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Sunday, October 31, 2010



Mar 14

Builder Derex Van Burg(h) petitions royal governor Benjamin Fletcher and his council for back pay due him for erecting the King's Chapel at the foot of Manhattan.


William Merritt is appointed mayor, annually through 1698. ** An attempt is made to repeal a 1683 law granting the city a flour monopoly. ** Former military chaplain John Miller draws a detailed plan of lower Manhattan. ** The city has a reported twenty Jewish families. ** Merchant William Kidd travels to London in his brig Antegoa; he happens to meet New Yorker Robert Livingston, who proposes a scheme to suppress piracy for financial gain. Kidd will set out next year on this mission in the Adventure Galley. ** The Little Red Schoolhouse is built, on Staten Island.



Captain William Kidd sails his ship Adventure Galley out of London to hunt pirates in Madagascar. He fails to salute the royal yachts as he pull out and his men make insulting gestures. King William orders a hundred of Kidd's men be removed from the captain's forces. Unable to find replacements, Kidd returns to New York.

Mar 19

New York governor Benjamin Fletcher grants a petition by Church of England congregants on Manhattan to build a church (the first, downtown Trinity Church), between the "Kings Garden and the burying Place" at Wall Street..


England's King William grants New York City's Collegiate Church a Royal Charter -The Charter of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church - the oldest corporation in the U. S. today.

Jun 26

£3,000 is voted by the corporation of New York City to erect a city hall at the corner of Nassau and Wall Streets.

Jul 23

Governor Fletcher licenses Trinity Church members to solicit contributions for building costs.

Sep 6

Captain Kidd sails from New York to track down pirates.


A Quaker meeting house is built on Green Street (Liberty Place). ** Captain Teunis de Kay petitions for permission to construct a cart path from Broad Street to the street where the "pye-woman" lives (Nassau Street), keeping the excavated soil for himself. ** The colony faces a scarcity of bread.



Captain William Kidd overtakes a small trader belonging to Moorish merchants off India's Malabar coast. While Captain Thomas Parker is aboard Kidd's ship the privateer's crew boards Parker's vessel and tortures the crew. Kidd will be labeled a pirate from now on.

May 6

Trustees of Trinity Church petition Fletcher to grant them a charter, which will be done.


Richard Coote, the Earl of Bellomont is named to succeed Fletcher as Royal Governor of New York. He will not arrive in American until the following April. ** Boston doctor Benjamin Bullivant passes through New York City, comments on the number of wells and the miserable condition of the streets.

Nov 23

The New York City board of aldermen call for all homeowners to hang lights at night in windows that front the street.

Dec 2

New York's board of alderman require every seventh home to hang a lantern out at night, the cost to be borne by all seven households. ** Fletcher orders Trinity Church trustees Stephanus van Cortlandt, Peter Jacobs Mariuss, Dr. John Kerbyle, and Johannes Kipp to report on funds raised under license to redeem captives of the Barbary pirates. One captive, Bartholomew Rouston has been moved into the African interior, one has escaped, the others have died. Remaining funds are to be turned over to Church wardens Thomas Wenham and Robert Lurting for the church's building fund. If Rouston is recovered the church will be responsible for his ransom.


Paid appointed firemen are used - the first in the colonies. ** Population: 4,302. ** Church Street is laid out and Trinity Church is built. Governor Fletcher installs the Reverend William Vesey, a Long Island dissenter, as pastor of the new Trinity Church. ** A four-man city watch is created. ** Pro-Leisler members of the Reformed Church consistory now outnumber Anti-Leislerians four to two. ** Dutch traveler Jasper Danckaerts visits Brooklyn, sketches natives and wildlife. ** The State House, at Broad and Pearl streets, is declared unsafe.


Mar 13

The Reverend Mr. Vesey conducts the first services in Trinity Church.

Apr 26

New York Royal governor Benjamin Fletcher, recalled to England, donates his family pew in Trinity Church back to the church, to be used for any person of quality needing a pew at any time.

Oct 20

The disinterred bodies of Jacob Leisler and Jacob Milborne are reburied at Manhattan's Dutch church.


Leislerians accuse Dominie Selyns of mishandling consistory meetings and elections. Eleven anti-Leislerians come to his defense.

Nov 9

New York City mayor De Peyster names Enoch Hill the city's first marshal.


Johannes De Peyster is appointed mayor. A ritual is inaugurated, and carried on until the Revolution, whereby the mayor-elect and his party proceed from City Hall to Trinity Church (completed this year, the first Episcopal church in the colony) and attend services, call on the governor at Fort William Henry, and return to City Hall for the swearing in. ** An election dispute in the Dutch Reformed Church splits the consistory evenly between pro- and anti-Leisler members. Leislerians claim they are the true Dutch church, point to the anti-Leislerians' cooperation with the English authorities. ** The families of executed rebellion leaders Jacob Leisler and Jacob Milborne ask and receive grudging permission to exhume the bodies and rebury them in the Garden Street Dutch Church yard.


Jul 6

William Kidd, having turned himself in to authorities, is charged with piracy.

Aug 9

New York City begins fining peddlers twenty shillings for selling on the streets, but encourages them to set up a permanent market at Countess's Key (later called Coentes Slip).

Sep 6

New York's mayor is ordered to provide a hospital for the poor. And the village of Harlem is given permission to erect one mill.

Oct 16

A shipyard is established on New York City's East River.


Merchant John Rodman purchases the decaying State House at public sale for £920. The English build a new city hall, at Wall and Nassau Streets. The wall along the former is demolished to allow room for expansion. ** David Provost is appointed mayor. ** Population: 6,000. ** The city's monopoly of the flour trade is repealed. ** Pro-Leisler forces in the Dutch Reformed Church consistory now lead the anti-Leisler members six to one. Minister Selyns will be the sole member of the latter for the next two years. ** Nicholas Vechte builds a stone house near Brooklyn's Gowanus Creek. ** The approximate date (birth date also approximate) Dutch-born landowner and merchant Joahannes Pieterse Van Brugh dies, in his mid-seventies.


Queens' Presbyterians build Old Stone Church near today’s Union Hall Street.

(c) 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Town Made to Order

Sep 6, 2003

Spectators gathered, in 1908, on new docks at the harbor entrance to Gary, Indiana, peered off to the west, watched as small dots slowly grew in size just off shore. The dots separated, became four distinct vessels, steaming toward the piers jutting out into Lake Michigan. First to arrive was the gunboat Wolverine, followed in turn by the training ship Dorothea, the revenue cutter Tuscarora, and the fourth vessel, the steam vessel E. H. Gary. As the latter neared her dock the Stars and Stripes was run up a flagpole where it flapped in the breeze as the Wolverine loosed a 21-gun salute into the July air. On board the steamer was the reason for all the celebration, 12,00 tons of iron ore. Before the unloading there were speeches from officials standing on the Gary's bridge, including a candidate for the U. S. vice-presidency. It was the final years of the Gilded Age, so we can be sure the oratory and the toasts followed each other in rapid succession. Somebody was sure to have uttered the words, "a new era" and, for better or worse, it was. By the end of the shipping season close to a million tons of raw ore would enter the iron maw of the Gary blast furnaces.

If anyone in that welcoming crowd hadn't known of the guiding force behind this magic city that appeared out of the swamps and dunes, its name and the name of the first cargo carrier was a dead giveaway. It had become evident to United States Steel Corporation president Elbert Gary, sitting in his quietly bustling New York office in the early 1900s, that much of the far-reaching empire under his control was limping along with antiquated equipment, decrepit, rusting machinery that cut into efficiency and, most importantly, profits. Retrofitting existing plants would be hideously expensive and labor-intensive; far better and cheaper in the long run to start from scratch. It had to be along the western Great Lakes, near ore sources and existing factories in the Chicago area. Waukegan was already too congested. Land immediately around Chicago was expensive and carried a heavy tax burden. The answer lay just east of the Illinois-Indiana border. Mile after mile of swamp and sand dunes, practically uninhabited. Parcel by parcel the giant corporation began quietly buying up the needed property. The final acquisitions were made by 1906. 9,000 acres of beachfront property: 7.2 million dollars. A few billion sand fleas: Free. Dune grass and sluggish swamp water: Free. A brick-and-steel cash cow that should never run dry - PRICELESS!!

The science-fiction term 'terra-forming' had not been coined in 1906, but the concept was well understood. Crews began shoving huge sand dunes into inlets along a half mile stretch of lakefront. Part of the winding, east-west Calumet river was straightened and shifted half a mile to the south, acting as a dividing line between the workers' residences and commercial buildings to the south, and the blast furnaces and factories to the north. A grid pattern emerged as building lots were marked off and streets laid down. Running like reinforcing rods through the ruler-straight, criss-crossing, sidewalk-lined roadbeds, two major thoroughfares appeared. They were quite impressive, but there wasn't a lot of imagination put into their naming - Fifth Avenue running east-west, and Broadway running north-south. A twenty-five foot deep canal was gouged away to run through the middle of the industrial area, and piers were run out into the wind-driven surf. The Pittsburgh of the West was on its way.

Script 328

(c) 2003 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Eastern New York Timeline - 1630s


Oct 1

Patroon Killian van Rensselaer signs a co-partnership agreement with Samuel Godyn, Johannes de Laet, Samuel Bloemmaert, Adam Bissels, and Toussaint Moussart.


Amsterdam pearl merchant Killian van Rensselaer, the first patroon, founds Rensselaerwyck, on lands he purchased from the Mahican Indians, on the upper Hudson River. Receiving a grant for the land from the Dutch West India Company, begins recruiting immigrants. The first shipload arrives. ** The West India Company publishes a pamphlet advertising for New Netherland settlers. ** The first crops are planted at Fort Orange (Albany). ** The Pavonia patroonship is granted. ** John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony has a ship, Blessing of the Bay, built and sails it to Long Island to buy wampum from the Dutch. ** Privileges and Exemptions is printed in Amsterdam, the first document to be published about New Netherland. ** The ship Nieu Nederlandt (New Netherland) is built on the Hudson River below Albany.


Mar 19

Peter Minuit returns to Holland aboard the Eendracht (Unity); is succeeded by Bastiaen Jansz Krol, as acting director. Also aboard are Dominie Johannes Michaëlius and Secretary Jan van Remunde.

Apr 7

Dutch diplomat Mijnheer Van Arnhem reports to the Heeren XIX (ruling council) at home that the English at Plymouth recently captured the Eendracht when it put into the harbor to take shelter from a storm. The New Englanders accused the Dutch of illegal settlement in New Netherland and demanded duties be paid on furs being shipped back to Holland.

May 23

Charles I informs the Dutch ambassador Albert Joachimi that the Dutch in America can remain as long as they submit to British royal authority.


Dec 11

Dutch barber-surgeon Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, sent by an officer at Fort Orange to explore the area wheere the Mohawk flows into the Hudson, leaves the fort accompanied by Jeronimus dela Croix and sailor Willem Thomassen.

Dec 12

Ice flows prevent the party from crossing to the northern bank of the Mohawk.

Dec 20

After fording a treacherous stream the Albany explorers reach a Mohawk village of 32 dwellings, the first of several they will encounter.

Dec 24

Van den Bogaert’s poarty witnesses a Mohawk healing ceremony.


Indian fur trade with Albany along the Mohawk slows noticeably. The Dutch suspect French encroachment in the trade.



Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, Jeronimus dela Croix and Willem Thomassen return to Fort Orange, having explored as far west as Oneida Lake.

Mar 10

The Grand Assembly Treaty of Taagonshi (between Iroquois & Dutch) signed.


Henry Alexander, son of the Earl of Stirling, is granted a patent for "matowack or Long Island" by the Council for New England".


Apr 26

Henry, Lord Alexander, appoints James Farret to represent his North American lands. Farret is allowed two islands for himself. He calls one Robbins Island. The other is known as Mr. Farret's Island (later Shelter Island).

Dec 6

English colonial governor Sir Edmund Andros is born in London to Amice Andros - royal bailiff of Guernsey - and his wife.


The Delaware name Sewanhacky (place of shells), used to denote Long Island, first appears, in Dutch deeds for land on the western end of the island.


May 3

Lion Gardiner buys an island from Manhassets sachem Poggaticut and his wife Awaw, for ten coats. He names it Isle of Wight (later Gardiner's Island). He will move his family here from Connecticut's Fort Saybrook during the summer.


The patroonship of Killian Van Rensselaer now encompasses land 24 miles by 48 miles, covering most of the future Albany and Rensselaer counties.


Sep 21

The Treaty of Hartford (Connecticut) gives the Pequot Indian territory to the Connecticut Valley towns, disperses the survivors amongst the Narragansetts, Mohicans and Long Island's Montauk. The Montauk, as nominal allies of the Pequot, are forced to pay an annual tribute governor of New Haven.

Nov 1

Sir William Alexander, father of the late Lord Alexander, inherits his son's patent for Long Island.


Over the next three years the Wenrohronon (Wenro), meaning "the people of the place of floating scum," located near the oil spring at today’s Cuba, New York, migrate westward, seeking refuge from the Seneca with the Hurons. ** The Dutch begin referring to all land west of Albany as Terra Incognita.


Mar 10

The Earl of Stirling is granted Gardiner’s Island. The island is allowed full power to become an independent town.

Apr 30

A three-day Hudson River flood forces residents at Fort Orange to camp in the woods until the water subsides.

Jun 12

James Farrett tansfers ownership of all ungranted land on Long Island to Daniel Howe, Edward Howell, and Job Sayer.

Aug 20

London's Lord Stirling ratifies Farret's disposal of his New England property; Mr. Farrett's Island becomes Shelter Island.


David Pieterszoon De Vries visits Fort Orange.


The Dutch West India Company relinquishes its monopoly on the North American fur trade, permitting colonist to enter the trade.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010



May 1

An intercolonial congress meets in New York City to plan attacks on Montréal and Québec. They also discuss the establishment of provincial laws.

Jun 5

The Council of Virginia decides to send Colonel Cuthbert Potter to New England to report on the aftermath of New York's Leisler uprising.

Jun 6

Close to 50 members of the anti-Leisler faction go to City Hall, refuse to pay further taxes and demand the release of prisoners held in the fort. Some physically attack Leisler and a son in the street, but are driven off by aroused pro-Leisler citizens.

Jun 8

During services, at the Dutch Reformed Church, Dominie Selyns refuses to read an announcement passed up to him from the governor's bench by Leisler, thanking God for deliverance from his enemies. Leisler insists, Selyns then reads it.

Jul 22

Potter arrives in New York City.

Aug 30

Potter reaches Flushing. He hears that governor Jacob Milborne may have him searched and he departs.


Population - 3,900. ** The city council creates the position of Inviters to Funerals. Richard Chapman and Cornadus Vandor Beeck are the first to fill the office. Also, hogs are to be kept penned, and poisonous and noxious weeds are to be kept cleared by householders.


Mar 19

English governor Henry Sloughter arrives in New York City aboard the Archangel, has Leisler arrested.

May 6

The New York provincial legislature passes its first six laws, to quiet and settle disorders, establish the English crown as final authority, govern grants and patents, give towns the right to regulate fences and highways, establish courts, and to regulate militias.

May 13

New York's first assembly as a royal colony reenacts 1683's Charter of Liberties. It passes Acts 6 through 10, establishing means for dealing with the poor and vagabonds, enabling the election of representatives, levying monies for the maintenance of a force of fusiliers, enabling the city and county of Albany to repay expenses of the late disturbances by levying local Indian trade groups, and declaring the rights and privileges of colonists.

May 16

On a rainy Saturday 1689 New York rebellion leader Jacob Leisler (in his early fifties, exact birth date unknown) and his son-in-law Jacob Milborne are executed. Before they are hung and beheaded Leisler declares his only objective was to protect the colony against popery. The true issue of contention is economic.

Jul 23

Governor Sloughter drinks himself to death. He will be buried in Peter Stuyvesant's vault in lower Manhattan.


Surveyors begin laying out streets and lots. The council votes a four shilling per week allowance to Top-Knot Betty, another woman and two children, as charity cases. It also votes for the construction of a ducking stool to be built on Coentes Slip, in front of the towne-house. ** John Lawrence is appointed mayor for the year. ** The Common Council regulates outfoor markets amd abbatoirs.


A further addition is made to John Bowne’s 1661 house, a Quaker place of worship.

Staten Island

A house is built at Peterstown (the future Rosebank). It will be enlarged in coming years and in the late 1860s, by then known as Clear Comfort, be home to young photographer Alice Austen.


Dutch immigrant and New Amsterdam settler Jacob Leendertsen Van Der Grift dies in his early sixties at his Newton, Long Island home.


Oct 24

New York governor Benjamin Fletcher calls together provincial representatives at New York City, to solicit suggestions for the defense of the colony, with a request for support of religion and the courts. He also recommends cultivating the friendship of the Indians, even to supplying them with arms and ammunition.


Abraham De Peyster is appointed mayor, for the first of three consecutive annual terms. ** A bridge is built over Spuyten Duyvil Creek. ** Augustus Jay, grandfather of John Jay, is captured by a French privateer while on a business trip to Europe, and jailed at St Malô for a brief period before being released and returning to New York. ** The city's first newspaper, The New-York Gazette, begins publication. ** The approximate year a house is built for Abraham de Puyster at Smith Street (later 122 William Street). The property will later become Vandercliff’s Orchard, the house will be first the Horse and Cart Tavern (until around 1765), then the Golden Hill Tavern.


Apr 14

William Bradford establishes the first printing press in New York City, on Hanover Square in lower Manhattan.

Jun 8

Governor Fletcher issues a license to Werner Wessels and Antie Christians to solicit funds to redeem the son of the first and husband of the second from Barbary pirates. Funds collected are to be administered by Stephen Cortlandt, Peter Jacobs Marius, John Kerbyll and John Kipp of Trinity Church. Unused funds will be returned to the government for other charitable purposes. Fletcher then adds the names of three other sailors taken at the same time - Bartholomew Rousston, John Crage, and William Green.

Jul 8

The New York City council votes to use necessary revenues from the ferry between Manhattan and Brooklyn to pay off the cost of providing a gold cup, made by Jacob Marius, for presentation to the Governor.


English governor Benjamin Fletcher arrives. ** Complaining of the high fees charged him for the ferry franchise, farmer John Arsoon has the fee reduced from £147 to £140. ** New York merchant Frederick Philipse builds a toll bridge - King's Bridge - across Spuyten Duyvil Creek, linking Manhattan to the mainland. It's the city's first bridge. ** Governor Fletcher grants a charter of incorporation to the Dutch Elders and Deacons of the city, encouraging them to build a church. ** Trinity Church receives a royal charter entitling it to any whale that washes up in Manhattan.



Charles Lodwik is appointed mayor for this year, and again for next. ** Ships bound for the city begin taking on their pilots at New Jersey's Sandy Hook Bar. ** Wall Street area building lots go on the market at 30 shillings a foot, with those nearest the water going for 24 shillings. ** The market house on lower Broadway is leased to farmer Henry Crosby for one pound a year. ** City recorder James Graham is granted a lot on Queen Street (later Pearl Street) in perpetuity. ** Sixty ships, forty boats and twenty-five sloops are engaged in the flour trade. ** The approximate date the Franquelin Plan (early map of lower Manhattan) is created. ** The city well just north of the wall becomes the first in Manhattan equipped with a pump. ** The Colonial Assembly commissions a group of area sea captains to aid ships entering the harbor. ** The approximate date lawyer William Murray is born. ** The Friends Meeting House of Flushing, Queens, opens, replacing the use of the 1661 Bowne House, for Quaker services since 1662.

(c) 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Saturday, October 9, 2010


(c) 2010 David Minor / Eagles Byte