New York (N.Y.). Common Council.

Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 3) online

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sary trouble on such occasions in future that the opinion of the Coun-
sel of the Corporation be taken respecting the legal power of this
board to decide any question of this nature

Dec r 20 th 1802. John Oothout

Jn P Ritter
Caleb S Riggs.

[493] It was thereupon Ordered that the Counsel of this board be
requested to deliver his opinion in writing relative to the questions
proposed in the said report

The following resolution was introduced by the Recorder " that
every Certificate of the choice of a Fireman in any Company by the
Foreman of such Company shall hereafter be accompanied with a
certificate of his qualification either as a Freeholder or Freeman " a
question being taken on the said resolution and a division thereupon
called by the Recorder the same was negatived as follows to wit.

In the affirmative In the negative

The Recorder Aid Brasher

Aid. Minthorne Bogert

Barker Ritter

Van Zandt Oothout

Mr Le Roy Mr Riggs.

Crolius Morris

Brevoort Bogardus



Resolved unanimously that the Common Council do highly approve
of the undertaking of the New york State Society of the Cincinnati
of the 15 th December instant for erecting within this City an Eques-
trian Statue of the late General Washington

Resolved that this Board will furnish a suitable place within the
Park for the aforesaid purpose.

[494] Resolved, further that this board do in an especial manner
recommend to the inhabitants of this City that they afford the said
Society all the suitable aid in their power to carry the said Undertaking
into effect.

Resolved that the Mayor be and he is hereby authorized in behalf
of this board to recommend to the inhabitants of this City. That the
last Wednesday in this month be observed and set apart as a day of
General Thanksgiving.

Alderman Van Zandt ] Were appointed a Committee to examine and re-
Alderman Oothout & I- port with respect to the present system for
Alderman Brasher J regulating the public Markets

Alderman Bogert "1

Alderman Ritter and > Were appointed a Committee of public repairs

Alderman Barker J

Alderman Minthorne "1

M r Morris & I- Were appointed a Lamp Committee

Mr Riggs J

The petition of Daniel N Train, stating his inability immediately
to pay the penalty recovered against him for a breach of the law
regulating buildings without great inconvenience and praying that a
credit of twelve months may be allowed him for that purpose upon his
paying the interest and finding Security was read and granted

[495] Ordered that it be referred to the Comptroller to continue
the old bond upon the payment of the interest already due thereon, or
to take a new bond for the principal and interest as he may deem most

Alderman Barker laid the following resolution before the board.

Resolved that a Committee be appointed to examine and report to
this board the propriety of petitioning the Legislature for an exten-
sion of the grant of the Land under Water bordering on the grants
already made to this Corporation. Also for revising and amending
the present laws respecting the Election of Charter Officers. And
also the propriety of granting a Lottery towards the Expence of erect-
ing a New City hall and for any other purposes the Committee shall
think proper to recommend to which this board may accede.

164 CITY OF NEW YORK 20 Dec. 1802

The question being taken whether the Board would proceed to con-
sider the said Resolution, Alderman Barker called for a division there-
upon, the same passed in the negative as follows.

In the Negative In the Affirmative

Alderman Brasher M r Le Roy The Recorder

Van Zandt Riggs Alderman Minthorne

Bogert Morris [496] Alderman Barker

Ritter Bogardus M r Crolius

Oothout Stevens Brevoort

Resolved that the Counsel of this board be requested to deliver his
opinion in writing Whether the Common Council of this City possess
authority to pass an Ordinance for restraining and regulating the use
of Fire and Candles & the practice of smoking in Livery Stables And
also for prohibiting the lighting of Fires upon the decks of Vessels
lying in the Harbour for the purpose of preventing accidents by Fire
within this City

Resolved that the Clerk be directed to publish such part of the laws
as prevents the firing of Pistols & c during the Christmas & New Year
holydays and that the Mayor be authorized to employ a sufficient
number of Officers to enforce the same and also to enforce the Sun-
day Law during the two ensuing Sabbaths.

Resolved that the Mayor be authorized to issue Warrants on the
Treasurer to pay the following accounts, to wit
Iss d Warrts. No s

342 Hugh Gobel for City Watch $155.31

343 Magnus Beekman do 155 . 31

344 William Van Wart do 213. 6

345 Nichols Lawrence do 213 . 6

346 John Brown for filling in the gore between Hudson

Barley and Duane Streets 345 .

347 Thomas Hazard for lighting & cleaning City Lamps 245.50

348 Thomas Whitelavv for repairing intersections of

Chambers Street &c 188.87

352 Thomas Hewitt a new writing desk for Street

Comms office 22 . 50

349 John McLean for portfires &c &c 23. 17

350 Edward Watkeys for Candles 6.27

351 John P Pearss Esq r fees as Coroner of this City.. 155.75


[497] In Common Council, December 27 th 1802.
Present. Edward Livingston Esquire Mayor

John Oothout
John Bogert
Philip Brasher
Mangle Minthorne
John P Ritter
Wynant Van Zandt jun r
Joshua Barker

Jacob Le Roy
Caleb S Riggs
Henry Brevoort


Clarkson Crolius
Robert Bogardus
Ebenezer Stevens


The following letter from Richard Harrison Esq r Counsel to this
board expressing his opinion upon questions referred to his consid-
eration was received and read

1 The Common Council having proposed several questions to their
Counsel for his opinion which are stated in the Clerks Letter of the
21 st instant

I have as soon as it was possible taken the same into consideration,
and am of opinionon

1 st That under the act for the more effectual prevention of Fires,
and to regulate buildings in the City of New York passed 27 th March
1801, they have no power to decide whether the erection of a building,
is or is not contrary to Law. The act itself has furnished the
Criterion upon this occasion, and it can only be legally determined by
a Court of Law whether that rule applies to any particular [498] Case.
Still, however, as they will have to indemnify their Chamberlain, I
think them entitled to determine in the first instance, that he shall
bring a Suit when they judge that the circumstances require it. They
may also intimate their opinion that a particular case is not within
the law, but he may nevertheless prosecute at his own risque, if he
thinks proper so to do, and they have no controul over proceedings
by Indictment

2 dly I am also of opinion that the Common Council cannot dis-
pense with the penalties inflicted by the said act, relating to Build-
ings. These penalties when recovered by the Chamberlain are ap-
propriated to a particular purpose, not given generally to the Cor-
poration. When the prosecution is by Indictment, as for a nuisance,
the Fine and penalties in my opinion belong to the State, and must
go into the Exchequer.

3 dly With respect to the third question I am of opinion that the
Common Council possess competent powers by their charter for ihe
purposes required. They are authorized to make bye-laws for the
Public good, which I think requires such regulations as tend to the

166 CITY OF NEW YORK 27 Dec. 1802

prevention of Fires. The case too of the prohibition of hot-presses
in London, appears to me in point Yet as from various acts of the
Legislature it may be inferred that doubts have been entertained upon
the subject. I should think it advisable (if there is no particular
reason to the contrary) [499] to obtain an act of the Legislature
recognizing or confirming the powers of the Corporation in this

N York 27 th Dec r 1802

Rich. Harison

A petition from John P. Ryerss was received and referred to the

The petition of John Davenport for stand N 13 Hudson market
in lieu of the stand N 8 Fly market was referred to the Committee
appointed to inquire into the regulations of the Market.

Ordered that the Street Commissioner institute a suit against
Alexander S Gordon for sinking a vault in a manner contrary to Law.

The petition of Alexander S Gordon to be relieved from a prosecu-
tion for altering a house in the second ward supposed to be in contra-
vention of the act for preventing Fires was received and the Consid-
eration thereof postponed.

The Chamberlains monthly account was received and filed.

A petition was presented by the Street Commissioner and its con-
sideration postponed.

Ordered that the Comptroller be authorized to procure a set of
standard weights at the expence of the board.

A resolution was introduced to repeal the late Ordinance of this
board, for the establishment of signal Staffs at Staten Island. Or-
dered that the Consideration thereof be postponed, and that the Comp-
troller be requested to report upon the subject at the next meeting

Resolved that the Clerk of the Common Council forthwith furnish
to each of the Members a Copy of the standing rules of the proceed-
ings of the board

[500] Alderman Barker ~)

Mr Riggs & L Were appointed a Committee to examine into the
M r Bogardus f state ^ ^ e mmutes f this Board

The following resolutions respecting the new Court house were
laid before the board, and deferred for future Consideration

' Resolved that the Committee of the Common Council appointed
to superintend the building of a new City Hall report to this board,
of what materials the walls of the same ought in their opinion to be


built, and if different materials are contemplated to be made use of,
for different parts of the walls, then to distinguish in the report what
part or parts are to be built of one kind, and what of another or others.
And in case it is not yet determined of what materials the walls are
to be built and different kinds of materials are contemplated for that
purpose, that the Committee state to this Board, the different kinds
which may with propriety be used and which ought to be preferred.

Resolved that the said Committee report to this board their opinion
where the new City Hall ought to be erected.

Resolved that the said Committee report to this board what in
their opinion ought to be the heighth of the said Building from the
Surface of the ground to the first Floor.

[501] Resolved that the said Committee ascertain as far as is
practicable the stile and manner in which the said Building ought to
be finished, particularly the exterior ornamental parts thereof, and
the materials which may be used for those purposes, and report the
same to this board with their opinion which kind of materials ought
to be preferred.

Resolved, that the said Committee make or procure to be made an
estimate or estimates of the sum which it will cost to complete the new
City hall having regard to the plan which has been offered to, and
adopted by the Board. The different materials which may be used for
building the walls thereof, and the stile and manner in which it may
be contemplated to be finished, and that such estimate or estimates be
so made as to specify as far as possible, the costs of the different parts
and kinds of materials and workmanship necessary for completing the
whole. And that the Committee report such estimate or estimates to
this board.

Resolved that the said Committee enquire and report to this Board
whether the person or persons who shall make such estimate or esti-
mates relative to the costs of the said Building or any part or portion
thereof will undertake and bind themselves with sufficient sureties
to accomplish the work according to such estimate or estimates, or
whether any other person or persons will come under such engage-
ments, with the Committees opinion thereon

Resolved that the said Committee report to this Board what time
will be necessary in their opinion to complete the building of the New
City Hall, and in what manner the funds for that purpose can and
ought to be raised or procured by the Common Council

Resolved that the said Committee be authorized to take the opinion
or advice of such mechanics, artisans [502] or other persons as shall

168 CITY or NEW YORK 27 Dec. 1802

be deemed useful for the purposes aforesaid, and to make them Suit-
able compensation for their time, trouble and advice to be paid out
of the monies now in the hands of the Committee or subject to their
order towards defraying the expences of building the new City hall.

Resolved that the said Committee, (in case the plan at present
adopted shall be deemed too extensive and likely to be too expensive
ascertain and report whether the plan cannot be reduced in size and
expence without materially injuring the appearance and utility of the

Resolved that no more of the money placed in the hands or sub-
ject to the Order of the Committee for building the new City hall be
expended than is hereby authorized until the purposes of the afore-
going Resolutions be accomplished.

The Committee to whom was referred the several petitions of
Mess" Stuyvesant and Meserole and of Messieurs Willet & Titus for
the establishment of new Ferries across the East River, having re-
ported as follows.

to wit

That they have taken the subject of the said petitions under their
consideration and are of opinion that ferries at the places mentioned
in the said petitions respectively would accommodate the public, and
particularly the Inhabitants in the Outward parts of the [503] City of
New york and the Inhabitants of King and Queen Counties, and are
therefore of opinion that the prayer of the petitioners contained in
the said respective petitions ought to be granted upon such conditions
and under such restrictions and regulations as the Common Council
may think proper to prescribe.

It was thereupon ordered that a ferry be established from the land
of M r Stuyvesant in the Seventh Ward to the land of John A Meserole
at Bushwick in Kings County, and also another Ferry from the land
of Marinus Willett Esq r in the Seventh Ward to the land of Samuel
Titus at Bushwick aforesaid, subject to such rates and regulations as
shall from time to time be made by this Board. Provided always and
with this express condition that suitable Lots on both sides of the
River be granted to this Board for the purpose of erecting Ferry
houses and other necessary buildings for the use of the said Ferry

The petition of Isaac Kip junior to be appointed Superintendant
of Scavengers was received and the consideration thereof postponed.

An ordinance for regulating the assize of Bread was laid before
the board and the consideration thereof postponed


Ordered that the Mayor issue his Warrants on the Treasurer to

Iss d Warrts

N 353 Nicholas Carmer in advance for public repairs $1000.

354 James J Myers for repairing public roads 759 Vioo

355 Thomas Hazard lighting and cleaning Lamps 246 7 9ioo

[504] In Common Council, January 3, 1803.
Present. John B Prevost Esquire Recorder

John Bogert
John Oothout
Wynant Van Zandt jun r
Mangel Minthorne
Philip Brasher
John P Ritter
Joshua Barker

Caleb S Riggs
Henry Brevoort
Jacob Le Roy

Esquires Ebenezer Stevens

Andrew Morris
Robert Bogardus
Clarkson Crolius

Esq rs


A petition from Several merchants of this City against the repeal
of the late ordinance of this board for the establishment of Signal
Staffs at Staten Island was ordered to lie over until the board enter
into the consideration of that subject

A recommendation of Henry Stanton for the office of Superin-
tendant of Scavengers & of William Tredwell and Jasper Stanton for
the same office were received, and ordered to lie over until the board
proceed to that appointment

The Committee upon unfinished business reported as follows : to wit

' The Committee to whom was referred the [505] unfinished busi-
ness, report the following

The Report of the Street Commissioner relative to the permanent
regulation of Broadway, and the formation of a Canal

The letter or communication of John M c Lean, relative to old
Potters field.

Nicholas Beekmans petition for Inspector of Wood in the place
of his father, and twenty two other petitions for same office

Samuel Stillwells application for the appointment of City Surveyor

Daniel Dodge, petition of Lumber

Samuel L. Page, do for measurer of grain

Charles Gardner & Thomas Hamell & 14 others for same

Thomas Bartow, for Weighmaster

Daniel Van Voorhis for same

Thomas Bartow, for same

Stephen Burdett, for same

Frederick Bokee, for same

170 CITY or NEW YORK 3 Jan. 1803

And the Report of Watch Committee relative to the division of
the City into districts.

Joshua Barker
Philip Brasher
Rob 1 Bogardus.

The Committee to whom was referred the petition of Henry Shute
relative to the charge of the public property at Bellvue reported that
they have examined the buildings and premises thereof, and do find
that some repairs will be absolutely necessary. They are of opinion
That the petitioner is amply competent to take charge of said property,
but considering circumstances your Committee are further of opinion
it would be a public benefit to rent the said place from the first day
of April next [506] Subject to the order of the Board in case this
City should again be visited with infectious and pestilential diseases.

All which is respectfully submitted

John Bogert

New york 3. Jan^. 1803. Philip Brasher

Eben : Stevens

It was thereupon Ordered that the Comptroller be authorized to
rent Bellvue to such persons, and upon such terms for the period
of one year as he may deem most advantageous provided always that
the same be reserved to the board in case the premises should be
wanted as a Public Hospital

The Market Committee to whom was referred the Application of
John Davenport requesting the grant of Stall N 13 in the Hudson
market lately occupied by John Abeel

^ Respectfully report that said Abeel is not capable of occupying the
said stall being confined in the Hospital of this City in a deranged
state of mind. The Committee further report that the practice of
trafficking and selling of stalls which now in some degree prevails
amongst the Butchers ought not to be countenanced by this board.
But under all the Circumstances of this Case it would be proper in
their opinion to [507] grant stall N 13 in the Hudson market to John

All which is respectfully submitted

Philip Brasher
John Oothout.

Ordered that the aforegoing report be confirmed, and that the stall
therein specified be granted to the said John Davenport


The following report was received from the Street Commissioner,
to wit

The Street Commissioner having been directed by a resolution of
the Board to report on the expediency of immediately opening and
regulating Brannon Street from Greenwich Street to Broadway.


That in a former report accompanied with a profile of Brannon
Street from Greenwich Street to Prospect Street, he has recommended
the immediate regulation of the said Street conformably to the said
profile, the fee of the Land for the Street, having been thus far vested
in the Corporation and accepted for this purpose That from Prospect
Street to Broadway no ground has been conveyed to the Corporation
for a continuation of the Street. On examination and inquiry it
appears that the whole of the Land extending from Prospect Street to
Broadway was part of the Estate of the late Alderman Bayard, which
was laid out into House Lots and Streets as appears by a survey and
map thereof made by the late City Surveyor Goerck. That the Lots
have been sold to a variety of purchasers, conformably to the said
Survey and map. That a Street called Spring Street in said map is a
continuation of Brannon Street. As M r Bayard in his lifetime never
granted the Fee of the said Street, and as the [508] Executors named
in his last will have not administered thereon, it appears that the
Streets as laid down in said Map are now vested in his children and
grand children, most of whom reside out of this State.

There is at present no Street or Highway communicating from
Broadway to Greenwich Street between Catherine Street near the
Hospital and the New Prison a distance so great as to render it
extremely inconvenient to the Inhabitants of those Streets

Under all these circumstances the Street Commissioner begs leave
to recommend that Brannon Street should be immediately extended
to Broadway, and to be laid out Conformably to an Act of the Legis-
lature in such case made and provided. It is to be presumed that the
Jury to be appointed for remunerating the Owners the damages and
recompence for the Land so to be taken, will not think them entitled
to much if any

All which is respectfully submitted

New york Jany 3, 1803 Joseph Browne

Resolved that the Street Commissioner cause a survey of the
ground for the continuation of Brannon Street to be made and take
the necessary measures to have the same opened as the law directs of

172 CITY or NEW YORK 3 Jan. 1803

the breadth of 65 feet as far as Broadway [509] with all convenient

The Comptroller to whom was referred the petition of John P
Ryerss for a release of quit rent on a part of his property, and that
the same may be attached to the residue, reported that the remainder
of the said property is sufficient to secure the payment of such quit
rent and that it would not be against the public interest to comply
with the prayer of the petition. The board having considered the said
report determined it inexpedient to confirm the same.

The Clerk having made a Communication to this board stating
that Several amendments may be made in the mode of registering the
most material transactions of the Common Council, the same was
referred to the Committee appointed to inquire into the present mode
of keeping the minutes

Resolved, that the appointment of a Superintendant of Scavengers
be postponed until the third Monday in January instant

Resolved that

Aid: Oothout ~\ be appointed a Committee to inquire whether any and if any
Bogert & L what alterations are necessary in the Offices and duties

Brasher J of Superintendant of Scavengers & Street Inspector

The Board proceeded to consider the ordinance for regulating the
assize of bread and having made progress therein the same was re-
ferred to a Select Committee consisting of Aid Van Zandt, Aid Ritter
& M r Stevens

A Petition from several inhabitants of Cortland Slip praying that
the Assessment for filling in the same may be extended so as to em-
brace a greater number of Contributors was received and ordered to
lie upon the Table

[510] The report of Street Commissioner relative to the perma-
nent regulation of Broadway and the formation of Canals entered
on the Minutes of last was referred to Aid. Van Zandt,

Aid. Barker, M r Bogardus & the Street Commissioner

An application [of] M r John M c Lean Superintendant of Public
Stores relative to certain parts of the Public Land belonging to the
State was received and referred to the Comptroller

Resolved that Nicholas Beekman and David Cook be and they are
hereby respectively appointed Inspectors of Wood and Daniel Dodge
be and he is hereby appointed an Inspector of Lumber

Alderman Brasher gave notice that at the next Meeting of the


Board he intends to move that Samuel Stilwell be appointed one of
the City Surveyors

"] Were appointed a Committee to examine what is the

Alderman Bogart I present Number of Weighmasters, Inspectors of Lum-

Bogardus & ber of Wood and Q- lty Surveyors and what number is

Stevens J j n tnere O pi n i on necessary for the Public Service

Ordered that the Consideration of the report of the Committee
relative to the City Watch be postponed until Monday next

Resolved that the Clerk of this board report at the next Meeting
all ordinances of the same that are now in force.

Ordered that a Committee be appointed to look into the situation
of the records and Public Papers in the office of the Clerk of this City
and take such steps for the preservation thereof [511] as in there
opinion shall be necessary Aid. Minthorne M r Riggs and M r Crolius

Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 3) → online text (page 15 of 68)