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Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 10) online

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a sale was made at Auction of Fourteen Lots of ground on Norfolk
Street assessed for Taxes as the property of Dr. Nicholas Romaine;
that at the time of Sale Seven were the property of J. J. Astor and
Seven of William Cutting; and requesting Two Separate Certificates
to be given to J. J. Astor for 7 Lots and one to S. Ludlum for 7
Lots who was the purchaser of the said Seven Lots belonging to

126 CITY OF NEW YORK 7 Dec. 1818

William Cutting Whereupon the same was referred to the Comp-
troller & Street Commissioner.

A petition of Henry W T ard stating that he had been assessed for
personal Tax in the First Ward & had paid the same; that he has
also been Assessed in the Second Ward, and praying relief therefrom
was re- [376] ferred to the Comptroller to report.

A Petition of John Harriot for Stall No. 55 Fly Market of James
Weeden for Stall No. 55 or 57 same market: of Maria Manolt for
continuance to her of Stall No. 57 owned by her husband now absent
from the City on business, and of Samuel Weeks praying that Stall
No. 55 Fly Market owned by his son who has left the City may be
continued to him for One year whereupon the same were referred
to the Market Committee.

A petition of John Jacob Astor was received stating that he had
been assessed on Thirty one Lots of ground in the 7 th ward lying on
the West Side of Montgomery Street and running from Division to
Lombardy Street and without examining into his Title has paid the
Taxes thereon from 1812 to 1817 that he has recently discovered that
but Thirteen of said Lots belong to him and praying to be refunded
the money erroneously paid with interest thereon whereupon the
same was referred to the Finance Committee.

A petition from Edward and W m M. Hitchcock [377] Contractors
for the Streets was received Stating that Some complaints have been
made to the Attorney respecting the cleaning of the Streets which were,
on receiving notice of them, immediately attended to ; that, as the sys-
tem on which they acted was a new one and considered in some meas-
ure as an experiment, some few omissions were to be expected: they
therefore hoped the Common Council would remit the penalties should
any have occurred which was referred to the Committee on Streets.

A Communication was received from the Weighmaster General
which was read and laid for consideration.

The following persons were appointed Fire Wardens & Firemen
(the Chief Engineer certifying the Vacancies:)

" Fire Warden of the First Ward."

Henry Rankin Grocer No. 3 Carlisle St. 1 st ward vice Francis
Cooper Removed

" Fire Warden of the 4 th ward."

Eldad Holmes grocer 65 James Street 4 th ward vice John P. An-
thony Resigned


" Hook and Ladder Company No. 3."

Jno. Delamater Carpenter Vandam St. 8 th ward vice George Smith

Thomas Morgan Chair-maker Thompson St. 8 th Ward vice P. P.
Roome, Resigned.

[378] " Hook & Ladder Company No. 4."

Abraham Florentine Carpenter 4 Birmingham St. 7 w d vice Charles
Morrell Resigned.

" Fire Engine Companies."

Number 6.

James Dobson Tinplater Vesey St. 3 d ward vice Oliver A. White,

No. 11.

James Bloomer Mercht. 30 Water St. 1 ward vice Eli Traver

No. 12.

W m Bttrras. Cabinet Maker 233 William 4 ward vice Peter Van
Cott Resigned

Jacob Van Nostand Carpenter 1 Oliver St. 4 ward vice Benajah
Strong Removed

Ebenezer Liddle, Chairgilder 233 William 4 ward vice James
Turner Removed.

No. 33.

L. DeCoudris, Brass Founder, Cherry St. 7 ward vice Thomas
Price Removed

No. 34.

James Mills, Stone Cutter, Downing St. 8 ward vice Philo Lewis

The City Inspector presented Ordinances for correction of Sundry
Nuisances as follow which Ordinances were passed :

1. [379] G. Haight Own.} Qn

' ' . ~ 1- 80 Chrystie St. Lot

E. Tucker Occ.

2. James Farrell Les. ) _ TT

TJ r i 93 Hester Privy

Jno. r. Certain Occ. ^

3 Mrs. Duffy Own.)

T TJ 11 /-> V 190 do - do

Jas. Howell Occ. ^

4 Mrs. Duffy Own.) ,, _,

AT /- j ^ f 61 Eldndge do.

Mrs. Gardner Occ. \

128 CITY OF NEW YORK 7 Dec. 1818

5 Mrs. S. Ferris Own. & Occ Grand & Forsythe Privy

6 W. M. Somers do. do. do. do.

7 D. Rapelye Own.) Grand c. Chrystie

T. Lecount Occ. ^ Sts do.

8 H. Singer Les. & Occ. 67 Forsythe St. do.

9 Widow Shatzel Own.)

c ., ~ , ~ > /D do. do

Silas Comb Occ. \

10 Widow C. Cox Own.)
S. Churchill & H. Streets Occ. \

11 Enoch Hoyt. Own. & Oc. 85 do. do

12 Mrs. Spicer do. do. 77 Chrystie St. do.

13 G. Haight Own.)

c, rp f 80 do. do

E. Tucker Occ. \

14 Hicks & Titus Own.)
D. Bogert & D. Tibbits Occ. {

15 R. Betts Own.)
J. Barker Occ. f

16 [3801 S. Purdy Own.)

T T ~ 89 do. do

Jno. Lent Occ. ^

17 Betsey Morris & Belinda )

T \ 93 do. do

Lucas Les. & Oc. \

18 John Appleby Own.) g? ^ ^
]. James & C. Wilson Occ. ^

19 R. Cochran Own.) 1ri1

'101 do. do

S. Johnston Occ. ^

20 R. Cochran Own.) ir .,

r~ U03. do. do

Peter Tellon Occ. ^

(signed) George Cuming

City Inspector

A Communication was received from Dr. Stephen Brown and Dr.
John J. Howe House Physician and Surgeon to the Bellevue Estab-
lishment stating the number of patients which they had to attend at
that Establishment amounting in all to 261 persons, representing the
various and laborious duties which they had to perform and request-
ing an increase of their Salary. Whereupon it was referred to the
Alms' house Committee with a request that they would call upon Drs.
Akerly and Drake the visiting Surgeon and Physician for informa-
tion on the subject of said petition.

[381] The Counsel [presented] the Draught of a Lease of a Lot of
ground in Grand Street near the Ferry to William Vail, which was
directed to be duly executed.


He also presented the Counterpart of the grant from the Corpo-
ration of Trinity Church for a Strip of ground adjoining the Market
at Greenwich, which was directed to be duly executed.

The Street Commissioner presented a Communication Stating that
by the gale of wind on the night of the 5 th instant near 600 feet of
the Bulkhead at the Battery had been washed away and that the re-
maining part was so much decayed that probably the next Storm
would entirely demolish it, and he recommended that measures Should
be immediately taken to secure the same from farther injury. Where-
upon it was referred to the following Committee to take such meas-
ures as they may deem necessary to secure the Battery from farther
injury and to report at the next meeting the probable expence of the
same Viz. Aldermen Mesier Thorp Mr. Stevens Aid. Morss Aid.

[382] The Street Commissioner presented Assessments for a Well
and Pump in Willet Street and for one in Duane Street near Elm
Street : also an Assessment for regulating Laurens Street from Spring
Street to Amity Lane which were confirmed and Noah Jarvis ap-
pointed Collector in each.

He also presented a Return of Delinquents on the following Assess-
ments and Warrants were directed to issue to N. Jarvis the Collector
to collect the same.

Viz. For a Well & Pump in Columbia Street
do. do Cherry Street

do. do. Cannon Street.

For regulating Bleecker Street

" regulating & paving Walker Street
" opening Henry Street.

The Comptroller, on the petition of Henry Gahn, reported :

" It appears from an examination of the Books and Minutes of the
Corporation that a balance remained with the Treasurer in the year
1808 of $287.98. On the 30 th May 1808 a Warrant passed in favor
of John La Forgue [383] attorney of Ursule Eugenia Jouette, the
Widow of Pierre Michael Magnan, heiress of one half of the Estate
of the late Ursule Francaise Maillet, widow of Pierre Helaire Jouette,
for $146.24.

" The 20 th February 1815 a petition of Louis Matthias de Jouette
by Stephen L. Falott his Attorney praying for a Moiety of the Estate
of his Mother Ursula Mahiel de Jouette, who died Intestate in 1807,
was referred to the Counsel and Chamberlain.

" On the 19 th June following the Counsel and Chamberlain reported

130 CITY OF NEW YORK 7 Dec. 1818

that they are satisfied that the facts set forth in the petition are true
and recommend that the prayer of the petitioner be granted, and a
Warrant directed to issue for the amount $143.99 to be paid to the
petitioner upon his executing Bonds of Indemnity to the Corporation
as usual on the payment of distributive shares of Intestate Estates."
This Report was approved and a Warrant ordered to issue. July 31.
1815 a Warrant passed in favor of L. de Jouette for $143.98 which
appears to have been delivered to J. Zuntz.

" The above Statement of facts the Comptroller has taken the
liberty of presenting to the Board, as the public Administrator with
whom he was associated in the reference of Mr. Gahn's petition was
in office subsequently to the transactions before mentioned.

[384] As the amount belonging to the Estate of Mrs. Jouette ap-
pears to have been regularly disposed of to the legal heirs and as the
Two trunks of papers or any other effects alluded to in the petition
are not in possession of any Officer of the Corporation nor is it known
where they are no further order Seems necessary on the Subject."

(signed) G. N. Bleecker

which was directed to be filed.

The Special Committee on the Subject of Weighmasters reported:
" That agreeably to a Resolution of this Board the Committee have
had a meeting with Cornelius Ray, Robert Lenox, William Bayard
and Preserved Fish Esqrs. a Committee appointed by the Chamber of
Commerce to confer with the Committee from this Board and, after
hearing the objections made by the Committee on behalf of the mer-
chants, and having also investigated the subject with all the care and
importance which its importance required, offer for the consideration
of the Board the following Resolutions :

" Resolved that the Ordinance passed October 12 th 1818 entitled
an Ordinance to regulate Weigh- [385] masters be repealed from and
after the 15 th instant.

" Resolved that the number of Weighmasters in this City shall not
exceed Twenty five and that no new appointment to that office shall
be made until the number be reduced by resignation or otherwise to

(signed) Reuben Munson
Stephen Allen
G. Buckmaster
E. W. King


The same having been read Alderman Taylor moved that the con-
sideration thereof be postponed.

The question being taken thereon and a Division being called the
Members voted as follows :

Affirmative. Mr. Recorder Aid. Underhill Morss Taylor Thorp
Messrs. Westervelt Parker Akerly Board. 9.

Negative. Aid. Mesier King Van Amringe Buckmaster Munson
Messrs. Bolton Stevens Kip Allen 9.

The Board being equally divided his Honor the Mayor gave his
vote in the Negative So the motion was lost. The question was
then taken on agreeing [386] to the First Resolution proposed in the
report and a Division having been called the Members voted as on the
former question. The Board being equally divided his Honor the
Mayor gave his Vote in the Affirmative, so the Resolution was carried
in the Affirmative.

The question was then taken on the Second Resolution and agreed
to. Alderman Taylor gave notice that he would at the next meeting
move for a reconsideration of the vote given. A motion was then
made that the Committee on Weighmasters be directed to report at the
next meeting a Tariff of Fees and Charges. It was moved that the
consideration of that motion be postponed, which was carried in the

The Committee on Assessments to whom were referred the peti-
tions of Thomas C. Doremus and James La Tourette, reported:

" That they have Satisfactorily ascertained the matters Stated in
the Said petitions respectively to be true and that the petitioner Dore-
mus is not worth more than Two thousand Five hundred Dollars and
that the other petitioner is is not worth to exceed Three thousand
Dollars and that they have each been taxed the Sum of [387] Eighty
Six dollars : That with respect to the former he was misled by having
been assessed in the Third Ward the preceding year and now in the
Second: and that the latter is a young man just established in busi-
ness and was never before Assessed, and that neither of them was
Seen by the Assessors or had any information in regard to the Tax
until they were called on for payment.

" Your Committee are aware of the danger of interfering generally
to give relief from Taxes regularly assessed but when cases of ex-
treme hardship like the present occur where the Taxes imposed exceed
all reasonable bounds and where a Satisfactory excuse is offered for
not applying to the Assessors to get it rectified they consider the Com-
mon Council called upon by imperious duty to give relief, otherwise

132 CITY OF NEW YORK 7 Dec. 1818

embarrassments and even ruin might be the consequence to many.
The duties of the Assessors are doubtless very arduous but it is to be
regretted that that from the difficulties they meet with in ascertaining
the amount of Individuals' personal property they are Sometimes in-
duced to make an Estimate without any data and without seeing the
party or giving him any intimation respecting it. Such, your Com-
mittee are well assured, was the case in both of these instances. Your
Committee are therefore [388] of opinion that these cases ought to be
considered as exceptions to the general rule and that the petitioners
are justly entitled to relief, and to that end they offer the following
Resolution :

" Resolved that the Collector of Taxes of the Second Ward be au-
thorised to receive from Thomas C. Doremus the Sum of Ten Dollars
and Seventy five cents and from James La Tourette the Sum of Twelve
Dollars & Ninety cents in full of their respective personal Tax for the

present year." . .

(signed) J. J. Westervelt

E. W. King
S. Parker
Thomas Bolton

which was approved & the Resolutions agreed to.

The Committee on Assessments, to whom was referred the Re-
monstrance of the Trustees of the Baptist and Methodist Churches,
reported :

' That they have had the Subject under consideration, examined the
Assessment complained of and have been attended by the Assessors
who made it and heard their explanations in relation thereto from
all which it appears that the Said Churches respectively are owners
in [389] fee of certain pieces of vacant ground in the vicinity of
a Well and Pump lately placed in Second Avenue expressly appropri-
ated as a burial ground, which have been assessed equal with other
grounds in the neighbourhood for the expence of the said well and
pump. The Assessors being under an impression that the grounds
belonging to the Methodist Church might hereafter be improved by
having a Church placed upon it, and that those belonging to the Bap-
tist Church might be sold as building lots, and particularly the front
part where no dead were yet interred, and anticipating those results
conceived it their duty to assess those grounds in the same manner
as if they had belonged to individuals.

1 The act under which this Assessment was made directs that " the
expence shall be estimated and assessed among all the owners or oc-


cupants of the houses and lots of ground intended to be benefitted
thereby' from which it is evident that the assessors are bound to
anticipate the erection of houses on vacant lots, when they can rea-
sonably do so, and to assess them in the same manner as if the houses
were already erected, but when a piece of ground is exclusively used
as a Cemetery it is difficult to perceive how it can be benefitted by
having a Well and pump near it.

[390] " The Legislature have exempted Churches and burial
grounds from the payment of Taxes and the Supreme Court have
strongly intimated that such property ought not to bear an equal pro-
portion to that of individuals for the expence of improving and widen-
ing Streets. With what propriety then ought they to be assessed an
equal ratio with private property for the expence of making Wells &
pumps ?

" With respect to Churches, in the opinion of your Committee it
may not be improper to assess them a small proportion inasmuch
as a Well and Pump in their vicinity may add to their safety in case
of fire and afford facilities in cleansing them, but burial grounds as
such cannot be benefitted and therefore in no case ought to bear any
part of the expence. And as these cases frequently occur it is im-
portant that some general rule should be adopted by the Common
Council to regulate such Assessments in future, and with a view to
accomplish that object and relieve the petitioners your Committee offer
the following Resolutions :

" Resolved that in future no grounds occupied exclusively as a.
Cemetery in this City shall be assessed for the expence of making any
Well [391] or pump and that grounds occupied by any Church or place
of Divine Worship shall only be liable to be assessed therefor in a ratio
not exceeding one fourth as much as other property.

" Resolved that the Assessment for a Well and Pump in Second
Avenue between First and North Streets be referred back to the As-
sessors for correction and revision and that the Clerk furnish them
with a copy of the preceding Resolution."

(signed) J. J. Westervelt
E. W. King
S. Parker
Thomas Bolton
which was approved & the Resolutions agreed to.

The Committee on Arts and Sciences, on the proposition of Monsieur
Monneron, reported :

" The petition of Mr. Monneron referred to the Committee of Arts

134 CITY OF NEW YORK 7 Dec. 1818

and Sciences has been under consideration. It proposes to erect upon
the City Hall a Sun Dial and within the same a Clock with Two faces,
one of which is to designate the true time and the other the mean time.
The true time is that marked by the Sun's arrival at the meridian of
any place, and Mr. Monneron proposes that one face of the clock
should point this out [392] and announce it daily by the firing of a
pistol to be discharged by the sun's rays concentrated by a lens. The
other face will shew the mean or Clock time and thus point out the
difference. The advantages held out by Mr. Manneron do not appear
of sufficient magnitude to warrant the expence, wherefore your Com-
mittee cannot recommend the adoption of the plan and accordingly^
offer for the adoption of the Board the following Resolution:

" Resolved that it is inexpedient to adopt the plan and proposal of
Mr. Monneron."

(signed) Saml. Akerly
" Peter Mesier

" John Morss

E. W. King

which was approved & the Resolution agreed to.

The Same Committee, on the memorial of Jacob Acker, reported :
" That Mr. Acker has presented to the examination of the Com-
mittee a graduated Instrument or Scale by which a Load of Fire
Wood may be measured with great exactness & dispatch : and your
Committee are of the opinion that said Instrument will be of great
service in the [393] hands of the Inspectors of Firewood in ascer-
taining the Solid contents of a load of wood, whereby equal justice will
be dispensed to the buyer and Seller. The solid contents of a Cart
load of wood as determined by law should be 37 ft. 10 inches &
% 2 but in some of the wood brought to Market it is so short that
the buyer may lose from 4 to 10 Solid feet in a Load. This is to be
remedied by the Inspectors, but for want of a Scale already calculated
this is not done. The Instrument offered by Mr. Acker will meet the
case and the Committee recommend that the Same be adopted and the
Inspectors of Firewood be directed to furnish themselves with such
a scale. Mr. Acker does not ask for any compensation, but the Com-
mittee in consideration of his attention and skill in calculating the
graduation of this scale recommend that he be complimented with
Twenty dollars Your Committee therefore recommend the following
Resolutions :

" Resolved that the Superintendant of Repairs, under the direction
of Mr. Acker, make a neat and complete Instrument and scale for


the measurement of Fire Wood and that the Same be deposited in the
office of the City Inspector as a Standard.

" Resolved that when so completed it shall be called Acker's Scale
for the Measurement of Fire- [394] Wood and that the City Inspector
be directed to inform the several Inspectors of Fire Wood that they
must furnish themselves with an Instrument according to the Stan-
dard Model and that they must measure Fire Wood by the scale

" Resolved that a Warrant pass for 20 dollars in favor of Jacob
Acker for his ingenuity and Skill in calculating the Scale for the afore-
said Instrument."

(signed) Saml. Akerly

Peter Mesier
John Morss
E. W. King.

whereupon the first two resolutions were agreed to and the last Reso-
lution laid for consideration.

The same Committee, on the communication of Henry & G. Bar-
clay, reported :

" That the petitioners propose to make the Jail and Bridewell con-
form in appearance to the front of the City Hall by covering those
buildings with Parker's Roman Cement of a Similar Colour. Your
Committee consider the project as an unnecessary expence inasmuch as
in all [395] probability these buildings will not remain long in their
present location They therefore offer the following Resolution :

" Resolved that the offer of Messrs. Barclay to face the Jail and
Bridewell with Parker's Roman Cement be not accepted."

(signed) Samuel Akerly
Peter Mesier
" John Morss

E. W. King
which was approved and the Resolution agreed to.

The Same Committee, on the petition of John Kenrick, reported :

' That he has invented a Machine for Submarine ploughing which
he imagines will be usefully applied in removing the Bar at Sandy
Hook and thus improve the navigable communication with New York.
Mr. Kenrick offers for One hundred thousand dollars to cut a channel
thro' the Bar Ten rods wide and four fathoms deep from high water
and then to give the Corporation the use of his said invention forever
to be applied to the same use if the channel should again fill up. The
Committee of Arts and Sciences have had this communication before

136 CITY OF NEW YORK 7 Dec. 1818

them and consider the [396] proposal a wild project and at any rate
if practicable at this time inexpedient. Therefore

" Resolved that Mr. John Kenrick have leave to withdraw his pe-

(signed) Saml. Akerly
Peter Mesier
John Morss
E. W. King

which was approved and leave given petitioner to withdraw his peti-

The same Committee, on the petition of Francis Mezzara, reported :
" The preceding Communication referred to the Committee of Arts
& Sciences appears to be a complaint addressed to the Mayor in bad
French in relation to a fine imposed upon one Francis Mezzara in the
Mayor's Court and as it was not intended for the Corporation There-

" Resolved that he have leave to withdraw his complaint."

(signed) Saml. Akerly
" Peter Mesier

John Morss
E. W. King

which was approved and leave given petitioner to withdraw his peti-

[397] The Special Committee, to whom was referred the Commu-
nication of the Chamber of Commerce requesting the co-operation of
the Common Council in an application to the Legislature on the sub-
ject of Wheat and Flour, reported :

" That your Committee have conferred with several other Com-
mittees on this subject and have with them agreed to present the
Memorial and Bill herewith submitted to the next Legislature for their
adoption and your Committee beg leave to offer the following Reso-
lution :

" Resolved that the Corporation will concur in applying to the
Legislature for the passage of the above mentioned law and that the
Seal be affixed to a suitable application to be prepared and submitted
by the next meeting of the Board."

(signed) P. Mesier

W. F. Van Amringe
Reuben Munson
Geo. B. Thorp
D. Board.


which was approved and the Counsel directed to report a Memorial
agreeably to said Report and Resolution

Mr. Stevens presented a Resolution for rescinding [398] the Reso-
lution of the 5 th of October last directing the Assessors for valuing
the ground at the New Market to assess a portion of the expence on
property supposed to be benefitted which being read was laid for
further consideration.

This being the period, agreeably to the Charter, for the appoint-
ment of High Constable, His Honor the Mayor was pleased to appoint
to that office Mr. Jacob Hays who took & subscribed the oaths pre-

Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 10) → online text (page 12 of 65)