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

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30 March 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 561

R ec d 7Qth Street 200.00

" 125th Street 300.00

" Canal Street 1500.00

" Streets 1700.00=15,087.51

17 Accounts Audited.

Anderson & Walton, Watch 1 district 1118.25

Clark & Hibberd, Watch 2 district 682.50

Bleakley & Brower, Watch 3 district 413.00

W. Fish, paid Inspectors and Clerks of Election May 1817. . 472.00
N. Phillips, 6 mo. Subscription National Advocate, 1 Feb.

1818 75.00

Magdalen Eagles, payt. Assesst. Canal St. ordered 16 inst.. 30.00

Pet. Par sells, regulate Streets at Greenwich Village 400.00

Joseph Willoughby, Acct. regulate Hammond Street 200.00

Hugh Smith, Calculation of balce pav Cliff Street 147.67

[86] B. Hill & R. Ayres, acct. filling basin Dey Street 500.00

Thos. Barnum, Sup dn s Piers 30 days to 1 March 60.00

M. A. Ramiee, bond to Robt. Latimer Assigned & Interest. . 2142.30
J. McComb, St. Comr for Robert Latimer in full, Contrct 8

Avenue 2000.00

Jac. P. Roome, Sup dt Repairs, Engine house at Greenwich. 380.00

Jac. Smith Jr. Rep" to Engines Sept. 16. 1817 to March 1818 82.27

Jac. P. Roome, Sup tdt Reprs for Repairs 650.00

Rich. Furman, Superintdt o f Alms House 5000.00 14,352.99

Balance $734.52
Adjourned to Monday next, 4 o'clock

[87] In Common Council March 30. 1818.

Present. Thos. R. Smith Esqr. Deputy Mayor, President.
Aldermen. Assistants.

John B. Coles Samuel Stevens

Anth. L. Underhill W. F. Van Amringe

Eldad Holmes John Remmey

Robert M c Queen Samuel Akerly

Geo. Buckmaster Jacob B. Taylor

Geo. B. Thorp Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.

Upon reading the Minutes of last meeting and in reading the
Report of the Street Committee on the petition of Benjamin U. Coles,
the Chairman stated that the Committee were desirous of making a

562 CITY or NEW YOKK 30 March 1818

trifling alteration in their Report which was acceptable to the Peti-
tioner, but which would not essentially vary their report. He there-
fore moved that the Board reconsider the said Report which being
unanimously agreed to, he then moved that the Committee might be
permitted to alter their Report which being agreed to, the Report
as amended was presented to the Board and agreed to, and the Min-
utes of last Meeting were directed to be amended agreeably thereto.

[88] A Communication was received from J. L. Skinner, stating
that he had entered into a Contract with the Corporation to complete
the Upper Divisions of the Third Avenue that there were peculiar
circumstances in his case and he requested that a Committee might be
appointed to make a settlement with him. Whereupon, it was referred
to the Road Committee, with authority to make a settlement with Mr.
Skinner on the subject of his said Contract.

A Petition from Sundry Inhabitants, praying the Removal of a
House standing in Lispenard Street was read and referred to the
Alderman and Assistant of the 5 th Ward and Street Commissioner.

A Petition of the Pawnbrokers, praying that the price of the Li-
censes may be reduced to Twenty dollars and also praying that the
proper Officer may be directed to enforce the Law respecting Pawn-
brokers against persons who are acting as Pawnbrokers without Li-
censes, was read Whereupon, the former part was referred to the
Committee on Laws and the latter to the City Intendant.

[89] A Remonstrance against the proposed regulation of Vestry
Street, was read and referred to the Street Committee and Street

A Petition of Sundry Inhabitants, that Avenue " D " may be
opened and regulated from its intersection with Columbia Street un-
til it joins the East River, was read and referred to the Road Com-
mittee and Street Commissioner.

A Petition of Henry Shop, occupying Stall No. 37 Fly Market,
and praying Stall No. 35 Catharine Market be granted to him, the
present Occupant John Akly being willing to relinquish the same
A Petition from John M c Cready for Stall No. 35 Catharine Market
a Petition of Samuel Piercy for grant of the same Stall and a
Petition from Richard Ford for Stall No. 7 Fly Market were read
and referred to the Market Committee.

A Petition of Peter Allaire complaining of an Assessment by the
Assessors of Taxes beyond the Sum at which he ought to be assessed
was read and referred to the Committee on Assessments.

30 March 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 563

[90] A Petition of Hugh Maxwell, for permission to construct a
Vault in Hester Street, was referred to the Street Commissioner with
authority to grant the same on usual terms.

A Petition of the Keepers of Livery Stables, praying that the
Stands for Hackney Carriages may be abolished was read and re-
ferred to the Street Committee and Street Commissioner, with the
addition of Aldermen Thorp Buckmaster & Mr Allen.

A Petition of Thomas Adams, praying permission to remove on
Trucks a small Frame house from Park Place to Collect Street was
read and referred to the Alderman & Assistant of the ward and Street
Commissioner, with authority to grant the prayer of Petitioner. A
similar petition of Hugh Smith to remove a house from Harman Street
to Lombardy Street was granted under similar directions.

A Petition was received from Samuel M c Coun, stating that his
Cellar had been overflowed with water from springs in the vicinity
of his dwelling house [91] No. 14 Broadway and praying permis-
sion to construct a Drain to communicate with the Drain in Beaver
Street to carry off the water from his cellar which was referred to
the Street Commissioner, with authority to permit the Petitioner at
his own expence and under the direction of the Street Commissioner
to construct a Drain for the purpose aforesaid.

A Petition of Sundry Boatmen and others who are in the habit of
bringing building and other Stone to the New York Market for sale,
praying that some regulation may be made defining what shall con-
stitute a Load of Stone was read and referred to the Committee on
that subject; namely Aldermen Thorp Buckmaster Kip and The

A Petition of Moses Jacques, stating that he is about erecting a
house in Whitehall Street and praying to be permitted to place build-
ing Materials in the Street, was referred to the Aldermen and As-
sistants of the First Ward, with authority to grant the prayer of

[92] A Petition from Sundry Inhabitants in Liberty Street, pray-
ing that the Drain or Sewer leading from Liberty Street to Maiden
Lane may be opened and cleansed ; and a Report of the Street Commis-
sioner, stating that he had viewed the premises and recommending
that the prayer of Petitioners be granted, being read, it was resolved
that Petitioners have leave, at their own expence and under the direc-
tion of the Street Commissioner, to open and cleanse said Drain.

A Petition of William A. Hardenbrook, requesting to be permitted
to remain in the house, lately owned by him and conveyed to the Cor-



30 March 1818

poration, until the removal of said house shall become necessary for
the opening of the Tenth Avenue, was read and referred to the
Finance Committee and Comptroller.

The following appointment of Fire-man was made, (the Chief
Engineer certifying the vacancy:

' Fire Engine Company, No. 2."

Josiah Woodruff, Shoe M r 113 Division St. 7 ward vice Robert
King, Departed.

[93] The City Inspector presented Ordinances for Correction of
the 36 following Nuisances : Namely

W m Vail
Josh. Parker
W m L. Simers
Jonath. Hatfield,




J. Bingham
M. Dulex
A. Van Steenbach
J. Whittlesey
J. Beekman
Mrs. Murray
A. M c Donald
Will. Gcnnis [
P. M c Gee
A. Frazier
S. Whitney
G. Bearmaker,
A. Arden
J. J. Hutchenson
J. Gasner
A. Gasner
J. Ball

D. O Brien

Will. E. Matthews,

E. Smith
E. Bendict

S. R. Kneeland,








Broome c. Mangin. Lot.
Mangin St. do

do do

Thompson St.

49 Cedar St

29 Nassau St.

Occ. \
Occ. \
Occ. (
Own. )

M'Gennis] Occ. J ha P e

Own. or Less.)
Occ. \
Own. & Occ.
Les. & Occ
Occ. \

7 Water St

25 Pearl St

77 Murray St.

49 Mulberry St.

3 Moore St


Own. & Occ.

14 Oak St
16 do


148 William St. Privy





94 Chatham St. do






[94] R. Berrian
O. S. Balster

Occ. (

1 Roosevelt St


P. Conrey


11 do


J- Dyer

Occ. \

R. Jones


13 do


C. Egbert

Occ. ^

Will Preston


15 do



Occ. \

S. Robins


33 do


J. Wheeler

Occ. ^

J Cornell


35 do


J. B. Effets

Occ. J

T pier lit


39 do



A. B Brinkerhoff

Occ. (

J. Dodge


47 do


C. Fogerty

Occ. \

C. Bogert
J. T. Lacey

Agt. }
Occ. (

8 Frankfort St.


C. VaUeau
J. Shadden

Occ. (

51 Roosevelt St


S. R. Kneeland
S. Whitlock

Occ. \

57 do


B. Underbill


63 do


A. Wood

Occ. J


B. Underbill


65 do


Will. Hitchcock

Occ. f

G. Jackson
Lee Peck

Occ. C

67 do


J. Burk

Own. & Occ.

81 do


D. Van Orden

do do

83 do



George Cuming

City Inspec

which Ordinances were passed.

[95] A Deed was presented on behalf of the Corporation, by the
Counsel, to David Cargill for 2 Lots between the 9 th and 10 th Avenues,
and a Lease to George De Grasse for two of the Collect Lots which
were directed to be referred to the Comptroller.

The Select Committee, to whom had been referred the request for
pecuniary aid for some Tuscarora Indians, reported in favor of grant-
ing them Fifty dollars which was approved and a Warrant was
directed to issue for the same.

566 CITY OF NEW YOEK 30 March 1818

The Street Committee and Street Commissioner, on the Petition of
Benjamin Romaine, Reported :

' That they have examined the premises It appears that formerly
there was a Vault under this part of the Street, and that Mr. Romaine
and his Workmen were deceived in the strength of the old Work
as they built the Abutment wall of the new walled Vault on a part of
the old arch which gave way and caused the destruction of his vault.

" Mr. Romaine has not yet paid for the privilege of erecting his
vault, amounting to Forty four dollars ten cents and if the Common
[96] Council should be of opinion that some relief should be given
in consequence of this misfortune, they would recommend that the
payment of the said $44.10 be remitted."

(sign'd) Eldad Holmes
John Remmey
John M c Comb )
St. Comm r ^

which was read, and, on the question of agreeing thereto, it passed
in the Negative : and it was referred to the Street Commissioner to
examine the situation of that part of Duane Street.

The Street Committee and Street Commissioner, on the petition of

Elbert Anderson to build a Cistern in Chamber Street, Reported:

" That they are of opinion that the prayer of the Petition ought to

be granted on the usual terms, provided it is constructed of Brick or

Stone and secured as the Street Commissioner may direct."

(sign'd) Eldad Holmes
John Remmey
John M c Comb )
St. Comm r \

which Report was approved.

[97] The Committee of Assessments, on the Petition of Gabriel
L. Lewis, relative to an erroneous Assessment, Reported :

They are convinced " that the Assessors have overrated Mr. Lewis
to at least double the Amount of his personal property,' and should
under all the circumstances have been disposed to have reported in his
favour, were it not that the Assessment of the personal Estate of the
late Frederic Lewis has been as much underrated as his son Mr.
Gabriel Lewis has been overrated, and considering that Mr. Gabriel
Lewis is one of the heirs and administrator of his father and can
probably make an equitable division of the Taxes and by correcting
the mistake do himself that equity which he has asked of this Board,

30 March 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 567

' Your Committee therefore recommend, that Mr. Lewis have leave
to withdraw his petition."

All whi^fch] is respectfully submitted

(sign'd) Stephen Allen
Samuel Stevens
John Remmey
Committee on Assessments.
which Report was approved.

[98] The Committee of Charity, on the Petition of Josephine Du-
bourg for pecuniary aid to transport herself and child to Martinique,
Reported :

" That, pursuant to the authority given them by the Board, they
have paid to William S. Root the sum of Thirty dollars for the use
of the said Madame Dubourg, under a positive stipulation however
that she, together with her child, leave the United States for Mar-
tinique on or before the 28 th day of March instant: otherwise, that the
said money be refunded to the Committee by said Root.

" From the best information your Committee have been enabled
to obtain, in relation to the circumstances of the petitioner, they are
led to believe that herself & child in a short time would have become
chargeable on the public for their support it was under this impres-
sion, therefore, and to avoid the expence of maintaining them for life,
that they made the donation alluded to. They now respectfully re-
quest that a warrant may be allowed in favor of their Chairman for
Thirty Dollars."

(sign'd) Stephen Allen
Samuel Stevens
Jno. B. Coles
which was approved, and a Warrant directed to issue therefor.

[99] The Committee on Public Offices, on the Petition of Walter
Covert for refunding of penalty paid, Reported :

" That the petitioner states he obtained of the Mayor in May 1817
a License to retail liquor by the small measure but that about Six
months after he discovered the said License was lost : that he has been
fined in the Two several Sums of twenty two dollars fifty cents and
49 dollars 52 cents, which was recovered on account of his not being
able to prove that he had a License: and that he now has discovered
the testimony to prove the fact, to which he begs to refer.

" The testimony referred to consists of the deposition of John
Ryan arid Eliza his wife, together with that of John Wright and

568 CITY OF NEW YORK 30 March 1818

Lucy Civill. On a careful examination of this testimony, the Com-
mittee are of opinion, that no reliance ought to be placed on it, in-
asmuch as Ryan and his wife contradict each other in a material
point and it is by no means probable that Eliza Ryan and Lucy
Civill, neither of whom were able to write their own name, should be
able to testify with any degree of accuracy to the dates of the License
or [100] the signature of his Honour the Mayor.

' Beside which, the Record kept of the Licenses granted by his
Honor the Mayor has been examined by the Committee, and they
are satisfied, from the apparent accuracy with which the Entries are
made, had any license been granted Walter Covert for the year 1817,
it would have appeared by said Record.

' The Committee therefore recommend that the prayer of the peti-
tioner be rejected."

(sign'd) Stephen Allen
Samuel Stevens
Samuel Akerly
which Report was approved.

The Finance Committee, to whom was referred for examination
the Contract of Daniel M. and Edward Hitchcock on the subject of
Public Slips, and of George Lovett respecting a Bulkhead at Spring
Street Basin; Reported the former without amendment, which was
directed to be executed and the latter with an Amendment respecting
the size of the Spikes to be used, which was directed to be engrossed
by the Counsel as amended.

The Same Committee, on the Peti- [101] tion of Uzal W. Free-
man, Reported :

" That they have examined the same, and that they see no reason
for deviating from the Report already submitted by them to the Board
on this subject

" and they therefore recommend that the prayer of the petitioner be
not granted. "

(sign'd) Th. R. Smith
Steph. Allen
Reub. Munson
Sam. Akerly
which Report was agreed to.

The Finance Committee, to whom had formerly been ref [e]rred a
Petition of Adam Thompson and who had reported against the prayer
of the Petitioner, presented the following Report :

30 March 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 569

" That they have reexamined the same, and are now satisfied of the
justice of his claim : they therefore recommend that a warrant be pre-
sented at the next meeting of the Board for $9.42 cents in favor of
the petitioner : and that the Collector of the Canal Assessment be di-
rected to demand this sum from George Parker the person chargeable

(sign'd) Thos. R. Smith
Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson
Samuel Akerly

which was approved and the Comptroller [102] was directed to report
a Warrant therefor.

The Finance Committee, on the petition of James Amory, relative
to the exchange of Common Lands, Reported :

" That, in their opinion, it would be inexpedient to accede to the
propositions contained in the said petition."

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

The Finance Committee, on the petition of D. M. Hitchcock for
extension of the time of payment on the Contract for the Docks and
Slips, reported:

1 That since presenting the said petition, he has intimated his wish
of withdrawing the same : it therefore becomes unnecessary to make
any report on the merits thereof."

(sign'd) Thos. R. Smith
Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson
Samuel Akerly
which Report was agreed to.

The Committee on Assessments, on the Resolution respecting the
Ruling of the Assessors' Books, Reported :

'That they have had [103] the same under consideration, and
herewith present to the Board a plan for ruling the book of the Assess-
ors which, in the opinion of your Committee, will greatly facilitate
the collection of the taxes and at the same time prevent improper and
erroneous Assessments.

570 CITY OF NEW YORK 30 March 1818

" The Committee recommend therefore, that the Comptroller be
directed to prepare a set of books for each ward for the ensuing
year, agreeably to the plan now presented."

(sign'd) Steph. Allen
Sam. Stevens
Jno. Remmey
which Report was approved.

The Finance Committee, to whom it had been referred to settle
the exchange of certain property with Robert Lenox, reported:

1 That they have been at considerable pains to examine the situa-
tion and ascertain the value of the two several parcels of land in

" The piece of land to be conveyed by Mr. Lenox consists of 4 Lots,
2 held by him in fee and 2 on lease, at Ten dollars per annum each,
one for 5 the other for 7 years from 1 st May next, lying together,
fronting on the 6 th and extending toward the [104] 7 th Avenue, con-
taining 20% Acres : these lots are Nos. 169, 168, 167 & 166 in the
Corporation Map of Public lands.

" The property is under considerable improvements, is principally
a smooth but elevated piece of ground, with about 200 fruit trees of
various descriptions, and on the 6 th Avenue is enclosed with a good
substantial fence. On the North and East Boundary however it is
either open, or the fence is of little or no value. 100 dollars per annum
are offered for the 4 lots during the continuance of the present lease.

" Mr. Lenox is to receive from the Corporation a Deed for 3
lots Nos. 125, 128, 131 on the aforesaid Map containing 16^ Acres,
which are now under lease to him for 5 years from 1 st May next at
10 dollars per annum each This property extends from the 5 th to the
6 th Avenue and is about half a mile nearer the City than the preced-
ing but it is not so well improved nor is it naturally so valuable a
piece of land : the fences are poor and a part of the ground rough and

" After weighing the subject well, and exercising their best judg-
ment, the Committee have agreed [105] that the exchange be effected
on receiving from Mr. Lenox the sum of Five hundred dollars
which proposition has been acceded to by him, and the necessary
measures are taken to complete the Arrangement.

" The Committee beg leave to recommend that the Comptroller
be instructed to lease out for the term of 5 years from 1 st of May

30 March 1818 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 571

next, either by public auction or private contract the property thus
reverting to the Corporation."

(sign'd) Thos. R. Smith
Stephen Allen
Reuben Munson
Samuel Akerly

Mr. Van Amringe then moved that that the rule of the Common
Council directing all public property to be sold or leased at auction be
on this occasion dispensed with in order to enable the Comptroller
to lease the property mentioned in the above report by private con-
tract agreeably to the recommendation contained in said Report. The
question being taken thereon, and a Division called by Alderman Buck-
master, it was carried in the Affirmative :

Affirmative. Aldermen Underbill Thorp Munson [106] Mes-
sieurs Van Amringe Remmey Akerly Taylor Allen 8

Negative. Mr. Recorder Aldermen Coles Holmes M c Queen
Buckmaster Mr. Stevens 6

The question was then taken on agreeing to the Report of the
Committee, and was carried in the Affirmative.

The Committee appointed to obtain the opinion of Counsel respect-
ing the power of the Corporation under existing laws for taking the
Waters at the foot of Oliver and Roosevelt Streets for public slips
or basins reported the accompanying opinion of Richard Harrison
Esquire on that subject embracing the various points requiring eluci-

(sign'd) J. Warren Brackett
Thomas R. Smith
Eldad Holmes.

The Letter (containing the opinion) of Richard Harrison, ad-
dressed to Alderman Brackett, was as follows :

New York, 24 March 1818
J. Warren Brackett Esqr.

" In consequence of your letter of the 13 th inst. I have considered
" the question therein stated, and am of opinion

" 1 That the Corporation may legally take and occupy land co-
" [107] vered with water for the purposes mentioned in your letter,
" where water grants have not been given or applied for, or Interfer-
" ing improvements made under the 221 st Section of the general Act.

" 2. With respect to the Second question that they may take and
" occupy any land with its improvements for the said purposes where

572 CITY or NEW YORK 30 March 1818

" they have never given any grants for the same, unless the possessors
" have become entitled to the property under the said Section, or have
" been so long in possession as to have created a Right to it. In
" either of the latter cases, I am of opinion that the Occupants should
" be considered as owners or parties interested in the ground, and
" treated with accordingly.

" 3. I am of opinion upon the Third question that the rights of
" the Corporation stand upon the same footing as those of individuals
" in similar cases. If there was an agreement for a grant it might
" be enforced in equity, and draw with it the arrears of Rent, pro-
" vided it was in writing or under circumstances which would justify
" a Decree for specific performance. If there was no such agreement,
" the Party who took possession without legal authority, was a wrong-
" doer, and may be proceeded against as such.

[108] "4. I am of opinion that the Corporation can, under the
" Laws of the State relating to Slips, obtain the waters, Right of
" Wharfage and interest in the Bulkheads and Piers which are men-
" tioned in your letter, as far as they are necessary for the Slips now
" contemplated, by virtue of the 219 th and 228 th Sections of the general
" Act. The Proviso at the end of the last mentioned section seems to
"present the only plausible objection to this doctrine: but as this
' proviso, if literally taken, would in every instance defeat the powers
" granted to the Corporation, where they might interfere with any
" private property; and would thus be repugnant to the other parts of
" the Law, any construction should be resorted to which might pre-
" vent an inconvenience so great and so manifest. I am therefore
" of opinion, that the Proviso was meant only to restrain the depriving
" of individuals of their property, rights and privileges, without making
" them a reasonable compensation : and that such is the just exposition
" of the Statute, when the different parts are compared with each
" other.

" It may indeed be said that the Corporation is only entitled to take
" ground for Slips by the 219 th Section of the Act, and that Wharf-
" age [109] and Slippage do not fall under the description. The

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