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Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Jan 17

New York City businessman Theophylact Bache is born in Settle, England.

Aug 4

Weekly Journal publisher John Peter Zenger, defended by Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Hamilton, is acquitted in a libel case in New York City in a one-day trial, establishing the tradition of Freedom of the Press in America. The popular party toasts Hamilton that night.

Aug 5

Zenger is discharged. Hamilton sails for Philadelphia, honored by salutes from ships in the harbor.


New York’s Common Council votes Andrew Hamilton the freedom of the city – a seal in a gold box.


The first almshouse is built. ** Paul Richard is appointed mayor. ** Trinity Church is enlarged. ** John Van Zandt is cleared of the charge of whipping a slave to death; the result considered a "visitation of God".


Jan 19

A ball is given in honor of the Prince of Wales’ birthday, at Robert Todd’s Black Horse Tavern, on Manhattan’s future Fulton Street.


John Peter Zenger publishes an account of his trial for seditious libel.


Dec 18

An earthquake measuring the equivalent of approximately 5.0 on today’s Richter Scale strikes the New York city area.


Johannes Klemm, a Moravian organ builder, builds the first American-built organ for Trinity Church. ** Irish military officer William Johnson arrives from England. ** Trinity Church is enlarged for the second time in two years. ** A recession occurs. ** The Merchants' Coffee House opens. ** The city’s first volunteer fire department is formed, using equipment imported from England. ** The 1719 De Lancey residence at Pearl and Broad streets has now become a public meeting place (soon to be known as Fraunces Tavern).


Aug 27

New York congressman Jeremiah Van Rensselaer is born in New York City.


A volunteer fire department is organized.


Apr 18

Lieutenant-Governor George Clarke, President of the New York City Council, writes to the Duke of Newcastle, British Secretary of State, informing him that because of a smallpox outbreak he’s moved the assembly north to the Manhattan village of Greenwich.


Former shipper, slave trader and alderman John Cruger is appointed mayor, remains for five one-year terms. ** Lewis Morris, Jr. is named vice-admiralty judge of New York.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Monday, May 23, 2011

Script No. 457

1830s, Here We Come

December of 1829 had been an unusually warm month; the following month remained so for a while. New York harbor remained free of ice. Visitor James Stuart was able to make quite a few visits to Manhattan from his boarding house in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he and his wife were staying.

Quite often his fellow passengers aboard the Stevens family steamboats were males; men did most of the marketing in the shops and stalls of Manhattan, returning later in the day with their produce and meats. Stuart had heard that even U. S. Chief Justice John Marshall, who occupied his residence on Staten Island when the Supreme Court was not in session, was often seen returning home with his dinner tucked under his arm, even the occasional turkey.

Most New Yorkers ate quite well. Stuart went to meet some friends for dinner once at a Manhattan boarding house. His shoes got dusty on the trip over; he stopped at a boot black’s house on Leonard Street for a polish, and found the man and his wife, “persons of colour”as he described them, “at dinner, consisting of one of the fattest roast geese I had ever seen, with potatoes, and apple-pie.”

In the several months they spent in Hoboken, many Sundays would find the Stuarts attending divine services in Manhattan. He mentions attending services at Episcopal, Presbyterian, Reformed Presbyterian, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches, as well as at several Methodist meetings. He found the various ministers to be equally impressive in their abilities. He was a little surprised when, turning up at the Oliver Street Baptist Church to hear the Reverend Spencer Wallace Cone, to find that he really had to hunt to find a vacant seat. “. . . the tide of Mr Cone's popularity was so great when I heard him, that the regular sitters were in some degree tenacious of their rights.”

It’s not too surprising that Cone was a popular preacher. The Princeton, New Jersey, native, had become an actor, much to the dismay of his devout mother, when he turned twenty. It may have been his presence during a fire that killed 72 people at the Richmond Theatre in the Virginia capital in 1811, including the state’s new governor, that made him decide to leave the stage. Afterwards, during a stint as a newspaper editor and writer, he was inspired by the biography of English divine John Newton to enter the Baptist church. Commanding a rifle company in the War of 1812, during which he witnessed the burning of Washington and the attack on Fort McHenry, he then moved to the nation’s capital. After preaching in the Washington and Philadelphia areas he moved to New York City in 1823 to take up the pastorate at the Baptist Church. Certainly Cone had a wealth of experiences to draw on, and by the time Stuart heard him, knew well how to work up a crowd.

The Stuarts must have done a bit of clothes shopping while they were in the area, probably in expectation of being on the road before long. He notes that most of the work in the fashion trade is done by women, apparently as opposed to the custom in Britain. The visiting couple may also have been refurbishing their outfits for the New Year’s celebrations to come at the end of the month.

Well before Times Square was invented.

© 2006 David Minor/Eagles Byte

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is Heritage Weekend?

Modeled after France’s popular annual event, “Les Journées du Patrimoine,” New York Heritage Weekend will showcase the Empire State to residents and visitors alike and to help kick off the summer tourism season. Heritage Weekend will highlight special events at heritage and cultural destinations throughout New York State. With the cooperation of federal, state, and private organizations, New York Heritage Weekend will be an annual event and one of the lasting legacies of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration.

What kind of events are 
“Heritage Weekend” events?

Heritage Weekend events can include special programs, discounted or free admission, or any event that celebrates national, state or local heritage. Historic sites, museums, architecturally significant buildings, local historians and historical societies, battlefields, historic districts, community groups and any resources that connect directly with New York State heritage are all invited to participate and get involved. Themes for Heritage Weekend events include: Military History, Arts and Culture, Corridor of Commerce, Innovation, Architecture, Freedom and Dignity, Traditions and Cultures, Community Heritage. These themes are intended to broadly represent the diverse heritage of New York State.

For a Calendar of Events, beginning May 12th:

Monday, May 9, 2011

EASTERN NEW YORK Timeline - 1670-1674


Dec 1

Mile Square, in the future Westchester County, is separated from Aquehung (Yonkers) and

sold to Francis French, Ebenezer Jones and John Westcott.

Dec 2

Long Island's Montaukett Indians convey the Nine Score Acre Purchase to John Mulford, Reverend Thomas James and Jeremiah Conkling of East Hampton.


Hempstead minister’s son Daniel Denton visits Hempstead Plains. He writes A Brief Description of New York, describing Long Island. ** The approimate date settler Elias Van Guysling builds a house on the Great Flats outside Schenectady, the first area home outside the stockade. ** The approximate date farmer Marinus Roelofse Van Vleckeren is born.



Volkert Jansen Douw acquires the Hudson River’s Houghtaling Island. ** A stockade of pitch pines and oak is erected surrounding Albany, replacing the 1659 wall of posts and planks.



Puritan settlers of Oyster Bay, Long Island, gather at the home of Anthony Wrights for a community brush cutting, by order of the town elders.

Jul 18

Mohawk land in the Albany area is patented to Jan Hendricksen van Baal, purportedly based on an Indian deed - The Normans Kill Patent.


Jul 29

A warrant is issued to William Osborne instructing him to call up the troops at Hempstead, Long Island.

Jul 30

A Dutch fleet captures New York City, retaking the colony and New Jersey, renaming the city New Amsterdam. Fort George is taken.


The English garrison at Albany is relinquished. The Dutch rename the town Willemstadt.


Feb 23

New Orange (Albany) Lutheran minister Jacobus Frabitius becomes abusive to his sickly wife Annetje Cornelis who he’s had sleeping in the attic all winter. He then leaves the house.

Feb 24

Annetje Cornelis petitions city officials, who grant her possession of the house and issue a restraining order against her husband.

Jun 8

Fabritius is again ordered to not approach Annetje Cornelis without her consent.

Jul 1

The Duke of York makes Sir Edmund Andros governor of New York.

Jul 11

Fabritius enters his wife’s house without permission, to place a chest inside, pushes a woman named Barentie and her spinning wheel off the road, and physically resists soldiers sent to remove him.

Jul 17

Fabritius is fined 100 florins and made to apologize to the court, thus avoiding banishment.

Nov 10

British army ensign Caesar Knapton and sergeant Thomas Sharpe take command of an 18-man garrison at Kingston


Dutch carpenter Frederick Philips acquires land on the east bank of the Hudson River including much of present-day Westchester County. ** Charles II renews his brother the Duke of York's claims to the colony. The Dutch cede control. ** Scottish-born landowner-merchant Robert Livingston settles at Albany.


© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Canal Society of New York State - CSNYS

Field Trips - What to Expect

For many, the biannual field trips or “study tours” are of primary importance. These events generally take place in the spring and fall and use the model described below.

The tours are three day events, starting on a Friday afternoon and ending early Sunday afternoon. Members receive a tour announcement/program in the mail approximately one month in advance containing all the necessary details including each day’s events and sites to be visited, how much mobility is required, hotel information, total cost, and a registration form. One may register for some events and not others. We also post the program on the CSNYS website and Facebook page. The announcement will also contain crucial information on events such as boat trips that MAY have space limitations and therefore availability is prioritized by the date each participant’s registration is made.

Tour headquarters, is usually at a hotel large enough to have a conference room and banquet facilities. Hotel lodging cost and booking is on your own and other local, “cheaper” hotels may be utilized if so desired. The CSNYS books a block of rooms for best price but the hotel will cancel any rooms not booked by a certain date. [May 5th, this year] This date is stated in the announcement and is important because after that date the conference rate, or even rooms, may no longer be available. When calling to reserve a room be sure to state you are with the CSNYS. [It is not necessary you be a member; we hope the experience will make you want to join].

Friday- Early Bird Tours. Early bird tours of nearby sites are by each individual’s auto, or car-pool- caravan style. Arrival time, maps and directions are provided. Often these tours cover additional canal features that couldn’t be included on the Saturday tour or some significant interesting and/or historic local attraction. The schedule for these early bird tours usually runs from early afternoon to 4 or 5pm.

Registration takes place on Friday afternoon and evening. Friday dinner is on your own and Friday evening (7-9) there is a Powerpoint illustrated overview of the Saturday tour and its significance, stressing the sites to be visited along with historic images and maps of each.

Saturday- Bus tour. The Saturday tour by motor coach is the main event of the weekend and includes lunch and a guidebook that come with registration. The guided tour from 8:00 AM to 5:00PM visits historic and working canal sites. If an attendee deems any site walk to be too long or too strenuous he/she may stay with the bus.

Saturday evening is a banquet, with an after dinner speaker. Although there is no dress code most people are, minimally, attired in business casual wear.

Sunday- If the venue allows we strive to offer a Sunday boat trip. If this is not possible a museum or another canal site may be offered by caravan like the Friday Early Bird Specials

The twice a year study tours are the backbone of our Society and allow participants to socialize, learn, and visit canal sites and curiosities with a knowledgeable guide. Although most tours focus on canal history and technology they should appeal to anyone interested in history, the out-of- doors and nature, and being with friendly affable people one will enjoy.

For the upcoming Spring trip to the Champlain Canal – May 20 - 22 - details are available at:


Application Form

Click on link at the bottom of the Program page.