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Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 9) online

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P. Meghan
R. Richards
T. Waters,

D. Crane
Samuel Rooney
J. Moran

E. Patterson

F. Nowland
M. Patterson
E. Waters
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J. R. Livingston
A. Wells
William Lord
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(sign'd) George Cuming

City Inspector

which Ordinances were passed.

[336] A Petition of Elihu S. Bunker, Master of Steam Boat Con-
necticut, praying that certain Repairs may be made at Beekman Slip
being necessary for the safety of said Steam Boat was read and re-
ferred to the Ferry Committee.



16 Feb. 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 487

The following appointments of Fire wardens and Firemen were
made (the Chief Engineer certifying the Vacancies) to wit

" Fire Engine Company No. 7."

Robert Dean, Currier, 126 Pump St. 6 ward vice John White,
Removed.

" Fire Engine Company, No. 13."

Thos. N. Stanford, Mercht 61 Hudson S. vice Evart Duyckinck,
Resigned

W. Cunningham, Mercht. 11 Oliver St. 4 ward vice Abr. Franklyn,
Resigned.

"Fire Engine Company, No. 31."

Jas. Johnston, Carpenter, 124 Orange St. 6 ward vice John Gil-
men, Delinquent.

"Fire Wardens of 2 d Ward."

Latham Stratton, Cooper, 2 Crane Whrf 2 ward vice Robert
Wardell, No. 254 Pearl Street, Resigned.

[337] The Attorney, agreeably to Order, presented the draft of a
Law entitled " a Law to regulate the Sale of Crabs " which was
passed.

He also, agreeably to order, presented the draught of a Law
entitled " A Law to amend the Law to regulate Public Porters in the
City of New York " which was passed.

Alderman Holmes moved that the Board now proceed to the con-
sideration of the order of the day which was agreed to. The Re-
port of the Committee of Wharves &c. of the 8 th of December, and
the Report of the Special Committee of the 5 th of January, were read.
The Report of the Comptroller and Street Commissioner of the 9 tb
February was also read, and was as follows :

" That they have called on all the owners and Lessees that they
could find but have not been able to make any agreement with them
Three of the proprietors are willing to accede to such terms as the Cor-
po- [338] ration may deem to be just the other part of the property is
either under lease, or so embarrassed as that the agents are not able to
enter into any Arrangements.

" Your Committee would take the liberty at this time to state that
the Bulkhead between Roosevelt Street and James Slip has been built
upwards of twenty feet beyond the line of their grants and that the



488 CITY OF NEW YORK 16 Feb. 1818

Water in front is reserved for public uses no grants having been
given therefor"

(sign'd) Jno M c Comb, St. Com.
" G. N. Bleecker, Comp.

Alderman Smith then presented the following Resolution :

" Resolved that the Counsel of the Board be instructed to take the
necessary steps immediately after the Third Monday in May next,
to carry the said Report into effect, so far as it relates to the space
between James' Slip and Roosevelt Street, provided the same can be
legally done."

The question being taken thereon, and a Division called by Alder-
man Buck- [339] master is passed in the Negative :

Negative. Mr. Recorder Aldermen Brackett Coles Underhill
Holmes M c Queen Burtis Thorp Munson. Messieurs Stevens Kip Van
Amringe Remmey Taylor 14

Affirmative. Aldermen Smith Buckmaster. Messieurs Schieffelin.
Allen 4

Alderman Coles then presented the following Resolution:

" Resolved, that the Counsel enquire and report to this Board,
whether the Waters, Bulkead and Pier, proposed to be taken for a
public Slip between James' Slip and Roosevelt Street by a report lately
made to this Board can be legally taken for that purpose without the
consent of the owners first had and obtained [340] and if any law or
laws exist for taking the same against such consent to report the act or
Sections of the Act by which the same may be taken, together with
his opinion upon the legal steps to be pursued in case he should be of
opinion that it may be legally done." which was negatived. Mr.
Allen then offered an Amendment limiting the amount to be paid for
said Improvements to Eight thousand dollars which was withdrawn.

Alderman Holmes then presented the following Resolution :

" Resolved, that the Waters between James' Slip and Roosevelt
Street be taken for a Public Slip, and that the Counsel of the Board
be instructed to take the legal and necessary steps to carry the same
into effect."

The question being taken thereon, and a Division called by Alder-
man Buckmaster, it was carried in the Affirmative :

"Affirmative" Mr Recorder Aldermen Brackett Underhill [341]
Holmes M c Queen Burtis Thorp Munson Messieurs Kip Van Amringe
Remmey Taylor 12

" Negative." Aldermen Coles Smith Buckmaster Messieurs Stevens
Schieffelin Allen 6



16 Feb. 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 489

Alderman Buckmaster gave notice that he should at the next
Meeting move for a reconsideration of the vote last taken.

The Street Committee, to whom was referred that part of the
Comptroller's Report which relates to the disposal of the Street Ma-
nure of this City, Reported:

" That they have had the subject under consideration, and propose
the following Resolutions

" Resolved, that the Comptroller be directed to advertise for sealed
proposals, to be received till the 2 d of March, for the Street Manure of
the Eastern and Western Districts, as at [342] present established by
a Law of the Corporation, for two years from the 1 st of May next.

" Resolved, that he also advertise for sealed proposals, to be re-
ceived as above mentioned for the Street Manure of the City, for One
and for Two years from the 1 st May next the Contractors to sweep
and remove the dirt at their own expence from all the Streets and
public places. For this purpose the City to be divided into Six Sub-
districts, three in the Eastern and three in the western, as designated
by law : each Sub-district to be swept and cleaned one day in the week,
at the time designated by the Act aforesaid.

" Your Committee think that a better decision can be made, as to
the propriety of agreeing to either of these plans, after proposals are
received."

(sign'd) Eldad Holmes
John Remey
Leonard Kip

which was approved, and the Comptroller was directed to advertise
agreeably thereto for Contracts for 1 or for 2 years.

[343] The Street Committee, on the subject of Deeds to and from
Gurdon S. Mumford, reported They had examined the same, and
recommended that the Deed from Mr. Mumford be accepted, and
the Lease executed agreeably to the Report of the Counsel which
was approved.

The Comptroller Reported that, by the decease of Margaret De
Groot, the Lot in William Street leased by the Corporation to her for
her life, had by her decease reverted to them whereupon the subject
of the disposal of said Lot was referred to the Finance Committee &
Comptroller, to report.

The Street Commissioner presented a Return of Delinquents on the
Assessment for paving Broad way upon which a Warrant was di-
rected to issue to the Collector for collecting the same.



490 CITY or NEW YORK 16 Feb. 1818

He also presented a corrected assessment for regulating Hudson
Street, [344] which was confirmed, and Morris De Camp appointed
Collector.

The Street Commissioner, on the Petition of Abraham Stagg, re-
ported that the prayer ought not to be granted, as the work is not
fully completed which ought to have been done the 1 st of September
last, and by the terms of the Contract the money is payable as it is
collected which Report was approved.

He also presented a Report recommending an Application to the
Legislature requesting an Amendment to the Law respecting improve-
ments in Streets, so that when the Report of the Commissioners of
Assessment is confirmed by the Supreme Court the Common Council
may have authority to delay commencing the Improvement for a period
not exceeding fifteen months which was referred to the Attorney to
report the draught of a Memorial and corresponding Bill.

[345] The Committee of Public Lands and Places, on the Petition
of Andrew I. M c Laughlin, Reported:

<% That the Petitioner was Keeper of the Flag Staff at the Battery in
the year 1809, and with the expectation of holding the same for some
time.

" That he went to considerable expence in improvements upon
the same

" That upon the ground being granted to the United States, the Flag
Staff was taken down, and another erected at the South end of the
Battery

" That in the erection of the latter one, part of the Materials
owned by said Andrew M c Laughlin were used and according to
an estimate made at that time by the Superintendant of Repairs the
value thereof was One hundred and fifty dollars

" And they therefore recommend that that sum be allowed [346]
him and a Warrant be reported therefor."

(sign'd) Arthur Burtis
Jacob Taylor
Robert M c Queen
Effing. Schieffelin

which was approved, and the Comptroller was directed to report a
Warrant therefor.

The Superintendant of Repairs, on the Report of the Finance Com-
mittee (dated 2 d instant) respecting the Lot on White Hall Street, re-
ported That he



16 Feb. 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 491

" has viewed the Lot, and finds that there will be but one foot left
which in his opinion is of no use for a yard.

" He therefore would recommend to this Board that the Building
occupy the whole of the Lot."

Respectfully Submitted

(sign'd) Jacob P. Roome,

Sup tdt of Repairs.

which Report was approved, and the Superintendant of Repairs was
directed to occupy the whole ground as recommended.

[347] The Committee of Public Lands and Places, on the Petition
of Robert Lenox, respecting an exchange of certain lots of Common
Land, reported:

" That in their opinion no injury would arise to the Public from the
Exchange upon the terms proposed by him, and therefore recommend
that the prayer of the Petitioner be granted, and that it be referred to
the Finance Committee and Comptroller to settle and agree as to the
Sum to be paid by Mr. Lenox to the Corporation upon the Exchange
proposed by him."

(sign'd) Arthur Burtis
Jacob Taylor
" Robert M c Queen

Effing. Schieffelin
which Report was approved.

The Clerk, agreeably to order, reported an Engrossed Copy of the
Law relative to Sweeping Chimnies &c.

The Committee on Laws, on the petition of Mary H. Williamson &
Matthew V. Gibson, made a Report, which was Approved.

[348] The Finance Committee, to whom was referred the Report of
the Comptroller on the subject of an Application from the Supervisors
of Kings' County, presented a Report. The Report of the Comptroller
was as follows :

" The Cooperation of this County is requested, for the reasons
therein" (in an enclosed letter) "mentioned: but as the amount of
real estates in this City and County the last year exceeds the valuation
adjusted by the Board of principal assessors acting under a Law of
the United States, in 1815, and will probably not diminish in succeed-
ing years it appears unnecessary to unite in the proposed application.

" The inequality of Assessments in the several Counties, in former
years, has in a great measure been remedied by the enactment of the



492 CITY or NEW YORK 16 Feb. 1818

Law of the State above mentioned; by which the aggregate of real
estates, as determined on by the principal assessors of the United
States, was to be considered the lowest amount at [349] which future
valuations were to be adjusted by the Supervisors in each County.

"The subject is respectfully presented for the consideration of the
Board, that an answer may be returned as early as possible."

Jan. 26. 1818. (sign'd) G. N. Bleecker

Comptroller.

On which Report the Report of the Finance Committee was as

follows :

" That they concur in opinion with the Comptroller, and deem
it inexpedient to apply to the Legislature for any alteration of said
Law. as the Estimate of the City Assessors is now more than that of
the United States' Assessors, by One Million Six hundred thousand
dollars."

Respectfully Submitted.

(sign'd) Thomas R. Smith
Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson
Leonard Kip

whereupon, the Report of the Finance Committee was agreed to.

[350] The Finance Committee, on the petition of William M.
Thurman for the remission of part of his tax for 1815, Reported:

" That they have examined the merits of the case, and are of
opinion that the prayer of the Petitioner ought to be granted.

" It is therefore recommended that the Collector of Arrears of
Taxes be instructed to close the account of Mr. Thurman the amount
being Six Dollars and fifty four cents."

(sign'd) Thos. R. Smith

Stephen Allen
" Reuben Munson

Leonard Kip
which Report was approved.

The Finance Committee, on the Petition of Messrs. Hart & Belden,
relative to the Renewal of the Lease of the Upper part of the Watch
House in Eldridge Street, Reported:

" That, altho' they consider the practice of disposing at public
sale, generally, of Corporation property, [351] as highly advantageous
to the public interest, yet it is believed that the present case should
form an exception to this rule.



16 Feb. 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 493

' The Academy established in this place by the petitioners is highly
respectable both as to the number of scholars and the various branches
of education taught therein. The teachers are men of unexception-
able character, and by their talents, their zeal and industry have made
this establishment one of the most useful and most extensive in this
part of the City.

" Your Committee are therefore of opinion that it would operate
extremely hard on the petitioners to lease this place at auction,
thereby exposing them to the cupidity of others, compelling them to
purchase probably at an extravagant price the labors of their own
hands, or to abandon them for the benefit of others.

" But as property in this part of the City is somewhat enhanced
in value since the commencement of the lease now about expiring, it
[352] is not thought unreasonable that some advance should be made
in the rent it is therefore recommended that the said premises be
leased to the Petitioners for three years from 1 st May next for One
hundred and seventy five dollars per annum payable quarterly."

(sign'd) Th. R. Smith
Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson
Leonard Kip
which Report was approved.

The Street Commissioner and Attorney of the Board, to whom
was referred the Petition of Claudius Redon for the remission of the
penalty for erecting a building contrary to Law, reported :

" That the said Building has been so altered by the said Petitioner,
by substituting safe materials against fire in the place of wood, that
in their opinion it cannot now be considered dangerous

" That the Fire wardens of the Ward or a majority of them have

examined the said building and are [353] satisfied with the same, as

will appear by their opinions expressed in the paper hereunto annexed.

' They therefore recommend that the suit commenced against the

said Petitioner be suspended on payment of costs."

(sign'd) Jno. M c Comb St. Com.

A. Sherman Attorn,
which Report was approved.

The Police Committee, to whom was referred the Resolution
(dated Feby. 2) on the subject of confining Runaway Slaves, pre-
sented a Report. The above-mentioned Resolution as proposed by
Mr. Stevens, was as follows :

" Resolved, that in future in all cases where the Police Magistrates



494 CITY OF NEW YORK 16 Feb. 1818

commit slaves to Bridewell, for the reasons above " (in the preamble)
" mentioned, that the said Magistrates first demand and receive the
sum of fifteen dollars from the person or persons making application
for such commitment, and that the said sum be passed to the credit of
this Board [354] by the Clerk of the Police Office, to remunerate the
Corporation for the expences of the board of such slave, while in
Bridewell, at the rate of 25 cents per day And that in case any such
slaves, so committed shall be discharged before the expiration of
sixty days, then the person or persons so paying the said fifteen
dollars shall have refunded to him or them, by the said Clerk, such
balance as may exist in his or their favour, after charging him or
them with the board of such slave at the above rate of 25 cents per
day And that the said Magistrates on committing slaves, for the
reasons and in the manner aforesaid, shall also first take from the
person or persons making application for such Commitment a Bond
(with Surety if in their opinion requisite) whereby such person or
persons shall also bind themselves to pay the sum of twenty five cents
per day, for each and every day that such slaves shall remain in
Bridewell, after the expiration of the first sixty days Provided
always [355] that the Penalty of the said Bond shall not exceed One
hundred dollars."

On which Resolution the Report of the Police Committee was
" that they approved of the Resolution proposed, and had drafted a
Law agreeably thereto, which the Chairman presented. Whereupon,
the same was read and agreed to and passed under the title of " A
Law in relation to the Imprisonment of Slaves."

The following Report of Feby. 2, was called up :
The Special Committee, on the Petition respecting encouragement
to the House of Industry, Reported :

' That your Committee have visited this establishment, and as far
as they have been enabled to judge, the same is carried on, by the
respectable members who compose the association, in a manner highly
honorable to themselves and beneficial to the Community.

' This institution was established in the summer of 1814, and under
the immediate auspices and patronage of this Corporation, [356] who
by their Committee hired the Rooms for the Institution and presented
them the sum of Five hundred dollars.

" In the Fall of 1815 this Association made to the Corporation
their first Annual Report, which appears, by the Report of a then
Committee of this Board, to have been highly satisfactory to the Cor-



16 Feb. 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES 495

poration, and they thereon voted the Institution the sum of One
thousand dollars.

" In the Fall of the present year a Committee of this Board, with-
out, as your present Committee believes, having visited and examined
into the concerns of this Institution, reported in favor of the reduced
Allowance of Four hundred dollars, which sum was agreed to by the
Board.

" The members of this Association must naturally have concluded
that the Corporation had lost their confidence in the mode of manag-
ing the Institution, or their good opinion of the description of the
Institution itself: neither of which, your Committee are confident, is
the fact.

[357] " In the opinion of your Committee, the House of Industry
is calculated to prevent indigence and want among the poor of the
City, to encourage them to labor, and thus to enable them to obtain
a maintenance and support for themselves.

" It is a fact that must be granted, that all descriptions of associa-
tions to benefit or relieve the poor are frequently deceived and imposed
upon but the House of Industry, by granting relief only in paying
for labor, is certaintly the least liable to be imposed upon, and there-
fore, if on this account alone, peculiarly entitled to encouragement.

" That the usefulness of this Institution may not be curtailed but
that it may be extended, aided and assisted by the advice and resources
of the gentlemen who have petitioned in its behalf, your Committee
have concluded to recommend, that the Sum of Five hundred dollars
be granted them for the Rent of their contemplated [358] increased
Establishment."

(sign'd) G. Buckmaster

Samuel Stevens
Feby. 2. " W. F. Van Amringe

1818. " Eldad Holmes

which, having been read, was approved, and a warrant for Five hun-
dred dollars in favor of said Institution was directed to issue.

The Committee on Laws, to whom was referred the Resolution of
the 22 d of September last which went to authorize the Comptroller
to cancel the Bonds given by the Collectors of the Wards as their
respective books are settled, Reported, that they see no objection to
the adoption of the said resolution, whereupon the said Resolution
was agreed to.

The Committee, to whom was referred the Petition of the Irish
Emigrant Society, reported:



496 CITY OF NEW YORK 16 Feb. 1818

" That they are fully sensible of the great advantage which results
to the United States from the [359] emigration of industrious
foreigners who have come to reside permanently therein. Such
emigrants have contributed to add to the strength and enhance the
wealth of the nation.

" Your Committee earnestly hope and confidently believe that Con-
gress will continue to cherish that liberal policy toward all meritorious
foreigners of all nations, who are attached to the principles of our
free Constitution, which hath hitherto characterized the laws.

" At the same time your Committee are of opinion that as the
Corporation of this City, in common with those of the other cities of
the Union, is constituted for local purposes and local views, it is
inexpedient in this Board formally to apply to Congress on the sub-
ject, or give any special opinion to the Representatives from this City."

(sign'd) R. Riker

Steph. Allen
Jno. B. Coles
which Report was approved.

[360] The Report of the Finance Committee of the 29 th of
December, relative to raising the rates of Slippage, which had been
laid on the Table, was called up and read, as follows :

" The Finance Committee &c report that they have examined
the subject with attention, and have also made enquiries of such
persons as were considered well acquainted with it: from all which
they are induced to recommend for adoption by the Board the fol-
lowing rates, to take effect from and after the 30 th day of April next
namely :

All small craft, 5 Tons burthen and under to pay $2 per annum

All vessels from 5 tons & under 25 T 30 cts p. day

" of 25 " " 40 " 40 "

"of 40 " " 60 " 50 cts p day.

" of 60 " " 100 " 60 cts p day.

" " " of 100 " and above, to pay the same rates per day

as are now received at the private wharves.
All vessels having outside births to pay half the above rates.

"and that the Law to reg- [361] ulate the lying of vessels at the
public wharves and in the Slips, and to establish the rates of Wharfage,
be amended accordingly by an Ordinance to be reported for that
purpose by the Counsel of the Board.

" Should the foregoing rates be agreed to, the Committee are war-



16 Feb. 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 497

ranted in saying that this property would let for a sum considerably
larger than it at present commands : and several difficulties now exist-
ing in relation to the lying of vessels in the Slips would be remedied :
then places would no longer exhibit vessels converted into retail shops
and store-houses, nor would they be incumbered with vessels laid up
and dismantled during the whole winter; or if it were so, the Con-
tractor would be properly compensated for such privileges."

(sign'd) Thos. R. Smith

Dec. 29. 1817. " Reub. Munson

Sam. Akerly
Steph. Allen.

Alderman Smith, as a Substitute for [362] the Rates in the fore-
going Report, proposed the following Resolution :

" Resolved, that fifty per cent be added to the present rates of
slippage charged by the Corporation, to commence from the 1 st day
of May next. And further if any vessel coming within the yearly
rates of slippage shall be at or in any of the public wharves or slips
with the consent of the proper authority over 21 days in succession,
the owner or agent thereof shall pay in addition for every day beyond
such term

if under 20 tons burthen 5 cents :

if 20 tons and under 40 10 cents :

"40 " " 60 15 cents

"60 " " 100 20 cents

But it is expressly declared that this last regulation shall not affect
vessels lying Eastward of Corlaer's Hook on the East River, and
Northward of Duane Street Basin on the North River." which was
agreed to, and the Attorney in the absence of the Counsel was directed
to report an Ordinance amending [363] the Law to regulate the lying



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