used every means in her power to make his situation agreeable.   But although few ladies could contribute more effectually to this purpose, the judge was distant, reserved, and sullen.   An exchange was effected sometinie afterward.   The grave of Capt. John Underhill, who was so celebrated in the Indian wars in New England, is in this town.   He lived here for a number of years, and died upon his farm in 1672.