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Sunday, January 29, 2012



Apr 30

New York governor William Burnett forms the Burnetsfield Patent, granting 92 Palatine Germans, including John Jost Petri and Conrad Rickert, 100-acree plots of land north and south of the Mohawk River.


King George I issues letters patent to settlers of East Camp (Germantown). ** The approximate date Dutch immigrants from Kinderhook settle in the Chatham area. ** A building is erected at Amagansett, on land settled by the Schellinger brothers at Main Street and Windmill Lane. It will become a museum. ** Immigrants from the German Palatine settle in the western Mohawk Valley on a patent granted by Governor Burnett, among them John Jost and Cathrine Herkimer, parents of future General Nicholas Herkimer. **Plans are first proposed for improving navigation on the Mohawk River, but nothing will be done until 1792.


May 24

A 3,500-acre patent in Schoharie County and a 2,000-acre patent in Montgomery County, are granted to Lewis Morris and others – the third and fourth Morris’s Patents.


The approximate date former blacksmith Willem Abrahamse Tietsoort, a survivor of the 1690 French and Indian massacre at Schenectady, dies in Poughkeepsie, at about 80 years of age. ** Fur trade on credit for Ulster County peaks.


Mar 24

Merchant and land speculator Jelles Douwse Fonda is born in Schenectady to Douw Jelles Fonda and Maritje Vrooman Fonda.


The Jonathan Hasbrouck House, in Newburgh, is built. ** Peter Vrooman and several other Dutch families settle on his Schoharie County patent. ** Orange County courts are held at Goshen for the first time. ** History of the Five Indian Nations, by Doctor Cadwallader Colden, is published in London.



Scientist-politician Cadwallader Colden moves his wife and children from New York City to Coldengham, his manor house near Newburgh. ** Royal governor of New York and New Jersey William Burnet is transferred to Massachusetts. ** The fur trade in Ulster County begins slackening dramatically.


Sep 7

Former New York governor and current governor of New England William Burnet dies in Boston at the age of 40.

Sep 22

The 4,300-acre Bleecker’s Patent, in Montgomery County, is granted to Rutger Bleecker and others. The 4,300-qacre Otsquaga Patent, in Montgomery County, is granted to Rutger Bleecker and others.


A major downturn in the state’s fur trade reverses slightly, but only temporarily.


Aug 24

The 3,000-acre Lindsay and Livingston’s Patent, in Herkimer County, is granted to John Lindsay and Philip Livingston.


A channel is dug through an oxbow on Wood Creek, the first canal in the state. ** The approximate date Palatine Germans build a church near Newburgh. ** The approximate date Cooperstown settler/squatter David Shipman is born in Connecticut. ** Long Island farmer Yoos Springsteen falls in his barn and dies within an hour.

eldest son, leaving a wife and two other children behind.



The New York-Connecticut border is established, but not to the satisfaction of all.

Jun 8

Thomas Hawley and his associates receive a patent for the 50,000-acre Oblong Tract along the eastern end of today’s Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

Oct 6

The 6,000-acre Huyk Patent, in Colombia County, is granted to Burgar Huyk.

Oct 16

The French build Fort St-Fredéric, at Crown Point at the southern end of Lake Champlain, to fortify the Saint Lawrence.

Oct 18

The 4,000-acre Ludlow’s Patent, in Orange County, is granted to Gabriel Ludlow.

Nov 12

The 2,000-acre Windecker’s Patent, in Montgomery County, is granted to Hartman Windecker.


John Henry Lydius arrives at Fort Nicholson, at the Great Carrying Place (later part of Fort Edward) to build a trading post.



Sometime between this year and 1740 Cornplanter (Gyantwaka - The Planter) is born to a Seneca mother and a Dutch father, Johannes Abeel of Albany, a trader who lives with and likes the Indians. His fellow whites refer to him as an “alleged lunatic”. ** William Cosby is appointed Royal Governor. ** An account book for the fur trade in Ulster County lists 243 transactions carried out with local Munsee (Esopus, Wappinger) Indians over the past twenty years.


Jul 28

Colonial governor William Cosby summons Fort Hunter commander Captain Walter Butler to his Albany office, offers him title to 86,000 acres of Mohawk land surrounding Hunter, land supposedly belonging to the Corporation of Albany.

Aug 4

Butler arrives at Fort Hunter, meets with local Mohawks led by Teantontalogo, gets them to sign the 86,000 acres over to him for governor Cosby. Cosby will destroy the Corporation's deed.


The approximate date Suffolk County road commissioners lay out three east-west roads - North, Middle and South County Roads.


Jan 24

U. S. financier and land speculator Robert Morris is born in Liverpool, England.

Mar 31

Jamaica governor Robert Hunter, former provincial governor of New York and New Jersey, dies in his late sixties or early seventies.

Jun 2

The 22,000-acre grant, in New York’s Oneida County and the future Herkimer County, is awarded by George II to Joseph Worrell and others, as lessees of New York governor William Cosby. The land will include the site of Utica.


The Westchester County town of Yorktown, part of Cortlandt Manor, is apportioned among Gertrude Beeckman, Andrew Miller, Cornelia and John Schuyler, Elizabeth Skinner, Gertrude Verplanck , Philip Verplanck, Susan Warren, and John Watts during the division. The Town of Somers, also part of Cortlandt Manor, is apportioned among Miller, Margaret Bayard, Philip and Stephrn Van Cortlandt, Andrew Johnston, Stephen De Lancey and Susannah Warren. ** The third home of the First Reformed Church at Schenectady is dedicated.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


(Continued from December 20, 2011)

The City Hotel, where James Stuart stayed on his first visit to New York City last year had another guest now in 1829. John Lansing, Jr.'s family was old Albany aristocracy, dating back to the 1660s. The 75-year-old retired jurist had been an ensign in the American Revolution, where he served as secretary to General Philip Schuyler. After the war he'd been elected to the state assembly, in the late 1780s serving simultaneously as speaker and as Albany's mayor. He'd also been a delegate to the U. S. Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia but, not having a clear mandate from the state, leaving before ratification. He'd gone on to serve on the state supreme court then accepted the post of Chancellor of New York State, retiring in 1814. Through the years he'd acquired large sections of land north of Troy (today's Lansingburgh) and in the Schoharie River valley to the west of Schenectady.

It's possible that over the past year or two he'd come across news items in the overseas section of New York newspapers back in January referring to an execution in Edinburgh. Huge crowds gathered on the 28th to watch Irish-born peddler William Burke exterminated. It had been discovered that in the past year his primary stock in trade was dead people. Working with lodging house keeper William Hare, he'd taken the body of an elderly lodger and selling it to a local surgeon who ran dissecting rooms for the training of doctors. The seven-plus pounds sterling they were paid for the corpse brought out the entrepreneurial spirit in the pair and they'd soon sold another sixteen of the newly-departed, mostly women. Newly-departed that is at the hands of the two men.

When their lethal venture was discovered and the two arrested, Hare agreed to a plea bargain offer and was spirited away to protect him against mob violence. Burke's more violent and final departure delighted the huge crowds - some estimates put the number at close to 40,000 - gathered for the public execution. After Burke danced on air for a short while he had one more service to perform for the medical profession. The body was taken to the medical school rooms where a number of doctors examined the corpse - some making sketches - then a number of students were allowed in to watch as the top of the dead man's head was surgically removed for a lesson on the human brain. Other young fans of the anatomical arts, kept out of the building for lack of space, began attacking the police and it wasn't until the town council intervened and promised everyone a good look that order was restored.

Violent death was no stranger to New Yorkers, but the news from Scotland had put people on edge. As the Manhattan diarist calling himself Octogenarian noted, "With Burke's deeds fresh in memory, it was easy to connect horrid imaginings with the stories, either true or false, of unexplained disappearances in New York, and thus a great excitement and wide-spread terror were engendered. Women and children never ventured forth alone after nightfall, and citizens generally were armed during their evening walks, though only with heavy sticks."

Meanwhile, judge John Lansing was preparing to return to Albany in time for the holidays. On December 12th he walked out of the City Hotel to mail some letters. He was never seen again.

© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Thursday, January 19, 2012



Jan 17

British soldiers tear down New York City’s liberty pole. Golden Hill becomes the site of anti-British riots lasting two days.

Jan 19

New York City Sons of Liberty leader Alexander McDougall leads an attack on British troops in a skirmish on Golden Hill.

Feb 8

Alexander McDougall is jailed by the British for publishing an anti-Quartering Act broadside.

Apr 29

Alexander McDougall is released on bail by the British.

Aug 21

A statue of George III is erected in New York’s Bowling Green.


King’s College (Columbia) awards the first two doctorates of medicine in the North American colonies. ** The Common Council begins buying alcohol for firefighters at the scene of fires. ** The city has 15 churches serving 10 denominations. ** A smallpox epidemic strikes the city. Several hundred black victims are buried in a site in today's City Hall Park. ** A member of the Common Council proposes the formation of an organization similar to Philadelphia's Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses From Loss by Fire. Nothing comes of the suggestion at this time. ** George Burns, proprietor of Burns’ Coffee House at 115 Broadway (corner of Cedar Street) dies. Former Queen’s Head - later the site of Fraunces Tavern – owner Richard Bolton takes over Burns’.

Staten Island

Cornelius Cruser adds a large section to the stone cottage built in 1720 by Cornelius Van Santvoord, in the still-to-come New Brighton neighborhood.


New York attorney John Wells is born.



A fence is erected around the Bowling Green. ** The population reaches 21,869.



Sir John Johnson travels to New York City for the social season. He enrolls two nieces, Polly Johnson and Catherine Claus, in boarding school there.


Margaret Nicholls, wife of Court of Chancery examiner Richard Nicholls, dies

in Manhattan, is buried in the family plot in Trinity Church graveyard.


Feb 18

New York City seed merchant Grant Thorburn is born in Westhouses, Scotland, to nail maker James Thorburn and his wife Elizabeth Fairlie Thorburn.


William and Emily Forsyth move from Québec City to New York City with their family, including Forsyth stepson John MacKinzie (who will later drop the 'Mac' from his name).

Nov 7

Daniel MacLeod leaves New York City to inspect Beekmantown, New York, on the western shore of Lake Champlain.

Dec 7

Governor Tryon's New York City house within Fort George is destroyed by fire.


Alexander Hamilton begins his studies at King’s College (Columbia). He will not earn a degree there. ** The city's population is now nearly 22,000; there are 396 licensed taverns plus an uncounted number of extralegal ones. ** The Common Council reimburses tavernkeeper John Simmons for alcohol supplied to coroners' juries. ** The New-York Gazette, or, the Weekly Post-Boy, published by founder James Parker until his death in 1770, ceases publication after 30 years. ** Irish immigrant Christopher Colles, recently-returned from touring British canals, gives a lecture on canal engineering. ** The city has around three dozen Jewish families. ** A house is built for Joseph Rose, captain of the brig Industry, at 273 Water Street – close to the river at the time. It will be the third-oldest building in the city. Rose shares a pier with a neighbor, merchant William Laight. ** Robert Robinson and Michael Price enter into a partnership to open a dry goods shop at Horse and Cart (William) Street, the former named for a popular tavern. ** The approximate date architect Josiah Cleveland Cady is born in Providence, Rhode Island, to Josiah and Lydia Cady.


Apr 16

The Commerce arrives in New York from Edinburgh with 230 passengers aboard.

Apr 19

A broadside posted in New York City announces the arrival of contraband tea off New Jersey's Sandy Hook.

Apr 22

Engineer Christopher Colles, recently arrived from Philadelphia, presents a proposal to the New York City Common Council for building a reservoir and waterworks system. ** The new Committee of Observation boards the British tea ship London as it enters New York City's harbor and escorts it to the pier. In the evening a mob boards the ship and dumps £2,000 worth of tea in the harbor.

Apr 23

The public gathers in New York City to celebrate the tea party.


New York's city surveyor Gerard Bancker and Colles take elevation readings from Fresh Water (the Collect) to the liberty pole on upper Broadway (near today's city hall).

Jun 11

Governor William Tryon issues a report on the province of New York.

Jun 12

The Friendship, captained by Thomas Jann, arrives in Philadelphia bringing 106 Scots immigrants, many of them indentured servants.

Jun 30

The Friendship servants are advertised in New York newspapers.

Jul 21

The New York city council votes, 8-2, to proceed with Colles's water plan and, unanimously, to issue £2,500 in promissory notes to pay for the project.


The New York council agrees to purchase part of land owned by Augustus and Frederick Van Cortlandt, if good water can be found. Colles sinks a well, finds acceptable water. He's given the go-ahead to enlarge the well and the city soon purchases 1.75 acres of the land. Near the end of the month the council orders £2,500 in bank notes from engraver Elisha Gallaudet, the first currency issued by an American city. ** Captain Lindsay of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, returns from New York City with new arms for town’s Light Artillery company.

Aug 5

Notes are issued by New York City to finance the Colles waterworks.

Aug 6

Shaker (Shaking Quaker) movement founder Mother Ann Lee arrives in New York from Liverpool, England, along with eight disciples.


New York City advertises for bids to supply pipes for the new water system.


New York City signs a contract for the manufacture of water pipes with the firm owned by Isaac Manns senior and junior, of Stillwater, New York.


Local residents force a merchant to remove 16 sheep from his vessel before permitting it to sail to the West Indies, to comply with Article 7 of the Association. ** A group of English Shakers arrive. In two years they will move upstate to Albany County to become the Watervliet Society. ** John Jay is elected to the conservative Committee of Fifty-One, formed to combat the threat of anarchy. ** An estimated 3,000 households get their water from the Tea Water Pump near the eastern outlet of Fresh Water Pond (The Collect). ** Lewis Morris and John Sickles are granted permission by the city and the colonial Assembly to join their Westchester and Manhattan properties by a bridge; the first planned over the lower Harlem River. It is never built.


Loyalist King's College president Myles Cooper publishes the pamphlet A Friendly Address to all Reasonable Americans, anonymously.

New Jersey

The local committee in Newark recommends a boycott of the loyalist New York City newspaper Rivington’s Gazette

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte