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Saturday, November 23, 2013


Join Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner and BHS Public Historian Julie Golia as they discuss one of the most prominent artifacts in BHS' collection: theEmancipation Proclamation.

A document that continues to resonate 150 years after its signing, the Emancipation Proclamation has profoundly influenced the social and political landscape of our country and has had an evolving role in our collective American consciousness.

Join us December 4th at 6:30pm for a nuanced look at this historic document's 150 years of impact, in connection with BHS' display of our rare authorized edition of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Emancipation Proclamation:
Eric Foner & Julie Golia in Conversation
Wednesday, December 4th
6:30pm, FREE
BHS Great Hall 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013



The New Theatre - designed by French architect Marc Isambard Brunel and brothers Joseph-Franรงois and Charles Mangin and later known as the Park Theatre - opens at 23 Park Row.

Jan 13
Lower Manhattan's 1767 John Street Theatre closes. Part-owner Lewis Hallam, Jr.  Hallam sells it for £115 to neighboring grain and hay store. The acting company moves to the New Theatre.

Isaac Mann, Jr., Stillwater, New York, supplier of logs to New York City for its water system pipes during the Colles project, petitions the city for payment of the balance due. Records cannot be found for the contract and the council suggests Mann sue for his money.

Mar 2
A correspondent for the New York Gazette & General Advertiser estimates that the average cost of Tea Water is $15 per family, suggests an annual tax to raise money for a public waterworks. Nothing will come of the suggestion.

John Beddoe, his wife Catherine, and his cousin David Morse arrive in New York City from England, set out for the Finger Lakes region.

May 13
Manhattan's  original Rutgers Presbyterian Church, built on ground donated by Colonel Henry Rutgers, at what would become Henry Street at the intersection of Rutgers Street, is dedicated.

Surveyor Melancton Smith dies of yellow fever in New York City, the first death in a summer-long epidemic in the city that will claim 2,086 lives. As the summer passes coffins will be sold on street corners.

Jul 2
Westchester County, New York, doctor Joseph Browne, Aaron Burr's brother-in-law, writes that the health of a city depends more on the quality of its water than any other comestibles. He proposes supplying New York City from the Bronx River.

Yellow fever has claimed close to 100 New York City lives by the early part of the month. A carpenter sends around a wagon loaded with coffins to be sold in the streets.    **    New York's City Council appoint a temporary health committee to aid the indigent though the epidemic. They will spend $5,000 over the next three months.

1,000 New Yorkers die of yellow fever, including the family of doctor Alexander Anderson. He will later turn to engraving.

Sep 1
U.S. Military Academy superintendent Richard Delafield is born in Manhattan.

Sep 2
New York doctor Elihu Smith writes that new cases of yellow fever are dwindling, due to the small number of people remaining in the city.

Sep 13
63 New Yorkers die of yellow fever, including the father of a future mayor, 17-year-old Philip Hone.

Sep 17
Doctor Elihu Smith contracts yellow fever.

Sep 18
Hone's mother dies of yellow fever.

Sep 19
Elihu Smith dies of the fever.

New York's yellow fever death toll tops 400.    **    New York City museum owner Gardiner Baker dies in Boston in his mid-thirties. His Tammany Museum collection is sold.

Over 2000 New Yorkers are now dead from yellow fever. Colder weather ends the epidemic.

Nov 15
John Jacob Astor advertises in the New York Gazette and General Advertiser that he has 24 cannons and other military supplies for sale.

Nicholas Roosevelt revives his proposals for supplying water to New York City. Judge William Cooper proposes a plan to lay water pipes there.

Dec 17
A New York City committee chosen to evaluate water supply proposals - John Bogert, John B. Coles, Jacob de la Montagnie, and Gabriel Furman - reports that the Bronx River is the best source, but that a few alterations need to made to Joseph Browne's plans.

Population: 4,000 households.    **    A residence is built at 207 Front Street.    **    John Stevens conducts steamboat experiments on Collect Pond for the third year in a row.    **    Three health commissioners requested by the city and appointed under the state "Act to provide against infectious and pestilential Diseases" are empowered to enforce the city's health regulations. Dr. Richard Bayley is named head of the Health Office.    **    Coles' bridge across the Harlem River is completed but his mill works at the site is still unfinished.   **    The Tammany Society moves from its usual Barden's Tavern meeting spot at Broadway near Bowling Green to new quarters at Brom Martling's Tavern at Nassau and Spruce. The new place is nicknamed the Wigwam.    **    The state legislature recognizes The Corporation for the Relief of Widows and Children of Clergymen of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York as a separate entity from a three-state umbrella organization.   **    The United Insurance Company and the New-York Insurance Company for Maritime Insurance are chartered.    **    Upstate land speculator James Wadsworth arrives, back from a stay in England.    **    The city orders a survey of the area along the Bronx River, with an eye to eventually obtaining a drinking water supply from its waters.    **    The Bank of New York establishes a branch on eight lots in Greenwich Village. The street where the lots are located will become Bank Street.    **    The city begins grading and paving South Street. Structures along it are built back from the wharves to accommodate the bowsprits of ships moored along the docks.    **    This year - after the fort in lower Manhattan was torn down in 1790 - the need for new fortifications leads to guns being placed in temporary fortifications close to Government House. 

Shipbuilder John Jackson and his yard on East River’s Wallabout Bay - the future U. S. Navy Yard - build the 28-gun frigate John Adams for the Navy.

John Stevens conducts steamboat experiments on New York City’s Collect Pond for the third year in a row.

Irish insurgents are defeated by the British at the Battle of Vinegar Hill, in County Wexford. Many of the former will emigrate to the U. S. , and settle in a Brooklyn neighborhood that will become known as Vinegar Hill.

© 2013    David Minor / Eagles Byte