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Origin of the Name Catskill
one man's opinion c1918

from: The Catskills by T. Morris Longstreth

    But it must be remembered that, at first, one little stream was called Cats' Kill, which was named in honor of the poet of Brouwershaven. In his day Jacob Cats cut considerable figure at the Dutch bar. He was made the Chief Magistrate of Middleburg and Dordrecht, the Grand Pensionary of West Friesland, and finally the Keeper of the Great Seal of Holland. He is found in our libraries today. At the very time that Hendrik Hudson was eating roast dog with his red-faced hosts near the outlet of the brook that was to be Cats' Kill, Mr. Cats was penning amatory emblems behind his native dikes. He wrote "Sinne en Minne Beelden," a collection of moralizations and worldly wisdom, perhaps derived from his own experience, as in the following:

Nineteen nay-says o' a maiden are ha'f a grant.

   By his indefatigable industry he turned out nineteen volumes of this sort of thing, with poems which a critic of the time declared to be characterized by "simplicity, rich fancy, clearness and purity of style, and excellent moral tendency."

With a record like that, it is small wonder that the map-makers, half distraught for names for the myriad brooks of the region, should decide to call one after the Grand Pensionary, in the same way that they were naming Block Island after Adrian Blok and Kaap May for Admiral May. So Cats got his Kill, and the mountains in which it rose were soon called the Catskills, the name spreading until it took in first the whole region north of the Esopus, then the still higher group at the head of which stands Slide, and finally some of the out-running ranges to the west.

from "The Catskills" (1918) By T. Morris Longstreth
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