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Saturday, July 31, 2010



Apr 16

When his horses bolt unexpectedly while he's plowing his mid-western Manhattan farm the owner, Theunis Idens Van Huyse, becomes positive he’s cursed and he tries to hang himself. Passing missionaries convince him he’s in error, preventing a tragedy. He will live until about 1720.


A New York City jury, considering the legality of East Jersey governor Philip Carteret's title, approves his right to rule.


Colonial governor Edmund Andros attends a session of the East Jersey assembly, then dissolves it.

Jun 31

New Amsterdam minister Olave Stevens convenes church and local officials at his home to determine methods of raising money to build the new Dutch church recommended by Governor Andros.

Nov 4

John King, captain of the trading vessel Deliverance, is found dead aboard ship in New York City, his head bashed in. The case is never solved.

Nov 11

An inventory is made of the materials on board the Deliverance.


William Dyre is appointed mayor for the year. ** Colonial governor Edmund Andros claims that a quarter of the city's houses serve as taverns and tobacco shops. ** West Indian free black Swan Jansen Van Luane purchases a farm in New Utrecht, Brooklyn's future Owl's Head Park. ** The approximate date land-owning Dutch immigrant Egbert Woutersen dies (birth date unknown).


Additions are made to John Bowne’s 1661 house, a Quaker place of worship.


Aug 5

Five-year-old Dutch boy Richard Churcher dies in Manhattan, is buried on what will later become the site of Trinity Church; its oldest tombstone will mark the grave.


The Duke of York's charter for the colony is granted. ** William Dyre is appointed mayor for the second year in a row. ** The flour trade revenue over the past three years totals £2,000. ** A site for a Jewish graveyard, Beth Haim (Place of Rest), is purchased near Chatham Square.



Former mayor Cornelius Van Steenwyck is appointed mayor again. He will be reappointed next year as well. ** The city's second Jewish burial ground is established, south of Chatham Square.


Mar 7

New York City petitions the Crown to have East Jersey re-annexed, to fend off a competing colony across the Hudson.

Oct 17

New York holds its first English representative assembly and adopts a charter of liberties.

Oct 30

New York City's first Roman Catholic services are held.

Nov 1

New York's Queens (including Hempstead and Oyster Bay), and Richmond (Staten Island, including Shooter's Island) counties are chartered by Royal Governor Thomas Dongan (Richmond named for the Earl of Richmond). ** Kings County (Brooklyn) is formed, with the towns of Brooklyn, Bushwick, Flatbush, Flatlands, Gravesend and New Utrecht.

Nov 25

Dongan confirms the 1666 letters patent granted for the Queens village of Flushing.


The city begins producing commercial grade flour, and is granted a monopoly. ** The city is divided into six wards - Dock, East, North, South, and West, and the Out Ward (north of the wall).


June 16

James II names the Reverend Josias Clarke chaplain to the garrison at New York.

Sep 6

The New York governor and council grant a requested tax exemption for Lutheran Church premises, as is done with other congregations.


New and Beaver Streets are paved. The first watch is appointed. A Latin school is opened under the management of a Jesuit priest. ** Gabriel Minvielle is appointed mayor for the year. ** Area Indians sell the last of their Brooklyn lands to the British. ** French Huguenot settler Pieter Praa marries Maria Hay, daughter of the owner of the land in the future Greenpoint area of Brooklyn formerly belonging to Dirck (the Norman) Volckersten.

(c) 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wooden World

September 23, 2000

If you were inland from Menominee, Michigan, on the evening of October 8th, 1871, and you looked eastward toward town, you might see the glow of the setting sun. Wrong direction? Of course. It was the glow of not-distant-enough flames. On this day major fires would begin raging in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. The first two (Chicago and Peshtigo) were decidedly deadly. Chicago's flames killed 300 and left 90,000 homeless. Peshtigo's dead numbered somewhat over 1200. Menominee faced the same threat.

The western Great Lakes had seen very little rain since spring. Wood frame houses in the lumber towns lined streets covered in sawdust. The surrounding land was studded with piles of scrap from the sawmills; dust filled the hot, dry air. And then. Deer were erupting out of the woods, as well as wolves, and smaller wild animals. The roads eastward were soon filled with cattle, horses and wagons as those on the small outlying farms headed rapidly toward the town and the waters of Green Bay. The passenger steamer Northern City could be seen off across the waters to the east, headed toward town. Exiles from Peshtigo were making their way into town, as well as escapees from nearby flame-killed villages. The steamer docked and the captain agreed, even as crew members stomped out wind-born sparks, to take women and children aboard. Said he'd stay moored there as long as possible.

There can be moments of humor, even under the threat of annihilation. A drayman unloaded a cargo of furniture destined for one of the mansions on the far side of town. As he moved away from the pier a passer-by told him the house wouldn't survive. He should take the furniture back to the boat. He kept going, telling the advice-giver that the insurance company would pay for the furniture if it went up in flames. But not if it were back on the ship.

The fires could be seen from village now. Men formed into crews and began digging a trench across the road that led into town, beating out flames that leapt the barrier with their shirts, laying face down briefly in the marshy water when waves of scorching heat flowed over their heads. Their efforts paid off. As dawnlight overcame flamelight, they knew they'd saved their town.

There were a two surprises left, non-threatening ones. As women began coming down the steamboats gangplank, some leading children. a few tallish forms kept their faces hidden, struggled with long skirts. A townsman walked up to one of the latter, and with a curse planted a boot firmly in the seat of the skirt and knocked a few other figures to the ground. Seems a half-dozen men of the town were more afraid of fire fighting than they were of cross-dressing. Getting in touch with their feminine side, no doubt. The other surprise? The waters of Green Bay had been lowered a bit by the intense heat. The Northern City was stuck firmly on a sandbar.

Script 189

© 2000 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eastern New York Timeline - 1000 through 1609


The Indians' planting of beans and maize begins (date highly conjectural).


French explorer Jacques Cartier hears of curative waters to be found in the future Saratoga Springs area, while exploring the St. Lawrence River. He may also hear of a great falls (Niagara) to the west.


Traditional date the French abandon a small fort at what is now Albany.



Gerhard Kremer (Mercator) produces a cylindrical-projection map. It portrays the mythical New England land of Norumbega. It also shows the New York State site of Ticonderoga.



The approximate date diamond merchant, land speculator and Dutch West India Company founder-director Kiliaen van Rensselaer is born in Hasselt (some sources say Nijkerk) to soldier Hendrick van Rensselaer and homemaker Maria Pafraet Rensselaer.


Population of Algonkin (Algonquin) tribes is about 6,000. ** The approximate total population of Long Island's Metoac tribes is 10,000. A total of 13 tribes live on the island. ** From now on most kettles traded with the St. Lawrence area Indians are made of brass, rather than copper.



Samuel de Champlain, exploring the St. Lawrence River Valley, learns of the Ticonderoga area.



King Henry of Navarre grants a favorite all North American lands north of the 40th parallel (New France).


Apr 10

Charters for the London Company and the Virginia Company of Plymouth (Council for New England) are issued by James I, to Ferdinando Gorges and John Popham, to settle the American coast between Cape Fear and mid-Maine. This is the area Henry of Navarre, the French king, had claimed two years previously. The colonies of Virginia and New England are to remain 100 miles apart. The region in between can only be colonized if no other European nation lays claim to it.


Apr 4

Henry Hudson departs from Amsterdam in his three-masted Dutch carrack the Half Moon .


Samuel de Champlain and two French companions, along with 60 Indian warriors from various tribes, enters the lake that will bear his name.

Jul 29

Champlain, accompanied by two other Frenchmen, including his teen-aged servant Etienne Brulé, and 60 Algonquins and Hurons, encounter a group of 200 Iroquois in canoes. Everyone agrees to a ritual battle the next day.

Jul 30

Champlain’s party defeats the Iroquois near the future Ticonderoga, beginning a long period of French/Iroquois enmity.

Sep 6

Hudson sends a small crew ashore on Long Island to explore. On their return to the ship they are attacked by two canoes full of natives. Crewman John Colman is killed, two others injured. The survivors can't find the Half Moon in the dark.

Sep 7

The missing men return at daylight.

Sep 13

Henry Hudson anchors his Half Moon off Nappeckamack (today's Yonkers area). They trade with natives for oysters, all the time keeping the Indians off the Half Moon, in their canoes.

Sep 14

Hudson sails past high mountains, anchors off the West Point area.

Sep 15

Hudson arrives in the Kingston area. He predicts the Rondout area, just upstream, will be a prime spot for a trading port. Two Indian hostages taken previously escape and make their way to land.

Sep 16

Hudson arrives in the Hudson area. Indians come aboard and trade Indian corn, pumpkins and tobacco.

Sep 17

Hudson arrives in the Castleton area, location of the Mahican Indian village of Schotak (Schodack). They run aground in the evening, puling themselves off by their anchor, run aground again, but are freed by high tide.

Sep 18

The ship's masters' mate goes ashore with an elderly Indian and is entertained at the man's home.

Sep 19

Hudson arrives in the Albany area. Indians trade grapes, pumpkins, as well as beaver and otter pelts.

Sep 20

The Half Moon attempts to sail further north but runs into shallow water.

Sep 21

A second attempt to sail north again runs into waters too shallow to let them pass. The ship's carpenter goes ashore to construct a new foreyard for their vessel. A party of Indians, including one female, is permitted aboard ship, as a test of their intentions. They are entertained and fed, all with no ensuing trouble.

Sep 22

It's decided it would be pointless to attempt to sail further north.

Sep 23

Hudson leaves the Albany area. They run aground but are freed when the tide rises.

Sep 24

The Half Moon runs aground on Upper Schodack Island in the Castleton area. Before the tide releases them a number of the crew go ashore, gather chestnuts.

Sep 26

They get together with a number of Indians. All goes well.

Sep 27

Further amicable meetings with local Indians. The crew fishes late in the day then their ship sails on into the night.

Sep 30

After further trade with the Indians the ship sails on to the south through the night.

Oct 1

After a failed attempt by the natives to steal from the Half Moon, Indians in Haverstraw Bay attack the vessel. The crew kills two.

Oct 2

Off Spuyten Duyvil Creek the vessel is attacked by local Indians in canoes. Two of the attackers are killed.

Oct 4

Hudson sails for England.

(c) 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte