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

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Stall No. 51 in Fly Market were read and referred to the Market

A Petition of Mehitabel Carpenter, and of Bridget Trimble for
Hucksters' Stands were read and referred to the Market Committee.

A Petition of Peter Schmerhorn. Samuel A. Lawrence and William
Edgar Jr. for permission to extend the Piers Nos. 9 and 11 as far
into the North River [201] as the Pier No. 12, was read and referred
to the Committee on Wharves.

A Memorial of John Low, stating that the House occupied by
William A. Hardenbrook standing in the Tenth Avenue is a great
inconvenience and praying its removal, was read whereupon the
following Resolution was presented and agreed to : " Resolved that
the House standing in the Tenth Avenue and now in the possession ot
Mr. William A. Hardenbrook be disposed of at public sale, under the
direction of the Finance Committee ; and that its removal on or before
the 20 th inst. be one of the conditions of said sale."

A Memorial of Benjamin Bruff, stating that he had invented a
Machine for sweeping chimnies which will render unnecessary the
employment of Sweep-Chimnies, and praying the aid of the Board to
enable him to construct the same was read and referred to the former
Committee on the subject of Chimney Sweepers.

A Petition of John Clark and others, stating that on opening the
Drain or Sewer in Liberty Street it was found that the Main Sewer
in Maiden Lane was obstructed, and praying the said Main Drain may
be cleansed was read [202] and referred to the Street Commissioner
to report.

A Petition of William T. Slocum, late Registerer of Deeds, that he


may be permitted to use the Chancery Court Room for a few days for
the deposite of Sundry Deeds and Mortgages belonging to individuals
and which had been left in his Office to be recorded was read and
referred to the Mayor with authority to grant the prayer of Petitioner.

A Petition of Abraham S. Hallet, for permission to construct a
Cistern in the Street opposite No. 38 Bancker Street, was read and
referred to the Street Commissioner to report.

A Petition of Benjamin U. Coles, for permission to lay a Drain
from his house at the corner of Pearl, Bridge and Water Streets to
communicate with the private Drain in Bridge St. or with the Common
Sewer in Broad Street, and also to frame a Cistern under the foot-
walk was read and referred to the Street Commissioner.

A Petition of James Dixon and Chs. Boyce, for permission to
rerrjove a Frame House from Orange Street to [203] Franklin Street
next the corner of Orange Street, was read and referred to the
Alderman and Assistant of the 6 th Ward with authority to grant the
prayer of the Petition.

Sundry Remonstrances against the continuance of the Hackney
Stands were read and laid to be taken up when the Report of the
Committee on that subject is considered.

A Memorial of Mott and Williams in behalf of the Fulton Steam
Boat Company was received, stating that in the Spring of 1815 they
rented from the Corporation the Easterly half of the \Vest Pier of
Fulton Slip for the accommodation of their Boats, for which they pay
Seven hundred dollars per annum : that the use they intended to make
of it was to store the quantity of fuel requisite for daily consumption :
that such use of the Pier is essential to them, and praying the Board
to take the same into consideration which was referred to the Com-
mittee on Wharves and Alderman and Assistant of 2 d Ward.

A Request for permission to construct Vaults in Leonard Street
in front of the Lots of Gamaliel Smith and George Newbold, and in
Broadway in front of [204] the Lots of S. M. Bradhurst, S. Walker
and Richardson Kingsland were referred to the Street Commis-
sioner to grant on usual terms.

A Petition from the New York and Jersey Steam Boat Company,
stating that by the Lease to them from the Corporation there was
leased to them for the term of 18 years from the 1 st of May 1811
all the ferry and right of ferriage from the City of New York to
so much of the Jersey shore as lies between a point immediately south
of Hoboken and a point due west from the Battery Castle : that they
understand an application has been made to establish a ferry from the

622 CITY OF NEW YORK 4 May 1818

City of New York to a point within the limits granted to said com-
pany; and praying such request may be denied was read and referred
to the Ferry Committee.

An account was presented from the Inspectors of Election in the
First Ward for expences incurred by them for Room hire and so
forth which was referred to the Comptroller.

The Mayor stated, that he had deemed it expedient in order to
in- [205] troduce more order and system among the Carmen to call
in all their Licenses and to direct new Licenses to be issued to them;
and he requested to know from the Common Council upon what terms
said licenses should issue Whereupon, the same was referred to the
Finance Committee.

The City Inspector presented Ordinances for Correction of 5
nuisances, as follows :

George Warner Own. Canal St. Lot

Geo. Lorillard do Green St do

Jno. M c Kesson do 128 Pump St Privy.

W m L. Simers Own.) no ~ _

J.C. Tucker Occ. 98 Cherry St do

Mrs. A. White Own

R. Lowerre Occ

(sign'd) George Cuming

City Inspector,
which Ordinances were passed.

The following persons were appointed Firemen, (the Chief Engi-
neer certifying the vacancies : )

" Hook and Ladder Company, No. 4."

Palmer Clark, Carpenter, 15 Augustus St. 6 ward, vice John
Fowler, Resigned.

Sam. Maynard, Carpenter, 70 Pump St. 10 Ward vice F. Ray-
mond, Resigned.

Geo. B. Reece, Gentleman, 161 Cherry St. 7 ward [206] vice Jno.
Douglass, Resigned.

Caleb U. Sutton, grocer, 30 Chrystie, 10 ward, vice Peter Cullins,

"Fire Engine Company, No. 1."

Will. Falconer, Blind M r , 336 Greenwich, 5 w d vice Moses
Coleman, Deceased


" Fire Engine Company, No. 6."

Thos. Barnes, Carpenter, Church c Leonard, 5 ward vice John
Baker, Deceased.

Jno. Urmey, Black Smith, 5 Provost, 5 ward vice W. Pearsall,

Jos. Eldridge, Mason, 154 Church, 5 ward, vice Smith Pettit,

"Fire Engine Company, No. 11."

Chs. Rosencrantz, Sadler, 145 Water St. 1 ward vice John Napier,

" Fire Engine Company, No. 29"

Garret Akerman, Carter, Perry St. 9 ward vice Jno. Van Houten,

" Fire Engine Company, No. 31."

W. Durant, Carpenter, 64 Provost, 5 ward, vice Henry Merritt,

" Fire Engine Company, No. 33."

Geo. Hunter, Grocer, Watter St. 7 ward vice W. Hunter Jr.

Job. Miller, Carpenter 7 ward vice G. Brinckerhoff,


[207] Benjamin Sutton, grocer, Garrick St. 10 ward vice John
Seaman, Resigned.

The Street Commissioner presented a communication, stating that
Hill and Ayres, the Contractors for filling in Dey Street Basin had
not complied with their contract, and requesting the instructions
of the Board which was referred to the Alderman and Assistant of
the Third Ward, Street Committee and Street Commissioner.

The Street Commissioner presented a communication suggesting an
alteration in Bleecker Street which was referred to the Street Com-

He also presented a communication, stating the accidents which
happened by persons leaving open the grates of Coal and Wood
Vaults in the Streets, and recommending a remedy therefor which
was referred to the Street Committee.

He also presented an Ordinance for regulating and paving Franklin
Street at the intersection of Provoost and Collect Streets, which was
passed, and John Targee, Jacob C. Mott and Abraham Bloodgood
were appointed Assessors.

[208] He also presented the following Assessments, which were

624 CITY OF NEW YORK 4 May 1818

confirmed, and Noah Jarvis appointed the Collector in each : namely,
for regulating and paving Franklin Street from Elm to Orange Street ;
for regulating Leonard Street from Orange to Elm Street, and for
regulating Houston Street from Broadway to Thompson Street.

The Counsel presented a Grant of a Water Lot at Brooklyn to
Peter Schermerhorn Junior, Ab. Schermerhorn and Austin L. Sands
which was directed to be duly executed.

The Finance Committee, on the Petition of Thomas and Geo.
Lovett, for payment for repairing the Wharf East side of Fulton
Slip, Reported:

" That they have ascertained that the Petitioners were employed
by Mr. Barnum, the Superintendant of Wharves and Piers appointed
by this Board; it is therefore incumbent on the Corporation to pay
the Messrs. Lovetts but, as the property repaired belongs to Mr.
Rogers, who (it is understood) refused to take any measures in the
premises, the amount can and ought to be recovered of him it is
therefore proposed [209] that the Comptroller report at the next
meeting a warrant in favour of T. and G. Lovett for One hundred and
five dollars fifty cents, and that he immediately take the necessary
steps to recover the same amount from the Owner of the propertj

repaired." (sign'd) Thos. R. Smith

Stephen Allen
Reubent Munson
Leonard Kip.

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

The Alderman and Assistant of the First Ward, on the Petition
of Ezra Weeks, reported:

" That the Petitioner has erected in front of the City Hotel an
iron railing upon a platform that had been standing for many years,
nearly seven feet from the front of the Hotel upon Broadway between
Thames and Cedar Streets being nearly two feet further in the Street
than the Law permits But considering that the Hotel is an estab-
lishment ornamental and reputable to the City that the railing is
low, not more than about five feet above the Street, leaving a wide
walk and that it is ornamental to the Street Your Committee
recommend that it be permitted to [210] remain as it is."

(sign'd) John B. Coles

S. Jones Jr.
which report was approved.


The Alms House Committee, on the communications respecting
the person at the Alms House put in a coffin before decease, reported
in the following words :

" Richard Furman, Superintendant of the Alms House, states
that on the 11 th April Job Young a negro-man who had been about
6 months in the Alms House as a pauper died in sick ward No. 5 ;
that said Young was under the charge of Mr. Stephen Brown House
Surgeon; that on the day of his death information was brought to
witness that a man was put into a coffin before dead, and upon going
to the sick ward where the said Young lay the witness found that
the orderly man of Ward No. 5 named Lewis Stephens had placed
the body of the said Young into a coffin, nailed him up and removed
the coffin into the entry-way, but it was discovered a few minutes
afterwards that he moaned; and before witness arrived the body had
been taken out and placed on a bed, where it lay gasp- [211] ing till
the breath finally departed about an hour and a half afterwards.
The witness farther states it was on Saturday 11 th and the body
was not interred till Monday 13 th April.

"Stephen Brown House Surgeon states, that about ten days ago
(viz. on the 11 th April) Job Young a negro-man who had been sick
about 3 days with Typhus Fever was put into a coffin by Stephens the
orderly-man of sick ward No. 5, in the full belief that said Young
was dead. Witness had ordered that Young should be removed from
the Ward as soon as he was dead, because the Ward was crowded
and the fever was of a malignant cast. The Negro had been insensible
nearly 24 hours, had not spoken during that time, and he appeared
to have breathed his last when put into the coffin. It was discovered
by some of the patients that he still breathed after being put into the
coffin and removed into the entry. When information of this was
given, the body was instantly removed and placed again upon his bed
where he expired about 2 hours afterwards.

" Lewis Stephens, orderly-man of Sick ward No. 5, states that
he put the body of Job Young into a coffin with the help of Johnson
another [212] black man. Witness thought that the man was dead
when put into the coffin, and Dr. Brown had ordered him to remove
the body from the ward as soon as the breath had left him. Johnson,
as well as the witness, thought Young was dead when they put him
in the coffin, nailed him up and removed him into the entry. Johnson
has left the Alms House. Body was in the coffin nearly half an hour
before discovered to be still alive. Never spoke after being taken out
of the coffin, but breathed hard and gasped: lived about an hour &

626 CITY or NEW YORK 4 May 1818

an half after being taken out. Witness to be sure that Young was
then dead, refused to touch the body till the House Surgeon was sent
for and it was clearly ascertained that he was no more, when the
witness again assisted in returning the body to the coffin and nailed
it up.

" Doctor Benjamin A. Akerly, Visiting Surgeon, was at the Alms
House on the 10 th April inst : visited the surgical patients that day in
company with Mr. Stephen Brown House Surgeon. In going the
rounds thro' the sick wards saw in No. 5 Job Young who appeared
to be [213] dying and therefore did not call for any medical pre-

" Joseph Starry a Patient in the Alms House states, that on the
11 th April while passing down stairs heard a groan and upon listening
at the head of the coffin heard the groan repeated, upon which he gave
information that the person in the coffin was yet alive. Others then
came and with a hatchet opened the coffin while witness went down
stairs. The person was a negro, and breathed and moaned after
being taken out of the coffin and put upon a bed. How long he lived
afterwards did not wait to learn.

" Patience Bartow, Nurse of No. 1 being called by Starry the
preceding witness, went to the coffin in the entry and heard a groan.
Immediately hastened down stairs and got a hatchet, and with Slat-
terly opened the coffin which contained a negro. He had his eyes fixed,
he moaned but did not speak : was immediately removed to a bed where
he lay about two hours before he died.

" Peter Slatterly states, that after Job Young was first put into the
coffin witness was called, and on listening heard that he still breathed
and moaned, and accordingly proceeded to open the coffin with the
[214] hatchet procured by Patience Bartow. The negro in the coffin
did not open his eyes nor speak, but frothed at the mouth, gasped and
moaned, and was immediately removed from the coffin to a bed,
where he lay insensible, but how long before he died witness did not
call to enquire.

" Mr. Francis Cooper was on a visit to the Alms House on the
11 th April last, in company with several ladies. In passing thro' that
part of the Establishment where the above mentioned sick negro lay,
saw the empty coffin in which he had been laid, and also saw the
negro lying on the bed having been just taken from the coffin. The
witness observed that the Negro was still alive, but insensible and with
his eyes fixed. He left a lady praying with the negro, and waited


about half an hour, and then left the house. Witness further states
that he saw the coffin when first taken into the house, and he thinks
it was not more than half an hour when he again saw it in the entry
after the Negro had been removed to the bed.

" The Committee had concluded to report the preceding state-
[215] ment of facts without comment, but altho' they were only
lequired to state the facts, they find the case requires the severe
censure of the Board, and is too highly aggravated to be passed by
without notice. The sum and substance of the enquiry is, that, on
the 11 th of April 1818, a negro man named Job Young sick at the
Alms house was put into a coffin, nailed up and remained so nearly
half an hour while yet alive, and that he lived almost two hours
after being taken out.

" It appears to your Committee that the order given by the house
surgeon was precipitate and too hastily complied with by the orderly
man of the ward in which Young lay, but this haste was occasioned
in the negro by the alarm excited in stating that the disease was of
a malignant character. Why there should have been any thing alarm-
ing in a simple case of Typhus Fever does not appear, for there was
no prevailing sickness of the kind in the Alms house at the time, nor
any other epidemic disease, and the season was cool and comfortable.

" It also appears to the Committee that the question of life or
death in a human being should not be left to the decision of an ignor-
ant negro, as the symptoms of death are generally not well under-
stood and are sometimes equivocal. Hence the common practice of
letting [216] our deceased friends lie on a bier or in an open coffin
till the moment of removal for interment, when all become satisfied
that the vital spirit hath fled. This practice should not be departed
from in a public institution like the Alms house. Wherefore to pre-
vent a similar occurrence for the future, the Committee beg leave to
propose as part of this Report

" 1. That it hereafter be the duty of the House Physician & House
Surgeon to the Alms house to examine every person reported to be
dead, to ascertain the fact and decide thereon, and thereupon to
order the corpse to be conveyed to the Dead House.

"2. That if there be no dead-house attached to the hospitals of
the Alms house, the Commissioners be and they are hereby authorized
to have one built within the walls of the Establishment.

" 3. That after conveying a corpse to the dead house, the coffin

628 CITY OF NEW YORK 4 May 1818

shall not be nailed, screwed or fastened up until the moment of re-
moval for interment."

(sign'd) Reuben Munson
Samuel Akerly
Geo. B. Thorp

which was approved, and the Resolu- [217] tions proposed were
agreed to.

The Market Committee, on the Petition of Henry Pessinger for
Stall No. 35 in Catharine Market, reported in his favor and that a
License issue to him for the same which was approved.

The same Committee, on the Petition of George W. Varian for
Stall no. 13 Catharine Market, reported in his favor and that a
License be granted to him for the same which was approved.

The Finance Committee, on the Petition of Noah Jarvis, Re-
ported :

" That they have considered the same they find it has been at-
tended with a variety of expences not usual in ordinary cases and
much time has and will yet be consumed in the collection and final
adjustment of it. It is therefore proposed that he be allowed to re-
tain two and an half per cent out of the monies collected, as a com-
pensation for his services & for all expences he may have been at of
every kind relating to this assessment The said 2j^ per cent to be
estimated on those accounts adjusted by set-off as well as on monies
actually received."

(sign'd) T. R. Smith Stephen Allen

R. Munson Leonard Kip.
which Report was approved.

[218] Alderman Smith presented the following Resolution which
was agreed to :

" Whereas the Board did on the 13 th March 1817 agree to sell a
certain piece of ground at the Albany Basin; and whereas the said
sale was afterwards postponed in consequence of a claim set up to part
of the said ground by Robert R. Hunter

Therefore Resolved that the Finance Committee and Comptroller
be empowered to take such steps as in their opinion may be for the
public interest for quieting the said claim, in order that the wishes of
the Board may be carried into effect."

Alderman Smith presented a Resolution directing the sum of Three
hundred dollars to be paid to the Reverend John Stanford for his
clerical services at the Alms house, Bridewell and Penitentiary dur-


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

Ordered that a Warrant be reported for Two hundred and Sixty
three dollars in favor of Abraham Stagg on account of his Contract
for regulating and paving Orange Street which was passed.

[219] The Report on Hackney Carriages was called up and read.
Alderman Smith moved to strike out the first section, for the purpose
of introducing a Section as an Amendment. The question being taken
thereon, it was carried in the affirmative. He then proposed the
following Resolution, which was agreed to :

" Resolved that the Hackney Coaches be permitted hereafter to
stand in the crown or centre of those streets which are at least Sixty
feet wide, at such distances as shall be pointed out by the Street Com-


Mr. Allen then proposed the following Resolution, which was
agreed to :

" Resolved that hereafter each and every driver of a Hackney
Carriage shall receive a License as such from the Mayor : and if any
owner of a Hackney Carriage shall, after the Third Monday of May
instant employ any person as a Driver of his Hackney Carriage,
without having first obtained a License from the Mayor for such per-
son as a driver of a Hackney Carriage, he shall, for each and every
time such person shall drive his carriage forfeit and pay the sum of
five dollars."

Mr. V n Amringe then moved the following, which was agreed to :

" Resolved that every Hackman licensed as a Driver shall for
every [220] such License pay One Dollar."

Mr. Allen then moved, that the Residue of the Report of the Com-
mittee be stricken out which was agreed to. The Counsel was then
directed to report an Ordinance agreeably to said Resolutions.

A member stating that he had something to communicate which
required secrecy, the Lobby was cleared and the

Doors Closed.

The Street Committee and Counsel of the Board, to whom had
been referred on 13 th April last a Report of the Comptroller rela-
tive to a Contract for the Street Manure, reported:

" That they have had a conference with Messrs. Hitchcocks on
the nature of the Law to be passed by the Corporation and the Con-
tract to be entered into by them.

" It appears to the Committee, that the Contractors formed their
calculations different in some measure from that contemplated by the

630 CITY OF NEW YORK 4 May 1818

members of the Committee: and under all circumstances, considering
the price offered, the arduous duties to be performed, the convenience
to the citizens from the adoption of the new mode of cleaning the
Streets, and the expences which will accrue to the [221] Contractors
by a faithful discharge of their duties, they would recommend to the
Board, that a deduction be made of Twelve hundred dollars, leaving
the amount to be paid 8500 dollars per annum. They would also
recommend that the Street Commissioner be authorized to accommo-
date the Contractors with a suitable place or places, (provided such
place can be furnished without expence or inconvenience to the pub-
lic) for the Deposit of Street Manure only, from time to time, where

he thinks will be suitable." , . ,,. -CM j j TT i

(sign d) Eldad Holmes

Ogden Edwards
Leonard Kip

" John Remmey.

which Report was agreed to.

The Counsel then presented a Law entitled " A Law to amend a
Law to regulate the removal of filth and dirt from the Streets in the
City of New York " which was passed and the publication thereof
was directed to be delayed until the 3 d Monday in May inst.

The Counsel also presented the draught of a Contract with the
Messrs. Hitchcocks on the subject of the Street Manure, which was
directed to be duly executed, and the Counsel was instructed to attend
to the execution of the Contract on the part of the Messrs. Hitch-

[222] It was then Resolved, that, when the Board adjourn, they
will adjourn to meet on Monday next at 10 o'clock and the Clerk
was directed to procure from the Clerk of the City and County a
Return of the Members and Officers elected at the last Charter Elec-
tion, and give them notice to appear in the Common Council Chamber
on Monday next at 12 o'clock to take the oaths prescribed by Law
and the Charter. It was also Resolved that the Board will make the
quarterly visitation of the Bellevue Establishment on Monday next
at One o'clock.

The Comptroller reported :

Balance in Treasury 27. Apr

Reed for Tax 1817. 3d ward 4500.00

" " Common Lands 1411.74

" Third Avenue 144. 2

" " Canal Street 500.00

" " Streets 100.00 6877.48


Accounts Audited.

Anderson & Walton, Watch 1 district 1118.25

Clark & Hibberd, Watch 2 district 682.50

Bleakley & Brower, Watch 3 district 413.00

[223] Ogden Edwards, Counsel of Board 1 qr's Salary 27

February 125.00

W. J. Waldron, Ass* City Inspect. 1 mo. 1 inst. and expences 54.00

Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 9) → online text (page 53 of 66)