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

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was dispensed with.

Upon motion, the Resolution of the Board agreed to at the Special
Meeting on the 19 th inst. & the reply of General Jackson thereto, which
was reported on the 22 d , were severally read.

[228] Mr. Stevens, from the Committee of Arrangements, in-
formed the Common Council that they had waited upon General Jack-
son and accompanied him to the Hall and that he was now in waiting
in the Common Council Chamber.

The Committee were then requested to wait upon the General, in-
form him that the Common Council were assembled prepared to re-
ceive him and introduce him to the Board.

The Committee accordingly retired and in a few minutes General
Jackson entered. Upon his entrance the Common Council rose to re-
ceive him. After being seated a few moments two of the Committee
led him to the centre of the space occupied by the Common Council
and presented him to the Mayor, upon which his Honor the Mayor
addressed him as follows :

' Address of the Mayor.'
Major General Jackson.

" No task could be more gratifying to me than that which I am
now to perform. [229] I am to congratulate you, in behalf of the
Common Council and of our fellow Citizens, on your arrival among us.

' We are happy to avail ourselves of the first opportunity of testi-

264 CITY OF NEW YORK 23 Feb. 1819

fying by every mark of respect the feelings your high military services
have inspired.

" While the whole country was agitated by the threatened invasion
of a powerful foe, we could not but learn with anxiety that he had
directed a large armament to a point where it was known he could
only be met by an inferior force, chiefly composed of our undisclipined
and inexperienced countrymen. We knew that Britain, at the end of a
contest which had convulsed Europe for Twenty years, had destined
her veteran and victorious troops to make war upon us : but the sons of
our soil, animated by your spirit and conducted by your wisdom, drove
the invaders from our shores and achieved a victory, which, while it
raised the character of our country to an elevation that attracted the
admiration of the rest of the world, left to every American a debt of
gratitude to you, and to our brave brethren who fought with you,
which can never [230] be cancelled.

" With these sentiments allow me to present to you this certificate of
your being admitted a freeman of this City, and to thank you for your
compliance with the Resolution of the Common Council requesting
your portrait.

'' Permit me also to assure you that we shall feel great pride in
being able to claim you as our fellow citizen, and in placing the portrait
of one who has deserved so well of his country in our Gallery occu-
pied by the resemblances of many who have similar, tho' no one
superior, claims to our grateful acknowledgment."

To which General Jackson made the following reply:

The distinguished honor which the Common Council of the City of
New York has conferred by my admission as a freeman of their City
is to me a source of the highest gratification and will ever be recol-
lected with feelings of the warmest sensibility. To be associated with
those who have been [231] distinguished for their patriotism and
zealous attachment to the republican principles of our government is
the most exalted station of an American citizen. The approbation
you have been pleased to express of my humble efforts in the field
command my greatest acknowledgments. For those sentiments am I
indebted to the bravery of the troops I had the honor to command.

' What I have done was for my country. Had I erred in the dis-
charge of my official duty, that error would have originated in the
warmth of my devotion to her interest and a misapplication of the
means best calculated to promote her happiness and prosperity : but
to find that my conduct has been sanctioned by my government and


This remarkable document, previously unpublished, was discovered by the editor
imong the loose papers in the custody of the city clerk. The common council saw fit
o honor General Jackson for his military achievements with the freedom of the City,
'ifter the Freeman's Oath had been administered by Mayor Golden, the General
ippended his signature to this document and it was placed on file (see vol. ~X, pp.
163-5). For other references to the same incident see vol. X, pp. 254-5, 256-7, 265-6,
86, 340, 366; XI, 291, 314-5, 647; XII, 170.


approved by my fellow citizens is a source of happiness unequalled in
the occurrences of my life, for the proudest honor which can grace
the soldier and the richest reward which he can receive for the
fatigues, perils & privations of his profession is the approbation of a
grateful country."

The general was then handed by two of the Committee and
seated on the right of the Mayor. His Honor then administered to
him the Oath [232] of a Freeman as prescribed by Law and delivered
to him the Certificate of his being a freeman. His Honor the Mayor
then arose and announced General Jackson to have been admitted a
freeman of the City of New York agreeably to the Charter and Laws
of the same.

The General was then introduced by the Committee of Arrange-
ments to the several members of the Common Council, after which he
retired accompanied by the Committee of Arrangements.

Adjourned to meet on Monday next 5 o'clock

[233] In Common Council March 1. 1819

Present The Hon. Cadwallader D. Colden, Mayor, President.

Richard Riker Esqr. Recorder.

Aldermen. Assistants.

Peter Mesier Thomas Bolton

Elisha W. King Samuel Stevens

Anthony L. Underhill Leonard Kip

W m F. Van Amringe John P. Anthony

John Morss John J. Westervelt

Robert M c Queen Shivers Parker

George Buckmaster Samuel Akerly

Jacob B. Taylor David Board

George B. Thorp Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson

The Minutes of the Two last meetings were read & approved.

A Commission to the Honorable Cadwallader D. Colden under the
Great Seal of the State, bearing date the 9 th of February 1819, ap-
pointing him Mayor of the City of New York for one year, was read
and his Honor, having previously taken the Oath prescribed by Law
was declared in due form as Mayor of the City for the ensuing year.

[234] The following Letter from Major General Jackson to his
Honor the Mayor was read and directed to be published :

266 CITY or NEW YORK 1 March 1819

The Hon. C. D. Golden Philadelphia

Mayor of the City Feby 25. 1819.

of New York.

" I avail myself of the present opportunity to express the gratitude
I feel for the polite attention and hospitality with which I was received
by you and the Citizens of New York: for which, Sir, permit me to
present through you to the Corporation of your City my sincere ac-
knowledgments and to offer you the assurance of my personal friend-
ship and regard and the deep interest I shall ever feel in the happiness
and prosperity of yourself and Associates."

I am, Sir, With every sentiment of respect and sincerity of regard
your Ob* ser vt

(signed) Andrew Jackson.

[235] A petition of John Bedient for appointment of Sealer of
Weights and Measures : one of Isaac Stoutenburgh for appointment
of Measurer of grain, and one of Joseph P. Simpson for appointment
of Sealer of Weights and Measures, were read and referred to the
Committee on Applications.

A petition of the Administrators of the French Benevolent Society
for pecuniary aid in behalf of said Institution was read and referred
to the Committee of Charity.

A Memorial of James Jersey complaining of the conduct of Jacob
Ackerman, Inspector of Fire wood, for inspecting a load of Fire wood
short of legal measure, was read and referred to the Committee on
Public Offices.

A petition of Joshua Jones and Elias Burger praying that piers may
be run out at Vesey Street and Barclay Street and that West Street be
completed as far as Murray Street, was read and referred to the Com-
mittee on Wharves, Piers & Slips.

A petition from a number of Inhabitants in- [236] terested in lands
required for opening Grand Street from the Bowery to Broadway,
praying that the collection of the assessment for opening of said
Street and the opening of said Street may be delayed One year, was
read and referred to the Committee on Streets.

A petition of George Messervie, Butcher, praying remission of
fine for selling with light weights, was read and the fine remitted on
payment of costs.

A petition of Jane Mullen for Huckster's Stand in Catharine
Market: one of Nathaniel Moore for Stall No. 1 Gouverneur Market


and of Henry Hammond for Stall No. 41 Catharine Market, were read
and referred to the Market Committee.

A petition of George Platt for appointment of Superintendant of
Mud Machine was read and referred to the Committee on Wharves,
Piers & Slips.

A petition from Hicks & Titus for re- [237] mission of fine in-
curred respecting a Nuisance was read and referred to the City In-

A petition that M c Dougal & Sullivan Streets from Bleecker to
Amity Street be filled up and regulated, was read and referred to
the Street Committee.

A Communication was received from a Committee of the Fire
Wardens of the City, submitting to the Corporation certain amend-
ments to the Fire Law which they considered as important to be made,
was read and referred to the Committee on the Fire Department.

A Complaint was received from a number of Inhabitants com-
plaining of the riotous conduct of persons assembling in Grand Street
Market house and was referred to the Market Committee.

A petition from sundry Inhabitants complaining of the mode of
paving Collect Street was read and the same was referred to the Street

[238] The following persons were appointed Firemen the Chief
Engineer certifying the vacancies :

" Fire Engine Company No. 5."

James D. Bisset Jr. Account 1 16 Dutch St. 2 d Ward vice James
Oliver Removed

John A. Hicks Accountant 219 Pearl St. 2 d Ward vice H. V.
Costar, Resigned

" Fire Engine Company No. 11."

Neil Gray Merchant 50 John St. 2 d Ward vice Peter Winants

William Crane Carpenter 9 Front St. 1 st Ward vice Phineas B.
Carman Resigned

" Fire Engine Company No. 20."

William Knox. Accountant 3 Carlisle St. 1 Ward vice Silvanus
Osborn Removed

Leonard W. Archer Turner 90 Greenwich St. 1 ward vice Henry
Rankin made Fire Warden

17 Batavia Street do
21 do do

268 CITY OF NEW YORK 1 March 1819

The Street Commissioner presented an Ordinance for a Well in
Essex Street near Broome Street, which was passed and Jacob C. Mott,
Abraham Baudouine and John Brower were appointed Assessors.

The City Inspector presented Ordinances for correction of sundry
Nuisances which [239] were passed : viz

1 Jas. C. Roosevelt Own.) ^ T .

' ~ > 91 James Street a privy

W m Dougherty Occ. {

2 J. N. Granzeback Own) ,, ~, ,, c , ,
I 3 Chatham Street do
B. M c Gallaher Occ. \

3 James Tabele Agt. to]

Estate of Tabele dec d [132 do do

Oliver Ford Occ.J

4 Jas. C. Roosevelt Own.
Mary Weeks Occ.

5 Jas. C. Roosevelt Own.
P. Schuyler Occ.

6 N. G. Ingraham Agt. Cliff Street a Lot

7 Noah Scovil Own. do do

(signed) George Cuming

City Inspector.

The Comptroller presented the following :

" The purchaser of the Lease of the House and Lot No. 265
William Street near Pearl Street on the 11 th ultimo, has relinquished
the same for want of security.

" It is respectfully recommended that the Committee of Finance
be authorised to let or lease the house and lot aforesaid in such man-
ner as they shall judge most conducive [240] to the public interest."

(signed) G. N. Bleecker


Whereupon the following Resolution was presented by Mr. Allen
& agreed to :

" Resolved that the Comptroller, under the direction of the Finance
Committee, be authorized to sell or lease the house and Lot No. 265
William Street in such manner and on such terms as they shall deem
best calculated to promote the public interest."

The Comptroller also Reported :

" That agreeably to the 4 th Section of " an Act to amend an Act
entitled ' an act relative to the Court of probates, the Office of Surro-
gate and the granting of administrations " passed April 11, 1815 the


public Administrator ' shall once in every year, at such time as the
Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty may appoint for that purpose, ex-
hibit to them in Common Council convened a statement of his re-
ceipts and expenditures by virtue of such administrations respectively

" Agreeably to the Act, the Common Council are to appoint the time
when the [241] public Administrator is to exhibit a statement of his
receipts and expenditures. J. Nitchie was appointed on the 22 d May
1815 to this office and gave a Bond with surety in the penal sum of
$10,000. conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of his
Office agreeably to an order of the Board passed May 22 d 1815.

" J. Hammond was appointed in his place June 10. 1816, but it
does not appear that he has given a Bond according to the 1 st Section
of the Act aforesaid. In June and July 1818 Mr. Nitchie paid into
the Treasury the sum of $1287.39. There has been no payment made
by Mr. Hammond since his appointment nor have any accounts been
exhibited by either gentleman.

" The statement is respectfully submitted to the notice & further
order of the Board."

(signed) G. N. Bleecker


which was directed to be filed. Whereupon the following Resolution
was presented by Mr. Allen and agreed to :

" Resolved that the former & present public Administrator be re-
quested to exhibit to the Common Council on Monday the 8 th [242]
instant a statement of receipts & expenditures of all monies which have
come into their hands respectively as Public Administrator, with a
statement of such accounts and balances as are not adjusted or finally
settled, together with whatever explanations relative to the business
appertaining to the Office they may judge proper: and that it be the
duty of the public Administrator for the time being to exhibit to the
Common Council a like statement on the first Monday in January in
every year ; and that the Clerk furnish to the former and present pub-
lic Administrator each a copy of the above."

The following Resolution was also presented and agreed to :

"Resolved that the public Administrator enter into bond in the penal
sum of Ten thousand Dollars (with such surety as shall be approved
of by the Committee of Finance) conditioned for the faithful perform-
ance of the duties of his Office, and that the Clerk of this Board fur-
nish to him a copy of this Resolution."

[243] The Comptroller also presented a release of Quit rent on a

270 CITY OF NEW YORK 1 March 1819

Water Lot in the First Ward granted to Cornelius Van Home on the
26 th July 1734. " The Indenture is to Francis Saltus and Nicholas
Saltus: was commuted on the 28 th November 1812 and is approved
by the Counsel of the Board."

(signed) G. N. Bleecker

which was directed to be executed.

The Counsel, agreeably to order, presented the draught of a Law
establishing the rates of Wharfage at the public Slips and Basins
which was passed.

He also presented for execution draughts of the following Deeds
and Leases Viz

" A deed for a Lot of ground near the Washington Market to
William Howard

" A deed for Two Lots of ground at the Albany Basin to J. T.

" A lease of the Hay Scales at the foot of Duane Street to Abra-
ham Hart.

' A lease of the Hay Scales at Gouverneur's Slip to Isaac Valen-

[244] " A Lease of the School Room in the Engine House in Rose
Street to Frederick Fowler and of the School room in Spring Street
to John Hanning.

" A Lease of the Ferry at Home's Hook and the houses on both
sides to Abel Sammis.

" Also a Memorandum of an additional agreement with John Ran-
dell Junior."

(signed) Ogden Edwards


Which were directed to be duly executed.

The Special Committee, to whom was referred the petition of the
makers & venders of Weights, Beams and Measures complaining of
the conduct of Oliver Vanderbilt, Sealer of Weights and Measures
for the County, presented a Report, which was read. A Memorial
from Oliver Vanderbilt in justification of his conduct was also pre-
sented and read. The Report of the Committee was as follows :

" That they have carefully examined the subject of complaint which
admits of four separate and specific charges against the Sealer Viz.

" 1. [245] For over charging

" 2 d For refusing to seal

" 3 d For sending for Weights and Measures and taking them to his
own house contrary to law.


" 4. For taking small sums of money in lieu of the penalty.

" On the First charge the Committee are unable to judge correctly,
as the present law allows the Sealer a reasonable compensation for
his services for adjusting over the specific rates for sealing.

" On the Second Charge (for refusing to seal) it has been proved
to the Committee under oath.

" On the Third charge it appears to have been the practice of the
Sealer to send for the Weights and measures before he had examined
them and thereby in many cases run the Citizens to an unnecessary
and useless expence.

"The Fourth Charge, for compounding for small sums of money
has been not only fully proved by a number of respectable witnesses
but also admitted by the Sealer.

1 The Committee are therefore of opinion that Oliver Vanderbilt
has exercised the duties [246] of his Office in a vexatious and im-
proper manner, and beg leave to offer the following Resolutions :

"Resolved that Oliver Vanderbilt be, and he is hereby removed from
the office of County Sealer."

" Resolved that it shall not be lawful for the Sealer of Weights
and Measures appointed by this Board to vend any weights or meas-
ures in this City during the time he shall hold the office of Sealer nor
be concerned directly or indirectly in vending those articles.

' Resolved that it shall be the duty of the Sealer to inspect and
examine the Weights, Beams and Measures in use once in every year
at the stores or residence of the owners and for such examination he
shall be entitled to ask and receive for every fifty six twenty eight or
fourteen pound weight two cents, and for every weight of a smaller
denomination than fourteen pounds One cent ; for every liquid measure
One cent; for every dry measure two cents, for every scale, beam or
balance three cents and for every yard measure three cents provided
[247] the same shall be found correct, and all such as shall be found
not conformable to the Standard shall be sent to the Store of the said
Sealer at the expence of the owner in three days after being so noti-
fied in writing by the Sealer under the penalty of 20 dollars, and for
which he shall be allowed the sum prescribed by the present Law with
a reasonable compensation for such alterations as he may make pro-
vided always the additional compensation shall not exceed more than
the price of sealing, or unless a special Contract shall be made by the
parties agreeing to such further charges for extra services.

" Resolved that it may be lawful for the Sealer to examine the
Weights, Beams and measures used in this City, as much oftener in

272 CITY or NEW YORK 1 March 1819

the year as he may think proper, but without a charge for the same
if correct except once in every year.

" Resolved that the Ordinance in relation to Weights and measures
be so altered and amended that the same may be conformable to the
above resolutions, and that the Counsel be instructed to report an
ordinance accordingly at the next meeting of the Board."

[248] (signed) Leonard Kip

Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson
Geo. Buckmaster
David Board
" John Morss

Elisha W. King

The question being taken on each Resolution separately they were
severally carried in the Affirmative.

It was then resolved that the Committee on Applications be in-
structed to report at the next meeting of the Board on the subject of
appointing a person to fill the Office of Sealer of Weights and Meas-
ures for the City.

The Finance Committee, to whom had been referred a Communica-
tion from the Police Magistrates, presented a Report, which having
been amended was as follows :

' They have good reason to believe from the information fur-
nished by the Police Magistrates that their fee emoluments are mate-
rially reduced, owing [249] in part to much of their former business
being directed to other channels, and breaches of the peace, together
with other crimes diminishing to a degree before unknown.

' Your Committee consider the police of this great and populous
City as a very important feature in its government and the duties re-
quired of its Magistrates are arduous and demand their unremitted
and persevering exertions. It is a matter of public notoriety that for
some time past crimes have decreased in this City, and your Committee
have no hesitation in saying that, in their opinion, this state of things
is in a great measure brought about by the prompt and energetic
manner in which the business of the Police is executed in conjunction
with the measures adopted by the Chief Magistrate of this City, and
that this faithful administration of duty necessarily diminishes the
amount of income to the Justices.

" The present Salary of the Police Justices is 750 dollars per an-
num, and your Committee have deemed it their duty to recommend an


addition of 250 dollars to each of them and offer the following resolu-
tion [250] accordingly:

" Resolved that the Salary of the Police Justices be increased to
One thousand dollars per annum, to commence on the 26 th day of
February last."

(signed) Stephen Allen

W. F. Van Amringe
" Peter Mesier

Reuben Munson

The question being taken on agreeing to the Report and Resolutions
of the Committee, the same was carried in the Affirmative.

The Committee on Applications to the Legislature, to whom was
referred the Resolution requesting them to enquire and report whether
any and what amendments are necessary to the Law relative to the
recovery of debts to the value of Fifty dollars and under, reported :

" That they have had the subject under consideration and are of
opinion that the present organization of the Assistant Justices' Courts
in this City are productive of numerous abuses, and that in some cases,
suits are permitted without [251] reasonable cause, litigation encour-
aged and justice imperfectly administered. The Committee have not
sought for a particular detail of facts on this subject, but are per-
suaded from the opinion of those they have consulted, together with
their own observation, that the present system is injurious to the prop-
erty, morals and convenience of our Citizens and requires a radical
change. The Committee believe that the evils complained of are in
a great measure produced by the circumstance of the Justices de-
pending on the costs of suit for their emolument instead of a regular
& stated Salary, and there being more Courts than are necessary for
the due administration of justice and less business than will afford a
competency to the judges, a rivalry is created for sinister purposes
destructive to an independent and impartial discharge of duty. The
Committee therefore recommend the following outlines of a law, to be
presented to the Legislature for their concurrence, which in their
opinion will at least remove some of the most prominent objections
to the present system

" That the Nine lower wards be divided into Four Judicial Districts,
in each [252] of which a Court shall be held for the trial of causes to
the amount of 50 dollars and under.

" That the First, Second and Third Wards shall compose the First
district : That the Fourth and Sixth Wards shall compose the Second
district: That the Fifth and Eighth Wards shall compose the Third

274 CITY or NEW YORK l March 1819

district; and That the Seventh and Tenth Wards shall compose the
Fourth district.

" That there be Four persons appointed and commissioned by the
Council of Appointment to hold such Courts and that one of such
persons be from time to time assigned to each respective Court by the
Common Council.

" That the Justices respectively, instead of receiving fees of Office
to their own use, shall be compensated by a yearly salary to be paid
out of the City Treasury, and that the fees allowed by law shall be
granted to the Corporation and received according to their direction.

Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 10) → online text (page 24 of 65)