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Intolerable Burdens of Public Business.

"Philad. 27th April 1779.
"The extravagance of living here is beyond description and the burden of
public business, intolerable. I am for my own part worn down and stand in great
need of Relaxation. ... I must beg your Excellency's Indulgence the more so as I
am here without Summer Clothes, and can not reconcile it to my feelings to pur-
chase at the immoderate prices which are current.

"James Duane.
"His Excellency Governor Clinton."
("Clinton Papers," Vol. IV, p. 761.)


Funds Advanced by the National Government

"Philadelphia 6' Sep'r 1778.
IR: By Dr. Jones, who will deliver this to your Excellency,
I do myself the Honor to enclose a short memorandum of the
Sums advanced from the Continental Treasury to the several
States of the Union. I shall make no comments. The Paper
contains Information and, therefore, 1 have sent it to your Ex-
cellency's Prudence. . . .

Gouv. Morris.

" (To Gov. George Clinton)



North Carolina
South Carolina .


Georgia 1,036,000

Total 1 1,002,000

New Hampshire 679,000

Massachusetts 1,150,000

Rhode Island 1,392,000

Connecticut 676,000

New York 485,000

New Jersey 546,000

Pennsylvania 2,182,000

Delaware 49,000

("Clinton Papers," Vol. Ill, p. 740.)

Notwithstanding the great poverty of our State, they received the smallest
amount other than Delaware, and Virginia, and yet when our Congressmen applied
for a just assessment to govern the amount they should pay they were refused.
Seldom has any Congress been so unjust as in this case.


By the United States in Congress Assembled February 77, 1788:

MOTION was made by Mr. Dyer seconded by Mr. Mercer in
the words following: 'WHEREAS by the 8th Article of the Con-
federation and perpetual Union it is agreed and declared that all
charges of War and all other expenses for the common defence
of general Welfare allowed by the United States in Congress
Assembled shall be defrayed out of a common Treasury which
^ shall be supplied by the Several States in proportion to the Value
of all land within each State granted to or surveyed for any person as such Land
and Buildings and Improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such


mode as the United States in Congress Assembled -shall from time to time direct
and appoint.

"'RESOLVED That the Legislature of each State be and they are hereby
required to take such measures as shall appear to them most effectual for obtaining
a just and Accurate Account of the Quantity of Land in such State granted to
or surveyed for any person, the number of Buildings thereon distinguishing
Dwelling Houses from other Buildings, and the number of its Inhabitants dis-
tinguishing White from Black. That the Legislature of each State be and they
are hereby also required to cause the said Account to be transmitted and delivered
to Congress on or before the first day of March 1784 & that Congress will on the
Second Day of March 1784, or at their next sitting thereafter, appoint a Grand
Committee consisting of a member present from each State to take into con-
sideration the said Returns, any nine of whom occurring shall make a just and
true Estimate of the value of afl lands in each of the United States granted to or
surveyed for any person, and the Buildings and Improvements thereon and shall
report such Estimate to Congress. . . . That the said estimate when appraised
by Congress shall be a rule for adjusting all Accounts between the United States
and the Individual States, that is, each State shall be debited for its just Quota
or proportion on the principle aforesaid of the money theretofore advanced or
paid, and of the Amount in Value of the supplies furnished by all the States for
the Service of the United States and Credited for the money advanced, and the
Amount in value of the supplies furnished by such State for the Service of the
United States. That the said estimate shall operate for a term not exceeding
five years as a rule for Apportioning on the several States the sums which Congress
shall from time to time deem necessary and require to be raised for supporting the
public Credit and Contingent Expenses, and that the Money which shall be paid
from time to time by any State into the Continental Treasury on Account of such
Quota or Apportionment shall be duly passed to the Credit of such State on the
said Account.'"


The United States in Congress Assembled.

"March 4, 1788:

'MOTION was made by Mr. Hamilton Seconded by Mr. Floyd:
r 'WHEREAS in the opinion of Congress it is essential to those
principles of justice and liberality which ought to govern the
intercourse between these States that in the final adjustment of
Accounts for the Supplies or Contributions of the States respec-
tively towards the Common expences in the course of the War.
M equitable allowances should be made in favour of those States
part of which have been at different periods in possession of the Enemy.

'"AND WHEREAS, the Strict application of the rule prescribed by the
8th Article of the Confederation as declared by the Resolution of the 17th of
February would operate greatly to the prejudice of such States, and to the Calam-
ities of War add an undue proportion of the public burden;

'"RESOLVED. That Congress will in the application of the said rule make
such abatements in favour of the said States, as from a full Consideration of
Circumstances, as shall appear to them just and equitable for the time the said
parts of the said States may have been in possession of the Enemy.'

"On the question to agree to the foregoing Motion the Yeas and Nays being
required by Mr. Hamilton:— Nays 26, Yeas 5."
("Clinton Papers," Vol. VIII, p. 81.)


Notwithstanding a large portion of our State was the seat of war and occupied
by the English, including New York City, we were assessed the same as States
who had seen but little of the hardships, in fact, had carried on the most lucrative
business of privateering.


"Headquarters, Feb'y 13, 1778.
'EAR SIR, I did myself the honor of writing to you, immediately
after my arrival at Headquarters, in answer to two letters I
found here, from you.

"There is a matter, which often obtrudes itself upon my
mind, and which requires the attention of every person of sense
and influence, among us — I mean a degeneracy of representation
_ in the great Council of America. It is a melancholy truth Sir,
and the effects of which we dayly see and feel, that there is not so much wisdom in
a certain body, as there ought to be, and as the success of our affairs absolutely
demands. Many members of it are no doubt men in every respect, fit for the
trust, but this cannot be said of it as a body. Folly, caprice, a want of foresight,
comprehension and dignity, characterise the general tenor of their actions. Of
this I dare say, you are sensible, though you have not perhaps so many oppor-
tunities of knowing it as I have. Their conduct with respect to the army especially
is feeble, indecisive and improvident — insomuch, that we are reduced to a more
terrible situation than you can conceive. False and contracted views of economy
have prevented them, though repeatedly urged to it, from making that provision
for officers which was requisite to interest them in the service; which has pro-
duced such carelessness and indifference to the service, as is subversive of every
officer-like quality. They have disgusted the army by repeated instances of the
most whimsical favouritism in their promotions; and by an absurd prodigality
of rank to foreigners and to the meanest staff of the army. They have not been
able to summon resolution enough to withstand the impudent importunity and
vain boasting of foreign pretenders; but have manifested such a docility and in-
constancy in their proceedings, as will warrant the charge of suffering themselves
to be bullied, by every petty rascal, who comes armed with ostentatious pretensions
of military merit and experience. Would you believe it Sir, it is become almost
proverbial in the mouths of the French officers and other foreigners, that they
have nothing more to do, to obtain whatever they please, than to assume a high
tone and assert their own merit with confidence and perseverance? These things
wound my feelings as a republican more than I can express; and in some degree
make me contemptible in my own eyes.

"By injudicious changes and arrangements in the Commissary's department,
in the middle of a campaign, they have exposed the army frequently to temporary
want, and to the danger of a dissolution, from absolute famine. At this very day
there are complaints from the whole line, of having been three or four days without
provisions; desertions have been immense, and strong features of mutiny begin
to show themselves. It is indeed to be wondered at, that the soldiery have mani-
fested so unparallelled a degree of patience, as they have. If effectual measures
are not speedily adopted, I know not how we shall keep the army together or
make another campaign.

"I omit saying anything of the want of Cloathing for the army. It may
be disputed whether more could have been done than has been done.

"If'you look into their conduct in the civil line, you will equally discover a
deficiency of energy, dignity and extensiveness of views; but of this you can better
judge than myself, and it is unnecessary to particularise.

"America once had a representation, that would do honor to any age or nation.


"The present falling off is very alarming and dangerous. What is the Cause?
or how is it to be remedied? are questions that the welfare of these States requires
should be well attended to. The great men who composed our first council;
are they dead, have they deserted the cause, or what has become of them? Very
few are dead and still fewer have deserted the cause; — they are all except the few
who still remain in Congress either in the field, or in the civil officers of their re-
spective states; far the greater part are engaged in the latter. The only remedy
then is to take them out of these employments and return them to the place, where
their presence is infinitely more important.

"Each State in order to promote its own internal government and prosperity,
has selected its best members to fill the offices within itself, and conduct its own
affairs. Men have been fonder of the emoluments and conveniences, of being
employed at home, and local attachment, falsely operating, has been made then
more provident for the particular interests of the states to which they belonged,
than for the common interests of the confederacy. This is a most pernicious
mistake, and must be corrected. However important it is to give form and
efficiency to your interior constitutions and police; and it is infinitely more im-
portant to have a wise general council; otherwise a failure of the measures of
the union will overturn all your labours for the advancement of your particular
good and ruin the common cause. You should not beggar the councils of the
United States to enrich the administration of the several members. Realize to
yourself the consequences of having a Congress despised at home and abroad.

"How can the common force be exerted, if the power of collecting it be put in
weak foolish and unsteady hands? How can we hope for success in our European
negotiations, if the nations oFEurope have no confidence in the wisdom and vigor,
of the great Continental Government? This is the object on which their eyes are
fixed, hence it is America will drive its importance or insignificance, in their

"Arguments to you Sir, need not to be multiplied to enforce the necessity of
having a good general Council, neither do I think we shall very widely differ as to
the fact that the present is very far from being such.

"The sentiments I have advanced are not fit for the vulgar ear; and circum-
stanced as I am, I should with caution utter them except to those in whom I may
place an entire confidence. But it is time that men of weight and understanding
should take the alarm, and excite each other to a proper remedy. For my part,
my insignificance, allows me to do nothing more, than to hint my apprehensions
to those of that description who are pleased to favour me with their confidence.
In this view, I write to you.

"As far as I can judge, the remarks I have made do not apply to your state
nearly so much as to the other twelve. You have a Duane and a Morris and
may I not add a Duer? But why do you not send your Jay and your R. R. Living-
ston ? I wish General Schuyler was either explicitly in the army or in the Congress.
For yourself, Sir, though I mean no compliments you must not be spared from where
you are.

" But the design of this letter is not so much that you may use your influence,
in improving or enlarging your own representation, as in, discreetly, giving the
alarm to other States, through the medium of your confidential friends. Indeed
Sir, it is necessary there should be a change. America will shake to its center,
if there is not.

"You and I had some conversation when I had the pleasure of seeing you
last with respect to the existence of a certain faction. Since I saw you, I have
discovered such convincing traits of the monster, that I cannot doubt its reality
in the most extensive sense. I dare say, you have seen and heard enough to settle
the matter, in your own mind. I believe it unmasked its batteries too soon and
begins to hide its head; but as I imagine it will only change the storm to a sap;
all the true and sensible friends to their country, and of course to a certain great
man, ought to be upon the watch, to counterplot the secret machinations of his


enemies. Have you heard any thing of Conway's history? He is one of the
vermin bred in the entrails of this chimera dire, and there does not exist a more
villainous calumniator and incendiary. He is gone to Albany on a certain ex-

"I am with great regard and respect, Sir, Your most Obed. servant,

"Alexander Hamilton.

"His Excellency Governor Clinton, Poughkeepsie."

("Clinton Papers," Vol. II, p. 680.)


Tuesday, November 25, 1783.

Our Great Holiday {should be)

UTSIDE of Christmas and New Year's the three days looked
forward to with keenest anticipation in this City before the War
of the Rebellion for rejoicing and jollification, were Washington's
Birthday, the Fourth of July and Evacuation Day."

Early in March, 1783, Governor Clinton received from
Colonel Floyd news that articles of peace were being prepared, and
on March 25, "Preliminary Articles for a General Peace were signed." This was
the beginning of an end of the most glorious conflict in history. The Union born
in the Merchant's Coffee House, New York, May 23, 1774, was now to become a
fact. Many of the Colonists who had accomplished this great object were rejoicing,
and in their great glee forgetting their sister Colony. Poor dear old New York, it
would seem that, having born the brunt of the Revolution, suffering when many of
the other Colonies grew rich, furnishing the largest percentage of the soldiers,
contributing its grain and forage for the army, now solving the complicated
questions arising from departing of loyalists and return of the patriots to her
great city that was still occupied by the English troops. The care of the remaining
remnants of a discontented army, her border overrun with murdering bands of
Canadians and Indians, and threatened on her northeastern border by armed inva-
sion from a sister State, and another State claiming all east of the Hudson River.
These are all matters of history, but little mentioned by those who have preferred
"hearsay" to actual facts.

William Floyd, Philadelphia, March 25, 1783, wrote Governor Clinton:
"However inclined the enemy may be to Remove I expect the want of transports
will prevent them for some time yet to come. In this Situation if there should
be an (open) communication into New York, great speculation would be carried
on perhaps to the Injury of our State, if your Excellency by agreement with General
Carleton could form a Regulation that would stop it, it might be attended with
very salutary effects:

"Great Numbers in this town are forming plans to go into New York on
Speculation — I hope such steps will be taken on the part of our State as will ef-
fectually Defeat them." ("Clinton Papers," Vol. VIII, p. 94.)

From 1776 until November 25, 1783, the British troops occupied New York
City. Seldom in history has there been such a trying position as our State was
thus placed. Thousands of loyalists departing, and equal number of patriots
anxious to return to their old homes. Speculators from other States endeavoring
to buy property and goods from those departing.


From Robert R. Livingston to Governor Clinton

"Philadelphia 19th— Dec. 1783 (Feb. 19)

"D'r Sir: I believe I have mentioned to your Excellency the propriety of setting
aside a part of the houses in New York for public purpose." . . . " I am the most
anxious for this as I find the Eagle Eyes of Speculation have already marked
the best of them for their own, and some of those who fastened on the spoils of the
public have a strong interest in the legislature.

"I expect that efforts will be made for an immediate disposition of the

("Clinton Papers," Vol. VIII, p. 78.)

"From all sides our Sister States were anxiously awaiting opportunity to
take advantage of our misfortunate position."

John Morin Scott's Project for the Protection of New York upon the
Evacuation of the British Army

"Fish Kill, April 4th, 1783.
"D'r Sir: I take the liberty to hand you the inclosed paper; the contents of which
were hastily thrown together for your Excellency's consideration and perusal.
One Inducement, among others, which led me to do it, was an Information that
Connecticut has opened a wide door for the admission of all disaffected and their
property. A Scheme evidently calculated to build themselves upon our Ruins.
As one instance of this, it is reported that Jo: Smith is either gone or going to that
State with £30000 worth of Dry Goods. If those things cannot speedily be pre-
vented, God only knows what will become of our poor State, already brought to the
Verge of ruin by the War. I take the Liberty to intreat your Excellency's senti-
ments on the inclosed with as much speed as may be convenient, and am with the
greatest respect,

"Your Excellency's most obedient Servant,

" (General) Jno. Morin Scott.

"His Excellency Gov. Clinton."

("Clinton Papers," Vol. VIII, p. 132.)

Plan for gaining possession of the southern district by the temporary govern-
ment thereof may be found in Volume VIII of the "Clinton Public Papers," page
132. With some modification they were adopted and were of great assistance in
peacefully settling many difficult questions that arose from time to time. On the
night of Saturday, April 5th, Sir Guy Carleton received the official Notification
from England.

"Head-Quarters, 21 April, 1783.

"Sir, I have the satisfaction of enclosing to your Excellency a proclamation, that
I have received from the Sovereign power of the United States, ordering a general
cessation of hostilities, as well by sea as land, with directions that the same should
be published to all the subjects under my command. In Compliance with these
instructions, the same was made public in the American Camp on the 19th, with
mv orders that it should be made known at all the out-posts of the American Army
as soon as possible." — (Extract from General Washington to General Carleton at
New York. Ford's Writings of Washington, Vol. X.)

There was a conference between General Washington ami Sir Guy Carleton


at Tappan, May 6th, 1783 ("Clinton Papers," Volume VIII, page 165). The
following participated with General Washington, Gen. Clinton and Egbert Benson,
Jno M. Scott and Jona Trumbull, Jur.

On May 20th a meeting of a Council was held at "Pokeepsie" to protest
against Sir Guy Carleton's indifference. These were present: His Excellency
the Governor, Mr. Chief-Justice Morris, Mr. Justice Hobart, Mr. John Morin
Scott, Mr. Zephaniah Piatt, Mr. Stephen Ward, Mr. John Lawrence, Mr. Daniel
Dunscomb, Mr. Thomas Tredwell, Mr. Robert Harpur, Mr. John Williams,
Mr. Thomas Wickes, Mr. William Duer. It was not until November 25, 1783,
that the English soldiers evacuated our soil and we became the United States of
America. For seven long years had we been contending for this object — the
expulsion of England's Government and on that day accomplished. Never had
there in our country been such rejoicing. July 4, 1776, we declared our independ-
ence, and November 25, 1783, it became a fact to us and "The Day of Days."
To our great discredit we have allowed it to be forgotten. Had the great event
occurred in any other city it would have been at least a legal holiday.

Seldom since that memorable day has there been so great an occasion for
thanksgiving as on Thursday, November 25th, not only in gratitude for being at
peace with the whole world while Europe is struggling in the greatest conflict,
but also as on it occurres the anniversary of our 132a 1 birthday. It is to be hoped
our President and Governor will remember this circumstance.

On December 4, 1783, occurred one of the most pathetic incidents of the long
struggle. In the Long Room of Fraunces Tavern (corner of Pearl and Broad
Streets) Washington bade farewell to his officers. "With a heart full of love and
gratitude, I now take leave of you. ... I most devotedly wish, that your latter days
may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been gracious and
honorable." The closing event of the Revolutionary period occurred April 30,
1789, when General Washington took the oath of office as first President of the
United States under the new Constitution on the balcony of the City Hall — at the
head of Broad and Wall Streets.

While this was one of the greatest events occurring in our country, historians
have treated it very lightly in their meager accounts, emitting many facts showing
the great interest it created at the time. From the very earliest commencement
of our Colony and State, but little effort has been made to place before the public
the epoch-making deeds that have taken place within her borders. That pleasur-
able duty has been left to us. "A man who is proud of his State or Country
is likely to be a better citizen because of such pride. But how can one have any
intelligent pride in his Country if he knows nothing of its history?" — (Dr. Sherman


'HE first City Hall was originally built by the city for a tavern
in 1646 (on site of present 73 Pearl Street). It became "Stud-
thuy's," or City Hall, in 1653. In 1697 it was "deemed unsafe."
"Certain masons and carpenters 'examined' the building. . . .
Was of the opinion that with six studs and a plank the building
might be secured from any danger of falling." In 1698 a "Com-
mittee selected a site opposite the upper end of Broad Street
for a new building. A plan of the building designed by James Evetts was pre-
sented and the site and plan approved." The building was finished about 1700.
The present Sub-Treasury building is not exactly on the same site. The


old City Hall extended across the present Nassau Street. The small deviation
of the Bankers' Trust Company Building, Nassau Street, frontage is owing to a
path from Wall to Nassau Street, on the west side of the City Hall.

The "Cage, Pillory, Whipping Post, and Stocks" were removed to the upper
end of Broad Street, about in front of the Stock Exchange and the offices of J. P.
Morgan & Co., in 1703.

171 5 — Mr. Stephen Delancey presented fifty pounds to the city (his salary
as a member of the General Assembly) for a clock, which was built in 1716 by
Joseph Phillips, costing about £65.

171 8 — There were some alterations made, including a small balcony.

1738 — The cupola was removed and a new one erected.

1763 — "Which was a peiiod when improvements, both private and public,

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