Tuesday, December 20, 2011
(Continued from November 23, 2011)
Every incoming New York City mayor takes the reins of a different beast than that of his predecessor. As state legislator and canal supporter Walter Bowne prepared to take over from William Paulding at the end of 1829 the city was in its usual state of flux. Street names were changing, usually piecemeal - part of Herring Street became Bleecker, part of Arden became Morton, part of Reason Street (named for Thomas Paine's ”The Age of Reason”) became Barrow.
Structures were springing up on streets old and new. On the north side of the new Washington Square, construction began on architect Martin Thompson's row of Greek Revival townhouses. Thompson, by the way, along with Ithiel Town and Andrew J. Davis, all with offices in the Merchants Exchange building, constituted the entire architectural profession in the city. Over on Macdougal Street, between West 3rd and 4th streets, a row of townhouses in the older Federal style was being built for a real estate investor, a man in his early seventies who'd had few other careers before this - vice-president of the United States for one - man named Aaron Burr. It was a healthy market. Buildings on the better, older streets brought good prices. A two-story house and lot at 17 Broadway, sold for $19,000. The Bowling Green Post Office sits on the site in our own time. But, begin looking over on nearby Hanover Square today and you could find a 625 square foot two-room apartment for a mere $299,000. Plus a $900 per month maintenance fee. Adaptive reuse is not a new concept in our own time. Over near City Hall, the New Gaol building, built in 1755, was converted in 1829 into a hall of records.
All the changes were not architectural and geographical. Among the new institutions springing up were two banks - the National Bank in the City of New York, and the Seamen's Bank for Savings in the City of New York (they didn't believe in short, punchy names back then). The New York City Temperance Society was founded as was the Workingmen's Party of New York. The latter would only last two years, replaced two years later by the General Trades Union, a confederation of the city's smaller labor organizations, which by 1836 would conduct nearly 40 work stoppages. Fire was always a major concern in this city with only a primitive water system. Since 1816 firefighters had been exempted from military and jury duty after serving in their departments for ten years. 1829 saw the required term lowered to seven years; in 1847 it would be reduced to five.
Two newspapers were founded to help New Yorkers keep track of all these changes. Mordecai M Noah, who we met in 1827 founding the Niagara frontier Jewish state of Ararat, was here now, and founded the Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, which would later merge with the New York World. He signed on editor James Gordon Bennett. Senior, that is. Junior would make an even bigger name for himself here, in the business later on. The Morning Herald and the Evening Journal also joined the city's media mix. (Make that medium mix).
Many foreign sections of the city's papers probably carried the recent news of a fellow countryman of James Stuart's by the name of William Hare and his friend William Burke. We'll check out their connection with 1829 New York next time.
© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
(Continued from October 23, 2011)
Those New Yorkers who couldn't afford Manhattan's theaters and dining establishments in 1829 could still find free entertainment around town. On January 15th the ship Columbia arrived in port from Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Aboard the vessel were a variety of large pieces of formed iron, which were unloaded onto wagons and carted off to the corner of Frankfort Street and Water Street - the northern stretch of the later today renamed Pearl Street, beneath the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge. There the iron sections were unloaded at the iron foundry belonging to Garrett Abeel and Edward Dunscomb. When assembled at the plant the local citizens could gawk at one of the first two locomotives in the United States, the Pride of Newcastle.
The other locomotive, the Stourbridge Lion, arrived just about the same time - under separate cover - aboard the packet boat John Jay from Liverpool at the West Point Foundry, across the Hudson from the military academy. When assembled they were both to be shipped off to Carbondale, Pennsylvania, and used to ship coal eastward up over the Moosic Mountains to Honesdale, then shipped out to the Hudson by the new Delaware & Hudson Canal. Philip Hone - who we've met before - a recent mayor of New York, had been a major backer of that canal. He was a also diarist; on May 27th he wrote: " . . . I went to Abell (sic) & Dunscomb's foundry to meet a large party of gentlemen who were assembled by invitation to see one of the new locomotive engines in operation, which was recently imported from England . . .". Ties magazine - as in railroad ties - would later write, " The two locomotives at their separate locations were mounted on blocks with wheels clear of the ground and run under full steam for observation by groups of prominent men and scientists, plus curious passers - by attracted by the show."
The problem was, when the machines arrived at Carbondale they proved to be too puny to do the job and a different kind of railroad, using gravity rather than steam power, had to be employed. The two British imports were put out to pasture and met various fates. Today the Lion is on display at the Smithsonian, where its remains were brought and reassembled in 1888. A replica can be seen at the Wayne County Historical Society’s Museum in Honesdale. The Pride has been lost, perhaps the victim of an explosion.
If you were the sort that considered such contrivances as railroads to be devil's devices, or if your mind was just on more divine matters, you could find other diversions around town in 1829. On January 11th the Episcopal Church at Washington and Prospect streets in Brooklyn opened a large schoolroom adjacent to the church. After a new Manhattan Dutch Reformed Church was dedicated at the end of July; their cousins over in Brooklyn dedicated their new church two months later. About this time the Brooklyn Sunday School Union was formed and members of three or four classes began annual parades around the village. In years to come the emphasis would turn to secular schools and the holiday called Brooklyn Day was born. But no matter what your religious affiliation, you could always participate in some political action this year, petitioning Congress to halt Sunday delivery of the mails. Congress jumped right on it and passed the legislation in 1912.
© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
The 7,613 acres of Westchester County land near the Connecticut border, known as Swallowfield Patent, is created.
The Oriskany Patent, in Oneida County, is granted to Thomas Wenham and others.
Former English immigrant, surveyor and Hudson’s Bay Company captain William Bond, along with George Booth and eight other New York residents, petition for 7,613 acres of Westchester County land known as Swallowfield. Booth will be granted a 7,630 patent of that name on April 22, 1708.
Legislation against runaway slaves provides the death penalty for those found more than 40 miles north of Albany. ** Queen’s Fort is built where two previous forts stood, on the site of the future Schenectady. ** Albany's first Eiscopal congregation is founded by the English Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. ** Daniel Janse Van Antwerp sells his stone house in the future Rotterdam to his business partner Jan Pieterse Mabee.
Some of the purchasers of 7,613 acres of Westchester County land known as Swallowfield apply for a warrant to survey their December purchase.
Land is granted to nine individual to New York acreage adjoining the Connecticut line and Byram River, with the stipulation they improve it within two years.
William Bond surveys 2,697 acres adjoining Flatlands, in Long Island’s Kings County.
The second Nine Partners Patent (Little, or Upper), in Dutchess County, is granted to Sampson Boughton and others.
Booth is granted the Swallowfield Patent.
A closed season on deer hunting is imposed on Long Island. ** Property patents have been issued on all Wappinger Indian lands in Duchess County.
The Cheesecocks Patent, in New York's Orange County – total acreage unknown - is awarded to Chief Justice John Bridges’ wife Ann.
Augustus Graham and William Bond provincial surveyors lay out Long Island’s Newtowne (Newtown) and Bushwick.
A Presbyterian church is built in Old Southampton, Long Island.
Future New York governor Robert Hunter is appointed governor of Virginia. On the way to the colonies he's captured by a French privateer and brought back to Europe.
New Rochelle representatives decide to hire surveyor Captain William Bond, Deputy Surveyor for the Province of New York, to run their town line.
Britain's Queen Anne grants 1,500,000 acres of New York land in Delaware and Sullivan counties, including most of the Catskills - the Hardenbergh (Great) Patent, to seven men, headed by Kingston merchant Johannes Hardenbergh.
The Nestoigione Patent, in Saratoga County, is granted to John Rosie and others. ** The 7,630-acre Swallowfield Patent, in Westchester County, is granted to George Booth.
The nine patentees in Westchester, New York’s Swallowfield Patent, having sold a tenth section to land commissioner Thomas Wenham, have the patent re-issued.
The Clifton Park Patent, in Saratoga County, is granted to N. Hermanse and others as part of the Shenondehowa Patent.
The Hurley Patent, in Ulster County, is granted to Cornelius Cool and others.
The Sawyer’ Patent, in Washington and Saratoga counties, is granted to Isaac Sawyer.
The Kayaderosseras Patent, in Saratoga and Warren counties, is granted to Nanning Hermanse and others.
Kings, Queens and Suffolk Counties close the hunting season on game birds, to protect dwindling supplies. ** The Legislative Council of New York passes a bill to provide for the preservation of early Dutch records.
The 3,000-acre Van Dam’s Patent, in Orange County, is granted to Rip Van Dam.
Peter Schuyler builds Fort Nicholson, named for English commander Colonel Francis Nicholson of Connecticut, at the Great Carrying Place (Fort Edward). ** August Graham maps the area west of the mid-Hudson river. ** The Hudson River communities of Matteawan and Fishkill Landing (both later part of Beacon) are settled, among the first in the state.
© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte