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Manhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; online

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cated. A lunatic asylum, houses of refuge, and
a hospital and nursery for children, constitute
the buildings in which sick and destitute aliens
are cared for. There is also a home for inva-
lid soldiers who served in the regiments raised
by the city during the late war. These build-
ings are all substantial, and some of them are
highly ornamental. Groves of fine old shade
trees cover portions of these structures, adding
greatly to the appearance of the island. A
sea-wall, which was constructed by convicts
from Blackwell's Island, also girts this prop-
erty. The grading and general improvements
have been done by this same class of labor.

Randall's Island, which lies between
Ward's Island and the mainland, consists of



one hundred acres of city property, hand-
somely laid out and ornamented with sh-ade
trees. An idiot asylum, nursery, hospital, and
schools, are placed here by the city, in order to
provide for the wants of its destitute children.
A house of refuge, under the charge of the
Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delin-
quents, is at the southern end of the island.
In this institution children who have been


sentenced by the city magistrates aie taught
to work, as well as instructed in all the com-
mon-school branches. Passes must be obtained
from the Commissioners of Public Charities
and Correction, in their building at the corner
of Third Avenue and nth Street, in order to
visit any of the institutions on these last-men-
tioned islands. A special permit is required
for the lunatic asylum on Ward's Island. A


ferry conveys passengers to these localities
from the foot of East 26th Street.

The Channel at the south of Randall's
Island, is called Little Hell Gate, the one at
the north is the Bronx Kills. Several islands
lie clustered within the embrace of the West-
chester and Long Island shores, where the
waters of the Sound begin. A fort at Throgg's
Neck, and another one at Willet's Point,
command this entrance to New York. Along
the northern shore is Pelham Bay Park, a tract
of land containing seventeen hundred acres
of beautifully wooded territory, recently pur-
chased by the city.

City Island is noted as the place where
American oyster culture first began. Hart's
Island belongs to New York City, and is occu-
pied by the Potter's Field, a branch workhouse,
and a lunatic asylum. David's Island was
purchased by the Government in 1869, but was
used as a hospital-station during the War of
the Rebellion. It is now a receiving-station
for recruits.

Glen Island. — At this picturesque resort
it will be fitting to terminate the labors and
pleasures of the week. Rest and refreshment
will be found in cool groves filled with choice
varieties of rare exotics; and the return to

194 MA NHA T TA N.

busier haunts will be at the close of the day,
when the weary traveller, having learned the
history of its events and the institutions of its
present time, can be content to view in the
half-light, the city which promises such stores
of wealth for the sightseer of the future.

•A- ii

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1524. — The Island of Manhattan was discovered
by John De Verrazzani, a Florentine.

1609. — Hendrik (or Henry) Hudson, a navigator
in the service of the States General of Holland,
and the second discoverer of Manhattan Island,
sailed up the Hudson River to a point a little
below Albany.

161 1. — ^The first ships that carried merchandise
from the North River, the "Little Fox," and
the " Little Crane, " were sent from Holland
on a voyage of speculation.

Three more vessels were at this time fitted
out for the purpose of establishing trading
posts on the Hudson River, where furs might
be collected, thus saving time for the ships
that crossed the ocean. One of these was
called "The Tiger," the other two bore the
name of "The Fortune."

The first vessel built on the shores of New
York Harbor, and the first to pass through
Hell-Gate, was called the " Restless," and may
be considered as peculiarly entitled to hon-
orable mention, because it was the means of
filling many important blanks in the geogra-
phy of the world.

16 1 3. — Captain Adrien built four small houses
and established a fur agency at what is now
No. 41 Broadway.



1 6 14. — An expedition from South Virginia, dis-
patched by Sir Thomas Dale, took possession
of the infant colony.

Later in the year, Holland, having regained
possession of the Island, sent an expedition
of five vessels, that explored the whole length
of Long Island, passed np the Hudson and
Delaware Rivers, and were given the exclu-
sive right to trade between the Delaware and
Connecticut Rivers for three years.

1623. — A charter, under the title of the West
India Company, went into operation.

This is considered to have been the era of
the permanent settlement of New Netherlands.

1624. — Peter Minuit arrived at Manhattan, in the
capacity of Director-General of New Nether-
lands, and organized a provisional govern-

1625. — Three ships and a yacht from Holland,
brought a number of settlers and one hundred
head of cattle.

1626. — Manhattan Island was purchased from the
Indians, for trinkets worth twenty-four dollars.

1633. — The first schoolmaster arrived from Hol-

The first ship-of-war, " De Soutberg" (the
Salt Mountain), brought a company of soldiers
to garrison the stronghold that had just been
completed on the southern point of the Island.

1638. — The first ferry crossed the East River to
Long Island.

1642. — A church, built of rock stone, which cost
about one thousand dollars, was erected Avithin
the walls of the fort.

The first tavern, " Staadt Herberg," was
built by the Dutch West India Company at
Coenties Slip.


1643. — The first deed recorded was for a lot thirty
by one hundred feet, that was sold for nine
dollars and fifty cents.

The wreck of the ship " Princess" occurred
in Bristol Channel. This was one of the most
notable maritime events in connection with the
early history of the city, eighty passengers,
including the Director-General Kieft, and
Dominie Bogardus,the first clergyman estab-
lished in this city, having been drowned.

Lots were freely given to whoever would
build in the town.

1648. — The first wharf was constructed.

The first ordinance for the prevention of
fire was passed, after which four fire-wardens,
or chimney-inspectors, were appointed.

The settlement contained twelve retail

1650. — The first lawyer, Dick Van Schelluyne,
commenced practice.

165 1. — All persons who were absent from the city
four months lost their burgher rights.

1652. — The city of New Amsterdam was incorpor-

The first public school was established in
the "Stadthuys."

1654. — Burgomasters received one hundred and
forty dollars, and the Schepens one himdred
dollars per annum, for their services.

1655. — Negroes were purchased from slave-ships
and taken to Virginia.

1656. — New Amsterdam contained one thousand
inhabitants, one hundred and twenty houses,
and seventeen streets.

The first survey of the city was confirmed
by law,


1657. — The English lang-uage was first recognized
in New Amsterdam.

1658. — Stone pavements were laid. The street
first paved still retains its former name of
Stone Street.

The first fire-company, which consisted of
eight men, was organized.

Whipping with a rod, and banishment from
the city, was at this time the punishment for

Hogs running at large, were required to
have rings in their noses.

1659. — The first shipwreck on this coast, of which
there is any account, occurred near Fire
Island. The name of the ship was " Prince

Poor-boxes were customarily introduced at

Houses were rented for twenty-seven dollars
per annum.

The first public auctioneer was appointed.
One dollar and ten cents was the fee paid
for the disposal of a lot.
J 660. — The establishment of a brick-yard was a
notable event in connection with the archi-
tectural progress of the city. Before this
time bricks had been imported from Holland,
and were considered too expensive to be used,
except in the construction of chimneys and

A man living near the Bowery, offered to
give away his property, for the reason that he
disliked to ride through two miles of dense
forest to reach his work.

It was punishable to call magistrates block-
heads, on account of an adverse decision.


1663. — The first suicide recorded in the town was
that of a blacksmith, who hung himself from
a tree near Collect Pond.

1664. — New Amsterdam was captured by the Eng-
lish, and its name was changed to New York.

Notice was given of a re-organization of
the municipal government under the direction
of Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriff.
1665. — The first Court of Admiralty, organized
by Governor Nichols, was convened and held
in the Stadthuys.
1670. — A seal of the city was presented by the
Duke of York.

Staten Island was purchased for a few

The first New York Exchange was estab-
lished, the members arranging to meet every
Friday morning, between eleven and twelve
o'clock, at the bridge which crossed the ditch
at Broad Street, a locality now known as Ex-
change Place.
1673. — A Dutch fleet recaptured the city, in the
name of the States General of Holland, and
changed its name to New Orange.

The first mail between Boston and New
York was established, " for a more speedy
intelligence and despatch of affairs." The
letters were carried by a messenger who made
the round trip once a month.

At this time the main portion of the town
extended from the high ridge of ground at
Broadway, to the East River, then called Salt
River. A great dock for vessels, and three
crescent-shaped forts, were placed along the
shore. Almost all of the houses presented
gable ends to the street,

2 oo A/ A NHA T TA N.

1674. — A treaty of peace having- been signed by-
England and Holland, New York was again
restored to the English.

Only one Jew and one vSpaniard held prop-
erty in the city at this period.

1677. — New York contained three hundred and
forty-three houses.

1679. — A bear was killed in an orchard near
Maiden Lane.

The first classis was formed, at the sugges-
tion of the governor, for the purpose of exam-
ining and ordaining a young Bachelor in
Divinity, who had been called to the church
at Newcastle.

1683. — The city was divided into six wards.

The " Court of General Sessions of the Peace
of the city of New York," first called the
" Court of General Quarter Sessions, " was insti-
tuted under royal government.

1686. — The " Dongan Charter," the basis of all
later charters obtained for this city, was
granted by James the Second. This declared
that New York City thenceforth should com-
prise the entire Island of Manhattan.

The best house in the city was sold for
three thousand and five hundred dollars.

1689. — Information of the accession of William
and Mary, to the throne was received in New
York with great satisfaction. The garrison
was seized by about fifty inhabitants, who
formed themselves into a committee of safety
to hold the province in rule until a government
could be established by the new sovereigns.
This movement inaugurated a bitter strife
between factions of the citizens, who con-
tended for the temporary control, and resulted
in the ascendency of Leisler,


1 69 1. — The first Assembly met April 9th.
Leisler was tried and executed.

1692. — The first Post Office was established.

A whipping-post, pillory, and ducking-stool,
were placed near the City Hall.

1693. — The first printing press was put in opera-

1696. — Trinity Church Corporation erected its
first edifice.

The city contained five hundred and ninety-
four houses and six thousand inhabitants.

The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church
received a charter of incorporation.

1697. — The first almanac was published.

1700. — The second City Hall was erected at the
corner of Nassau and Wall Streets.

1703. — The " King's Farm," a region of country
extending northward from Cortlandt Street,
was granted to Trinity Church Corporation
by Queen Anne. This gift laid the founda-
tion for the revenues of that society.

1709. — A slave market was established at the
foot of AVall Street.

1 7 10. — The total annual income of the city was
two hundred and ninety-four pounds sterling.
The total expenses were two hundred and
seventy-four pounds.

A post-office establishment for the colonies
in America was created by an Act of Parlia-
ment, the chief office of which was in New

17 12. — The negro inhabitants formed a plot to
set fire to the city, and in its execution killed
several white persons. Nineteen of the incen-
diaries were convicted and executed.

1 7 19. — The first Presbyterian Church was erected
in Wall Street.

2 o 2 MA NHA T TA N.

1720. — Clocks were first introduced, time having

previously been recorded by hour-glasses.
1725. — The first newspaper, called XhQ New York

Gazette^ was published.
1729 — ^A City Library was founded.
1730- — The charter upon which the city's present

system of government is based, was granted

by Governor Montgomery.

A line of stages, that made bi-monthly

trips, was established between New York and


The first fire-engines used in the city

arrived from London. A fire-department was

at once organized.
1732. — The first stage from New York to Boston

made the round trip once a month.
1734. — K Poor- House, and a Calaboose for unruly

slaves, were erected on the Commons, now

City-Hall Park.
1740. — The New York Society-Library was or-
1 74 1. — The famous delusion, known as the " Negro

Plot, " in which a large number of negroes, and

a Catholic priest, were executed without cause,

occasioned much excitement.
1750. — The first theatre was opened in Nassau

1754. — King's College obtained a charter of in-
1756. — The first ferry plied between New York

and Staten Island.
1757. — The city contained about twelve thousand

1 76 1. — A second theatre was opened in Beekman

1763- — Light first gleamed from the Sandy Hook



A ferry was established between New York
and Paulus Hook, — now Jersey City.

1765. — The famous wStamp-Act Congress convened
in this city. Delegates were present from all
the colonies, and a bold declaration of rights
and grievances was adopted. An agreement
not to import goods from Great Britain, tmtil
the Stamp Act was repealed, was signed by
a large concourse of merchants, and a society
of individuals, who called themselves the
"Sons of Liberty," was organized, with affili-
ations throughout the country. Great excite-
ment prevailed, and a riot occurred, in which
the governor was burned in effigy, and the
citizens threatened to storm the fort.

1766. — News of the repeal of the Stamp Act
reached the city May 20th.

The Methodist Episcopal vSociety of the
United States was founded by Philip Embury,
in his own house in this city.

1768. — A Chamber of Commerce was organized at
Queen's Head Tavern, the building afterward
known as "Fraunce's Tavern."

1770. — The New York Chamber of Commerce was
incorporated by the Legislature.

A statue of William Pitt was erected in
William Street.

1772. — Umbrellas were imported from India.
They were at first scouted as an effeminacy.

1774. — A vessel called the "Nancy" was not per-
mitted to land her cargo of tea, nor to make
entry at the Custom- House.

A Committee of Correspondence was organ-
ized, and a " Congress of Colonies" was insist-
ed upon by the merchants.

Resolutions of resistance were adopted by


a great meeting on the Commons, now City-
Hall Park.
1775. — The Colonial Assembly adjourned.

Delegates were elected to the Continental

The first New York water-works were
1776. — The militia was called into service in Jan-
uary. In the spring following, the city was
in the possession of the American Army.

The leaden statue of George the Third was
pulled down July 9th.

The Declaration of Independence was read
from the balcony of the old City Hall, July

The king's coat-of-arms was taken from
the court-room and burned on the same day.

The city was captured by the British,
August 26th, after the battle of Long Island.

A great fire destroyed Trinity Church and
nearly five hundred houses, September 21st.

Nathan Hale was executed as a spy, by
command of General Howe.
1777. — Congress directed the Board of War to
write to the government of New York, urging
that the lead mines in that State be worked,
and promising to supply prisoners of war for
the purpose; the scarcity of lead making it
necessary to use gutters and roofs, and the
leaden statue of King George the Third, for
1778. — The British evacuated Philadelphia, and
an army of twelve thousand men marched
from that city to New York. The baggage
and stores, with some three thousand non-
combatants who held to their British alle-
giance, were sent to New York by water.


1779. — While the city was in the possession of
the British, counterfeiting- Continental bills
was a regular business ; flags of truce were
made use of to put it in circulation, and the
newspapers openly advertised it.

On the 19th of May, at eleven in the morn-
ing, a darkness, which continued for several
hours, necessitating candles at noon-day, fell
over the city. The cause of this remarkable
phenomenon has been assigned to prodigious
fires, that had been raging in the States of
Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

1780. — A great scarcity of fuel and fresh provisions
caused general consternation. Fruit trees
were cut down, wood was twenty dollars a
cord, corn was four dollars, and potatoes were
two dollars a bushel. As the ice in the Hud-
son River offered an opportunity for the
Americans to cross it, an attack upon the city
was feared, and all the inhabitants were put
under arms.

Four newspapers were published during
the time of the British occupation, the pro-
prietors arranging their issues so that one
paper was provided for each day.

1783. — The British evacuated the city November
25th, and General Washington entered at the
head of the American Army.

1785. — Congress moved from Philadelphia to New
York, and convened in the City Hall, which
then stood at the corner of Wall and Nassau
Streets, now occupied by the United States
Sub-Treasury Building.

The Bank of New York and a manumission
society were established.

The first daily paper was published under
the name of the New York Daily Advertiser.


1786. — The first city directory was issued. It
contained eight hundred and forty-six names.

1787.— King's College was re-incorporated as Co-
lumbia College.

1788. — The Constitution of the United States was
adopted by New York State. A great parade
celebrated that event in this city

1789. — The first Congress under the Constitution
of the United States, assembled in Federal
Hall on the 4th of March, at which time
George Washington was unanimously elected

The inauguration of Washington, as Presi-
dent of the United States, took place April
30th, on the gallery of the old City Hall.

Martha Washington held her first reception
May 29th.

Tammany Society, or the Columbian Order,
was founded.

1790. — The first sidewalks were laid.

1795. — Park Theatre was erected.

1797. — The "Medical Repository," the first scien-
tific periodical printed in this country, was

1799. — The Manhattan Company, organized for
the purpose of supplying the city with water,
obtained its charter. The Bronx River,
proposed as the source of supply, was surveyed.
The second bank, the Manhattan Company,
was established at No. 23 Wall Street.

1800. — Collect Pond was filled in. This body of
fresh water, situated on the present site of
the Tombs, was of such great depth that
several contractors, who engaged to fill it,
were said to have become bankrupt in their
efforts to do so. Many times earth rose above
its level in the evening, but the next morning's

MA A' 11 A TTAN, 207

sun shone again on sparkling waters, the
debris having disappeared beneath its surface.

On its western borders, surrounded by
groves of trees and blackberry wilds, once was
situated an Indian village, no doubt the home
of the Manhattans. Fish were abundant in
the pond for more than one hundred years
after the Christian settlement of the Island,
and one of its promontories was so abundantly
strewn with a deposit of shells that the Dutch
named it " Kalchook," or " Lime Shell Point."
The water w^as of unusual purity, the cele-
brated Tea-water Spring having been one of
its many fountains, and a number of brooks
that flowed to both rivers, formed picturesque
outlets for its seemingly inexhaustible supply.
Doubtless the stoppage of these springs had
much to do with the subsequent epidemics of
yellow fever that occasioned so much mourn-
ing throughout the city.
1 80 1. — The real and personal property of the city
and county was valued at $21,964,037, and a
tax was laid of one mill on the dollar.

The Evening Post issued its first number.
1804. — Alexander Hamilton was killed in a duel
with Aaron Burr.

Sunday-schools were established.

Hackney coaches were licensed.

The first recorder of New York City was

Some alterations in the franchise having
opened elections to the participation of a
large number, whom property restrictions had
previously prevented from having a voice in
the choice of the city magistrates, this year,
for the first time, witnessed a Republican
majority in the Board.

2 o8 MA NHA T TA N.

1805. — Fort Clinton was erected.

The New York Free School was incorpor-
1806. — Steam navigation was successfully demon-
strated by Robert Fulton.

The New York Orphan Asylum Society
was founded. Mrs. Sarah Hoffman and Mrs.
Alexander Hamilton were the first and second
1807. — The city was surveyed and laid out, by a
commission appointed by the Legislature, in
which Gouverneur Morris, DeWitt Clinton, and
other prominent persons were active members.
The city contained thirty-one benevolent

A College of Physicians and Surgeons was

Washington Irving, distinguished as a heed-
less law-student, was admitted to the bar.
1808. — The American Academy of Fine Arts was

181 1. — The first ferry carried passengers to

181 2. — War was declared against Great Britain.

Steam was utilized on the Jersey City ferry-

The manufacture of i^ins was inaugurated
in the city by English workmen, who procured
one dollar a paper for their product.
1 814. — Brooklyn ferry-boats adopted steam.

Specie payments were suspended for nearly
three years.
181 5. — New York received with enthusiasm, the
news of a treaty of peace between the United
States and Great Britain.

Thirteen Insurance Companies were located
in Wall Street.


18 16. — The Common Council of New York pro-
hibited chimney-sweepers from crying their
trade in the streets.

Enormous importations of merchandise from
Europe rendered this year a memorable one
among commercial men.
181 7. — The first regular packet-ships, called the
Black Ball Line, sailed between New York
and Liverpool.

An Asylum for the deaf and dumb was in-
1818. — Shoe pegs were introduced.
1 81 9. — The first ocean steamship, the " Savannah,"
crossed the Atlantic from New York to Liver-

The first Savings Bank was opened,
1820. — The population of New York was one hun-
dred and twenty-three thousand, seven hun-
dred and six.

New York and New Orleans were connected
by a line of steamships.

The N'e^u York Observer was published.
Fire-proof safes, constructed of iron and
wood, were imported from France.

Daily mails were established between New
York, and Brooklyn and Jamaica, Long Island.

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Online LibraryCorolyn Faville OberManhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; → online text (page 10 of 12)