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Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 4) online

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19. George Aaronfred. Carman. 74. Bowery, v. Ge Hide d
32. Abraham Hennager, corner Spring & Mott v. Tho s Burtis d
Ordered that the Mayor issue his warrants to pay :

NO 707 Beekman Van Beuren, Sup* of roads $226.12

708 Matthew Dyckman, repairs to Pumps 42.

709 Samuel Hopkins, allowe for Pump & Well corner Broome

& Cannon Streets 18 .

710 Amos Rooke, keeper of Signal Poles, Salary 82.50

711 William Dustan, paving intersect Thames S* 111.4

712 Isaac Van Duzen, carting earth to Duane market 10.

713 Mark M c Camman, Labor for Sup 4 of repairs 31 .

714 James Hardie, Salary &ca 66.25

715 Edward Moran, Assist to City Inspec r d 52.

716 Andrew Otterson d d 58.

717 Nicholas Welsh, for 2 Firebuckets lost 4.

718 John Bingham Esq r for Comme o f ways & means 1000.

719 John D. Miller Esq Chairman Watch Comm e to pay for

lease of Watch house for 3 d District 100.

720 Abner Conklin, Adminis r of estate of Jos. Kelly on ace* of

regulating Bullock Street 350.

721 Thomas Palmer, for regulating Mott Street 268.

722 Ann Culbert, widow of Hugh, d Mulberry Street 54.

723 John H. Sickles, on ace 4 Building Committee 1000.

724. John McKenzie, keeper of Potters field, Salary 92.

* Marginal note reads See Report P. 140. ED.



8 Feb. 1808

[109] In Common Council, February 8 th 1808.

Present Marinus Willett, Esquire Mayor.

Jacob Mott
James Drake
John Bingham
Thurston Wood
Abraham King
John D. Miller
Samuel M. Hopkins
Peter Mesier.

Mess" Jasper Ward

Abraham Bloodgood
John W. Mulligan
Esquires Samuel Torbert

Aldermen Simon Van Antwerp
John J. Campbell
John Slidell
Stephen Ludlam
Samuel Kip


The Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.

A Report from the Police Office that

Capt. Lawrence, had suspended Noah Ross

Peterson d James Lefarge and

Darling d Peter Keslaer for sleeping on their

Posts, was referred to the Watch Committee.

[110] A Petition of the inhabitants in Cornelia Streets for Lamps,
was referred to the Lamp Committee.

Petitions of Paul Green, Lewis Osborn and Henry Leek to be ap-
pointed Foreman of the 2 d Watch District were referred to the Watch

A Petition of William Gamadge to be appointed Watchman, was
referred to the same Committee.

A Petition of Colin Tolmie, Blacksmith for a share of the public
work, was referred to the Committee of repairs.

*A Petition of Philip Milledoler for a water grant at Harlem, was
referred to the Comptroller and the Alderman and Assistant of the
9 th Ward.

A Petition of John Holdron, Lessee of Powles Hook ferry and
David Godwin d of Hoboken d for the extension of their respective
leases to three Years, instead of 2 years and 9 months, from the 1 st
day of May next, was referred to the Ferry Committee.

A Petition of the inhabitants for a Well & Pump at the corner of
Essex and Grand Streets, was referred to the Alderman and Assist-
ant of the 7 th Ward with power to grant on the usual terms.

[Ill] An application in favour of granting the Lease of the Fly-
market Ferry, to Stryker was referred to the Ferry Com-

* Marginal note reads See Report Vol 19. P. 210. ED.


A Letter from Jacob S. Arden remonstrating against the payment
of any assessment for opening Broadway, was referred to the Alder-
man and Assistant of the 8th Ward and the Alderman of the 9 th

*An Account presented by Robert Bogardus Esq r for Costs on a
nonsuit in the cause of Peter Schermerhorn, at the suit of the Cor-
poration, amounting to $99.87^ was referred to the Attorney.

A Plan for fortifying the Narrows by William Bridges City
Surveyor, was laid before the Board and referred to the Committee
of Defence.

The following Letter from Jacob Radcliff Esq r to the Mayor was

New York Feb* 6 th 1808

An Assessment has sometime since been made under the author-
ity of the Corporation to defray the expense of filling up the Slip
at the Foot of Vesey Street. A number of the persons assessed,
supposing themselves not liable to contribute to this expence applied
to me as counsel on that occasion. On examining the case, and con-
sidering the object of the work and the purposes accomplished by it
on the part of the Corporation I did not think the [112] persons
assessed were liable, and it appeared to me also a case of considerable
hardship. I then proposed to the Attorney of the Corporation to
join an issue with him in any manner that should be thought best, to
try the right in the easiest and most expeditious mode, to which I
was informed he then agreed. Expecting to hear from him on the
subject, nothing farther was done and the business slept.

The persons affected by the Assessment have again called upon
me and inform me that a warrant has latelv issued to lew the amount

j j

of the Assessment and their property has been taken and they are
notified that it will be sold on tuesday next, if the assessment be not
paid. To prevent so harsh a proceeding where the parties really
suppose themselves aggrieved and have shewn every disposition to
try the right, I take the liberty to state the business to you and thro'
you to submit to the Corporation a renewal of the proposition to try
the question in the shortest and least expensive mode of joining an
issue for that purpose by the determination of which all the parties
will agree to abide. If some arrangement of this kind be not made,
the difference must lead to as many useless and expensive law suits

* Marginal note reads See Report P. 168. ED.

7.50 CITY OF XEW YORK 8 Feb. 1808

as there are individuals concerned. I cannot think but that the Board
will agree to this proposition and instruct their [113] Attorney ac-
cordingly, and in that case it will be necessary to suspend the pro-
ceedings of the Officer acting under the warrant that has issued.

I am sensible that every question of this sort which can in any
way affect the Police of the city is of a delicate nature and that the
example, whether successful or not, may be injurious. I have there-
fore really wished to avoid this controversy, but I do not know that
it can now be avoided. If however any method can be adopted to
accommodate the business. I shall cheerfully do what I can to
accomplish it,

I will thank you for an answer on Monday to the proposition of
trying the right in the manner above mentioned.

I am Sir

Your m ob. Serv 1
The Hon Marinus Willett, Jacob Radcliff

Ordered that the same be referred to the Counsel and Attorney,
with instructions to join in one Suit, as proposed. And that the War-
rants to enforce payment of the Assessment, be, in the mean time,

The Mayor communicated the following Letter from the Secre-
tary of the Navy, in answer to his application respecting the support
of the Seamen sent to the Navy Yard.

[114] Navy Department

Jan- T 27 1808.

Your Letter of the 21 st instant with its enclosure has been sub-
mitted to the President of the United Sta

Consistently with existing Laws, which limit the number of Sea-
men to be employed, the Navy Department cannot employ or in any
manner support any Seamen in addition to the number now in service.

I have the honor to be

respectfully Sir
Marinus Willett Esq Y-* mo. ob. Serv*

Mayor of the City of R : Smith

New York.

The Mayor mentioned that he had also received a letter from M r
N. King of the Secretary of State's department, with a demand for
a drawing and specification of the Patent of Stephen Colvers Dock


Drudge ordered for the use of the Corporation which was referred
to the Street Commissioner to estimate the compensation and report

The Watch Committee to whom were referred the Petitions rela-
tive to the appointment of a Foreman of the second Watch District
reported in favour of Oliver Hibbard, was appointed accordingly.

[115] The following Report was presented.

The Committee of Ways & Means


That by a return of Captain Chauncey it appears that 21 Seamen
have been admitted at the Xavy Yard from the 16 th of January to
the 6 th inst: of whom 18 remain at die yard. 15 other Seamen have
received orders for admission to this day inclusive, whose names have
not been reported.

The following is the statement of the Rations issued at the Alms



Feb. 1st




. .. 47c7





6 th

545 J

Total Ra* 19.306. @ 9 cents $1737.54

There has been administered during the same period, towards the
relief of distressed families in Cash.. 108.96

Making an expenditure in the course of the last week of -6.50

In consequence of the great increase of the demand for rations,
the Committee are convinced that considerable impositions are prac-
tised. With the approbation [116] of the Common Council they pro-
pose to issue rations, only twice a week, in future, and to examine
into the claims and necessities of the applicants, to prevent, as far
as may be possible further abuse of the public bounty.


As before reported, a number of Labourers, amounting to 80 have
been employed in removing Mud out of the Collect. As this labour
is not very profitable, and as means of employment will be afforded
at Governor's island the Committee have concluded that i: will In-
best to discharge these Labourers, and have given the Street Com-
missioner orders according.

752 CITY OF NEW YORK 8 Feb. 1808

The Committee again apply for a warrant in favour of their
Treasurer, towards their expenses for $2000.

John Bingham

Feby 8th. 1808. Ja s Drake

Jacob Mott.

Warr* Ordered that the same be confirmed and that a warrant be
N 740. issued in favour of John Bingham Esq for $2000.

Alderman Miller of the Committee to whom the subject was
referred, reported a site for An Arsenal for the State situate on the
East side of Elm Street between White and Sugar Loaf Streets, to-
gether with the following draft of a Memorial to the Legislature
[117] which was approved and ordered to be engrossed and the Seal
of this Corporation thereunto affixed and to be forwarded to the
Legislature at Albany.

To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New York, in
Senate and Assembly convened :

The Memorial of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the
City of New York.

Respectfully sheweth

That the Building in the city of New York belonging to the people
of this State and. at present occupied as an Arsenal, is, in their
opinion, far from being suitable for that purpose, as it is not suf-
ficiently extensive to contain the military stores and implements which
belong to them.

That the Trustees of the Free School, for the education of such
poor children as do not belong to or are not provided for by any
religious Society, are in want of a Building, which should be large
enough to accommodate the great and constantly increasing numbers
of those for whom the benefit of their institution was intended, and
that the present Arsenal would answer extremely well for that

Your Memorialists further show, that they are possessed of sev-
eral pieces or blocks of vacant ground between Elm and Collect
Streets as designated [118] by the Numbers 1. 2 & 3. on the annexed
Map, either of which would be amply sufficient for a spacious
Arsenal, and they are of opinion that certain arrangements might be
made with respect to the premises which would not only be highly
beneficial to the State and to the Corporation of this city; but would
also materially extend the usefulness of the Free school, an institu-
tion which eminently promotes the general good, in the means of


diffusing the blessings of useful Knowledge amongst those who stand
most in need of it.

Your Memorialists therefore recommend to the Honorable the
Legislature, the propriety of ceding to their Corporation the Building
now employed by the State as an Arsenal, upon Condition that the
said Building shall be occupied by the Trustees of the aforesaid
School, so long as they shall use the same for the purposes of their
institution, and shall also educate gratis the children belonging to the
Alms House, but that in case of failure in either of these respects the
said building shall revert to the Corporation.

Your Memorialists in consideration of the aforesaid cession on
the part of the State, do pledge themselves to cede to the State the
peice or parcel of ground designated on the said Map by N 3. and
situate between Elm and Collect Streets and from Sugar Loaf to
White Streets, being a block about [119] two hundred and ten feet
square, or either of the others if they should be preferred, to be ap-
propriated by the State for the purpose of building and continuing
an Arsenal thereon ; but which said ground shall revert to the Cor-
poration, whenever the State shall cease to use it for military

And Your Memorialists &c a



8 Feb. 1808


[120] The Comptroller presented the following Report.

The Common Council having, at their last meeting, directed the
Comptroller to report an estimate of the sum necessary to be
raised by Tax for the exper.ces of the city and county for the
present year ; he has the honor to present here\yith an account
of the expenditures of the last year, which, in his opinion, should
form the basis of the application to the Legislature for the sum
to be raised for the expences of the present year. From that
statement it will appear that there was expended for county
purposes $183.180. 4

That the Tax collected amounted to.. 119.943.54

leaving a deficiency of 66.236 . 50

Which was in part provided for by the proportion of

Commissions on Sales at Auction, amounting to $24.666.87

and received from the Excise 8.679.


Leaving still a deficit of $29.890.63

which was supplied by a Ballance in the Treasury arising from monies
borrowed from the Manhattan Company in a former year, and a
further Loan in that year.

Though it is generally calculated that the City revenue will aid
the Tax, yet the amount of city disbursements for the last year
exceeded [121] considerably its annual revenue, and if the Building
of the new City Hall is to be continued, it ought not to be counted
upon in a provision for county purposes for the present year. It
ought further to be observed that there will probably be a considerable
deficiency in the Collection of the Tax for 1807. arising from mis-
takes in the Assessors and a reduction from the proceeds of the
Excise of $4000. the sum granted by the Legislature to the Free

From the aforegoing Observations the Board will perceive, that
if the amount of the Tax is alone to be relied upon for the expences
of the current year, a larger sum will be necessary than that required
for the last year; but as the sum to be asked for will depend upon
the determination of the Common Council as to the application of
the Corporation revenue, the Comptroller presumes that it would be
proper in him to submit to them the Amount which they should,
under all circumstances deem it expedient and prudent to require.

All which is respectfully submitted.
Feb>' 8 th 1808. J. Morton.

Compt r

7.5(5 CITY OF NEW YORK 8 Feb. 1808

Estimate of the Expences and Receipts of the City and County
of New York.

Lamps $17.370. 55

Watch 33.240.88

Roads 12.171 . 18

City Contingency 10.469.90

[122] Streets 19.921 .41

Alms House 46.136.96

Wells & Pumps 8.324. 3

County Contingency 35.545 . 13

183.180. 4


By Tax $119.943.54

Sales at Auction 24.666.87

Excise 8.679.



Whereupon the draft of the following Memorial was approved
and ordered to be engrossed and the Seal of this Corporation there-
unto affixed and to be forwarded to the Legislature at Albany.

To the Honorable the Representatives of the People of the State
of New York, in Senate and Assembly convened.

The Memorial of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the
City of New York,

Respectfully sheweth

That Your Memorialists for the purpose of ascertaining the sum
necessary to be raised for the City and County of New York, for the
current year, directed the Comptroller of the Corporation to lay
before them an estimate of the [123] sums requisite for those pur-
poses, founded upon the actual expenses of the last year. This esti-
mate, detailing the particular objects of expense, and the Sums requi-
site for the same, we have the honour to transmit with this Memorial.
From that estimate it appears, that for the purpose of defraying the
various charges of the city and county for the present year, there will
be wanting the sum of Seventy Thousand Dollars.

Your Memorialists would therefore respectfully solicit, that an
Act may be passed, authorising the Mayor, Aldermen and Common-
alty of the City of New York, to raise by Tax upon the estates, real
and personal, of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the said City the
sum of Sixty Thousand Dollars for the maintenance of the Poor and


for defraying the other contingent charges of the said City and


And Your Memorialists &c a

The following Report was presented.

*The Comptroller to whom was referred the Petitions of Thomas
Smith and Robert Carnly praying for water grants fronting their
property on the East river between the grant of Adam & Noah Brown
and Romaine Street


That in his [124] opinion the prayer of the said Petitioners should
be granted.

Which is submitted.

Feby 8 th 1808. J. Morton.

Ordered that the same be confirmed.

The Comptroller reported the sum of $2542.77 in the Treasury.

The Treasurer reported that he had received $470.57 proceeds of
the intestate estate of Reuben Johnson deceased for which a claim
had been made by Carey Ludlow who presented a Bond of indemnity
to the Corporation for the same, which was referred to the Attorney.

The Street Commissioner presented the following Report

The Street Commissioner to whom was referred the petition of
Thomas Gardner and others praying that measures may be taken by
the Common Council to cause Corlaers Hook Street to be made to
the centre of Water Street, has the honor to


That he has viewed the premises alluded to in the aforesaid Peti-
tion, and finds that the proprietors of ground between Grand and
Cherry Street have not, as directed by the Board [125] completed
the said Corker's Street, but that they have done some part of the
filling and are now employing carts for that purpose. That they have
sunk a very extensive line of Blocks nearly five hundred feet from
high water mark which will require a long time to be filled and that
considering their great expense in sinking these blocks the Board
ought to indulge them in an extent of time for their filling, if they
should apply for such extension.

That from the conversations the Street Commissioner has had
with the agents of M r Gardner, the principal object of their petition
was to obtain the order of the Board to themselves, for filling in and
making Corlaers Street to the centre of Water Street, which by the

* Marginal note reads See. P. 71. ED.

758 CITY OF NEW YORK 8 Feb. 1808

stipulations in their grants they cannot do without such particular

The Street Commissioner is of opinion that no good reasons can
at this time be presented against the wishes of the petitioners, as the
claim of M r Cunningham has been deemed to extend only to the
waters edge.

The low price of labour is another reason offered for permitting
the petitioners to take the earth from their hills to the low ground
and that they will thereby employ many poor people.

The Street Commissioner therefore presents the draft of an Ordi-
nance embracing, [126] as he believes, the wishes of the Petitioner,
which in his opinion ought to be passed.

All which is respectfully submitted
Feby 8 th 1808. John S. Hunn.

Ordered that the same be confirmed and that an Ordinance be
passed in conformity.

The Street Commissioner presented the following Report
The Street Commissioner has again been applied to, this day, by
M r John R. Livingston to state to the Board the situation of the cellars
in Anthony and Thomas Streets which are filled with water, in much
greater quantities than can be discharged through the small drain
which has been placed in the Streets to relieve them, and that two
or three feet of water is now [in] many of the cellars in the neigh-

The Street Commissioner begs leave to turn the attention of the
Board to his Reports N os 452 and 465 in possession of the Clerk, and
hopes some order will be taken to afford the necessary relief to the

Which is respectfully submitted.
Feby 8 th 1808 John S. Hunn

*Ordered that the same be referred to the Alderman and Assistant
of the 5 th Ward.

[127] The Street Commissioner presented the following Report
The Street Commissioner having been directed by the Common
Council to report upon the present state of Stanton Street and the
reasons why the contract for regulating it has not been completed,
has the honour, in part, to Report

That the badness of the weather and the indisposition of M r Still-

* Marginal note reads See Report P. 1S9. ED.



well, who was directed to make the necessary surveys, have been the
primary reasons for presenting, at this late day, an imperfect report
upon the subject. ,

That from the surveys that have been made it appears, that 27000
feet of earth are wanted at the lower end; that within the next 200
feet 30.000 feet are deficient; that within a space of 450 feet between
Pitt Street and the Bowery 22.500 feet are wanted and that in addi-
tion to the above, 5000 feet will be required between Norfolk and
Essex Streets, making a total deficiency of 84.500 Cubic feet, which,
at 10 feet to the load, at 4 cents each will make $338. But it is
probable that the work could not be completed by others than the
Contractors for less than $450 or $500.

The Street Commissioner further reports, that Mess rs Hulsart and
Stagg have stated to him, that when they took Stanton Street, they
also took Arundle Street, both of them at rates lower than they
could be done separately as they calculated to deposit [128] the extra
earth of Arundle street into Stanton Street, where it was wanted.
That M r Stuyvesant forbid them taking any of the extra earth in
Arundel Street, which they had so calculated to use, and that they
were therefore obliged to stop their work in both streets until this
difficulty was adjusted. They further state that the ground proposed
to be given to them from vacant lots on Stanton Street, has not a
bank sufficient for them to work in at this season, and that they
would be liable to a suit of the proprietor when he should appear.
And lastly, that if the Corporation will permit them to regulate
Attorney Street, to North Street, where there is a surplusage of
earth, they will regulate the Street conformably to a profile for the
consideration of the earth and immediately proceed to finishing
Stanton Street with the same.

The Street Commissioner being well acquainted with the circum-
stances of the case in Arundel Street, and having failed in his exer-
tions to prevail upon M r Stuyvesant to permit the earth to be re-
moved, is impressed with an opinion, that Mess rs Hulsart & Stagg
have not been so reprehensible as they would otherwise have been, if
no such obstacle had occurred: And that if it is consistent with the
authority of the Common Council, he will recommend that they be
permitted to regulate Attorney Street as aforesaid for the purposes
they have mentioned, or to take as much earth therefrom as will be
sufficient to finish [129] Stanton Street.

All which is respectfully submitted.
Feb. 8 th 1808 John S. Hunn.

760 CITY OF NEW YORK 8 Feb. 1808

^Ordered that the same be referred to the Alderman and Assistant
of the 7th. Ward, with power to reject or confirm as they on exam-
ination, may judge proper.

fThe Street Commissioner reported that he had not been able,
within the time limited by the Board, to see all the proprietors of Lots
in Canal Street ; that some of those with whom he has conversed on
the subject have required a few days to give their answers, but that he
expects to report fully on the subject at the next meeting.

The Street Commissioner presented a return of Delinquents on

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