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Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Season’s Greetings

From Joann and David Minor

Rochester City Hall - 2011

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


Apr 10
New York City lawyer, corporate counselor, alderman and State Supreme Court justice John Chambers dies in his mid-fifties. Fellow lawyer Augustus Van Cortlandt inherits half his library, the other half is inherited by John Jay.
Jun 8
The Massachusetts General Court invites delegates from other colonies to an October congress in New York City.
New York attorney general John Tabor Kempe informs Indian agent William Johnson that English law does not recognize aboriginal land rights. Johnson will reply that the Indians are a sovereign nation and do not fall under English jurisdiction.
Oct 7
The Stamp Act Congress meets at City Hall to organize resistance. Delegates from nine colonies attend.
Oct 19
The Stamp Act Congress adopts “A declaration of rights and grievances of the colonists of America”.
Oct 22
The congress adopts petitions to the king and to the House of Lords.
Oct 23
The congress adopts petitions to the House of Commons.
Oct 31
New York City merchants sign a non-importation agreement. A committee of correspondence is formed.
Nov 1
A mob demonstrates in New York City, the date the Stamp Act was to have gone into effect.
Nov 27
Peter De Lancey, returned to New York City from London aboard the Hope as a new Stamp Act commissioner, learning of the measure's unpopularity, publicly resigns his office.
A local Sons of Liberty is formed to protest the Stamp Act. ** The former Nassau Street Theatre, a German Lutheran church since 1758, is demolished by English impresario Lewis Hallam, who erects a new theater on the site. ** The Morris-Jumel mansion is built in upper Manhattan. ** Brannan’s Garden (a roadhouse/tavern) is opened at Spring and Hudson streets.
Staten Island
A further addition is made to Richmondtown’s first building, the 1671 Britton Cottage.

Mar 10
Botanist Jane Colden Farquhar dies in childbirth at the age of 41 in New York City. She had catalogued and described 352 specimens.
Dry goods importer John Wetherhead meets William Johnson, soon becomes his commercial agent. ** Whitehead Hicks is appointed mayor for each of the next ten years. ** A group of Irish immigrants form the first Methodist society in North America. ** Construction is completed on Trinity Church’s St. Paul’s Chapel, designed by Thomas McBean.

Jun 15
Parliament suspends the New York assembly for refusing to obey the Quartering Act.
King's College opens. ** The John Street Theatre, designed for the presentation of ballad operas, opens. ** British paymaster Abraham Mortier acquires a 99-year lease from Trinity Church on the former King’s Farm property at Richmond Hill, for $269 a year. ** The city's imported Madeira supply is of exceptional quality this year. ** Metalworkers Peter Curtenius and Richard Sharpe open their New York Air Furnace foundry on upper Broadway (site of today's Woolworth Building). ** George Burns opens Burns Coffee House, opposite Bowling Green, on Broadway.

Jun 6
New York City lawyer Peter Hawes is born in Dedham, Massachusetts, to Continental Army ensign Joseph Hawes and Hannah Fisher Hawes.
Dec 16
Royal governor Sir Henry Moore suggests to the assembly the importance of improving the stretch of the Mohawk River between Schenectady and Fort Stanwix. Nothing comes of the idea.
The New York Chamber of Commerce is founded. ** An east-west lane is approved, to connect Greenwich Village with the Post Road (Bowery). ** A real estate ad for a Pearl Street tavern lists a good tea water pump. ** The city has seventeen distilleries; over 500,000 gallons of rum are produced annually. ** Thomas McBean's Episcopal St. Paul's Chapel on Broadway is completed.

Aug 31
Physician/naturalist David Hosack is born in New York City to Scotch artillery officer Alexander Hosack and his wife.
Nov 23
One of the first burials in the Moore-Jackson Cemetery in Woodside, Queens, is for a resident who died on this date.
French engineer John Montrésor drafts a map of lower Manhattan. ** Brooklyn cedes Furman's Island in Newtown Creek (now part of the Queens mainland) to its rival town, and a stone marker (Arbitration Rock) is placed to mark the border, set by surveyor Peter Marschalk. ** Milestones are erected along the road between City Hall and Mamaroneck in Westchester County. ** Charles Ward Apthorp completes construction of his mansion - Elmwood.
© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Saturday, December 10, 2011



Apr 10
Four Mohawk Indian chiefs – Sa Ga Yean Qua Prah Ton (Brant), Oh Yea Neath Ton No Prow (John), Elow oh Kaom (Nicolas) and Tee Yee Neen Ha Ga Row (Tiyandoga or Hendrick Peters to the Dutch) - visiting England, meet with Queen Anne in Buckingham Palace.   

Oct 16
Sir Charles Hobby and Colonel Francis Nicholson captures Port Royal. Nicholson renames it Annapolis Royal in honor of Queen Anne. French rule in Nova Scotia is ended. New Yorker Robert Livingston’s son Philip takes part in the campaign.
Nov 25
Suffolk County's Islip is recognized as a town.
German Palatines are settled on 6,000 acres, in the future Columbia County, bought back by the Massachusetts government from Robert Livingston. It will become Germantown. ** The approximate date the Beekman area of Dutchess County is first settled.

Recently arrived Palantine immigarnts travel up the Hudson River to Albany. Between 600 and 700 encamp at East Camp and West Camp on the Hudson. Scouts are sent to the west to check out the Mohawk Valley, are delighted with the spot where Fox’s Creek empties into the Schoharie River, and recommend the area. ** English fortifications at Fort Nicholson, at the Great Carrying Place (Fort Edward), are abandoned. ** The Iroquois pretend enthusiasm for a British expedition against the French, secretly tip off the enemy.
Zurich silkmaker Hans Peter Astor (Astore), an ancestor of John Jacob Astor, dies at the age of 47.

Settlers in the Mohawk Valley found the village of Schoharie. ** The approximate date the Tuscarora tribe emigrates to the state and joins the Iroquois Confederacy.

Jan 11
Merchant Robert Gilbert Livingston, a future Loyalist, is born to Gilbert and Cornelia Beekman Livingston, in Kingston, New York.
Mar 23
South Carolina captures Fort Nochucke, Tuscarora stronghold in North Carolina, ending the Tuscarora Indian War. Most of the tribe will flee to Iroquois lands in the north.
Apr 15
Colonel Peter Schuyler arrives in Montréal from Albany. He goes out to the Iroquois settlement to try and convince captive Eunice Williams - by now married to an Indian - to return to her family. She refuses. A future effort to convince her will fail; she will remain with her tribe.
Jul 17
The 21,000-acre Hansen’s Patent, in Saratoga County, is granted to Hendrick Hansen and others.
Dutchess County, provisionally annexed to Ulster County since its 1683 founding, is given separate representation in the General Assembly. ** Samuel Arentse Brandt dies in Schenectady in his mid-fifties. His son Arent Andriessen Brandt inherits his property in the future Rotterdam area.

Jan 4
Lutheran clergyman John Christopher Hartwick, an Otsego County pioneer, is born in Saxe-Gotha, Germany.
Former royal governor Sir Edmund Andros dies in London at the age of 76.
Aug 26
Schenectady resident Adam Vrooman purchases 1100 acres of land in the future Schoharie County, site of the town of Fulton.
Nov 3
The 10,000-acre Huntersfield Patent, in Schoharie County, is granted to Myndert Schuyler and others.
Nov 4
The 2,000-acre Caughnawaga Patent, in Montgomery County, is granted to John and Margaret Collins.
Albany's population reaches 1,128. ** Chapmen (peddlars) are required to be licensed before trading from town to town. ** Jacobus Van den Bogert donates two pieces of land to Poughkeepsie village, with the proviso they be used for a church and a courthouse. ** The approximate date farmer Marinus Roelofse Van Vleckeren dies in Fishkill, in his mid-forties (exact dates unknown).

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Lots to say! Here we go…

1. This Thursday, December 8th, will be our next Save Our Seaport meeting. We will meet at 6:30pm in Room 1 at St. Margaret’s.

St. Margaret’s is located at 49 Fulton Street (Map). As always, if you’re lost or need more information, you can email us at or call us at (347)6-PIER16.

2. This past Saturday, we had our first day back at the Museum for winter maintenance. Everybody accomplished so much and had so much fun, that they have scheduled more of the same for the next two weekends! Volunteer Coordinator Beth Childs sent out the following:

Thanks for all your hard work yesterday! We got so much accomplished – cleaning, re-organizing, assessing needs, etc., that we’ve decided to have Museum Volunteer Work Days for the next two Saturdays! Woohoo!!
We will muster in time to begin work promptly at 0900 on Saturday, December 10 AND Saturday, December 17 in front of the work barge. For now, please RSVP your availability ONLY for Saturday, December 10. I’ll ask again for the following week.
We need you and appreciate all you are doing for the vessels and for the Museum. Don’t forget to RSVP for Dec. 10.

This is important: If you did not receive the above email from Beth, and you are, or would like to be, a volunteer, please email Beth That is also the address to use to RSVP for next Saturday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Lots of news today! Here goes…

1. Here is a message from Waterfront Director Jonathan Boulware, with news about Lettie G. Howard, Pioneer, and volunteering:

Hello All,

Here are some updates from the Waterfront at South Street Seaport Museum.

Getting Pioneer Ready to Sail: An Important Donation
Recognizing that Pioneer needs a trip to the drydock and other repairs and upgrades, Ted Scull stepped up with a very generous gift that will help her to be shipshape in the spring with some new sails, a new transmission and exhaust, and numerous repairs. Everyone here is grateful to Ted as I know you will be, too. This is the kind of response that will make it possible for us to succeed in saving the Seaport Museum and her ships. And here’s the twist: Ted approached us, and not we him. Hats off to Ted!

Lettie G. Howard’s Trip to the Shipyard
Very happily for us, Mystic Seaport Museum is hosting Lettie G. Howard for the winter, where she’ll be able to take advantage of Mystic’s lift dock and warm wooden-vessel hospitality. She’ll be hauled out in January on Mystic’s lift-dock and attended by a team of shipwrights who will make repairs to her keelson and address some USCG requirements. When she returns in the spring, she’ll be ready to sail. A big thanks to the folks who brought her up there: Captain Aaron Singh, Mate Kirsten Johnsrud, Tommy Seda, Tizoc Gomez, Darrell Gilbert, Anne Beaumont, Nelson Chin, Elizabeth Kerr, and Frank Logalbo.

Volunteer Days
Volunteer days are beginning again! Starting this Saturday, Dec 3rd at 0900, we’ll start work on our fleet. All of the vessels are in need of attention so we’ll be busy in lots of places. Come join us! RSVP to Beth Childs, Volunteer Coordinator at volunteercoordinator[at]

Jonathan Boulware
Waterfront Director
South Street Seaport Museum

2. Volunteer Coordinator Beth Childs has asked that we put out the word that she might not have email addresses for all the volunteers. If you did NOT receive an email directly from her in the last few days about this Saturday’s volunteer day, and you believe you should have (or wish you had!), please email her atvolunteercoordinator[at]

You can read the above mentioned email here.

3. In case Saturday just gets you riled up for more, our friends at PortSide NewYork and the tanker Mary Whalen are having their next maintenance day on Sunday, December 4th, and everyone is invited.

Carolina says:

The weather continues to bless us! Current forecast for Sunday is 52 and partly cloudy.

Please join us for more shipwork Sun 12/4 11am-5pm in the Red Hook Containerport.Remember, photo ID or TWIC card needed to enter!

Supervisors will be Carolina Salguero and Mike Abegg, former Mate of the South Street Seaport’s Lettie G. Howard.

Email Carolina at portsidenewyork[at] if you can make it, as they need a list for the front gate.

4. Our next Save Our Seaport meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 8th at 6:30pm. The location will be announced soon. Please plan to attend!

5. And finally, Clive Burrow of the Lower Manhattan Marketing Association (LOMA) has invited us to their next meeting – which is also on December 8th, but in the morning:

It will be held at the Museum to celebrate its reopening. It will start at 8:45 on the 5th floor on December 8th. Susan Jones will be there, and I have also invited Robert LaValva to give us a quick update on the market’s progress.

Breakfast refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to jpurtill[at] Badges will be issued at the door.

And that’s it for today!

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

St. Mark's Bookshop Victory

Together we have scored a victory for the St. Mark’s Bookshop and the Lower East Side! Cooper Union has agreed to a new one-year lease to reduce their monthly rent to $17,500. The bookshop has a $2,500/month rent reduction and Cooper Union will forgive back rent owed. This is a $37,500 win for the bookstore. We won through a lot of organizing -- including your signature among the 44,128 on our online petition. Thank you!

The organization that led this fight -- the Cooper Square Committee -- knows that bookshops are a crucial part of our beloved Lower East Side community. We have organized for over 52 years to ensure that the Lower East Side remains an affordable home to the diverse multi-ethnic community of working people and artists that has continued to draw so many people to it.

Join Our Victory Celebration and Mark their 34th anniversary serving the community

St. Mark’s Bookshop:
31 Third Avenue (corner of 9th Street)
* Celebrate our win, meet up with friends and neighbors
* Learn more about our community
* Learn more about the Cooper Square Committee
(You can also learn more about the Cooper Square Committee -- its history battling Robert Moses and later gentrification, and its current tenants’ organizing --

If you can't come in person, check out the St. Mark's Bookshop website:
Peace with justice,

Joyce Ravitz
Cooper Square Committee

Monday, November 14, 2011



Mar 2

The 7,613 acres of Westchester County land near the Connecticut border, known as Swallowfield Patent, is created.

Apr 18

The Oriskany Patent, in Oneida County, is granted to Thomas Wenham and others.

Dec 27

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.


Feb 21

Some of the purchasers of 7,613 acres of Westchester County land known as Swallowfield apply for a warrant to survey their December purchase.

Mar 2

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.

Mar 22

William Bond surveys 2,697 acres adjoining Flatlands, in Long Island’s Kings County.

Apr 10

The second Nine Partners Patent (Little, or Upper), in Dutchess County, is granted to Sampson Boughton and others.

Apr 22

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.


Mar 25

The Cheesecocks Patent, in New York's Orange County – total acreage unknown - is awarded to Chief Justice John Bridges’ wife Ann.

Sep 10

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.


Mar 21

New Rochelle representatives decide to hire surveyor Captain William Bond, Deputy Surveyor for the Province of New York, to run their town line.

Apr 20

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.

Apr 22

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.

Sep 25

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.

Sep 23

The Clifton Park Patent, in Saratoga County, is granted to N. Hermanse and others as part of the Shenondehowa Patent.

Oct 19

The Hurley Patent, in Ulster County, is granted to Cornelius Cool and others.

Oct 29

The Sawyer’ Patent, in Washington and Saratoga counties, is granted to Isaac Sawyer.

Nov 2

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.


Mar 23

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