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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.