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

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Harbour of Boston. They were buried at Halifax, disinterred and
carried to Salem in Massachusetts by Captain Crownenshield and from
thence brought to New York and consined to the silent Tomb in this
City, amid the regrets of their Countrymen and fellow Citizens.

Resolved that the Superintendant of Repairs be directed to attend
to the altering of the names of the aforesaid Streets

Alderman Mapes called the Attention of the Board to the Con-
sideration of the Sums still due and uncollected for the Assessment
of Canal Street, and to the necessity of taking some definitive Meas-
ures respecting the same, which after some discussion thereon was
postponed for further Consideration

A Resolution was presented by the Recorder, referring it to a Com-
mittee to Enquire if Legislature Provisions was necessary to regulate
the allowance to Commissioners of Estimate and Assessment [291] and
Collectors of Taxes, and if not to report suitable allowances for the
same which Resolution was agreed to The Committee appointed
were the Council of the board the Street Commissioner and Comp-
troller And the Memorial and Bill presented at the last Meeting by
the Council on the Subject of Compensation to Assessors which was
then laid on the Table was now referred to the same Committee

On Motion of M r Akerly it was Ordered that a Warrant Issue in
favour of the Superintendant of Repairs for Two hundred Dollars for
Workmen employed in regulating the ground in the rear of the City
Hall.

The Street Commissioner agreeable to Order presented an Ordi-
nance for making West Street from Cortlandt Street, and recommended
that it should be so made to Duane Street instead of Hubert Street as
at first recommended, which was agreed to and the Law passed ac-
cordingly

The Council presented Certificates of Sale of certain Lots which
were Sold by the Street Commissioner on the sixth of March Instant



74 CITY OF NEW YORK 24 March 1817

for the purpose of satisfying certain Assessments in pursuance of an
Act Entitled An Act for the more effectual collection of Taxes and
Assessments in the City of New York passed the twelfth [292] day of
April One thousand eight hundred and fourteen which said Certificates
were directed to be duly executed He also presented a Lease to John
DeClew for Flag Staff at the Battery and to Adam Thompson for
part of a Lot in Mulberry Street, which were directed to be executed.

He also presented agreeably to order a Law Entitled a Law regu-
lating the Sale of certain Fish which was read by Paragraphs and
passed

The Comptroller presented the Sealed Proposals for leasing for
one Year the Public Docks and Slips which he had received in pur-
suance of the Advertisement directed to be made in the Public Papers
when upon opening and examining the same it appeared that Charles
Smith had offered the Sum of Twenty six thousand five hundred
Dollars, which being the highest Sum offered it was Ordered. That
the Public Docks and Slips be rented to said Charles Smith at the Sum
above mentioned for the Term of One Year from the first day of May
next upon his giving sufficient Security for performing the Covenants
in the Lease and paying the Rent, said Sureties to be approved by the
Mayor

Resolved that the Laws heretofore passed and now in force, be and
the same are hereby [293] continued in force and operation until the
first day of May next.

The Board then took up the Consideration of the revised Laws, and
after some time spent therein adjourned to meet on this day fortnight
at four OClock

The Comptroller Reported

Cash in the Treasury 9143.73

Warrants not presented 1231 . 3

$7912.70



Whereupon Warrants were Ordered to be Issued for the payment
of the following Accounts

Van Wart & Gardner Watch 1st District 498.75

Walton & Hibberd d 2d d 682.50

Norris & Anderson d 3rd d 670.25

Bleakley & Brower d 4* h d 413.

Tho s P. Low Printing for Clerk & Street Commisr 1* Feby to 21st Ins* 26.25

John Randel J' on Ace* Ordered 17th Ins* 500.

Ephraim Ginnings. bal" working 3 rd Avenue 1477.40



31 March 1817 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 75

John Morss and others Arb" fees in Case of E Ginnings 60.

Archd Smyth bal Regulating Washington Street 706. 5

John Stanley filling Corporation Ground Occup d by Super* of Repairs 451.62

James Vincents Ace* D DO 300.

John Bailey Ace* paving Greenwich S*

John Bailey balance paving Varick Street

Jacob P. Roome Sup* of Repairs for Engine house 500.

Jacob P. Roome Supt o f Repairs for Materials ISO.

Richard Furman Super* Alms House 1000.

7886.84



Balance $25.86

[294] Special Meeting In Common Council March 31 st 1817.
Present The Hon ble Richard Riker Esq r Recorder President

Aldermen Assistants

Peter Conrey Peter A. Jay

Thomas R. Smith Jacob Lorillard

George Buckmaster Anthony L. Underbill

Arthur Burtis John Brown

Reuben Munson William Stone

Robert McQueen
Samuel Akerly
George B. Thorp
John H. Talman
Thomas Cooper

The Board proceeded to the Consideration of the Revised Laws.
The Law " to regulate the raising and lowering of Merchandize " was
read and passed and directed to go into immediate operation The
Clerk was directed to cause the same to be published in the papers
employed by the Board. After some consideration of the Laws the
same was postponed and the following business was transacted

The New Loan Officers of the County of New [295] York made
a Representation on the Subject of Monies due by Mortgage from the
Estate of George B. Ewart Dec d of which a particular representation
was made in the Years One thousand eight hundred and fifteen and
One thousand eight hundred and sixteen, the Sum due at present they
stated at One thousand and fifty four Dollars and ninety seven Cents,
and praying the Corporation to direct the payment of the same.
Whereupon the same was referred to the Council of the Board and
Comptroller to Report.

The same Officers represented that default having been made in
the payment of the Interest on Mortgages Numbers One hundred and



76 CITY OF NEW YORK 31 March 1817

thirty four. One hundred and sixty eight, and One hundred and
seventy eight executed by Anthony Bleecker to the New Loan Officers
on Twenty one Lots of Ground Numbers eight hundred and four to
eight hundred and twenty four Inclusive Situate in the seventh (now
eighth) Ward on which is now due for Principal Interest and Costs
Seven thousand one hundred and thirty Dollars and sixty three Cents,
and that the same will be sold at Auction on the fifteenth day of April
next, and as by Law the Corporation are responsible to the State for
any deficiencies which may arise on the Sale. Recommending to the
Common Council to appoint a person to attend said Sale was read
Whereupon it was Resolved that the Street Commissioner be directed
to attend said Sale and purchase in on the part [296] of this Corpora-
tion if he should Judge the same adviseable

Petitions from Patrick Monaghan. Ab m Franklin, Joseph Copp,
Charles Thompson, Abraham Asten. Adolphus Loss and of Andrew
Bremner for the Appointment of Deputy Clerk of the Fly Market
vacated by the Death of John Raynor were read and referred to the
Committee on Applications

A Memorial of the Baptist Church in Fayette Street Complaining
of sundry Assessments having been laid upon Ground owned by them
and Occupied as a Burial place, which places they understand are
exempted from Assessments was read and referred to the Comptroller

An Application of Samuel Parsons to construct a Vault at Number
Thirty two Cliff S* was read and referred to the Street Commissioner
to grant on the usual Terms

A Memorial from John Jay. Peter Jay Munro and Gurdon S. Mum-
ford Owners of Land between Broadway. Elm. White and Canal
Streets stating that they have laid out an Alley through their Ground
called Cortlandt Alley parallel with Broadway and distant One hun-
dred and fifty feet from it [297] that they are desirous said Alley
should be laid out so that the Western side be One hundred and seventy
five feet from Broadway, and Praying Authority for the same was
read and referred to the Street Committee and Street Commissioner
with Authority to Act in the premises as they shall Judge expedient

A Remonstrance against the Assessment for Well and Pump in
Leonard near Elm Street was read and referred to the Street Com-
missioner

A Petition that Henry Street may be opened from Rutgers Street
to Walnut Street was read and referred to the Alderman and Assistant
of the Ward and Street Commissioner

A Memorial from the Proprietors of the Corlaers Hook Ferry



31 March 1817 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 77

Boat Company remonstrating against the Grant made at the last
Meeting of the Board to William Hunter and others Proprietors of the
Grand Street Ferry and praying that all further proceedings on said
Grant may be stayed until they can be heard in the premises was
Read and on Motion that all proceedings on said Grant may be staid,
and the Question taken thereon and a division being called it passed
in Affirmative as follows.

Affirmative Negative

Ald n Conrey M r Brown Ald n Buckmaster

[298] " Smith " Stone " Burtis

" Munson " McQueen Mr Akerly 3

Mr Jay " Thorp

Lorillard " Talman

Underbill " Cooper 12

The Committee on the Petition for opening Franklin Street through
to Provost Street presented a Report recommending that the Prayer
of the Petition be granted, which was read and agreed to and the
Council was directed to take the legal Steps for carrying the same
into effect

The Committee to whom was referred the Resolution of the tenth
of February last respecting the Medical department of Bellevieu pre-
sented the following Report which was agreed to, and is as follows

The Committee to which was referred the Subject of changing the
present mode of Administering Medical aid to the Sick in the Alms
house and [299] Penatentiary Respectfully Report

That they have had the matter under consideration they have visited
the premises and obtained such Information as they could in Relation
thereto, from all which they are fully convinced that some alteration
should be made without delay There are more than Two hundred
Sick now under the charge of the Visiting Physician And as he at-
tends usually twice a Week it is found utterly Impracticable for him
to see the whole of them even once during that time, nor is it possible
that the House Physician can pay that Attention to these cases which
they require

He is engaged in a most Laborious duty from morning to night.
he makes up and prepares all the Medicines prescribed, he administers
them under the direction of the Visiting Physician and attends gener-
ally to the relief of the Sick as far as in his power.

He is called up at all hours of the night to attend to urgent cases
which frequently occur and must naturally be expected among so large
a number of persons, and during the last eighteen Months there have



78 CITY OF NEW YORK 31 March 1817

been about One hundred and thirty births within the Walls of the
Alms House at most of which he has Assisted

Your Committee think that the cause of humanity as well as the
Credit and Interest of the Noble Institution require that steps should
immediately be taken to remedy the evil It is therefore respect-
fully [300] Proposed that henceforth there be two Resident or House
Physicians of Competent knowledge and skill to be appointed by this
Board in lieu of the present House Physician, the one to be called
the House Physician and the other the House Surgeon That the
Alms House & Penitentiary be divided between them by the Commis-
sioners thereof, according to their Complaints and diseases into Medi-
cal and Surgical. And that they be considered under their Directions
generally in all matters relating to the sick

That for their Services they be allowed each a Salary of Two
hundred and fifty Dollars per Annum payable Quarterly together with
the usual privilege of dieting in the House

The Committee also propose that two other Physicians should be
appointed by this Board instead of the present attending Physician
to be called the Visiting Physician and Visiting Surgeon, who shall
superintend and prescribe for their respective Patients visiting them
twice a Week or oftner should they deem it necessary.

That the said Appointments shall be honorary and without Salary
-That the House Physician and House Surgeon, be considered under
their direction each in his own department, but always with the privi-
lege of prescribing and acting in all Cases in the absence of the former
[301] And that so much of the Law in relation to the Appointment
of Physicians to the Alms house and Bridewell as is inconsistent here-
with be repealed

New York March 31 st 1817. Th R Smith

Reuben Munson
Samuel Akerly

A Letter from Doctor Felix Pascalis resigning his Office of Phy-
sician and Surgeon of the Alms House and Penatentiary was read and
his Resignation accepted Whereupon the Board proceeded to elect
persons to fill the Offices of the Medical Department in the Alms
House Institution, when on Motion of M r Akerly Doctor Stephen
Brown was appointed House Surgeon. Doctor John J Howe. House
Physician and on Motion of Alderman Smith. Doctor Charles Drake
was appointed Honorary Visiting Physician & Doctor Benjamin A.
Akerly was appointed Honorary visiting Surgeon



31 March 1817 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 79

A Resolution presented by the Comittee on the Fire Department
to authorise the Erection of two Engine and Hook and Ladder Houses
on the Ground lately purchased at the corner of Hudson & Christopher
Street for the Accomodation of the Engine and Hook and Ladder
removed from the Church Ground at Greenwich was read and re-
ferred to the same Committee with Authority to carry said Resolution
into effect

[302] The Committee on Public Lands & places on the Petition of
John Vanderlyn presented the following Report which was agreed to

The Committee on Public Lands and places to which was referred
the Petition of John Vanderlyn Report

That they have conferred with M r Vanderlyn on the Subject of his
Application and examined the plan of a Building proposed to be
erected to be called a Rotund for the Exhibition of certain Paintings
to the best Advantage. He proposes to erect a circular Brick Building
Fifty feet in Diameter and thirty feet high with a projection in front
and an elegant frontispiece which will make a highly ornamental Edi-
fice for that part of the City, where it is proposed to be erected He
asks of the Corporation the Lease of a piece of Ground sufficient for
the above purpose somewhere on Chamber Street or Broadway

Your Committee beg leave to state that M r Vanderlyn is a Young
artist of great skill and eminence in the line of his Profession, a Native
of the State of New York and has been highly distinguished abroad
for his Talents in painting. Your Committee are of opinion that his
labours and exertions should be patronized and retained at home by
a liberal grant of the public ground for a sufficient length of time to
compensate him for the expence he must necessarily incur [303] by
the Contemplated Building, which besides Ornamenting the City will
encourage the Arts and Sciences, chasten the public Taste and do
honor to the Institutions of our City

Your Committee are therefore of Opinion and accordingly recom-
mend that the Corporation Lease to M r John Vanderlyn for nine Years
from thirteenth of May One thousand eight hundred and seventeen at
the Annual Rent of One Pepper Corn the Lot at the corner of Chamber
and Cross Streets, fronting Fifty feet on Chamber Street and extending
along Cross Street to the Humane Society Soup House Provided
however that at the expiration of the said Lease the ground be restored
to the Corporation together with the Buildings and Improvements
thereon, free from any charge for their own proper benefit and use
Your Committee also recommend that he have Immediate possession



80 CITY OF NEW YORK 31 March 1817

of the premises to commence his Improvements, a plan of which ac-
companies this Report

All which is Respectfully submitted

Arthur Burtis
Samuel Akerly
John H. Talman
J Brown

The same Committee on the Petition of the Shipwrights and
Caulkers presented the following

The Committee to whom was referred the Petition of the Society
of Shipwrights and Caulkers Report

[304] That during the last Year an Elegant model of a Ship of
the line was made by the Voluntary labour of the Shipwrights and
other Mechanics, on a Scale, which made the model feet in

length completely finished in all its parts with the most exact propor-
tion and symmetry The Model now belongs and is in the care of the
United Society of Journeymen Shipwrights and Caulkers They Peti-
tion for a Room on the ground floor of the Old Alms House as a place
of deposit for the said Model.

Your Committee think that as our City is highly distinguished for
Naval Architecture the Applicants should be encouraged, and the
Prayer of their Petition granted, they therefore recomme[n]d

That the Room on the Ground floor of the Old Alms House next to
Chamber Street in the East Wing, be leased to the said Society for
the same Time and Terms as other Leases in that building Provided
they keep and apply the said premises for the purpose of there exhib-
iting and preserving models of Naval Architecture and for no other
use & provided also that the said Society obtain the consent of the
Commissioners of the Alms House to occupy the room

J. Brown
Arthur Burtis
Samuel Akerly
Jn H. Talman

[305] Which being read it was Resolved that leave be given to
the Petitioners to occupy the Premises mentioned in said Report for
and during the Pleasure of the Common Council and no longer.

The Committee on the Petition of Robert Macomb presented the
following Report which having been read it was specially Ordered
that the Clerk enter the said Report at length on the Minutes and that
the Report be laid on the Table, (which is as follows)



31 March 1817 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 81

The Committee to whom was referred the Memorial of Robert
Macomb

Respectfully Report That the object of the said Robert Macomb is
to obtain the Concurrence of this Corporation in an Application he
intends making to the Legislature for a Grant to him and his Heirs of
a right of taking Toll for the passage of a Bridge which he has built
over Haerlem River at Devoes Point.

To enable the Common Council to decide upon the propriety of
granting M r Macombs request The Committee will state the facts
relative to his Bridge which have come to their knowledge

On the 1 st March 1813. M r Macomb presented to the Common
Council a Memorial stating that he was about presenting a Petition to
the Legislature for permission [306] to build a Bridge and Dam from
Bussings Point to Devoes Point, and as such Bridge would be very
Convenient as he proposed to take a moderate Toll, and as he was will-
ing to devote one half of that Toll to the Poor of the City he hoped
for an Expression of the Approbation of the Common Council of his
Plan.

This Memorial was referred to a Committee who on the 8^ March
1813. Reported that it would not be adviseable for the Common Coun-
cil to do any specific Act on the Subject. But the Report expressed
an Opinion that the Bridge at Devoes point would be a Public con-
venience.

On the 8 th April 1813 an Act was passed by the Legislature of the
State Authorizing M r Macomb to build a Dam across Harlaem River
from Bussings Point to Devoes Point. Provided the consent of this
Corporation should first be obtained, and provided that nothing in that
Act should be construed to impair the rights of the Haerlem Bridge
Company.

On the 19 th April 1813. M r Macomb presented a Petition to the
Common Council, stating the before-mentioned Act. soliciting the con-
sent of the Common Council and praying that a scite for the Bridge
might be located by the City Surveyor

On the 21 st June a Remonstrance was presented to the Common
Council from John B. Coles

On the 9 th August 1813. A Memorial was presented [307] by
Robert Morris in favour of M r Macomb's Application

On the 23 rd August 1813. another Memorial of M r Macomb on the
Subject, a Letter from M r Gouverneur Morris and various Petitions
All in favour of M r Macomb's Application were presented to the



82 CITY or NEW YORK 31 March 1817

Common Council and together with the former papers referred to the
Committee of Laws and to the Committee of Surveys

It is here proper to state that the Legislature had formerly granted
to Lewis Morris and his Assigns the exclusive right of building Bridges
across Harlaem River to Morrissania At the time of this Grant
Devoes point was not a part of the Town of Morrissania but was said
to be included in the Patent of Morrissania And hence a question arose
whether the word Morrissania used by the Legislature was meant to
indicate the Town or the Patent of that name. If the latter then M r
Coles who claims as Assignee of Lewis Morris insisted that M r Macomb
had no right to build a Bridge at Devoes Point. Whether it was for
this or for any other reason your Committee know not. but the Legis-
lature by their Act of 1813. had not granted to M r Macomb the per-
mission which he had asked to erect a Bridge, but had allowed him
to build a Dam at Devoes point, provided the Corporation should con-
sent. On the 20 th September 1813 the Committee of Laws and Com-
mittee of Surveys Reported in substance. That an Accomodation
of all conflicting claims had taken place. That M r Macomb had agreed
to withdraw [308] his Application for building a Bridge, and that
the Haerlem Bridge Company had agreed to withdraw their Opposition
to his Dam That the Haerlem Bridge Company had also agreed to
apply to the Legislature at the next Session for a Law Authorizing
them to erect a Bridge at Devoes point for the Passing of which they
were to receive no more than half the Toll now demanded at Haerlem
Bridge

Whereupon the Common Council passed the following Resolution

Resolved that the Board Consent that Robert Macomb build a
Dam across Harlaem River from Bussings Point to Devoes Point con-
formably to the Act of the Legislature passed in his favour and his
Petition for such consent. The Location of such Dam and the Terms
of the Grant to be under the Direction of the Street Commissioner
and Comptroller of this Board. That the Board do consent to the
Building of the Bridge between the above-mentioned points by the
Haerlem Bridge Company. Provided the Toll to be taken at the same
do not exceed one half of the Toll allowed to be taken at the present
Harlaem Bridge. And that this Board do recommend to the Legisla-
ture to pass a Law Authorizing that Company to build the said Bridge

Your Committee further report that in pursuance of the above
Resolution the Haerlem Bridge Company did apply to the Legislature
at the next Session 1814. for permission to build a Bridge at Devoes
point. And on this Occasion M r Macomb did make a Communication



31 March 1817 COMMON COUNCIL MlNUTES 83

in writing which your Committee have seen to the Members from the
County of Westchester then in the Assembly stating that he intended
to build such Bridge as well as Dam and to complete it in August then
next. That in Case the Legislature [309] rejected the Application of
M r Coles he would make a Road from Kingsbridge to Devoes point,
and another Road frim Williams's Bridge to Devoes point at his own
expence. and would keep these Roads in repair and would demand for
passing the said Bridge and Roads only one half of the Toll of Harlem
Bridge Your Committee further Report that no act was passed by the
Legislature Authorising M r Macomb or the Haerlem Bridge Company
to erect a Bridge at Devoes point, But M r Macomb has proceeded to
build the Bridge without any Authority and has not made the above
mentioned Roads

The Bridge thus Constructed consists of the Dam itself which M r
Macomb was Authorized to erect and which for the purpose of being
also used as a bridge has been made wider and in a more expensive
manner than would otherwise have been necessary. The same Law
which Grants permission to build the Dam also grants to M r Macomb
and his heirs forever the Sole and exclusive use of the Water dammed
A grant which at no great distance of time will probably be of exceed-
ing great value

From the preceeding statement of facts it appears that M r Macomb
first proposed to devote one half the Tolls of the Bridge to the use of
the Poor of this City

That the Haerlem Bridge Company were willing to erect the said



Online LibraryNew York (N.Y.). Common CouncilMinutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784-1831 (Volume 9) → online text (page 7 of 66)