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^ -' • ■/ t>7/.i 



Harvard College 
Library 



mmr* 



Gift of 
The Author 




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^^ 



X/ /r>* A=«> 




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THE 



MARKET BOOK 



OOMTlINOrO ▲ 



HISTORICAL ACCOUNT 

OF THE PUBLIC MARKETS IN THE CITIES OF 

Fitk I brief Deieri^ tf mrj Irtide tf Hnu hd add ttoeii 
THE DTTBODUOTION OF CATTLE IN AMEBIOA 

AND Noncis or HANY »»!«*»» *»■■ sncDoim 



BT 

THOMAS p. DB VOB 



IN TWO VOLUIIBS 

Vol. I. 



NEW YORK 

PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR 
1862. 



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It... c . ^/ 



'^ i - 



Uf . -TY 
LB^.RY 



iSoUrtd iccordlng to Act of Coogroi, in the year 1862, 

Hy TiioM AH P. Di VoB, 

In tlift Clark's OAeo of Uut DiHirict Court of the United Sutes for the Soathern 
DiAtrict of New York. 






A • /. 






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THIS YOLUMK CONTAINS 
A HISTORY 

PUBLIC MARKETS 

CITY OF n:e:'w york, 

FROM ITS FQtST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIMEL 



wm mnmon anuom amv uiubeablb noiDnTi oomncniD twubwrh, 
jUM niTmoDOonoff or OATTUif surrun, tbadoio, rucn, avd lawb; 

■OROin or TRB OLD BCROHBE BCTOHBM, AND TBI UC 

or MODBBK nim; Toomnm wm ▲ ooimLA- 
mm or wAon or btbrt sobt un cBABiona 

ULATDIO TO THB MniMT. 



rAOT, NOT rAMOT. 



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t 

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TO 



GEORGE H. MOORE, Esq*, 



THIS YOLUMB 



IS MOOT ABSPEGTFULLT DEDICATED, 

AS A TRIBDTE OF ESTEEM AND REaPEGT, 

FOR HIS UNWAVERING FRIENDSHIP TO 



THE AUTHOR. 



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PREFACE. 



A Pbefacb appears to be demanded from all who are goiliy of 
introducing another book into life; whether it is done for fame, 
name, profit, the public good, to be instructiye or interesting, or 
for any other consideration. 

In my case, being found here, so much out of my line^ I do not 
know under which, or how many, of the above heads to place myself; 
and I must therefore leave the reader to judge, and determine my 
position from his own estimate of my merit. 

For several years, the unemployed hours from my business, or 
rather profession, had hung heavily on my mind, and to fill them up 
satisfactorily, was a thought I had often indulged in. To be sure, 
at times, there were no leisure hours, not one of the twenty-four, but 
what were needed for rest ; and again, one, two, three, and sometimes 
four, could be employed in doing something, either useful or wasteful ; 
but what to do, was the question. I knew I had some knowledge, 
which business and observation had given me; but I also knew that 
I was very deficient in learning^ or at least of knowing how to ex- 
press myself, satisfactorily to myself. So I thought to improve, or 
at least to inform myself, even at this late day ; but the reader may 
say, "An old scholar is not an apt one" — and so I found it. I had 
the disadvantage of not knowing which end to begin with, but 
went headforemost into what appeared to me to be the most agree- 
able to my feelings. 

Early in life, (1829,) I had engaged in the military, and have 
continued in it, I may say with but a short intermission, to the pres- 
ent day: this somewhat excited the mind, and sometimes drew 
heavily on my leisure hours, while I sought such information as I 
could find on this subject. My researches at last extended to the 
"rooms" of the Historical Society, where I became acquainted with 
the attentive, obliging, and gentlemanly Librarian, Mr. George H. 



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Viii PREFACE. 

Moore, who, after an agreeable acquaintance, unexpectedly caused 
me to be introduced as a member of this honored association. Here 
he opened out to me all the rich treasures contained therein, and I 
eagerly devoured^ not only the ^^mUitary subjects/^ but all connected 
with our city ; and at last I began to fed that I had either swallowed 
or been bitten by a raind antiquary. I found there was no remedy 
for this dreadful disease, but by taking, in allopathic doses, sundry 
piles of old musty records, in various forms and at various times. 
I submitted to the treatment, but, in my case, it only relieved the 
disease for a short period after the last time-ioorn paper of ihepUe 
had passed ; upon the sight or knowledge of another, it again re- 
turned in full force. In fact, I had acquired a fondness for histori- 
cal information, and more especially for such as related to my native 
city. 

The numerous Records and Files of the Common Council, with 
various old books, newspapers, pamphlets, <fec., had been glanced 
over, and the result was, a large mass of historical material, on 
various subjects, had been collected, as I then thought, more for my 
own personal gratification and amusement, than for any other use. 
However, I found my researches had so completed my knowledge 
of the introduction, time, place, name, and the final exit of the 
numerous public market-places in the City of New York, that I 
was enabled to give them, or rather parts of them, to the "press," 
in answer to some "Reports" and "Communications." 

My esteemed friend, Mr. Moore, gently hinted that a paper on 
this subject would be acceptable to the Society ; that I had drawn 
heavily upon the Treasures of the Society, and that it was due to 
them. I admitted the justice of the claim, but pleaded my position 
and ineflSciency, and that I could much better furnish any other 
than an intellectual feast However, after repeated playful de- 
mands, I consented to prepare a sketch, with the understanding 
that he should revise, if he thought proper, and read it. 

Before it was finished, one other intimate friend, who belonged 
to the Society, said to me, that I "must prepare and read the paper 
without any assistance." To this I answered, " I would not think 
of such a thing, as it might not only reflect on the Society, but also 
upon myself." Says he, " Then you must disappoint the Society, 
yourself, as well as otic or two others^ who have not displayed very 
friendly feelings, on learning the proposed arrangement." I had 
always practiced and preferred a retired position, but I felt stung, 
and concluded that, if there was anything in me, it must now come 



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PBEFACB. ix 

out; BO, with renewed and my best energies, I finished the paper ^ 
sought Mr. Moore, explained my position, and asked his presence 
at my honse, to say whether I must fail or succeed. He decided 
in favor of the latter, and, at my request, gave me an introductory 
letter to the Rev. Dr. Osgood, one of the Committee on Papers to 
be read, that I might also consult with him. 

In the mean time, I found that the " Chamber of Commerce" (the 
History of which had been so well written by the Hon. Charles 
King, the present highly esteemed President of Columbia College,) 
had been a prominent body, with whom the military authorities 
bad consulted on many subjects, including our public markets, dur- 
ing the Revolution. To get at the details on this subject, I was 
enabled, through a letter of introduction, to consult Mr. King, 
when he became interested in my paper, and I was greatly pleased 
to be summoned before him, that he might advise with me in rela- 
tion to it. He listened to the result of my efforts, and in the end 
he gratified me by saying that he should come to hear it again be- 
fore the Society. Then, with the approbation of the Rev. Dr. 
Osgood, who had also heard it read, I felt fully prepared to^face 
this strong battery of wisdom, intelligence, and honor, as well as 
the several regiments of soldiers which I have had the honor to 
command — without flinching. 

On the evening of the 4th of May, 1858, 1 read my paper before 
the New York Historical Society, and its reception was all, and 
more, than I expected ; and, if confession is proper here, I was 
elated — it struck in so deep, that — the result is before you. I 
might also add, that a few days after, a further impetus was given 
me, by several complimentary resoluilons, from some professional 
and other friends, requesting me to repeat the reading of the above, 
at an early day, to which, with pleasure, I consented. This took 
place in the large Hall of the Cooper Institute; and again it was 
most flatteringly received. On both occasions, the "press" gener- 
ally and favorably noticed my effort, for which many thanks are 
due. 

The employment of my leisure hours has, at times, been so dis- 
connected, in consequence of my engagements and the usual troubles 
and trials of business, that it was difiicult, sometimes, to ^et back 
on my old trail: this, with the faults, c^ rather the neglect, of edu- 
cation, will no doubt cause the style and grammar to be somewhat 
broken, disconnected, or inelegant. However, my whole aim has 
been, that it should be fadj not fancy — accurate and faithful ; to 



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X PREFACE. 

give precisely what I found and experienced ; preserving as much 
of the original language and orthography as possible; denoting 
extracts, as such, with marks of quotation, and using my own lan- 
guage to connect or carry on the subject in this Tolume. 

I now find myself in that position where my indebtedness is so 
much, to so many, that I fear I cannot name all to whom I owe 
many thanks. To the courtesy and kindness of Darid T. Valentine, 
Esq., Clerk of the Common Council; George H. Moore, Esq,, 
Librarian of the New York Historical Society, and the Librarians 
of the several Libraries of our City, as of several others; to 
Dr. John W. Francis, (deceased,) Hon. Henry Meigs, Messrs. Wil- 
liam J. Davis, Henry B. Dawson, Col. William Appleby, Jacob 
Aims, Thomas Jeremiah, Daniel Burtnett, John M. Seaman, John 
Scott, (deceased,) and numerous other gentlemen, I specially ac- 
knowledge my obligations. I have also derived much assistance 
from the works of O'Oallaghan, Dunlap, Smith, Watson, Moulton, 
Hardie, Horsmanden, Valentine, Ac. 

Almost every one (more especially the aged citizen) has some 
special historical knowledge, connected with family, friends, or 
neighborhood, worthy of being known and revealed, for the instruc- 
tion or gratification of others, or as shedding new light upon the 
annals of our city. Permit me, in concluding this Pr^cuXf to ask 
from such as have the power to grant it, that if, while reading these 
sketches of the past, their own memories may be stirred by long- 
dormant recollections of remarkable incidents or scenes, they will 
be good enough to note these recollections, as material for the use 
of either myself, or others who, like myself, may adventure upon 
the agreeable task of seeking to revive by-gone days. 

THOMAS P. DE VOE, 

JBtUcher. 



Jbffebson Markvt, 

CiTT OP New York, 186L 



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INTRODUCTION. 



In presenting the following historical matter, I do not propose to 
reveal anything which is new or even interesting to the historian, 
whose well-worn path is before me ; and although I may not follow 
in his immediate footsteps, yet I must travel on the same high-road, 
or I cannot be true to history. 

The historian, in seeking his mental fare, looks only for the choicest 
and most substantial food to satisfy his natural appetite ; and his 
eagle eye merely glances at the stray crumbs which have fallen from 
his plate, while the hungry gleaner, who follows after, is forced to 
pick them up, to cover such othw rejected food as may be left, but 
which he gladly seizes and ravenously devours. I therefore hope to 
find the reader hungry enough to partake of the gleaner^s fare. 

The contents of this volume will chiefly relate to the establish- 
ment of the several market-places and public market-houses within 
the present limits of the City of New York. 

No doubt the number will surprise many; there having been 
more than forty, although several have been found located on or 
near the same spot where a former one had ceased to exist. They 
were, however, separate and distinct markets, as will appear from 
the various sources of evidence presented through the following 



In giving each their separate histories, many interesting incidents 
or local facts will be introduced, to relieve the necessary sameness 
of 80 much building up and tearing or tumbling down, which so 
many ptibltc edifices would seem to demand. Although not an in- 
teresting subject, yet the early age and associations may assist to 
interest the minds of those who now and then like to look back at 
the ages past; to see the feeble steps of the first settlers; to follow 
the more firm tread of their children; and to witness the rapid 
strides of their fast generations. 

The main object of the early settlers of New Netherlands was, no 
doubt, to better their condition ; and when they beheld these beautiful 



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Xii INTRODUCTION. 

and bountiful lands — as Van der Donk says, " The country fruitful 
and advantageously situated, possessed good and safe hayens, rivers, 
fisheries, and many other worthy appurtenances;" and, in truth, 
excelled their Fatherland, {Netherlands) — ^they had good reason to 
name it New Netherlands. ** In short, (says Lambrechtsen,) New 
Netherlands, to make use of Hudson's own words, was the most beau- 
tiful country on which you could tread your feet. The natives were 
good-natured, peaceable, and obliging ; the climate pretty near at 
par with ours ; so that New Netherlands was very properly adapted 
for our nation, to be settled by it, as there seemed nothing wanting 
but domestic cattle." 

The natives were also found to be agriculturists, cultivating the 
land, and producing many species of grain and vegetables. Hud- 
son says : " I sailed to the shore in one of their canoes with an old 
man, who was the chief of a tribe consisting of forty men and seven- 
teen women ; these I saw — there in a house well constructed of oak- 
bark, and circular in shape, so that it had the appearance of being 
built with an arched roof. It contained a great quantity of maize, 
or Indian corn, and beans of the last year's growth ; and there lay 
near the house, for the purpose of drying, enough to load three ships, 
besides what was growing in the fields." 

The chase also furnished them, at one and at the same time, with 
clothing and food from the various species of wild animals, wild 
fowl, fish, fruits, nuts and roots, and fine oysters, which they, at 
times, exchanged with or gave to the sometimes almost starving set- 
tlers. In an address from the Indians to the ambassadors of Gov. 
Kieft, they say : " When you first arrived on our shores, you were 
often in want of food ; we gave you our beans and our corn, and 
let you eat our oysters and fish."* 

The West India Company went into active operation in the year 
1623, trading principally in peltries, but did not do much to en- 
courage the settlement or population. " Not a particle of the soil 
was reclaimed, save what scantily supplied a few servants of the 
Company."t The country, however, was becoming more favorably 
known to the Directors, who resolved to further improve it, by 
sending over several families, and introducing domestic cattle. 
Accordingly, in the spring of 1625, (says Wassenaer,) Peter Evertsen 
Hulft (one of the members of the Board) brought in two ships, of 
280 tons burden, " one hundred and three cattle, among which were 
stallions, mares, bulls and cows, for breeding, as well as swine and 
sheep. These beasts were all very well provided for on ship-board 

O'CaUaghan. f Ibid. 



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INTRODUCTION. xiii 

— olinoBt as well as on shore. Each one had his own stall, arranged 
with a flooring of sand/' with plenty of water, hay, and straw. 

" The beasts, two of which only died on the passage, were, on 
their arrival, landed on Noten Island^ (now Governor's IslandJ 
bnt there being no grazing-ground for them at that spot, they were, 
a day or two afterwards, taken by shallops and barges to Manhat- 
tan, where they eventually throve very well, though some twenty, 
in all, were lost: many of them by eating some kind of poisonous 
vegetation, which had also destroyed the first shipment of domestic 
animals, sent here several years before. These were brought by 
Bmdrick Ohristiansen^ but were all of the smaller kinds, consisting 
of bucks and goats, also rabbits.' We may therefore conclude that 
those brought by Hulft in 1625 were the first large domestic cattle 
introduced ; and those also of the smaller species brought by him, 
were Hie first of the breed successfully prolific in New Netherlands" 

In 1626,^ Director Minuit concluded a treaty with the natives, 
by which they ceded Manhattan Island to the Dutch, for the sum 
of ^^sixty guilders." The land which composes the now great City 
and County of New York, estimated to contain twefiity-tioo thousand 
acres of land, was purchased for twenty-four doUarsI So the 
"West India Company" became the owners, and reserved it for 
themselves, as stated in their "Charter of Liberties;" but they 
made very slow progress either in colonizing it, or in producing 
many of the common necessaries of life. 

Dominie Jonas Mtchadius, in a letter dated August 11th, 1628, 
says: "We want ten or twelve farmers, with horses, cows, and la- 
borers in proportion, to furnish us with bread and fresh butter, milk 
and cheese." 

The population two years before (1626) numbered but "two 
hundred and seventy souls, including men, women, and children ;"t 
but in 1629 the Company offered greater inducements, in the 
forms of "freedoms and exemptions" to families or single persons, 
and a "patroonship" to those who would, in four years, "plant a 
colonie of fifty souls, upwards of fifteen years old ; " the last 
named, however, were not allowed to settle on the Island of Man- 
hattan, and " all fruit and wares that are produced on the lands 
situated on the North River, and lying thereabout, shall for the 
present be brought there, before they may be sent elsewhere. "J 

In the "Conditions entered into and made between the Lords 
the Burgomasters of the City of Amsterdam and the West India 
Company," favorable articles were also set forth to encourage colo- 

* WaasenMr. Also, Hoi. Doc. Col. Hia. f Wanenier. 

t M. T. H. C. N. 8., voL L, p. 371. 



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xiy INTRODUCTION. 

nization. Article 6 says, " That the said cily (Amsterdam) shall 
provide a suitable piece of land on the banks of a river for a 
proper dwelling-place for the colonists. The place shall be pro- 
vided with a trench and wall on the outer side, and the inner 
ground be laid out with streets, a market, and in lots, for the ad- 
vantage of merchants, mechanics, and those who will pursue agri- 
culture — the whole to be done at the cost of said city." 

"Art. 9. And to the end that the colonists may be provided 
with necessaries as far as is practicable, the said city shall supply 
them with clothing and Tiecessaries for one year, and also with seed- 
grain ; and for the assurance and certainty of having the necessary 
supplies on hand, the city shall erect a large magazine or warehouse 
in said place for the storage of clothing and necessaries for the 
people, wherein they shall keep their /actor, who shall supply every 
colonist with necessary clothing, household necessaries, and hus- 
bandry articles, at the same prices of this country, (Amsterdam) — 
the toll of the Company not charged."* 

The Directors in Holland, in the year 1639, to further encour- 
age emigration, offered free passages to such farmers and their fam- 
ilies "as were desirous of proceeding to New Netherlands, where, 
on their arrival, they were promised to be furnished for six years 
with a farm, fit for the plough, a dwelling-house, a barn, a suitable 
number of laborers, four horses, an equal number of cows, sheep 
and swine in proportion, with the necessary farming implements; 
for which they were, however, to be bound to pay a yearly rent of 
one hundred guilders, (equal to $40,) and eighty pounds of butter. 
On the expiration of his lease, the tenant was to restore the same 
number of cattle that he had received on entering into possession, 
retaining for himself whatever increase there might have been, in 
the mean time, from the original stock. To those who owned 
farms, but who had not the means of providing stock, the Com- 
pany loaned cattle for a certain number of years, *on halves;' 
that is, on expiration of the contract, the number ftirnished were 
restored, with half the increase." 

Additions were also made from the settlements in New England 
and Virginia, where the freedom of conscience had been proscribed. 
They removed by "whole towns to the Netherlands, to enjoy that 
religious liberty denied them by their own countrymen;" but in 
order to secure their allegiance, "they were therefore called on to 
take and subscribe an oath of fldelity."t 

• N. Y. H. C, N. S., VOL L, p. 239. f O'CaUaghan. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

The Company's large "Magazine, or Warehouse," consisted 
of five substantial stone buildings, adjoining each other, afterwards 
known as the " Company's Store-Houses," was erected at an early 
period. They occupied a position fronting westward, towards 
** Fort Amsterdam," where an open space, of more than one hun- 
dred feet in width, originally laid between them. This open space 
or street, which extended along the front of the ** Store-Houses," 
was called " Winkle Street," Market Street, or Store Street, and 
ran nearly on a line of Whitehall Street. On this street, be- 
tween the present Bridge and Stone Streets, stood the " Company's 
Store-Houses,"* in which was the Jirst regularly appointed depot or 
market-place in New Amsterdam, and from which the settlers were 
sapplied with the daily necessaries of life. This fact, however, will 
be more satisfactorily shown in a malversation committed by one 
of the Company's servants a few years after. There is no doubt, 
however, that previous to the erection of these " Store-Houses," 
and the introduction of domestic cattle, the inhabitants were chiefly 
furnished by the Indians with the flesh of wild game, fish, oysters, 
clams, and such vegetation as they produced. 

The town, in 1633, came under the administration of Director 
Van Twiller, who improved the fortifications, built a church, and 
several dwelling-houses. But, "scarcely one solitary agricultural 
settler had been, as yet, sent over by the Company to fell the 
forest or reclaim the wilderness."t 

Governor Van Twiller appears to have devoted the greater part 
of his time to agriculture. " One of his plantations was at Red 
Hook ; and Governor's Island, which is supposed always, from the 
first settlement, to have been a perquisite of the Director-General 
for the time being, was said to have been so near Red Hook, that 
cattle crossed the channel to and fro at low water."t "This Island 
he purchased, in June, 1634, from the Indian proprietors, who called 
it 'Pagganck,' or *Nut Island;' the Dutch lengthened it to *Noten,' 
or Nutten Island ; and the English further, to Governor's Island. 
He also purchased two islands at Hell Gate, in July, now known 
as Randall's and Great Barn Island. These 'plantations' he had 
taken care to have well stocked, but greatly ne^lect^d those of the 
Company, which were found by his successor. Sir William Kieft, in 
* Vftlentine, Hist of N. Y. City Records. f O'CalUghan. t DunUp. 



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16 



WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 



1638, to be without tenants, stock, or cultiyation, and thrown into 
* commons.* "* 

At this period, (1637,) we find the price of provisions and rates 
of wages for laborers were as follows: "J?yc was worth two florins 
and a half (about one dollar) per schepel of three pecks. Maize, (or 
Indian com,) one and a half florin. Wheat , three florins. Peas^ 
four to five florins. Broken barley, four florins. Pork, seven stivers 
per pound. Meat, (beef,) six stivers do. A hog six months old 
brought fifteen florins. A keg of butter, twenty-five florins. A la- 
l)orer in harvest got about eighty cents a day, on other occasion^ 
sixty ; while the price of a negro was forty florins, or $16."t 

At the commencement of Van Twiller's administration, an 
"Inventory" shows that all the Company's farms had been 
*' liberally stocked with brood-mares, oxen, milch-cows, heifers, 
yearlings, goats, calves, and the necessary farming implements." 
While after its close, was found, from their "five or six farms on 
Manhattan Island — which were now destitute of a creature — 16 
milch-cows, 10 mares, a number of sheep and other stock, had been 
sold and otherwise disposed of." So that many of Van Twiller's 
acts appeared to give cause for suspicion that " he had not hesi- 
tated to enrich himself at the Company's expense."^ 

His example was followed by another of the Company's servants; 
as we find, a few years afterwards, the store-keeper, Ullrick Lu- 
poid, was complained of for extortion and malversation. "The 
inhabitants being generally supplied from the Company's store with 
whatever goods or necessaries they required at fixed prices, being 
fifty per cent, advance on their prime cost, a list was posted in a 
conspicuous place for public inspection, which shows that several 
articles had become lessened in price in a few years, no doubt in 
consequence of the increasing number of agriculturists. This list 
is arranged as follows : 

A hog, (common size,) $ 8.00 

GftbbAge, (f^ 100,) 12.00 

StaTCB, (^ 1,000 of 1,200,) 32.00 



Fresh meat, 


6 


stivers, 


§ or 10 ctB. f^ lb. 


Pork, 


6 


II 


10 " « 


Butter, 


8 


u 


16 " " 


To!>acco, 


7 


u 


U « « 


Dried fish, 


12 


« 


24 " « 


Hard bread, 


16 


<l 


yioo 


Wbeateo bread,? 


« 


or 14 cte. f^ loaf. 


Rye bread. 


5 


« 


10 " 


Corn bread, 


4 


(1 


8 «« " 


Indian com, 




60 


eta. f^ Bchepelll 


Barley, 




$2.00 


« 


Peas, 




S.25 


u 


Wheaten flonr, 


1.00 


M 



Sugar, 
Sour wine, 
Spanish wine, 
French wine, 
Grogham, 
Kersey flannel, 
White linen, 
Red flannel, 
Children's shoes, 
Brass kettles. 



17 to 24 stivers *% lb. 
$Sl V bhd. 
4 Btivera f^ quart 
10 " " 

$1.00 f^ elL 
1.20 " 
18 to 20 sUvem ** 
$1.20 " 
36 stivers f^ pair. 
40 " fi piece; 



•Valentine. f O'Callaghan. {Ibid. 

§ Stiver, valued at about two cents. || About three pecks. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. H 

" The inhabitants complained, it is right to add, that the goods / 
in the Company's store were overvalued : a complaint which was 
subsequently admitted to have sufScient foundation in fact; for 
Wrick Lupoid, the store-keeper in charge, was found guilty of ex- 
tortion and malversation, and sentenced by the Director and Coun- 
cil, by and with the advice of the principal inhabitants, to removal 
from office ; to pay, in addition, a fine of eighty dollars, and to be 
banished to Holland. His sentence was, however, remitted, on Lu- 
pold's petition; but he was ordered to satisfy the 'Company' for 
his malversation."* 

The prospects in agricultural pursuits, and more especially in 
that of cattle and hogs, had become so thriving and favorable, as 
to cause Governor Eieft and his Council to establish, on the 15th 
September, 1641, "two Fairs at New Amsterdam: one to be holden 
annually, on the 15th of October, for cattle generally; the other on 
the first of November, for hogs."t 

We have been favored with interesting descriptions of the cattle, 
hogs, and other animals, both tame and wild, domestic fowl, birds, 
fish, with numerous agricultural productions, as they then appeared, 
by Van der Donk and other early writers, from which the following 
extracts appear to be suitable: 

Van der Donk says, " The CaMk in New Netherlands are mostly 
of the Holland breed, and with proper care, they raise as fine cat- 
tle as we do in Holland. There are also cattle brought over from 
the province of Utrecht, which are kept in the highlands at Amers- 
fort, (Flatlands, L. I.,) where they thrive as well as in Holland ; 
the increase is not quite as large, but the stock give milk enough, 
thrive well in pasture, and yield much tallow. 

" They also have English cattle in the country, which are not im- 
ported by the Netherlanders, but purchased from the English in 
New England. Those cattle thrive as well as the Holland cattle, 
and do not require as much care and provender ; and, as in England, 
this breed will do well unsheltered whole winters. This breed of 
cattle do not grow near as large as the Dutch cattle; do not give 
as much milk, and are much cheaper ; but they fat and tallow well. 

"They who desire to cross the breeds, and raise the best kind of 
stock, put a Holland bull to their English cows, by which they pro- 
duce a good mixed breed of cattle without much cost. Oxen do 
good service there, and are not only used by the English, but by 
some of the Netherlanders also, to the wagon and plough. The 
grazing of cattle for slaughtering is also progressing, as well of 
oxen as of other cattle, which produces profit in beef and tallow." 
* OX^aUaghan. t City Records. 

Vol. I.— 2 



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18 WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

" Hogs are numerous and plenty — some of the citizens prefer the 
English breed of hogp, because they are hardy, and subsist better in 
winter without shelter ; but the Holland hogs grow much larger and 
heavier, and have thicker pork." 

" Sheep are also kept in the New Netherlands, but not as many as 
in New England, where the weaving business is driven, and where 
much attention is paid to sheep, to which our Netherlanders pay 
little attention. The sheep thrive well, and become fat enough. I 
Lave seen mutton so exceedingly fat there, that it was too luscious 
and oflFensive. The flocks require to be guarded and tended on ac- 
count of the wolves, for which purpose men cannot be spared ; there 
is also a more important hinderance to the keeping of sheep, which 
are principally kept for their wool. New Netherlands throughout 
is a woody country, being almost everywhere beset with trees, 
stumps, and brushwood, wherein the sheep pasture, and by which 
they lose most of their wool, which by appearance does not seem to 
be out, but when sheared turns out light in the fleeces. These are 
reasons against the keeping of sheep." 

"The inhabitants keep more goats than sheep, which succeed best; 
they also give good milk, which is always necessary, and because 
they cost little, they are of importance to the new settlers and 
planters, who possess small means. Such persons keep goats in- 
stead of cows. Goats cost little, and are very prolific; and the 
young castrated tups afibrd fine, delightful meat, which is always 
in demand. 

" The New Netherlanders also have every kind of domcstic/ott??«, 
as we have in Holland, such as capons^ turkeys, geese, and ducks. 
There are also pigeoners, who keep several kinds of pigeons. In 
a word, they have tame animals of every description, including cats 
and dogs."* 

Among the species of wild animals, " were panthers, bears, buf- 
faloes, elk, deer, wolves, wild-cats, foxes, racoons, beavers, otters, 
fishers, minks, hares, muskrats, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, ground- 
hogs, drummers," &c. 

*' The bears of this country (says Van der Donk) arc not raven- 
ous, arid do not subsist on flesh and carrion, as the bears of Muscovy 
and Greenland do. They subsist on grass, herbs, nuts, acorns, and 
chestnuts, which, we are told by the Indians, they will gather and 
eat on the trees. In the fall they always are fat." 

'* The Indians esteem the fore-quarters and the plvcJcs as excel- 
lent food. I have never tasted the meat, but several Christians, 

•N.Y.H. C.N.S.,vol.I., p. les. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 19 

who have eaten bear's flesh, say it is as good as any swine's flesh or 
pork can be. 

*' Buffaloes are tolerable plenty. These animals mostly keep to- 
wards the southwest, where few people go. Their meat is excellent, 
and more desirable than the flesh of the deer, although it is much 
coarser. Their skins, when dressed, are heavy enough for collars 
and harness. These animals are not very wild, and some persons 
are of opinion that they may be domesticated and tamed."* 

Of elk. Van der Donk says, " I have heard from the mouth of a 
Jesuit, who had been taken prisoner by the Mohawk Indians and 
released by our people, and came to me, that there were many wild 
forest oxen in Canada and Nova Francia, which, in Latin, they 
name boves silvestreSj (the moose, or elk,) which are as large as 
horses, having long hair on their necks like the mane of a horse, 
and cloven hoofs; but that, like the buffalo, the animals were not 
fierce." 

Another writer says, " I have also eaten here several times of 
elks, which were very fat, and tasted something like venison." 

" In the forests is great plenty of deer, which in harvest-time and 
autumn are as fat as any Holland deer can be. I ha^e had them 
with fat more than two fingers thick on the ribs, so that they were 
nothing else than clear fat, and could hardly be eaten." 

" We seldom pass through the fields without seeing deer, more or 
less, and we frequently see them in flocks. The year before I came 
here, (1641,) there were so many turkeys and deer that they came 
to the houses and hog-pens to feed, and were taken by the Indians 
with so little trouble, that a deer was sold to the Dutch for a lorf 
of breads or a knife , or even a tobacco-pipe; but now we commonly 
give for a large deer six or seven guilders."! 

*' The wild birds were as numerous as the wild animals. Eagles, 
falcons, sparrow-hawks, sailing-hawks, kites, ravens, castrills, crows, 
cat-owls, turkyes, partridges, pheasants, woodcocks, snipes, quails, 
cranes, herons, pigeons, land-runners, woodpeckers, thrushes, black- 
birds," &C.J Van der Donk says, " The most important fowl of the 
country is the wild turkey. They resemble the tame turkyes of the 
Netherlands. Those birds are common in the woods all over the 
country, and are found in large flocks, from twenty to forty in a 
flock. They are large, heavy, fat, and fine, weighing from twenty 
to thirty pounds each, and I have heard of one that weighed thirty- 
two pounds. They differ little in taste from the tame turkeys; but 
the epicures prefer the wild kind. They are best in the fall of the 
year, when the Indians will usually sell a turkey for ten stivers. 

• O'Callagfaan. f Ibid. t Megapolensis. 



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20 WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

Sometimes the turkeys are caught with dogs in the snow; but the 
greatest number are shot at night from the trees. The Indians take 
many in snares, when the weather changes in winter. Then they 
lay bulbous roots, which the turkeys are fond of, in the small rills 
and streams of water, which the birds take up, when they are en- 
snared and held until the artful Indian takes the turkey as his 
prize." 

" There are also several kinds of quails in the country, some of 
which are smaller, (common quail J and others larger, (the partridge 
ov pheasant,) than those of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands it 
is not believed that they will alight and sit in trees ; but it is true 
that many {partridges) are shot from trees in this country. I have 
done it several times, and have killed a hundred or more from trees. 
I have also heard from respectable authority that eleven heath- 
fowls {prairie hen) have been killed at a shot — off a palisade 
fence. There are also woodcocks, birdcocks, heath-fowls, pheasants, 
wood and water snipes, &c., and many cranes, of which great num- 
bers are shot on the mowed lands in the fall of the year, and they 
are fine for the table. Quacks and bitterns are also plenty. 

"The pigeons, which resemble coal-pigeons, are astonishingly 
plenty. Those are most numerous in the spring and fall of the 
year, when they are seen in such numbers, in flocks, that they resem- 
ble the clouds in the heavens, and obstruct the rays of the sun." 
"The Indians, when they find the breeding-places of the pigeons, 
(at which they assemble in numberless thousands,) frequently re- 
move to those places with their wives and children, to the number 
of two or three hundred in a company, where they live a month or 
more on the young pigeons, which they take, after pushing them 
from their nests with poles and sticks." 

Of water-fowls, there "were swans, geese, pelicans, ducks, teal, 
widgeons, brant, coots, divers and eel-shovelers." "We find these 
principally in the spring and fall of the year. At other seasons they 
are not as plenty. But at those seasons, the waters, by their move- 
ments, appear to be alive with water-fowls ; and the people who 
reside near the water are frequently disturbed in their rest at night 
by the noise of the water-fowls, particularly by the swans, which, in 
their seasons, are so plenty that the bays and shores where they resort 
appear as if they were dressed in white drapery," 

" There are also three kinds of wild geese. The first and best kind 
are the gray geese, {Canada geese) which are larger than the Neth- 
erlands geese, but not so large as the swans." "A great many of 
those fowls are shot, and they are esteemed before the other kinds 
for the table. I have known a gunner named Henry de Backer 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 21 

who killed eleyen gray geese out of a large flock at one shot from 
his gun. The other kinds are the black geese, and the white-heads." 

Of the fish taken *'in the fresh water, were salmon, sturgeon, 
striped bass, drums, shad, carp, perch, pike, trout, thick-heads, suck- 
ers, sunfish, catfish, eels, lampreys, divers, mullets, or frost-fish. 
Those of the sea, codfish, shellfish, weekfish, halibut, herring, mack- 
erel, thornback, flounders, plaice, bream, blackfish, seal, lobster, oys- 
ters, crabs, periwinkle, clams, turtle, and porpoises." 

"All the waters of New Netherlands are rich with fishes. Stur- 
geons are plenty in the rivers at their proper season ; but these fish 
are not esteemed, and when large, are not eaten. No person takes 
the trouble to salt or souse them for profit; and the roes, from which 
the costly caviaer is prepared, are cast away. Salmon are plenty 
in some rivers, and the striped bass are plenty in all the rivers and 
bays of the sea." "The drums are a tolerably good fish. I have 
heard it said, that the drums were named thirteens when the Chris- 
tians first began fishing in the New Netherlands. Then, every one 
was desirous to see the fishes which were caught, for the purpose of 
discovering whether the same were known to them, and if they did 
not know the fish, then they gave it a name. First in the fishing 
season, they caught many shad, which they named Elft, (eleventh.) 
Later, they caught the striped bass, which they named Tioalfi, 
(twelfth.) Later still, they caught the drums, which they named 
Dertieneny (thirteenth.) For those fish succeeded each other in 
their seasons, and the same are still known by the names which were 
thus derived."* 

In addition to the above list of fish. Van der Donk adds, '* snook, 
forrels, palings, brickens, dunns, roah, scoll, and shecphead. The 
latter are formed like the sunfish, but much heavier, with cross 
stripes, being about the weight of the largest carps. They have 
teeth in the fore-part of the mouth like a sheep, but are not vora- 
cious, and are an excellent fish. There is another species of fish, 
called blackfish, which are held in high estimation by the Christians. 
It is as brown as a seek, formed like the carp, but not so coarse in 
its scales. When this kind of fish, which are plenty, is served upon 
the table, it goes before all others, for every person prefers it. 

"There are also porpoises, herring-hogs, potheads or sharks, tur- 
tles, Ac, and whales, of which there are none caught, but if prepa- 
rations were made for the purpose, then it might be easily cffboted ; 
but our colonists have not advanced far enough to pursue whaling. 
A lost Inrd, (whale,) however, is frequently cast and stranded, which 
is cut up." 

• O'Callaghan. 



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22 WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

The same writer, in his description of the North River ^ says: "I 
cannot refrain, although somewhat ont of place, to relate a very sin- 
gular occurrence which happened in the month of March, 1647, at 
the time of a great freshet, caused by the fresh water flowing down 
from above, by which the water of the (North) river became nearly 
fresh to the Bay, when at ordinary seasons the salt water flows up 
from twenty to twenty-four miles* from the sea. At this season, 
two whales, of common size, swam up the river forty miles, from 
which place one of them returned and stranded about twelve miles 
from the sea, near which place four others also stranded the same 
year. The other ran up the river and grounded near the great Char 
hoos Falls, about forty-three miles from the sea. This fish was tot 
erably fat, for although the citizens of Rensselaerwyck broiled out 
a great quantity of train oil, still the whole river (the current being 
still rapid) was oily for three weeks, and covered with grease. As 
the fish lay rotting, the air was infected with its stench to such a 
degree that the smell was ofiensive and perceptible for two miles to 
leeward. For what purpose those whales ascended the river so far, 
it being full forty miles from all salt or brackish water, it is difiicult 
to say, unless their great desire for fish, which were plenty at this 
season, led them onward." 

"Lobsters are plenty in many places. Some of those are very 
large, being from five to six feet in length; others, again, are from a 
foot to a foot and a half long, which are the best for the table. 
There are also crabs, like those of the Netherlands, some of which 
are altogether soft. Those, the people call weak-crabs, and they 
make excellent bait for hook-fishing. 

"There are also sea-cocks, (horned crabs;) sea-colts, sea-conks, and 
periwinkles are very plenty, which in some seasons are cast ashore 
by the sea in great numbers. From these the Indians make wampum. 

" Oysters are very plenty in many places. Some of these are like 
the Colchester oysters, and are fit to be eaten raw; others are very 
large, w^herein pearls are frequently found; but as they are of a 
brownish colour, they are not valuable. The price for oysters is usu- 
ally from eight to ten stivers per hundred. 

"Muscles of difi'erent kinds arc plenty; the St. Jacob's and mother- 
of-pearl shells, with alis or stone crutches." 

" There are also shrimps and tortoises in the waters and on the 
land. Some persons prepare delicious dishes from the water terrar 
pin, which is luscious food." 

Of vegetables. Van der Donk says: "The garden products in the 
New Netherlands are very numerous ; some of them have been known 
* A Dutch mile is about three Eagliah miles. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 23 

to the natives from the earliest times, aiid others introduced from 
different parts of the world, but chiefly from the Netherlands. 

'^They consist, then, of various kinds of salads, cabbages, pars- 
nips, carrots, beets, endive, succory, finckel, sorrel, dill, spinage, 
radishes, parsley, chervil, (or sweet cicely,) cresses, onions, leeks," 
"together with laurel, artichokes, and asparagus." 

"The herb-garden is also tolerably well supplied with rosemary, 
lavender, hyssop, thyme, sage, marjoram, balm, holy onions, worm- 
wood, belury, chives, and clary; also pimpumel, dragon's-blood, 
five-finger, tarragon, (or dragon's-wort,) &c." 

"The pumpkin grows with little or no cultivation, and is so sweet 
and dry that it is used, with the addition of vinegar and water, for 
stewing, in the same manner as apples; and notwithstanding that it 
is here (Netherlands) generally despised as a mean, unsubstantial 
article of food, it is there (here) of so good a quality that our coun- 
trymen hold it in high estimation." 

"The English, (in New England J who in general think much 
of what gratifies the palate, use it also in pastry," (pumpkin pies, 
no doubt J "and understand making a beverage from it." " The 
Spanish (or mammoth pumpkin) is considered the best." 

" The natives have another species of this vegetable peculiar to 
themselves, called by our people quaasiens, (squashes;) a name de- 
rived from the aborigines, as the plant was not known to us before 
our intercourse with them. It is a delightful fruit; as well to the 
eye, on account of its fine variety of colors, as to the mouth, for its 
agreeable taste." " The natives make great account of this vege- 
table; some of the Netherlanders, too, consider it quite good, but 
others do not esteem it very highly." 

" Melons, likewise, grow in the New Netherlands very luxuriantly, 
witiiout requiring the land to be prepared or manured; they will 
thrive, too, in newly-cleared wood-land, when it is freed from weeds ; 
and in this situation the fruit, which they call Spanish pork, grows 
large, and very abundant. I had the curiosity to weigh one of these 
melons, and found its weight to be seventeen pounds." 

"The citrull, or water-citron, (icater-melonj also grows there, 
(here ;) a fruit that we have not in the Netherlands, and is only 
known from its being occasionally brought from Portugal, except 
to those who have traveled in warm climates." " They grow ordi- 
narily to the size of a man's head. I have seen them as large as 
the biggest Leyden cabbages, but in general they are somewhat ob- 
long." " When they are to be eaten, the rind is cut off to about 
the thickness of the finger; all the rest is good, consisting of a 
spongy pulp, full of liquor, in which the seeds are imbedded ; and 



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24 WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

if the fruit is sound and fully ripe, it melts as soon as it enters the 
mouth, and nothing is left but the seeds/' 

''Cucumbers are abundant. Calabashes, or gourds, also grow 
there : they are half as long as the pumpkin, but have within very 
little pulp, and are sought chiefly on account of the shell, which is 
hard and durable, and is used to hold seeds, spices, &c. It is the 
common water-pail of the natives, and I have seen one so large 
that it would contain more than a bushel," (about three pecks.) 

'' Turnips, also, are as good and fine as any sand-rapes that are 
raised in the Netherlands." 

** Of beans there are several kinds ; but the large Windsor bean, 
which the farmers call tessejij or hot-house beans, and also the horse- 
bean, will not fill out their pods." " The Turkish beans which our 
people have introduced there grow wonderfully ; they fill out re- 
markably well, and are much cultivated." 

"Before the arrival of the Netherlanders, the Indians raised 
beans of various kinds and colors, but generally too coarse to be 
eaten green, or to be pickled, except the blue sort, which are abun- 
dant ; they somewhat tend to flatulency, like those we raise in Hol- 
land ; but in other respects they furnish an excellent food, of which 
the Indians are especially fond. They have a peculiar mode of 
planting them, which our people have learned to practice : when 
the Turkish wheat, (Indian corn,) or, as it is called, maize, is half a 
foot above the ground, they plant the beans around it, and let them 
grow together. The coarse stalk serves as a bean-prop, and the 
beans run upon it, and thus two crops are gathered at the same 
time." 

Another writer (De Vries) says of Indian corn, or maize, ** They 
sow the maize in April and May," and gather it in September and 
October; "and when they have shelled the corn, they bury it in 
holes, which they have previously covered with mats, and so keep 
as much as they want for the winter and while hunting." " When 
they travel, they take a flat stone, and press it with another stone 
placed upon the first ; and when it is pressed, they have little bas- 
kets, which they call notassen, and which are made of a kind of 
hemp, the same as fig-frails — which they make to serve them as 
sieves — and thus make their meal. They make flat cakes of the meal 
mixed with water, as large as a farthing cake in this country, and 
bake them in the ashes, first wrapping a vine-leaf or maize-leaf 
around them. When they are sufficiently baked in the ashes, they 
make good, palatable bread. 

"Our Netherlanders raise good wheat, rye, barley, oats, and peas, 
and can brew as good beer here as in our fatherland, for good hops 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 25 

grow in the woods ; they are in want of nothing but men to do the 
work." 

" Barley grows well in the country, but it is not much needed." 
"Flax and hemp will grow fine, but as the women do not spin 
much, and the Indians have hemp in abundance in the woods, from 
which they make strong ropes and nets, for these reasons very little 
flax is raised." 

"Wild fruit was equally abundant," observes another writer; 
"consisting of acorns, (some of which were very sweet,) chestnuts, 
beech-nuts, walnuts, butternuts, hazlenuts, mulberries, cherries, cur- 
rants, plums, gooseberries, medlars, bilberries, blackberries, rasp- 
berries, cranberries, and strawberries; the latter in such abundance, 
that people lay down in the fields and ate them to satiety. Pig- 
nuts, artichokes, wild leeks and onions, wild-peas, and other wild 
firuit, also abounded." 

Of imported fruits, Van der Donk says: "The Netherlands setr 
tiers, who are lovers of fruit, on observing that the climate was 
suitable to the production of fruit-trees, have brought over and 
planted various kinds of apple and pear trees, which thrive well. 
Those also grow from the seeds, of which I have seen many, which, 
without grafting, bore delicious fruit in the sixth year." " The 
English have brought over the first quinces, and we have also 
brought over stocks and seeds, which thrive well. Orchard cher- 
ries thrive well, and produce large fruit. Spanish cherries, fore- 
runners, morellaes, of every kind we have, as in the Netherlands; 
and the trees bear better, because the blossoms are not injured by 
the frosts." 

" The peaches, which are sought after in the Netherlands, grow 
wonderfully well here." " We have also introduced morecotoons, 
(a variety of the peach,) apricots, several sorts of the best plums, 
almonds, persimmons, cornelian cherries, figs, several sorts of cur- 
rants, gooseberries, calissiens, and thorn-apples." 

"Although the land is full of many kinds of grapes, we still want 
settings of the best kinds from Germany, for the purpose of enabling 
our wine-planters here to select the best kinds, and to propagate 
the same." "The entire land, both forest and bottom-land," ob- 
serves O'Callaghan, "was, moreover, covered with vines, climbing 
up the loftiest trees, or creeping along the lowly valleys, and bear- 
ing loads of grapes : some white, some blue ; some large, some small ; 
some very juicy, and others not so good, yet all promising, if prop- 
erly cultivated, an ample return to the vine-dresser." "In short, 
every kind of fruit which grows in the Netherlands is plenty already 
in the New Netherlands, which have been introduced by tiie lovers 



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26 WEST INDIA COMPANY^S STORE. 

of agriculture; and the fruits thrive better here, particularly such 
kinds as require a warmer climate." 

<' Why moarn about Brazil, full of base Portagaese? 
When Van der Donck shows so far mach better fere ; 
Where wheat-fills golden ears, and grapes abound in trees ; 
Where frait and kine are good with little care." 

Evert JVUuwenhi^, 

At this early day, it will be seen, the natural advantages of this 
beautiful country — ^producing so much, and still capable of grow- 
ing every luxury wanted by man — were not fully appreciated, so 
badly was it managed and sadly misgoverned by many of the Com- 
pany's servants, more especially by Governor Kieft himself, who 
afterwards confesses that he was instructed to do sol "For he 
said he had express orders to exact the contributions from the In- 
dians" — to prosecute the people — "when there was no offence, and to 
consider a partial offence an entire one, and so forth."* These un- 
popular acts, and especially his exactions and enmity towards the 
Indians, the consequences of which had become very grievous to the 
settlers, and more particularly to those who lived away from the 
protection of the Fort, as the settlement then extended about thirty 
English miles to the east, and twenty-one to the north and south 
from Fort Amsterdam — to assist in reforming some of these griev- 
ances, the Commonalty at large chose "twelve men" to co-operate 
with the Governor and Council. 

Among some of the local improvements which were introduced in 
1642, these "twelve men" represented that, in consequence of the 
sale in New Netherlands of cows and other stock by the English, 
the cattle owned and introduced by the Dutch were held in small es- 
teem, and were not so valuable as they had heretofore been." 
That "it was near-sighted and destructive to the improvement of 
their own stock ; and that the English should not bo permitted here- 
after to sell either cows or goats within the Dutch jurisdiction, but 
that this privilege should be confined to oxen and poultry."! 

The Dutchmen, at this early day, began to admit the superior qual- 
ities of the red catUe of New England ; at least in producing better 
working oxen than their Dutch breed; but they wished to exclude 
their breeding cattle. Theirs were generally good milkers, pro- 
ducing good fleshy beef, and withal, this solicited exclusion of the 
English stock would tend to enhance the value of their own breed- 
ing stock. The Governor, however, concluded that the "English 
should not be permitted to sell cows or goats for the future within 
* Murphy's translations. f 0*Callagban. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 27 

New Netherlands/' In this act, he had acceded to the wishes of 
the "twelve men," but many of their movements and acts were 
looked upon by him with a jealous eye, and by a proclamation he 
disbanded them, and forbade them to meet. 

His enmity towards the Indians also was such, that he had made 
op his mind to attack them unawares, and without notice, and ex- 
pressed himself to De Tries, who was dining with him one day, vhat 
*'he had a great desire, he said, to make the savages wipe their 
chops.'' Sure enough, the night after, he ordered an attack to be 
made upon two separate parties of Indians that had moved near the 
settlers, as a sort of protection from a stronger tribe which was at 
war with them. So, in the silent hour of midnight, Kieft's brave 
and valiant soldiers approached the unsuspecting victims, and in 
cool blood cowardly murdered above one hundred of them. This 
unwise and cruel act caused all the neighboring Indians, those who 
were friendly as well as other tribes, to retaliate, by murdering all 
the men they could find, (leaving the women and children,) burn- 
ing and desolating the farms, destroying the crops, killing the cat- 
tle, hogs, Ac, and driving the settlers panic-stricken into the town. 

Within two weeks after, peace was proposed, and partly efifected 
with a few Indians ; yet many were not satisfied, and they again com- 
menced murdering families and individuals, and some who were quite 
near the Fort. The inhabitants were now almost confined to the 
precincts of the fortifications, and in a dreadful situation ; so they 
appealed to the Honorable Lords in Holland, and say: "Our pop- 
ulation consists for the most part of women and children ; the free- 
men (not counting the English) are about two hundred in numbers, 
who must protect by force of arms their families, which now lie con- 
cealed in straw huts around outside the forts." The cattle are partly 
burnt and killed ; the remainder conveyed to the fort on the Manhat- 
tes, where, for want of forage, they must starve through the coming 
winter, if not immediately slaughtered."* 

Still further to add to their miserable condition, internal troubles 
broke out among themselves. " Complaints were daily made of 
stealing and killing of hogs, goats, as well as of the irregularities 
which increased so fast that it 'threatened to end in plunder and 
robbing/ and it was found that people would at last murder one 
another in consequence of the impunity of the delinquents." 

The situation of the country at that time was certainly a yery dis- 
couraging one ; with a jealous, sordid, and an unpopular Governor, 
and the people almost rent asunder, distressed by their losses of 
friends and protectors, of property, and many of them almost in 

^ O'CaUagfaan. 



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28 WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

despair. However, assistance came; their complaints and appeals 
had been heard; the Dutch West India Company, in 1647, recalled 
Governor Kieft, and sent a man much more fitted for the position 
than either who had preceded him. 

Peter Stuyvesant, the last of the Dutch Governors in this city, 
arrived in the month of May, 1647, when he assumed the reins of 
government. His character appears somewhat pompous and arbi- 
trary, yet he had the vigilance, firmness, and force which were neces- 
sary to raise the country up from the disorder and confusion in 
which he found it. He made friends of the Indians, and introduced 
a successful trade with them, as well for the resident traders as the 
" West India Company." 

Numerous proclamations and ordinances of a stringent character 
soon appeared, which were posted in the " public market-places."* 
In the following month of July, an ordinance, in relation to the tres- 
passing of cattle, was enacted, declaring that all the inhabitants of 
the New Netherlands are hereby charged and commanded to set off • 
and put into good fence all their plantations, so that the cattle 
therein may be kept from committing trespass ; which cattle, 
whether they be horses, kine, and in a special manner goats and 
hogs, must be taken care of, or otherwise disposed of, that they 
cannot commit any trespass ; to this end the Fiscal Van Dyck should 
build a pounds in which cattle shall be detained until the damages 
shall have been made good, and the fees of officers shall have been 
paid : let every one take warning, and look out for costs." 

In the early part of the following year, (1648,) a law was intro- 
duced to confirm the privileges of trade in New Amsterdam to per- 
manent residents ; for it was ordered that henceforward no person 
should keep a shop, or carry on any retail business, except such as 
" have already taken the oath of allegiance," were rated, at least, at 
from two to three thousand guilders, and had entered into an en- 
gagement to remain in the country four successive years, " and to 
keep fire and light" at their own expense. This regulation was 
not, however, to extend to "old residents," who were to be allowed 
the privileges of trade, though not rated as above, provided they 
bound themselves to remain in the province the required time ; not 
to quit the same without permission from the Director and Council, 
nor to use any weights or measures except those of "Old Amster- 
dam, to which we owe our name ;" and for the further encourage- 
ment of trade, " each Monday in the week was declared to be a 
market-day*'—'' as well for strangers as residents." The " strangers," 
no doubt, were the Indians and country people who had, prior to 

• City Records. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 29 

the establishment of this ** market-day/' brought with them, in their 
skiffs and canoes, their productions, from the chase, of the land and 
of the water; some of which, such as peltries, corn, 4c., were taken 
to the " Company's Store," either for the purpose of trade or sale, 
and the balance sold to the residents who were in the habit of find- 
ing them at the '* store," or landing-place ; but at no stated time or 
particular day: therefore it appeared necessary to appoint a par- 
ticular day — "Monday of each week a market-day," when they 
would be sure to find each other, near 'this depot of trade or market, 
which, no doubt, gave the space between the "Company's Store" 
and the "Fort " the name of "Market-field."* 

About this period an "Annual Pair," or "kermis," was also 
established, for the sale of home productions, (those appointed pre- 
vious were for cattle and hogs,) to commence on the first Monday 
after the "feast of St. Bartholomew," (24th of August,) and continue 
for ten days ; at which all persons were privileged to sell their goods 
from their tents.t 

Many of their productions were sold for cash, or such currency 
as was then recognized as such ; a great deal of which was Indian 
money, called " tvampumy' or seatcant, (or zeawant,) " Judf-beavers, 
and beaver^^ skins. The common value of "wampum or seawant," 
when strung on a string, passed "six white," or "three black sea- 
want," for one stiver ; the value of " beaver" was " eight guilders," 
or about three dollars; divided in "half-beavers," the value was 
much less in proportion. The early English settlers, however, used 
their £ 8. d. currency when an opportunity offered. This Indian 
currency, seawant^ afterwards became much depreciated in value, by 
the unskillful tinkering at the currency; it being loose, not perforated, 
and badly finished. The authorities notice it at a meeting held 
May 30, 1650, and they " have observed, both now and for a long 
time, ' loose seawant ;' many are not perforated, and half finished, 
and also made out of stone, bone, glass, muscle-shells, horns, and 
even out of wood, and broken ones, whereby occasion is given for 
repeated complaints from the inhabitants, that they cannot go with 
such seatvant to the market; nor yet procure any commodity, not 
even a mean white loaf of bread, or a can of beer at the merchant's, 
the baker's, or the tapster's, for the loose seawant" The authorities 
resolve, " from this time forth, no hose, unperforated, or clumsy sea- 
want shall be current, nor be a lawful tender, except that the same 
shall be strung on one string, as the general custom has been here- 
tofore. They ordained that the common seawant shall be as 
formerly ; that is, six white, or three black seawant, for one stuy ver ; 
• O'CftUftgfaAQ and City Recorda. f O'Callaghan. 



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30 WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 

and the base strung seawant shall pass eight white, or four black, for 
one stuyver."* 

Part of these instructions were unheeded: "the base strung sea- 
want being still refused and rejected for trifling articles by shop- 
keepers, brewers, bakers, tapsters, mechanics, and day-laborers, to 
the great confusion and discommoding of the inhabitants in general ; 
there being at present no other specie with which the inhabitants 
can accommodate one another." The authorities, on the 14th Sep- 
tember following, " do ordain and decree, that the base strung sea- 
want shall be current — in payment for small and daily necessary 
commodities in housekeeping" — and " that the sum of twelve guild- 
ers and under shall be paid aU in base strung seawant; from twelve 
to twenty-four guilders, half-and-half; that is to say, half base and 
half good strung seawant ; from twenty-five guilders to fifty guilders, 
one-third base strung^ and two-thirds good strung seawant; and in 
large sums agreeably to the agreement between the buyer and 
seller."t In case of refusal, certain heavy penalties were ordered to 
be inflicted. We find, a few years after, one of the Government 
officers refused to receive this currency from Solomon La Schecn's 
(La Chair) wife, who appeared in court on the 17th January, 1656, 
"with a certain box of white stringed ^zeairan,^ to the amount of 
ff. 84.B, complaining that Warner Wessells, the Farmer of the Excise, 
refused the same, and will not give any license ; and whereas she is 
obstructed in her business, requests the W. Court to decide if the 
same be good zeawan or not, and to order him accordingly to re- 
ceive the same, and not impede her. The W. Court decides that 
the zeawan exhibited by the petitioner is good merchantable zea- 
wan, and hath heretofore sealed the same in Court."t 

At this period the prices of several of the domestic animals are 
noticed, and " were to be had at a reasonable price, except sheep^ 
which the English (in New England) do not sell, and are rare in 
New Netherlands."§ 

"A milch cow, with her 2d or 3d calf, ff. 130. 
A year old sow, . . . . 20 to 24. 

A sheep, being a ewe, . . . 20 to 24." 

"Maize (Indian corn) can be always had in season from the In- 
dians;" "the schepel cost ordinarily 10 to 15 stivers, when bought 
from them." 

Although the above valuation of animals appears to have been 
made for breeding stock, yet this valuation, in our day, usual- 
ly, would not vary much if the same were fit for consumption. In 
1640 the price of "fresh meat" was five stivers (10 cents) per pound ; 

• City Records. f Ibid. % Ibid. § Col. His., vol. 1., p. 869. 



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WEST INDIA COMPANY'S STORE. 31 

this period, (1650,) according to the above, it could be afforded 
at about the same price. Seven yeara afterwards (1657) we find it 
about the same, by the following extract from a letter of Vice-Director 
Aldrich, dated April 13th, 1657,* who says : "I understand that pork, 
beef, peas, etc., are to be had cheaper here than they can be sent 
from Holland^ to wit: beef and pork at 4 and 5 stivers the pound; 
peas, 3 and 3^ guilders the schepel, payable in merchandise, such as 
duffels, linen, etc., at the aforesaid prices. These, however, were 
the prices in trading for merchandise, or other than the Indian cur- 
rency, which had become much depreciated; instead oifour Hack 
smwant passing for one ativer, as in 1650, it had been lowered, first 
to six ; tiien, in 1659, the white wampum (or seawant) was reduced 
from 12 to 16, and the Uack from 6 to 8 for a stiver. The only 
effect of this was to oblige the holder to give more wampum for any 
article he might require from the trader, who in return allowed the 
natives a larger quantity for his beavers, (skins J ' so that little or 
no benefit accrued.' Prices nominally advanced: beavers, which 
sold for 12 to 14 guilders, (seawant,) rose to 22 and 24 guilders; 
bread from 14 to 22 stivers the 8 lbs. loaf; beef, 9 to 10 stivers per 
lb.; pork, 15 to 20 stivers; butter, 30 stivers; common shoes from 
3^ to 12 guilders the pair; coarse stockings from 36 stivers to 4 or 
5 guilders the pair; and wrought iron 18 to 20 stivers the lb. 
Beaver and specie were all this while of equal value, and the differ- 
ence between these and wampum was 50 per cent. Finally, the 
price of beavers fell, in 1663, from 8 guilders (specie) to 4^ guild- 
ers; white w^ampum from 16 to 8, black from 8 to 4 for a stiver; 
and this was the state of the currency when the English came into 
possession of the province."t 

Let us now return to the period of about 1650, when the increas- 
ing numbers of inhabitanti had caused trade to rapidly advance, and 
many who were anxious to make a good or quick bargain on the 
*'marke^day," were on the lookout, watching and waiting at the 
beach or strand at the East River side, for the market-boats and 
canoes, which were sometimes belated in consequence of the tides, 
storms, ice, or other causes ; and when landed, the inhabitants were 
as ready to purchase there at the strand as the farmers and Indians 
were to dispose of their produce, to save them the trouble of carry- 
ing it up to the *' market-field." This strand, which had been the reg- 
ular landing-place for small craft many years previous, extended 
along up the shore from about the present Whitehall Street, along 
the line of the present Pearl, to the foot of Broad Street, then called 
tbo (Grafht) common ditch or creek. This ** creek," at that early 
* Hoi. Doc , vol II, p. 6. t O'Calltghao. 



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32 WEST INDIA COMPANY^S STORE. 

period, did not appear to be in a proper condition for the accommo* 
dation of the market and other boats; but it is supposed to have 
been in a state of nature; the shores on each side muddy and full of 
weeds, and in winter obstructed with ice, so that it appearednot to 
have been used much until about the year 1660, although they were 
at work filling it up on the sides, in 1657 and '58, as will appear 
from the City Records^ February 21, of the latter year, when " the 
three laborers of the Graft (canal) being summoned to court, ap- 
pearing, are asked bow it happens that they do not come any more 
to work; answer — the weather is unfavorable; whereupon, they 
were told that complaints were made that there has nothing filled 
up — and therefore ordered to proceed to do so, and that they should 
not stop." Then, on the 7th of March, 1659, " Resolvert Waldron 
is ordered to appear in Court, to receive a commission to superin- 
tend the Grafht, according to the placard dated 3d December, 1657, 
published in front of the City Hall, and renewed on the 4th of 
March, 1659. He was ordered to take good care, and superintend 
on the newly-constructed * Graft,' that no filth be cast into it; also, 
that the boats, canoes, and skiffs be placed in regular order therein." 

We now pass over a period of almost twenty years, when we find 
it not yet dyked, nor the street {Broad) leveled or paved, which is 
shown from the proceedings, as follows: "Ordered, that all and 
every p(er)son & p(er)son3 being inhabitants and living within the 
streete called Here Graft, shall forth with & without delay fill up 
the Graft Ditch or Common shoare, & make the same level, with 
the streete, and then so pave & pitch the same before their doores 
with stones, soe far as every inhabitant's house shall be fronting to- 
wards the Graft or Ditch, upon pain of every person soe neglecting 
shall have such fines inflicted upon them as the Courte sliall thinke 
fitt. — Dated this 9th day of May, 1676, then proclaymed." 

Although the houses were ordered to be built fronting the " Graft 
Ditch," at that time, yet the line of the Here Graft {Broad) Street 
was not laid out until about twelve years after ; this is shown in the 
appointment of two carpenters, as surveyors, to lay out some lots 
along the shore of the East River, from about the present Moore 
Street, along the east line of Pearl Street, up to Coenties Slip. The 
proceedings May 4, 1688, show the appointment of "Peter King & 
Adolph Pieterson, surveyors for y* Citty of New York," were re- 
quired to "survey y* vacant land within this Citty, near and in y^ 
Dock, beginning ffrom y* Weigh-house to y* Citty Hall, and to lay y* 
same out in lotts of eighty foot long, into the Dock, and about Four 
and Twenty ffoot broad, leaving sufficient spaces ffor y* street; as 
also to lay out y* street, ranging with y* Here Graft, as you shall 



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WBST INDIA COMPANY^S STORE. 33 

receive farther directions," — "and that they lay out a convenient 
inlett in y* middle of y* said street fiFor y* Water to flBow in at, and 
y* channell of y* Here Graft to run into it." Again, on the 14tk of 
June following, it was "Ordered, that the Carpenters, Mr. Adolph 
Pieterson and Peter King, forthwith sett up the fframes of the inlett 
into the Here Graft of sixteen ffoot wide, leaving on each side twen- 
ty^ght ffoot for the (Broad) Street." 

In consequence of the war between the Fatherland and England, 
the citizens began to fear that the feeling had extended to the 
Englbh Colonies; and if a sadden attack should be made on the 
cit}% it would be found defenceless. 

Orders were therefore given, on the 13th of March, 1653, to re- 
pair the "Fort;" that the whole body of citizens should mount 
guard every night; and to "inclose the greater part of the city 
with upright palisades and small breastworks, so that, in case of 
necessity, all the inhabitants may retire within the inclosure." 
This wall of palisades was made of hard wood, of twelve to thir- 
teen feet in height by eighteen inches in circumference, and sharp- 
ened at the tops; they extended from the East to the North River, 
along the northerly side of the street, which took and yet retains 
its name from this tcaU, or barrier, of palisades. There were but 
two entrances on the land side, by which the city could be entered : 
one on the present Broadway, and the other on Pearl Street. 

After the "wall" was finished, the "Nigh^Watch" became care- 
less, and neglected to mount guard every night, as directed : so, 
on the 24th of November following, Governor Stuyvesant sum- 
moned the Captains of the Burgery, (citizens J Arent Van Hatten 
and Martin Krigier, before him, and told them he "was highly dis- 
pleased that the Burgers should have intermitted their night-watch 
without his knowledge; whereupon they answered, that this hap- 
pened through the want of /rc-Mworf/" to which "Stuyvesant" 
said, " that they set to and procure some." Van Hatten pleaded 
the resolution previously made, "refused to do so, and requested his 
High Mightiness that tiiey should go, according to request, to the 
Burgomasters and Schepens." 

An attempt was made, in the month of November, next year, to 
"ordain and establish a * Battle Watch* of four to six men, to 
guard this city by night; wherefore all persons, who desire to un- 
dertake the same, are warned to repair to the aforesaid place, 
(City HaUJ to hear the conditions, and to act according to circum- 
stances." The Court met at the appointed place and hour, and 
after stating the " conditions," there was not one offered himself to 
undertake this important trust; so the idea of forming a "Rattle 
Vol. I.— 3 



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34 WEST INDIA COMPANY^S STOKE. 

Watch" at that period was given np, although they sacceeded a 
few years afterwards to organize one. The Burgomasters, on 
the 4th of March, 1658, say they " have above eight persons for 24 
stivers every night they watch, it being well understood four and 
four shall watch each night ; and they are promised one or two 
beavers for candles, and two to three hundred pieces of fire-wood." 

On the 12th inst. following, Lodowyck Pos was appointed Cap- 
tain of the " Battle Watch," when Articles or Rules were estab- 
lished. 

The trading at the " Strand," already referred to, no doubt in- 
creased from year to year, as the agriculturist advanced; and the 
Town of Manhattan, in February, 1653, formally became a city* — 
the City of New Amsterdam. 

Although there were large crops raised, yet they were not such 
as furnished food for the increased immigration. The growing 
of tobacco was found more profitable than the growing of grain, 
and the agriculturist excessively cultivated it. " For the last two 
years, a scarcity of food now became imminent." " To prevent this, 
the export of breadstuffs was prohibited; tobacco-planters were 
ordered to set as many hills of com as they did of tobacco, and the 
consumption of grain by brewers and distillers was strictly for- 
bidden."t 

About two years after this scarcity of food, the inhabitants were 
again visited with another more terrible infliction. ''Sixty-four 
canoes landed at the city, with nearly two thousand Indians, who 
broke into several of the houses, on pretence of looking for oUier 
Indians. The magistrates, however, succeeded in prevailing upon 
them to quit the place by sundown, and to retire to ' Nut (Govern- 
or's) Island.' " In the evening they again appeared, and attacked 
some of the citizens; but they, in return, had prepared for them, 
and after killing several, drove them out of the city. The Indians 
then proceeded to lay the country around in waste. In three days, 
one hundred of the Dutch were killed, one hundred and fifty taken 
prisoners, twenty-eight ''boweries" and a number of plantations 
were burned, twelve or fifteen thousand schepels of grain destroyed, 
from five to six hundred head of cattle killed or driven off, and the 
farmers driven into the city for refuge. 

Governor Stuyvesant being an old soldier, and withal a diploma- 
tist, brought his threatening or persuasive powers into action on 
the Indians, and, with some presents, soon restored peace. Many 
of these Indians were ofttimes found treacherous, and were not 
generally liked by many of the settlers, who would occasionally 
* Brodhead. f O'Callaghao. 



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MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 35 

bring charges against them, which very often were proved false ; 
and this had no doubt a tendency to establish the following regula- 
tion in "the month of January, 1656."* "Various complaints 
were made, * that under the notion and name of Indians, horned 
cattle, hogs, and other animals on the plains have been seized, 
slaughtered, and offered for sale by Christians, or at least by those 
who go under the name of Christians. To prevent, from this 
time forth, neither in this city, nor on the plains belonging to this 
province, shall any cattle, hogs, goats, or sheep be permitted to bo 
slaughtered, not even by the owner himself, unless the owner first, 
on the same days he intends to slaughter, shall have given in such 
creature as his own, to the magistrate of the respective place to 
which he belongs, and from him have obtained a slaughter certifi- 
cate* " — ^for which he had to pay a fee, according to the size and 
value of the animal. 

The city and citizens no doubt severely felt these drawbacks, but, 
under Governor Stuyvesant's vigorous administration, both kept on 
increasing. "A survey of the city at this period showed there 
were * one hundred and twenty houses,' with extensive lots, and 
• one thousand souls.' "t The houses were more substantially built, 
the streets were better regulated, and a more rigid system was in- 
troduced into all the local affairs of Government. 



"MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND." 

1656. The increasing number of the inhabitants in the year 1656 
no doubt wished better regulations, especially in the one specified as 
their "market-day." Monday was objectionable, because the butch- 
ers had to slaughter their animals, and the farmers to gather their 
productions on the Sabbath-day; and as no particular public market- 
place had yet been appointed by the authorities here, although, as 
has been before noticed, the inhabitants, in the course of trade, had 
first made the open ground before the "Company's Store" and the 
fort a "market-field;" then, likely, the scarcity of food in 1653 and 
'54 had caused the citizens, in their pressing wants, to meet the mar- 
ket-boats and canoes as they ran upon the shore or strand, which 
extended fipom "Whitehall" along Dock (vow Pearl) Street, up to 
the "Graft" f Canal) at the foot of Broad Street." 

The continuation and increase of business at that place, and the 

* City Records. | Brodhead. 



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36 MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 

fact of Governor Stuyvesant having been a strictly religious char- 
acter — not only not countenancing, but positively forbidding labor 
on the Sabbath-day — had afforded good reasons, with the assistance 
of his counselors, to change the "market-day," and on the 12th day 
of September, 1656, formally, to appoint a public locality in the fol- 
lowing language : ^*Ghreeting: Whereas, now and then the people 
from without are in the habit of bringing into the city different com- 
modities, such as veal, pork, butter, cheese, turnips, roots, straw, and 
other products of the land, for the purpose of selling them ; and it 
frequently happens, particularly here at the * Strand,' that they are 
obliged to tarry long, and to lodge to their great damage, for the rea- 
son, because the community, or at least the greater part, especially of 
those who live away from the * Strand,' are not aware that such 
commodities have been brought for sale, not alone to the discom- 
moding of the *Burgerers,' but also to the notorious injury of the 
enterprising man from without, who frequently has to lose more 
in his time than the profit on his commodities will warrant; 
therefore, for the purpose of making provision in the prem- 
ises, the * Director-General and the Councillors' aforesaid, by these 
presents, do ordain, that from this time forth, here in this city. Sat* 
urday shall be the market-day, and market shall be held at the 
atrandt at or around the house of Mr. Hans Kierstede, where, after 
him, every one shall be permitted to enter that has anything to buy 
or sell."* This location was between Moore and Whitehall Streets, 
on the east side of Pearl Street. 

Here, then, the public wants and accommodations of both produ- 
cer and consumer appear to have been consulted by the public authori- 
ties in establishing the Jlrst public marArc^place in our city, without 
a direct gain to the public coffers, although one part of the public 
revenue was received in the form of "excise" on all the slaughtered 
cattle, which all had to pay alike, whether for sale at the " Compa- 
ny's Store" or for family purposes. "They who slaughter oxen, 
cows, calves, hogs, or goats, for consumption, shall be taxed for each 
guilder (40 cents) of their value, one stuyver, (2 cents;) and those 
who do not produce their animals for valuation previous to slaugh- 
tering, shall forfeit the same, for the benefit of the ofiBcer, the town, 
and the informer."t 

This "Excise "J was first /armed or leased, for one year, to Sol- 
omon La Chair, Burgher, for the sum of seven hundred and ten Ca- 
role guilders, (about $284.) He appeared in Court on the 6th of 
November, 1656, and requested that "sworn butchers" may be or- 

^ City Records. t City Records aod Doc. Hist of N. T., toL I, p. 646. 

X City Records. 



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MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 37 

dered and confirmed. The Burgomasters and Schepens appointed 
" William Claseii^ Gerit Jansen Boos, and Jan Van Haerlan" "who 
Bhall each be bound to serve in butchering and cutting up, and, to 
provide, have, and possess their own ropes, hand-barrows, troughs, 
and other articles requisite for slaughtering, and receive for butcher- 
ing and cutting as follows: 

"For every ox or cow, ... - 4 guilders, or $1.60 cefUs. 
" every pi? under 80 lbs. wt., 20 stivers, " .40 " 
** over that (weight,) - - - 80 stivers, " .60 " 

" a calf, 1 guilder, " .40 " 

" a sheep or goat, - - - - 12 stivers, " .24 cents" 

Some of the inhabitants, in giving in the valuation of an animal 
to La Chair, were apt to place their worth at too low a figure, as 
he petitions to the Court "to be allowed to value them himself, and 
to bind himself to take the animals at such valuation, if the owner 
is satisfied." This the Court grants him. About the same time, a 
complaint is made against William Harck, for slaughtering cattle 
without paying excise. He states, in answer, "that he killed 
four cattle for Mr. Thos. Willet, o'er at the Ferry, (Brooklyn,) 
and he is ignorant if he must pay excise for them.'' The Court de- 
cides he must pay "either himself, or by Mr. Willet.' " 

The next year, (1657,) this "Excise," as a ''Slaughter Farmer," 
was leased to Gerrit Hendricks, who received the same rate of fees 
on "all steers, cows, calves, sheep, lambs, hogs, bucks, or goats;" 
and also, "that for all salted meats or pork coming from without 
into this city, whether in barrels or casks, to be consumed, shall be 
paid to the farmer aforesaid one stuy ver in each guilder of the 
yalue of the same." 

"That all fresh or salted meat coming into this place and not to 
be consumed here, but for exportation, the person who brings the 
same in shall be obligated to procure from thQ farmer a certificate 
of deliyery, containing an account of the just quantity or weight 
of the meat; and moreover, to procure from the said /armer a cer- 
tificate of inspection, and shall also pay therefor three stuyvcrs." 
Hendricks, no doubt, was the first " inspector of salted meats" here. 

In the month of July, the year following, (1658,) **the Heer Pres- 
ident" states, "that the Burgomasters have resolved that the Board 
should fix certain hours of the day when the working people should 
go to their work and come from their work, as well also their re- 
cess for meals." 

Near this "market-place at the strand," in the "market-field," a 
cattle-market, or the first "Bull's Head," was established on the 13th 
of December following, and the Secretary was ordered to draw up a 



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38 MABKBT-PLACB AT THE STRAND. 

"placard," holding a cattle-market for about forty days in the fall of 
the year, "for the sale oifat and lean cattle." This placard says: 
"The Schout, Burgomasters, and Schepens make known that they 
establish, for the accommodation of the public, a market for store and 
fat catUe, steers, cows, sheep, goats, hogs, bucks, and such like, and to 
that end, they mean to erect stalls and other conyeniences for those 
who bring such animals to market. This market will be opened the 
20th day of October, and close the last day of Norember, precise- 
ly, in each year; during such time it shall remain a free cattle- 
market, and no stranger shall, during that time, be liable to arrest 
or citation, but shall be permitted to attend to his business without 
molestation or hinderance." It also orders the Burghers not to meet 
any one for the purpose of buying cattle, except only at the place ap- 
pointed; that "posts shall be erected by the side of the Church, 
(along the toest side of the 'market-Jidd/ against the fort J where those 
who bring fat cattle to market for sale shall present them." 

At another meeting held March 7, 1659, "it was thought good," 
(as aU the proceedings at that time were kept in Dutch J " that the 
proclamation concerning the cattle-market be translated into English, 
and sent to the magistrates of the following places: Stamford, Paii^ 
field, Southampton, Southhold, Stratford, Milford, and East Hamp- 
ton, and to be accompanied with the following letter: 

"Worthy Lords — The object of this is to make known to you our 
resolution to erect and establish within this city a market for fat 
and lean cattle, and to request of you to make known the same to 
your people ; and that every one has leave to come to said market 
with his cattle who may be inclined to extend his voyage hither- 
ward." "We remain, 4c." 

The English and Dutch traders were sometimes sorely troubled 
in their trading transactions, on account of their difierent languages, 
and there were but few who could translate well enough to allow 
them to drive a satisfactory bargain. Three years previous to 
this " proclamation," Jan. Peeck had been occasionally employed, 
and found very useful, so the Court, on the 25th February, (1656,) 
appointed him as a translator, or " broker," between the Dutch and 
English merchants, who paid him a per centage on the amount of 
their trade or sale. 

These Cattle Pairs first introduced the New England (English) 
breed of cattle into our city, which were soon after preferred by 
many to the Dutch breed. The New Englanders appeared to un- 
derstand their breeding, rearing, and feeding much better than the 
Dutch settlers, and their fine animals were more eagerly sought after, 
which soon caused a regular trade to be opened at all seasons of the 
year. 



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MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 39 

In 1667 the trade from New England had become so flourishing 
as to demand the establishment of a ferry across the Harlaem River, 
which, as the Records show, on the 9th of July, was in the posses- 
sion of Johannes Yerveshe, of Barlaem, to whom the authorities 
*' have soiled the fferry as foUoweth : Itt is agreed hee shall have the 
fferry for ffive years, provided hee keepe a convenient house and 
lodging, for passengers att Harlam, and he shall have a small pecce 
of land on Bronckside, about an acre, and a place to build a house 
on, which he must cleare, and not spoyle the meadow, which shall 
bee layed out by the Town, which must bee a morgan of land, and 
att the end of ffive years itt is to be farmed out, and dureing the 
five yeares hee shall pay nothing for itt ; and in case itt shall be lett 
to another, the house shall be vallued as itt stands, and he must be 
payed for itt, provided hee may have the preffernence of the hyring 
of itt att the tyme expired. 

'* Heere foUoweth what he shall aske ffor every man passenger, or 
horse or cattle. 

" Ffor every passenger, two-pence silver, or sixpence wampum. 

" Ffor every ox or cow that shall bee brought into his fferry-boat, 
eight-pence, or twenty-foure stivers ; and cattle under a year ould, 
sixpence, or eighteen stivers wampum. All cattle that are swome 
(stcimsj over, pay but half price. Hee is to take for dyett every 
man for his meale, eight-pence, or twenty-foure stivers wampum. 
Every man for his lodging, two-pence a man, or six stivers in wam- 
pum. Every man for his horse shall pay foure-pcnce for his night's 
hay or grass, or twelve stivers wampum, provided the grass be in 
fence. 

"All men going or coming with a packett from our Governor of 
New Yorke, or coming from the Governor of Connectcott, shall be 
fferried free. 

"Also, in regard the said Yerveshe must be att the charge of 
building a house on each side of the fferry, the Governor hath freed 
him from paying any excise for what wine or beare hee shall retayle 
in his house for one yeare after the date hereof." 

In the year 1668, Yerveshe (or Verveden, as he is now knotvnj 
" and the remaining inhabitants of New Harlaem," complains of cer- 
tain travelers using a place to cross near Spitenduyvdy and have 
broken down fences with their cattle and horses. The Court and 
Governor order, " that among others, also, one John Barcker has 
passed with a great number of cattle and horses over the Spyten- 
duyvel." They order, " that said Barcker shall pay the ferry-money 
of all horses and caltle conveyed by him over the Spytenduyvel, 
whilst the ferry has been at Harlaem, which ferry-money the peti- 



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40 MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 

tioner shall employ for the repairs of the fences on Spytendujrvel 
aforesaid ; and the ferryman is in like manner well and expressly 
ordered and charged to finish the house and korael, (peUfJ according 
to his agreement, at the earliest opportunity." 

On the shore or " strand" near this market-place, the sale of fish, 
oysters, &c., it may reasonably be supposed, took place from the 
boats, skiffs, and canoes, or they had about this time been removed 
to the " canal," which was reported at a meeting held 7th March, 
1660, that, " Good care and superintendence on the newly construct- 
ed graft, (canal J that no filth be cast into it; also that the boats, 
canoes, and skiffs be placed in regular order therein." A complaint 
was made in the month of September, against Wessels Everzen, for 
"having sold fish on last Sunday forenoon." Everzen's wife ap- 
pearing, says, " that it happened before, the ringing of the bell." 
Another fisherman, by the name of Albert Trumpeter, was also com- 
plained of for the same thing ; his wife also said, " it occurred be- 
fore the ringing of the bell." 

The Court, after some consideration, dismissed them, by saying 
that it " took place before the preaching." 

Forestalling also appeared to have been quite extensively prao* 
ticed, through a trade with the Indians, who visited the city with 
their various articles for that purpose. The Burgomasters and 
Schepens had repeatedly warned those who engaged in it, but it ap- 
pears it had not produced the desired effect ; so, at a meeting on the 
11th of October, 1661, the authorities say, "they had spoken about 
the forestalling of what the Indians bring to sell, such as venison, 
maize, and fish ;" whereupon it was declared, " that no Indian shall 
bring any articles to any place, except such as shall be ordered and 
appointed therefor." 

Then, on the 26th of June, 1663, " Otte Gerrits complains of Joris 
Dopzen and Roelef Jansen Van Mepplen, for having * brought in 
two quarters of veal without a permit.' Gerrits demands the veal, 
and a double fine." Both of the defendants admit " it to be so," 
and, it is reasonable to suppose, were fined accordingly. 

Another curious case is noticed on the 13th of November, in the 
same year, when a woman named Aa^ht Joes sues Cornelius Jansen 
Van Horn. She states her case before the Court, and says, " Her 
boy shot a bear, which he tried to put into his boat, and that the 
defendant came by there, who said that he had chased the bear, and 
that the half belonged to him ; forcing him to toss up for who 
should have the skin, which her boy lost: maintaining that the de- 
fendant has no right to the skin, but her hoy, because he had 
shot it." 



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MARKET-PLACE AT THC STRAND. 41 

Defendant says, "He chased the bear, and that he was on one end 
of the Island, and the boy shot the bear on the other end: admits 
he told the boy to toss up for the skin, and that he had eaten half of 
the meat." Burgomaster and Schepens having heard the parties, 
decree that "the bear belongs to the boy, as he shot him; but since 
half of the meat has been consumed by the defendant, and the 
plaintiff is content with the skin, that defendant shall deliver up to 
her (3Irs. Joes) the skin of the aforesaid bear." 

These trial scenes certainly appear very curious and laughable to 
the present generation ; while there is no doubt the scenes of the 
present day will be looked upon by future generations with the 
same feelings. These "Old Netherlanders," who laid the founda- 
tion of our great city, brought many of their "old fatherland" 
habits, customs, and laws; but the currency, or principal part of it, 
as noticed before, had been already established by the Indians, and 
to deal or trade with them, it was necessary for the Burghers to 
adopt it ; although a great deal of trad^g was done, principally 
among the settlers themselves, by barter. 

One of the earliest cases of trading and worthy of notice 
appears from the Translations of Van der Kemp, dated 10th of 
October, 1638 : " Cornelius Petersen appeared before the Secretary 
Van Tienhoven, and declared with true Christian affirmation, in 
lieu of a solemn oath, that it was true that he had purchased a hog 
from Ann Jackson, in payment of which, she took from his store 
so much of purpled cloath as was sufficient for a petticoat." 
There appears no evidence given as to the size of the hog or the 
garment; we may therefore rationally conclude that, if the 
garmeivt was as expansive or expensive as those worn two hun- 
dred and tv>eiity years after I why, the hog ought to have been of an 
enormous size 1 

The trading price of pork and beef at this period (1664) is shown 
in the following extract from the " Register of the Resolutions,"* 
dated May 31, 1664: "Agreed with Captain Tomas WiKet that he 
will procure for us, on account of the Honorable Company, if he 
can, a quantity of pork and beef equal to 600 lbs., the beef at 4, 
and the pork at 5 stivers the pound, payable in negroes, at such 
price as may be agreed on ; in case of not agreeing, in beaver or 
goods — ^beaver price." 

In the city the prices usually ranged higher, especially at retail, 

and they also were r^ulated by the currency paid for them: if the 

pay was in ''good Iiard money, ^' it was at a less price than "pay as 

money f^' or '' trust J^ ''Pay as rnoney^^ meant, pay in provisions of 

* Hoi. Doc., vol. ii., p. 47i. 



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42 MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 

any kind, at one-third less than GoYernment valuation ; and ^HtnsV^ 
was still worse» as one-fourth or one-fifth more was charged than 
the article could have been bought for with "jfoorf hard money" 

" Goyernment valuation/' after the change of government from 
Dutch to English, appears to have been the standard price for all 
kinds of stock or produce, which was fixed by the *' Governor and 
Court of Assize;" and all such, at this fixed rate, paid debts, taxes, 
rates, &c., especially out of the city, where there was but little 
business done except by trading or paying in this manner. 

We find the Assessors were ordered by law, in 1665,* to value 

stock at the following prices : 

"A horse or mare, 4 years old and upwards, - - £12 

An ox or bull, " " " - 6 

A cow, " " " - - 6 

A steer or heifer, between three and four years old, 4 

A goat, one year old, 8 

A sheep, " " i 6 8 

A swine, " " 10 0" 

" The prices of many articles of food varied but little from 1665 to 
1687, and were also received for taxes, and contracted for in trade, 
at the following prices : 
" Pork, j£3, 10«., Orf . per barrel, or 8rf. per lb. 
Beef, 1, 10«., Orf. " 2d. " 

Wheat, 0, 4«., Orf. per bushel, to 5«. 
Rye, 0, a?., 6d. " 3«., 6rf. 

Indian corn, 2»., 6c?. do. Oats, 2«. do. Butter, 6rf. per lb. 
Tallow and hog's fat, 6d. do. Dry hides, 4d. per lb. 
Green hides, 2rf. do. Board, 5«. per week. 

Victuals, 6c?. per meal. Lodging, 2d. per night. 
Labor, 2^., 6c?. per day. Beer, 2d. per mug." 

"The practice of paying in produce continued until about the 
year 1700, when trade had rendered money plenty, and introduced 
it into general circulation." 

In the year 1670, some interesting particulars of the city, its in- 
habitants, and of the country around, have been given by Denton, 
who says, " New York is built most of brick and stone, and cover- 
ed with red and black tile ; and the land being high, it gives at a 
distance a pleasing aspect to the spectator." 

" The inhabitants consist most of English and Dutch, and have 
a considerable trade with the Indians, for beavers, otter, racoon 
skins, with other furs; and also for bear, deer, and elk skins; and 

* Wood, L. L, p. 16 and 17. 



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MARKET-PLACE AT THE STRAND. 43 

are supplied with venison and fowl in the winter, and fish in the 
summer, by the Indians, which they buy at an easie rate." 

He says of the country around, and more especially of Long 
Island, that '' it is inhabited from one end to the* other — ^is plenti- 
fully stored with all sorts of English cattel, horses, hogs, sheep, 
goats, &c. ; no place in the North of America better." 

'' To give some satisfaction to people that shall be desirous to 
transport themselves thither — {this country.) The best commodi- 
ties for any to carry with them is clothing. They sowe store of 
flax, which they make every one cloth of for their own wearing, as 
also woollen cloth, and linsey-woolsey, and, had they more tradeeh 
men amongst them, they would in a little time live without the help 
of any other countrey for their clothing." 

" Here you need not trouble the shambles for meat, nor bakers 
and brewers for beer and bread, nor run to a linnen-draper for a 
supply, every one making their own linnen, and a great part of their 
woollen cloth, for their ordinary wearing." 

** Were it not to avoid prolixity, I would say a great deal more, 
and yet say too little, how free are those parts of the world from 
that pride and oppression, with their miserable efiects, which many, 
nay almost all parts of the world, are troubled, with being ignorant 
of that pomp and knavery which aspiring humours are servants to, 
and striving after almost everywhere ; where a waggon or cart gives 
as good content as a coach, and a piece of home-made cloth, better 
than the finest lawns or richest silks ; and though their low-roofed 
houses may seem to shut their doors against pride and luxury, yet 
how do they stand wide open to let charity in and out, either to as- 
sist each other, or relieve a stranger."* 

In the year 1671 numerous complaints were made, " that great 
quantities of unmarked horses and cattle, contrary to the former 
ordinance, still are found in the common wood-land of the Island of 
the Manhattan. It is therefore ordered by the mayor, that the per- 
sons heretofore appointed (of whom there were four) for branders, 
as well as at Haerlam, shall give notice that no horses or cattle, 
after the space of six weeks next ensuing, are permitted to feed in 
the common lands of this Island, except they are branded with the 
eiiiye's or tawne^s brand upon. Those found not branded * shall be 
brought up to the S. Overseers to be branded, and the owner of the 
same shall pay as followeth : for bringing up a horse, six guilders, 
and for branding, two guilders ; for bringing up a steare, oxe, or 
cow, three guilders, and for branding, one guilder. If no owner 

• DenUm'B ** New York," pobliBhed by WmiAm Gowaii. 



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44 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

appears for those which are not known, they shall be kept during 
the space of six weeks, and then publicly sould.' " * 

This "Market-Place at the Strand" continued as such until the 
year 1675, when ihe " Custom-House Bridge Market-House " was 
erected, and its attractive "fitt" shelter drew the market people 
from what, during a period of almost twenty years, had been known 
as " at the Strand, at or around the house of Mr. Hans Kierstede." 



•'BROADWAY SHAMBLES." 

Earlt in the year 1658, a meat-market was established, and a 
shed or shambles were built for that purpose, on the plain in front 
of the "Fort Amsterdam," the present site of the Bowling Green. 
This appears to have been the first place erected expressly for the 
sale of the meat of large animals, as, previous to this, we have before 
noticed that ''fresh beef and pork had been sold, and no doubt cut 
up, at the Company's Store." Smaller animals, such as mutton, veal, 
goats' flesh, &c., had been sold from the baskets of the producers, at 
the "Market-Place at the Strand." 

The market-place having been established, an elderly Burgher, or 
, rather "Claas Van Elsant, the elder," on the 21st of February fol- 
lowing, petitions, "that the magistrates may be pleased to allow him 
to be keeper of the shambles, as it is frequently demanded, both by 
the English and outside people, that some one may be appointed to 
fix a block, scales, and weights in the hall, so that they may not be 
at a loss when they come there with their meats."t His request was 
laid over until another meeting, when it was denied. The next year 
he again presents himself at the Court, and "requests to be Clerk 
of the Market;" soon after. Tennis Kray (who held the public oflSce 
of a measurer of apples, onions, and turnips,) petitions " that his wife 
may superintend the market, to keep it clean." The Court answers, 
"that nothing will be done about the market for the present time." 

This market "shambles on the plain" did not appear to answer 
the purpose of its erecters, as there is no doubt that it was a small, 
rough shed ; open, leaky, and not suitable for stormy or cold weather. 
As the Records show, on the following 18th of April, "the Burgo- 
masters resolved and concluded to erect the TTica^-market; further, 
to cover it with tiles; to have a block brought therein, and to 

« City Beootda. t lUd. 

I 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 45 

leave the key with Andries (de Haas) the baker, who shall pro- 
visionally have charge thereof." 

We have previously introduced three sworn butchers, whose chief 
business was in "butchering and cutting up," for the private citi- 
zens and the " Company's Store ;" but now having established this 
meo^-market, and many complaints being made of frauds which had 
been committed by cheating the Oovemment out of their lawful ex- 
cise, called for additional " sworn butchers." These facts brought 
the Burgomasters and Schepens together on the 24th of September, 
1660, when they resolved to appoint more " sworn butchers," who 
are to be bound under certain instructions. At a meeting held on 
the 15th October following, therefore, a placard was prepared in 
the following terms : " In accordance with the laudable custom of 
our own Fatherland, and for the accommodation of the Burghers 
and inhabitants of this city, (tvej have thought it expedient that 
sworn butchers be accepted and chosen, who shall be empowered to 
slaughter all cattle consumed within this city's jurisdiction — they 
have therefore accepted and selected thereunto 

Egbert Meinderzen, Asser Levy, (a Jew J 

Roelof Jansen, Yceter Maacker, 

Gerrit Jansen Roos, Jan Van Harlaem, 

Pieter Jansen, Yande Langstraat, 

Hendrick Volkersen, Daniel Tourneur, 

Paulus Van de Beeck, Gerrit Fullewever, 

who are made known to the community, that every one who has any * 
cattle to be slaughtered may speak to them, and pay them the fol- 
lowing fees: 
One ox or cow, .... 5 guilders, (ahout $2 ]) 

" hog, 1 thaler; 

" sheep, calf, or goat, - - - 1 guilder, ^40 cents;) 
small animals in proportion." In their instructions, " they shall be 
bound to accommodate every one without delay, and bring with 
them their tools; and shall not kill any cattle without a permit 
from the Slaughter Farmer." 

They all submitted to the instructions, and were sworn, except 
Asser Levy, who " requests to be excused from killing hogs, as his 
religion does not allow him to doit; which was granted him." 
He then took the oath which the Jews are accustomed to take. 

The municipal oflScers occasionally engaged in a little of the 
slaughtering business, and no doubt received some extra privileges 
from the " Slaughter Farmer," when preparing meats for the Com- 
pany's Store; or it appears so from the proceedings which took 
place on the 19th October following. '' The Heer Schepen, Cor- 



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46 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

nelis Steenwyck, proposes, as the season for slaQghtering is at 
hand, and he is about to kill some cattle, therefore requests that he 
may pay the Farmer for what he consumes, as well as for the meat 
which he may deliver to the Burghers, and for what he should send 
or deliver to the (Company^ a) Store, that he might convey with a 
permit, merely paying an excise." 

Burgomasters and Schepens having considered the request, decide 
that the Heer Cornelis Steenwyck shall have to pay the farmer for 
what he consumes and sells to the Burghers of this city ; and he 
shall procure merely a permit for what he sends or delivers to the 
*' Company." 

These "sworn butchers" were very partial to litigation in set- 
tling their difficulties, which appears usually to have been done 
through referees, and without the assistance of the legal profession* 
Some of these trials are quite original in their way, and, in their 
details, show how much of the business was conducted, as well as the 
history of the citizens of that early day. The Jew, Asser Levy, is 
found often engaged, both before and after he was made a "sworn 
butcher," in suits of various kinds. The first he brings against 
Egbert Meinderzen, in relation to the division of profits. 

This case was before the Court January 18, 1661, when Levy 
states, "he bought and slaughtered some cattle with defendant, and 
receiving the balance from defendant after settlement of account, 
he said he should count it (money) after him, and acquaintinf? him 
thereof, that defendant abused him, as one who supported thieves 
and such like ; for which he demands reparation. Defendant denies 
it. Plaintiff says he can prove it, which the W. Court ordered him 
to do by the next court-day." 

On the following 8d of May, Levy is engaged in another against 
Frans. Janzen Van Hooghten, a carpenter, who "hath agreed to 
build a house for Wessels, {Evertzen) the fisherman, which must be 
finished by May, and to this time {M May) the agreement is without 
efiect ; and whereas he has hired the same house from the above- 
named Wessels, and cannot occupy it, he claims the damage he shall 
suffer thereby, as he must remain so long in another man's house. 

" Defendant says he undertook the house, but for no time, and 
must moreover wait for the materials to make the roof tight ; he 
has spoken to Wessels Evertaen about them, who gave him for 
answer, he could not bring them so soon. 

" Plaintiff says he laid the roof on long ago, and that defendant 
went to other work, leaving that stand." The Court orders the 
** defendant to go to the work, and remain there until it be finished, 
without working on another." 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 47 

Again, a few years after, (November 21, 1665,) this Levy 
brought a suit against Johanos La Montayne, about some goats, 
which were at that time extensively used for the dairy and slaughter. 
In La Montayne's answer, he says, the " eight goats were not re- 
fused to be paid, on condition that Levy restored to him the butter, 
etc., the produce of the seven goats which he sold Mr. Gysbert, 
before the expiration of the contract on which he had the goats." 

The evidence which follows shows that an attempt had been 
made to have it settled by arbitration. This says: "On date, 27th 
October, appeared before me, Nicolaes Bayard, the above-mentioned 
plaintiff, Aroer Levy, who declared that he agreed with the defend- 
ant, Johan Montayne, that defendant should pay him for his claim 
8 goats, 2 wethers, 150 ps. fire-wood, and 2 cocks, provided the 
plaintiff paid the costs of this suit." 

Another of these '' sworn butchers," named Daniel Toumeur, 
must have been also fond of the '' law," but otherwise he appears 
unlike Levy, as he slaughtered and dealt in hogs. He brings a 
suit against Frans. Jansen Van Hooghten, on the 10th February, 
1660, from whom he demands one beaver, balance of a hog, and 
two guilders for slaughtering. Defendant says that, on buying 
the hog, he was told by the plaintiff that he had no measled hogs 
among his ; and on slaughtering it, found it measled. Defendant 
is asked if he killed the hog shortly after buying it? Answers, ^ 

No ; but three or four weeks after. The W. Court order defend- 
ant to pay the plaintiff the beaver, and the two guilders for kill- 
ing. This case having been decided, Toumeur and Jans Schryver, 
on the same day, were called upon as witnesses in another hog case. 
They were " asked about the sale of the hog which took place 
between Captain Jan Jacobzen and the Rector Alexander Garo- 
Ins Curtius. Daniel Tourneur declares that, after many words of 
praising and bidding, the hog was sold to Dom Rector for five 
beavers, saying that Captain Jacob would not sell that hog less 
than five beavers, which was told to the Rector; to which the 
Rector answered, saying, in Ood's name, he had but two beavers, 
and he must wait for the other three ; to which Captain Jacob would 
hardly agree. Finally, through the mediation of Joannes Van der 
Mezlen, he let himself be persuaded ; offering to confirm the same 
on oath. 

Jan Schryver declares that Dom* Rector bought the hog for 
two blankets and ttco leavers ; offering also to confirm the same on 
oath. 

The W. Court give parties eight days' respite to recollect them- 
selves, and if they have any proof, to bring it also in." 



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48 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

This case was decided on the 24th of August following, by the 
Court, "who condemned the defendant to pay the plaintiff five 
beavers, which he proved." 

Next we notice Daniel Toumeur in the position of a defendant in 
a suit brought before the Court, on the 18th of September, 1664, by 
Albert Trumpeter, who complains '* that he missed a hog, being a 
sow, which he had placed on Baren Island with other hogs, which 
the defendant removed from there. Defendant admits having taken 
a hog from the Island ; saying that some of the N. Haerlem have 
hogs also running there, and that one requested the other, when 
going to the Island, to look after his hogs; and as he was there to 
cut grass, returning from work, he saw a hog lying on the strand 
very sick, which he laid loose in his canoe and brought to the vil- 
lage, making the same known, in order to learn whose hog it was; 
whereof he produces declaration ; then, as no one claimed the hog, 
he wiU let it lay over the night, to see if some one would not come 
in the mean while to whom tiie hog belonged, but he found it dead 
on the next day. The W. Court having heard parties, decree that 
the defendant shall replace such hog on Baren Island for the plaint- 
iff from which he removed plaintiff's hog, or that he make good the 
removed hog to the plaintiff." 

Two of these sworn butchers were afterwards engaged against 
each other on the 18th January, 1661, when Roelef Janzen Van 
Mepplin complains of Egbert Meinderzen, (who appears to have 
been rather a troublesome Burgher.) Van Mepplin ** says he hath 
slaughtered some cattle in company with the defendant, and agreed 
with him for wages, at 26 stivers per head. Demanding a balance 
of sixty-one guilders, nine stivers, according to account exhibited in 
Court. 

Defendant acknowledged he hath entered into such an agree* 
ment with the plaintiff, and that no money has yet been received ; 
that plaintiff is unwilling to pay the expense of the men. He was 
to have slaughtered three with them, and did slaughter five with 
them. 

Plaintiff is asked if he helped to slaughter the cattle which 
he brings into account? Answer — they slaughtered them to- 
gether. 

Defendant says he can prove by Pieter Jansen and Willem Jan- 
sen Van Borckeloo that plaintiff said he would help to bear the ex- 
pense. Which being stated to plaintiff, he says, if defendant can 
prove that, he will bear the expense alone." The Court order 
" defendant to pay the plaintiff, and decree that the defendant shall 
bear three^uarters and the plaintiff oneniuarter of the expense," 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 49 

Another novel suit was brought against one of the early sworn 
butchers, at a Court held on the 3d of August, 1673, where "Thomas 
Walton brings action against Roelef Jansen, butcher, for sheep sold 
him." He claims " the quantity of three ankers of rum." The 
Court condemns "Jansen to pay the said debt." Then again, in 
1674, Jansen was sued by David de Four, who demands from Jan- 
sen " the sum of ff.200, for an ox sold about two years ago to the 
defendant, and offers to deliver to defendant a certain cow which 
he bartered with defendant whenever he is paid." Jansen says, " that 
De Four did not deliver him the cow according to agreement, notr 
withstanding he sent his children for her divers times." The Court 
ordered, " that Jansen shall pay De Four the demanded sum within 
eight days' time, provided the cow be first delivered to the plaint- 
iff the time the same is paid, and that said cow shall meanwhile run 
at defendant's risk." 

We turn back, and find, three days after these butchers were 
Bworn in, (October 15, 1660,) Egbert Meinderzen, who had a com- 
plaint lodged against him " by persons bringing meat to market, 
that he obliges them to purchase a Burgher-right first before they 
can sell it." The Court warns him not to do so any more, or he 
will be attended to. 

This Burgher-right, or freedom of the city, appears to have been 
of two kinds, which vested certain rights and privileges in the 
holder when obtained, and were known as the "Great Burgher- 
right" and *' Small Burgher-right." 

The ** Great Burgher-right" was established in this city on the 
30th of January, 1657, as will appear from the "Records," in tli3 
following language: "The Court allow and concede to the Burgo- 
masters and Schepens the establishment of a Great Burgher-right, 
for which those who may request to be therein, shall pay fifty 
guilders, ($20 ;) and all such, and such only, shall hereafter be qual- 
ified to fill all city offices and dignities within this city — ^be exempt 
for one year and six weeks from watches and expeditions — ^be free 
in their proper persons from arrest by any subaltern Court or judi- 
cial benches of this province." The " Small Burgher-right" it was 
necessary to obtain before they could do any business, and some 
bought it only for short periods; however, the following proceed- 
ings will more fully explain this privilege. 

On the 25th of March following, " The Heer President states that 
there are several of the inhabitants of this city who have purchased 
their * Burgher-right' for a year and a day, and do not pay ; and 
whenever the city messenger goes for payment, they answer, they 
have no money, proceeding to scoff at and censure the Burgomasters ; 
Vol. I.— 4 



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50 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

and thongh it be a matter which concerns the Borgomasters alone, 
uevertheless, that it be known to the Heer Schepens, it is therefore 
communicated to the Court to remember it." 

Two days after, '* the Schonts and Burgomasters, pursuant to the 
privilege granted on date 30th January, 1657, that some of the new- 
ly-arriving passengers may, through ignorance, presume to sell here 
in this city by the ell, measure, or weight, or pursue some other 
business, have thought proper, in order to save every one damage, 
again to inform them by this publication, that no one can sell in the 
city by the ell, measure, or weight, or do any other business, unless 
he have received the Burgher^right of this city, and have his ell, 
measure, or weight stamped; and whoever is inclined so do to shall 
have to apply to receive their Burgher-right to the Hon. Presiding 
Burgomaster, Allard Anthony; and for the stamping their ell, meas- 
ure, and weights, shall apply at the City Hall, on the afternoon of 
Saturday,' from two to four o'clock; every one is warned to take 
heed of damage." The same day ''Marcus Yogelsangh appears in 
Court, requesting to be admitted a Burgher; claiming, as he lived 
here before three years, that it cannot be refused him ; and also that 
he is to be preferred to the new-comers, who were not here in the 
troubles with the English. But as there was no Burgher^right at 
that time, Bui^omasters decree that he, the petitioner, must purchase 
it like others, or he cannot be considered a Burgher." 

On the 9th of April following, notice was given "that those who 
claim the Great or Small Burgher-right, by virtue of gift or favor, 
shall communicate their names within eight days to the Burgomas- 
ter of this city, who, for this purpose, beginning to-morrow, the 
10th inst., shall sit during the eight days at the City Hall, from two 
o'clock till five o'clock in the afternoon, to inscribe the names, with 
warning, that those who do not communicate theirs within the as- 
sessed time, shall be deprived of the claims of Burgher-right." 

Two days after, " Asser Levy, the Jew butcher, appeared in Court; 
requests to be admitted a Burgher ; claims such ought not to be re- 
fused him, as he keeps watch and serves like other Burghers, show- 
ing Burgher's certificate from the City of Amsterdam, that the Jew 
is Burgher there ; which being debated on, 'tis decreed as before, that 
it cannot be allowed, and he shall apply to the Director-General and 
Council." 

"Lourens Cornelius Van der Wei" also appears in Court the 
same day, "representing that he hath already performed divers ex- 
traordinary services in time of need, Ac, both as a gunner of the 
city, as also in the South (Ddatoare) River, and that, if necessary, 
he is ready to serve; requesting, therefore, the benefit of a Great 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 51 

Burgher-right. Burgomasters, considering the manifold services of 
the {iCtitioner, and his good disposition to continue, if necessary, 
grant his petition, and he is therefore inscribed, and has taken the 
Burgher oath." 

The next year, on the 28th February, (1658,) "Tomas Swartwout 
appears in Court, requesting the Small Burgher-right, and took the 
oath in Court, signing an obligation for 20 gl. beavers, payable for 
it." On the 22d of the following month, "It was ordered, that from 
now, henceforward, that all who will purchase the Great and Small 
Burgher-right, shall promptly pay into the Treasury ; and those who 
have already bought it, to pay within the space of twenty-four hours, 
on pain of execution." 

Two years after, on the arrival of the ship OUded Beaver^ the 
Court permanently fixed the price of these Rights, which took place 
on the 18th of June, 1660, when they say, "To those who come in 
the ship OUded Beaver, and those who may yet come," must pay 
"for the Small Burgher-right twenty guilders, ($8,) and for the * Great 
Burgher-right' fifty guilders, ($20;) or in beavers, the beaver to be 
the value of six guilders." 

Referring again to the sworn butchers, we find a man by the name 
of Symon Joosten is noticed in Court, October 16th of this year, 
;1660,) "aud was told if he be desirous to be a sworn butcher, he 
must first purchase his Burgher-right. He declares he is not desir- 
ous to be a sworn butcher, but requesting that he may sell his meat 
that he may bring for sale on payment of the excise, which is al- 
lowed him." 

Meinderzcn (before noticed) was again complained of on the next 
Court-day, held 29th October, 1660, but this time impleaded with 
one William Jansen Van Borckeloo, (an unstvorn butcher,) and from 
the evidence on trial, both are found 'guilty. Meinderzen is fined 
twenty-five guilders, with costs, and forbidden to slaughter for the 
!»pace/)f six weeks. Van Borckeloo was also fined, although plead- 
ing ignorance of the 'placard, in the sum of twenty-five guilders and 
costs. The next day Meinderzen petitions to the Court, "after pay- 
ing his fine, and requests their Hon" will be pleased to permit 
and allow him to slaughter along with the other * sworn butchers.' 
The Burgomasters, through special considerations, release the peti- 
tioner from his condemned six weeks, with this reservation — that he 
demeans himself for the future as an honorable Burgher." Van 
Borckeloo also petitions that "he has settled his fine, and requests, 
in all humility, that your Hon" may be pleased to accept him 
as a sworn butcher." His request was also granted. 

Oases of ihefl: were most severely punished, and sometimes torture 



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52 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

with the rack and chains were applied to force confession from the 
culprit. The following extracts from the trials of two individuals 
show these facts: The first is noticed in the month of May, 1661, in 
the trial of one Marten Van Weert. when under examination by the 
magistrates. "The prisoner, under threats of being placed on the 
rack^ was asked where he got the silver-handled knife. Answers, 
persisting in his {former) confession, that he was half drunk when 
he took the spoons, and laid them the next morning under the little 
shelf." After the conclusion of the trial, the magistrates proceed 
to show his many unlawful acts, and then the sentence follows: "For 
his grave and shameful act of theft, committed at various times and 
divers places, according to his own voluntary confession and ac- 
knowledgment, without torture or force — ^first having stolen, seven 
or more years ago, a quantity of zeawan from the house of Pieter 
Kock, deceased ; having stolen from the Heer Cornelius Steenwyck's 
house, at divers times, a quantity of otters and beavers, (skiTis,) to- 
gether with some pieces of manufactured or Harlaem stuflfs, and a 
piece of fine-napped cloth; also a piece of fine linen; having lately 
stolen from Christyne Capoens' house, at the feast or celebration of 
the marriapre of Lawurens Van der Spygel and Sarah Webbers, to 
which wedding he was invited, half-a-dozen spoons," the magistrates 
"condemn the above-named Marten Van Waart, as they hereby do, 
that he shall be severely scourged with rods in a closed chamber, 
banished ten years out of this jurisdiction, and further in the c6sts 
and mises of justice." 

On the 16th of November following, another case is found in 
"Mesaack Martenzen, brought forward, was, at the request of the 
Heer OflBcer, for further interrogation, examined by torture as to 
how many cabbages, fowls, turkies, and how much butter he hath 
stolen, who his abettors and co-operators have been. Answering, he 
persists by his reply, as per interrogatories, that he did not steal any 
butter, fowl, turkies, nor had any abettors; being again set loose, 
the Heer Officer produces his demand against the delinquent, con- 
cluding, that for his committed theft, voluntarily confessed, without 
torture or chains, he shall be brought to the usual place of criminal 
justice, well fastened to a stake, and severely whipt, and banished 
from the jurisdiction of this City of Amsterdam, for the term of ten 
years, all with costs." 

At the Court this day, January 81, 1662, "Pieter, the negro, en- 
tering, requests payment for executing the sentence on one Mesaack 
Martenzen and Marten Van Weert; is promised that arrangements 
shall be made that he have that for Mesaack, but that of Marten 
Van Waart is promised him by the Heer Officer." 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 53 

Ten years after, John Clarke, in a letter dated "ffrom y* Secre- 
tarje's Office in Ffort James, the 28th day of January in the even- 
ing, 1672-3/' furnishes us with some other interesting facts of the 
same character. He says:. *' Lastly, for our own city news, lett this 
satisfy : that 'tother day wee had like to have lost our hangman, 
Ben Johnson, for hee being taken in diverse thefts and robberyes, 
convicted & found guilty, scap^ his neck through want of another 
hangman to truss him up, soe that all the punishment hee receiv' for 
his 3 yeares roguery in thieving & stealing, (which was never found 
oat till now,) was only thirty-nine stripes at the whipping-post, loss 
of an ear, & banishm^ Capt. Manning had likewise 2 servants that 
hee employed at his island, {now BlacktodVa) taken w^ him in ;their 
villany, but they being not found soe guilty as hee, came off with 
whipping and banishment All this happened about a ffortnight 
since, but 'tis 2 months since they were apprehended. Another dis- 
aster about 12 dayes since befell a young man in this towne, by name 
one Mr. Wright, a one-eyed man, &, a muff-maker by trade, who 
drinking hard upon rum one evening, w^ some ffriends, begann a 
health of a whole halfe pint at a draught, w"^ hee had noe sooner 
done but downe hee fell and never rose more, w*"^ prodigy may teach 
us all to have a care how wee drink, in imitation of that good old 
lesson, Fodix quern faciunt^ Ac. This young man's untimely {end) 
doth somewhat parallel that person in yo' letter, who you write was 
killed with a sley, the w^ in like manner could but strike a great 
amazem^ into all that heard it, by w"^ wee may see that though there 
is but one way of coming into the world, yet there is a thousand 
wayes of goeing out of it."* 

We again look back to the year 1664, on the 3d day of Septem- 
ber, when New Amsterdam became New York, (after James, Duke 
of York,) by its seizure, and Governor Stuyvesant was forced to 
surrender it to GoL Richard Nicolls, who appeared in the harbor 
with a powerful English fleet, causing an open war between Eng- 
land and Holland; this was settled soon afterwards, and New York 
was ceded to the English by a treaty. The city, at this period, con- 
tained about 1,500 inhabitants. 

Colonel NicoU immediately became the Governor, but the Dutch 
laws, with the name of Schout, Burgomaster, and Schepens, were 
not repealed until the following June 12th, (1665,) when Mayor, 
Aldermen, and Sheriff were introduced ; and soon afterwards they 
were importuned with petitions and complaints of various charac- 
ters: one of which was, that the city was defrauded by the inatten- 
tion of Timothy Gabrie, collector of the excise on slaughtered 

* HUtorical Magazine, vol W., p. 61. 



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54 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

cattle, who is informed by the Court that " the city is seriously de- 
frauded in the entering of cattle for slaughter; that before he 
grants a license, he must inspect the cattle, to see if they be entered 
according to the just value."* 

The butchers, also, on the 31st of October following, petition for 
increased ''fees and wages;" which, after some deliberation, the 
authorities only raised ** one guilder on each beast, whether ox or 
cow ; and from all other small cattle, not more than was granted 
and allowed heretofore." 

Additional "sworn butchers" were considered necessary, and the 
following were appointed : Jan Hendrickson Van Gunst, Bichard 
NichoUs, and Richard Dodomit, who were sworn with the following 
oath : " We doe swere, in the presence of the Almighty God, that 
we, as sworne Butchers of this Gitty, shal kill noe Cattle, Hoggs, 
etz, without a Ticket of consent from the Collectors of the Mayor 
and Aldermen, except it be for the Right Hon"'* Governor, Richard 
Nicolls. So help us God Almighty." 

At some seasons of the year these butchers were busily employed 
in slaughtering, especially in the fall season and part of the winter, 
but the spring and summer months found them seeking otlicr em* 
ployment, which sometimes appeared to interfere with the rights of 
others, or was so thought in these early days; and no doubt called 
forth from the authorities, on the 25th of August, 1676, the follow- 
ing order: "That noe Butchers bee permitted to be Curriers, Shoe- 
makers, or Tanners; nor shall any Tanner be either Curriers, 
Shoemakers, or Butchers ; itt being consonant to the Laws of Eng> 
land, & practised in the neighbour Collony's of y* Massachusetts 
and Conecticott." 

Prior to the 1st of November, 1676, cattle were slaughtered in 
the citty (then below Wall Street) at the private establishments of 
the butchers ; and no doubt they were not as careful or as cleanly 
as they should have been, or at least the following proceedings, 
which appear on the previous 7th of June, lead us to think so: 
" Whereas, there is found sev'all inconveniencys by the Butchers 
keeping theire Slaughter-Howses in this City, as well as the annoy- 
ance thereof to y* inhabitants of the same. Itt is ordered, y* (thai) 
for y* future there shall not bee any Slaughter-House V4n this 
City, nor any Oxen, Cows, Hogs, Sheepe, or Lambs killed w'4n 
y* same after the first day of November next ensuing, upon paiue 
not only to forfeit all and every such meate soe killed contrary to 
this order, but forfeit to y' use of the Citty the sum of £10 ster- 
linge." 

* City Reooidfl. 



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BBOADWAT SHAMBLES. 55 

This onJer caused them to be so scattered about the suburbs, that 
it gave the "Farmer of the Excise" a great deal of trouble to 
examine the different animals which were to be slaughtered on the 
same day ; and no doubt this called for the establishment of a large 
public slaughter-house, to be conducted by the Government, on the 
16th of February the next year, in the following language: "It is 
ordered that, for the necessary and publique use, a Generall or Pub- 
lique Slaughter^Howse shall be built for the use of the Cytie over 
the Water, without the Gate at the SmitKa Fly, neare the HaJ/ 
Moone" — ^Battery. 

" Without the Gate" meant just outside of the Gate of the WdU 
of the City, and on the east end of WaU Street, on the river-shore, 
stood the '^Hijlf Moom" Battery; between this and the present Pine 
on Pearl Street this "Publique Slaughter-Howse" was built, one 
year afterwards. The proceedings show on the 8th of January, 
1678, that "Ashur Levy, {Jew Butcher) then makeing his addresse 
to their Court, that hee might be admitted to build the Slaughter- 
House," {mentioned in the above,) "and to take in Garrett Jansen 
Rose to be partner therein, and that all persons should have libberty 
to kill & hang therein meat, there paying. for the same as formerly 
in other places." The Court granted his proposal, and on the 10th 
of February following, he " affirmed that hee had built" it; when 
the Court confirmed the same upon him and his partner. 

This building was used for public slaughtering until the 12th 
of March, 1696, when a committee was ordered, (after the repre- 
sentations made by the inhabitants of Pearl Street, setting forth 
the great apprehensions they have of being injured by the " Gun- 
powder lodged in the warehouse near Whitehall,") "doe view 
whether the Slaughter-Howse /orwer?^ imployed for that use be suf- 
ficient for y* lodging the same — which if itt be, that they order the 
powder be removed thither accordingly /' and the Slaughtcr-House 
became a powder-house. 

Asser Levy, the Jew butcher, while keeping this "Publique 
Slaughter-Howse," also kept an old-established tavern near by or 
just within the " Water Gate," which many previous years was kept 
by the widow of Daniel Litpchoe, from whom he purchased it. Levy 
died in the year 1682, when his family removed to Long Island. 

Gerrit Jansen Roos was a carpenter by trade, but he became a 
sworn butcher, and in 1665 lived and owned property on the present 
Broadway, above Wall Street ; then, thirteen years after, he is found 
engaged with Levy in the public Slaughter-House. 

Glancing back to the change of government from the Dutch to 
English rule, with the second Governor, Colonel Francis Lovelace, 



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56 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

who succeeded Nicholls in 1668, did not altogether change the 
language of the " Records," as they were yet kept in both EngHsh 
and Dutch. This change, however, did not last long; for on the 
29th day of July, 1673, a Dutch fleet sailed into our harbor, and, 
with some manoeuvring, again took possession of the countryt 
changed the name of New York to that of " New Orange," (in com- 
pliment to the Prince of Orange,) and with it the form of govern- 
ment to its former character of Schout, Burgomaster and Schepens, 
and Captain Anthony Colve as the Governor. This continued only 
for a short period, as, by a treaty of peace made on the 9th of Feb- 
ruary, 1674, between England and Holland, the Dutch restored this 
country to the rule of the English, when Sir Edmund Andross be- 
came Governor, William Dervall Mayor, and our city was once 
more called New York. 

Many propositions were soon after offered, followed with orders 
and proclamations to improve the local affairs of the government, 
some to undo and others to add to those already in existence. "Itt 
being taken into consideracon wether itt bee not proper to have 
English weights and measures too bee used according too the Law. 
It is ordered, thatt in three months after the publicacon thereof, the 
same shall bee put in practize in the City, Long Island, and parts 
adjacent, 

"And in six months in all other parts throughout the government. 
And thatt whosoever shall after that time presume too use any other 
weights and measures, shall forefeite all they shall soe sell, and bee 
lyable too such further punishment ffbr contempt as the case shall 
require. The time off Proclamacons prohibiting the exportacona 
off come, ande also that off fflouer, &c., being expired, the same be- 
ing taken intoo consideracon, and the present scarcity. Itt is or- 
dered that the prohibicon ffbr exporting ofl^ come or flSoure doo still 
continue inn force ffbr the termeoff six months after the dayte here- 
off."* ("^ Dutch pound contains eighteen ounces ")f 

Several other changes were made at the General Court of Assize, 
held in the city, beginning on the 6th and ending on the 13th of Octo- 
ber, 1675, among which, "AFair or Market is ordered to be held three 
dayes at Breucklin," and three more in this city, which is fully noticed 
in the following proclamation made by Governor Andross on the 29th 
of January, 1676: "And the ord'^of the Court of Assize for a Pfayre 
to bee also observed, to witt: at Breucklin for cattell, Ac, graine, 
&c., produce of the country, the first Monday, Tuesday, and Wed- 
nesday in November, and in the Citty at the market-house and plaine 
afore the forte, the Thursday, Fryday, and Saturday followinge, and 
• Wooley'8 Journal, by Gowan, p. 35. f city Recorda. 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 57 

that every person or persons cominge to the same are and bee free 
from any arrest or arrests, for debt or debts in their persons or 
goods, cominge to or returninge from the said Markett of Fayre day 
or dayes, of w^** all persons are to take notice, and conform them- 
selves thereunto accordingly. 

'* This ord' to be and remain in force for the space of three yeares 
from the twenty-fourth of March next."* 

Governor Andross, in 1678, in some answers about New York, 
shows us some facts in relation to the buildings, productions, trade, 
wealth, slaves, <&c. He says, ''Our buildings, most wood, some late- 
ly (built (f) stone and brick, good country houses & strong of 
their several! kindes. Our produce is land provisions of all sorts, 
as of wheate exported yearly about 60,000 bushells, pease, beefe, 
}K)rk, & some refuse fish, tobacco, beavers, peltry or furrs from the 
Indians, deale & oake timber, plankes, pipe-staves, lumber, horses, 
A pitch & tarr lately began to be made. Comodityes imported are 
all sorts of English manufacture for Christians, & blankets, duffelis, 
Ac, for Indians about 50,000 lbs. {£) yearly. 

''Our merch^ are not many, but with inhabitants & planters 
about 2,000 able to beare arms ; old inhabitants of the place or of 
England, except in & neere New Yorke, of Dutch extraction, & 
some few of all nations; but few serv^, much wanted, and but very 
few slaves. Some few slaves are sometimes brought from Barbadoes, 
most for provisions, and sould att ab* 30 lb. or 35 lb. country pay. 

"A mercli* worthe 1,000 lb. or 500 lb. is accompted a good sub- 
stantiall merchant ; and a planter worthe halfe that in moveables, 
accompted (rich?) with all the Estates, may be valued att about 
£150,000." " Noe beggars, but all poore cared for." 

About this period Mr. Wooley, in his "Journal," also gives some 
interesting facts, in the following words: he says, "The price of In- 
dian commodities as sold by the Christians is as foUoweth : 

£. •. d. £. R, d. 

Beavers, - 00 10 3 a pound. Grey Foxes, - 00 03 a pound. 
The Lapps, 00 07 6 " Otters, - - 00 08 

Minks, - - 00 05 " Rackoons, - 00 01 5 

" Beaver is fifteen pence a skin custom at New York, four-pence 
at London; three-pence a skin freight, which is after the rate of 
fifteen pounds a tun. 

"The value of other skins: a deer skin, 00 00 6 a p.; a good 
bear skin will give 00 07 0; a black beaver skin is worth a beaver 
and a half of another colour; a black otter's skin, if very good, is 
worth twenty shillings; a fisher's skin, three shillings; a cat's skin, 

• City RecordB. 



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58 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

half a crown ; a wolf's skin, three shillings ; a musquash, or a musk- 
rat's skin, six shillings and ten-pence. 

"An oxe-hide, three-pence a pound wet, and sixpence dry. Mo- 
lossus, three-pence a pound, and fifty shillings a barrel in wii^ter, 
that being the dearest season. Sugar in Barbadoes, twelve shillings 
the hundred, which contains a hundred and twelve pounds, which at 
New York yields thirty shillings the bare hundred. In Barbadoes, 
(new negroes, t. c, such as cannot speak English,) are bought for 
twelve or fourteen pound a head ; but if they can speak English, 
sixteen or seventeen pound; and at New York, if they are grown 
there, they give thirty-five and thirty or forty pound a head, where, 
by-the-by, let me observe, that the Indians look upon these negroes 
or blacks as an anomalous issue, meer Edomites, hewers of wood 
and drawers of water. 

**The price of provisions: Long Island wheat, three shillings a 
(schepd) skipple, (being three parts of a bushel;) sopus wheat, half 
a crown a skipple; Indian corn flower, fifteen shillings a hundred; 
bread, 18 a hundred ; pork, £3 the barrel, which contains two hun- 
dred and forty pounds, i. €., 3d. the pound; beef, 30s. the barrel ; 
butter, fid. a pound ; amongst provisions I may reckon tobacco, of 
which they are obstinate and incessant smokers, both Indians and 
Dutch, especially the latter, whose diet, especially of the boorish 
sort, being sallets and bacon, and very often picked buttermilk, re- 
quire the use of that herb to keep their phlegm from coagulating 
and curdling. I once saw a pretty instance relating to the power 
of tobacco, in two Dutchmen riding a race with short campaigne 
pipes in their mouths, one of which being hur I'd from his steed, as soon 
as he gathered himself up again, whip'd to his pipe, and fell a suck- 
ing and drawing, regarding neither his horse nor fall, as if the prize 
consisting in getting that heat which came from his beloved smoke.'* 

In 1680, another extraordinary market-day is ordered to be kept 
every week, on Wednesday. This, however, is to be held at the 
market-place, near the bridge and weigh-house. 

These particular days were no doubt designated in the laws and 
ordinances for the purpose of enabling the country people to meet 
on certain days, to establish them as marketrdays, "Wednesdays and 
Saturdays," at the market-place " near the bridge and weigh-house," 
(see Custom-Houae Bridge Market;) and the only place for the sale 
of fresh meat was at the Broadway Shambles, where the regular mar- 
ket-days were "upon Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday," which fact 
is shown from the laws *' ordained and enacted on the 15th day of 
March, 1688." They read, " that Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 
in each week be and are hereby appointed market-days in this city, 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 59 

for the exposing to sale at the market-house all batchers' meat and 
flesh whatsoever ; that is to say, on Tuesday and Thursday, from 8 
to 12 of the clock in the forenoon; and on Saturday, the same time 
of the forenoon, and from two to four of the clock in the afternoon, 
for the market shall be opened and shut by the ringing of the bell. 
No butchers'-meat victuals is to be exposed for sale in the said mar- 
ket, under the penalty of forfeitiffe."* 

Before the close of the year, it appears that " butchers' meat is 
to be sold every day, except Sunday," from the proceeding held on 
the 6th of December same year, which first notices the fact that 
"the Ly censes always belong to y* Govemo', the benefitt of y* Mar- 
kett and Markett-Houses is granted, provided there be nothing sold 
but upon Wednesday and Saturday, beginning betwixt nine & ten 
of y* clock in y* fforenoon, and all brought in j* market^place, 
nothing being sold in any vessel!, boate, or canoe w^soever; only 
Butchers^ meat is to be sold every day in y* weeke, Sunday excepted, 
but to be sold in y* markett, & no where else. That it is conven- 
ient a Gierke of j* Markett be appointed, and that by j* Governor, 
who shall see after y* weights & measures, & due regulations of 
markett." 

The *'Dongan Charter," which was proclaimed three years after, 
also says, that "Tuesday, Thursdajr, and Saturday" were the regu- 
lar market-days; this is dated April 22d, 1686, and also says: 
'^Whereas, the citizens and inhabitants of the said city have 
erected, built, and appropriated, at their own proper costs and 
charges, several public buildings, accommodations, and convenience 
for the said city ; that is to say, the City HaJl or Stadt House, with 
the ground thereunto belonging, ttoo market-housesy &c.," (one the 
'^Broadway ShamUes,^^ and the other the *' Custom-House Bridge 
Market.") It further says : " The granting to the Mayor, Aiders 
men, and Cpmmonalty, that they and their successors shall, and 
may forever hereafter, hold and keep within the said city, in every 
week of the year, three market-days; the one upon Tuesday, the 
other upon Thursday, and the other upon Saturday, weekly, for- 
ever." 

In 1691, the "Broadway Shambles" still continued to be the only 
meat-market, and were so represented on the first day of April 
of that year, in the proceedings, which say : " That there be but 
one batchers' shambles within this citty ; that it be still daily kept 
at the (Grreen^ or) Groon, before the ffort, until further; and all 
batchers' meat to be brought to the said shambles for sayle, and no 
other place." 

• City RecorOfl. 



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60 BHOADWAY SHAMBLES. 

This was followed on the 18tb of the same month with market 
regulations, as follows : " Resolved, That the market for Jlesk be 
kept three dayes in the week — ^Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday — 
and that the market bee opened by seven of the clock in the morn- 
ing, and notice to bee given for the opening of the same by the 
Ringing of the Bell ; and in case by Tydes, weather, or any other 
accident, that Flesh, Pish, Poultry, Eggs, Butter, Cheese, hearbes, 
ffruit, and Rootes, or other provisions vendible, should come to the 
Citty on other days wh'" are not markete days — ^yett they may nev- 
ertheless be sould in the said markett-place under the same Circum* 
stances and Regulations as on the Dayes on wh*"' the marketts are 
appointed." 

*' No Hucksters or persons to sell againe shall b(u)y any flesh, 
fish, fowles, Egges, butter, Cheese, or any other sort of provision 
sayable, till it hath bin two houres in the markett, upon forfeiture 
of six shillings, and also what shall bee so brought or sold." 

"Any person that buyes or cheapens any Flesh, Fish, Ac, and 
coming to the markett, to forefeit six shilling." 

" That all the above said provisions — ^as Flesh, Fish, Ac, that 
shall be exposed to sayle in any other place then afore appointed, 
to be forefeited to the Clarke of the Marketts." 

" Ordered, that the Clerke of the Marketts receive for all Cattle 
killed for the markett, for each liead one shilling ; for every hogg 
or shoate brought or cut out for sayle in the Markett-House, three- 
pence ; and for every sheep, calfe, and lamb, two-pence. And for 
sealeing of weights and measures one penny a p , both great and 
small." 

One individual, named Henry Coleman, soon after became insub- 
ordinate, when a '^ complaint was made (on the following 9th of 
May) by Captain Lockard against Coleman, Butcher, who deuys 
any obedience to the Rules and Orders of this Citty." This ap- 
pears to have been of so much importance, that a committee was 
appointed to *' wait upon His Excellency to acquaint him of the 
said complaint." 

An addition was made to these laws on the 16th of October fol- 
lowing, when it was "Ordered, that no Butcher, on any of the 
markett dayes appointed within this Citty, shall sell any meate 
under the quantity of a whole quarter of Beefe att a time in any 
place but the Markett-House appointed, shall forfeit six shillings ; 
one-half to the Clarke of the Markett, the other half for the use 
of the Citty." Ten days after, it was further "Ordered, that all 
flForfeitures by any Law or order relating to the Markett-House, 
half the ffines to goe to the Clarke of the Markett, the other halfe 
to the Citty." 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. gl 

An additional flesh or meat market being required, on the 15th 
of the same month and year it was also *' Ordered, that there be 
ivx> markets tor flesh-meat kept; the one in the Broadway over 
against the ffort, (* Broadway SliatnbleSy^J the other under the 
Trees by the Slipp ; and that the Butchers shall be obliged to keep 
flesh in both places; and the Country people shall hviug flesh to 
either of the two places, suiting their conveniency" — "to pay noth- 
ing for anything they bring in killed" — "and that no butchers' 
meat be killed within the City Oates." 

The establishment of this new meat market-place, "under the 
Trees by the Slipp," had no doubt the effect of reducing the trade 
at the "Broadway Shambles;" and in addition, its locality ap- 
peared much against it. The city on the East River side, with its 
ferry, dock, slips, Weigh and Custom Houses, and City Hall, all 
tended to increase the growth and prosperity on that side, and also 
in that of the sale of property. Several lots, in 1692, were sold at 
'• publick vandeu " along the shore in the " Smith's Vlie," for about 
sixty*five dollars per lot; each buyer was bound to "dock out," 
within a specified time. 

These lots had been surveyed a few years before by Peter King 
and Adolph Pietcrsen, surveyors for the City of New York, when 
a warrant had been given to them by the Mayor, which is noticed 
the 4th day of May, 1688, as follows : " You are required and com- 
manded to survey y* vacant Lande within this Citty near and in 
y Dock, beginning from y* Weigh-House to y* Citty Hall, and to 
lay y* same out in Lottos of Eighty foot long into the Dock and 
about Four and Twenty ffoot broad, leaving sufficient space for 
y street, as also to lay out y* street Ranging with y* Here Graft, 
(canal in Broad Street J as you shall receive further instructions 
from me uppon y* surveying & laying out y* sid Lottes; & for so 
doing this shall be your warrant. Given under my hand in New 
York, this 15th day of September, A" 1686."— N. Batard, Mayor. 

The grounds around the "Broadway Shambles," however, had 
the advantage of being occupied several times through the course 
of the year with fairs and cattle markets. An act was passed by 
the General Assembly, in 1692, " for settling the Fairs and Mar^ 
kets," of which the following is a part: "That there be kept yearly, 
for the City and County of New York, two Fairs at the City of 
New York. The first Fair annually, to commence the last Tuesday 
of April in ev^ry year, and to end upon the Fryday then next fol- 
lowing, being in all four days inclusive, and no longer. And the 
second Fair to commence the first Tuesday of November in every 
year, and to end on the Fryday then next following, being in all 
four dayes inclusive, and no longer." 



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62 BROADWAT SHAMBLES. 

To these "Pairs" and open markets were brought "cattle, 
horses, mares, colts, grain, victuals, provisions, and all other neces- 
saries, together with all sorts of merchandise, of what nature so- 
ever, and them to expose to sale or barter, in gross or by retail, 
between the hours of eight of the clock in the morning and sunset 
of the same day, without payment of any toll, or any other let, 
hinderance, or molestation whatsoever." 

The various domestic animals that were brought to the city from 
ihe northward had to cross in the ferry-boats or swim, as no bridge 
had yet been built across the "Spikendevil" or Harlaem River. 
We, however, find, in the month of January, 1693, the "Council" 
met to consider the offer of Frederick Phillippse to build a bridge 
where Kingsbridge is now located. " They doe find that lit cannot 
be well accomplished without a great charge unto this Citty, which 
at present they are not soe capable to defray ; and understanding 
that Frederick Philips, Esq., will undertake to build a Bridge at 
the said place (Spikendevil) for y couveniency of all travellers 4 
Drovers of Cattell att a moderate and reasonable Toll, they doe 
therefore humbly pray your Excellency, (the Governor,) that if the 
said Mr. Philips will undertake in one year's time to build a good 
and convenient Drawbridge^ for the passage of all Travellers, 
Droves of Cattel, & passage of Carts & Waggons, for the Toll of 
one penny ffor each neat Cattel and two-pence for each Man and 
Horse, and twelve-pence for each score of Hogs & Sheep, & six- 
pence for each cart & waggon that shall pass thereon, that he may 
have the preference of their Majesties' Grant." 

The bridge appears to have Ideen built soon after, and it became 
established as a toll-bridge, and the only bridge connecting the 
Island of New York with the main-land for a period of more than 
sixty years. 

Madame Knight^ in her Journal of 1704, says: "Thursday, De- 
cember 21, set out for New Haven with my kinsman, Trowbridge, 
and the man that waited on me about one afternoon, and about 
three (o^clock, P. M.,) came to half-way house, (which once stood at 
the bottom of the hiU on the old middle road, about With Street^ Jc- 
ticeen the line of the 5th and 6th Avenues J about ten miles out of 
town, where we baited and went forward, and about 5 came to 
Spiting DevUy else Kingsbridge, where they pay three-pence for pass- 
ing over with a horse, which the man that keeps the gate set up at 
the end of the bridge receives. We hoped to reach Frenchtown 
(New jRocheUe) and lodge there that night, but unhappily lost our 
way about four miles short, and being overtaken by a great storm 
of wind and snow which set full in our faces, about dark we were 



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BROAD>YAY SHAMBLES. 63 

Tery nneasy. But meeting one Gardner, who lived in a cottage 
thereabout, offered us his fire to set by, having but one poor bedd, 
and bis wife not well." She was taken further on, where she obtain- 
ed quarters. 

At this period, across this Bridge was the only road to Boston, 
and that but seldom traveled. The Albany Turnpike had not yet 
been opened, and only a few very rough by-roads, which answered 
the purpose of a few fanners to reach the North or East River, as 
they usually came by water to the city with their produce. How- 
ever, some few farmers in the interior, and drovers from Connecti- 
cut, with cattle and horses, occasionally passed over it. But at a 
later period, when the turnpikes were opened, and traveling on 
them became general, occasionally the farmers and drovers would 
complain of the many detentions, and " at times the toll was so 
variously charged as to become grevious," which no doubt led Jacob 
Dyckman, (the grandfather of ez-Alderman Isaac Dyckman,) a 
blacksmith, a farmer, and also a tavern-keeper, with several other 
public-spirited farmers, in the year 1758, to erect another bridge 
across the river near this old one. This new bridge, as appears 
from the following communication, was called " Free Bridge Dyck- 
man 's;"* and then follows on, "Whereas the crossing at Harlaem 
River, on the high-road to Boston by Kingsbridge, according to 
an established toll, became very changeable and burthensome to 
travellers in general, and to the inhabitants of Westchester and 
Dutchess Counties in particular : the toll received passing the bridge 
being for each carriage, 9d.; each horse and head of cattle, 3d.; and 
a man Id. Notice is therefore hereby given that certain public- 
spirited persons have lately contributed a large sum of money, and 
therewith built a fine new bridge across the said river, a little to the 
southward of the said bridge, which shortens the public road about 
half a mile ; and the said new bridge is free and exempted for all 
toll whatsoever. (Signed) Jacob Dyckman, Jun'r; (dated) Harlaem, 
nth November, (1758.)" 

The following letter from Benjamin Palmer to Colonel Aaron 
Burr, Member of Assembly of the City and County of New York, 
in the year 1798, will further explain how this bridge was built, and 
its cost : **Sir — I called at your house the day you went to Albany, 
but you was gone on your journey. I had a desire to inform you per- 
sonally concerning the Free Bridge^ which I built over Harlaem 
River. 

" Sir, I undertook to raise the money by subscription, and expected 
to build it near the old bridge, called King's Bridge; but when I 
• N. V. Mercury, December 18, 176a 



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64 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

found that Col. Philips had got that right from the Government of 
this State, it could not be built in any other place than from Thomas 
Vermillia's land, across to Jacob Dyckman's land ; therefore, I took 
them into partnership with me to build said bridge. We chose 
Walter Briggs (since deceased) to be our treasurer, to receive the 
subscription money, and to pay the workmen and other costs arising 
from the building said bridge, but there was not money enough by 
a considerable sum to finish it, because it took twice as much to 
build it in that place as it would where I first proposed ; therefore, 
there was not money enough to build said bridge raised by subscrip- 
tion. I then paid into the hands of Mr. Briggs, our treasurer, £120 
in cash to finish it, and he allowed me £20 14s. for my time, trouble, 
and expenses in getting the subscription signed, collecting the money 
and attending the building of said bridge, which sum makes £140 
14s., according to my petition; which sum I have never been paid, 
nor ever received any satisfaction for it. 

" Besides this loss, I was twice pressed in one year, as a soldier, 
to go to Canada, there then being a war between England and 
Prance ; therefore I was obliged to hire two men to go in my place 
— the one cost me £5, the other £20, supposed by the people in gen- 
eral, as well as myself, to have been the orders of Col. Philips; be- 
cause he knew it would stop his bridge from taking toll. Notwith- 
standing this, I continued building the/ree bridge until finished. 

" Sir — the reason of my writing particularly to you, was because 
Mr. John Bartow was acquainted with you — ^he told me that he had 
talked to several gentlemen about the building this bridge — they 
said it was just that I should be paid ; for it had saved many thou- 
sand pounds to the people of this State. He told me if I would 
draw up a petition, and send it to the Assembly, he would sign it, 
and speak to you, sir, concerning it, and desire you to lay it before 
the Honorable the House of Representatives, and speals: in favor 
of it, as it was a just debt, and ought to be paid. 

" Mr. Bartow further said, he knew it was CoL Philips* interest 
in the House to stop the petition from being granted. 

" I shall be much obliged to you, sir, if you will lay this petition 
before the House, and speak in favor of it, as in your wisdom you 
may think fit. Benjamin Palmer."* 

The following remarks in relation to it are also interesting: 
" When Col. Burr returned from the.Legislature, he told Mr. Palmer 
that there were no hopes of ever getting any assistance from the 
Legislature for building the above bridge; and told that if Mr. 
Palmer would draw up a subscription paper, he would subsoribe to 
* N. Y. Gazette, September 6, 1800. 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 65 

it himself; for, that it was not worth his while to petition any more 
concerning it; and that, as it was began by subscription, there was 
no other way than to finish it by subscription. 

"And whereas said bridge was then considered as a grieyous and 
heavy tax on the public. The profits went into no public funds, but 
only to enhance the private fortune of a particular subject; and also 
it was a neat imposition on the public, for said bridge separated the 
City and County of New York, and the people from tiie country 
from coming into and going from the city — they could neither pass 
nor repass, by land, without going over said bridge, paying an ex- 
travagant tax or toll. The gates were locked and barred at night, 
so that if people's business was ever so urgent, they were obliged to 
stand and knock, let the weather be ever so cold or stormy, until a 
servant pleased to come and unlock the gate, the house being 12 or 
15 rods from it; therefore, Mr. Palmer, on the frequent complaints 
of the people, undertook to build a/ree bridge over Harlaem River 
by subscription ; and there not being money enough raised to finish 
said bridge, Mr. Palmer advanced j£l20 in cash to finish it, besides 
his time and trouble, and other expenses. This bridge was finished 
in the year 1769. 

*' Walter Briggs, who was treasurer, allowed Mr. Palmer £20 14s. 
for the purpose above mentioned, which may be seen by Mr. Briggs' 
book of accounts — the two sums, with the interests, make upwards 
of 1,500 dollars — a sum too great to lay on one man, when we all 
had the honor and profit of a/ree bridge^ as well as himself; there- 
fore let us consider Mr. Palmer's situation, and do unto him as we 
would desire others to do unto us. 

** Such gentlemen as can spare a few dollars to make up his loss, 
do it freely ; and not say, this bridge was built before we was born. 
If nothing for the public good had been built before we were bom, 
we should be in a deplorable situation. 

" Suppose young people should say, the Independence of these 
States was dcNsIared before they were bom, and that they would not 
pay the old debts contracted to obtain their independence ; but there 
is a law to oblige them to pay. Mr. Palmer has no law to oblige 
the people to pay him for freeing them from a grievous and heavy 
tax laid on them for passing a toll-bridge, by building a/ree one. 
And whereas, it was the first step towards freedom in tiiis State, 
and it is hoped the Bons of Freedom will step forward and cast in 
their mite ; for it was almost as difScult for Mr. Palmer to get a/ree 
bridge in those days, as it was for America to get her freedom and 
independence from Oreat Britain. 

'' When this/ree bridge was finished, there was a fine fat ox roast- 
Vol. I.— 5 



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66 BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

ed on the Oreen, and thousands from the city and coontrj partook 
of the ox, and rejoiced greatly. 

" When this/ree bridge was finished, Col. Philips was obliged to 
make his a free bridge also ; and it would have continued a toll- 
bridge to this day, had it not been for the spirited exertions of Mr. 
Palmer." 

This free bridge was noticed as having been finished in the year 
1759, and the public opening of it was thus announced: " These aie 
to acquaint the public, that to-morrow (2d of January, 1759,) the 
free bridge erected and built across Harlaem River will be finished 
and completed; and on the same day there will be a stately ox 
roasted whole on the Green, for and as a small entertainment to the 
loyal people who come."* 

In the month of April following we find, ''To be let, and entered 
upon immediately, the house, farm, and bridge at King's Bridge, in the 
manor of Philipsburgh, in the County of Westchester. For particu* 
lars inquire of Frederick Phillipse."t 

From a petition and report made in the year 1824, a few more 
interesting facts are brought forth. The first introduces ''the 
bridge formerly called the ' free bridge' across Harlaem River, lead- 
ing from New York Island to Westchester, has become much de- 
cayed, and in a condition to be dangerous to persons and carriages 
passing and repassing over the same. 

" The bridge is much used by persons from Westchester, coming 
to the New York market, and others, and is highly necessary to be 
kept in good order.'' This was dated October 7, 1824, and signed 
by Jacobus Dykman, James De Voe, Aaron Post, Henry Post, Denis 
Post, Henry Thison, and Benjamin Lynt. In the month of Decem- 
ber following, the " Road Committee" reported : " The bridge to be 
repaired connects the island of New York with that part of West- 
chester County lying on Harlaem River, called the ' Manor of Ford- 
ham,' and is a short distance from the mouth of 'Spyt den Duyvel' 
Creek, through which the waters of said river flow into the Hudson. 

" This bridge was erected about sixty years ago by individual 
subscription, to avoid the unjust exactions of the proprietcrs of 
Eingsbridge. But during our struggle for independence it was de- 
stroyed by the enemy to prevent the passage of the American Army 
across the river; the passage of the other bridge being defended by 
a redoubt. Ten or twelve years since, however, the inhabitants in 
its vicinity raised another subscription and rebuilt it, at an expense^ 
as your Committee are informed, of about one thousand doUars^ and 
have kept it in repair at their own cost, excepting the appropria* 
• N. Y. Metcoiy. t Gasette, April 9. 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 67 

tions made hj this Board three or four years ago of two handred 
dollars, twenty of which remain unexpended. It is now in snch a 
state of decay that it cannot be passed without great danger, and 
humanity at least requires that it should be immediately and sub* 
stantially repaired, or that it should be entirely removed, that the 
safety of trayelers who do not know its situation may not be en- 
dangered. It is Tirtually the property of the corporation, as the 
sovereignty of that body over Harlaem River to low-water mark on 
the northern or Westchester side of it has never been disputed." 

** Your Committee are informed that there is considerable trav- 
eling over this bridge; that the inhabitants of a large district of 
Westchester County pass it with produce for our market ; if so, may 
it not in time be productive of the most beneficial effects, by reducing 
the price of such vegetables as come daily to our city? For it can- 
not be denied that a toll-bridge is a tax on all the produce which 
passes over it, which the consumer has to pay; if, therefore, the 
produce which crosses Harlaem River, and reaches our market by 
land, can toll free, it could be afforded and would be sold at a less 
price than it now is." '* The Committee recommend the appropria- 
tion of two hundred and eighty dollars to assist to rebuild in a safe 
and substantial manner the aforesaid bridge, and to keep the same 
in repair for the space of seven years." 

Returning to the latter part of the sixteenth century, we find the 
inhabitants rather a mixed people ; some doing illy and some well, 
bot the Dutch Burghers had the credit of being the most industrious 
and proitperous. Charles Lodowicke, in a letter to his uncle, Mr. 
FrancU Lodowicke. dated May 20, 1692, says, "Our chicfest unhappy- 
ness here is too great a mixture of nations, and y* English y least 
part; jT French protestants have in y" late King's Reign resorted 
hither in great nn(m)bers proportionately to y« other nations' in- 
habitants. Y'* Dutch generally y^ mostfrugall and laborious, and 
consequently y^" richest; whereas most of y« English are y contrary, 
especially y*^ trading part." 

'* Most sorts of European animalls thrive here very well, tho' j^ 
country before y- discovery was not known to have produced any 
of those usual sorts of Beasts, as Horses, Cows, Sheep, Hojrgs, or 
Ooats; Sheep would increase here and do very much. English or 
clover grass agreeing very well with y^ land, yet y^" stature of 
y^ cattle seem rather to decrease here, w^^ might doubtless in a 
great measure be helpt by care and good husbandry. An Ox shall 
ordinarily weigh here six hundred weight, rarely one thousand." 
"^▲11 sorts of Cattle are now in abundance and increase dayly : a 
Hor^ is sold from 2 to 6 pound, an Ox or Cow from 2 to 5 pound, 
this country money, ir^^ is 25 per cent, worse than sterling." 



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(}g BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 

The General Aeeembly, however, in the following year, regnlated 
the price of slaves, domestic animals, and other property, in the fol* 
lowing terms: *' Resolved^ 1. That all negro and Indian slaves, from 
twelve years old to sixty, be valued at twelve ponnds per head. 

'* 2. That all horses and neat cattle, from three years old and up- 
wards, be valued at thirty shillings per head. 

" 3. That all sheep and goats, from one year old and upwards, be 
valued at three shillings per head. 

'* 4. That all hogs, from half a year old and upwards, be valued 
at three shillings per head. 

" 5. That all lands, meadows, and houses, throughout this prov- 
ince, shall be valued according to the yearly income of the same."* 

On the 25th of September, 1694, the Broadway Shambles, in the 
Broadway, were ordered " to be lett to Farme unto Henry Crosby, 
of this City, Butcher ^ for the term of seven years, att one pound 
per annum, upon condition that he put the house in good repair, and 
soe to maintain and give up the house att the expiration of the 
term aforesaid."t The next year Crosby sought and procured a 
better bargain from the Common Council, as appears on the 19th of 
June, 1695. " Upon the humble request of Henry Crosby, y* Butch* 
er in the Broadway, that the Citty would be pleased to grant him 
liberty to fence in a small piece of ground, the breadth of his shop, 
and about fourteen or fifteen feet long, for the keeping of sheep and 
for slaughter, which was granted." 

Crosby's lease expired, when a committee was ordered, on the 
3d September, 1702, '' to lett to Farme the old market-house in 
Broadway, not exceeding the term of five years." This term it 
changed hands, for I find it in the possession of *' Jeremiah Calcutt, 
of this city, butcher," at the expiration of the term, who afterwards, 
on the 29th September, 1703, had influence enough in the Common 
Council to be appointed " High Constable." Whether he was ap- 
pointed for ^iciency, or from political favor, or whether it was 
necessary to/ee-e(2 the whole of the Common Council, (which at that 
period included the Mayor,) before the important office could be ob- 
tained, is not now known ; although, if the latter, the expenses for 
a ''grmdfeedr or feast, would not now be considered a large sum ; 
but at that period, however, when a grand dinner was given, or oiv 
dered for the Common Council, every item was afterwards made 
out in the bill, of which the following is a specimen : 

''An account of Richard Harris, against the Mayor, Aldermen, 
Ac, Dr. Dated December 19, 1704. 

'^To a piece of beef and cabbage, • - - - £0 7 6 
* Joomal of Aflsembly, roL L, p. 87. f ^^ Becocda. 



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BROADWAY SHAMBLES. 



69 



To a dish of tripe and oow heel, 

To a 1^ of pork and turnips, 

To 2 puddings, 

To a surloyn of beef. 

To a turkey and onions, 

To a 1^ of matton and pickles. 

To a dish of chickens. 

To minced pycs, - 

To fine cheese, bread, Ac, 

To batter for sance. 

To hire of two negroes, to assist, 

To dressing dinner, Ac, 

To 81 bottles of wine, 

To beer and syder. 










1 



1 
3 




6 

8 3 
14 6 
13 6 

9 
6 

10 6 

4 

7 

7 

6 

4 

2 
12 



£10 18 6" 

The above was considered an enormous hiB, but after considering 
the large number of items, " it was allowed." The ivine item ap- 
pears very heavy, but in those days it was a custom to prepare 
largely of liquid stimulants, in the event of a victory, birth-days, or 
even the ** making of vendues." When the " great victory over the 
Spanish and French fleets at Vigo" was celebrated, a few years be- 
fore, it ^a *' Ordered that a public bonfire be made, and ten gallons 
of wine Vd a barrel of beer provided, and all the houses to be illu- 
minated." 

At this period, Madame Knight, a Boston lady, made a journey 
to this city on horseback, and in her '* JoumaH she notices many 
interesting customs, fashions, Ac, of the citizens on certain occa- 
sions. She says: "They are not strict in keeping the Sabbath as 
in Boston and other places where I had been, but seem to deal with 
great exactness, as far as I see or deal with. 

*" They are sociable to one another, and courteous and civil to 
strangers, and fare well in their houses. 

" The English go very fashionable in their dress ; but the Dutch, 
especially the middling sort, differ from our women, in their habit 
go loose, wear French muches, which are like a cap, and a head-band 
in one, leaving their ears bare, which are set out with jewels of a 
large size, and many in number. And their fingers hoop't with 
rings, some with large stones in them of many colors; as were their 
pendants in their ears, which you should see very old women wear as 
well as young. 

*• They have vendues very frequently, and make their earnings 
very well by them, for they treat with good liquor liberally, and 



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70 CUSTOK-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 

the customers drink as liberally, and generally pay for 't as well, by 
paying for that which they bid up briskly for, after the sacklkBS gone 
plentifully about, tho' sometimes good penny worth are got there* 

" Their diversion in the winter is riding sleys about three miles 
out of town, where they have houses of entertainment at a place 
called the Botvery; and some go to friends' houses, who handsomely 
treat them. Mr. Borroughs carry'd his spause and daughter and 
myself out to one Madame Dowes', a gentlewoman that lived at a 
farm-house, who gave us entertainment of five or six dishes, and 
choice beer and metheglin, cyder, &c., all which she said was the 
produce of her farm. 

" I believe we met 50 or 60 slays that day ; they fly with great 
swiftness, and some are so furious that they'le turn out of the path 
for none except a loaden cart. Nor do they ^pare for any diversion 
the place affords, and sociable to a degree, theyr tables being as 
free to their neighbours as to themselves." We must, however, 
take leave of these happy people, and at a later period again refer 
to them or their generations. 

On the 28th of October, 1707, a " resolution passed, that the 
butcher's shop in the Broadway now in the occupation of Jeremiah 
Calcutt be demolished and pulled down, and that the said Jeremiah 
Calcutt have liberty to convert the materials thereof to his own 
use, by the Mayor's lysense, he producing his lease thereof to the 
Mayor."* It was soon after taken down, but no doubt^e plaoe 
was held as a market-place for fairs and the like for many years 
after, as I find, in 1720, '' the old market-place in the Broadway be 
and are hereby held as a public market-place, until further orders." 



CUSTOM-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 

1675. In the year 1675, a General Court of Assize was held in 
this city, " beginning on the 6th and ending on the 13th day of Oc- 
tober," when, among other proceedings, " a weekly markett " was 
ordered to be held, and "a fitt house to be built by the water-side," 
near where the "Marke^Place at the Strand" had been formerly 
held. This was soon followed by a proclamation from Governor 
Andross, which came before the Common Council on the 29th of 
January of the following year, and read as follows: "Whereas, as 
a weekly markett in this citty hath beene thought necessary for the 

* City Reooida. 



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CUSTOMHOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 71 

oonyenience, good, and welfare of the inhabitants and neighbour- 
hood, for wh<^b a fitt house being now built by the water-side, neare 
the Bridge and Weigh-House, I have, by the advice of my Councell 
and Gort of Mayor and Aldermen, resolved and ordered, and doe 
hereby publish the said markett to begine on Saturday, the 24th of 
March next ensuinge, in the afores^ house, and soe every Saturday 
foUowinge, for the space of three yeares.^^* 

The location of this ''Jitt house by the water-side, neare the 
Bridge and Weigh-House," stood about where the corner of Pearl 
and Moore Streets now meet; and no doubt, when it was erected, 
the business which came to the "Marke^Place at the Strand" was 
removed into it. It appeared to accommodate the country people 
and Indians, who came by water with poultry, fish, butter, cheese, 
Ac; while those who brought ''flesh-meat" went up the canal in 
Broad Street, to the Marketfield Street, and so across into the 
^ Broadway Shambles." 

About this period, the Rev. Mr. Wooley, in his Journal, notices 
the Indians, with their swift canoes : '' In which they bring oysters 
and other fish for the market; they are so light and portable, that 
a man and his squaw will take them upon their sholders and carry 
them by land from one river to another, with a wonderful expedi- 
tion; they will venture with them in a dangerous current, even 
through Hell-gate itself, which lies in an arm of the sea, about ten 
miles from New York eastward to New England, as dangerous and 
as accountable as the Norway whirlpool cr maelstrom: in this 
Hell-gate, which is a narrow passage, runneth a rapid, violent 
stream, both upon flood and ebb ; and in the middle lieth some isl- 
ands of rocks, upon which the current sets so violently, that it 
threatens present shipwrack; and upon the flood is a large whirl- 
pool, which sends forth a continual hedious roaring; it is a place 
of great defence against an enemy coming that way, which a small 
fortification would absolutely prevent, by forcing them to come in at 
the west end of Long Island by Sandy Hook, where Nutien Island f 
would force them within the command of the fort of New York." 

Mr. Wooley, in another part of his Journal, says: "The City of 
New York in my time (1678-9) was as large as some market towns 
with OS, all built the London way ; the Garrison side of a high situ- 
ation and a pleasant prospect ; the Island it stands on all a level 
and champain ; the diversion especially in the winter season used 

* Oltj Records. 

(t TbU evidenoe would lead us to suppose that there could not have been much of a 
cfaaooel, even at that period, between Red Hook and Nutten or Governor's Island, and 
Ytrj likely some filty jetn before, as noUoed on page 15, had been in the state as there 
ftprfscnted.) 



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72 CUSTOM-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 

by the Dutch is aurigation, t. e., riding about in wagons, which to 
allowed by physicians to be a very hoalthfal exercise by Land. And 
upon the Ice it's admirable to see Men and Women as it were flying 
upon their Skates from place to place, with markets upon Uieir 
Heads and Backs." 

He further says: "All Commodities and Trades are dearer or 
cheaper according to the plenty of importation;" and ''for what I 
had occasion, some things were reasonable, some dear. I paid for 
two loads of Oats in the straw 18 shillings to one Henry Dyer; to 
the same, for a Load of Pease-straw, six shillings ; paid to Thomas 
Davis, for shooing my Horse, three shillings, for in that place 
Horses are seldom, some not shod at all, their Hoofs, by running 
in the woods so long before they are backed, are like flints: Paid 
to Derick, t. e., Richard Secah's Son, for a Load of Hay, twelve 
shillings ; Paid to Denys Fisher's Son, a Carpenter, for two days' 
work in the Stable, eight shillings ; for a Curry-Comb and Horse- 
brush, four shillings; to Jonathan, the Barber, XI 4b. the year; to 
the Shoo-maker, for a pair of Boots and Shooes, £1 Ss.; to the 
Washerwoman or Laundress, JGI 5s. 6d. the year." 

Of the inhabitants he says, '' Both English and Dutch (are) very 
civil and courteous, as I may speak by experience, amongst whom I 
have often wished myself and family, to whose tables I was fre- 
quently invited, and always concluded with a generous bottle of 
Madera. I cannot say I observed any swearing or quarrelling, but 
what was easily reconciled and recanted by a mild rebuke, except 
once betwixt two Dutch Boors, (whose usual oath is sacrament,) 
which, abateing the abusive language, was no unpleasant scene. 
As soon as they met, (which was after they had alarm'd the neigh- 
bourhood,) they seized each other's hair with their forefeet, and 
down thtgr went to the sod, their vrows and families crying out be- 
cause they could not part them ; which fray happening against my 
chamber window, I called up one of my acquaintance, and ordered 
him to fetch a kit full of water and discharge it at them, which in^- 
mediately cool'd their courage, and loosed their grapples; so we 
used to part our mastiffs in England. In the same City of New 
York, when I was Minister to the English, there were two other 
Ministers, or Domines, as they were called there, the one a Lutheran, 
a German or High Dutch ; the other, a Calvinist, was Hollander or 
Low Dutchman, who behav'd themselves one towards another so 
shily and uncharitably as if Luther and Calvin had bequeathed 
and entailed their virulent and bigotted spirits upon them and their 
heirs forever. They had not visited or spoken to each other with 
any respect for six years together before my being there, with whom 



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GUSTOM-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 73 

I being much acquainted, I invited them both, with their vrows, to 
a supper one night unknown to each other, with an obligation that 
ihej should not speak one word in Dutch, under the penalty of a 
bottle of Medara, alledging I was so imperfect in that language that 
we could not manage a sociable discourse ; so accordingly they came, 
and at the first interview they stood so appaled as if the ghosts of 
Luther and Calvin had suffered a transmigration, but the amaze soon 
went off with a salve tu quoqne, and a bottle of wine, of which the 
Calvinist Domine was a true carouser, and so we continued our Men- 
salta the whole meeting in Latine, which they both spoke so fluently 
and promptly, that I blush'd at myself with a passionate regret that 
I could not keep pace with them." 

The growth of the city had at the end of three years so much in- 
creased, that it seemed to demand more than one market-day ; and 
as this (Saturday) was about to expire, according to the order of the 
24th of March, 1675, it was necessary to renew it, and also to ap- 
point another day ; which, however, did not take place until the 9th 
of March, 1679-^80, when "for ye better supply of y« Cy tie"— with 
provisions and other necessaries — ^"from this day forward another 
market extraordinary shall be kept every week, weekly, on Wednes- 
day, att ye usual market-place, neere y® Bridge and Weigh-House."* 
The population two years after is shown to have been about 2,000 
whites, besides negroes and slaves; number of houses 207, besides 
bams and sheds. 

The market regulations in existence (prior to 1688) did not an- 
swer altogether, or were not rigid enough to meet forestallers and 
sellers of unsound meats, to provide in what manner certain articles 
should be sold, Ac, which this increased and mixed population 
would seem to have demanded. The city, however, was soon after- 
wards supplied with such laws, which were ordained and enacted on 
the 15th of March, 1688; part of them read as follows: *' That fish, 
butter, cheese, eggs, poultry, fruit, roots, and herbs may be sold 
every day in the week at any time, in the market or other conven- 
ient places." 

" That no person shall forstal any provision or victuals coming to 
the markett, as to buy in any private or other place than the mar- 
kett, under pain of forfeiture of the same, whether it be found in the 
hands of buyer or seller. 

^ No person shall engross any provision or victuals which is in 
the market, or by the market, to retail there again, especially such 
as be known for Hucksters, Butchers, or other people occupjring 
fhcir living by such provisions or victuals as they shall so engrossi 
under j^ain of such provisions and victuals so engrossed. 

* City RecordB. 



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74 CUSTOM-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 

" No butter, cheese, or other provisions sold by weight, shall be 
sold but according to the weight established. 

" No Huckster shall engross any poultry, eggs, or fresh butter 
coming to the market, ^der pain of forty shillings. 

'' No unwholesome or stale victuals shall be sold in the market, 
under the pain of forty shillings. 

" No blown meat or leprous swine shall be sold, under the pain 
of forfeiture the same and forty shillings. 

" That there be a person appointed by the Mayor and Aldermen 
to be Clerk of the Market, who is to take care that the above orders 
arc duly observed and prevent defaults, and set out and appoint con- 
venient boarths, stales and standings for all persons that come to the 
market, shall not be put in execution until the week after Easter, 
when the same is to be duly observed and kept." 

In the repairs of this market-house, in 1683, 1 find from a report 
that " 1,500 (feet) of inch oak plank, 16 feet (in length,) cost £5 5." 

This "fitt market-house" had not been used quite ten years when 
Governor Dongon ordered the removal of this marketrplace; which 
subject came before the Council held on the 24th of May, 1684: 
" Mr. John Tudor, bringing a message from the Governor, desiring 
that the market may be removed from the place where itt is now 
kept, to the vacant ground before the Fort, and that the authorities 
would order the same to be done accordingly.'' ^' That from hence- 
forward the market for butchers' meat bo held in the same place 
(Broadway Shambles) according, they erecting their scales and other 
conveniences at their own charge." 

The removal of this market-place from the " Bridge and Weigh- 
House" no doubt was caused by the accumulation of business at this 
place. The laws had granted them the privilege to hold market- 
days every day of the week ; this, and the shipping and the receiving 
of goods, all took place on and around the Dock, Bridge, and through 
the * Weigh-House,' and * 12d. per ton bridge money' was exacted 
on all merchandise exported or imported."* 

Although the market-place was removed, yet the "fitt market- 
house" was not; but in 1687 it was "Ordered that the market-house 
of the city be employed as a warehouse for goods ; each ton or cask 
paying 9 pence for 24 hours, and the Mayor appoint a fit person to 
keep the same, who shall have half of the profit for his services." 
Accordingly, on the 26th February following, (1688,) Anthony De- 
milt was ordered to "keepe y^ key of y« market-house until the 25th 
day of March," and the allowed fees, which in addition "for every 
half bar^" be collected " two stivers wampum for y® use of y« city." 

•PiotoreofN.Y. 



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CUSTOM-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 75 

At the expiration of the term, he was again appointed to this im- 
portant office " until further order." 

On the 16th of March, in the year 1689, the Common Council 
agreed with Captain John Tudor "for a place to build a shop in the 
market'kouae for the term of three years, for the sum of forty shillings 
per annum." Then, on the 30th inst., " Oeorge Brown hath hired a 
lott for a shop in the fnarhet-hotise for the same time at £2 10, and 
another lott was lett to Peter Panbumge at £3, to be paid quarterly." 

The Mayor made a report on the 24th April, 1691, "that he hath 
lett out the shop in the marhet'hotcae to one John Ellison for three 
pounds ten shillings per annum, to be payed quarterly, and he to re- 
ceive the same att his owne charge, a pair of hinges for the door, 
onley accepted." On the 18th of IJpbruary, in the year 1692, a com- 
mittee was appointed to " lett it out, what is to be lett thereoff." 

Next we find it with an additional name, from the proceedings on 
the 15th March, 1694 : " The markei-AmLse or store^house (no doubt the 
whole) at the Bridge was let to John Elli8on,cittyjoyner, ^carpen^,^ 
for the space of five years, from the first of May next, for the sum 
of sixteen pounds per annum ; he having permission to build an ad- 
dition of ten feet in breadth, with chimney — ^part of the market-^houee 
to be used as a store-house for merchants." 

Ellison's lease expired in the year 1699; he, however, on the 
20th of September, agreed with the Authorities to " put up a house 
of brick and stone, two stories high, in the room and on the ground ; 
the old market-house stands to have a lease of twenty-one years;" 
but I find the inhabitants enter a protest against giving " the pos- 
session of a lease to John Ellison for the market-house at the * Cus- 
tom-House Bridge,' until such time they are heard;" and there ap- 
peared two parties who wished that privilege ; one to build a market- 
house, and the other a place for the meeting of merchants. 

The first was before the Board on the 16th October of that year, 
" praying that they have liberty to make and erect a publick market- 
house for the ornament and benefit of y^ Citty, on y® ground whereon 
j^ old market-house stands on which John Ellison lives ; he, the said 
John Ellison, having relinquished his agreement with j^ Citty." 
The other, signed by some eighty-three inhabitants of the South 
Ward, states, " That whereas Sir Edmund Andross, Ent., late Gov- 
ernor of this province, did order a certain building to be erected 
near the Bridge in this city, which has since been called the market" 
house; and whereas your petitioners have been informed that the 
same was by this Board to be let out for some term of years to one 
Mr. Ellison, on condition to erect a new building on the same ground, 
and pay as a rent twdve pounds a year to the City: 



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7e CUSTOM-HOUSE BRIDGE MARKET. 

"Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the said agreement 
may be quashed, and that the same ground may be allowed to yoor 
petitioners for the use of this City, they offering to erect there a 
convenient place for the meeting of merchants^ on their own cost and 
charges; it being a very convenient place for the same, being nigh 
the Custom-House, and will be of ornament to the City, and also 
pay ttodve pounds a year to the City, they having the benefit of the 
store*money of merchants' goods allowed them," &c. A committee 
was ordered " to consult with the inhabitants of the South Ward 
what building they propose to make on the premises, and what yearly 
rent they will pay for the same, and make report thereof to the 
next Common Council.'' 

This report was not made unt^ the 19th of February, 1700, when 
it was " Ordered, that y« said market-house be granted to y« (South) 
Ward for the terme of fifty years, they, the said Inhabitants, in ten 
years' time, erecting a publick building according to the moddell 
exhibited to this Courte; they yielding the yearly rent of twelve 
pounds, and keeping and delivering the same in good repair att 
the expiration of the said term of fifty years." 

It appears, by this order, the inhabitants were not immediately 
bound to erect this public building, but were allowed ten years to 
do so ; and our old friend, John Ellison, a few years after, turned 
his attention to *' catching porpoises," as his petition sets forth, 
'' that he has been at great charge in inventing a method to catch 
porpoises," and wishes encouragement for the same, which was not 
given him by the Board. 

The old marketrhouse had been, many of its former years, used as 
a '^ store-house and shops," and lost its reputation as a public mar- 
ket-place ; others, also, had been in the mean time established ; the 
inhabitants around it felt anxious to restore its trade back again, 
and applied to the authorities to assist them, who, on the 80th June, 
1701, ^'Besclved, That the old market-house near the Castom-House 
Bridge be forever hereafter appropriated for a publick {narkct-house, 
for the benefit and conveniency of all persons that should resort 
thereunto, in as full and ample manner as any other market-house 
or market-place within this city now is, or lawfully ought to be." 

In 1703, it appeared to have needed some repairs, as, on the 29th 
of November, " ten pounds is appropriated for the covering of the 
market-house by the Custom-House Bridge." So it stood until the 
2d November, 1708, when the sheds or "shops" on the sides had 
become useless, and it was "ordered that the inhabitants have lib- 
erty to pull down the boards about the marke^house by the Cus- 
tom-House Bridge, and that Alderman Thong dispose of the same.^ 



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BROAD STREET MARKET. 77 

He reported, on the 1st February following, " that he had sold the 
boards for one pound, three shillings and sixpence; whereof he ex- 
pended for thirty-four loads of sand, and for a laborer for mending 
the street near the Custom-House, eighteen shillings and one penny 
half-penny/' 

It then rested quietly until the 16th of November, 1720, when it 
was presented as a public nuisance, and the Common Council gave 
permission to the inhabitants, or rather to " have liberty to remove 
the old market-house near the Custom-House to a more convenient 
place near the water-side, at their own cost, provided they do the 
same within ten days; if not, the said marketrhouse will be pulled 
down, according to an order of the Supreme Court." Thus was 
disposed of the old market-house, which I have designated " the 
Cudom-Houae Bridge Market.^' 



BROAD STREET MARKET. 

1691. I HAVE designated the first market-house built in Broad 
Street with the above title, there having been several market-houses 
and market-places establidied at various intervals in that street. 

The first notice we have of this market-place is found in the pro- 
ceedings of the Common Council, July 9, 1691, in which '' Captain 
William Merritt, Mr. Johannes Kipp, Captain Brandt Schuyler, and 
Mr. Tennis de Kay are appointed a Committee to build a market- 
house att the end of Heere-graft (Broad) Street, for all but Butch- 
ers' meat." This market-house was finished, as is shown from the 
following instructions, given to a committee, on the 18th of Febru- 
ary, 1692, ''for the letting the new Marke^House over against 
Anthony Farmer's, which said new market-house is allowed to be 
made shambles, (HaUa/or butchers^ mecUJ or any otherwise." 

"Anthony Farmer's" appears to have been located aver or on the 
east side of the Heere-Grafb, (canal in Broad Street,) near the 
present Water Street, near what was then known as the ''Little 
Bridge." 

The Laws and Ordinances in 1702 say, "That there be three 
market-days, one whereof be at the 'Little Bridge' by the dock." 

In the month of March, 1704, "Two pairs of staifs be made in 
the Dock on each side of the 'Little Bridge;'" "and that two 
posts be put up in the 'market-house' by the Great Bridge, (' Cu&^ 



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78 BROAD STREET MARKET. 

tom-House Bridge Market,^) in order to keep out the cows," Then, 
in the month of June, 1705, it was ordered that '*the street front- 
ing the Dock, between the ' Great and Little Bridges/ the south end 
of Broad Street to the Little Bridge, on both sides of the (canal) 
way," should be paved. 

At this early period, just about this market-house appeared 
rather a favorite place for the merchants and traders; it being so 
nearly located to the " Great Bridge," Dock, and Custom-House on 
the one side, where all goods of every character were exported 
and imported for the city ; and on the other side, the '* Coenties 
Slip (Fish J Market" and the old City Hall, which had now been 
given up by the authorities, and sold, a few years previous, (1699,) 
to one John Rodman, a merchant, for the sum of £920 ; and another 
at the head of this (Broad) street, in Wall Street, had been erected 
in the year 1700. 

These attractions gave an idea to a prominent individual, named 
Cornelius Sebring, who lived opposite, on the Long Island shore, to 
petition to the Governor, on the 23d January, 1708, for an addi- 
tional ferry. He stated, he "stands possessed of a certain farm on 
the Island of Nassau, directly over against the centre of the City 
of New York, being a most fit and convenient place for beiug a 
ferry to and from the said city;" "and can be of no hurt or dam- 
mage to the (M ferry, it being not so convenient for that ferry to 
send their boats to the south end and centre of the city, where he 
proposes to send his." "To be limited on the Island of Nassau on 
the one side of the old ferry, and on the other side by the Red 
Hook ; and on the side of New York between the (Old) Slip, at 
Captain Theobald's, unto the * Great Bridge,' for the loading and 
landing of all persons, goods, wares, and merchandise, except cattle, 
to be landed at or near the alaughter-howsea ; (nevertheless, not ex- 
cluding the old ferry-boat from the places aforesaid.") 

The Corporation remonstrate against the granting of this peti- 
tion, and state that this ferry "hath been commonly esteemed A re- 
puted for seaventy years past to extend from a heap of Rock Stones 
gathered together on a small wharfe or landing Bridge near the 
Perry-House on the said Island." "That some private persons, for 
their own Lucre and gain, have solicited your Excellency for an- 
other Ferry on the said Island fronting to this City, which, if 
Granted, would be of great damage to this Corporation, and all tlie 
Inhabitants thereof." "And also, that your Excellency would be 
further pleased to order unto the petitioners & their successors her 
Migesty's Grant of Confirmation for the said Ferry on both sides 
of the said River, with power to Establish one or more Ferrys, if 



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BROAD STREET MARKET. 79 

there shall be occasion, Ac."* Their remonstrance was granted, 
which denied the petition of Mr. Sebring. 

This "old ferry," (says Mr. Valentine,) "from the earliest settle- 
ment, and for many years afterwards, was from the present landing 
on the Brooklyn side, at Fulton Ferry, to the nearest point on this 
island^ which was at the present Peck Slip." 

The Records inform m that on the 28th of February, 1683, "Mr. 
William Merritt beeing sent ffor, and discoursed about the fferry too 
Long Island ; offered, iff he might have the same ffor twenty years, 
too give twenty pound pr annum, and to mayke houses on each syde, 
and have two Boats ffor cattle and horses, and two Boats ffor pas- 
sengers ; and too carry cattle and horses att 6 sciple p^ head, men at 
1 sciple, and come att 1 sciple p^ bagg; wheat 3 sciples." 

A committee was appointed " too drawe upp suitable orders ffor 
the future management and accomodacon thereof, and the rates 
and prises, and too lett the sayme ffor terms off years, by advise and 
eonsente off the Mayor, reservinge a Rente too be annually payde bye 
quarterly payments ffor the publique use off the Citty." 

It appears, however, that no regular ferry-house and other neces- 
sary accommodations had been prepared until the year 1698, when 
the conditions were made known in again farming or leasing it for 
a period of five years, beginning from the 25th of March of the above 
year, (1698.) 

These conditions read in the third section : " That y« said farmer 
shall provide and maintain two great Boats or Scows for y« carry- 
ing and transporting of cattle, corne, &c. ; and two small Boats suf- 
ficient for y*^ carrying of passengers, and that the great Boats shall 
be kept one on each side of the river, Ac. ; the small Boats y^ like- 
wise constantly going to and fro, but not both to remaine on the 
same side of y^ River att any time, and also to keep good and able 
men to Row in the said Boats, who shall give their constant attend- 
ance, and be ready att all times according to form and custom." 

They shall " keep and maintain one sufficient pound for security 
of cattle to be transported to and from the Citty of New York, and 
when delivered at y^ Ferry to take charge thereof, and to find all 
Roapes & other necessaries." Section 5th says: "That the Mayor, 
Ac., within the first year of y« said lease, shall cause to be erected 
and built at y« Ferry, on Nassau Island, a good sufficient house of 
stone and brick, of two stories high, fourty fdbt in length, and twenty- 
four foot in breadth, for y« accommodation & conveniency of y« 
p<>rsons that farmeth y« said Ferry. And the farmer to keep it a 
Public House of entertainment." 

• Doc Hist of N. Y., voL !IL, p. 421 



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80 BROAD STREET* MARKET. 

The ferriage rates were fixed as follows: "Every single person 
to pay for going over eight stivers in wampnm, or a silver two- 
pence. Each person in company fewer (4) stivers in wampnm, or a 
silver penny — if after sonsett, double ferriage. Each horse or beast 
single, one shilling; in company, nine-pence. Each colt or calfe, 
three-pence. Each hog, eight stivers in wampum, or a silver two- 
pence. Each sheep, four stivers wampum, or a silver penny/' &^. 

This ferry was ordered to be sold or " demised to y^ fairest bidder.^ 

From the above we perceive the cattle that crossed the ferry were 
landed at or near the " Slaughter-Houses," (previously noticed,) then 
located above Wall Street on the East River shore ; as shown in a 
survey made of the north side of Wall Street in 1686, they " Have 
laid out y« northeast side, of Wall Street, beginning at y^ wester- 
most corner of y^ Butchers' Pen," the yard belonging to the Slaughter- 
Houses; and tiiey are also so put down on the Bev. John Miller's 
plan of New York, printed in 1695. 

This " public institution," or the slaughtering part, was ordered, on 
the 23d June, 1696, to be removed, and " no butcher or other person 
whatsoever doe slaughter any cattle of any kind, after y« seventh 
day of July next." Captain Ebenezer Willson having previously 
{May 11) petitioned "for a grant for some land from the street to 
low-water mark on y® west side of y® house of Thomas Hooks for 
j^ building of a Slaughter-House," which was granted to him for 
" thirty years, and that y« surveyors lay out y« same.** This loca- 
tion appears to have been " fronting to the East River at the east 
end of Queen {Pearl) Street," near the present Peck Slip. This fact, 
however, is more fully shown from the report on the petition of John 
Kelly, before the Common Council, October 11, 1720, in which he 
states: 

'* That the petitioner hath lately purchased from Richard Sarkett 
three water lotts contiguous, seventy-four foot wide, convenient for 
the present for the situacon of a Slaughter-House for Cattle. That 
the places where the two slaughter-houses of this City are now sit- 
uated, by the increase of buildings & the number of inhabitants, are 
not only become offensive to the inhabitants, but dangerous to them 
and their children, being exposed often to the danger of mad oxen 
and doggs. 

'' That the three lotts of this petitioner are likewise convenient for 
the landing of Black Cattle by the Ferryman from the Island of 
Nassau, and that the petitioner is willing, at his own private charge, 
to erect and build upon his said lotts such convenient Sloughter- 
House as may serve all the Butchers of this Corporation, provided 
he may have a grant for the same for a reasonable term of years 



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BROAD STREET MARKET. 81 

Without increasing of the ffees." This was referred to a Committee 
consisting of Aldermen Andrew Marschalk, Jacobus Kip, John 
Roosevelt, John Cruger, and Philip Gortlandt, who reported on the 
following 3d December, *' That wee find the said allegations to be 
tme, and are humbly of opinion that the present Sloughter-Houses 
fronting the East River at the east end of Queen (Pearl) Street in 
the East Ward of this City, now or late belonging to the Widdow 
Cortlandt and Johannes Beekman, are becom a publick nuisance, 
and ought in a short time to be removed, in order more convenient 
and ornamental buildings may be erected there, and in that neigh- 
borhood, which now are retarded by occasion of the said Sloughter- 
Houses. 

" We are also humbly of opinion that the place proposed by the 
petitioner, John Kelly, for the erecting Public Sloughter-Houses and 
Penn upon the East River of this City, a little to the westward of 
the now dwelling-house of Mr. John Deane in the said East Ward, 
is a convenient place for that use and service, being the freehold of 
the said John Kelly, and that the petitioner ought to have a grant 
to him, his heirs, executors, and administrators, for the erecting of 
t/iree or more substantial and convenient Publick Sloughter-Houses 
at the place aforesaid, at his own proper cost, charge and expense, 
at which all persons whatsoever shall and may sloughter their neat 
cattle, paying to the said John Kelly or his assigns one shilling or 
the tongue of each neat cattle so sloughtered for the use of the said 
Sloughter-Houses and Penn & convenience for sloughtering the same 
in full of all fees, dues, and demands for so doing.'' 

They further say, that the said grant " ought to be for the term of 
twenty-one years;" also "to be restrained from farming" the same 
" to any butcher whatsoever during this term ;" also " to inclose a suffi- 
cient quantity of ground for a publick Penn or Pinfold, sufficient to 
hold and secure all neat cattle that shall or may be brought there- 
unto in order to be sloughtered at the said Sloughter-Houses, and 
shall and will supply, furnish & provide all necessary ropes, trees, and 
tackle suitable and convenient for the well and easy sloughtering and 
hanging up all cattle ;" also to keep all " in good and sufficient re- 
pair, plight, and condition — well and sufficiently scoured & claused.'* 

To have them all built and regulated " on or before the first day 
of October next ;" " the same shall be deemed & esteemed the Pub- 
lick Sloughter-House of the said City of New York, & that no other 
Sloughter-Houses from thence forward shall be built & erected on 
the East River during the said term." 

Perhaps these few facts in relation to the "Sloughter-Houses" of 
the olden time will not be so acceptable to the reader as some more 
Vol. I.— 6 



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82 BROAD STREET MARKET. 

interesting subjects. My answer is, they were public institations — 
built and conducted for more than a century and a half by some of 
the first men of that day, sereral of whom have given their names 
to certain public streets, as Cortlandt, Bcekman, Bayard, Ac. ; and 
withal, they are noticed or marked down on many of the early maps 
of the City in the most prominent form ; and if they are an eye-sore 
or an evil, they are a necessary one, where people will be carnivorous. 

A complaint was made against the ferry-master five years after, 
(1726,) through a petition, by a butcher named William Weblin, in 
which he states, " That he has received many abuses of late firom 
James Harding, the ferryman, not only by abusive words, but several 
times by his carelessness has had his creatures destroyed and killed 
in bringing from the ferry to New York ; the particulars of which 
woulil be too tedious to trouble this Honorable Court with all, and 
therefore your petitioner will confine himself to what has been trans- 
acted by said Mr. Harding, since the 26th of this instant month of 
July, on which day, about noon, your petitioner had ttvo cattle brought 
to the ferry, and put into the common pen or yard where cattle al- 
ways use to be put, in order to be brought over to the Slaughter- 
House in New York ; on which day, in the afternoon, your petitioner 
went over to said Harding, and treated him handsomely, and pray^ 
him to bring said two cattle over by the first opportunity, which be 
said should be done ; but said cattle not beijug brought over accord- 
ing to expectation, onFryday, the 28th instant, your petitioner went 
over again, to know what was the reason the said cattle were not 
brought over in four high waters, at a time of calm good weather : 
and when your petitioner came, the said Harding told him he could 
not carry them now, nor could he tell when they could be carried 
over, so that your petitioner was forced to turn said cattle into a 
pasture after they had stood starving in a pen for the space of four 
high tydea, during which time your petitioner had no beef for the 
market but what he borrowed ; and when your petitioner expostu- 
lated with this ferryman about his neglect herein, his answer was, 
that Jeremiah Calcutt was dead, and he would make all the butchers 
in New York truclde to him before Christmas ; nor would he bring 
said cattle over, unless your petitioner would come over and help 
to load them. 

"As your petitioner has lived in this city and followed the trade 
of a butcher for tiie term of about nine years, during which time the 
ferrymen have always thought it their duty to load and bring over 
the cattle that have come to the ferry for the butchers. And why 
the butchers shall be forced to goe and load the cattle themselves, 
now Jeremiah Calcutt is dead, more than they did before, your pe- 



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BROAD STREET MARKET. 83 

titioner cannot perceive, nor will the circumstances of the trade al- 
low your petitioner to hire hands and goe over to load the cattle 
when they come to the ferry. He wishes the Hon. Court to order 
the said ferryman to do his duty — as has always been the practice 
of the said ferry." 

Two years after the butchers and other keepers of dogs were com- 
plained of for allowing their dogs to run loose about the city, and 
the authorities on the 17th of March notice it in the following man- 
ner : " Whereas the butchers and other inhabitants of this city super- 
abound in a very great number of mischievous mastiffs, bull-dogs, 
and other useless dogs, who not only run at coaches, horses, chaises, 
and cattle in the daytime, whereby much mischief has ensued, but in 
the nigh^timc are left in the streets of this city, and frequently bite, 
tear, and kill several cows and render the passage of the inhabitants 
of this city upon their lawful occasions very dangerous in the night- 
time through the streets thereof, by attacking and flying at them, and 
are become a publick nuisance and grievance," Ac. 

The butchers in general, from my first recollections, were noto- 
rious for keeping bull-dogs, and no doubt at this very early period 
they were used to assist in catching runaways or dangerous animals, 
which had become so from fright or other causes. Cattle raised on 
large ranges, where they almost run wild, are apt to be dangerous, 
and if penned into a small yard singly or almost alone, they will 
not allow any person to approach them, but turn and charge you at 
a full run. Such animals, when about to be haltered in olckn time, 
were worried with bull-dogs, who seized them by the nose with a 
vice»like grip of their strong jaws, and by a muscular twist of the 
body, threw the animals or held them until they could be haltered. 

Some stubborn animals would not step after being haltered, but 
lay down ; then the bull-dog would soon arouse them, so that they 
can be pulled in. It is, however, many years since butchers have 
used bull-dogs for this purpose, although they were kept by some of 
the buU4ies, when it was the fashion for bull-baiting. The few which 
are now kept here are by sporting characters of the dog-fighting and 
rat-killing fanciers. 

In the month of September, 1710, a conmiittee was appointed to 
*" cause the wall under the market-house at the south end of Broad 
Street, near the Dock, to be repaired." We then pass on to the 
Ist of June, 1714, when it was "Ordered, that the market-house by 
the Dock, at the south end of the Broad Street, be repaired;" 
which I find, from records in the Comptroller's office, cost £1 lOs. 
Again, in December, 1719, a committee was ordered to "view the 
wall fronting the Dock which supports the Market^House at the 



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g4 BROAD STREET MARKET. 

south end of Broad Street, and take care that the same be put into 
some tolerable repairs, to preserve itt from falling this winter, in 
order it be better repaired in the spring;" which no doubt was 
done. 

The next year the laws ordained "what places to be public mar- 
kets;" among which were "the market-places at the Cheat and 
Little Bridges ;^^ that is, the one at the Great Bridge was the "Cus- 
tom-Housc Bridge Market," and the one at the Little Bridge the 
"Broad Street Market." Then also, in the boundaries of the South 
Ward, from the Charter, dated 1723, it includes "the market-house 
at the south end of the said {Broad) street." 

Now let us look at the plan of New York, surveyed by James 
Lyne, in 1729. He places a building at the foot of Broad Street, 
which he calls Exchange; the laws, however, the next year call it 
"Market by the Long Bridge." 

This Long Bridge was formerly the Little Bridge, which at this 
period had been widened and extended. 

We here turn aside to notice a great rejoicing, which ended with 
great sorrow and death to several prominent citizens. It was a 
great fashion in "olden times," on great occasions — such as victo- 
ries, birth-days of distinguished men, or the finishing of some im- 
portant edifice or great work — to have an ox roasted whole, with 
barrels of liquor furnished to the inhabitants. From "Zenger's" 
Weekly Journal, of the 21st July, 1735, we learn that "on Wednes- 
day last His Excellency, William Cosby, Esq., our Governor, caused 
an ox to be roasted whole on the new Battery, where he was at- 
tended by several gentlemen of distinction ; the day was spent 
with firing and drinking of the loyal healths by a great many peo- 
ple, as is usual on such occasions. But the day ended with more 
real and sudden sorrow than we have known in this city within 
twenty-four years last past. For the last piece (cannon) unfortu- 
nately burst, and wounded three persons mortally, viz., John Hen- 
drick Lymes, Esq., SheriflF of the City of New York ; a fragment 
of the piece struck on the groin and thighs, and bruised him that 
he died within a few hours." One of the others was " Catharine 
Courtlandt, the only daughter of Philip Courtlandt, Esq., one of 
His Majesty's Council for this province; she had her skull frac- 
tured, so that she died within a few minutes after she received the 
hurt. She was about nine years of age." 

This market-house, for many of its latter years, was used princi- 
pally as a country market, and when vacant, the merchants took 
possession of it, where they transacted their selling, trading, or 
exchanging. Near by was the "Long Bridge," which had been 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 85 

used by them as a place of meeting for about seventy years, and 
was first established by Governor Lovelace, in 1669, in order that 
merchants should meet "near the Bridge" (Long Bridge) on every 
Friday, between the hours of eleven and twelve o'clock ; and the 
Mayor was ordered "to have the bell rung to congregate, and again 
to disperse;" and also "to take care that they be not disturbed" 
while in session. 

This market-house was not noticed in the laws of 1737 as a pub- 
lic market-place; but the " Oazette" of July 24, 1738, refers to it in 
an advertisement for the sale of property at Harlaem, as follows: 
"On Saturday, the 2d of September next, at ten o'clock in the 
morning, in the Exchange Market-House, near the *Long Bridge,' 
will be exposed to sale, by publick vendue, the plantation of the 
late Captain Thomas Coddrington, containing about thirty acres of 
land, besides two out-lots of about eight acres;" "all in the bounds 
of Harlaem, in the outward of the City of New York." 

Four years after, David Grim, on his map, marks it down with 
the name I have adopted for it, viz., "Broad Street Market." Two 
years later, an excellent old side-view map, or the "South Prospect 
View of Y^ flourishing City of New York," printed in London, 
1746, now in the possession of the "Society Library," shows this 
markd'housej directly at the foot of Broad Street, but no reference 
is given to it. A mistake, however, is made, by noticing the "Meal 
or Wall Street Market-House" as the Exchange, (No. 15.) The 
"Old Exchange" in Broad Street was not built, or commenced, 
mitil the year 1752; and the intention, no doubt, was to represent 
this old "&oad Street Market" as Lyne did, when he called it 
"the Exchange," in 1729. 

I find no further reference to it ; and as it had stood more than 
fifty years, I am inclined to think that about the period of 1746 it 
was taken down. 



"OLD SLIP MARKET." 

1691. Among the proceedings which took place before the "Court," 
on the 15th of October, 1691, was that of designating where " Flesh- 
Meat" shall be sold. The "Court" ordered "that there be two 
market-places for Flesh-Meat: the one in the Broadway over against 
the Ffort; the other under the Trees by the Slipp." 

The first I have noticed as the " Broadway Shambles," and the 



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86 OLD SLIP MABKBT. 

other I will proceed first to locate. This " Slipp*' is marked down 
on an old map as being near the present lower end of Hanover 
Square and Old Slip, where no doubt at that time stood several 
large shady trees, under which the country people coming from the 
ferry from Brooklyn, with their productions, were wont to stop and 
rest, sheltered from the son. They were here met by the purchasing 
Burghers, and it soon became a market-place recognized by the aa- 
thorities in the above " order." 

The "Burger's" or "Slip Battery of Ten Guns," and also the 
Burger's Path, was near this spot, where the first Slip was made, or 
noticed as such, gave it the name of Old Slip — ^it being the oldest 
Slip. 

This additional "Flesh-Market" was ordered no doubt in conse* 
quence of the rapid growth of this part of the city for several years 
previous, as this would appear to have been a reasonable supposi- 
tion from the many improvements suggested by the authorities. One 
of which was the " ordering all the lotts from Burger's Path to the 
foot of the Hill, by Alderman Beekmans, (Beekman Street,) be ex- 
posed to sale ;" and on the following 6th of December it was " orders 
ed that the lotts lying between Burger's Path and the Block-House 
( Wall Street) be laid out into thirteen lotts, the first lott next to 
the Slipp to y« (he) fifty foot in breadth, and the other twelve to 
ye (be) each forty-two foot." These were all sold, and many of 
them were soon built upon, as well as many others which formerly 
belonged to the Government. 

The rapid progress of the city was, however, checked for a period 
by what was then called the " Bread Famine." This took place in 
the year 1696, when the citizens, in the month of October, appealed 
to the authorities to assist them, in the following language: " Upon 
complaint of the inhabitants & poor of this city, that there is no 
bread to be bought to supply their wants, soe that they cannot subsist 
unless some speedy method be taken to furnish the same; and the 
bakers being summoned before this Board, doe complain that they 
have no come, neither can gett any to purchase att a reasonable 
rate, whereby to occupy their trade in order to supply the inhab- 
itants of this citty with bread as aforesaid. It is therefore ordered 
that ye Aldermen and Assistants of each respective Ward within 
this Citty doe goe through their several Wards & make dilligent 
search and enquiry of what quantities oifiower, wheat, and bread are 
in the same Ward, and make return thereof on Munday next att two 
of ye clock in the afternoon, in order that efifectual care be taken for 
to supply the inhabitants with bread." 

At their next meeting (October 23d) it was ordered that a corn- 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 87 

mittee " joyn the Recorder to consult of Bach proper methods as may 
be most effectual for the caosing oorm to be brought to this citty for 
the releif of the inhabitants." 

On the 17th of November following, the Mayor reported to the 
Board, *' that the inhabitants have made daily complaints for the 
want of bread. That the Aldermen had made strict enquiry at 
every house of what store of oonm they had at that time ; there did 
not exceed the quantity oiseven hundred bushels; upon which it was 
taken into consideration what number of inhabitants was within this 
dtty, and what might be needful for their daily subsistense with 
bread. Whereupon itt was computed that there was about six ihon- 
sand sovls within this citty, and that stock of come would not be 
sufficient for a week's maintenance." 

^ Thereupon this Board fell into consideration of what should be 
the cause of soe great a scarcity, when lately there had been soe 
plentiful a harvest, and did finde that the true and only cause did 
proceed from y« liberty & latitude that every planter had lately taken 
of making his house or farme a markett for wheat, or converting the 
same into flower by bolting of tit, and that under pretense of a privi* 
ledge they conceive they had obtained by virtue of a law made in 
Qen^ Assembly." A committee was appointed to take measures to 
have this law repealed, and they were successful with what was then 
called the '* Bolting Act." 

This market-place soon became a successful one, visited by many 
country people, and butchers who cut up and sold "flesh-meat," 
which no doubt afterwards gave it the name of the " Great Flesh 
Market." Prior to the erection of a marke^hou&e, they protected 
themselves from the stormy weather under their several temporary 
sheds and tents until the prosperity and wants of the "' inhabitants 
of the neighborhood of Burger^s Path asked leave to erect a market- 
house at their own charge." This took place on the 8th of July, 
1701, when the Board ordered that they have liberty to erect such a 
bouse ^* on the vacant lotts of ground fronting the houses of Leonard 
Haygen, and that late of Jacob Teller, for the conveniency and 
accommodation of the public." 

A statement was made showing the increase of cattle, and tho^e 
that were killed for the use of the city, in several of the previous 
years. The proceedings of the 16th of July, 1698, show "A con- 
fiiderable increase of stock of cattle, and sould att double y<^ price of 
what they were formerly; and for instance, about fourteen years 
ago, (1684,) there was not dbove/our hundred neai cattle killed for 
the service of the inhabitants of this citty, and now near three thou- 
sand head, besides sheep and other small cattle, which fully demon* 
strates the increase of tiie trade." 



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gg OLD SLIP MARKET. 

The introduction of a landing-place for the ferrj-boats was also 
established here ; it was, however, chiefly for the landing of flour at 
certain tides. The lessee of the regular ferry, Dirck Benson, had 
got behind with his payments to the Corporation, who sued him, but 
they afterwards proposed terms of settlement, (in the Coort held 
January 27, 1703,) by abating " £30 per annum, for the remaining 
term of the lease," if he would " land all flower brought over to the 
city in the ferry-boats att the Slip att Burger^s Path, and also to land 
passengers and other commodities brought over one tide att the said 
Slipp at Burger^s Path, and the other tide at * Countess Key,' {Fly 
Market;) and if these terms were not agreed to, then the action now 
depending against him for the said rent be prosecuted to the utmost." 

This arrangement of the ferry was, on the Ist of October, 1707, 
somewhat altered in the terras of the lease to James Harding; "that 
is to say, every Monday and Thursday, at Countess Key, every Tues- 
day and Pry day, at Burger^s Path, and every Wednesday and Satur- 
day, at the Dock, Slip, near Col. Cortlandt's house, and at no other 
place whatsoever." Then, in the early part of the year 1722, the 
same was " demised and lett to flfarm to William Weblin, butcher, 
for the term of five years, at seventy-one pounds," but this arrange- 
ment was not completed. 

The war with the French at this period (1705) found, as Smith 
says, "Our harbor being wholly unfortified; a French privateer ac- 
tually entered it in 1705, and put the inhabitants in great consterna- 
tion." They, however, soon began to prepare with fortifications, 
ship of war, and privateers ; one of the latter, a brigantine, called 
the Dragon, commanded by Captain Guicks, carrying about 130 men, 
lay in the harbor preparing for sea ; several of her crew being allow- 
ed on shore, " went on a spree," which ended in a riot and the death 
of several persons. The particulars we find noticed in "The Boston 
News Letter, ^^ October 1, 1705, {dated New York, September 24:) 
"On the 19th instant, about 10 at night, some privateers began a 
riot before the Sheriflf's house of this city, assembled the sheriff at 
his door without any provocation, & beat and wounded several per^ 
sons that came to his assistance, & in a few minutes the privateers 
tumultously met together in great numbers; upon which forces were 
sent out of the Fort to suppress them, and the Sheriff, Officers, and 
some men belonging to Her Majestie's ships made a body to do the 
same ; but before these forces could meet with them, the privateers un- 
happily met i^ew^ Wharton Featherstone-Hough and Ensign Alcock, 
(two gentlemen of the Hon. Col. Livesay's Regiment, that came in 
the Jamaica Fleet, who were peaceably going home to their lodg- 
ings,) and barbarously murdered the first, and greviously wounded 



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OLD SLIP MABKET. g9 

the latter in several places in the head, and brosied his body; Rafter 
thej had knock'd him down several times and got his sword, some of 
them run Lieut, Featherstone-Hough in at the left side thro' his heart, 
(as is supposed with Ensign Alcock's sword,) of which wound he 
immediately dyed. Just as the fact was done, the privateers were 
attacked by the Sheriff, Officers, and Seamen of Her Majestie's Ship, 
and some of the town, & in a short time were obliged to fly ; several 
of lK>th sides were wounded ; some of the privateers were then taken 
prisoners, and several since, who were committed, & do believe will 
suffer according to law ; the soldiers killed one of the privateers that 
was flying from them. One Erasmus Wilkins was apprehended on 
Saturday last & committed, and by the evidence ^tis believed he is 
the man that murdered Lieut. Featherstone-Hough ; it would be too 
tedious to relate the particulars, but their insolence is beyond ex- 
pression : this riot was chiefly acted by the privateers belonging to 
the Briganteen Dragon^ Capt. Guicks, Commander." 

The next year (1706) greater exertions are made for the defence 
of the city ; the Mayor and Council petition Governor Cornbury on 
the 8th of May, stating *' the iminent danger wee conceive the city 
to be in by an invasion of the common enemy," and " the vigorous 
defence by reason our fortifications are wholly out of repair." They 
wish them repaired, and '' the making of others in convenient places ; 
the mounting of artillery and the compleat arming of our inhabit- 
ants." The next meeting of the " Council," (14 May,) it was "order- 
ed that what beams the carpenters shall use of the Widdow Helena 
Cooper's for the making of carriages for the mounting of the guns," 
" to be paid for by the city, as shall be appraised." 

On the 11th of July following, an ordinance was passed compell- 
ing all the inhabitants, or their providing sufficient laborers, " to 
work att or upon the fortifications by equal terms & wards soe often 
aa they shall have notice; to appear with a good spade, shovell, ax 
or pick, or other necessary tool or instrument." 

The " Council" again petitioned (on the 22d July) to the Governor, 
saying, "We haveing received advice from Antigua that /owr French 
privateers arc sayled out of Martineque for this coast, and also that 
Monsieur Deberville, with a strong squadron of ships of war, de- 
signs speedily to attacque this city and province. We therefore 
must humbly pray your Excell^y that your Lordship would most fa- 
vorably be pleased to lay an embargo in this port for such term aa 
your Lordship shall judge requisite." 

From the " Boston News Letter," August 5, (1706,) following, we 
again extract the news from New York, dated 29th July, which tells 
08 that " Last week an embargo was laid here for 60 days, and all 



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90 OLD BLIP MARKET. 

persons forbid all manner of labor, and all shops shut up until the 
fortifications of the city be finished, so that we have near 1,000 men 
at work every day." The next week after, the same paper says, 
" Our fortifications we hope will be compleat this week, and we shall 
have 100 cannon mounted in this city, besides the Fort, (Greorge,) 
which is also put into very good repair & order." 

The people, however, had no confidence in Governor Cornbury; 
he had deceived them before, when money, &c., were granted for the 
defence of the city, he appropriated to his own private use. Smith 
says, ** We never had a governor so universally detested, nor any 
who so richly deserved the public abhorrence. In spite of his noble 
descent, his behavior was trifling, mean, and extravagant. 

" It was not uncommon for him to dress himself in a woman's 
habit, and then to patrole the Fort in which he resided. Such freaks 
of low humor exposed him to the universal contempt of the people; 
but their indignation was kindled by his despotick rule, savage big- 
otry, insatiable avarice, and injustice, not only to the publick, but 
even his private creditors ; for he left some of the lowest tradesmen 
in his employment unsatisfied in their just demands." However, the 
numerous complaints presented to the Queen obliged her to revoke 
his commission, and his creditors threw him into one of the jails of 
the City Hall, in Wall Street, until released by the inheritance ob- 
tained by the death of his father.* His successor, John Lord Love- 
lace, Baron of Harley, arrived here in the month of December, 1708, 
and before a period of six months had passed, he was laid into his 
grave, " from a disorder contracted in crossing the ferry on his ar- 
rival here."t The Lieut. Governor, Richard Ingolsby, was then 
placed in command, until his character and actions became known ; 
who, like Cornbury, was dismissed from the oflSce; and in 1710, 
we find Robert Hunter, " a man of wit and personal beauty," at the 
head as the Governor.^ 

About this period, the Mayor, Jacobus V. Cortlandt, held several 
other public offices besides, which were attached to this high posi- 
tion, and among these was that of Clerk of the Market In the lat- 
ter office, he had been engaged in prosecuting several delinquent 
butchers, from whom his counsel or collector had recovered cer- 
tain fines or penalties. This subject was brought before the Jus- 
tices and Vestrymen on the 17th of June, 1712, when " Mr. (Thomas) 
George having acquainted this Board, that he has in his hands thirty 

pounds shillings, which he recovered of several butchers at the 

suit of Coll. Jacobus V. Cortlandt, which moneys he, the said Coll. 
Cortlandt, hath given to the use of the poor of this citty, and de* 

• Dunlap'a Hist. N. Y., p. 263, VOL I. f Smith's Hist N.Y., p. 191. J n)id., p- 19». 



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I 
OLD SLIP MABKET. 91 

sires this Board will order bow he shall dispose thereof. Ordered, 
he paj the same to the Church Wardens of this city, for the use of 
the poor of this city, whose receipt shall be a sufficient discharge for 
80 doing. 

'* Ordered, tiie Church Wardens lend Phillip Batten, butcher, 
thirty shillings, in order to go on with his trade, (he being reduced 
to great poverty by reason of his wife being delirious,) being an ob- 
ject of charity."* 

In the year 1711, the war with the French had made it necessary 
for the authorities to take possession of and use all the public mar* 
ket-houses in the city to build battoes in, except this one at Bur- 
ger's Path,t which then appeared to be the principal market-place, 
as it was more central and in the more thickly settled portion of the 
city. " Twenty ship and house carpenters (says Smith) were impressed 
into the service for their building, while commissions were appointed 
to purchase provisions and other necessaries, and empowered to 
break open houses for that purpose, and to impress men, vessels, 
horses, and waggons for transporting the stores.'^ The following 
will give some idea of tiie prices that were paid for some kinds of 
these provisions: 

£. B. d. 

"Good prime pork, per barrel, 8 10 

Indian corn, per bushel, 026 

Pease, do. 5 

Buttock of beef, per pound, (smoaked,) • - - 7 

Cheese, do. 6." 

After peace was concluded, which took place in the month of 
March, 1713, the prices of provisions became much reduced, and so 
remained until the hard winter of 1717, when a large portion of the 
country was covered with a deep snow, and supplies were stopped 
from many places, and again the price advanced. 

The farmers in the Eastern States suffered severely, which is par- 
ticularly described in " Lewis' History of Lynn." He says, " Two 
great storms on the twentieth and twenty-fourth of February cover- 
ed the ground so deep with snow, that people for some days could 
not pass from one house to another. Old Indians of an hundred 
years said that their fathers had never told them of such a snow. 
It was from ten to twenty feet deep, and generally covered the lower 
story of the houses. Cottages of one story were entirely buried, so 
that the people dig paths from one house to another under the snow. 
Soon after, a slight rain fell, and the frost crusted the snow; and 

* Records in the poeeeesion of 6. H. Moore, Esq. 
t See '* Flatter'i Barrack Market-Plaoet." 



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92 OLD SLIP MARKET. 

the people went out of their chamber windows and walked over it. 
Many of the farmers lost their sheep ; and most of the sheep and 
swine which were saved lived from one to two weeks without food. 
One man had some hens buried near his barn, which were dug out 
alive eleven days after. 

" This snow formed a remarkable era in New England ; and old 
people, in relating an event, would say that it happened so many 
years before or after the great snow." 

Three years after, in the month of January, it is said, "on the 9th, 
10th, 11th, and 12th instant, great numbers went over Hudson's River 
upon the ice from New York to New Jersey, since which the weather 
has been very warm, like the spring, and all the ice gone."* 

In the spring of 1726, prices of provisions were noticed in TJie 
New Y(yf*k Gazette^ on the 9th of May, as follows: "Pork, 558.; 
Beef, 34 to 35s. per barrel; Flour, lis. to lis. 6d. per hundred; 
Fresh Beef in the market, 3d. ^ penny per pound, by the quarter, 
and 4d. per pound smaller pieces; and Pease, 4s. 6d. per bushel." 

In the Laws of 1720, this market-place is noticed " as the market- 
house at Burger's Path," and we find eight years after it was still 
known by that name, when the Board gave the inhabitants " liberty 
to repair the market-hoiLse at Burger^a Path.^^ Again, in May, 1721, 
" John Brown, at Mrs. Beurk's, over against the * market-house by 
Burger's Path,' sells European goods at very reasonable prices, and 
takes for pay Flour, Biskets, Beef, Pork, Gammons," &c.t Two 
months after, however, the name assumed the proper one, as we find 
in the same paper, "Thursday next, at nine in the morning, at the 
* Old Slip Market,^ will be exposed for sale, by publick vendue, goods 
of various kinds ;" and Lyne's Map of this year, marks No. 9, " Old 
Slip Markety^ standing on a line of the present Pearl Street, with 
the rear next to the " Slip." It continues in the " papers" with its 
right name, although at times slip will be spelled with two p's in 
describing the residence (in 1734) of a "Book-binder, lives in Duke 
Street, (formerly caUed Bayard Street J near the * Old Slipp Mar- 
ket.'" "Looking-glasses, new silvered, and the frames plainc japan- 
ed ; also, all sorts of Picktures made and sold, and all manner of 
painting work done. Also, Looking-glasses and all sorts of painters' 
coulers and oyl, sold at reasonable rates, by Gerardus Duykinck, 
at the sign of the two Cupids, near the *01d Slip Market,' where you 
may have ready money for old looking-glasses;" and in 1736, 
" Stephen Bayard has Muscovada sugar to be sold between the Old 
Slipp and Koenties Markets.''^ 

From about the years 1725 to 1733 this market appeared at the 
• Boston News Letter, February 1, 1720. f N. Y. G-.zctte, 1729. J N. Y. JoornaL 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 93 

height of its prosperity, and it was then considered the best in the 
dty ; but in 1735 the ''Fly Market" became its rival, as an equal 
number of stands were leased, as will appear under the head of ''Fly 
Market," at that date. 

This leasing of all the stands took place on the 10th of Decem- 
ber, when the Market Committee reported that they had met and 
agreed with the following butchers for stands in the ''Market-House 
at Burger's Path:" 

" To Israel and Timothy Horsefield, 2 stalls, Nos. 1-2, at £22 0. 



To Samuel Brown, 






8 


" 10 0. 


To Samuel Hopson, - 






4 


" 8 0. 


To Eliza Carpenter, - 






5 


" 16 0. 


To Widow Davis, - 






6 


" 10 0. 


To Mich' Christopher Row, 






7 


" 8 0." 



Israel Horsefield lived at Brooklyn near the ferry, where he had 
built several buildings, and in doing so, had no doubt by accident 
overstepped his bounds, and got upon the property of the Corpora- 
tion ; but was fortunate in securing a lease on the 26th February, 
1735, '* of that part of the wharfe and slaughter-house he has lately 
built and put upon the land of this Corporation, near the ferry at 
Brookland, at the annual rent otfve shilling." This part of the 
corporation's no doubt he purchased afterwards, and it became pos- 
sessed by Israel, Junr., who advertised it for sale in the New York 
Gatette and Weekly Mercury, February, 1769, " consisting of a house 
and lot of ground, slaughter-house and barn, situate at Brooklyn 
Ferry, on Long Island." 

The marketrhouse, even with an increased number of stands, soon 
appeared too small, as the country people were crowded out, and 
caused many to stop at the " Fly," which was close by the ferry. 
This was a spur to the " inhabitants of the East Ward, near and 
adjoining the market-house, contiguous to the Old Slip, called Bur^ 

per's Path, who applied to the Board on the 21st , 1736, 

through Alderman Walter, to enlarge the market-house at their own 
charge and expense," so that a part thereof be for the use of the 
country people. This enlarging did not tend to give much en- 
couragement to business, as I find but five stands leased for one 
year in March, 1737, to the same persons, and Nos. 6 and 7 are not 
noticed. 

Some of these butchers, with others of " Fly" and " Coenties Mar- 
kets," were so unfortunate as to have negro slaves engaged in the 
"Great Negro Plot," which occurred a few years afterwards. This 
information is derived principally from Horsmanden's account, 
whose conclusion was, that these conspirators, both white and black, 



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94 OLD SLIP MARKET. 

had designed to destroy the city by fire, and massacre the inhabit- 
ants ; bnt fortunately, in conseqaence of a robbery having been com- 
mitted some weeks before the appointed time, which was fixed on 
St. Patrick's night, {March 17,) 1741, and while the police and 
magistrates were engaged in tracing out the thieyes, several fires 
occurred, of which the governor's house, the chapel, and other build- 
ings in Ihe Fort {Oeorge) were burnt to the ground. A few daya 
after, the roof of Capt. Warner's house was found in flames, but was 
soon put out by the fire-engines: then followed the partial burning 
of the store-house of Mr. Van Zandt ; then the cow stables, near 
Quick's, in the " Fly;" then at the house of one Ben. Thomas, next 
door to Capt. Sarly's ; then the haystack standing near the Court- 
House and stables of Joseph Murray, Esq., in the Broadway; then 
at the house of Sergeant Burns, opposite Fort Garden ; then at Mrs. 
Hilton's house, at the comer of the building next to tiie ''Fly Mar^ 
ket;" then at Col. Philips' store-house; and then the alarm which 
proceeded from the cellar of a baker near Coentiea Market^ which 
was all of a smother, and chips in a blaze, but was soon suppressed ; 
added to all this, the evidence from the criminals, which had begun 
to be developed of this infernal plot, and the thoughts of the former 
conspiracy,* (1712,) all tended to create the most intense excite- 
ment among all classes of the citizens. 

"At this time the City of New York contained a population of 
about twelve thousand souls, and of whom one-sixth were slavq9."t 
So numerous were they, that it was thought they were more fully 
organized than was afterwards proven, and so strong was the feel- 
ing against them at first, that they were without defence; "all the 
counsel in the city were arrayed against them, and volunteered their 
services in behalf of the crown." 

Some who had always born good characters, were deserted by 
their masters, who believed they were all guilty alike; many were 
persuaded to plead guilty, and throw themselves upon the mercy of 
the Court; and others, again, were convicted on the testimony of 
other negroes, who gave false evidence to save their own lives. 

The two butchers, Timothy and Israel Horsefield, noticed as oc- 
cupying stands Nos. 1 and 2, in this market^ lived at Brooklyn, L. I., 
and, as it appears from the evidence, they had three slaves on trial, 
two of whom were found guilty, and their sentence was transporta- 
tion. Mrs. Eliza Carpenter, who occupied stand No. 5, had two, one 
of which was burnt, and the other transported. Edward Kelly, of 
"Fly Market," had one transported; and Isaac Yarian one also 
transported. 

• See '* Coentiefl Slip Market'' f Smith's Hist N. T., p. 438, 439. 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 95 

It appears they had the city divided into two districts, and or- 
ganized in two parties: one of which called themselves ^'Long 
Bridge Boys/' who met at John Romme's in Broad Street; and the 
other, *' Smith Fly Boys," who met at John Hughson's, living at the 
North River, where he kept a low place of resort, near the foot of 
(note) Liberty Street, in John Thnrman's house. Hnghsdn and 
Bomme were white men, and were both engaged in this conspiracy ; 
the former appeared to be the '' ringleader ;" and at a great meeting, 
where some forty or fifty negroes met at his house, he swore them 
all, *' to bum and kill," every one to (set on) fire his master's house, 
**kill master and mistress, and then fire the Fort." '* That when the 
dty was on fire, the negroes were to meet at the end of Broadway, 
next to the /'te&b," (Park,) The following evidence from confes- 
sion made, shows the fact of the slaves of the above butchers being 
interested : from Pedro, (Depeyster's slave,) " says, he went out one 
Sunday morning with Mrs. Carpenter^s negro Albany; that as they 
went along the Broadway, they met with Mr. Sleydall's Jack, who 
was going to Comfort's for tea-water; that at the (Fly) market, 
near Mr. Delancy's house, they met two other negroes; that Albany 
asked them to go down to Hughson's, and drink witii them ; that 
they first drank cyder, then raw drams." Braveboy (Mrs. Kier- 
stede^s) says, ** that some time last summer, Carpenter^s Albany came 
to his mistress's house to bring meat, and called him into the yard, 
saying he wanted to speak with him, and then asked him whether 
he would join with them?" "Then Albany told him, he would help 
him to a gun to kill his master." ** Variants Worcester teid, that in 
Christmas holidays, LefFerts' Pompey carried him to Hughson's, 
where were many negroes at supper; that they had punch, Ac, and 
after supper, Hughson, his wife and daughter, swore to a plot 
against the white people, and that he (Hughson) swore most or all 
of the negroes then present, among whom the prisoner was sworn ; 
that some swore by one thing, and some by another; there were 
present the following negroes, viz. : Lefferts' Pompey, Kelly's Lon- 
don, Carpenter's Tickle, and Albany and Bastian. Codweis's Cam- 
bridge asked Horsfidd^s Cceser and Chiy about it, who both con- 
fessed they had been sworn at Hughson's, and told him, when the 
work was going forward at York, (meaning the city, as the Hors- 
fields, or masters of these two negroes, were butchers, who lived over 
the water, Brooklyn, Long Island, opposite to this city,) they would 
give the prisoner notice, and take him over with them in a canoe to 
assist them. William Nail, servant to Thomas Cox, of the City of 
New York, butcher, {in Coenties Market,) being duly sworn upon the 
Holy Evangelists of Almighty Ood, deposeth and saith, that he, the 



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96 OLD SLIP MARKET. 

deponent, having discourse with one London^ a negro man slave, be- 
longing to Edward Kdly, butcher^ concerning negroes that were 
taken up on account of the plot, heard the said London swear, by 
6 — d, that if he, the said London, should be taken up on account of 
the plot, he would hang or burn all the negroes in York." 

One hundred and fifty-four negroes were committed to prison, of 
whom fourteen were burnt at the stake, (about half way in Augustus 
Street, between Duane and Pearl Streets;) eighteen hanged, Cccser, 
Varick's negro, was hung in chains on the Island, near the powder* 
house, not far from the corner of Centre and Pearl Streets. Seven- 
teen were transported, and the rest were pardoned or discharged 
for want of proof. 

Twenty white persons were committed, of which the following 
were executed : John Hughson, his wife Sarah, Margaret Kerry, and 
John Ury. Hughson was hung in chains, on the grounds now occu- 
pied by the " Catharine Market." In the month of October, the Com- 
mon Council petition the General Assembly, praying that the negroes 
executed for the late conspiracy be paid for out of the revenue. 

In the evidence shown in this " Great Negro Plot," the name of 
William Nail, servant to Thomas Cox, is noticed. The name servant 
was usually given to those of any age or sex who were unable to 
pay passage-money across the ocean, but instead of it, bound them- 
selves for a period of time agreed upon to the shipping merchants, 
which time the merchant or captain had liberty to dispose of to the 
best advantage, on their arrival. At a later period, many such per- 
sons were known as " Redemptionists;" that is, they had power to 
redeem their persons by paying certain sums of money instead of 
labor or service. 

The arrangements to obtain a home in the " New World" in this 
manner commenced at a very early period, and some cases are in- 
deed quite novel. Among the earliest noticed, appears in the follow- 
ing law-suit which took place on the 27th of March, 1656. Gristie 
Rutzersen brings action against Dirk Van Schelluyne before the 
Court, when she states, " that she brought last year a girl, named 
Mayke Cornelissen, with her from Holland, and disbursed if. 50 
(florins) in Holland for her passage, on condition that if she did not 
remain here with her, she should pay her in place of the flF. 50 Hol- 
lands, ff.lOOhere ; and whereas, the maid hath been engaged by others, 
and deft. (Schelluyne) hath order to satisfy her ; the pltff. requests 
that he be condemned to pay her the flF. 100. Deft, says, that Mayke 
Cornelissen hath left an act. with him, which he exhibits in Court, 
in which she acknowledges that flF. 50 were paid in Holland by the 
pltflf. for her passage, for which she should serve here one year; but 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 97 

in ease she came to marry in the meantime, she should give her here 
ff.IOO for the ff.50 paid in Holland; and whereas, pltff. could not re- 
tain her in her service, she hired herself with another ; maintains, 
consequently, that she owes only ff.50." The Court adjudges the 
defendant to pay ff.lOO.* 

In the following month of July, '^ Loaurens And^ Van Boskerk, a 
turner, here complained that Frederick Adryasen, Sen^., his man, ran 
away from last Sunday morning, without either words or reasons, 
and he hired him in Amsterdam for 8 years, A he is not bound yet 
more than 1 year ; requecsts that he be constrained by order of the 
Court to serve out his time.'' 

We leave the *^ Records," and pass to a period when '* Newspa- 
pers" were first printed on this continent, to which Boston must 
claim the honor. In the advertisements which then appear, ''few 
and far between," we find these '' servants" noticed. In the Boston 
News Letter of September 8, 1705, we read: " Ran away at Boston, 
about 3 weeks ago, from his master, Capt. Samuel Rymes, com- 
mander of the Barbadoes merchant, a nuwrservant^ named Joseph 
Ingerson, aged about 22 years, a well-set young man. Whoever 
shall apprehend said servant, and him safely convey to his said mas- 
ter, shall have forty shillings reward and reasonable charges." 

The same paper, dated 3d of June, next year, in an ''editorial," 
thus shows the advantage of encouraging the importing of these 
white servants, instead of black slaves: " By last year's bill of mor* 
tality for the Town of Boston, in No. 100, ' News Letter,' we are 
furnished with a list of 44 negroes' death last year, which being com- 
puted one with another at £30 per head, amounts to the sum of one 
thousand three hundred and twenty pounds, of which we would make 
this remark : that the importing of negroes into this or the neigh- 
bouring provinces is not so beneficial either to the crown or country 
as white servants would be. 

'* For negroes do not carry arms to defend the country as whites do. 

" Negroes are generally eye-servants, great thieves, much addicted 
to stealing, lying, and purloining. 

" They do not people our country as whites would do, whereby 
we should be strengthened against an enemy. 

" By encouraging the importing of white men-servants, allowing 
somewhat to the importer, most husbandmen in the country might 
be furnished with servants for 8, 9 or £10 a head, who are not able 
to launch out 40 or X50 for a negro, the now common price. 

" A man then might buy a white man-servant, we suppose, for £10, 
to serve 4 years^ and boys for the same price, to serve 6, 8 or 10 

^ RfHfflrdfc 

Vol. I.— 7 



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98 OLD SLIP MARKET. 

years. K a white servant die, the loss exceeds not £10, bnt if a 
negro dies 'tis a very great loss to the husbandman; three years' in- 
terest of the price of the negro will near upon, if not altogether, pur- 
chase a white man-servant. 

'* If necessity call for it, that the husbandman must fit out a man 
against the enemy, if he has a negro, he cannot send him; butif he 
has a white servant, 'twill answer the end, and perhaps save his son 
at home. 

''Were merchants and masters encouraged, as already said, to 
bring in men-servants, there needed not be such complaint against 
superiors impressing our children to the war ; there would then be 
men enough to be had without impressing. 

'' The bringing in of such servants would much enrich this prov- 
ince, because husbandmen would not only be able far better to ma- 
nure what lands are already under improvement, but would also im* 
prove a great deal more that now lyes waste under woods, and ena- 
ble this province to set about raising of harvest stores, which would 
be greatly advantageous to the crown of England and this province. 

'' For the raising of hemp here, so as to make sail-cloth and cord- 
age to furnish but our own shipping, would hinder the importing it, 
or save considerable sums in a year to make returns for which we 
now do, and in time might be capacitated to furnish England not 
only with sail-cloth and cordage, but likewise with pitch, tar, hemp, 
and other stores which they are now obliged to purchase in foreign 
nations. 

'* Suppose the government here would allow forty shillings per 
head, for five years, to such as should import every of these years 
100 white men-servants, and each to serve 4 years, the cost would 
be but £200 a year, and a 1,000 for the five years; the first 100 
servants being free the 4th year, they serve the 5th for wages, and 
the 6th there is 100 that goes out into the woods, and settles a 100 
families to strengthen and barricade us from the Indians, and also 
a 100 families more every year successively. 

"And here you see that in one year the town of Boston has lost 
£1,320 by 44 negroes, which is also a loss to the country in general, 
and for a less loss, (if it may not improperly be so called,) for a 
£1,000, the country may have 500 men in five years' time for the 44 
negroes dead in one year. 

"A certain person within these 6 years had two negroes dead, 
computing both at £60 per head, to have served 24 years, at 4 years 
apiece, without running such a great risque, and the whites would 
have strengthened the country, that negroes do not. 'T would do 
well that none of those servants be liable to be impressed during 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 99 

tiieir service of agreement at their first landing. That such servants 
bebg sold or transported out of this province during the time of 
tbeir service, the persons that buy them be liable to pay £3 into 
the treasury." 

Some twenty years after Boston, New York began by publishing 
the N. Y. Gazette, in which we find, dated May 9, 1726, '' The ship 
Happy Betum is lately arrived at the City of New York from Dub- 
lin, with men and women servanta; many of the men are tradesmen, 
as blacksmiths, carpenters, weavers, taylors, cordwainers, and other 
trades. Which aervanis are to be seen on board of said vessel lay- 
ing over against Mr. Read's Wharf, and to be disposed of by John 
A Joseph Read, on reasonable terms." 

Professor Kalm, on his arrival at Philadelphia, in 1748, in the 
eihip '* Mary Oally," Captain Lawson, says he went on shore with 
the captain, '* but before he went, he {the captain) strictly charged 
the second mate to let no one of the German refugees out of the 
ship, unless he paid for his passage, or somebody else paid for him, 
or bought him." Of the various kinds of servants then employed, he 
further describes as follows: *'The servants which are made use of 
in the English-American Colonies are either free persons, or slaves, 
and the former are again of two difierent sorts. 

" 1. Those who are quite free, serve by the year ; they are not only 
allowed to leave their service at the expiration of their year, but may 
leave it at any time when they do not agree with their masters. 
However, in that case they are in danger of losing their wages, 
which are very considerable. A man-servant who has some abili- 
ties, gets between sixteen and twenty pounds in Pennsylvania cur- 
rency, but those in the country do not get so much. A servant-maid 
gets eight or ten pounds a year; these servants have their food be- 
sides their wages, but must buy their own clothes, and what they get 
of these they must thank their master's goodness for. 

" 2. The second kind of free servants consists of such persons as 
annually come from Germany, England, and other countries, in order 
to settle here; most of them are poor, and have not money enough 
to pay their passage, which is between six and eight pounds sterling 
for each person ; therefore, they agree with the captain that they 
will suffer themselves to be sold for a few years on their arrival. 
In that case, the person who buys them pays the freight for them ; 
but frequently very old people come over, who cannot pay their pas- 
sage ; they therefore sell their children, so that they serve both for 
themselves and for their parents. 

** They commonly pay fourteen pounds Pennsylvania currency for 
a person who is to serve four years, and so on in proportion. 



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100 OLD SLIP IIARKET. 

" When a person has bought sach a person for a certain number 
of years, and has an intention to sell him again, he is at liberty to 
do so ; but he is obliged, at the expiration of the term of the seryi* 
tude, to provide the usual suit of dothea for the servants, unless he 
has made that part of the bargain with the purchaser. 

" The English and Irish commonly sell themselves for four years, 
but the Germans frequently agree with the captain before they set 
out to pay him a certain sum of money for a certain number of per> 
sons; as soon as they arrive in America, they go about and try to 
get a man who will pay the passage for them ; in return they give, 
according to their circumstances, one or several of their children, to 
serve a certain number of years; at last they make their bargain 
with the highest bidder. 

'* 3. The negroes or blacks make the third kind. They are in a 
manner slaves ; for when a negro is once bought, he is the purchaser's 
servant as long as he lives, unless he gives him to another, or makes 
him free. Formerly the negroes were brought over from Africa, 
and bought by almost every one who could afford it. The Quakers 
alone scrupled to have slaves; but they are no longer so nice, and 
they have as many negroes as other people. The price of negroes 
differs, according to their age, health, and abilities. A full-grown 
negro costs from forty pounds and upwards to a hundred of Penfi- 
aylvania currency." 

We again turn to the N. Y. Oazette, to notice these " servants,'* 
who, it appears, occasionally ran away from their masters. We 
read that " William Fletcher, a bought servant, is run away from 
his master the 19th of last March, (1726,) and carried with him some 
paper-money belonging to his master. Whoever can apprehend said 
servant, or discover by letter where he is, so that he may be appre- 
hended, shall have five pounds paid by the collector of His Majesty's 
Customs in New York. Or if he will return and give security for 
his good behaviour, he shall be forgiven. He had on when he went 
away a dark-colored kersey coat, with brass buttons and braid, with 
duroy; has leather breeches, short dark hair; by trade a brush-maker; 
pretends to be a turner ; he makes mops, makea and mends bellows." 

Four years after, 11th of May, 1730, in the same paper, is the 
notice of a runaway " servant-man," which, from description, would 
appear to have been a useful mechanic. " Ran away from Nicholas 
Mathiessen, of the City of New York, brewer, one servant-man, 
named Henry Fisher, about 26 years of age. He is by trade a house- 
carpenter, a mason, and a pump-maker ; some time past he lived with 
Mr. Hold in this city, brewer. Whoever can take up said servant- 
man and bring him to his master, or secure him and give notice, so 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 101 

tbat his master can haye him again, shall have five poimds reward, 
mud ail reasonable charges paid.'' 

Another, at a later period, is also worthy of notice, and reads, 
^ Ban away from Doctor William Band, of Boston, on the third day 
of July last, an indented (German servant-man, named Qeorge Dacart, 
about 22 years old; is well set, of a brown complexion, and has brown 
liair. He took with him a snit of blue clothes, with metal buttons, 
a pair of cotton breeches, ozenbrigs frock and trowsers, and yarn 
stockings. He also took from his master a silver-hilted sword, a 
erofls-CQt saw, and a fine French gnn. He is supposed to be gone 
towards Philadelphia, but 'tis said has been lately seen in New York, 
in the employ of a batcher. Whoever takes up said servant, and 
eecures him in goal, shall have three pounds reward, paid by the 
printer of this paper; or returned to Boston to his master, three 
pistoles reward, and all reasonable charges."* 

The manner of disposing of the unexpired time of these servants, 
in case of death or otherwise, is shown by the following : " On Thurs- 
day, the fifth day of August next, will be exposed to sale, by way of 
public vendue, the times of two men and one woman servant, and 
several other things belonging to the estate of His late Excellency 
Governor Montgomerie.^' On the following 11th of October, *' a 
Tery good, handy servant gtrVs time of six years, to be disposed of; 
enquire of the printer hereof."t Advancing forty years, the " N. Y. 
Journal,'' June 27, 1771, says, " Ttoenty-three months of the time of 
an indented servant-woman, named Hannah Scott, is ' to be sold for 
tight pounds;^ inquire of Samuel Bayard, opposite the Old English 
Church." " Rivington's N. T. Gazetteer,'' July 22, 1773, " Servants 
and Bedemptioners. — Afew boys and girls, men and women, on board 
the ship Needham, William Chevers, commander, just arrived from 
Newry, whose freights are payable to the captain, or to William 
Neilson." In the same paper, on the 29th of July following: "To 
be sold, upwards of four years' time of an English indented ser- 
vant, a young man about twenty years of age; he has been used to 
aocompts, and writes a very good hand." After the Revolution, 
we find in "The Daily Advertiser," May 25, 1786, noticed, "To be 
disposed of, the time of ^u^o Ckrman Bedemptioners, man and woman ; 
they are likely, healthy, and strong, and have four years and a half 
to serve ; enquire of the printer." 

We turn back to this now "Old Market-House," and find two 

items noticed in relation to it in an editorial of the N. T. Gazette, 

June 17, 1754, which says, "The *01d Slip Market,' at the foot of 

Smith Street, which for a long time has remained in a very ruinous 

• M. T. Gmftte, Sept S5, 1752. f lb., Julj 26, 1731. 



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102 O^^ SLIP MARKET. 

condition, is, by order of the Mayor and Corporation, now repair^ 
ing, having a good stone foundation already placed and a strong 
boarded floor preparing for the same; and will in a very little time, 
from the close application of the workmen, be in an extraordinary 
good condition to receive both city and country produce. We are 
told that the front part (if not the whole) of the market is to be re- 
shingled.'^ Then follows, "At the aforesaid market, on Friday last, 
was exposed to sale the largest veal of its age that has been known 
for many years to be brought into our market. It was but six weeks 
and four days old, and bred at Woodbridge, Rahway, in the Jerseys^ 
and was sold for 9 shillings the quarter, one of which weigh'd up> 
wards of 30 pounds." 

On the first of November following, the market-house appears to 
have been finished, when a committee was appointed " for the letting 
of the sellars under the ' Slip Market,' for the use and benefit of this 
Corporation.'' 

As late as 1762, the Laws designate it as " the Market-House at 
Old Slip, commonly called Burger's Path ;" but whenever noticed 
in the press, it is usually found with its- proper name, used as a 
'' guide-post," in advertising somebody's wares, and very seldom in 
an editorial. One of an unfortunate occurrence which happened to 
one of the butchers is thus noticed in the Gazette of July 3d, 1766: 
" Mr. Giles Cooper, a butcher of the * Old Slip Market,' partner of 
John Foster^ another butcher, fell from his horse, between Hamstead 
and Jamaica, Long Island, last Thursday (27th ult.) afternoon, and 
broke so many of his bones that he died next morning." 

Occasionally meat and other thieves visited the markets for the 
purpose of procuring a good dinner, without paying the current coin, 
and occasionally they were caught; when, if they did not willingly 
pay, they received a coin " well laid on," which would do some of the 
light-fingered gentry now-a-days some good ; but in those days, there 
were no " shysters," either judges or lawyers, who would like to di- 
vide their plunder or run the risk of receiving some of the same sort. 
Not only were men publicly whipped, but women too. In the month 
of September, 1766, the N. Y. Mercury says, " This day, between the 
hours of nine and eleven, Mrs. Johanna Christian Young, and another 
lady, her associate from Philadelphia, being found guilty of grand 
larceny, at the Mayor's Court, last week, are to be set on two chairs 
exalted on a cart, with their heads and faces uncovered, and to be 
carted from the City Hall, to that part of the Broadway near the 
new English Church, from thence down Maiden Lane, then down 
the Fly to the Whitehall, thence to the Church aforesaid, and then 
to the Whipping Post, where each of them are to receive 39 lashes^ 
to remain in goal for one week, and then to depart the city." 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 103 

The pay of the " Pablick Whipper," some twenty years before this 
took place, is noticed in the following entry, dated 15th January, 
1736 : '* To Edward Brenwen, the public whipper of this city, X2 10, 
ia full for 1 qn sallarry, & also the sum of 15s* for setting in the 
pillory ft whipping through't the Town, at a cart's tail, one Patrick 
Baiter for issueing contrefetted doUors," ftc«* 

The pay of this "publick" officer was very much increased in 1751, 
as no doubt the duties of the office had become more onerous and 
arduous to the professed office-seeker, which caused an advertise- 
ment as follows: "The Public Whipper of the City of New York, 
being lately dead, if any person inclines to accept that office, with 
ifoefiUy pounds a year, he may apply to the Mayor, and be entered.''t 

A few years after, another mode of punishing criminals is no- 
tioed in the same paper, January 25, 1768, as follows: "One John 
Clayton Morris was committed to goal of this city for aheep steed- 
ing; it seems he had successively stole four or five, which he killed, 
and retailed in the markets. On a search, the skins were found in 
his possession. He was tried last week at our Supreme Court, and 
found guilty, but had the benefit of the dergy granted him ; was burnt 
in the hand, and discharged.'' 

The next year, (1769,) on the 14th of September, the " Chronicle" 
says, " On Tuesday last William Smith and Daniel Martin, the former 
for stealing a quarter of lamb, and the latter for stealing fiddle- 
strings, received 15 lashes each at the usual place of flagellation.'' 

A few days after, Richard Ely, for attempting to defraud and 
cheat, "was exalted on a wooden horse in a triumphal car, with 
labels on his breast; after which he was conducted to the public 
whipping-post, where he received a proper chastisement." 

We find the counterfeiter was more severely dealt with, as the fol- 
lowing will show. The same paper on the 15th of May, same year, 
says, "On Thursday last, one John Jubeart was committed to goal, 
for passing false dollars. Upon examination before Alderman 6au- 
tier, he said that he was born upon Staten Island, and followed the 
bnsinees of a tinker. There was a millinix found upon him, and an 
instmment which he said he used to straiten gdn-barrels. He had 
passed some of the bad dollars in this city, which were brought in 
and delivered to the Alderman. Upon his being detected and threat- 
ttied to be carried before a magistrate, he endeavored to make his 
escape, and went into the *01d Slip Market,' where he buried some 
dollan among a parcel of rubbish, which was taken up by some peo- 
ple who had observed him, and produced at his examination. 

*'The public are desired to oteerve, that the mounts upon the side 
•B«oordi» tN.T.QaMtto,lUrch4,mL 



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104 OLD SLIP MARKET. 

of these false dollars, instead of being raised, are indented, and the 
millinix npon the edges open, and distinguishable from a genuine 
Spanish dollar/' 

On the 3d of Angust he was found guilty, and received sentenoe 
of death, to be hanged on the 23d ; but was respited until the 6th of 
September, " when he was executed at * stone fence,' near the dtyJ* 

The gold and silver money, although scarce, gave considerable 
trouble among the traders, who sometimes differed about its valuar 
tion ; some of it was either much worn, or had been lessened of its 
weight by the dishonest. 

The question of its valuation came up before the Chamber of Com- 
merce on the 3d of October, same year, (1769,) when '' it was unani- 
mously agreed, that all the members will receive and pay the under- 
mentioned gold and silver coins at the following rates, and their 

lesser denominations in the same proportions, viz. : 

£. B. d. 
'* A Johannea, weighing eighteen penny-weights, for - 6 8 

A Moidore, weighing six penny-weights and eight grains, 

for 2 8 

A CaroUne, weighing six penny-weights and eight grains, 

for 1 18 

A Spanish Doubloon^ or 4 pistole pieces, weighing seven- 
teen penny-weights and eight grains, for - • - 5 16 
A Frefich Pistole, weighing four penny-weights and five 

grains, for 18 

An English Ovinea, weighing five penny-weights and six 

grains, for 1 17 

A French Ghiinea, weighing five penny-weights and five 

grains, for 1 16 

A Chequin, weighing two penny-weights and five grains, 

for 14 6 

An English Crown, and also a French Crown, cast - 8 9 
An English Shilling, Is. 9d. ; a Pistareen, Is. 7d. 
" That for every grain any of the above specified gold coins shall 
weigh less than the above respective weights, four-pence must be de- 
ducted therefrom. (Signed,) Anthony Van Dam, Sec'y." 

The paper currency was also a source of trouble to the citizens; 
the principal part in circulation was Jersey money, which appeared 
to rank higher than New York bills, as will be shown from the pro- 
ceedings of the Chamber of Commerce, March 3d, 1772. At this 
meeting William McAdam stated, " Soon after the establishment of 
this society, I proposed to your consideration, whether it was for the 
interest of the community that Jersey paper-money should pass in 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 105 

fhifl province higher than it is taken for in «tihe Treasury of the prov- 
ince of New Jersey. The loss and inconvenience arising to the 
traders in this city, from the present practice of passing Jersey 
money for more than its acknowledged value by their own Legisla- 
tore, will, I hope, plead my excuse for receiving my proposal. That 
this Corporation may enter into an agreement to fix a time when 
they will no longer depreciate their own currency by accepting that 
of another abof e par. 

^ I therefore propose that a time be fixed that this Corporation 
do agree to pay and receive Jersey money at the same rate it is re- 
ceived and paid in their own treas^y." 

This proposition was referred to further meetings; however, on 
the 5th of November following, a resolution was passed, " that it be 
received on the same terms that it passes for in New Jersey ; that 
is to say: 

"A bill of £6 proclamation money for $16, or £6 8 N. Y. currency, 
A bill of X3 " " 8, or 3 4 

AbiUofjCllO " " 4, or 112 

A bill of 15s. " " 2, or 16 " 

and in like proportion for bills of a less denomination," which was 
to take place "from and after 3d of September following, (1773.") 
This resolution was, however, rescinded, in consequence of its un- 
popularity, at a meeting held on the following 7th of December. 

"Rivington" came out with an editorial on the 20th January, 
1774, saying, " Jersey Bills are now, in the general course of trade, 
restored to the old standard at which they were ever current in this 
province, viz. : Bills of one aktUing, at thirteen pence; those of one 
pound ten shiUtngs, at thirty-tvH) ahiUings and stapencef Ac. At these 
rates they are freely taken, either for goods, or to purchase the best 
Bills of Exchange in our city."* 

From the following advertisements, we glean some further facts 
relative to the currency of that period : "Jacob Remsen has for sale 
besides, beef, pork, flour, and bread," " and a parcel of ' wampum,'t 
(or Indian currency. Y^ " Lost or mislaid, on the first of this inst., in 
the * Oswego {Broadway) Market,' 3 thirty shilling Jersey Bills ; one 
6 and 6 penny do., 2 18 penny do., in a blue paper. Two dollars re- 
ward, and no questions asked ; it being lost by a poor man, and the 
money not belong^ing to him."^ The next refers to oounterfeit 
money. "The public are hereby notified that there are now passing 
among us a number of oounterfeit Jersey twelve shilling bills, dated 
December 81, 1768, signed Johnson, Smithy and Skinner. They are 

* Gftsetteer. f <* Gazette and Weekly Port Baj,'' lUreh 13, 1768. 

X K Y. Mercury, September 14, 1767. 



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106 OL^ BLIP MARKET. 

printed with common tjspes, but so badly executed as to be easily 
discovered on close inspection. Twelve shilling bills made out of 
three shilling bills have also appeared in this city lately."* " Lost 
or stolen, last Monday, between the North River and ' Coenties Mar- 
ket/ a worked pocket-book lined with read ; had in it cash, 1 bill 
New York currency, old emmission ; 2 of forty shillings ditto,'' &c.t 

The next will diow the ridicule, as also the value of a Congress 
bill, by the royal editor " Rivington," in his " Royal Gazette," De- 
cember 22d, 1779 : " Monday se'night was offered for public sale^ at 
the Coffee-House, a Congress bill of 70 dollars ; the &rst bidder of- 
fered three shillings New Yorl^ currency for it, the next 6d. more, 
and it went on at 6d. more till 6s. 6d. The bidders began then 
with coppers, and came up to 7s. and 3 coppers ; at last they offered 
farthings, and the 70 dollar bill was knocked off for eight shillings 
and three-pence half-penny." 

After the "Revolution," we find "Indian money" yet for sale: the 
N. Y. Packet, May 11, 1786, gives notice to "any person desirous of 
purchasing a quantity of Indian Corn, may be supplied by applying 
to Nicholas Hoffman & Son, No. 12 Little Dock Street, where also 
may be had a quantity of Hack and white wampum^ pipes and shells." 

In the preparations for the Jtevclution, the city was laid out into 
districts or company beats: No. 20 is noticed as "beginning at Mr. 
John Siemens', fronting the corner of the Old Slip Market, running 
down to the East River ; then from said Siemens' along Queen Street 
to the comer of Smith Richards, and then down King Street to the 
East River, taking in Dock and Water Streets below." This beat 
was commanded by Oliver Templeton and Garret Kettletas."t 

The next year, this market is noticed in connection with a horrid 
murder, which took place near by it, which appears in the " Penn» 
Evening Post," and reads, "On Sunday last, July 7, 1776, a number 
of felons, confined in the New Goal, attempted to escape. The ring- 
leader, it seems, is one Armstrong, a murderer, of whom wo have 
the following account, viz. : That he was a deserter from the Regu- 
lars at Boston, and entered himself in one of our Rifle Companies 
before that place; that he was a remarkable wicked, disorderly, 
desperate fellow ; that some months ago, soon after the arrival of 
the army from Boston, he broke into the house of Mr. Jacob Pozer, 
at Whitehall, and took from thence all his wearing apparel; same 
night he went into the house of Mr. James Meldrum, at the (Old) 
^ Slip Market/ when most of the family were in bed ; that a young 
woman of the house asked his buainess, and desired him to walk out, 

^ N^T. Joanial, April 1», 1770. t Guette, Maroh 23, 1778. 

} Prov. CoograH, Aogust 22, 1776. 



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OLD SLIP MARKET. 107 

which he refused, and attempted to take hold of her, when she threat- 
ened to scald him with hot water from a tea-kettle, and endeavored 
to leaye the room ; that he followed her and stmck the edge of a 
tomahawk into her skull, of which she instantly died; that he then 
mshed out of the house, was pursued by the men of die house and 
others, who, by the assistance of the watch, secured him. That at 
the last Supreme Court, he was brought on his trial for the murder, 
but there not being a jury to be had, he was remanded till the next 
session ; that having, with a number of confederates, formed a con- 
spiracy to escape, on Sunday afternoon he fired a pistol at the 
sentry, which luckily missed him ; that he seized the sentry's gun 
and knocked him down with it, and then wrenched a sword from 
the hands of Mr. Sheriff Boberts, who was endeavoring to quell the 
mutiny, just going to plunge it in his body, when the sergeant of the 
guard saved him, by shooting the villain through the head." 

The days of prosperity of this lingering old market-house appear 
at that time to have been drawing to a close, as I find it but seldom 
noticed ; although as late as the year 1778, it appears to have been 
in existence, as we learn firom Holt's N. Y. Journal, August 24th, 
where it was noticed in connection with a very large fire as follows: 
" The fire began on Monday morning about 1 o'clock, the 3d inst., 
at the house of Mr. Stewart, on Cruger's Dock, (ruw Front Street;) 
that it consumed all the houses between 'Coenties' and the 'Old 
Slip Market,' from the water-side to Dock (Pearl) Street." Another 
account says, the "fire broke out in the store of Mr. Jones, ship chand- 
ler, on Gruger's Wharff, and, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of 
the Navy, Army, and inhabitants, soon consumed all the buildings 
on the east, south and west end of said wharff, and every house on 
the south side of Little Dock ( Water) Street. The street being nar^ 
row, the flames soon communicated to the north side of Little Dock 
Street, and consumed the whole (five houses excepted) at the west 
end. The fire soon caught the back buildings in Dock Street, and 
burnt every house to the east of Mr. Isaac Low's, as fiftr as the Old 
Slip, and three opposite the Slip."* The next issue states those who 
suffered from loss, as follows: '* Col. William Bayard, 6 houses and 
store that rented for £520, (this worthy gentleman suffered greatly 
in the fire of September, 1776.) Messrs. John and Henry Cruger, 6 
houses; Mr. Gerardus Duyckinck, 7 houses; Mr. Peter Mesier, 2 
dwelling-houses, (this family and their relations have lost in the 
course of 28 months no less than 15 houses and stores, some of them 
large and elegant buildings,) and Mr. David Provoost, 4 houses, and 
2 pulled down ; Oapt Thomas Brown, 4 houses ; Mr. Yarack, 1 house; 
* N. T. Guette, Angoit 3, m& 



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108 OLD SLIP MARKET. 

estate of Mr. Andrew Myer, 1 house ; Mr. Henry Van Vleck, 1 house ; 
Mr. Samuel Schuyler, 2 houses ; Mr. Thomas Doughty, 1 house ; Mr. 
Isaac Low's house, and that of Mr. Lawrence Eortwright, adjoining, 
greatly damaged; Capt. Deale, 2 houses; Mr. Edmund Seaman, 2 
houses ; Mr. Andrew Breasted, 3 houses ; Mr. Humphrey Jones, 1 
house ; Dr. Van Solingen, 1 house ; Mr. Richard Ten Eyck, baker, 

1 house ; Mr. Wandelham, 1 house ; Mr. James Wells, a house and 

2 stores; Mr. Benjamin Moore, 1 house; Mr. Benjamin Davis, 1 
house; Mrs. P. De Lanceys, 1 house; Mrs. Ten Eyck, 2 dwelling- 
houses and several stores.'' 

Another account of this fire is taken from a letter, dated at " Camp 
at the White Plains, August 8, 1778," which says, " Yesterday came 
out from thence (New York) two Hessian officers, (who deserted,) lefk 
the city about 8 o'clock in the evening, the 6th inst., and passed 
King's Bridge about one in the morning. One of them, a handsome 
young fellow, whose brother is aid-de-camp to Gen. Clinton, tells me 
he saw the fire. That it began in a house filled with king's stores; 
68 houses and a vast quantity of stores, amongst which 80,000 blankets 
or pairs of blankets, I think the latter ; 10,000 suits of cloaths, and 
a great deal of provisions, computed at four weeks' supply."* 

David Grim says, in addition, " The cause of so many houses 
(about 300) burned at this time, was the military officers tsJcing the 
ordering and directions of this fire from the firemen; the citizens 
complained to the Commander-in-Chief, who immediately gave in 
general orders, that in future, no military man should interfere 
with any fire that may happen in the city." 

The Major-General commanding, in a proclamation, says, " Many 
of the inhabitants suspected that this fire was not the efifect of acci- 
dent, but design ;" which induced him to offer a reward of one hun- 
dred guineas on conviction of the offenders. This amount was in- 
creased by a somewhat notorious member of the law, (John CoggU 
KnappJ who occasionally showed some outward liberality, but 
whose reputation was not of the best. He promises an additional 
reward of twenty guineas^ upon the same terms as set forth by the 
major-general commanding. 

This large fire was followed the next day with another calamity, 
thus noticed: ''Last Tuesday afternoon, about one o'clock, during 
a heavy rain accompanied with thunder, the lightning struck the 
Ordnance Sloop Morning Star, lying off the Coffee-House, ( Wall 
Street J in the East River, with 248 barrels of gunpowder on board ; 
it produced a most tremendous explosion. A number of houses were 
unroofed, many windows broke, and some furniture demolished by 
* Feonft. Packet, AuBoit 16, 1778. 



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GOBNTIES SLIP MARKET. IQQ 

the blast ; the effects of which were similar to an earthquake. Hap- 
pily there was only one man in the vessel when the accident hap- 
pened/'* who perished; the other part of the crew being on shore, 
fortunately escaped. 

At this period an extract of a letter says, *' The inhabitants are 
most distressed at their present situation, and a vast many want to 
take their chance in the country, but cannot obtain permission, "t 
Their situation continued to grow worse, and in the long, severely 
cold winter of 1779-80, caused an inefficient supply of both provi- 
sions and fire-wood. *' Fuel was so scarce (aaya a voriter) that gar^ 
den fences, old sheds, Ac, were taken down to supply the want of 
cord-wood. Provisions were as scarce as fuel. Everybody, except 
the rich and the dissolute, was put upon short allowance. Potatoes 
were sold for a guinea per bushel I while biscuits, made of oatmeal, 
as coarse and containing as little nourishment as ground straw, 
were served out to the (British) troops. Early in the spring the 
Cork Fleet arrived, and brought provisions in abundance. Fine 
rose butter was sold immediately at 2s. 2d. per lb., and almost every- 
body was soon relieved and made comfortable.''^ 

No doubt among the "old £iheds," &c., this then old and unused 
market-house was torn down and taken for fire-wood, as I find no 
further notice of it. 



"COENTIES SLIP MARKET." 

1691. The establishment of this market-place took place, no 
doubt, from the fact, that after the " Oreat Dock" had been made, 
it excluded many of the fishing craft firom landing at that old place, 
andi of course, changed their location above the dock. There the 
large vessels could lay in a well-protected cove, and the smaller 
ones were drawn upon the beach or strand near the attractive pub- 
lic-house, kept many years before by Mary Polet, commonly known 
as Long Mary. 

The first notice in the "Records" of the establishment of this noted 
marketrplace was on the 15th of July, 1691, when the authorities 
designate where Fhsh Meat shall be sold, and adds, " Fish to be 
brought into the dock, over against the City Hall, or the house 
that JLonjr Mary formerly lived." 

• N. T. Gazette. Ad^cusI 10, 1778. f Penna. Packet, Augoit 15, 177& 

X Pampbleta, Mo. 28S, p. 67, & Society. 



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110 OOBNTIES SLIP MARKET. 

Long Mary must hare been quite a character in her day, as I find 
her name often noticed, as early as the year 1671. In that year a 
committee was appointed '^ to take a view of the corner waal ^n^^ 
the Towne is to make before the house of Ixmg Mary's;^* and a few 
months after, *' the Court do allow to the karmen, for the work done 
for the Towne in filling up the Wharfe before Long Marias, eight 
stivers per load" for gravel. No doubt her person and well-kept 
house attracted the attendants at the Oity Hall, the fishermen and 
others, who resorted there, and being very tall, she acquired the 
name of Long Mary with her numerous visitors. 

The old Stadt House, or City Hall, stood near by on the line of 
Pearl Street, opposite the Coenties Slip, which fact is well authen- 
ticated. It was originally built for a large City Tavern, of which 
parts were used by the officers of the W. I. Company ; soon after it 
became known as the State House or City Hall, where the Schout 
Burgomasters and Schepens held their sessions; then, at a later 
period, the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, with the Courts of Jus- 
tice and Prisons; and near this market-place, on the shore, were 
many of the necessary implements of punishment. We find on the 
20th of October, 1691, that it was "Ordered, that the Sheriff" imme- 
diately cause a ducking stoole to be built upon the Wharf before the 
City Hall, and goe to the Treasurer for his pay." 

This marketrplace having been established for the exclusive sale 
of fish, the fishermen usually sold from their boats and canoes on the 
few market-days then allowed, except in their fishing seasons, when 
they provided sheds or other covering, while salting and laying up 
stores for the inhabitants ; and the business increased so fast that it 
became soon after known as the " Great Pish Market." 

We find at this early period the various kinds of fish were usually 
very plentiful and cheap, particularly shell-fish, which were caught 
in abundance along the shores in every direction. So quiet was the 
harbor, that whales came up to the city and visited both the East 
and North Rivers. Several were taken near the city at different in- 
tervals, as will be shown, with several other interesting facts connect* 
ed with the subject of fish. In another part of this work is noticed the 
description given by Van der Donk of the stranding of two whales 
up the North River. From the " Boston News Letter," dated Feb- 
ruary 24, 1707, we find, " Last week a whale, about 40 feet long, 
was struck a few miles to the eastward of this city, and afterwards 
passed thro' the harbour, and was killed in the Hudson River and 
brought down hither, where she is exposed to view." Then, in an 
address made by Lord Combury to the Board of Trade, in July, 1708, 
he says, " The quantity of train oyl made in Long Island is uncer- 



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C0ENTIE8 SLIP MARKET. m 

tab ; some years they have much more fish than others ; for example, 
last year they made four thousand barrils of oyl, and this season 
they haye not made above six hundred: about the middle of Octo- 
ber they begin to look out for fish ; the season lasts all November, 
December, January, February, and part of March : a yearling {whale) 
will make about forty barrils of oyl, a stunt or whale two years old 
will make sometimes fifty, sometimes sixty barrils of oyl, and the 
largest whale I ever knew of in these parts, yielded one hundred 
and ten barrils of oyl, and twelve hundred weight of bone. There 
might be good improvement made in the fishery of codfish A mack- 
eril ; but fish of several sorts is so plenty in the river and bay be- 
fore the city, that our people will not take the pains to go to sea."^ 

Samuel Mufibrd also gives interesting information in his testi- 
mony on the whale fishery in 1716, when he says, '' It hath been a 
custom for above 60 years (several years before New York was sub- 
jected to the crown of England) for their Migesties' subjects on the 
east end of Long Island, then belonging to Connecticut Colony, to 
go out upon the seas adjacent to their land, six men in a small boat, 
to take and kill whales and other fish, and^ the captors to have all 
they killed brought on shore with wind and sea/'t There also ap- 
pears at an early period, an "Agreement made the 4th of January, 
1669, between y^ Whale Companies of East and South Hampton. 
If any Companie shall find a dead whale upon the shore, killed by 
y« other, a person bringing the news to bee well rewarded. And if 
one Companie shall find any whale so killed at sea, they shall en- 
deavor to secure them and have one-half for their pains, and any 
irons (harpoons) found in them to bee returned to y« owner."J 

In the year 1721, a proposition was made by Josiah Quincy to 
supply the New York markets with fresh fish. He presents a peti- 
tion to the Corporation on the 8th July, 1721, "praying for land at 
or near Kingbridge to erect a fishery, with liberty to fish in the 
river at that place; and proposes to supply the markets at New 
York with fish very fresh and at very easy rates, and in payment, 
rendering therefore yearly, on every fourteenth day of October, to 
this Corporation a good dish of fresh fish J^^ 

The "Journal of the General Assembly" shows an Act was passed, 
in the month of April, 1726, "to entitle Letvts Sector Piot Be Lan- 
gloiserie to the sole fishery of porpoises in the Province of New York, 
during the term of ten years." The length of this gentleman's name 
DO doubt was taken in consideration, when the length of time was 
given to him for this value(le88)able right, that he might retire on 

* Doo. H!8t, Tol. ▼. t I>oc Hist N. T., toL L, {k S72. 

I Thonpoon's L. I. ^ Ciij Becorda 



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112 COENTIES SLIP MARKET. 

the proceeds, and be no longer doomed to sign his name to the many 
docoments called for in that business. 

An intelligent writer gives a good article on fish and oysters, 
which is found in the "Independent Reflector, November 22, 1753 ;'' 
he says, "Tho' we abound in no one kind of fish sufficient for a staple, 
yet such is our happiness in this article, that not one of the colonies 
affords a fish-market of such a plentiful variety as ours. BoatonhaA 
none but sea-fish, and of these Philaddphia is entirely destitute, be- 
ing only furnished with the fish of a fresh-water river. New York 
is sufficiently supplied with both sorts. Nor ought our va3t plenty 
of oysters to pass without particular observation ; in their quality 
they are exceeded by those of no country whatever. People of all 
ranks amongst us, in general, prefer them to any other kind of food. 
Nor is anything wanting, save a little of the filings of copper, to 
render them equally relishing, even to an English palate, with the 
best from Cdchesier. They continue good eight months in the year, 
and are, for two months longer, the daily food of our poor. Their 
beds are within view of the town, and I am informed that an oyster- 
man, industriously employed, may clear eight or ten shillings a day. 
Some gentlemen, a few years ago, were at the pains of computing 
the value of this shell-fish to our province in general. The esti- 
mate was made with judgment and accuracy, and their computation 
amounted to ten thousand pounds per annum. Their increase and 
consumption are since very much enhanced, and thus also their ad- 
ditional value in proportion. I confess it has often given me great 
pleasure to reflect, how many of my poor countrymen are comforta- 
bly supplied by this article, who, without it, could scarcely subsist, 
and for that reason beg to be excused for the length of this reflec- 
tion on so humble a subject, tho' it might justly be urged to the 
honour of oysters, that, considered in another view, they are service- 
able both to our king and country." 

Following up the taking of whales, we find in the N. Y. Oazette, 
December 11, 1752, says, "Last Saturday a whale, forty-five feet long, 
ran ashore at Yan Buskirk's point at the entrance of the KHis from 
our bay, when being discovered by the people from Staten Island, a 
number of men went off and killed him, and may now be seen at Mr* 
John Waters', at the Perry-house on Staten Island." 

Then the same "paper" at a later period, (April 18, 1756,) says, 
"On last Tuesday, 5,751 shad were caught at one draught on the 
west side of Long Island." Enormous! 

" We hear," says the Oazette and Weekly Post Boy, September 
4, 1766, "that on Monday, (September 1,) Mr. Holman, of Elizabeth- 
town, N. J., with five other men and two boys, being out a-fishing, di^ 



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COENTIES SLIP IIARKET. II3 

covered a whale swimming about, near Coney Island, on which soon 
after it ran ashore, and before it could get off, they came up and 
killed it with a rusty sword, that happened to be on board the ves- 
sel. We are told Mr. (Saml.) Waldron at the Ferry, opposite this 
city, on Long Island, has bought it, (for about £20,) and that it is 
now brought up to that place: it is said to be forty-nine feet in 
length, and that if cut up, would produce about seventy barrels of 
oyl." 

Occasionally a short supply of oil (or oyl, or oyle, as it was spelled 
in the '* olden time,") was found for the city's use ; an instance of this 
character occurred a few years after, when there was none to light 
the public lamps for a period of about three months. A citizen asks 
the question, through the N. Y. Journal, (October 8, 1772,) " Why 
the publick lamps in this city have not been lighted for these three 
months past, when a tax is levied for that purpose?" It is answered 
in the next paper, (October 15,) through the editor, as if coming from 
the Corporation, as follows: '^ You are desired by the Corporation 
to answer the question of the citizen, by informing him that no oil 
was to be had." 

Among the news dated New York, October 25, in the New Hamp- 
shire Gazette, November 5, 1773, which says, "Several days last 
week a large whale was seen in the North as well as the East River, 
near the city." Since this period several have been taken near our 
harbor, and towed up to the city for exhibition ; the last noticed 
was on the 25th of April, 1857, when the "Herald" says, "Captain 
Cobb, of the fishing schooner Wm. Riley, and Captain Harris, of 
schooner B. F. Brotcn, while cruising off Sandy Hook on Saturday 
last, came in contact with a stranger, which proved to be a right 
whale. Preparation was immediately made for his capture, and in 
about three hours the prize was taken. He was immediately towed 
to Staten Island, where he was cut up, and yesterday the blubber 
and bone were brought to the city. The tohale measured 48 feet in 
length, 10 feet across the breast, and will yield about 40 barrels of 
oil and five hundred pounds of bone." 

Reverting again to this market-place, as no market-house had yet 
been built here, until we find from the orders given on the 16th of 
November, 1720, to have the "Custom-House Bridge Market" taken 
down, and the inhabitants have liberty to remove the old market- 
house to a more convenient place near the water-side. 

The Laws published this year do not yet give it a name, but de- 
scribe it as "at the slip at the east end of the dock." Ten years 
after, the Laws say of the " five several places" to hold markets, " One 
market at Coenties Dock." Then on Lyne's Map of the City, pub- 
VoL, L— 8 



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114 COENTIES SLIP MARKET. 

lished in 1729, it is noticed as the ''Fish Market," and is so known 
on all the early maps. 

Two years after, in the N. Y. Gazette, dated Angnst 28, 1782, it 
appears with its common name, although differently spelled, in an 
advertisement of William Thnrston, school-master, dwelling at the 
corner house by Eoenties Market, oyer against the "Scotch Arms;" 
and the reasonable supposition is, that if the school-master was 
abroad then, he would hare showed his teaming^ in haying the name 
spelled as it was then known. 

It no doubt took the name of Coenties from a wealthy tanner and 
shoemaker, named Coentract Ten Eyckey who owned and resided on 
the corner of now Pearl Street by the side of this market-place. 
The Christian names of the inhabitants were then mostly used, and 
for shortness, or a nickname, no doubt this was given him : this has 
been pronounced coornre^ cocmrtre^ coon-je, or eoenties. 

Its proper name after this period it began to eigoy, although 
variously spelled, as will be shown in the press '' of the olden time," 
of which nearly every one and the greater part of the advertisements 
and other notices also show, that the market-places, and other pub- 
lic places, were the guide-posts to trace out individuality, prior to 
the Revolution ; after that period the houses were properly number- 
ed. The first is taken from the N. Y. Weekly Journal, April 24, 
1734, which speaks of a *' House to be sold in Duke (Stone) Street, 
fronting the alley that leads to Coentjies Market J^ The same paper, 
March 29, 1736, says, that " Stephen Bayard has Muscovada Sugar 
to be sold, between the *01d Slip and Eoentjies Markets.'" The 
Mercury, May 13, 1754, has " to be sold, by James Jarvis, next door 
to Doctor William Farqnar's, between Goenties Market and the 
Long Bridge, (Broad Street,) a variety of chints and callicoes.*' 
The same, August 11, 1755, "By Robert Doyle, pewterer, at the 
sign of the Gilt Dish, in Dock (Pearl) Street, between the Old Slip 
and Coenties Markets.'' ** Golden and Kelly," says the same paper 
of January, 1756, have for sale, " at their store near Goentjies Mar- 
ket," Ac. In the Gazetteer, July 16, 1759, Thomas Doughty adver- 
tises " to be sold, cheap, at his store in Dock Street, between the 
(Old) Slip and Goenties Market." The " Mercury," November 21, 
1763, notices a sale at public vendue, " at Goentjies Market, of sugars 
& Lisbon wines." The " Gazette and Weekly Post Boy," April 23, 
1766, has " to be sold at public vendue, on Friday, the 4th inst., at ' 
12 o'clock, at the Goenties Market, twenty-five hogsheads of Mus- 
covada Sugars." Then, in the Revolution, we find in the N. Y. Ga- 
zette, January 12, 1778 : " Stolen out of the house of Henry Minugh, 
in Little Dock (Front) Street, near Goenties Market, a silver 



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GOBNTIES SLIP MARKET. 115 

watch;'' and on the 25th of May, "A negro woman to be sold in 
Dock Street, between Goenties and (Old) Slip Markets." 

At this period the Coenties Market did not stand very high, ex- 
cept as a "Fish Market;" we find, however, one butcher named 
Thomas Cox, in March, 1737, renting one stand, for one year, at £2 ; 
and the next year bat two are leased: one to Samuel Brown at JGI, 
and the other to Cox at £2 10. Then, in the month of May, 1740, 
Boelef Van Meppel is found occupying one stand. 

This Cox was unfortunately killed a few years after, the account 
of which I find in the Weekly Post Boy, October 28, 1745. It ap- 
pears that a young man had been aboard of the Clinton privateer, 
and brought off two pistols, one of which was loaded; '' he set down 
in order to mend the flint; in doing of which the pistol unhappily 
went off, and shot Mr. Thomas Cox, butcher, through the head — 
when he fell dead without speaking." 

The English being at war with the French, privateers were in 
active operation, collecting recruits and fitting out for the service, 
while the Government vessels of war that lay in the harbor were in 
the habit of impressing boatmen an^ seamen from off their vessels 
when they arrived in port, which soon had the effect of deterring 
the market and other vessels from coming to the city, and occasion- 
ed a short supply of the necessaries of life. This brought forth a proc- 
lamation from Sir Peter Warren, which appeared in the Post Boy, 
September 10, 1744: "Whereas, I am informed that several boat- 
men and others, intending to come to the market of New York with 
wood and other necessaries, have been under apprehension that they 
should be impressed for his Majestie's service ; I do hereby give no- 
tice, that none shall be impressed but such as belong to inward- 
bound vessels from sea. Given under my hand, on board his Ma- 
jestie*8 ship Launoeaton, at New York, the 24th September, 1744. 

"Peter Warren."* 

However, this impressment did take place, although many years 
after, to some four fishermen, who were supplying the market with 
fish. They were, in the month of July, 1764, " seized by a press- 
gang in the harbor and carried aboard a tender (from Halifax) 
which lay off in the bay. It came to the knowledge of some of the 
citizens, who, when the captain came on shore in his barge, suddenly 
ussembled and seized the boat, but offered no ii\jury to the captain.'' 
He publicly declared, "he gave no such orders; offered to release 
the fishermen ; and, going into the Goffee-House, wrote and delivered 

* *' Sff Peter Warren," who^e wife, " Ladj Warren,'* after his death, long redded in 
titt *' old Fan JVe»9 hoose," jet standing between Fourth and Bleeoker, Charles and 
Perry Streets 



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116 COENTIES SLIP MARKET. 

an order for that purpose." In the mean time some of the people 
carried the boat up to the Fields, (Park J where they burnt it; and 
others of the company went on board the tender with the captain's 
order, and brought the fishermen on shore. 

This market-place being the principal fish market at that early 
period, it has been thought not improper to introduce into its his- 
tory all that pertained to fish among the sketches noticed in its his- 
tory. About the year 1748, Professor Kalm says, "Among the nu- 
merous shells which are found on the sea-shore, there are some which 
by the English here are called clams, and which bear some resem- 
blance to the human ear. They have a considerable thickness, and 
are chiefly white except the pointed end, which, both without and 
within, has a blue color, between purple and violet. They are met 
with in vast numbers on the sea-shore of New York, Long Island, 
and other places. The shell contains a large animal, which is eaten 
both by the Indians and Europeans settled here. 

"A considerable commerce is carried on in this article, the Dutch 
and English who live in Long Island and other maritime provinces. 
As soon as the shells are caught, the fish is taken out of them, drawn 
upon a wire, and hung up in the open air, in order to dry by the 
heat of the sun. When this is done, the flesh is put into proper ves- 
sels, and carried to Albany upon the river Hudson ; there the In- 
dians buy them, and reckon them one of their best dishes. Besides 
the Europeans, many of the native Indians come annually down to 
the sea-shore, in order to catch clams, proceeding with them after- 
wards in the same manner I have just described. The shells of these 
clams are used by the Indians as money, and make what they call 
their wampum ; they likewise serve their women for an ornament, 
when they intend to appear in full dress. These wampums are 
properly made of the purple parts of the shells, which the Indiana 
value more than the white parts." 

Between the years 1768 and the breaking out of the Revolution, 

this market-place appeared to be at the height of prosperity. A 

large amount of mercantile business was transacted both at public 

and private sale ; and the more particular evidence of this fact is 

shown by the citizens of this (Dock) Ward asking leave, on the 22d 

, " to enlarge Coenties Market at their own expense ;*' 

rish it to be recognized as one of the meal markets* 

nted so far as related to the enlargement; but for 

icers were provided with two other places, the "Meal 

' and the ** Broadway Market;" the latter afterwards 

>swego Market. 

)d after, we find another petition from the inhabit- 



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COENTIBS SLIP MARKET. 117 

ants, who state "that they have famished at great expense the addi- 
tion to Coentjies Market for the use of the country people, only five 
feet to the westward of the old market, agreeable to the directions 
of the committee; yet notwithstanding said expense, much beyond 
their expectation — considering the irreparable condition of the old 
marke^hou8e, which is daily in danger of falling — have by subscrip- 
tion raised the sum of fifty pounds towards rebuilding the said mar- 
ket upon a range with the new end lately finished." They wish the 
Board to assist them ; and while the subject was under considera- 
tion, the market-house and other buildings had a narrow escape of 
being destroyed by fire and gunpowder, of which the "N. Y. Journal," 
January 22, 1772, gives the following account: **At the late fire 
(16th inst.) on the Dock, (house of Mr. John Burna) near Coenties 
Market, the city was in imminent danger of a most dreadful calamity, 
there being then lodged in a store-house, joining or very near the 
fire, a large quantity of gunpowder, the explosion of which would 
probably not only have destroyed most of the buildings near the 
place, but hundreds or thousands of people by whom the docks and 
streets were crowded." 

On the 16th of April following, a committee was appointed " to 
examine and view in what condition the Coenties Market is in, and 
whether any necessarys ought to be made, and how much, and make 
report with all convenient speed ;" and the result was, that they 
" order a cover to be made over the fish market at Coenties Slip." 

For many years the fishermen had met with very poor success 
and encouragement in bringing fish to market, which had caused 
the business to be neglected, and necessarily a short supply was 
the result. It was thought some public assistance ought to be 
given to encourage the fishery. 

The General Assembly took up the matter, and on the 8th of 
March, 1773, passed an Act, as appears from the proceedings of 
the Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, April 6, of that year. " Mr. 
Henry White, the President, stated at this meeting, that the House 
of Assembly, in the last session, did grant the sum of £200 per 
annum, for five years, to be paid to the Treasurer of this Corpora- 
tion, for the encouragement of a fishery on this Coast, for the bet- 
ter supplying the markets of this City with Fish." 

A committee reported the following, which was: "Resolved and 
agreed, that the following premiums be paid by the Treasurer of 
the Chamber of Commerce:"* 

To the Owners and Crew of any Boat or Vessel, who shall sup- 
ply this market with the greatest quantity of Fish, taken on the 

» RiviDgton'8 N. Y. Gaitttcer. April 29, 1773. 



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118 GOENTIES SLIP MARKET. 

Coast with Trawl Nets, (Raj and Skate excepted,) from the first of 
May, 1773, to the first of May, 1774, the sum of - - - £40, 

To the same, "for the next greatest quantity," - - £dO. 

To the same, greatest quantity of Codfish, from 1st November, 
1773, to the Ist May, 1774, jE30. 

To the same, next greatest quantity, .... £20. 

To the same, for the greatest quantity of Live Sheephead, from 
the Ist May, 1773, to the 1st May, 1774, .... £15. 

To the same, for the greatest quantity of Fresh Mackerel, from 
the 1st of May, 1773, to the Ist of May, 1774, - - - jElO. 

On the 4th of May following, the "Chamber" "Ordered, that all 
persons who mean to apply for the aforesaid premiums, that they 
do, every Fare they make, carry an account thereof to the Sec'y 
of the Board for the time being, who is to keep a regular account 
thereof; and that the persons make oath before a mi^istrate of the 
quantity brought to market each time, if required." 

The next year, on the 5th of July, a committee from the " Cham- 
ber," after examining the various parties and their proofs, offering 
for the premiums, reported, " That Peter Parks exhibits ample proof 
that he hath brought to this City, and exposed to sale in the pub- 
lick markets, upwards of eight hundred Live Cod-Fish" within the 
limited time, and was accordingly paid £80. "That Robert 
Heartshorne exhibits proof that he hath at divers times between 
(the same dates) brought four hundred and fifty-six sheephead," and 
was paid <£20. 

These are all that were noticed as having been awarded pre- 
miums at this period. They, however, on the 14th inst., renew the 
premium list, and make several alterations, by demanding above 
certain numbers or pounds weight, with the same conditions as rep- 
resented in their first list. 

The sum of X50 is offered to those who shall supply this market 
with the greatest quantity of fish, not less than seven hundred and 
fifty pounds weight; and <£20 for the next greatest quantity. 

The sum of JG30 for the greatest quantity of live codfish, not less 
than one thousand fish ; and X20 for the next greatest quantity. 

The sum of £20 for the greatest quantity of live sheepdiead, 
not less than one thousand fish; and JG15 for the next greatest 
quantity, not less than seven hundred and fifty ; and jGIO for the 
next greatest quantity, not less than five hundred fine sheepshead. 

The sum of XIO for the greatest quantity of fresh mackerel, not 
less than seven thousand; and £5 for the next greatest quantity, 
not less than five thousand mackerel. 

The sum of <£20 for the greatest quantity of dried herrings, from 
the first day of May, 1774, to the 1st day of July, 1775. 



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COENTIES SLIP MARKET. II9 

On the 22d of June, 1775, '' Peter Eetteltas, Joseph Bull, Oar 
briel H. Ludlow, and Edward Laight, being appointed by the 
Chamber of Commerce to examine fishermen clidms, that have 
famished the market with fish, as the Corporation thought fit to 
grant a bounty upon: Give this public notice, that they will attend 
at the house of Mrs. Brock, on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday next, 
at 11 o'clock, when all persons claiming are desired to attend with 
their proof."* 

The breaking out of the Revolution soon afterwards, put an end 
to this annual awarding of premiums through the Chamber, al- 
though they were occasionally called upon to advise and assist the 
authorities. 

The great preparations for the war caused the more general use 
of the city on the East River side, which tended to drive many of 
the fishing and other vessels on the North River side; and it also 
assisted to destroy much of the trade of the city. 

The military occupation of it by both parties, at different peri- 
ods, brought forth proclamation and orders, which were issued by 
those in power. General Putnam issued an order, dated " Head-Quar- 
ters, New York, April 8, 1776. The General informs the inhabitants, 
that it is become absolutely necessary that all communication be- 
tween the ministerial fleet and shore should be immediately stop- 
ped ; for that purpose, has given positive orders, the ships should 
no longer be provided with provisions. Any inhabitants or others 
who shall be taken that have been on board, will be considered as 
enemies, and treated accordingly. All boats are to sail from Beek- 
man's Slip : Capt. James Alner is appointed Inspector, and will 
give permits for oystermen. It is expected, and ordered, that none 
attempt going without a pass." t 

On the 17th inst. another order from General Putnam follows in 
Ae "Gazette" of that date. He says: "In order that it may be 
more convenient for the people at the North River, His Excellency, 
General Putnam, has been pleased to order that a person should be 
appointed there to give permits to oyster-boats, &c., going down ; 
and Mr. Simon Schermerhorn is appointed for that purpose." 

The next. day, we find another order in the Penn"^ Evening 
Post, signed by Horatio Gates, Acyutant-General : "Whereas, the 
Ada (British mavrof-war) having quitted her station, and left the 
harbor, the navigation between this city and New Jersey, by the 
Kills, is become quite safe. The troops upon Staten Island and 
Bergen Neck are to let all boats coming to New York or returning 
to Jersey, to pass and repass without molestation." 

• Bivingtoa'fe QftMlte, July 14, 1774. f N. T. Packet, April IS, 1776. 



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120 COENTIES SLIP MARKET. 

The same " paper," on the 6th of August following, says, " The 
public are desired to take notice that no person whatever, either 
male or female, above the age of fourteen years, will be permitted 
to pass any of the ferries in the State of New Jersey without a prop- 
er pass from the place they leave." 

Three years after, the city being in possession of British officers, 
fresh provisions, and also fresh fish, had become scarce, and the mar^ 
kets very poorly supplied ; and, by way of encouragement, the mili- 
tary commandant (through the Royal Gazette, April 12, 1779,) gave 
" Notice that permissions will be granted by the police to any per^ 
sons properly recommended, who may incline to employ themselves 
in fishing, with seines or otherwise, any where within the protection 
of his Majesty's ships, for the purpose of supplying the markets of 
this city." 

Soon after the military commandant, " Major-General Pattison,'' 
desires the " Chamber of Commerce" to give their opinion "respect* 
ing the expediency of regulating the markets with regard to the 
prices to be paid for butchers' meat," Ac. This subject was laid be- 
fore this body, July 12, 1779, when a committee was appointed, and 
on the following meeting (lUth July) they reported as follows: 
" With regard to regulating the prices of butchers' meat, experience 
justifies our apprehension that the remedy may prove worse than the 
disease ; but we are of opinion, that limiting the time of butchers, 
greenwomen, or hucksters, being in the market, may be attended 
with very good effects. We therefore beg leave to recommend, 
that no butchers, greenwomen, poulterers, sellers of vegetables, or 
any huckster, to be in the market (Saturday afternoons excepted) 
after 10 o'clock in the morning, from the month of April to Octo- 
ber; and not after 11 o'clock the remaining part of the year; and 
that no fresh provisions, (fish excepted,) vegetables, or poultry should 
be suffered to be put into stores or cellars, on penalty of being for- 
feited for the use of the Alms-House." 

Two days after the following proclamation was issued by General 
Pattison : " Whereas it is highly expedient that further regulations 
should be established respecting the boats and small craft passing 
to and from this city : I have therefore thought fit to order and 
direct, that from and after the first day of August next, all boats 
and small craft bringing provisions, fuel, forage, or fish to this city, 
and other market supplies, must have passes from the office of police, 
specifying the names of the persons and the places to and from which 
they are to pass and repass. That every such boat or small craft a^ 
shall be detected without such pass, or in going to or coming from 
any place or places, but such as are particularly mentioned in their 



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GOENTIES SLIP MARKET. 121 

passes, will be seized, and the persons found therein detained, and 
are to be reported to the police, in order that the same may be laid 
before the commandant. 

" That any person or persons intending to bring supplies to this 
city, and who shall obtain a pass from any of His Majesty's officers 
commanding at out-posts, or the commanding officer on Long Island, 
or from the Colonel of the Militia of the County in which they re- 
side, shall be permitted to bring supplies to this citj^, either by land 
or in any craft, having a pass aforesaid. 

" That every person or persons discovered on board any boat or 
small craft coming to or going from the city, without such pass as 
aforesaid, or a pass from the office of police, shall, together with 
said boat or small craft, and the hands thereunto belonging, be de- 
tained and reported as abovesaid. 

*' That from and after the publication hereof, all boats or small 
craft attempting to pass from this city after dark, and before gun- 
fire in the morning, (except such as are in His Majesty's service,) 
will be seized by the gun-boats and forfeited, and the persons found 
therein imprisoned. 

" That all boats or small craft that shall be discovered passing to 
this city after dark or before gun-fire in the morning, (except such 
as are in His Majesty's service, or that are coming with provisions, 
ftael, forage, fish, or supplies for the market, having passes for that 
purpose,) will be seized and forfeited, and the persons found therein 
imprisoned as abovesaid. 

" That all forfeitures incurred by virtue of this proclamation shall 
be divided : one moiety thereof to the person or persons making the 
seizure, and the other to be paid into the hands of John Smyth, Es- 
quire, Treasurer of the City Fund, for the use of the poor. 

''Any person or persons ofiending against this proclamation, may 
depend on being punished with the utmost rigor. Given under my 
hand, in the City of New York, the twenty-second day of July, 1779, 
and in the nineteenth year of His Majesty's reign. James Paitison. 

" By order of the General, John L. C. Roome, Secretary." 

^ During the whole period of the occupation of the city by the 
British, viz., from 1776 to 1783," (says Mr. King,) " the Chamber 
seems to have co-operated very zealously with the British authori- 
ties, naval and military ; and they on ^eir part seem to have re- 
lied very much upon the influence and exertions of the Chamber to 
render their rule of the city easy and acceptable."* 

In 1781, Mr. Isaac Low, then the President of the "Chamber of 
Commerce," presented, (on the 8th of May,) at a meeting of the 
* History of the ** Chamber of Commerce," by Charles King, Esq. 



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122 GOENTIES SLIP MARKET. 

Board, several suggestions in relation to the fishery. He says, " I 
am directed also to represent the fishery upon the Banks of Shrews- 
bury as an object of great importance to this garrison ; and that un* 
less a proper armed vessel can be appointed daily to protect the 
fishermen from the gun and whale boats that are preparing npon the 
adjacent shores to attack them, they will find it totally impractica* 
ble to pursue that business." This subject was addressed to His 
Excellency Mar\ot Arbuthnot, Esq., Admiral, &c. ; whose answer is 
as follows: "With respect to the protection of the fishermen em- 
ployed on the Banks of Shrewsbury, for supplying your market, I 
cannot help mentioning to you, that early after I took the command 
on this station, I purchased a vessel mounting twelve carriage guns ; 
she was fitted out at a considerable expense; I requested that the 
city would man her ; that I would pay the men, and that her service 
should never be directed to any other purpose than giving such pro- 
tection ; my ofifer was received with a strong degree of coolness, and 
till now I have never had any further solicitation on the subject/' 
The "Chamber" thought this answer from the Admiral was from 
the efiect, that their suggestions had been misunderstood by him, 
and they again wrote: "They meant no oflFence;" "that they knew 
of no application about the vessel, Ac, but if he would furnish this 
vessel, they doubt not they will be able in a short time not only to 
procure as many men as your Excellency may think sufficient for 
that purpose, but also to raise funds for paying them ; provided pro- 
tection from impress can be granted by your Excellency to the men« 
and that they shall be discharged as soon as the fishing season is 
over." 

No doubt the "Old Market-House" was yet standing, although it 
had not been used as a market-place since the commencement of the 
" War," when it was taken possession of by the military as a bar- 
racks, store-house, Ac. The Royal Gazette, July 1, 1780, notices it 
as a Begimental StorCj in an advertisement for a " deserter, named 
Bichard Hutchinson, private soldier from the 6^th BegimerUal Store^ 
at Coenties Market. Whoever will give information of the said 
Hutchinson to Sergeant McDonald, at the said store, so that he may 
be apprehended, shall receive one guinea reward. M. Wood, Ensign 
64th Regiment." 

The same " paper," on the 19th of August following, notices " a 
ship's boat taken up on the Bergen shore: whoever can prove their 
property and pay charges may have her again by applying to Eben- 
ezer Wan, in the * Coenties Market.' " 

Then again four days after, notices " Rum, dry goods, Ac, for sale 
at John Williams and Co's Store, No. — , * Coenties Market.'" 



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C0ENTIE8 SLIP MARKET. 123 

Soon after this period the market-hoase must have been destroyed, 
and the place where it stood was again proclaimed a ptMic market' 
place^ as will appear in the following " Market Regulations, dated 
May 28, 1781, by Samuel Birch, Esqr., Brigadier-General Com- 
mandant of New York," Ac. 

"* Whereas divers persons, influenced by a desire of inordinate 
gain, have been guilty of engrossing and forestalling all kinds of 
victuals and provisions in this town, whereby the prices thereof are 
excessively enhanced, and other great and criminal abuses have been 
committed by persons as well acting as butchers as by others who 
frequent the markets in this city, to the manifest iigury of the inhab- 
itants, particularly those in indigent circumstances. For prevention 
whereof in future, I do hereby order : 

" I. That all fresh meats, victuals, and provisions of all kinds, 
(fish excepted,) shall be openly sold in one or other of the public 
market-places, and no where else in this cily, {the place where Coen- 
ties Market stood to be considered as one,) on penalty of forfeiture; 
one moiety to the informer, and the other for the benefit of the poor 
of the city. 

'* II. That no person shall presume to sell any fresh meats, victuals, 
or provisions, (fish excepted,) in either of the said markets before 
sunrise; and the said markets shall continue open until twelve 
o'clock in the forenoon, and no longer, (except on Saturday,) on pain 
of forfeiture as aforesaid. 

^* III. That no negro, or other slave living in town, shall be per^ 
mitted to buy or sell victuals or provisions of any kind for the use 
of his or her master or employer without a ticket in writing for that 
purpose from his or her said master or employer; nor shall persons 
residing in the country suffer their negroes or other slaves to sell 
the produce of their plantations in the said markets without such a 
licence or authority specifying the nature and quantity of the arti- 
cles sent under their care and directions and observing the foregoing 
r^ulations, on pain of forfeiture to be applied as above. 

" rV. That no butcher or other persons shall presume to hhw^ or 
cause to be blown, any meat brought to the said markets; nor shall 
they add to or sti^ the said meats or the kidney thereof with any 
/o^, or other thing whatsoever ; but the same shall be brought to 
the said markets in the natural state as killed, on pain of forfeiture 
to be applied as above. 

"Y. That no person or persons bringing fish to the said markets 
for sale, shall, on any pretence whatsoever, store the same or lodge 
them in any cellar, warehouse, or other places whatsoever ; but shall 
expose the same either in the public markets or in the boats they are 
brought in, on forfeiture to be ai^lied as above. 



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124 C0ENTIE8 SLIP MARKET. 

" YI. That no person acting as a batcher and residing on this 
island, do presume to kill any kind of cattle, but at a public slaughter- 
house, on pain of forfeiture the same, to be applied as above. 

'' YII. That Ephraim Smith, the Clerk of the Market, shall once 
in every month at least, examine the weights and measures made use 
of in the said markets, and seize to his own benefit all such as he 
shall find deficient by the standard. 

"VIII. That all and every person and persons exercising the 
trade and occupation of a butcher in this city shall be obliged, within 
twenty days from the date hereof, to take out licenses for that pur- 
pose from the office of police, and enter into bond in the penalty of 
two hundred pounds, with one sufficient security, unto the office of 
police, conditioned for the due and faithful observance of these regu- 
lations on their parts ; and all fresh meats, victuals, or provisions 
sold or exposed for sale by any person or persons without entering 
into bond, and obtaining such license as above, shall be forfeited 
and applied as above. 

" IX. That the Clerk of the Markets be as active as possible in 
promoting the due and faithful observance of these regulations and 
detecting offenders; and prevent any contentions between the in- 
habitants and military. Two orderly sergeants, one British and one 
German, will daily attend the Clerk of the Market superintending 
thereof, until these regulations and good order are effectually estab- 
lished therein ; which sergeants are to be paid for such service two 
shillings currency a day each, out of the money arising from the re- 
ceipts of the stalls and standings in the said market. 

" X. And whereas the penalties and forfeitures hereinbefore in- 
flicted may not be sufficient to restrain the lawless and avaricious 
pursuit of those who had a practice of committing the criminal 
abuses alluded to in the said markets : In order, therefore, effectually 
to enforce the due observance of these regulations, it is determined 
that if any person belonging to the military be guilty of transgress- 
ing the same, such person shall be tried and punished by the sentence 
of a court-martial, as for a breach of order ; and if any inhabitant 
or other person shall violate the said regulations, or enter into any 
combination or conspiracy to defeat or invalidate the same, or to 
enhance the price of any of the victuals, provisions, or commodities 
usually offered for sale in the said markets, such inhabitant or other 
person shall be immediately put in confinement and expelled the 
line, as soon as an opportunity offers for that purpose ; and it is or- 
dered, that no market be held on Sundays, except for selling fresh 
fish. S. BiBCH* 

" May 28th, 1781. By order of the Commandant. 

"John St. Clair, Secretary.^ 



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FLY MARKET. 125 

After this " proclamation " it is noticed sometimes as the Coenties 
Market, and again as Coenties Market-Place. In the Royal Ga- 
zette, nearly a month after, (June 20,) it is said, " One, two, or more 
rooms, either on the first or second floor of an exceeding good house, 
to be let, situated in Dock Street, near the Coenties Market." The 
same paper two years after, (May 14, 1783,) refers to the remoyal 
of James Griffiths '' to the house No. 15 in Little Dock Street, be* 
tween the Old Slip and Coenties Market-Plaoe." Five days after- 
wards, the N. Y. Gazette and Weekly Mercury fixes this market- 
place as the starting-point for Newark. " Peter Stuyvesant, who 
for many years drove a stage waggon from Powles Hook to Brown's 
Ferry, proposes to b^in again next Wednesday for the like purpose, 
and will sett ofi* from Comonapa, at nine o'clock in the morning and 
four in the afternoon, on every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 
and drive to Brown's Ferry, where Joseph Crane will be ready with 
another waggon to receive all passengers, and proceed to Newark. 
The price for each person is 2s. 6d. in the whole. A boat will at- 
tend at Coenties Market to receive all passengers on the days above 
mentioned, at seven o'clock in the morning." 

This " Market-place" was not used as such after peace was pro- 
claimed, but the Slip was a grand d^pot^ principally for all the mar- 
ket-boats, which brought farming produce and live stock that came 
down the East River, and this continued until about the year 1835. 



FLY MARKET." 



1699. The adoption of the singular name of Fly, which was 
given to this once famous old market-place, no doubt proceeded from 
the name of a long, low, salt-water marsh or meadow, which at an 
early period extended from about Wall Street, along the East 
River shore, on the crooked line of Pearl Street — then the high- 
water mark — up to the risinpr ground about Beekman Street. The 
Records show, as early as 1655, that this marsh was called by the 
old Dutchmen Smee^a Vlie, SmidVs Vley, which the English portion 
of the citizens called Smithes Ply, (SmitVa Valley, or Smithes 
Meadotc,^^) adopting the sound of the name, without the sense; 
and the name of Fly, Smithes Fly, or in the Fly, was known for 
this portion of the city ; (and it also became occasionally used, when 
denoting the present Pearl Street,) until near 1800. 



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126 FL7 MARKET. 

The name of VUej or Vley, and Fly, no donbt meant to desig- 
nate meadow-land, aa we find occasionally SmiiKs Meadow^ or 
MiddoWy noticed. From an inventory of goods belonging to the 
estate of Elizabeth Thyson, deceased, made January 2, 1686, she 
possessed, "first, one small house and lott of ground, standing 
and being in j^ Smith's Middow, (Meadow J where y« said Eliza- 
beth Thyson is deceased, and lett out to John Carrelson."* In the 
disposal of seyeral tracts of land near Roundout Greek,t Robert 
G. Livingston offers " all the Fly or Meadow, and upland, Ao. ;" 
and again, the " Flushing Fly or Meadows on Long Island"): are 
noticed. 

To further prove the above statements, the Records, in Decem- 
ber, 1691, show "all the lands in front of the Vley, from the Block- 
house ( WaR Street) to Mr. Bcekman's, ordered to be sold." On the 
6th of May following, it was " Voted, that from the Block-house 
to the Green Lane (Maiden Lane) be vallued at five-and-twenty shil- 
lings p"^ foot, and from the Green Lane to Mrs. Van Clyff 's, (now the 
present John^bettoeen Pearl and Cliff Streets^ the latter of which took 
its name from this family,) be vallued at eighteen shillings p' foot \ 
and from Mrs. Van Clyff 's to Mr. Beekman's, (near Beekman Street J 
be vallued at fifteen shillings p^ foot." 

In the month of August following, the purchasers of these lots in 
the Smith's Fflye obtain liberty to "Digg the Hill by Mr. Beek- 
man's, so much as belongs to the City as the common or highway, 
(present Pearl Street J as the Surveyors shall direct." 

We find in the "press" further evidence. "On Saturday last, in 
the afternoon, one Thomas Smith was driving a cart, which was 
laden with iron, along the street in Smith's Fly: the horse (which 
was naturally skittish) took fright and ran ; and he, in endeavoring 
to hold him, was so violently hurried against a stoop or porch before 
a Door, that his scull was fractured."§ " John Browne, lately mar- 
ried to the Widow Breese, continues to carry on the leather-dress* 
er's trade, at the dwelling-house of the late John Breese, in the 
Smith's Fly, near Beekman's Swamp, or Greple-Bush ; at the south 
end of the house a staff is erected, with a Vane on the top of it, 
&c."ll The "Weekly Gazette" of 1749 also says, "The removal 
of Charles Arding from the Meal Market to the Dock near Beek- 
man's Slip, in the Fly, where he continues to sell several sorts of 
European Goods." 

Then, to be sold by Evert Pels, " a very good lot of ground, op- 
posite the Hon. William Walton, Esq., on the north side of a certain 

* FUe& t Gazette, 1769. } Royal Gazette, Feb. 23, 17S2. 

^ Boston Weekly Newa Letter, Dec 20, 1737. || Weekly Poet Boy, Dec. 16, 1744. 



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FLY MARKET. 127 

street called or known by the name of Queen Street, or Smith's 
Ply: adjoining on the west side the Ground of William Elsworth, 
Jun'r; east side, the house and ground of the Widow Darcey — 
containing in breadth and front to said Queen Street, or Smiths 
Fly, 24 foot; and in length on each side from said Queen Street, or 
Smith's Fly, to the said Creple-Bush or Swamp, 244 foot, be the 
same more or less."* 

*' The origin of this name (says Valentine) is ascribed to the cir- 
cumstance that Cornelius Glopper, a blacksmith, established himself 
on the present comer of Maiden Lane and Pearl Street. Here he 
intercepted the country people from Long Island, and pursued a 
profitable business, making his shop a point of sufficient attraction 
to give distinctive appellation to the road on which it lay." This 
stopping-place no doubt originated the idea of establishing a mar- 
ket-place here. 

In the year 1692 a Slip (or Key, as it was called in those early 
days,) was made at the east end of this '* Green Lane," {now Maiden 
Lanej) about on the line of Pearl Street, at the mouth of a creek, 
which put up that Lane to near Gold Street. This appears with the 
name of Maiden Slip in the Records of the 9th of August of that 
year, which say, "As also two other wharfes twelve ffoot wide, one 
on each side Maiden Slip, running to high-water marke, and the 
Slipp are to be twenty-four ffoot wide." 

After the arrival of the newly appointed Governor, Richard 
Coote, Earl of Bellamont, in 1698, this Maiden Slip was named after 
and in compliment to the Countess or wife of the Lord Bellamont, 
when it was afterwards known as the Countess Key. 

On the 6th of September, (1699,) the inhabitants of Queen (Pearl) 
Street laid before the Court a petition, *' praying that a market be 
appointed at ^Cowitess Key,' and that they will build a convenient 
market-house at their own charge, for the publick benefit." The 
petition was granted, and it was ordered, '* that the inhabitants of the 
said street, at their own cost and charge, have liberty to erect any 
publick building at ' Countess Key' aforesaid, for the convenience 
and ornament of the city." Although their petition was granted at 
this time, yet it appears by the following, that it was not built until 
nearly seven years after. In the proceedings held 20th June, 1706, 
we read, ''Pursuant to an order of the Court, bearing date the 6th 
day of September, 1699, authorizing the inhabitants of Queen Street 
to build a convenient markett-house at their own charge, for the 
public benefitt, at 'Countess Key;' it is hereby ordered, that such 

• Guette, April 9. 1769. The old « Walton Hooae" ii jet etuding, (in FruUiB 
,) in Pearl Stietl, above Peck Slip. 



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128 FLY MARKET. 

markett-house as the said inhabitants shall erect and bnild, at their 
own charge, betwixt the houses of Captain John Depeyster and Bar- 
nardus Smith, att the north end of the Slip in * Countess Key' afore- 
said, be appointed and continue a publick markett and markett-house 
of this city forever." 

One week previous, {lith June) the "Council" had given "the 
inhabitants of Queen Street liberty, att their own charge, to build a 
Bridge over the Slip att * Countess Key^ att the south end thereof, 
leaving a Draw-Bridge for boats to pass" (up the "creek," noticed 
before.) 

"The inhabitants of the City of New York," says Smith, "con- 
sisted, at this time, of Dutch Calvinists, upon the plan of the Church 
of Holland ; French refugees, on the Geneva model ; a few English 
Episcopalians, and a still smaller number of English and Irish Pres- 
byterians, who have neither a minister nor a church, used to assem- 
ble themselves every Sunday at a private house, for the worship of 
God. Such were the circumstances, when Francis M'Kemie and 
John Hampton, two Presbyterian ministers, arrived here in January, 
1707. As soon as Lord (or Governor) Cornbury, who hated the 
whole persuasion, heard that the Dutch had consented to M^Kemie's 
preaching in their church, he arbitrarily forbid it." M'Kemie, how- 
ever, did preach with open doors at a private house, as also did Mr. 
Hampton at Newtown. They were arrested and imprisoned for six 
weeks. 

Part of the duties of the Church Wardens appear to have been 
the care or charge of the poor of the city, as they were, on 29th of 
September this year, "Ordered, the Church Wardens of this city 
put a badge upon the clothes of such poor as are clothed by this 
city with this mark, N. Y., in blew or red cloth, att their discretion." 

Great preparation for the war with the French had been made, 
as noticed before, and still greater preparations were making in the 
early part of the year 1709 for a grand expedition in the reduction 
of Canada. " Commissioners were appointed to purchase provisions 
and other necessaries, and empowered to break open houses for that 
purpose; and to impress men, vessels, horses, and waggons for trans- 
porting the stores." Twenty ship and house carpenters were im- 
pressed into the service for building battoes, of which we find " one 
hundred were built, and as many canoes ;" and after expending above 
twenty thousand pounds, it proved a failure.* 

In 1711 another grand expedition for the same purpose was made; 
the market-houses were all taken except 07i€,t to build the battoes 
in. The Market-House at Countess Key was set apart for the build- 
* Smith. t See " Old Slip Market » 



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FLT MARKET. 129 

ing» " and for no other use or service whatever, until the same be 
compleat and finished." This expedition in the end, after losing a 
great many lives by shipwreck and other disasters, proved most un- 
fortunate for fhe country for several years. 

The market-houses were closed but a few months to those persons 
who supplied them, among which were several countrymen, who 
were in the habit of defrauding the city out of the fees, by making 
a quick sale, and leaving the markets before the clerk could collect 
them. This called for an ordinance on the 16th of October, same 
year, when *' it was ordained that from henceforth the country peo- 
ple who frequent the markets of this corporation, have liberty to 
expose their meat for sale in the publick market by the joynt or 
otherwise, as they shall see convenient,/r«^ paying the fees of the 
clerk of the market for the same ; and that if any flesh be exposed 
to sale by the joynt by any country people before the fees of the 
clerk of the market are paid, the same shall be forfeited to the use 
of the poor of this city." 

This market, in the Laws of 1720, is thus noticed: "The Marke^ 
House at Countess Key ;" after this period, in all the printed laws, 
it reads, "At the Market-House at or near the Countess Key, com- 
monly called Countesse's Slip ;" and the first notice found of it being 
called ''Fly MarkeV^ is from Lyne's Map, 1729, then continued by 
F. Maerschalcks, 1755; T. Maerschalcken, 1763, and so further con- 
tinued by all other surveyors on their maps of the city, as long as it 
stood. 

In 1735 many country butchers and others presented themselves 
in the garb of countrymen, and claiming their rights, who were al- 
lowed, in the different markets, the best standings, without paying 
the regular fees; this gave cause of great complaint to the regular 
butchers, who in the month of August, (1735,) presented a petition, 
'Spraying relief from the many impositions practised, and wishing to 
take charge of the public markets, and paying a certain amount of 
fees for the same," Ac. "A committee was appointed to examine 
into the allegations thereof, and make their report." Before their 
report was ready, " a law for the better regulating and ordering the 
publick markets" was passed, and appeared on the 4th of November 
following, which no doubt gave some relief, as will appear from a 
portion of it: "And be it further ordained, that (in regard the mar- 
ketts are principally intended for the benefitt of housekeepers, who 
buy for their own use,) the hucksters and retailers within this city, 
who buy to sell again, shall not enter into any of the aforesaid mar- 
kets to make their provisions, and buy to sell again any sort of mar- 
ket provisions of any of the market people there, to sell again, or 
Vol. I.— 9 



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180 FLY MARKET. 

carry tae same to their several houses and shops, until the afternoon 
of every day, to the end, that the housekeepers may provide Hiem- 
selves in the forenoon of every day at the first hand/' And " in or- 
der for making the several marketts of this city more commodious 
and convenient for the future, as well for the butchers being free- 
men of this city, as of all other persons who resort thereto for the 
supply thereof, a standing committee shall be appointed by the Com- 
mon Council, who shall be empowered and authorized to enlarge, 
alter, repair, and support from time to time all the marke^hou8e8 at 
the expense of the city." *' That no more than two stalls or stand- 
ings in any one of the said marketts shall be let or leased to any one 
butcher." " And whereas, by virtue of divers Laws of this Cor- 
poration for many years past, the clerk of the markett had took and 
received certain fees for all neat cattle, hogs, shoats, sheep, calves, 
and lambs that were killed for the markett : Be it therefore further 
ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that it shall not be lawful for 
the clerks of the marketts of this city to intermeddle with the re- 
ceipts of dutys, fees, or profits, or take any money of any butchers or 
other persons resorting to, or standing in any of the common mar- 
ketts aforesaid, upon any pretence whatsoever, other than for examin- 
ing and sealing of weights and measures by virtue of his office." 

On the 16th of same month a report was made on the petition of 
the butchers previously presented, in the month of August, as fol- 
lows : " That it was the opinion of the committee that it would be 
for the benefit of the Corporation to take the several market-houses 
under their own care, and should at their own charge support and 
maintain the same from time to time for the future with all neces- 
sary repairs, and that they cause the several stalls in the several 
markets to be numbered and marked, and let out by lease to the pe- 
titioners or such other person or persons as shall agree to take the 
same at a reasonable and annual reserved rent for the use of the 
Corporation." 

On the 10th of December following, the committee who were em- 
powered to " cause the stalls in the severall markets to be number- 
ed and marked, and let" for one year, reported to have "mett and 
agreed with the following butchers for stalls in the Fly Market:" 

"To Richard Green, . . - i stall, No. 1, £6 



To Widow Laurier, - 


1 


M 


2. 


1 


To Isaac Varian, - 


m ■ - 1 


(« 


8, 


200 


To George Young, 


- • 1 


U 


4, 


40 


To Charles Dawson, 


• 1 


U 


5, 


6 00 


To John Stockford, - 


1 


U 


6, 


3 


To Edward Kelly, - 


- 1 


M 


1, 


5 0." 



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PLY MARKET. 131 

The several lessees of these stands " were ordered to give bonds 
to the Chamberlain, to pay the said rents quarterly for the use of 
this Corporation." 

Although the Common Council had taken " the several market- 
houses nnder their own care, and should at their own charge sup- 
port and maintain" them, yet I find the very next year the people, 
anxious to preserve and add to their market accommodations, peti- 
tioned to be allowed to enlarge this market; and the Authorities 
on the 2l8t, 1736, granted their prayer, giving to " the inhabitants 
of the East Ward liberty, at their own charge, to enlarge the Mar- 
ket^House at Countess Key Slip, in such manner as the Aldermen 
and Assistants of the said Ward shall direct, and that the butchers' 
stalls, or some of them, be removed into the new enlargement at the 
south end thereof*" 

On the 22d of May, 1737, the same six butchers again lease 
stands for another year, but the butchereaa, the Widow Laurier's, 
name is missing. 

This system of leasing these stands continued until the year 
1740, when several of the butchers refused to agree with the 
^* Committee," in consequence of their not having been protected 
in their rights. This Committee, finding they could not make the 
former arrangements with several of the butchers, made the follow- 
ing report to the Board on the 4th of May, (same year:) " That we 
have, after many and frequent meetings, great trouble and difficulty, 
agreed with the several butchers who have subscribed their names 
to the paper hereunto annexed, for the stalls and standings in the 
several market-houses." "We also further report, that George 
Young and Thomas Cox, two butchers of this city, did not appear 
before the Committee, though sundry times summoned for that pur- 
pose. That Israel Horsefield and James Ruffhead (though they fre- 
quently appeared and attended the Committee) yet refused to agree, 
notwithstanding a considerable abatement was offered the former. 
The Committee do beg leave also humbly to inform this Court, that 
one Evardus Brower, and many others, living on Nassau (Long) 
Island, who make it their chief business to buy, kill, and sell cattle, 
do daily come and take up the stalls or standings in the said mar- 
ket-houses, without paying anything for the same. Lastly, the 
Committee are htmibly of opinion that some other method can and 
ought to be taken less burthensome, and more profitable to the 
Corporation, in letting the stalls and standings in the market- 
houses, than have been heretofore. All of which is humbly, Ac." 
(Sgned,) Will. Booms, 8. Johnson, Peteb Jay, 

Peteb Yak Banst, H. Defetsteb, Sam'l Lawbskgb. 



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132 FL7 MARKET. 

" Which report is approved of by this Board, and ordered that the 
Common Clerk commence an action in the Supream Conrt against 
Israel and Timothy Horsefield for the rent due from them for their 
stalls and standings in the (Old Slip) Market-House." 

At this period an occurrence took place near this market, which 
introduced its proper name, and no doubt it had then become the 
common one. It read as follows: " Sunday last, about five o'clock 
in the afternoon, a fire broke out in the stable of Mr. John Roserelt, 
over against the Fly Market, in this city. It burned the said stable, 
his bolting-house, chocolate engine-house, and part of his linseed oil 
mill-house, Ac."* 

The slip near this market, which had been so long known as the 
" Countess Key Slip," appears to have been changed to " Smith's 
Fly Slip" about the year 1740, when no doubt the Countess of Bel- 
lamont had been publicly forgotten. A petition from Peter Schuy- 
ler and others, in 1744, states, *' that they are the proprietors and 
owners of the wharfs and soil between the ^ Smith! a Fly 8lip^ and 
Burling Slip, in the East Ward." 

The business around the Fly Market began now to show an im- 
proved state; in fact, the city on the "east end" or side far out- 
stripped the "west end," and just around the public markets ap- 
peared to be the common centre for the transactions of trade and 
sale of almost every character. Slaves were then kept, principally 
by all who could afford such help, and they were bought and sold 
both at this and the meal markets. The "old papers" about this 
(1744) and various periods would often show a notice of this kind: 
" To be sold at public vendue, on Saturday morning next, at 10 
o'clock, at the Fly Market, a negro man, who can cook and do all 
sorts of household work." Here, then, at this age, our public mar- 
kets answered a double purpose : for in them were not only sold the 
dead flesh, which tended to keep the soul and body together, but the 
living fl^h, with the soul and body too. 

The improvements also appeared to keep pace with the business. 
In 1748 a very important one was finished by the Corporation, who 
" have, at a very great expense, made a drain or common sewer 
from the East River, under the Ply Market, up Maiden Lane to the 
high grounds." It was not, however, satisfactory to the neighbor- 
hood, as it was not sufficient for the purposes intended ; so they 
propose to consult, and, if necessary, to assist, the Corporation in 
enlarging and extending it farther out into the East River. A 
committee was appointed from the Corporation, on the 11th of 
July, 1749, " to view and examine the Fly Market, and advise and 
* BcMton Weekly Mews Letter, December 20, 1737. 



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FLT MARKET. 133 

eoBSoIt wliat the expense and laying ont a good and sufficient 
drain.'' This Committee reported, on the 17th inst., "that the 
present drain be ran ont and extended so far into the 'Fly Slip^ as 
to range with the rear of Captain Robert Livingston's store-house, 
and to be filled in on both sides level with the peers/' " That the 
cost or expense thereof (exclusive of the subscriptions of that neigh- 
borhood) the Committee cannot ascertain;" and "advise the work 
done with the utmost expedition." Another committee, of «ix, was 
appointed to have the work done, but they found the expense would 
be 80 great, "as neither the neighborhood or the Corporation 
would consent to allow for that purpose." " That in order to pre- 
vent the same from being a nuisance, there be dug out of the said 
slip so much of the mud, dirt, and ground as to leave twelve inches 
water at low water, which will keep the same sweet, and prevent 
its being a nuisance ; and which is also conceived by the neighbor- 
hood to be the most easy and effectual method; and forasmuch as 
the doing thereof will be an annual charge, and as all other com- 
mon sewers and wharfs of this city are maintained and repaired 
and cleansed at the publick charge of this city, they, the neighbor- 
hood, have proposed to the Committee to pay into the hands of the 
Chamberlain or Treasurer of this city the sum of sixty pounds, 
current money of this colony, to be expended for that purpose, as 
fiar as the same will extend: provided the Corporation will, at 
their own expense, advance such farther sum as will be necessary 
to keep the same clean ; and shall and will, at their own expense, 
keep the same in repair, and from becoming a nuisance for the 
future." 

The next year (1750) a proposition was made to build a large 
cistern near the Widow Rutger's brew-house, near Gold Street, "to 
eerve in case of fire." It was expected this cistern would fill with 
clean water at every high tide, by the proposer ; who failed to con- 
vince the public of the great benefit, and the project fell through. 

In the spring of the next year, (1751,) among the parliamentary 
proceedings of the mother-country^ a most remarkable act was pass- 
ed for regulating the commencement of the year, and correcting the 
calendar according to the Gregorian computation. The proceed- 
ings of the General Assembly on the 11th of April, in the year 
1696, had "Ordered, that the said year begins the first day of Hay, 
anno 1696, and terminates the first day of May, 1697." But by this 
new law, it was decreed that the new year should begin on the first 
of January, and that eleven intermediate nominal days, between the 
second and fourteenth days of September, 1752, should for that time 
be omitted, so that the third should be denominated the fourteenth. 



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134 FLY MARKET. 

This change was thus annonnced : " Thursday next the new style 
begins to take place in all the English dominions, when this d^y, 
which would have been the 3d, must be reckoned the 14th of Sep- 
tember ; and from thenceforward, our reckonings of time will be 
agreeable to that of most foreign nations/'* "Our calendar is of 
Roman origin, and was originally divided by Romulus into ten 
months, comprising 304 days. Numa Pompillus added two months 
to the year; and Julius Cesar subsequently arranged the solar 
year at 365 days, 6 hours. As the solar year really consists of 365 
days, 5 hours, and 49 minutes, the error amounted in 1582 to ten 
days, when Pope Gregory XIII. ordained that 1582 should contain 
365 days only, and made other alterations, which brought the ver- 
nal equinox to the 21st of March, where it should be."t This 
change has since been known as the New Style; the Old Style is 
seldom noticed, except occasionally letters received from Russia 
will be marked with both, the new and the old dates, or in the con- 
nection with some event prior to this period. 

In March, 1754, the Corporation advertise, " These are to give 
notice to all persons, that on Thursday, the 21st day of March» in- 
stant, at two o'clock in the afternoon, at the Common Council Room, 
in the City Hall of this City, will be let to farm, by publick outcry, 
to the highest bidder, the stalls and standings of the several markets 
of this City." On tiie 14th of June following, the same body ap- 
pointed a committee to receive " proposals from the inhabitants near 
the Fly Market towards enlarging the said market in length, to be 
att their own expense.'':t Their proposals were accepted, and soon 
after the market appears enlarged, which was very acceptable, as the 
business had been increasing and much increased for the ten years 
previous; at which period (1744) provisions were represented to 
have been very cheap, " by those who knew" who says, " The rich 
never have wanted luxuries, and the poor have been able to subsist 
upon the earnings of a few hours' labour ; 3 pence in fish, bread, and 
drink afforded a comfortable meal; 6 pence would procure meat, 
bread, and drink. Such have been the opportunities of earning 
money by different kinds of labour, that none willing to work were 
in want ; hence there were few beggars, except the lazy, drunken 
wretches not fit subjects for the Alm8-house."§ 

These prosperous and plentiful times no doubt continued for sev- 
eral years ; and to further assist the cheapness of at least one kind 
of provisions, the " papers" in the month of April, 1754, state, ** We 
had such great quantities of {tvHd) pidgeons in our markets last 

* N. Y. Gazetteer. Aagost 81, 1752. t Sunday Times, January, 1861. 

t N. Y. Mercoiy, Maroh 11, 1764. § ** Olden Time in New York,'* le. 



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FLY MARKET. 135 

week, that no less than six were sold for one eld penny J^ In the 
face of all this plentifolness, we find seyeral of the products which 
ought to have overrun the generous soil of our country imported from 
another at this period. The N. Y. Mercury, December 23, 1754, 
gives an instance, as follows: *' There is to be sold on board of the 
mow Lord Ru89dy James Hathorn, master, Irish potatoes, butter in 
erocks and firkins, and Irish beef." Then, nearly two years after, 
the high prices of meats are particularly noticed in an editorial of 
the N. Y. Weekly Post Boy, April 19, 1756, as follows: "The end 
of last week, on the departure of most of the o£Bcers of if is Majesty's 
forces, fresh beef was sold in our markets at 6d. per pound by the 
whole quarter. This seemed to be a gloomy prospect for many of 
our poor, who buy from hand to mouth ; but that Being who careth 
/or them happily sent, in a few days, large supplies of fish ; and on 
Thursday last, Mr. Bernard Johnson, of Oravesend, on Long Island, 
caught Jive thousand seven hundred shad at one hawl of a sein, be- 
side large numbers of several other bawls; and the next day sold 
the greater part of them in our markets." 

These high prices and scarcity continued for many years after, 
and caused many to intercept the country people on the ferry-boats, 
and purchase their marketing, thereby taking the advantage of the 
many who expected to purchase in the markets when they arrived. 
A ocmununication from an (^ficer to the editor of the N. Y. Mercury, 
(February 27, 1758,) addressed to Mr. Gaine, says, "As it is a daily 
practice among servants and others to purchase many kinds of pro- 
visions out of the ferry-boats and other boats, in contempt of the 
law, therefore be pleased to publish the following Abstract from the 
Laws of the Corporation, in order that no ignorance may be plead, 
as the same will be put in execution without distinction. 

" No person or persons shall buy, sell, or cause to be bought or 
sold, any victuals or other provisions or things whatsoever, within 
the City of New York, or the liberties thereof, coming to any of the 
common markets of the said city, or making any contract, promise, 
or bargain, for the selling, having, or buying of the same, or any 
part thereof so coming to any of the common markets aforesaid, be- 
fore the same shall be brought into one of the said markets, ready 
to be sold, (fish of all kinds only excepted,) upon pain, that as well 
every person selling or contracting, as every person so buying or 
contracting, either by themselves or their white servant or servants, 
shall respectively forfeit, for any ofience, the sum of six shillings. 

''And if negro or other slave shall offend, he shall receive 15 
lashes on the bare back at the public whipping-post or house of cor* 
rection, unless the master will pay six shillings to execute the same." 



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136 TLY MARKET. 

The next year followed with a great scarcity of flre-wood, when 
hundreds of families suflfered from the long season of cold weather. 
A somewhat singular appeal for assistance is found in the N. Y. 
Mercury, December 31, 1759, headed, " Help! HelpI Help! Wood 
at three pouTids ten ahiUinga a cord^ a price never before heard ! The 
countryman says, *We have wood enough.' The boatman says, *2 
covld fetch two loads while I am bringing and unloading one!^ The 
merchants employ the carmen in carrying their sugars, £c. The 
widow hears a noise in her yard, rises from her bed at midnight, 
from her window sees a thief, and asks him what he is doing; he 
answers, I must have wood! In the morning views her small pile, 
and laments the loss of half a cord. The rich engross, when per- 
haps two hundred families have not a stick to burn, and (it is said) 
thus it is! in one house where two persons now lie dead of the 
small-pox." 

" Should not the Fathers of the City do something in this extremity? 
Cannot our magistrates appoint an officer or officers to inspect every 
boat, to agree on the price of the whole, distribute their wood in 
small quantities at the price agreed on, command the carmen from 
every other service to attend the boat till unloaded? If this or 
something to the same purpose be not done, what may be the condi- 
tion of this city before the beginning of February next?" 

*'At this period," says Rev. Mr. Burnaby, " the City of New York 
contains between 2 and 3,000 houses, and 16 or 17,000 inhabitants, 
is tolerably well built, and has several good houses. The streets 
are paved, and very clean, but in general they are narrow ; there 
are two or three, indeed, which are spacious and airy, particularly 
the Broadway. The houses in this street have most of them a row 
of trees before them, which forms an agreeable shade, and produce 
a pretty effect. The whole length of the town is something more 
than a mile, the breadth of it about half a one." 

Among the public buildings, " the College, when/m^Aec?, will be 
exceedingly handsome ; it is built on three sides of a quadrangle, 
fronting Hudson's or North River, and will be the most beautifully 
situated of any College, I believe, in the world." 

Of the inhabitants, " more than half of them are Dutch, and almost 
all traders ; they are, therefore, habitually frugal, industrious, and 
parsimonious." Their amusements are " balls and sleighing expedi- 
tions in the winter ; and, in the summer, going in parties upon the 
waters, and fishing, or making excursions in the country, 

"There are several houses pleasantly situated upon the East River, 
near New York, where it is common to have turtle feasts ; these 
happen once or twice a week. Thirty or forty gentlemen and ladies 



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FLY MARKET. 187 

meet to dine together, drink tea in the afternoon, fish, and amnse 
titemselves till evening, and then return home in Italian chaises — a 
gentleman and lady in each chaise. In the way there is a bridge, 
about three miles distant from New York, which you always pass 
orer as you return, called the Kissing Bridge, (over De Voor^a MtU 
Stream, juat bdow ' (Hd Colore! about bith Street, between 2d and 3d 
Avenues J where it is a part of the etiquette to salute the lady who 
has put herself under your protection/' 

^ The province in its cultivated state affords grain of all sorts, 
cattle, hogs, and great variety of English fruits, particularly the 
Newtown pippin." 

The manner of bringing the market productions to the Fly and 
other markets at this period was usually by water. Those living 
in the interior on Long Island brought them in wagons and ox-carts 
to the ferry, then unloaded on the ferry-boats, which came direct to 
the markets. The boats were propelled either by a fair wind or 
rowed across, usually three or four trips a day, and seldom a loaded 
team crossed with them. The farmers living in New Jersey and 
the neighboring counties, both on the North and East Rivers, 
brought theirs also down ui the same manner to the nearest water- 
side — ^unloaded into their skiffs; then, with the tide of ebb, easily 
rowed to the city direct to the various markets on the shores, where 
they usually disposed of their products in time to return with the 
flood tide. 

Such were some 6f the inducements offered in the following notice 
of the sale of " Little Bern Island, at public auction, belonging to 
the estate of Mr. St. George Talbot, deceased, situate opposite New 
Harlaem Church, in the out-ward of this city, containing upwards 
of one hundred acres of land and meadows. It abounds with wild 
fowl, as ducks, geese, pidgeons, quails, Ac, and has the advantage 
of a fine seine-fishery, and black-fish, oysters, lobsters, Ac. Being in 
the vicinity of New York, the produce may be brought to the * Ply 
Market' with the tide of ebb, and the /ood will waft the craft home."* 

We find, however, in their haste to and fro, they would seek a 
low from some of the larger sailing vessels, which sometimes proved 
a dangerous assistance, as we read: " Last Saturday afternoon, as a 
market skiff was returning home with four men and one woman in, 
they very imprudently took hold of a tow rope from a sloop at Cor- 
laer's Hook under full sail, by which the skiff was instantly filled 
with water, and overturned; the man that had the rope held fast 
till he was taken on board of the sloop, the other four were thrown 
oat of the skiff; when, fortunately, the three men, one of whom could 

• N. Y. Joornal, July 23, 1772. 



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188 FLT MARKET. 

only swim, got fast of the boat, and in attempting to get hold of her 
bottom, she turned np again with the woman in her, who had come 
up under the boat, and taken hold of one of the benches; they then 
all got hold of the skiff, and just kept their heads aboye water till 
Mr. Morgan, ship-carpenter, and another man, in a small boat, at 
the risque of their lives, took them off, or they must haye perished 
with cold or been drowned."* 

The principal part of the farmers and gardeners near the oily, 
during the Revolution, were engaged in the war, either on the one 
side or the other, which obliged the women and boys to labor in the 
fields raising such products as they were able; and then, 

*< The coantry maidB with Muioe to market come, 
And cany loada of tattered moaej home." 

They came rowing down past the numerous guards and sentinelfl to 
the city, being protected usually with a "pass." 

From "Poems of the Olden Time," we have a suitable descrip* 
tionof 

"THE MARKET GIRL.'' 

*^ At dawn of day, from short repoie, 
At hoon that mifi^t all towna-men ahame, 
To catch oar money, round or tqnare, 
She fhnn the Groves ot Flatbmh came, 
With Kail and Cabbage— fresh and fahr. 

At Brooklyn wharff, in travelling trim, 
Arrived an honr before the San, 
Yonng Charon's boat receives her storea, 
Across the wavy waste they skim ; 
And thus they, laughing, come to town, 
She at the helm, and he, the oar. 

Fall early taught the arts of gain, 
No sharping knave that walks the street, 
(Tho' versed in all the tricks of trade,) 
No city nymph, or powdered swain, 
With all their art, can hope to cheat 
A bargain flrom this coantry maid. 

The market done, her cash seoor'd, 
She homeward takes her wonted way ; 
The painted chest, behind the door, 
(With many a golden guinea stor'd,) 
Reedves the gainings of the day ; 
Laid up— to see the sun no more I 

Sweet nymph I why all this canaeleas pain, 
Such early toil, and evening care. 
This hoarding for the age to come ! 
If he that courts you, courts in vain, 
And you, regardless of an heir. 
Refuse, alas I to take him home."t 
• N. T. Packet, Janaary 9, 1787. f Frenean. 



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FLY MARKET. 139 

" The ferries between Brooklyn and New York/' says Mr. Jero- 
tnus Johnson, aboat the year 1777, " were under the suryeillance 
of a military guard. All the inhabitants were compelled to obtain 
passports for themselves and their families, by name, to cross the fer* 
ries; and eyery market^boat, with her hands, were licensed to come 
to the city. Nor was this all. Every farmer or person who wished 
to take any goods from New York, was compelled to take a bill of 
the goods to the police office, in the city, for a permit to take the 
same from the city. Every permit cost two shillings. The passports 
to cross the ferries, and the licenses of the market-boats, were renew- 
ed and paid for every year. In this manner, favorites were provided 
for. During the war, a continual trade was carried on between 
favored individuals of the British and treacherous Americans.''* 

The ferry which landed at the foot of this market, and the in- 
creased trade in the year 1761, with the numerous market and other 
vessels that crowded into this Fly Market Slip— the larger ones 
having the powerful advantage, generally used it— caused a law to 
be passed in that year, '' That no sloop, boat, or vessel, except small 
craft, such as ferry-boats, market-boats, pettiaugers, and canoes, 
shall come within the slip" — " at the end of the common sewer 
(that leads under the marke^hou^e, commonly called and known by 
the name of the Fly Market,) that empties itself into the East 
River, under the penalty of forty shillings." 

An excellent article from " Oensoba," in showing the scarcity 
and the eagerness of procuring provisions, appeared two years 
after, in the N. Y. Gazette, January 10, 1768, where the Lady says, 
"I have frequently observed, and sometimes felt, great rudeness and 
ill manners in our public markets; especially when any kind of 
provision appeared of which there was a scarcity. I have seen 
people press and shove with such rudeness and violence, as suffi- 
ciently shew'd an intention truly hostile, and that force alone could 
determine the purchasers; and sometimes the prey has been seized, 
and in danger of being torn to pieces, by two furious combatants, 
equally voracious, who seemed, by their actions, to be upon the 
point of starving, and to contend for their lives. I, who am a 
woman, unused to war, and of a peaceable disposition, have been 
obliged to give up my pretensions to the goods, half purchased, and 
give place to one of more strength and resolution, being not quite 
reduoed to the necessity of fighting or starving. 

''AH that are weak and peaceable like myself, have been excluded 
from purchasing in the market, by rudeness and force. It is to be 
hoped that persons guilty of such misbehavior need only to be told 
• Naval Magaiiiie, toL L, pi. 6«a 



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140 ^^^ MARKET. 

of it, to avoid it, and as they value their own liberty, not encroach 
upon that of their neighbors* Sach conduct has also a direct ten* 
dency to raise the price of provisions in the market, to the extrav- 
agant price that we all have had reason to complain of.'' 

The prices of provisions had become so exorbitant, that the 
''principal freemen and freeholders asked for a law to r^ulate 
the prices of all kinds of provisions;" which subject was before 
the authorities on the 15th of August same year, (1768.) They 
set forth, " That in all populous citys the regulation of the publick 
marketts, respecting the prices of provisions, hath always been es- 
teemed a matter of great importance to the inhabitants, and worthy 
the attention of the publick ; that the petitioners had for some time 
past observed many of the common necessaries of life sold in the 
marketts in this city at exorbitant prices, considerably higher than 
in any of the neighboring colonies; and wish the Board to regulate 
and assize butchers' meat, and such other provisions as might be 
thought to require the like regulations." 

This was referred to a committee, to inquire what power the 
Board had, and whether they can legally do so. They reported, 
on the 24th inst., " That they are of the opinion the Board are 
fully authorized to regulate and assize the prices of all kinds of 
provisions set to sale in this city. And to expedite the work, the 
Committee presented the following ordinance," which became the 
law, and is an interesting document: 

A Lorn for Assidng aU Kinds of Victuals to he set for Sale in the 

Public Markets. 
PuBLiBHEi) IN Common Council, August 24, 1768. 

Forasmuch as, through the avarice of those who usually supply 
this City with provisions, the prices of all manner of victuals 
daily brought to market for the sustentation of its Inhabitants are 
grown excessively great, and not only ruinous to Families of the 
poorer sort, but intolerable even to people of better estate: In 
order, therefore, to remedy this great and growing evil, and to fix 
and establirii between the Buyer and Seller reasonable prices for 
all sorts of Victuals hereafter to be brought to market, and to reg- 
ulate the sale thereof, except the articles hereinafter excepted : 

I. Be it ordained by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of 
the City of New York, in Common Council convened, and it is 
hereby ordained by the authority of the same, That no kinds of 
Provision or Victuals whatsoever, hereafter to be brought to this 
City, or offered, or set for sale or sold within the same, (except 
live Fish, Bread, Flour, and salted Beef in Barrels and half-Barrels, 
and salted Pork in Barrels and half-Barrels, and Butter and Milk, 



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FLY MARKET. 141 

and Hog's Lard in Firkins, and Oysters, Clams, and Mnscles,) shall 
be set, offered, or exposed to sale, or sold, at any other place or 
places whatsoever, other than the Public and Common Market- 
Houses of this City, under the penalty oi forty shSELings for every 
offense ; to be paid by him or them so setting, offering, or exposing 
the same for sale, or selling the same ; and that the like penalty 
oi forty ahiUings for every offense be paid by the Buyer. 

II. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid. That no 
regrator, huckster, or other person, usually practising the buying of 
provision or yictuals, such as are hereby directed to be sold, or are 
usually sold in the common markets, with design to sell them again, 
shall either by himself, or any other or others, purchase or buy any 
sort of provision or victual, before or earlier than the hour of eleven 
of the dock in the forenoon, in any day throughout the year, under 
the penalty of three pounds^ to be paid by the offender for every 
such offence. 

III. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, That 
no person or persons whatsoever shall hereafter presume to house, or 
put under cover, except in the public markets, or conceal any sort 
of provision or victual whatsoever brought, or to be brought to 
this city for sale, (except as before excepted ;) but that every person 
and persons that shall hereafter set, or expose for sale, or sell, or 
shall bring to this city with design to set or expose to sale, or sell, 
any sort of provision or victual whatsoever, (except as before ex- 
cepted,) shall brbg or carry the same, or cause the same to be 
brought or carried straitways, if the same shall arrive at this city 
after sunriee, and one hour before sunset, to some one or other of 
the public market-houses of this city ; and if the same shall so arrive 
after an hour before the setting of the sun, and before sunrise, then 
to be carried immediately after sunrise to some one or other of the 
public marke^houses of this city : and her or they shall there openly 
and publicly expose the same to sale, under tibe penalty of three 
pounds, to be paid by the offender herein for every offence; and 
that the person or persons who shall permit or suffer any provision 
or victual whatsoever (except as before excepted) to be housed or 
put under cover within his, her, or their houses, out^houses, build- 
ings, or yards, during the time hereby provided for bringing the 
same into the public markets, shall forfeit the like penalty for every 
offence* 

IV. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, That 
the prices for all sorts of provisions and victuals shall hereafter be 
as follows; that is to say, the prices of beef and pork shall be as 
follows, viz.: 



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142 FLY MARKET. 

For beef, from and including the first day of March to and in- 
cluding the last day of August^ a price not exceeding/ovT^j^ence by 
the pound weight; and from and including the first day of Septem* 
ber to and including the last day of February, a price not exceed- 
ing three-pence by the pound weight ; the tallow included at the same 
rates, when the beef is sold by the quarter. 

For a bullock's head, not exceeding one shilling. 

For a neat's tongue, not exceeding one shilling. 

For pork, from and including the first day of March to and in- 
cluding the last day of October, a price not exceeding four-pence 
half -penny by the pound weight; and from and including the first 
day of November to and including the last day of February, a price 
not exceeding three-pence halfpenny by the pound weight; and, 

For roasting pigs, by the pound weight, /vc^penoe. 

For Veal, from and including the first day of March to and in- 
cluding the last day of August, a price not excee^ng four pence by 
the pound weight; and from and including the first day of Septem- 
ber to and including the last day of February, a price not exceeding 
fivepence by the pound weight. 

For a calve's head and pluck, and the four feet, eighteen pence. 

For mutton, from and including the first day of July to and in- 
cluding the last day of November, a price not exceeding threepence 
half -penny by the pound weight; and from and including the first 
day of December to and including the last day of June, a price not 
exceeding/oMr-^peTioe halfpenny by the pound weight. 

For lamb, from and including the first day of March to and in- 
cluding the last day of April, a price not exceeding ninepence by 
the pound weight; and from and including the first day of May to 
and including the last day of August, a price not exceeding five* 
pence by the pound weight; and from and after that day to and in- 
cluding the last day of February, at no greater price by the pound 
weight than mutton is hereby directed to be sold at during that 
period. 

For Venison, not exceeding /rc^ncc by the pound weight. 

And the prices of poultry, as well wild fowl as tame, shall not 
exceed the respective rates herein annexed to the names of the sev- 
eral species or sorts, to wit: 

For a full-grown dunghill fowl, whether cock or hen, one shilling. 

For BLpuUet, after midsummer, nine-pence. 

For a chicken of the larger sort, seven-pence. 

For a chicken of the smaller sort, fivepence. 

For a large fat goose, eighteen pence. 

For a green goose, fifteen pence. 



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FLY MARKET. 143 

For a large cock turiey^/our skSUng. 

For a large hen turkey ^ two shiUing and eixpeinot. 

For a oock chicken turkey , two ekiUinge. 

For a hen chicken turkey, eighteen penoe^ 

For a large fiill-grown tame duck, one shiUing. 

For a duck not full grown, mne-pence. 

For a dozen wHd pidgeons, eighteen pence; and in the like propor- 
tion for a greater or less number. 

For a quaU, one penny half -penny. 

For a heolh hen^ fifteen pence. 

For a partridge, one ahiUing. 

For a Nock duck, or other wHd duck of the larger sort, one BhSHing. 

For a teal, or other wild fowl of the smaller sort, sixpence. 

For a large wild cock turkey, five shiUinga. 

For a large wild hen turkey, three shSUinga and sixpence. 

For a unld cock chicken turkey, two ahUling and three-pence. 

For a wHd hen chidcen turkey, one ahiUing and ninepence. 

For a large wUd gooae, two ahiUinga. 

For a wild gooae not full grown, eighteen pence. 

For a brandt, fifteen pence. 

For anipea of the larger sort, by the dozen, fifteen pence; and in 
that proportion for a greater or smaller number. 

For anipea of the middling sort, by the dozen, tu^ve-pence; and 
in that proportion for a greater or smaller number. 

For anipea of the smaller sort, and other small birds, by the 
dozen, aixpefice; md after that rate for a greater or smaller number. 

And for twenty eggs, from and including the first day of March 
unto and including the last day of October, not exceeding one ahU- 
ling; and so in that proportion for a greater or smaller number; 
and from and including the first day of November to and including 
the last day of February, not exceeding one penny for each egg. 

And for freah butter, from the first day of May, inclusive, to and 
including the last day of October, not exceeding ninepence, by the 
pound weight; and from the first day of November, inclusive, unto 
and including the last day of April, not exceeding twdve-pence, by 
the pound weight. (In the month of April, 1762, '' Freeh butter sold 
in our market at 2/6 a pound.") 

And that the prices {or fiah shall not exceed the sums herein an- 
nexed to the several sorts or species, viz. : 

For a large baaa, by the pound weight, two-pence. 

For a amaU baaa, by the pound weight, tvH>p^!nce halfpenny. 

For a Hachfiah, aeorbaaat and aheqhhead, by the pound weight, 
three coppera. 



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144 ^^^ MARKET. 

For K fresh cod, by the pound weighty four^pence. 

YoT fresh-water perch^ by the pound weightj/ourjsefioe. 

For eaU-waJter perch, by the pound weighty three coppers. 

For trout fish, or torn cod, one shiiUng by the dozen ; and in propoi^ 
tion for a greater or lesser number. 

For lobsters, by the pound weight, sixpence. 

For oysters in the shell, clear of weeds, beards, and empty shells^ 
tuH) shillings by the bushel, heaped up, and after that rate for a 
greater or lesser quantity. 

For opened oysters, by the gallon, three shillings} and after that 
rate for a greater or lesser quantity. 

For dams, by the hundred, nine-pence. 

For. milk, from and including thefirst.day of May to and including 
the last day of October, not exceeding four coppers by the quart; 
and from and including the first day of November to and including 
the last day of April, not exceeding /t;e coppers by the quart. 

For American cheese, four-pence half -penny by the pound weight. 

V. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, That 
if any person or persons whatsoever shall, at any time or times, from 
and after the fifteenth day of September next, presume to set, offer, or 
expose to sale^ or sell any species of provision or victuals whatso- 
ever hereby directed to be sold in the public or common markets, or 
whereof the price or prices are hereby fixed, at any greater or 
higher rate or rates, price or prices, than is hereby fixed, he, she, or 
they so offending, shall forfeit and pay for every such offence the re- 
spective sums following : that is to say, for every such offence in or 
relating to the sale of beef, the sum of three pounds; and for every 
such. offence in or relating to the sale of smaller meats, the sum of 
thirty shilling; and for every offence in or relating to the sale of 
poultry, whether vnld fowl or tame, or in or relating to the sale of 
fsh, or any other article or articles of provision not here enumerated, 
the prices whereof are above fixed, the sum of ten shillings; and that 
every purchaser, in such case or cases, shall forfeit and pay the liko 
respective sums for every respective offence; and if the offending 
purchaser be a slave, he or she shall receive such punishment at the 
public whipping-post, as the Mayor, Recorder, or any Alderman of 
this city, «hall in his discretion think fit, unless the master or mis-- 
tress of such slave will and do immediately pay the fine or forfeiture 
hereby imposed for such offence. 

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the fines and forfeitures that shall or may accrue or arise upon or 
by the breach of this ordinance, or any article, matter, clause, or 
thing whatsoever in the same contained, shall and may be recover- 



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FLT MARKET. 145 

ed before the Mayor, Recorder, or any one of the Aldermen of this 
city, by any person or persons who will sue for the same ; the one 
moieiy thereof, when recovered, to be his, her, or their use ; and the 
other moieiy thereof to be paid by him, her, or them to the Ohnrch- 
Wardens of this city, for the use of the poor thereof. 

Published August the 24th, 1763. By order of the Oommon 
Council. Aug. V. Oobtlakdt, G^Jk. 

This law created a great sensation among the market people, and 
more especially the butchers and farmers, who were very indignant, 
and somewhat contemptuous. The newspapers took hold of them, 
and handled them *' without gloves/' as appears by the following 
effusions: 

" There was perhaps never a more just or necessary law passed 
in this province, than the late By-Law for regulating the prices of 
provisions sold in our markets. For the impositions of the butchers, 
and the extravagant demands of some of our country people, have 
loudly called for redress, and must soon have proved to the poorer 
sort absolutely ruinous. 

"As to the affront offered to the dignity of the butchers, and the 
airs they assume on the occasion, I doubt not they will soon be 
inade sensible that the law is not, like a sirloin, to be rescinded 
with broad-ax and cleaver; and should they refuse to continue their 
business on the law's taking place, I hope the gentlemen of the city 
will not hesitate a moment to raise an adequate sum, by subscrip- 
tion, to supply the markets at a lower rate than that prescribed by 
the ordinance ; upon which the Corporation, 'tis hoped, will instani* 
ly turn every butcher's stall out of the market, nor ever suffer 
tliem to be replaced, till after suitable proofs of contrition and re- 
morse. 

'• For we have really been imposed upon by one of the most im- 
pudent combinations that was ever suffered among a free and think- 
ing people. Was it not astonishing, and beyond all human toler* 
ance, that b^eef should be sold from 7d. to 8d. per lb., when it might 
be offered for 3d. and 4d., and yield a sufficient profit I Cattle were 
perhaps never plentier or cheaper in the country than the greater 
part of the time during which this exorbitant price has been enac^ 
ed. Nay, what is more notorious, than that beef is sold at 4d. per 
lb. in the neighboring provinces, and in some parts of this very 
province ? Why, then, should this city be under the peculiar curse 
of being fleec'd, or rather flea'd, by the but<5her ? In a word, was 
not 21d. and 3d. per lb. reckon'd a good profit, when he gave from 
jC5 to £6 for a b«ft8t ; and is not, therefore, 8d. per lb., when a beast 
of equal weight and goodness can be now purchased at the same 
Vol. I.— 10 



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146 FLY MARKET. 

rate, intolerable and extortious ? Besides, what title has a batcher, 
who ought to be considered in the light of a common laborer, (and 
special little doth he labor,) to aceamulate riches? Wou'd not 
three or fonr hundred pounds per annum be sufficient for the rank 
and station of a slaughterer of sheep and oxen ? And more than 
that wou'd arise fipom the profit of a penny per lb. ; whereas I am 
confident they make aboye three-pence. Plebeaxus.'' 

" Plebeanus " had not so high an opinion of the butchers on this 
side of the " water," as the same Goyemment had for them, a few 
years before, on the other side. The ''London Review" of No- 
yember, 1749, says : " A grant has passed the Great Seal, wherein 
His Majesty is pleased to reincorporate singular, all the freemen of 
the art of butchers of the City of London, and all others who 
now use and exercise the art within the said city, the liberties and 
suburbs thereof, or in any place within two miles from the said city, 
by the name of the 'Master Wardens and CommonaUy of the Art 
or Mystery of Butchering of the City of IxmdonJ " 

We now turn again to another article which followed " Plebea- 
nus," found in the ** N. Y. Gazette," dated September 12, 1763. 
" It is, I think, impossible to offer a stronger argument for the ne- 
cessity and excellence of the law for regulating the price of provi- 
sions, &c., than that it gives so great disgust to our butchers, and 
the neighboring farmers, who used to supply our markets." '' It is 
evident, from the clamor of the country people, that they did not 
intend to lower their prices without such legal compulsion. They, 
indeed, pretend that they would have done it voluntarily: but 
when ? Why, at the swift-approaching period when the city should 
be so impoverished as to be incapable of purchasing." *' If they 
dislike the law, it is on account of the appraisement ; and if they 
are dissatisfied with the appraisement, it is because they would have 
demanded more; and if they would have demanded more, it was 
necessary to prevent them." " Compulsion must " " be called in to 
remedy the defect of voluntary justice ; and the force of law to sup- 
ply the want of botods. With such a power every community must, 
in the nature of things, be invested, as to those particulars which 
are brought among them for their own consumption ; and with such 
a power the Corporation of this City is invested by its Charter, 
which is confirmed by act of Assembly. And whether it was not 
high time to exert this power, when beef was raised to 8d., butter 
to 2s. 3d. per lb., and veal to 14s. a quarter, and most other escu- 
lents in proportion." 

The farmers or country people took a bold stand, and sent through 
the Gazette {Sept., \9th inst,,) a spicy letter of invitation to the cit- 



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FLY MARKET. 147 

ixens, to step np into Westchester County, on Tuesdays and Friday?, 
and purchase for cash such articles as they have to sell ; and from 
the tenor of it, we suppose they were not guided by the established 
city prices. 

This letter is dated from Philipsburgh, f Westchester County J 
Sept. 12, 1768: "Whereas the gentlemen of the City of New York 
have been pleased to make a law, and prefix a certain price upon 
country produce, such as eatables or provisions, brought to the City 
of New York ; and lay a certain fine upon all persons that give a 
greater or larger price for what they buy. But they forgot to in- 
sert in their laws, that no lesser prices should be offered, or given, 
under the same fine. We thought we were born free Englishmen, 
and had the liberty, as such, to sell our own effects at our own lib- 
erty. But finding the case not to be so, we, the inhabitants, and 
country back, have fixed upon a store-house on a dock at Martling's 
Cove, (Tarrytown;) when, on every Tuesday and Friday in the 
week, the county inhabitants do bring all sorts of country produce 
to sell there ; and where all gentlemen and ladies of the Corpora- 
tion of the City of New York may be supplied for their cash : for 
no boat or craft will, after the fifteenth day of September instant, 
carry off any victual kind, upon a fine of twenty shillings. 

"We are your humble servants, and friends to the liberty of 
EfiglishmenJ^ 

But few country people brought their butter to market, and con- 
sequently a short supply was the result, although they were threat- 
ened through the " press," by the merchants, with importations of 
that article. They also appeared anxious to impress on the minds 
of certain producers rights which the laws granted them, of which 
the following will more folly explain, as taken from the N. Y. 6a- 
xctte, October 8d following: " The better to undeceive the people of 
this province," (the printer of the Gazette was particularly requested 
to insert in his paper,) " those of New Jersey, Connecticut, & in 
their being prevented from bringing their cattle to town by a report 
industriously propagated amongst them, in direct contradiction to 
the liberty intended and given by the law"—" that every day in the 
week (Sundays excepted) be, and are hereby appointed public mar- 
ket days, within the said city, from the sun-rising to sun-setting; 
and that the country people, and others, resorting to the said mar- 
kets, may stand or sit in such part or parts thereof as are not from 
time to time particularly appropriated and allotted to other person 
or persons, and there vend their flesh, fish, poultry, herbs, fruit, eggs, 
butter, cheese, bacon, and other provisions and commodities, in the 
public markets." A gentle hint also accompanies the above, in the 



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148 FLY MARKET. 

following language: " We are credibly informed that the merchants 
of this city expect in a few weeks, from Ireland, about 6,000 firkins 
of best Irish butter ; on the arrival of which, 'tis not impossible the 
country people who used to supply our markets may be obliged to 
purchase large quantities of aaliJ^ Sure enough, "on Tuesday last 
(25^A December) arrived here the ship Pitt, Captain Montgomery, 
in five weeks from Belfast. It ia said she has brought upwards of 
2,000 firkins of choice butter, which sells cheap; and as great quan* 
tities are daily expected from the same quarter, the country stomachs 
will soon be brought to." Then we find the prices had induced frauds 
in the making of it, of which " a quantity of bad butter was seized in 
our market belonging to one Mr. Rosea, of Staten Island ; the rolls 
were very artfully cased over with excellent/rc»A butter, and the in- 
side so bad that it was fit for no other use than the soap-tub." 

The reputation of the city and province was anything but good 
in the packing of this article, and this reputation it appeared to have 
enjoyed many years previous. This fact is strongly shown in the 
" Independent Reflector," May 10, 1753, where the writer says, " I 
cannot learn that the packing of butter for exportation was ever 
regulated by any act of this province, tho' it constitutes a branch of 
our trade so considerable, that ten thousand firkins have in one year 
been brought to market in this city. Nor is there any reason for 
supposing it would, under proper regulations, be inferior to the but- 
ter of Ireland. Yet by the frequent frauds committed, and the little 
care generally taken in its packing, it hath so greatly suffered in its 
character, at almost every market whither we transmit it, that while 
there is any Irish butter to be purchased, it will not sell, save at a 
price too low for a reasonable profit. In proof of those reiterated 
frauds and complaints, I believe I might appeal to every merchant 
trading to the West Indies. I have myself seen twenty odd pounds 
of salt taken out of one firkin ; and not only hogs' lard and tallow, 
but even stones and brick have been sold for merchantable butter." 

This Assize Law also created a great commotion among the 
butchers, who were very indignant; and some even defied the au- 
thorities. Complaints were made on the 23d December (same year) 
of two of the most prominent of them, which appears in the follow- 
ing language: " Whereas it hath this day been represented to this 
Board, that John Carpenter, butcher, hath openly and contemptuous- 
ly declared that he would sell his beef for 4.^d. per 9b. in ^ite of all 
the wise heads that made the law could do, or words to that effect." 
" He is ordered to appear before this Board, at the house of Walter 
Brock, Inn-keeper, near the City Hall, to-morrow morningy to show 
cause why he diould not be disfranchised." 



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FLY MARKET. 149 

Jacob Arden, another butcher, was also " complained of for speak- 
ing in contemptuous manner and publicly violating the law for as- 
sizing all kinds of provisions. The Board request the Mayor to 
remove him out of the markets until he shall have obtained the 
Freedom of the City/' 

The next day, John Carpenter, of Kings County, (L. I.,) butcher, 
who claims the Freedom of the City, attended, and William Bayard, 
Esq., proved on oath the charge against him. The Board *' ordered 
his license taken from him, turned out of market, and also disfran- 
chised." 

This "Freedom of the City" is noticed by a "freeholder of the 
Second Ward," who says, " The Charter permits the Corporation to 
exact the sum of five pounds (besides eight shillings to the Mayor, 
seven and sixpence to the Clerk, and one shilling to the Cryer, pre- 
scribed by law,) of every merchant or trader, as the price of his ad- 
mission to the privileges of a freeman; and twenty shillings for a 
mechanic or laborer, with the above perquisites."* 

A committee of citizens of the First Ward, in the month of Au- 
gust, 1797, petitioned the Common Council to grant b, freeTnanship 
to a certain person whom they wished to elect as a Constable for that 
Ward. They state, they "have long been unfortunate in the choice 
of their constables, and wish to avoid this, if possible, in future. 
In their endeavors to suppress vice and disorder, they readily dis- 
cover the necessity of having peace oflBcers, in whom confidence can 
be placed, and who are willing to discharge their duty. They have 
found a difficulty in discovering a person of this description willing 
to accept of the office, but are informed, with an opinion that Mr. 
(Philip) Fnlkerson will answer their wishes and expectations. To 
render him eligible to the contemplated office, it is necessary that 
he diould be a * Freeman of the City J " They "beg leave to rec- 
ommend him to your notice, as a person worthy of receiving his 
/reafoiw." 

We now leave this subject, and turn to Carpenter and Arden, 
who were among the most prominent butchers of their day ; and 
although they were found guilty and punished, yet they proved, to 
the satisfaction of the Board, that meats, &c., could not be honestly 
and profitably sold at the prices assized by this law. The Board 
having had the subject of changing the cutsize previously under 
consideration, at the same meeting, after awarding the punishment 
to these butchers, changed the prices, as will be shown by the 
Order: " That for the future, all kinds of meat be sold by weight, 
and that the price of beef be at the rate of /our^^enoe, hcUf-pennyt 
• Miner7a, Deo. 21, 1796. 



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150 FLT MARKET. 

by the pound weight; pork, five-pence, half-penny; veal, (hind 
quarter,) sixpence; fore quarter, four-pence, half-penny; mutton, 
four-pence, half-penny ; fresh butter, one shilling and three-pence: 
milk, five coppers by the quart," &c. 

We find the price of "milk" is noticed in this Assize Law, but it 
does not appear that it was then allowed to be sold in the markets, 
if we may judge from the tenor of a communication addressed to 
Mr. Weyman, " Sib — I am surprised, and all my offspring aston- 
ished, what can or may be the reasons that I am not admitted or 
ordered into the public markets ? Tho' that I am the support and 
only nourishment of almost every creature, the poorer sort of man- 
kind are deprived of me, as they cannot bribe my bearers. The 
richer sort do enjoy me, by the means of bribes, but not in my pu- 
rity ; for I am obliged to run barefoot every evening and morning, 
through so much water, that I am near being wasted to nothing* 
All which might be prevented by your ordering me to be carried 
into the market-houses, where every person, rich and poor, might 
enjoy me in my purity, and should be obliged to runn the risque of 
being entirely drowned. I beg some people will take this into ma- 
ture consideration, and they'l oblige many a person and their hum- 
ble servant, * New Milk.' "♦ 

It does not appear that milk was sold in the markets until after 
the "Revolution:" then "Bear Market" took the lead; but the 
citizens were usually served by the country milkmen and women, 
who, after rounng dotvn or up to the city, carried it from house to 
house with a yoke, in two kettles, which is peculiarly described in a 
"Traveler's Letters" as follows: "There are the venders of milk: 
instead of awkwardly traveling along with a heavy bucket of milk 
in one hand only, they are thus accoutred: A piece of wood, (which 
I call a yoke,) about two feet long, is made to fit around the back 
of the neck, and rest upon the shoulders. To each end is affixed a 
chain, with a hook at the end. This chain is of such length as to 
enable them, by stooping a little, to hook the handles of two large 
milk-vessels, made of tin, resembling a grocer's tea-canisters. One 
of these is carried on each side, to the houses of their customers. 
A loud cry of 'Milk come!' awakened me from a late sleep, this 
morning ; and when I arose and went to the window, saw a Dutch- 
man thus yoked."t This fashion of carrying a yoke continued, 
with a few milkmen, up to as late as 1835. 

We find the price of lamb is not noticed in this "Assize Law:" 
no doubt the cause was, that it was then but little used, on account 
of its scarcity ; or rather it would seem so to appear, from the fact 

• October 8, 1763. f Literary Magazine, PhUadelphia, toL vil., p. 120 



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FLY MARKET. 151 

that a great nnmber of the principal inhabitants subscribed to the 
following agreement, made on the 3d of February, 1766 : " We, the 
inhabitants of the City of New York, do hereby engage and promise 
that we will not buy, or suffer to be bought for our use, any lamb 
before the first day of August next ; and that we will not buy any 
meaJt from any butcher that shall expose any lamb to sale before 
the day aforesaid, and will give all manner of discountenance to 
such butchers for the future. Given under our hands at New York, 
this 8d February, 1766." An editorial says: 

'^ The resolutions against eating lamb before the first day of Au- 
gust, or employing butchers that kill it, having been so generally 
received in this town, must give great satisfaction to all well-wish- 
ers to this country, as it will both save our money and employ our 
poor, many of whom have been in a starving condition for want of 
materials to keep them at work. To show the great consequences 
of these resolves, let us only consider that in this town there are at 
least 2,000 families that eat lamb, suppose two quarters each week, 
from the first of April to the first of August, being seventeen 
weeks, 17,000 lambs saved; the increased value of their wool and 
skins in that time, at the medium of 2s. each, is £1,700, which, if 
manufactured, will be six times the value of the materials, and pro- 
duces £10,200. Another consideration in the eye of the public is, 
that a quarter of lamb, at an average, before the above period, 
weighs 3 lbs. per quarter, and afterwards about 8 lbs., though sold 
nearly for the same money. But the greatest advantage to the 
public still remains; for it cannot be doubted that, if all the lambs 
were preserved as above, (which would cost the farmer scarce any- 
thing,) a very considerable number would be kept over winter, to 
inerease our stock in this most profitable and useful animal." 

In the month of February, tiie year after, (1767,) it was again 
recommended, " as the season now approaches for killing lambs, it 
is hoped that all humane persons will abstain from buying a few 
months, to increase the breed of sheep, and provide wool for the 
employment and cloathing for the industrious poor." 

Then appears the next year, that " It is expected that all the 
members of the society will strictly adhere to their engagements 
against eating lamb before the first of May." 

The disposition made of the unfit or unwholesome meat, when of- 
fered for sale in the markets at that period, was its immediate seizure, 
and then burnt, which now would be considered a disagreeable and 
unprofitable mode of disposing of it; however, but few cases are on 
record^ and no doubt the reason was the prompt action of efficient 
officers against offenders, who not only lost their meat, but had to 



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152 FLY MARKET. 

pay a heavy fine — ^part of Trhich was used to buy the wood to con* 
smne it by fire. I find but two cases in a period of about thirteexi 
years: one is noticed (March 17, 1755,) as follows: "Saturday a 
carrion veal and a Iamb were seized in the Fly Market, and burnt 
at the ferry stairs, by order of Alderman Philip Livingston, of this 
city, it being diseased and unfit for use." The other, November 14, 
1768 : " Some few days ago, nine pigs were seized in the Fly Market 
as perfect carrion, which on the Mayor's view were sentenced to be 
burnt publicly on the Common, (Park,) and the owner of them fined 
forty shillings ; the sentence was immediately put in execution, and 
part of the fine taken to purchase wood to burn them with." 

The death of an old man, described in the N. Y. Gazette, Nov. 
28, 1763, brings forth an '* old land-mark" near this market: " We 
hear from Jamaica, L. I., that last week died there one John Cock- 
fer, who was bom so long ago, that for many years he had forgot 
his age. He often said he was a soldier in the Fort ( WiUiam) in 
Governor Leysner's time, (who was here during a civil war,) and 
had been a man grown several years before he enlisted, and that, 
when a young man, he had often shot squirrels, quails, Ac, on or 
near Pot-Baker's Hill* in this city, which was then a wilderness." 

'' Po^6aker Hill" at that time was not the Pot-Baker Hill before 
Chambers Street, known as Orolius' ; but its location is described 
in the following advertisement from the same paper and year, dated 
February 4 : " Jarvis Roebuck, cork-cutter, from London, living at 
the foot of Pot'Baker^s HiU, between the Fly Ma/rket and the New 
Dutch Church." 

In the year 1770, alongside of this market-house, a " skirmish" 
took place between two of the ** Liberty Boys" and some six or seven 
of the King's soldiers. One of the "Sons of Liberty," Captain Isaac 
Scars, appears to have picked up a ram^s-hom, the only weapon be- 
longing to a male sheep, and used it with such effect as to have taken 
two prisoners, and put the rest to flight. 

Some extracts from the N. T. Journal, March 1st, give some in* 
teresting particulars of some of these troubles. In the month of 
January several attempts had been made by the soldiers to cut down 
or blow up with powder the Liberty Pole, which had been erected 
by the friends to liberty on the Common, (Park.) 

'' The soldiers, determined to execute their project, availed them* 
selves of the dead hour of the night, and at one o'clock they cut 
down the Poky sawed and split it in pieces, and carried them to Mr, 
Montayne's door, where they threw diem down and said — ^let us go 
to our barracks." 

* Liberty, between WiUlam and NasMm Streets. 



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FLY MARKET. 153 

*'This act so exasperated the citizens, that thej concluded, with the 
assent of the authorities, to pull down an old house which was some* 
limes used as a barrack by the soldiers, and also a fortification or 
shelter, to ooTer their retreat when engaged in pulling down this jx>Ie. 
The soldiers drew their cutlasses and bayonets, and dared the inhab- 
itants to come and pull it down. The magistrates and officers, how- 
erer, interposed, but the soldiers were bent on further insult to the 
citizens; so they published a. handbill, reflecting on their place of 
meeting, {which they called) the Gallows Green, a vulgar phrase for 
a common place of execution, for murderers, robbers, traitors and 
rioters; to the latter they compare the Liberty Boys, who have 
nothing to boast of but the flippancy of tongue," &c. The Journal 
ftirther says, that " Mr. Isaac Sears and Mr. Walter Quackenbos, 
seeing six or seven soldiers going towards the Fly Market, con* 
eluded they were going to it to put up some of the above (handbills) 
papers ; upon the former coming to the market, they made up to the 
soldiers,, and found them, as they had conjectured, pasting up one of 
the papers. Mr. Sears seized the soldier that was fixing the paper 
by the collar, and asked him what business he had to put up libels 
against the inhabitants? and that he would carry him before the 
Mayor. Mr. Quackenbos took hold of one that had the papers on 
his arms. A soldier standing to the right of Mr. Sears drew his 
bayonet; upon which the latter took a mm Vhorn, and threw it at 
the former, which struck him on the head ; and then the soldiers, 
except the two that were seized, made off, and alarmed others in the 
barracks. They immediately carried the two to the Mayor, and as- 
signed him the reason of tiieir bringing them before him« The 
Mayor sent for Alderman Desbrosses, to consult on what would be 
proper to be done in the matter. In the mean time, a considerable 
number of people collected opposite to the Mayor's. Shortly after 
about twenty soldiers, with cutlasses and bayonets, from the lower 
barracks, made their appearance, coming to the Mayor's thro' the 
main street. When they came opposite to Mr. Peter Bemsen's, he 
endeavored to dissuade them from going any further, (supposing 
they were going to the Mayor's,) represented to them that tiiey would 
get into a scrape; but his advice was not taken, owing, as he sup- 
poses, to one or two of their leaders, who seemed to be intoxicated. 
The people collected at the Mayor's determined to let them pass by 
peaceably and unmolested, and opened for them to go thro'. Cap- 
tain Richardson and some of the citizens, judging they intended to 
take the two soldiers from the Mayor's by force, went to his door to 
prevent it When the soldiers came opposite to his house, they 
halted; many of them drew their swords and bayonets; some say 



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254 ^^^ MARKET. 

they all drew; bnt all that were present agree that many did, and 
faced about to the door, and demanded the soldiers in custody ; some 
of them attempted to get into the house to rescue them ; Captain 
Richardson and others at the door prevented them, and desired 
them to put up their arms, and go to their barracks ; that the soldiers 
were before the Mayor, who would do them justice; the soldiers 
within likewise desired them to go away to their barracks, and leave 
them to the determination of the Mayor. Upon the soldiers' drawing 
their arms, many of the inhabitants conceiving themselves in danger, 
ran to some sleighs that was near, and pulled out some of the rungs« 
The Mayor and Alderman Desbrosses came out, and ordered the 
soldiers to their barracks. After some time, they moved up the Fly* 
The people were apprehensive that as the soldiers had drawn their 
swords at the Mayor's house, and thereby contemned the civil au- 
thorities and declared war against the inhabitants, it was not safe 
to let them go thro' the streets alone, lest they might offer violence to 
some of the citizens. To prevent which, they followed them and the 
two magistrates aforesaid to the corner of Golden Hill, (John Street 
and Pearl,) and in their going, several of the citizens reasoned with 
them on the folly of their drawing their swords, and endeavored to 
persuade them to sheath them, assuring them no mischief was in- 
tended them, but without success. They turned up Oolden Hill, 
and about the time they had gained the summit, a considerable num* 
ber of soldiers joined them, which inspired them to re-insult the 
magistrates, and exasperate the inhabitants ; which was soon mani- 
fested by their facing about, and one in silk stockings and neat buck- 
skin breeches, (who is suspected to have been an officer in disguise,) 
giving the word of command, * Soldiers, draw your bayonets and cut 
your way through them,' the former was immediately obeyed, and 
they called out. Where are your Sons of Liberty now? and fell ^n the 
citizens with great violence, cutting and slashing." '' One of them 
made a stroke with a cutlass at Mr. Francis Field, one of the people 
called Quakers, standing in an inoffensive posture in Mr. Field's 
door, at the corner, and cut him on the right cheek; and if the corner 
had not broke the stroke, it would have probably killed him. This 
party that came down to the main street cut a tea-water man draw- 
ing his cart, and a fisherman's finger ; in short, they attacked every 
person that they could reach, and their companions on Golden Hill 
were more inhuman ; for, besides cutting a sailor's head and finger, 
they stabbed another with a bayonet ; two of them followed a boy 
going for sugar into Mr. Eisworth's house ; one of them cut him on the 
head with a cutlass, and the other made a lunge with a bayonet at 
a woman. During the action on the hill, a small party of soldiers 



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FLT MARKET. 155 

came along the Fly by the market, and halted near Mr. Norwood's/' 
where they drew their bayonets and attempted to strike Mr. Jon. 
White. After which many of the magistrates and oflBcers collected 
together and dispersed the soldiers. 

The accommodations for the country people at this market had 
now become insufficient, and the benches allotted for their use were 
usually taken up by hucksters; so, in order to accommodate them, 
the Board, in the month of February, 1771, ordered "Four tables 
and a platform to be erected, to lay quarters of meat upon, and that 
no butcher or huckster shall use any part of the above under for- 
feiture of the provisions exposed." Before the close of the year a 
further enlargement was asked for by a " considerable number of 
freeholders living and residing near the Fly Market," " at their own 
expense." They wish to build " an additional marketrkouae in the 
middle of the street, to b^n opposite the house formerly posses'd 
by Thomas Randel, and to extend toward the river as far as the 
Smith's Shop now posses'd by John Boome." On the 28th October 
this privilege was granted to them. 

At this period some idea of the prices of meats may be formed 
from a letter by Joseph Outen Bogert,* a butcher of this market, 
who writes to the " Council," on the 2d September, 1771, and says, 
'' I have served the Alms-House for some years past, and not doubt* 
ing in the least but that your worthy gentlemen was fully satisfied 
therewith, I have served the house with beef, tallow, mutton, lamb, 
and veal, at 3d., at S^d., at S^d., and at 4d., according to the season 
of the year, and the different prices of cattle, at such seasons which 
upon a leavel I compute it about SJd. per pound, and we have had 
a fine season for grass and hay. I'll undertake to serve the said 
house at 3^d. per year ensuing." 

In the month of August, the next year, the Justices and Vestry- 
men invited "co?i^rac^«" again to serve the " Poor-House" for the 
same articles, and notify ** that no allowance or abatement whatever 
will be made therein, at the end of the year, should provisions un- 
expectedly rise from the badness of the season, scarcity of cattle, or 
otherwise. Signed, Ac, Augustus Courtlandt, Ck." 

The exact number of the inhabitants at that time (1772) we find in 
the N. Hampshire Gazette, August 6th, dated New York, July 22, 
which says, ** An exact account has lately been taken at New York 
of the inhabitants of that city and county, as follows, viz. : 

Whites, 8,720 males under 16 years of age, \ 

'' 5,083 males above 16 and under 60, V 9,088 

'^ 280 males of 60 and upwards, ) 

* The deftth of Joseph OatenbogArt, hatcher, is notloed In Febmaiy, 178a Hit MB 
Abmhftm, ftod alio John Woods, were appointed his ezeeoton 



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^e FLY MARKET. 




Whites, 3,779 females under 16, 


} 


" 5,864 females above 16, 


Blacks, 568 males under 16, 


' 


" 890 males above 16 and under 60, 


• 


" 42 males above 60, 




" 559 females under 16, 


- 


" 1,085 females above 16, 


Whole number, ... 


. 



9,643 
1,500 

1,644 

21,870." 

Crime at this period, such as robbery or burglary, was punished 
with death, on both woman and man. The N. Y. Gazette, Novem- 
ber 4, 1773, noticing an instance, says, "On Saturday last ended the 
proceedings of the dupream Court of Judicature for this City and 
County, when Elizabeth Donohough, for picking the pocket of Mr. 
Abraham Van Gelder,* in the Fly Market, and Neptune^ a negro 
man, for burglary, were sentenced to be hanged on Friday, the 10th 
of December next." 

After the new market-house was finished, it began to attract into 
it many persons not intended to occupy it, to the exclusion of cer- 
tain country people, some of whom were fishermen, who now began 
to visit this market. This caused a law to be published, August 
10th, 1774, as follows: "Whereas the Mayor, Aldermen, and Com- 
monalty of the City of New York have lately caused to be erected 
a market-house at Countesse's Slip, in the East Ward of this City, 
on the southeasterly side of Dock (Water) Street, for the better ac- 
commodating of the country people who come to this city with pro- 
vision for sale, and those who bring fish to market only, notwith- 
standing which sundry butchers have of late occupied the benches in 
the said market, contrary to the intention of the said Mayor, Alder- 
men, and Commonalty, and to the exclusion of the country people; 
to prevent which for the future, 

"5c it ordained by the Mayor, Ac, of the City of New York, in 
Common Council convened, and it is hereby ordained by the au- 
thority of the same, That if any person who now does, or hereafter 
shall, follow or practice the business or occupation of a butcher in 
this city, shall, after the fifteenth day of August (1774) instant, ei- 
ther by him or herself, or his or her apprentice or servant, or by 
any other person on his or her behalf, presume to sell, or offer or 
expose to sale, any butchers' meat whatsoever in the aforesaid mar- 
ket at Countesse's Slip, or shall lay any butchers' meat on any of 
the benches within the same, every person so offensing shall forfeit 
for every such offence the sum of twenty shillings. And whereas, 

* TUs Mr. Van Oelder, on the Sd of April, 1776, '* teased at aaction all the pablio 
markets for one year, at £276." 



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FLY MABKET. 157 

8ome batchers have made a practice of slanghtering and dressing 
sheep, Unnb, and calves in the publick markets in this city, which 
occasions filth, and is offensiye to the people in the neighborhood: 

'^Be it therefore further ordained by the anthority aforesaid, That 
if any batcher or other person shall, after the said fifteenth day of 
Augost instant, slaughter or dreas any sheep, lamb, or calf, in any 
of the markets of the said city, he or they so offensing shall forfeit 
for every offence the sum of ten shUUng: which fines and forfeitores 
shall be recovered before the Mayor or Recorder, or any one of the 
Aldermen of the said city, with costs, by any person or persons who 
shall prosecute for the same." 

The continued exciting circumstances which followed caused the 
" spirit of freedom and patriotism to show themselves, and soon 
they marched boldly forward into the * War of the Revolution.' " 
The inducements held out by the British oflScers led many of the 
slaves to desert their masters: among whom were several belong- 
ing to the butchers of this market, one of whom was our '' con- 
temptuous John Carpenter;" and they advertised them as ''Ron 
a Way's,"* in the month of March, 1776. Carpenter says, " Ran 
away last Tuesday, the 5th inst., from the subscriber, living at 
Brooklyn Ferry, a negro man named Tom, about 23 years of age, 5 
feet, 8 inches high ; had on, when he went away, a blue jacket, 
buckskin breeches, blue-and-white spotted stockings, a tow shirt, 
and old beaver hat, cut small, a half-worn pair of shoes, with odd 
buckles. He is a likely, well-set fellow ; understands butchering 
very well ; was late the property of John Beck, of this the City of New 
York,butcher; speaks Dutch and English tolerably well." '* 20 shil- 
lings reward if he is taken in the city, and 40 shillings if taken 
out," ''and all reasonable charges paid, by John Carpenter." 
Ooodheart Seigler, butcher, also notices his " negro boy Prince as 
having run away, he being a butcher by trade." Another, by the 
name of Daniel Enslee, (Ensley, Insley, Inslow, Ac.,) advertises his, 
and agrees to give ''twenty shillings reward for the taking of 
Tom, a negro man, if this side of Eingsbridge ; if on the other side, 
forty shillings paid by me, Daniel Ensleb, Butcher in Fly 
Market."* 

An incident soon after occurred, which rather reflected on this Mr. 
Enslee. Before the "Patriots" left the city, provisions had become 
scarce, and it was quite difficult for several of the batchers (among 
whom were John Carpenter, Mathew Qleaves, John Pessenger, and 
others,) to supply the Continental troops, hospitals, Ac, with fresh 
beef. Neat catde were very scarce, and what few were obtained, 
• ••CoDsUiatioma Ghiseite.'' 



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158 ^LY MARKET. 

it was hazardous to bring them to the city by the drovers, although 
they were usually engaged before their arrival. 

This incident, however, is better explained in the following peti- 
tion, which was presented to the *' Provisional Congress," then the 
acting magistrates : " The humble petition of John Carpenter, SenV, 
and Mathew Gleves, victuallers, (supply biUcheraJ and Willbur 
Wood, drover, sheweth: That the said Willbur Wood has been em- 
ployed by the said John Carpenter and Mathew Gleves, as a dro- 
ver, to purchase cattle for them. On the 16th of June instant, set 
out with them from his place of abode in Dutchess County, in this 
province; that yesterday evening, about four o'clock, after said 
Willbur Wood had delivered the cattle at Richard Verian's, (Vari- 
an's,) the Bull's Head, in the Bowery Lane, for said Carpenter and 
Gleves, he went over to acquaint them of having brought such 
cattle, and where he had left them ; that on his return to New 
York, near the Fly Market he met with one Mr. Daniel Inslow, 
and two other persons, who invited said Willbur Wood to go with 
them and drink some beer, which he did, as having been before ac- 
quainted with said Inslow, when, in discourse, said Wood was 
asked if he did not bring down cattle for said Carpenter and 
Gleves, which he answered in the affirmative. They then replied, 
that Carpenter should have none of them, for if he had, said Wood 
would meet with trouble, and directed him to come to said Bergen's, 
this day, at two o'clock in the afternoon, and he should be paid for 
them by the said Inslow. That said Carpenter and Gleves have 
frequently supplied the Continental troops with provisions, and 
said Carpenter at this time supplied two of the hospitals ; and if 
these cattle are wanted for the troops, they are willing they should 
part with the cattle for that purpose ; but if that is not so, your 
petitioners most humbly pray that this Honorable Board will be 
pleased to take the premises into consideration, and make such or- 
der as shall appear necessary for the said cattle to be restored to 
your petitioners, John Carpenter, Sen,, and Mathew Gleves, who 
wait on this Honorable Board with this their humble petition, to 
give such further account and satisfaction in the premises as this 
Honorable Board may require. John Carpenter, 

" Willbur Wood, Mathew Glbavbs. 

•' New York, Friday Morning, June 21, 1776." 

Daniel Inslow was called before the "Congress/' and also the 
petitioners, who were respectively heard ; after which, the " Con- 
gress" "Thereupon Besdved and Ordered^ That Daniel Inslow do 
immediately redeliver to Willbur Wood the cattle which he took 
from him, and that he see them safely driven to the yard from 



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FLT MARKET. 159 

which they were driven." "He was also reprimanded from the 
* Chair' for his improvident conduct, and discharged,"* 

John Pessenger also supplied one portion of the Continental 
troops 4kt that period, while occupying stand No. 1 in this market. 
He being a somewhat remarkable, as well as a patriotic character, 
perhaps a few incidents connected with his varied life may be found 
interesting. 

About the year 1740 his parents resided in a German settlement 
called Stone^Arabia, some fifty miles from Albany, in the State of 
New York. At that early period many of the Indians were very 
troublesome, especially those living among the French in Canada, 
who occasionally made war excursions among the settlers in the 
northern part of the State, when they murdered the people, burnt 
their dwellings, and destroyed their crops. In one of these excur- 
sions, the residence of the parents of Pessenger was attacked and 
burnt, when they fled for their lives towards Albany, but on their 
way were obliged to stop among some friendly Indians, and then, 
in a wigwam, John Pessenger was born, in the year 1742. 

Some protection was afterwards afforded them by the Govern- 
ment, when they and many others returned ; only, however, for a 
few years, as the continued diflBculties with the French and their 
Indian allies led to a declaration of war. Then again commenced 
the destruction of human life, of property, and the carrying off cap- 
tives by the savages, both French and Indians. The thriving vil- 
lage of Saratoga and some thirty families were sacrificed by them ; 
and at this time the brother of Pessenger, named Sbffrekes, was 
carried into captivity, and kept among the Indians ten years, before 
he was able to return to his parents, who had long given him up as 
one of the murdered victims. 

Pessenger afterwards came to the City of New York, and served 
an apprenticeship with Andreas Regler, when he commenced busi- 
ness in this market, where we find him before the Revolution. Pre- 
vious to that, he had married a young widow, with an only daughter, 
named Dorothy, who, after the Revolution, became the wife of Henry 
Astor ; and she proved a valuable assistant to him, being not only a 
fine-looking woman, but very active, hard-working, and withal quite 
frugal. Mrs. Astor was childless, which no doubt left her but few 
household duties to perform ; and as it was then quite fashionable, 
as well as it was considered a respectable duty of the '* working 
ladies" of that day to assist their husbands in the prosecution of 
their business, she, at an early period of her married life, occasion- 
ally took part with her husband in the slaughter-house, in assisting 
* Prooeedl&ga of the Proridonal CoQgroBi. 



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1^ FLY MARKET. 

to prepare tbe mnaU rntai^ for the market. Their oombined in* 
diistry and frugality soon placed it in their power to enjoj a resi- 
dence in the Bowery, and the owners of considerable property. 
The great and oontinaed attachment which Astor had for his help- 
mate was ofttimes displayed in his bringing her home the gayest 
dresses, or other fancy articles, which he thought woold please her. 
As there was nothing too good for his wife, in (act, he often (in his 
crooked English) expressed himself to his associates, that his 
'' Dolly was de pink of de Powery." Bnt I am straying from her 
step-father, John Pessenger, who, among other children, had two 
sons by this wife, named Andrew and John, and both became 
butchers. 

Andrew, in 1797, obtained a stand in this market, formerly occa- 
pied by George Arnold, and in 1810 changed it to No. 5 ; but on 
the breaking out of the war of 1812, he entered into the naval 
service, on board of the U. S. sloopof-war Wasp; and he was in the 
engagement between that vessel and H. B. M. sloop^if-war Beindeer^ 
on the 28th of Jone, 1814. In the list of ''severely wounded" in 
that action was the name of Andrew Passinger, who soon after 
died of these wounds. 

The other son, John, Jr., in the year 1796 purchased, at public 
auction, stand No. 62 in this market, where he continued business 
until the year 1812, when he exchanged with Adam Hartell for No. 
85 Bear Market ; and when the new Washington Market building was 
finished, he was transferred into that. Previous to the war of 1812, 
he had served his military term out in an artillery company, under 
Captain John Menus ;• but the war demanded from him further du- 
ties, and he became drafted in a militia company, when he per- 
formed three months' duty, for which his widow received 160 acres 
of land, he having deceased in the year 1818. 

The patriotism of the father of John Pessenger, Sr., early led 
him into the ranks of the '' Liberty Boys/' and no doubt, when the 
Continental troops were assembled in the city, he was sought after 
to supply a portion of them with provisions; and being well known 
to most of the farmers and graziers in Westchester County and 
Long Island, he was enabled to keep them well supplied ; which 
fact brought him to the notice of General Washington, who found 
in him a trustworthy and confidential man. On the retreat of the 
Continental Army to Harlaem Heists, Pessenger went with them ; 
and he became installed with additional duties, in the purdiasing of 
cattle and other live stock, for which he was liberally supplied by 
the Commissary with the Continental paper money, which at that 
period was at par. 



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FLT MARKET. 161 

The morning on which the "Battle of Harlaem Plains'' took place, 
Pessenger being at work, slaughtering in a barn near by, the bat- 
tle had commenced, when Washington sent word to him to order 
all hands out, to assist with the wounded, and to his personal care 
he assigned Major Leitch, of Virginia, whom he said was a particu- 
lar friend ; and on leaving him he impressively said, " Pessenger, I 
commit him to your charge, and do not leave him until I see you 
again, unless I am killed." Pessenger had the wounded Major con- 
Teyed to a farm-house, where he remained with him, doing all, and 
more than all, that was ordered by the surgeon. The next day 
Washington visited his sinking friend, and found, from the nature 
of his wounds, that he could not live ; although, no doubt, from the 
careful nursing and attention, he lived some fourteen days after- 
wards, when he expired. Pessenger said that Washington was very 
much affected, after every visit, and more especially when he died. 

Pessenger continued with the army to White Plains, where he 
occasionally had in possession sometimes 50 to 75 head of cattle at 
one time, which were usually inclosed in a barn-yard. One night 
the cattle broke out and strayed off towards the British lines, when 
all hands were ordered out to hunt them up, and it was near day- 
light before they all reached home. Pessenger had also strayed 
quite near the British lines; '* hoping," as he afterwards said, ''of 
bringing in a tory or two," and while wending his way back, in 
passing a piece of woods, he heard the sound of a voice or voices. 
It being yet quite dark in the woods, he crept along behind the trees 
and bushes, when he got near enough to hear, as he thought, some- 
body in distress; the indistinctness, however, led him nearer, when 
he discovered it to be Washington, who had early gone out to visit 
the lines and reconnoitre the enemy's position, as he expected an at- 
tack that morning, and on returning he had stopped in this quiet 
place, where, on bended knees, Pessenger found him praying for 
his country and the success of his patriotic countrymen. Pes- 
senger quietly withdrew and returned to his quarters, to find all the 
missing cattle closely yarded. Sure enough that morning the ''Bat- 
tle of White Plains "v began, and again his services were demanded, 
and again he assisted with the wounded. 

The acquaintance in this county was no doubt the cause of Pessen- 
ger's remaining here during the war. In the mean time Gen. Howe, 
in New York, had been very anxious to procure several persons, 
who were acquainted with the country round about the City of New 
York, to procure him the necessary supplies, and having heard 
through Manoid^ a tailor in New York, (who happened to be Pes- 
senger's brother-in-law,) his relationship with Pessenger, when he 
Vol. I.— U 



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1^2 f^Y MARKET. 

induced him to go and visit Pessenger, and with large rewards to 
engage him if possible. Manold found Pessenger, and offered him 
500 guineas as a bonus, and a large salary besides, to engage in the 
service of Howe. Pessenger's patriotic blood was up in a moment^ 
and he quickly told his brother-in-law, that " General Howe could 
not buy him with all his golden guineas, and he might take them 
back and tell Howe to — " do something else with them. 

Previous to the war he had purchased at private sale of Colonel 
De Lancey the corner lot and an old farm-house which stood upon 
it, then known as the comer of Bowery Lane and Fisher Street, 
(the present corner of Bowery and Bayard Street,) where he had 
taken up his residence, but which of course he had to vacate when 
the British took possession of the city. 

When peace was proclaimed, he returned and took possession of 
his old habitation, as well as his stand No. 1, from which he had 
been deprived of for seven long years, and again he commenced his 
old business. 

It was not long before he found the property of De Lancey was 
confiscated, and his own along with it ; when he applied to Gen. Wash- 
ington for his opinion and advice in relation to it ; the General in- 
formed him that he thought the receipt given by De Lancey when 
he purchased this property was sufiBcient to entitle him to hold it; 
but it appears not to have been satisfactory to the Commissioners of 
Forfeiture, and it was sold at public auction, and again purchased 
by Pessenger, who then thought, that as the country was so much 
embarrassed in her financial affairs, that he would say no more about 
it to Washington. Another loss, or rather an aflSiction, soon after 
took place, in the death of his beloved wife. 

Washington became President of the United States in 1789, and 
shortly after removed his residence to Franklin Square, then known 
as No. 1 Cherry Street, in this city, and where he sought Pessenger 
to furnish his table with meats, which in the course of time led Pes- 
senger to occasionally visit Mr. Tobias Lear, the secretary of Wash- 
ington, at the latter's residence, where, after a time, he became ac- 
quainted with one of Mrs. Washington's waiting-maids, Miss Maria 
M. Henigar, the daughter of Christof Henigar, a fine rosy-cheeked 
girl, and somewhat remarkable for beauty and healthfulness. Tlie 
visits became quite agreeable to both parties, and finally it was so 
interesting, that when Mrs. Washington moved to Philadelphia, 
Miss Henigar could not be induced to remove with her, as she had 
made up her mind to join Pessenger in the holy bonds of matrimony ; 
and she is yet (1861) living, being more than 94 years of age. 

John Pessenger continued his business on his old stand in this 



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FLT MARKET. 163 

market until he died, which event took place on the Fourth of 
July, 1811. 

After the British troops had taken possession of the city, officers 
for the various departments were soon after appointed by the chief 
officer in command, from whom emanated various proclamationfi 
and orders to establish the necessary rules and regulations govern- 
ing the markets, police, prices to various articles, to prevent extor- 
tion in seasons of scarcity, to order supplies ; all of which were 
Qsoally promulgated through the press. Other sources will also 
show how the city was supplied with provisions, their prices at 
various dates, with other matters connected with the workings of 
the government under Martial Law. 

The first is an order from the Oommissary-General,* addressed to 
** John Hewlet, Esq., Long Island:'' Commissary-Oeneral's orders 
for cattle and sheep, dated Jamaica, October 2d, 1776: "You are to 
use your utmost endeavors to procure and bring to me cattle and 
sheep for the use of the army. When they are delivered to me, a 
receipt will be given for them, to be paid for at a certain time and 
place. If you find any butchers or other persons interfering with 
you in this business, or buying from the country people, under pre- 
tence of bringing it in to me, without a written order signed by me, 
you will seize their cattle from them for His Majesty's use, put a 
fair value on them, and drive them in to me; and on delivery, such 
butchers will be paid for them, or have a receipt. You will also 
secure and seize for His Majesty's use all cattle and sheep belonging 
to Rebels^ who have left their habitations, and bring them in to me. 
And you will employ proper persons to assist you. For doing 
whereof, this shall be your warrant. I expect your utmost care and 
dispatch in thisi business ; and be sure to report to me what you do 
in it. JjkMEs Christie, Commissary for Cattle and Sheep." 

Mr. George Cherry was appointed agent for supplying or victual- 
ing His Majesty's fleet in North America, and he was found on board 
of the ship " Grand Duke," at Brownjohn's Wharf, near this market.t 
Andrew Elliott was appointed the next year, on the 4th of May, 
** Superintendent-General of the Police, with powers to issue such 
orders and regulations, from time to time, to suppress vice and sup- 
port the poor — direction of the night watch — the regulations of mar- 
kets and ferries, and all other matters, Ac. ; he will be assisted by 
David Matthews, Esq., Mayor, with the police.''^ 

The prices of provisions, soon after the occupation of the city by 
the British troops, became much enhanced. Eddis, in his letters 

• N. T. Packet, February 20, 1786. f GMette, May 12, 1777. 

X lUd., May U, 177a 



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164 ^^^ KARKKT. 

written in 1777, gives a few remarks in relation to the supplies, as 
follows: "Notwithstanding the war, New York is plentifully sup- 
plied from Long Island with provisions of all kinds. It must, how- 
ever, be confessed that almost every article bears an exorbitant 
price when compared with that of former happy times," From an- 
other source, in the same year : " Every article of provision is scarce 
and dear — the beef which formerly sold for 8 coppers sells for 24. 
No fresh butter to be had ; only Irish butter, very strong^ at three 
shillings per pound."* On the following 20th of April, the same pa- 
per says: "Beef at 14d. sterling per pound by the quarter; mutton 
and veal at 18d. ; butter at 4s. Id. a scant two*pound roll ; milk 7d. 
per quart; bread very dear, and all sorts of poultry, which is now 
very scarce; cabbages, small, from 7d. to 20d. apiece; spinage at 
lOd. and 12d. for a half a peck ; three, four, and five eggs for 7d., and 
everything in proportion." Then, following on the 3d of Novem- 
ber: "As fresh beef and pork now bear a very generous price in 
this city, it would be advisable in the country people to bring down 
as much as they can of that species of provisions, and not all at once, 
but at different periods, and in return they can supply themselves 
with the best beef and pork in the world, (ready salted to their 
hands,) for one-third less than they sell their fresh meat/ar.^^f The 
same paper on the 22d of December following says : " On Wednesday 
next, being Christmas Eve, forty poor widows, housekeepers, having 
families in this city, will receive 40 lbs. of fresh beef, and a half-a- 
peck loaf each, on a certificate of their necessity, signed by two 
neighbors of repute, which is to be determined at the Rev. Dr« 
Inglis's house in the Broadway, between 10 and 12 o'clock that day, 
who will give a ticket for the above donation." This was the gift 
of an advertising member of the law, named John Coggil Enapp. 

The same paper also notices the seizure from a set of monopo- 
lizing hucksters, who " for some time past, undiscovered, made a 
practice to purchase up great quantities of potatoes, turnips, Ac^ 
brought to this market for the use of the inhabitants of this city, 
stow them in cellars near the dock, and afterwards introduce them 
into the market, and dispose them at a very exorbitant price. This 
being made known to our Mayor, he ordered a large quantity of 
different vegetables that had been stored in order to be sold as men- 
tioned above, to be seized last Friday, and the same were sent to 
the public Aims-House for the use of the poor." 

The N. Y. Journal, August 10, 1778, speaks of ''a gentleman who 
left Flushing, on Long Island, last Lord's Day, represents that there 
are about 12,000 of the enemy's troops stationed at New York, Long 

* American Remembranoer, Feb. Sd. ^KY, Gazette aad Weekly Meroarj. 



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FLT MARKET. ^ 165 

Uand, Staten Island, and King's Bridge, and about 5,000 at Rhode 
Island. That bread is very scarce with them ; pease and oat-meal 
being served out instead thereof; the Commissary's rations are en- 
tirely stopped, and the soldiers' wives, who were entitled to half a 
ration, are reduced to a quarter. That the Long Island people are 
selling off their small cattle, poultry, Ac, as they are daily robbed 
of them by the soldiery." 

Prom the (N. Y.) "Gazette," November 14, 1778, which had pre- 
viously become both royal and loyal, we learn the condition of the 
workingmen, and its editor's somewhat generous treatment towards 
his workmen, as will appear from their appeal, headed "The journey- 
men printers to the master printers: Gentlemen — As the necessaries 
of life are raised to such an enormous price, it cannot be expected 
that we should continue to work at the wages now given, and there- 
fore request an addition of three dollars per week to our present 
small pittance. It may be objected that this requisition is founded 
upon the result of a combination to distress the master printers, at 
this time, on account of the scarcity of hands ; but this is far from 
being the case, it being really the high price of every article of life, 
added to the approaching dreary season. There is not one among 
us, we trust, that would take an ungenerous advantage of the times. 
We only wish hardly to exist, which it is impossible to do with our 
present stipend. There is scarcely a common laborer but gets a 
dollar per day and provisions, and the lowest mechanicks from 12 
to 18s. per day." The editor of this paper says, " I do consent to 
the above requisition. Jambs Rivington." 

In the year 1777, the farmers on Long Island were found possess- 
ed of great quantities of wheat, rye, and Indian com, as it was un- 
reasonable that those who stood in need should be left at their 
mercy, so the price of wheat was fixed at 129. per bushel of 58 lbs. ; 
lye and com at 7s. ; wheat flour, 35s. per cwt. ; rye, 20s., and Indian 
com at 17s. They were ordered to thrash out one-third of their 
crop immediately, one-third by February next, and the balance by 
the 1st of May, 1778. The price put on upland hay was 8s. ; salt 
hay, 4s. ; straw, Ss. per cwt, and 2s. 6d. per ton for carting or water 
carriage. 

The prices of wood were also regulated in the same manner. In 
1778, " it was ordered, that from and after Saturday, the 5th day of 
December next, no more them Jive ponnds currency shall be demand- 
ed or paid for a cord of walnut wood, and four pounds for any other 
sort of wood. The above raJtea being deemed from the best in- 
formation amply suflSdent, the owners of veMda and the boatmen 
that have usually supplied this city with wood, are hereby warned 



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166 FLY MARKET. 

not to attempt to distress the inhabitants by desisting from bring- 
ing the same, as their vessels and boats shall, upon proof thereof, be 
seized and assigned to others that will undertake to supply the city, 
and all protections and passes shall be withdrawn from such delin- 
quents. Those persons that have cut tvood for the use of this city 
in consequence of the permits granted, are to send it to New York 
as soon as possible ; upon proof of unnecessary delay, the wood shall 
be forfeited for the benefit of the poor, and their permits withdrawn/** 
Then follows "A proclamation of His Excellency Sir Henry Clin- 
ton, dated New York, December 20, 1778 :, the farmers of Long Island 
and Staten Island were ordered to thrash and bring to market^ by 
stated periods, such proportions of wheat, rye, and Indian corn in 
their possession as they did not stand in need of for the support of 
their families and the sowing their lands. They were required also 
to give an account to the Colonels of Militia of their respective dis- 
tricts what quantity of grain they possessed, and what it might be 
necessary to reserve for the above uses. The Commander-in-Chief 
has been pleased to order that proclamation to remain in force, and 
be strictly observed, the rates excepted, which, as an encouragement 
for an ample supply of the markets, are to be as follows : 

26 shillings currency per bushel* 

" " per cwt. 

" " per bushel. 

" per cwt. 

" " per bushel. 

" " per cwt. 

per bushel, 
per cwt. 

" It is therefore ordered, that from and after the first day of Feb- 
ruary next, no greater price for any of the above articles shall be 
demanded, offered, or received, on the penalty of the person so of- 
fending forfeiting (on being convicted on oath before the police of 
New York, or the Colonels of the Militia of the district on Long 
Island or Staten Island, where the oflfence is committed,) the grain, 
flour, corn, or meal so offered to be sold or purchased, or the 
value thereof, and to suffer imprisonment till the said forfeiture 
is paid ; the one-half of the forfeiture to be paid to the informer, 
and the other half for the use of the poor of this city, or the town- 
ship where the offence is committed. 

" The police of New York and the Colonels of Militia on Long 
Island and Staten Island are hereby required to take an account of 
what quantities of wheat, rye, Indian corn, grain, flour, or meal are 

* Royal Gkizette, Januaiy 22, 1779. 



" Wheat, 


26 


Wheat flour, • 


80 


Rye, - - - 


10 


Rye meal, 


80 


Indian corn, 


10 


Indian meal, • 


28 


Buckwheat, 


7 


Buckwheat meal, • 


26 



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FLY MARKET. 167 

in their respective districts, and in whose possession, and report the 
same as soon as possible to the Commandant of New York. 

" D. Jones, Major- General.^^ 

" In the month of March, 1779," says Johnson, " flour and bread- 
stuff were nearly exhausted in the British store-houses at New 
York. There was no good flour ; and the Hessians, who were in 
Brooklyn, drew damaged oatmeal instead of bread. This meal, 
baked into cakes, was unfit for use ; and the writer has seen them 
cast to the swine, which would not eat them. The soldiers were 
mutinous. AH the grain possessed by the farmers was estimated, 
and placed under requisition. The timely arrival of a few victu- 
aling ships relieved the scarcity, and saved the British from a sur- 
render to the Americans to escape starvation."* The price of 
flour, on the 15th of December, 1780, is shown from a petition of 
the bakers of the city, who state, " That the price of flour — being 
advanced beyond the assize of bread — that they cannot afford to 
carry on their business." The Board of the Chamber no doubt as- 
sisted the bakers, as they *' are of opinion that good flour cannot 
now be purchased under three pounds per hundred weight." t How- 
ever, the timely arrival of vessels from the mother-country greatly 
assisted the citizens with supplies, and at this period is found no- 
ticed in the press the arrival of beef from the " Leaden Hall Mar- 
ket." " Uriah Hendricks has for sale ' the best London beef, fresh 
put up in Leaden Hall Market,' preserved by a new method, with 
saltpetre, spice, Ac, and is in excellent order for family use, being 
in casks, of 112 lbs. each ; its cost at London was more than double 
price of Irish beef."! The Royal Gazette following, October 13, 
notices •' 'London Beef' — A few barrels of the prime London beef, 
put up at the Leaden Hall Market, for private family use, and im- 
ported in the ship Botoman, yet remains on hand, and may be had 
by applying immediately to Captain Taylor, on board of said ves- 
sel, now lying at Marston's Wharf." 

Vegetables and fruit also appeared very scarce, at times; there 
was but little raised, and that little almost clandestinely grew in 
some place beyond the reach of the numerous marauding troops, or 
immediately under the protection of the commanding ofBcers. The 
consequence was, but a small supply ever came to the markets, for 
as soon as it was landed, it was immediately taken up at almost any 
price by the wealthy, or the most favored tavern-keepers. 

"An oflScer lately returned from New York reports that vegeta- 
bles and fruit are so excessively scarce there, that' an ordinary din- 

* Navftl Magmslne, vot. {.. p. 568. f ProoeedingB of the Chuibeff of Commeroe. 
t K T. OMMtte, a» , Jane 21, 1779. 



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168 FLY MARKET. 

ner at any of the taverns in the citj, the garden staff and dessert 
generally exceed the charge of eyery article of the entertainment 
besides, wine and firing (fire-wood) only excepted."* 

A few months before, the inventor and patentee of the preserved 
meats was brought to light, in the following notice: ** Portable 
soup — ^veal, mutton, and beef— fresh imported from Ur. Piper, the 
patentee, successor to Debois, the first inventor of these excellent 
cakes for invalids and persons traveling by land and water, proving 
the most excellent succedaneum in the world. Enquire of the 
printer." t 

The same paper notices the loss of ten fat cattle, which, by de- 
scription, would be considered now-a-days a hard lot: '* Stolen or 
strayed, the 6th inst., from the farm of John Houls, living at Qow- 
anus, four miles from Brooklyn Ferry, ten fat oaitU: two oxen, one 
large black cow, one black two year old bull, two one year old stears, 
one three year old steer, three two year old heifers. Twenty dol- 
lars reward will be given to any person that secures them, so that 
the owner may have them again ; either acquaint John Houls or 
William Mooney, butchers in the Fly Market.^^X 

The winter of 1779 and '80 was a most remarkable cold winter, 
for the long continuance of cold weather not only closed both the 
North and East Rivers, but also closed the Bay of New York with 
solid ice. Near every article of provisions and wood was brought 
across in sleighs, and '' a troop of horse and artillery crossed to 
Staten Island on this immense bridge, which connected all onr 
islands one with the other, and with the main-Iand."§ " Fuel and 
provisions were scarcely to be purchased by the citizens, even those 
who had means of paying exorbitant prices. In many instances 
household furniture was broken up to supply the fire necessary to 
support life." 

Perhaps the following will more fully demonstrate the above 
facts, which we find in the " Penn^ Packet," as follows: " Poughkeep- 
sie, January 10. The very remarkable and long-continued severity 
of the weather (the like not havirig been knovm, as we are informed, 
ly the oldest man living) has stopped all the avenues of intelligence, 
and almost cut off all social intercourse between people of the same 
neighborhood. 

'' The incessant intenseness of the cold, the great depth and quan- 
tity of the snow, followed in quick succession one on the back of 
another, attended with violent tempests of wind, which for several 
days made the roads utterly impassable, has put a stop to business 

* UpcoU'8 CoUeotioDS, vol. tI., p. 143. f N. Y. Gazette, Aagust 19, 1780. 

t Ibid., November 20, 1779. § Dunlap's Hiit. N. T., p. 166. 



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FLY MARKBT. 169 

of all kinds except such as each family conld do within itself. And 
as many were slender proyided with necessaries for subsistence, we 
have reason to apprehend that we shall shortly hear many melan- 
choly accounts of private distress in the country ; and that from the 
sea-coasts and vessels at sea, the accounts will be dreadful."* '' The 
sound between Long Island and Connecticut is almost froze over 
in the undest part, and some persons have passed over from Long 
Island to Norwalk and other parts of Connecticut on the ice. Wood 
is brought from Long Island to New York on sleighs. It is also 
passable from Paulus Hook to New York."t A party of mounted 
refugees who had been making surpriBois, among which, an ac- 
count says: '^The further trophies of this successful excursion are 
three handsome sleighs, with ten good horses, all of which were 
yesterday (Feb. 1) driven to New York over the ice from Staten 
Island, an enterprise never yet attempted since the first settlement of 
this country J^X " Yesterday, (Feb. 6,) 86 loaded sleighs went from 
this city to Staten Island on the ioe."§ 

''A few nights since a number of prisoners escaped from one of 
the prison ships in New York on the ice, one of whom froze to death 
before he reached the shore.^1 (No doubt he was almost dead from 
starvation and disease before he started.) At a later date another 
escape from this prison ship is thus noticed : " Last Sunday, {2Qth 
August, 1780,) came to town (Phila.) Captain Richard Grinnell, 
who made his escape from the Scorpion prison ship in New York, 
on Tuesday, the 15th inst. He informs us that on the day he left 
New York, there was the hottest press ever known there ; they 
pressed about 700 men that day, and the press still continued ; that 
they not only took seamen, but all the refugees, laborers, and mer- 
chants' clerks they came a^sross. Captain Grinnell further says, 
that there was on board the two prison ships. Scorpion and Strom- 
billo, about 300 prisoners.''1[ 

In the year 1782, the cold weather must have been more severe 
than that two years before, but not so long continued. The news from 
New York, dated January 31, states: "We have had a more intense 
frost since Monday last, than any inhabitant of this city remembers 
to have happened for twenty years past. It has rendered the ar- 
rival of vessels, and, consequently, the means of obtaining intelli- 
gence, impracticable."^^ Then appears on the 4th of February, "In 
tfie late severe weather on Tuesday and Wednesday last, some peo- 
ple were found frozen to death in their crafts in the Bast and Hud- 

• 1780. Janaary 27. f ThX^-, Feb. S. % Ibtd., Felk 11 

§ GtiM's Mercury, Ao., FeK 7. || New Hampehire Gaiette, Febmaiy 6. 
Y Peoaa. Packet, Angnat 22. •• Peuna. Packet, Feb. 12, 1782. 



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170 FL7 MARKET. 

son's Rivers ; and, indeed, the bay was so full of ice all the last week 
that our navigation to Staten Island has been greatly impeded." 

The manner in which the authorities at this period disposed of the 
stands in the several markets is thus noticed: "By permission of 
the Commandant, the stalls and standings of the several markets in 
this city will be exposed to sale at public auction on Monday, the 
13th of March next, at 12 o'clock, at the house of Mr. John Roome, 
inn-keeper, the corner of Water Street and the Fly Market. Condi* 
tions will be made known at the time of sale. In Vestry, 2l8t Feb- 
ruary, 1780.* 

The formation and peculiar duties of this Vestry are more fully 
shown in Butler's letter, who says, "At this time, December, 1777, the 
poor were greatly distressed, and General Robertson, then Command- 
ant of New York, was pleased to appoint nineteen gentlemen from 
the different wards of the city, to solicit contributions for their relief. 
These gentlemen, with the magistrates of police, were then formed 
into a Vestry, and the Aims-House and poor of the city were com* 
mitted to their care ; and latterly, the pumps, lamps, &c. — proper 
funds for the execution of the trust repos^ in them were necessary — 
therefore the rents of such houses and stores as were not wanted for 
the service of government, and the five {six, viz,, Goenties Slip, (Hd 
Slip, Fly, Peck Slip, Bear, and Oswego) markets were appropriated 
to the funds for the Vestry. ^^\ 

The street which ran alongside of this {Fly) market was not 
known at this period as Maiden Lane, but as " Fly Market,'^ and 
occasionally as " Ply Market Street," from the corner of Queen 
{Peart) Street, where the numbers began ; in fact, we find but few 
streets properly numbered, until after the British troops had taken 
possession of the city. The "Gazetted furnishes us with several 
evidences of the above facts. In 1778: "Joseph Collins, Taylor, 
takes this method to acquaint the gentlemen of the navy and army 
that he has lately removed to No. 22 *Fly Market.'" Then there 
appears in 1779 : " Wanted, empty soap and candle boxes. Any per- 
son who has them to dispose of may hear of a purchaser by applying 
to Gregg and Laffan, Tallow Chandlers in the Fly Market." 
1780: "To be sold, the lease of a house in the 'Ply Market,' late 
the property of Mr. Timothy Slandert, deceased." 1781 : " William 
Torrence & Co. have removed to No. 2 Fly Market, next door to 
William Campbell's, vhere they are opening for sale broadcloths 
and Rattinetts, Ac." In 1799, the numbers were continued through ; 
that is, Maiden Lane from Broadway, where the numbers began, to 
No. 112 corner of Pearl Street, was then known by this name, and 

* Royal Gazette. f The Tomtiiuon Pi^fiera, MercantUe Library AssociaUoo. 



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FLY MABKBT. 171 

from 112 to the East River was called the " Fly Market,^' although 
the numbers continued on to the end of the market. 

Fly Market Street continued in existence until the 26th of April, 
1824, when Assistant Alderman Samuel St. John called up his 
*' resolution" for giving the name of Maiden Lane to the whole street 
running from the North to the East River, " now known as Cort* 
landt Street, Maiden Lane, and Fly Market Street," which was 
adopted ; but Gortlandt Street still survives. 

We turn to the 26th of April, 1780, and find the following : ''Notice 
is hereby given that no persons whatsoever are to be admitted into 
the British lines without having previously obtained passports for 
the purpose, from the Commandant of New York, except those who 
come to and go from the markets. They will report themselves to 
the police, whose permissions for taking out horses, Ac, will be suf- 
ficient. Oliver Dblancet, Adjt. General."* 

Some three years after, on the 1st of January, (1783,) ''Notice is 
hereby given to any person or persons inclined to enter into a con- 
tract for supplying /re^A beef to His Majesty's ships at this port, to 
send in their proposals to me, in writing, sealed, on or before the 
18th of January next, on board the 'Centurion' Victualler, at Hal- 
let's Wharf, or at No- 217 Water Street. 

" John Delafons, Agent Victualler*" 

Followed soon after this: "By order of the Commandant, per- 
mission is hereby granted to all persons coming from any part of the 
country with live stock for the use of the markets, to kill and dis- 
pose of the same, provided the stock is slaughtered at such places 
as are set apart for that purpose. Hucksters, or any other persons 
who may be detected in forestalling any provisions or vegetables 
brought to this city for the supply of the markets, may depend on 
being treated with the utmost rigour. John St. Claib, Sec'y. 

"New York, 7th June, 1783." 

The last " proclamation," made before the " evacuation," in relar 
tion to markets, is noticed in the N. Y. Weekly Mercury, July 7th, 
same year, as follows: "Whereas, the butchers who have stalls and 
standings in the public markets, make common practice of throwing 
the feet and other offals of their meat, either under their stalls, or 
in the streets adjoining the same, whereby the inhabitants living 
near the said markets are greatly incommoded and distressed by the 
nuisance occasioned by such practices. The said butchers are tiiere- 
fore hereby strictly forbidden from committing such practices in fu- 
ture, and are hereby directed to keep their several stalls and stand- 
ings clean and clear of all such fil^; and in case any of the said 

* Rojal Guette. 



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172 FLY MARKET. 

butchers shall be convicted before the police of transgressing this 
order, their license shall be forfeited, and the offenders be delivered 
from having anj stall or standing in the said markets. By order 
of the Commandant. John St. Clair, Secretary." 

We turn back, and find from an examination of David Hunt, of 
Westchester, (New York,) noticed in the New Hampshire Gazette, 
December 24, 1776, in which he states, "That provisions in general 
were scarce and dear, flour in particular, and all kinds of vegeta- 
bles." " That they (Bangers) had collected {in Westchester County, 
New York,) 1,200 sheep, 900 hogs, and several hundred cattle, and 
drove them on Willet's Neck, and since gone off to New York." 

These " Rangers" were organized in New York, principally from 
the refugees, as a foraging party, under the command of the city's 
former Governor, (Tryon,) who made himself quite extensively 
known as a '^ Cattle Thief," and was one of the most efficient in sup- 
plying the city with fresh provisions. The following will give the 
reader some idea of his accomplishment in that line. The "same 
paper," 1778, September 8, gives the news from " New Haven, August 
26," which states that " Governor Tryon, with his foraging party, 
it is said, are returning, having collected on Long Island upwards 
of 9,000 cattle, sheep, &o" The same, March 9th, (1779,) next year, 
says, ''The troops which lately went to the east end of Long Island, 
we are informed, were foraging parties; they have since returned 
towards New York, taking with them a considerable booty in cattle 
of various kinds." March I6th: '' 8,000 men landed at Elizabeth 
Town, under General Clinton. A large body of them, under Gen* 
eralJones, immediately marched a few miles in the country, and had 
collected about 40 head of cattle, when a detachment of Conti- 
nental troops attacked them, retook the cattle, and drove the enemy 
to their boats." The same paper notices a '' large body of the enemy, 
commanded by Governor Tryon, advanced by the way of King's 
Bridge as far as Horseneck. About two hundred head of cattle and 
a number of sheep fell into their hands." May 18th: '* Last Saturday 
a party of the enemy landed at Point Judith, and stole from there 
about 900 sheep, and between 60 and 70 cattle." June Sth: '' Last 
week about 1,500 of the enemy made an excursion to Scrallcnberg, 
a small village in the neighborhood of Hackinsack, where they burnt 
some houses, abused the inhabitants, and plundered their effects; 
but by the timely exertions of the army, who collected speedily, 
they were obliged to embark with precipitation, carrying but few 
cattle and little of their plunder with them. We learn that this 
party consisted chiefly of the Associated B^ugees, as they term them- 
selves, but more properly Associated Thieves and Murderers. They 



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FLY MARKET. 173 

stabbed an old gentleman of about 90 years of age, named Talman, 
in order to oblige him to confess where his money was. He died 
shortly after of his wounds. They also killed Mr. Zabriskie, by 
frequently stabbing him with their bayonets, and a negro girl, as she 
was driving off some cattle." Jtdy \Zth: "A party of Tories from 
New York landed at Monmouth, and marched with upwards of 50 
men to Trenton Falls, undiscovered, where they surprised several 
persons, and drove off a few sheep and horned cattle." Also, 
"Thirty-two Refugees, commanded by Captain Bonnel, landed at 
Greenwich, in Connecticut; they plundered the houses of nothing 
bat arms and ammunition, the principal object being horned cattle, 
of which they brought off thirty-eight, also four horses. The Ref- 
ugees proceeded about six miles into the country, collecting cattle ; 
and on their return, were attacked by a body of liebds, supposed to 
consist of about 150, with two field-pieces, but got safe on board, 
and arrived at Oyster Bay about noon with the cattle and prisoners." 

The American soldiers were not behind, and would occasionally 
return the compliment, even going so far within the opponents' lines 
as to reseize this kind of stolen property. Says the Penn* Packet, 
July 81, 1781, *' Last Saturday Colonel Sheldon's Dragoons went to 
Frog's Neck and Morrisania, and brought off upwards of 200 horned 
cattle, a considerable number of horses, hogs, sheep, Ac, said to be 
Colonel De Lancy's property, which he had plundered from the in- 
habitants, in order to fatten and sell to the New York butchers ; a 
jHTofitable trade he has practiced a long time." 

Again, we return to the " Royal Gazette," dated January 2, 1779, 
where we find the loyal editor indulging his readers with a species 
of burlesque on General Washington's proclamation in relation to 
cattle. The editor states, '' Mr. Washington last winter issued a 
proclamation, requiring the inhabitants of certain districts to fatten 
their cattle, in order to subsist his army the ensuing campaign. 
The British light infantry, having at least an equal interest in that 
measure, one of them, in the name of the whole, composed the fol* 
lowing exhortation to accompany and strengthen the Rebel Gen- 
eral's requisition : 

*' Great WuhiDgton, thoa migbty son of Mvs, 
Thoa tboDd'riDg hero of the JMei wan I 
Accept our thanks for all thy favors past } 
Oar special tbaoks await thee for the last 
Thy proclamation, timely to command 
The Catiit to he fattened round the land, 
Bespeaks thy generosity, and shows 
A charity that reaches to thy foes I 
And was this Order issned for oar sakes, 
To treat us with Mpatt Betf^nA savory steaks? 



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174 FLT MARKET. 

Or WM it for thy JUhel train {otendedt 
Give 'em the Hides— and let their Bhoes be mended ; 
Tho' Bhoee are what they seldom wear of late ; 
T would load their nimble feet with too mach weight! 
And for the Beef— there needs no puifis abont it ; 
In short, they most content themselves without it ; 
Not that we mean to have them starv'd— why many! 
The live utock in abundance, which they carry 
Upon their baeka, prevents all fear of that 
Then, honest Whige, make all your cattle fal ; 
We, to reward you Ibr your care and pains, 
Will visit soon your crowded stalls and plains ; 
And for your pampered CatHe write, at large, 
With bloody bayonets, a full discharge. 
You know that we light bobs are tough and hardy, 
And at a push youll never finds ns tardy ; 
We have a stomach both for Beef and battle ; 
So, honest Whigs, once more, feed well your Cattle ; 
Obey your Chief ^9 command ; and then, 'tis plain. 
We cannot want for Beef the next campaign I 
And if we want for fighting, be it known, 
. The fault, good neighbors, shall be all your own! McL k/' 

It also sajs, on the following 5th of June, '^ On Monday last a 
party of about forty Refugees embarked on board two sloops and 
proceeded to Sandy Hook. On Tuesday evening they landed at 
Shoal Harbor, and went to the houses of some notoriously violent 
Rebels, whom they took and brought off with their cattle, &c., with- 
out the loss of a man." " The party returned safe here on Wednes- 
day, bringing with them 27 milch cows, 7 horses, 2 waggons loaded 
with goods, Ac." 

The manner of disposing of their cattle and other plunder was 
by auction, which usually took place at the " Bull's Head in the 
Bowery," then the grand depot for stolen goods. The same paper 
which notices the above, also notices the sale of their plunder, as 
follows : '' To be sold this day, at public auction, at the Bull's Head 
Tavern, in the Bowery Lane, between XI and XII o'clock, several 
good milch cows, one very fine ox, several horses, waggons, Ac," 
Then, on the 17th inst., were " to be sold, at the Bull's Head Tavern, 
twenty-one elegant horses, which have been in the Rebel Dragoon 
service; also, near thirty head 0/ horned cattle^ saddles and bridles, 
some sheep, three waggons, Ac." One more sale we shall notice, 
July 10th following, at the same place : " For ready cash only, a 
number of horses and cows, &c. By Feegan and Deane." 

" N. B. As a bell is not allowed, the Hibernia Flag will be hoist- 
ed and a crytr at the door." 

The " same paper," on the following 29th of November, notices 
the "police regulations" of bread. "That on and after Thursday, 



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FLY MARKET. 175 

the 23d instant, all bread made of sweet flour of the first quality 
most be baked into long loaves of two pounds weight each, and 
stamped with the initials of the baker's name, and sold for sixteen 
coppers each loaf; and all bread made of merchaatable flour of an 
inferior quality must be baked into round loaves, weighing two 
pounds and one^half each, stamped and sold same as the preceding/' 

The prices of every article continued high, and the " dry summer 
of 1782 they were very high. Beef then ranged from Is. 6d. to Ss. 
6d. per lb. ; turkeys, half a guinea apiece ; potatoes sometimes sold at 
18d. and a half a guinea per bushel ; butter, 8 and 10s. per lb., and the 
price of oysters'was at the enormous rate of 16s. the 100." The poor 
suffered much, especially the " Refugee poor," but were occasionally 
assisted from the proceeds of a theatre, gotten up by the British 
officers, many of whom were amateur performers ; and also from a lo^ 
tery, called in the royal paper of May 4th, 1782, the " New York 
Poor Lottery, which positively commences drawing on Wednesday 
next, the 8th instant, at Kirk's Tavern, near the new Bridewell, under 
the inspection of Captain Linus King, Frederick Bhinelander and 
Robert Dale, who are appointed by authority for that purpose." 

But where were some of these "Old New Yorkers," when the 
poor starving Rebels (as they were called) lay locked up in the many 
loathsome prisons and prison-ships, where so many thousands were 
suffering the martyrdom of freedom for seven long years? I ask, 
where were the many who afterwards grasped at the only chance to 
stay among those brave and successful patriots, that they might, with 
their ill*gotten wealth, take advantage of the poverty of those suf- 
fering patriots, and accumulate not only riches, but give to their 
generations a title, or at least the appearance of nobility, and that 
royal Hood which will never leave their veins until they shall wipe 
that eternal stain from their records? Read in the N. H. Gazette, 
April 26, 1777, where " The enemy at New York continues to treat 
the American prisoners with great barbarity. Their allowance to 
each man for 3 days is 1 lb. of beef, 3 worm-eaten, musty biscuits, 
and a quart of salt water. The meat they are obliged to eat raw, 
as they have not the smallest allowance of fuel. Owing to this more 
than savage cruelty, the prisoners die fast, and in the small space 
of three weeks (during the winter) no less than 1,700 brave men per- 
ished." In the History of Litchfield we find, from Lt. Catlin's ac- 
count, that they were ''confined with no sustenance for 48 hours; 
for 11 days had only 2 days' allowance, pork offensive to the smell, 
bread hard, mouldy and wormy, made of canail and dregs of flax-seed. 
lie, with 225 men, were put on board the Glasgow at New York about 
Dec. 25, to be carried to Connecticut for exchange. They were on 
board 11 days, crowded between decks, and 28 died through ill- 



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176 FLY MARKET. 

usage." Then we find from the " grievances that the prisoners are 
under/' ^' close confined in jail, without distinction of rank or char* 
acter, amongst felons, without their friends being suffered to speak 
to them, even through the grates. On the scanty allowance of 2 lbs. 
hard biscuit, and 2 lbs. raw pork per man per week, without fuel to 
dress it. Frequently supplied with water from a pump where all 
kinds of filth is thrown that can render it obnoxious and unwhole- 
some, when good water is as easily obtained. Denied the benefit 
of a hospital, not allowed to send for medicine, nor even a doctor 
permitted to visit them when in the greatest distress; married men 
and others, who lay at the point of death, refused to have their wives 
or relations admitted to see them, and for attempting it often beat from 
the prison."* From the Life of Silas Talbot, there were " Two young 
men, brothers, belonging to a rifle corps, were made prisoners, and 
sent on board the ' Jersey.^ The elder took the fever, and in a few 
days became delirious. One night (his end was fast approaching) 
he became calm and sensible, and lamenting his hard fate, and the ab- 
sence of his mother, begged for a little water. His brother with tears 
entreated the guard to give him some, but in vain. The sick youth 
was soon in his last struggles, when his brother offered the guard a 
guinea for an inch of candle, only that he might see him die. Even 
this was refused. ' Now,' said he, drying up his tears, ' if it please 
God that I ever regain my liberty, I'll be a most bitter enemy r 
He regained his liberty, rejoined the army, and when the war ended, 
he had 8 large and 127 small notches on his rifle-stock." 

" But sacb a traiD of endless woes abound, 
So many mischiefs in these Hulks are found, 
That on them all a poem to prolong 
Would swell too high the horrors of our aong^ 
Hunger and thirst, to work our woe, combine^ 
And mouldy bread, and flesh of rotten swine ; 
The mangled carcase, and the batter'd brain, 
The Doctor's poison, and the Gaptain'sf cane, 
The Soldier's mosqnet. and the Steward's debt, 
The evening shackle, and the noon-day threat'' 

«<See, Captain, see! what rotten bones we pick— 
" What kills the healthy cannot cure the sick ; 
'* Not dogs on such by ChrUtian men are fed, 
'* And see, good master, see what lousy bread 1" 

" Tour meat or bread (this man of death replied) 
«* 'Tie not my care to manage or provide— 
<« But this, base Rebel doge, I'd have you know, 
"That better than you merit we bestow." 

" Here, generoue Britain, generous, as yon say, 
*' To my parch'd tongue one cooling drop convey ; 
"HeU has no mischief like a thirsty throat, 
*' Nor one tormentor like your David SproatJ^t 

• Oiiderdonk, L. L, p. 226. f Ganningham. % Freneau'a Poeon, p. 169. 



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FLT MABKBT. 177 

The term Bd)dj which had been so many years applied to the 
Friends of Liberty by the royal editors, Riyington and Oaine, had 
at last become not only disagreeable, bnt uncalled for, and appears to 
have been the cause of the following threat: *' Provoked at the in- 
solence of the insignificant Tory Printers in New York, who have 
the impadence to use the term Bbbel in their papers, in contradic- 
tion to the declaration of their King, in his late speech to the con- 
trary, a number of determined Whios have agreed, that should that 
term, or any other reproachful word, be further used after the first 
of March next, in any of their papers, that printer, or printers, shall 
have their ears cropt if found in any of the thirteen United States 
of America after the war. This public intimation is given them to 
prevent their further abuse of words, and to save their ears, should 
any of them presume to tarry in that country, and amongst those 
people who have been the objects of their repeated scurrility and 
abuse,"* 

The evacuation of the City of New York by the British troops 
appears to have been ordered by the authorities in England to take 
place. some five months previous to the 25th of November, 1783, if 
the following extract of a letter is true. This letter is dated New 
York, July 21, 1783, and reads: "This instant the Mercury packet 
is arrived, and Admiral Digby has sent me an assurance that the 
definite treaty is in his possession, and shall be sent to me presently. 
The day appointed in England for the evacuation of New York was 
this very 21st of July."t This no doubt was true, as Sir Guy Carle- 
ton in the following month '' informed Congress that he has received 
orders from England for the immediate evacuation of New York ; 
but observes in his letter, that this movement will be considerably 
retarded by the number of persons who mnst go with him in conse^ 
quence of the resolutions of the people throughout the United States, 
forbidding the return of the Befagees."t In the month of April 
previous, large numbers of Refugees began to leave; the press says, 
" The number of inhabitants going to Nova Scotia in the present 
fleet consists of upwards of nine thousand souls. "§ In the month 
of June following, the A^utant-Oeneral, Oliver De Lancey, informs 
''All persons who have returned their names to the Adjutant-General 
for passage from this place are desired to apply to the gentleman 
appointed by His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, to examine 
their several claims, who will attend for that purpose at the City 
Hall, from 11 o'clock until two every day, Sundays excepted." On 
the 16th of August following: " Notice is hereby given to all loyal- 

• Penim. Packet, March 4, 1783. t IMd., Jnly 24, 178S. 

I Ibid^ AogoBt 23» 1788. ( N. Y. Qaceite, Ac, April 28, 1783. 

Vol. L— 12 



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178 FLY MARKET, 

ists within the Knee, desfrons to emigrate from this place before the 
Jinal evacuation, that they must give in their names, at the Adjatant* 
General's ofiSce, on or before the 2l8t instant, and be ready to em* 
bark by the end of this month." September the 12th following, 
the Commissioners " give notice to all loyalists who have been rec^ 
ommended for passages to Nova Scotia, that ships are prepared to 
receive them on board, and it is expected they will embark on or 
before the twentieth instant; that if they neglect to embrace the 
opportunity now offered, they must not expect to be conveyed after* 
wards at the public expense." The two latter were signed " Abyah 
Williard." 

" The most authentic accounts agree {saya a correaponderU) that 
there are yet between 12 and 15,000 Refugees, men, women, and 
children, to be embarked at New York, Long Island, and Staten 
Island for Nova Scotia, St. Johns, and Abasco ; among these are 
many passengers of fortune and landed estates, who leave nothing 
but terra firma behind them."* In the following month of October, 
Rivington says : " Such persons discharged from the several depart- 
ments of the armjt, and have already agreed to form a joint settle- 
ment at Port Mattoon in Nova Scotia, and are desirous of proceed- 
ing thither immediately, are requested to give in, without loss of 
time, a return of themselves and families to the heads of their re- 
spective departments, in order that a proper vessel may be obtained 
for the purpose of conveying them and their baggage. They will 
hold themselves in readiness to embark in eight days from the date 
hereof. Refugees and discharged soldiers, who have been admitted 
to join this settlement, are required to give in their names, if de- 
sirous of going at present, to Mr. Hugh, next door to the Bull's 
Head in the Bowery. By order of the Managers." 

The time was drawing near when the last of the Refugees and 
other British subjects and soldiers were about departing our shores. 
One Tory "officer-holder," however, in his eagerness to steal and 
destroy public property, has left his name behind, to be again brought 
to light in the following transaction : " Last Friday evening, (four 
dayahfore the evacuation J Mr. Ephraim Smith, heretofore Inspector 
of Markets, assisted by a party of soldiers, determined that the 
Damned Rebels, as that worthy character is pleased to term them, 
should not enjoy so small a convenience when the insolence of his 
office should be no more, cut down and carried to his house the Bell 
OF THE Fly Market, with threats of prostrating the whole of the 
erections there. But it is with great pleasure we inform the public 
that the Commandant, having been made acquainted with the trana- 

* Penna. Packet, September 4, 1783. 



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PLY MARKET. I79 

action by a gentleman who happened accidentally to be present, he 
not only severely reprimanded Mr. Smith for his conduct, bnt Mr« 
Smith, by his order, will have the mortification of replacing the beU 
in its old situation. (Le moReurss, I^hraim"*) 

All the market-houses which were left standing were found in a 
minons condition, having had no additions or repairs during the 
occupancy of the city by the British troops. "Above £100 were 
spent on these market-houses alone."t 

The prices of provisions, just previous to the evacuation, are thus 
noticed in Rivington's paper, (October 22d:) "As sold yesterday in 
the public markets in this city. Beef from 6d. to 15d. per lb. ; mut- 
ton, from 7d. to Is. Id. per lb. ; lamb, lOd. ; veal from Is. to Is. 6d. 
per lb.; fowls from 48. to 4s. 6d. per pair; turkeys from 6s., weigh- 
ing 8 lbs. ; potatoes, 3s. 6d. per bushel ; Indian meal, 16s. per cwt. ; 
and butter, 2b. 6d. per lb." Four days after the evacuation of the 
city, the prices showed another decreasing change, in the same royal 
editor's paper; but that paper had undergone a change in its name, 
and appeared with the title of " Btvington^a New York Oazetfe and 
Universal Advertiser" Its royalty, as also its editors, had ceased 
with the departure of the British troops, who also had taken with 
them the loyalty of a great many persons, and left their royal bodies 
behind to propagate and spread discord and disunion, if it had then 
been possible. Many thousands, however, who were strictly con- 
scientious and honestly loyal, left immediately after finding the royal 
power here had to succumb. 

A very few of the royal butchers remained after the evacuation ; 
but those who belonged to the markets previous to the war, and re- 
mained in the city through and after the war, by continuing under 
various pleas, were often subjected to insult and mortification in be- 
ing pointed out as a tory butcher, with other more unpleasant names. 

For the first few months after the patriots had regained the city, 
very little business was done, as there was but little to do with. 
The city and the country round about were almost stripped of all 
kinds of provisions to supply the departing troops and former citizens. 
In fact, the whole market fees of the city, as appears from an ac- 
count of Alderman Van Gelder, the collector, for nine days» ("from 
December 9th to the 18th, 1783,") were but £14 4s. 5d. 

The poor returning troops and citizens were almost naked and 
moneyless, but the pleasure of once more beholding their homes and 
firesides instilled into them a new life; while there were among the 
poor farmers some who were unable to rise again, being obliged to 
mortgage their farms to obtain the necessary stock and farming im- 
• Peima. Ptekel, November 25, 1783. f Oiij Records, 



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180 FLT HARKBT. 

plements to cultivate the recovered barren acres, with the hope that 
a few years would enable them to live as before. The long war had 
so exhausted the country, that it was many years in recovering suf- 
ficiently to relieve its liberators, and, of course, many were impov- 
erished. In the year 1786 we find noticed, ''As an instance of the 
deplorable situation of New Jersey for want of cash, a correspond- 
ent assures us that he, last week, counted posted up over the mantle 
in a tavern no less than sixteen real estates taken by execution, and 
advertised by the Sheriff of Morris County for sale."* 

How much doiveaU owe these suffering liberators for our freedom 
and independence! And if we cannot repay them in any other way, 
we can and mu8t watch, guard, and batik if necessary, and also in- 
struct our children to do the same, that the Union may be preserved 
as they have left it to us. 

This subject has led me astray, although I feel that the sufferings 
in obtaining our liberties should be engrafted in our every-day 
thoughts, conversations, books, schools ; in fact, in our very dreams, 
so that we shall be prepared to combat the enemy in any form he 
may assume. Beware, however, of the demagogue or the smooth- 
tongued politician, as this subject is their forte, which reaches quickest 
the soul of the patriot, and warily leads him on, to be at last entrap* 
ped into their fatal clutches, and robbed of their manhood. Other 
pens than mine have, and will spread again, pages of this history, 
which will have more influence than can be found on these, and I 
can safely resume the history of this market again. 

On the 22d of April, 1784, " The neighborhood and butchers at 
the Fly Market were desirous of covering the slip at the lower end 
of the said market, and extending the said market over the slip to 
the bridge across the same, to make room for the country people," 
which then again began to crowd this market. The Board gave 
their consent on the 12th of May following to extend to the bridge 
near the ferry stairs, and " That the market thus extended be cov- 
ered in the same manner as the one it joins on." 

A countryman, about two years after, in this market, displayed a 
remarkable feat or feast, which is noticed in the N. Y. Gazette, 
29th May, 1786: "Yesterday, a countryman in the Ply Market, for 
a trifling wager, e^X fifty boiled eggs, shells and all I He performed 
the task in about fifteen minutes, being elevated on a butcher's block 
during the operation." 

A feast at the best hotels (or rather taverns and inns) was not 

BO expeusive at that period as the present, as the following charges 

will show : "Breakfast, two shillings ; dinner, two shillings and nine* 

pence; supper, two shillings; cut of beef, one shilling; cut of ham, 

^ Independent Joamftl, Haroh 4. 



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FLY MARKET. Igl 

OBe Bhilling and two-pence; do. of beef-steaks, one shilling and six- 
pence ; chicken, one shilling and nine-pence ; oysters from 6d. to 2s., 
as called for. Single bed, one shilling; horse, one night at hay, 
two shillings ; double do., one shilling and sixpence ; oats per quart, 
tiiree-pence; bating at hay, sixpence. Madeira, 8s.; Champagne, 
10s. i claret, 8s. ; Sherry, 6s. ; port, 6s. ; porter, 3s. ; beer. Is. ; cyder, 
8d. per bottle; sangaree, (per bowl,) 4s. ; punch, 28. ; toddy, Is. 2d. ; 
grog. Is. ; spirits, (per gill,) 6d. ; brandy, 8d. ; gin, 8d.," Ac* 

** Ebaracu8,'^ a very great traveler, also gives us a bill of fare of 
the several States the next year ; he says: "As I have travelled thro' 
all the States, I will furnish the BtU of Fare: for New Hampshire^ 
beef and Indian dumplings. Massachusetts, cod and haydock, {had- 
dock.) Rhode Island, tontog (Uach^/ish) with plain butter, not with 
aoy or ketchup — they are quintessences and extracts. Connecticut, 
pork and molasses. New York, oysters and lobsters. (New) Jersey, 
a Burlington ham and Newark cyder. PhUaddphia, soft sheeps- 
head. Delaware does not deserve a dish; they must subsist as 
Lazarus did — upon the crumbs. Maryland, a canvass-back duck, 
roasted by a stop-watch. Virginia, fried chickens and hominy, with 
New England rum. North Carolina, corn-fed pork and peach 
brandy. South Carolina, a pye of rice-birds and a roast turkey- 
buzzard. These vain people will have two dishes if their creditors 
have none. Georgia, a poor-man's pudding with a glass of water. "t 

There is no doubt some truth in the general character of the 
living in the several States as noticed above ; but the reader will 
conclude that the following description of the living in the States 
is a more reasonable one: "Notwithstanding the general charge of 
itfl being hard to live in America, there is not at this time a civilized 
country on the face of the earth in which a poor man may live with 
00 much ease as in the United States. Every traveler knows with 
what diligence farmers and mechanics, in foreign countries, are 
obliged to labor through the year. In the winter the work begins 
before day, and in summer it continues thro' the day. They have 
little respite or time for spending money. If one of them is accost- 
ed, he seldom stops to answer — ^his work must go on. This is not 
the case with us, nor have we any example of what Europeans call 
industry. The citizens of America may live with half of the labor 
which would support them in France, England, or Germany. Is he 
candid or honest who complains of such a country, or says that his 
troubles are occasioned by the necessary difficulty of living, by the 
difficulty of paying taxes, or of providing food and raiment, or by any 
other course tiian his vices, his idleness and dissipation?"^ 

• N. T. Ptoekei, Marcli 12, n8«. t DtOj Advertiwr, May 16, 1787. 

% N. T. Packet, Jane 26, 1787. 



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182 ^^^ MARKET. 

There were, however, complaints about some of the currency at 
this period, and more particularly the copper coin. 

The ferrymen who own the boats which ply between this Market 
Slip and Brooklyn apply to the Board for relief, and state they 
" have for this some time past taken a quantity of coppers for fer- 
riage, &c., at the rate of twenty to a shilling, which is now lying 
on their hands, and must of course be a very great loss in Uieir 
present depreciation, and involve your petitioners into many embar- 
rassments. We therefore beg your Hon. Body to consider our situ- 
ation, and to receive them on the same conditions from the Ist to 
the 20th of July, (1787,) and your petitioners will be in part re- 
leased of the loss in the ' copper coin.' They also beg leave that 
your Hon. Body will assist them with advice in respect to those 
coppers which are now in circulation, as the public in general, 
which uses the ferry, very seldom presents any other money to pay 
their passage, and which we have received since your Hon. Body 
was pleased to recommend their passing dX/oriy-eighi to a shilling; 
but as there still arises great inconvenience in taking them even at 
that rate, and still likely to be attended with some additional loss, 
unless received for rent by your Hon. Body, we pray your counsel 
in the premises, Ac.'* Henrt Dawson, Gilbert Y. Mater, and 
Jacob Wilkins, Jun'r. 

The bakers also follow with another on the same subject, on the 
8th of June, who state, '' That the greatest part of the bread which 
the petitioners have sold for some time past has been paid for in 
' coppers ' and Jersey money ; that they cannot purchase flour with 
the moneys they have so received, and are daily obliged to receive; 
neither will the merchants receive these moneys in payment from 
them for flour they have already purchased. < That in this embar* 
rassed situation, they cannot carry on their business without involv- 
ing themselves in debt." 

In the month of June of the next year, a petition, signed by 
above forty inhabitants, praying "that the south part of the market 
now called the Fish Market may be covered, and appropriated 
solely to the use of the country farmers; that the slip may bellied 
up half of the width of Burnet Street, and a new fish market erect- 
ed over the water in the middle of the slip." A committee re- 
ported, on the 26th of the same month, in favor of the above, and 
the "additional market-house across the slip, and that proper 
blocks or wings be laid in the slip, to extend sixty-four feet beyond 
the south side of Frqnt Street, for the purpose of supporting a 
market, which may be erected at the expense of the neighborhood.'^ 

It may not be uninteresting to know how the stands were aiv 



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I^LT MARKET. Ig3 

ranged in the first and second markets, after the third or fish mar- 
ket was finished. This regulation was adopted by the Board on 
the 31st December following. In the first or upper market-house, 
beginning at Queen (Pearl) Street: "One stall at the head of the 
market, and eighteen on the sides," (37 stands.) "That every 
butcher's stall be no more than eight feet long, and three feet, six 
inches broad, and that no part thereof extend any further into the 
market ; that the back of each stall be placed to range with the 
inner side of the market-posts, and eleven feet passage-way through 
the centre.'^ The whole length is represented as being 224 feet, 
and about 20 feet wide. The same arrangement was made with the 
six butcher stalls in the next or middle market-house. 

The rapid growth around, and the increased business in this mai^ 
ket^ appeared to outstrip all the others ; and notwithstanding the 
" late enlargement, it is still insufficient for the accommodation of 
the citizens." The neighboring inhabitants and owners of prop- 
erty were always quite willing to subscribe certain amounts to fui^ 
ther increase its success; but we find some—just such, or whom 
knowledge has made worse, now-a-days — exceedingly willing to 
subscribe, but exceedingly t^nwilling to pay over. But I must go 
back to this less corrupt age, and speak of a reported list of per- 
sons on the 17th July, 1789, "who had subscribed (£54!) to the 
late addition to the Fly Market, and either neglected or refased to 
pay;" when suits were ordered to be commenced against them. 

The law for collecting the public market fees was altered on the 
4th of March, 1790; weekly sums were to be collected from all the 
butchers who occupied stands. In this market, the sum of £16 9s. 
was the stated weekly sum, and the lowest sum for any stall " be 
four shillings." This law was, however, repealed before it was a 
month old, as we find, on the 26th of the same month, it changed 
to the old system of paying: " For the four quarters of beef, 2s. ; 
of mutton, lamb, and veal, 4d. ; and of fresh pork, 6d., in lieu of all 
other market fees." 

Towards the close of the year, quite a compliment was paid to 
the Collectors, by the "Board," (on the 24th December,) who state, 
" That from the diligence of James Culbertson and Binier Skaats, 
Collectors of the market fees, considerable more moneys have been 
collected than usual. Therefore ordered, that Mr. Culbertson be 
allowed £20, and Mr. Skaats £7, in addition to their usual allow- 
ance to the first of January next; and that from that day they be 
allowed a commission of ten per cent, on the moneys by them re- 
spectively collected." What a pity we had not a few Culbertsons 
and Skaatses now-a-days to handle the public moneys, as well as to 



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184 FI-Y MARKET. 

fill many of the piiblic offices I And what a satisfaction to the 
public, if the whole city were better goyemed, on Kme-MLf (or even 
less) the expense 1 Such kind of men would build or rebuild our City 
Halls, our (Tompkins) marke^houses, clean our streets, and, in season, 
attend to all other necessary matters which might lay suffering, and 
wanted by the people. Their consciences, as well as their oaJths^ 
would not allow them to leave their desks or duties, during business 
hours, (which number should count as many as of those of the me- 
chanics and other workmen,) to while away the people's time in 
Tom's, or Dick's, or Harry's place, or traveling the road with a tnmr 
out of electric speed, or to attend a political convention. We all 
know that there are those of that class who live among us, but of 
course they are not the flexible tools that this mmority of well-or- 
ganized political workmen want; their metal is not tempered in the 
modern political furnace to suit their purposes: in fact, they are 
only suitable for the mass, who appear to have no choice, or, at 
least, who do not use it. 

One of these collectors, (James Oulbertson,) in making his regular 
returns in the month of April, 1792, also makes a return of fines 
collected from nearly fifty delinquents, to the amount of X16 15 0* 
Seventeen of these were for light butter; nine for foreetaUing; eight 
for hlotaing meat; two for Uowing turkey a; the others for exposing 
meat by an agent, and goods contrary to law. Their fines were gen- 
erally /ve shiUings, and a few jCI, which was immediately paid after 
the decision was made, or the Bridewell key was turned upon them* 

In the month of May, 1790, the *' inhabitants around this market- 
place praying aid to erect an arched walk across the kennel (sewer) 
at the end of the market in Queen Street," and also, " that the stall 
of Henry Astor, butcher, be removed to the lower market," which 
was granted. This stall of Astor's stood across the head of the u{h 
per market, and no doubt tended to block up the entrance gangway, 
which caused its removal. 

An anecdote was told to me by an old drover, several years ago, 
of this thrifty and hard-working man. When he commenced busi- 
ness here, he b^an in a small way ; his purchases were made at the 
Bull's Head, (which at that time took up the grounds where now 
stands the old Bowery Theatre;) here he selected his smaU stock, of 
which he bought but few at a time, placed them in his wheelbarrow, 
and wheeled them home; then, with the assistance of his wife, be 
dressed and prepared them for market. Hours before daylight, the 
next morning, his stock in trade was placed in the same carriage, 
when he convoyed it to the Fly Market; and he became one of the 
most wealtiiy of our butchers. 



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FLT MARKET. 185 

He came to this country during the Reroltition with the British 
troope; bat, after a short period, he managed to escape their ser^ 
vice, and entered into that of the "Art and mystery of Butchering;" 
when he became known and continued with the name of Ashdoor. 
In 1788, 11th of April, he advertises his horse as— "Stolen from the 
subscriber, on the night of the 10th instant, firom the door of Israel 
Seaman's, Rosevdt Street, a dark-brown horse, about fifteen hands 
high, a small star in his forehead, the hair worn off his breast by a 
collar; trots and carries well; saddle and double curb bridle on 
the horse when stolen." Three guineas reward for the horse, sad- 
dle, and bridle. "For the thief, horse, saddle, and bridle, ten 
guineas will be paid by Henry Ashdoor/' 

After pecux was declared he sought citizenship, and was natural- 
ized under the act passed May 4th, 1784 ; soon after which he began 
to thrive, and when his brother John Jacob, the millionaire, arrived 
here, the frugal butcher Henry assisted him with his first stock in 
trade: a basket of trinkets ^ which he sold and traded with those who 
brought furs and skins on board of sloops and other vessels which 
lay around the docks ; and these were the rough foundation-stones 
that were built upon, and now, no doubt, this structure of wealth 
stands among the highest. 

But their lives are only an edition of many of the " Old Families," 
whose posterity are now enjoying the fruits of Ihe labor of their 
self-denying and hard-working forefathers B,nd/oremothe^s; who, if 
they oould rise up from their graves — Rip Van Winkle like — they 
would gaze horror stricken on the idleness, extravagance, and dissi- 
pation of their /o^ generations. And these/c»^ generations should 
be forced to look back into the ages past and see their ancient sires, 
<or Gcvemors, as they are now usually termed,) with their old 
greasy leather breeches — the only pair ever owned by the wearer — the 
thick, coarse woolen stockings, with the heels run and wdl darned ; 
the cowhide boots, with two patches in front and one behind; the 
coarse flaxen shirt, which thread had been spun on a spinning-wheel 
for a resting speU on a winter's evening; and a hat, or part of one, 
which twenty years before was said to have been sold for a " cocked 
hat," and the second one ever owned by the wearer ; and then again, 
their old-fashioned great-grand dames, with linsey woolsey short 
gowns and petticoats, the wool of which had been prepared by their 
own useful hands; their hair without a comb, but plainly arranged 
under a close-fitting cap; and their feet incased in a pair of shoes, 
so heavy and substantial, that their noise and healthfblness would 
frighten a modem doctor out of his senses, as well as deprive him 
of his annual income. In the cZ^generations that have followed 



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186 FI'^ MARKET. 

those " good old times" which I have endeavored to illustrate, many 
no doubt will exclaim against this picture of their ancestors as be- 
ing a shocking satire upon themselves, with their thin shoes and 
thinner constitutions; and if they did not faint away outright, they 
would say that history was a tell-tale, and ought not to be counte- 
nanced in this enlightened and fast age. 

We follow on with a petition dated 20th of July following, from 
several farmers and gardeners, whose names will be recognized 
among many of the worthy families of the present generation. 
They complain that they were not allowed to place themselves 
among the farmers of Long Island and other parts of the country in 
the markets, and wish that proper places may be set apart for the 
petitioners, where they may be free from the inconveniences they 
have hitherto experienced. Signed by 
Henry Brevoort, Henry Spingler, Henry Low, 

Isaac Yarian, Samuel Van Orden, Lawrence Ulshofer, 

Thomas Rose, Bichard Amos, Yellis Mandeville, 

Nicholas Romaine, George Campbell, Gilbert Goutant, 
William Graham, John Samler, Samuel Hallett, 

David Williamson, John Amos, &c. 
Then complaints were made of the great interruption and noise 
of carts, carriages, Ac, in market hours. The Board, on the fol- 
lowing 20th of August, ** Ordered the Deputy Clerk, Mr. Culbert* 
son, to place chains across Front Street, thirty feet west of the side 
or range of the street leading along to the river ; and in December, 
1799, chains were ordered on both sides across Water Street." 

In the month of January, 1792, "A terrible fire broke out in a 
frame house in Front Street, near the Fly Market, which in two 
hours entirely consumed 7 houses, and damaged a number of others 
before it was extinguished. The Fly Market was on fire several 
times, and the shipping at Taylor's and Brownjohn's Wharves were 
obliged to haul into the stream. The heat was so great that several 
panes of the windows on the opposite side of the street were melted.'' 
There was a scarcity of neat cattle several years after peace had 
been declared, but since 1788 they increased very fast. Long Island 
and the lower counties of the State of New York almost wholly sup- 
plied the city's wants. Connecticut exported a large number in '89 
and in '90: " there were exported (in 1790) 7,072 horses, cattle, and 
mules, it being 394 more than was shipped the preceding year from 
the district of New London."* The " Complaint of a Queen's County 
Farmer" gives us some ideas of the diflSculties of the time in getting 
market price for his cattle. He says : ** It takes about six or seven 
• N. Y. Journal, Ac., Jauaary 24, 1791. 



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FLY MARKET. 187 

years for a farmer to raise a pair of excellent well-grown oxen and 
make them fat enough for beef of the first quality ; he hopes, when 
he has got them fit for the knife, some batcher will come along and 
purchase his cattle at their value ; instead of this, he finds the coun- 
try is infested by a set of underling drovers, or rather butcher agents, 
who fabricate a thousand lies about the glut of the markets, and the 
cheapness of meat ; and who, after haggling and teasing him a long 
time about the price, worry the poor farmer at last into a bargain, 
and buy his beef for twenty per cent, less than the current rate of the 
market The agent thus adds to the prime cost as much as he thinks 
proper, and forwards them to the butcher at the new price. In ad- 
dition to this, he gets his purchase fee, and laughs in his sleeve at 
the thought of having cheated both the farmer and the butcher/'* 

The animals, being purchased, were driven to the ferry, then they 
were put on board of a low flat scow with sprit-sail ; and if in cross- 
ing they were caught in a stiff breeze, over they went, often drown- 
ing several persons and animals too. '*0n Friday last (17th Dec., 
1795.) one of the Brooklyn ferry-boats was overset in passing the 
East River; one man and seven fat oxen were drowned.^t 

These occurrences were quite common, and frequently attended 
with great loss of life and property, on both the North and East 
Bivers. The sail ferry-boats were considered very unsafe, especial- 
ly on a windy day, or from floating ice, when but few persons would 
trust their horses, carriages, cattle, or other property on them ; pre- 
ferring to wait a day or two for calm weather. The oar-barges, 
for foot-passengers, were thought more safe, and were more regular 
in crossing* They, however, were a great annoyance to travelers 
and business men, and continued so until team or hcrse and steam 
boats were introduced. But no doubt a few incidents, since the 
Revolution, will be more acceptable to the general reader. 

In the year 1784, on a *' Tuesday afternoon, (January 15th J as a 
ferry-boat was coming from Powles Hook widi passengers for this 
city, it unfortunately got between two cakes of ice, which so dam- 
aged it, that when they separated, it soon after sunk, leaving the 
people in the water, to struggle for life. A cake of ice close at 
hand afforded them a temporary relief. The North River eddy, 
setting in around the Battery, carried them into the East River, 
where, getting into the ebb-tide, they were carried out into the Bay. 
All the slips being full of ice, it was with difficulty that two or 
three small boats were got out to attempt their relief; but the large 
fields of ice at that moment in motion rendered every effort of the 
boatmen fruitless, and cut off every prospect of deliverance from 
• S. Y. Joamal tod P. B., March 10, 1792. t Ibid., December 22, 1795. 



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188 FLY MARKET. 

their miserable, anxious situation, but by death — ^till the river, being 
somewhat free firom ice, a boat, manned with hardy soldiers, went 
in pursuit of them, braving every danger, and persevering through 
every difficulty. To the inexpressible joy, though contrary to the 
expectation of the town, they returned just at dark, (having been 
almost to the Narrows,) and rescued from the jaws of death seven 
of the unfortunate people. The other, a negro man, perished with 
cold. Among the number saved are Mr. Buchanan, of Morristown ; 
Mr. Laboyteaux and Mr. Thomson, of this city ; and we are happy 
to inform the public that they are doing very well. To the specta- 
tors the sight was truly distressing, to behold our fellow-creatures 
upon the verge of death, invoking our assistance in vain, and expe- 
riencing the most torturing anxiety of mind, between the hopes of 
b^ng saved and the dread of entering the inscrutable state of eter- 
nity."* Then — "On Saturday afternoon last, when a ferry-boat 
passing over from Brooklyn to this city was suddenly overset This 
accident is said to have been occasioned by the shifting of one of 
the horses, of which there were five on board ; which so startled the 
rest, that they all removed to one side, when the boat immediately 
filled. The passengers, viz., Mr. Thome, Mr. Stackhouse, and a 
servan^man, together with two ferrymen, saved themselves by swim- 
ming till they were picked up, when almost exhausted, by several 
boats from the shore and the different vessels in the harbor.^'t 
Following this, we find — "On Wednesday last, about one o'clock, as 
a ferry-boat was attempting to cross over the North River to 
Powles Hook, she was overset by a sudden gust of wind at no 
great distance from the shore, and notwithstanding the utmost ex- 
ertions of several who immediately set out to their assistance, to 
the evident danger of their own lives, three passengers, namely, a 
Mr. Elias Gowenhouse, of Allantown, a Mr. Young, driver of one 
of the Philadelphia stages, and a negro boy, servant to Mr. Van 
Voorst, near Powles Hook, were unfortunately drowned. An old 
gentleman and the two ferrymen continued to hold fast by the 
ropes till they were picked up.'^t Another more "melancholy acci- 
dent happened,^' {April 3, 1798.) " Yesterday, about 12 o'clock, one 
of the large ferry-boats which plies between (the old ferry stairs, 
Fly Market,) this city and Brooklyn, across the East River, was 
unhappily sunk in a gust of wind. There were eight men in the 
boat; five of them were boatmen, and three passengers ; all of whom 
were drowned, except one of the boatmen."§ 
The business of carrying neat cattle on the ferry-boats was at 

^ Penna. Packet, JaQouy 22. t Independent Journal 

. t Ibi^, November a § K. Y. Journal, Ac. 



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FLY MARKET. ]g9 

times objectionable to the passengers; sometimes liaving to wait 
after the regular periods for starting, when taking them off or on, 
and also when discharging them at the ferry landings, at this and 
the Catharine Markets, among the crowds, was also a cause of 
complaint. So, on the 30th of September, 1793, '' it was ordered 
that no cattle be landed at any place in this city to the westward 
of CoL Rutgers,'' that being much nearer the public slaughter-house, 
than at Corlaers Hook. 

Other complaints were also made to the ferry-master, which 
sometimes came from a belated passenger, of the want of prompt- 
ness ; another, of the boatmen, whom they dreaded to sail across 
with, considering their knowledge of navigation, when either in 
sailing trim, or half-seas over, was of the smallest possible descrip- 
tion. The imagination would lead one to think of the many wran- 
gles that occasionally took place at the ferry landings and on board 
of the boats ; one of which grew into a matter of much import- 
ance, and worthy of notice, took place in the year 1795. 

It appears that Alderman Furman " came to the ferry stairs on 
the Brooklyn side and wanted to cross" before Ae usual time. 
Unpleasant words passed between him and two of the ferrymen, 
named Timothy Crady and Thomas Burk, and when Mr. Hicks, the 
Conductor of the Ferry, came down to order the boat off, the Al- 
derman complained to him that these two men had abused him ; on 
which Mr. Hicks said to the Alderman, that it was the rule to have 
civil treatment given to all the passengers, or words to that effect. 
On the passage across, the Alderman being not yet satisfied, gave 
the men a reprimand, which again brought forth hard words, and 
finally a threat from the Alderman that he would commit them to 
prison. Timothy Grady said '' he would put his boat-hook through 
any man that would touch him;" so says the Alderman, in his tes- 
timony before what was then known as the " Bridewell Court."* 
When they reached the ferry stairs at the Fly Market, the Aiders 
man ordered the Clerk of the Market (Mr. Cutbertson^ an officer J 
to arrest them and take them to jail. The manner of their being 
taken to the jail is described by John Bennet, a Long Island far- 
mer, attending this market, in a deposition, that " he saw Timothy 
Crady and Thomas Burk in the custody of Mr. Culbertson, on their 
way to the Bridewell ; and that Alderman Furman did punch them 
in the back with his cane, saying * Move on, you rascals — ni fix 
you;' and that he punched the said Burk and Crady with so much 
violence, that they frequently would yield to the force of his cane." 

They were, after a time, brought up before this Bridewell Court, 
* N. T. Joamal, Ac., December 26, 1795. 



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190 PLT MARKET. 

composed of Mayor Varick, Aldermen Beekman, Van Tayl, and 
Lenox, usually held at the Common Jail in the Park, when the 
testimony of Alderman Wurman was taken; no other was offer* 
ed against the prisoners. On their behalf, Jacob Hicks stated, 
''That he had known Thomas Burk as a ferryman these eighteen 
months, during which time he sustained the character of a good 
citizen and a civil man." However, in the end the Court sen- 
tenced, " That you, Timothy Crady, receive, to-morrow morning, 
twenty lashes on your bare back, to impress on your mind that you 
are not to insult men in oflSce ; suffer two months' imprisonment in 
Bridewell, at hard labor. And that you, Thomas Burk, be impris- 
oned two months in Bridewell, at hard labor, excused from whip- 
ping, being interceded for by Alderman Furman." 

Other testimony taken before the Grand Jury shows " they were 
imprisoned on the 10th of November, and were confined twelve 
days before being brought to trial." The judgment and sentence 
which followed is reviewed by some of the "Press" in communica- 
tions, cards, and editorials ; the conclusions of which are not at all 
flattering to this " Court," particularly to Mayor Varick and Alder- 
man Lenox, the latter being severely handled. 

The affair created no little excitement; and several citizens, 
(among whom were Mr. William Kettletas, the Messrs. Hicks, and 
others, who witnessed the transaction and thought these ferrymen 
had been improperly and unjustly punished,) finding they could not 
obtain their liberation or justice, appealed through petitions to the 
Legislature to impeach this "Bridewell Court." The case was 
brought before the House, who appointed a committee to investi- 
gate it ; they after a time reported, and, after a severe struggle, the 
House ^'Besdvedy That the testimony produced in support of the 
charges against Richard Yarick, &c., does not furnish sufficient 
ground for impeachment; acquits them, or either of them." This 
conclusion was quite unsatisfactory, and more especially to Mr. 
Kettletas, who wrote several communications, showing the case 
more fully, and somewhat reflecting on the committee. 

These were noticed by the " House," who ordered the arrest of 
Mr. Kettletas; which is shown in the proceedings, March 3, 1796. 
The Sergeant-of-Arms, being attended with William Kettletas in his 
custody, "was set to the bar of this House, and was questioned if he 
was the author of a certain publication? To which he said : ^ lam 
the author y and did direct the eame to be printedJ He was ordered 
into the custody of the Sergeantrof-Arms. A resolution was passed 
pronouncing him ' guilty of a misdemeanor and contempt of the an- 
thority of this House.' That he ' be brought to the bar of this 



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FLY MARKET. 191 

I 

Bonse, and upon his asking pardon of the House for his offence, and 
paying the Sergeant's fees, he be discharged from custody.' He 
was brought before them again, when he answered: ^ lam not con-^ 
sciaua cf having committed any offenoCj and there/ore I wHl not ask 
the pardon of this HouaeJ He then was delivered to the keeper of 
the goal of the City and County of New York, and confined in the 
same prison with the two ferrymen. " 

From this prison he addresses a note to the editor of the New 
York Journal, which is found in that paper, dated April 1, 1796, 
as follows: 

'*Mr. &reenleaf— It is with the deepest regret I announce to my 
fellow*citizens a confirmation of the late melancholy report of the 
death of the unfortunate Timothy Crady. Whether his death was 
in consequence of the 25 unjust stripes he received by order of the 
' Bridewell Court,' or not, is reserved for the decision of that tribunal, 
before whom it will be my duty, as well as e^ry other citizen's, to 
submit this solemn question. The confirmation of his death was 
made known to me, on the 28th instant, by Thomas Burk, the sur- 
viving fellow-sufferer, who has returned to his former place of resi- 
dence at Brooklyn. Which fact I immediately communicated to 
William Slo, the Bridewell master, from whose custody, it has been 
said, the said Burk escaped before the sentence of the * Bridewell 
Court' was executed. Mr. Slo returned me for answer, that he 
should not trouble himself about the said Burk, except he came in 
his way. This fact, relative to the conduct of Mr. Slo, I think 
proper to make public, that the * Bridewell Court' may take such 
steps to support the law as the law expressly enjoins." 

Mr. Eettletas was confined in prison until the Legislature ad- 
journed ; he was then by a habeas corpus liberated on the 12th of 
April. The ''Journal^^ says: *'0n this occasion a number of citi- 
sens attended at the prison, and forced him into a phaeton, in which 
they paraded him in triumph. 

''On the phaeton were displayed the American and French flags, 
the Cap of Liberty, supported by Mr. Kettletas, and a painted rep- 
resentation of a man whipped at the whipping-post, after the Bride- 
well mode, with a scroll in these words over the head of the whip- 
per: * What! you rascal, insult your superiors!^ The phaeton was 
drawn by citizens through the principal streets in the city, drums 
beating, with a numerous body of attendants, to the Tontine ; from 
thence up Wall Street into Broadway, down by the Government 
House, and back to Hunter's Hotel, where Mr. Kettletas made a 
short speech to the people in nearly the following words: 'Feffoir- 
cUistens — I thank you for the respect which you have this day paid 



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192 FLY IfARKBT. 

me; in a particular manner for the honor of bearing the Standard 
of Liberty, which you have placed in my hands. Your decontm, 
combined with all jonr insignias, evidence to me yonr attachment 
to the Constitution and the laws of your country ; they are the beet 
supporters of liberty, and I am sure you revere them.' He was then 
set down at his own door, and the company, after giving three (Jieers^ 
retired in the utmost order, enraptured with the virtues of their fel- 
low-citizen, who had endured nearyfw wedu' imprisonment, by what 
has been called an arbitrary edict J^ 

Mr. Kettletas was not yet satisfied that justice had been done to 
Bnrk, so he brings a suit '*for cruelty and iqjustioe" against this 
" Bridewell Oourt,'' for Thomas Burk, and in the end recovered, or 
rather it was settled, by paying Burk 500 dollars.* 

Another melancholy accident, occurring through the inefiBciency 
of the ferrymen, is noticed in a " communication,'' about four years 
after, which reads: '' Qaving seen several erroneous accounts in the 
papers respecting the upsetting of the ferry-boat at Fly Market, 
and being myself on board at the time, will thank you to publish the 
following: We started from Fly Market Ferry Stairs with little 
wind, but there was a prospect that the wind would blow very fresh, 
so that the passengers desired the boatmen to brail up the sail, which 
they would not comply with. Some of the passengers wished and 
talked of taking charge of the boat themselves. We considered the 
boatmen incapable of conducting the boat, owing to intoxuxUion : 
however, we concluded that no man would be employed in that busi* 
ness unless they were capable of the task ; but unfortunately we suf- 
fered them to proceed. The first gust that came upset us, and sev- 
eral of the passengers were immediately lost. As near as I can 
recollect, there was in the boat about twelve persons— one woman 
and five men were immediately drowned — ^six of us were saved after 
having been upset, nearly one hour and an half in the water. One, 
after the storm was over, being spent, could no longer hold fast, but 
let go and was drowned. There were three horses and a chair (a 
two-wheekd carriage on leather springs) on board."t 

Then we have a communication from an '* Enquirer/' in the month 
of January, 1804, who says: "On Wednesday morning, I had occa* 
sion to cross from the Powles Hook Ferry Stairs, New York, to the 
Jersey side. On my arrival at the boat, I found the wind to blow 
quite fresh ; upon which I asked the ferry-master if the boatmen had 
not better take a reef in their sails? He answered me, no ; and the 
mvlaJtto captain also replied, there was no danger ; he would carry 
us across safely. Though after these answers, I did not feel myself 
• N. T. Joonud, Ac, Fcliraarj S, 1797. f American Citisen, lUj 27, ISOL 



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FLT MARKET. 193 

free from apprehension of danger, I agreed with the rest to take my 
passage, with a promise to myself, that if there should be an increase 
of wind, I would endeavor to persuade our captain to take in sail. 
I soon found my fears were not unfounded, as at every flaw the pit- 
tiauger went gunnel under. I then expressed my wish that they 
would either reef the sails or take in one — this was also answered by 
a cry on the part of our ooptotfi, There is no danger. Soon after a 
flaw took us, and one or two afterwards, so severe that it is a mir- 
acle of miracles we were not all sent into eternity. Independent 
of this, there was a person on board with a horse and chair, who 
miraculously escaped having his leg broken by the carriage tumbling 
about, and jamming his leg against the side of the boat. This per- 
son lost several articles of his travelling apparatus overboard. He 
appeared much enraged, and after his arrival on the other side, ap- 
plied to the ferry-master for his property to be replaced. The only 
satisfaction he got from the ferryman, that the ferrymen's lives were 
in as much danger as the passengers'. The person alluded to said 
he would publish the circumstance the next day ; but as I have not 
seen it, if you think these lines in a fit state for publication, you will 
please give them a place in your paper."* 

Three years after, in the month of February, was noticed: "On 
Friday, at 5 P. M., a large boat of the old ferry, laden with flour, 
which was stowed too much on her bows, sunk in the middle of the 
river, with six persons on board, who were picked up by boats which 
went off to their assistance." The next year: "On Monday night, 
(January 14,) the Powles Hook Ferry-boats, Dolphin and RavMer^ 
owned by Hr. Holdram, were cut by the ice in Whitehall Slip and 
sunk. They were laden with country produce; the greatest part of 
which was saved." Then following, on the 21st instant, "One of 
the Powles Hook Ferry-boats, with a quantity of wood and 25 pas- 
sengers, had nearly been lost on Saturday (19th) at noon. She was 
coming before the wind, When a sea struck her, and went over her 
fore and aft, and filled her nearly half full of water. The passen- 
gers waved their hats for assistance, but were fortunately landed in 
Bafety."t 

We are shown in the following verses some of the troubles of the 
olden time, in 

"CROSSING THE PERRY." 

<* T' other daj» being oaird to New Tork in a hnrry^ 
And obliged, noleru volen$, to croas o'er the Ferry, 
I bad waited impatient eome time on the stairs, 
When ' Harrj— she's going 1' sainted mj ean. 

* Dailj Advertiser. t Homing Chronicle, Jannaiy 16, 18ML 

Vol. L— 13 



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194 FI«r MABKJST. 

So I Bonmbled on board, took mj Mtt in the stern. 
And (aa uoial) was waiting for freight, in the snn I 
Tili at length, 'mid some oaths, and * For G— sake posh offl' 
The men took their oars, and were leaving the wharfl 
< Hold on, there-^hold on I here 'a a man oomtng down 
With a cart-load of things to go over to town- 
Hold on, there — ^hold on ! here's a woman in sight — 
Hold on just a bit— I shall get two-pence by 't 1' 
With a smart epnaky onw, who were not in conditioa 
To bear any longer snch great impositioo, 
We all rose at once— spoke in laogaage of thnnder, 
And oar great noble Captain was forced to knock nnder."* 

" Crossing the Ferry," at New York, with the first steam ferry- 
boat, was made on the North River, by Mr. John Stevens, on or 
about the 18th of September, 1811. The first announcement of it 
appears in the '"Press" of that date, as follows: '' Hoboken Steam- 
boat. — Mr. Godwin respectfully acquaints the citizens of New York 
and the public at large, that he has commenced running a steamboat 
on the Hoboken Ferry, of large and convenient size, and capable of 
affording accommodation in a very extensive degree. The boat 
moves with uncommon speed and facility, and starts from the usual 
Ferry Stairs, at the Corporation Wharf, foot of Vesey Street, New 
York, where passages may be taken at any hour of the day."t 

On the 24th of the same month, the following editorial appears: 
'' Steamboats are rapidly getting into ' the full tide of successful ex- 
periment' in this country. Last week one of Colonel Stevens' ferry* 
boats, employed by Mr. Godwin, of Hoboken, was started into opera- 
tion, and yesterday made 16 trips back and forth, between that place 
and this city, with a probable average of 100 passengers each trip. 
Her machinery, we understand, is somewhat different from that of 
the large Nor^ River boats, and we presume she sails considerably 
faster than any other heretoifore constructed in our waters."^ 

The North River boats, or rather the first successful steamboat 
introduced on the North River, appeared and commenced the first 
trip to Albany on Monday, the 17th of September, 1807, at 1 o'clock, 
P. M. She was called *' Clermont" after the country seat of Chan- 
cellor Livingston, on the North River, about 110 miles from New 
York. The particulars of the "Clermont's" first trip to Albany 
with passengers are thus given by a number of witnesses who have 
subscribed their names, as noticed in the Press : 

"Steamboat. — On Friday morning last, {September 4th,) at 18 

minutes before 7 o'clock, the North River steamboat left New York, 

landed one passenger at Tarrytown, and arrived ^t Newburgh at 4 

o'clock in the afternoon; landed a passenger there and arrived at 

* L. I, Star, September 4, ISll. f '* Golnmbian." t Ibid. 



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FLY MARKET. 195 

*OIermont/ where two passengers were landed at 15 minutes before 
2 o'clock in the morning, and arrived at Albany at three-quarters of 
an hour past 10, making the whole time 28 and a half hours — dis- 
tance 165 miles. The wind favorable but light from Yerplank's 
Point to Wapping's Creek ; the remainder of the way it was head 
wind or a dead calm. This was signed by 

'' Selah Strong, Qarrit Van Wagennen, Thomas Wallace, 
John L. Wilson, John P. Anthony, Wm. S. Hicks, 

Deimis Moore, O. 0. Wetmore, J. Bauman, 

J. Crane, James Braiden, Stej^en N. Power. 

"Dated Albany, Sept. 5, 1807."* 

This boat was built by Hr. Charles Brown, at his ship-yards on 
the East River, from which she was launched in the spring of 1807. 
The engine put into her was made in England, and in the month of 
August, she was found completed, so as to be moved from her berth 
around to the Jersey shore by her machinery, much to the surprise 
and admiration of hundreds who witnessed this first successful steam- 
boat in our waters. 

With the ferry-boats there was quite a competition between Ful- 
ton, who represented the Powles Hook Perry Company, and Col. 
John Stevens, that of the Hoboken Ferry. Colonel Stevens, as it 
appears, brought forth tl^ first passenger steam ferry-boat ; but Ful- 
ton produced, although at a later period, a boat (or rather a double 
boat) which proved successful for the general wants and uses of a 
ferry-boat. 

Tie remarks of the " Press," made at that period, will give the 
reader a much better knowledge of their several merits ; and having 
noticed Colonel Stevens', we tucn to Fulton's, which is found in the 
month of July following. " The large and commodious steamboat 
which has been for some time erecting in this city by Mr. Fulton, as 
a ferry-boat to ply between this city and the City of Jersey, will be 
in full operation on Thursday next, {Jviy 2.) The crossing the 
North River has been such an obstacle to the communication with 
this city, that it is a matter of real congratulation to the public 
that their difficulties are removed. The most timid may cross now 
without fear. As the fare of a market wagon, loaded, will be but 
fifty cents, there is no doubt but our markets will be better sup- 
plied than ever they have been."t 

On the 20th of July following, a description is given of ^*FuUon^8 

Steam Ferry-Boat" ''.This excellent machine, consisting of a boat 

with two hdls, connected by a single platform, with a wheel in the 

space between them, and rudders at each end, built for the convey- 

• OaUj AdverOser, September 11, 1607. f ** CkAombian," July 1, 1813. 



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196 ^^"^ MARKET. 

ance of passengers across the Hudson, has got into suooessfiil oper* 
ation, and promises extraordinary facilities for traveling. Horsea 
and wagons stand on each side of the machinery, driving in at one 
end from a floating bridge fitted to the boat, and ont at the oilier, 
without rising or descending six inches in accomplishing the pas- 
sage from street to street on each side the river. The boat is 
constructed with both ends alike, and never turns in sailing, but 
goes back and forth by changing the motion of the wheel." 

"On Sunday, the corps of Flying Artillery crossed in the boat 
from Paulus Hook to the city, on its way to Albany, at four trips; 
on the first of which it brought 4 pieces of artillery, (6-pounders,) 
and limbers, ammunition-wagons, 27 horses, and 40 soldiers, besides 
other passengers." Another account says, " The 'steam ferry-boat' 
crosses the Hudson twice in each hour during the day. Yesterday, 
(September 15,) in crossing from Paulus Hook, the boat contained 
about 500 persons, besides a coach and a pair of horses, a phaeton 
and pair, a horse and chair, and five saddle-horses." 

The great number of soldiers and other persons crossing the fer- 
ries at this period was on account of the preparations for war with 
England. 

The want of a team or steam ferry-boat on the East River was 
the occasion of a large amount of property lost by fire on the 23d 
of September, 1812, in Brooklyn. The "Press," the next day, says, 
" Last evening, about eight o'clock, a tremendous fire broke out at 
Brooklyn in Ben'n Smith's large stable, (in which nine horses were 
destroyed,) situated near the old ferry, east side of Main Street, 
which consumed the building where it originated, together with 
Chas. Hewlet's grocery^tore, T. Hicks and Van Mater's stables, 
and the large store-house known as the Corporation Buildings." 
Three dwelling-houses were also injured. " We are informed that 
if it had not been for the arrival of the floating and other engines 
from this city, the fire would in all probability have crossed the 
street, and the whole town would have been in danger. It is sup- 
posed the flames would have been sooner arrested, had not the New 
York firemen been hindered at the ferries; the large ferry-boat 
happened to be on the Brooklyn side at the time of the alarm." 

The editor of the "Long Island Star" says, "We are proud to 
acknowledge the services of the firemen of New York, who came 
over to the assistance of Brooklyn during the late fire. Besides 
the Floating Engine, there were Nos. 5, 7, 11, 18, 21, 22, and 87. 
We observe in several daily papers the acknowledgments of the 
firemen to individuals of our village for the refreshments provided 
for them on that occasion. In one communication is observed, that 



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FLY MABRET. 197 

ererj public, as well as many private houses, were solicitous for the 
refir^ment of the firemen. The engineers of the town, in behalf 
of the members of the Fire Department, thanked the firemen of 
New York, and also 'to Captain Robert L. Gardiner, of the 
(JUhing) smack, for his willing and friendly exertions in transport- 
ing two engines, with their members, across the East River, and to 
our townsmen for the refreshments they afforded to the firemen 
generally/ John Doughty and David Sbaman." 

The New York firemen ''send the following to be published: 
The disastrous fire of the 23d which your village suffered, and the 
sundry late fires, ought to awaken the inhabitants to make all pos* 
sible preparations to facilitate the extinguishing of fires. When- 
ever you have been visited by a fire of any magnitude, some of the 
firemen of New York, with their engines, have gone to your relief. 
Had there been any ferry-boats or other conveyance at command, 
you would at all times receive much earlier assistance. Not a 
boat belonged to your ferry sufficiently large to convey one engine, 
nor did any cross till after the fire had raged for two hours. I 
would propose to your inhabitants that they build two scows, one 
for each ferry, sufficiently large to take in two or three engines ; that 
iheee boats be deposited in our ferry slip, in which case you may at 
all times calculate upon assistance from the New York firemen.'' 

It was not long after, when a decided improvement was made on 
this river, by the introduction of a "horse ferry-boat," first started 
on the '* Catharine Slip Ferry,'' and particularly noticed in the 
''Long Island Star," as follows:* ^^New Ferry-Boats. — On Sunday 
last (AprU 3, 1814,) the public were gratified by the performance 
of a new-invented ferry-boat on the New (Catharine Street) Ferry, 
between this village and New York. This boat was invented by 
Moses Rogers, Esq., of New York. It is in some respects similar 
to the Faulus Hook ferry-boats, and calculated to receive wagons in 
the same commodious way ; but the water-wheel in the centre is 
moved by eight horses. It crossed the river twelve times during 
the day, in from eight to thirteen minutes each, and averaging two 
hundred passengers each time. It makes good way against wind 
and tide, and promises to be an important acquisition. Another 
boat, to go by horses, is now building for that ferry ; and a steam- 
boat, belonging to William Cutting and others, is nearly ready for 
the ferry between Brooklyn and Beekman Slip. These great im- 
provements on the ferries cannot fail to benefit this village and the 
a4jacent country." It was announced, two days after, '* The horse- 
boat will continue to run from the New Ferry to Brooklyn until 

• NMaiiibian," April 7, 1S14 



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198 FLT MARKET. 

« 
the first of May, as a temporary arrangement. Passengers will be 
charged four cents; two of which are for the owner of the ferry, 
and two cents for the owner of the boat. All other articles at the 
rates heretofore charged in the roio-bocUsJ^ 

On the 8th of the next month after, was introduced the first 
"Brooklyn Steam Ferry^Boat.— The 'Nassau,' the new steamboat 
belonging to Messrs. Gutting & Co., which commenced running 
from Beckman Slip to the lower ferry at Brooklyn a few days ago, 
carried in one of her first trips 549 (another counted 550) passen- 
gers, one wagon and a pair of horses, two horses and chairs, and 
one single horse. She has made a trip in /our minuteSf and gener* 
ally takes from four to eight, and has crossed the riyer forty times 
in one day."* " Yesterday, (Sunday, May lOthJ between twelve 
and one o'clock, Mr. Lewis Rhoda accidentally got hurled into the 
machinery of the new steamboat ^Nassav,' which cut off his left arm 
a little below the elbow, and broke his neck. He expired in about 
three hours after."t 

"The boat impelled by horses from the New (Catharine) Slip to the 
upper Brooklyn Ferry carried at one time 548 passengers, besides 
some carriages and horses. And a horse-boat is to run soon from 
Grand Street Dock to Williamsburgh," which boat was noticed on 
the following 4th of June : " This morning was launched, at the ship* 
yard of Mr. Gharles Browne, an elegant double boat, intended to 
ply as a ferry-boat from Gorlaes Hook to Williamsburgh, Long 
Island. This beautiful boat is called the ' Williamsburgh,* and is to 
be propelled by horse-power, with machinery very different from that 
already constructed and used in the Hoboken or Brooklyn boats, and 
is thought by competent judges to be very complete. It is supposed 
that two or three weeks may yet be required to complete the mar 
chinery, &c., before she can be placed in her station." 

The benefit arising from these sieam and teamferry-ioaJta soon be> 
gan to be experienced by our dty, as well as by Long Island and 
New Jersey ; from whence loaded wagons were hourly seen through 
the day crossing these ferries, laden with the productions of the 
farmers of these different places, and more especially from Sag Har* 
bor and the lower parts of Long Island. 

From this period, year after year, were introduced new boats of 
various styles, and with increased speed and accommodations, upon 
the various routes, which have also much increased. 

To the year 1795 we again turn, and find the principal part of 
these market buildings had been built many years, and being mere 
wooden sheds, had now become dilapidated, leaky, and greatly needr 

• « ColnmbiMi,'' lUj IS, 1814. f L. L 8Ur, May 11, 1814. 



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FLT MARKET. I99 

ed repura; besides, the market was on certain dajs overcrowded, 
and afforded no shelter from the storms or son, especially for the 
many oomtry people. Petitions were presented asking for repairs 
and gpreater accommodations, which the Common Council wished to 
accede to, but they thought the neighborhood, or those who were 
eiyoying a large business or benefit, ought to assist in famishing 
the necessary accommodations, as they bad always done on former oc- 
casions. Many of the " neighborhood," however, thought the mar- 
ket revenue was more than sujficient to maintain it, and they would 
not subscribe as usual. But several young butchers, who had '* shirk 
Hands*^ in the " lower market," and others, came forward with peti- 
tions, among whom were Daniel Winship, George Goodheart, John 
Pell, George Harkler (Merkle,) Cornelius Schuyler, and John Cor* 
bey, present one on the 17th of August, (1795,) in which they state: 
"^ They have served regular apprenticeship to the butcher's trade in 
the dty, and some have been working for themselves three or four 
years. They have been killing ' small creatures,' and selling their 
meat by the quarter." They '* find this mode of doing business will 
not answer their purpose; they have nothing but their trade to de- 
pend upon;" they "conceive they might be accommodated with 
stands in that part of the Fly Market where they now sell their 
meat, without taking up more room than they do at present, and in 
soch case the petitioners would each of them willingly pay * one hun- 
dred dollars,' to be expended in repairing or enlarging the market, 
Ac, ; and they are all recommended as proper persons by many of the 
older butchers." Then, on the 19th instant following, George Mes- 
serve, Jr.» says: "He has served a regular apprenticeship to the 
butcher's trade, with his father, Mr. George Messerve, and he now 
wishes to set up for himself, and carry on his business, which he can^ 
not do without having a proper stand (m the ' lower market ') for 
that purpose." He " is willing to pay one hundred doB/ora towards 
repairing or enlarging the markets, or for any other purpose," Ac. 
The following certify, that he'sustains the character of an honest, 
industrious man, and recommend him, Ac. : 
John Lamb, John Lasher, M. Willett, 

G. Bauman, Peter T. Curtenius Walter Bicker, 

John Stoutenbugh, S. Roorbeck, John J. Montayne, 

Geo. Marvin, Stephen M'Crea, William Bdgar, 

Biohard Yarian, Esekiel Robins, Michael Yarian. 

Caleb Yandenburgh also petitions in the following November, 
and says: " He is a native of this city,iind has served an apprentice- 
ddp; requests a stand in the lower Fly Market." We find the fol- 
lowing old butchers certify to his " apprenticeship:" 



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200 '^Y MARKET. 

William Wright, William Post, John Lorell, 

John Finck {Fink) John Doughty, Jr., John Norman, 
Isaac Yarian, William Moonej, George Robert Bedc, 

Joseph 0. Bogert, John Fitzgerald, William Everett, Jr., 

Edward Mooney, John Pessinger, Abraham Bogert, 

James Sullivan, Joseph Nott, Stephen Hilliker, and 

James Harsh. 

There were large number^ applying for these and other stands; 
and others, again, to be licensed as regular butchers; the Board, 
however, had not yet concluded to enlarge or rebuild^ but recom- 
mended the Mayor to " License all persons of good character who 
shall apply for license, provided they shall have served an appren- 
ticeship to the business in this city." 

A law had many years before passed, that ''No person shall exer- 
cise the office of a butcher in this city, unless he is licensed for that 
purpose by the Mayor, under the penalty of five pounds for every 
offence ; and that every butcher shall hold his office during the pleas- 
ure of the Corporation only." 

The next year, (1796,) on the 7th of March, a committee, consist- 
ing of Aldermen Robert Lenox, Andrew Van Tuyl, and Nicholas 
Carmer, reported on the condition of these old buildings; part of 
which appears as follows: " That the upper and middle markets re- 
quire new floors, and the latter a new roof; but as the repairs, if 
carried into effect, would only be temporary, and ill comport with 
the public spirit, they conclude it cheapest in the end to make per- 
manent improvements." This conclusion encourage a petition to 
have a new building placed along Front towards Wall Street, which 
was soon followed with a stronger one opposed to it; however, the 
old site was decided on, and on the 22d of August, the committee 
were ordered to proceed in the rebuilding the market-house, running 
from Water to Front Street, by contract, and cause the old building 
to be sold. 

It appeared finished early in the month of November, *' supported 
with brick pillars, and ceiled with lath and plaster." 

In consequence of it being next to the country and fish market, 
there were many applications for the stands ; so numerous were they, 
that the Oommon Oouncil concluded to sell them at public auction; 
and on the 14th of the same month, a committee reported, " that 
the following fourteen unappropriated stands in the lower market " 
were " exposed to public sale in the market on Saturday last, (ISUA 
in8t.) under the conditions and for the sums mentioned (below,) and 
that they allowed Mr. (Frederick) Jay, the vendue master, for Ud 
commission, eight dollars. Signed, Robsbt Lbnoz, Ac'^ 

They were sold to the following persons, at the prices named: 



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FLT MARKET. 201 

Ma 72. Geoige MMiolt, • £530 Na 65. Be^Jamla Con^ £165 

** 7L DftTid SeuiMi, - 290 " 64. Henrjr Lovell, - - 280 

» 70. John Pell, - • 285 « 6S. Immo Bajes, - • 180 

'« 69. Dftotel Winflhip, - 205 "62. John Penlnger, • 150 

^ 68. G€0C8e MeHerre, • 320 <« 61. ConieUiu Schuyler, 175 

•* 67. WhUehe«d CoraeU» 170 «< 60. fiurdei Striker, • 210 

•" 66. James Toang, - 310 « 59. Andrew Rom, - - 200 

£2,110 Whole amoant, • - £3,470 

These conditions were : *' None to buy bat licensed butchers, sub- 
ject to such regulations and fees as the Corporation may make from 
time to time, and no transfer of any stall so purchased to be made 
without leare of the Corporation. 

^ Butchers who have stands in the upper market, and becoming a 
purchaser in the Unoer market, are considered to have forfeited their 
stalls in the upper market. 

^ None of the butchers in the other markets are to have leave to 
become purchasers in the Fly Market. ' 

"A credit of thirty, sixty, and ninety days is given for the pur- 
chase money, upon giving such notes to Mr. (Danid) Phoenix as he 
shall approve ;'' when he gave a receipt as follows: 

*' New York, November 14, 1796, received of {John PeB,) his 
notes, payable at thirty, sixty, and ninety days, for two hundred and 
eighty-five pounds; which, when paid, will be the consideration 
money for stand No. 70 in the lower market. 

" Daniel Phoenix, Oiiy Treasurer.*' 

These fourteen stands were the cause of a long-contested law-suit 
in 1822, at which date they will be referred to. The large amount 
of money which these stands brought induced the Corporation to 
order all the vacant stands in the upper market to be sold at public 
auction on the following 28th instant; when a committee reported 
their sale as follows: 



ffo. 3. David Man. - - £58 


BroQghtnp, - 


- £303 


«« 7. Matlhew Fox, - - 85 




• 75 


«< 9. Matthew PogeKro^l,) 62 


«< 19. John Barr, - 


- 60 


*' 13. Daniel Enalej, Jr., • 43 


« 18. John Garbjr, • 


40 


" 15. Nicholas Smart, - • 55 


" a John Deavenport, 


- 20 



Carried up, • - - £303 Whole amount, • • - £498 

These nine stands, it will be perceived, brought less than one-half 
as much as those previously sold; the cause, no doubt, was, they 
were the rejected inside stands of the upper market, and the fSftrthest 
from the country and fish markets. Those which are located the 
nearest to these markets, and especially those on the comers^ are 
always considered the most valuable. 

Although these butchers had bought these stands, as it were, in 



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202 ^^^ HARKBTk 

fee, yet they were nevertheless liable any moment for violation of 
the established laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations ; with the in- 
fliction of the penalty, either fine, imprisonment, or the removal from 
their stands were sore to follow. The authorities then were more 
honest, capable, and strict in the performance of their duties than 
those of the present day, and carried them out, not as politicians^ 
but as sworn conscientiouB officers ; and the people were more satis* 
factorily governed. 

A few years previous to this sale, the Proceedings inform us, on 
the 14th of November, 1787, that William Everit, in the Fly Mar- 
ket, butcher, " having totally neglected to attend his business at his 
stall," it was resolved by the Board, '' that his license be termi- 
nated." He immediately petitions to the Board, and states, that he 
'' hfis been many years past used the trade of a butcher, and kept hia 
stall in the Fly Market^ and duly paid for the privileges and immu- 
nities, and also paid the sum otj^fteen pounds for these privileges; 
that during the time he was in said business supported the character 
of an honest and upright man, and a good citizen." He gives as a 
reason for neglect of business, was on account of family matters, or 
difficulties, and wishes again to be placed in the possession of his 
stand. But this is denied him ; in fact, it placed him out of busi* 
ness for many years after. 

In the month of August, 1796, "A complaint was made against 

N S , butcher, in this market, for affixing false Jewish 

seals on his meats, and offering it for sale." He was ordered to 
appear before the Board at their next meetings, {10th and I5th^) 
when they ordered, *'That his license be suppressed." But after an- 
other hearing on the 26th September, " he was restored to his office," 
which, no doubt, was butchering for the Jews. 

Then several butchers were represented as having neglected per* 
sonally to attend at their stalls, and had put others in their places, 
without permission of the authorities, " who thereupon, on the 4th 
day of September, 1797, Ordered, that if any butcher shall neglect 
personally to attend his business at his standing in the market for 
the term ot/ourteen days^ his standing shall be considered as vacated, 
and sold to some other licensed butcher, except in cases of sickness 
or other accidental causes." '* The Deputy Clerk of the Fly Mar* 
ket was ordered to notify John Fincke, Henry Springier, John 
Doughty, John Lovell, Alexander Peacock, and James Sullivan, 
batchers, to appear at this Board on Monday afternoon next." On 
that -day John Fincke, John Doughty, John Lovell, and Alexander 
Peacock attended, and assigned satisfactory reasons for their ab- 
sence. Henry Spingler also attended, and acknowledged that he 



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FLT MARKET. 208 

had abandoned his gtall, ''when it was ordered to be sold.'' John 
Triglar, the nephew of Spingler, had worked and served for him 
many years, was at this time oecnpying his stand, and wished to re- 
tain it^ so he petitions to the Board on the 18th September, (same 
year,) and says: "Having served a regular apprenticeship to the 
butcher's trade in the said city, he about twelve months ago obtained 
a license to carry on and exercise the trade of a butcher in the said 
eity ; and since, he has worked part of his time wiA his uncle Henry 
Spingler, and part of the time he has sold meat on his own account 
at the stall No. 46, occupied by the said Henry Spingler; that the 
said Heniy Spingler being about to decline Hbe butcher's business, 
the petitioner is desirous of obtaining a license for the said stall, 
for which he is willing to pay this Corporation the sum of fifty 
pounds. That the petitioner has it not in his power to pay a larger 
sum ; having but lately b^un his business, and being in low circum- 
stances. That the petitioner's/a^Aer lost his life at Fort Washing- 
Urn in the service of his country , and left the petitioner an orphan in 
his infancy, dependent on his friends for support. He therefore 
prays that this Honorable Board will be pleased to take his case 
into consideration; that the sacrifice of his father's life in his coun- 
try's cause may plead in the petitioner's behalf, and that the said 
stall No. 46 may be granted him." The Board however, demanded 
£70 from Triglar^ which he paid, and took possession. 

For a few hundred pounds, Spingler several years previous had 
bought some 22 acres of land, which then lay west of the *' Bow- 
ery Hill," now located near Union Square, where he turned his at- 
tention to raising garden truck and other field products; part of 
which he conveyed and sold at this and the Bear Market. His prop- 
erty, by its fortunate location, as time has proved, has constantly 
increased in value ; and he has left his heirs very wealthy, (one of 
whom now resides in the splendid mansion No. 21 West 14th Street,) 
while his name yet lives, represmted by the " Spingler Institute," 
on Union Square. 

Previous to the sale of these butchers' stands, a law had passed 
which deprived the hucksters from selling fruit from their stands in 
the markets, caused f^om the many complaints against their engross- 
ing and storing all that came to the markets for a rise in price. 
The law was so unexpected and sudden that it found them with a 
large surplus on hand, and not time to dispose of it; and they ap- 
pealed to the authorities, on the 26th of November, in the same 
year, saying that " they now have on hand many of the prohibited 
articles, which to them will be a great detriment. Should your 
Honorable Board allow them to sell as usual, they will ever pray/' - 

Catharine Montaynie, Catharine Spicer, Arabella Truce, 



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204 FLY MABKBT. 

Wilhelmina Shaffer, Catharine Staale, Blicabeth Totten, 
Bridget Nash, Jane Wood, Jane Gilmore, 

Nancy Lott, Mary Appleby, Caty Bnyshe, 

Eliz. Marks, Sarah Conklin, Barbary Yanroser, 

Sarah Barton, C. Shearer, Mary Baker, 

Mary Oalp, Abigal Doil, all of Fly Market. 

A few of them, however, exposed their fruit for sale, and were 
fined ; and in the month of January following some of them appeal- 
ed again, and state, '* that the support of our needy, destitute fami- 
lies depends in a great measure upon ihe privilege of exposing for 
sale fruit in the public markets, under any restrictions your honors 
may think fit to impose in your justice ; and at the same time, most 
humbly pray, after due consideration of our case and the inclemency 
of the present season, that you will remit the fines at present im* 
posed," Ac. 

Their appeals appear to have been unnoticed ; yet they did not de> 
spair, but with the assistance of some forty subscribing citizens, thej 
again made a last trial, and *' trust with confidence in your good- 
ness for a repeal of the law above alluded to." This was read on 
the 6th of February following, and rejected. 

In the month of December previous, (1796,) the Fish Market was 
torn down, for the purpose of stopping what proved to be a very 
destructive fire, which is noticed in the Minerva December 9, 1796. 
"About one o'clock this morning, a fire broke out in one of the 
stores on Murray's Wharf, Coffee-House Slip. The number of 
buildings consumed may be from fifty to seventy-— a whole block, 
between the above Slip, Front Street, and the. Fly Market. The 
progress of the fire was finally arrested by cutting down the Fish 
Market:' 

So many fires occurring just about this period, led many of the 
citizens to believe the slaves were again conspiring to destroy the 
city, which caused great excitement, and much preparation to guard 
against such a calamity. The same paper, of the 14th inst. following, 
notices this. " Seriotis Cause of Alarm, — Oitizens of New York, you 
are once more called upon to attend to your safety. It is no longer a 
doubt — ^it is a fact, that there is a combination of incendiaries in this 
city, aiming to wrap the whole of it in flames ! The house of Mr. 
Lewis Ogden, in Pearl Street, has been twice set on fire — ^the evidence 
of malicious intention is indubitable — and he has sent his black man^ 
suspected, to prison. Last night an attempt was made to set fire to 
Mr. Lindsay's house in Greenwich Street — the combustibles left for 
the purpose are preserved as evidence of the fact. Another at- 
tempt, we learn, was made last night ii^ Beekman Street. A bed 



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FLT MARKET. 205 

was Bet on fire under a child, and his cries alarmed his family. 
Boose) fellow-dtisens and magistrates I yonr lives and property are 
at stake. Doable yonr night-watch, and confine yonr aervarUs.^^ 

The Common Oonncil, on the 16th December, passed resolutions 
offering/i;6 hundred doUars reward for the conviction of offenders, 
and recommend the " good citizens in the several wards to arrange 
themselves into companies or classes, to consist of such numbers as 
shall be necessary for the purpose of keeping such watch for the 
safety of the city." 

A citizen says: '* The yellow fever produced not such extraordi- 
nary commotion. The present alarm, as it is contagious, it may be 
called the Jire fever. ^^ The fever, however, soon died out; as the 
precautions taken had the desired effect, even if there had been a 
sign of conspiracy. 

The Fish Market was used without a cover until the 24th of Feb- 
ruary (1797) following, when the fishermen petitioned " That, in 
consequence of the Fish Market being destitute of a cover, that it 
is very injurious to them. Respecting the fish— as in a clear day 
the fidi will not survive but a few minutes, in consequence of their 
being exposed to the sun, which not only materially affects the sale 
of them, but we are entirely exposed to the inclemency of the 
season. They beg a redress of a grievance of this kind, as it will 
affect the community at large." (Signed,) 

Joseph Latham, Nicholas Darow, Elias Lewis, 
Jasper Latham, Thos. Wilcocks, Henry Harris, 
Joseph Lewis, John Potter, Thomas Oeoffery. 

On the 27th of March following, a new market-house was ordered 
to be built. " That in rebuilding the market, the uniformity al- 
ready established should be continued, and that it should be extend- 
ed from the south side of Front Street to the door of the house oc- 
cupied by John C. Frecke;" and to be built in the same manner as 
the upper market. 

The next year will always be known as the " dreadful ydlow 
fever year,^^ when we find 2.086 deaths registered in a few short 
months. It became known to many of the prominent physicians in 
the year 1791, when several of our first citizens fell victims to its 
fury; then again in 1795, when 782 were carried off; and the vari- 
ous accounts given of it were quite melancholy. 

One, given October 17, states: "This city has been in a truly 
melancholy situation ; but the accounts of the mortality have been 
greatly exaggerated in the country. Consternation has added 
greatly to the distress of the city ; the poor have suffered much, 
but their wants have been liberally supplied from the hands of be- 



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FLY MARKET. 

nevolent donors. Very little business has been done— a mismn 
caim has reigned through every street. We are now blessed 
with salubrious western gales, which is coneeiyed to be sent in 
mercy, and presages to our hopes that the city will be free from the 
epidemic in a little time. It certainly puts on a less terrible hue — 
not more than one in twenty die. Those who have died were the 
greatest part new residents."* 

In the years 1799, 1800, 1803, and 1805, the city was again vis- 
ited by this dreadful visitor, more or less ; but in 1798 it came on 
so sudden, that it grasped a great many in its fatal clutches before 
they were hardly aware of its presence ; and so fatal was it in the 
month of August, that it was believed '' nearly one*half of those 
cases reported died ; and after that period the proportion dimin* 
ished tp about one-third." What made the matter worse, the 
country people were so alarmed that they would not bring their 
provisions to the city, although every encouragement was given 
them. '*No fees were demanded from country people bringing 
provisions to our markets." The committee appointed to afford 
relief to the indigent and distressed sick, in a communication to 
the public, say: "They entreat their fellow-citizens of the sur- 
rounding country not to withhold from the markets the usual sup- 
plies of poultry and amaU meats, as well as other articles so essen-^ 
tially necessary to both sick and well, in this city, in this distressed 
season." t These appeals are answered from many of the citizens 
who had removed ; and others, living in New Jersey and elsewhere, 
sent large sums of money, as well as gifts of beef, pork, mutton, but- 
ter, cheese, flour of all kinds, poultry and vegetables, by the wagon 
and sloop loads. 

The markets in the infected district were deserted, but not be- 
fore this disease had marked its victims among the butchers, of 
whom no less than eleven, now known — eight from this and tluree 
from the other markets — viz.: John Barr, James Place, James 
Young, William Mooney, Simmons Potter, Adam Van der Bergh, 
William Everit, Jun'r, and George Messerve, of the Fly; and 
William Blank, Gilbert Enapp, Edward King, from the others. 

In briefly noticing the death of John Barr, the occupant of No. 
19, it is also a duty, and withal a pleasure, to notice the occupant of 
No. 13, Matthew Vogel, for his fearless acts of humanity displayed 
by him in that dreadful season, when many of its first victims were 
almost deserted or left with those who could not assist them. 

Mr. Yogel at that time was a young as well as strictly a Chris- 
tian man, without a particle of the braggart or of personal fear, as 
« N. Y. Joaroal, &o. f I>aily AdvM'tiBer, Sept 28, 179& 



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PLY MARKET. 207 

he went wherever he could hear of a case of this fearful disease that 
needed assistance, whether rich or poor ; and I am told he was the 
means of assisting many, or emoUhing the piBowa of the aflSicted and 
dying sufferers. 

Tet living, (1858,) and nearly nineiy years of age^ is the active, in- 
telligent widow of one of the victims of 1798| who told me the fol- 
lowing facts. She said her husband, John Barr, was a butcher in 
the *'Ohi Fly Market," where he took the yellow fever. He came 
home to his residence, then at the southeast comer of the Bowery 
Lane and Grand Street, and with the assistance of his wife, dis- 
mounted from his horse — ^no carts being allowed after a certain time 
around the markets — ^when his relatives and friends deserted him 
all, except his affectionate wi£9 — and she for two days and nights 
was at the bedside, alone with her, at times, deranged husband; and 
when in his senses, his wishes were, if he died — that he might not 
be taken by Parker^ in his horrid dead-cart^ to " Potter's Field." 
His faithful wife promised he diould not if she lived. The humane 
Vogel heard of his sickness through the doctor, {UfiderhtU^ she 
thought he was a doctor,) and hurried there to find that the husband 
was speechless and the wife worn out He stayed and done all 
that man could do, but the poor distracted wife knew he could not 
live, and she also knew that no other help could be obtained; she 
prepared his mnding^heet^ that he might have the Christian burial 
she had promised him. 

He died, and Vogel, having previously procured a coffin, laid him 
out; then, before the expected deadrcart came along for the body, 
he harnessed the dead man's favorite horse before his butcher-cart, 
to be at last used as his hearse, and in this he conveyed the body, 
followed by one^ the chief mourner, to the family burial-ground in 
the Dutch Reformed church-yard, at the corner of Eldridge and 
Houston Streets, where he wished it to lie. There the noble-hearted 
Vogel dug the grave, and the faithful wife redeemed the last prom- 
ise made to her once affectionate and her only husband.* 

The action of the " Board of Health," who bestowed on Mr. Vogel 
a ''vote of thanks" for his many fearless acts of humanity, which 
soon after became generally known, brought him much trade ; but 
his generous nature, which hung to him through life, caused many 
of the deserving as well as the undeserving to visit him, and they 
went away not empty handed. Another generation, and Unde Mat 
(as he was familiarly called) found himself poorer only in purse, 
and his heroic services almost forgotten, save a few friends who 
were with hkn in that deadly season. In the year 1830, he petition- 
• A aketcb of Mn. Esir wm be ftwod In Union Ifatkat. 



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208 PL^ MARKET. 

ed for a small oflBce, bnt as 9l political quali/loation had then begun 
to show its demon head, he conld not succeed. His few friends 
among the leading men then came forth, and among their acts placed 
the following before the Board on the 13th of February: " I certify 
that I have been personally acquainted for many years with Mr. 
Matthew Yogle, and understanding that he is an applicant to the 
Common Council for the appointment of Ward Street Inspector^ I 
recommend him as worthy, and as an applicant having strong claims 
to their regard. Mr. Yogle in the gloomy year of 1798 did great 
service to our city during the mortality occasioned by the Yellow 
Fever — ^he volunteered his services to aid the sick and distressed 
among our citizens, which services he most humanely and perse- 
veringly discharged at the hazard of his life — and in a manner so 
much to his credit and our satisfaction, that the Board of Healthy 
of which I then had the honor to be a member, also an Aldermani 
deemed it proper to bestow on Mr. Yogle a vote (f thanks. 

" Gabbibl Forman, Chairman of Board (f Health. 

"New York, 13th of February, 1830." 

We, the subjoined signers, are all acquainted with the facts as 
above set forth, and unite in the petition and recommendation of Mr. 
Yogle. 

Samuel Stilwell, Edward Sturman, John Mann, 
James Donaldson, John B. Smith, George Taylor, Jr., 

Peter Parks. 

"Uncle Mat" did not receive this appointment; as the position of 
a " Ward Street Inspector " would not suit an honest man — so says 
the politician — so says, not the people; the politician rules and rtUnSf 
and the people bear their burdensome load like heroes. This office 
had too many votes, working with the broom, and that broom on 
election day was wonderfully useful in sweeping in enough illegiti- 
mate votes in the ballot-box to keep some other party, who likely 
were still more dishonest, out. Mr. Yogel, however, through the as- 
sistance of Colonel Appleby, George Pessinger, and many more old 
friends, succeeded in obtaining a clerkship in the Essex, Monroe, 
and Gouvemeur Markets, where he honestly and faithfully dis- 
charged the duties until his death, which occurred in 1862. 

For another incident of the fever of '98 I am indebted to Dr. An* 
derson, who was a very great sufferer by the loss of many dear rela- 
tives at this period. He told me, that " in the month of September, 
he first lost his brother by the fever; a few days after his father, 
then living in Wall Street, was attacked, and soon after died; he 
then removed his mother to his residence in Liberty«6treet, when 
she was taken down with it, and, notwithstanding the careful nurs- 
ing of himself and wife, she too died. By this time his wife, who 



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FLY MARKET. 209 

had been ill of consumption, died also, no donbt hastened from ex- 
cessiye duties and excitement; then her sister, (his sister-in-law,) 
having performed her duty with his sick mother, and her sister, 
caught the fatal fever, and also died." While her body was yet 
lying in the house. Dr. Anderson, who had now become so mnch 
overcome by these afl3ictions that he gave up, supposing that all were 
gone, his turn would come next. He proceeded up to the garret of 
his house, when he perceived a piece of rag carpet lay stretched on 
the floor, threw himself upon it, where exhausted nature caused him 
to sleep. 

In that situation John Ferguson, his friend, found him, who had 
come to visit and assist him with the sick; but finding the rooms de- 
serted, except the deceased, he proceeded up to the garret, where 
he remained after finding him. When Anderson awoke, says Fer- 
guson to him : " Sandy ^ what ts Ood Almighty going to do with you 
next?^* These words of pity and sorrow from a "friend in need'* 
encouraged and renewed his before drooping spirits, and again he 
went forth to the world. 

John Ferguson was then a law student, and having been disap- 
pointed in love, became reckless of his life, and everywhere, at all 
times of day and night, he was found assisting the sick or dying of 
this fatal fever. His freak of recklessness, however, in the end 
proved to be a humane one; and several years after he became the 
Mayor of the City of New York. 

A Mr. Jacob Underhill, a benevolent gentleman from up the 
North River, came to the city at this period on purpose to assist 
the victims of this disease, and faithfully he devoted his time and 
purse in doing so. His principal medicine, says Dr. Anderson, was 
plain Sage Tea, and, it was said, he cured many with it. 

Dr. Alexander Anderson, referred to above, is now about 85 years 
old, and daily he may be found engaged in an art of which he may 
properly claim to be the father in the United States; that is, wood 
engraving. In his youth he studied medicine, and received his de- 
gree from Columbia College, but following the bent of his taste for 
the arts, he relinquished the study of medicine and engaged in that 
of engraving. Years after, he found some of Bewick's wood en- 
gravings on natural history, when he became attracted by their gen- 
eral effect, and without instructions he adopted this branch, and he 
has followed it to the present day. 

We again look back into that dreadful year 1798, and find 

that the widows of several of these deceased butchers petition to be 

allowed the use of their stands; others, again, whose stands had 

been purchased from the Corporation, wished to sell them. The 

Vol. L— 14 



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210 FLY MARKET, 

first is from Catharine, the widow of George Messerve, on the 29th 
of October, same year, when she obtains permission *' to continue in 
the occupation of the standing in the Fly Market of her late hus- 
band" — " for one year, or during the pleasure of the Board." The 
widow of Adam Van der Bergh, and Sarah, the widow of William 
Everitt, JunV, were *' indulged with the little (like ?) priviledge as 
that granted to Catharine Messerve." 

Joseph Outen Bogert petitions for leave to purchase of the widow 
of James Young, deceased, stand No. 66, which was granted. She 
sold it to Bogert for $1,700; and when she accompanied him to the 
Mayor's office, to procure a license, " the Mayor told the widow 
that she got more than the husband gave for it" — "and instantly 
recommended that it would be proper to take less." To this Mrs. 
Young replied, that " the stall was her own, and that, as she was 
left with three children, she must make the most of it," No doubt 
the trade to it was considered in the sale. 

James Campbell also petitions for the stand of Simmons Potter^ 
No. 19, which formerly belonged to John Barr, which was granted, 
on condition that " he pay off the note, with the interest, due from 
Potter," to the Corporation. In this manner the Corporation col* 
lected all moneys due to them, whether of the principal, interest, or 
rent. If one failed to pay either or all of these, it was charged to 
the next occupant. 

The butchers, after deserting the markets in consequence of the 
fever, sold meats at their houses or other places ; and as they were 
liable to the city for a stated sum (market fees) on each head of 
stock they sold, after their return to the markets, they were called 
on to render an account on oath of such market fees ; and they not 
doing so immediately, on the 13th of November of the same year, 
" the butchers of the Fly and Catharine Slip Markets respectively 
do, on or before twelve o'clock on Monday next, of the fees due 
from the 30th of July last to the 27th of October last, inclusive; 
and also that they do by that day pay the amount of those fees." 

In the month of June, 1800, some nine of the butchers in this 
market petitioned for the " Manhattan Water" (which was just in- 
troduced through several of the streets) in this market, to make 
pickle and clean the market, and wish to bring it in at their own 
expense ; which was granted to them. 

At this period there were several petitions and memorials before 
the Board, showing the crowded state of this market; and another 
against a butcher here, who neglected his business in the market to 
forestall cattle. This is dated June 2d, 1801, and says: "That 
Henry Astor, and certain others, who are also licensed butchers, leav- 



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FLY MARKET. 211 

ing the care of their stalls and the selling of their meats to journey- 
men, and others who are not licensed butchers, are in the constant 
practice of forestalling the market, by riding into the country to 
meet the droves of cattle coming to the New York markets, and 
purchasing cattle for other stalls besides his own; and does not 
personally attend to any stall. That it is also become very custom- 
ary for drovers of cattle from the country, after selling their own 
cattle, to purchase other droves, and sell them out singly at an ad- 
vanced price, thereby forestalling the market. That your memo- 
rialists, by their regular and constant attendance at their stalls, 
have it not in their power to counteract these pernicious practices, 
but are thereby prevented from purchasing cattle upon so good 
terms as they otherwise could, and are often obliged to purchase 
from the said forestallers at an advanced price. That in conse- 
quence thereof, the price of butchers' meat is very considerably en- 
hanced, to the great detriment of the city." They wish the Board 
to adopt '^ such rules, regulations, and active measures as they 
shall think fit and expedient, to restrain the said Henry Astor, and 
all others, from forestalling the markets in manner aforesaid." 
This was signed by several of the principal butchers in several of 
the markets, as follows: 

Wm. Wright, William Post, David Marsh, 
Edward Patten, Alex'r Peacock, John Norman, 
Philip Fink, Alex'r Fink, and Joseph 0. Bogart. 

At this period the market is represented as being much crowded, 
by several citizens and some of the butchers, who state : " From 
the extreme narrowness of the said market, and from the present 
crowded and unequal distribution of the vacancies between the 
stalls, they are impeded in the prosecution of their business, and 
the citizens frequenting the said market greatly incommoded ; inso- 
much that, in full market-day, it is difficult to pass and repass." 

This extract would lead us to supine that this market, at that 
period, was near its height of prosperity ; and no doubt it was, as, 
two years after, every stand and space appears to have been occu- 
pied, and all doing well. Seventy-two butchers*' stands were occu- 
pied by the following persons: 

No. 1. John Pessinger. 8. John Deavenport. 

2. John Hilliker. 9. George Mason. 

S. John Fitzgerald. 10. Nicholas Stall, (Stad.) 

4. John Basley, (Baisley.) 11. George Rierson,(J3^er«oii.) 

5. Thomas Hall. 12. John Philips. 

6. William Kline. 13. Mathew Vogal, (Fogd.) 

7. James Wilt. 14. Thomas Gibbons. 



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212 FLY 


MARKET. 


No. 16. Jacob Nichols. 


44. John Triglar. 


16. George R. Beck. 


45. Daniel Enslej. 


17. James Redding. 


46. John Fink. 


18. William Dick. 


47. Edward Patten. 


19. William Moonej. 


48. Alexander Peacock. 


20. John K. Floor. 


49. John Lovell, Jon'r. 


21. Andrew Ross. 


60. John Doughty. 


22. John Norman. 


61. John Lovell, SenV. 


23. Abner Curtis. 


62. James Oarr. 


24. Francis Arden. 


58. Michael Yarian. 


25. Scale & Passage. 


64. Richard Yarian. 


26. Charles Bird. 


55. John Garrison. 


27. William Wright. 


56. Christian Stamler. 


28. Joseph Graff. 


67. Henry Astor. 


29. Isaac Yarian. 


58. William Messerve. 


80. Eliphalet Wheeler. 


59. John Raynor. 


81. Sam'I Ackerman. 


60. James Marsh. 


82. Andrew Van Densen. 


61. Cornelius Schuyler. 


88. John Whitehand. 


62. John Pessinger, Jun'r. 


84. John Roper, or Raper. 


68. William Everitt. 


85. John B. Smith. 


64. Henry Lovell. 


86. John Williams. 


65. Benjamin Cornell. 


87. David Mann. 


66. Joseph 0. Bogart 


88. David Marsh. 


67. Whitehead Cornell. 


89. Stephen Hilliker. 


68. George G. Messerve. 


40. John Tier. 


69. Daniel Winship. 


41. William Post. 


70. John Pell. 


42. Isaac Beyea. 


71. David Seaman. 


43. George Thompson. 


72. George Manolt. 



Of all this large number, 1 know of but two who are yet in the 
land of the living, (July, 1859:) one the occupant, at that period, 
of No. 30, Eliphalet Wheeler ; and the other, of No. 56, Christian 
Stamler. Both have long and successfully battled with the world, 
although their long road of life has not been traveled together. 

Eliphalet Wheeler is now almost eighty years of age, enjoying 
good health, both in body and mind. When a boy of nine years 
old, he began by earning a few shillings a week from working in 
Lorillard's Tobacconist; at the age of sixteen he was apprenticed 
with John Norman, a butcher in this market, where his perquisites 
soon placed a few dollars in his pockets. About this period, it was 
a great habit for the apprentice boy^, and of course young men, to 
meet together certain evenings at Mrs. F's in Elizabeth Street, be- 
low Bayard's Lane, (Broome Street,) where she kept quite an at* 



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FLY MARKET. 218 

tractive shop, dealing out mead, cakes, etc., and where card-playing 
and other games of chance were performed. Yonng Wheeler was 
induced to visit this place one evening, and before he left, he had 
jast four shillings less than when he entered. The loss was not so 
mnch, but the idea of losing it by gambling was more than his sen- 
sitive mind could bear. It preyed on him so much, that on his way 
home late in the night, he had to cross near the old family vault of 
Alderman Bayard, which was then looked upon as a sacred spot by 
many of the rising generation. When he came to it he stopped, 
and on bended knee made a vow, " that he would never again, in 
any manner, engage in 'games of chance ;' and further, to devote his 
whole life and energies to serve the Lord." From that hour his 
earnings were placed in what is called a "money-box," and he con- 
tinued to thrive: purchased this stand {No. 30) in 1802; and in 
1822 he purchased No. 2 in Fulton Market, from which he retired 
more than twenty years ago, with abundance of this world's goods; 
and he has lived such a life as conformed to the vow made upon 
the old "Bayard Vault." 

Christian Stamler is now about eighty years old, and quite help- 
less. His life has been devoted to one of money getting, and he has 
succeeded. He was ever very eccentric, both in looks and conver- 
sation. Many anecdotes are told of him ; one of which appears 
quite suitable to his general character. He happened on board of 
a sloop one day, looking for stock; after finding some to suit and 
agreeing about the price, the captain not knowing him, and judging 
from his appearance that he could not raise five dollars, asked him 
for a retainer. " Chris" was somewhat nettled, but very coolly took 
out a small dirty roll from a corner of his old vest pocket, opened 
it out, and handed the captain a one-thousand dollar biU, at the same 
time showing many others; told the captain to take out the amount 
demanded. The captain was nonplused, but some butchers came 
up— gave the captain his name, which was generally known to him, 
as well as to all the dealers in stock — ^but he said, " He did not ex- 
pect to find a man of his reputed wealth in such shocking bad 
clothes." 

John Fink, noticed as the occupant of No. 46 in this market, had 
many years previous been a keeper of an old public-house, known 
as the "Butchers' Arms," on the comer of the Bowery and Bayard 
Street, where many young butchers and others almost daily con- 
gregated ; and from tins latter fact no doubt was the cause of Mr. 
Fink becoming a prominent character in the once famous "Miranda 
Expedition," which originated in this city in the year 1806. 

This expedition was started by a native of Caraccas, South Amer- 



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214 PLY KARKBT. 

ica, known as General Francisco De Miranda, who appears to have 
had some political difficulty with his government, and who had 
been obliged to leave his country, and to seek safety in France, 
where he had engaged in her army, and soon after received the 
rank of General. Some dissatisfaction about promotion had in- 
duced him to leave that country also: and the year 1805 found 
him in the City of New York, where he became acquainted, through 
letters of introduction, to several prominent citizens. Among these 
were Oolonel William Smith, Samuel G. Ogden, Colonel Armstrong, 
and Captain Thomas Lewis, the latter belonging to an armed trader, 
called the " LeaiiderJ* It appeared soon after Colonel Smith be- 
came a frequent visitor at Fink's public-house, which was a sort of 
head-quarters for the young butchers after the market hours ; and 
after a short period, he induced Mr. Fink to engage in the enroll- 
ment of men, as was said, '' for the service of the United States/' to 
form a Cavalry Company, by the name of " President's Guards," 
who:3e principal duty was to guard the President while traveling, 
and at other times to guard the mail at New Orleans, at which place 
they were to immediately proceed. The inducements held out were, 
that they were to receive one month's pay of $15 in advance as 
bounty money, besides all the necessary clothing and rations, which 
were to be supplied gratuitously. 

Mr. Fink's influence being very considerable, he soon enrolled 
above tliirty persons, most of them butchers, and several of them 
married men ; and there is no doubt that he was deceived in the 
real character of the expedition, because he had engaged himself to 
go, with many of his intimate friends ; but when they saw the secret 
and unusual manner of the ships leaving the harbor, and of embark- 
ing the troops, he refused to proceed, and he also induced many of 
those whom he had induced to join also to refuse ; although several 
of them, on the assurance of several of the officers *' that they should 
not be deceived, with also some additional advance paid," resolved 
to go. 

At this late period but few are left who can recognize many of 
those who were butchers who went on that expedition ; but I have 
beon able to present the following : John Parsells, David Vinton, 
John Edsall, Alexander Bahanan, Matthew Bahanan, Benjamin 
Davis, Richard Piatt, John Burk, Henry Sperry, and others. 

After the ship ** Leander " was ladened with a large quantity of war 
materials, and the Custom-House Officers had been deceived respect- 
ing her cargo and destination, she dropped down to Staten Island, 
where she received General Miranda and the enrolled troops on 
board; and she put to sea on the 3d day of February, 1806, ar- 



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PLY MA&KET. 215 

riving at Jaomel in due time. Here she remained some six weeks 
giving those whom *' Miranda" intended to attack time enough to 
learn all his intentions, and the necessary preparations to receive 
him. Two other vessels were engaged by Miranda at Jacmel, when 
troops and ammunition were placed on board, and all three pro- 
ceeded to the Island of Buen-iire, and after many difficulties ar- 
rived off that coast, where soon after they were attacked by two 
Spanish vessels, and the two vessels of Miranda were taken, although 
he escaped in the '' Leander." 

Some 60 prisoners were taken to Porto Cavello, where they were 
imprisoned, and soon after tried for piracy, when all the officers 
were ordered to be hung, and afterwards to have their heads cut off; 
the others were ordered to be imprisoned ten years at labor, part 
at Omoa and the other part at Porto Rico, where many of them 
died of wounds and sickness, and those who remained suffered al- 
most death. Some few were pardoned, but many of them remained 
in prison for years, although many efforts were made to secure the 
interposition of our Government; to secure which, in their behalf, 
some twenty of them stated in a memorial: "That we, your me- 
morialists, are natives of the United States of America, and for the 
most part of the City of New York, and are part of a number of 
men of the same description who were brought from New York in 
February last, in the ship Leander, Thomas Lewis, commander, un- 
der circumstances of treachery and imposition, which your memorial- 
ists will proceed to explain : Samuel G. Ogden has been known for 
some time as owner of the ship Leander, which vessel had for some 
lime been employed by him in a forced trade, for which purpose she 
had been heavily armed ; consequently, there was less danger of her 
warlike equipments awakening suspicion on the part of the public, 
or in the breasts of your memorialists, of any illegal undertaking. 
Of the whole number of your memorialists, some were attached to 
the vessel, some were employed for military service, and others for 
the exercise of their ordinary occupation and trade. Those of the 
first description were shipped in the usual manner, on a voyage to 
Jacnid and back to New York ; the rest were engaged by Colonel 
William Smith, 3fr, John Fink, Colonel William Armstrong, and 
Mr. Daniel R. Durning, to proceed to New Orleans, and other places 
not mentioned, under the command of Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Dur- 
ning, who, as was falsely and shamefully mentioned, had been appoint- 
ed by Government to carry thither a certain number of men as a 
guard to the mail. Your memorialists predicate their right to claim 
the interference of Government in their behalf upon the original 
innocence of their intentions and the veracity of the statement they 



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216 FLY MARKET. 

have offered. To establish these to your satisfaction, they beg that 
the persons hereinafter mentioned, who are informed of the intrigue 
that was exercised by Colonel Smith and others, his colleagues, may 
be appealed to, viz. : Mr. Daniel Kemper, whose son was executed ; 
Colonel Marrinus Willet; Mr. Brinkerhoof, tavern-keeper; William 
Butledge, ship-joyner ; Samuel Winship and Francis White, butch- 
ers, all of New York. And if it shall appear by the testimony of 
these persons that the account be worthy of credit, they will be en- 
titled to their country's protection and support.'' This was dated 
"Carthagena, December 30, 1806." 

We find also from a petition of John Parcell's, dated July 25, 
1812, he says: "About eight years have elapsed since the expira- 
tion of his apprenticeship, (with John Pell,) three years and four 
mordJiS qf wkich time he was confined in prison in South America in 
irons, on account cf being on board of a vessd under the command of 
Miranda^^ Ac. Several others of these butchers, after enduring al- 
most every hardship and suffering, came back broken down in spirit 
and constitution, at last to lay their bones with their kindred. 

The principal portion of the supplies which at this period (1802) 
furnished the markets still came to the city by water, either in small 
boats or across the ferries, and but few were brought in wagons or 
carts, except by those who lived a few miles from the city on New 
York Island. Occasionally the markets were poorly supplied, 
caused either from certain tides, storms, Ac, which gave opportuni- 
ties for the now numerous forestallers to take^ advantage of these 
circumstances, by advancing the prices. The prices of certain arti- 
cles in favorable seasons were usually about the same in certain 
months, but the winter and spring months they all ranged higher. 
This, however, was expected ; but the forestallers had for several 
years past exceeded this expectation, and bought up all they could 
before its arrival at the markets, by which means they controlled 
the markets, and gave much dissatisfaction and cause of complaint. 
This brought forth a report in the month of February, 1803, from a 
Committee consisting of Aldermen John Oothout and Philip Brasher, 
who state: '^Tha-t it has hitherto been the policy of this Board to 
encourage a resort of country people bringing provisions to the mar- 
kets in this city by land carriages ; the Committee are persuaded 
that this policy has been attended with the most beneficial effects, 
as supplies in this way not only tend to reduce the price of pro- 
visions, but frequently defeat the injurious practice of forestallers; 
the Committee therefore recommend that no market fees whatever 
be demanded from persons bringing into this city any provisions in 
wagons, carts, or sleds, provided the same are vended out of such 



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FLY MARKET. 217 

'wagons, carts, or sleds in which the same maj be brought to this 
city. The laws against forestallers have been for a great length of 
time but partially executed, if not totally neglected, whereby the 
prices of provisions are much enhanced, and the inhabitants gener* 
ally, but more especially the poor thereof, feel its baneful effects. 
The Committee are of opinion that the clerks of the different markets 
ought to be instructed from time to time by the Mayor of this city 
* to be vigilant in the execution of their duty in this particular.' '' 
They further state, they " have taken a survey of the Ply Market, 
^ith a view to recommend additional shelter from the rain and sun 
to be provided for women and others who dispose of vegetables; 
find it impracticable, owing to the space being very narrow between 
the eves of the market and the opposite houses ; any further exten- 
Bion would prove destructive in case of fire. The Committee, how- 
ever, recommend that the Mayor direct the Clerk of the Market to 
make a more convenient disposition of the several stands, by obliging 
many green-women who occupy the lower parts of the Fly Market 
to remove nearer Pearl Street; by this arrangement, they would 
have more room, and the country people from Long Island better 
accommodated." 

In the month of April of this year, Mr. Grant Thorbum observed 
a man, for the first time, selling flower-plants in this market. He 
says: ''As I carelessly passed along, I took a leaf, and rubbing it 
between my fingers and thumb, asked him what was the name of it? 
He answered, *A rose geranium.^ I looked a few minutes at the 
plant, thought it had a pleasant smell, and thought it would look 
well if removed into one of my green flower-pots, to stand on my 
counter to draw attention. Next day some one fancied, and pur- 
chased plant and pot. Next day I went when the market was nearly 
over, judging the man would sell cheaper, rather than have the 
trouble of carrying them over the river, as he lived at Brooklyn — 
and in those days there was neither steam nor horse-boats. Accord- 
ingly I purchased two plants, and having sold them, I began to think 
that something might be done this way, and so I continued to go at 
the close of the market, and always bargained for the unsold plants. 
The man finding me a useful customer, would assist me to carry 
them home, and show me how to shift the plants out of his pots and 
put them into green pots, if my customers wished it. So I found 
hy his tongue that he was a Scotchman, and being countrymen, we 
wrought to one another's hands ; thus, from haying one plant, in a 
short time I had fifty. 

" The thing being a novelty, began to draw attention ; people car- 
rying their country friends to see the curiosities of the city, would 



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218 FLT MARKET. 

step in to see mj plants. In some of these visits the strangers 
would express a wish to have some of the plants ; but having so tax 
to go, could not carry them. Then they would ask for the seeds, 
and also those of cabbage, turnip, or radish seeds, &c. ; but here 
lay the difficulty, as no one sold seed in New York, not one of the 
farmers or gardeners saved more than what they wanted for their 
own use ; there being no market for an overplus. In this dilemma, 
I told my situation to George Inglis, the man from whom I had al* 
ways bought the plants in the Fly Market. He said he was now 
raising seeds, with the intention of selling them next spring, along 
with his plants, in the market ; but if I would take his seeds, he 
would quit the market, and stay at home and raise plants and seeds 
for me to sell. A bargain was immediately struck; I purchased 
his stock of seeds, amounting \o fifteen dottara; and thus commenced 
a business on the 17 th of September, 1805, that became the most ex« 
tensive of the sort in the United States."* 

We find in the month of March, 1805, the Clerk of this market 
represented, "That many persons have received severe falls from 
the steps, which are placed at each end of the market, arising from 
their being too narrow on the tread," which was so altered as to 
make them more safe and convenient. 

In 1803 the yellow fever appeared here, but it was not so fatal 
as in 1798, although very bad, and in some instances fatal to whole 
families. The first case which will be noticed here was a man of 
the name of John Sebring, who died of this dreadful disease on one 
of the butchers' stalls in this market, on the 19th of August. He 
had just arrived from New Orleans, and belonged to Fredericksburgh, 
Virginia. When taken sick he sought his boarding-house, but was 
denied admission ; so he went into the market, laid down on one of 
the stalls, and soon after died. Just above the market, at No. 55 
Maiden Lane, lived a family named Wesferna, consisting of a mother 
and two daughters ; all three died at nearly the same hour, and were 
so reported on the 5th of October following. Mr. Abraham 
O'Kie, his wife and three children, all died from the same cause 
within ten days. He was the keeper of the " City Assembly Rooms," 
but he died at his residence No. 163 Greenwich Street, as noticed 
October 3d following. 

The next year it again appeared in some few cases. However, we 
find at a meeting of the Humane Society, held August 6th, that the 
Visiting Committee reported a donation of two hundred pounds of 
.meat received from the butchers here, and two other donations of 
meat from Mr. Francis Arden, also of this market, for the benefit 
of the poor and the sick. 

* ** Life aod WritiDgs of Grant Thifrhwm," p. 62. 



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FLT. MARKET. 219 

The year following (1805) the fever again prevailed with some 
considerable violence, when the batchers in this market petitioned, 
on the 6th of September, that '' conceiving the health of the city in 
the vicinity of the Fly Market to be such as to induce them to be- 
lieve that their stands will be of no public utility during the un- 
healthfulness of the season/' they pray for permission to remove 
during the sickness, which was granted to them. Some of them re- 
moved their business to their residences, from whence they supplied 
their patrons ; while others moved their stalls to Franklin Square, 
Chatham Square, Broadway, and on both sides of the Park. 

Eliphalet Wheeler says his place of business was located on the 
Park, just below Chambers Street, on Broadway. A few years before 
he had become acquainted with a most remarkable colored woman, 
who lived on Golden Hill, comer of Cliff and JohnStreets,named Mary 
Simpson, usually known as Mary Washington, as she had once been 
a most faithful slave of General Washington, whom he had set free, 
while President of the United States, residing in New York. After 
she had left Washington's family, she had opened a little store in 
the basement of this house, where she sold milk, butter, and eggs, 
with cookies, pies, and sweetmeats of her own manufacture ; and 
she also took in washing for several bachelor gentlemen who re- 
sided in the neighborhood. She never forgot her old master's birth- 
day, nor did she want her friends or patrons to forget it, as that 
day was above all the holidays with her ; and she kept it most faith- 
fully, by preparing a very large cake, which she called "Washington 
Cake," (once a favorite of Washington,) a large quantity of punch, 
then a fashionable drink, and hot coffee. These were nicely ar- 
ranged upon a large table ; then against the wall hung an old por- 
trait of Washington, which graced the head of the table, and a 
small leather trunk, on which was marked the initials " G. W.," 
made of brass-head nails ; both of which had been given to her by 
Washington himself. Every anniversary morning, some of the first 
men, old and young, paid a ceremonious visit to this much respect- 
ed colored woman, to eat her "Washington Cake," drink her punch 
andicoffee, praise her old master's portrait, and his many noble and 
heroic deeds ; and thus was passed every Washington's birth-day 
until her death. She said she " was fearful that if she did not 
keep up the day by her display, Washington would be soon for- 
gotten." 

During the several yellow-fever seasons, about the year 1800, Mr. 
Wheeler says, "Mary often came to see me and beg offal meat, 
sheep-heads, Ac. ; some of which she made soup of for the many des- 
titute and sick and the rest she fed to numerous starved cats, which 



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FLT IfABKET. 

had been left behind by many families, in their haste to leave the 
infected district. 

Grant Thorburn says, (in a letter to me,) " When the yellow fe- 
vers prevailed, people fled, and left their cats to starve; soon the 
hungry cats came howling round the dwellings of those whose doors 
were open. Mary Washington and her stout colored servant^girl 
went every morning with two large sacks to the butchers, who al- 
ways cheerfully gave them as many sheep-heads as they could carry. 
On arriving home, they found five-score and five starving cats wait- 
ing their return; straightway each with her hatchet split the sculls 
and scattered the brains, when the cats ate and were satisfied. I 
had full share of starving cats to provide for. The weather being 
hot, and the windows open, the cats came in. We were obliged to 
keep a woman with a stick to sit by the table, while the servant 
was placing the food before us. Every day scores of cats met on 
the pavement opposite his house ;'e7ery day I placed dishes on the 
side-walks, and got many gallons of milk from the kind milkman 
for the poor cats. Soon the cats found their way up town, and got 
better quarters." 

At an early day Mary became attached to St. Oeorge's Church, 
and after a time she became acquainted with the minister, Reverend 
Doctor Milnor, who found in her a quiet, respectful woman, with a 
most excellent heart, full of kindness and attention, especially to- 
wards the sick and needy. She was very fond of hearing the Bible 
read, and became so anxious to know how to read it, that she was 
placed in the Sunday-school, where, by great exertions and the kind 
assistance of Doctor Milnor, she soon obtained this knowledge, and 
this good book became her daily companion. Even when going to 
market she carried it with her; and if she found Mr. Wheeler not 
engaged, he was pleased to hold her Bible while she recited, some- 
times, whole chapters at a time, without missing a word, so reten- 
tive was her memory. 

At all the meetings of the Church, no person was a more regular 
attendant than this colored woman ; in fact, she was looked upon, and 
felt herself, a little above some of the colored persons who came to 
this Church, and would not sit with them. Her many good qualities 
were considered by Doctor Milnor, who had a chair especially pro- 
vided for her in the gallery. She could do nothing of importance 
without consulting her *^Bo88'^ as she kindly called the Reverend 
Doctor Milnor; and when she died, she bequeathed about eighteen 
hundred dollars to the Sunday-school, and to be expended under the 
direction of Dr. Milnor. One of his sons said to me, " If anybody 
ever deserved a monument, that colored woman, Mary Simpson, was 
one of them." So let her name and example live t 



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FLT MARKET. 221 

tn the spring of 1806 several complaints had been made against 
some uncleanly slaughter-houses, not without just cause. Several 
volunteers among some of the more respectable portion of the butch- 
ers offered their services to the Board of Health; and a Committee 
of the Board of Health was appointed and conferred with this Com- 
mittee of Butchers, on the subject of regulating all the slaughter- 
houses in the city. In their report, dated June 14th, 1806, the Com- 
mittee state that they had met with the following butchers : *' David 
Marsh, William Wright, Jacob Tier, William Ohivers, Daniel Win- 
ship, Jacob Yarian, and Christian Miller, who will undertake on 
the part of the butchers to inspect the slaughter-houses, and carry 
into effect such parts of the law for preventing nuisances as related 
to butchers; for which purpose the Committee recommended that the 
aforesaid persons should be appointed inspectors of slaughter-houses 
by the Common Council, and empowered to prosecute offenders for 
the transgressions of the law for preventing nuisances, and of such 
regulations as the butchers may adopt among themselves for the 
purpose of conducting their business with every possible propriety.'' 

Several of these butchers were also leading spirits in the two 
great political parties of the day, then known as Federalists and 
Republicans, and they occasionally brought their power to bear, 
either on one side or the other. An instance of a great wrong was 
attempted by the party in power in the month of July, 1806. Twelve 
Republican butchers petitioned to the Board for as many stands in 
the lower, or *'Fish Market," which caused a resolution to be passed 
in the Board, granting and directing the Market Committee to as- 
sign stands for them ; although several of them occupied stands in 
this and other markets. In a few days after, this Committee report- 
ed, "That they have deliberately considered the nature of the duty 
enjoined on them, and with all due deference to the judgment of 
this Board, do give it as their opinion, that it would be improper 
and ui\just to give away these stalls to any individual whatever, in- 
asmuch as an offer has been made for one of these middle stalls, at 
tiie rate of $120 per annum, and numbers of butchers «tand ready 
to give the same amount yearly for the remainder of them, (and 
more money, if required.) They are clearly of opinion that a con- 
siderable revenue may be derived to the Corporation funds by leasing 
the said stalls for 1, 8, 5, or 7 years. To give away these stalls in 
the manner contemplated by the resolution of last Monday will cer- 
tainly cause a great clamor and discontent by the citizens; and 
there will be evidently a want of room for the country people, as 
also a deficiency for the use of the fishermen." 

This subject did ''cause a great clamor and discontent," especially 



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FLT MARKET. 

among the ^' press '' of both parties, who indulged in criminations 
and recriminations; each party showing up the favor itisms or rascal* 
ities of the other by turns, and it is now difficult to judge which woe 
the worst. 

The butchers petitioned, and also held several meetings, in rela- 
tion to this subject, and at one of them the following proceedings 
took place: 

"At a meeting of the butchers who occupy stands in the different 
markets in the City of New York, held at Pierson's Tavern, Slst 
of July, 1806: 

" It being well ascertained that the Common Council of this City 
have lately resolved to convert part of the lower Fly Market, at 
present used by the fishermen and country people, into a flesh mar- 
ket, and to allow fourteen stalls to be erected tiierein for the use of 
Bs many butchers, who have been selected and named for that pur- 
pose, and conferred upon them these stands gratuitously, when many 
of the butchers occupying stands in the Fly Market have paid large 
sums of money for theirs — ^in confident expectation that no stalls 
were to be erected in the lower or fish market, but have granted to 
fourteen select favorites privileges which would have produced, 
either at public or private sale, at least ttoenty thousand dollars to 
the treasury of the city. John Pessengeb, Chairman. 

Joseph 0. Booebt, Secretary." 

As the prosperity of this market increased, ofttimes the greater 
part of the country market would be in possession of persons whom 
the laws excluded. From this fact originated ''Shirk" or ''Shark 
Butchers" who were generally a set of shiftless characters, devoid 
either of principle or honor ; made up of those who had worked a 
while at the business until discharged ; or others from about the 
country, who could not obtain licenses ; and others, again, who had 
been in business, but not succeeding, either from their extravagance, 
dissipation, or otherwise, were obliged to adopt any measure where- 
by they might exist. Many of them often assumed the garb of coun- 
trymen, in which they almost daily visited this portion of the mar- 
ket with their quarters of small meats nicely laid in the country 
farmers' baskets ; while others represented themselves as agents for 
countrymen, or made certain arrangements or collusion with the 
officers in charge ; and when driven off from the stands or benches, 
they would "shirk" around for another; and they became known 
as "shirkers" and "sharks" There were also a few of the regular 
butchers who were permitted, or specially licensed, " to sell small 
meats by the quarter" in this lower market; they, however, were 
confined to certain parts and particular stands. 



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FLT MARKET. 223 

In 1807 these " shirks " became so formidable as to almost exelnde 
the country people, who, with several citizens, complain to the au- 
thorities, which was followed by the regular batchers, who also ask- 
ed for relief. They wished none but farmers, " who bring their 
stock to market, raised on their own farms, to sell meat by the 
quarter," in this part of the market. The Deputy Clerk was " in- 
structed to use his utmost vigilance to detect such offenders as shall 
sell contrary to the tenth section of the law," Ac., which had the 
desired effect for a short period. 

About this period a Philadelphian visitor, who had been to this 
market, was comparing it with the principal market in Philadelphia, 
in a letter to one of the editors of a Philadelphia Magazine, when he 
says: " This morning I accompanied ' mine host' to the Fly Market, 
which is the principal one in this city — the whole forming a line 
perhaps as long as one of the ranges of the Philadelphia 'High Street 
Market.' " " Fish," he says, " may be had in greater plenty, variety, 
and freshness. There is not found here that regularity or conven- 
ience which distinguish the ' markets' of my native city. The fruits 
and vegetables, Ac, with the owners, are exposed to all the injuries 
of the weather; they are ranged on the side of the market-house in 
the street, on the pavement, so that there is no more empt; space 
than is barely sufiScient to accommodate the foot-passengers. Every- 
thing which is exposed for sale may be bought without walking 
half the distance which it is necessary to do at Philadelphia."* 

The prices of provisions are also noticed by Melish, in his Travels, 
who also refers to this market, as follows: "There are five public 
markets in this city, of which the principal is the Fly Market, and 
those are well supplied with wholesome provisions, vegetables, fruit, 
and fish; and the prices are generally reasonable. A few of these 
may be quoted: beef, mutton, and veal, 9 to 12 cents per pound ; a 
turkey, 75 cente ; a goose, 62 cents ; ducks and fowls, 25 cents each ; 
e^^ 14 cents per dozen ; butter, 22 cents per pound ; fish and fruit 
plenty and cheap." 

The fishermen were now increasing, and were in a thriving condi- 
tion, although much incommoded in the slip for want of room for 
their fishing vessels, and they were obliged to pile their empty fish- 
cars on the dock or wharf, which created trouble between them and 
the Street Commissioner. The Board, at a meeting May 18, 1806, 
ordered this oiBoer " to inquire on what terms a water-lot at Brook- 
lyn can be purchased for the accommodation of fisherman cars." 
Before this arrangement was made, the fishermen petitioned " the 
necessity of our having our cars out of the water, that they may 
« Literary MaguBine, yol. vii., p. isa 



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224 PLY MARKET. 

dry, and by that means be cleared from the grass, Ac, which will 
otherwise collect and destroy our fish ; and it is necessary to have 
the cars near our place of keeping fish, as it is very frequently the 
case that our amoncks or fishing-boats arrive at the dead hours of the 
night, and in the slack time of tide our fish will die almost inatan* 
taneously, unless they are shifted into cars. The number of smacks 
employed regularly in this business will exceed seventy, and die 
number of cars now upon the wharf will fall short of two to one 
smack ; and as the fish increase the cars will materially diminish, 
and the principal part of the summer season there will be but few 
upon the wharf." This was signed by 

Oeorge Rogers, Joseph Latham, Joseph Ashbey, 
Roger Crandall, Jasper Latham, Jonathan Crocker. 

Their petition, with other influences, stopped their removal for a 
period, but the Corporation eventually (in 1810) removed them to 
Brooklyn. The fishermen had threatened, that if they were removed 
or ordered to be removed from Fly Market Slip, they would stop 
the supplies of fish ; and they kept their word. This created con- 
siderable feeling with the public on being cut off from one of the 
principal necessaries of life, and the fishermen were much blamed. 

One of them appeared in the " press," in these words: " The pres- 
ent suppression of the regular supply of wofjish at the markets in 
this city having justly excited the attention of the public, one of the 
condemned feels himself called upon, by the respect always due to 
the constituted authorities and the citizens at large, to give some 
explanations of the case. 

*' It is well known that for a number of years past the fishermen 
have been accommodated with room on the wharf adjoining the 
Slip, as a deposit for their cars. It was necessary that the cars 
should be kept out of water, and it was not practicable to keep them 
at Brooklyn, or at any other place at a distance from the market. 
Let it suffice to say, without going into a detail of the whole busi- 
ness of catching fish, bringing them to market, and keeping them 
alive, sweet, clean, and wholesome while there, that this arrange- 
ment is indispensable, and without it the fish market will lose one- 
half of its worth and usefulness." " The Harbor-Master, also, on 
Friday last, gave us express permission and direction to place our 
cars in the position in which they were found." "And the result 
is, that we must be allowed our old privileges, or others that will 
answer the same purpose, or we cannot go on with our business." 

This removal of the cars, even if the city had been regularly 
supplied, would have subjected the fishermen to a great deal of 
trouble and labor, in conveying these unwieldy /^A-co^etf across the 



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FLY MARKET. 225 

Bast Biver» and back again, against the usual strong current of that 
river. The fact was, however, established, that the City of New 
York was without a supply of fish, when they could so easily be 
obtained ; and of course, the consequent rise of the small quantity 
that were otherwise brought there. This soon brought forth ap- 
peals from the public press, followed by petitions, and more es- 
pecially from the poor retail fishermen, who depended upon their 
daily sales for a living. Those from this market who signed were: 
Elisha Lymans, James Qriffing, Jr., Bussel Beckwith, 
Wm. Stebbins, Nathaniel Harris, Clark Trumans, 
Edward Tinker, Joshua Parker, William Baxter, 

Jonathan Crocker, Juorry Tinker, Bradley S. Wiggins, 

and Jeremiah Tinker, who asked for relief; and the Board acceded 
to their request, '*by placing the cars at the end of the Slip.'' 

In the "war of 1812," one of these Fly Market fishing smacks 
engaged and captured the British sloop or tender named the Eagh, 
which was prowling around the Hook, seizing all the market-boats 
and other small craft that came in her way. The manner in which 
this capture was performed is thus described : " The fishing smack, 
named the Yankee^ was borrowed of some fishermen at the Fly 
Market, in the City of New York, and a calf, a sheep, and a goose 
purchased, and secured on deck. Between thirty and forty men, 
well armed with muskets, were secreted in the cabin and fore-peak 
of the smack. Thus prepared, she stood out to sea, as if going on 
a fishing trip to the Banks: three men only being on deck, dressed 
in fishermen's apparel, with buflF caps on. The Eagle^ on perceiv- 
ing the smack, immediately gave chase, and after coming up with 
her, and finding she had live stock on deck, ordered her to go down 
to the Commodore, then about five miles distant. The helmsman 
answered, 'Aye, aye, sir I' and apparently put up the helm for that 
purpose, which brought him alongside of the Iksgle^ not more than 
three yards distance. The watch-word, * LatDrence' was then given, 
when the armed men rushed on deck from their hiding-places, and 
poured into her a volley of musketry, which struck the crew with 
dismay, and drove them all down so precipitately into the hold of 
the vessel, that they had not time to strike their colors. The 
JSbgfe, with the prisoners, was carried to the city, and landed at 
Whitehall, amidst the shouts and plaudits of thousands of specta- 
tors assembled on the Battery, celebrating the ' Fourth of July,' 
1813. Those engaged in this successful affair were Sailing-Master 
Percival and several volunteers from the flotilla." 

Provisions at that period had become quite scarce and high, and 
more especially in the supplies of fish, which many poor families 
Vol. I.— 15 



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226 PL^ MARKET. 

had previously, through the summer season, almost exclusively lived 
upon. A remarkable circumstance occurred in the fall of 1813, 
which tended to relieve them for several weeks ; and is thus noticed 
in the press : " Since the interruption of our accustomed supplies of 
fish from the eastern coast, by the British blockaders, the want is 
in a great measure provided for by remarkable quantities of chub or 
small mackerel, with which the New York markets abound. They 
are taken in nets, in the head of Long Island Sound, in such great 
numbers, that 72,000, we are told, were caught at one haul a few 
days since. Such an abundance of this species of fish has never 
been known in this country since a similar occurrence during the 
Revolutionary War."* I am told that the rivers, inlets, and creeks 
in and around the harbor of New York, and more especially along 
the East River shores, were so well stocked with these fish, that 
they were taken by thousands, with little trouble ; and the com- 
mon price for them in the markets was "a shilling a dozen." 

The few regular butchers which were "permitted" in the country 
part of this market had from time to time extended or otherwise 
encroached on the market space, to suit themselves, without consult- 
ing the Clerk or Committee. In consequence of this, the Board, on 
the 17th of April, 1809, passed a resolution, " That persons having 
permits to sell small meats in the lower or country market, arc 
hereby directed to use, in future, instead of their present stalls, 
benches of such form and dimensions as the Deputy Clerk may 
direct." 

The troubles and duties of the Clerk, John Minuse, are also 
noted in another form, with some of these occupants. On the 3d 
of September, 1810, the Clerk complains of an individual, whom 
we shall call Charles Conlin, to the authorities, and says : " Mr. 
Charles Conlin, a permitted butcher in the Fly Market, has been 
guilty of giving in false returns, ((^ the number of animals he 
killed J which I have detected several times, and he won't refrain ; 
he says that he don^t care about it, for he will cheat whenever he can; 
and if they turn him out of the market, he can sell meat wherever 
he pleases." A resolution passed revoking Conlin's permit. About 
a week after, Conlin presented a petition, in which he says: " That 
for the last four years past he has sold meat by the quarter in the 
lower market, and was a few days ago deprived of his license, on 
account of some person having informed the Clerk that he had not 
given in a true account of the meat sold ; which conduct he is sin* 
cerely sorry for," and wishes to be restored. 

The Market Committee, after hearing the case, on the 15th of the 
* National InteUigenoer, October 23, ISia. 



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FLY MARKET. 227 

same month reported on the facts as were presented : " That the day 
on which the petitioner was complained of, he killed eighteen sheep; 
ten of which were sold in the market, and the market fees regularly 
accounted for; of the remaining eight, three were placed in the 
market in a basket, covered, where they remained not more than 
half an hour, when they were sent to a Mrs. McE's boarding-house, 
and sold to her for one ehiUing the quarter. C Cheap meat for 
boarders r J They were never offered for sale in the market, it 
being the practice of the petitioner, at different times, to send his 
meat of such poor quality to the above-mentioned boarding-house. 
The remaining five were never taken out of the marke^cart, but 
were sent to Mr. Winship, for the supply of the Navy- Yard and 
frigate at the Wallabout," The petitioner being a man of family, 
and of respectable connections, the Committee recommended to the 
Board "to pardon his offence, and restore to him his license;" 
which was done. 

Another case took place at this market in the early part of next 
year, for an infringement of the market law. It appears that the 
Clerk complained of John Miller for forestalling, Ac, but he repre- 
sented that he had a permission from the Alderman to make such 
sales. He was summoned for trial before Justice Henry Meigs, who 
reported on his case as follows : " It appeared to me, in the trial of 
the cause mentioned in the preceding petition, that although the de- 
fendant, John Miller, was without a legal authority to sell, as 
charged against him, yet he must have considered himself justly au- 
thorized, by virtue of the permit mentioned ; and that he has not, 
therefoi-c, willfully infringed the ordinance regulating public mar- 
b^ts. March 18, 1811, H. Meigs, As^'t Justice of the First Ward." 

This country market was a continual source of trouble not only 
to the citizens and regular butchers, but to the " Board," which 
usually took place after a change of officers and their different par- 
ties. New committees came into power with new ideas and wants, 
many of which were not practical, being either too stringent, or 
tinctured too strongly of free trade, to be suitable for the protection 
of the citizens. 

Laws were passed and rescinded, and licenses and permits were 
given to favorites by one party, to be taken away by the other. This 
state of things had originated and grown with those parties ; and 
now (1858) they have so much enlarged and perfected on that danc- 
ing-in and dancing-out system of government, that the clever, honest 
people **pay the piper" any amount demanded, as naturally and 
faithfully as if they had agreed with them on prices to be named 
after their election. This is not all : these parties have continually 



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228 ^^^ MARKET. 

added to their numbers ; many an honest, independent-minded man, 
through his necessities and wants, which actually have been driven 
into their destructive and detested ranks, taken from them their in- 
dependence and self-respect, to be at last turned into the pot-house 
brawler, drunkard, liar, perjurer, thief, dc, dc, dec; or if he has 
been successful of this world's goods, through rascality, pecula- 
tion, or collusion, he assumes the model man in conversation ordy, 
loudly condemning those who attempt to mount the same ladder 
which carried him above the level, high upon the aristocratic throne 
of fashion and worldliness. 

But I have strayed from the subject I had intended to introduce, 
which were two resolutions offered to the Board by the Market Com- 
mittee, December 8th, 1817. The first reads: ^* Besdved, That the 
Clerk of the Common Council be directed to make a register of the 
stalls held by the butchers in the several markets of this city ; and 
that for this purpose, the several butchers holding stands be direct- 
ed to make return to the Deputy Clerks of the respective markets 
of the number of stalls they hold, and that the butchers renew their 
licenses in the month of April in each year, for the better regulation 
of the markets. 

'^ Resolved, That all butchers holding permits from this Board be 
required to report on or before the first day of January next, as all 
permits will after that date be considered void, unless renewed by 
the Corporation." 

Many of the old permit and ** Shirk Butchers," who had been per- 
mitted to stand in this market for many years, considered they were 
not called upon to renew their privileges, and failed, or would not 
obey the last resolution. The Clerk complained of them, and they 
were suspended, along with several others, who almost daily smug- 
gled themselves in against the law. Among the most noted *' Shirk 
Butchers," who petitioned in the month of August, 1818, to be "re- 
stored to that privilege," was Jacob Patchen, Jesse Coope, and 
Israel Reynolds. Their petition was referred to a committee, who, 
on the 7th of September following, reported that " The small meats 
brought to the loioer market are, with very few exceptions, just bought 
by the persons offering them for sale, or the animals are sent them 
by some persons residing a few miles in the country to sell on com- 
mission, or as pretended agents for the owner, to the great detriment 
of our own butchers, who are restricted to a public stand. The 
system now pursued, it is a rare thing to see a farmer in the market 
with meats, Ac, of his own raising ; the truth is, that nearly, if not all, 
these agents are butchers or hucksters in disguise. The Committee 
cannot perceive the propriety of permitting the market thus to 



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FLT MAtlKET. 229 

be occupied to the exclnsion of our own citizens, who are regular 
butchers and subject to taxation." This petition was denied, and an 
ordinance was ordered to be reported on the subject accordingly. 

About this period died, at a great age, a yerj venerable and most 
eccentric man, known to many of our citizens who visited this mar- 
ket; some of whom even at this day remember *' Johnny Day," or 
rather he was more generally known — some say from ten to twenty 
years — under the affectionate and familiar name of Old Johnny." 
His appearance was that of an old salt or broken-down sailor, al- 
ways noted for wearing a dirty pair of patched duck trowsers; a 
once blue, short monkey-jacket ; a slouched tarpaulin for head cover- 
ing, and on his feet a pair of old stout shoes, which had been pf etty 
well worn and patched before they came into his possession. 

His history no doubt was one full of events, and of a character 
somewhat strange as well as romantic. His daily habits and man- 
ners, however, appeared somewhat like his wardrobe, and were quite 
as eccentric. Long before the sun peeped over the Long Island 
liills, every morning found him at this market waiting the call of 
his patrons for any light work or odd jobs they might offer him, 
whether to transport a tray of meat, carry a basket of potatoes, or 
toddle home after some good housewife with her marketing — ^not 
that he was an admirer of the softer sex, or was willing to serve 
them, as he seldom spoke to or answered their questions, but re- 
ceived their directions and their rewards in dumb show. Previous 
to his coming to this market, he said, he had not spoken to a woman 
for about sixty years. 

This peculiar habit of "Old Johnny" towards the female sex 
rendered him not a favorite, and therefore he was rarely employed 
by them, although there were one or two old hucksters who could 
occasionally prevail upon him to do some little service ; among these 
was Mrs. Spicer and If rs. Tallman, who now and then gave him a 
cup of warm coffee or other refreshment, after finishing their break- 
fiist. 

Old Johnny's residence and lodgings were in the cellar of a house 
in Banker (Madison) Street, where he went regularly every night to 
sleep; but his boarding-house was in and about this old market. 

At the commencement of the war of 1812 he was then acknowl- 
edged to be over one hundred years of age, although he still retain- 
ed the appearance on his visage and gait of the earlier days, when 
he first became known here. The only complaint he ever made was 
from occasional ** sick turns," no doubt the effect of his extreme age ; 
and in one of these, Mrs. Spicer induced him to go and see Mrs. 
Brownell, a most benevolent lady, residing on the corner opposite 



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230 FLY MARKET. 

the market, and who was held in high repute for her knowledge as 
a medical doctrcss. A few simple remedies applied, with the more 
important nourishing diet supplied, soon placed **01d Johnny " in a 
position to puraue his usual routine ; in addition to this, it opened 
a channel to the old man's heart ; he began to look upon the sex 
with a less bilious eye, and with a clearer heart, he began to think 
there were some kind, true-hearted women, even in this world ; as^ 
an acknowledgment of this newly-discovered magnet to his heart 
and soul, he was now more than willing to go to the pump a dozen 
times a day for water, to carry fire-wood as often into the bouse, or 
to do any little or great service within his power for the "Fair Lady/' 
as he now and ever after fondly termed her, who had not only acted 
as his physician, but now had become his friend. While suffering 
in one of these " sick turns," Mr, Brownell, (whom he honored with 
the title of "General,") as well as Mrs. B., frequently questioned 
him concerning the early history of his life. Johnny was not com- 
municative on this matter in the presence of Mr. B., or would only 
utter a few exclamatory sentences, and then suddenly stop with a 
common expression, " Take care, Johnny — ^you have said enough ;" 
then put his wiry fingers to his mouth, close his lips, and so remain 
a few moments. 

Mrs. B's kindness, however, would occasionally induce him to un- 
fold portions of his life's history. " That he once had the honor to 
hold the commission of Lieutenant in the British naval service: 
that he was engaged to be married to a girl of good family — 
young, beautiful, rich, and accomplished ; but, unfortunately, he left 
his betrothed in the charge of a supposed friend, who cruelly de- 
ceived and slandered him: gained her affections, and married her; 
when he afterwards, in a duel, shot him dead, fled from England, 
and left all behind." Having gone thus far, he would suddenly ex- 
claim, " Take care, Johnny — you have said enough ;" and then re- 
main silent, though often followed by two large tears rolling down 
his wrinkled face. 

This was all that she, by questions put to him, could ever elicit. 
Years passed rapidly away, still "Old Johnny" was at his post 
and haunts around this market, till about the year 1818, when one 
day he was taken suddenly ill in Pearl Street, before the meeting- 
house of the Society of Friends; here he had lain some time: the 
people pai^scd by unheediugly ; none assisted him ; many supposing 
he was a drunken vagabond lying on the side-walk. 

Mr. Brownell learned at his store, from some of the pa«»er»*y, 
of "Old Johnny's" situation. His wife was informed, and hnmedi* 
ately this good Samaritan was on her way, and found ''Old Johnny" 



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FLY MAEEfiT. 231 

almost dead. The seryiccs of an old honest colored man were se- 
cured, and the old man was removed carefully to his home, where, 
under faithful nursing and the ancient vigor of his constitution, he 
soon recovered his usual health and haunts at the market. He first 
visited Mrs. Brownell, and kindly thanked her ; at the same time, 
he said, in a sort of confidential, mysterious warning, '' Fair lady, 
you will never regret this act of kindness. Many passed and pit- 
ied me; none, however, but the *Fair Lady' would care for me." 
And again he earnestly said, *' The *Pair Lady' shall never regret' 
it." " No, Johnny," said Mrs. B., " I never regret doing a deed of 
humanity." **No, no, *Fair Lady,' " said Johnny, " I mean — I will 
give you all" — and he stopped a moment, to think whether he had 
not said enough, but finished with — ** What I have never dared to 
touch." Mrs. B. thought no more of this, until Johnny was missing 
for several days from the market, when she proceeded up to his un- 
derground lodgings, and sure enough, Johnny was there lying upon 
his death-bed, as it afterwards proved. He quickly recognized her, 
with an expression, " Heaven be thanked for this ! My prayer is 
granted. Again I see the * Fair Lady,' to tell her that my time is 
short in this world. To my knowledge, I have no relatives, and I 
want proper assistance to make a will." Mrs. B. said to him, 
** Johnny, what have you to leave, that you should wish to make a 
will ?" Johnny turned on his side, with a groan, saying, "There" — 
pointing to a couple of very old seaman's chests, which were almost 
hidden, from sight by the old sail-cloth, iron, and rough fire-wood — 
"There, in those old chests, and a large covered pot, which lies buried 
beneath that hearth — all their contents I shall bequeath to you, 
* Fair Lady.' I told you you would never regret your kindness to 
*01d Johnny Day.'" 

Mrs. B. thought these might contain the gatherings of the many 
years around the Old Fly Market, and likely not more than enough 
to have him decently buried ; but, to satisfy " Old Johnny," the will 
was made, and pro|>erly drawn up, by his dictation— recorded in 
the Surrogate's oflfice, and dated the 4th day of December, 1819. 

However, before "Johnny" died, he wished to disclo.se something, 
which appeared to greatly disturb his mind; and to. his colored 
nurse he several times, in detached sentences, commenced to unfold 
that he knew where " hoards of silver coin, bars of gold and doub- 
loons, and jewels of vast value, lie buried — enough to fill twenty 
chests like those ; but I cannot, I must not, reveal it now. I will — 
I will before I die." 

" He had some horror when speaking of it," said his old nurse ; 
*' but I believe be intended, and tried to do so, when he was so far 
gone that his speech was inaudible." This was about the substance 



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232 



FLY MARKET. 



of all that "Old Johnny" oyer reyealed; although there were some 
people who thought he had been an old pirate, and that before he 
died he made such a confession ; but this was not so, as the old 
negro nurse was truth itself. 

The will was opened, and in it was found, he had bequeathed all 
his property, of all kinds, which proved to be about $35,000, in 
solid cash, besides other valuables, to the fair, kind, and Christian 
lady, Mrs. Brownell, the mother of the well-known and highly-es- 
teemed Judge J. Sherman Brownell, who so honestly inherits those 
good qualities once possessed by his parents. 

On the 26th of April of this year, (1819,) a return of all the butch- 
ers who were licensed was made, when a resolution was passed, 
"That they be licensed agreeably to the returns of the Deputy 
Clerks of tiie different markets ; and that the price of license be re- 
duced to one dddar.^^ 

Two years after, the Deputy Clerk reported the following for 
license: 



1. William Pullis. 


29. Vacant. 


2. Nicholas Steel. 


30. William Winter. 


3. Matthias Smith. 


31. John Whitehead. 


4. George Byerson. 


32. George Ewen. 


5. Vacant. 


88. Martin Silber. 


6. John Chappel. 


84. Harvey Lyon. 


7. Vacant. 




8. Do. 


86. William Warlow. 


9. John Bridle. 


87. Henry Shop. 


10. Vacant. 


38. Eliphalet Wheeler. 


11. Do. 


39. John Norman. 


12. Do. 


40. Willet Cornell. 


13. Do. 


41. Andrew C. Wheeler. 


14. Thomas Gibbons. 


42. Peter Wilt. 


15. Vacant. 


43. Daniel Burtnett. 


16. Zavier Broadway. 


44. John Nash. 


17. Vacant. 


45. Henry Marsh. 


18. Do. 


46. David Marsh. 


19. Do. 


47. Edward Patton. 


20. John Hyde. 


48. William Reynolds. 


21. Vacant. 


49. Andrew Fisher. 


22. Do. 


60. John Doughty. 


23. John Abeel. 


51. William Patton. 


24 and 25. Scale and Passage. 


52. James Carr. 


26. Christian Truss. 


53. John Stamler. 


27. James Wright. 


54. John Perrin. 


28. Vac4int. 


55. George S. Messerve. 



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FLT MARKET. 233 

56. Christian Stamler. 65. Lanning Ferris. 

57. Effingham Marsh. 66. Joseph 0. Bogert. 

58. William Messerve. 67. Daniel Winship, Jr. 

59. Michael Crawbnek. 68. George Q. Messerve. 

60. William Fester. 69. Daniel Winship. 

61. Cornelius Schuyler. 70. John Fell. 

62. Nat. Underhill. 71. David Seaman. 

63. Albert Fisher. 72. George Manolt. 

64. Elnathan Underhill. 

Many of the stands are found vacant at this period ; and one year 
later, more than one-half of the butchers and others had left this 
fiunous old market, never more to return. 

Biit we are loth yet to part company with this ancient relic of 
" by-^ne times," which had lived so long in the history of our city ; 
known and fed so many generations of almost all the civilized na- 
tions of the world. In childhood it had first appeared with a very 
small covering to shelter and accommodate its original visitors, who 
daily passed along at a " slow and sure" pace towards it, wearing 
huge breeches and pockets capacious enough to contain a week's 
stores when in danger of short supplies; and while the trade was 
progressing for the season's supplies of kale and cabbage, their old 
dingy meerschaum was replenished with that then common tveedj to 
be whiffed away in assisting their thinking organs in the prosecu- 
tion of a satisfactory bargain. Although many changes of authority, 
with rebuildings and additions to the Vley^ yet these old Dutchmen 
held fast to their old customs, manners, and language, until time 
has found them merged into the English, French, German, with a 
few of other nations, to be at last called and known as New Yorkers. 

Two years after the war of 1812 had commenced, ^' the scarcity 
of specie, and the drains made upon the banks, induced a suspension 
of specie payments, which continued until the first Monday in July, 
1817. The want of specie and small change for a circulating medium 
induced the Corporation to cause to be issued a substitute, in the 
shape of paper money, in 6|, 12 J, 25, and 50 cent bills, to the amount 
of one hundred thousand dollars; signed by John Pintard, Thomas 
Franklin, and William M'Neal; which bills being endowed with 
public confidence, passed current in all payments, and facilitated 
business.'** 

These Corporation bills, however, were not sufficient for the usual 
wants, and many tradesmen also issued their own bills ; but glad 
enough were all classes when the time was approaching for the gen- 
eral use of specie again. The butchers and all others who stood in 
the markets promised, through the *' Press," to sell '* for one week 
• Goodrich's PIctare of K. T., p. 102. 



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FLY MARKET. 



tiodve per cent, cheaper than they have done," by way of welcoming 
the recommencement of the silver age. ** Silver is silver — ^and chaff 
is chaff/' said they. 

The city soon after became flooded with the bills of the country 
banks, which at that period stood upon very slender foundations ; 
some of which were every few weeks or months stopping specie pay- 
ments or closing for a period; then with their agents buying up 
their bills for 25 or 50 cents on a dollar, while others stopped en- 
tirely, and defrauding thousands of poor mechanics and others. In 
1819 it had become so intolerable that a large meeting of the butch- 
ers of this city was held on Tuesday, 22d June of that year, at which 
they passed several resolutions ; one of which was, ** That after the 
30th instant they will receive no country bank-notes that are be- 
low par in New York." 

In the mean time provisions of all kinds had become scarce and 
high, and so continued for several years. The prices of cattle varied 
from 10 to 15 dollars per cwt. from 1814 to 1820, Meat at retail 
sold as high as 2s. 6d. per pound, and even '^ rough-fat " sold at 16 
to 18 pence per pound. In 1815 the milkmen come out in the press 
and state, that " in consequence of the high price of fodder, the milk- 
men, after the 1st of December, have agreed to charge a shilling a 
quart for milk."* 

In the month of January following, '* Hickory wood sold at 23 
dollars per cord ; oak, fifteen — the severe frost having cut off all 
supplies ;" and in the same month of the next year, " Flour sells for 
$16 per barrel, and a further advance is apprehended." 

The February following, "A vessel has lately arrived from Bel- 
fast with 562 firkins of butter, 200 of lard, 50 barrels of beef, 54 do. 
of pork, and a quantity of potatoes ;" and in the month of December 
following, the "Gazette" states: " If there are any hogs yet remain- 
ing in the country, now is the time to bring them to the New York 
markets, as the price is from ten to eleven dollars a hundred, which 
has most of this season been their current prices."t 

The number of animals killed and exposed for sale in this market 
during the months of January, February, March, and April, in the 
year 1816, was reported as follows: 





Shoep. 


CaUle. 


Calves. 


Hoge. 


January, - 


1,544 


671 


225 


220 


Febrnary, 


- 1,066 


572 


485 


158 


March, 


554 


569 


1.164 


157 


April, - 


501 


463 


1,948 


134 



Total, - 3,665 
* Gazette, November 30. 



2,275 3,822 669 

t December 12, 1817. 



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FLY MARKET. 235 

In the year 1818 another report shows all the animals sold at the 
four principal markets, from January Ist to September 30, 1818 : 

Cattle Calves. Sheep. Hoga 

Ply Market, - 4,402 9,105 19,154 1,725 
Washington, - - 3,168 5,539 14,412 605 

Catharine, - 3,616 5,210 14,384 332 

Centre, ... 617 1,186 4,857 60 



Total, • 11,913 21,040 52,307 2,722 

" The above is a tme copy of the returns of the Deputy Clerks of 
the different markets/' 

The subject of removing this market-place from Maiden Lane had 
begun several years before it was accomplished. 

Petitions for and against it were presented at intervals; some 
said: *'It was an unfit place, being over a sewer, which in the sum- 
mer-time is considered very unhealthy ; that it blocked up the street, 
80 much so, that mercantile business was partially stopped." And 
others, again, " Because its trade was decreasing f and no doubt this 
latter was the greatest cause, as the new Washington Market was 
beginning to be the attraction, both for the country people on the 
North River side, and great numbers of our citizens. In Janu- 
ary, 1816, a committee reported on the expediency of removing it^ 
and ''that the ground at Beekman's Slip, Front Street, Crane's 
Wharf, and East River, should be the site fixed upon;" which was 
adopted, (by a vote of 12 to 5,)* but not carried out at this period; 
and no doubt the cause was, that more opposition had been made to 
it than had been expected, especially from the press. The Gazette, 
August 19, 1819, has rather a sensible " communication " upon the 
subject, which says : " The public mind has been long occupied with 
the question — Ought the Fly Market to be removed? The question 
appears to be at rest by a resolution passed by our Corporation to 
remove it to Crane's Wharf. This resolve has not been put into 
execution ; nor, unless my judgment is extremely erroneous, is it at 
all likely it will be. Perhaps the question never was discussed with 
so much obstinacy as it is at this time in the Common Council. 

"The enormous sum required for the completion of the project, the 
pressure of the times, the difiSciilticj? with the owners of property, 
the advantages to accrue to the Corporation by selling the property 
prepared for the market, are urged with vehemence on the one side ; 
while the other, with equal warmth, call for its removal by every 
consideration of their high and responsible stations as guardians of 
the public health, and solicitous for the public good. The present 
* N. T. Spectator, January 3. 



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FLY MARKET. 

Bite of the Fly Market is undoubtedly best suited for the conven- 
ience of citizens, as the whole community south of it are supplied 
there. The main objection to its present situation is its being so 
confined by the adjacent houses as to render it unhealthy, by the 
unavoidable collection of filth in a narrow street, and want of a 
ft-ee circulation of air." 

The Grand Jury, in the following month of September, presented 
it as a nuisance, and say in their report, that " this market is built 
over a common sewer, conducting the wfliter from Maiden Lane and 
the adjoining streets to the East River. The sewer has no cover- 
ing under the meat market, between Pearl and Front Streets ; but 
the floor of the market, which is loosely laid, is taken up whenever 
it is necessary to cleanse it. On the sides of the market are a 
number of apertures into this sewer, which a.re receptacles of filth 
and garbage from the taverns, fruit-stands, and cook-shops a(^oining 
thereto, creating offensive and pestilential matter, and infecting the 
atmosphere with the most nauseous vapors at this season of the 
year. But although a sense of duty compels the Grand Jury to 
present this market as a nuisance, they are pleased to avow that it is 
in as cleanly a state as its confined situation will admit, but which 
forces on them the conviction that this market ought to be removed 
to a site more favorable to cleanliness and comfort. '^ 

This presentation of the Grand Jury, however, had no effect with 
the Market Committee, who, on the following 24th of January, re- 
ported against the removal ; and, in answer to the several reasons 
urged as causes for the removal of this market, they say : '* Bat 
your Committee cannot perceive any unfitness for the public ac^ 
commodation, or any unhealthiness in the present site of this mar- 
ket, nor any other objection to it, that would not apply with nearly 
equal, if not greater, force to any other situation. They are also 
of opinion that, if this market were removed, the inhabitants of the 
southwesterly part of the city would immediately require a new 
market to be erected for their accommodation somewhere to the 
southward and westward of Maiden Lane. They would then say, 
and with great force, that the Oswego Market, the Exchange Mar- 
ket, and the Fly Market had all been taken away from them, and 
that another ought to be erected for their convenience." 

The business, however, decreased so fast, that the butchers in the 
Upper Market petition on the 27th of May following, and wish to 
be removed to some part of the Lower or Country Market; stating 
that "but little business is done in that part of the market." They 
followed it up the next year, in the month of February, stating that 
they "have several times prayed to be removed; but as their pray- 



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FLY MARK£T. 237 

era have hitherto been in vain, though they have, as they believe, 
been foonded in justice and equity, they have bowed in silent sor- 
row to your honored will. ' But as they are now encouraged by 
many of their much respected and sympathetic brethren in the 
Lower Market^ who will make a voluntary sacrifice of personal in- 
terest to subserve public good, they appeal with confidence, and 
humbly pray that your Honorable Body will be pleased to embrace 
the opportunity offered by the late fire, (which destroyed aU the 
buildings on the proposed site J of erecting a public market, and that 
the butchers at present in Fly Market may be permitted to remove 
to and occupy the stands in said market/' 

The farmers and other inhabitants of Kings County, L. I., who 
attended this market, also " asked to discontinue it." A remon- 
strance from several of the property owners and store-keepers was 
also at that time presented against its removal ; but the fate of the 
Old Fly Market was soon after decided, and the Fulton Market 
was ordered to be built. 

Before this decision was made, however, an interesting display 
took place in the city, part of which pertained to this market. One 
of its most prominent butchers, a great friend and co-worker of the 
New York County Agricultural Society, purchased a number of 
prize cattle at one of their Fairs held at a place called " Mount 
Vernon," (but previously known as " Smith's Folly,") at that day a 
little above " Cato's," on the East Eiver, (now nearly on a line of 
Sixty-first Street,) on the 18th day of March, 1821. 

" 'Premium GatUe.^ — ^Twenty best cattle that have ever been ex- 
hibited in this city, and which obtained the first premium — rvalue 
$100— on the 18th inst., at Mount Vernon, will be offered for sale 
on Saturday, the 17th inst., in Fly Market, by the subscriber, assist- 
ed by many of his worthy friends, who have, in the most handsome 
and generous manner, offered him their services; and he hopes that 
his efforts to promote the agricultural interest of this State will 
meet the approbation and support of a magnanimous and generous 
public. T. Gibbons."* 

After these animals had been dressed, an average of 182^ 9>s. 
of rough-fat was taken from each animal, and in forty butchers' 
carts, handsomely decorated, " was carried through the principal 
streets of the ci^;" while "the 'Star-spangled Banner' was dis- 
played, and the premiums of silver pitchers, Ac, exhibited in the 
first cart.*' Mr. Gibbons announced through the press, " The price 
of this beef will be one shilling a pound." A card from the Debt- 
ors' Prison announced, on the 19th, " With gratitude, the prisoners 

* •'Gftzette," March 16, 1821. 



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238 FLY MARKET. 

in the Debtors' Jail acknowledge the receipt of a plentiful donation 
of * Premium Bee{^ from Mr. Gibbons, and the joint Society of 
Butchers of the Fly Market/' 

The days of the existence of the Old Vlie had become numbered, 
and brought the period when the owners of the fourteen stands, pur- 
chased in 1796, wanted to know what compensation the Corporation 
intended to give them, in lieu of those they intended to take from 
them. So they presented their claim in the shape of a petition, 
dated 13th December, 1821, "stating that the Corporation, in the 
year 1796, caused fourteen new stands in the Fly Market to be sold 
at auction ; and that they were purchased by the petitioners, or 
those from whom the petitioners have bought them. That they un- 
derstood the Corporation intend pulling down and removing said 
market; against which they protest, and request that no measures 
be taken therein, until a compensation is made to the petitioners for 
the loss they will incur by the removal of said market f which was 
referred, and no action taken upon it. It, however, brought forth 
a resolution, on the 2l8t January following, from their friend, 
Alderman Abraham Valentine, "That the voluntary relinquishment 
of fourteen butchers to certain stands in Fly Market, which they 
claim to have purchased from the Corporation, shall not be con- 
strued by the Common Council as invalidating their claims to com- 
pensation.'' Which was adopted. 

The next morning's (22d) "paper" says: "The Fly Market, or, as 
our forefathers used to call it, the VUe, is to be deserted this day. 
The bustle commenced yesterday, and many an epicure, who for 
years has been habitually fatting upon the good things of the Ply, 
will hereafter be gratified by visiting the Pulton Market; and, jj- 
though he cannot dispense with his eating habits, he will soon be- 
come reconciled to his new and daily visits to the more extensive 
one now brought into use." 

Several of the butchers continued their business in the market- 
house, until the tearing down over their heads drove them out. 
Mr. John Seaman (now of stand No. 34, Centre Market,) was at 
that time assisting his father, David Seaman, (the occupant of No. 
71.) and engaged in making sale of a piece of meat to a captain of 
a vessel, and while weighing it, a piece of the roof fell down be- 
tween the traders; which soon closed the last sale made in this 
once famous old market, after having been established one hundred 
and twenty^three years in one place. 

This settled the "Old Market-Place," but the claims which the 
owners of the 14 stands bought of the Corporation in 1796 were 
yet to be settled. With this purpose, on the following 10th day of 



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FLY MARKET. 289 

June, a communication was received by the Counsel of the Board, 
stating that George Manolt, David Seaman, and Albert Fisher had 
commenced action in the Supreme Court against the Corporation for 
the damages which they have sustained by being deprived of their 
8talls in the Old Fly Market, in consequence of its being pulled 
down. Whereupon the Counsel was directed to enter his appear- 
ance for the Corporation, and to defend the suit. It was also re- 
ferred to the Law Committee, '* to employ such additional counsel 
as they may judge proper." 

This suit did not, however, then take place, as there were some 
hopes and promises of settling it with the Corporation ; but after 
waiting two years, it was agreed that but one should go on, and the 
suit was entered in the name of David Seaman against the City, be- 
fore the Honorable Samuel R. Betts ; having as Counsel Peter A. 
Jay and Thomas A. Emmet for plain tiflFs; and for the Corporation, 
M. Ulshoeffer, D. B. Ogden, and William Slosson, Esq., as Counsel. 
On the 19th of July, 1824, the Counsel to the Board reported: 
"That on the 15th instant, the cause of * Seaman' against the Cor- 
poration (one of what are commonly called the butcher causes) was 
tried, and on the 16th a verdict was found for plaintiff of $600." 

This was followed with a petition from the other plaintiffs on the 
25th of October, of which the following is an extract: *'That your 
petitioners therefore caused certain suits to be commenced against 
the Corporation, supposing that if their title should be once settled 
in either of these suits, the Corporation would no longer contest 
their claim to compensation ; that one of these suits was tried on the 
16th of July last, when a verdict was found against the Corpora- 
tion. On this verdict judgment has been rendered — ^no exception 
was taken to the charge of the judge, which was not favorable to 
your petitioners — ^no motion has been made for a new trial — ^no writ 
of error has been brought, but the Counsel for the Corporation have 
acquiesced in this decision. Your petitioners therefore suppose that 
the question of titles may be considered as no longer in controversy, 
and that the amount of compensation due to your petitioners respect- 
ively only remains to be ascertained. It appear^ to your petitioners, 
that in this state of affairs, it cannot be necessary or desirable to in- 
crease expense by protracted litigation, but that an amicable ar- 
rangement may now be made." 

This subject came before the Finance Committee, who reported 
on the following 22d of November, which concludes in these words: 
"On the trial of one of these suits, a verdict of $600 was found for 
the plaintiff, and under all the circumstances of that case, your Com- 
mittee did not deem it advisable to recommend any further defence 



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240 PI'Y MARKET. 

in those suits ; since that trial, the petition now reported on was 
presented to the Board, and referred to your Committee, and they 
have had interviews with the petitioners and their Counsel, Peter 
A. Jay, Esq., and have treated respecting an amicable settlement of 
the matters in question. 

*'The result is, that your Committee have concluded to recommend 
to the Board to allow to the petitioners the amount paid for the 
stalls which they held at the time the market was pulled down, to- 
gether with the interest from that time to the present. 

'^And the petitioners have agreed to accept this compensation, 
together with their expenses; which also your Committee have 
agreed should be allowed to them. Your Committee have been in- 
duced to recommend this liberal settlement towards the petitioners, 
not only because of the verdict of the jury before referred to, but prin- 
cipally from the peculiar hardship of the case of some of the peti- 
tioners, who paid very large sums of money for these stalls to others 
from whom they purchased, and not long before the market was 
pulled down. It is true that this Board have not been parties to 
these transfers in but few instances ; and in none, as your Commi^ 
tee believe, also, they ever countenanced the idea that the purchaser 
was to hold beyond the life of the original purchaser by auction. 
But these are questions that your Committee do not mean to enlarge 
upon; they have met the claimants in a spirit of liberality and 
amity, and have concluded to recommend a compromise to the 
Board, as before stated, and with the express understanding on both 
sides that, in case this proposition should not be accepted by the 
Board, neither this report, nor such proposition, nor anything that 
has taken place in regard thereto, shall be considered as prejudging 
any right on either side. The case of Seaman being disposed of as 
above stated, the claims of thirteen of the stalls in question alone 
remain ; and the annexed statement shows the numbers of the stalls 
sold at auction, which the petitioners either bought then or pur- 
chased since ; it also shows the names of the petitioners ; the amount 
paid for each stall; the amount of interest on each sum; the total 
of each claim ; and adding the expenses agreed to be allowed as be- 
fore stated, it makes a total sum of $10,272.46. 

" Your Committee therefore offers for the consideration of the 
Board the following resolution : 

''Besdved, That in case all the petitioners shall, on or before the 
next meeting of this Board, make and execute a proper release or 
releases in the premises, which shall be considered sufficient by the 
Finance Committee, (who may require security in any instance that 
they may think proper,) the Comptroller shall report a warrant in 



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PLY MARKET. 



241 



fkvor of Peter A. Jay, Esq., for the total sam above named; and 
which shall be delivered to Mr. Jay on his delivering to the Comp- 
troller the said release and his receipt for the amounts." Signed, 
Reuben Munson, William H. Ireland, Henry J. Wycoff, and William 
Burtsell. 

The "Board'' approved the report, adopted the resolution, and 
the whole was acceded to by all the petitioners who represented these 
various stands at this date, as follows : 

Na Names. 

59. William Foster, - 

60. Michael Crawbuck, 

61. Cornelius Schuyler, 

62. Nath. Underbill, 

63. Albert Fisher, - 

64. Elnathan Underhill, 

65. Lanning Ferris, - 

66. Joseph 0. Bogart, 

67. Daniel Winship, Jr. 

68. George Messerve, 
Daniel Winship, - 
John Pell, - - - 
David Seaman, - 
George Manolt, - 



69. 
70. 
71. 
72. 



C<»tiii£. 


Int. 


iDterat 


Total 


•X200 


$500 00 


1100 62 


$600 62 


- 210 


525 00 


105 65 


630 65 


- 175 


487 50 


88 04 


525 54 


- 150 


376 00 


75 47 


450 47 


- 180 


450 00 


90 57 


540 57 


- 280 


700 00 


140 88 


840 88 


- 165 


412 50 


83 25 


495 52 


- 310 


775 00 


155 85 


930 85 


- 170 


425 00 


85 53 


510 53 


• 320 


800 00 


161 00 


961 00 


- 205 


512 50 


103 15 


615 65 


- 285 


712 50 


143 40 


855 90 


- (Test 


case at law settled.) 




• 530 


1,325 00 


266 65 


1,591 65 



For expenses, taxes, costs, Ac, allowed, 



Settlement for the whole amount. 



$9,549 83 
- - 722 63 

- $10,272 46 

Thus terminated the career of the once famous " Old Fly Market ;" 
but many old citizens and merchants near it had become so partial 
to the name, that they continued to use it even after the last vestige 
of the old nmrket-house had disappeared. An old and a well-known 
highly respected firm, yet in existence, at that period says in an ad- 
vertisement: "Just published by E. & Q. W. Blunt, No. 147 Fly 
Market, a Chart of the Harbor of New York, with the Coasts of Long 
Island and New Jersey, from Fire Island to Barnegat Inlet, Ac.*" 

In concluding the history of this market-place, we may say that, 
while in existence, it could claim the merit of being the best, and 
most liberally supplied with all the various articles used for human 
food, in the United States. 



Vol. L— 16 



' American, Deeember IS, 1823. 



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242 MEAL OR WALL STREET MARKET. 



"MEAL OR WALL STREET MARKET." 

On the 4th day of October, 1709, " the inhabitants of the East 
Ward piititioned for liberty to erect a market-house at the south 
end of Clark's Slip, at the east end of Wall Street;" and permission 
was granted to them " to erect the same at their own charge, pro- 
vided it be finished within two years from date." 

For more than fifty years previous, a noted tavern had been kept 
near where this market was to be established, which appears to have 
been the resort of country people from Long Island, who usually put 
up here when visiting the city. It was the first house inside of the 
wall or city gate, which opened on the present line of Pearl Street. 
This tavern was established by Daniel Litschoe, who died about the 
year 1660, when his widow continued the business for a number of 
years ; but having become advanced in life, she sold her property to 
the Jew butcher, Asser Levy, who continued it,* and (with his part- 
ner, Gerrit Jansen Roos,) he also kept the neighboring ** Public 
Slaughter-House." After that period, there appears to have been a 
noted public-house kept near the same place. The old Coffee-House 
afterwards became famous, which was followed by the celebrated 
" Tontine," both being in that vicinity. 

This market-place, soon after its erection, became rather a favor- 
ite place for the merchants to meet to transact their business, and it 
has not lost its character yet on that point; the only difference is a 
slight change In the business. In the " olden time," " all negro and 
Indian slaves that are let out to hire, within this city, do take up 
their standing in order to be hired at the marke^house at the Wall 
Street Slip, until such time as they are hired, whereby all persona 
may know where to hire slaves as their occasion shall require, and 
all masters discover where their slaves are so hired ;"t and now a very 
large business is done there with the products of slave labor. 

At that early period the masters, when they had no work for their 
slaves, (many of whom were Indians,) sent them to this market-place, 
where they were obliged to wait during business hours until hired, 
which would sometimes be by the day, week, or month ; however, 
they were occasionally a great deal of trouble to their masters and 
employers, no doubt in consequence of ill-treatment, neglect, and 
being improperly cared for ; and, of course, the slaves were usually 

• Valentine. f Records. November 30, 1711 



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MEAL OR WALL STREET MARKET. 243 

laasy, vicioiiB, fhievish, and at times revengeful, although many strin- 
gent orders and laws were made to keep them in order. As early 
as 1690 they were not allowed to cross the ferry either way, as it 
was "Ordered that the fferryman shall not bringe or sett over any 
negroes or slaves uppon the Sabbath daye without a tickett from 
their masters." 

In 1706 Gk>vemor Cornbury issued the following proclamation: 
" Whereas, I am informed that several negroes in Kings County 
have assembled themselves in a riotous manner, which, if not pre- 
vented, may prove of ill consequence : You, the Justice of the Peace 
in the said county, are hereby required and commanded to take all 
proper methods for the seizing and apprehending all such negroes as 
shall be found to be assembled in such manner as aforesaid, or have 
run away or absconded from their masters or owners, whereby there 
may be reasons to suspect them of ill practices or designs, and to 
secure them in safe custody ; and if any of them refuse to submit, 
then i^Jire upon them, hiU or destroy them, if they cannot otherwise 
be taken ; and for so doing this shall be your sufficient warrant. 
Given under my hand, at F(yrt Ann, the 22d day of July, 1706. 

" COBNBUBY." 

Then we find, in the year 1712, a great excitement was made 
among the citizens in consequence of a conspiracy or rising of the 
negro slaves in this city. Horsmanden says : "On the 7th of April, 
about one or two o'clock in the morning, the house of Peter Van 
Tilburgh was set on fire by the negroes, who being armed with guns, 
knives, Ac, killed and wounded several white people as they were 
coming to assist in extinguishing the flames. Notice thereof being 
soon carried to the fort, His Excellency, Governor Hunter, ordered 
a cannon to be fired from the ramparts to alarm the town, and de- 
tached a party of soldiers to the fire, at whose appearance those vil- 
lains immediately fled, and made their way out of town as fast as they 
could, to hide themselves in the woods and swamps. In their flight 
they also killed and wounded several white people ; but being close- 
ly pursued, some concealed themselves in barns, and others sheltered 
in the swamps or woods, which being surrounded and strictly guard- 
ed till the morning, many of them were then taken. Some, finding 
no way for their escape, shot themselves. The end of it was, that after 
these foolish wretches had murdered eight or ten white people, and 
some of the confederates had been their own executioners, nineteen 
more of them were apprehended, brought npon their trials for a 
conspiracy to murder the people, Ac, and were convicted and exe- 
cuted; and several more that turned evidence were transported." 

Governor Hunter, in a letter dated June 12, (same year,) to the 



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244 MEAL OB WALL STBEfiX MARKET. 

" Lords of Trade/' gives the following particulars eoncenung it: 
" I mast now give your lordships an aocoont of a bloody conspiracy 
of some of the slaves of this place to destroy as many inhabitants 
as they could. It was put in execution in this manner: Wh^n 
they had resolved to revenge themselves for some hard usage they 
apprehended to have received from their masters, (for I can find no 
other cause,) they agreed to meet in the orchard of Mr. Crook, the 
middle of the town ; some provided with fire-arms, some with swords, 
and others with knives and hatchets; this was the sixth day of 
April ; the time of meeting was about twelve or one o'clock in the 
night ; when about three-and-twenty of them were got togeather, one 
Coffee and negro slave of one Van Tilburgh set fire to an out-house 
of his master's, and then repairing to the place where the rest were, 
they all sallyed out-togeather w^^ their arms, and marched to the 
fire; by this time the noise of fire spreeding through the town, the 
people began to flock to it; upon the approach of severall, the slaves 
fired and killed them ; the noise of the guns gave the allarm, and 
some escaping their shot, soon published the cause of the fire, whidi 
was the reason that not above nine Christians were killed, and 
about five or six wounded ; upon the first notice, which was very 
soon after the mischief was begun, I ordered a detachment from the 
Fort, (Oeorge,) under a proper officer, to march agltinst them, but the 
slaves made their retreat into the woods, by the favour of the night; 
having ordered centries the next day in the most proper places on 
the Island to prevent their escape, I caused the day following the 
militia of this town and of the County of Westchester to drive the 
island, and by this means and strict searches in the town, we found 
all that put the design in execution ; six of these having first laid vio- 
lent hands upon themselves, the rest were forthwith brought to their 
tryal before y^ Justices of this place, who are authorized by act of 
Assembly to hold a court in such cases. In that court were twenty* 
seven condemned, whereof twenty-one were executed, one being a 
woman with child, her execution by that meanes suspended ; some 
were burnt, others hanged, one broke on the wheel, and one hung 
a live in chains in the town. One Mars, a negro man slave to 
one Mr. Regnier, was twice indicts and ttoice tryed, and again ac- 
quitted, but not discharged ; and being a third time presented, was 
transferred to the Supream Court, and there tryed and convicted on 
y^ same evidence on his two former tryals: this prosecution was car- 
ryed on to gratify some private pique of Mr. Bickley's against Mr, 
Begnier, a gentleman of his own profession, which appearing so par* 
tial, and the evidence being represented to me as very defective, 
and being wholly acquitted of ever having known anything of the 



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MEAL OB WALL STREET MARKET. 245 

eonspirracj by the negroe witnesses, I thought fit to reprieve him till 
Her Miyestie's pleasure be known therein."* 

The ''City Records" also show some of the particulars, and the 
punishments awarded to a few of the culprits, of which the follow- 
ing are among the most prominent who were tried and convicted : 
Clause^ the slave of Allen Jarrott, with Qnacoo, slave of Abraham 
Provoost, and Sam, slave of Peter Fauconieier ; also Robin, who 
stabbed his master, Adrian Hoghlandt, in the back, and killed him : 
all were convicted of murder, but their mode of punishment appears 
quite different. Clause was ''broke upon a wheel." Bobin was 
hung in chains alive, and " so continue without any sustenance until 
he be dead." Quacco was burnt, and Sam was hung. Nicholas 
Rosevelt also had a slave named Tom, who was " burned with a 
slow fire until he be dead and consumed to ashes," as was also Ruth 
Shepard's Tunis. Ephraim Pierson, a "constable of the watch," 
was badly wounded by Jacob Regnier's Mars: his punishment was 
to " be stripped from the middle upwards and tyed to the tail of a 
cart, at the City Hall, and be drawn from thence to the Broadway, 
and from thence to the Custom-House ; thence to Wall Street, and 
from thence to the City Hall again ; and that he be whipped upon 
the naked back, ten lashes att the corner of every street he shall 
pass,^nd that he afterwards be discharged from his imprisonment, 
paying his fees, <!kc." 

The Sheriff, Francis Harrison, Esq., was ordered to be paid £36 
lOs. for cost of " iron-work, gibbets, cartage, and laborers, fire- 
wood, and other materials and expenses for the execution of sev- 
eral negro slaves, for murders by them committed in April last." 

Negro slaves, when they suffered death for committing crime, 
were not always a total loss to their masters; the authorities were 
usually appealed to, through petition, for the amount of a valua- 
tion made by persons who no doubt dealt or were in the trayd; 
and such valuation was paid by Government. 

The following petition on this subject was before the Board Sep- 
tember 19, 1719, asking "for payment of a negro belonging to 
Hermannus Burgher,blacksmith,who is to suffer death for burglary." 
"That your petitioner is a poor, aged, and lame man, and hath 
nothing whereby he may sustain himself but the labor of a negro 
man slave, named Harry, who is now under sentence of death, and 
therefore, as your petitioner hath reason to believe, execution will 
be speedily done. But your petitioner being informed that there is 
an act of General Assembly in force for allowance of a certain 
sum of money to the owners of such slave or slaves as shall be le- 
* CoL Hiat, ToL t., p. 34L 



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246 MEAL OB WALL STBEBT KABKBT. 

gaily put to death — he therefore prays he may have the benefit of 
the said act; and as in duty bound, &c. Harjcany8 Buoeb." 

The value of his slave was referred to the following gentlemen, 
who reported as follows : '' We, Alburtus Bosch and Nichlas Maet- 
taysan, being desired of Harmanus Burger to vallow the slave 
called by the name of Herry, now in prison, are of opinion that he 
is worth sixty pounds, if hee was to be bought by any of our trayd: 
as witnesses our hands, &c., September 3, 1719.'^ 

Eight years after, the punishment for passing false bills of credit 
is meted out to a couple of individuals in a style which I think 
would deter or make such kind of businesd very unfashionable at 
the present day. "At a Supreme Court of Judicature held at the 
City Hall of the City of New York, the fourth of December, 1727, 
were presented for sentence David Wallace and David Willson, 
having at the last Court been convicted of a cheat, in passing some 
bills of credit of the Province of New Jersey, were now brought 
to the bar, and received the following sentence^ viz. : That the said 
David Wallace and David Willson do stand in the pillory between 
the hours of ten and eleven in the forenoon of the same day, (12th 
inst.,) and after that be placed in a cart, so as to be publickly seen, 
with halters about their necks, and carted thro' the most publick 
streets in this city ; and then be brought to the public Whipping- 
Post, and there David Wallis, on his bare back, to receive thirty- 
nine stripes, and David Willson twenty-eight stripes. And within 
some convenient time after, the Sheriff shall deliver said prisoners 
at the Ferry-House in Kings County, and on the third Tuesday in 
January next they shall be set on the pillory, and then Wallis to re> 
ceive at Flatbush thirty-nine stripes, and Willson twenty-eight. 
Then they shall be conveyed to Jamaica, in Queens County, and 
there, on the fourth Tuesday in February, to stand on the pillory, 
and afterwards each of them to receive the same number of stripes. 
Then to be conveyed to Westchester, and there, on the fourth Tues- 
day in March, to stand on the pillory, and then at the Whipping- 
Post Wallace to receive twenty stripes on the bare back, and 
Willson ten. After which, at the end of King's Bridge, they shall 
be delivered to the High Sheriff of the City of New York, and from 
that time, Wallace to remain in prison six months, and Willson 
three months. And then each to be discharged, paying their fees!" 

The Laws of 1720 notice this market as the Market-House at 
Wall Street Slip; and the "Proceedings" on the 16th of November, 
same year, order, "That the neighborhood of the WaU Street 
Market-House have liberty to remove the said market-house higher 
up into the said street, or repair it where it now stands, at their 



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HEAL OR WALL STREET MARKET. 247 

own proper cost and charge." Six years after, a law was ordained, 
that the market-house " commonly called WaU Street Marhet-Hotise 
is hereby appointed a public market-place for the sale of all sorts 
of com, grain, and meal ; and that from and after the 25th day of 
March next, (1726,) no corn, grain, or meal be sold in publick mar- 
ket within this city at any other place" but at this market, under a 
heavy penalty. 

After this period, it became usually known in the " papers' adver- 
tisements" as the Meal Market, until it ceased to exist. Lyne's 
Map, 1729, marks it down. No. 10, Meat Market; which no doubt 
was the printer's mistake, as no cut meat was allowed to be sold in 
it until about 1740, when an ordinance was passed, "allowing 
country people to cut meat up," and also in the Broadway Market; 
which fact is more particularly referred to in the history of that 
market, 

Bradford's Gazette, 1734, says : " To be sold by John Briggs, at 
his shop^ at the corner of the Meal Market, all sorts of Drugs and 
Medicines by wholesale." I don't suppose there is at present a 
shop in that neighborhood that sells at wholesale, or even one at re- 
tail. The " Weekly Post Boy " of 1743 notices their " new printing- 
office is removed from Hanover Square to Hunter's Key, (Quay J 
about midway between the Old Slip and Meal Market" "The 
printer hereof" (" Mercury," April 29, 1754, says,) " is now moved 
next door to Mr. Robert 0. Livingston, in Queen (Pearl) Street, 
between the Fly and Meal Markets" The same paper. May 6, 
notices " European and India Goods — to be sold by Richard Van 
Dyck, at his store in Hanover Square, near the Meal Market" 
The same paper, March 3, 1760, has — "To be sold at public ven- 
due, on Wednesday, the 12th of March inst., a large and convenient 
dwelling-house, with the lot of ground thereunto belonging, on the 
corner of Wall Street and Queen Street, opposite to the Meal 
Market, neare the Merchants' Coffee-House, now in the occupation 
of Mr. Daniel Bright." 

We look back into the Records in the year 1737, when we find 
•* William Cornell " had — " Farmed (or leased) the ferry between 
this city and Island of Nassau, (L. LJ and petitioned to amend and 
enlarge the market-hotise at Clark's Slip, (then aJt the foot of WaU 
Street,) as it is mightily out of repair, and sundry conveniences 
wanting for the better landing and preserving the ferry-boats, at 
their own cost and charges, with the assistance of such as will con- 
tribute to the same." Which privilege was granted. 

The year previous, Joseph Reade had repaired this market-house^ 
at a cost of £28, lOs., lOd., upon which he had received X25, lOs., 



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248 MEAL OB WALL STREET MARKET. 

8d., "raised by subscription and money receired;'' learing a bal- 
ance of X3, 68., 2d., which the Corporation agrees to make up. 

William Cornell, on the 15th of May, 1739, petitioned for abate- 
ment of rent for the ferry, and pleads, " That he has sustained very 
considerable loss by the spreading of the ttmaUrpox, which deters 
both strangers and travelers from comeing to town, and the country 
people from coming to market as usual. That your petitioner's 
family was very soon visited with the said distemper, and by it had 
the misfortune to loose tv)o fine negro men^ for which he g^ve one 
hundred and ten pounds^ besides a young negro woman, born in his 
own family, of great value. That when he first took the ferry, he 
ofiered sixty-five pounds per annum rent more than the former ten- 
ant had g^ven, and had provided himself with boats, negroes, and 
all other conveniences, at a very great charge and expense, in order 
to perform his duty and gain a comfortable subsistence for himself 
and family, which was all he expected thereby. But as it pleases 
Almighty God still to suffer the distemper to spread, and continue 
not only in the city, but also in many parts of the country, your 
petitioner's loss does daily continue; and unless he be relieved by 
the charity of this Board, in an abatement of the great rent be is 
to pay, he knows not when or where his losses will end," Ac. The 
Board, " upon mature consideration, ordered that the sum of sixty- 
five pounds be abated out of this year's rent." 

The small-pox was, no doubt, brought into the city the latter part 
of the year previous, as the authorities were, in the month of June, 
adopting such sanitary regulations as were then proposed, in conse- 
quence of the '* fears and apprehensions of the citizens that the 
small-pox and malignant feavers being brought into the city from 
South Carolina, Barbadoes, Antigua, and other places where the 
same diseases of late have been attended with great mortality." 
It was ulso stated at a meeting of the Council at *' Fort George," 
27th June, "That the * small-pox ' was pretty rief at South Carolina, 
and that a purpled or spotted feaver began to spread there." One 
of the pilots for this port was ordered " to be constantly in waiting 
at or near Sandy Hook, and go on board all vessels bound hither, 
and acquaint all masters that it was the order of the Board, that 
before they come within this harbour, they first anchor near Bed- 
low's Island, to be examined by Doctor Roelof Eiersted, who was 
appointed for that purpose." 

This Doctor Kiersted was a descendant of Doctor Hans Kiersted,* 
who emigrated from Holland about 1636, and died in the year 1666, 
leaving several descendants who have followed his profession. The 
• See " Markei-Plaoe »t the Stnod.'* 



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IfBAL OB WALL 8TRE6T MARKET. 249 

well-known and highly-esteemed citizen, Qeneral Henry T. Eiersted, 
is also one of the descendants, and one of the oldest and most popn- 
lar druggists in the city. For forty years he has kept an excdlent 
store on the comer of Broadway and Spring Street, from whence he 
lately removed to the corner of Broadway and Forty-sixth Street, 
where yet he prepares a valuable ointment from a recipe leSt by his 
ancient forefather, Doctor Hans Kiersted. 

About this period (1732) the established ferry rates between Long 
Island and New York were, " For transporting every person, two- 
pence in bills of credit current in this colony; and if after sunset, 
douUe that rate. For every horse or beast, one shilling; calf or 
hogj/ow-penoe; sheep or lamb, threepcMie; dead hog, threepence; 
dead sheep, lamb, or calf, twopence; bushel of grain, one penny. For 
every waggon,/i;e ahiUings; for every gammon of bacon, turkey, or 
goose, one halfpenny ; and for every hundred of eggs, three egge,^* &c. 

interesting scenes are said to have been sometimes enacted at the 
ferry; often in the payment of the ferriage. *' Among the rates 
fixed was one giving to the ferryman three eggs for every hundred 
carried to market, which put the women and girls to no small in- 
convenience, in stopping, when on their way to market, to have their 
^gs counted ; besides, it must have occasioned no trifling merriment 
to travelers, to see the ferryman overhauling the eggs, and arranging 
them in rows on the sand, where he and the females occasionally 
disputed about the numbers and the amount of duty, which often led 
to a second or third counting before the contested point could be 
settled.'' 

The accounts given of the winter of 1739 and '40 describe it as a 
severe one, when the farmers on Long Island were ''in so great 
want of fodder for their cattle in several places, that 4 cows are 
given to have one returned in May ; and that the cold has been f» 
severe that even deer, squirrels, and birds have been found froeen 
to death. Great quantities of sheep have perished. Wood sold this 
day for 40 shillings per cord." 

The first regular butcher stands in this market were introduced 
in the month of May, 1740, wh«i Oharles Dawson and Isaac Yarian 
leased two of them. The principal business done here, however, 
was by the country people with their surplus grain, flour, and meal, 
which they brought altogether in bags, when, if noiscrid on the flrst 
day, the arrangements were so unsatiBliBetory, they were obliged 
to store it in the neighboring shops until the next market-day ; and 
then, when sold, if the purchasers were not satisfied with the weight, 
it must again be carried to these shops and reweighed at an addir 
tional cost. This, however, was remedied in the month of Septent- 



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250 VEAL OR WALL STREET MARKET. 

ber, 1740, by the Council, who "Ordered that Mr. John Marschalk 
have liberty at his own expense to make such conveniences as he 
shall think proper in the meed market^ for storing meal brought to 
market there, and providing scales and weights for weighing the 
same, and to receive a reasonable reward for storing and weighing 
the same." 

Another affliction visited the city, both in the summers of 1742 
and '43, which was then known as an epidemical distemper or pUzgue^ 
no doubt the yellow fever. The population of the city was then 
about 10,000 inhabitants, and so fatal was it in 1743 that an average 
number of deaths, for three months, was 17 weekly, with large num* 
bers out of the city. "An account of persons in the City of New 
York, from the 25th of July to the 2Sth of September, 1743,'' is 
given by the Mayor, John Cruger: " Children 51, grown persons 
114, in all 165. From the 26th of September to the 22d of October, 
children 16, grown persons 86, in all 52. And do find by the b^st 
information I have of the doctors, &c., of this city, that the late dia^ 
temper is now over."* 

The fatality of the " Small-Pox," through the winter of 1742-3, 
kept the usual supplies from the city, together with the necessary 
wants of the increased number of shipping which visited New York, 
caused provisions to advance very much in price. In the month of 
February, 1743, a committee was appointed '' to meet such of the 
practitioners of the law as they think convenient to desire their 
opinion, whether this Corporation can by any law, and in what 
manner, prevent persons buying quarters of beef in the markets an^ 
dapping of the same, which has greatly raised the price of beef to 
the inhabitants." A continuation of high prices appears to have 
ruled for several years. In fact, when prices are raised from 
scarcity, a mere supply will not reduce them ; but it demands a con* 
tinuous surplus or glut to bring them down again. 

These high prices were again greatly assisted from the long cold 
winter of 1746-7, which caused a great scarcity of fuel as well as 
provisions. This fact is particularly noticed in the " Press," Feb- 
ruary 9th, 1747 : " The deplorable circumstances this city is under 
from a long series of cold and freezing weather is matter of conoem 
to all ; this now not only hinders our foreign navigation, but occa- 
sions our fire-wood to be so scarce and dear as was never equaled 
here before; the price being from 40s. to 58s. a cord, and almost 
half of the inhabitants in want. Provisions also are excessive dear. 
A good turkey, which scarcely ever before exceeded 3s. 6d., has 
lately been sold for 5s. ; a fat fowl for 15d. ; a pound of butter for 
14d.| and many things proportionable." 

* American Magazine, October 24, 1743. 



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MEAL OR WALL STREET MARKET. 251 

For several seasons high prices continued, and this (with the nni- 
versal practice, as it is at the present day, of selling '' small meats" 
by the quarter, and especially when the quarters are very small and 
light ; and also the meat from the large animals by the piece, when 
a much smaller-sized piece was given for a sixpence, or a shilling, 
than was formerly given,) gave considerable dissatisfaction, and no 
doubt caused an addition to the market laws in the month of May, 
1749: ''That from and after the first day of April next, no beef, 
pork, veal, mutton, and lamb, shall be sold in any of the public mar- 
kets of this city by any butcher, country people, or others, in any 
other manner than by the pound, under the penalty of ten shilling^ 
for every offence." The enactment of this law was thought expe- 
dient and necessary, in order that the butchers and others might not 
plead ignorance for want of information. 

But a few months after this law was passed, when the following 
was announced through the press: " It must at last give some ideas 
of comfort to the poor people of this city, as well as to the honest 
trading part, that provisions must soon fall from the exorbitant 
price which they have been held at here for upwards of twelve 
months past." 

The legitimate business of this market-place after 1750 began to 
fail, while another had arisen. Mercantile trading, with sales at 
vendue almost daily, had begun to encompass it. The *' fast" mer- 
chants of that day were springing up, with little or no veneration 
for antiquity in any form, (except the almighty dollar with very 
plain pillars,) and more especially for this then old market-house, 
which stood upon the grounds of their future wealth and prosperity. 
Their peculiar looks when the old market-house crossed tiieir obs^ 
vation, if interpreted into speech, would have been, that its absence 
would be more agreeable than its presence. However, it stood 
until 1760, when we find Gilbert Outen Bogert and Robert Grobum 
were ordered to be paid "forty-three pounds and five-pence in full 
for work done and materials found and provided to repair the Meed 
Market and the dock and drain." 

This repairing, however, did not save it, as a strong petition was 
before the Board, February 23, 1762, " from several persons living 
near the Meal Market ask for its removal." They state, '' that they 
conceive the building called the Meai Market, in the East Ward 
of this city, is of no real use or advantage, either to the community 
in general, or with the inhabitants living near thereto ; that poultry 
and other country produce being generally carried to other markets, 
and no provisions are sold in the Meal Market, except by a few 
butchers, who might be as well accommodated with standings in 



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252 FLATTEK BARRACK M ARKET-PLAOE. 

other markets in this city. That the said building greatly obstmcts 
the agreeable prospect of the East River, which those that live in Wall 
Street would otherwise eiyoy — occasions a dirty street, offensive to 
the inhabitants on each side, and disagreeable to those who pass and 
repass to and from the Goffee-Honse, a place of great resort," Ac. 
The Board ordered it to be removed and aflSxed to the " Broadway 
Mai-ket," which at this period was generally known as Oswego Mar* 
kef; '^and to remove so much of the materials of said market as 
will suflSce to make a platform over the common sewer, which would 
be uncovered by the removal" of the old building. 



FLATTEN BARRACK MARKET-PLACE. 

1711. The establishment of this market-place was caused by the 
seizure of all the market-houses in the city, except one, {Old Slip,) 
to build battoes in, by the order of Governor Hunter, in 1711, when 
the English, being then at war with the French, were secretly or* 
ganizing an expedition to surprise the French in Canada. 

This order was placed before the Board on the 28th of June of 
that year ; when they ordered, ** That all the market-houses of this 
city (except that at Burger's Path) be set apart for the conveniency 
of building the said battoes, and for no other use or service whatso- 
ever, until the same be compleat and finished ; any former law, order 
or ordinance of this Corporation to the contrary hereof in any wise 
notwithstanding." 

This deprived the butchers, country people, and the inhabitants 
of their usual accommodations for a period ; but their wants were 
soon after supplied by the establishment of this then intended tem- 
porary market-place, on the following 7th of September, when it 
was ''Ordained, that the north end of Broad Street, between the 
City Hall of this city and the cross street which goes from the 
Broadway to the Dutch Church, be and is hereby appointed, order- 
ed, and established a public market-place of this ci^, in as full and 
ample manner as other public marke^places of this city," and " the 
inhabitants in and about the Broad Street have liberty to erect and 
build such stalls and sheds and other convenyences as shall be direct- 
ed by the Clerk." 

These battoes were flalrbottomed row-boats, and sharp at both 
ends. Kalm says, fliey were "made of boards of white pine; the 
bottom flat, that they may row the better in shallow water; they 



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FLATTEN BARRACK MARKET-PLACE. 2Bi 

are sharp at both ends, and somewhat higher towards the end than 
the middle. They are long, yet not all alike, commonly three and 
sometimes fonr fathoms long. The height from Hie bottom to the 
top of the board (for the sides stand almost perpendicular) is from 
twenty inches to two feet, and the breadth in the middle abont a 
yard and six inches." 

B^^nlar companies of men were organised to take charge of them, 
and for a particular description of the organization of these com* 
panics reference may be made to an order from William Shirley, 
Esq., General and Commander^in-Ohief of His Majesty's forces, in 
the year 1756, which says: ''That the battoemen be formed into 
companies of fifty men each, a captain and an assistant ; each com- 
pany to take charge and navigate 25 battoes, in the most expedi* 
tions and careinl manner they can, in the stations they shall be 
placed. Each man to fnmish himself with a good fusee or mnsket, 
and three ponnds of snitable baUa. Each captdn to be allowed eight 
AiXLinga New Tori currency per day ; each assistant, eix ehUUng$; 
and each battoeman^ four shtUinga per day, and to be found in the 
provisions according to the allowance of the army, and to be frr* 
nished with powder at the expense of the crown.'' They '* are de* 
sired to send in their names to Sur John Sinclair, Deputy Quarter- 
master^General in New York."* 

This market-place appeared to ei\joy no particular name, either 
in the laws, records, or "old papers," and its location being in Broad 
Street, at tiie head of the Canal, near the foot of ''Yerlettenburgh 
Hill," afterwards more generally known as *' Flatten Barrack Hill," 
or Street, I thought it not improper to designate it as the " Flatten 
Barrack Market-PlaoeJ^ 

The Laws of 1720, in noticing all the market-places, say of this: 
"At the north end of Broad Street, between the City Hall of this 
city and the cross street which leads from the Broadway to the 
Dutch Church, be and are hereby appointed one of the publick ma]> 
ket-places of this city." 

This hill or street is marked on Lyne's Map, 1729, as ** Flatten 
Barrack," and at various periods afterwards, with both Verletien- 
burgh and Flatten Barrack^ as the two following notices will show. 
In an advertisement (N. T. Journal) of a house for sale, in the month 
of Marchf 1772: "The neat convenient house and lot of ground at 
the comer of Flattenbarrack HiU, near the old City Hall in Broad 
Street, occupied by Mr. John Coghill Enapp, (Attorney at Law,) 
and subject to the remainder of his lease, three years to come at 
May-day next. The rent twenty-nine pounds per year, and the 
taxes. A good title will be given by the executors to the estate of 

• N. Y. Mmary, Jaonwy 16, 1766. 



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254 FLATTEN BARRAOR MARKET-PLAGE. 

Mary Lashby, deceased.'^ John Jay, on the 3d of January, 1785, 
writes to Mayor Duane, and says: "Ab I intend in the spring to 
build on the east side of the Broadway, near Verleitenburgh, it is 
important for me to know whether the Corporation propose to leave 
that street in its present state, or by lowering it, render the streets 
leading from it to the river practicable for carriages. The present 
condition of the Broadway affords an opportunity for such a regula- 
tion which may never offer again, and the proprietors of the lotts in 
it, from near the Church (Trinity) to the Bowling Green, are ex- 
ceedingly interested in knowing what to expect on that subject, be- 
cause their houses ought to be accommodated to whatever plan may 
be adopted respecting the street. For my part, I am so fully con- 
vinced of the utility of such a regulation, that although my lott lies 
on the east side of the street, and I have no water-lotts to be filled 
up or benefitted by it, yet I would cheerfully contribute towards de- 
fraying any expense that might be occasioned by it. Yours, Ac." 

I am told that the name of Flattenbarrack HiU continued until 
within the last fifty years; and the Old Boys of New York, when 
they happen to meet together in conversation of their youthful pas- 
times, will eulogize the glorious sled-rides they ofttimes had down 
this once famous hill. 

The part of this street running from Broad Street easterly was, at 
an early period, known as Garden Alley, Garden Lane, Church 
Street, and Garden Street, which at an early period led to Mod- 
tayne^s Garden. In 1794 the whole street through, from Broadway 
past the Dutch Church, was called Garden Street ; and since the 
great fire of 1835, and the erection of the Exchange, it is known as 
Exchange Place. 

'*The canal in Broad Street went up originally to the hill called 
Verlettenburgh, since corrupted to Flattenbarrack HiU; the word 
bergh implied a hiU, and verletten meant to stop. The ferry once 
there, at the head or stop of tide-water, furnished a means to bring 
country folks and marketing from Brooklyn and Gowanus, &o.j up 
to the heart of the city,"* or rather to this market-place. 

"This ferry-house," says Mr. Rammey, "was on the corner of 
Broad Street, at the northeast comer of Garden Street, where flat- 
bottomed boats used to come up to from Jersey." " To me," Wat- 
son says, " I confess, it seems to have been a singular place for a 
ferry ; but as tradition is so general and concurrent, I incline to 
think it was so called from its being a resort of country boats com- 
ing there to find a central place for their sales. I have heard the 
names of certain present rich families whose ancestors were said to 
come there with oysters."t 

• WatooD, Annals N. Y., p. ISa f Ibid., p. 182. 



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FLATTEN BARRACK MARKET-PLAGE. 255 

^tir. David Grim told his daughter of there having been a market 
onoe held at the head of Broad Street. This agrees with what O. 
N. Bleecker, Esq., told me, (Watson,) as from his grandmother, who 
apoke of a market at Garden Street, which was in effect the same 
place/'* No doubt this market-place was pretty well attended with 
market (ox) carta, country wagons, Ac. ; and near bj, at the head of 
Broad Street, in front of the City Hall, were placed the imple- 
ments of corporeal punishment — iiie Whipping-Post^ Pillory ^ and 
Stocks — ^where occasionally the citizens assembled to witness the 
various punishments on certain individuals. Mr. Ebbets says: 
*' He has seen them lead the culprits round the town, whipping 
them at the cart-tail."t " They also introduced the wooden horse 
as a punishment. The horse was put into the cart-body, and the 
criminal set thereon. Mary Price having been the first who had 
the infamous distinction, caused the horse ever after to be called 
* the horse of Mary Price.' "t Many faahicmcMe ladies of ques- 
tionable character at that period gave tiie Public Whipper at times 
some delicate trouble, as they then wore unusually large hoops; and 
they were also worn by the negro slaves, and many other '* slaves 
to &8hion" at various periods, of which the following are instances: 
The first symptoms of the "hoop fever" appear to have broken out 
in London in the year 1711, when we find the " Spectator/' July 
26, uses language quite as broad as the bottoms of the ladies' 
dresses, and says: " The fair sex are run into great extravagances. 
Their petticoats are blown up into a most enormous concave. The 
women give out, in defence of these wide bottoms, that they are 
airy, and very proper for the season. Several speculative persons 
are of opinion that our sex has of late years been very saucy, and 
that the hoop petticoat is made use of to keep us at a distance. A 
female who is thus invested in whalebone is sufSciently secured 
against the approaches of an ill-bred fellow, and might as well 
think of Sir George Etherige's way of making love in a tub, as in 
the midst of so many hoops. The first time I saw a lady dressed 
in one of these petticoats, I could not forbear blaming her in my own 
thoughts for walking abroad when she was so near her time; but 
soon recovered myself out of my errour, when I found all the modish 
part of the sex as far gone as herself. Should this fashion get 
among the ordinary people, our publick ways would be so crowded 
that we should want street-room." The " Boston Gazette," in no- 
ticing the London news, June 17, 1724, says: "We hear that a 
young lady at Guilford, upon some discontent, took a lover's leap 
into the river, (Wey,) with a design to cure or drown herself; but 
•Wat80D,AiiiMUN.T.,p. 185. \VM. | See Old 8Up Markst 



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256 FLATTEN BARBACK MARKET-PL AGE. 

her large hoop keeping her above water, and she finding that ele- 
ment too cooling and uncourtly, acreao^ out for help, whidi was 
presently given her, and she was taken oat alive."* Then the news 
from Boston, November 18, 1727, says: ''The late dreadful earth- 
quake was felt at Guilford^ in Connecticut Oolony, 160 miles from 
this place, where it was so violent that it shook down a chimney, 
threw open the door of the minister's house, tolled a bell, removed 
blocks in the chimney-comer and a chest about the floor, and shook 
the houses to a great degree. The shock lasted about a minute. 
A considerable town in this province has been so awakened by this 
awful providence^ that the women have generally laid by their hoop 
petticoats." t "This great earthquake happened on the 29th of 
October, about twenty minutes before eleven in the evening. The 
noise was like the roaring of a chimney on fire ; the sea was vio- 
lently agitated, and the stone walls and chimneys were thrown 
down." "Another great earthquake took place on the 18th of No- 
vember, 1755, at fifteen minutes after four in the morning, and con- 
tinued about four minutes: walls and chimneys were thrown down, 
and clocks stopped." ''On the same day Lisbon was destroyed." t 
This earthquake of 1727, although sensibly felt in New York and 
other States, did not discourage the continuation of wearing hoops, 
and more especially by some of the negro slaves. As late as 1732, 
I find one " Martin Jervis advertises his negro woman 'Jenny' as hav- 
ing ran away ."§ " She had on when she went away a purpled-colored 
peticoat and a drab-colored waistcoat, a blue-and-white striped cot- 
ton and linen peticoat, and a yellowish dest^own, roobed with red, 
a hooped peUcocUj Ac, and a bag of sundry linen." Some fifty years 
after, we fiind the remarks of a dissatisfied individual noticed in the 
Gazetteer, (January 4, 1785,) who says: "The article I mean to 
take notice of is the hoop, which is so universally worn, that it is 
impossible for a person to walk the streets without being frequently 
turned out of the way, and exposed to the annoyance of carts, 
coaches, Ac. I think some method ought to be taken to check such 
an epidemic inconvenience, or to turn it to the public advantage. 
With this view, I would advise the Legislature to impose a tax 
on all hoop$, which would add to the revenue of the State, and 
prevent the lower class from parading the streets enveloped 
with a hoop wide enough for a princess." 

About the year 1855, in a very fashionable city of Europe, a very 
prominent individual again introduced the wearing of %o<^, and it 
was strongly hinted that she wore them to cover her figure; but 

* August 28, 1724 t Upcott's Golleetioiu. 

t History of Lyuk § Weekly Mercury, Phlla., June 11, 1782. 



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FLATTEN BARRACK MARKET-PLACE. 257 

▼hether bo or not, she wore them, and that was enough to set all 
the ladies, or rather females, of every description in every civilized 
coantry in the universe to wear them. If this be so, it will be with 
her pleasure when hoops shall be out of fashion. 

Reverting again to this market-place, we find, in the summer and 
fall of 1731, the markets were poorly supplied with provisions, in 
consequence of the great mortality of the amall-pox. A September 
number of the " Boston News Letter" of that year shows this fact, 
from a letter written in New York, of which the following is an ex- 
tract : '* Here is little or no news in the place ; nothing but the mel- 
ancholy scenes of little business, and less money ; the markets begin 
to grow very thin ; the small-pox raging violently in town, which, 
in a great measure, hinders the country people from supplying this 
place with provisions." In the month of September, " 41 out of 69 
persons died of the small-pox ; and in the first week of October, 61 
died out of 70." 

In the " Upcott Collection" of clippings, in the Library of the 
New York Historical Society, under date of September 27, 1781, 
the following appears : " The small-pox, fever, and flux prevail very 
much in this city, and many children die of the said distempers, as 
well as grown persons; and the country people are afraid to come 
to town, which makes the markets thin, provisions dear, and deadens 
all trade; and it goes very hard with the poor, insomuch that a 
charitable contribution for them is promoted, and one gentleman has 
given 20 pistoles, another £20 towards their relief, and other chari- 
ties are thrown in, according to the circumstances of the benefactors." 
'* The following is an exact account of the burials in New York 
for three weeks, viz., from September 20 to October 11 : 
Of the Church of England, 108 Of Presbyterians, - - 5 
Of the Dutch Church, - 99 Of Negroes,- - - 80 

Of the French Church, - 6 (TotdtJ 248 

Of those died of the small-pox, 185 

Of all (other) distempers, only .... 68 

And for the succeeding fortnight, viz., from October 11 to Octo- 
ber 25, 1731, exclusive of negroes: 

Of the Church of England, 58 Of Lutherans, - - 2 
Of the Dutch Church, - • 66 Of Quakers, • - 1 

Of the French Church, - 2 Of Jews, - - - 1 

Of Presbyterians, - - - 5 125 

" They write that most of these, and of the negroes, who were 
bury'd in this fortnight, died likewise of the small-pox. As this dis- 
temper, therefore, is so very fatal in most of our colonies on the 
continent, where an increase of inhabitants is so very necessary. 
Vol. L— 17 



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258 FLATTEN BARRACK MARKET-PL AOB. 

we can't but conceive, notwithstanding the casnistry of some, and 
the prejadioes of others, that the practice of innoculation, Bkilfolly 
introduced there, woxdd be of uo small benefit to prevent the ravages 
made by it, which sometimes depopnlates whole provinces there, and 
frequently puts a stop to all. manner of business, both public and 
private." 

The ''Gmeral Assembly " had previously been driven from their 
usual place of meeting, as appears from their proceedings on the Slst 
of August, the same year, in consequence of the prevalency of the 
small-pox. Their records say: "Upon information giv^ to this 
house by some of the members^ rumor were spread that a person is 
seized of the small-pox in the very house they now sit; ike mem- 
bers who have not had the distemper (being about one-third of the 
whole number) are determined not to appear any more in the house 
during this session." They '' Resolved, That the house be adjourn- 
ed to the said City Hall accordingly." 

Near this *' market-place " was built the first engine-house to con- 
tain the first two engines used in this dty, which were ordered in 
the month of May, 1731, through a committee, " to agree with some 
merchant or merchants to send to London for two compleat fire- 
engines with suction, and materials thereunto; that the eizes thereof 
be of the fourth and sixth sizes of Mr. Newsham's fire^ngines." The 
Committee reported in the following month, that they had agreed 
with Mr. Stephen De Lancey and John Moore, merchants, at the rate 
of one hundred and twenty per cent, on the foot of the invoice, ex- 
clusive of commissions and insurance, and that the money be paid 
within nine months after the delivery thereof." 

After their arrival, a room in the City Hall was temporarily fitted 
up to secure them ; and no doubt they were first used at a fire no- 
ticed in the " Boston Weekly News," December 7, 1782, from the 
news from New York, which states : " Last night, about 12 o'clock, 
a fire broke out in. a joyner's house in this city ; it began in the gar* 
ret where the people were all asleep, and burnt violently ; but by the 
help of the two fire^ngines, which came from London in the ship 
Beaver, the fire was extinguished, after having burnt down that 
house and damaged the next." 

On the 2d of January, 1788, a Committee was' empowered ^ to 
employ a person or persons forthwith to put the fire-engines in good 
order, and also to agree with proper persons to look after and take 
care of the same, that they may be always in good plight and condi- 
tion, fitt for present use;" and in the month of April, 1786, instruo^ 
tions were given to a Committee to ^' cause a convenient house to 
be made contiguous to the watch-house in the Broad Street, {which 



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FLATTEN BA&RACK MARKET-PLAOE. 259 

location toaa near this- market-place,) for seeming and well-keeping 
the fire-engines of this city f and it was also *' ordered to pay to 
Mr. Anthony Lamb or order, the sum of three pounds three shillings 
and Mree-pence in full of a quarter of a year's sallary, as overseer 
of the fire^ngines, for oil, tallow, and mending an iron hinge for the 
use of the said engines, as appears by his account." 

After this period fire«ngines were built and on sale here, as we 
find: ''A fire-engine that will deliver two hogsheads of water in a 
minute, in a continued stream, is to be sold by William Lindsay, the 
maker thereof. Enquire at the Fighting Cocks, next door to the 
Exchange Goffee-House, New York.''* 

The appoinment of members, as well as the curious laws binding 
them, soon after took place; but the inefficiency of the power of 
these engines is shown when the Trinity Church was on fire in 1753, 
from a commwnication in the month of January, which says: ''It 
hath more than once been observed that our engines are incapable 
of throwing water to such a height as is sometimes necessary. Of 
this we had a dreadful instance when the steeple of Trinity Church 
took fire. On that occasion, we observed, with universal terror, 
that the Engines would scarce deliver the water to the top of the 
roof. The spire, however, was far beyond its reach ; and had not 
Providence smiled upon the astonishing dexterity and resolution of 
a few men, who ascended the steeple within, that splendid and su- 
perb edifice had in all probability been reduced to ashes. We are 
therefore in want of at least one engine of the largest size, which 
throws water about one hundred and seventy feet high. 

''Another thing in which our present method of extinguishing 
fires is capable of further improvement is this: It is usual for peo- 
ple, in case of fire, to form themselves into two lines, the one to con- 
vey the full buckets to the engine, and the other to return the empty 
ones. Now it frequently happens that when the engine is full, word 
is given to ^stop water. ^ This occasions a total cessation in the con- 
veyance of more water to the engine, as well as the greatest con- 
fusion in the ranks; the consequence of which is, that the engine is 
empty before the ranks regain their former regularity, which creates 
a considerable intermission in its playing, and gives tiie fire time to 
resume its fury, and which, if often repeated, requires a much greater 
quantity of water for its total suppression. This inconvenience 
might be easily removed by supplying each engine with a large tvh, 
of at least the size of an hogshead ; which, being made of cedar, 
might be sufficiently strong, and at the same time light enough to be 
portable by two men. This vessel ought to be placed near the en- 

* N. Y. Gasette, Umj 9, 17S7 



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260 THURMAN'S SLIP MARKET-PLACE. 

gine, and all tluB full buckets to be emptied into it. From this ca^ 
paciouB tub three or four men might constantly and equally keep 
the engine replenished, which would enable it to play an equable 
and uniform stream.''* 

The success no doubt continued in this market-place, and the in- 
habitants near petitioned, on the 4th of May, 1738, "for liberty to 
erect a publick market-house, at their own cost and charge, in Broad 
Street, between the 'Watch-House' and the dwelling-house of John 
Lashby ;" which was granted, and a Committee was appointed " to 
stake out the place." This Watch-House was located near the City 
Hall, according to the report of a Committee on the 6th of August, 
1781, in giving a description of the materials to build the Watch- 
House, " at the upper end of the Broad Street, near the City Hall," 
and also from a Map drawn by David Orim, of this city, as it was 
in 1742. No doubt the " house and lot " for sale, noticed before, of 
Mary Lashby's, was the one here noticed as John Lashby's, at the 
corner of Flattenbarrack Street. 

I am inclined to think that no market-house was ever erected 
here, as we find no notices of it in the laws, advertisements, Ac; 
that if used as such after this period, it was principally as a marked 
place where country people in their wagons and other vehicles stop- 
ped to sell their produce. 



THURMAN'S SLIP MARKET-PLAOE. 

1733. A PETITION before the Council, on the 6th of April, 1738, 
from " divers freeholders and inhabitants of the West Ward of this 
city, showeth, that great numbers of farmers and other persons from 
the Jersey side and up the North River do frequently land (with 
their grain and other provisions for the market) at 'Thurman's 
Slip/ which is a very convenient landing, but for want of a public 
market-house there, are very often put to considerable expense and 
great inconvenience for entering and carrying their goods for sale, 
which very much tends to the discouragement of trade in general. 
The petitioners humbly pray the leave and lycense of the Board to 
erect and build, by voluntary contributions, a public market-house in 
some convenient place in said slip." Although their petition was 
granted, yet it was not built, as will appear from further proceedings. 
* Independent Reflector. 



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THURMAN'S SLIP MARKET-PLACE. 261 

The location of this intended market-place was between the 
present Liberty and Coortiandt Streets, on the line of Greenwich 
Street, and at that period just above Ellison's Dock. This was the 
great landing-place for many years, in fact, until the Grown and 
Bear Markets were established, for the market-boats of all sizes, 
and on their arrival a great deal of trading in wood, provisions, Ac, 
was transacted, which in a measure made it a market-place, although 
no market-house was built, nor was it recognized by law. 

Professor Ealm, in his Travels, says: *' As he was sailing up the 
North River," in the year 1748, " all the afternoon (June 10) we 
saw a whole fleet of little boats returning from New York, whither 
they had brought provisions and other goods for sale; which, on ac- 
count of the extensive commerce of this town, and the great number 
of its inhabitants, go off very well." " During eight months of the 
year this (Hudson) river is full of yachts and other greater and 
lesser vessels, either going to New York or returning from thence, 
laden either with inland or foreign goods." "The country people 
come to market in New York twice a week, much in the same man- 
ner as they do at Philadelphia:* with this difference— that the 
markets are here kept in several places." 

" The water-melons, which are cultivated near the town, grow 
very large ; they are extremely delicious, and are better than in 
other parts of North America; though they are planted in the 
open fields, and never in a hot-bed. I saw a water-melon at Gov- 
ernor Clinton's, in September, 1750, which weighed forty-seven 
English pounds^ and at a merchant's in town another of forty-two 
pounds weight; however, they were reckoned the biggest ever seen 
in this country." 

No doubt ihe wealthy baker, John Thurman, who owned consid- 
erable property in Crown {Liberty) Street, wished to improve it by 
having this market-place established near by. From his petition in 
1785, asking for a water-lot in front of one of his on the North River, 
he says, " He was in possession of and in a certain messuage and lot 
of ground in the West Ward of the City of New York, fronting the 
North River, and extending to low-water mark, adjoining to Crown 
Street Slip, and lying on the north side thereof, of the breadth of 
one hundred and ten feet or thereabouts, and in consideration of the 
custom which this Corporation has always been pleased to observe 
in granting to the citizens and freeholders of this city the land or 
water-lotts fronting the several lotts of land of which they have been 



Several years after, Mr. Thurman met with considerable loss here, 

• See Philadelpbia lUrkeli, toU IL 



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262 



THUBMAN'S BLIP MARKET-PLACE. 



by having tux) lives and his dwelling-house destroyed by fire, whioh 
is noticed in the N. Y. Mercury, March 24, 1760, as follows : '' Aboat 
11 o'clock, on the night of the 17 th instant, a terrible fire broke out 
in the loft of a back kitchen belonging to and adjoining the house 
of Mr. John Thurman, at the North River, in this city, occasioned 
through the carelessness of a negro wench, by her sticking a candle 
to a beam in the loft when she went to put her two children to sleep. 
The fire got to a great highth before it was discovered ; soon con- 
sumed the kitchen, a store-house contiguous thereto, and Mr. Thur- 
man's dwelling-house, with the greater part of his furniture ; but the 
flames were prevented from spreading further, though the wind was 
pretty high, owing to the activity of the inhabitants. Mr. Thurman's 
loss is very considerable; the houses being his own property, as well 
as two negro children that perished in the flames." 

In the early part of the year 1788, another petition was presented 
by divers of Ae freeholders and inhabitants of the West Ward, who 
state: "On or about the sixth day of April, 1738, preferred a peti- 
tion to the then Common Council, wherein they prayed leave and ly- 
cense to erect and build, by voluntary contributions, a public market- 
house in some convenient place in ' Thurman's Slip.' It was ordered 
the prayer thereof should be granted, and that the then Aldermen 
and Assistants of the said ward should direct a public market to be 
made and erected in such convenient place thereabout as they should 
judge most requisite for the publick good. Your petitioners cannot 
assign reason for the neglect of the then Aldermen and Assistants 
in not directing a convenient place in the said slip for that purpose. 
Thurman's Slip is a very proper place, and hath a very convenient 
landing ; that great numbers of country people, as well from Tappaa 
and other places up the North River, as from the Jersies, do fre- 
quently land there with provisions and other necessaries for the mar» 
kets, and we have great reason to believe that much greater num* 
bers would frequent and come to it, if proper conveniences were 
made and provided for them* Tour petitioners further humbly pr^ 
sume to beg that a committee may be appointed to direct and ascer- 
tain the place in said slip where a publick market-house may be 
erected," &c. This was signed by the following persons: 
Harmanuis Schuyler, Sarah Lyell, John Thurman, 

James Ackland, Ann Huddlest Petrns Rutgers, 

Jacobus Stoutenburgh, Elenor Morris, David Abeel, 
Evardus Brouwer, Elizabeth Decay, Johannes Brouwer, 

Adam King, 
Mattys. Rack, 
Job Earle, 
Benjamin Cain, 



John Peers, 
Jacob Brouwer, 
Johannis Boogert, 
Jacobus Montanye, 



Harme Stout, 
Johani^esVan Orden, 
Jacob Hoonik, 
James Eenneydy. 



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BBOADWAT MARKET. 263 

A report on fhe above was made on the 12th of April, in the 
irords f<dIowiBg: ''We have viewed the said slip and street, and 
find the same to be twenty-eight and a half feet wide. Unless the 
owners of the land bounding on each eide of the said slip will leave so 
mnch land for the use of this Corporation, aecording to a draft made 
of the said street and slip signed by ns, and have the same recorded 
accordingly, we find no conveniency there to build or erect a mar- 
ket-house/' These refusals did not deter the '' neighborhood,^' but 
caused them to look about for a new location, whioh they found at 
the foot of the street above, which had become, in 1742, known as 
Courtlandt Street. So in the month of July of that year, t^ey again 
petition, that they "haveing an inclination to build a publick markitt^ 
house, at their own cost and charge, in a slipp or street called and 
known by the name of Oortlandes Street, being in the above said 
ward, for flie use of the inhabitants of this city. We humbly pray 
your worshipps to grant and release to us, the petitioners, the pre* 
velidge for bulding such* markitt-house for the use above said.'' This 
was also rejected on the 16th of July following; but thirty years 
after the Grown Market was introduced, to which the reader is 
referred. 

In the year 1764, "Thurman's Dock" was noticed in theN. Y, 
Mercury, on the 16th of December, when " W. Wood " says: " The 
Albany Post Inll set out on the 17th instant for the Gity of Albany 
from Ms house on ThurfMin^a Dock at the North River/' • 



"BROADWAY MARKET." 

1738. The petition for the erection of a markeMioQse in the 
Broadway, near Liberty Street, in 1788, is quite an original in 
style, but no doubt it was drawn up to suit the age. It was 
brought before the "Board " on the 13th of April of that year, of 
which the following appears on record: "Upon a petition which 
was presented by the chiefest part of the Inhabitants ^f the West 
Ward, and also great numbers of the North Ward, live at a great 
distance from any of the publick markett-houses, which makes it 
very unconvenient, and occasions a great loss of time for tiiem and 
their ifervants to attend the markette for their fiunily provirions; 
and as there are great quantities of provisions firequently brought 
from Hack^xsack, Tappan^and othi^r parts up tiie North River, as 



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264 BROADWAY MARKET. 

well as from the Ont-Ward. — The petitioners are willing and de- 
sirous to erect and build at their own expense a convenient mar- 
kett-house for pnblick use — of forty and two feet and twenty-five in 
breadth, in the publick street of the Broadway, in the middle of the 
same, fronting the street in which his Honor the Chief Justice lives, 
and opposite Crown (Liberty) Street — ^to be called the * Broadway 
MarkettrHouse;' that the same be a publick markettrplace for all 
sorts of Com, Grain, and Meal that may be brought down the 
Hudson River, and to be sold at no other marketrplace in this City 
except the pnblick Meal Market in Wall Street." It was ordered 
that " the prayer of the petitioners be granted, and to be finished 
within three months.'' 

The position of this new market-place attracted all the produce, 
such as grain and flour, that came down the North River, as well 
as a great deal from Long Island; and those millers and farmers 
that came by water from a distance were obliged to have their 
slaves to assist them, rowing down to the markets and back, al- 
though they always took advantage of the tides. Many of these 
slaves brought along their perquisites, which they retailed around 
the streets, as it appears they had been in the habit of doing many 
years before. This had introduced an illegitimate sort of traffic 
with the Indians and many negro slaves of the city, who had spare, 
or stolen, time enough to make a little spending-money. It finally 
became so grievous to their masters, that a law was passed, in the 
month of August, 1740, which provided, "After the ringing of three 
bells and proclamation made for silence, was published, ^ A Law to 
prohibit Negroes and other Slaves vending Indian Com, Peaches, 
or any other Fruit within this City.' Whereas, of late years great 
numbers of Negroes, Indians, and Mulattoes, slaves, have made it a 
common practice of buying, selling, and exposing to sale, not only 
in houses, out-houses, and yards, but likewise on the publick streets, 
great quantities of boiled Indian corn, peas, peaches, apples, and 
other kind of fruit; which pernicious practice is not only detri* 
mental to the masters, mistresses, and owners of such slaves, in re- 
gard they absent themselves from their service, but is also produc- 
tive of increasing, if not occasions, many and dangerous fevours, 
and other distempers and diseases in the inhabitants : Therefore, 
Be it enacted and ordained, That any negro, Indian, or mulatto 
slave be convicted before the Mayor, Recorder, Ac, of any of the 
above acts, shall be publickly whipped at the whipping-post, unless 
the master, mistress, shall pay to the person or officer ii^orming of 
such offence the sum of six shillings, current money of this Colony: 
one-half thereof to such informer, and the other half to the Treas- 
urer of this City." 



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BROADWAY MARKET. 265 

Manj of these slaves had become otherwise troublesome, as they 
held daily and nightly cabals, forming themselves into parties or 
clubs, thieving, &c. Some called themselves ''Free Masons;" oth- 
ers after a liquor they were fond of— " Geneva Club;" others 
"Smith Ply Boys;" and others, again, as "Long Bridge Boys." 
We find their influence extended among the slaves of some parts 
of the country, and no doubt this came from the fact that their 
landing-place at the North River was near John Hughson's, the 
head-quarters, where originated the "great negro plot of 1741." 
Hughson's residence was near (the Cooper's, Gerardus,) " Comfort's 
Dock," and directly opposite Comfort's house. (The location now 
is between Thames and Cedar, on the line of Greenwich Street.) 
Near by was the then famous toeU which supplied many of the 
citizens with "Comfort's Tea-Water." 

Hughson was a shoemaker by trade, says Horsmanden, but "kept 
a VQry disorderly house, and sold to and entertained negroes there" 
with "playing at dice" — ^frolicking; a witness says, "he saw a 
great many of them in a room, dancing to a fiddle, and Hughson's 
wife and daughter along with them." His house was open for the 
negroes, " and he entertained them at all times ; those diat had no 
money, at free cost." He employed " some of the head negroes as 
agents under him, to decoy other negroes. Comfort's negro Jack, 
one of the captains of these bands of fools, had so well approved 
his parts and capacity to Hughson and the rest, that he had a dep- 
utation for swearing such converts as he made, either abroad or at 
home; and in both cases had great opportunities of caballing with 
negroes; for his master was frequently absent from home for sev- 
eral weeks together, insomuch that Captain Jack looked upon the 
house as his own, and himself as his own master. To this well, 
every morning and evening, resorted negroes from all the quarters 
of the town, for ' tea-water,' " with whom he introduced this sub- 
ject. There is no doubt but some of the country slaves, in their 
almost daily visits to the city, while landing so near these head- 
quarters, became acquainted with this contemplated conspiracy, as 
"many cabals of negroes had been discovered, particularly in 
Queens County, on Nassau {alias Long Island.) The negroes had 
there formed themselves into a Company about Christmas last; by 
way of play or diversion, had mustered and trained with the bor- 
rowed arms and accoutrements of their masters." These negroes 
were found out, and punished. 

Early in the month of May, (1741,) " at Hackensack, in New 
Jersey, eight miles from this city, the inhabitants of that place 
were alarmed about an hour before day, and presented with a most 



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286 BH.QADWAT MABKST* 

melaneholy and aflfrighting scene I No less than seven barns in 
that neighborhood were all in flames; and the fire had got soch 
head, that all assistance was in vain; for in a short time they were 
bnrnt down to the ground. Two negroes, the one belonging to 
Derick Van Hoorn, the other to Albert Van Yoerheise, were sob* 
pected to have been guilty of this fact; the former having been 
seen coming out of <me of the bams with a gnn laden, who pre* 
tended, on being discovered, that he saw the person who had fired 
the barns, upon which his masten ordered him to fire at him ; and 
the negro thereupon immediately discharged his piece; but no 
blood was drawn from any mortal, that could be discovered. The 
latter was found at Us master's house loading a gun with two bul* 
lets, which he had in his hand ready to put in. Upon these and 
other presumptive circumstances and proofs, both negroes were ap* 
prehended, and in a few days tried, convicted, and burnt at a stake. 
The former confessed he had set fire to three of the bams; the 
latter would confess nothing.'' (See "0Zc2 SUp Market:') 

This " Tea-Water Well" of Comfort's, as previously noticed, was 
somewhat famous, and frequently referred to in Horsmanden's 
Great Negro Plot. No doubt its water must have been superior 
to all the other public wells, as it was sought after morning and 
evenii^, and cairried away in keg^ by the slaves of many of the 
principal citiasens, many years before this great n^rp plot took 
places 

. The famous ''Tea-Water Pt^mp," which still lives in the recoUeo* 
tions of some old ;citU5^is, was a different well, or rather a finoi 
flowing spring in a well, which no doubt originally assisted in 
forming the '' Fresh Water" or " Kolch Pond." This was located 
on or about the present northeast comer of Orange and Chatham 
Streets. Professor KaJm, while visiting New York in 1748, first 
notices this spring^and says: '' There is no good water in the town 
itself, but at a little distance there is a large spring of good wa- 
ter, which the inhabitants take for their tea, and for the use of the 
kitchen." This, no doubt, soon became their chief source of supply 
for '^ tea-:water;" and when it began to be carried in hogsheads on 
the carts, it was quite necessary to have a sort of engiiie to raise 
the wat^r high enoughs to ran into these hogsheads; and no doubt 
this mgiw was about the first common pump introduced here. 
Montressor, on his Map, (No>. 6,) in the year 1775, notes it as the 
'* Fresh-Water Engine, from which the town is supplied." In the 
Bevolntioft it is advertised thus; "Proposals in writing will be 
received b^the Ye8tiry,,at the Aims-House, on Monday, the 2d of 
April, (1781,) flDom snoh peraoins as, may be desirous of renting the 



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BROADWAY JIABKBT. 267 

*Tea*Water Pmnp' for the ensning year."* Three years after, 
(1784,) "Abraham Severe committed suicide, who lately occupied 
tiie 'Tea-Water Piimp;'"t and about the same period, '^a corre- 
spondeBt recommends to the attention of the magistrates a nui- 
sance generally complained of in this dry, warm season. A number 
of people assembled round the pond (Collect) from whence the tea- 
water is raised, and wash their dirty linen. It is unnecessary to 
expatiate upon the utility of preventing the continuance of a prac- 
tice which has a manifest tendency to affect the health of the inhab- 
itants of this city.'^t Then we findr-''Eig^t or nine lots of 
ground, (io he sold J of one hundred feet in length, and twenty-fiye 
in width, situate behind the Tea-Waier Fump, between that and 
the fresh-water pond, /CoOedJ with the buildings thereon — an ex- 
cellent stand for a still-house, brew-house, or sugar-house, as there 
is the best of water all round it, and it is supposed the Tea-Water 
Pump feeds itself throu^^ said lott8."§ 

Winterbotham, in his general description of New York, written 
about the year 1790, also notices the " Tea-Water Pump," as fol- 
lows: '*Most of the people are supplied every day with fresh water, 
conveyed to their doors in casks, from a spring almost a mile from 
the centre of the city. This well is about twenty feet deep, and 
four feet (in) diameter. The average quantity drawn daily from 
this remarkable well is one hundred and ten hogsheads, of one 
hundred and thirty, gallons each. In some hot summer-days two 
hundred and sixteen hogsheads have been drawn from it; and what 
is very singular, there are never more or less than three feet of 
water in the well. The water b sold commonly at three-pence a 
hogshead at the pump." 

A few years after, the Minerva (December 10, 1796,) states^'' A 
report having been in circulation that the water of the 'Tea-Water 
Pump' begins to fail, and also, that the proprietor will not allow 
any more water to be drawn from it than is absoliitely necessary 
for the use of the citizens for tea and drinking, the subscriber begs 
leave to contradict the said report, and inform the dtizens. that 
notwithstanding the extremely dry season, the source «f the tea^ 
water has not in the least diminished; and so fiEur from bis vefusing 
any demand for water, he hereby i offers the citicms a plentiinl sup- 
ply for washing or other family uses. Any order for one or more 
hogsheads of water, directing the place where to be delivered, sent 
to the inunp, will be immediately attended to. lie price of the 
water is 4b. per bogshead, containing 140. gallons* 

'' William 0. Thoxpsob/' 

• B<7ia Oftietto, Hmh )L . f F«u»> P^ket, July Mi 

t M. T. FKkei, Aaguit 19, 1784. § Ibid., Oet ». 



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268 BROADWAY MARKET. 

Two years after, (1798,) the reputation of this tearwater had 
become decidedly bad, if we shoald judge by the following article^ 
which says : ** The New Yorkers have no clear, cool water to slake 
the thirst — ^yet they pretend their city water is very pure and nice. 
The Collect behind the 'Tea-Water Pump' is a shocking hole, 
where all impure things centre together, and engender the worst 
of unwholesome productions. The water has grown worse, mani- 
festly, within a few years. It is time to look out some other sup- 
ply, and discontinue the use of water growing less and less whole- 
some every day. Some affect to say the water is very cool and 
refreshing. Everybody knows, from experience, the water gets 
warm in a few hours, and sometimes almost before it is drawn from 
the carter's hogshead. Can you bear to drink it on Sundays in the 
summer-time 7 It is so bad before Monday mornings, as to be very 
sickly and nauseating; and the larger the city grows, the worse 
this evil will be. Already it has been whispered by some vigilant 
travelers through our city, that the New Yorkers are like the dog 
in the manger — ^they will not provide aqueducts themselves, nor let 
anybody else do it. Take the matter into consideration, and re- 
solve, every man for himself, to leave no stone unturned to have 
this grand object of watering carried through."* It was but a year 
or two afterwards when the "Manhattan Water" took its place. 

Although this Broadway Market was originally ordained as a meal 
market, yet we find, on the 7th of November, 1741, by a Law then . 
passed, " giving priviledge to country people to sell or expose to 
sale in the Meal Market ( Wall Street) and Broadway Market of 
this city, beef, pork, veal, mutton, and lamb by the joint, or by 
pieces, cut up the same in pounds or pound pieces, or in great or^ 
small quantities or parcells, as they shall see convenient — paying 
in the same manner and proportion that the butchers are to do." 
That is, " for each head of cattle, one shilling ; for every hogg or 
shoat brought into or cut out for sale in any of the market-houses, 
the same ; and for every sheep, calf, or lamb, two-pence." 

The increasing amount of business done here induced the inhab- 
itants of the West Ward, in 1745, to ask for " liberty to make fui 
addition of twenty-one feet at the north end of the market in 
Broadway;" and soon after the like addition was added to the 
south end. 

No doubt the city was in a prosperous condition at this period, 

as many improvements are noticed, especially by Ealm, who says: 

'' In size it comes nearest to Boston and Philadelphia; but with re- 

ga];d to its fine buildings, its opulence, and extensive commerce, it 

. « DaUy AdFertlBer, September 6, 179a 



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BBOADWAT MABKET. 269 

dispates the preference with them/' Of the streets he sajs: "Most 
of them are paved, except in high places, where it has been found 
useless. In ^e chief streets there are trees planted, which in sum- 
mer give them a fine appearance, and during the excessive heat at 
that time, afford a cooling shade. I found it extremely pleasant to 
walk in the town, for it seemed quite like a garden. Most of the 
houses are built of bricks; and are generally strong and neat, and 
several stories high. Some had, according to old architecture, 
turned the gable end towards the streets; but the new houses were 
altered in this respect. Many of the houses had a balcony on the 
roof, on which the people used to sit in the evenings, in the summer 
season. The roofs are commonly covered with tiles and shingles. 
The walls were quite covered with all sorts of drawings and pic- 
tures, in small frames. On each side of the chimneys they had 
usually a sort of alcove; and the wall under the windows was 
wainscoted, and had benches placed near it. The alcoves and all 
the wood-work were painted with a bluish-gray color. New York 
sends many ships to the West Indies, with flour, com, biscuit, tim- 
ber, tuns, boards, flesh, fish, butter, and other provisions ; together 
with some of the few fruits that grow here. Many ships go to 
Boston, in New England, with corn and flour, and take in exchange 
flesh, butter, timber, diffierent sorts of fish, and other articles, which 
they carry further to the West Indies.'' "The goods which are ship- 
ped to the West Indies are sometimes paid for with ready money, 
and sometimes with West India goods, which are either first 
brought to New York, or immediately sent to England or Holland. 
If a ship does not choose to take in West India goods in its return 
to New York, or if nobody will freight it, it often goes to New- 
castle, in England, to take in coals for ballast, which, when brought 
home, sell for a pretty good price. In many parts of the town 
coals are made use of, both for kitchen fires and in rooms, because 
they are reckoned cheaper than wood, which at present costs thirty 
shillings of New York currency per fathom." "New York has like- 
wise some intercourse with South Carolina, to which it sends com, 
flour, sugar, rum, and other goods, and takes rice in return, which 
is almost the only commodity exported from South Carolina." 
"The goods with which the Province of New York trades are not 
very numerous. They chiefly export the skins of animals, which 
are bought of the Indians about Ostaego; a great quantity of 
boards, coming for the most part from Albany ; timber and ready- 
made lumber, from that part of the country which lies about the 
river Hudson ; and lastly, wheat, flour, barley, oats, and other kinds 
of com, which are brought from New Jersey and the cultivated 



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270 BROADWAY MARKET. 

parts of this proyince. I have seen yachts from New Brtinswiek 
laden with wheat which lay loose on board, and with floor packed 
in tuns; and also with great quantities of linseed. At this time a 
bushel of linseed is sold for eight shillings of New York currency, 
or exactly a piece of eight. New York likewise exports some flesh 
(salted meats) and other proyisions out of its own prorince, but 
they are very few ; nor is the quantity of pease, which the people 
about Albany bring, much greater." 

" There are several churches in the town, which deserve some 
attention. 1. The English Church, built in the year 1695, at the 
west end of the town, consisting of stone; and has a steeple, with 
a bell. 2. The new Dutch Church, (Nassau >&,) which is likewise 
built of stone, is pretty large, and is provided with a steeple ; it 
also has a clock, which is the ordy one in the town. This church 
stands almost due from north to south. In this church there is 
neither altar, vestry, choir, sconces, nor paintings. Some trees are 
planted around it, which make it look as if it was built in a wood. 
3. The old Dutch Church, which is also built of stone. It is not 
so large as the new one. It was painted in the inside, though 
without any images, and adorned with a small organ, of which 
Governor Burnet made fbem a present. The men, for the most 
part, sit in the gallery, and the women below. 4. The Pres- 
byterian Church, which is a pretty large one, has but lately been 
built. It is of stone, and has a steeple and a bell in it. 
5. The Oerman Lutheran Church. 6. The Oerman Re^ 
formed Church. 7. The French Churchy for Protestant refugees. 
8. The Quaker Meeting- House. 9. To these may be added the 
Jewish Synagogue. There are many Jews settled in New York, 
who possess great privileges. They have a synagogue and houses, 
and great country-seats of their own property, and are allowed to 
keep shops in town. They have likewise several ships, which they 
freight, and send out with their own goods. In fine, they enjoy all 
the privileges common to the other inhabitants of this town and 
province. During my residence in New York this time, and in the 
two next years, I was frequently in company with Jews. I was in- 
formed, among other things, that these people never boiled any 
meat for themselves on Saturday, but that they always did it the 
day before ; and that in winter they kept a fire during the whole 
Saturday. They commonly eat no pork ; yet I have been told by 
several men of credit, that many of them, (especially among the 
young Jews,) when traveling, did not make the least difficulty about 
eating this, or any other meat that was put before them; even 
though they were with Christians. Both men and women were 
dressed entirely in the English fashion.^' 



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BROADWAY MARKBT. 271 

We now tarn to the Laws of 1748, and also those of 1762, wherd 
we find one of the t's at the end of the word " markett/' which 
notices it ^'Broadway Market;" bat the citizens had dropped this 
name, and adopted another, manj years before. Aboat the year 
1740 the name of '^Oswego" be<»ime one of the most prominent 
snbjects before the people, and in their cooncils. The name came 
from a great trading-hoose and fortification, which Governor Bar- 
net had erected in 1722, at the month of the then Onondagas 
Siver, on Lake Ontario. In a speedi made by Gk>T6mor Hnnter 
to the '' Honse," April 27, 1741, on tiie war with tiie French, he 
says: ''The preservation of Oswego and the fidelity of the Six 
Nations (of Indians) is of more conseqnence to the province than 
any other thing whatsoever; and if we lose them, no part of the 
country will be safe." 

Great preparations were made in this city for the defence and 
protection of that fortification. Enlistment of soldiers, battoes, pro- 
visions, all were mastered together here at intervals, and sent to 
the foot of '' Grown Street," which was the general landing and 
starting place. Every article prepared for tiie expedition was sent 
or directed to the ''Oswego Landing," at the foot of ^'Oswego 
Street," and the name soon reached this marke^place, as it were, 
by acclamation of the citizens ; the same manner as when Lafayette 
landed here in 1825 — everything afterwards had Lafayette prefixed 
to it. " To be sold at pnblio vendne, on Wednesday, the 7th of 
November next, at 10 o'clock, on the premises, a dwelling-house, 
bake-honse, and lott of ground in Grown Street, commonly called 
'Oswego Street:'"* 

Horsmanden tells us, in his " Negro Plot," of the many valuable 
articles to be removed to Hnghson's House: it " was become a mart 
of so great note among the negroes, that with them it had obtained 
the name of ' Ostoego/ after the province trading-house.' "t 

Among the numerous articles sent to the troops in the French 
war, at a late period, were enumerated in the "Patriotism of Queens 
County ,"t Long Island, dated ''Jamaica^ September 25, 1755. — 
This day, 1,015 sheep, collected in three days in this county, were 
delivered at New York Ferry, to be sent to Albany hy water, 
which were cheerfully given for the use of the army now at or near 
Grown Point." " The good mothers, also, in a few hours collected 
nearly 70 good large cheeses, and sent them to New York, to be 
forwarded with the sheep to the army." Sir William Johnson ac- 
knowledges, in the following month, that he had received "69 
cheeses and 200 sheep, being a part of 1,000 raised In Queens 

* GtMite, Nov. 5, 1759. f P. 359. { Oodeidook'i <• Olden 2tee»," Hirt. UK 



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272 BROADWAY MARKET. 

Goanty as a present to the armj. Though cattle and a few sheep 
had been sent by some of the provinces to this troop, yet your 
sheep were very seasonable, and highly beneficial. Your oheeses 
were highly acceptable and reviving; for, unless among some of 
the oflScers, it was food scarcely known among us." 

This example induced Suffolk County, also, to send '' 60 head of 
fat cattle; of which a yoke of oxen was a special present for the 
late famous Hendrickson and his Indian adherents." '* The women 
of the county are knitting several large stockings and mittens, to 
be sent to the poor soldiers in garrisons." 

The name of ''Oswego Market" continued in the "papers," pe- 
titions, Ac, in connection with this market, until its final close. 
The " N. Y. Mercury," April 29, 1754, notices—*' Beading, writing, 
and arithmetic are carefully taught at the corner house, near the 
Quaker Meeting-House, in Crown Street, near Oswego Market, by 
John Nathan Hutchins." This man was the first idmanac-maker 
here, which was a smoky, dingy-looking pamphlet, with a string 
tied through the back and top; always found hanging up alongside 
of the old fire-place, in company with the bellows, iron-holder, a 
goose's wing, and oiYiev fixings belonging to the kitchen of all well- 
regulated farm-houses. Then, in the same paper, May 1 — ''Edward 
Willet, who lately kept the * Horse and Cart Inn,' in this city, is 
removed into the house of the Honorable James De Lancy, Asq., 
Lieutenant-Governor, at the sign of the ' Province Arms,' in the 
Broadway, near 'Oswego Market J ^* The "Gazette," April 25, 
1763, notices — " Peter T. Curtenius, opposite the Oswego Market, 
has, besides hardware, a parcel of the best black wampum (Indian 
money) to dispose of." Again, " Mercury," May 28d, 1768— "John 
Balthus Dash, tinman, acquaints his customers that he has nioved 
from the Oswego Market into the corner house where Nicholas 
Stagg formerly lived." Marschalk, on his Map of New York, 
(1755,) gives it also the name of Ostoego Market, which had then 
become the common one. 

Grant Thorburn, in a letter to the Editors of the " Home Jour- 
nal," says : " I have just parted with my old neighbor, Mrs. Van 
Antwerp, now residing at No. 48 Maiden Lane, in the ninety-first 
year of her age. She afilrms that the Oswego Market stood in the 
very centre of Broadway. In her young days, her brother, Alder* 
man Bogart, known as the best biscuit, tea-cake, and rusk baker in 
the city, and who, in past generations, on the west corner of 
Cortlandt Street and Broadway ; there he daily fed the hungry, and 
yearly gave cookies to the Dutch Church charity scholars." In re- 
lation to this market's removal into Maiden Lane, Mr. Thorburn's 
evidence is wrong, as will be seen in the following pages. 



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BBOADWAY MAfiKBT. 273 

Prior to 1762, hay waa usnally sold by the wagon, cart-load, or 
ludf-Ioad ; and it was found, by experience, the loads were very an* 
equal, whidi brought many disputes and controversies between the 
boatmen and cartmen, and then, again, by the buyer and oartmen. 
It was thought there should be fixed certain weights and certain 
places to weigh the hay ; this law established one of the places at 
this market. That ''from and after the 20th of September, 1762, hay 
shall be sold by the hundred weight of 112 lbs.;" and it was also 
*' Ordained, that proper and conyenient machines, or engines, and 
scales and weights for weighing carts and waggons, and hay, sliall 
be made, erected, furnished, and provided, at the three following 
places in this city, to witt: one machine or engine, with scales and 
weights, shall be made, erected, and set up and supplied, at or near 
the south end of the market, commonly called the Broadway Mar* 
kel, in this city; one other at the White Hall Slip; and the other 
at or near the dwelling-house of the Widow Van Keuren, in Mont- 
gomerie Ward. Isaac Van Hook is hereby authorized to take 
charge of the one at the market; Richard Weston at White Hall 
Slip; and John De Peyster, Jun'r, at or near the house of Widow 
Van Keuren. For the weighing of hay, one shilling and sixpence ; 
one-half by the seller, and the other by the buyer. Carts and 
waggons to be weighed without charge; and the weight, in plain or 
legible figures, upon the after part of the shaft, by the above offi- 
cers. The rates to be charged, 4s. if pitched into a stable; but if 
thrown down in the street, Ss., and no more." 

From the above, we find this marke^place noticed as the ^'Broad- 
vxty Market ;^^ and the next year, in a petition, it is found with 
another name. This states, " That the Crown Market, (more com- 
monly called the ' Oswego Market,^) in the Broadway, is at so great 
a distance from the North River, that the country produce brought 
down and across the said river, to supply the markets of the city, must 
be carried in carts from the different ships and wharfs on the North 
River to the said Grown Market J^ They wish " a new market at 
the foot of Courtlandt Street or Messier's Dock." 

An unfortunate occurrence took place near this market three 
years after, noticed in the "press" September 18, 1766. "On Mon- 
day last, a negro man was driving a chair, in which was a nurse 
and two small children of Mr. Verplank, of this city, merchant. 
As they were passing Oswego Market, a dog flew out at the horse, 
which occasioned him to start and fall down before, whereby the 
driver was thrown off, and the nurse and two children fell on the 
rump of the horse, and from thence to the ground. The eldest 
child, a little boy, escaped unhurt; the nurse was bruised with the 
Vol. I.— 18 



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274 BBOADWAY MARKET. 

fall ; bat nnhappilj, the little girl, about three years old, fell sear 
the hind feet of the horse, who, straggling violently to recover 
himself, before the child could be taken away, gave it two mortal 
strokes on the head, of which it died in less than half an hour/'* 

At this period (1770) this market was doing a large business; 
bat Broadway was so glutted up in business hours, that many vehi- 
cles could not pass and repass : this caused many complaints. 

Several butchers are noticed on a petition, occupying stands 
here, from which we find the following: 

William Norman, John Faulkner, Edw. Rack WolflF, 
Jacob Otte, William Fray, Christopher Stamler, 

Prantiz W. Cornell, Julian Pine, John Onderline. 

The cost of the sweeping the Ostoego Market, from a bill pre- 
sented, from 19th September to the 16th January, 1770 — 123 days, 
at 6d. per day — ^by George Helbert, amounted to ^3, Is., 6d. John 
Hagelman also swept it at the same price. 

In the early part of the next year, (1771,) the records show this 
market was indicted as a nuisance. '' It represents that a certain 
street in the City of New York, commonly called the Broadway, 
situated and being in the West Ward, is a certain ancient street 
and highway of our sovereign Lord and the King, George the 
Third, Ac, and used for all the liege subjects of our said Lord the 
King, their horses, coaches, Ac, to go, return, pass, Ac, at their 
will and pleasure. That in the middle of the said common street 
and highway stands a certain building, Ac, called the Ostoego 
Market, which obstructs the street." 

The Attorney-General moved for a writ to the Sheriff to pros*- 
trate without delay the Ostcego Market; but it was afterwards 
''Ordered, that unless the said indictment is traversed within twen- 
ty days, that a writ be ordered to abate the same." The Commit- 
tee were ordered to employ Mr. Duane as counsel in defence of said 
indictment. 

The indictment against this market-place created a great sensation 
with all classes, and more particularly with the owners of prop- 
erty around it ; but, as they all thought it could not be retained in 
that location, they wished to have another as near it as possible 
Some wished it near the North River; others, in Maiden Lane, 
near Broadway ; but the largest number wished the location to be 
in the present part. Broadway, at this time, from the Government 
House (Battery) to Vesey Street, was generally known as ** The 
Broadway" and "Broadway Street;" and from Vesey Street up to 
sand-hill cross-road, (afterwards Art Street, now Waverley Place,) 

«N.Y. 6tti«tie,&o. 



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BROADWAY MARKET. 276 

"St. George," or "Great George Street." This was, however, 
changed on the 24th February, 1794, by the Board, and " ordered 
one continued street, and that it be called 'Broadway/ " 

In the month of March, (1771,) a petition from fifty-nine "of the 
neighborhood" was presented to the Common Council, " praying to 
grant them the priviledge to erect, at their own expense, a market- 
house in the Fields, (Park,") And " if the Oswego Market should 
be removed to the North River, it might be convenient for some few 
inhabitants, and the particular interest of others." But " if a con- 
venient market was erected in a proper part of the Fidde, it most 
certainly would answer many good and efScient ends — being more 
in the centre of the city ; the city tenants residing at and about 
Incklan Barrack, the farmers and others, from all parts of the Bow- 
ery and Eingsbridge road, who pay considerable taxes, Ac." 

This was followed by another, signed by four hundred and forty- 
one of the " principal inhabitants," who state that, *' We, the sub- 
scribers hereunto, join in humble petition, craving that if the Oswego 
Market is to be removed, that there may be a market erected in the 
Fidds instead thereof." Among the signers were 

Marinus Willet, Nicholas Bayard, Edward Burling, 

Henry Kip, Corns. Roosvelt, William Ellsworth, 

David Grim, David Waldron, John Minuse, 

and others. 

More than one hundred and twenty-five " carmen " also petition ; 
and state, that " in case the Oatvego Market should be removed, that 
you will be pleased to grant liberty to erect a publick market at a 
proper place in the Fidda — ^being thoroughly convinced that it will 
not only tend to thetr own maintenance^ but to the benefit and con- 
venience of the publick in general, and the poor in particular." 
The "carmen" thought if the location was made at the "North 
River," a large share of their business would be cut off from carting 
the large quantity of produce that came by the water. 

The owners of property around this market-place finding they 
were going to lose it, petitioned, on the 24th of April following, 
for aid to assist in erecting a market-house in Maiden Lane, near 
Broadway. They state that they *' have purchased their estates at 
an advanced price, in confidence that a grant from the Corporation 
was a sufficient security to them for the market remaining where it 
now stands; but are fearful that the late indictment of the Grand 
Jury will prevail against it. Thev have concluded to purchase one- 
third of Conroe's lot, on Maiden liane, to erect a market-house by 
the assistance or the Corporation." The Corporation, however, 
gave them no encouragement. 



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276 WHITE HALL SLIP MARKET. 

The qnestion of the removal of the old " Broadway, ^^ alias " Oswego 
Markei^^ was at last settled, by Mr. Samuel Jones, who, on the 29th 
of July following, " delivered his opinion, that it would be most ad- 
visable to remove Oswego Market, as the indictment found against 
it cannot be defended." The Board " therefore agreed to take down 
or remove the same," and soon after they adopted the site of the 
Bear Market, as the new location ; but even after its erection we 
find a petition was signed by tv)o hundred and twenty-five of the citi- 
zens, who had appeared on the 28th of October following, " who 
wish to erect at their own expense a market in the Fields" If this 
had been favorably received, and the erection of a building taken 
place, the " Park" would have been graced with an institution more 
useful than ornamental. 



''WHITE HALL SLIP MARKET." 

1746. The location where this markelrhouse was erected in the 
year 1746 was an old-established market-place. Near it, in 1656, 
" The Market-Place at the Strand" was established; then followed 
the " Custom-House Bridge Market" and a short distance above the 
^^ Broad Street Market " had ceased to exist some few years before; 
and the inhabitants of this neighborhood in the South Ward, being 
without a market-place near by, some one hundred andforty^ix per- 
sons petitioned for ** priviledge to erect and build a market-house at 
the east end of Pearl Street, and a slip at the west end, at their own 
expense. A convenient slip may be made for the receiving boats 
and canoes that may bring provisions to the same market." 

Among the signers to this petition, we find 

Paul Richards, Philip Cortlandt, Arch'd Kennedy, 

Edward Holland, Isaac De Peyster, and others. 

At this period Pearl Street at the west end commenced on the 
shore, near where now runs State Street, and ran easterly, or at the 
east end of Pearl Street ended in Whitehall Street; from this the 
continuation was called Dock Street. The location of this market- 
house, accordingly, was at the corner of Whitehall and Pearl Streets 
where it is seen on the original ** South Prospect of y« flourishing 
City of New York," printed in London in 1746, (in the Society Li- 
brary in this city,) and is also noticed in the Laws of 1748, as the 
^^Market-house at the end of Pearl Street" The next year the Oa- 



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WHITE HALL SLIP MARKET. 277 

zette (August 2ith, 1749,) states: "At Mr. John Whiley's, the cor- 
ner house almost opposite the ' White Hall Slip Market/ '' 

White Hall took its name from White Hall^ London, and at an 
early day this name became attached to Colonel Moore's large 
white house, or hall, which stood close by this market, and no doubt 
gave this market-place the above name. 

To further prove the fact, that the west end of Pearl Street be- 
gan on or near the line of the present State Street, the N. Y. Mer- 
cury, September 7, 1767, says: "Yesterday morning the Coroner's 
inquest set on the body of one William Eieth, a soldier of the 16th 
Eegiment, who was found drowned near the end of Pearl Street^ 
under the wall of the Battery." 

The "old landing-place at the Strand" was yet popular with the 
Indians, although there had been the basins and a bridge made 
there ; and this part of the petition for a " slip at the west end" was 
to draw them away, " it being sometimes much crowded." " Those 
who knew," say : "I have seen in 1744, and after, several Indian 
canoes one after another come down the East and North Rivers, and 
land their cargoes in the basins near the Long Bridge, and take up 
their residence in the yard and store-house of Adolphus Philips, 
where they generally made up their baskets and brooms, as they 
could better bring the rough materials with them than ready-made 
baskets and brooms. They brought with them, when coming from 
Long Island or other sea-shores, a quantity of dried clams, strung 
on sea-grass or straw, which they sold or kept for their own pro- 
visions, besides the flesh of the animals they killed." 

Adolphus Philips appears to have been a prominent and popular 
merchant, oflBcer, and citizen in his day. Several years before this 
market-house was established, an election had taken place here, but 
it appears it had not been conducted as at the present time. The 
New England Weekly Journal, September 12, 1737, says: "On 
Saturday last came on the election of a representative to serve in 
General Assembly for the City and County of New York, in the 
room of Captain Garrit Van Horn, deceased. The electors appeared 
in the Fields {Park, the uaval place of election then) about 9 o'clock, 
with drums beating and colors flying, trumpets sounding, and violin 
playing. The two candidates put up were Mr. Adolphus Philips 
and Mr. Cornelius Van Horn. Most of the merchants and gentle- 
men of the place appeared for Mr. Philips, and seemed to be the 
greatest number ; but a poll was demanded, and thereupon the candi- 
dates and electors repaired to the City Hall, {Broad Street) where 
a poll was carried on all day, till about 9 o'clock at night, with 
great warmth on both sides." Mr. Philips received 413, and Mr. 
Van Horn 399 votes; the former was declared duly elected. 



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278 BURLING'S MARKET. 

This ma^ke^place stood about four years, when we find, on the 
26th of April, 1750, a Committee was ** empowered to agree with 
several persons " *' to remove the market-house near the Battery at 
the comer of Pearl Street," 



"BURLING'S MARKET." 

1746. On the 28th of February, 1746, a petition was before the 
Board, '' from sundry inhabitants of the Montgomerie Ward,'' pray- 
ing " for leave to build a marke^house in Rodman's Slip, at their 
own expense, was again read, (it having been before them at a pre- 
vious meeting,) and the priviledge granted." 

Rodman's Slip had been previously known as Lyon's Slip on 
Lyne's Map, 1729 ; but is found with both names in the records ; and 
as Rodman's Slip on Ratzen's Map in 1767. Prior to this it was 
occasionally known as '* Burlin's Slip," and afterwards they added 
G to Burliuy to correspond with the surname of the old Quaker mer* 
chant, Edward Burling, from whom this slip and market took their 
names. I might also add here, that a part of this family moved to 
New Jersey and settled '' Burling-ton" in that State. He lived at 
the corner of the ** Smith's Ply," (Pearl Street,) and Golden Hill, 
where '' Edward and James Burling sold iron, hardware, and New 
York distilled rum."* 

The law of 1748 notices this market-place as the *' Market-House 
at Rodman's Slip," and the N. Y. Gazette, June 1, 1752, says: "By 
Samuel Bowne's, at Burling^ s Slip, near the new market;^* another 
paper ,t in 1754, notices " John Parsons, joiner, having lately set up 
in his business, between the new market and Fly Market;" and 
Maerschalck's Map of the city, 1755, marks No. 12 " Burlin's (Bur- 
ling^s) Market," and this was its general name, until it ceased to 
exist. 

It never appeared to be a popular market-place, if we should judge 
from the contents of the following petition presented on the 4th day 
of July, 1760, from " John Riker and others, to the number of sixty 
and upwards, inhabitants on both sides of the slip, commonly called 
* Burling's Slip, in the East Ward,' which was read, setting forth that 
notwithstanding the good intention of making or leasing that space 
for a slip, and the erection and building a market-hauae, then at the 
• N. Y. Mercury, July 26, 1766. t Ibid., April 2$. 



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EXCHANGB. 279 

liead of said dip, jonr petitioners conceiye that not only the good 
ends and purposes which were expected in making the same have 
not succeeded for many years last past, chiefly from the almost dis- 
use of the same." It had then been standing about fourteen years, 
and although it is marked on the map of the city by T. Maerschalken, 
1763, letter Z, I think it did not then exist, except on that map. 
The Laws of 1762 do not notice it, nor can I find any further refer- 
ence to it in the old papers, except a notice in the Weekly Gazette 
and Post Boy, July 8, 1766, that " On the evening of the Ist of July. 
Godfrey Haynes, who followed the business of lobster catching for 
this market, went in the waters to swim, near ' Burling Slip/ and 
soon after drowned.'' " Tliis market^^^ in the above, no doubt meant 
the New York markets in general. 



"EXCHANGE," (IN BROAD STREET.) 

1752. This building, no doubt, when erected, was intended for 
the principal use of the merchants and gentlemen of the neighbor- 
ing vicinity, as an Exchange ; but, as the lower part was used as a 
market-plaoe many years after, it was but right to claim it as such 
for the time during which it was so occupied. The Exchange and 
the '* Exchange Market" were two separate buildings, and, at one 
period, both existing at the same time, as will be shown. 

In the month of June, 1752, several gentlemen subscribed to- 
wards erecting this building, at the lower end of Broad Street, 
near the *'Long Bridge." "XlOO was voted by the Common Coun- 
cil to assist in so laudable an undertaking." This location would 
now be nearly on a line of Water Street, in Broad. 

The plan was proposed, and the building commenced ; but, on the 
4th of October following, a resolution passed the Board, " That the 
whole, or as much of the foundation on the east side of the Ex- 
diango now a-building and to be built at the lower end of Broad 
Street, as is necessary, to be taken up; and that five arches be 
made on each side, instead of six, with two at each end." Its erec- 
tion proceeded very slowly, as I find it was not finished until 1754, 
when it was leased for one year to Oliver De Lancey, for X50; 
the lower part was used by the merchants, and the upper rooms were 
appropriated to various uses. 



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280 EXCHANGE. 

Notice was given on the 4th of February, in the *' press/'* that 
**The new ^Exchange' being to be opened as a Coffee-Room on 
Monday, the 11th day of this present month of February. Keen & 

LlGHTPOOr/'t 

'' 'The Beggar's Opera' and 'The Devil to Pay' to be performed 
by a Company of Comedians, from London, at the new Theatre in 
Nassaa Street, this present evening, 18th March. To begin at 6 
o'clock. Boxes, 6s. ; Pit, 48. ; Gallery, 2s. Tickets to be had at 
Mr. Parker's and Mr. Gaine's printing-offices, at the Bayal Eoo^ 
change, at the King's Arms, at Scotch John's, and of Mr. and 
Mrs. Love, at the play-house." 

Then, on the 6th of May—" The Post-Office is removed to the 
house wherein William Walton, Esq., lately lived, near the New 
Exchange.^^X And then — "To be sold at publick vendue, to the 
highest bidder or bidders, at the New Exchange, in the City of New 
York, on Wednesday, the 29th of May next, at 11 o'clock in the 
forenoon, two certain lots of land ; which said two lots lie three 
miles from the German settlement on the Walkill."§ 

Two years after, on the 19th of April, we find — " The proprietors 
of the * New York Society Library' are desired to attend with their 
ballots at the New Exchange, on the last Tuesday in April, for the 
election of twelve Trustees."!! Then, on the 10th of July, 1758— 
" Boper Dawson, at the Long Room over the Exchange, continues 
to sell green tea, coffee, &c."l 

In the month of February, 1760, the "Board" was informed that 
" Mr. Watts and others had sent to Europe for a large dock, which 
they intended as a publick one, and desired to know, that if the 
Common Council would take charge of it and erect it in the 
Exchange at their own expense, it was at their service;" which 
was agreed to. In 1763, the N. Y. Mercury notices " Tickets for 
the electrical experiments in the Exchange, which begins this day 
at 11 o'clock, are sold at the 'Gentleman's Coffee-House/ and by 
Hugh Gaine." 

Trouble and hardship were now commencing, with business dull, 
and a great deal of suffering; which is first represented in a "com- 
munication" in Holt's N. Y. Gazette, Ac, January 4, 1765, as fol- 
lows: "The declining state of business in the city, together with 
high rents and prices of the necessaries of life, having reduced 
very many families and poor people to great distress^ especially 
since the late severe weather, we hear several humane gentlemen 
of this city have made contributions for their relief." 

• N. T. Mercqry. \ Ibid., March 18, 1764. \ Ibid., 6lh of Mmy. 

^ VM., Maich 4. 1764. || lUd. t Dild. 



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EXOHANaS. 281 

The infliction of the " Stamp Act " soon followed, which led a 
Committee of several prominent merchants and others, who ad** 
▼ised and directed that the English merchants should ship no more 
goods to the Colonies until the repeal of the Stamp Act, and to 
decline selling on commission any such goods after the 1st January, 
1766 ; which was generally carried out. This led to the establish- 
ment of a Fair or Market at the Exchanffe, for the sale of ''home- 
manufactured goods." The following notice appears in the "pa- 
pers,''* dated October 17, 1765; "We he^r that the design of es- 
tablishing a market, to commence on Wednesday, the 23d inst., 
under the Exchange." And on the 24th appears — *' Yesterday was 
opened a market for home manufacture — supplied principally from 
the country"— "to be held on every 1st and 3d Wednesdays in 
each month." A notice on the 9th of December gives a more par- 
ticular account of what was sold. "On Wednesday last was held 
the market for home manufactures; and though so late an institu- 
tion, we have already the pleasure to see it attended with great 
success. Both sides of the Exchange were crowded with a variety 
of goods, which had a very quick sale, and many gentlemen fur- 
nished themselves with good warm clothing, Ac. Cloth will con- 
tinue to be in great demand, as all ranks are zealous to wear it." 
" To be clothed in homespun, or in garments which had been dis- 
carded, was now honorable and fashionable." t Again, on the SOth 
of the same month — "As the first Wednesday in January falls on 
New Year's Day, we inform the publick that the market which was 
designed for that day will be held on Friday, the third. There will 
be a considerable quantity of cloths for men's winter clothes, be- 
sides a variety of other articles-^linens, stockings, mittens, men- 
caps, woolen checks, striped stufiis, linsey-woolseys, handkerchief, 
bellows, crockery-ware, combs, gloves, shoe-brushes, metal buttons, 
Ac- Happy country! that can supply itself with these articles." 
Obadiah Wells was an agent for tiie sale of these goods, and re- 
ceived five per cent, for sales and remittances.^ 

The odious "Stamp Act" passed on the 22d of Hardi, 1765, and 
was received here with such a determined opposition, that the Gov- 
ernment officers who had been appointed to distribute them were 
compelled to resign this office, and "declare they will have nothing 
to do with the stamps." It, however, was short-lived; in fact, it 
only existed, in a state of torpitude, one year, less four days, when 
its convulsive struggles ceased, on the ISih of March, 1766; and as 
soon as " the news of the repeal of the Stamp Act, caused a sudden joy 
through all ranks of people in the whole city ; all the bells were set 
* Weekly 6«seit6&Poi4 Boy. t DanUm ii. 424. t Weekly Post Boy. April 24, 176«L 



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282 EXCHANGE. 

a-ringing, and continned till late at night, and the next morning 
until nine o'clock."* 

This resistance to the "Stamp Act" had the effect of leading the 
farmers, mechanics, artisans, and others into more general habits of 
industry and frugality ; in fact, it gave them a feeling of independ- 
ence, that thereafter they could rely on their own resources. 

"Pi£Wtco/a"t congratulates the public on the patriotic and fru- 
gal spirit that begins to reign in this province. " For, (he sajrs,) 
Istly. I observe that many of our most worthy citizens, and princi- 
pal gentlemen, are clad in country manufacture or turned coats. 
2dly. That spinning gets daily more in vogue, so that we rather 
want materials than industrious hands." 

Under this latter head, (icUy^) no doubt, its remarks were or be> 
came true, if we should judge from the following: "On the 9th 
instant, three young ladies at Huntington, on Long Island — namely, 
Ermina, Liticia, and Sabrina — ^having met together, agreed to try 
their dexterity at the spinning-wheel. Accordingly, the next morn- 
ing they set themselves down, and, like the virtuous woman, put 
their hands to the spindle, while their hands held the distaff; and 
at evening they had 26 skaines of good linen yarn, each skaine con- 
taining 4 ounces : all which was the effects of that day's work only. 
N. B.— Tis to be hop'd that the Connecticut ladies, who are so 
expert at their spinning-wheels, will not presume to think but that 
their equals may be found on Long Island, if not in Huntington."^ 

Proceeding with "Pt/iKco?a'«" remarks, under the next head: 
" 3dly. That the farmers are endeavoring to remedy this difficulty, 
by the large quantity of flax-seed sown more than usual, and their 
intention of keeping more sheep. 4thly. That little lamb now 
comes to market, as no true lovers of their counti:y, or whose sym- 
pathetic breasts feel for its distresses, will buy it. Sthly. That 
sassafras, balm, and sage axe coming greatly into use instead of 
tea, and are allowed to be more wholesome: this seeming trifling 
article greatly increases our debt to England. Lastly. The fash- 
ion of funerals and mourning is in general much altered from the 
late troublesome, ridiculous, and expensive method ; for what could 
be more absurd than for a person, when in affliction for their deai> 
est relatives, to be teased about dress and ceremonial, and perhaps 
involved in a large bill of costs, when their creditors are most apt 
to call upon them?" He further says, in a postscript, that "an 
effectual way to prevent lamb being brought to market would be, for 
all the well-affected to their country not to buy any meat from such 
butchers as killed any lamb." 

• Weekly Poet Boy. May 23, 176e. f Ibid., Hay 80. 176«. 

t Weekly Mercury, March 20. 176a 



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£XCHAMG£. 283 

Bat these exciting times have drawn attention from the Exchange^ 
which the " Chamber of Commerce," at a meeting, February 7, 1769, 
were consulting about. They wished " to have a decent, large and 
commodious room to meet in, and that the room over the Exchange 
will be proper for that use." It was ** Ordered, that a Committee 
do wait upon the Mayor and Corporation, and apply to them for the 
use of the room over the Exchange, and agree on such terms as they 
judge reasonable." This '' Committee " reported at their next meet- 
ing, (March 1th,) that the Corporation '' were pleased to say that 
the Chamber should have the use thereof for one year, free of rent, 
from the first of May next, if they would put it in such repairs as 
they required, and after that to pay X20 per annum." 

Here they met, and while they dUscussed the '' topics of the day," 
they also discussed their " bread and cheese, beer, punch, pipes, and 
tobacco, proTided (by the Treasurer) at the expense of the members 
present, so that it doth not exceed one shilling each man, which each 
person is to pay to the Treasurer." 

These " topics of the day" were worthy of grave discussion, not 
only by the members of this Board, but by all the patriotic inhabit- 
ants. The Revenue Act, with its onerous duties and taxes, and many 
others respecting domestic manufactures and foreign commerce, 
with the quartering and providing of a large body of an obnoxious 
and insolent soldiery, all tended to encircle them with rank oppres- 
sion ; but again they arose, as with the " Stamp Act," and strike 
such a blow as led to the separation of the Colonies from Great 
Britain. The merchants, traders and others again entered into non- 
importation associations ; but not with the same unanimity as before, 
as we find several examples made of those who were not true to their 
agreement. 

•*A parcel of earthen ware, wrought iron, and a few other pack 
ages of goods, having been brought in here on Tuesday last, from 
New Haven, lately imported there from Liverpool, it was found, on 
inquiry, that they belonged and were consigned to persons in this 
city, save only fifteen crates of the earthen ware, the property of 
the master of the vessel in which they were imported, and by him 
sent here for sale. But we have the pleasure to inform the public, 
that the owners of said goods, so far from insisting on their deliv- 
ery here, agreeable to the tenor of the bills of lading, did very cheer- 
fully sign an order to the master of the vessel who brought them, to 
take them immediately back again to New Haven ; there to lie in 
store until the act of Parliament imposing duties on paper, glass, 
4c., is repealed."* 

"The Committee appointed to inspect into the importation of goods 
* Penna. Chrocacle, July 13, 1769. 



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284 EXCHANGE. 

in this city, contrary to the agreement subscribed by the merchaats, 
traders and others, are, in consequence of the trust reposed in them, 
under necessity of advertising the public, that Thomas Charles Wil- 
let, milliner, in Wall Street in this city, having been at Philadel- 
phia about six weeks ago, and suspected of having brought goods 
from thence, confesses that he did there purchase sundry goods to 
the amount of thirty pounds, which he exposed to sale in this city ; 
that he exchanged in Boston, from whence he is lately arrived, some 
unsaleable goods he has had in his store, for others which were ab- 
solutely necessary for his business. He alleges, in his justification, 
that he did not know when he purchased the goods in Philadelphia, 
that it was contrary to the agreement of the merchants here, and 
that as those he brought from Boston were only in exchange for 
others less valuable, he conceived no injury done by it to the colony. 
How far these excuses will exculpate the conduct of the said Willet, 
must be submitted to the important public and to the patriotic ladiea 
of this city, who will undoubtedly treat him accordingly." 

" Saturday last, (says the same paper, July 14/A.) an amende hen* 
orahle was performed by Mr. Simeon Cooley, of this city, in the 
presence of a numerous audience, for a contempt and opposition 
shown the agreement of British America for non-importation of 
goods. He begged pardon of all his fellow-citizens ; promised never 
to offend again in like manner, and engaged to send all the effects 
he had imported to the public store, there to remain till the revenue 
acts were repealed." They were soon after repealed, all except 
that on tea^ which the people refused to use, or allow to be landed, 
or imported. 

Among the first to suffer for aot« of resistance was one of the 
prominent " Sons of Liberty," Captain (afterwards General) Alex- 
ander McDougal, whose prominent history with the " War of the 
Revolution" is not yet written, except in the pages of other histories, 
newspapers, &c. This patriot was arrested and imprisoned for a 
long time, but was upheld by the " people," who daily visited him 
in crowds; in fact, he was obliged to fix certain hours for visitors, 
many of which were ladies. Gaine says: *' Wednesday last, the 
forty-fifth day of the j^vs, forty -five gentlemen, real enemies to in- 
ternal taxation, by or in obedience to external authority, and cor 
dial friends to Captain McDougal, and the glorious cause of Amer* 
ican Liberty, went in decent procession to d^e new goal ; and dined 
with him on forty five pounds of beef-stakes, cut from a bullock of 
forty five months old, and with a number of other friends, who join- 
ed them in the afternoon, drank a variety of toasts," " to the num* 
ber of forty-five."* 

* N. Y. Gazette, fto., Felirauy 19, 1770. 



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EXCHANGE. 285 

We again turn to the " Eocchange,^^ where we find, " On Monday, 
the 14th inst., January, at six in the evening, will be held at the Long 
Room in the Exchange, the Annual Meeting of the Marine Society 
of the City of New York, in the proyince of New York in America, 
of which the members and those who incline to become members are 
desired to take notice. By order of the President. 

" Robert Benson, jffec'y."* 

Then, in the month of June following, it was found in the posses- 
sion of several valiant eoldiera^ whose grand attack on two peaceable 
countrymen is noticed, as follows: "On Tuesday, the 11th instant, 
we, the subscribers, Jacob Mills and Jeremiah Mulford, of Brook- 
haven, on Long Island, having taken lodgings at the house of Mr. 
William Milner, near the Exchange in New York, about 9 o'clock 
in the evening we went from his door into the piazza of the Exchange^ 
where three soldiers who entered immediately after us, and the cen- 
try, who stood there before, without the least provocation on our 
part, furiously attacked us with drawn bayonets, both by thrusting 
and striking, whereby we were both wounded in many places and 
one of us dangerously in the head, face, hands, and body, and then 
forcibly carried us away to the guard-hotMe, and there confined us. 
We being at first ignorant of the cause of this outrageous behaviour, 
inquirea the reason of it, and entreated the soldiers not to murder 
us, which we apprehended was their design, and which they often 
threatened both on the way to the guard-house and while we were 
there ; they accused us with throwing stones at the centry in the Ex- 
change, (placed there, we understand, on account of an entertainment 
made by the officers in the rooms above.) We declared and offer'd 
to prove our innocence of the charge — or to give security for our 
appearance to answer for our conduct the next day — but all in vain, 
we were hurried to the guard-house; and after several hours' con- 
finement, were told that if we would pay 45s., they would release 
us; we expostulated on the injustice of the demand, but one of us 
being faint thro' loss of blood, and being in danger of bleeding to 
death, in order to get our wounds dressed, and out of such hands, 
we consented to deliver the money, which, when they had received, 
they suffered us to depart. 

"Next day, being advised that the shortest means of redress 
would probably be by trial before a court-martial, we applied ac- 
cordingly to advice, and on Thursday the 13th, a court-martial be- 
ing called, the four soldiers were brought before them for trial. 
We had several witnesses to prove that we were not the persons 
who threw stones at the centry ; that we had but just left the house 
• N. T. Joarnal, Jaaoary 14, 1771. 



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EXCHANGE. 

of Mr. Milner, and bad not meddled or concerned onrselvos with 
them at the time they attacked as. On the other hand, three or four 
soldiers in behalf of the prisoners appeared as witnesses, who de- 
clared that we had thrown stones at the oentry, and that the money 
paid for onr release was not extorted from us, bat Tolantarily offered 
and pressed npon the soldiers in order to indace them to release as, 
that the affair might drop without farther inquiry," " No oath was 
administered to any of the witnesses on either side. Upon the 
whole, we could obtain no manner of redress, and have since under- 
stood that the soldiers were cleared."* 

The next year, (1772,) the cupola of the Exchange being much out 
of repair, an appropriation of X50 was voted for that purpose. The 
lower floor at this period was no doubt used as a place of meet- 
ing of the merchants, as the repeal of the Act on many of the ''home 
productions" had withdrawn this sort of trade from here; however, 
there appears to have been business enough in the neighborhood to 
induce the Corporation to establish a ferry two years after at this 
slip, " or from a stairs directly fronting the Broad Street, at the east 
side of the Long Bridge, and on Long Island at a stairs built at the 
Dock of Mr. Remsen. This ferry will be called SaiiU Otorg^s 
Ferry. Passengers on the New York side will find the ferryman, 
if not at the stairs, attending either at the house of Mr. John Lee, 
the corner below the Coenties Market, or of Mr. James Cobham." 
Then " Jqhn Cornell gives notice that he h^ opened a tavern at his 
house on Tower Hill on Long Island, near the new ferry, called 'St. 
George's Ferry.* Companies will be entertained, if they bring their 
own liquor, and may dress turtle, Ac, at said house on the very 
lowest terms."t In the month of August following he gives notice, 
" that there will be a BvH baited on Tower Hill, at three o'clock in 
the afternoon, every Thursday during the season." 

The Corporation in the previous month of February had agreed 
to establish ferries " from Coenties Market to the landing-place of 
Philip Livingston, Esq., and Mr. Henry Remsen on Nassau Island; 
another from the Fly Market to the present ferry at Brooklyn, and 
a third from ' Peck Slip' to land at the place last mentioned.'* 

We turn to the Exchange, and find "Rivington" {March 24, 1774,) 
says: "On Tuesday last the greatest and most respectable number 
of the inhabitants of this city ever known to be assembled on such 
an occasion, gave at the Excharige a very elegant entertainment to 
His Excellency the Governor, (TryoUj) on his approaching depart- 
ure for Great Britain. True harmony and convivial mirth filled 
the heart of every one present, and the day and evening passed 
• N. T. Journal, Juae SO. f N. Y. Mercury May, 1774 



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EXCHANGE. 287 

with the most unii)temipted concord and unanimity. When His 
Bxcellencj took leave of the company, he thanked them for their 
genteel compliment; and added, that he went from them with re- 
lactance, bnt that he expected soon to return, and hoped to find 
tiiem in the same happy union in which he then left them." 

The general introduction in the colonies of the manufacturing of 
woolen goods caused from the " Stamp Act" in 1765, no doubt tend- 
ed to increase the breeding of sheep and lambs, but not to that de- 
gree which the detnand called for. Prior to this ''Stamp Act," 
sheep were raised more for exportation than for wool, as that article 
was but little used, and consequently at a low price, and not in de- 
mand. Mutton had but few admirers, and sheep were not allowed 
to increase above the demand for exportation; but in the "lamb" 
state, thousands were exterminated as food ; and although associa- 
tions were organized against the use of young lamb, yet this fact did 
not assist in the large demand for wool.* The Provincial Congress 
in 1774, however, passed a resolution prohibiting sheep from being 
exported ; this, with the increased price of wool, gave more encour- 
agement to the farmers, until destroyed by the " Revolution." 

Soon after this resolution was passed by Congress, an attempt 
was made to evade it by one of the trading vessels. "On Monday 
last, (said Gainer) a discovery being made that 18 sheep were in a 
sloop in the harbor bound for the West Indies, a number of citizens 
waited on the Captain, and informed him that the exportation of 
«Aeep was contrary to a resolution of the Continental Congress, 
and thereupon obtained his promise that they should be relanded, 
and not carried out of the harbor. The people were satisfied, and 
patiently waited till evening, when a report prevailing that the 
vessel was to sail that night, about 200 inhabitants assembled on 
the wharf, appointed and sent four persons to wait on the Commit- 
tee of Correspondence, and request their advice concerning the 
measures proper to be taken. By their advice, the merchant to 
whom the yessel came consigned was sent for, and desired to cause 
the sheep to be landed and delivered to one of the Committee ap- 
pointed on this occasion by the people, which person gave his prom- 
ise to return the sheep as soon as the vessel sailed. Accordingly 
the sheep were landed, delivered, and soon after the vessel was sail- 
ed, returned to the proprietor ; on which the people being well sat- 
isfied, peaceably dispersed." 

These proceedings were not at all relished by "A Westchester 
Farmer," who says : " Had the Congress attended in the least to the 
iarmers' interests, they never would have prohibited the exporta- 
• See Fly Market, ** ArchlTes," p. 914, October 20, 1774, toL L 



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288 SXCHANOE. 

tibn of sheep, after they came to a certam age. It is the exporta- 
tion that keeps up the price of sheep ; it is the advantageous price 
that encourages the farmer to feed them: take away the profit of 
selling them, and the farmer will Jceep bat few. For they are not, 
and I am confident never will be, in this country, worth keeping 
for their wool alone. However, right or wrong, the Congress have 
passed the decree. Thou shaU not export sheep was pronounced at 
Philadelphia ; and, right or wrong, the Committee of New York 
are determined to put it in execution ; and thou ahait not export sheq) 
is echoed back from New York. How this decree is to be support- 
ed in New York, may be learned from the following affair : A gen- 
tleman, an ofiBcer in the King's service, had purchased a number of 
sheep to carry with him to St. Vincent's: Mr. Gaine's netoapaper 
says eighteen. The New Yorkers, probably afraid that they should 
lose their share of the mutton, assembled on the dock, sent for the 
Committee, and, in open violation of the laws of their country, 
obliged the merchant to whom the vessel had been consigned to 
have the sheep landed: the sheep were committed to safe durance 
till the vessel sailed, and then were delivered to the proprietor. I 
suppose to the person who had sold them to the officer ; though how 
he could be the proprietor after he had sold them, I cannot see." 

The next year, the subject of killing lambs in certain months of 
the year was brought before the Provincial Congress, and on the 
23d of June a resolution was introduced by Gouverneur Morris, 
" That the inhabitants ought not to kill any lamb until the first of 
November next." This was referred to a meeting on the 29th inst., 
when ''Mr. (Captain) McDougal offered a substitute, which was 
carried;" and they "Resolved, therefore, That no person in this 
Colony kill any lamb until the first day of August next." 

In the month of August following, a public-house opposite the 
Exchange was much injured from a cannon-ball, the particulars of 
which are as follows: "On the night of the 23d of August, 1775, 
while the Sons of Liberty were removing cannon from the Battery, 
the Asia man-of-war began firing with cannon, and the balls struck 
a house next to Roger Morris's and Samuel Fraunces', at the corner 
of the Exchange: each had an eighteen-pound ball shot into their 
roofs."* This firing was the first cannonading the city received in 
the Revolution, and caused considerable alarm, especially among 
the women and children, many of whom hurriedly left the city. 

Some of the "Sons of Liberty" soon after turned their attention 
to Rivington, whose "Gazette" had become very abusive; when one 
of their number, Captain Sears, brought into the city a small body 
* JEUvingtoa'B GcuBettoer, Aogoat 31, 1776. 



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EXCHANGE. 289 

of Connecticut troopers, in the middle of the day of the 4th of De- 
cember following, and demolished his press and printing materials, 
which stopped his paper, and he soon after went to England. How- 
ever, he retarned after the British troops had taken possession of 
the city, and his reception back again is thus noticed : '' On Thurs- 
day eyening last {26th September^ 1777,) the house of Loosley and 
Elms, King's Head Tavern, was elegantly illuminated, to testify the 
joy the true * Sons of Freedom ' had on the arrival of Mr. Biving- 
ton from England. This gentleman, with unparalleled fortitude, hav- 
ing nobly disdained to usher to the world any inflammatory pieces, 
which might be productive of introducing anarchy, instead of con- 
stitutional authority, into this once happy country, felt in the sever- 
est degree the rage of popular delusion. Liberty he always firmly 
adhered to ; licentiousness from his soul he ever detested. A per- 
son, in honor to free press, extemporary pronounced this: 



* Rivington \b arrived— let every i 

This injured penoD'0 worth coofen: 
Hts royal heart abhorr'd the Rebel plan, 
And boldly dam'd them with his press.' " * 

He came with the appointment of King's Printer for New York, 
and changed the former name of " Rivington's Gazette,'' to the 
** Royal Gazette," in which were afterwards found the Govern- 
ment's proclamations and orders. 

William Butler, a British ofiBcer, says: "The inhabitants, from 
the arrival of His Majesty's troops till the evacuation of New York 
in November, 1783, were free from the payment of taxes of every 
kind, either for the purpose of lighting the lamps or cleaning the 
city, repairs of the pumps, streets, or roads, or the public works, as 
well as the maintenance of the poor." " The markets were raised 
above eight hundred per cent, for the necessaries of life. The 
landlords, from the demands for houses, raised their rents on an 
average of four times the sum such houses rented previous to the 
rebellion. And the vast number of merchants and others daily 
arriving in the city, was the cause of a constant increase in the 
article of house-rent." t 

Some details of the scarcity of provisions in the city at this pe- 
riod are introduced in the history of Fly Market; but out of the 
city, the Rebels, as Rivington was much pleased to notice the Patri- 
ots, in his Royal Oaxette, November 17, 1777 — " By a flag of truce 
which arrived on Tuesday evening, which left Albany on the 4th 
inst., we learn that the necessaries of life have risen to such exor- 

• N. Y. Gazette and Weekly Mercury, September 29, 1777. 
t TomUnaon'i Papers, in Mercantile Library. 

Vol. L— 19 



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290 EXCHANGE. 

bitant prices as make them almost unattainable to those not con- 
cerned in the Bebel Army.'' '' The currency is reduced to the low- 
est ebb, and barter is substituted in the place of money. Those 
who have not one commodity to give for another, must pay the fol- 
lowing prices, viz. : Port wine, 8 dollars per bottle ; rum, 12 dollars 
per gallon ; salt, 30 dollars per bushel ; Bohea tea, 16 dollars per 
lb. ; sugar, 10 shillings per lb. ; beef, 1 shilling and 4 pence per lb.; 
indifferent linen, when to be had, 12 dollars per yard ; and butter, 
from 9 to 10 shillings per lb.'* The same, 24th inst., states that 
such articles as ** flour, rice, tea, and tobacco were brought by land 
over the Middle Road, through York Town in Pennsylvania, and 
Hartford in Gonnecticut, to Boston, where flour sells at 15 dollars 
per hundred; shoes, 10 dollars; boots, 36 dollars; and trowsers, 
(pantaloons,) such as are worn by negroes, 18 dollars a pair; a very 
plain surtout coat, without lining, 60 dollars ; ordinary beef, 1 shil- 
ling; prime do., 15 pence; pork, 18 pence; and not a single hat to 
be purchased at any price." 

We also find " Holt," the patriotic printer of the N. T. Journal^ 
who, with the army under General Washington, had left the City 
of New York, and afterwards was found publishing his paper along 
at intervals, suffering with the rest, for want not only of means, but 
also of the necessaries of life, which he proposes to take in the way 
of trade. In the month of August he says : "And the printer being 
unable to carry on his business without the necessaries of life, is 
obliged to afiSx the following prices to his work, viz. : For a quarter 
of news, 12 lbs. of beef, pork, veal, or mutton, or 4 pounds of butter, 
or 7 lbs. of cheese, or 18 lbs. of fine flour, or half a bushel of wheat, 
or one bushel of Indian corn, or half a cord of wood, or 300 wt. 
of hay, or other articles of country produce, as he shall want them, 
in like proportions, or as much money as will purchase them at the 
time; for other articles of printing work, the prices to be in pro- 
portion to that of the netospaper. All his customers, who have to 
spare any of the above, or other articles of country produce, he 
hopes will let him know it, and afford him the necessary supplies, 
without which his business here must very soon be discontinued." 

The situation of the Rebels on the 12th of June, 1780, at the 
Highland Forts, and the detachments that were sent to the north 
from there, were noticed as follows: "They are obliged to carry 
even provisions with them, which they can ill spare, living, as they 
do at the Highland Forts, from hand to mouth ; there being no 
magazines anywhere, and the country already drained, and the 
prospect respecting the ensuing harvest very discouraging."* ^To 
* N. Y. Quetto ADd Weeklj Meroory. 



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EXCHANGE. 291 

supply the deficiency of meat, they are employed, in all the upper 
parts of the (North) river, in taking and salting fish for the Conti- 
nental soldiers." Prom another source-—" We are informed by a 
gentleman who lately left Albany, that the chief Continental butch- 
er there is ordered to employ a number of the other butchers in 
catching fish, such as herring and sturgeon, for the use of the 
Continental Army, as their money is reduced to so low an ebb, that 
they cannot afibrd beef, and that they have a guard at the farm of 
General Schuyler at Saratoga, to prevent the inhabitants getting 
any share of the fishery."* 

The next year, (1781,) in the month of July, we find General 
Washington at Dobb's Perry, where he and his little army lay en- 
camped ; and, to encourage the farmers and others to bring pro- 
visions, clothing, Ac, there for sale, he, by a " Proclamation," es- 
tablished a market-place, as follows: 

"-Be it knovm^ That every day during the time the army remains 
in its present position, from daybreak until noon, two market- 
places will be open for the supply of the army: one near His 
Excellency's Head-Quarters, in the field first back of the house and 
near the quarters of the Adjutant and Quarter-Master-General ; the 
other in the Prench camp, near the house of Henry Taylor, which 
is the Head-Quarters of His Excellency the Count de Rochambeau. 

"All persons who will bring any article of provisions, and small 
supplies for the use of the army, may depend upon being protected 
in their persons and property ; and shall have full and free liberty 
to dispose of the produce without molestation or imposition ; and 
will receive no hinderance from the guards of the army on their pass- 
ing to or repassing from the market-places. No person will be per- 
mitted to take any article without the full consent of the owner. 

" It is expected, however, and will be required, that every per- 
son, on his or her first coming to market, wiU be furnished with a 
certificate of recommendation, shewing their attachment to the 
American cause and interest, signed by two civil magistrates, or two 
other respectable persons, of known and approved character, that 
no injury may arise to the army from the arts of designing and 
evil-minded persons. If the army should take a different position, 
other places will be named where the like liberty and protection 
will be given. Given at Head-Quarters, near Dobb's Perry, the 
10th day of July, 1781. G. Washington. 

*' By His Excellency's command. 

"Jonathan Trumbull, Jun'r, Secretary y 

In 1778, says the " Bw/al Oatette/' of the 2d of December, " Mrs.. 
• Boyal Gasetto, Maj 17. 



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292 EXCHANGE. 

Treville has just returned from the country, and opened the * Lon- 
don Coffee-House' at the Exchmge, where gentlemen maj be en- 
tertained with breakfasts, dinners, and suppers, tea, coffee, Ac* 
Those gentlemen who please to honor her with their company, as 
she is provided with a good waiter and cook;'' and on the 2d of 
February, 1780, " the New York Marine Artillery Company are de- 
sired to meet this day, at twelve o'clock, at their rendezvous in the 
Exchange.^^ 

But the Exchange was not long after a rendezvous for the British 
soldiery, either to meet or feast; smiling pea/ce stepped in and bade 
them depart, and give place to the tired and tried soldiers of free- 
dom, that they might rest in the arms of liberty. 

The first news of jjeooe, says Butler,* in a letter, was " On the 6th 
day of April, 1783: a packet from England arrived at New York, 
and brought over the preliminary articles of peace ; and on the 8th 
of the same month, His Mtyesty's proclamation, declaring a cessa- 
tion of hostilities, was publickly read by the Town M^jor at the 
City Hall." The reception of this proclamation among the loyal 
citizens is thus described : " We are informed by persons who were 
present at New York when the proclamation for a cessation of hos- 
tilities was read in the presence of a great number of people, that 
at the conclusion, instead of the signs of approbation generally ex- 
hibited on such occasions, nothing but groans and hisses prevailed, 
attended by bitter reproaches and curses upon their king, for having 
deserted them in the midst of their calamities. The greatest de- 
spair is depicted in every countenance, and the little comfort they 
can possibly experience in the deserts of Nova Scotia will tend to 
heighten their distress. It is said that the number of persons last 
embarked for that country amount to near four thousand, "t 

This was followed with an " Order," dated " Head-Quarters, New 
York, 16th of June, 1783. The proprietors of houses or lands late- 
ly evacuated will apply to Lieutenant-General Campbell, for the 
possession of those on Long Island ; to Brigadier-General Birch for 
those on York Island, and Brigadier-General Bruce for those on 
Staten Island. These general officers will be pleased to cause all 
such estates to be immediately delivered up to the proprietors or 
to their attornies, unless where they may see sufficient reasons for 
retaining them some time longer, which reasons they will report to 
the Commander-in-Chief. In ^like manner, all estates which shall 
hereafter be evacuated are to be surrendered up to the proprietors, 
"(Signed,) Ol. Db Lancby, Adjt. General.^t 

* TomUnson's Papen, in Mercantile Library. 

t Fenna. Packet, April 17, 1783. | Ibid., Jane 2L 



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EXGHAN6B. 293 

A correspondent describes the manner in which these estates were 
delivered up to their rightful owners. He says: '* On the publica- 
tion of the ratification of the preliminary articles of peace, many of 
the old citizens of New York, who had fled from that place at the 
approach of the British, sold and disposed of their places in the 
country, (thinking, as all the world thought besides, that it was 
actually peace,) and went to New York, but to their utter astonish- 
ment, even of the loyalists, those people were not permitted to go 
into their own houses ; the keys of all empty houses, and such as 
should be evacuated, being ordered to the Commandant's office, 
who out of his very great goodness condescended to let such houses, 
on the party hiring paying him down three months^ rent. We need 
not inquire who pockets tUs three months' rent, with all other rents 
within the British lines, injustly detained from the rightful owners. 
The Commandant, General Birch, will not tell us, nor will any con- 
cerned in this very honorable traffick. Suffice to say, it has long 
been, and still is, lost to all Whig proprietors of houses, to subjects 
of the King of Great Britain."* Another says: "A number of 
houses in New York being now empty, many of the former owners 
have applied for leave to repossess them, but have in general been 
refused."t The wretched condition in which the houses, churches, 
and other property were also found, is thus described by another, 
who '' observes that he has lately viewed the churches and houses in 
New York, and that all the churches are, except the Episcopal, the 
Moravian, and the Methodists, converted into store-houses or bar- 
racks, and appear in a very loathsome condition ; the fences which 
encompassed the burying-yards being destroyed, the pews in all, and 
the galleries in some of them, pulled down ; the windows broken and 
otherwise much abused.''^ *' A person recently from Staten Island, 
relates that there is scarcely a pannel of fencing left in all that place ; 
and others say the case is precisely the same on Long Island, the 
rails having been burnt by the soldiery. It is with the greatest 
difficulty the unfortunate inhabitants can keep a small inclosure for 
their cattle and flocks at night, which they are obliged to watch 
through the day to save their grain from destruction ;"§ and no 
doubt, from the latter cause. "A melancholy accident happened 
(April 17) at the house of Leffert Lefierts, Esq., in Bedford, Long 
Island ; his daughter, a very accomplished young lady, having ob- 
served to her mother that a loaded pistol, left by a drover who had 
been watching his cattle with it the preceding night, upon a chest of 
drawers, was rather dangerously placed, and that some of the chil* 

* PeDDE. Packet, July 23, 178S. t Ibid., Augtui 2X 

t Ibid., M»7 27. i Ibid., July S. 



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204 EXCHANGE. 

dren might be hurt by it, proceeded to remove ajid put it in a holater 
that hong close by; but ia the operation the pistol discharged, the 
shot went through her body, and she expired immediately."* 

Many other interesting facts are shown in a letter, dated '* Hackin- 
sack, August 30, 1783," of which the following is an extract: " This 
month completes seven years my family and self have lived in a state 
of exile from our wonted habitation in New York. What a scene, 
or rather what a tragedy, has been acted in our country since that 
timel I was lately over at New York, and though I did not meet 
with any considerable personal insults, I had the mortification to 
see some overgrown Tories stalking about, whose looks I did not 
altogether approve of. There is one Tilton I saw there in particu- 
lar, whose practice has been these six or seven years to burn grist- 
mills and meetiugrhouses without the lines. This fellow walks con- 
stantly with a spear-cane, and talks of nothing but rebels and rebel- 
lion, and such like stuff. As to the British, they are tolerable civil 
and polite ; and though there are centries placed at almost every 
hundred yards distance, they molest no one who behaves himself 
with propriety. The poor Hessians will soon be all embarked and 
gone. In general, they have been very much inclined to desert, and 
several boatmen and market people are in goal, upon an accusation 
of having aided and assisted numbers of them in getting off. The 
fire-wood, to the amount of several thousand cords, laid in by the 
British army since last spring, at the expense of 50s. and X3 a cord, 
is now selling out at 259. and 28s. per cord. I met with some of 
my old acquaintances here, who were, some of them, formerly very 
fat, stout men, that are now reduced to mere skeletons, at the pros- 
pect of leaving this place with the army. A certain Tory gentle* 
man, who lives not a very considerable distance from the Brookland 
Ferry, will stay, in my opinion, without the consent of the Legialar 
ture, as I think he intends to fret himself into the grave in the 
course of a few weeks. You may remember that in 1775, when you 
and I were crossing over to Long Island, that we laughed to hear 
him and Parson Inglis tete- -tele, talking about the 75,000 Russians 
that were to come over to annihilate us, knits and lice. There is 
no end to auctions and vendues ; everything is selling off, and I be- 
lieve a great deal more than the venders can make a good title for. 
Amongst other articles, there ai*e immense of household furniture 
exposed to sale, either new painted, or disguised in such a manner 
as to prevent the former proprietors from knowing it again. Few 
or no negro slaves are given, up. My chief errand to town was 
to look up one of mine, and I saw the rogue, but found he had 

, * Peana. Packet, April 26, 1783. 



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BXGHANOB. 295 

formed such connectioiui with a certain great personage that I could 
no longer look upon him aa my own. Ho told me he was going 
to Novy Koshee. An American officer was lately in town, (I believe 
he was of the militia,) and having met with some ill-nsage, com- 
plained to David Mathews. This Father of the Oity, it is said, 
treated him very roughly, and by way of shortening conversation, 

wished all d -A rascals in hell. The Oeneral then hurried away, 

and by a speedy embarkation narrowly escaped a good pelting with 
stones, with a volley or two of which he was complimented after 
the boat left the wharff. The meeting-houses are in a most deplor- 
able condition, the receptacles of filth and nastiness. Except theft 
and pilfering, there is very little business carried on at present. 
The boat we went to town in had her sails stolen away in the night, 
although we lay on board purposely to watch them. We were thank* 
fill, however, that we were not stolen boat and all."* 

Another report soon after states, that '' Some nocturnal incend* 
iaries made a third attempt to destroy the City of New York by 
fire. Six of the viUians, we hear, are taken."t (The two first, viz., 
1776 and 1778, are noticed in this volume.) 

The communication on the rivers for market and other river craft 
was opened to and from New York in the month of April, and ''We 
further learn that since the communication has been opened to New 
York, the nuiTlceis there have fallen oonsiderably, and it is expected 
that beef, flour, butter, Ac, will be as low as ever in a short time.''t 
Then the arrival of two sloops at Albany in the month following, 
from New York, is noticed, and before they were allowed to trade, 
a meeting of the inhabitants was called, when th^ decided to grant 
them permission to do so.§ 

In the month of October following, the news ttom New York 
states: "Last Monday (20th inst.) evening, Captain Stewart's ves* 
sel, lying in our harbor, with the colors of the United States of 
America flying, was boarded by the CaTuiiOe, who in a riotous man- 
ner tore them down and carried them through the streets in triumph, 
attended by a chosen band*>itti of negroes, sailors, and loyal leather- 
apron 'd statesmen. The iiyudiciousness of this shabby outrage, and 
the consequences liiat are likely to result firom it, are too obvious 
to need any comment.'^! 

It was not long after, however, when the patriotic citizens were 
enabled to take down the last flag which had been flying above one 
hundred years over the City of New York, and in its place was 
hoisted the wdcome Stars and Stripes^ although some little difficulty 

* PeouL Pteket, September 18. 1783. f Arfd., October 7. 

tlW.,llay6. §Ibid.rJBMiQ^ I Ibid., October IS. 



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296 EXCHANGE. 

was experienced in doing so, as appears stated in a letter from New 
York, dated 26th November, 1783 : ** Yesterday gave ns oar city. 
To the honor of Britain let it be published in every newspaper, that 
to add to their name, (which has already been branded with every 
kind of infamy,) they cut away the halyards from the flagstaff in the 
Fort, (formerly Fobt Oeorge,) and likewise greased the post, so 
that we were obliged to have a ladder to fix a new rope. Inven- 
tions prevented any delay, for the glorious stripes were fixed in the 
sod, and a discharge of thirteen (guns) fired. The city has been re- 
markable quiet. A few days will, I hope, produce a little scrutiny, 
when the Tories take care."* 

Soon after the Council of Appointment '' ordered that all persons 
becoming inhabitants of this city do, within 24 hours after arrival, 
report their names, former places of residence, and number of their 
family to the Secretary of the Council ; and that all inhabitants re- 
ceiving inmates or lodgers, do in like manner report their names 
and former places of abode, &c."t 

'' When I look around me," says another, *' and see the contrast 
between the Whigs and Tories, I am hardly able to contain myself; 
these despicable beings are basking themselves in the sunshine of 
affluence and ease, whilst those who have been wasting their consti- 
tutions and spending their fortunes in the service of their country, 
have hardly been able to support themselves with the necessaries of 
life during the winter. The distresses that have been exhibited 
here within the three last months are striking proofs of my asser- 
tion."^ Another also writes, '' that the distresses of the poor were 
never so great as at present."§ Added to this, when the Hon. James 
DuiNE was appointed Mayor of the City, '' Instead of giving a pub- 
lic entertainment on the investiture of the mayoralty, as had been 
customary with his predecessors, humanely reflecting on the want 
and distress which are so prevalent at this severe season, he rather 
chose to present twenty guineas towards the relief of his suffering 
fellow-citizens, observing, on the occasion, that his liberality was 
limited by the shock which had affected his private fortune in the 
progress of the war."|| 

Some two years after the evacuation, says Dr. Anderson, she^ 
had become tolerable plenty again, when a number of agents from 
the English manufacturers of cloths and other woolen goods came 
here and bought up nearly all the sheep and slaughtered them, 
stripped the wool from the skins, and sent it to England to be man- 
ufactured and returned.* This experiment in a measure fSsdled, as 

* Penna. Packet, December 2, 1783. f T\nd., December 4, 17Sa 

} Ibid., lUrch 20, 1784. § lUd., Karali 13, 1784. |t Ibid., Maroh SO, 1784. 



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EXCHANGE. 297 

many of our farmers' wives had previoosly obtained the knowledge 
of making the homeapuna^ which they yet, and many years after, pre- 
ferred to wear. The carcasses of this mntton were sold so cheap 
that thousands laid up their winter's provisions of this meat. 

Not a marketrhonse was found to have been altogether used for 
market purposes, except the Fly and Oswego ; all below these were 
destroyed. The lower part of the Exchange was the only place un- 
occupied in a public building that could be used for a market, which 
the '* neighborhood ask that it may be temporarily used '^ for that 
purpose. On the 14th of April, 1784, the authorities *' do agree and 
order, that the lower part of the building commonly called the Ex- 
change be used (until further order of this Board) as a public mar- 
ket-place." No doubt it was soon after taken possession of by 
butchers and others, and established a market-place; or so it appears 
in a notice for the sale of " that spacious, well-built freehold estate, 
situate in Great Dock (Pearl) Street, well known as Frauncbb's 
Taver^t. The premises are extensive and well adapted to the uses 
of a numerous family ; its vicinity to the new market, and the proba- 
bility that new and elegant houses will soon be built in that part of 
the city."* The Hon. William A. Duer also notices the occupation 
of the Old Exchange, which, he says, was " a brick building standing 
upon arches in the centre of Broad Street, below Great Dock Street 
Here our merchants once used to congregate; but the space under 
the arcade had been converted into a market of a different descrip* 
tion, where, instead of uncurrent notes or fancy stocks, the more sub- 
stantial articles of beef and mutton were bought and sold." Grant 
Thorburn, in one of his letters, says : " As I entered Broad Street, 
near its foot stood the old Royal Exchange. On the ground floor 
a butcher was cutting beef-steaks ; a dozen or more of Bergen squat- 
ters ' were trying to dispose of their stock of crabs, clams, and mus- 
cles ; and all were talking together, and creating a compound jargon 
of High-Dutch, Mowhawk, and African, accompanied with laughter 
loud and long." 

The butchers who resided in the city were obliged to use the old 
public slaughter-house, which had stood on Bayard near (now) Mul- 
berry Street, until the summer of 1784, when it was ordered to be 
removed to Corlaer's Hook, and to be built over the water. Those 
who stood in this market, being so far from the new location, peti- 
tioned for liberty to kill their cattle in the slaughter-house at White- 
hall, which had been used by the British troops while in possession 
of the city. They also, in their petition, say : "That we often want 
to slaughter beef, veal, and mutton in one day, and that the two lat- 
• N. Y. Packet, September 9, ITSi. 



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208 BXCHANQB. 

ter being allowed to be killed in the slaug^ter-honae at tiie WLite* 
Hall ; and if we are obliged to go to the Corlaer's Hook to elanghter 
our beef, it will pat us to a great inconvenience ; that we are will- 
ing to make Mr. Blanchard {lessee) ample satisfaction for it, so that 
he may not be a loser." (Signed by) John Jeremiah, butcher ; Chris- 
tian Miller, butcher ; John Caple, butcher; William Hunter, batcher; 
and John McLaughlin, butcher. 

John Jeremiah was very patriotic as well as somewhat remarkar 
ble in his business, having been the only batcher who conducted his 
whole business in the First Ward of the City of New York after 
the Revolution. He was a native of Saxe Gotha, Germany, and 
came to Philadelphia in the year 1773, where, on the breaking out 
of the war, he entered into the service of the Pennsylvania Militia, 
and was at the battles of '' Mud Fort'' and Trenton ; after which he 
entered on board of the American privateer Eblcker^ and served the 
term of enlistment; when he returned to Philadeljrfiia and entered 
into his business of a batcher for a short period, or until the close of 
the Revolution, when he immediately removed and became a citizen 
of New York. Here he again started into business, with a stand 
under a large tree near Coenties Slip, which is still remembered by 
some of the old citizens. The old market-house had been destroyed 
during the war, and no other place could be then assigned. He 
next moved in the Uxduingej where we now find him ; five years 
after the *' Exchange Market" was finished, and he was transferred 
on stand No. 1, where he continued business many years after. He 
resided at No. 14 Water Street until his death, which occurred in 
1816 ; having lived in this ward over thirty years. He was the 
father of the well-known old butcher and highly esteemed citizen. 
Thomas Jeremiah, whom we flhall further notice in the ^'Washing* 
ton Market." 

The large rooms in the upper part were next taken for public por> 
poses ; the Legislature, Courts of Justice, and occasionally societies, 
held their sessions there. Governor George Clinton, by a proclar 
mation of the 16th November, 1785, '' required the Senate and As- 
sembly of the State to meet at the Exchange in this city on Friday, 
the 6Ui of January next." To prevent the interruption from street 
noises, '* chains were ordered to be fixed across the street" on the 
23d October, 1789. The following month " the Federal Court, for 
the District of New York, met at the Exchange^ and after forming 
the Court, the Judge was sworn, and several Attomies admitted."* 
. The St. Tammany's Society or Columbian Order obtained, through 
petition presented on the 10th of September, 1790, a privilege " to 
use the Exchange Boom^ weekly, as a temporary accommodation." 
• N. T. Paoket, November 6, 1789. 



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EXCHANGE. 299 

This was signed by a commiUee consisting of 

Melancton Smith, James Ogden Hoffinan, 

William W. GUbert, James M. Hughes. 

Three years after, the city (in fact, the whole country,) became 
yiolently agitated in consequence of the war between France and 
England. Two parties appear here much interested: the Federals 
for neutrality, and the Wh^s for assistu^ the French. 

The French Minister, Citdzen Genet, arrived here and met with 
an enthusiastic welcome, having been brought from France in the 
French frigateof-war Ambuscade^ commanded by Citizen Bompard. 
A British frigate, called the Boston, of 32 guns, commanded by Gap- 
tain Courtney, soon after appeared on the coast, anxious to have an 
engagement with the Ambuscade; and what follows is better told 
by the ** Press,'' noticed July 31st, same year: '*0n the Coffee-Hoose 
books on Moi^^ay, the 29th instant: last evening came up from 
Sandy Hook the revenue cutter, Captain Dennis, who at 4 P. M., 
two leagues E. by S. from Sandy Hook, spoke the British frigate 
Boston, Captain Courtney, who informed Captain Dennis he would 
be happy to see the AnU>uscade. (Pinned under it immediately:) 
CiiisBen Bompard tviU wait on Captain Courtney to-morrow, oygfe^ 
My to invitation; he hopes to find him at the Hook"* 

A number of parties of citizens (among which were several Whig 
butchers, who carried down a liberal stock of fresh meats, vegeta- 
bles, &C.,) in different boats, to be eye-witnesses of the battle, and 
many bets are laid on the subject. (I am told by. one of the party 
that several butchers were on board of the Ambuscade, and took an 
active part with them.) 

'' The action begun about half past five Thursday monung, at the 
Hook, (2d of August,) and lasted one hour and three-quarters pre- 
cisely, during which time each frigate behaved with the utmost bra- 
very. One shot from the Ambuscade, about the middle of the 
action, killed Captain Courtney and his first Lieutenant of Marines. 
The Boston, in the end, sheared off and ran away, the Ambuscade 
after her, but could not overtake her ; however, she captured a 
British brig, and carried her into New York as a prize/' . 

From an authentic translation I find— ^' Our ship's (Ambuscade) 
colorsy torn as they were at the close of the aetion, have been pre- 
sented to the Tammany Society of this city, as a tokfiD of that re- 
spect which those virtuous patriots merit, in our opinion,, from their 
Republican brethren in France." 

Li 1795, '' the Corporation generously granted the EsDchange in 
Broad Street fbr the use of a ' Museum,' to the Tammany Society ;'' 

• N. T. Joorma, Ao., July 31, 1793. 



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300 EXCHANGE. 

and the latter, by a resolution on the 25th of June following, " re- 
linquish and assign all their right in the Museum to Gardiner Ba- 
ker, upon the following conditions: That the same shall forerer 
hereafter continue to be known by the name of 'Tammany Museum/ 
in honor of its original founders and patrons ; that each member 
of the Tammany Society shall, with their wives and children, for- 
ever hereafter have free access to the said Museum, free of any ex- 
pense." " The room in which the Museum is contained is 60 feet 
by 30, with an arch of 20 feet high, on which is elegantly painted 
a sky-blue, and intermixed with various kinds of clouds, in some 
of which are naturally represented a thunder-storm, with flashes of 
lightning. The walls were covered with painted trees, animals, 
birds, Ac. The natural curiosity was ' a perfect horn between 5 
and 6 inches in length, which grew out of a woman's head in this 
city.' The living animals was a porcupine, from the East Indies; 
the ant-bear, from the coast of Patagonia; the American gray 
squirrel, and other smaller animals; and living birds, was the 
King of Vultures, from South America; the American Eagle, very 
large and gay; and two beautiful doves, from the Bahama Islands; 
besides preserved animals, birds, fishes, and artificial curiosities, 
coins, and medals."* 

Oardiner Baker was a very eccentric, as well as a very small 
man; somewhat enthusiastic, but industrious and good-natured. 
At this early day he was the Winskinsky of the Order of St. Tam- 
many, The Hon. William A. Duert says of him: "The good 
little fellow was not only a collector of curiosities, but himself a 
greater curiosity than any in his collection. Not only his person 
and manner singular, but so were his address and conversation ; 
and the experiments he made upon the vernacular tongue were not 
less cruel than ludicrous. He had been bitten, too, by a mad anti- 
quary, and the unction with which he would descant upon some di- 
lapidated vestige of local interest exceeded that of a monk in exhib- 
iting an undoubted relic, or recounting some miraculous but well* 
attested legend. How he would luxuriate in describing one of the 
windows of his repository ; the former course of the creek down 
Broad Street, under which it still ran; and pointing out the 'old 
ferry-house' at the corner of Oarden Street, with the pettiauger- 
shaped vane on its gable I Then, as an object of special interest to 
myself, he would direct my attention to the house in which ' Old 
Madam Alexander kept her crockery-shop on one side of the Hall, 
and her husband, the lawyer, his office on the other.' " This nota- 
ble couple (says Duer) were his (D's) great-grand-parents. 

* Daily Advertiser, November 6. 1793. 
From his Addreas before the St Nicholas Society, December 1, lS4a 



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EXCHANGF. 301 

In the montb of August, 1798, although the yellow fever had com- 
menced to devour its victims, yet our little friend Baker was pre- 
paring a grand display at his Museum, which is thus editorially 
noticed in the "press:''* "We are informed that an elegant trans- 
parent view of Mount Vesuvius, showing the great eruption in 
1779, will be shown to the public, this and to*morrow evenings, 
from one of the windows of the Museum, pointing up Broad Street." 
This, no doubt, was his last display at this Museum, as he was soon 
after taken sick, and went to Boston, where his sickness proved to 
be the dreaded fever, of which he died in the month of October of 
that year. 

In the month of July a most distressing occurrence, says the 
Commercial Advertiser, (July 20, 1798,) took place this morning, 
at a French boarding-house on the corner of Pearl and Broad 
Streets, just opposite this "old market-place," the *' Exchange J^ It 
appears that two persons were employed in the Theatre, one of 
which was rather celebrated as an actress, named Madame Qardie, 
and the other, represented as her husband, were, with her child, 
about eight years of age, living here on rather slender means, and 
no doubt, in consequence of pecuniary troubles, he murdered her 
while asleep, and then committed suicide. 

"Dunlap"t says: "The young man (Oardie) was in debt, and, 
as he himself thought, without resource — he was helpless and 
friendless. His wife importuned him to write to his father, (who 
is represented ' as a nobleman, the King's Receiver-General at La 
Bochelle.') He now resolved to return to him, and wished her to 
return with him ; but she could not oonquer her repugnance to the 
family which had rejected her, and the people who had chased her 
from the stage and the country. She refosed to return. It ap- 
pears a separation had been agreed upon, whether final or tempo- 
rary, is not known. He had engaged his passage for France, and 
she had been the evening before her death at Mr. Hallam's, con- 
sulting as to the means of enabling her to return to St. Domingo. 
On the fatal and horrible night, Oardie removed the boy from his 
mother's bed into his own, in the same room, in which he soon 
again fell asleep ; but soon starting at the sound of a groan, which 
he thought proceeded from his mother, the little lad, in great terror, 
called out, 'What is the matter, papa? What is the matter with 
mamma ? ' ' Hush I ' was the reply : ' your mamma is not well — ^bnt 
she sleeps — don't disturb her.' 

"Again the child slept; but a noise of falling, struggling, and 
groans, a third time awoke the boy ; his calls were unanswered — 

* DaUj Advertiaer, Aagoat 24. f American Theatre, pp. 404, 406. 



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PECK SLIP MARKET. 

all was dark and silent. His terror increased when he found 
that he received no answer. Wild with terror, the child reached 
the door of the chamber, and by his cries awsj^ened the mistress 
of the house, who, not understanding him, ' sternly ordered him to 
go to bed.' The child, not daring to return to the dreadful cham- 
ber, sought the bed of one of tiie negro servantSi and crept trem- 
bling to his side. In the morning they found the miserable mur- 
derer lying in the middle of the floor, weltering in his blood ; his 
right hand above his head, still gp'asping the knife, with which he 
had been forced to inflict several wounds on himself before he fell. 
She had been killed by one blow, and lay as if asleep." 

The Museum of Mrs. Baker in the Exchange was continued until 
the year 1799, when this old building was ordered to be taken down, 
in consequence of the complaints made against it. In a petition 
dated 20th of February of fliat year, signed by more than 100 per- 
sons, who stated : '* Should it take fire, inevitable destruction and 
utter ruin must to the ai^jacent building ensue ; it obstructs the pas- 
sage of the streets contiguous thereto, and prevents the free circula- 
tion of air ; and in short, to say the most of it, it is visibly a theatre 
of obscenity, and, instead of being a benefit, it is in every sense of 
the word a public nuisance, and that unless every nuisance is thor- 
oughly removed, a return of the said malignant or yellow fever may 
be expected." 

The building '* is ordered to be removed between the 20th day of 
June next, (1799,) reserving for the public use the bell and stone- 
flagging in and about the said building; and that the Clerk notify 
Mrs. Baker, {now widow,) the present occupant, of the determination 
of the Board on this subject, and that she remove from the said build- 
ing by the 20th of May next." 



"PECK SLIP MARKET." 

1768. This market-place was established by the action of the 
Common Council, at a meeting held on the 8th of March, 1763, on 
a petition from William Walton, Jacobus Roosevelt, Esq's, and sun- 
diy others, for liberty to erect a public marketrhouse, at their own 
cost and expense, in or near Peck Slip, in Montgomerie Ward in 
this city, when it was unanimously resolved and ordered that their 
prayer be granted. 



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PBGK SLIP MARKET. g08 

The inhabitants " subscribed large and generously towards de- 
fraying the expenses of erecting the brick market-house.'' This was 
the first one built of brick in the City of New York ; it stood facing 
Water Street, on the westerly side, at the head of Peck Slip, which 
derived its name from Benjamin Peck, Esq., a wealthy and worthy 
citizen, who died several years previous to its erection. 

It being in the neighborhood of the most fashionable dwellings, 
and the Hite of the city, it soon drew around it a large trade. Some- 
times it was known as the new ''Jersey Market" but usually as "the 
new market at Peck Slip," until after the Revolution, when it be- 
came known as ''Peck Slip Market." In 1767 we find, " to be sold 
at public vendue, on Thursday, the 15th instant, a good new brick 
house and lot of ground in * Montgomerie Ward,' in Queen Street, 
facing the new Jersey Market at Peck Slip," &c.* Two years 
after, " Arnout Gannon has opened a vendue-honse at Peck Slip, op- 
posite the market" Three years after, "John Arthur, on * Cow-foot 
Hill,' near the new market at Peck's Slip, has just received a variety 
of ^oods, &c."t 

The trade continued good until the " Revolution," when the at- 
tendants deserted it, but soon after it was taken possession of by 
the British troops, who used it as one of their store-houses, &c., until 
the 5th of September, 1788, when an order from the (British) Com- 
mandant says : " The market at Peck's Slip is now clearing, and will 
be reserved for the sole use of the country people, who may kill 
their stock to bring to market." It also gave " permission to all 
persons coming from any part of the country with live stock for the 
use of the markets to kill and dispose of the same, provided the stock 
is slaughtered at such places in this city as are set apart for that pur- 
pose, or on board the vessels in which it is brought, and carried to 
one of the public markets to be disposed of. 

" New York, Sept. 5, 1783. J. Blukb, Secretary." 

Soon after the " Evacuation " several butchers had stands assign- 
ed to them there, and these, with the other occupants, did considera- 
ble business, but it was never after so thriving as before the war. 
From the height of the arches, it was a very cold market-house in 
the winter, as will be perceived from a petition of the butchers on 
the 19th December, 1784, who stated: " That from the height of said 
market, in the winter season it is impossible to stand the cold north 
wind. We therefore pray that this Honorable Board would order 
that a few feet of each side towards the northwest end may be in- 
closed." 

On the 1st of August, three years after, the Board " Ordered AI- 
• N. T. Meroorj. Juatry. 1767. t N. T. JooniAl, Deoember 10, IHS. 



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304 PECK SLIP MARKET. 

derman Hazard and Mr. Yan Zant to be a Committee to examine 
and direct such repairs to Peck Slip Market^ and the street adjoin- 
ing it, as was needful ; and on the 6th instant X15 was advanced for 
that purpose." 

Two years after, General Washington became President of the 
United States, and soon after took up his residence near, in the old 
Mansion House which stood (until a few years ago) at the corner of 
Franklin Square and Cherry Street, one square from this market- 
house. In the month of May following, his steward caused the fol« 
lowing notice to be published, headed, " The President's Household. 
Whereas all servants and others employed to procure provisions or 
necessaries for the household of the * President' of ilie United States 
will be furnished with monies for these purposes. Notice is iherer 
fore given, that no accounts, for the payment of which the public 
might be considered as responsible, are to be opened with any of 
them. Samuel Fraunces, Steivard of the Household J** 

In the month of December following, ** A Cook is wanted for the 
President of the United States. No one need apply who is not per- 
fect in the business, and can bring indubitable testimonials of so- 
briety, honesty, and attention to the duties of the station.** Then, 
** A Codchrnan, who can be well recommended for his skill in driving, 
attention to horses, and for his honesty, sobriety, and good disposi- 
tion, would likewise find employment in the family of the President 
of the United States.^'t 

Washington was a rigid observer of punctuality, and he demand- 
ed it from his household as well as all whom he had dealings with. 
" It is also known that whenever he assigned to meet Congress at 
noon, he never failed to be passing the door of the Hall when the 
clock struck twelve." *'A Captain Pease wished to dispose of a 
beautiful pair of horses to the President, who he knew was an ex- 
cellent judge of horses. The President appointed five o'clock in 
the morning to examine them at his stable. The Captain, thinking 
the hour too early for so great a man to be stirring, did not arrive 
with the horses until a quarter after five, when he was told by the 
groom that the President was there at five, and was then fulfilling 
other engagements. Pease was much mortified, and called on Msyor 
Jackson, the Secretary, to apologize for his delay, and to request 
the I*resident to appoint some new time" — when he was compelled 
to wait one week for delaying the first quarter of an hour. 

'* His dining hour was four, when he always sat down to his table, 
only allowing five minutes for the variation of time-pieces, whether 
his guests were present or not. It was frequently the case with 

* N. T. Packet, May 7, 1789. \ Ibid., December 19. 



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PECK SLIP HURKET. 805 

new members of Congress, that they did not arrive until dinner was 
nearly half over ; and he would remark, ' Gentlemen, we are punc- 
taal here ; my cook never asks whether the company has arrived, 
hvi whether the hour has J ''* His diet was also simple and plain, 
seldom partaking of but one dish. Judge Wingate, who was one 
of the guests, describes his first dinner after his inauguration. 
'* The guests consisted of the Vice-President, the foreign Ministers, 
the heads of Departments, the Speaker of the House of Represent- 
atives, and the Senators from New Hampshire and Georgia, the then 
two most Northern and Southern States. It was the least showy 
dinner that I ever saw at the President's table, and the company 
was not large. The President made his whole dinner on a boiled 
hg of mutton. It was his usual practice to eat of but one dish. 
After the dinner and dessert were finished, one glass of wine was 
passed round the table, and no toast. The President arose, and all 
the company, of course, and retired to the drawing-room, from which 
the guests departed, as every one chose, without ceremony." t 

Another anecdote, from a respected friend, William J. Davis, Esq., 
" is related of /Sam, (as Samuel Fraunces was &miliarly called,) who 
was always anxious to provide the first dainties of the season for 
the General's table. It appears that Sam, on making his purchases 
at the Old Fly Market, observed a fine shad, the first of the season ; 
he was not long in making the bargain, and it was sent home with 
his other purchases. Next morning it was duly served up in Sam's 
best style, for the General's breakfast. The General, on sitting 
down to the table, observed the fish, and asked Sam what it was: 
he replied, that 'it was a fine shad.' ' It is very early in the season 
for them,' rejoined the General. ' How much did you pay for it?' 
'Two dollars,' said Sam. *Two dollars! I can never encourage 
this extravagance at my table,' replied Washington. 'Take it 
away — I will not touch it!' The shad was accordingly remored, 
and Sam, who had no such ec&nomioaL scruples, made a hearty meal 
on the fish at his own table."| 

Does not the mind of the honest reader naturally lead to some of the 
following reflections? Will this high offke ever again, from among 
the millions of men, be filled with such a combination of examples — 
Wisdom, Honesty, Simplicity, Frugality, and Temperance? (leaving 
out the "Soldier.") No — would be the immediate response— al- 
though we have not the tongue to say, we have them not; yet, that 
class of men are not destined— cannot be placed in that exalted po- 
sition — ^beeause the people are not the power; but there is the ma* 

* Lincoln's Livct of the Presidents, p. 66. 
Wfttson's Anoals New York, p. 352. \ ValeoUne's Maaaal, 1854, p. 651. 

Vol, I.— 20 



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306 PECK SLIP MARKET. 

chine power, high above the people — ^who grinds the many, to serve 
a small and the worst portion of that people. If time would conde- 
scend to make it once more fashionable to select such men to guide 
and govern this nation, or any part or parcel thereof, what a happy 
people that generation will be — so tilled with those feelings, so mudi 
enjoyed by all who lived under Our Washington's Administration ! 

And as to the amusements — ^more especially to the public assem- 
blies — instead of eleven or twelve o'clock at night before it was 
/ashionoMe to enter the ball-room, in *' olden time" respectable peo- 
ple, who valued health and a vigorous body for the next day's duties, 
at these hours were preparing for rest. The hour then to be ready 
on the floor is better described by — " Mr. Picken respectfully in- 
forms the Ladies and Gentlemen of New York, that his public 
Dance will be on Monday next, at the ' City Assembly Rooms,' to 
begin precisely at five o^dock in the evening. Price of Tickets, 
(not two nor five dollars, hut) six shillings, to be had at the City 
Tavern."* 

The hoar for starting on a sleighing party was one o'clock, P. M., 
when " away they went, animated by the jingle of one or two cow- 
bells, to take a cup of hot tea and have a dance at Madame T ^'s, 

at H . Gasser, on their arrival, tuned his three-stringed fiddle; 

the gentlemen appeared in their square-toed pumps, and the ladies 
shook oflF their pattens,( over-shoes J to display their little feet in peak- 
toed, high-heeled slippers ; and at it they went, dancing and skipping 
for dear life, until eight o'clock, when they hurried to town — for to 
be abroad after nine o^docky on common occasions, was then a sure 
sign of moral depravity." t Reader I if both customs were now 
fashionable, which would you prefer to eigoy, or wish your sons 
and daughters to patronize ? But my reflections have carried me 
from my subject. 

In the month of November, at a meeting of the "Board" on the 
2d inst,, they "Ordered, that the Public Hooks and Ladders be 
removed from the gangway of Mr. George Codwise to the market* 
house at Peck's Slip;" and the next year George Peck was paid 
£7, 4s., 6d. for repairs to this market-house. 

When the "Catharine Market" was finished, in 1786, this mar- 
ket was almost deserted by its tenants ; but few stands were occu- 
pied at that period, and it continued to grow worse, when, on the 
7th of May, 1792, a petition was placed before the Board, stating it 
as " useless, and tends greatly to obstruct the street, and praying 
an order for its removal;" and was followed on the 22d of July, 
same year, with two petitions — one for and one against its removal; 
• N. Y. Packet, Deo. 17, 1789. f Wateon's AimalB, p. 213. 



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BEAR MARKET. 307 

and finally, on the 26th of Angnst, 1793, the Treasurer " was or- 
dered to sell, at pablic vendue, the materials of the market-house 
at Peck's Slip ; the purchaser to remove the whole of the materials, 
and fill up the street to a level, within fifteen days." 



BEAR MARKET • 

1771. WrPHiN the recollections of the living, (1858,) this well- 
known market-place and the '^ Fly Market" were the most prominent 
public markets in the City of New York, although the " Bear Mar- 
ket** was not known until the Fly Market was more than seventy 
years old. 

In the month of August, 1771, the question of erecting this mar- 
ket-house was brought before the Common Council; and after a 
spirited opposition, it was decided to build it on the west side of 
Greenwich Street, between Fulton and Vesey Streets, then known 
" at the Corporation lotts, to the northward of Die's Dock." Some 
wished its erection at Hosier's Dock, others at Die's Dock ; and others, 
again, wished it to grace the present Park, the lower part of which 
was then known as the " Fields," and the upper part the " Com- 
mons." The following shows the proceedings in relation to this sub- 
ject: "At a meeting of the Common Council on the 19th of August, 
1771, several petitions were presented by sundry inhabitants rela- 
tive to the erection of a market at the respective places, as follows: 
Mcsier's Dock, Die's Slip, and at the Commons ; and some of the 
members of the Board were of the opinion that it would be most com- 
modious and beneficial for the publick to erect the said market on 
some of the lots belonging to the Corporation, lying to the north- 
ward of Die's Dock." The several places were respectively voted for. 
First a motion was made, whether the market should be erected in 
the Commons or at the North River, and after a long debate, the 
question was put and carried against erecting it at the North River. 
Then the resolution came up whether the market should be placed 
in the Fields ; that was also lost — eleven voting in the negative and 
four in favor. Several other resolutions were also put and lost at 
the several places ; when the last resolution was put, " whether the 
market should be erected at Mesier's Dock, or on the Corporation 
lots, to the northward of Die's Dock, and carried for the ' Corpo- 
ration lots/ viz., five voting for Mesier's Dock, and ten for the Cor- 



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308 BBAR MARKET. 

poration lots/' It was then further ''Resolved and ordered by the 
Board, that if a market be erected by the neighborhood at the place 
now agreed upon, that the same do not exceed 210 feet in length and 
80 feet in breadth ; that a stone foundation be laid under the whole, 
and that the building of the same be under the entire direction of 
this Corporation." 

The contemplated size was not satisfactory ; it was too long, as it 
would, when built, interfere with the street and shore where the mar- 
ket and other boats landed. The subject came up again three days 
after, when a plan was shown: ''Which is to contain agreeable 
thereto 166 feet in length, and 28 feet in breadth, was exhibited to 
this Board and approved of; and thereupon it was ordered that the 
Aldermen and Assistants of the West,North, and Montgomerie Wards 
be a Committee to superintend the building of the same, and see 
that it be completed by the first of November next." One week 
after, (29th August,) "it being represented to this Board that a 
very considerable sum is already subscribed towards completing the 
said market, and there being no persons properly authorized to re- 
ceive the said subscription money when collected ; this Board there- 
fore, at the request of a number of the subscribers, do hereby appoint 
' John Stagg,' of this city, bricklayer, to receive the same, in order 
that it may be applied to the purpose for which it was subscribed." 

Among the donors towards establishing this market-place, I find 
"Trinity Church" contributed largely, as appears by the following 
resolution : " Thereupon it is resolved and agreed that this Corpo- 
ration will also contribute the sum of two hundred pounds towards 
building the said market, and will release their right and claim to 
the ground on which the same is proposed to be built for the use of 
the market forever." 

The building commenced, as appears from an editorial, which says: 
"Saturday last, (30^A August,) the first stone of the 'Oswego Mar- 
ket,' now erecting on the Corporation ground at the North River, 
was laid by His Worship the Mayor, (Whitehead Hicks,) and the 
second by Mr. Recorder, (Thomas Jones,) and the market is to be 
finished with all expedition."* 

From this we find it was first called "Oswego Market," which was 
caused from the fact that part of the materials of the " Broadway 
Market-House," (known in its latter years as the "Oswego Market,") 
when torn down, was used to assist in the erection of this market- 
house, and it is probable they thought, in moving the materials, they 
would also move the name ; but whether so or not, it appeared to en- 
joy this name in some of the proceedings for above two years after. 
• OiMtte, September 2, 1771. 



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BEAR VARKET. 309 

However, the main object in their moves did not immediately prove 
saceessfnl. The trade was not moved, as will appear from the 
various petitions, to introduce these facts. 

Jost aiter it was finished, (November 14,) a petition from Oeorge 
Stanton and Abraham D. Revier, praying a lease of two lots on the 
south side of the Corporation Dock, between the *' Oswego Market 
and the North River." 

This was soon after followed with a petition from the butchers in 
the "New Oswego Market," to be allowed to remove from it. They 
state: "Being butchers, exercising their trade in the new market- 
house, that on the removal of the Oswego {Broadway) Market and 
the erecting of the other, procured stalls and standings therein, 
hoping, in the honest exercise of their trade there, to gain a comfort- 
able maintenance ; that they have been greatly deceived in their ex- 
pectation, but having usually exercised their trade in the western 
part of the city, and unwilling to lose their customers, and therefore 
have, to their great loss, hitherto continued their attendance in the 
new market. That the trifling resort of customers to that market 
frequently obliges them to carry their meat unsold home again, by 
which it depreciates upon their hands. That being no longer able 
to resist so manifest a loss and disadvantage without ruin to them- 
selves and their families, are compelled to desert said market and 
seek some other place in which they may exercise their trade with 
some prospect of a subsistence, which they are confident they can 
never gain in their present situation. That from their certain 
knowledge of the supplies of provisions from the North River and 
the great resort of consumers at the Oswego (Broadway) Market, 
while it stood in the Broadway, they are convinced that a public 
market-house directly below that place and acyoining the (North) 
river will be attended with a great concourse of buyers and sellers, 
and tend much to promote the public convenience. That the per- 
sons who have erected, at their own cost, a large, convenient build- 
ing there, (see ' Crown Market,*) are willing to devote the same to 
the use of a public market. They therefore pray, as they are very 
onwilling to abandon the western part of this town, that this wor- 
shipful Board will permit them to erect their stalls in said market- 
house." This was signed by 

Nrs. Stakes, Henry Spingler, John Finck, 

Francis Marmal, Christof Tamplar, Thomas St. Amore, 
Jacob Ott, Baltes Spingler, Jacob Finck. 

In the month of March, next year, was presented another petition 
from the Owners of Land and Gardeners in the "Out Ward," who 
bring their produce to the markets. They state, "That many of 



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glO BEAR MARKET. 

yoor petitioners, since the removal of the old Oswego Market, have 
brought their greens and otlier produce to the new Oswego Market 
That upon tryal, thej find, to their great loss, they are not able to 
sell one half the quantity of their truck they used to do in the old 
Oswego Market, which they conceive is owing to the remote situa* 
tion thereof; it being no thoroughfare, and so far from the centre 
of the city, that few people frequent it ; and those that do, come 
chiefly from the Church ( Trinity) ground ; and the bulk of these 
are of the poorer sort of people, who can't purchase much. Besides 
this, many of them have also gardens : of course they have no occa- 
sion to purchase any garden truck of us. Your petitioners have 
attempted to get relief by going to the ' Fly Market,' but it is so 
crowded that they can find no room to stand with their produee." 
They wish relief, " by giving leave to erect a public market on the 
lot commonly called Conroe's Lott, which they conceive would be 
convenient for the public and for themselves." Among the sign- 
ers — above seventy — were 

Cornelius Cozine, Sen'r, Garrit Stryker, Jellis Mandevill, 
John Horson, (Harsen,) James Stryker, Peter Bussing, 
Cornelius Horsen, John Hopper, Sam'l Delamater, 

John Webbers, Samson Benson, Petrus Waldron, 

Mathew Buyce, and others. 
Another followed from the farmers and others residing in the 
Counties of Orange and Bergen, signed by more than one hundred, 
which stated, they " bring to New York poark, butter, veal, and 
other country produce ; all which they have brought hitherto (since 
the removal of the old) to the * new Oswego Market.' That they 
find, by dear-bought experience, great loss and inconvenience in the 
sales of their produce in the present market, which is owing, as they 
conceive, to its standing in a place where there is no thoroughfare, 
and of course very few people pass and repass. That the Oswego 
(Bear) Market, which subjects us to great inconvenience and loss 
of time if we can't find a ready sale for our produce, because stay- 
ing only one hour later in the tide puts us back often a whole day 
or more in our return home. Whereas, if the market stood in a 
place where there are many people passing it, it would enable us to 
make quick sales, and by that means it would save us time and ex- 
penses ; all which we are convinced of by experience, having tryed 
both the old market in the Broadway and the one down to the 
North River." They wish the Corporation to give the inhabitants 
of the neighborhood of the old market privilege to erect a new one 
on " Conroe's Lott." (See Osxcego Marlcet, in Maiden Lane.) 
After the establishment of the new market in Maiden Lane, and 



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BEAR MARKET. gH 

the Corporation nad accepted the " Grown Market/' many of the 
occapants of this were transferred into them, leaving but a few in 
this, although several were afterwards added; but a large part was 
left unoccupied. 

In consequence of this, Alderman Blagge obtained permission, on 
the 26th of May, next year, to place a hay machine in the then called 
*' Corporation Market at the North River." But on the 17th of the 
next month the Committee who were appointed to locate this ma- 
chine stated, " they had fixed on the south end of the * Oswego 
Market,' opposite the middle part." 

However, the name of ** Oswego" had been, by common consent, 
transferred to the new one in Maiden Lane, which act left this mar- 
ket without '' name or fame;" but fortunately, just above this mar- 
ket, a fine large Bear, in attempting to cross the North River from 
the Jersey shore, was killed by a young butcher, from this market, 
named Jacob Finck, and some others, who went after him in a boat ; 
they brought him to the market, where Finck dressed him, and where 
many went to see the ^^Bear down to the market J^ 

These animals had been often seen and killed quite near the city, 
either while crossing the harbor or North River ; and, at an early 
day, even in the city itself. " WooUey's Journal,"* written while its 
author was a resident of New York, about the year 1679, says: "I 
was one with others that have had very good diversion and sport 
with them, in an orchard of Mr. John Robinson's, of New York, 
(noxD located * in the heart of the Second Ward,^) where we followed 
a Bear from tree to tree, upon which he would swarm like a cat; 
and when he was got to his resting-place, perch'd upon a high 
branch, we dispach'd a youth after him with a club to an opposite 
bough, who knocking his paws, he comes grumbling down back- 
wards with a thump upon the ground ; so we after him again." 

Advancing to the year 1732, 1 introduce a different animal into 
the city ; the account of which is found in the N. K Oaxette, July 24, 
which stated: '' Last Thursday (20th) morning a creature of an uncom- 
mon size and shape was observed to break through a window of a 
store-house in this city, and jumpt into the street, where suddenly a 
number of spectators, who followed it till it jumpt over several high 
fences, and at last stuck between two houses, when they shot it. 
Many has had the curiosity to view it, and say it was 7 foot long. 
Most of them say it is a panther, but whence it came, or how it got 
into the store-house, we are at a loss to know." 

The same paper, November 26, 1759, also notices the killing of a 
bear in the hiarbor as follows: ''On Sunday week last past, a large 
• Page 41, publlBbed hj Gowtn. 



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812 BEAR MABKBT. 

bear passed the bouse of Mr. Sebring on Long Island, and took to 
the water at Bed Hook, attempting to swim across the Bay, when 
Cornelius Sebring and his miller immediately pushed off in a boat 
after him. The latter fired and missed, on which Mr. Sebring let 
fly and sent a ball in at the back of his head, which came out of his 
eye, and killed him outright.^ 

Some four years previous, a man was killed by persons looking 
for a bear near this city. The account says: "Jacob Cole, an in- 
habitant here, being out a-gunning, on his return home saw some- 
thing stir in a parcel of weeds, where, twas said, a bear had been 
seen that morning; upon which he repaired to a house nigh at hand, 
to get assistance in order to destroy him, when a white man and a ne- 
gro, with a gun each, loaded with ball, came down to the place where 
he supposed the bear was, and on his arrival, he first fired, and after 
him tlie other two ; they then proceeded nearer, when, to their great 
astonishment, they found one Cornelius Fonck shot dead on the 
spot, who, it was supposed, had laid himself down there to sleep." 

I am told that, previous to the introduction of this bear^flesh by 
Mr. Finck, these animals were seldom or never brought to our mar- 
kets for sale, and that but few would partake of their flesh except 
Indians, hunters, or slaves; but this animal, no doubt, being a fine 
one, and having been dressed and cut up nicely by Mr. Finck, in- 
duced many to try it, who pronounced it good eating; and from 
that time all the beards meat that was brought to the city was car- 
ried and sold in this market, and it became known by the popular 
title of "^carifarJfeee." 

Mitchell, Blunt, Hardie, and others, authors of Hand-Books of 
New York City, give this market the name of ^^Bare Market,'' in 
consequence of the sparseness of the population, business, and sup- 
plies, occasioned by the great fire which happened on the 21st of 
September, 1776. They state that, " in the progress of improve- 
ment, it happened that the marketrhouse was finished long before 
the streets were rebuilt, or the generality of the inhabitants re- 
established. As there were, for a considerable time, few purchasers, 
so it was seldom that a person who had provisions to sell would 
lose his time by exposing them there. In short, there was for a 
year or two, or more, a spacious building, with very little produce. 
This led the citizens, when they mentioned it, to distinguish it by 
the name of ' Bare Market,' or ' the market at which there is nothiz^ 
for sale.'" 

The name of " Bear Market," however, it bore years before the 
Revolution, and no doubt the evidence would have convinced ;«ither 
of those historians, were they now alive, or any others who may 



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BEAR MARKET. 818 

read the following advertisements from tbe "Press:"* ^'All sorts 
of meat to be smoaked at Bennett, Cox and Bennett's Red Herring 
Manufactory, near the ^Bear Marketj^ near the North River, by John 
Bennett, in a peculiar method to himself, at three-pence per piece," 
Ac.t The next year, "Samuel Bllis has for sale fat shad, lean shad, 
and fat herring, opposite the 'Bear Market/ at the North River." 
Again, we find — ^" Taken out of the corner house near the 'Bear 
Market/ on the 26th of June last, the book belonging to the hay* 
scale at the said market, containing the weight of all the hay at 
that scale. Whoever has got said book in their possession, and 
wUl deliver it to me, the subscriber, or give information about the 
same, shall be very well rewarded for their trouble, Ac. Isaac Van 
Hook, JuN'R."t 

The " War" soon after took pkoe, and caused all the- patriotic to 
leave the several public markets; and this became almost deserted, 
except in the continuation of the sale of hay, as we find noticed a 
loss, or rather was " Dropped in the ruins, (from the great fire of 16,) 
•between St. Paul's Church and the Hay Market^ a plain silver watch, 
with a double plain steel chain, and one red seal set in silver, (the 
impression of a bird.) Two dollars reward will be paid by John 
Cox, at the sign of the King, in Cooper Street."§ 

We find that a great many of the public as well as private build- 
ings were made use of for store^houses, barracks, ice. The city be- 
ing under martial law, all proclamati<Mis and orders were usually 
noticed in the press, and one in relation to the use of this market is 
dated "Forage Office, New York, September 10, 1778. The 
farmers on New York Island, Long and Staten Islands, are hereby 
required immediately to thrash out their grain, as the straw is want- 
ed for the use of His Majesty's troops, for which they will be paid 
at the usual rates on producing certificates of the delivery from the 
Deputy Commissioners at the different posts: at Brooklyn and 
Flushing, on Long Island; at Cole's Ferry, on Staten Island; and 
at Kings Bridge, Marston's Wharf; and 'Bear Market/ on New 
York Island, with the same allowance for transportation as th^ r^ 
oeived last year. George Briklbt, CommiMary ForageJ* 

This agrees with what the centenarian, Mr. John Battin, told me 
about this market. He said " it was used for a barrack and de- 
pot for hay, grain, and straw, and part of the time a troop of cavalry 
was stationed there." 

The War of the Revolution stopped the wheel? of prosperity for 

• N. Y. Gasetteer, December 23, 1773. f N. T. Gtiette, ITtA. 

t CoDstitational Gazette, Julj 20, 1776. 

\ M. Y. GftMtte aDd Weekly Meieoiy, AQgoil 11* 1777. 



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814 BEAR MARKET. 

many a long year ; bat at last a glorious peace came, and with it 
the oil of free government, which, after a time, set those wheels in 
motion again, and caused them to move more rapidly than before. 
A great change had taken place — ^many old faces had forever disap- 
peared ; the war, with its fruits — death — had driven and taken the 
patriotic tradesman, mechanic, and farmer from their once happy 
homes and prolific fields, while those who returned found almost 
nothing to trade with ; their homes desolated, and their once beau- 
tiful fields without fences and turned into a common ; and those who 
had acted the loyal part were, in their turn, obliged to depart for * 
foreign shores, and some never again to behold the " land that gave 
them birth." 

This market-house was found in a " dilapidated state and almost 
useless ;" but it was soon after repaired by the neighboring inhabit- 
ants at their own expense. 

The shore on the westerly side of this market-house ran almost up 
against it, when it was built, but after a period the wharf was docked 
out, so that ** nine lots of 23 feet front, and from 60 to 90 feet in 
length fronting the river and slip," were sold at auction in 1784; a 
space of twenty-eight feet broad " should be reserved in the rear of 
and extending in length parallel to the market, from Partition (F«?- 
ton) to Vesey Streets." 

About this period this market became usually known in the rec- 
ords as the " Hivdaon Market" which continued for many years, but 
the " press," in noticing the advertisements, still keep the name of 
''Bear Markef." In the month of September, 1784, we find, " That 
the ferry across the North River, from the Corporation Wharf to 
Hoboken, be exposed to sale at public vendue to the highest bidder, 
on Wednesday, the 6th day of October next, at X o'clock in the 
forenoon, at the 'Bear Market.^ "* 

This ferry to Hoboken was established in the year 1775 from this 
market, and by " Cornelius Haring, who begs leave to inform the 
public that he intends on Monday, the first of May next, to open the 
new established ferry from the remarkable pleasant and convenient 
situated place of William Bayard, Esq., at the * King's Arms Inn,' 
from which place all gentlemen travelers and others, who have oc- 
casion to cross that ferry, will be accommodated with the best of 
boats of every kind, suitable to the winds, weather, and tides, to 
convey them from thence to the new (Bear) Market, near the Cor* 
poration Pier at the North River, opposite Vesey Street, in New 
York, at which place a suitable house will be kept for the reception 
of travelers passing to and from his house, and will have his boats 
* N. T. PMket, September 27. 



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BEAR MARKET. 815 

in good order. And as his boats will always be ready to attend 
travellers, and those gentlemen and ladies from the City of New 
York, as well as those of the province (New Jersey) he lives in. 
The boats are to be distinguished by the name of the Hoobook (no- 
ticed afterwards Hoebuck) Ferry painted on the stern."* 

In connection with the above ferry, " the flying machine that used 
to ply between Hackensack and Powles' Hook will, for the sake of 
a better and shorter road, begin on Saturday, the 13th day of May, 
and thenceforth continue to drive from Hackensack to Hoebuck, 
Ac. Abraham Van BusKiRK."t 

The same paper, two years after, (January 13,) notices — ^'^ A chaise 
was taken from the ferry near the Bear Market, about three weeks 
since; the body-carriage is painted cream color, with flower-pots on 
each side and back; in the latter is a cypher, 0. T.; steel springs; 
the inside, light-colored cloth. Whoever gives information of said 
chaise, or will bring it to James Hallet, coach-maker, in Broadway, 
will receive five dollars reward, and no questions asked." 

We turn again, and look in the N. Y. Packet of 1785, and find, 
on the 20th of January, the following notice : '* To be sold by Sam- 
uel Ellis, No. 1 Greenwich Street, at the North River, near the 
^Bear Markety that pleasant situated Island, called Oyster (EUis'a) 
Island, lying in York Bay, near Powles Hook." Greenwich Street, 
at that period, ended in Oourtlandt Street. 

In the year 1784, a strong and an unsuccessful movement was 
made to remove the " public slaughter-house," which stood upon a 
part of Bayard's Farm, in consequence of its dirty condition. Some 
butchers wished to kill in their own, or private slaughter-house, 
above a certain line ; others, to the eastern part of the city ; and 
Richard Deane, a distiller, then located just above this market, on 
the North River, wished to erect a public one, on and near his dis- 
tillery. " That he will convey warm water from his distillery to 
keep it clean. The cattle can be landed at his dock from New Jer* 
sey, which may probably be an encouragement for more cattle to be 
brought from that quarter than has heretofore been done. That 
for every beast killed he shall receive the sum of two shillings, 
which is now the usual price paid ; and that he shall have a lease 
for the same for thirty-one years, giving him an exclusive right." 
The following were the names of those butchers who signed the above 
petition, and no doubt they were the principal ones of this period: 
Jotiiam Post, John Perrin, John Lovell, 

Henrich Astor, Henry Spingler, Isaac Varian, Sen*r, 

Jacob J. Arden, Adam Finck, Joseph Yarian, 

George Thompson, Stephen HilUker, Isaac Yarian, JunV, 
• RlTington'8 Gazetteer, April 27. t IUd> M»y 4- 



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816 BEAR MARKET. 

Joseph Mott, Jacob Hilliker, Michael Yarian, 

John Basley, George Messerve, John Pessinger, 

Andrew Basley, William Wright, Nicholas Wethersheio, 
Qeorge Wilt, Samuel Ellis, James Manold, 

Joseph Wilt, George Hopson, Edward Patten. 

Among these, we recognize those who took a prominent part in 
the '* Great Federal Procession" in honor of the Federal Constitu- 
tion to form these United States, which took place in this city July 
23, 1788. The whole was under the direction of Mr. Richard Piatt, 
assisted by Colonel William S. Livingston, Colonel Aguilla Giles, 
Major Bleecker, Captains Fowler, Stagg, Dunscom, Morton, Messrs. 
John R. Liyingston, Daniel Le Roy, Thomas Durie, Edward Liv- 
ingston, Staats Morris, and John Lefferts. These gentlemen, by 
way of distinction, were all clad in a conspicuous uniform ; that of 
Mr. Piatt was designated by a blue coat, red sash, and white featii- 
er, tipped with black. His assistants or aids wore white coats, 
with blue capes and sashes, white feathers, tipped with blue, and 
carrying speaking-trumpets. The procession paraded at 8 o'clock, 
A. M., in and near the Park, then called the Fidda. At 10 o'clock 
a salute of 13 guns was fired from the small Federal ship Hamilton, 
(which was in the procession on wheels,) as a signal to move. In 
the second division (of which there were ten) the butchers of this 
city were out in large numbers, and made a very fine display. They 
were headed by Mr. Jotham Post, Alexander Fink, John Level , and 
Jacob J. Arden. A flag of fine linen, neatly painted, displayed on 
the standard the coat of arms, viz., three hillocks^ heads, ttoo axes 
crossway, a hoards head, and two garbs, supported by an oe and a 
Iamb, witti the motto, 

'* Skin me weU, dress me ne^t, 
And fiend me aboard the Federal 8eet" 

A daughier^iouae, with cattle dressed and killing; a market, sup* 
ported by ten pSUxra, and another ^ partly up," under which was 
written, "JFMcroZ Market,'' supported by " Ten," in letters of gold; 
^'Federal Butchers,'^' a ship, with smaller vessels. The standard 
was carried on a stage drawn by four bright bay horses, dressed 
with ribbons; a boy dressed in white rode and conducted each; on 
the stage a stcdl, neatly furnished ; two butchers and two boys on 
the stage at work, splitting the lambs, cutting meats, and arranging 
this stall. This stage was followed by one hundred butchers, 
(mounted on fine horses,) with clean white aprons, and steels at- 
tached to their sides. Then came a band of music, followed with 
two banners appropriately painted, with their coat of arms and 
motto*^'* Federal Butchers." The one in front was supported by 
Mr. William Wright, and the one in rear by Mr. John Perrin. 



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BEAR MARKBT. 817 

The several trades, societies, and other large and small bodies 
were nnmerously represented in the procession. After learing the 
Park, they proceeded down Broadway into Whitehall Street, turned 
into Great Dock Street, (now lower end of Pearl,) up through Hano- 
ver Square into Queen, (now the part of Pearl above Wall.) Here, 
at the comer of Wall Street, they passed an emblem representing 
the '* Thirteen Statetf," inclosed in a circle of about two feet in di- 
ameter — Thirteen Stars; ten of which were brilliant, one (designed 
for New York) half illuminated, and two almost obscure, with the 
initials of North Carolina and Rhode Island. On they went, 
through Queen Street into Chatham, up Division into Arundel, 
(Clinton;) turning to the left— 

" A clatteriitg noise now strikes the ear, 
And 1o ! the Cooper train appear ; 
The hasj workmen hoop the nsefol oaak— 
With hopes inspired, e'en toil's a pleasing task. 
Read on their flag their Axtnre yiews described, 
In hnmbte verse. Bui see the Butcher tribe f 
Choice meat, already drest, the »taH BuppHe9, 
And many a figure on the can9a$ejlie$.^^ * 

into Bullock (Broome) Street, and through Bullock into Bayard's 
Lane, to the high grounds known as Bunker's Hill or Bayard's 
Hount, which lay east of Bayard's House, near Orange, Grand, and 
Mulberry Streets. 

On the eastern slope of this hill were im extensive tables, load* 
ed with provisions, waiting for these numerous guests. These tables 
projected in direct angles from one common centre, which was a 
little elevated, for the use of the members of the Congress, civil 
and legislative magistrates, and strangers of distinction, who had a 
complete view of the whole. The butchers on that day furnished a 
capital bullock, weighing in the quarters one thousand pounds, which 
they roasted whole, and presented to the procession in general. 

Dr. Alexander Anderson, now eighty-six years old, who was then 
a boy of some fourteen or fifteen years of age, told me " he then was 
learning the art of engraving with Peter Maverick, who together 
walked in this procession, each carrying engraved plates, and sat 
down to the tables, which were filled with roasted beef, bread, besides 
numerous casks of beer. There was an ox roasted on this occasion, 
but a great part of it was unfit to be eaten, having become tainted 
while in the process of cooking." 

At the time of this procession, the Federal Oonstitution was be* 

fore the Convention assembled at Poughkeepsie, and in two days 

after was adopted by New York. Ten States had previously joined 

under this Constitution, and the butchers in this procession, with 

• New York Packet, Angast S, 178a 



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318 BEAR MARKET. 

their emblems, were representing New York as another pillar partly 
up. The broad foundation-stone had been permanently laid on the 
imperishable rock ; while the cautious and careful builders (among 
whom was Hamilton) were examining everj section of this mighty 
constitutional pillar, which they in the end found perfect. These one 
hundred patriotic butchers came forth as the common laborers to 
assist, and did assist, in placing that pUlar strong enough, that all 
future ages and generations might stand and feel secure upon its 
broad platform. And when the undermining, unconstitutional job- 
bers or disunionists, with their drilling tools, attempted to bore, 
break, blast, or divide a section or part of that glorious structure, 
their stealthy noise was heard by the many patriotic descendants 
and successors, who rose in their strength, ^nd moved forward to 
wipe them off from the face of our Republican soil. 

There is another individual who has claims to notice, but whose 
name does not appear in the preceding list of petitioners as his, 
dated some two years after, from which I shall refer to, in sketch- 
ing a few incidents of his life. It is no other than Ebenezer Win- 
ship, usually known in his day as Colonel Winship, who, on the 
first battle-field of the Revolution, volunteered his services for his 
country, and they were accepted. In the affair of Lexington, he, 
with his kin, Simon, Thomas, and John Winship,* all farmers, 
shouldered their trusty muskets, and stepped forth to fight our 
country's battles. He followed on after the British troops, and was 
received by Washington at Boston, where soon after he was ap^ 
pointed to office, and did his whole duty through the war. In 1783, 
after the evacuation, he found himself in the City of New York, 
with the poverty so common to all the soldiers of the Revolution, 
and a large family, from whom he had been long separated. Hav- 
ing some knowledge of country butchering, he commenced selling 
meat in this market from off the benches placed in it by the Com- 
mon Council ; and he continued until we find his petition, dated 
January 16, 1786, before the Council, asking for certain privileges. 
This petition " Humbly shews Ebenezer Winship, that being warmly 
attached to the cause of America, in an early period took an active 
part as an Officer in the American Arn^j, and continued in the ser- 
vice during the contest; the which, being accompanied with other 
misfortune, hath obliged your petitioner to follow butchering for 
his and his family's support, which your petitioner hath followed 
for two years past, and hath found great difficulty in killing his cat- 
tle at the (ptMic) slaughter-house, agreeable to the Law of the 
Corporation. As your petitioner lives two miles from the city, and 
ofttimes his cattle being so wild it renders it difficult to drive them, 

* Force's Arehiyes. 



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BEAR MARKET. 319 

and as it cannot be a nuisance to the city to kill his cattle at his 
house, your petitioner having no other alternative by his industry 
to procure a support in this city for him and his family, and the 
diflBculty that attends his killing at the (pvhlic) slaughter-house, 
must consequently oblige your petitioner to remove from the city, 
unless your Honors, in your goodness, grant him this liberty, Ac" 
His wish was not granted. 

With a large family, and limited means and space to do his busi- 
ness, it required all his exertions to support them; but in 1794 he 
was successful in having a stall granted him, as will be shown in an 
editorial, which states he "was Colonel in the Revolutionary 
Army. He was in the affair of Lexington, and served his country 
ably and satisfactorily during the war." 

It happened that in the year 1794, during the Mayoralty of Mr. 
Varick, a stall in Bear Market was given to Colonel Winship. This 
stall was held by the Colonel until his death, which occurred in the 
year 1799. It was somewhat remarkable that all six of his sons, 
Ebenezer, John, Samuel, Daniel, Thomas, and Jonathan, were butch- 
ers, and four of them were separately engaged in business in this 
market at one time, and all at different periods. His son Ebenezer 
was a ''drummer-boy," and served under his father during a part of 
the war. 

To give the reader an idea of the amount of fees collected at this 
period from the several public markets, a sworn return is made to 
the Mayor (who is known by the " Charter" as Clerk of the Markets) 
by two persons, or deputy clerks : one was Assistant Alderman Abra- 
ham Van Gelden, and the other Rynier Skaats. Prom the 1st of Feb- 
ruary, 1786, to the same date, 1787, these fees amounted to £583, 
48., 8d. Then, " from the Oswego, Exchange, and Hudson (Bear) 
Markets, from the 1st of February, 1787, until 31st January, 1788, 
both days inclusive," Rynief Skaats reports - - - - £176 9 6 
Prom the "Fly," Peck Slip, and Catharine Markets, - 490 10 6 

Total, - - - £667 

In 1793, the Mayor reports having received from Rynier Skaats, 

for fees collected by him in the Oswego, Exchange, and Hudson 

Markets, £ 404 14 10 

From James Culbertson, collected in the Fly, Peck 
Slip, and Catharine Slip Markets, the sum of - 938 15 2 

Making, in the whole amount, £2,064 15 

Meal and flour, after the Revolution, were sold in all of the 
public markets; but there were yet stringent laws attached to 
their sale, which perhaps can better be explained from the follow- 
ing petition, presented in the month of March, 1788, from fourteen 



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BEAR MARKET. 

dealers oat of the markets. They state that, '!.in consequence of a 
law of the Corporati<Hi which prohibits our pwcchdaing flour oat of 
the market before four o'clock in the afternoon, your Honors will 
readily belieYC that it is but seldom to be bought at that time or 
hoar ; and if ever it is, then it is of such of the country people 
as stayes the night over, and tryes the market the next morning, 
and in that case always asks an extravagant price the evening be- 
fore ; so there is no chance for us to buy any at all, unless we pay 
higher than market price, unless we live in breach of the law; but 
in that case a freeman's liberty is taken away by his oath ; and it is 
well known that there are hundreds, if not thousands, in this city, 
who cannot buy otherwise than by the retail; and whilst the huck- 
sters are permitted to buy after eleven o'clock, who are no ways so 
serviceable to the publiok as our calling, we therefore think it a 
hardship on us, and in some measure depriving us of getting a liv- 
ing for our families, besides the service we are to many others. We 
doubt not but your Honors will, after the considering the matter, 
at least put us on a footing with the hucksters, by permitting us to 
purchase after eleven o'clock, Ac." 

Two years after, (1790,) John Ackerman was " permitted to erect 
a scale at his door for the weighing of flour brought to market in 
bags," for which he was allowed a small fee. Six years after, (1796.) 
this office was sought after again, and at the same time the country 
people were accused of " imposition and fraud," and it was thought 
that another **weigh-master" might prevent them. James Heam 
says in a petition: ''The injury our fellow-citizens sustains by the 
unjust proceedings, it can be proved by several persons that in 
weight of meal a vantage of eight or ten pounds in the hundred 
weight has frequently taken place." He wishes this appointment, 
'' furnishing himself at his own expense with just and lawful scales 
and weights thereto to weigh meal and other articles which may be 
brought to market, (upon oath.") He, however, was not appointed. 

About this period, (1789,) Governor John Page, a delegate to 
Congress from Virginia, compares New York with Philadelphia, in 
a letter to his son. He says : '' This town is not half so large as 
Philadelphia, nor in any manner to be compared to it for beauty and 
elegance. Philadelphia, I am well assured, has more inhabitants 
than Bostop and New York together. The streets here are badly 
paved, very dirty and narrow, as well as crooked, and filled up with 
a strange variety of wooden, stone, and brick buildings, and full of 
hogs and mud. The College, St Paul's Church, and the Hospital 
are elegant buildings. The Federal Hall, ( WaU Street,) also, in 
which Congress is to sit, is elegant." 

The hay machine or scale, which had been placed in the end of 



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BEAR MARKET. 321 

this market before the war, was reported on by Alderman Gilbert, 
October 7, 1788, that it ''is improperly situated and greatly ob- 
structs the street, and ought to be removed into the passage leading 
b^ind the ^Bear Market ^^ '' and it was done. 

The next improvement here was the raising of the market-house 
'* one foot six inches, and that the leasing of the cellars under the 
market be delayed until the said improvement be completed." The 
bill for this work was presented by Isaac Mead, June 2, 1792, and 
amounted to X69 ISs. G^d. The cellars were leased at auction on 
"the 8d of September, at 12 o'clock in the forenoon, on the premises, 
for a term of twenty-one years."* 

At this period died at Brookfield, Mass.,' on the 3d of December, 
(1792,) Sarah Noble, in the I02d year of her age. "She was de- 
scended from the family of Drake in East Chester, State of New 
York. She remembered the time when the first sermon was deliv- 
ered in Bast Ohester, by an Episcopalian clergyman, who is sup- 
posed to hare been the first missionary of that order in the State of 
New York« She was able to recollect when hainea and /orib were 
Jirsi used in the Oity of New York. She was the first person who 
brought teorcupa^ tea, and potcUoea in the town of New Milford."t 

The increase of business here had been steadily advancing for 
many years, and the market-house on certain days of the week was 
overrun, so that many were placed outside without shelter, which 
gave much dissatisfaction. Petitions were presented for more shel- 
ter, and the citizens of the neighborhood asked permission to enlarge, 
by erecting another market-house of twenty feet in width in Yesey 
Street, between Oreenwich and Washington Streets, which was 
granted. 

The location on which this new building was erected is yet seen 
in the irregularity of this part of Yesey Street; the two market- 
houses appeared aa follows : 

North RiTer. 




• H. T. Jovnul, Aogutl 29, 1791 t PMla. Dafiy AdvertiBer, Febnufy, 1791 

Vol. L— 21 



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822 BEAR MARKET. 

With a passage between them. On the north of the straight line of 
Vesey is the part which Trinity Church granted " for the use of a 
market forever." 

This new house was usually noticed in some of the records as the 
** Upper Hudson," and the other the *' Lower Hudson ;" but the 
former was more generally known by the butchers and many of its 
patrons as the *' Buttermilk Market/' in consequence of the great sale 
of that article made into it, by the (Jersey) Dutch women, who daily 
attended there. "Laurie Todd" says, in 1794, this market "was 
supplied principally from Haverstraw, Hackensack, Bergen, and 
Communipaw ; and unless you could talk a good portion Dutch, it 
was little use to go there to trafiSc." 

Here, too, as at Catharine Market, the Jersey negroes would meet 
on their " holidays," of which Pause or Pinkster was the principal 
one, sell their trifles, crack eggs, sometimes engage in a break-down ; 
in this, howeyer, they were not so early accomplished as their Long 
Island friends, whom they occasionally visited at the Catharine 
Market, as they were for many years placed " up head" in this great 
and nimble art. 

At this period the first notice of fat beef being offered for sale in 
this market is placed to the credit of Samuel Winship, who says: 
" Will be exposed for sale at the Hudson (No. 1 this) Market, by 
Samuel Winship, on Friday and Saturday next, the finest beef now 
in the city. It was fattened by Jonathan Varian. The connoisseurs 
of this city and the citizens are requested to attend and partake of 
the purchase, and please their tastes. Mr. Winship flatters himself 
that a general and liberal attendance and purchase will be had on 
those days."* Again, he says, in the same paper, on the 7th of June 
following: "This day will be exposed for sale, by Peter Crawbuck, 
at No. 5 Exchange Market, and by Samuel Winship, in the Hudson 
Market, the finest beef now in the city. The bullock, in carved 
meat, weighed 1,100 lbs., Ac." 

In the summer and fall of 1798, the yellow fever, as noticed be- 
fore, was very fatal, more particularly on the eastern side of the 
city; the North River side was more healthy, and usually furnished 
less nuisances, in the way of dirty slips ; but just at this market one 
was found in a very filthy condition, and in the month of August it 
was ordered to be filled up. Complaints were also made of several 
venders of fruit and vegetables, who remained after market hours, 
creating much noise until a late hour of the night. Among the com- 
plaints was one from a physician, whose name will not appear, as no 
doubt his communication will be satisfactory, when read as original* 

* N. T. Joaroat and P. R., May 21, 1794 



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BEAR MARKET. 323 

ly written. He addresses it to the Mayor, and says: "S*" — Our In- 
tention is to show you the True State of bear Markett. We are 
Buisy filling up below, in Order to Keep Clear of filth, & M. Mor- 
rison Pays his attention in Seeing it Sweep. Mr. Gulbertson {Glerh 
of the Market) also Pays his attention in Plasing the Huxsters. 
But when his Back is Turn^ they all Do as they think proper — they 
Make a Costom, When the Butchers is Oon, to Move in the Markett 
with their Coffee & Frute, and by that Means Collect Numbers of 
Idol, Drunken, k Durty Men Seting and Lying on the Stalls, So 
that the Butchers with Di£Sculty Can Scarcely make them Even 
Look Deasent, as the Huxsters, more or less of them, Stays until 9 
or 10 O'clock at night, & their Prute Draws Large Gangs of unruly 
Boys, Disturbing the Peasable Inhabitants ; this, S^ you may Relye 
on as being Pacts. New York, August 15, 1798.'' 

The Deputy Clerks received orders to remove "all venders of 
fruit and vegetables from the public market-places and streets ad- 
joining at sunset every day, except venders of vegetables on Satur- 
days." 

This new (Buttermilk) market, after being finished, was wholly 
osed by the country people and fishermen until 1796, when we find 
four stands in the end joining on Greenwich Street. The lower 
(old) market-house had received two additional stands, the year be- 
fore, which increased their number to fourteen. No further addi- 
tions were made to either until 1800, when two were added to the 
•* Buttermilk Market," and soon after a Committee reported in favor 
of '* adding six more stalls, and moving the fourteen now in up to 
the north end of the * lower market.' " Making a total of twenty- 
Bix stands, occupied by the following butchers : 
In the Old Market-Home. 

No. 



, 1. 


Samuel Winship. 


No. 2. 


Francis White. 


8. 


William Chivvis. 


4. 


Daniel Spader. 


6. 


George Hutton. 


6. 


John Hopkins. 


7. 


Jonathan Spader. 


8. 


George Fash. 


9. 


Frederick Haws. 


10. 


Henry Merkel. 


11. 


Geoi^e Goodheart. 


12. 


Lodowick Harpel. 


13. 


John Abcel. 


14. 


Geo. Wash. Varian, 


15. 


Cornelias King. 


16. 


Frederick Merkel. 


17. 


Christian Miller. 


18. 


Ebenezer Winship. 


19. 


Francis Spicer. 


20. 


Alexander Fink. 



''BvitermOk Market:' 
21. John Winship. 22. Thomas Winship. 

23. Adam Hartell. 24. John GraflF, Sen'r. 

25. Anthony Rawlings. 26. Charles Oilman. 



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324 BEAR MARKET. 

In 1802 the Market Committee, consisting of Philip Brssh^, John 
Oothout, Winant Van Zandt, Jr., *' Beported the propriety of in- 
creasing the number of batchers' stands, as follows: Catharine, 4; 
Upper Hudson, 8 ; Lower Hudson, 2 ; and Oswego, 4." This in- 
creased the number to thirty-six, and before tbey were removed, 
the numbers in both yrere forty-eight regular stands. 

The two market-houses were again crowded, and more room was 
demanded, for the much-increased country visitors and the wants 
of the fishermen, whose number had also increased; they were ac- 
commodated by the erection of a new fish market in 1805, which we 
find " running at right angles with the lower (old) market, and on 
a line with the other {Buttermilk) market between Oreenwidi Street 
and the bulkhead.'' At the same time, ''a bell of 60 to 80 lbs* 
weight, about the tone of G, was ordered to be hung on the top of 
the northwestern extremity of the *' Hudson (oU) Market, and to be 
protected by a small cupola." 

In the face of the increased business and improvements, a Com- 
mittee (without the appearance of being asked) reported on the 1st 
of July following, ** That the ground on which Hudson (oU) Market 
now stands is too valuable to be appropriated for a market, and is 
situated in a street too important for the purpose ; that it is in a 
state of decay, and will be useless in two or three years. The Com- 
mittee, therefore, are of opinion it will be for the public advantage 
to run a new bulkhead across the slip, and proceed to fill up the 
same, and to erect a substantial and conmiodious (brick) market on 
the ground to be filled up." 

Although this report was confirmed, yet it was not carried out, in 
consequence of leases of several of the lots, which they proposed to 
use or sell, not having expired. 

In 1807 chains were placed across Greenwich Street, to prevent 
interruption during market hours ; they, however, were soon found 
to be more troublesome than useful, and the next year they were 
taken down. 

The stalls or stands which butchers' meats were sold off, in 
" olden time," in many cases were mere rough-hewed benches, with 
a coarse tow or linen cloth laid on them. One old butcher told me 
that when his uncle (John Aimes) commenced business, he, with 
another, took from his house his dinner^table, and carried it down 
in the "Old Bear Market," from which he sold his uncooked meat 
for many months. Others, who were longer in business, and who 
felt themselves above a '* bench or table," had H standing, which 
consisted of a narrow (wooden) box, without a bottom, setting down 
on the floor, with two upright posts, hewed (or "ax6(2'^out) square, 



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B£AE MARKET. g2S 

pinned or nailed to the back, on which were nailed two or three 
bars across, filled with wrought nails as meat-hooks. These were, 
however, soon much improved, when they began to saw and plane 
the timber, and the blacksmiths to beat their hot iron into proper 
hooks. At this period their stalls (as they were now known) still 
were set on or very near the floor, and much filth collected under 
and behind them, which could not be got at without removal. To 
remedy this, the Board passed a resolution, '' That each and every 
botcher who occupies a stall in any of the public markets shall, 
within six days from the date hereof, {August 28,) cause the said 
Btall to be raised eight inches from the floor of the market, so that 
a broom may be admitted, to remove such dirt, filth, or rubbish. 
Shonld any refuse to comply, they will be fined five dollars, and 
also the further sum of two dollars for every day's neglect there- 
after." 

In the month of December of this year, Daniel Deavenport peti- 
tioned for stand No. 8, occupied at this period by George M. Patton ; 
and one of his strong claims for it, he says : " His father, who is 
now an i^ed man, was in the service of his country during the 
Revolutionary War, and that he feels it a pleasure as well as a duty 
to support him." He was successful in obtaining No. 8. 

Daily, though early in the morning, passing or among the crowds, 
at a later hour, were the sellers of hot cofiee and muffins, for the 
tired and hungry marketmen ; and these became so numerous as to 
draw a very large share of the trade from the victualing-houses 
around the markets, who complained to the Common Council. The 
report of a Committee on the subject, made on the 12th of March, 
1810, is rather of a "flowery" nature, and deserves record here. 
It reads as follows: 

'' They say that they draw a crowd around them, such as to ren- 
der business altogether impracticable." *^ The houses in the neigh- 
borhood of these markets are occupied principally by victualers, 
who calculate in the custom to be derived from market people, and 
have been induced to give very extravagant rents." '' They are 
well provided with every description of viands, and can satisfacto- 
rily administer to the wants not only of the fatigued countryman, 
but even to the dainty appetite of the most squeamish. Everything 
appears inviting and nice, and the salutary beverage so much ap- 
plauded for its vivifying efficacy, here flows abundantly. The early 
stirring and often chilled marketman can here quaff his ambrosial 
coffee at as cheap a rate, and with infinitely more comfort. Four 
cents a pint for coffee, and two cents for a muffin, is the usual price 
taken at the stands in the markets. So, also, in these houses they 



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BEAR MARKET. 

sell this, as well as every nourishment, at the same reasonable mtio." 
Which report was confirmed. 

The subject of removing the market-house was often agitated, aad 
in 1811 the appearances were so strong, that the butchers in it, in 
the month of June, petitioned the Board, " stating that, under* 
standing a market-house was to be erected below them, praying that 
they may have stands assigned to them in the new market-hoase.'' 
Nothing, however, was done until the next year, in the month of 
February, when a Committee stated the reasons assigned by M^r 
Fairlie, who was one of the Committee in 1805, why a new market- 
house was not erected at that period. ** From him they learnt that 
the lots belonging to the Corporation on the west side of the new 
market, together with the ground in front of the line of Greenwich 
Street, were then considered as appropriated to the object; but 
that, in consequence of the leases on said lots having a long time to 
run, the necessary funds could not so conveniently be then raised 
therefrom as might be when said leases were about expiring. Your 
Committee, however, find that this difficulty is now obviated, and 
that the period is now arrived when this dormant subject ought to 
be revived, and the ideas of our predecessors carried into opera- 
tion." " The leases on those lots will expire on the first day of 
May, 1813, and if it be intended to sell them, together with the 
ground in front, up to the line of Greenwich Street, for the purpose 
of erecting a new marke^hou8e, as was formerly contemplated, it 
will be necessary to have the same finished in season, so that the 
butchers who occupy stalls in the present market may transfer 
themselves without any interruption to that neighborhood." '*They 
recommend that the former proceedings in relation to this subject 
be now carried into ej^ecution." 

Before the new building was commenced, several claimants for 
damages presented themselves, aQd stated in a petition, on the 1st 
of February, 1813, that "Thomas Stagg and others had at their in- 
dividual expense erected the market called Hudson (old house) 
Market; that, understanding the Corporation was about selling the 
property and removing the market, he prayed that the sale might be 
delayed, until compensation was made to petitioner and those con* 
cerned," which appears cost upwards of five hundred pounds. The 
Comptroller reported to the Board on the 8th of the same month, 
that " there was no reason to doubt the fact as stated. From in- 
formation received from respectable sources, it was generally the 
practice, in former times, for individuals to contribute towards 
making public markets, thereby to increase the value of adjacent 
property, as well as to obtain other benefits accruing from such estab- 



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OBOWN MAEKBT. 827 

liflbmentB. In a recent conversation with an old inhabitant in the vi- 
cinity of the Hudson Market, he mentioned that, shortly after the 
dose of the Revolutionary War, the above-mentioned market was 
in a state of decay, and almost useless; that himself and others 
contributed to its repair, but that he did not expect the Corporation 
were to make indemnification; as a large, convenient, and orna- 
mental market is erecting near the river in the vicinity of the pres- 
ent one ; as the benefits derived in the space of forty years have 
probably equaled the advantages ever contemplated by the first 
contributors; as the precedent once made of refunding to individu- 
als their voluntary donations, on similar occasions would open the 
door for a great number of ancient claims, and be the source of 
much difficulty and embarrassment." " The lots have already been 
sold, although this circumstance should have no effect on the merits 
of the question." 

This report was agreed to, and this ended the matter ; but be- 
fore the new ( Washington) market was finished, the old market- 
house was torn down, and the occupants were placed in or under a 
shed thrown up on the east side of Greenwich Street, directly oppo- 
site the former old market-house, until stands were assigned them 
in the newly-finished building, called the "Washington Market." 



"CROWN MARKET." 

1772. Nearly forty years before the establishment of this ma^ 
ket-place, the neighborhood had attempted to establish the '' Thur- 
man's Slip Market" on the spot where the next generation, in the 
year 1771, built this market-house. 

We find on the 24th of January of this year a petition from the 
residents in the neighborhood of Thurman's Slip, asking the priv- 
ilege to erect a large marketrhouse at or near the old intended 
site, which was signed by Peter Mesier, John Thurman, Jr., Ralph 
Thurman, John Van Dalsen, Marcellus Gerbrants, Robert Leake, 
Abraham Bussing, Sering Lininseer, and Helena Rutgers. 

The introduction of the Bear Market was then the prominent sub- 
ject before the Board, but Thurman and Mesier, with the assistance 
of Assistant Alderman Abraham Mesier, wished to introduce their 
own instead of the "Bear" Market. They succeeded in obtaining 
permission, but no Committee was appointed to select the location; 



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S28 CROWN If ARKBT. 

80, on the 19tii of Febrnarj following, Jolin Thnrman, Jr.y appeared 
before the Board, and offered sundry reasons to induce them to ftalfill 
their promise. The Board agreed to leave it to some ftiture Com- 
mon Council. The petitioners, however, concluded, as thejr had the 
privilege granted before, to go on and erect a market-house ; and 
on the 7th of Jan'y, 1772, Assistant Alderman Mesier " informed the 
Board that himself and others had erected a building as a market- 
house at the North River, and were desirous of conveying the same 
to the Corporation for public use.'' This was followed with another 
petition from John Thurman and others, on the Ist of March, *' re- 
questing the Board to accept this market-house,'' "provided the- pro- 
prietors of the ground on which the said market stands do in some 
short period release the said ground to this Corporation and their 
successors." It was accepted by a large vote in favor, "and the 
Board do hereby establish the same building as a publick market- 
house accordingly." 

After a time it became known as " Crown Market," after the 
street which ran alongside of it, although occasionally it is noticed 
as " Mesier's Market," and also " Thurman's Market." 

In the following September, the election of the West Ward " was 
ordered to be held at the southernmost market, at tiie North River, 
commonly called 'Mesier's Market;'" and in the next year, same 
month, among the places to hold the polls, " that in the West Ward, 
at the * Crown Market,'" which were the same. One other reference 
in an advertisement is given of it, but no name ; this appears on the 
14th of January, next year, as follows: "At publick vendue, on the 
premises, on Monday, the 24th day of January, or at private sale 
any time before, the dwelling-house and lot wherein Mrs. Helena 
Rutgers lately lived, (being a brick house two stories high,) front- 
ing Que^n (Pearl) Street, near the Fly Markety and almost opposite 
the Mayor's. Also, on the 26th January instant, three dwelling* 
houses and lots belonging to them, and one other vacant lot, wharf, 
and water-lot, (lately belonging to the estate of Peirus Rutgers, de- 
ceased,) situate at the North River fronting Thurman's Slip, near 
the n&w market. " Adbian Rutoebb, 

" Richard Sharp, 
" John Morin Scow, 
" Benjamin Eissam."* 

The name "Grown," after the emblem of royalty, the principal 
head ornament worn by sovereigns, was given to this street, about 
the year 1696, and afterwards to this market-place* The street con- 
tinued with the name until about 1797, when it was altered to suit 

• N. T. Guetteer. 



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CROWN' MARKET. 829 

an " emblem of our Republic," known as Liberty, or rather the God- 
dess of Liberty, as she is always represented with a head amamerU, 
too, but which usually has a more democratic appearance than that 
of royalty in appearing in the form of a cap. The Goddess, no 
doubt, in her excessive exultation after the victorious Revolution, 
instead of putting the cap on her head, stuck it on a poUf in shout- 
ing independence for these United States. 

There is no regular butcher noticed in connection with it, and 
there is no doubt that it never was much of a market-place.* It 
ceased to exist some time during the Revolution, with the strong pre- 
sumption that it was burnt up in the great fire of 1776, of which the 
following is a sketch : On the 21st of September, " the fire originated 
at or near Whitehall, soon extended to the Exchange, took its course 
up the west side of Broad Street, as for as Verlettenbergh Hill, (Flat- 
ienbarrack Hitt^ consuming all the blocks from the Whitehall up. 
The flames extended across the Broadway from the house of Mr. David 
Johnson to Beaver Lane or Fincher's Alley on the west, and carried 
all before it, a few buildings excepted, to the house at the corner of 
Barclay Street, wherein tiie late Mr. Adam Yandenbergh lived, , 
sweeping all the cross streets in the way. The buildings left stand- 
ing on the west side of the Broadway are supposed to be Captain 
Thomas Randall's, Captain Kennedy's, Dr. Mallat's, Mr. John Cort- 
landt's sugar-house and dwelling-house, Dr. Jones's, Hall's Tavern, 
St. Paul's (Church,) Mr. Axtell's, and Mr. Rutherford's."* From 
Mr. Darid Grim's account: " The fire, he says, burned both sides of 
Beaver Street to the east side of Broadway, then crossed Broadway 
to Beaver Lane, and burning all the houses on both sides of the 
Broadway, with some few houses in New Street to Rector Street, 
and to John Harrison's, Esq., three-story brick house, which house 
stopped the fire on the east side of Broadway; from thence it con- 
tinued burning all the houses in Lumbard Street, and those in the 
rear of the houses on the west side of Broadway to Saint Paul's 
Church ; then continued burning the houses on both sides of Parti- 
tion, (now Fulton,) and all the houses in the rear (again) of the west 
side of Broadway to the North River,'' which no doubt included this 
'"market^house," as Hill's map of 1782 also shows the "burnt dis- 
trict" of 1776 as'coirering the part where the market-house stood. 
• FhUadelphlA Evening Poit, 1776* 



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330 08WBO0 MABKBT. 



"OSWEGO MARKET." 

1772. The ''Old Swago Market," as it was oBoally called for 
shortness, is still green in the memory of some of our citizens. It 
stood for many years at the corner of Broadway, running down 
Maiden Lane to about Little Greene Street, on the south side, cover- 
ing a part of the ground now occupied by the lower comer houses, 
with a wide carriage-way on the north side, and a narrow one on 
the south and east sides. 

The '' Broadway Market,'' commonly known as the ''Oswego Mar- 
ket," in the last years of its existence, stood near this market-place, 
and was, as before noticed, indicted as a nuisance and torn down in 
the month of July, 1771. But a few months had passed when the 
inhabitants of the neighborhood, feeling the inconvenience, petitioned 
on the first of March (1772) following for permission " to erect a 
marke^house on the lots of ground formerly occupied by Mr. Canaro 
(or Conroe's) on the east side of Broadway Street," which permis- 
sion was given, " provided the proprietors release the said ground 
to the Corporation and their successors;" and this was the last mar- 
ket-place established before the Revolution. 

Immediately after its erection it took the name of "Oswego Mar* 
ket," and the manner of raising the money to build it was by lot- 
tery. The N. Y. Journal of the 25th June, same year, says: " For 
raising the sum of three hundred pounds towards discharging the 
expenses of a market lately erected at the corner of Maiden Lane, 
near the place where the old Oswego Market stood in the Broad* 
way. The lottery to consist of two thousand five hundred tickets, 
at two dollars each. N. B. — Not two blanks to a prize. Tickets to 
be had of Nicholas C. Bogert, Henry Boome, Jonathan Lawrence, 
and all the neighbors about the market." 

The purchase-money paid for the ground, however, was not all 
raised in this manner, as we find several suits were commenced 
against Nicholas Bogert, Henry Boome, and others, who set forth 
in their petition in 1789, and say: " That the neighborhood, by sub- 
scription, raised a sum of money to purchase the lot of ground where- 
upon the Oswego Market is erected; that the monies raised fall 
short of the sum of £50, that yet remains due on the said bonds, for 
which a suit is commenced against some of the petitioners, who pray* 
ed for aid from the Corporation," and no doubt they received it. 



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OSWfiGO MARKET. 831 

Before the war we find the mail-rider for Albany put up in a 
"Taylor's shop," near this market. The " po8^rider'' states: " Fop 
the benefit of the public. Inasmuch as many persons frequently 
have business with the Albany post-rider, this is to inform them that 
he puts up at Mr. Joel Holmes', Taylor, fronting the south side of 
the Oswego Market, and is every body's very humble servant, if he 
is paid for it. N. B. — The printers are desired for the future to send 
all the papers as go by him to the above place."* 

In the month of November, 1787, a butcher named Charles Daw- 
son, in this market, '' for having totally neglected his business at his 
stall or standing," was by resolution deposed of his license. Then, 
in the following month, the porters "stationed at the 'Oswaygo 
Market' complain, through a petition, that they have given every 
due attention to said place, with a desire to give satisfaction, but 
are latterly much deprived of our rights by many intruders who are 
not duly authorized, which prevents us of making a sufficiency to 
support our families." They pray the interposition of the Corporar 
tion, who soon after report a law to regulate porters. 

One of the principal market-women, who daily attended at this 
market both winter and summer, was Mrs. Frances Banta, (usually 
known as "Aunt Frankey,") one of the daughters of Philip Min- 
thorne, and a sister to Mangle Minthorne. On some eight or ten 
acres left to her by her father, near the present corner of Third 
Street and Bowery, she lived, and grew her produce or market 
truck. Her father, while living, had owned about 110 acres of land 
running along the east side of the Bowery Road, commencing from 
about First Street and running up to Fifth Street, thence in an 
easterly direction to the East River, taking in a part of the present 
" Tompkins Square," which then was a salt marsh. This property 
old Minthorne divided up into nine parts, and bequeathed it equally 
to his nine children, when it afterwards became known as the "nine 
partners," giving each one a slice or small front on the Bowery, which 
ran easterly, gradually increasing to a greater width, and ended in 
a Lane that ran parallel with and a little east of the First Avenue. 
The balance of this property on the east side of the Lane was at that 
period divided by another Lane which ran easterly, and was prin- 
cipally all meadow or marsh land. This was divided on the north 
side of the Lane into " nine parts," and on the south side into nine 
other parts, and these three divisions were numbered, so that each 
had an equal share of both good and poor land. 

The Bowery division commenced with the first division on the 
south end, and the following will show who inherited them. No. 1, 
• N. Y. Gftsette, Xmh 7, 1774. 



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OSWBGO MARKET. 

Nicholas Bomaine, son-in-law, who married Margaret; No. 2, Viert 
Banta, another son-in-law ; No. 3, Philip Minthorne ; No. 4, Samuel 
Hallet, married Sarah ; No. 5, Paolus Banta, the husband of Frances, 
or "Aunt Prankey;" No. 6, Henry Minthorne; No. 7, Mangle Min- 
thorne; No. 8, John Minthorne; and No. 9, Abraham Cox, another 
son-in-law. 

In the month of March, 1775, Paulus Banta advertises, ''To be 
sold, a lot of ground containing about 8 acres; one acre and three- 
quarters is salt meadow, being in the 'Out Ward' of this city, in the 
Bowery Lane, whereon is a good dwelling-house and bam, &c. If 
not sold by the 18th of April, to be then sold by way of public ven- 
due on the premises."* A week after, another notice of a house 
and lot to be sold in " Dirick Dye's Street;" apply to Paulus Banta 
at the said house. 

Each market-day found " Aunt Prankey" ready for an early start, 
with her produce placed in her marke^cart oyer night, and before 
daylight next morning she was on her way down the Bowery Road, 
and into this market, ready to serve the then early risers, who were 
anxious to get the choice. Her surplus vegetation was housed or 
buried in the earth for the winter's sales and extra profits ; and she 
raised a large family, two of whom were daughters, whom she taught 
the same accomjiliahmenta^ or rather habits of industry so peculiar 
to those early days. No doubt one of these daughters even exceed- 
ed the mother, as will be perceived in a sketch of her history in the 
Union Market; the other is also noticed in the Centre Market. 

The working ladies of that day, in their early rising, had but lit- 
tle fear of an attack of rowdies or robbers; and if so, they had self- 
possession and the advantage of an active out-of-door life, which 
assisted to give them strength enough to resist or conquer the as- 
sailant. Incidents would occasionally occur to these early-rising 
market-women, one of which is noticed as follows. The Press says: 
"A market-woman a few mornings since was coming to market very 
early, attended by a favorite dog. In passing the Bowery, the dog 
strayed from the road into an adjacent field ; the woman repeatedly 
called the cur, but to no purpose ; this surprised her, as he had 
hitherto been very obedient to his mistress's mandate ; she at length 
left her cart, determined to see what attracted the dog's attention, 
wh^n, to her astonishment, she beheld a living infant lying on the 
ground, apparently but a few hours old, with a bundle of clothes, 
and a purse containing 50 guineas. The woman took tiie infant, 
with its appendages, and conveyed it safely to her home, where she 
will doubtkoa humanely treat the Uttlewifortunate innocent, as well 
•BlTington^BGAMitee*. * 



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OSWEGO MARKET. 333 

on accoant of flio mteommon adventure as the reward which accom- 
panied it.'** 

A few days previoos, in the same month, a great excitement was 
created in this citj, afterwards known as the '* Doctors' Mob." It 
appears from the several accounts, that some persons, among whom 
it was thonght several students of medicine, or yoang doctors, had 
at various times dug up from several of the cemeteries of this citj a 
number of dead bodies for dissection, which had been conducted in 
80 indecent a manner, that it raised considerable clamor among the 
people. They had not only taken up the bodies of blacks and 
strangers, but those of some respectable persons. These circum- 
stances had considerably agitated the public mind ; " and it was fur- 
ther provoked," says Judge Duer, " by the reckless and wanton im- 
prudence of some young surgeons at the Hospital, who from one 
of the upper windows exhibited the dissected arm of a subject to 
some boys who were at play on the green below. One of them, 
whose curiosity was thus excited, mounted npon a ladder used for 
some repairs, and as he reached the wii^dow, was told by one of the 
doctors to look at his mother^a arm. It happened, unfortunately, 
that the boy's mother had recently died, and the horror which had 
now taken the place of his curiosity induced him to run to his fa- 
ther, who was at work as a mason at a building in Broadway, (no 
doubt on Saturday, April 12,) with die information of what he had 
seen and heard. Upon receiving the intelligence, the father re- 
paired to his wife's grave, and, upon opening it, found that the body 
had been removed. He returned forthwith to the place where he 
had been at work, and informed his fellow-laborers of the circum- 
stances: their indignation and horror at the relation were nearly 
equal to his own. Armed with the tools of their trade, they 
marched in a body to the Hospital, gathering recruits by the way, 
in number amounting to a formidable mob." They could not have 
attacked the Hospital that day, as the N. Y. Packet states: *' Last 
Sabbath (13th of April) afternoon, a number assembled and broke 
into the Hospital, where, 'tis said, some mangled bodies of the dead 
were found." " The mob attacked several young doctors present, 
and mauled them considerably ; but the Mayor and Sheriff, with the 
help of some other gentlemen, got the population dispersed, but 
several of them were struck, and received much abuse and insult." 

" On Monday morning, a number of people collected together, and 
commenced to search the houses of the suspected physicians, where 
they did much mischief and damage. The Governor, Chancellor, 
Mayor, and others, finding the passions irritated, went among them, 

* Packet, April 26, 1788. 



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834 OSWEGO MARKKT. 

and endeavored to dissuade them from committing any excesses. 
Thej promised them every satisfaction the laws could give ; this 
tended to allay the excitement upon many, who retired to their 
homes. But in the afternoon a mob of a different character, who 
were more fond of riot and disorder, went to the jail, and demand* 
ed the doctors who were there imprisoned. The magistrates were 
obliged to order out the militia, to suppress the riot and protect 
the jail. At dusk a party of armed citizens marched to the release 
of the jail, and as they approached it, the mob, huzzaing, began a 
heavy fire of stones, brickbats, Ac. Several of the party were 
much hurt, and in their defence were obliged to fire, which killed 
three or four persons, and a number wounded, which finally dis- 
persed the mob." 

The Brigade under General Malcom and Colonel Bauman's A^ 
tillery were out several days and nights after in detachments; 
but the mob did not again collect, and the peace of the city W9^ 
again restored. It appears from the following letter of General 
Malcom to the Mayor and Corporation, that he had one (at Icas^t) 
wounded man in his ranks. This was dated ^'New York, Septemlier 
2, 1788. — ^The bearer is Ephraim Totten. As a good citizen, he 
turned (out) with me upon the volunteer party which rescued the 
goal from the rage of the mob in April last, and among many oth- 
ers who performed that unpleasant duty, received a severe wound, 
which has not only prevented him from pursuing his trade since 
that time, but has also involved him in considerable expenses. 
Such a case, I dare say, will be deemed a proper one for the inte^ 
position of the Common Council ; and I am persuaded your Honor 
will cheerfully present and recommend it to the Board, Ac. W. 
Malcom. Mr. Totten is a sergeant in the militia." 

Then follows a certificate from some of the officers. '' Being 
officers of the Company in which Mr. Totten received his unhappy 
wound, justice and humanity induce us fully to concur with General 
Malcom in the preceding representation. Your Honor's most obe- 
dient, humble servants, Nichs. J. Roosevelt, Adj't 3d Reg't. John 
Woodward, Capt. 4th Company, 3d Reg't." Two doctors' bills 
are also presented for services rendered to Mr. Totten. From Ht, 
William Moore: "For medicine, attendance, Ac, from April 14 to 
June 15, 1788, £9, 19s., Od." From Nic's Romayne, M.D.: "For 
attendance and consultation with Dr. Moore, Ac., £3, 43., Od." 

The business and growth of the neighborhood around this market 
at this period appears progressing, and the neighborhood "were for 
increasing the accommodations for the country people;" so, in 1792, 
permission was given " to extend the roof of the * Oswego Market' 
over the side-walk, to shelter and accommodate them." 



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OSWEGO MARKET. 336 

Some two years after, Grant Thorbum appears to have become 
almost a daily visitor at this market, as will appear from his letters 
published by General George P. Morris A Co. in the Hew York 
Mirror and Home Journal. He locates it with " the west end rest- 
ing on Broadway, and the east end near No. 20 Maiden Lane; and 
there it stood in 1794, when I first saw it. At that time I was 
forging nails in Liberty, opposite Little Greene Street. At that 
time peaches were cheaper than potatoes. I used to go round after 
dinner, as the Bergen negroes were packing up, and get my apron 
nearly full for a three-penny Corporation bill. I think it was in 
1796 that Mrs. Jeroleman set a table in the market to sell hot coffee 
for three-pence a cup, and dough-nuts for one penny each. Her 
table was the first of this description that I remember to have seen. 
She was a large woman, and reported to weigh two hundred and 
twenty-five pounds — a genuine vrow from the heights of Bergen. 
As she moved in the market with her broad Dutch face, the butcher- 
boys sung out, * There goes the large dough-nut.' " 

In another letter he says: "I often spent part of the hour that 
was allotted me for dinner in this market, in listening to the Ber- 
gen farmers and freemen of the city bargaining in the Dutch lan- 
guage. What a confusion of tongues ! It appeared to me a perfect 
Babel. I could hardly prevail upon myself to believe that the 
Mynheers possessed a language ; that they had a medium whereby 
they could exchange their sentiments, express their wants and 
wishes, and give utterance to those feelings which form a part and 
parcel of our nature ; or, if so, they had pretty much the same mode 
of communicating their ideas as the wild-geese of my own country, 
as well as using a somewhat similar language ; little thinking that 
my own native tongue must sound equally harsh and uncouth in the 
ears of my honest Dutch friends, who then, by-the-by, had the as- 
cendency in the city, in point of numbers. For the benefit of the 
rising generation, be it known, at the time I am speaking of, there 
were more arrivals from Amsterdam than from Liverpool I " 

" I have a distinct recollection of an ancient-looking colored man, 
who rejoiced in the sobriquet of * Coppie Gillie.' He used to hang 
about the market, and perform such odd chores as were required of 
him by the butchers. It was said that he was the last of that un- 
fortunate company who were engaged in the Negro Plot of 1741-2, 
and, from the participation in that affair, had acquired that nick- 
name." 

The additional accommodations, previously noticed, were soon 
taken up, and the business appeared to be approaching to the high- 
est point of its history, which no doubt was between the years of 



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OSWEGO MARKET. 

1795 and 1800; and there is no better sign than to find yerj many 
persons naturally anxious to crowd into a crowd. Here we find, 
in the month of November, 1797, a petition from the butchers of this 
market, stating, ^' They have been informed applications has been 
made by certain bntchers for stalls in the said (Oswego) markef 
They humbly pray " that the upper end of the said market, above 
the stalls of Alexander Fink and Adam Fink, may be reserved for 
the country people resorting to the said market; and if any more 
stalls are allowed in the said market, that they may be placed in 
the lower part thereof." This was signed by 

Alex'r Fink, SenV, Adam Fink, George Ship, 

Jacob Appley, George Haws, Cornelius King, 

Alex'r Fink, Jun'r, Adam Hartell, Francis Spicer, 
John Boscawen, John Lyons, William Perrin, 

and Peter Bitter. 

The first name, Alex'r Fink, Sen'r, was an old butcher, who had 
formerly stood in the ** Broadway Market," as had also his brothers, 
Adam, John, Jacob, and Abraham ; and no doubt their father before 
them (who bore the name of Alexander) had there transacted the 
same business. Before and shortly after the Revolution, the name 
was spelled Finck, and so it was continued in some of the old Direct* 
ories; but about 1790 many of the family changed it to Fink, as at 
present known* 

Among the signers, also, is Alex' r Fink, Jun'r, a son of the above 
Alex'r, Sen'r, who lived within my recollection; in fact, they were 
a large .family, many of whom were butchers. The above Alex'r, 
Sen'r, before he commenced business in the former *' Oswego Mar> 
ket," was admitted a freeman, (then Jun'r,) which took place in the 
year 1765, and is noticed as follows: '*By John Cruger, Esq., 
Mayor, and the Aldermen of the City of New York. To all whom 
these presents shall come, send greeting. Whereas Alexander 
Finck, Jun'r, butcher, hath made application to be made a freeman, 
and citizen of the same city. These are therefore to certify and 
declare, that the said Alexander Finck is hereby admitted, received, 
and allowed, a freeman and citizen of the same city ; to have, hold, 
use, and enjoy, all the benefits, privileges, franchises, and immunities 
whatsoever granted or belonging to the same city. In testimony 
whereof, the said Mayor and Aldermen have hereunto caused the 
se^l of the said city to be affixed. Witness, John Gruoeb, Esq., 
Mayor, the twenty-third day of October, in the fifth year of the reign 
of pur Sovereign Lord, George the Thirds by the grace of God, of 
Great Britaip, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the faith, &c.f 
and in the year of our Lord 1765. By order of the said Mayor. 

"Aug. V. Cortland, Cl^J* 



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OSWEGO MARKET. 337 

George Ship, one of the butchers there, was somewhat a remark- 
able business man ; although possessed of no education, or rather he 
could not read nor write, yet, with tact, he managed to transact a 
large business successfully. He was born in the Landgraviate of 
Hesse-Cassel, and on the commencement of the Revolution, he, with 
others of his Hessian countrymen, were hired to fight the battles 
of the British ; but very early he left, or deserted, and entered into 
the service of (he Americans, in which he continued until peace, 
first in the " Mrs. Washington Guards," a Regiment of Light Horse, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Baylor, the story of whose surprise and 
massacre at Tappan formed one of the bloodiest episodes of the war ; 
and then as wagon-master in the auxiliary French army. After peace 
he commenced business in this market, with Jacob Appley, with whom 
he continued several years : he, however, obtained stand No. 5, and 
although he was, at times, somewhat eccentric, with some humor, 
yet, by diligence and frugality, he obtained a large share of the 
business. Ofttimes he became the butt of several of the other butch- 
ers, of whom Haws, Appley, Fink, and King were most prominent 
in working up some practical or other joke. Ship was always anx- 
ious to hear the news, when a newspaper could be obtained, and 
invariably called on his friend Haws to read for him ; which he 
would do, with the paper likely upside down, some great or horrible 
occurrence, which he knew would either surprise or annoy Ship, and in 
the end create a hearty laugh. But Ship sometimes managed to get 
even with them, when opportunity offered; and about the year 1802 
a remarkable circumstance of an exciting nature did occur, when 
he outgeneraled them for quite a period, although he was not aware 
that he was the origin of what proved to be a wonderful ghost 
hoax, until preparations were made to " head the spectre off." 

A watchman somewhat vigilant, as well as a strong believer in 
supernaturals, had occasionally seen after the midnight hours a 
swift-footed, mysterious-looking and noiseless phantom, which ap- 
peared like a horse and rider, who almost flew over the ground, and 
at every leap sparks of fire would be seen at both ends of this sin- 
gular object while passing down Elizabeth Street, and disappear 
somewhere below the BulFs Head yards, which extended through 
to this street In this neighborhood were also the residences and 
slaughter-houses of several of these butchers who stood in this mar- 
ket, as it was also Ship's. This watchman had told this marvelous 
story so often, that many had watched with him, and believed it 
was no other than a real live ghost. 

Ship was the owner of an excellent swift racing mare, and, having 
belonged to a cavalry company, he was an expert rider; this animal 
Vol. I.— 22 



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838 OSWBOO MARKET. 

he used some two or three times a week when he went to yisit a 
very intimate friend, who lired in Spring Street, not far from the 
" Manhattan Well,"* and when he did so it was universally late, 
often in the small hours of the mornings when he started to return; 
his mare, then anxious to get home, would not allow the grass to 
grow under her feet, while passing through Spring to Elizabeth and 
down that street to her stable. After a time Ship found he was 
watched, but he also discovered that he was the " great ghost" that 
so many had seen, and not a few so much afraid of; and concluded 
that so long as they did not molest him, he would not allow them 
to grow the wiser ; so on every light night he was disguised with a 
white sheet wrapped around him, and thus homeward he rode many a 
night; however, at last, some of his butcher friends got knowledge 
of it, and waited one night to see this flying ghost, when they soon 
came to the conclusion that it was Ship's mare. The next day they 
accosted Ship, but he knew nothing about it, and offered to assist in 
taking or stopping the ghost, by placing a barrier across the street, 
which was done. Ship, however, marked its lowest and weakest 
spot, where he knew his gallant mare could clear without trouble; 
so midnight came, and soon after the white rider and mare came fly- 
ing down, and over she went and disappeared. This established the 
fact, when hundreds believed and reported all sorts of ghost stories; 
but Haws, Graff, and many other butchers, concluded to head the 
ghost off and adopt something that would put a stop or an end to 
many of the ghost-affrighted stories, which had now become quite 
current in many parts of the city ; so they gathered together all the 
old carts, boxes, timber, Ac, and erected a barrier high enough to 
stop Old Nick himself, if he should come that way. Ship had also 
willingly lent his aid to build this grand barricade, and, this being 
one of his visiting nights, he concluded not to disappoint anybody; 
so after dusk, all being yet quiet, he mounted his mare to take his 
usual ride and keep the ghost's great reputation up which it had now 
obtained. A little later hour than usual the clattering heels and 
streams of fire were heard and seen, and the noble steed came rushing 
down this haunted street, while many an eye and mouth stood open 
wide enough to take in this fearful sight ; but just before the barri* 
cade was reached, a sudden turn to the left was made across the lots 
into the Bowery Lane, and down she went in Bayard Street and 
quickly disappeared into her stable ; but some of the butchers were 
there waiting in the dark, and as soon as Ship had dismounted, two 
or three grabbed him ; when he, having the advantage of strength 
and activity, slipped out of their grasp by leaving his coat and sheet 
* See SpriDg Street Market 



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OSWEGO MARKET. 339 

behind, when he escaped to his house. The evidence, however, was 
overpowering, and "George Ship's Ghost" was for many years a 
laoghing joke among the people of the neighborhood, and many of 
the old butchers of New York recollect it to this day. 

Continued changes in the occupancy of certain stands were also 
taking place, as well in this as in every market-house in the city; 
in (act, it is the prominent trait in most of the human family usually 
to '^keep the stone rolling that never collects the moss ;" while a few 
others, again, will settle themselves down and remain fixtures on 
the spot once chosen, until forced by death to change. We find but 
five of the above petitioners of '97 left in 1802, and but nine of the 
stands occupied, as follows: 

No. 1. Alexander Fink, Sen'r. No. 2. Adam Fink. 

8. Jacob Jeroleman. 4. Jacob Appley. 

6. George Ship. 6. George Haws 

7. Philip L. Luff. 8. Jacob Tier. 

9. Vacant. 10. Vacant. 

11. Vacant. 12. Henry Smith. 

The occupant of No. 8, Jacob Tier, was in his day somewhat re* 
markable for gp-eat strength, endurance, activity and fearlessness, 
bat withal of a quiet and amiable disposition. In an early day, for 
a large wager, he had performed a remarkable feat, by wheeling a 
common wheelbarrow from his house, corner of Bowery Lane and 
Grand Street, all the way (and it was a rough way at that period) 
up to Kingsbridge, within a given time, which he easily won. 

He was always a friend to the aged or weak, and a foe to the 
6if/7y or braggart, whom he detested, when they attempted an irn* 
pontion. Perhaps this latter feeling was the cause of his having 
engaged, although at an advanced age, in a desperate battle, which 
w thus noticed: "A few days since, five or six armed soldiers took 
a fancy to march abreast on the side-walk in the Bowery, sweeping 
every man« woman, and child they met with into the snow. At 
Icnfrth* coming up to a poor man who was sawing wood and piling 
it on the side-walk, they ordered him to remove his wood, that they 
might march without impoiliment. The sawyer not readily com- 
plying with the command, one of them struck him on the head with 
the butt-end of his musket, and cut his hat through to his head. 
They were proceeding to abuse him further, when Mr. (Jacob) Tier, 
a botcher and an aged roan, between 70 and 80, interfered : on which 
the soldiers began to ill-treat him also. At this moment a sleigh 
with a number of butchers, friends of Mr. Tier, coming up, they im- 
mediately landed, attacked the soldiers in turn, disarmed them in an 
instant, and gave them such a drubbing that they soon ordered a 



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340 OSWEGO MARKET. 

retreat ; and it is not probable this party will again be found abasing 
peaceable citizens."* I am told that William Vonck was one, and 
the leader of this party, who, after disarming them, took their mus- 
kets into the Bull's Head Tavern, where they remained until the 
soldiers made a suitable apology. 

In the month of August, 1804, John Pintard, the Inspector, rec- 
ommended that " so much of the * Oswego Market' as is unoccupied 
by the butchers be taken down, and that the remaining part be re- 
paired." The same year the Humane Society acknowledges the re- 
ceipt of " 16 calves' heads from the butchers" of this market. 

The building of a new and extensive market on the west side of 
Washington Street (afterwards "Washington Market") had been 
agitated for some years, and it was partially arranged that when 
this was built, they would do away with the Oswego Market, as it 
had now become old and dilapidated, although it had some repairs 
in 1807. 

In the month of March, 1810, "will be oflfered for sale to-morrow 
(Saturday, Slst,) morning, at the stall of Alexander Fink, Sen'r, No. 
1 'Oswego Market,' and at the stall of Alexander Pink, Jr., No. 
22 Bear Market, the fattest beef that has been for sale this season, 
being twins, a steer and a heifer, fed by Mr. Hezekiah Howell, of 
Orange County, N. Y." 

In the following month of May a resolution was passed to remove 
the present Osioego Market-House into Vesey Street, below Wash- 
ington Street, and to erect such part of it as they may think proper. 
This, however, appears not to have been carried out at this time, as 
I find on the 3d of June a petition from the butchers in this market 
praying that stands in the new (Washington) market about to be 
erected may be assigned to them, equally advantageous in point of 
situation with those they now occupy ; which was conformed to ; and 
the next year, (1811,) on the 6th of May, a resolution was passed, 
" that the Street Commissioner ascertain the line of Mr. Binninger's 
property, and that the market-hotise and engine-house be immediately 
removed ;" and no doubt the " Old Swaga" Market's sound bones and 
ribs were left in the present "Washington Market," which will in a 
few short years be again disturbed. 

• Eyeniog Post, February 10, ISia 



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CATHARINS MARKET. . 341 



"CATHARINE MARKET." 

1786. In the year 1786, Mr. Henry Rutgers, with several of the 
prominent inhabitants in the vicinity of Catharine Street, " prayed 
permission to erect a public market-house at Catharine Slip, at 
their own expense." They were to furnish the ground and put it 
up forthwith. A Committee, however, was appointed " to determine 
the place and the manner of building the market-house." They 
located it on nearly the same spot where the present iron market- 
house stands, with the west end facing Cherry Street ; the south 
side just cleared the north side of Catharine Street, and the east 
end not quite down to Water Street. In less than a month (June 
28} Mr. Rutgers informed the Board that the market-house was 
ready for the reception and accommodation of butchers and country 
people. It took its name from the slip and street, which were 
named after the wife of Captain Harman Rutgers, whose residence 
was near where Catharine Street now connects with the Bowery. 

Several of the butchers remaining in the Peck Slip Market were 
flien, by their wish, removed into this market, when it soon com- 
menced doing a good business, and yearly increased it; having a 
great many country people visiting it, both from Long Island and 
Westchester County, who were principally ranged on the north side, 
under temporary sheds and awnings. 

The first fisherman introduced at this market was in the year 
1797, when Mathias Wessels petitions, in the month of May, " to 
obtain liberty to erect a shed building on one side of Catharine 
Slip Market, for the purpose of exposing to sale all kinds of fresh 
fish brought to this city.'' The citizens in the neighborhood, to the 
number of sixty-eight, petition, and *^ beg leave to observe, that we 
should consider a fish market at Catharine Slip as a very great fa- 
vor. The mode of establishing so desirable and valuable a privi- 
lege to the inhabitants of this quarter of the city we submit to 
your wisdom and discretion, hoping you will consider it an object 
worthy your immediate attention." This privilege was soon after 
granted. 

In the following month of August a great commotion was cre- 
ated, from the finding of several parts of a human body in the slip 
at this market, by some of the market people, early on the morning 
of the 19th inst. The following account gives more of the details: 



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842 CATHARINE MARKET. 

" Last Saturday morning, between seven and eight o'clock, the flesh 
of the late unfortunate criminal (or some other man) was found 
floating in Catharine Slip, which, with the last parts of his body, were 
carried to Long Island, and there buried by John Bell. We are 
credibly informed that this shameful exposure was not through the 
wantonness of the surgeons, as supposed, but of the porters em- 
ployed to sink them, being contained in a bag, with weights for that 
purpose ; but it seems the porters conceived the bag of value, and 
by this means the parts were set afloat."* This was proved to be 
the body of the criminal, John Young, from the communication of 
Drs. John B. Hicks and Richard S. Kissam, who say: '' In order to 
avoid any unnecessary injury to the feelings of the persons who had 
assembled to see the execution, the body (of John Young) was con- 
veyed to Potters Field, from whence, at a late hour of the night, it 
was carried to the Anatomical Theatre, where we commenced and 
finished the dissection, in as decent and secret a manner as the na* 
ture of the business would admit of. We have to regret that the 
persons to whom the remains of the body were committed to be in- 
terred, being apprehensive that, if buried in the yard, it might be 
discovered, and lead to disagreeable consequences, deemed it expe- 
dient to commit the same to the bottom of the river. In their 
alarm and confusion, they neglected to give the bag the necessary 
weight to sink it, in consequence of which the following morning it 
was found floating." 

This "Young" had committed murder in the month of June pre- 
vious, which was noticed in the " press "t as follows: '* About sunset 
last evening, (June 28,) as Mr. Robert Berwick, Deputy Sheriff, was 
conducting one 'Young,' an English musician, (bassoonrplayer cU the 
Theatre J to goal, Young shot him through the body, and he expired 
immediately. He had him in custody for debt, and had been wait- 
ing on him to several places for the purpose of procuring bail, but 
had refused to go to any * other place.' Young found that he must 
go to prison, sprang away from Berwick, drew a pistol, and shot 
him. He was immediately secured, shortly after tried, condemned 
and executed." 

The steady increase of business soon found the market accommo- 
dations too small, and in the month of August, 1799, a petition from 
thirty-five of the prominent citizens near by asked " for a new and 
enlarged market-house at Catharine Slip;" and although the sub- 
ject was postponed for a time, yet we find the market-house finished 
in 1800. In the month of October, a Committee, consisting of Al- 
dermen Richard Furman, John Bogert, Mangle Minthorne, Jotham 
Post, and Philip J. Arcularius, reported, that they *' are of opinion 

• New York Joarnal, Ac., AaguBi 28, 1797. f Hd^) Jane 29, 1797. 



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CATHARINE MABK^T. 343 

that sixteen Hands for batchers should be granted in the said mar- 
ket, and that the nine who held stands in the old market should 
have the preference; that the most proper disposition of the said 
stands would be, to affix an annual rent, in preference to selling 
them" at public auction. The public sale of stands in the Fly 
Market, in 1796, had been much regretted by the Corporation, who 
soon found out that, in departing from the old-established rule of 
disposing of butchers' stands in the public markets, had and would 
lead to favoritism or iiyustice, and in the end be extremely perni- 
cious in its consequences. About two years after the sale of these 
stands, the Corporation appointed a Committee ''to repurchase 
them, by refunding to the fourteen butchers the money they had 
paid for them, together with interest, if they would reconvey the 
stalls to the Corporation. The butchers, however, preferred to 
part with their money, and keep their stalls in fee. They would 
not reconyey ; they found themselves independent with their stands, 
and they viewed them as estates for their children, Ac." This fact 
is proven by the following certificate, made by Daniel Winship, Au« 
gust 15, 1806, who says: *'The Corporation appointed a Committee 
to confer with the fourteen butchers of the Fly Market who had 
purchased stalls. I was one of the fourteen who had purchased : 
the batchers appointed a Committee to confer with the Committee 
of the Corporation. We met the Committee of the Board, who 
made several proposals to us, all of which I do not remember; but 
I recollect perfectly that they wanted to get the stalls back, but we 
would not consent. They then wanted us to agree that, after hold- 
ing the stalls twenty years, they should return back to the Corpo- 
ration. To this we objected. We objected because, according to 
the sale, we viewed them as our 0¥ni property, and the property of 
our heirs. Daniel Winship." 

These no doubt were the prominent reasons that no more should 
be sold at public auction, but that an annual rent should hereafter 
be affixed to each butcher stand ; and the balance of these sixteen 
stands in this market, after the "oM ntn^" had taken their choice, 
the other seven should be drawn for, which left them occupying their 
stands in the following manner : 

No. 1. Francis J. Dominick. No. 2. Jacob Varian. 
3. Andrew Paff. 4. Jacob H. Varian. 

6. Mathew Goodman. 6. William Moore. 

7. Oeorge Thompson, 8. John Lyons. 

9. Smith Townsend. 10. Christian Hartell. 

11. John Boscawen. 12. William Perrin. 

13. John Waters. 14. Michael Nestler. 

15. John Smith. 16. Isaac Wood. 



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844 CATHABINB I.ABKET. 

Among these were several " regular jokers/' full of life and fun, 
and fun they would have sometimes at considerable cost. The first 
introduction in this citj of public "negro dancing" no doubt took 
place at this market. The negroes who visited here were prinei* 
pally slaves from Long Island, who had leave of their masters for 
certain holidays, among which "Pinkster" was the principal one; 
when, for " pocket-money," they would gather up everything that 
would bring a few pence or shillings, such as roots, berries, herbs, 
yellow or other birds, fish, clams, oysters, Ac, and bring them with 
them in their skiflfs to this market ; then, as they had usually three 
days holiday, they were ever ready, by their " negro sayings or do- 
ings," to make a few shillings more. So they would be hired by 
some joking butcher or individual to engage in a jig or break-down, 
as that was one of their pastimes at home on the barn-floor, or in a 
frolic, and those that could and would dance soon raised a collection; 
but some of them did more in " turning around and shying oflF" from 
the designated spot than keeping to the regular "shake-down," 
which caused them all to be confined to a " board," (or shingle, as 
they called it,) and not allowed oflf it; on this they must show their 
skill ; and, being several together in parties, each had his particular 
"shingle" brought with him as part of his stock in trade. This 
board was usually about five to six feet long, of large width, with 
its particular spring in it, and to keep it in its place while dancing 
on it, it was held down by one on each end. Their music or time 
was usually given by one of their party, which was done by beating 
their hands on the sides of their legs and the noise of the heel. The 
favorite dancing-place was a cleared spot on the east side of the fish 
market in front of Burnel Brown's Ship Chandlery. The large 
amount collected in this way after a time produced some excellent 
" dancers ;" in fact, it raised a sort of strife for the highest honors, 
i. €., the most cheering and the most collected in the " hat." Among 
the most famous in their day was "-ATed" (Francis,) a little wiry 
negro slave, belonging to Martin Ryerson; another named Bob 
Rowley, who called himself ''Bobolink Bob" belonging to William 
Bennett, and Jack, belonging to Frederick De Voo, all farmers on 
Long Island; (the latter owned a farm of 20 odd acres of ground in 
the centre of what is now Williamsburgh, fronting on the river, 
running easterly between 7th and 8th Streets.) Jack was a smart 
and faithful man, and when he was set free by the laws, he became, 
after a time, a loafer, and died at this market. He was brought up 
by Mr. De Voo, who thought a good deal of him, and on the day 
when he was made free, he fitted him out in a new suit from " top 
to toe," and then said to him : " Jack, if you go home with me, you 



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CATHARINE ^lARKET. 345 

shall never want ; but if you leave me now, my home shall never 
more know you." Jade could not be persuaded to return home by 
many of the butchers and others, but would stay in the city. It 
was not long before his former master was importuned by several 
persons to take him back, but his answer was: *'The laws set him 
free and he left me — now let the laws take care of him." Many New 
Jersey negroes, mostly from Tappan, were after a time found among 
them, contending for the prize, and oftentimes successfully too; they 
were known by their suppleness and plaited forelocks tied up with 
tea-lead. The Long Islanders usually tied theirs up in a cue, with 
dried ^1-skin ; but sometimes they combed it about their heads and 
shoulders, in the form of a wig, then all the fashion. After the Jer- 
sey negroes had disposed of their masters' produce at the " Bear 
Market," which sometimes was early done, and then the advantage 
of a late tide, they would " shin it" for the Catharine Market to en- 
ter the lists with the Long Islanders, and in the end, an equal divi- 
sion of the proceeds took place. The success which attended them 
brought our city negtoes down there, who, after a time, even exceeded 
them both, and if money was not to be had " they would dance for 
a bunch of eels or fish." I have been often told that much of this 
dancing took place on Sunday mornings; but this was not so, although 
there were always large collections on that day with their trifles to 
sell, and their friends to meet or visit. 

But few butchers at this period kept horses and carts, and only 
those who were doing a large business and lived some distance from 
the markets; their meats were brought to the markets before day- 
light, and after unloading the apprentice-boy was ordered to take 
them home for the day, and bring down the boss's breakfast. Those 
who had no horse or cart, and especially those who were known as 
" small-meat butchers," brought their siock in trade in wheelbarrows. 

Andrew Paff, the occupant of No. 3, did so, and, having no 6oy, 
his *' wife brought down his breakfast, and while he was eating she 
would attend, and after gathering up the gambrils and sets, with the 
breakfast-kettle" and something for dinner, put all in the wheel- 
barrow and trundle it home. 

An apprentice had but little to do with carrying home the cus- 
tomers' purchases, except now and then for a boarding-house, or the 
captain of a vessel, when the wooden tray came into use. Those 
private families who could afford to keep slaves, brought them along 
for that purpose, and *' the man in middling circumstances of life 
never scrupled to carry home his marketing, or even his cwt. of 
meal ;" he then, however, had the advantage of distance, as the city 
was not 80 extended as at the present day. 



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846 CATHARINE MARKET. 

Within my recollection, it was the fashion with many persons to 
carry their marketing home ; as an example, Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, 
who lived in White Street near Broadway, (about the year 1825,) 
generally carried from the Washington Market, almost daily, a well* 
filled basket in one hand, with sometimes a large fish in tiie other, 
or something else, to balance with ; and, if questioned about it, I 
have heard him say : *' The man who was ashamed to carry home his 
dinner from market, did not deserve any." 

I am told that the first introduction of the use of the horse and 
cart for that purpose was made by Jacob Aimes, of Washington 
Market, after it became established ; and at this market Smith Town- 
send (noticed as the occupant of No. 9) followed on after him, but 
it was not general until about the year 1820. 

The whole business of a butcher was conducted quite different at 
that time from what it is now, being on a much less expensive sys- 
tem. Then the butchers calculated to bring to market just about 
what could be profitably sold for the day, and have it all cut up^ 
sometimes hours before daybreak, ready for customers and others^ 
who made it a practice to go early to market to procure the choice 
pieces, as at that time there was no reservation, and those who came 
late had to take such as was left; by ten o'clock the market was 
considered through, although many poor persons and others, who 
were looking for bargains, would come after that hour or late on 
Saturday nights to pick up the remnants ; sometimes, however, a bad 
market in hot weather would catch the butchers, and cause to be 
sold " a big piece for a shilling," to have a clean stall, as meats were 
usually less tiian half the price they now range, and the butchers had 
no refrigerators or other convenient places to keep pieces over, as 
they now have. 

The modem retail butcher, in the first place, does not generally 
rise so early in the morning, as the main business of selling seldom 
commences earlier than eight o'clock, and usually lasts only until 
ten o'clock; then, again, it is not only the aeUing^ but the receiving 
and sending home the^arious other articles purchased, which requires 
two or three men around the stall, the same number of boys, with 
horses, carts, and wagons to carry baskets upon baskets of vegetables, 
poultry, fish, eggs, &c., which are usually sent to the butcher's stand, 
where space must be found for them, so all these various articles can 
be satisfactorily arranged before the purchasers will leave them. 
All to be attended to in two short hours. Then follows the trouble 
of sending all home correctly and in season, which certainly gives 
more anxiety to the butcher than it does to dispose or make the sale 
of his meats ; and if the boy loses a head of salad, breaks an egg, or 



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CATHARINE MARKET. g47 

an apple gone, the master butcher is called upon to account for it, 
and very likely a scolding with it; and to sum all up, this modem 
custom needs extra help, extra space, extra carts and wagons, extra 
patience ; and with all, and the worst of all, extra expense. 

The refrigerators so generally used now came into use by the 
butchers and housekeepers about the year 1835, although I find 
they were introduced, in fact invented, in the State of Maryland, in 
the year 1801. 

Thomas Moore, of Montgomery County, Maryland, says he *' pro- 
jected a refrigerator in 1801, for the purpose of carrying butter to 
market in hot weather. The machine is very simple and cheap ; by 
the proper arrangement of one conductor and several non-conduct- 
ors of heat, a comparatively small quantity of ice made use of is 
almost entirely prevented from receiving any heat, but what it ex- 
tracts from the butter, and this it effects with great facility, without 
being brought in contact with it. Butter may be carried in this 
machine throughout the whole of a hot summer's day, and delivered 
at market as hard as it is usual to see it in the middle of winter. 
This, however, is only one of the uses it may be applied to ; every fam- 
ily may be furnished with a vessel in their cellars, in which, by the 
daily use of a few pounds of ice, fresh meat, milk, butter, liquors, or 
any kind of provisions, may be cooled and preserved. It would be 
very useful to butchers, who often lose considerable quantities of 
meat in summer.''* 

Stands for the sale of coffee, cakes, and other eatables appear to 
be one of the fixtures of every well-governed public market, unless 
there are cellars under them for that purpose. This market having 
none of these accommodations, Elizabeth Kline, in the month of 
August, 1801, petitioned for "privilege of selling coffee and choco- 
late in the Catharine Market, where nothing of this kind is at pres- 
ent sold by any person ;" which no doubt was granted. 

The market-house was nearly filled with butchers, leaving but a 
small space remaining for country people and a few fishermen ; the 
great demand for stands had induced the Common Council to con- 
sent to fill all up with butchers' stands in 1802, and of providing 
another market-house for the country people and fishermen. But 
the citizens thought the Common Council ought to provide another 
house first, and petition in the month of August, stating, "they were 
informed the Board have in contemplation to permit the lower end 
of said market-house, now made use of as a fish market and a shelter 
for country people resorting there, to be filled up with stalls for 
butchers ; which measure, if carried into effect, will prove a serious 
• American Citiaen, September 1«, 18QS. 



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348 CATHARINE MARKET. 

inconvenieQce, unless some conyenient place near the said market 
can be provided for the accommodation of fishermen and countrj 
people." 

This new market, however, was not then built, but in the month 
of May, 1805, another was ordered to be erected, at an expense not 
to exceed five hundred dollars: " the dimensions of which were 30 
feet on Water Street, and 18 feet over the slip, that the market-boats 
might lie under the market, and stairs to accommodate the fishermen." 

About the time this market-house was erected the yellow fever 
had made its fatal appearance, when the butchers of this market, on 
the 9th of September following, present a petition, stating ^' that 
there is a probability of the butchers of the Fly Market being per- 
mitted to remove their stalls into Chatham {Square) Street, near 
the new watch-house, in consequence of the appearance of the ap- 
proaching sickly season, (and if so) it will considerably cut us off from 
our profit and privilege in business; that on a former removal 
of the butchers to the aforesaid place, we were placed at the lower 
end of the arrangement, very much to our disadvantage and loss. 
We pray on the ensuing removal to direct it so that we in our turn 
may have the privilege of setting our stalls at the upper end of the 
arrangement, next to the watch-house;" which was granted. 

The accommodations for fish-cars at the Fly Market had, at this 
period, become objectionable, or at least many found fault with the 
sewer that emptied out among the fish-cars, and would not purchase 
their supplies there, but went up to this market, which produced a 
great change in the fish, as well as the whole market; and in a few 
years it became known as the " great fish market," where fish was 
brought from all quarters in wagons, boats, and skiffs from the Jer- 
sey shore and Long Island, and smacks from the eastward. From 
1812 to 1822 it was the wholesale as well as the best retail fish 
market, and it still continues (in the latter trade) one of the best 
" Sunday morning fish markets." " To get a bunch of fresh fish, you 
must go to the Catharine Market," is an old saying ; and where so 
much fish was kept, a great many were thrown into the slip, which 
added another prominent feature to this market. 

There was an old man engaged in the market about the year 1815, 
by the name of Sam Way, a great " shark-catcher." The dead fish 
thrown out from the many fish-cars and smacks no doubt attracted 
many shark in our then quiet waters around this slip; and when 
Sam heard the cry of '^ahirk around the slip," he would drop his 
broom, have his " chain-hook" out and baited, and in a few minutes 
the cry was, " Sam's got one hooked ;" then, being a large, strong 
man, he would soon lay the '^aUrV^ on the dock; and he had been 



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CATHARINE MARKET. 349 

known to take seven in one day, some of them fourteen feet in 
length. One day he hooked " a big one," and he had got into a 
skiff which lay tied at the end of the slip; the shark took to pulling 
and broke loose the skiff with Sam in,. and away he went down the 
river, at race-horse speed, nearly as far as Red Hook, before he tired 
out, or Sam could hold him up ; he, however, mastered him and 
brought him back, and Sam after that concluded not to be run away 
with again. So he stuck to the raft or dock when he fished for 
''shirk:' 

Part of this new market-house after a time, in consequence of the 
increasing business, was demanded, and six more butcher stands 
added. A bell was fixed up on the market in 1810, and the year 
after the cellars were leased for twenty-one years, and the chains 
which had been placed across Cherry Street were complained of, 
and ordered to be taken down. 

The death of one of the butchers, Captain John Lovell, drowned 
in the slip, who occupied stand No. 22, shows the manner which their 
stands were disposed of afterwards for the benefit of their widows. 
It appears the Common Council had, by mistake or misrepresntation, 
granted this stand to John K. Floor, when the widow, Margaret 
Lovell, petitions for them to reconsider their vote, and says: **That 
usage had allowed her a claim on it, and that she wished to convey 
her right to his brother, Robert Lovell," (who had worked for him ;) 
also presents a petition recommended by several citizens in favor of 
him. The subject was referred to a Committee, who reported in a 
few days after, " That they had made due inquiry in relation to the 
existence of a custom set forth in her petition, and are fully satisfied 
that said custom has long existed, and which your Committee con- 
sider as laudable and reasonable, and hope it may be continued. 
They have also ascertained that Mr. Floor was still in possession of 
another stand in Fly Market, and consider it will be unreasonable 
and improper to permit him to hold two stalls at the same time, and 
deprive the widow of the deceased Mr. Lovell of the benefit of the 
one held by her husband so shortly after his decease." They there- 
fore rescind the former resolution granting to Mr. Floor, and now 
grant it to Robert Lovell, (it being understood that he shall make 
her suitable compensation for the relinquishment of her right under 
the said custom,) and a resolution was passed to that effect. 

In 1816 another enlargement was asked for, and among the reasons 
given are, **that a supply of butchers' meats cannot be obtained, and 
particularly in the summer season, on Saturday evenings." So, on 
the 11th March, a Committee reported in favor, and say : " The mar- 
ket at present occupied as a fish market running east and west be 



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850 CATHARINE MARKET. 

turned bo as to nm north and south, and that an addition be built 
of about 80 feet running north and south, and the cost not to exceed 
five hundred dollars. This appears to have been finished on the 
fourth of July following, and the stands for butchers all occupied, 
many of which were represented by a Committee as doing business 
withdut licenses, and they reported in favor of granting such to the 
following persons : 

No. 15. John P. Harmony. No. 16. James Taylor. 

17. Samuel Martin. 18. Joseph Conklin. 

19. Joseph Hyde. 20. Benjamin Lovell. 

21. Walter Durbrow. 22. Isaac Wood. 

23. Sylvanus S. Townsend. 24. John K. Floor. 

25. Jacob Varian. 26. Jacob H. Varian. 

27. William Shot. 28. Richard Piatt. 

29. James Goodman. 80. Andrew Hutton. 

81. Jonathan Skillman, 82. Thomas M*Cready. 

83. James Cammell. 84. Jacob Odell. 

85. George Stagg. 86. Andrew Smock. 

87. William Messerve. 88. Albert Fisher. 

89. James Reeves. 40. James Sullivan. 

41. Jacob Acker. 42. Mathew Vogel. 

43. John King. 44. William Appleby. 

45. Nicholas Dean. 46. Thomas Marshall. 

47. Thomas Place, Sen'r. 48. George W. Variau. 

Some two months previous to the placing of the additional stands 
in this market, "the Street Commissioner was authorized to have the 
grounds round the new market raised, and a gutter to be paved on 
each side ;" and at the same time the Clerk, Nathan Eizenhart, was 
removed, and John Bremner was appointed. Several of the Clerks 
were reported to the Board as having not settled their accounts of 
fees for several months past. The Comptroller " suggested that an 
order should pass, obliging all persons who have the receipts of pub- 
lic moneys to render accounts, and make payments to the Treasurer 
within a limited time." The former Clerk, Mr. Eizenhart, promised 
to settle within the week, and the other delinquents were ordered 
to be prosecuted if their accounts " remain unpaid at the beginning 
of next week," and that all should pay the fees monthly hereafter, 
to comply with the law. 

Some six years previous, the fees collected and expenses for one 
week for this market in the month of April, as furnished by the 
Clerk, are shown as follows: "A return of the fees arising from the 
Catharine Market, for six days past, commencing Monday 2d, and 



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CATHABINE MARKET. 351 

ending Saturday, 7th of April, 1810, both days incla- 

rive, X7, 98., lOd., or $18 72 

Allowed for collection, commission of 10 per cent^, 1 87 

$16 85 
To one week's sweeping, - - - $1 25 
To two days' short change in last month, 42 1 67 

Wm. Chevers. Balance, $16 18." 

We advance now to the month of June, 1816, when the Clerk 

reports the number of animals exposed to sale here, or at least those 

which he received fees for, running through the months of January, 

February, March, and April. 



CaUle. 


Sheep. 


Cdres. 


Hogi. 


January, - - - 391 


880 


79 


9 


February, - - - 273 


626 


108 


25 


March, • • • 255 


161 


480 


27 


April, .... 180 


28 


1,114 


32 



1,099 1,695 1,781 98 

I also find the total amount sold in the Washington, Fly, and this 
market, for the above months, was, 5,018 beeves; 8,763 calves; 
7,333 sheep and lambs; and 1,629 hogs; which produced a revenue 
of $2,000 to the city. It will be perceived the month of April 
shows a great decrease in the number of cattle, and scarcely one 
Bhcep a day for the whole market ; while the numbers of calves 
have taken their place. The collection of fees in this manner were 
always very small, especially in the spring months, when, also, but 
little country produce was brought to our markets, and of course 
much less fees was obtained from them ; but after the adoption of 
letting butchers' stands for an annual rent, which appears to have 
taken place in 1821, it was found much larger. The proceedings 
show, in the month of April of that year, the passage of a resolu- 
tion to '* lease for one or more years the butchers' stands at the dif- 
ferent public markets, the rent to be paid in advance ; and in any 
case where the occupants are not disposed to pay the price assessed 
on them, to sell them at public auction. This arrangement is in 
lieu of the fees paid for the articles that were exposed for sale." 

Soon after, each butcher here was served with the following 
printed ^^ Notice: — Sir: The Collector of the Corporation Bevenue 
will attend at John Vanderbtlt^a store, No. 8 Catharine Market, on 
the 4th day of May, between the hours of 10 and 12 o'clock, for the 
purpose of receiving the first quarter's rent for the stalls or stands 
occupied by the butchers in tiie Catharine Market. Such of the 



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352 



CATHARINE MARKET. 



present occupants as wish to retain them are requested to be pone* 
tual in calling upon him and paying the rent, as it will be presumed 
that those who neglect so to do intend to relinquish their stalls. 
New York. 3d May, 1821." 

We will now travel back to the year 1817, and find the Clerk of 
this market, also the Clerks of the Washington, Duane, and Spring 
Street Markets, were placed on the same footing — " to be allowed, 
in lieu of any other compensation, one dollar per day." 

In the month of June, 1819, John Bremner, the Deputy Clerk, 
addresses a note to the Market Committee, in which he says : " I 
have been repeatedly requested by the drovers that sell cattle to 
butchers of Catharine Market, that there should be a public scale; 
therefore, I hope that your Committee will grant the request that 
will be communicated to you by the bearer of this." Communica- 
tion read as follows: " To his Honor the Mayor, in Common Coun- 
cil convened: The petitioner humbly sheweth, that this market 
needs a public scale ; and the stall No. 43, occupied by me.. I have 
willingly consented to have it transferred for a public scale, and 
satisfied with the compensation that the butchers have made me. 
New York, June 11, 1819. Benjamin Davis." 

The Market Committee reported favorably, and ordered "the 
said petitioners to pay the expense of said publick scale ; which 
scale to be the property of the above-named market." 

The next year, in the month of February, the fishermen, who 
were quite numerous, petitioned to the Board to allow the grocers 
to keep open their stores on Sunday mornings. They state, thej 
" are fishermen by occupation, and daily supply their fellow-citizens 
with fish, and make their stand in the Catharine Market ; that yon 
are well aware of the exposed situation at all seasons of the year, 
and more particularly during the cold season suflfering with cold, 
clothes wet, and frequently frozen ; they can get no refreshment on 
Sunday mornings, the grocers not being allowed to open their 
shops. They pray to allow the grocers by said market to keep 
their shops open until market-hours are over on Sunday mornings, 
Ac." (Signed by) 

C. Simmons, 

Peter Patterson, 

Thomas D. Gildersleve, 

Samuel Butler, 

Benedict Hazard, 

John S. Avery, 

John Williams, 



Jason Smith, 
William Chewick, 
Joseph Caywood, 
Peter Ackerman, 
Gideon Wonzer, 
Cornelius Bogert, 
Thomas Shard, 
James Woodruflf. 



David Thomas, 
S. Maynard, 
Mace Adam, 
J. Gabriel Gantz, 
Thomas Harris, 
Joseph Keen, 
Jacob Monell, 



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CATHARINE MARKET. 353 

In 1821, we again find no shelter for the aecommodation of the 
oonntry people. A great many petitioners, in the month of October, 
say : *' There is sufficient room for extending in the slip from the 
bulkhead ; as it now stands, there is upwards of thirty feet to the 
permanent line, and ninety feet running east and west, which may 
be occupied for a fish market ; and that part now used as a fish 
market be appropriated to the use of country people. As the ' Fly 
Market' is soon to be removed, a portion of it might be erected 
here at a small expense." 

As soon as the Fulton Market was erected and opened for busi- 
ness, this market and several others felt its effect, in the reduction 
of the trade, but more especially this ; for about two years a great 
many complaints were made, and petitions presented, and some with 
cause. On the 11th of January, 1823, the butchers petitioned, and 
complained that they ''pay heavy rents for their stalls, but the 
practice of vending meats both by the saddle, quarters, and the 
whole of the carcass or body of such animals, are not permitted to 
be sold, but at a public market ; and the practice in the Bowery, 
opposite 'Clark and Lewis's, (Tavern J by speculators purchasing 
hogs, sheep, and calves, and offering them for sale there, and other 
places, contrary to the regular rules and laws of the Corporation, 
and defrauding the Corporation of their regular fees — if they were 
compelled to attend the regular and legal markets. Your petition- 
ers therefore humbly pray that your Honorable Body will take this 
case into serious consideration, as it not only operates against the 
revenue of this city, as well as against the interest of your petitioners, 
who are paying a high rent for their stalls, and compelled to endure 
the grievance, unless your Honorable Body, by our humble prayer, 
will enforce an ordinance to cause this infringement removed, and 
the venders to attend with their produce at the public mai*kets. It 
is with diffidence we approach the Board, but confident your Hon- 
orable Body will grant us such relief as the circumstances of the 
case will require." 

The Committee reported a suitable ordinance for their protection 
on the 20th inst. following. Again, in the month of February, they 
presented a petition for the reduction of the rent on their stalls ; 
which was referred, or " laid down to sleep." But a perceptible 
change was creeping on, as many of the old faces were turned again 
towards this market; and soon after it became one of the best 
country produce markets in the city. The testimony is of my own 
knowledge, as I often visited this as well as others, with an esteem- 
ed uncle from Westchester County, who usually brought his produce 
there, and sometimes as often as three times a week. The prefer- 
VoL. I.— 28 



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854 CATHABIME MARKET. 

ence was given here for quick sales and good prices. The Satnrdaj 
night markets were again also crowded, sometimes almost to oyer- 
flowing. 

An interesting sketch, showing the large business of this market, 
and the prosperity of the working classes, is noticed in the American 
of April 6, 1825. It is headed, ''Proof of the Comfortable Situation 
of the Working Clasaea in our City. — I took a station at Catharine 
Market, which is the great emporium for the mechanics and laborers 
on Saturday evening, to offer a 'joint and trimmings' to any one 
who appeared to be in want. At the end of two hours, I observed 
but one individual whose external appearance warranted my offer- 
ing the boon : he answered (in reply to my application) that he re- 
ceived ten shillings per day wages, and that he had in his pocket 
five dollars of the week's earnings to buy his Sunday dinner. I 
counted upwards of 870 men and women who passed me to buy at 
the market in the two hours." (Ten shillings per day at that time 
would be equal to twenty now, (1857,) with the high rents, pro- 
visions, and style of living.) 

The next evidence of its increasing prosperity is in a numerously- 
signed petition from the inhabitants in the vicinity of this market, 
dated 20th June following, praying for better accommodations. 
They say, in relation to a former report of the Committee: "Hav- 
ing reported it so far decayed as not to be worth the expense of re- 
pairing, and that a new one ought to be erected." " We therefore 
pray your Honors to direct and appoint that the market to be 
erected be built of brick, similar to the one acyoining it; the ground 
where the decayed market stands being sufficiently firm and com- 
pact to sustain a building of that description." They also " submit 
to the consideration of your Honorable Body the expediency of 
building another market, for the better accommodation to the fish- 
ermen than they enjoy on the site where the market now stands, and 
to the butchers, as giving them more stalls, (the number of which 
is at present quite inadequate to the demand,) but would materially 
conduce to the public convenience and comfort." They conclude by 
wishing the Corporation " to visit the fish market of a Sunday 
morning, which, for the abundance and variety of its fish, is thought 
to surpass any of the kind in the United States." The Committee 
reported, on the 28th July following : " That the market established 
at Catharine Slip has become one of considerable importance ; it is 
frequented by a great number of respectable butchers, country peo- 
ple, and fishermen, and supplies a large proportion of the inhabitants 
of the eastern and northern sections of the city. The public derive 
from it a larger revenue, in proportion to its cost, than from anj 
other market, and your Conmiittee are disposed to give it a fuU 



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CATHARINE tfARKBT. 



855 



share of the dishnrsements now making by them." ''On examina- 
tion, it is found that the lower market is a mere shell, in a ruinous 
state, and not ^orth repairing ; and its continuance in its present 
state would not only be unjust as it respects the butchers, who pay 
a liberal rent to the Corporation for their stands, biit must become 
a nuisance to the neighborhood." They ordered a new building. 

After the new building was finished, a space was allotted in it for 
country people, which was not satisfactory to all, as some would set- 
tle on their old standing-places in Cherry Street, in spite of the or- 
ders. However, the attempt to drive them in the lower market 
drove them from the market. This brought forth a remonstrance 
from the citizens, butchers in the upper market, and many of the 
farmers who had supplied thia market for many years. On the 11th 
of August, 1828, they " wish the country people should not be con- 
fined with their produce to the lower end of the lower market ; that 
last summer an effort was made to confine them to the lotver part of 
the market, and the consequence was that the country people, who 
had before frequented there, left the market, and many of Uiem did 
not return until the present system was adopted. That they are 
now daily returning, and should they be prevented from selecting 
their stands, they will no doubt again leave the same." Among the 
signers the following farmers and gardeners are found, principally 
from Long Island: 

Jacob Van Alst, Frederick Devoo, 

Christopher Van Pelt, John T. Van Cott, 



Whinent Van Pelt, 
John Van Pelt, 
Tennis Van Pelt, 
Henry Lewis, 
Garrit Van Winkler, 
Joseph Josline, 
Samuel Van Brakfe, 
Daniel Van Cleve, 
James Dunlap, 
John Boyd, 
John Meserole, 
Walter Way, 
David Van Alts, 
William Boyd, 
Peter Colyer, 
Henry Stoolkeff, 



Jacob Bennet, 
George B. Kelly, 



Isaac Lowsbury, 
Cornelius Van Cott, 
Walter Van Pelt, 
Stephen Weeks, 



William J. Bennet, John Van Houten, 
William Melville, Jacobus Lott, 



Abr'm Boerum, 
Evander Berry, 
William Randell, 
David Van Pelt, 
James B. Colyer, 
William Archer, 
Isaac Trotter, 
William Kelley, 
Asa Remsen, 



T. T. Cowenhoven, 
Thomas 11. Bassett, 
A. B. Selover, 
William G. Heyer, 
Chas. Debevoise, 
J. Randel, Jr., 
William Paynton, 
Henry Boerum, 
Peter Bogert, Jr., 
Beigamin Berrant, 



David P. Miller, 

Abr'm Vandervoort, Cornelius Hubbard, 
John M. Roberts, Henrick M. Heyer, 
George R. Vandeveer, James Berrien, Peter Van Cotts, 
John Vestavelt, Jacobus De Bevoise, Jervis S. Rockwell, 

and John Skillman. 



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356 



CATHARINE HABKET. 



Jacob Van Alst, one of the above signers, was somewhat remarka- 
ble as a regular and steady visitor for a great many years, (I am 
told more than fifty,) and always came in a row-boat. His farm 
was near a place called the Dutch Kills, on Newtown Creek, where, 
at an early period, he was a large producer, but for the last ten or 
fifteen years (prior to 1857) a very small boat carried his products; 
habit, however, had made it necessary to present himself and cargo 
at this market on certain days, while many occasions of severe storms 
and rough sailing had given his old friends a thought of giving him 
up, thinking he would not venture in his frail craft, or if so, that he 
would be in great danger of being lost. He, however, seldom dis- 
appointed them, as he well knew the tides, currents, the time and 
place to cross, when to hug the shore, and at last the bow of his 
boat would come poking in the slip, sometimes to the astonishment 
of all present, when Uncle Jacob received an extra shake of his hard, 
dry, but warm hand. His last load, however, has been carried, and 
his/rat? craft is laid to rest. 

At this period (1828) the market was doing an excellent and prof- 
itable business ; the whole market well attended by country people, 
and the butchers' stands all occupied by the following butchers: 
No 



. 1. 


George Dominick. 


No. 2. 


John M. Smith. 


8. 


John P. Aimes. 


4. 


David Lyons. 


5. 


John Tier. 


6. 


George M. Hartell. 


7. 


William Phillips. 


8. 


Amos Wood. 


9. 


Christian Hartell. 


10. 


Samuel Martin. 


11. 


Isaac Valentine. 


12. 


Geo. W. Varian. 


13. 


William Messerre. 


14. 


Philip Romaine. 


15. 


John Moore. 


16. 


Caleb Conklin. 


17. 


Thomas Varian. 


18. 


Peter Wagner. 


19. 


John Scott. 


20. 


Jeremiah Tier. 


21. 


William Anderson. 


22. 


Henry Collins. 


23. 


John H. Tier. 


24. 


John K. Floor. 


25. 


Jacob Varian. 


26. 


Thomas Marshall. 


27. 


William Shoults. 


28. 


Richard Piatt. 


29. 


James Goodman. 


80. 


Orville Nash. 


31. 


William M'Cready. 


82. 


John Sharp. 


33. 


Owen Manahan. 


84. 


John P. Barker. 


85. 


Abraham Rhoades. 


86. 


Mathew Byrne. 


87. 


John Phillips. 


88. 


John Wallace. 


89. 


Jacob Pessinger. 


40. 


Gilbert GrifSn. 


41. 


Thomas H. White. 


42. 


Nicholas Goodman. 


43. 


Scalxa. 


44. 


William Appleby. 


45. 


Gilbert Cromwell. 


46. 


Bethuel Howard. 


47. 


George Pessinger. 


48. 


Joseph Conklin. 



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CATHARINE MARKET. 357 

Yery many of the above I personally knew, and although I have 
some knowledge of their general history, which no doubt would be 
somewhat interesting, yet not safficient for an historical sketch ; but 
I live in the hope that I or some one else may obtain such from their 
friends or relatives, that the merits of good men, and the examples 
of usefulness, patriotism, and honesty may live after them. 

Colonel William Appleby, once the occupant of No. 44, has many 
years ago retired from active business, laden with years and a plen- 
tiful store. He was brought up in this city on a part of what was 
once known as Bunker Hill, or Bayard's Mount, a sort of fortifica- 
tion or raised embankment, thrown up on a very high hill, (near the 
comer of Mulberry and Grand Streets,) about the commencement of 
the Revolution. An extract of a letter from New York, March 16, 
1776, says : " One-third of the citizens were ordered out to erect new 
works ; they began a fort upon Mr. Bayard's Mount near the Bowery, 
and another all around the hospital. To-day another one-third is 
gone out. Every street in the city is to be barricaded."* Before 
this period, this mount was known as ''Mount Pleasant," an attract- 
ive resort in warm weather by many persons for the pleasant breezes 
and fine views of the North River, the Kolch, and upper part of the 
city. Perhaps a few incidents connected with its history would not 
be out of place here, and the first to present was a fatal duel wliich 
was thus noticed in the Press. On the 25th of September, 1787, at 
11 o'clock at night, says an editorial, "a duel was fought on the 
ground near Bayard's Hill, in which the noted Monsieur Chevalier 
de Longchamps was unfortunately killed. It is said that his antag- 
onist was a Frenchman, (Captain Verdier, late an officer in Count 
Pulaski^s Legion) who had served in the late American army ; he 
had thought himself much injured by some assertions made by the 
Chevalier, and meeting him in William Street on Tuesday (25th) 
afternoon, an affray took place, which in the evening terminated in 
the melancholy catastrophe above mentioned. The gentleman who 
killed him has since sailed in a vessel for the West Indies."t 

The next year, on the 23d of July, the " Great Federal Proces- 
sion" took place, and ended their march on this hill or "mount," 
where ten enormous tables laden with provisions were found ready 
for the use of all. The butchers also had a large dressed *'ox, 
weighing one thousands pounds," which they had roasted whole and 
presented to the patriotic and numerous body of men. 

In the year 1795, we find a very strong feeling against the Fed- 
eral Governor {John Jay) of New York, on account of his neutrality 
treaty with England, which the Republicans looked upon as a repu- 
* Paaiuk Journal, Mvch 20, 1776. f Dailj Adveriiwr. 



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858 CATHARINE MARKET. 

diation of our country's obligation to France. The feeling ran so 
high, that on the 20th of July, says the Press : ''A body of war-worn 
soldiers of the late American Army paraded the streets, bearing a 
French and American flags, with the British flag reversed underneath 
them. They proceeded to * Bunker Hill/ where they burnt a por- 
trait of John Jay, holding a balance containing American Inde- 
pendence and British gold, the latter prepondering. They then 
gave three cheers and returned in triumph through the city about 
five o'clock, leaving behind a dozen Tories to snuff the ashes of the 
bon-fire." 

Colonel Appleby, while a boy, recollects that upon the top of this 
''mount" was held bull-baits, flying-horses, and other exhibitions; 
and it was also a great place where antagonistical boys met to 
"fight streets" which occasionally took place between the "Broad- 
way Boys and Bowery Boys." Sometimes hard balOes, as they were 
considered by the actors, were fought by throwing stones at one an- 
other ; and when it came to close quarters, the fists and sticks were 
brought into play, and what was remarkable, that seldom any very 
serious injuries were received on either side. Sometimes one party 
would have possession of the " mount," then again the other, but 
usually the greatest numbers took possession after a few bloody 
noses or bruised shins; both, however, were generally routed by the 
dreaded appearance of one or two constables. 

"They commenced leveling this *hill' about the year 1802, and 
in digging down, the earth was removed more than fourteen feet 
lower than the bottom of the well, which no doubt had supplied the 
garrison who quartered there during the Bevolution. In this well 
were found old iron hoops and other relics, among which was an old 
cannon, (a nine-pounder)."* 

Near the foot of this hill, on the southeasterly side, was the old 
family burying vault of the Bayards — then known as Bayards' Vault, 
which had been or was thought to be the last resting-ptace of the 
former generations of that old family ; but in the march of improve- 
ment, which had begun here soon after the year 1790, its occupants 
were transferred to another resting-place, and the old vault became 
empty, or at least only for a short ptriod, as there came a singular 
and miserable-looking specimen of humanity, and took possession of 
this much-dreaded "tenement-house." The marks of time, however, 
had left in it enough crevices and holes to insure ventilation, and 
here this hermit or ragman, as he was generally known, lived several 
years. He wore the castroff clothing given him, and these he patch- 
ed with pieces of various colored rags or carpet; the rags hanging 

* CoEzeoB' Geological History. 



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CATHARINE MARKET. 359 

in every direction, which gave him a sort of hideous and frightful 
appearance, which sometimes alarmed grown persons as well as the 
neighboring children, who would seldom go near him. Many thought 
he was an old robber or murderer; and as he would notconyerse or 
seldom answer questions, he was somewhat feared, and not much 
troubled with visitors. Toung Appleby often carried him cold vic- 
tuals, sent by his mother, Mrs. Baisley, and Mrs. Hopkins, when the 
hermit became quite friendly, and would occasionally talk of some 
troubles or disappointments in England, and that his name was 
Captain Dundas. Winter and summer he remained in this place, 
deeping on his bed of rags, until at last he took his final sleep, 
where he was found buried in his filthy bed, the last tenant of the 
"Old Bayard Vault." 

Toung Appleby was apprenticed with Thomas Place, butcher in 
tiie "Fly Market," and served him faithfully; b^an business for 
himself in 1811, and entered this market in 1816, where, by early 
rising, diligence, prudence, and honesty, he became possessed of 
abun^nce of this world's goods; while he lived the life of a valua- 
ble citizen, friend, and father, and although of a social disposition, 
yet he enjoyed his family and fireside above all others. Public office 
had often sought him, but he invariably would not accept, as his 
wish was not to be conspicuous, except it was in some old-fashioned 
custom, in style of living, dress, and more particularly in the wear- 
ing of his !iair done up :n a 3ue behind. Horrever, occasionally the 
strife of politics attracted his attention, when he would enter with 
all his power, especially for a friend of either himself or government, 
and his influence was considerable, as in the end he generally proved 
successful. So strong was his feeling of friendship, that upon one 
occasion, when his own interest was largely at stake in the passage 
of a measure, that he publicly said, " My friendship and esteem for 
Henry Eckford is superior to my interest, and I must drop my own 
to succeed with his." He did so, and never after regretted it. 

He was generally known as Colonel Appleby, which title he came 
honestly by, although at a late period. Being somewhat patriotic 
in his early days, he joined the Horse Artillery in 1816, under Capt. 
Geo. 6. Messerve, then attached to the 3d R^ment, was promoted 
in 1821 to Cornet, and the next year as Lieutenant, which position 
he held and performed the duty many years. About the year 1836 
he removed on his farm in New Jersey, and in 1843 was elected 
CoUmd of the '' Middlesex Regiment," in which county he still re- 
sides, as one of the remaining ''Gentlemen of the Olden School." 

In the summer of 1830 the upper market-house was much com- 
plained of, in consequence of the almost useless cellars under it ; and 



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860 OATHARINE MARKET. 

it was also much out of repair. Strong hints had been thrown oat 
by interested parties to change the location, and now was thongbfc 
the proper time to make the effort; so they presented a petition, 
praying to have this market-place removed, and a building erected 
150 feet square, with fronts on South and Water Streets, between 
Catharine and Market Streets. The butchers and others strongly 
objected to its removal there, and also petitioned, " That they were 
opposed to the contemplated removal of Catharine Market, in the 
manner proposed in a petition heretofore presented to your Hon- 
orable Body ; that the market, as at present located, is convenient 
enough for every purpose. All that your remonstrants wish is to 
have the upper market taken down and rebuilt on the same spot, in 
a different way : that is, made lower, without any cellars under- 
neath, so that the disagreeable smell arising from those cellars may 
be done away in fhture." On the following 27th of December the 
Market Committee reported, and the following resolutions were 
adopted : '' That that part of the Catharine Market lying between 
Cherry and Water Streets be taken down, and that a new market, 
conforming with the plan which has been made thereof, be erected 
in the place thereof." " That the Market Committee receive pro- 
posals for building of such new market, and that $4,000 be appro- 
priated for the expense thereof." And in the month of February, 
next year, the new market-house was ordered ** to be placed 8 feet 
easterly and 3 feet southerly from the old one." 

In the month of September following, the butchers in the lower 
market complained of the '* hucksters and country people standing 
on the side-walk opposite said market, between Cherry and Water 
Streets," when the Clerk was directed to "order them in the lower 
market which was assigned them." 

In many of the markets about this period, the Market Committee, 
when exchanging or transferring butchers' stands, it was usually 
the practice to make them all "premium stands;" and if the stand 
was a " corner," or otherwise valuable, a high premium or sum of 
money was demanded, (see Johnson^ Centre Marhety and others;) if 
it was not, a low sum, besides all unpaid back rent, left due by a 
former occupant. In the month of November, 1834, the " Committee" 
reported on the transfer of stand No. 46 in this market, fW)m William 
N. Hedge to Edward Conklin ; and they state, " That said stall is not 
a premium stand ; that the person for whom the transfer is sought 
to be obtained is well recommended as a regular-bred butcher, and 
the Committee think one hundred dcUars would be the fair premium 
value thereof." They offer a resolution to the above effect, and it 
was adopted. Then, in tiie month of April, 1835, they report on the 



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CATHARINE MARKET. gel 

petition of David Haight for stand No. 5, Goveneur Market, and 
Michael Pbelan for stand No. 10 this market, and say, " That the 
petitioners come well recommended as regular-bred batchers, and 
yonr Committee see no reason why they should not receive license, 
although they do not wish to make a premium stand of No. 10 Cath- 
arine Market." A resolution was passed to license both. Then, a 
few days after, the Committee reported on several stands here, and 
Btate, lliey ''have consulted with the butchers in the several markets 
as to the premiums to be paid by the petitioners, and report the re- 
sult of their deliberations by the following resolution: Resdved, 
That butcher stand No. 6, Catharine Market, be transferred to 
George M. Hartell, on payment of $50 and back rent," (hdd pre- 
viously by Ma /oilier.) "Stall No. 38, do., be transferred to Lewis 
JoUey, on payment of $15 and back rent," f formerly held by Jacob 
Somemdyke,) " Stall No. 48, to Gilbert Underbill, on payment of 
$60 and back rent," (formerly hdd by Joseph CorMin.) 

The next year the " second market-house," between Water and 
Front Streets, is reported as being in a dilapidated condition. Pe- 
titions were again presented for its removal to Pike's Slip and other 
places. The subject came before the "Committee" in 1837, when 
Sylvanns Miller advocated that it should be located at Pike's Slip, 
while Eldad Holmes brought forth the claims of those interested in 
having it remain in the old location. The latter prevailed, as the 
Committee reported in favor of the old site, and it was built accord- 
ingly. In this year the Committee also made a report in favor of 
appointing two suitable persons for " Superintendents of Markets," 
and in this report they present the following remarks: " The public 
markets are the resort of this whole community to procure the nec- 
essaries as well as the luxuries of life, and a weighty responsibility 
rests upon the Common Council to see that they are properly regu- 
lated ; that such provisions only are exposed for sale there as are 
sound and wholesome, and that every arrangement be made that can 
contribute to the comfort, convenience, and health of the city. They 
recommend a law to appoint two suitable persons, to be known as 
Superintendents of Markets ; the one for the east, and the other for 
the west side of the city ; and it imposes upon them duties that, if 
faithfully discharged, will secure to our citizens well-regulated pub- 
lic markets, and sound and wholesome provisions at reasonable 
prices. The Committee have, in the proposed law, provided that 
the Superintendents shall be appointed by them to hold their oflSce 
during their pleasure, with a view to the appointment of persons 
known to be capable of faithfully discharging the duties, and that 
in case they should not prove to be such, to substitute others in their 



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362 



CATHARINE MARKET. 



stead. The compensation of these officers, in the opinion of the Com- 
mittee, should be eight hundred dollars per annum. This sum will 
enable them to devote their whole time to their public duties.** 
This law was adopted in the month of February of the above year. 
Two suitable persons, in William Yonck and John Triglar, two old 
respectable butchers, were strongly recommended by the butchers, 
and received the appointment to these offices; and I may say, without 
fear of contradiction, that they performed their whole duty, accord- 
ing to the binding oaths they took, and gave general satisfaction. 

In the month of December, 1840, the Collector of the City Rev- 
enue (Thomas Lloyd) made a return of the occupants of the stands 
in this market, when we find them occupied as follows: 



No. 1. George Dominick. 


No. 2. Jacob H. Varian. 


8. Walter Anderson. 


4. David Lyons. 


5. Daniel Haight. 


6. William Pitman. 


7. William D. Floor. 


8. John Farigan. 


9. Henry Develin. 


10. Michael Phelan. 


11. George W. Martin. 


12. Samuel Cornell. 


18. William Messerve. 


14. Philip Romaine. 


15. John Scott. 


16. Edward McManus. 


17. Joshua M. Varian. 


18. John V. Eddy. 


19. Barnard Hanigan. 


20. John Conway. 


21. George W. Truss. 


22. Richard Conway. 


28. John W. Palmer. 


24. John K. ?loo-. 


25. Joseph C. Appleby. 


26. James Appleby. 


27. Orville J. Nash. 


28. Richard Piatt. 


29. James Goodman. 


80. Richard H. Piatt 


31. Julius Johnson. 


82. John N. Hoofmin. 


88. Owen Monaghan. 


84. Mathew Byrne. 


35. John Davis. 


86. John L. Delahunt. 


87. Sylvester Pendleton. 


88. James Post. 


89. Unoccupied. 


40. James W. Cruise. 


41. Mathew W. Bird. 


42. Unoccupied. 


48. Scales. 


44. James Horton. 


45. Gilbert Cromwell. 


46. Joseph Couklin. 


47. Henry B. Taylor. 


48. Thomas Calhoun. 


49. Alexander Anthony. 


50. Benjamin Oakley. 


51. Andrew Lang, Jun'r. 


52. William Reynolds. 


68. Abraham Horton. 


54. Edmund Conckling. 


55. George Pessinger. 


56. William J. Omberson. 



Nearly two years after, this " Collector of the City Revenue," 
Thomas Lloyd, was a large defaulter, and became exposed from a 
casual conversation of the occupant of No. 55 with a then prominent 



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CATHARINE MARKET. 363 

Alderman. This Lloyd defalcated with the funds of the city to a 
yery large amount, and fled the city in a brig called the Hope, sup- 
posed to belong to him, for Cape de Yerds and a market. Says the 
'* Brother Jonathan/' of that date: " If this is his own vessel, Lloyd 
has certainly struck out a new path in defalcation; for a man's 
Swindling the public treasury, buying a brig with his plunder, and 
sailing away in his own vessel, is something new under the sun, and 
develops a skill in financiering which introduces a new variety into 
the somewhat stale records of roguery." The Comptroller, in a re- 
port of this defalcation, says: '* Without surprise of the integrity of 
the Collector, letters were sent, with my signature, to some of the 
tenants largely in arrears, requiring them to pay up forthwith ; of 
their being sent the Collector had no knowledge ; only one tenant 
made answer to me or my clerk, and he stated he had paid up ; and 
when Lloyd was spoken to on the subject, he referred to his book, 
admitted he had received, and t