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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

Sunday, November 6, 2011



May 28

British officer Henry Gladwin, stationed in New York City, receives orders from General Jeffrey Amherst, to lead a force to Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) then to move along the Lake Erie forts and take command at Fort Niagara.


British army chaplain William Haliburton dies of fever in New York City, leaving behind his widow Emily Tyne Haliburton and his daughter Jane, just over a year old.

Dec 25

Queens, New York, slave Jupiter Hammon publishes poetry in An Evening Thought becoming the first black writer published in the New World.


Visiting English scholar Andrew Burnaby criticizes the city's water supply. ** King’s College moves from the schoolhouse of Trinity Church to its own building at Church Street, west of the Common.

Staten Island

The approximate date millwright Peter Housman acquires the house built in stages between 1730 and 1760, on the Thomas Dongan estate in Westerleigh.


Sep 29

John Burnet is reappointed coroner of the City of New York.

Oct 13

Burnet’s commission as coroner is issued.

New York City

The city has an estimated 2,000 houses. An estimated 20,000 cords of wood are burned annually.


Benjamin Palmer’s Great Minneford’s Island is renamed City Island when he begins promoting it as a potential commercial rival to New York City.


New York City museum owner Gardiner Baker is born.


Jan 15

Tavern keeper Samuel Fraunce buys the 1719 Etienne DeLancey house, converts it to the Queen Catharine Tavern (today's Fraunce's Tavern).

Mar 1

Wheat in New York City sells for 6s 9d a bushel. ** The sloop Little Sally, James Prince captain, departs New York for Monto Christo, Hispaniola (Montecristi, Dominican Republic).

Mar 19

Congressman Daniel Crommelin Verplanck is born in New York City to Samuel and Judith Crommelin Verplanck.

Mar 30

Major Henry Gladwin meets General Jeffery Amherst at the latter’s New York City headquarters, receives communications to deliver to London on his upcoming trip, departs by ship for England.

Apr 12

A New York City newspaper advertisement mentions that coroner John Burnet is once again a resident of the city.

Apr 18

John Burnet, coroner of the City of New York, dies, at the age of 39, possibly of smallpox.

Jul 24

John Burnet’s widow Anne relinquishes administration of his estate.


The Irish hold a celebration in honor of St. Patrick, the city’s first. ** The city’s first oil lamp posts are installed. ** Residents own an estimated 447 ships, up from 99 in 1747. ** Merchant Charles Ward Apthorp purchases 115 acres on the upper west side of Manhattan from Dennis Hicks.


A house is built in the future Fort Greene area of Duffield and Concord streets.


Innkeeper George Burns moves his Manhattan operation from Whitehall Street to the Province Arms site on lower Broadway, naming his new place Burns Coffee House (often still referred to as The Province Arms, and the City Arms).


Six young Tuscarora Indian warriors, villagers from Oquaga, arrive at Johnson Hall to commiserate with Sir William Johnson over the death of his father Christopher in Ireland back in January. They perform their own rites to help Sir William deal with his grief. ** With the Mohawk sachem Abraham representing him Johnson commiserates with the tribe over the death of chief Red Head a few days earlier. The following day rituals are performed, followed by ten days of ceremonies.


Joseph Brant leaves Wheelock’s school to return home.


After being advised by an Anglican minister, William Johnson decides not to send Iroquois Indian Joseph Brant to King’s College at New York City, where he would face criticism regarding Indian problems.


Samuel Fraunces opens a tavern in lower Manhattan. ** Merchant and shop owner Peter Berton, visiting London, acquires a Bible originally purchased there by an American of French Huguenot origin. Berton – an ancestor of Canadian historian Pierre Berton - begins making family entries. ** Charles Ward Apthorp purchases an additional 153 adjoining acres from Oliver de Lancey. His two properties have cost him today’s equivalent of $15,000. Apthorp is named to the Governor’s Council this year.



Ann Burnet, widow of the late City of New York coroner John Burnet, marries Jacob Bancks.

Jun 11

The first Sandy Hook, New Jersey, lighthouse begins operation, built by funds collected by New York City merchant Isaac Conro, under the authorization of the State Legislature.

Nov 1

Stephen van Rensselaer is born to Stephen van Rensselaer, Sr. and his wife, in New York City.


An employees' association is founded. ** The circa 1694 Franquelin Plan of lower Manhattan is first published. ** Samuel Auchmuty becomes rector of Trinity Church. ** The Society for the Promotion of Arts, Agriculture and Oeconomy (Economy) is founded. ** Charles Ward Apthorp completes construction of his upper west side mansion - Elmwood.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte