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Monday, July 23, 2012


Continued from June 23, 2012

When traveler James Stuart is informed by the New York State secretary of state's office in Albany in September, 1829, that all copies of the annual Auburn Prison report have been given away, he's also told that the nearby state printer's office may have a copy. Off he heads down the hill and enters the print shop. "The printer doubted whether he had more than one copy to keep, and he rummaged everywhere without success. I told him this was very provoking for me, who had got the previous reports, and wished to have the last report put up with them, that I might carry them together to Britain. My last remark put things at once to rights. The printer could not think of allowing me to go home without the paper; and he absolutely deprived himself of the only copy he had, in order to complete my set. I stupidly neglected to mark the name of this very obliging person."

His quest fulfilled, the Stuarts prepared to set out down the west bank of the Hudson on their way back to their temporary New Rochelle home. We'll dispense with their guide services at this point to explore the northern, central and western parts of the state on our own. The couple, along with their hack driver Hugh Duffie, will stop for meals and/or lodging at New Baltimore, Catskill, Saugerties (on October 1), Kingston, and Newburgh, then crossing the river back into New York at New Jersey. The entire ten-day journey had cost them $98.00 including Duffie's services.

Their boarding house was closing for the winter so they move to another nearby, staying until December and making a visit to the cottage of the late (1809) Thomas Paine. Then they're off again, really long-distance, traveling through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, returning to New York the following summer, where we'll have a reunion with them at some future date. But now we're on our own.

Back at the beginning of the year Albany's mayor Charles Edward Dudley had been elected to the United States Senate, to take the place of Martin Van Buren, who was now governor. Banker John Townsend was chosen by the voters to serve in Dudley's office and a short time later had laid the cornerstone for the new City Hall (a fire would destroy it 61 years later). This year also saw the election of a new Albany County sheriff. His name is tucked away somewhere in the county archives but it's the name (and nationality) of the person he defeated that's of most interest. War of 1812 veteran James Maher lost the election by an extremely narrow margin. One of the first Irish candidates for any local office (there would be many more to come) his near-miss was another signal of the slowly weakening influence of the Dutch patrician families in the state's capital region.

New political-geographical landscapes were forming as well. Part of the funding for the new city hall had been secured in May, when the state government paid $175,000 to the city of Albany to relinquish rights to the land where the state capital building stands and to the park surrounding it. Of greater importance is the growing feeling that the state's capital should be moved out of Albany to some city closer to the geographical center of the state. Hasn't happened yet, of course.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, July 15, 2012



Jan 11                       
Congress begins convening in New York City.

Jan 20                       
Samuel Ellis puts Oyster Island (later named for him) on the market in New York City, but fails to attract buyers.

New York City iron foundry owner and land promoter Samuel Ogden petitions the Common Council with a plan for a water supply system, to be built by himself and his associates.

Mar 27                       
The English vessel John and Ann departs from the Downs on the English Channel for
North America. Among the passengers are former New York City merchant Michael
Price, who had fled from there during the evacuation of Loyalists two years earlier.   

Apr 18                       
Hudson Valley revolutionary war colonel Ann (male) Hawks/Hawkes Hay dies in New York City at the age of 39.

Joseph Newton, an architect, and Jonathan Emery propose a £30,000 plan for a water supply system for New York City, to be funded by a lottery. The plan is never put before the Common Council.

A proposal is made by the Common Council to enclose a triangular area of lower Manhattan where Park Row and Broadway intersect, known as The Common, with a fence. It’s decided the result doesn’t justify the expense.

The New York Journal complains that the Tea Water Pond is being polluted by people washing their clothes in it and using it as dump for dead animals and body wastes.

Sep 19                       
New York businessman John Jacob Astor marries his landlady’s daughter Sarah Todd, a relation of the city’s Brevoort family.

Oct 23                       
Mary Baker, infant daughter of museum owner Gardiner Baker and his wife Mary, is christened at New York's First And Second Presbyterian Church.

Nov 17                       
New York City’s General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen is founded during a
meeting at Walter Heyer’s Tavern, on Pine Street.

Attorney Aaron Burr takes out a loan, the first of several, in support of his home, Richmond Hill.     **    John Jacob Astor buys former slaughterhouse property in the old Collect Pond area of lower Manhattan. After buying up a variety of pelts he sails for Europe to sell them. In London he buys more flutes from his brother George, and becomes the U. S. agent for a British piano manufacturer.    **    The Common Council awards an annual contract for keeping the public wells in good working order. This year the winning bid is £140.    **    The approximate date construction begins on the house at 18 Bowery and Pell Street for merchant Edward Mooney.    **    London merchant Robert Hunter, Jr. passes through the city on  tour of North America.    **    Jacobus Dyckman, aided by slaves, completes the reconstruction of the family’s farmhouse - in Upper Manhattan - destroyed by the British.    **    Future Gramercy Park resident Dr. Valentine Mott is born in Glen Cove, Long Island.    **    St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church is founded and a Georgian-style building will be erected on Barclay Street.    **    The Commissioners of Forfeiture auction off the DeLancey property at 18 Bowery. Butchers’ representative to the Mechanics & Tradesmen’s society Edward Mooney buys the property for a residence.    **    Alderman Nicholas Bayard sells full-sized lots on Broadway north of Trinity Church at auction, for $25. The sale is halted by officials due to the low price.

The Queens County Courthouse is erected, on the Hempstead Plains.    **    A small community is formed where several trails meet, that will take the name Five Corners. In 1894 its residents, mostly from Brooklyn, will reverse that name, calling the neighborhood Lynbrook.

New York publisher Daniel Appleton is born in Haverhill.

John Jay and Alexander Hamilton organize the New York City Manumission Society.

Stage lines begin connecting New York City, with Albany, as well as with Boston and Philadelphia.   


New York City contractor Josiah Hornblower files a claim for £12 for inspecting the Colles waterworks in 1776. It will take him two years to collect.    **    Chancellor Robert R. Livingston goes before the New York City Common Council with a plan for a water supply system. A committee is formed to review his plan.

The Common Council considers various proposals for a water supply, decides instead to solicit private sealed bids.

Three sealed proposals for a New York water system are returned unread and the council polls their constituents as to whether a public or privately supported system is preferable. Nothing comes of this.

May 8                       
Fur trader Alexander Macomb purchases Manhattan property on the west side of
Broadway, between numbers 39 and 45, property acquired in 1784 by Isaac Roosevelt.
Macomb will build his home there. Later the property will be the official residence of 
President Washington, as well as being at one time the business location of the Mansion House hostelry – in 1821  Bunker’s Mansion House. The property was believed to the site of the first dwelling on Manhattan.

May 22                       
John Jacob Astor advertises in the New York Packet that he’s imported a new shipment of instruments and musical supplies from London.

Sep 11                       
John Cabenbaragh posts a notice in the New-York Packet that his wife Hannah has left him and he will not be responsible for her debts.

Sep 14                       
The Annapolis Convention, lacking a quorum to affect changes, votes for all states to meet in convention in 1787 to draft a Constitution, correcting problems in the Articles of Confederation.    **    Museum owner Gardiner Baker replies in the Packet to Cabenbaragh's notice, stating that the man had previously been married to Baker's mother and had treated her brutally before allowing the marriage to be broken off, after he found she hadn't as much money as he expected.

The Tammany Society is founded by merchant John Pimtard and others, soldiers in George Washington’s Continental Army. The name comes from the peaceful leader of the Lenni-Lenape Indians - Tamanend     **   Engineer Christopher Colles and his wife are assaulted on the street. Aaron Burr acts as his lawyer in the case, bringing damage claims of £189 against Andrew Moody.  Resolution of the case is unknown.    **    Alexander Hamilton is returned to the state assembly during the spring elections.    **    Bellevue, an estate above the city on the East River, is offered for sale.    **    A building is constructed off Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn as a school for area children, mostly from local farms. The school will one day become the Erasmus Hall Academy.


Mar 6                       
The state's Assembly and Senate each vote to name state Supreme Court judge Robert Yates, John Lansing, Jr. and Alexander Hamilton as delegates to the U. S. Constitutional Convention.

Mar 31                       
The trustees of Manhattan’s Warren property, in the Greenwich village area, partition the property into three parts, with the three legal claimants - Earl and Lady Abingdon, Charles and Ann Fitzroy, and the minor Susannah Skinner -  being matched to parcel by a throw of the dice.

Apr 16                       
Boston playwright Royall Tyler's The Contrast is performed at New York City’s John Street Theatre, the first professional performance of a comedy in America.

Jul 5                       
Manasseh Cutler arrives in New York City, talks of buying millions of acres of land on the Ohio River for the Ohio Company.

Sep 24                       
New York City’s Daily Advertiser prints A Revolution Effected by Good Sense and Deliberation, the first known original commentary on the Constitution in New York State.

Oct 29
New York State landowner John Peter De Wint in born in New York City.

Nov 25                       
John Peter De Wint is baptised at the Reformed Dutch Church in New York City.

Dec 2                       
Elizabeth Baker, infant daughter of museum owner Gardiner Baker and his wife Mary is christened at New York's First And Second Presbyterian Church.

Young Washington Irving attends Mrs. Ann Kilmaster's kindergarten.    **    The state legislature approves a law requested by New York City's Common Council, to appoint well and pump overseers in each of the city's wards.    **    Hartford, Connecticut, captain Samuel Morey travels down the Connecticut River in a home-made steam-powered boat, reaches the city.    **    The Mutual Assurance Company, the city's first fire insurance company, is founded.     **    Merchant and former Loyalist exile Michael Price is currently being listed in city directories although he will not actually relocate back to the city until next year.      **    The Common Council calls for Almshouse paupers being put to work collecting street dirt to spread on The Common in preparation for the sowing of grass seed.    **    The council calls for Hudson River land to be extended 65 feet into the water, using landfill.    **    Northern Manhattan landowner William Dyckman dies. His son Jacobus moves his family to the farm there, which now includes a cider mill, a barn and several outbuildings in addition to the farmhouse.    **    Vestrymen of St. Paul’s Chapel agree on a window for the chapel’s east (Broadway) side, future site of a monument to Revolutionary War major general Richard Montgomery.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Feb 10 - The second Livingston’s Patent, in Herkimer and Montgomery counties, is granted to Philip Livingston and others. 

Mar 4 - Utica businessman Talcott Camp is born in Durham, Connecticut, to merchant Elnathan Camp and Eunice Talcott Camp.

May 11 - The 10,000-acre Anaquassacook Patent, in Washington County, is granted to R. J. F. & W. Schermerhorn and others. The 10,000-acre Schermerhorn Patent in Washington County is granted to Ryer Schermerhorn. 

May 18 - The 23,000 acre Bradshaw Patent in Washington County, is granted to James Bradshaw. The county’s 26,000-acre Kingsbury Patent is granted to Bradshaw and others. 

May 22 - The 23,000-acre Queensbury Patent, in Warren County is granted to Daniel Prindle and others. 

Jun 4 - Captain Donald Campbell gives a ball in Detroit for King George III’s birthday. Campbell will write to William Johnson in New York, mentions encountering Johnson’s lady friend Angelique Cuillerier, who asked to be remembered to him.

Jun 17 - Iroquois, Delaware, Shawnee and Miami chiefs begin meeting with William Johnson, Pennsylvania governor James Hamilton and various member of the Penn family at Easton, to try and settle long-standing Indian land claims. 

Jun 27 - Iroquois chiefs meet with self-styled Delaware prophet Teedyscung. 

Jun 28 - Pennsylvania proprietors meet with Teedyscung, who emerges shaken, announces he’s been convinced that his charges of land fraud are unfounded. His Quaker backers have been thwarted. The council breaks off. Delaware Indians at Lancaster had refused his personally-donated gifts. He hands Bouquet a letter from Johnson, reporting that Amherst has ordered a drastic reduction in aid to the tribes, only direct payment for furs brought to English posts. 

December - William Johnson receives word from George Croghan, at Fort Pitt, who threatens to resign if Amherst doesn’t liberalize his attitude toward the Indians. 

Dec 8 - Sir William Johnson writes from Johnson Hall to General Sir Jeffery Amherst in New York City, trying to alert the commander to the dangers brewing in the northwest, gives the letter to his Mohawk messenger Oughnour (Daniel) to deliver.

Dec 15 - The approximate date (or in 1763 - records destroyed) trapper Nicholas Stoner is born to German immigrant Henry Stoner and Catharine Barnes Stoner, in Maryland.

Indians - The French send message belts among the Iroquois Six Nations, warning of the land hunger of the British settlers.

State - Charles Webb does a survey of the Minisink Patent. He mentions a Reeve's Sawmill. ** Samuel Kirkland enrolls as a sophomore in the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock’s colonial boarding school in Lebanon, Connecticut, during the fall. ** Future general and senator Philip Schuyler builds a mansion in Albany. ** The third serious famine since 1758 causes some starvation among the Oneida Indians. 

January - Tenant farmer Christopher Johnson, father of Indian agent Sir William Johnson, dies in County Meath, Ireland, at the age of 79.

February - Reverend Eleazar Wheelock praises Mohawk young man Joseph Brant, a student at his Indian school in Connecticut. 

Feb 10 - France signs the Treaty of Paris. The French and Indian War (Seven Years War) ends. 

Apr 8 - Sir William Johnson writes to his subordinate George Croghan at Fort Pitt, that their superior Sir Jeffrey Amherst has chosen to ignore Johnson’s suggestions to provide frontier Indians with their accustomed ammunition and other necessities.

Apr 19 - Pennsylvanian Delaware chief Teedyuscung is murdered, burned to death in his house, probably by land interest agents. 

Apr 30 - Croghan receives Johnson’s letter. 

May - Mohawk Joseph Brant receives a letter at Connecticut’s Wheelock School for Iroquois boys, from his sister Molly Brant Johnson, advising him of unrest in the Mohawk Valley and suggesting he return home. Heeding the advice of Molly’s husband, Sir William Johnson, and with his sister acceding, Joseph delays his return until the end of the school year at the urging of Wheelock. 

May 12 - Several warrior representatives from each of the Onondaga, Cayuga and Mohawk nations arrive at William Johnson’s home along the Mohawk to commiserate with him on the death of his father Christopher in Ireland. 

May 19 - More Iroquois, including the Senecas, appear at Johnson’s home, repeat ceremonies of mourning. 

June - Six young Tuscarora Indian warriors, villagers from Oquaga, arrive at Johnson Hall to commiserate with Sir William. 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 Red Head a few days earlier. The following day rituals are performed, followed by ten days of ceremonies. 

July - Twenty Tuscarora chiefs arrive at Johnson Hall to perform rites of condolence.

October - George III declares the boundary between the provinces of New York and Qu├ębec at 45° North. 

Nov 11 - The 10,000-acre Greenwich Patent, in Washington County, is granted to Donald Campbell. 

Dec 13 - New York's first tavern law mandates the licensing of Dutchess County taverns.

State - Guy Johnson, nephew of Indian agent William Johnson, marries his uncle’s daughter Polly. He builds a mansion at the future Johnstown. ** With the end of the French and Indian War Albany abandons its stockade. ** Samuel Fuller's St. George's Episcopal Church in Schenectady, begun in 1759, is completed. ** Sir William renews a proposal for an impartial boundary between colonists’ and Indians’ lands, claiming it will slow rampant land speculation. ** The fourth serious famine since 1758 causes some starvation among the Oneida Indians.

March - Early in the month a party of Iroquois warriors attack a group of 41 Delaware Indians on the north branch of the Susquehanna River, bring their captives to William Johnson. Among them is a young woman intended as a replacement for his late father Christopher.

Mar 13 - Ducnan Reid and others are granted the 47,450-acre Argyle Patent, in Washington County. 

Mar 24 - The first Schneider’s Patent, 10,000 acres in Rensselaer County, is granted to Hendrick Schneider. 

Apr 4 - Captain Henry Montour writes from the scene to his superior William Johnson describing his destruction of Indian villages in the Big Flats area. 

May 2 - A 26,000-acre Provincial Patent, in Orange County, totaling a thousand acres each is granted to William Cockroft and 25 other commissioned officers of the New York Infantry.

May 3 - The 2,000-acre Kempe’s Patent in Washington County, is granted to John Taylor Kempe. 

May 10 - Sir William Johnson, accompanied by young Joseph Brant, holds an Indian congress at Niagara. Senecas turn 14 English prisoners, along with some dserters and runaway slaves, over to Johnson. The Seneca promise to stop harassing the British. 

Jul 11 - The 5,000-acre Campbell’s Patent, in Essex County is granted to Allen Campbell.

Jul 25 - The 2,000–acre Stoughton Patent, in Essex County, is granted to John Stoughton and others. 

August - The western portion of the Senecas make peace with Sir William Johnson. 

Aug 7 - The 2,000–acre Kellet’s Patent, in Essex County, is granted to Roger Kellet. ** The 2,000-acre Kennedy’s Patent in Essex County is granted to John Kennedy. ** The 25,000-acre Salem Patent, in Washington County, is granted to Alexander and James Turner and others. ** The 3,000-acre Sutherland’s Patent, in Essex County, is granted to Nicholas Sutherland.

Aug 17 - The 8,000-acre Grant’s Patent, in Essex County, is granted to Robert Grant. 

Aug 23 - The 2,000-acre second Schneider’s Patent, in Washington County, is granted to George Schneider. The 2,000-acre Spornheyer’s Patent in Schoharie County, is granted to Ernst William Spornheyer and others.

September - A premature frost in central New York will cause a poor harvest the following year. 

Sep 5 - The 2,000-acre Sutherland’s Patent, in Washington County, is granted to Erick Sutherland. 

Sep 11 - Two 2,000-acre patents, in Washington County, are awarded to Thomas and Godfrey Menzies. 

Sep 23 - The 2,000-acre Munroe’s Patent in Washington County, is granted to Harry Munroe. 

Oct 24 - The 24,000–acre Artillery Patent, in Washington County, is awarded to Joseph Watson and others. 

Oct 30 - Sir William Johnson writes to the Lords of Trade, saying those who claim the difficulty of discovering the true limits of Indian lands, due to the tribes’ ignorance, display their own ignorance, the Indians knowing full well what they own.

French and Indian War - John Roberts, grandfather of canal engineer Nathan Roberts, is killed serving under Sir William Pepperal.

Indians – Early in the year the young Seneca Joseph Brant is encouraged to join the war parties sent out by Sir William Johnson to attack the Delaware Indians rebelling in the Chemung and Susquehanna valleys. Unfounded rumors spread that he had joined the Delawares against the English.

State - Nicholas Herkimer builds a home in Danube. ** Albany's First Presbyterian Church, on Gallows Hill, is completed. ** British general Edward Bradstreet sets out from Oswego to find and engage Chief Pontiac. ** The fourth serious famine since 1758 causes some starvation among the Oneida Indians.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte