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Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 11) online

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therefore offer the following resolution,

[17] Resolved, that the Attorney of the Board be authorised to
discontinue the proceedings against Alexander Fraser on payment of

Respectfully Submitted,

B. Crane, Ch n
Gerard De Peyster,
(signed.) Tho s Bolton.

Rob* Swartwout,
Ab m Valentine.
Which was approved.

The Committee on public Offices, to whom was referred the peti-
tion of Joseph Moore, Grocer, Respectfully Report,

That they have investigated the subject, and find that M r Moore
did obstruct M r Simpson while doing his duty as sealer of weights
and measures. But, as your Committee believe, the hostility shewn to
M r shewn to M r Simpson arose from a mistaken idea that there was
no other Inspector but the one appointed by the State : as soon however
as M r Moore found out his mistake, he immediately went in pursuit
of M r Simpson, and soliceted him to return, and inspect his weights
and measures, which M r S declined. Your Committee would not wish
to be understood that they believe M r Simpson acted improperly in
not returning, but on the contrary, when they contrast the Reports
made to the Attorney by M r S. with those of his predecessor, all
doubts are dispelled as to the want of discretion.

Your Committee believe M r Moore to have violated the Ordinance
unintentionally, and would, therefore, beg leave to offer the following

Resolved, that the fine incurred by Joseph Moore, in [18] refusing
to exhibit his weights and measures be remitted on payment of costs

Respectfully submitted,

B. Crane. Ch n

(signed.) Gerard De Peyster,
Thomas Bolton,
Robert Swartwout.
Which was approved.

400 CITY OF NEW YORK 27 Nov. 1820

The Police Committee on the petition of Richard Shields reported,

The Pplice Committee to whom the petition of Richard Shields
was referred, Report,

That M r Shields states in his petition that he is a licenced Cartman,
and has been unjustly fined for purchasing fire wood without authority,
and hawking the same through the City.

Your Committee have heard, and examined the case, and from the
general character of the petitioner, as well as from circumstances
attending this transaction they are of opinion the petitioner ought to
be releived on payment of costs, and they offer the following reso-

Resolved, that a Warrant issue in favor of the petitioner Richard
Shields for Twenty dollars, being the balance of the penalty paid by
him, after the payment of the Costs above mentioned.

Thomas Bolton,
(Signed.) George B Thorp.

,, M . Ab m Valentine.

Which was approved.

[19] A law entitled ''a law to regulate the collection of Assess-
ments ' was presented, read by paragraphs, and passed.

Alderman Tooker presented the following resolution, Resolved
that the Resident Physician be requested to furnish the Corporation
with a Copy of his discourse, delivered on the 6 th Instant, relative to
the means of improving the medical police of this City for the preven-
tion of diseases.

Which was agreed to.

The following Resolution on the subject of enlarging the Park was
presented by Alderman Swartwout.

Resolved, that a Committee be appointed to consider the propriety
of enlarging the Park, by adding to it the triangular block, between
Beekman and Ann Streets, Chatham Row and Nassau Street ; to esti-
mate the value of the buildings thereon, and the probable amount
which the improvement would cost. What part of the expense thereof,
could with propriety be assessed on property to be benefited thereby,
on and contiguous to the square, and the probable amount that would
be assessed on this Board, should the improvement be adopted.

Agreed to, and the following were appointed a Committee to carry
into effect the object of the resolution. Alderman Swartwout, M f
Recorder, Alderman Tooker, M r Town, M r Depeyster.

[20] The following Resolution presented by Alderman Allen was
agreed to. Resolved that the Comptroller, under the direction of the


Committee on Finance be authorised to borrow on the credit of this
Corporation, a sum not exceeding Forty thousand dollars, and at an
Interest not exceeding Six per Cent per Annum.

The Board then proceeded to enact the Laws revised by the Coun-
sel, and, after passing and amending a certain portion of them, order-
ing the law regulating the ringing of Bells in this city to lie over, the
consideration of the remainder was postponed, for the present.

M r Hammond presented the following resolution, on the subject of
altering the Charter, as respects the duties of first Judge & c

Resolved, that notice be given in the Newspapers, employed by this
Board, as by law in such case is required, that this Board will apply to
the the Legislature at their next session, so to amend the Charter of
this City, and the Statutes relating thereto, that the Mayor of the said
City may be relieved from the performance of Judicial duties as first
Judge of the several Courts of law in this city, and so as that a first
Judge be appointed in and for the Court of Common Pleas in the said
City, and that the Recorder may preside in the Court of Sessions
therein. Which was carried.

Resolved, that it be referred to the Committee on Laws to report,
from time to time, to this Board such laws and ordinances of the
Common Council, as they may think proper to be published.
[21, 22 and 23 blank.]

[24] Special Meeting. In Common Council. December 4 th 1820.

Present. The Hon 1 Cadwallader D Colden, Mayor, Pres[id]ent.

Peter A Jay Esquire, Recorder,

Aldermen. Assistants.

Samuel looker. Abraham Valentine.

Thomas S Townsend. Harmanus Tallman.

John P Anthony. Charles Town.

Robert Swartwout. Shivers Parker.

Robert McQueen. Stephen P Brittain.

Asa Mann. Isaac Emmons.

David Board. Gerard DePeyster.

Stephen Allen. Judah Hammond.

His Honor the Mayor informed the Board that he had convened
them in consequence of the Counsel having submitted the draft of a
return to the Certiorari, directed to the Corporation by the Supreme
Court, upon the application of Herman LeRoy and others, requiring
a return of all the proceedings which have taken place, relating to the
Common Sewer thro' Canal Street, & to taking the ground for making

402 CITY OF NEW YORK 4 Dec. 18-JO

Canal St it being necessary that the return should be signed by the
Mayor, and that the Common Seal should be affixed to it,

[25] Whereupon, resolved, that a return in due form be made, by
the signature of the Mayor, and annexing the Common seal of the

A petition of Catharine Lawson to be appointed Matron of the
Alms House in the place of M rs Drake, deceased, was referred to the
Commissioners of the Alms House.

The following communication was received from William Slosson
and the Counsel of the Board, on the subject of the ground near Ful-
ton Slip, heretofore intended to have been taken for a market, and
whether the Board have power to sell the (ground intended for the
erection of a Market, near Fulton Slip) lands in fee simple when the
Title thereto shall have been obtained.


It having been referred to Counsel, by an Order of the Common
Council 'to examine the Statutes on the subject of the ground near
Fulton Slip, heretofore intended to have been taken for a market, and
to report to the Board his opinion, whether the Board will or not have
power to sell the said lands in fee simple, as soon as the title thereof
shall have been obtained, in order to reimburse the expense of ac-
quiring the same title, by virtue of the Statutes now in force on this
subject: ' We have the honor to submit to the Board our opinion in
the premises.

It appears that two successive acts of the Legislature have been
passed on this subject, the first on the 29 th March 1816. and the second
on the 14 th March 1817. The preamble to the first act recites that the
Corporation were desirous to become possessed of the premises, for
the purpose of erecting thereon, an extensive and commodious [26]
public Market and with the right of converting and disposing of the
said Lands and premises for other public purposes, or otherwise when-
ever they or their Successors may deem the continuance of the market
there unnecessary. This Act then prescribes the mode of assessing the
damages to the proprietors by Commissioners, upon the confirmation
of whose report, the Mayor, Aldermen & Commonalty of the City of
New York, were to become and to be seized in fee simple absolute of
the Premises, and might take possession without suit. This Act con-
tains no provision for the Assessment of benefit to the Owners of ad-
jacent property.

The first Act being found inadequate to the purposes contemplated,


a new application was made by the Common Council, upon which the
Act of the 14 th March 1817 was passed.

The preamble to the Act simply recites, that the convenience of
the City requires that the Corporation should become possessed of
the premises in fee simple, without specifying any of the purposes to
which the property is to be applied. It provides like the former for
the Assessment of damages by Commissioners, on the confirmation of
whose report the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of
New York shall become and be seized in fee simple absolute of the
premises. The eighth section provides, that the Common Council in
their discretion, may direct the Commissioners to assess the value of
the benefit to the proprietors of other property, by and in consequence
of erecting upon the premises a public Market, and of removing Fly
Market. The Assessment of damages, it is understood, has been made
but that of benefit has not been directed.

The question arising under those acts is, whether the Corpora- [27]
tion by taking the property, without assesing on, and requiring from
the proprietors of other property the payment of the benefit, take
the same subject to a trust to apply the same to the purposes of a
Market, or other public use, or are at liberty to sell the same to re-
imburse the expence of obtaining the title.

As both of these Acts relate to the same subject, and the last em-
braces the whole matter of the first and superadds additional provi-
sions, we are of opinion that the first Act is thereby repealed; the
rule being, as we take it, that Statutes introductive of a new law
penned in the affirmative always repeal former Statutes, as implying a
negative, (1 Show. 528.) If the first Act be then laid out of view, we
conceive that there is nothing in the preamble of the second Act,
which imposes on the Corporation the obligation to appropriate the
property when acquired to any particular public uses. And even if
the first Act may be resorted to to aid in the construction of the second,
it can be of little importance, as the continuance of the Market is
made to depend on the pleasure of the Corporation, and it would be idle
to attempt to enforce a trust against against a party who may deter-
mine it at his pleasure.

Nor do we think that any obligation to appropriate the property to
the use of a Market arises from the provisions of the eighth section of
the second Act, unless the Assesment for benefit is actually made
upon the proprietors of adjacent property. It is obvious that those pro-
prietors acquire no interest in the property taken, or the uses to
which it is applied, distinct from the citizens at large, unless they have

404 CITY OF NEW YORK 4 Dec. 1820

been assessed and paid a distinct consideration. And it is left dis-
cretionary with the Corporation to direct or omit such assesment.

These observations lead to the consideration of what estate is [28]
by the terms of the Act vested in the Corporation ; upon which there
appears no room for doubt. It is declared upon confirmation of the
report, the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New
York, shall become and be seized in fee simple absolute of the premises.
A fee simple absolute is used in contradistinction from a conditional,
or qualified fee, and is intended only of an estate which is a pure in-
heritance free from all conditions or qualifications. The absolute
power of alienation is necessarily incident to such an estate, and any
restriction of this power annexed to the creation of such an estate
would be absolutely void.

We are therefore of opinion, that the Legislature by declaring in
express terms the nature of the Estate, intended to vest in the Cor-
poration the absolute power of disposing of the property: and that
the Corporation when they shall have acquired the title to the lands, will
have the power to sell the same, or any part thereof, as the entire and
absolute owners, for any purposes the Common Council may see

(signed.) W m Slosson,

Ogden Edwards.

Which was read and ordered to be filed

A resolution formerly adopted, directing the Counsel to prepare
the draft of a law to be presented to the Legislature, authorising the
Board to sell the ground intended for the erection of a market near
Fulton slip, \vas ordered to be rescinded in consequence of the before
mentioned communication.

The Counsel informed the Board that the Commissioners [29] ap-
pointed by the Supreme Court for the purpose of estimating the value
of the ground between Fulton Street and Crane Wliarf and between
Front and South street and the Wharves and Piers in front thereof,
have completed their estimate ; And he recommended that a Com-
mittee be appointed to examine the same, with power, if in their opin-
ion the estimate exceeds the true value of the premises, to authorise
him to oppose the confirmation of the Report of the Commissioners.

Which was referred to the Finance Committee.

The Board proceeded to revise the Laws and Ordinances of the
Common Council, and after having made progress therein postponed
the same.


Resolved, that his Honor the Mayor be authorised to sign the notice
of an application to the Legislature of the State relative to the appoint-
ment of a first Judge of the Court of Common Pleas called the Mayor's
Court, and that the same be published in the papers employed by the
Board, and in the State paper at Albany for six weeks successively.

[30] In Common Council. December 11 th 1820.
Present. The Hon 1 Cadwallader D. Colden, Mayor, Pres[idjent.

Aldermen. Assistants.

Tooker. Mess" Bolton.

Townsend. Valentine.

Kip. Tallman.

Anthony. Crane.

Swartwout. Town.

M c Queen. Parker.

Mann. Brittain.

Board. Emmons.

Thorp. De Peyster.

Allen. Hammond.

The Minutes of the last regular Meeting, and special Meeting of
4 th Instant were read and approved.

A petition of Benjamin Hinman, on the subject of the present
situation of the Milford and Owego Turnpike Road requesting the aid
of the Corporation for repairing the same, was read and referred to
the Finance Committee.

[31] A petition of Albert J Terhune for a lease of Lot N 517
Bayard's East Farm purchased by him in 1817. and on which he had
built a house. The said Lot having been sold for non payment of
taxes, and the term having expired, was read and referred to the
Finance Committee.

A petition of Isaac Valentine, complaining of the Stone Boatmen
and Stone Cartmen encumbering the Wharves and thereby preventing
the Hay sloops from landing, and the Hay Cartmen from approaching
the Wharf, was read and referred to the Committee on Wharves, Piers
and Slips.

A petition of Thomas A. Wilder and others, Masters and owners
of Coasters & c complaining of the high rate of wharfage at the public
docks and slips, and pray g a reduction of the same was read and re-
ferred to the Committee on Wharves, Piers and Slips.

A petition of Sarah Hannifen, stating that she is unable at present
to pay the Assessment for regulating Harman Street on her house and

406 CITY OF NEW YORK 11 Dec. 1820

Lot N 59. said Street, and praying the same may remain on interest,
was read and referred to the Finance Committee with power.

A petition of Ephraim Ludlum, praying the appointment of a Wood
Inspector, was referred to the Committee on Wharves, Piers and


[32] A petition of William King, stating that in 1819. he had been
employed by Jacob Warner to build a tenement on Lot X 265, William
Street leased from this Board, that Warner being unable to pay for said
building, petitioner had taken the lease, but did not wish to retain the
same, and praying relief was referred to the Finance Committee.

A petition of Thomas H Smith for permission to copper his ship
the Beaver at the Pier at the foot of Roosevelt Street, was referred to
the Committee on Wharves Piers and Slips with power.

A petition of Charles M c Evers in behalf of the Estate of Elizabeth
M c Evers deceased, praying that the personal Tax assessed on said
Estate may be remitted was read and referred to the Committee on

A petition of George Lorrillard and others, praying that walks may
be laid across Chatham Street from Tryon Row to opposite side
Chatham Street, and another across Tryon row between the two
corners of said Street was read and referred to the Street Com-

A petition of Henry Mead, that a Committee be appointed to confer
with him, on the practicability of employing the paupers in the Alms
House, and criminals in the Penitentiary, in the manufacture of porce-
lain, was read, whereupon the following were appointed a Committee
for the above purpose, viz 1 [33] Alderman M c Oueen. Anthony. Town-
send. M r Crane. Emmons.

A petition of Rachel Reed relict of George Reed, a Watchman,
praying releif, was read and referred to the Committee of Charity with

A petition of Henry Smith, stating that he is confined in the City
prison for a fine incurred for employing a boy under age as a Chimney
sweeper; that he has a large family dependent on his exertions for
support and praying relief, w r as referred to the Committee of Charity.

A petition of Joseph N Lord, stating that his lots on Amity Street,
in conjunction with another lot on M c Dougal and Amity Streets, owned
by some other person, have been assessed for the Common Sewer in
Carmine Street, and praying that said Assesment may be appor-
tioned, that it may be determined w r hat petitioner ought to pay, was
read and referred to the Committee on Assessments.


A memorial of Samuel R Birch, complaining of the assessment on
his property in Leonard Street for paving the intersection of Collect
and Leonard Streets, was read and referred to the Committee on

A petition of John Hitchcock and Lewis Hartman for widening the
side walks in Rose Street, was read and referred [34] to the Street
Commissioner to carry the same into effect.

A petition of Lewis and Joseph Webb, stating that they had, at
their own expense, made Clarkson and West Street that the erection
of the sewer in in Clarkson Street has for twelve months past de-
prived them of the use of said Street, and prevented them from having
access to their property to their damage, and praying relief, was read
and referred to the Street Committee.

A petition of Peter Wright and others, members of Fire Engine
Company N 24 on the subject of the dismissal from said Company of
William Earl, and praying information on what charges Firemen may
be dismissed, was referred to the Committee on the fire department
and the Chief Engineer with power.

A petition of Leonard Seaman & Co, stating that they have been
complained of for selling furniture opposite their store in Vesey street
-that several years back they had obtained permission from the Cor-
poration so to do, and praying the Board would grant them the like
privelege, was referred to the street Committee.

A petition of Thomas Bridges and others complaining of obstruc-
tions in the drain in James' Street, which causes the water to run into
their Cellars, and praying the same may be remidied was read and re-
ferred to the Canal Committee.

[35] A petition of Abraham K Smedes and others, owners and
occupants of property in first Street and first Avenue, praying that
part of first Avenue between North Street and the first hollow be
lower'd so as to lead off the water from the lower end of First Street,
was read and referred to the Street Committee, with power.

A petition of John J D Toiler praying for appointment oi a Toll
gatherer, was referred to the Committee on Assessments.

A petition of J B Clark and George Hicks in behalf of the Steam
Boat ferry Company to Brooklyn, praying a renewal of the law pre-
venting vessels lying at Anchor in a line between Fulton slip and the
old Ferry slip at Brooklyn, was read and referred to the Ferry Com-

A communication from the Vestry of S* Luke's church, returning
the thanks of that body to the Common Council for the use of the

408 CITY OF NEW YORK 11 Dec. 1820

room, corner of Hudson and Christopher Streets for the purpose of
Public worship, was read and ordered to be filed.

The Street Commissioner on the petition of Thomas Allen reported,
The Street Commissioner to whom the above petition was referred
respectfully reports, that the facts as stated are true, M r Allen having
asked for permission to build a Vault of greater projection into the
Street than is allowed by the Ordinance, he was restricted to twelve
feet, so that he has overpaid $11.70 which the un- [36] dersigned
would recommend to be repaid

(signed.) John M c Comb S 1 Comm r

Which was approved, and a Warrant for $11.70 ordered to pass
being amount overpaid by said Allen, for his Vault in Duane Street.

The Street Commissioner presented Ordinances for paving first
Street, and for regulating Arden Street which were confirmed and
Abraham Bloodgood, Abraham Dally and Benjamin Prince were ap-
pointed Assessors in the former, and Abraham Baudoine. John Brower
and John Bedient in the latter.

He also presented an Assesment for regulating Bedford Street
from Carmine to Christopher Street which was confirmed and Noah
Jarvis appointed Collector.

He also presented returns of delinquents on the following assess-
ments for straightening Oliver Street for extending sewer in Burl-
ing slip and paving the street For well and pump in Prince Street
Whereupon, Ordered that Warrants pass to Noah Jarvis to collect the

He further presented return of delinquents on Assessments one
for paving Sullivan Street for paving S 1 John's lane for paving
Desbrosses Street for paving Beach Street for paving W'alker
Street for paving Hubert Street for regulating Dey Street for
regulating Bedford Street for filling up Dey Street Whereupon
Warrants were ordered to pass to John G Betts for collecting the

The City Inspector presented an Ordinance for correction of a

[37] The City Inspector respectfully reports an Ordinance for the
correction of a Nuisance.

D r Nicoll Deering, Agent to M rs L Hommedieu N 110 Bowery-
a Lot

(Signed.) George dimming C^ Ins r
Which was passed.


The Committee on Public Lands and Places on the petition of
David Marsh and M Wall reported,

The Committee on Public Lands and places, to whom was referred
the petition of David Marsh and Matthias Wall, praying for relief from
a suit commenced against them by J. C Simpson City Sealer of Weights
and Measures, Report,

that they have had the parties before them, and have made full en-
quiries into the circumstances attending the complaint for which the
suit was brought, from which it appears that during the absence of
M r Marsh and Wall from their Store, M r Simpson called to make
the usual examination of weights and measures, in doing which he was
opposed by the Clerk, thro his ignorance of the propriety of such ex-
amination. From this circumstance as well as the neglect of Mess"
Marsh and Wall after this to send their weights and Measures to the
store of the Sealer for the purpose of having them adjusted, as had
been directed, the suit was brought by M r Simpson. Your Commit-
tee are of opinion that in the latter circumstance Mess rs Marsh and
Wall were culpably negligent, and ought to Suffer ; but from the
frequency of these complaints, and the general plea of uncourteous
conduct on the part of the City Sealer, the Committee are inclined to
believe it has not always been without foundation, they are therefore
on the whole inclined to remit the [38] penalty in this case on the pay-
ment of costs, and therefore recommend the following resolution, Re-

that David Marsh and Matthias Wall be discharged from the above
named suit, on the payment of all costs thereon.

Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 11) → online text (page 35 of 67)