Mr. A. B., aged seventy-five, told me that he never saw any
carpets on floors, before the revolution ; when first introduced,
they only covered the floors outside of the chairs around the
room ; he knew of persons afraid to step on them when they
first saw them on floors ; some dignified families always had
some carpets, but then they got them tlirough merchants as a
special importation for themselves. Floors silver sanded in
figures, &c., were the universal practice. The walls of houses
were not papered, but universally whitewashed.
Mahogany was but very seldom used, and when seen, was
mostly in a desk or " tea-table." The general furniture was
made of " billstead," another name for maple.
The first stoves he remembered came into use in his time, and
were all open inside in one oblong square ; having no baking
oven thereto, as was afterwards invented in the " ten plate
He thinks coaches were very rare ; can't think there were more
than four or five of them ; men were deemed rich to have kept
even a chaise. The governor had one coach ; Walton had another ;
Colden, the lieutenant governor, had a coach, which was burnt
before his window by the mob ; Mrs. Alexander had a coach,
and Robert Murray, a Friend, had another, which he called his
" leathern conveniency," to avoid the scandal of pride and vain
262 Gazettes of the Olden Time and (heir Notices.
GAZETTES OF THE OLDEN TIME AND THEIR
"These mark the everydaj' affairs of life."
Although the old Gazettes of colonial days, have been but very
tame chroniclers of their times, as compared with the present sur-
charged sheets, pregnant with everything; yet they all tend
more or less, incidentally, to show forth something characteristic
of their age, and of their then " everyday affairs of hfe."
The following pages, extracted from several Gazettes of the
times referred to, will more fully illustrate what we mean: and
by way of more fully describing the little vehicles of intelligence
used by " the gentlemen of the olden time," we shall begin the
present chapter with the thorough exhibition of all the local
facts to be derived at one time, from a single journal of the day.
Though long past and dead, it still talks to us of the age in which
We use first the New York Gazette, revived in the weekly
Post Boy of 4th March 1750-1, No. 246; printed and sold by
James Parker at the new printing office in Beaver street. The
paper is printed on cap sized paper, and is ten shillings a year.
Little as it was, it must have been a well prized and welcome
visiter, when it only presented itself with limited information, but
once a week.
Its first page contains the proclamation of Governor Belcher,
of Nova Cgssarea (i. e. New Jersey), dissolving the then refractory
assembly, which refused supplies, and quoting from his letter
from the lords commissioners of trade, that they were resentful
at "the state of rebellion in which the colony is so unhappily in-
volved." Frank words, and rough enough to the Jersey Blues,
full twenty-six years before their open rebellion, was actually
sustained and finally finished.
The little Gazette has several short advertisements printed all
round its margijis, in a transverse direction to the column matter.
From among these, I give the following specialties, to wit :
" The Public fVhipper being lately dead, tiventy pounds a
year is offered to a successor at the Mayor's office."
" Good Foot-linen-whecls, are advertised for sale, made at
Oyster-bay, and sold in Beekman street near the new English
church.^' None of the present generation are aware that little
wheels to move by the tread of the foot, to spin linen-thread,
were once so designated, to distinguish them from big wheels
turned by the hand to spin woollen yarn.
Gazettes of the Olden Time and theh' Notices. 263
Plays. "This evening will be presented the Bold stroke for a
Wife, with Daemon and Phillis, for the benefit of Miss George,"
" Thjee negroes â€” a man, woman, and girl, to be sold by R.
" A large stable and chaise house behind Whitehall slip, facing
Copsy battery, for the use of receiving such by the ferry boats,
is to let." The word copsy is now obsolete. It was spelt capsey,
and meant the turning point at the battery.
Among the other advertisements in the columns, we notice the
following, as marking local names and localities, now no longer
familiar to the ear â€” to wit :
"To be sold, a plantation of 15 acres, of John Minthorne^s,
in the out ward, and bounded on the east side oi fresh water, and
The present Shrewsbury river is called NavesinÂ¥s river.
" Twelve acres of salt meadow on the East river side, back of
alderman Stuyvesandt's, is to be sold at auction at the Spring
" Half of the ground on the south side of Crown street, com-
monly known by the name of Barberie's Garden, is for sale."
" Godfrey'' s sea quadrant imj)roved, and other mathematical
instruments, are made and sold by Anthony Lamb." A special
honour to Mr. Godfrey's important invention, which we were
glad to see thus announced.
Houses situated at the water end of Broad street, are termed
as " lying near the Long bridge^^ and good " for merchants or
Several persons give notice of "intending" or "designing for
A Mr. Charles Dutens, teacher of French and jeweller, gives a
long advertisement, full of self-conceit and egotism, and sprinkled
throughout with scraps of Latin, for the use of young ladies and
gentlemen, whose love of learning might incline them to take
lessons from him in Frencli, at his house near the Long Bridge
at Broad street, where he also makes and vends finger and ear
rings, solitaires, stay hooks and lockets, and sets diamonds, rubies
and other stones. " Science and virtue (says he,) are two sisters,
which the most part of the New York ladies possess," meaning
their qualities; and to induce them to credit his assertion, he gives
at length a dream which he had, as a cause that " he came to
the fancy to set forth the present advertisement."
New York Mercury, by Hugh Gaine, on Hunter's Key, began
in 1752, in cap, next year demi size, furnishes facts as follows, to
1753. The negro fellow who committed the murder of his
master, Jacob Van Naneste, ivas burnt at Millstone, New Jersey,
on Wednesday last. He stood the fire with the greatest intrepidity,
and said " they had taken the root, but left the branches."
264 Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices.
A very good assortment of Iron ware, is advertised at the
store of Rip Van Dam.
An advertisement of January, 1753, reads thus: â€” This is to
acquaint gentlemen and others, who liave a mind to transport
themselves, wares, or merchandise from New York to Piiiladel-
phia,.or from Philadelphia to New York, that there is now a
stage boat, well fitted, kept by IVm. Vandrills, who proposes
(wind and weather permitting,) to sail from New York to Amboy,
every Monday and Thursday, and thence by wagon to Burling-
ton, and thence take passage to Philadelphia.
Middling and single refined London and Boston loaf sugar, is
advertised. 'â€¢ Nutten Island" is named also the " Meal market,"
" White Hall," " The Long bridge" across Broad street.
The new Presbyterian church steeple in Philadelphia, is adver-
tised to be made by lottery, saying, " A work of this kind (corner
of Arch and Third streets), which is principally ornamental, is to
be encouraged by all well-wishers to the beauty of Philadelphia.^^
(It was common then to advertise lotteries there, for several
Hoop Petticoats, are thus noticed, March, 1753. " Their petti-
coats which began to heave and swell before you left us, are now
blown up into a most enormous concave, and rise more and more
every day ! The superfluity of head dress lately abandoned,
seems to have fallen from their height, only to extend the
breadth of their lower parts. They pretend that these wide
bottoms are airy, and proper for the season. Others pretend that
their whalebones and hoops are to keep ofi' the undue approaches
of our sex. The first time I saw a lady dressed in one of these
petticoats, I could not forbear blaming her in thought, for walk-
ing abroad when so near her time to stay at home, but soon
recovered myself, by the observation that all the modish part of
the sex were as far gone as herself I It is generally thought how-
ever, that the fashion was introduced by some crafty lady, to
conceal some mishap, by having many imitators. In the mean-
while one cannot but be troubled to see so many well shaped
virgins bloated up, and waddled up and down like big bodied
women. Should this measure become general, we should soon feel
the want of street room. Congregations already begin to be pinched
for room ; and should the men fall into the scheme of trunk-
breeches, by way of reprehension or reprisal, man and wife could
no longer sit in the same pew !"
The Common Council notify, that aU persons indebted to the
city corporation for quit rents, shall pay in the same to the city
chamberlain or treasurer.
The dress of an Engraver and Jeweller, of twenty-five years
of age, runaway, is thus given : â€” A blue coat with black mohair
buttons, blue lapelled waistcoat, the lapells lined with black velvet,
Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices. 265
a pair of black leather breeches with solid silver buttons, and
Search is made in all the wards by the constables, for small-
pox, and only three cases found; a circumstance of much joy
A writer in the Gazette of April, 1753, noticing the intended
new College, deprecates its falling into the hands of any ascendant
sect, and stating the Presbyterians are aiming for it, says, " I
shall think it strange if our legislature shall suffer themselves to
be either jockied or bullied, as they did by other sects in the case
of the New Jersey college, under the pretence of a Catholic
establishment. [It would be a curious history, which could show
the true cause, why all the colleges have been so universally in
the hands of clergymen. " So did not St. Paul"]
Four horses started for the New York subscription plate on
the course near " Greenwich.''''
The London Company of Comedians, in July, 1753, address
the magistrates and the public, praying the grant of permission to
play, and saying they were encouraged to go to New York as
early as 1750, and that thereupon Mr. Hallam undertook to send
out Mr. Robert Upton, in October, 1750, to perform, erect a
building, and settle permission, &c. For this purpose he had
funds from Mr. Hallam ; but he nevertheless joined himself to a
set of pretenders, and did nothing for Mr. Hallam & Co. In
April, 1752, Mr. Hallam & Co., being solicited by several gentle-
men in London, and sundry Virginia captains, they embarked and
arrived at York river, Va., the 2Sth of June. There they had the
grant of the governor to perform, and remained with much
applause, eleven months ; but now being arrived at New York,
they find great obstacles in their way, although they had been
persuaded to visit it as a polite city, where the muses could find
shelter, and not that the instructive and elegant entertainment of
the stage, was to be utterly banished ! They pray a reconsider-
ation, and that they may be permitted to show their ability to
support the dignity, decorum, and regularity of the stage.
Green mould candles for sale, at the Old Slip market. [Pro-
bably made of the bayberry.]
Charles Sullivan's tavern, at the Fresh water, in the out ivard
of the city.
Frail Ladies. "Last Thursday, (July, 1753,) twenty-two
frail ladies, taken out of several houses of ill repute in this city,
were committed to the workhouse, and next day five of them
were condemned to receive fifteen lashes each, before a vast con-
course of people. All were then ordered to leave the city."
The Post Office, at the Rowling Green, Broadway, will be
open every day, save Saturday afternoons and Sundays, from
eight to twelve A. M., and from two to four P. M., except on
post nights, when attendance will be given till ten at night, by
266 Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices.
A. Golden, deputy postmaster, and afterwards postmaster. N. B.
No credit in future.
Ran away, A. Fitz Morris, a taylor, twenty-three years old,
from Ireland, had a li2;ht coloured wis;, mouse coloured coat, and
blue linings, gold twist buttons, black stockings, woollen shag
breeches. Another runaway, is said to have " his hair scalpea
like a wig."
JVire Dancer. Mr. Dugee performs on the wire and slack rope,
by permission, at a new house built for that purpose, in Mr.
Adam Van Denberg's garden.
Red Clover seed, offered for sale near the Half Moon Battery,
near Whitehall slip. [This shows an early use of clover.']
Play hill, 22d of October, 1753. By a company of comedians
from London, at the New Theatre, in Nassau street, (by his
honour's authority.) Love for Love, afterpiece, Tom Thumb the
Great, Hallam's family ; Box 6s. Pit 4s. Gallery 2s. The next
play was Richard the Third, and the Devil to Pay. They go to
French, Low Butch, Latin and English, taught by Tho. Ross.
Patrick Audley, Taylor, from Great Britain, makes gentlemen's
laced and plain clothes, hunting dresses, pantine sleeves, racoloes
for clergymen and others, ladies' Josephs.
The New Exchange is now opened as a coffee-room, by Keen
& Lightfoot, [near the meal market, I believe].
A Public Library is to be formed by a subscription of gentle-
men, April, 1754.
" Roger Magrah is moved up near the Horse <Â§' Cart Inn, in
the street that Alderman Cortlant lives in."
The New York College, opened in May, 1754 ; is helped by a
lottery, and the price of tuition, under Samuel Johnson, princi-
pal, a former missionary, is twenty-five shillings per quarter.
Numei'ons discussions concerning the sect to govern this college,
appeared in the Gazettes. Some claimed for the Church, others
for the Presbyterians, [Why either of them? and why not a civil
institution ? Wm. Livingston, Esq., afterwards governor of
New Jersey, was a frequent writer on the side of the latter, tided
the Watch' Tower.]
Patrick Flanley, an Irish runaway, is thus advertised; had a
grey homespun coat, lined with blue shalloon, fawn skin vest,
hair outside, and purple sheepskin breeches.
M. Derham, milliner from London, arrived with her wares, &c.
The Hon. ^Shirley IVashington, Esq., arrived at New York,
as commander of his majesty's ship Mermaid, of twenty guns,
from England. I see also a Captain fVashingtnn, connnander
of a privateer. I notice also, a Captain Kid often arriving at
Philadelphia from Nova Scotia.
Albany is thus noticed by a writer in September, 1754, saying :
It is much to be feared, that the French, before a declaration of
Exchange, Wall Street, burned 1835, p. 266.
Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices. 267
war, may attack us, and if they do, they will too probably take
the city of Jllbany, whose inhabitants are more renowned, for
the artifices of traffic and the thirst of gain, than for a military
The Rev. Mr. Graham, of Rumbout precinct, in Dutchess county,
" continues to teach Latin, Greek and Hebrew, very rheap.^^
Of Female Dress. " These foreign invaders first made their
attack upon the stays, so as to diminish them half down the
waist, exposing the breast and shoulders. Next to the caps ;
cut ofi' the flappets and tabs, bored and padlocked the ears. Next
came the wide hoops and French pocket holes ; and last of all,
have lately shortened the rear, so that the heels and ancles are
exposed, even to the very gusset and clock ! 0, shame .' shame !"
It is worthy of remark, that all of the names, usually found
among the gentry of the state of New York now, generally
professional men, are all to be found in the advertising columns
of these old Gazettes, as men of business. There we read of
"DeLancey, Robinson & Co., at their store in Duke street."
" Gerard W. Beekman's dry goods store ;" " Robert G. Livings-
ton has for sale ;" " To be sold by Le Roy & Rutgers ;" " To be
sold by Philip Livingston ;" " James Jauncey has for sale ;"
"For sale by S. G, Lansing, near Coenties market f^ " N, W.
Stuyvesant, auctioneer." The truth is, concerning such business
men, that they were at the top of society ; the lawyers and doc-
tors then served for much smaller fees, and had not any pre-
eminence. It is only of later years, that lawyers have got so much
into public councils and state affairs; before the Revolution, they
were much restricted to small local affairs ; international law was
not required and was not studied. Maritime law, and insurance
policies, now so much understood, were then scarcely known.
They have since got rich out of these incidents of commerce, and
now take precedence of their actual makers. Merchants and
riches once headed all things.
Fencing and Dancing is taught by John Rievers, at the cor-
ner of Stone street.
Jl Grand Ball, upon the occasion of St. Andrew's day, was
given by the Scotch Society, at the Exchange room, and King's
Arms tavern. Many officers of the army were present ; the
ladies made a most brilliant appearance, and it is thought that there
was scarcely ever so great a number of elegantly dressed fine
women seen together in North America. The olTicers were
peculiarly delighted and surprised with so many interesting ladies,
more than they had ever met together in our country.
It appears that the new gaol was built by a lottery ; the draw-
ing was published of it, April, 1758. A lottery is also made to pay
Â£1100, debt of the city of Albany by the war. The twenty-six
hundred men to be raised by New York for the war, were each
to have a pair of buckskin breeclies.
268 Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices.
The ways of Trade. Nov. 17G0. Public notice is given by the
custom house, that " some of our traders from foreign ports, have
been for some time hovering in the sound and on the coast, with
a view to discharge their cargoes duty free ; all good citizens are
invited to aid the authorities and give information, Sec."
A proclamation from the governor of New Jersey, says. It is
believed provisions and lumber are intended to be smuggled off
for the use of the enemy, by soine.
To Let, the house at White Hall, now in the possession of Lord
Loudon, enquire of Frances Moore, nigh the Bowling Green. [She
was probably the widow of Col. Moore, the original proprietor.]
1759. Greenwich, to be sold by A. Sarzedas, a pretty country
seat, nigh the North river, about three miles from the city, gener-
ally known by the name of Greenwich, containing four acres,
all in garden.
South-east Storm, 14th February, 1759. Joseph Whipple, Esq.,
deputy governor, going to his lodging in the evening, by reason
of the great damage done to the Lon^ wharf fell in and was
drowned. He had a great funeral train.
The curse of cowardice. The papers are all well filled with
calls to " gentlemen volunteers, and gentlemen sailors," to enlist
in Sir this, and Sir that's regiment, Sic, and also several adver-
tisements for deserters. Among the other allurements to enlist-
ment, I notice a kind of sermon for sale, called " the curse of
cowardice," being a discourse on Jer. xlviii. 10. " Cursed be he
that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully; and cursed be he
that keepeth back his sword from blood." The author says, " Ye
young and hardy men, whose very faces seem to speak that God
and nature formed you for soldiers, ye that love your country,
enlist ; for honour will follow you in life or death. Ye that love
your religion, enlist ; for your religion is in danger. Can Pro-
testant Christianity expect quarters from heathen savages and
French papists ?"
An aged negro man on Long Island, died at Smithtown, in
Suffolk county, say, negro Harry, in December, 175S, at least one
hundred and twenty years of age when he died. He remembered
New York, he said, when there were but three houses in it, (and
now consider, that now in IS 34, there are persons ahve on Long
Island who could have seen that man !) Ho could do a good
day's work when past one hundred years. He was purchased
at New York by Richard Smith, the first proprietor of Smithtown,
and descended down to his grandson. Captain Richard Smith, of
the same town, who is himself past sixty years of age in 1759.
He had been a slave one hundred years in Smith's family, and
supposed himself one hundred and forty years old!
The New York Insurance Office, opened at the house of the
widow Smith, adjoining the Coffee-house, another at the Coffee-
house is called 'â€¢ the old insurance office." August 21, 1759.
Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices. 269
Places. '^ Jit Whitehall ^X the house oiihe late Col. Moore;"
"at his house m the fly f Bayard street;" "Canons Dock;"
" Rotten Row ;" " Wynkoop street ;" " Royal Exchange ;"
"Smith Street;" " Coenties market;" "on Golden hill;" "the
Long bridge ;" " the great Dock near the change ;" " Dock
street ;" " Pot Baker's hill."
1760. " Scotch carpets," a variety of them for sale by Matthew
Wilders â€” another also advertises " an assortment of carpets."
[Tliese were their first appearance most probably, as sand was
used long after.]
Marriages announced, March 1 7. Married on Tuesday night
last, Mr. Jacob Walton of this city, merch't, to Miss Polly Cruger,
daughter of Henry Cruger, Esq., an eminent merchant of this
place ; an agreeable young lady, possessed of every good quality
to render the marriage state completely happy, with a large for-
tune." â€” [The mode then of noticing.]
A Windmill for sale, in the out ward of the city, near the Bow-
ery lane, having two pair of stones, inquire of John Burling.
Mary Alexander, relict of the Hon. James Alexander, deceased,
and mother to the present Earl of Stirling, died at New York,
April 1760. She was for many years past, a very eminent trader
in this place ; afterwards her shop goods are advertised to be sold
off. Lord Stirling was two years after made one of his Majesty's
council in New York.
For sale, a neat assortment of women's and children's stays â€”
also hoops and quilted coats ; also men and women's shoes from
The transport vessels at New York, have much difficulty to
engage their crews from their fears of impressment, wherefore
Gen. Amherst engages to give such men a certificate of protection
provided they enlist for the transports at Â£6 per month.
Persons in Albany, advertise their stores of goods in the city
Nicholas C. Bogert, has removed his store /ro^/z his father^ s, to
the house of Capt. Michael Bogert near the fly market, next door
to Mr. Bassetts, where he has for sale a general assortment of
goods for cash or short credit. Cornelius Bogert was drowned
at the flat rock battery, in bathing.
Prices. Nut wood 355. a cord, oak wood 22^. â€” wheat 6^. 6d.
Paper Hangings. A new article of genteel patterns, just ar-
rived and for sale by G. Noel, bookseller.
Irish beef and Irish butter for sale by Greg and Cunningham ;
also Bristol ale.
Doctor Guischard, surgeon from Paris, advertises that " he is
experienced in women's delivery, and will ivith the help of the
Lord,'^ prove himself serviceable in their extremity.
A parcel of fine young slaves just imported in the schooner
Catherine from the coast of Africa, and for sale at Moore's wharf,
270 Gazettes of the Olden Time and their Notices.
by Thomas Randall and J. Alexander. [They used to be sold also
at public auction on board vessels, and also at the Coffee-house.]
At this time there are three weekly newspapers in New York.
Lotteries for many places are from thne to time advertised to
draw upon Biles' Island â€” one for /St. John's church, Elizabeth-
town â€” one for Shrewsbury church, &c. &c.
Doings at Perth Jlrnboy, July 7, 1760; upon the arrival there
of Gov. Boone to take his government, he was escorted by the
troops of horse of Elizabethtown and Woodbridge ; at the line
of tfie city he was met by the mayor, recorder, aldermen, and
common council and conducted into town, afterwards his Excel-
lency walked in procession to the City Hall, where he was pro-
claimed. He afterwards gave an elegant entertainment, and in
the evening the town was illuminated. [Who would now think
of such things of the present little Amboy.]
The arrival of ships of war and transports, or of departures of
such, are frequent, also numerous occasions of British generals
and regiments and troops coming and going at New York or the