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depositing Manure south of North Street, but which complaints had
been remidied.

The Counsel presented the following Deeds for execution, viz.
The Counsel herewith submits for execution a deed to Andrew C



18 Sept. 1820 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 307

Zabriskie of a lot of ground in Gold Street. Also a lease to Joseph
Place of a Lot of Ground & dock at Brooklyn.

Also quit claim deeds to Peter Parks, & Dennis H Doyle of two
small pieces of ground lying in front of their lots in Oliver Street.
The ground described in those deeds is part of what it was con-
templated [350] to close for the purpose of straightening Oliver
Street, but which was not included in the petition to the Supreme
Court, because M r Parks the then owner of the adjoining ground,
refused to enter into stipulations to take it at the appraisement of the
Commissioners. He is now willing to take it for what the Commis-
sioners, in pursuance of a resolution of the Board, estimated it to be

Respectfully submitted
(Signed) Ogden Edwards

The Special Committee to whom was referred the Petition of David
Dunham reported.

That M r Dunham is the owner of a piece of land, which together
with the other land belonging to the Hiers of Petrus Stuyvesant de-
ceased, to others, is contained in a public place laid out by the
Commissioners appointed by the Act of the Legislature passed the
3 rd of April 1807. And he prays that the Corporation will proceed
to have this place opened, or else relinquish to him the right of ever
opening it hereafter.

The Corporation cannot relinquish this right, & abolish the public
place laid out by the Commissioners without an express law for that
purpose. Nor are they obliged to open any street, square or public
place until the public convenience may require it.

There may, however, be cases in which Justice would require
that a street or place should be opened with as little delay as prac-
ticable ; but in deciding whether the present case be one of that descrip-
tion, the interest of others must be considered [351] as well as that
of the petitioner.

Whenever the place in question shall be opened the expence must be
borne by the owners of the neighboring lots. None of these have
expressed any desire to have the place opened.

In the present unimproved state of that part of the City, & during
the present depression in the value of real estate, the Committee do
not think that public convenience requires the opening of the place in
question, or that it would be proper to impose the burden of opening
it on the neighboring proprietors. They therefore recommend the
following resolution.



308 CITY OF NEW YORK 18 Sept. 1820

Resolved, That it is not, at present, expedient to comply with the

petition of the said David Dunham. PAT

JL . /\ i ay.

Rob 1 Swartwout.
(Signed) Geo B Thorp.
J Hammond.
Tho Bolton.

Which was approved & the resolution adopted.

The Special Committee, to whom was referred the petition of
Silvanus Miller, presented a report which was read, the consideration
thereof postponed, & it was directed to be printed for the use of the
members.

The Committee on Streets to whom was referred the petition of
Thomas Jackson & others inhabitants of the Bowery praying that the
keepers of houses of entertainment may be permitted to exhibit their
signs in conspicuous positions for the direction of Travellers, pre-
sented a report in favor of the Petitioners. The question being taken
[352] thereon it passed in the Negative.

The same Committee on the Petition that Herring street may
be regulated

Reported. That altho' Herring Street has been used for many years,
as a public street, it is not a ceded street; but is claimed by your
petitioners as private property. Your Committee, therefore decline
acting on the petition, & offer the following resolution,

Resolved, that the prayer of the petitioners ought not to be

Rob 4 Swartwout.
Asa Mann.

(Signed) S. P. Brittan.
Isaac Emmons.
Shivers Parker.

Which was approved & the resolution adopted.

The Market Committee on tire petition of Stephen Doane for
Stall N 7 Grand Street Market,
Reported,

' Resolved that the prayer of the petitioner be granted."

(Signed.) Harm* Tallman.
Cha 9 Town.
Sam 1 Tooker.
Stephen Allen.
Which was approved & the resolution adopted.



18 Sept. 1820 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 309

The Finance Committee on the petition of Pinkerton & Forgay

[353] Reported,

That there appears to be a balance due the Petitioners for paving
said Street; (Broadway) but, as a part of their contract was, that
the money were to be paid them, when collected, & as the property
is now advertised for the deficiency, & will be sold on the 26 th Instant,
& the money received into the Treasury, the Committee are of opinion,
it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the Petitioners, & they offer
the following resolution, accordingly.

Resolved, that it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the
petitioners.

Respectfully submitted

Stephen Allen.

(Signed.) Samuel Tooker.
B. Crane.
J. Hammond.

Which was approved & the resolution adopted.

The same Committee to whom was referred the account of the
second Commissioners appointed on the subject of widening Dover
Street.

Report, that they have examined said account, & believe the
charges to be correct, except that for room hire ; which, in the opinion
of your Committee ought to be deducted from the bill, as the allowance
of four dollars per day appears a sufficient compensation to cover any
expence for the use of a room during the investigation of the sub-
ject committed to them.

The Committee therefore propose the following resolution
Resolved, that a warrant pass for Six hundred and sixty nine
dollars 72 Cents, in full for Commissioners fees & costs of proceedings
in the Supreme Court, in the matter of Dover Street, whereof William
[354] Torry, H Meigs & Thomas R Smith were Commissioners.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen Allen.
(Signed.) Sam 1 Tooker.
B. Crane.
J. Hammond.

Which was approved, & a warrant directed to pass, accordingly.

The same Committee on the subject of the settlement of the
account of Whitehead Fish Esq r deceased, late Chamberlaine, reported,



310 CITY OF NEW YORK 18 Sept. 1820

that pursuant to authority granted them on the 21 st of August last
they have effected a settlement with the Executors of Whitehead
Fish, late City Treasurer.

In concluding the settlement the Committee have been compelled
to agree to a considerable deduction from the Balance shewn by the
exhibit laid before the Board on the 27 th of March last.

The Balance claimed by the Corporation, as p r the exhibit alluded
to was $27. 391. .63 Cents; & the Balance admitted by the Books of

>

the Treasurer was $17.963.49 Cents, making a difference of $9.428.14
Ct 8

The best terms that could be obtained from the Executors, in an
amicable way, were, the payment of the Balance shewn by the books
kept by M r Fish, with the addition of the one half of the difference
above stated, amounting together to the sum of $22.677.56 O*

Your Committee was induced to this arrangement in consequence
of the assurances given them by the Executors, that many of the dif-
ferences exhibited as emanating from erroneous entries of Warrants
by [355] M r Fish, were, on a reference to the warrants themselves,
found to be errors of the former Comptroller, & that, the amount dis-
covered was nearly three thousand dollars.

On friday last the warrants & other vouchers of the late Treasurer
were delivered to the Committee by the Executors. The quantity of
these papers together with their confused situation, & the short time
allowed the Committee before the meeting of the Board, has pre-
vented a thorough investigation of the errors alluded to by the Ex-
ecutors : but your Committee have so far ascertained their existence
as to be able to identify six of the warrants charged more than the
amount on the face of them. Two warrants, each numbered 841 &
issued for the same purpose, both paid by the Treasurer but only one
of them credited his account one receipt on streets, charged 250 dol-
lars more than the true amount, as appears from the original receipt
furnished by the Collector & four orders on the Treasurer by the
Court of Sessions, neither of which have been credited him by the
Comptroller: these errors are in addition to those exhibited to the
Board on the 27 th of March last. & including them amount to the sum
of $9.166.58 Cts.

This state of the accounts was a circumstance of which your Com-
mittee could have no knowledge during the investigation of the Books
previous to their last report; as the Vouchers were in the possession
of the Executors, & they had no other means of detecting an error.



18 Sept. 1820 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 311

N

but by comparing the entries in the two books, & crediting or debiting
the apparent difference.

Another inducement with your Committee in agreeing to this
settlement was, that they entertained strong doubts, whether in a Court
of Justice it would not have been difficult to prove all the items charged
to the late Treasurer; for the fact of so many wrong entries being
made in our own books, & the omission to examine the accounts of
your own officer for nearly ten years [356] must have had a tendency
in some measure, to weaken the claims of the Corporation against the
Executors.

Under these circumstances of the case, the Committee conceived
it to be their duty, & the interest of the public to agree to a settlement
without resorting to a suit at Law, & the amount above stated has
been paid into the Treasury. & the bond of sureties cancelled accord-
ingly.

Your Committee cannot close their Report on this subject without
expressing to the Board the great obligations they feel to M r Fleming
the present City Chamberlain for his unremitted & laborious ser-
vices rendered in the investigation, & final adjustment of this un-
pleasant business : The time & talents of that Gentleman have been
voluntarily bestowed, & the only reward he looks for or expects is
the approbation of the Common Council, which the Committee do not
doubt will be freely awarded him by every member of this Board.

The Finance Committee were authorized by a resolution passed the
first of May last to engage a suitable person to assi[s]t the Comptroller
in opening arranging a new sets of books for his office. They have
accordingly engaged M r T. J. Waters for that purpose, & have now
the satisfaction of presenting the Board with the first trial balance
of said book.

In opening these books the Committee have lessened the number
of accounts, & have endeavored to have those that are necessary so
arranged as to make it easy to detect any error that may occur in
the entries, & at the same time to afford prompt & correct information
to the Board, when required, on all subjects connected with the finances
of the City : And in order that the books may be continued in the style
of correctness with which they were commenced, & the Comptroller
have more time to Superintend the matters committed to him in & out
of his office the Committee recommend that a clerk to the [357]
Comptroller be appointed with a reasonable Salary per annum And
they accordingly offer the following resolution.

Resolved, that Talman J. Waters be, & he hereby is. appointed



312 CITY OF NEW YORK 18 Sept. 1820

clerk to the Comptroller, at a salary of Eight hundred per annum,
payable quarter yearly, & that such salary take date from the 24 th
day of May last past.

Respectfully submitted.

Stephen Allen.
(Signed) Sam 1 Tooker.
B. Crane.
J. Hammond.

Which was approved & the resolution adopted.

The same Committee on the petition of Abijah Hammond for water
grant reported,

The Finance Committee to whom was referred the petition of
Abijah Hammond, praying for a grant of the ground under water in
front of his property near the State Prison

Report That on the 24 th May 1813, the Common Council estab-
lished a rate of quit-rent for all grants to be taken out thereafter.
That several grants have been made since that date at the aforesaid
rates.

That M r Hammond will have to pay according to the aforesaid
rates, for every foot in width, calculating the average of his front &
rear lines, & in length not exceeding 170 feet, from the year 1820 to
1827. seventy five cents : from 1827 to 1834. one dollar & 25 Cents, &
after that period two dollars per foot. That your Committee are of
opinion the aforesaid rates ought to be continued, & not departed
from in this instance, except that M r Hammond requires several feet
more in length than the above rule allows, [358] & they therefore
recommend, that a grant be executed to Abijah Hammond for the
ground under water in front of his property, as laid down in the
annexed map, at the rates established on the 24 th May 1813. for the
third district on the North river; but that no additional charge be
made for the excess in the length of said grant, if any such excess
should appear, & they propose the following resolution, accordingly.

Resolved, that the Comptroller be instructed to carry into effect
the recommendations contained in the foregoing report.

Respectfully submitted.

Stephen Allen.
(Signed.) Sam 1 Tooker.
B. Crane.

Which was approved, & the resolution adopted.



18 Sept. 1820 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 313

The same Committee on the petition of Stephen Gorham, Reported.

The Finance Committee to whom was referred the petition of
Stephen Gorham, praying that the time for his paying his assessment
of 45 dollars for widening Washington Street, may be extended to the
1 st day of May next.

Report, That the frequent calls on the Board for indulgence in
the payment of assessments for improving streets, is a serious incon-
venience to the finances of the City ; & shews that so long as these
improvements are are forced on the Inhabitants, there can be no calcu-
lation made of the amount necessary to cover the current & extraordi-
nary drafts on the Treasury : for every improvement, of this nature,
leaves a sum more or less large to be provided for by the Corporation ;
& altho' a part of it again [359] returns to the Treasury, years fre-
quently elapse before its receipt.

The Committee conceive it to be their duty to impress on the
members of the Board, the necessity of ascertaining whether the
neighborhood of an improvement are able to bear the expence of
regulating, paving or opening a Street, before they recommend its
adoption by the Common Council, in order that these calls upon their
generosity may be avoided.

The Committee have determined to recommend no indulgence of
the kind petitioned for, except under peculiar circumstances ; & as
they do not conceive this to be one that calls for such recommenda-
tion, they propose the following resolution,

Resolved, that it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the petition.

Respectfully Submitted.

Stephen Allen.
(Signed.) Sam 1 Tooker.
B. Crane.
J. Hammond.

Which was approved & the resolution adopted.

The same Committee on the petition of Elizabeth Krapff, Report.

The Finance Committee to whom was referred the petition of
Elizabeth Krapff complaining that the 6 th Avenue when opened will
run thro' her buildings which prevents her from selling or leasing
the same, & praying that the Corporation will direct that such means
should be taken as to cause her property to become available

[360] Report, that [they] have had the subject under consideration,
but are unable to Suggest any remedy for the evil said to be experi-
enced by the petitioner. The case of the petitioner is not singular, how-



314 CITY OF NEW YORK 18 Sept. 1820

ever, for all who own property in the unopened Avenues & squares,
are similarly situated, & were the Corporation bound to remunerate for
the imaginary damages of those owning property in the numerous
reservations marked out on the Map of the Commissioners, there
would be no calculating the extent of the demand, nor the amount
necessary to satisfy it.

The Committee propose the following resolution.

Resolved, that the Petitioner have leave to withdraw her petition.
Respectfully submitted.

(signed) S. Allen. Sam 1 Tooker. B. Crane
S. P. Brittan & J. Hammond.

Which was approved, & the resolution adopted.

The same Committee on the petition of Abraham Stagg

reported.

The Finance Committee to whom was referred the petition of
Abraham Stagg praying that he may be paid a balance due him for
regulating & paving Grand Street,

Report, that that there appears to be a balance due the petitioner
of $150. 7 %oo- This balance has been withheld, as the Committee have
been informed, in consequence of the work being insufficiently finished.
It has since been completed, & made satisfactory to the Street Com-
missioner; therefore no cause exists why the said balance should not
be paid, & the Committee propose the following resolution.

Resolved that a Warrant pass for One hundred & fifty dollars 78
Cents, the balance in full for regulating & paving Grand Street, due
Abraham Stagg.

[361] Respectfully submitted.

Stephen Allen.
Sam 1 Tooker.
(Signed.) B. Crane.

S. P. Brittan
J. Hammond.

Which was approved, & the resolution adopted.

The same Committee on the petition of John Vanderlyn, report
as follows.

The Finance Committee to whom was referred the account of
M r Vanderlyn for painting a full length portrait of General Jackson
requesting that the same may be paid, & that he may be permitted to
retain the Portrait of the General at the Rotunda to the close of the



18 Sept. 1820 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 315

present month Report, That the amount charged by M r Vanderlyn
is 500 dollars, 200 of which were paid him some time since, leaving
a balance of 300 due.

That the Committee have examined the painting alluded to, which
was nearly completed. That it will require some days before the
painting will be Sufficiently dry to permit its removal, & that there will
be no impropriety in suffering it to remain at the Rotunda during
that time as requested by M r Vanderlyn. That the Committee have
engaged a person to prepare a suitable frame for the picture, at the
price of 70 dollars, & that the whole cost of the subject will be 570
dollars.

The Committee propose the following resolutions.

Resolved, that a warrant pass in favor of John Vanderlyn for 300
dollars, being the balance due him for painting a full length likeness
of General Andrew Jackson, by order of the Corporation.

[362] Resolved, that M r Vanderlyn be permitted to retain the
said Portrait at the Rotunda until the 16 th day of October next.

Resolved, that the Superintendent of Repairs be instructed that
on the 16 th day of October aforesaid, he remove the said portrait from
the Rotunda to the room in this Hall appropriated to this purpose.

Respectfully Submitted

Stephen Allen.
Sam 1 Tooker.
(Signed.) B. Crane.

S. P. Brittan
J. Hammond

Which was approved & the Resolution adopted.

The Committee of Wharves, Piers & Slips to whom was refferred
the communication of the Street Commissioner on the Situation of
the Piers at the foot of Jay Street & Pike Slip report as follows.

The Committee on Wharves, Piers & Slips to whom was referred
a communication from the Street Commissioner, calling the attention
of the Board to the situation of the piers at the foot of Jay Street &
Pike Slip,

Report, that they have examined the said Piers, & found them
much out of repair, & requiring immediate attention.

That they have, also, examined the Southerly pier of the Albany
bason, & the bulk-head forming the west side of Coenties slip, both
of which require considerable repairs, the former immediately & the
latter as soon as the business of the place will permit.



316 CITY OF NEW YORK 18 Sept. 1820

The Committee have engaged M r Abraham Storms to perform
[3(x5] those repairs, most imperiously called for, & have estimated
the whole expence at about $2900. & they offer the following resolu-
tions.

Resolved that Abraham Storms be employed to perform the neces-
sary repairs to that part of the Pier at the foot of Jay Street belong-
ing to the Corporation ; & also to the pier at the Albany Basin, & the
pier at Pike Slip; & that such repairs be performed under the super-
intendence & direction of the Superintendent of repairs.

Resolved, that the Superintendent of repairs, be instructed to
rebuild the bulkhead on the west side of Coenties slip, as early in the
ensuing spring as the season will permit.

Respectfully submitted

(Signed.) Stephen Allen.
Abr m Valentine.
Asa Mann.
Herm 8 Tailman.

Which was approved & the resolution adopted.

The same Committee on the petition of John Anderson report as
follows :

The Committee on Wharves, Piers & Slips to whom was referred
the petition of John Anderson, enclosing a claim on the Corporation
of 1692 dollars 56 Cts for extraordinary work & materials in building
the pier at the foot of Vesey street.

Report, that M 1 * Anderson entered into a contract on the second
day of August 1819 to build the said Pier in a good, faithful & work-
manlike manner, agreeably to a Diagram or Map attached to said
contract, & the directions of the Street Commissioner, & your Com-
mittee. That immediately on his being informed that his estimate was
t the lowest, & before [364] he had executed the contract, he com-
menced building the blocks of said Pier, & as he alledges had laid the
floor of said blocks 16 feet high that he was informed, by order of
the Street Commissioner that the Contract must be executed before
he proceeded farther, & that the floors must be laid only 12 feet high
That he then proceeded under the inspection of Capt n Barnum to
build & sink the said blocks for which he now claims extra pay, tho',
shortly after one of the blocks had been sunk, it turned & over, & other
blocks were sunk to support the said displaced block. That the peti-
tioner alledges the cause of the turning over of the block to be the
laying of the floor 12 feet instead of 16 feet high as he first intended ;



18 Sept. 1820 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 317

& that having obeyed the orders of the Street Commissioner in alter-
ing the said floor, he has a claim on the Board for the extra expence.

Your Comitee have had this subject under serious consideration,
& from the best information they have been enabled to obtain, are
of opinion that the cause of the block alluded to having turned over,
was not the difference in the height of the floor, but more probably
arose from the situation of the bottom of the river, or the careless
manner of throwing in the stones at the time of sinking it : in either
of which cases, the accident must have happened from M r Anderson's
own neglect, as he ought to have known the state of the bottom, &
prepared his work accordingly, & the stone ought to have been regu-
larly put in the block in order that it might sink & settle in a manner
suitable to the state of the bottom.

The Committee are by no means satisfied with the building of this
Pier, & in point of durability, do not believe it such as was con-
templated by the Contract; & in this opinion they are joined by M r
Joshua Jones [365] who owns the north side of it, & has paid two
thirds of the cost for the buil[d]ing. They are therefore of opinion
that the amount already paid M r Anderson, is the full value of the Pier
alluded to, & they offer the following resolution accordingly,

Resolved, that it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the peti-
tioner.

Respectfully Submitted,

Stephen Allen.
(Signed.) Ab m Valentine
Asa Mann.
Herm 9 Tallman.

Which was approved, & the resolution adopted.

The Committee on public Lands & Places on the petition for the
removal of the Hack stand from the Park reported as follows.

Report.

The Committee on Public Lands and places to whom was referred
the memorial of sundry inhabitants of Broadway, praying for a
removal of of the Hackney Coaches from before their doors to the
other side of the park,

Report, that they have duly considered the subject, & are of opinion
that the prayer of the petitioners is reasonable & ought to be granted
they therefore beg leave to offer the following resolution.



Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 11) → online text (page 27 of 67)