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Sunday, July 31, 2011



Feb 6

The Duke of York is crowned as James II. New York becomes a royal province.

Feb 24

Connecticut governor Robert Treat and New York governor Thomas Dongan ratify the boundary between their colonies.

Mar 23

Governor Dongan reconfirms the Flushing, Long Island, grant.

May 8

Mohawks deed land to Tenunis Slingerland.

Oct 7

Rumbout’s Patent, in Dutchess County, is awarded to Francis Rumbout.

Oct 18

France's Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes, which had granted tolerance towards Huguenots, increasing their migration to America. Among them are John Jay's ancestors. Jay's grandfather Augustus is away on a trading voyage to Africa at the time.

Nov 4

Governor Dongan issues a patent to the van Rensselaer cousins for the Manor of van Renssalaerwyck.

Nov 5

The van Rensselaer patent is confirmed.


The approximate date the Old Dutch Church in Tarrytown – the oldest church

in the future state - is completed.


Mar 14

The Kinderhook Patent, in Columbia County, is granted to John Hendrik De Bruyn and others.

Jul 22

Albany City (Beverwick, William Stadt, New Orange) is incorporated by patent. ** Columbia County's Livingston Manor is patented.

Nov 25

Dongan issus a patent for Newtown (Middleburgh), Long Island.

Dec 6

Dongan confirms the incorporation of Southampton, in Long Island’s Suffolk County.

Dec 9

Dongan confirms the incorporation of East Hampton, in Suffolk County.


The colony's new Charter of Liberties is disallowed. ** The English, French and Senecas all try diplomacy. ** The municipal corporation of Albany acquires a deed to the Mohawk village of Tiononderogue (Fort Hunter).


The Crown establishes the Dominion of New England, covering all lands from New Jersey to Maine.


Oct 25

Pelham Manor is granted to John Pell.


The entire Iroquois League allies itself with the English.

Nov 10

James II issues a warrant to Dongan, ordering him to protect the Five Nations as Royal subjects.


Johannes Van Rensselaer dies, childless, leaving the patroonship of Rensselaerwyck clear for his nephew Killian.


Feb 8

Dongan tells the Iroquois that the French claim to have purchased land from them in the past.

Feb 13

The Iroquois respond that the French have no claim to their land.

Feb 16

The Iroquois tell Dongan they do not trust the governor of Canada and want the French removed from their beaver hunting grounds.


New York (Massachusetts, New Jersey) governor William Burnet is born in The Hague, Netherlands, to Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, and Mary Scott Burnett.

Jun 3

The Hoosick Patent, in Rensselaer and Washington counties, is granted to Maria Van Rensselaer and others.


Royal governor Edmund Andros annexes the governments of New York and the Jerseys to the Dominion of New England.


Pioneer Bartel Vroman settles in the Saratoga Patent. ** Rhinecliff, in the mid-Hudson Valley, is settled. ** In order to protect the crop, the Brookhaven, Long Island, town meeting forbids gathering berries before September 15th, under a penalty of a 15 shilling fine.


Aug 1

The Albany Convention is established for protection against a French attack.


Meeting with Mohawk chiefs at Albany, New England commissioners form an alliance against the French, with the Five Nations.

Sep 4

Officials at an Albany convention suggest that a fort be built at the property of Bartel Vroman in Sarachtoge (Saratoga).


Approximately 2250 Seneca inhabit the colony.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


From this Saturday, July 30th through Sunday, August 7th
Cities along the Erie Canal, from Buffalo to Syracuse
will be hosting a series of orienteering events/challenges

For further detail please visit

Sunday, July 24, 2011

SAVE OUR SEAPORT - July 26, 28, 2011

It’s a two-event week here at Save Our Seaport…

1) Tuesday, July 26th is the next full meeting of Community Board 1. They will introduce another resolution about the Museum (the first is here), this one urging the New York City Council to conduct an oversight hearing.

We need you to come down and show your support – numbers count! You will also have the opportunity to speak if you choose to.

July 26, 6:00pm, at Dance New Amsterdam, 280 Broadway, 2nd Floor (Entrance at 53 Chambers Street and Elk Street, Map). If you’re lost, or you need more information, call us at (347)6-PIER16 or email

2) Thursday, July 28th is our next public meeting. We’ll be back on the second floor of Meade’s, 22 Peck Slip (Map). Meet us at 6:30pm. Bring your questions, your ideas, and your appetite!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Script No. 459

(Continued from June 23, 2011)

The Early Snowbirds

So far, as the residents of the New York City area welcomed in the year 1830, there would have been few complaints about the winter. James Stuart noted that the streets of Manhattan were so dry it was necessary to sprinkle them to keep the dust down. But, downstate or up, New Yorkers are suspicious of nice winter weather anytime before mid-April. They were not to be disappointed.

Exactly one month after Christmas the mercury headed for the cellar. Water transportation was halted between the city and both Philadelphia and Albany. According to Stuart, “. . . all hands were set to work in order to have the ice-houses filled with that article which is so indispensable in a warm climate. The ice-house attached to the boarding-house where we were living contains thirty tons of ice; and, as no ice is admitted into an ice-house here which is not perfectly clean and clear, so that a lump of it may be put into a glass of water or a bottle of wine, as much care is necessary in selecting the ice perfectly pure from the ponds, as in packing it in the ice-house.” He mentions that his Hoboken neighbors the Stevenses keep large supplies of ice both here in New Jersey and at Albany, for use on their steamboats during the warmer weather. Northeastern forests near the big cities are being depleted of wood, much of it for the bark, which is ground up by tanneries to produce a tannin-rich liquid for soaking animal hides, softening them to create pliable leather. The spent liquid is then put to use polluting nearby rivers and streams. Man-made recycling at its worst; at least until new technologies come along.

Unlike most residents of the area Mr. and Mrs Stuart have no ties binding them to the colder climates. He writes,”On the 29th January, I set out on a long projected expedition to Charlestown, New Orleans, the Mississippi and Ohio.” Left to our own devices after the snowbirds have flown, we’ll hang around the mouth of the Hudson and see what’s going on during the rest of 1830. The Stuarts will return at the beginning of summer.

Meanwhile, the city’s search for decent water is ongoing. In April work is completed on a 27-foot high stone tower on 13th Street, built to contain Philadelphia engineer Thomas Howe’s iron tank, designed to hold 230,000 gallons of water. A system of twelve-inch iron pipes will be laid to carry the water under Broadway and the Bowery to supply three and a half miles of streets with water, capable of being pumped sixty feet above street level.

Two types of power are at work in this project - water and political. The Manhattan Company, a brainchild of Aaron Burr in the late 1790s, had been formed to bring Bronx River water downtown. But Burr had a more important goal in mind, slipping language into the enabling legislation to turn the entity into a private bank. Now, in the fall of 1830, State attorney general Greene C. Bronson will sue to have the Manhattan Company's charter dissolved, arguing that the company not only has no right to be in the banking business, but also has not fulfilled its main obligation to deliver drinking water. Company lawyers will keep this one tied up in the courts for the next two years. Proponents of alcoholic abstinence will leap into the fray, citing the lack of good drinking water as the excuse for intemperance. The waters will remain muddied (you should pardon the expression...or not) for some time to come.

© 2006 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Script No. 244 - November 17, 2001

The pipa and the Han Dynasty of China grew up together. When a king calling himself Shi Huangdi or First Emperor came to power around 221 B. C. he feared barbarian hordes from the north and began a crash building program, erecting a series of protective walls that would soon merge to form the Great Wall. Needless to say, he did none of the labor himself, leaving the grunt work to the peasants. A later Chinese scholar would write, “When the people suffered from being forced to build the Great Wall, they played the instrument to express their resentment". Looking somewhat like the Western lute, the pipa has a shallow, pear-shaped body and a long neck supporting 3 or 4 strings. It’s played with a wooden plectrum, or pick, with the “pi” sound made on the downstroke and the “pa” on the return. Sort of like the “plink-plunk” sound we make vocally today to simulate a banjo. The instrument grew in popularity, with various rival schools established around China to further develop both instrument and repertoire. It’s outlasted all succeeding dynasties and in descendent forms remains probably the most popular instrument in the country today.

Speaking of succeeding dynasties, you know what they say about the best laid plans. While the emperor was guarding the front door against the barbarians, with his enormous public works project, younger rivals sneaked in the back door. A series of battles ensued, with a rebel named Liu Pang coming out on top around 202 B. C., and establishing the Han Dynasty.

Some of the earliest pieces written for the pipa have survived and are still being played. One of these, the martial “Ambushed on Ten Sides”, mimics the progress of one of the early battles. The names of the segment suggests the intensity of the piece - Setting up Camp, Beating Drums, Sounding Horns, Firing Cannon, Calling the Rosters, Manoeuvering Troops, Laying Ambush, The Skirmish, The Major Battle, Farewell to Concubine Yu, The Suicide, and The Rout. A critic from the Tang Dynasty describes it, "... as if thousands of warriors and horses are roaring on the battle field, as if the earth is torn and the sky is falling". A contemporary describes how, "... The thicker strings rattled like splatters of sudden rain, the thinner ones hummed like a hushed whisper. Together they shaped strands of melody, like larger and smaller pearls falling on a jade plate."

Listeners here in the West have often had trouble getting used to Chinese music, with its five-tone scale that makes the melodic line secondary to the quality of individual notes. When a San Francisco newspaper editor went to a Chinese concert in November of 1869, if he heard a band version of something like “Ambushed on Ten Sides” he would have agreed that the music was originally written to express resentment. He may never been in battle but he drew head pictures of his own. He wrote, “Imagine yourself in a boiler manufactory when four hundred men are putting in rivets, a mammoth tin–shop next door on one side, and a forty-stamp quartz mill upon the other, with a drunken charivari party with six hundred instruments in front, four thousand enraged cats on the roof, and a faint idea will be conveyed of the performance of a first-class Chinese band of music."

© 2001 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Friday, July 15, 2011


Tomorrow, July 16th, is going to be a very big one for Save Our Seaport, and should be lots of fun as well.

It’s City Of Water Day! The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance says, “From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water — yet too many of us are cut off from this tremendous resource. Help revitalize the waterfront with a festival for the entire family.”

What part will we be playing in this event?

We will have tables at both land locations – Governors Island and Liberty State Park – where we will provide information, speak to folks, and add signatures to our petitions. We’ll need lots of help at both locations, please give us a hand.

There’s more: The historic ships participating in the flotilla will be showing their support for our mission to save the South Street Seaport Museum by flying our banners. It should be spectacular!

If you can volunteer for the day, or even part of the day, please let us know now so we can plan for you. You can email us at or call us at (347)6-PIER16.

Yet one more added bonus: rather than waiting in line for the morning ferry to Governors Island, we can offer the option of riding out to the island on a beautiful historic sailing ship, thanks to one of our supporters. Can’t beat that, can you?

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011



Apr 1

Philipsburgh Manor is granted to Frederick Philipse.

Nov 14

Kirsch’s Comet appears over the northern colonies, causing Boston’s Increase Mather to preach a sermon on Heaven's Alarm to the World, and the Hudson River Dutch to petition for a day of fasting and humiliation. It will have disappeared by March 19th of the following year.


Abraham, Jacob and Catherine Schellinger, children of East Hampton settler Jacobus Schellinger, needing land to farm, move three miles east and found Amagansett. ** The approximate date Mohawk spokesman Chief Hendrick (Theyanoquin) is born. ** Dutch missionaries Jaspar Danckaerts and Peter Sluyter visit Albany. ** Daniel Janse Van Antwerp is granted 165 acres of land in Woestina (today's Rotterdam Junction area). ** Over the past decade Hudson Valley travelers have noted that card playing has become increasingly popular among the Munsee Indians.


Feb 8

Trader Evert Wendell is born in Albany to shoemaker and trader Jeronimus (Harmanus) and Ariantie Visscher Wendell.

Nov 30

Albany sheriff Richard Petty is granted a warrant against certain tavern keepers who illegally stay open all night, singling out Ida Barents. She will be in trouble repeatedly over the next two years for similar infractions.


Frederick Philipse erects a house on the Nepperhan River, at the future site of Yonkers. ** Southampton farmer Joseph Pierson registers his own cattle earmarks.


Nov 4

Mohawks transfer deeds to Jan Mangelse, Captain Johannes Clute, and Claes VanBoeckhoven. The latter deed reserves the right to the Indians to have free wood and hunting.


The Verplanck family buys Hudson Valley land for farming in the future Newburgh area. ** Robert Livingston begins buying land along the Hudson River, the nucleus of the future Livingston Manor.


Jul 26

Mohawk Indians grant deeds to Cornelis Van Dyck and three others, retaining hunting & fishing rights. The Indians confirm the loosely-defined Kyaderosseras or Queensborough Patent, encompassing most of today's Saratoga County, to May Beckley, Johannes Beekman, Ann Bridges, Samson Broughton, Johannes Fisher, Peter Franconneer, Manning Hermanse, Adrian and Jovis Hogelandt, John Stevens, Johm Totham, John Tuder, and Rip Van Dam.

Sep 26

Mohawk Indians deed to Arnold Viele lands covering 16 to 17 morgens (a Dutch measure equal to about 2 acres).

Nov 1

New York's Albany, Kings, Dukes, Westchester, Ulster, Cornwall (islands off the Maine coast), Dutchess, New York, Orange, Queens (including Hempstead and Oyster Bay), counties are chartered by Royal Governor Thomas Dongan. Long Island's East Riding of Yorkshire is organized as Suffolk County. Martin's Vineyard, in Dukes County, later becomes Martha's Vineyard, part of Massachusetts.

Nov 8

The Connecticut-New York boundary dispute is temporarily settled by a new commission sent over from England,

Nov 28

The Connecticut-New York boundary dispute is settled by committee, temporarily.


The General Assembly of Freeholders reorganizes the province’s governmental structure into 12 counties.



The Connecticut Assembly approves the border with New York.

June 5

Algonquin Indian chief Sepham and others cede lands of the Tuckahoe Hills, later part of Yonkers, to Frederick Philipse.

Jul 30

The Iroquois renew peace treaties with New York's governor Thomas Dongan, at Albany, plant a Tree of Peace.

Aug 1

Iroquois land is deeded to Governor Dongan.

Aug 21

New France (Canada) governor Joseph-Antoine de la Febvre leads a force of 1800 out of Fort Frontenac (Kingston) to the mouth of New York’s Salmon River, for a parley with the Indians. A scarcity of fish leads to the death of a number of his troops.

Nov 1

Dongan grants a patent for Schenectady County.

Nov 4

The village of Schenectady is patented. Control of all the common lands is vested in the original grantees. ** The Saratoga Patent, in Washington and Saratoga counties, is granted to Cornelius Van Dyck, Peter Schuyler, and others.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Friday, July 8, 2011


OK, better late than never, we have some clarity about this weekend.

Saturday, July 9th, we will not be collecting signatures. Instead, we will be making Save Our Seaport banners for the ships participating in next weekend’s City Of Water Day.

How can you help? Glad you asked. Please join us out in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, at 1:30pm. We will be painting, folding, cutting, sewing, and all kinds of other (fun!) banner-related activities. Email or call (347)6-PIER16 for all the details and directions!

Sunday, on the other hand, we WILL be collecting signatures, at our tables at the New Amsterdam Market and the Fulton Stall Market. Please pitch in, we need your help! 10:45am until 5pm, or any part therein. There will likely be more banner work as well if you’re up for it. Again, email or call with your availability.

Plenty of info coming your way soon about City Of Water Day, and don’t forget our public SOS meeting this Thursday, July 14th, at John St. Methodist Church, 6:30pm.

Sunday, July 3, 2011



Mar 18

The home of the Royal governor in New York City’s Fort George, along with the nearby Dutch church, is destroyed by fire.

Jun 13

Richard Nicolls is commissioned as a examiner in New York City’s Court of Chancery.


Rumors circulate that blacks are intending to poison the city's wells. ** The Society of Friends (Quakers) move their meeting house from Green Street Alley to nearby Liberty Street. ** Pennsylvania, involved in a boundary dispute with Maryland, sends an agent here to transcribe early Dutch records. ** Greenpoint, Brooklyn, landowner Pieter Praa dies. Having no sons he leaves his property to his five daughters and their husbands, the settlement's sole residents - the Bennetts, Calyers, Meseroles, Provosts and Van Zandts.



A series of fires and thefts occur in New York City.

Feb 28

The Manhattan tobacco shop of Robert Hogg is burglarized. The money is later found at Hughson's Alehouse and rumors spread of a slave insurrection - the "Alehouse Plot" or "The Negro Plot". By the time calm is restored, four whites and 25 blacks (including tavern owner John Hughson and his wife, alderman John Pintard's servant Caesar and his white mistress Peggy Kerry) will have been hanged on an island in The Collect pond. 13 additional blacks are burned at the stake. 70 blacks and seven whites are banished. Also hanged is the Catholic teacher John Ury, who supposedly performed the duties of a priest.

Mar 18

The 1640 Dutch church on Manhattan is destroyed by rebellious slaves.

Apr 7

Journeymen bakers go on strike in New York City, are prosecuted for criminal conspiracy.


The city forms a volunteer firefighting company. ** 20% of New York's population is black.



A law is passed allowing slaves to get water only from the nearest neighborhood well.


Future governor John Taylor is born in New York City.


Oct 2

Physician and Presbyterian churchman Dr. John Nicoll dies in New York City at the age of 64.


The provincial assembly meets in Manhattan's City Hall, considers a citizens petition to ban various sources of pollution.


Smallpox kills 217 people this summer. ** James Parker begins publishing the New-York Weekly Post-Boy.



New York City's Common Council orders that copies of the 1731 street cleaning laws be prominently posted.


The New York council orders an overhaul of the city's sanitary laws, going after tanners, hog owners and starch makers, and moving them outside of the city. Waste dumping on public property is prohibited.


Annapolis physician Dr. Aledxander Hamilton visits New York City, criticizes the water.


Stephen Bayard is appointed mayor for six consecutive one-year terms. ** The population is approximately11,000. There are 166 licensed taverns.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte